Page images

upon the king and his suite. The details a fit of exasperation, had issued orders to of the incident are very copious; but we return immediately to Lucknow. His will give the leading outlines in as few chief wives and most of the military guard words as possible.

were to accompany him ; but many of The king and a large body of attendants the attendants, both male and female, were out on a hunting expedition, at a were left behind to the tender mercies of distance of several miles from Lucknow. the neighboring villagers, who, it was For several days the weather had been well known, as soon as they heard of the remarkably fine, and his Majesty had been king's flight, would fall upon and pillage in excellent humor, enjoying the chase of the camp. wild animals. One day, however, their And so indeed it happened. For, while sport took the party across a region it was yet dark, swarms of fierce spoilers covered with a deposit of white impalpable came down, and added their plunderings sand, resembling powdered saltpetre, to the devastations of the storm. Only which rose about them in clouds of fine by the most vigilant watchfulness, and a dust, and, getting into their eyes, nostrils, display of courageous determination on ears, and mouths, tormented them with the part of the residue of the royal party, pungent, stinging sensations. The annoy- was any property saved from the clutches ance was too much for the patience of his of these invaders; and many a thrilling Majesty, who felt that he ought to have adventure and hair-breadth escape ocbeen shielded from such a pest, and he re- curred during that eventful night. As it tired early that night to the private royal was, the plunder secured by the natives apartments of the encampment in any was very considerable. The fallen royal thing but a good temper. His native and tent, with all its rich and costly furniture European attendants shortly afterwards and ladies' attire, was ransacked and went also to their respective tents. carried off, though defended by the nawab

Scarcely had they composed themselves and a small band of soldiers, who slew to sleep that night, when a terrific thun- some of the strangers.

Even the very der-storm burst upon the camp, the light- coat and pantaloons the king had taken off ning glaring around them with appalling the previous evening were stolen. vividness, and the rain descending in tor- When the report of these proceedings rents upon the frail tents. The wind reached the ears of the king the next day, whistled and howled, too, like a chorus of his anger was terrific, and he vowed sumdisquieted demons, and threatened every mary vengeance upon the daring marauders moment to whirl the sheltering canvas who had put forth their defiling hands to into the air. By the aid of additional touch the robes of their sovereign and his pins, and the bracing up of ropes, how- wives. About a dozen poor wretches, of a ever, most of the flimsy structures were most ferocious and cut-throat aspect, were kept upon their legs. In the intervals of shortly afterwards brought in by the nathe thunder and the ragings of the wind, wab, each one being strapped down to a great commotion was audible in the camp; charpoy, like a drunken man on a policehorses were neighing, camels were crying, stretcher in England; and all of them had elephants were blowing, women were cuts of swords or stabs of daggers about shrieking, and men were wildly shouting. their persons, which were undressed and This continued for a considerable period. unattended to. These were said to have At length, during a slight lull in the been the ringleaders or most active acstorm, a messenger from the king arrived complices in the night-assault; and, within haste to summon the captain of the out trial or examination, the fatal order guard to the royal presence. The other was given that they should die. The functionaries were for some time left in summary sentence was at once executed, ignorance of the purport of this unsea and the heads of the poor fellows, whether sonable order; and remembering the they happened to be innocent or guilty, mood in which they had left their royal were soon rolling on the ground. The master, they revolved in their minds all wrath of the king was appeased by this kinds of dark and sinister conjectures. sanguinary sacrifice. At length the captain returned, and ex- Such is only a fair illustration of the plained the mystery. One of the royal very pleasant relations subsisting between tents, it appeared, had been blown down the Oude sovereign and his subjects down and its inmates flooded ; and the king, in to a very recent date. Surely those who plead so chivalrously for the maintenance pot, or by any means the worst that could of the native government in that province, be cited. However, as we before intican scarcely be aware that they are unin- mated, it is no duty of ours to pronounce tentionally favoring the perpetuation of a a decided opinion upon this moot question; state of things out of which spring such our object has been simply to narrate facts dreadful incidents as we have mentioned. for the guidance of the judgment of our Nor are these exceptional vagaries in the readers. May the right and the true public and private life of an oriental des- prevail !


the Westminster Review.




