Analyze

Voyant is a, "is a web-based text reading and analysis environment," that provides a graphical interface for analyzing the full-text as a wordcloud, limiting by searches, word and phrase co-locations, terms distribution throughout a text, and much more! Click the button below to analyze this text in Voyant:

Annotate

Below is the full-text of this text that may be annotated by users using the Hypothes.is platform. The full-text will display on the left, with links to reveal the image of each page if desired. To use, select the text from the left-hand side to annotate, and using the Hypothes.is window on the right, record an annotation for that passage of text.





ILYERTOI RECTORY ;
OR,
THE NON-CONFORMISTS
THE 17TH CENTURY.
FOUNDED ON FACT.
BY THE AUTHOR OR ARLAN CAMERON, OUR TILLAGE
IN WAR TIME, ETC.
PUBLISHED BY THE
AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,
150 NASSAU-STREET, NEW-YORE.


\ I l
J
Uverton Rectory.
“Then came those days, never to he recalled without a
blush, the days of servitude without loyalty, and sensual
ity without love, of dwarfish talents and gigantic vices, the
paradise of cold hearts and narrow minds, the golden age
of the coward, the bigot, and the slave.* * * * The gov
ernment had just ability enough to deceive, and just relig
ion enough to persecute. The principles of liberty were
the scoff of every grinning courtier, and the anathema-
maranatha of every fawning dean.” macatjdey.
Enteeed according to Act of Congress, in tlie year 18G4, by the
Amebican Tbact Society, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court
of the United States for the Southern District of New York.


• CONTENTS.
CHAPTER I.
The Rectory and its inmates -- 5
CHAPTER II.
The storm gathering — 29
’CHAPTER III.
Winston Park - - ---- 46
CHAPTER IV.
The day of ejectment — - 75
CHAPTER Y.
The cottage among the hills 91
CHAPTER VI.
An unexpected meeting - - 115
CHAPTER VII.
The visit to Bromley - 140
CHAPTER YHI.
The silver lining of the clond 163



ILVERTON RECTORY.
CHAPTER I.
THE RECTORY AND ITS INMATES.
There was not throughout England, in
“ the olden time,” a pleasanter spot than
the rectory of Ilverton, situated in one
of the beautiful valleys through which
.the Severn winds its way, lingering in
innumerable curves, as if loath to leave
the scenery it enriches and adorns. The
house was built on a gentle eminence,
overlooking on one side the little vil
lage nestled in a bend of the stream, and
surrounded with verdant meadows and
cultivated fields, divided by thorn hedges;
and on the other, the blue mountains of


6 ILVERTON RECTORY.
"Wales, visible in the distance, framing a
picture charming as a poet’s dream of
Arcadia.
The house was a low Gothic cottage,
with quaint gables and wide mullioned
windows, over which climbing roses and
flowering vines had been trained, and
the trelliswork of the deep porch was
covered with ivy and jasmine, filling the
air with fragrance. In front of the build
ing, a velvet lawn, studded with magnifi
cent oaks and elms, sloped down to the
road, from which it was separated by a
broad ha-ha, or concealed bank. On
one side of the house was the neatly kept
garden and fruit orchard; and on the
other, a grove of evergreens surrounded
a miniature pond, in which.were gold and
silver fish, the special pets of the younger
members of the household.
The parlor or family room of the rec
tory was a large, and pleasant apartment,


THE RECTORY AND ITS INMATES. 7
with windows on two sides, opening upon
a balcony, and presenting in its general
aspect a scene of simple elegance and
homelike comfort, which bespoke at once
the character of its inhabitants. Nothing
could be more unpretending than its fur
niture; and yet an air of refinement and
taste pervaded the room, no less from
the extreme nicety and order with which
it was kept, than from the drawings,
books, and work scattered about it.
A harpsichord, evidently of great age,
but in perfect preservation, adorned one
side of the room, and a cumbrous sofa,
covered with rich but faded damask,
occupied the other. Bouquets of fresh
flowers, artistically arranged, were placed
in antique glasses on the table and beau-
>fet, and various kinds of toys and tiny
articles of apparel gave to the whole a
charm which childhood alone can impart.
In this room, at the close of a sum-


8 ILVERT0N RECTORY.
rner’s clay, were seated two individuals,
enjoying the coolness of the evening
breeze as it stole through the open case
ment, laden with a thousand sweets from
the neighboring orchard and garden.
The elder of the'two was a woman in
the prime of life, with a noble and digni
fied aspect, and an expression of deter
mination on her brow which might have
passed for sternness, had it not been con
tradicted by the sweetness of the mouth,
round which the loves and graces alone
seemed fitted to linger. A few silver
threads mingled with the brown tresses,
carefully banded back from the broad,
open forehead; but time had as yet stolen
no charm which was not more than re
placed by the stately serenity and mat
ronly grace of her manners.
Her eyes were bent with fond and
anxious scrutiny on the fair young girl
seated at her feet, who was one to call


THE RECTORY AND ITS INMATES. 9
forth all a mother’s love, mingled it
might be with a mother’s apprehension.
She was just eighteen, that lovely age
when the thoughtless joyousness of the
child gives place to the deeper but more
troubled happiness of the woman; when
the sweet buds of life’s spring are burst
ing into flower, and we inhale their fra
grance with delight, while we tremble at
the thought that the frosts of misfortune
and sorrow may so soon wither them.
The maiden was '
“Not learned, save in gracious household ways;
Not perfect—nay, hut full of tender wants;
No angel, hut a dearer being, dipped
In angel instincts, breathing paradise,
"Who looked all native to her place, and yet
On tiptoe seemed to touch a higher sphere,
Too high to tread; and other minds perforce
Swayed to her from then* orbits as she moved,
And girdled her with music.”
Though not perhaps critically beautiful,
there was a nameless charm in the face
of Annie Leigh, which at once attracted


10
ILYEETOX EECTOEY.
the eye and interested tlie Iieart—some-
tliing dearer than beauty in the expres
sion of purity, innocence, and gentleness
which pervaded her features, and looked
through her eyes of violet blue, those
deep, unfathomable eyes, “with down
falling eyelids Ml of dreams and gentle
fancies,” which were now fixed earnestly
upon her mother, as with hands folded
across her knee she waited the continu
ance of a conversation, evidently of deep
interest to both.
“Annie, my child,” at length said the
matron, passing her hand fondly over the
ringlets of sunny brown which shaded
the girl’s drooping face, “I have read
your heart like an open book, from your
infancy to the present moment. Is there
aught in it now that a mother may not
see? Do you love this youth, this Mas
ter Clarence Brent ?”
“Dearest mother !” was the only spo-


THE RECTORY AND ITS INMATES. 11
ken reply; but those eloquent eyes, up
raised for an instant, and that cheek
glowing like the heart of a blush-rose,
were sufficiently expressive; and a deep
sigh from the mother told that she was
answered.
“And does he love you? I would
fain hope that the affections of my child
have not been given unsought.”
"He has told me so, and I could not
help believing him,” murmured the girl
almost inaudibly.
"It grieves me to give you pain, my
darling, but have you ever reflected on
the probable issue of such an attachment?
Have you remembered the great dispar
ity of rank between you, and the im
probability that Sir Richard Brent, so
proud and wealthy, will consent to the
union of his only son, and the heir of his
immense possessions, with the portion
less daughter of a country clergyman?”


