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“I am too young and inexperienced to aspire work is done. When God calls men to defend to so important a command, and I would rather his truth, and to rescue the ark of Liberty from serve under Cromwell than command the finest Philistine hands, those who know how to lay regiment in England.”
hold of omnipotence, and are sustained by an "I once saw Captain Cromwell in company immortal hope, should not draw back. I rewith Mr. Hampden. It would not surprise joice that you are willing that I should take me to hear you speak thus in relation to the part in this great work.” latter."
"I cannot say that I am willing, but I should "I would not say aught in disparagement of be unworthy of your regard could I say aught Mr. Hampden, who is all that a bleeding against it.” country believes him to be; but there is that Time paused not in his flight. Hollis dein Cromwell, plain and unimposing as he ap- parted with the assurance that he possessed pears, which fits him, above all others, to the wealth of a virgin heart. wield the destinies of England. Were the conduct of our armies entrusted to him, I should speedily hope to be at liberty to lead a life of
CHAPTER III. peace with the best and fairest maiden in England.”
SIR HERBERT ELListon, the uncle of Alice, "I pray you spare your compliments for was the eldest son of Sir Arthur Elliston, who & more fitting time. Are you led by a sense ranked among the wealthiest knights of Engof duty to peril your life in this struggle ?” land. He was a staunch defender of the
“I can truly say that I am, and yet, I know church and king, and lent his support to many not but that the example of Hampden and of those acts of intolerance and wrong which Cromwell, and the desire of winning a name, had placed the people of England in martial which Alice may not be displeased to bear, array. The widely different views and practice may influence me unduly.”
of his younger brother led to an estrangement, “What is the value of a name, however and to an almost total cessation of intercourse, widely read, if it be written in a tracery of till Alice drew near to womanhood. Sir Herblood? If your duty summon you to the post bert then made advances which the Christian of danger, there is no friend worthy the name, spirit of his brother would not allow him to who will not bid you God speed, though the repel. Alice paid occasional visits to her heart may ache in view of the dangers and uncle, who would fain have made her a persufferings to be encountered.” As she thus manent member of his family. To his proposal spoke, a tear trembled in her eye.
to that effect she would not listen. Not the “Let us hope for the best,” said Hollis. I prospect of inheriting his wealth, nor visions "Mr. Hampden saith we are immortal, till our of gay winters in London, nor the chances of
an alliance with some noble family, could in- ' After the incident above related, when they duce her to consider, for a moment, the idea of met alone they conferred together on the topics exchanging the dwelling of her father for the which swelled, almost to bursting, the Puritan stately halls of her uncle.
| heart of England. On the day of his departure During the summer preceding the occurrence from Elliston Hall, he read to her certain proof the events above related, she had passed ductions of a Puritan bard, who began to feel several weeks at Elliston Hall. There, in com- conscious of possessing power to produce somepany with many others, she met George Hollis. I thing that posterity would not willingly let die.
As he gazed upon her countenance radiant with the divine emotions awakened by the inspired bard, he could scarce refrain from casting himself at her feet, and declaring the intense affection which, in so brief a period, had arisen in his heart. When, therefore, the master spirit of England called him to the field, it was not strange that he sought to make known to her his feelings, and to secure her sympathy and prayers.
Alice had not yet recovered from the agitation occasioned by the advent and departure of the student-soldier, when a company of troopers, whose language and bearing made it evident that they were in the service of his blessed Majesty, surrounded the dwelling, and making a violent entrance, seized the aged father, and dragged him away, unheeding the tears and supplications of his wife and daughter.
The blow fell with stunning violence upon the gentle mother. For weeks Alice watched alone by her sick
bed. So silent and secret Some negotiations on the part of his father had been the movement of the captors, that with Sir Herbert, relating to certain contiguous the abduction of Mr. Elliston was unknown to estates in Lancashire, rendered it necessary his friends. Hence his daughter watched and for him to pass a week under the same roof wept unaided, when there were many hearts with Alice. He noticed her surpassing beauty, that would have beat in sympathy, and many and was often obliged, by a sense of propriety, hands that would have furnished aid. to turn away his admiring gaze; but no feeling Alice felt that she must rely upon her own of positive interest was awakened till her uncle resources, and the support of heaven. Calmly chanced, in sport, to call her a Puritan rebel. she breasted the cold waters, which rose higher Hollis noticed her blush of acknowledgment, and higher, threatening to overwhelm and bury and the sparkle of her confessing eye.
her in their depths. Friend and lover were far Alice, from the first, had observed the diffe- away. Her father was in the hand of his cruel rence between Hollis and the other frequenters foes, her mother was dying all unconscious of of her uncle's board. The wine-cup never the sorrows of her devoted child. touched his lip. He spoke only on topics of The dreaded hour arrived. The mother bade interest, when his speech gave indications of her daughter farewell. Before the warmth of an earnest and fearless soul.
life had departed Sir Herbert arrived, bringing
intelligence that her father was no more. He' That very night, ere Alice had laid her had been with him in his dying hour, and his aching head upon her pillow, & messenger tears showed that he was not without affection arrived, and placed a packet in her trembling for his brother, and sympathy for his orphan hand. She broke the seal. It was a deed of child. At her request he went for Mr. Baxter, sale from the commissioners charged with and listened with attention to the prayers and executing the ordinance of Parliament. It exhortations of that man of God.
