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THE OAKWOODS OF OAKWOOD;
OR, THE DAYS OF WILLIAM THE THIRD.
CIIAPTER 1X. -SUNSHINE AND SHADOW.
« Oh! who does know the bent of woman's phantasy ?"
“ The tyrannous and bloody act is done,
SHAKSPEARE. THE French wit and philosopher, the drear, bleak Scheveling coast, the Rochefoucault, among the many spark- white waves raged and foamed, and ling and brilliant maxims which he has many a merchant's heart began to given to the world, has never uttered quake for the safety of the gallant ships à more decided truth, or put it so which bore the wealth of the Indies to pointedly, as when he tells us, that no the low lands of Holland. Doubt and disguise can long conceal where love is, apxiety sat on the faces of the courtiers; or feign where it is not. Hugo D'Lisle, the soldiers were occupied with pressing believing himself bound by duty to hide business ; the Prince in his council. from every one the deep feelings of his chamber, though he uttered those clear, heart, had indeed succeeded in producing shrewd advices for which he was famous, in his own mind an unnatural and arti- looked careworn, and on his high foreficial calm, resembling that of the far head were lines of thought and care, Indian seas, which the next moment for on the morrow was he to leave his the wind may break, and arouse to life own country, which he had so long deand energy. Three days had fleeted fended with his strong right arm, and by since the maid of honour had re- powerful brain, to rescue the fair realm pulsed the handsome Marquis di Pa- of England from the tyranny of an inleotti, who had since absented himself capable king, and to add to his other from court, and affected to be employed honours--the crown of Britain. on important business regarding the In one of the private apartments of embarkation of the troops for the the Princess of Orange, standing in the English expedition-much to the relief deep recess of the window, stood Hugo of Lucy Oakwood, who was not un. D'Lisle and Lucy Oakwood. Perchance conscious now, that she had paid him it was because that he could no longer more attention, and encouraged his bear the suspense, and that he was repretensions more than she had ever solved to know the worst and bear it, intended. Those three days, while but Hugo had sought the Palace in the they had brought calm and peace to Wood, determined to hear from Lucy's her, had been spent in silence and in lips of the suit of Di Paleotti. And sorrow by Hugo D'Lisle. He had seen now alone in the dimly-lighted chamber the parting at the fountain, but at such stood the lovers, between whom rose a distance as not to perceive its details, the barrier formed by Pride and Fear. and had imagined that the thoughts of For a time neither spoke ; and as Lucy Vakwood, as she stood in reverie the shades of the night deepened, the beside the glancing spray, were with quaint, rich, heavy, massive furniture the gay and gallant Italian. Little did of the apartment faded into indistincthe think that for him alone beat that ness, and was lost in the general gloom; true woman's heart—that he was the and while the folds of the rare old idol of her secret thoughts and wood. tapestry waved and rustled in the wind, land musings.
how those two hearts waved and moved It was evening; the shades of the in secret silence, both fearing, as it dull October day were gathering over seemed, to break the spell which bound the landscape ; the wild gusts of the them there ! wind, while it whirled the fallen leaves " Lucy,” said D'Lisle, and his own mockingly into the air, sliook many a voice seemed to him strange and casement old in the Hague; and, down changed, “I have not been here for some days, and in the meantime ," Ile that one word, she overcame the barstopped, as if uncertain how to proceed. rier between them. She seemed to have
“And in the meantime,” replied gained strength and energy for a moLucy Oakwood, “ what has happened?" ment, which then suddenly deserted lier;
“ In the meantime, Lucy, you have but it was enough-the look, half seen, been confided to my guardianship by the tender tone, the pressure of her hand, your brother, and I come here to know all convinced Hugo that he had not whether you intend continuing at the loved in vain, and that he might now court, or if you have chosen another hope on and love. What he said, or guardian for yourself.” The question tried to say, let us not record. The was put almost before he was aware of it; painter of old who drew a veil over the and, like the gambler who has risked face of the father sorrowing over the his all upon a single cast, he watched, dead body of his son, knew that the with mingled apprehension and anxiety, deepest of the human passions cannot be her features, half revealed by the twi. depicted; and Love, wlien true, is as light, and waited with impatience for intense as Grief. her reply.