12 ILVEET0N EECTOEY.
“I have said so to Clarence, dear
mother, many times; but he answered
that I was foolishly humble—that a
learned and eloquent minister like my
father was second to no man in the
realm, with many other foolish things
which I cannot repeat to you;’ 7 : and the
blushing girl looked up into her mother’s
face with an arch smile as she inquired,
“But is there in truth such great dis
parity between us ? I am sure my father
is inferior to no one; and I have heard
that.my grandfather - Bradshaw was the
son of a baronet.” - ‘
“And yet he gave his daughter to a
poor clergyman, you would say, my An
nie. It was even so; but my father was
a friend of the noble Cromwell, and had
learned the vanity of earthly distinctions
in a school very different from that in
which Sir Richard has been trained.
But where is this youth who seeks to


THE RECTORY AND ITS INMATES. IB
win our household treasure ? Why coines
he not as formerly to the rectory ?”
“Enow you not, dear mother, that he
has gone from England, since leaving the
university, to travel over the countries
of Europe in company with his tutor ?
He will be back in little more than a
year, and then he says—”■ A deep blush
finished the sentence, and the mother
smiled as she replied,
“Well, love, it is the privilege of
youth to believe all things, and too often
disappointment, like a shadow, follows
the steps of expectation. But I hear the
voice of your father. To him we will
refer the matter, and in this, as in all
- things "else, be guided by his superior
wisdom.” ,
Annie rose hastily and advanced to
meet her father, who with unwonted
gravity merely bent to imprint a kiss on
her fair forehead, and then, with an affec-


14 ILVEKTON EECTOKY.
tionate salutation to his wife, seated him
self abstractedly by her side.
Mr. Leigh was a man of commanding
presence, rather past middle age, though
the furrows on his pale cheek were traced
there less by the hand of time than the
studious and thoughtful life he had led,
together with his habitual concern for
the spiritual interests of those committed
to his charge. The raven locks which
encircled his brow were wholly unfrosted
by time, and the whole contour of his
head and face bespoke a character of
elevated tone, expansive benevolence,
and unconquerable energy. For nearly
twenty years he had held the living of
Ilverton, and ‘through his faithful labors
the moral wilderness had been made to
blossom as the rose; while by his flock,
to whom he was a father as well as pas^
tor, he was revered almost as a superior
being.


THE RECTORY AND ITS INMATES. 15
No wonder, with these high qualities
of heart and mind, united with endearing
gentleness of character, the good minis
ter was an object of ardent affection to
every-member of his happy household,
from the devoted wife to the little Rose,
C£ WIio climbed his knee the envied kiss to share.”
No wonder that his appearance was hail
ed with delight by the mother and daugh
ter, whose veneration for his intellectual
greatness was tempered by implicit con
fidence in his goodness and affection.
A glad smile lighted up the face of the
wife as she welcomed him to her side,
saying,
“Dearest, you have been long in com
ing to-night. Surely it is not your wont
to stay away from us at this sweet hour,
when every thing invites to relaxation
and repose. I shall be jealous of the
books and studies which engross so much
of the time I have been accustomed to


16 ILVERTOH RECTORY. .
call my own. But you are thoughtful
and sad. Has aught occurred to annoy
or distress you ?” she anxiously inquired
as she saw that no answering smile on
that beloved countenance met hers.
Ere he could reply, a beautiful child
of four or five summers came dancing in,
her golden hair flying in the breeze, and
her complexion, fair as alabaster, glow
ing with the roseate hues of health and
joy-
“See, mamma,” she exclaimed, open
ing the little hands which had been
closely clasped—“see this darling little
thin bird. . It was flying about on the
flowers, and it was so pretty I brought it
to you.”
Alas, the frail butterfly was crushed
in the grasp of the child, and of all its
brilliant colors nothing remained but a
little fine and almost impalpable dust.
“Where,is it?” inquired the wonder-


THE RECTOEY AND ITS INMATES. 17
ing child—“ where is my little bird,
mamma ?”
“It was a.butterfly, my love, not a
o *
bird., and my Rose in bringing it to her
mother has killed it by holding it too
tightly.; 7 .
“ Killed it! killed my poor little bird!
Oh, sister, I 7 m so sorryand hiding her
face in her sister’s lap, she burst into a
passion of tears.
Absorbed as Mr. Leigh had been in
his own sad thoughts, he could not look
unmoved on the sorrows of the household
pet.
“ Come hither, my child;’ 7 and as the
little Rose ran to him and raised her
tear-stained face to his, he said tepderly,
- “You have only done, my darling,
what we are all doing constantly, seizing
pleasure so eagerly that it must needs
perish in the using. Your poor butter
fly would have lived but a few days at
Ilverton Bectory. 2


18 ILVERT0N RECTORY.
farthest • but our heavenly Father gave
it life, and we have no right to take away
the gift.” ’ .
“ Can’t you mend it, . papa ?; Please;
put it together again for Roseand the
child held up her little hand with the
remains .of. the insect still clinging' to it.
•. Kissing fondly the soft white hand, the =
father replied, “That is impossible, my -
child; but G-od has made many more,
. and they are flying in the sunshine, where
you can see and. admire their bright
colors j but always remember, my love,
that the most beautiful things are often
the frailest, and most liable to;be injured
by hasty or .rough usage.”
Old nurse Margery now appeared, and
leading away the child, Mrs. Leigh said
to her husband, while a nameless fear
chilled her heart,
“So long as a merciful Father spares
our domestic treasures, we will not com-