made over Elliston Hall to George Hollig. When the remains of the deceased had been Another document conveyed it to Sir Herbert committed to the tomb, it was plainly necessary Elliston, “in consideration of kindness shown for Alice to return with her uncle to his home. to Miss Alice Elliston.” This last was in the Nothing relating to her comfort was neglected; | handwriting, and bore the signature of Hollis. yet, between herself and those who were wont Was it not strange that there was no word to meet there, & great gulf was fixed. She addressed to her ? Surely he would come in must not mention the dearest of earthly names. person soon. She placed the documents in the She must often hear contempt cast upon hands of her uncle. He received them in those whom she regarded as the choicest ones. silence, and never alluded to the subject again. She could hope for no communication with Days, weeks, months, and years rolled on, Hollis until peace was restored to England. and George Hollis came not to claim his be
trothed. Peace was restored, and under the
vigorous rule of the Protector, prosperity reCHAPTER IV.
turned to England throughout all her borders. YEARS rolled on. The armies of the King A ministry such as England had never seen were destroyed by the powerful arm of Crom- proclaimed a pure gospel, and Puritanism was well. The King is a prisoner to those who everywhere in the ascendant. In all this Alice once owned him as their lord. He is at length would have rejoiced, but for the sadness that called to an account for his crimes, and his oppressed her in consequence of the absence of head is laid upon the block. Terror fills the all tidings of him for whose sake alone life had hearts of all who had sustained his cause. charms. Had the toils of war or the possession
Alice was sitting in her library, musing on of honours caused him to forget one whose the strange and sad events that had recently favour he had once de
favour he had once declared was dearer to him taken place, and striving to subdue her impa-than all the world ? She looked into her own tience for the coming of the hour that should heart, and seeing there the impossibility of bring to her presence the heart to which alone change, concluded that he could not fail to be she looked for sympathy. Suddenly her uncle true. entered, bearing marks of excessive agitation. | At length the conviction fastened itself upon “My child,” said he, “we are ruined. I shall her mind that he was no longer among the no longer have a roof to shelter you. I shall | living. She would receive assurance of the soon be driven from the home of my ances- fact, and then lie down and die. « Uncle," tors.”
said she, “ you have friends in London. Write " How so! Has the war been renewed, and to them that they make inquiries and inform is this part of the country to be the scene of you, if George Hollis be still alive.” bloodshed ?"
There was something so firm and earnest in "The successful rebels have resolved to con- her manner, that Sir Herbert could not hesitate fiscate the estates of all who have remained to follow her injunctions—for it was an injuncfaithful to their sovereign.”
tion rather than a request. "Is it possible ?” said Alice. Sir Herbert In due time replies to Sir Herbert's letters placed before her an ordinance of Parliament, were received. For a long time Hollis had not and an advertisement of forfeited estates. been seen in London, and no inquiries could Among them was Elliston Hall.
elicit any information respecting him. “He is Tears ran silently down her cheeks as she dead,” said Alice. “He has gone to a better read the document. Sir Herbert wept aloud. world, where I shall soon join him."
" There is one near the Lord-General,” said | The expression of grief that settled upon her she timidly, “who, if applied to, could perhaps countenance was so intense, that her friends avert the storm."
shrunk from all attempts at consolation. She “Never," said Sir Herbert, drying his eyes; retired to her chamber, feeling that she should "I will never ask a favour of a rebel.”
soon exchange it for the sepulchre. After a long silence, Alice struggled to say: Brown October again returned. Late in the “Will you permit me to do it?”
evening a carriage drove rapidly to Elliston “No, no, none of my name shall stoop so Hall, and two gentlemen alighted, and were far, were it to save me from the block. Let shown into the presence of Sir Herbert. them do their worst.”
"I should know you, sir," said he with
knightly courtesy to the elder. “It is Mr. “You never believed me false ?" Baxter."
“ Never for a moment." “Your recollection does not deceive you,”! Some hours later, Hollis returned to his said Baxter, who was now bending under the friends below. He found Sir Herbert highly weight of increasing years and infirmities; pleased with Mr. Baxter—it was on account of “We have met before. This gentleman is the his opposition to Cromwell, and his loyalty to son of Colonel Hollis."
the Stuarts. “He is welcome,” said Sir Herbert, with “Well, my daughter,” said Sir Herbert, as
they were seated the next morning at the breakfasttable, “when will you be able to go with us to the church ?”
Alice blushed, but made no objection to the proposition of Hollis, that their visit thither should take place on the morrow.
Mr. Baxter went with them, and scrupled not to use, to the great joy of Sir Herbert, who gave away the bride, a portion of the liturgy of the late established church.
The day after their marriage they set out for Hollis Hall, leaving Baxter as the guest of Sir Herbert. They travelled by easy stages, and when Alice had reached her new home, the bloom had, in some measure, returned to her cheek.
Very soon after she had become familiar with her new abode, the Protector laid aside, for a day, the cares of state, and paid a visit to his friend. He felt at home under the roof of Hollis, and his character appeared in its native simplicity, earnestness, and elevation. His conversation was chiefly respecting
the Church of God, and the unexpected cordiality. “ Alice believes you interests of the Protestant world. When he dead, and in consequence is scarcely—” bade his friends farewell, it was with many
“May I see her without delay ?" said Hollis, pious counsels, and a fervent prayer for their unable to control his emotions. Sir Herbert prosperity. led the way in silence to the library, in which | “What think you of his highness?” said Alice passed the greater portion of her time. Hollis to his wife. He rapped on the door, and when a voice “A prince of heaven's own making," was scarcely above a whisper, was heard within, he the reply. made Hollis a sign to enter, and hurried away | “One whose commands, having for their weeping like a child.
object the good of Christendom, were to be Alice was unable to rise, but extended her implicitly obeyed, though paleness was thereby thin hand to welcome him, while a smile once | cast upon the cheek of the loveliest woman in more appeared upon her lips.
England ?” "I fully believed you were dead," said she, Alice was silent, but her expressive counteafter they had for a long time wept in silence. nance did not indicate a negative reply.