The tapestry waved and shook in the Calm and silent were those two hearts, wild wird of the red October, and as as “ all the world forgetting, and by the the shadows filled the large, old room, world forgot,” they gazed upon the pale another came unknown and mingled his stars seen through the hurrying clouds with theirs.
of night, and saw the quiet moon Lucy stood a moment irresolute, but shining upon the gleaming waters of she was one of those who never shrink the little lake before the palace. Nofrom laying bare their own feelings, if thing between them now, no secret it gives peace and consolation to an- care, no harassing doubt, no torinenting other.
anxiety. They were all in all unto each " It is not true!” she exclaimed, other, for Love had cast out Fear! They eagerly. “I kuow to what you allude. knew now how true, how perfect, and Di Paleotti I never loved, and never how self-enduring had been the love of will love. Can you believe it? It is the one to the other, and as the orbs of not true, Hugo !”
Heaven met their gaze that night, they Hugo! There was a depth of passion- fixed their eyes above, and knew their ate fervour in the manner in which she hope was there. spoke that word, which stirred the Shadows had deepened and circled heart of D'Lisle with a wild and daring around them, and still they stood there, hope. Could she indeed love him ? not knowing, nor fearing aught that the But he rejected the fancy as an improb. world could do ; but while the moonable phantasy.
light fell in fantastic bends of light “Lucy,” said he, as calmly as he upon the inlaid floor, they saw not the could, “ I did hear, in common with the darker shadow that stole out from court, that you were affianced to the Flemish armour and Gobelin tapestry Marquis di Paleotti ; but as you assure to blight them with its darksome gloom. me of the contrary, I may hope that Within, their hearts were filled with you accept me as your guardian in your confidence and love-without, and by brother's absence."
their side, unknown, were doubt, re“ Yes," murmured Lucy.
venge, and hatred. He pursued his theme- he had steeled It was done ; one moment in tho himself to it. “It may be that in this clear moonlight had the keen dagger brilliant circle, Lucy, you may find flashed, one moment had the dark face of some one who may win your affections, Di Paleotti been revealed to the horrified and in that case will you look on me as gaze of Lucy Oakwood, one moment on your brother ? His tongue had in bad Hugo D'Lisle strained his promised vain endeavoured to say, father, but it bride to his breast, one moment had refused its utterance. There was no he promised to guard and shield her reply-the chamber seemed hushed into evermore, and the next-oh, horror! a dull, read, voiceless, silence.
he lay bleeding and senseless before her “Ilugu," faltered Lucy, and as if with loving eyes.
CHAPTER X.- THE COUNCIL-CHAMBER.
“ Deep on his front engraven,
Milton. Night-dull, dead, dark, heavy night, Oakwood, I will put Bentinck quictly brooded over the earth, as, in the coun- on his track, and prevent his loaving cil-chamber at the Hague, stood Henry the country, not by force, but from inOakwood, before the great Prince of terest. If D'Lisle dies, our course is Orange. Agitated and excited, he had plain : nothing shall prevent justico hurried to William's presence, from the overtaking him." scene of blood, to which the wild screams Henry Oakwood felt only half conof his despairing sister had attracted vinced, but seeing that William had himself and the Princess, and in hurried reasons undivulged for his course of accents and impetuous language he was conduct, he sacrificed his private feolurging on the Prince the necessity of ings to his public duty, and acquiesced. pursuing the assassin.
At the same moment Burnet, the cele“Calm yourself," said William, brated friend of William and Mary, whose phlegmatic and quiet nature entered the apartment, followed by seemed on this occasion disturbed. Bentinck, the gallant, courageous, and “My dear Mr. Oakwood, all shall be devoted man who had saved William's done that justice demands; but is life by risking his own, when the king D'Lisle dead? If so, indeed -" had been attacked by that direful ma
“ No, your Royal Highness, but dan- lady, the small-pox. gerously, perhaps mortally wounded. " The Reverend Hugo D'Lisle," said He has been borne to my apartinents, Burnet, bowing with his usual courtliwhere the Princess' physician is now in ness, “is pronounced not to be in inattendance."