THE EECTOEY AND ITS INMATES. 19
plain, even if'trials should be sent upon
ns by the same gracious hand. ;; -
There was no reply for a few moments,
while the strong man was evidently’
■struggling to repress his emotions; and
when at length he spoke, his tone was
calm though tremulous, and the deep
solemnity of his manner sent a sharp
thrill of apprehension to the hearts of his
companions.
“God is my witness, beloved ones,”
he said, “that if hitherto I have kept the
troubles of my own-soul from you, it was
not from a desire to avoid the cross, but
only that you might be spared the .pangs
of suspense which I have borne. Now,
since the path of duty hath been made
plain to me, I may no longer shun to de
clare to you tidings which must be pain
ful to the flesh, albeit the spirit may be
strengthened from above to bear it.
“Know then that the Act of Uni-


20 ILVERTON RECTORY. ,
formity, passed by the Parliament, and
sanctioned by our sovereign king Charles
the Second, hath been sent throughout
the land, enjoining upon all ministers of
the gospel their unfeigned consent to the
requisitions of the late convocation, on
pain of ejectment from their livings and
suspension from the ministry. The exe
cution of this act is fixed on St. Barthol
omew’s day,, the 24th of August next,
(1662.) I have received'a copy of the
act, and unless prepared by unreserved
conformity to avert the blow, the setting
sun of that day must see us homeless, pen
niless wanderers on the face of the earth—■
you, my true-hearted wife, this dear and
dutiful child, and the darling cherub who
knows so little of care or sorrow.”
“Is there no hope, dear father, no
middle course by which, with a clear
conscience, you may avoid these terrible
consequences ?”


THE EECTOEY AlSiD ITS INMATES. 21
“ Oh, my child., think you. that with
such a doom before me I have not striv
en to avert the blow ? . Night and day,
on my knees before God, -with fasting
and prayer, I have revolved the subject,
and sought to reconcile my interest and
my duty, but it may not be. I cannot
do evil that good may come, nor commit
tin's great sin against my G-od and the
dictates of my own conscience. I have
therefore surrendered myself, my minis
try, my people, .my place, my wife and
children, with whatsoever else is con
cerned, into His hands from whom I
received them, and in silence await his
holy will concerning me.
“And now, dear and faithful wife,
companion of my joys and sorrows, tell
me, have I judged rightly in this mat
ter ?”
While her husband was speaking, Mrs.
Leigh sat with, features pale and rigid as


22 ILVEETON EECTOEY.
marble, and slowly dilating eyes fixed
immovably upon him, as though the tid
ings were'indeed. turning, her. to stone.
But at the sound of that loving voice ap
pealing to her heart, at the touch of that
warm hand' in which her own had been
clasped at the altar, the chilled pulses
resumed their play, the tension of the
nerves gradually gave way, and. her
excited feelings found vent in salutary
tears. When she spoke, though her
words , came slowly and gaspingly, her
heart was strong with a courage not of
this world, and the light of faith was in
her eye as she answered, .
“ God forbid, my beloved husband,
that you should hesitate or refuse to fol
low the dictates of conscience, at what
ever sacrifice. He who sent the ravens
to feed Elijah will doubtless take thought
for us.”
“ Worthy daughter of the noble Brad-


THE RECTORY AND ITS INMATES. 23
shaw,” exclaimed' the agitated pastor,
“how thy high-hearted courage shames
my hesitation and unbelief! Yes, I will
no longer doubt that He who hath re
quired the sacrifice will strengthen us in
the hour of trial. But alas,” he added,
rising hastily and pacing the room with
disordered steps, “ to flesh and blood it
is a'bitter cup which God giveth us to
drink. To bid farewell to this dear and
pleasant home—the home to which I
brought thee, my Lucy, a young and
lovely bride—the birthplace of our chil
dren, endeared to us by a thousand sweet
memories and hallowed associations—to
exchange all this for abject poverty; to
; be driven away from my precious flock ;
to leave untended this vine of the Lord’s
planting, now so fair and flourishing—
this is a trial which pierces almost to the
dividing asunder of flesh and spirit.”
“My father, shall we receive good at


24 - ILVERT.OK RECTQEY.
the hand of the Lord, and shall we not
receive evil?” said a soft voice at his
sidej and as he tnrned at the spnnd, An
nie linked her arm in that of her father,
and looked up into his troubled face with
an expression of pity and tenderness, such
as an angel might wear in contemplating
the sufferings of fallen humanity. “ I
am a child, and know less than nothing
in comparison with you, dear father, but
you have always taught me that the suf
ferings of this present time are not worthy
to be compared with the glory to be re
vealed in us, if we remain faithful unto
the eiid.”
“Bless thee, my darling; God speaks
to me through those young lips, and I
will thank him and take courage. But
how is this, my daughter ? thou comfort-
est thy father, while the deadly pallor
of thine own cheek betrays the anguish
thou wouldst fain conceal.”


THE.KECTORY AND ITS INMATES. 25
Ah, little did the good man dream of
the extent of that more than mortal an
guish. The blow that had almost crushed
the life out of her young heart had fallen
so suddenly, so unexpectedly;■ for it was
only a few days before, that her lover,
who was leaving for Europe, assured her
that as soon as he returned he should
publicly urge his suit, and entreat her
parents to bestow upon him the treasure
he coveted so fondly. Now they were
separated for. ever. She felt and knew
it; for if a doubt existed of Sir Richard
Brent’s willingness to receive her as the
bride of his son while her father was
a beneficed clergyman of the English
church, what hope could there be for her
now, as the daughter of an ejected, beg
gared. non-conformist? Not for worlds
would she have her father do violence
to his own convictions, or betray the sa
cred cause of liberty, civil and religious,


26 ILVEETON EECTOEY. . . ;
which from her cradle she had been
taught to revere; but the conflict of
feeling had exhausted her energies, and
well might her father remark the death
like paleness of her cheek, for while he
was yet speaking, she sank like a snow-
wreath from his encircling arm, and was
carried to her own room in a state of in
sensibility.
“ Leave her to me,’ 7 said her mother
gently; ‘ ‘ her strength has been sorely
tried, and though the spirit is willing, the
flesh is weak. Fear not for us, 77 she added
with a faint attempt to smile, as his look
of anxious love smote upon her heart :
■ £ with health/unbroken affection, and con
fidence in Grod, what more can we desire? 7 ’
When on coming to herself Annie
found no one with her but her mother,
she threw her arms round the neck of
that dear comforter, and wept long and
bitterly. At length, raising her head


