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A ROYAL COMPANY.

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liam III.--and find at their place of supper nothing but a "sallet” and two or three bones of mutton provided for ten of us, " which was very strange.” Nevertheless, on they sail, having returned to the fleet, to Schevelling; and, on the 23d of the month, go to meet the king; who, " on getting into the boat, did kiss my lord with much affection.”

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extraordinary press of good company,” and great mirth all day, announced the Restoration. Nevertheless Charles's clothes had not been, till this time, Master Pepys is assured, worth forty shillings—and he, as a connoisseur, was scandalized at the fact.

And now, before we proceed, let us ask who worthy Samuel Pepys was, that he should pass such stringent comments on men and manners ? His origin was lowly; his family ancient; his father having followed, until the Restoration, the calling of a tailor. Pepys, vulgar as he was, had nevertheless received a university education; first entering Trinity College, Cambridge, as a sizar. To our wonder we find him marrying furtively and independently; and his wife, of fifteen, was glad with her husband to take up an abode in the house of a relative, Sir Edward Montagu, afterward Earl of Sandwich, the “my lord” under whose shadow Samuel Pepys dwelt in reverence. By this nobleman's influence, Pepys forever left the “cutting-room;" he acted first as Secretary (always as toad-eater, one would fancy), then became a clerk in the Admiralty; and as such went, after the Restoration, to live in Seething Lane, in the parish of St. Olave, Hart Street-and in St. Olave his mortal part was ultimately deposited.

So much for Pepys. See him now, in his full-bottomed wig, and best cambric neckerchief, looking out for the king and his suit, who are coming on board the “Nazeby.”

“Up, and made myself as fine as I could, with the linning stockings on, and wide canons that I bought the other day at the Hague.” So began he the day. “All day nothing but lords and persons of honor on board, that we were exceeding full. Dined in great deal of state, the royalle company by themselves in the coache, which was a blessed sight to see." This royal company consisted of Charles, the Dukes of York and Gloucester, his brothers, the Queen of Bohemia, the Priness Royal, the Prince of Orange, afterward William III.-all of whose hands Pepys kissed, after dinner. The King and Duke of York changed the names of the ships. The “Rumpers," as Pepys called the Parliamentarians, had given one the name of the “Nazeby;" that was now christened the “Charles ;" “Richard” was changed into “ James." The “Speaker” into “Mary," the “ Lambert” was Henrietta," and so on. How merry-the king must have been while he thus turned the

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PEPYS

READY TO WEEP.”

Roundheads, as it were, off the ocean; and how he walked here and there, up and down (quite contrary to what Samuel Pepys "expected), and fell into discourse of his escape from Worcester, and made Samuel “ready to weep” to hear of his traveling four days and three nights on foot, up to his knees in dirt, with “nothing but a green coat and pair of breeches on” (worse and worse, thought Pepys), and a pair of country shoes that made his feet sore; and how, at one place, he was made to drink by the servants, to show he was not a Roundhead; and how, at another place—and Charles, the best teller of a story in his own dominions, may here have softened his tone—the master of the house, an inn-keeper, as the king was standing by the fire, with his hands on the back of a chair, kneeled down and kissed his hand “privately,” saying he could not ask him who he was, but bid “God bless him, where he was going !”

Then, rallying after this touch of pathos, Charles took his hearers over to Fecamp, in France—thence to Rouen, where, he said, in his easy, irresistible way, “I looked so poor that the people went into the rooms before I went away, to see if I had not stolen something or other.” With what reverence and

sympathy did our Pepys listen! but he was forced to hurry off to get Lord Berkeley a bed; and with “much ado” (as one may believe) he did get“ him to bed with my Lord Middlesex;" so, after seeing these two peers of the realm in that undignified predicament-two in a bed" to

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cabin again,” where the company were still talking of the king's difficulties, and how his Majesty was fain to eat a piece of bread and cheese out of a poor body's pocket; and, at a Catholic house, how he lay a good while “ in the Priest's Hole, for privacy.

In all these hairbreadth escapes—of which the king spoke with infinite humor and good feeling-one name was perpetually introduced : George-George Villiers, Villers, as the royal narrator called him; for the name was so pronounced formerly. And well he might; for George Villiers had been his playmate, classfellow, nay, bedfellow sometimes, in priests' holes; their names, their haunts, their hearts, were all assimilated; and misfortune had bound them closely to each other. To George Villiers let us now turn; he is waiting for his royal master on the other side of the Channel-in England. And a strange character have we to deal with:

A man so various, that he seemed to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome:
Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong,
Was every thing by starts, and nothing long;

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GEORGE VILLIERS' INHERITANCE.

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But, in the course of one revolving moon,

Was chemist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon."* Such was George Villiers : the Alcibiades of that age. Let us trace one of the most romantic, and brilliant, and unsatisfactory lives that has ever been written.

Ġeorge Villiers was born at Wallingford House, in the parish of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, on the 30th January, 1627. The Admiralty now stands on the site of the mansion in which he first saw the light. His father was George Villiers, the favorite of James I. and Charles I.; his mother, the Lady Katherine Manners, daughter and heiress of Francis, Earl of Rutland. Scarcely was he a year old, when the assassination of his father, by Felton, threw the affairs of his family into confusion. His mother, after the Duke of Buckingham's death, gave birth to a son, Francis; who was, subsequently, savagely killed by the Roundheads, near Kingston. Then the Duchess of Buckingham very shortly married again, and uniting herself to Randolph Macdonald, Earl of Antrim, became a rigid Catholic. She was therefore lost to her children, or rather, they were lost to her; for King Charles I., who had promised to be a “husband to her, and a father to her children,” removed them from her charge, and educated them with the royal princes.