modiate danger. The Princess sent mo “ Will you hearken to me a moment to your Royal Highness to inform you Mr. Oakwood,” said the Prince, laying of this." aside his usual reserved manner, and “ Thanks, doctor,” said the Princo ; speaking eagerly aud entreatingly, and resuming his usual impassive man“ You, I know, are a man of sense, and ner, he turned to Henry Oakwood, and can listen to reason, even when your said, “ You see I decided right!” passions are excited by such an out- Burnet was a man who was only rage as this. It is not expedient that half confided in by the Prince, not Di Paleotti should be taken.”
from fear of his wilfully betraying his There was that peculiar expression councils, but from the danger of his and emphasis about this expression, gossiping propensities leading him, unand the change from William's cold, consciously and unintentionally, to reveal dry manner, to this rapid utterance, them. He now looked curiously at the which stopped Oakwood's meditated Prince, who vouchsafed no explanation reply. William continued, seeing the of what his decision had been; and effect he had produced,
the future historian of that agitating “I know how dear to you the life and important period looked puzzled. of your friend is ; but how much “Farewell, doctor," said the Prince, dearer is the safety of your country. motioning him to retire ; “we have To the Marquis I am indebted for im. matters to discuss which would be unportant aid. If I now take severe interesting to you;" and though Burnet measures against him, he may betray would fain have remained, the command my purposes. He knows too much.” was of course obeyed.
" Why, then, not secure him ?” in. He had scarcely left the room before quired Oakwood, anxiously.
William, seating himself at his writing“ It might be done,” said the Prince, table, requested Bentinck and Oakwood musingly, “and yet-No! a fruitless to be seated. There was a dry smile pursuit would but stimulate his revenge, on his lips as he said, “ Tho good and if successful”-le paused " the doctor would wish to be our minister difficulty would be great. No my dear in things temporal as well as spiritual,
Bentinck, but lie is not predestined to the Prince. “No! to my mind, the be so. Have you hired the ships, how- best motto is that of my house, vague over ?” he continued, abruptly changing though it be, I will maintain." the subject.
“ Yes, if your Royal Highness would “ Yes," replied the favourite coun- add,” said Henry Oakwood, joining in cillor of the great and far-seeing Prince, the conversation, “ to the old senteuce, " Five hundred sail await your orders." I will maintain, these words, The
“ Without the knowledge of any one liberties of England and the Protestant of our purpose ?"
religion ! “ Decidedly," replied the other'; “by "Right,” cried Bentinck, warmly; means of merchants and others we have “you have caught the expression. It succeeded in hiring them, and neither would be as good for your Royal Highthe city or court know that our prepa- ness as your Declaration." rations are so far advanced.”
“It is admirable,” said William, • Would to God,” said the Prince, who appeared struck by the idea; and, “ that the wind prove favourable soon! though nothing more was said at the If these storms continue, we will not time, yet it was this sentence, thus get out of the Texel this month, and casually spoken by Henry Oakwood, delays are dangerous.”
which led the troops of the delivering "Mr. Oakwood," said Bentinck, “if, army to victory and glory. “I may with the nien you have succeeded in tell you," resumed the Prince, after a raising, you are prepared to embark pause, during which he wrote and noted to-morrow, the vessels are in readiness.” several letters, “that I bave entrusted
“ Yes," said the Prince of Orange, the cominand of the army to Schom“the sooner the better ; three or four berg ; though old in years, and in days will suffice to embark all our wisdom and experience, he is young troops.”
in heart and courage, and the good “ Has your Royal Highness seen the cause could not have a better leader," prediction of one of the people called “Lot the Protestant wind but blow Quakers regarding the expedition ?" en- for a week,'' said Bentinck, “and quired Bentinck.
Schomberg will show the hirelings of “No," replied the Prince, who had James what he can do.” a lurking faith in predictions, though “ Yes, and prove to those who will he generally rejected and seemed to des- watch eagerly the vane on the top of pise them, “What of it?”
every church in London during this “Oh, the Quaker says that the ex- month, that God will indeed be with pedition will set sail, be driven back by us," said Heory Oakwood. storm, then refit, and finally land in "And who can be against us ?" said triumph on the English coast,"
William solemnly. And as Oakwood Not without some grounds for his gazed on his clear eyes, his high foreopinion,” said Henry Oakwood, “ with head, and intellectual, though impasa succession of such nights as this ; but sive, grave face, he felt as did an IsraelI trust your Royal Highness will accept ite of old when he looked upon one of the last part of his prophecy and reject the God sent men who freed his nation the first."