THE RECT0B1 AND ITS INMATES. 21
from the resting-place of her infancy,
she said more calmly,
“ Pardon, dearest mother, this selfish
indulgence of grief:. I have. so loved
Clarence, and I know how keenly he
will feel the blow, for in spite of my un
worthiness, he loves me well and dearly.
But my short dream of bliss is over, and
henceforth it shall be to me but as a vis
ion of the night, from which 011 awaking
we turn away to the sterner duties and
realities of the day. There is enough to
live for while my parents and sister are
left to me, and no vain repinings shall
add to the weight of the burden imposed
on you. One thing only I entreat, by
all the love you have ever shown me—
that this unhappy attachment may not
be revealed to my father, lest in the
knowledge of his child’s unhappiness
he should have sorrow upon sorrow.
Strength will be given me to conquer


28 ILVERT0N RECTORY. :
an earthly love, and to fix my whole
heart where it may cling for ever with
out fear of separation.”
From that day to the dreaded period
of ejectment, the young Annie moved
among her friends like an embodied
spirit of love and_ hope. Deeply she
felt the value of all she was about to
lose, but like her parents she had count
ed the cost; and though the pale and
tearful faces, the subdued voices and
hushed tread of the little group spoke
the presence of a great sorrow, there
was no clamorous grief, no selfish lam
entation. Clouds and darkness were
round about them; but even then, to
the eye of faith, the bow of promise
shone through the gloom, a sure pledge
that the Sun of righteousness was shin
ing behind the cloud, and in his own
time would pour sunshine and gladness
round their onward way.


THE STORM. GATHERING.'
29
CHAPTER II.
THE STORM GATHERING.
Charles Stuart, the second of that
name, had recently been brought back
from exile and poverty, and placed upon
the throne from which his father was ig-
nominiously hurled to meet his fate upon'
a scaffold. Trained from his early youth
in the school of adversity, it was hoped
and believed by the English people, that
the young king would avoid the errors
which had destroyed his father, and unit
ing in himself the different factions which
divided the commonwealth, would gov
ern the nation with a just and impartial
sway:
But the doomed house of Stuart seem
ever to have been incapable of learning
a wise lesson, or unlearning a foolish and


30 ILVEETON EECTOEY.
dangerous one. In the midst of peril and
suffering, Charles Second had seemed to
be a kind, generous, and chivalric prince;
but when once established at Whitehall,
he was seen to be a soulless profligate,
a mere gilded puppet, influenced by any
one who would take the trouble to min
ister to his sensuality, or indulge his self
ish indolence. Unlike his brother James,
he was naturally averse to severity in
matters pertaining to politics or religion,
and yet persecution raged in his reign to
an extent absolutely appalling. Of that
time it may be truly said,
“ The good man’s share
In life was gall and bitterness of soul,
: —^ while luxury
In palaces lay straining her low thought
To form unreal wants, and heaven-born truth
And moderation fair wore the red marks
Of superstition’s scourge. ”
Charles was secretly a Roman-cath
olic, though he dared not avow it, and


THE STORM GATHERING.- 81
hence he would gladly have tolerated
the Presbyterians and Independents,
whom he despised, in order to extend
the same boon to the members of the
church of Rome. But the Prelatist and
Romish party. could not forgive those
who had humbled them during the civil
war and under the Commonwealth, and
when their turn of ascendency came,
were resolved to put. down what they
termed schism by the strong hand of
power. They were not long in bringing
the selfish and indolent king to sanction
their purpose.
The vices which characterized the
period of the Restoration were precisely
those least tolerated by the Puritans.
They loathed the painted, furbelowed
licentiousness that disgraced the court
and its anointed head. They openly
condemned the light literature and dra
matic entertainments of the age, stained


IL YE ETON KEOTOEY.
as both were with unblushing immorality
and the grossest profligacy.
But let it not be thought that the Pu
ritans were destitute of culture and re
finement, because they were so occupied
with the great realities of time and eter
nity, that they flad little leisure for artis
tic culture and the graces of oratory. The
sect that-could boast among its members
a Harrington, 1 a Marvel, a Wallace, a
Withers, who says of his muse,
“By the murmur of a spring,
By the least bough’s rustleing,
By a daisy, whose leaves spread,
Shut when Titan goes to bed,
Or a shady bush or tree,
She could more infuse in me
Than all nature’s beauties can
In some other, wiser man;”
and above all, a Milton, the splendor of
whose genius places him above all rivalry
but that of Shakspeare: such a sect need
not be careful to vindicate its name from
the reproach of barbarism.


THE STOEM GATHERING. 33
If the Puritans cared little for the
mythical heroes 1 of the G-reek and Ro
man poets, they were familiar, with the
sublime topics and gorgeous imagery of
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and felt
that in resisting tyrants and defending
civil and religious liberty, they were act
ing a grander epic than the world had
ever yet seen. If they shunned and
hated the drama, disfigured as it was
with moral leprosy, they knew that they
were themselves, a spectacle to angpls
and men, surrounded by an innumerable
company of witnesses, while Jehovah
himself waited to award the prize.
Such men could not basely truckle to
unholy power, or wear a mask to avoid
the temporal consequences of their un
popular . doctrines; and thus exposed,
they were soon made to feel that by
the death of their greed protector Crom
well, they had lost all that stood between
Hvert'on Rectory. 3


34 ILVERTON RECTORY.
them and the utmost wrath of their ene
mies.
A convocation or assembly of the cler
gy was called, and by this body various
revisions were "made and laws enacted,
which seemed only designed to exasper
ate the Puritans. The Dissenters as a
body disliked the saints 7 days; the re
visions added to the number of those
days. They would not use the Apocry
phal lessons; the revisions added to those
already in use the story of Bel and the
Dragon. Having finished their work,
the houses of convocation adjourned ;
but the Parliament met, and sanctioned
what they had done by passing the fa
mous Act of Uniformity.
By this law, all clergymen were requir
ed to signify publicly their cordial and
unfeigned assent and consent to all the!
requisitions of that act ; to repudiate the.
solemn leaeue and covenant—an aeree-