THERE is, perhaps, no country where, in distress; old battle-fields, over which now so small a space as in England, so much the vacant plowman, driving team, is at romance, so many relics of the past, are times startled when he turns up with his crowded together. All have their own plow some broken sword and some bleachtale of peculiar interest to Englishmen. ed arm which once wielded it in the full Insulated by the sea, which has not al. strength of manhood-all speak to us with ways been a “sparkling marriage-ring ” no indistinct voices. The spirit that built of land with land, but has rather divorc- these abbeys, the spirit that fought upon ed us from our neighbors, we have fought these battle-fields, may have passed away, out our quarrels on our own soil. Our and there is little hope of recalling it by a history is written on our land. Abbeys, mere antiquarian study of these remains and cathedrals, and parish-churches, where -yet with what feelings of true reverence lie our fathers sleeping still and cold as we may possess let us still cherish them. their own images of brass and stone; Dinted gateway and broken rampart still moated granges, now guarded only by silently speak of the past ; whilst local trathe tall poplar-trees; old gray manor- dition, with less truth, perhaps, but more houses, dropped down, as it were, amidst noisily, tells its own tale. We should like our bills, with their secret chambers, where to have these old traditions preserved, and our forefathers were concealed in times of see how far they would tally with what is

already known. Much, no doubt, would * Boscobel; or, the compleat History of his Sacred be valuable, and the future historian Majestie's most miraculous preservation after the Bat- could use it as Lord Macaulay has done tle of Worcester, 3 Sept., 1651.

Boscobel; or, the compleat Ilistory of the most mi- the Somersetshire traditions with referraculous preservation of King Charles II. after the ence to the battle of Sedgemoor, Battle of Worcester, September the 3d, 1651. To These reflections are forced upon us as which is added the King's concealment at Trent. Pub- we take up the new edition of the “ Boslished by Mrs. Anne Wyndham.

The Boscobel Tracts relating to the escape of Charles cobel Tracts.”. By our side lies a copy of the Second after the Battle of Worcester, and his sub- the early edition of 1662, which has alsequent Adventures. Edited by J. Hughes, Esq., ways remained in one of the very bouses M.A. Second Edition. William Blackwood and in which King Charles was concealed. Sons. Edinburgh and London. 1857.

We hardly like to venture on compariWoodstock; or, the Cavalier. A Tale of the year Sixteen Hundred and Fifty-one. By the Author of sons. Curious is the old, tattered copy, "Waverley."

bethumbed by many a cavalier, and peeped into by the curious villagers, author of 'Boscobel,' for in a letter (of his) to with its quaint woodcuts, its map of the my father, I have seen the following sense excity of Worcester, which would certainly pressed – The other day, being on a visit to confuse the most enlightened visitor ; and Lord Oxford, I met with a tract entitled · Bos. its representation of Boscobel wood, in seeing me eager to peruse it

, saying I was

cobel.' My lord expressed great surprise on which if the King and Colonel Carlis had deemed the author. How world comes to not been better concealed than the loyal , be so kind to give it to me, I know not; but draughtsman here represents them, they whatever merit it may have, for I had not time would assuredly have been soon captured. to examine it, I do not chuse to usurp it; I If we have a greater affection for the old, scorn to take the fame of another's production. we must own that the new edition is far So if the same opinion prevails amongst my better suited for general use. Its editor, will contradict it; for I do not so much as know

friends in your part of the world, I desire you Mr. Hughes, has done some service by the author of that piece.'"'* bringing together most of the documents that bear upon the subject; we wish, Nothing can be more decisive than however, he had reprinted one or two this; yet Mr. Hughes has passed the more, especially the rare tract of " White question of authorship over in silence. Ladies." He has, too, given us descrip. We can add nothing to unravel the tions from personal observation of some' matter. Whoever the old author of of the places where the King stopped.' these tracts may be, he was a staunch Much more he might have done ; "the Royalist, who, in his excess of loyalty, loyal city of Worcester" would alone compares Charles II. with King David, have furnished him with much material and calls the Protector such hard names which he has neglected. We think, too, as "arch rebel,” “ bloody usurper," and he might have given us some of the tradi- lastly, as most sarcastic of all, “thé chief tions which still linger in so many parts of mufti.” Nothing to our author is of any England on the subject. He has, though account, unless it is clothed in robes of apparently unconscious that there were state. The divine right of kings is a great doubts on the matter, given the belief and a reality in his mind, but the authorship of the “ Boscobel Tracts” to rights of the quarrel between the Houses Blount, without any comment. Had he and the King he could not understand. looked in so common a book as Nash's Personal feelings, interest, affections, and “Worcestershire,” he would have found what not, dimmed his eyes to the truth; the fact strongly disputed.

