« הקודםהמשך »
merchants, and the numerous barges of rank entered, as if engaged in of pleasure or commerce, passing to highly animated conversation, closely and fro, and creating a world of their followed by a fine looking youth. Both own on the proud bosom of the swel- stopped somewhat, but not much disling Thames. The association with the concerted, on perceiving. De Lacy. fame and the memory of the greatest She turned to the youth with an arch of her poets then existed not; the in- expression of assumed gravity, and, animate scenes were there, but not the lowly curtseying, said in French, not, spirit of song, which has since given perhaps, expecting to be understood by them life in the history of letters. So the stranger—" Heaven long preserve much cultivation at the hand of art his Majesty! When your Highness's and the agency of wealth, presented reign commences, that of morality will such a rich and novel contrast to the be at an end." “ And you will rise at wild character of nature in his own court,” retorted Prince Charles, (for it country, that his eye and his mind was was he,) and gaily kissing his hand occupied almost to forgetfulness of his and laughing, he retired by the same companion, and the mysterious pur- door, while the lady went out by anoposes which he was upon.
ther; whether she was the future Lady The sculler stopped at Hampton- Castlemaine, or Duchess of Portscourt, and the party landed. The mouth, our history does not say. waterman received instructions from In a few minutes, De Lacy was rethe stranger, who, with De Lacy, en- quested by the gentleman in waiting to tered at one of the gates of the palace. follow him. They passed through a In such a place, fear, had he been ac, room in which seated at a table, with cessible to it, would have deserted books before them, were a youth, somehim. He was in the palace of a so- what younger, and of less favourvereign to whom he was devoted heart able aspect than he who had preand soul ; his was the consciousness of viously made his appearance in the loyalty, not of disaffection or treason, manner we have stated, and an elderly and he breathed the atmosphere most person, who, from his complexion, excongenial to his moral existence. Hav- pression of countenance, and dress, aping crossed a large court, and entered peared to be a foreign ecclesiastic.
smaller one, passing two sentinels, a The youth, De Lacy afterwards learnnarrow and winding side passage ter- ed, was James Duke of York, and the minated in a gothic arched door, at aged man an Italian priest, filling the which the stranger rung a bell. Be- double office of chaplain and confessor fore the door was opened, the stranger to the queen, and preceptor to the grasped De Lacy's hand, and pressing young duke ; the fruits of such cultivait with friendly warmth, said, My tion arrived in due season to a bitter mission rests here for a while ; as you maturity. The attendant now opened
present moment, you are a door and announced De Lacy. Two in the way of fortune-you'll find me objects fixed his attention. One, a fehere at your return." The door was male reclining, in a half reposing attiopened by a porter in the royal livery; tude, on a richly ornamented ottoman, another bell was pulled, and its sum- beside which stood a small table of mons was answered by another servitor, ebony, curiously inlaid with gold and still more gorgeously habited ; the mother-of-pearl, on which were writing stranger put a sealed billet into the materials, sealed letters, &c. ; at her hand of the menial, said something feet lay growling a very pretty black which De Lacy did not hear, when he and white dog, since known by the was respectfully led up a flight of oak name of King Charles's breed—“O! fie, stairs, black with age, and the banisters donc! taisez vous, Fidelle !” exclaimed fantastically carved; they next passed she in a soft voice and native French, through a suite of rooms into an inner looking steadily and observantly at De anti-chamber, where the footman de- Lacy, but not addressing him. The livered the note to a gentleman in other was a female far more advanced waiting, accompanied orally by the in life, and of dignified and commandstranger's instruction. De Lacy was ing aspect ; her demeanor and expresbere left by himself, and as he waited, sion of countenance betrayed a proud a side opening from a corridor, flew severity, and it could be seen, at a open, and a beautiful female, apparently glance, that condescension on her part
was an effort, and not familiar to her your majesty may command willing nature ; she too, was seated at another and devoted obedience !” “ Your mistable, on which were also letters but sion, Sir, will be a delicate one ; it recently sealed. On De Lacy's en- will require the most guarded secrecy, trance, she arose, and with unbending prudence, and address ; perhaps courdignity addressed him, saying, “ Sir, age in a more than ordinary degree : you are in the presence of your queen." the first, we hope, has not been learnHad not a motion of her hand and the ed in the school of your aged compadirection of her eye as she spoke, toge- nion, tho' we are indebted to him for ther with the foreign air and cast of the involuntary information which has features, pointed out the recumbent led us to make choice of your services; Henrietta, De Lacy might well have the second, is not quite native to your paid his mistaken homage to the state country, the last is its characteristic, ly Marchioness of Winchester. With combined with a chivalrous loyalty.” the