'THE STORM GATHERING. 35
ment which had been entered into sev
eral years before by the Scotch Presby
terians and the English Independents or
Dissenters, for the preservation of relig
ious and civil liberty in both kingdoms—■
and to acknowledge no obligation to the
same; and further, to declare that it
was unlawful, under' any circumstances
or pretexts whatever, .to take up arms
against the king.
Thus they were compelled to disavow
and reject most, solemnly all the great
principles for which they and their fa
thers had fought and bled under the pre
ceding reign, and to accept thankfully a
spiritual domination far more intolerable
than that thrown off by Cromwell and his
associates. It was not matters of second
ary importance—an observance, a lesson,
or even an act of despotism whose effects
might be temporary, that they felt called
upon to resist. They were contending


36 ILVEETON EECTOEY.
for principles whose unchecked violation
might result in darkness and spiritual
bondage. They were loyal subjects, and
would gladly have obeyed the "king in all
things where conscience was not concern
ed; but the party which, since the time
of Laud, had been stealthily endeavoring
to graft the principles of Romanism on
the Protestant church, were resolved to
insist on absolute conformity, or eject
ment and beggary as the alternative.
Under these circumstances, what could
the Puritaii clergymen do? They were
studious, highly educated men, accus
tomed to a life of respectability and com
fort, and they dearly loved the families
whose temporal interests all hung upon
their decision, and who by non-conformity
would be reduced from competency to
abject poverty. As they looked round
on their pleasant homes, and saw their
unconscious children sporting in the gar-


THE STORM GATHERING-. 31
dens or groves, ignorant of tlie pang
which rent their hearts, how difficult is
it for us, in this age of toleration, even to
imagine the conflicts experienced by those
devoted men, while day by day the convic
tion settled down upon their souls, of the
impossibility of subscribing to that which
they abhorred, for the sake of earthly
ease and emolument.
Who can adequately portray the solic
itude with which they revolved the ques
tion whether they could by any means
obey the requisition of Parliament, and
yet continue with the flocks over which
the Holy G-host had made them over
seers j and as they were compelled to an
swer the inquiry in the negative, no eye
but that of God witnessed the anguish
which swept over their souls as they look
ed into the dark future, where nothing
but the lowest menial labor stood be
tween them and absolute starvation. It


88 ILVEETON EECTOEY.
was not in their own persons only they
were abont to suffer. When called on
to give the important answer that was to
seal their fate, they knew that every mem
ber of the household would share the bit
ter cup of persecution.
By a refinement of cruelty worthy of
Laud or Jeffreys, the non-conformist min
ister was forbidden to reside in, or even
to approach within five miles of any cor
porate town, or to exercise the vocation
of teacher or preceptor in any way what
ever. There remained then no resource
for those refined and gifted men, the
pupils and friends of Owen and Howe
and Baxter and Charnock, men of whom
the world was not worthy, but day-labor
in the rural districts where alone they
were permitted to reside.
Some there were among their number,
who,- like Pliable in Bun van’s immortal


THE .STORM GATHERING. 39
allegory, were willing to become all things
to all men, in a sense very different from
that intended by the apostle. They had
been Prelatists under the 'first Charles,
Presbyterians in the time of the Long
Parliament, Independents under Crom
well, and were now ready to become Con
formists under the second Charles. One
such, meeting a brother who had been,
ejected for non-conformity, taunted him
with the poverty of his threadbare coat.
“Yes,” replied the good man, “I know
it is old and worn; but one thing I can
say for the coat, it has never been turned.”
Another excellent man, when asked
how he would support his family, consist
ing of a wife and ten children, answered,
, “ They must depend on the bank of faith,
described in the sixth chapter of Mat
thew.”
“I know,” said the 1 great and good Dr.
Bates in his farewell sermon, “I know
you will expect me to say something as


40 ILYERTON RECTORY.
to my non-conformity. I sliall only say
this much j it is neither fancy, faction,
nor ill-humor that makes me not to sub
scribe, but merely for the fear of offend
ing God. And if after the best means
used' for my illumination, as prayer to
God, discourse, or study, I am not able
to be satisfied of the lawfulness of what
is required—if it be my unhappiness to
be in an error, surely man may have no
reason to be angry with me in this world,
and I humbly hope God will pardon me
in the next. 5 ’
Another good man, Mr. Atkin, remarks
in answer to the charge of disaffection:
“Let him newer be accounted a sound
Christian, who doth not fear God and
honor the king. I beg that you will not
interpret our non-conformity into an act
of disloyalty towards the king. We will
do any thing for his majesty but sin.


THE STOKM GATHERING. 41
We will hazard any thing for him hut
our souls. We hope we could die for
him, but we are not willing to be damned
for him. We make no question, however
we may be accounted of here, that we
shall be found loyal and obedient sub
jects at our appearance before the tribu
nal of God.”
The rector of Ilverton had received a
copy of the Act 1 of Uniformity’ soon after
its passage by Parliament. Day after
day, alone in his study, with his Bible
and his God, he pondered the subject.
With no one near him, the path of duty
seemed so plain that the wayfaring man
though a fool need not err therein; but
when he met the wife and children whose
interests were bound up with his own, he
was often conscious of an intense desire
to find some middle course between con
formity and absolute beggary.
The struggle, though severe, could not,
in a mind constituted like his, be of long


42 ILYEBTON BECTOEY.
continuance. The Saviour has said, u If
any man will do His -will, he shall know
of the doctrine,” and as it was the first
wish of Mr. Leigh’s heart, to do the will
of his divine Master, he was not left in
doubt as to the course he ought to pur
sue in such an exigency. He could not,
where principle was concerned, consult
expediency rather than right, and how
ever fearful the consequences of a refusal
might be, it was impossible to subscribe
ex animo, to all the requisitions of -the
' Act of Uniformity.
While a doubt remained upon his mind
in reference to his future course, nothing
was said by him to Mrs. Leigh of the trial
through which he was passing; for though
he knew her to be a sincere and earnest
disciple of Jesus, she was also a devoted
wife and mother, and the flesh might well
shrink from such a sacrifice as that which
lay before them. As soon however-as


THE STORM GATHERING. 43
liis duty was made clear, he sought those
whom his decision most concerned, with
the result already stated. But though a
terrible weight was lifted from his heart
by the meek and cheerful submission of
those beloved* beings, he could not help
continually asking himself, as he saw them
moving through the pleasant rooms of the
rectory, or among its cool and shady
grounds, ‘‘How can they, so delicately nur
tured,: and accustomed to ease and refine
ment, face the coarse and hard realities
of the life that lies before them?”
Old nurse Margery, who had accom
panied her dear young lady to Ilverton
on her first coming there as a bride, and
who had been the faithful nurse of Annie
and Bose, would not listen for an in
stant to the proposition of leaving them
for a home of her own, as she had
saved enough to support her in her old