we stand on the eminence of many years,

and can look calmly down upon the past. “The story of the King's escape, after the “ These prodigious rebels,” these bloodbattle of Worcester, is given in a book entitled hounds,»« this skim and filth of the earth,” * Boscobel ;' the first part contains the history of this event to his leaving White Ladies and as he calls Cromwell's soldiers, turn out in Boscobel; the second, his adventures in the these later days something very different. west of England: who was the author is not Our author very likely could see nothing known, certainly not Mr. Blount. . . . . . Many in plain Cromwell, “ with his linen not have supposed that 'Boscobel' was written by very clean, a speck or two of blood upon Thomas Blount, Esq., born at Bordesley, in his little band, which was not much larger Worcestershire, son of Miles Blount, of Orleton, than his collar,” as Sir Philip Warwick in Herefordshire, fifth son of Roger Blount of describes him, but perceived every virtue Monkland, in the same county, who died 1267% breathing from robes of state and gold aged sixty-one; married Anne, daughter of Edmund Church, of Maldon, in Essex, Esq.; he crowns.

Because Cromwell did not come was a very industrious antiquary, and made like some stage king, with stage bodylarge collections for the history of Hereford-' guards, and stage tinsel, and stage wardshire. In a MS. I have seen, he denies that he robes, men will not allow that he was a was the author of ‘Boscobel;, and says the king. first time he ever saw the book was at Lord Oxford's, at Brampton Bryan, as will appear by railways, a nobleman and his lady, with

Many years ago, before the days of the following letter."

their infant child, were traveling in the Nash proceeds to quote a letter which depth of winter across Salisbury Plain. he received from Blount's grandson, in A snow-storm overtook them; their child which the following occurs :

“My grandfather's name was Thomas Blount; * Supplement to the second edition of Nash's he died at Orleton. I dare say he was not the "Worcestershire," 1799, p. 90.

became ill from the cold, and they were | Look for a moment at Cromwell's governforced to take refuge in a lone shepherd's i ment: England basking in the sunshine hut. The wild shepherd and his wife of peace, though ruled, it might be, with gathered round the child in awe and si-a scepter of iron; Ireland enjoying the lence. The nurse began undressing it by novelty of quietness; our navies riding the warm cottage fire. Silken frock and triumphant from sea to sea, and the Enghead-dress did the baby wear. One rich lish name feared by every despot, and baby-dress came off to reveal another Englishmen at home reverencing God, more beautiful. Still the shepherd and striving to walk uprightly before him, his wife looked on with awe. At last the according to the best light they bad. process of undressing was completed, and And then look a few years after at this the now naked baby was being warmed England, plundered by noble bastards; by the fire. Then was it, when all these the court itself nothing but a barem, withwrappings and outer husks were peeled out the decency of eastern manners; our off, that the shepherd and his wife broke exchequer bankrupt; our ships rotting in silence, exclaiming : “ Why, it's just like our rotting dockyards, and England fawnone of ours!” What if all the world, ing like a beaten hound to a foreign poten. like the shepherd and his wife, could see tate: and the general question, we should that ordinary kings and queens, when think, would be easily answered by most their state robes are off, "are just like men. But, descending into particulars, one of us.” Perbaps they would then we should find much to blame in the discern that the real king with his state Puritan, and not a little to love and ad. robes on or off is something very dif- mire in the Cavalier. The Puritans, in ferent.

their crusade against sin, were noble solIt was but natural that the old writer diers, whose pay was not in this world's of these tracts should feel some personal coin. Great and glorious were they in bitterness against his political enemies. that they saw that life was no paltry farce, They were regicides — the worst term played upon a poor stage, with clap-trap that could be then applied to living men. shows, and a little paint, and a few oil. We do not care in this matter to defend lamps, but a deep, mysterious, never-endthe Puritans by precedents or references ing tragedy: for this is true transcendento other rebellions. Great men, as these talism, true idealism, by whatever name were, want no such apologies for their it may be called. But they erred lamendeeds; fools only require precedents. tably when they thought to dragoon men These Roundheads saw that the doctrine into virtue, to banish crime by edicts, imof non-resistance meant nothing else than agining because vice was no longer appathe indulgence and encouragement of one rent that it did not exist. De non appaindividual's license and crime; they saw rentibus et non existentibus eadem est ratio through the fiction that the king can do may, perhaps, hold good in law, but is not no wrong, and saw also that he is accounta- true of morals. Such a view nourished ble, like any other man, for his faults, and hypocrisy and a thousand evils. We can fully, like any other man, deserves the not enforce the seventh commandment, penalty due to them; they felt, too, that and the other sins that the seventh comit was far better that one guilty man mandment implies, by physical force, by should suffer a speedy death, than that driving vice into holes and corners. Imthousands of their innocent countrymen morality seems to be a plant that grows should suffer prolonged tortures, and that ranker and stronger covered up in darkEngland should groan, forever it might ness, and there bears its most deadly fruit, be, under cruel and unjust laws. Theirs and its subtlest poison. The Puritan was true patriotism, which loves its coun- theory of this world was no complete one. try better than its king; and they com- Their answer was not the whole answer mitted their deed, not in a corner, but in to this problem of life, and therefore could the broad daylight, before all England not last. Their dearest defenders seem and all men.