grace that was natural to him, he De Lacy felt the glow of a natural sunk on one knee and bowed deferen- pride that some redeeming graces were tially to the queen, who, with one of conceded to the polluted land of his birth those captivating smiles, which, when and he bowed his acknowledgments. she pleased, could send her words and “ The virtues, Sir, strange to say, are purpose to the hearts of those she here lost in religion, and so obscured addressed, graciously motioned him by faction, that, with very few excepto rise ; at the same time directing a tions, we know not where to find them glance at the marchioness, which was the spirit of political apostacy posunderstood ; the Marchioness said, “her sesses the land. Our enemies leave us Majesty permits Mr. De Lacy to be nothing to suspect although everything seated;" he still hesitating, she added to fear; they, at least, are honest in more emphatically, “the queen com- the demonstration of their purpose and mands." "He seated himself accordo their hate ; but the greater danger of ingly, when Henrietta, with a sweet- the prince, and degradation of public ness of voice and manner, rendered character, is found in the difficulty of more fascinating by a mixture of me. knowing whom to trust, and the discrelancholy unusual to her country, and pancy between profession and action" but lately familiar to herself, addressed -a sigh here escaped the queen, and him in French, which her previous in- turning with the tenderest and strongformation had ascertained that he un- est expression of her eloquent eyes, to derstood. At that period, indeed, the the marchioness, she added, " And knowledge of the French language was yet we should almost thank the Comalmost confined to the well educated, mons for the full knowledge of our and higher ranks of the Scotch and dear Winchester and her faithful lord." Irish, and was very partially cultivated “ Your majesties," replied the marchioeven by the same classes in England. ness,“ have, I trust, friends enough,
“ Altho' not inclined, Sir, to remit faithful and bold to sustain you triumof our wonted state, at a time that dis- phant over your enemies.* * We must loyal faction is working to its humilia- act in the spirit of what we would action or overthrow ; the friends of per- complish,” rejoined the queen, “ if we illed royalty are always so few, that we desert not ourselves, God will be along should not interpose, at a time like this, with his anointed." Here the inspithose cold ceremonies which might ration of hope, and the pride of machill the hearts warming to our cause ; jesty elevated her air, and flashed in your character is not strange to us; the commanding glance of her eye. “We you are devoted to your king."- 4" To make choice, Sir, of your services on danger, poverty, and death !" answered this occasion, because the court of De Lacy, bowing low, and emphati- France is familiar with Irish gentlecally pressing his hand to his heart
. men, who, therefore, are less liable “We know it, you have been at the to be objects of state suspicion, but Court of France."—He bowed. “Yes,' still more, because, from what we she added, without waiting for other have learned, we think answer, “your French is of the court ; trust you.”. Then taking the sealed will you be my ambassador thither, letters in her hands, she continued, not accredited but secret and confiden- « These letters you will be careful of tial ?"_" In all things and to all things, until you can with certainty deliver them
as addressed. Richelieu's policy is so we announce him to be, entered on his sinister that I dare not trust him, and mission, the issue of which has already his jealousy of power such, that he been anticipated. The private affecmust not know that you have a political tions of the French King, opposed no purpose in being in Paris. He not contrast to his political character, and only wields the power of the king, but not only were any aids or interference he would prevent Louis from being refused, but Henrietta was prohibited a brother." Her bosom heaved from visiting the French Court Fail. with an irrepressible sigh. “ The ing in the objects of his journey to Paris,
Countess *****_keeps the gayest De Lacy joined, as a volunteer, the hotel in Paris. The letter addressed armies of Austria, then engaged in a to her will obtain you welcome admis- war against the Swedes, and acquitted sion to her parties, and those oppor- himself with such credit and gallantry tunities she will assist you to use to in two campaigns, as to attract the the service of your sovereign. I can notice of the Archduke, by whom he scarcely hope your access to Louis, the was promoted to the rank of Captain. vigilance of the cardinal is so closely But on learning that Henrietta was directed to English subjects. Secon- raising supplies in Holland, our soldier dary channels of communication must, hesitated not to relinquish the golden in the event, be resorted to, and these hopes which opened to him in the serthe Countess will supply. You will vice of a foreign state, and hastened find written instructions more at large. to cast himself and his destinies at the The Queen of England's exchequer is feet of his Sovereign Mistress, where not redundant, but what you shall need his natural and cherished allegiance will be supplied to you by the Countess was due. He was received with confiI dare not trust our ambassador-poli- dence and distinction, and appointed tical good faith and official fidelity are her Majesty's Master of the Horse, nearly extinct. Farewell, my gallant with the rank of Colonel in the army. servant! The good genius of Charles, The scarcity of friends wonderfully in and the blessing of God, speed you !" creases their value, although, strange Henrietta, then taking a splendid dia- to say, there have been, and are even mond ring from her finger, presented in our own day, Sovereigns who give it to De Lacy, holding forth, at the the preference to, and lavish their fasame time, her hand for him to salute.