44 ILVERTON RECTORY.
“No, no,” was her reply. “I have
eaten of yonr bread and drank of your
cup in prosperity all these years, and I
am not going to turn my back on my best
friends in their trouble, when my mis
tress will need old Margery more than
ever. Besides I am too old to look up a
new-home and new people now, and no
body can ever seem to me like the chil
dren I have cared for so many years. I
have enough laid up to supply all my
needs, and shall want no wages or bounty,
but it would break my heart to say good-
by to my children and my dear good
lady.’ 7
“Say no more, my kind Margery,” re
plied Mrs. Leigh, “we will not send
away such a friend, when so few remain
to us. I thank God, and next to him, I
thank you, for the kindness which prompts
your offer, and accept it as an earnest
that we are not utterly forsaken. We go


THE STOEM GATHEEING. 45
out from this endeared home, not know
ing whither the Lord will lead us; but
since it is impossible to go where He is
not, we will have no fear. He who sent
manna from heayen in the desert, and
gave water from the flinty rock to his
fainting people, will not now leave those
who trust in him to want for any good
thing.”


4G
ILYERTON RECTORY.
CHAPTER III.
WINSTON PARK.
About fifteen miles to the north of the
parish of Ilverton, lay Winston Park,
the splendid manorial residence of Sir
Richard Brent, who, by his marriage with
Jacqueline, daughter and heiress of Lord
Scropc, had come into possession of a
princely heritage in that and the adjoin
ing counties. The house was a modern
building, the ancient scat of the famity
having been burned to the ground by a
band of Ire ton’s troops during the civil
war.
It was of great extent, built round a
hollow square, the fa gad c of Corinthian
architecture, with pillars, pilasters, and
entablature of white marble, curiously
wrought by workmen brought from Italy
for that purpose.


WINSTON PARK. ' ' 47
The park was many miles in extent,
well stocked with deer, and remarkable
for the great size and beauty of the trees,
some of which were known to be nearly
a thousand years old. Sir Richard would
as soon have dreamed of converting the
portraits of his ancestors which adorned
the picture gallery into firewood, as of
cutting down one of those forest monarchs,
for any purpose whatever. The porter’s
lodge, a small cottage covered with hon
eysuckles and clematis, was situated at
the entrance of the grounds, opposite the
principal front of the housej and from it
a circular carriage drive led ,up to the
grand portico, terminating in an espla
nade filled with rare and beautiful exotics.
The interior of the building correspond
ed in magnificence with its external ap
pearance. There were splendid suites of
apartments, with floors of mosaic, hang
ings of rich tapestry, cabinets and tables


48 ILVEETON EECJTOEY.
of inlaid .work, and rare pictures of the
old masters, some of which were invalu
able gems of art; but more beautiful than
all the rest, was the old cbapel, rescued
from the flames when the remainder of
the building was destroyed, with its win
dows of stained glass, its illuminated mis
sals and breviaries, and a miniature copy
of Ruben’s “descent from the cross,”
carved in ivory by Benvenuto Cellini
the great Florentine artist, which was of
priceless worth.
The ancestors of Sir Richard had been
stanch Catholics for many generations,
and though his great grandfather had
become a nominal Protestant in the reign x
of Elizabeth, a strong leaning to Prelacy
had always distinguished the family, un
til the accession of the present baronet
to the estate. Sir Richard Brent was a
man of the world, vain of his ancient
name, of his large estates, his high-born


WINSTON PARK. 49
wife, and above all of bis son and heir,
the young Clarence; but there was in him
little of the material of which bigots are
made. Like G-allio, he cared for none of
those things about which Churchmen and
Puritans differed, and willingly left to his
wife the sole charge of the family con
science in all matters pertaining to relig
ion. When not irritated by opposition
to any of his cherished plans, the baronet
was courteous and kind; a steadfast and
generous friend, but an unforgiving and
dangerous enemy.
The Lady Jacqueline, who was connect
ed by birth with many of the principal
English families, was a proud and over
bearing woman, severe in her manners,
hardly deigning to unbend even to her
only child, who was secretly the idol of her
heart. It was rumored and believed by
many of her dependents, that Lady Brent
was at heart a Catholic, though she out-
llverton Rectory. 4:


50 ILVERTON EEGTORY.
wardly cod formed to tlie worship of the
Established church. Certain it was, that
when at Winston Park, which happened
but seldom,- there were services in the
chapel, at which none of the domestics
but her ladyship’s own woman were al
lowed to be present, and strange men of
foreign garb and mien were at such times
guests in the family, coming and going-in
her ladyship’s train. ' '
Most of her time was spent in London,
or at Eversden, a place which she pos
sessed in her own right, and which for
some unknown reason she preferred to
Winston; Park. Surrounded as she usu
ally was by a large and, fashionable cir
cle, she had little leisure or inclination
for the cultivation of the domestic affec
tions ; hence she was almost a stranger
to the real character of her son, though
he was the one thing on earth most pre
cious in her sight.


WINSTON PABK. 51
And Clarence Brent was in truth well
calculated to call forth all the pride and
fondness of a mother’s heart. Ardent,
enthusiastic, and imaginative, gifted with
the “too much” in every thing pertain
ing to the domain of feeling and sensibil
ity, he needed a firm, wise hand to re
strain and guide him, to check the exu
berance of youthful emotion, and to draw
- out the energy and strength of purpose
latent in his character. Instead of this,
he was accustomed, from childhood, to
subservience and flattery from all around
him; from Sir Richard and Lady Brent
to the valet of the young heir, all were
his blind and unquestioning worshippers.
Nothing but his naturally fine temper
saved Clarence from becoming a domes
tic tyrant; as it was/ he only became
weary and indifferent to all around him.
At school and at the university he took
the first stand among his classmates in


52 ILYEETON EECTOEY.
scholarship; but lie took it as be did every
thing else, without interest and without
effort. He had too much refinement of
taste, and too just a perception of moral
excellence, to find any enjoyment in as
sociation with the openly vicious, or to
be tempted by low and sensual pleasures j
but he. was in great danger of becoming
that most useless and hopeless of charac
ters, a moral Sybarite, sunk in effemina
cy and sloth, when a casual introduction
to . the family at the rectory of Ilverton
first taught him the wants and capacities
of his own nature, and changed the indo
lent dreamer into an earnest resolute
man.
Young Brent had graduated at Oxford
with high honors, and was staying at
Winston Park alone, while Sir Bichard
and Lady Brent were on the Continent
with a party of friends, expecting to bo
joined by Clarence as soon as his latest