from slavery and led them on to vic" What must be, must,” said the tory. He knew that within that feeble Prince gravely; "and when we feel the frame was a mighty soul to sway the winter tempests 80 severely in our destinies of mankind ; he felt that, cold palace, what must it be on the wide and stern as William seemed to the sea. But, nevertheless, get your men world, yet the mask of ice concealed a together and embark to-morrow.” warm and affectionate heart; he had
“By-the-bye,” said Bentinck," as to seen the love that great man bore to our standard, what shall it be?!! the friend of his youth, Bentinck; he
“ Carstairs and Wildman have sug- had watched his all-embracing intelgested several," replied William, “and lect in the conduct and management of the good Burnet wishes me to exalt the the most difficult affairs ; he had served Church alone, while you say Victory." under him, fought under him, bled
“ And Russell votes for God and my under him, and what wonder is it that Country," said the favourite.
Oakwood almost worshipped the great “Not my country, though,” replicd William, Prince of Orange.
“Mr. Oakwood," said the Prince, “ Well, no matter ; we must hurry over smiling, “I have heard to-day from this business, for the night wears on." Sir Arthur Sackville, and he mentions The future monarch of England then you most kindly. In fact, he looks on proceeded to give Henry Oakwood a series you as his son."
of directions about the disposition of the Henry Oakwood coloured a little as troops, the baggage, and provisions, William continued
showing how his great mind compre“I approve highly of it. The connec- hended every minute point and detail tion is most suitable in every point of requisite ; and the night was far adview."
vanced before the master of Oakwood “ Your Royal Highness," said Henry left the council-chamber of the saga“ has been misinformed,” and with cious, shrewd, and talented Prince of some embarrassment he explained that Orange-a man whose life and history he was not engaged to Sir Arthur's have yet to be truly written, and whose daughter,
real character is misrepresented by one “Ah," said William, doubtfully. party, and misunderstood by another.
CHAPTER XI.---TIE PARTING, THE EMBARKATION, AND THE FATE OF A SPY,
“ My checks are guttered with the parting tears."'
The palace was wrapt in silence; darkness of night, so woman's soul and nothing was to be heard but the beating woman's love may seem valueless in of the heavy rain against the casements, the sunshine of wealth, and health, and the roaring of the wind through the prosperity ; but in the night-time of trees, and the measured tread, the woe, amid the clouds of sorrow, her watchword, and reply of the sentinels. virtues glow the brighter, and fill our In one wing of the palace, lights still weary hearts with joy. Oakwood ap. burned-there, in Henry Oakwood's proached the bed, and gazed on the chamber, lay the wounded D’Lisle. pale and worn, yet noble and high
Henry Oakwood entered the chamber souled countenance of Hugo D’Lisle. noiselessly; the dim lamp, burning low, He seemed to sleep but uneasily, and scarcely lit its dark, wainscotted walls muttered in his rest, as if dreaming. and sombre hangings ; but there was As he bent over him, Henry caught the light sufficient to reveal to him, by the words. “She loves me! she loves me!" bedside of his friend, the graceful form repeated again and again by the of his sister Lucy.
wounded man; and suddenly struck by “He sleeps," said she, holding up a new idea, he turned and looked at her finger as a warning to her brother Lucy. She had heard the words also, to tread lightly; and as she turned her and her face flushed as she met her face towards him, he saw how cae events brother's kind, calm, and inquiring of the last fow hours had changed the gaze; and bowing her head, she pressed expression of her countenance. It was her lips on the palo brow of her lover, no longer the gay, and perhaps thoughts and murmured, “Yes, yes, Henry, I less girl—the admired and courted love him." The heart of Henry Oakmaid of honour-whom he gazed on; wood in that hour was lifted up to it was the true, the earnest, and the his God in thankfulness, that she, the feeling woman, the betrothed bride, dearly-beloved sister of his affections, with a heart filled with affection, and bad found such a protector in the cares showing in sorrow and affliction the of life as his valued and almost idulmight of love. Like the stars which ised friend. we see not, save as l'ayless, pale, and Though now on the bed of sickuess, feeble orbs by day, but which shine and incapable of protocting her at forth gloriously and soronely in the the moinent, yot Henry saw in the