to feel this. Life is a tragedy, but it is as We can not here, at any length, well one of Shakspeare's tragedies, where discuss the further question of the differ- mirth, too, plays a part-a secondary part ent governments of the Puritan and the --but still plays. Though a man's sorrow Cavalier. The whole matter is answered is in proportion to a man's capacity for by the fruits the two systems produced. feeling and experiencing the mysterious wonders of the world and of his own soul, not one line unauthentick; such has been my and its intensity is measured by his own care to be sure of the truth, that I have dili. nobleness and greatness, yet we know also gently collected the particulars from most of that there is a spirit of gladness thrown selves in this scene of miracles. To every in.

their mouths, who were the very actors themlike a calm, gentle light over all great dividual person, as far as my industry could minds, beautifully shining on the darkness arrive to know, I have given the due of his and the deep cloud; that there is in these, merit; be it for valor, fidelity, or whatsoever too, above all others, a soul of cheerful- other quality that any way had the honor to ness, gladly accepting life, and whatever relate to his Majesty's service. . . And troubles life may bring, with the gentle, though the whole complex may want elegance happy spirit of a child. Nature herself and politeness of style

yet it can not is ever joyful, and, in spite of the Puri want truth, the chief ingredient for such un

dertakings.” tans, she still kept on her way the same, the glad sunshine ever renewing itself We willingly corroborate this, and though checkered, it might be, with the readily forgive the writer his creeds and shadows of the clouds; the green grass theories for his ardent desire for accuracy, springing up so fresh and bright, that it which makes his history in this respect makes the heart joyful to look at it; the contrast favorably with Clarendon's acbirds still singing their old tunes in the count of the same matter. deep green-woods, whether the Puritan Of all romantic tales in English history, would listen or not. The Puritan allowed this of King Charles's flight is, perhaps, no play to those faculties of men, which, the most so. His hair-breadth escapes, properly developed, constitute so much of bis sufferings, his disguises, the incidents the enjoyment of life. A black mask fell | that befell him, all contribute to throw a over every thing. No sunny smiles with rather fictitious light over his character, him that warm the heart—no songs that as well as to heighten the coloring and cheer the laborer, heavy with the business interest of the story. The Charles of 1651, of the day, until-surely enough to make however, was a very different man from the very angels weep, men almost believed the one we generally know as Charles. a mother's kiss on the lips of her child to He was then in the prime of youth ; his be a crime.

features, though irregular and swarthy, Such men as Cromwell and John Milton lit up by his expressive eyes, were not yet are not, of course, to be included in our marked with sensualism;

his manners censure. The one, it is said, preserved were winning, and free from that overfor the nation the cartoons of Raphael done courtier-like air which he picked up and Andrea Montegna's "Triumph," was abroad in after-years; his gallantry and fond of music, even encouraged the thea- wit took captive every maiden's heart; ters, and gathered the poets to his court: whilst his warm and open disposition, the author of " Comus” and “L'Allegro,” which had not yet budded into open liberthough a Puritan, was not of them; and tinism, was acceptable to the freest of the we could have told from his works how Cavaliers, whilst it did not displease the deeply he loved the drama, had he not more severe. He possessed then, too, a left his noble tribute to Shakspeare. Such certain firmness of mind, and a spirit of traits as these show us not merely how self-denial, which all, however, melted great these two Republicans were, but away during his residence in foreign how good also. Assuredly, they had lit-courts. In addition to this, he was one tle sympathy with such men as Prynne of the best walkers and tennis-players in and Stephen Gosson, who, in their fana- England, and was as courageous as he was ticism, denounced both poet and sculptor, skillful in the use of his sword-qualities as well as player.

which are always respected by EnglishBut let us return to our author, and, men. He came forward as the avenger before proceeding, do him the justice of of the murdered King, when the reaction acknowledging his extreme accuracy in of feeling had just set in, and his cause all matters of fact. These words of his alone with some constituted him a hero. in the address to the reader may be read | He seemed just then to have possessed with advantage by most historians : the bravery and valor of his grandfather,

Henry of France, joined with the better "I am so far from that foul crime of publish- parts of his father; and his trials and sufing what's false, that I can safely say, I know ferings, as they often do, brought out the

« PreviousContinue »