vours upon their enemies. Kneeling, he devoutly pressed it with
“ Most dear and precious were the faithful few, his lips , then rising, and disposing of who, midst the many false remaining true, his papers, he made his obeisance, and, Shed a bright halo
round the gloom of fate,
To cheer the spirits of the falling great." retiring as he came, found the stranger who had been his conductor from Lon- Father Denis joined his friend don, at the water-side, waiting for him. and pupil at the Hague, and such is the They entered the scull, reached Dur- history which we thought necessary to ham stairs, parted, and met no more. give of these two personages, whom
Little preparation was necessary, we embarked with Henrietta, under the and little time was lost in De Lacy and care of Commodore De Ruyter, with his aged_friend proceeding to Paris. whom, and exposed to all the hazards Father Denis re-occupied an apart- of falling in with the ruffianly parliament in his old college, and our hero, mentarian cruisers, we now leave the for such, reader, gentle or ungentle, whole party until our next chapter.
THE AGRICULTURAL LABOUR MARKET,
VIEWED IN CONNECTION WITH THE POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS STATE
The unsettled state of our agricul- mine, disease, and misery, are not come tural and manufacturing interests— pelled, by intolerable extremity, to quit their frequent paroxysms of activity their hovels ; and stalking abroad, in and stagnation--and the wide-spread squalid and offensive nakedness, to obwretchedness of the labouring classes, trude themselves upon the eye and ear. which is the necessary attendant upon In fact, our gentry live in the epicurean such fluctuations, have loudly demanded spirit of the heathen poet,“ carpe the general attention ; and indeed they diem.” have, of late, met the earnest consi- We remember an elderly gentleman deration of intelligent individuals, of of the Castle Rack-rent school, who voluntary societies, and, in some de- illustrated, and sometimes ludicrously gree, of parliament.
enough, in his private affairs, this indoTo prevent this attention from eva- lent improvidence of his brethren, in porating in benevolent wishes, or merely public matters. Our good-natured speculative theories to impart to it friend was one of those who are very steady perseverance, and practical ener- unwilling to sacrifice present ease, in gy-and to feed it with suitable fuel, order to guard against the future, and until it issues in some beneficial result, contingent inconvenience. He adopted, naturally devolve upon the landed pro- as his motto, though not, precisely, in prietors, and other intelligent, and inde- the spirit of its Divine author, that propendent members of society. These, foundly wide maxim, “ Sufficient unto living among the patients in this great the day, is the evil thereof." Like the hospital, should mark, and report the fowls of the air, he lived, practically, symptoms, that parliament may, at once, upon Providence, and was careful be reminded of the disease, and have a for nothing.". While enjoying a quiet complete diagnosis, on which to pre- game of backgammon, with a friend, a scribe the remedy.