WINSTON PAEK. 53
whim, a desire for solitude, had been
gratified by a few days’ experience.
It was a lovely morning in early au
tumn, and after some hours spent in read
ing, the young man became weary, and
with his dog and gun, resolved to spend
a part of the day in exploring the coun
try for something new. Since his boy
hood he had been but seldom at Winston,
and knew nothing of what lay beyond
the park, so that the adventure had all
the zest of novelty. The scenery was
charming, and new beauties were con
stantly opening before him, drawing him
onward, until he found himself far beyond
his father’s domain, and in a region of
which he knew nothing.
He had ascended the side of a deep
ravine, and found himself on a spot of
table-land, round which the hills formed
a fine panorama; while just be'low him a
murmuring brook ran by, giving an air


54 ILVEETON EECTOBY.
of quiet beauty to the-scene, which might
otherwise have seemed lonely and wild.
Just as he was about to retrace his steps,
he caught sight of a picture which arrest
ed him and chained his attention. A
beautiful child with golden hair and eyes
of “heaven’s own blue,” was standing
before a young lady, busily engaged in
twining wild flowers among the auburn
ringlets that hung in such profusion about
the face and neck of the fair unknown.
When the work was finished, the child
stepped back to take a look at the effect,
and then seizing the hand of the elder,
she exclaimed,
“Oh, it is so pretty, sister. Come to
the water, and you can see how sweetly
the flowers look in your hair.. I did it
all myselfand the child actually danced
in the joy and excitement of the moment.
The elder sister rose, and stepping to
the brook* ‘ bent over it with a smile, dis-




- WINSTON PAEK. 55
closing to Clarence as slie did so a face
sweeter than any he had ever yet beheld,
even in his dreams. As she spoke, her
voice completed the fascination which
held him silent and spell-bound, fearing
almost to breathe lest the beautiful tab
leau should dissolve before his eyes.
“Your little fingers have done won
ders, darling Rose; but now We must
hasten home,, or mamma will be anxious.
We have wandered further than usual,
and must return immediately.”
At that moment Clarence stepped for
ward, and with a courteous grace pecul
iarly his own, ventured to address the
young stranger.
“I find myself in an unknown region,”
he said, “having wandered hither by
chance: may I presume to inquire, fair
lady, where I am, and whither this path
leads?”
Annie Leisdi was at first startled at


56 ILYERTON RECTORY.
this sudden appearance of a stranger in
a spot so lonely; but as he was evident
ly a sportsman, and there was nothing in
his manner to excite distrust, she replied,
“You are but a short distance from
liver ton, which lies over the hills yon
der, and this path leads directly to the
village.”
So saying she took the hand of Rose,
and bowing courteously, prepared to
leave the place; but Clarence, who had no
disposition to. relinquish the adventure,
accompanied them, assisting the child,
whenever the inequalities of the path re
tarded their progress. There was about
the young man, whenever he was deeply
interested, an air of sincerity and kind
ness, which won the confidence of all
with whom he associated. It was not
long therefore before the young people
were conversing freely; nay, so far had
he gained upon Hose, that when she com-


WINSTON PANE. 57
plained of being tired, she suffered him,
with a little pretty coyness and hesita
tion, to lay aside his gun, and take her
on his shoulder. In this way they ap
proached Ilverton; and on reaching the
rectory, Annie could not avoid giving
the stranger an invitation to enter, which
it is unnecessary to say was gladly ac
cepted. Mr. Leigh was absent on a visit
to the metropolis; but Annie heard him
announce his name and residence to her
mother with 110 small trepidation. It
was then the son and heir of the great
man of the county with whom she had
been so familiarly conversing, and who
had yielded to the playful caprices of
little Rose as freely as if they had been
his equals.
And such he seemed in truth to con
sider them, or rather to deem the inter
view a favor accorded to himself, for
never before had he made such efforts to


58 ILVEETON EECTOEY.
produce a favorable impression as dur
ing the hour spent at the rectory that
morning. When he returned home, life
had acquired a new meaning and inter
est: he asked not why; he only knew
that the family at liver ton interested
him more than any he had ever yet seen.
Yarious pretexts were found for going
again and again, and on every visit he
discovered new charms in the lovely and
intelligent girl, who differed so greatly
from the fashionable ladies he had hith
erto met, that she seemed hardly to be
long to the same species.
The good rector was still away, and
his excellent wife found so much pleasure
in the society of the fascinating stranger,
that she was not careful to analyze the
motives which brought him thither so
constantly. She never thought of dan
ger to her beloved child from his visits,
until the bright blush which followed


WINSTON PASK. 59
every mention of Ms name, and the thrill
of pleasure which lighted up every fea
ture of her expressive face when he ap
peared, warned' her that the child was
now a woman, with all a woman’s capac
ity of loving and suffering.
The husband on whose judgment she
had always been accustomed to rely was
absent, and she shrank from saying to
Clarence that his visits must be discon
tinued. Another fear was still more
embarrassing: should she not compro
mise the maiden delicacy of her daugh
ter by hinting at the reason for such an
announcement?
While she still hesitated, Clarence was
summoned to join his parents immediate
ly, and left Winston without any open
declaration of the love which had spoken
through every look and tone, and which
seemed to him to be interwoven with
every fibre of his being. He could not


GO ILVERTON RECTORY.
for a moment persuade himself that his
haughty mother would sanction such an
attachment; but his will had thus far
been absolute in the household, and it
was impossible, he thought, that now,
when his whole happiness was at stake,
his feelings and wishes should be disre
garded by his parents.
Meantime he was resolved to endeavor
to become more worth} 7 of the pure and
lovely being who had first awakened his
higher nature, and convinced him of the
aimless life he had hitherto been pur
suing.
He found in his mother’s party at
Florence, the Lady Alicia Somers, a dis
tant relative of his own, and a fashion
able heiress, whom he had once been in
clined to admire, but who seemed now,
in comparison with the bright image
enshrined in his heart, a mere painted
butterfly, unworthy a moment’s serious