The youthful peer soon gave indications of genius; and all that a careful education could do, was directed to improve his natural capacity under private tutors. He went to Cambridge; and thence, under the care of a preceptor named Aylesbury, traveled into France. He was accompanied by his young, handsome, fine-spirited brother, Francis; and this was the sunshine of his life. His father had indeed left him, as his biographer Brian Fairfax expresses it, “the greatest name in England; his mother, the greatest estate of any subject.” With this inheritance there had also descended to him the wonderful beauty, the matchless grace, of his ill-fated father. Great abilities, courage, fascination of manners, were also his; but he had not been endowed with firmness of character, but was at once energetic and versatile. Even at this age, the qualities which became his ruin were clearly discoverable.

George Villiers was recalled to England by the troubles which drove the King to Oxford, and which converted that academical city into a garrison, its under-graduates into soldiers, its ancient halls into barrack-rooms. Villiers was on this occasion entered at Christ Church: the youth's best feelings were aroused, and his loyalty was engaged to one to whom his father owed so much. He was now a young man

* Dryden.

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TWO GALLANT YOUNG NOBLEMEN.

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of twenty-one years of age-able to act for himself; and he went heart and soul into the cause of his sovereign. Never was there a gayer, a more prepossessing Cavalier. He could charm even a Roundhead. The harsh and Presbyterian-minded Bishop Burnet, has told us that “he was a man of a noble presence; had a great liveliness of wit, and a peculiar faculty of turning every thing into ridicule, with bold figures and natural descriptions.” How invaluable he must have been in the Common-rooms at Oxford, then turned into guard-rooms, his eye upon some unlucky volunteer Don, who had put off his clerkly costume for a buff jacket, and could not manage his drill. Irresistible as his exterior is declared to have been, the original mind of Villiers was even far more influential. De Grammont tells us, “he was extremely handsome, but still thought himself much more so than he really was; although he had a great deal of discernment, yet his vanities made him mistake some civilities as intended for his person which were only bestowed on his wit and drollery."

But this very vanity, so unpleasant in an old man, is only amusing in a younger wit. While thus a gallant of the court and camp, the young nobleman proved himself to be no less

, brave than witty. Juvenile as he was, with a brother still younger, they fought on the royalist side at Lichfield, in the storming of the Cathedral Close. For thus allowing their lives to be endangered, their mother blamed Lord Gerard, one of the Duke's guardians; while the Parliament seized the pretext of confiscating their estates, which were afterward returned to them, on account of their being under age at the time of confiscation. The youths were then placed under the care of the Earl of Northumberland, by whose permission they traveled in France and Italy, where they appeared—their estates having been restored—with princely magnificence. Nevertheless, on hearing of the imprisonment of Charles I. in the Isle of Wight, the gallant youths returned to England, and joined the army under the Earl of Holland, who was defeated near Nonsuch, in Surrey.

A sad episode in the annals of these eventful times is presented in the fate of the handsome, brave Francis Villiers. His murder, for one can call it by no other name, shows how keenly the personal feelings of the Roundheads were engaged in this national quarrel. Under most circumstances, Englishmen would have spared the youth, and respected the gallantry of the free young soldier, who, planting himself against an oak-tree which grew in the road, refused to ask for quarter, but defended himself against several assailants. But the name of Villiers was hateful in Puritan ears. " Hew them down,

THE BRAVE FRANCIS VILLIERS.

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root and branch !” was the sentiment that actuated the soldiery. His very loveliness exasperated their vengeance. At last, " with nine wounds on his beautiful face and body," says Fairfax," he was slain.” “The oak-tree," writes the devoted servant, “is his monument,” and the letters of F. V. were cut in it in his day. His body was conveyed by water to York House, and was entombed with that of his father, in the Chapel of Henry VII.

His brother fled toward St. Neot's, where he encountered a strange kind of peril. Tobias Rustat attended him; and “was with him in the rising in Kent for King Charles I., wherein the Duke was engaged ; and they, being

put to the flight, the Duke's helmet, by a brush under a tree, was turned upon his back, and tied so fast with a string under his throat, that without the present help of T. R.,” writes Fairfax, “it had undoubtedly choked him, as I have credibly heard."*

While at St. Neot's, the house in which Villiers had taken refuge was surrounded with soldiers. He had a stout heart, and a dextrous hand; he took his resolution; rushed out upon his foes, killed the officer in command, galloped off and joined the Prince in the Downs.

The sad story of Charles I. was played out; but Villiers remained stanch, and was permitted to return and to accompany Prince Charles into Scotland. Then came the battle of Worcester in 1651: there Charles II. showed himself a worthy descendant of James IV. of Scotland. He resolved to conquer or die: with desperate gallantry the English Cavaliers and the Scotch Highlanders seconded the monarch's valiant onslaught on Cromwell's horse, whose invincible Life Guards were almost driven back by the shock. But they were not seconded; Charles II. had his horse twice shot under him, but, nothing daunted, he was the last to tear himself away from the field, and then only upon the solicitations of his friends.

Charles retired to Kidderminster that evening. The Duke of Buckingham, the gallant Lord Derby, Wilmot, afterward Earl of Rochester, and some others, rode near him. They were followed by a small body of horse. Disconsolately they rode on northward, a faithful band of sixty being resolved to escort his Majesty to Scotland. At length they halted on Kinver Heath, near Kidderminster, their guide having lost the

* The day after the battle at Kingston the Duke's estates were confiscated (8th July, 1648).—Nichols' History of Leicestershire, iii. 213; who also says that the Duke offered marriage to one of the daughters of Cromwell, but was refused. He went abroad in 1648, but returned with Charles II. to Scotland in 1650, and again escaped to France after the battle of Worcester, 1651. The sale of the pictures would seem to have commenced during his first exile.

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