servant entered the room, and rather But the misfortune is, that in those with the hurry of a man at his wit's intervals of comparative prosperity, end, than the frigid apathy of a fashionwhich periodically alternate with others able footman, announced the forcible of general distress--as soon as famine entry of his dairy stock, who, perhaps, has ceased, for a time, to clamour at felt their master's negligence through the doors of private or public charity- the breach in the hay yard wall all are but too ready to embrace this adding, that the cattle were rapidly hour of repose, and to abuse it to indo- demolishing, and trampling down, the lence and supineness. Instead of em- hay rick. The case was urgent. Our ploying it, as they might, advanta- friend paused, for a moment, at a very geously, in the peaceful contrast of interesting crisis of the game, to balance conflicting opinions, and the adjustment the profit and loss of present ease and of conflicting interests, they are apt to future annoyance. But he quickly deforget, at once, the future and the past. cided, and pronounced judgment, not, They forget that the rest of the disease we must confess it, with the same calm is still untouched—that, although our composure as a judge of assize—“ Let poor have food enough to-day, they may, them make the most of it ; it's all they to-morrow, and certainly will again, and shall have for the winter.” The serthat at no distant period, be starving vant, who was, perhaps, an heir-loom —and that, in the very best times, there of the family, well knew his master, and is wretchedness sufficient to debase would rather precipitate himself upon their morals, and wither their affections. some fifty pair of horns, in chevaux de Forgetting, I say, all this, they rest frise, asserting their paramount claim satisfied with the present, because fa- to the hay yard, than encounter an
indolent man provoked to action. He pendents. In this spirit, “ giving them quickly disappeared, we trust to raise that which is just and equal"-raising the posse comitatus on his own authority, them from the level, or should we not and to do the best he could in this rather say, from beneath the level, of dilemma. What arguments were used the brutes, with which, in many inby the foolish and improvident herd, stances, they are now obliged to conwhen the hay-rick was eaten or wasted, sort ; and which, in some instances, are in despite of the warning to make the better lodged, and more plentifully fed most of their supplies, it were no diffi- — teaching them to feel a want of the cult speculation to divine. We may - decencies and comforts of civilized life, be assured that they bellowed, and by habituating them to their enjoypawed, and butted their indolent and ment-looking after them in sickness quiet-loving guardian into a compliance sympathizing with them in any afflictive with their reasonable demands. dispensation-attending, with paternal
This, we admit, is not argument. It interest, to the education and advanceis merely an anecdote of our old friend, ment of their children—and watching, who, some thirty or forty years ago, with vigilant interest, over the morals, resigned his charge into the hands of would that the circumstances of the beirs, who, no doubt, have since been country permitted us to say,--the reliprogressing in the march of intellect. gion, of all. Still, in reference to the subject before It will, we know, be objected, “ We us, we say to the collective wisdom of are already aware of all this, but deny the Irish gentry, “ Mutato nomine, de its practicability, in consequence of the te fabula narratur." Food, like water, irritated and unnatural state of popular when pent up, will make, where it does feeling, which the priests and demanot find, a level. In seasons of famine, gogues have conspired to excite. We the rich must feed the poor.
are ready to new-model our estates, The disease under which the country and to manage them on new principles ; labours is evident. A superabundant to make rent an equitable arrangement, population, debased in morals, as a which will permit to our tenantry not superabundant population must ever only the necessaries, but the comforts, be; and reckless, from want of occu- of life ; and we are ready to do this, pation and food ; and with, in Ireland, not merely from motives of benevolence the additional ingredients of all the and justice ; but, also, because we have ignorance, idleness, and fanaticism, po- learned, by experience, that it is the litical and religious, which a bigotted only way in which we can secure our and exclusive, a superstitious, encroach- properties from dilapidation and iming, and demoralising creed, ministered poverishment, and obtain from them a by a vigilant and ambitious priesthood, certain income. We are most anxious can produce. It seems, also, to be the to promote habits of industry, sobriety, general opinion, that this disease can and cleanliness—to civilize the aged never be thoroughly eradicated without to educate the young-and to live on the extreme and expensive remedy of cordial and affectionate terms with all. amputation by colonizing ; and that But they will not permit it. The priest, even this, to be permanently beneficial, like a gloomy and portentous cloud, must be followed up by the mild regi- interposes ; wields, not spiritual thunmen of a religious and moral educa- ders, for these would be powerless tional system, judiciously administered. among a people whom his political By reformning those links of affectionate harangues and prostituted office have and reciprocal attachment, which should converted to infidelity—but he wields subsist between landlord and tenant, the more dreaded, because the more and which Papal ambition has rent sensible and immediate sanctions of the asunder-by the tenant's feeling that law of opinion. He threatens to call his landlord is his natural protector and them from the altar if they co-operate friend-by the landlord's feeling that wit us in any plan for bettering their neither his respectability nor his enjoy- moral condition. And while many are ments are to be measured by the num- groaning under this oppressive tyranny; ber of his freeholders, or the amount of and most, if they knew the real sentihis rent-roll, but by the regularity and ments of the mass, which they have security of his income ; and still more been accustomed to consider the priest by the comfort and morality of his de- as expressing, and which, to all practi