WINSTON PARK. 61
■thought. It was not long, however, be
fore he discovered that his mother had a
purpcise in bringing them together ; and
long experience had taught him that her
ladyship’s purposes were not easily evad
ed or thwarted. The young couple were
constantly thrown together, and matters
so arranged, that without positive rude
ness, Clarence could not avoid becoming
on all occasions the escort of his cousin,
who appropriated his attentions as coolly
as if he had been her own special prop
erty.
He bore this for some time with toler
able patience, hoping that his evident
coldness and indifference might be un
derstood. At length, however, seeing no
hope of this, his temper gave way, and
he resolved to put an end to the annoy
ance. Accordingly the next time that
Lady Alicia was assigned to his care, he
declined the honor so pointedly, that the


62 ILVEETON RECTORY. ,
young lady was very indignant, and com
plained to her aunt of the alleged insult.
“What is this I hear of yon, Clar
ence ?” inquired her ladyship the next
day, as the young man entered her room.
“ Is it possible that my son is capable of
offering an insult to a lady, and a'young
and beautiful one like Lady Alicia Som
ers ? I could not have believed it on
any ordinary authority.”
“You may well hesitate to believe the
fact, my lady mother, for I assure you I
would not wilfully insult the meanest or
poorest thing that wears the form of
woman. But permit me to ask why I
am subjected to this constant martyrdom
on account of this young lady ? I have
not been a free agent since my arrival at
Florence. Without any wish of my own,
or rather in defiance of my wishes, I find
her ladyship always at my side, ready to
monopolize my time and attentions, to


WINSTON PARK. 63
the exclusion of all more pleasant en
gagements, until it has become impossi
ble longer to bear the annoyance. If
you hope in this way to bring about a
union between the families, let me assure
you that nothing could defeat the plan
more surely than such a course. Left to
myself, I might have liked Lady Alicia
as a relative; now I utterly detest her.”
“Clarence,” said Lady Brent coldly,
“spare my nerves, I entreat you, this
vulgar exhibition of temper, which noth
ing can justify .or excuse. You are
young yet, and know very little about
your duties to your famity, or to the sta
tion you are to occupy in society; but
believe me, I know them well, and am
not likely to forget them. Certain things
are required of you by birth and position.
If you choose to term them sacrifices, so
let it be, they are none the less neces
sary ; none the less is it true that they


G4 ILVEETQN EECTOEY.
are demanded, and must be conceded by
you.”
“ But, my mother, am I not to be con
sulted in regard to the disposal of my
own affections ? Is my happiness or mis
ery nothing in your eyes ?”
“Undoubtedly it is; but at your age,
one has dreams which on awaking are
found to be romantic and impracticable.
The time will come when you will look
back 011 the visions of youth with aston
ishment and contempt.”
"May I never live to see that.day. I
cannot, will not believe the hideous doc
trine that all which is best and brightest
on -earth- is only a dream. If it be so,
then let me still dream on, and cherish
the dear deceit that is so much sweeter
than reality. My mother, I believe you
love your son; will you not consent to
let me be happy in my own way? I do
not love Lady Alicia; nay, she is posi-


WINSTON PARK.
65
lively disagreeable to me-, and nothing
can induce me to degrade myself by act
ing <a lie, in offering her attentions which
my.heart disavows.”
“My son,” said Lady Brent haughtily,
“ you should have been born an actor.
This tragic rant would make your for
tune on the stage, but it is quite thrown
away upon me. I hoped better things of
you, I confess. I thought you'would be
more amenable to reason. But you are
the spoiled darling of fortune, and allow
ance must be made for your caprices.
But beware of carrying them too far.
There are limits even to parental fond
ness, and I trust you will be warned in
time.”
The young man had resolved during
this interview to throw himself on his
mother’s indulgence, and tell her the
whole story of his love for Annie Leigh,
and the impossibility of giving her up;
liverton Rectory. 5


66 II/VEHTON RECTORY.
but there was something in the chilling
repulsion of her manner, which checked
the words just springing to his lips, and
sent him from her presence hopeless of
obtaining the parental sanction to his
wishes, but more than ever resolved to
seek his own happiness in his own way.
Alas for the young man who, in his hour
of need, when the passions are all awake
and clamoring for gratification, has no
mother’s heart to which he’may turn for
sympathy and assistance in the perilous
conflict! Alas for such an one when
there is nothing in the remembrance of
his parents to make him feel that relig-.
ion is not a fable—that faith, truth, and
honor are not mere catchwords to de
ceive the ignorance and dupe the credu
lity of the multitude!
In the desperation of the moment,
Clarence might 'have doubted whether
there was such a thing as goodness on the


WINSTON PARK. 67
eartli ; but for the memories of Ilverton
■rectory, and the lessons of piety and'ex
cellence learned from the lips and lives
of its inmates. Every thing about him
seemed hollow and unsubstantial, mock
ing him with the semblance of enjoyment,
and like the apples of Sodom, turning to
ashes in his grasp; but there was one
spot, bright as love and hope could paint
it, which to his excited imagination was
an Eden of bliss, unstained by the cor
ruption of earth.
He detached himself more and more
from his mother and her circle, and spent
hours every day in wandering about the
beautiful Yal d’Arno, dreaming of the
past and picturing the future, wholly
neglecting the duties of the present.
Fortunately for him, it was resolved in
family conclave that before entering 011
public life, it was expedient for him to
make the tour of Europe and visit its


68 ILVERT0N 'RECTORY. •' ,
principal courts; and * a gentleman had
been already selected by Sir Richard as
the companion and mentor of his son
during his travels. The same gracious
though unknown Providence which had
hitherto watched over the young man
for good, guided in the choice of this in
dividual ; for, unlike the most of domes
tic tutors in that age, Mr. Watson was a
man of integrity and honor, who under
stood his duties, and sought to fulfil them
towards the youth committed to his
charge.
Mr. Watson accompanied Clarence to
London, where the necessary arrange
ments were to be made; and from thence
they proceeded to Winston Park to trans
act some business for Sir Richard, which
detained them for a week. On the even
ing after his arrival the young man has
tened to the rectory, but found the family
all absent. Mr. and Mrs. Leigh were at


WINSTON PARK. ' 69
the seaside for the health of the latter,
while Annie was making a visit of a
fewc days to a friend in a neighboring
county.
Every day found him at Ilverton, vain
ly hoping for her return, until the period
fixed for his stay had nearly expired,
when, in passing through the wood where
he had first met Annie on his way to
Ilverton, the unusual sound of merriment
met his ear, proceeding from a group of
youths and maidens in holiday attire,
who were collected round a May-pole in
the open space above the ravine. It
was May-day, and the young girls of the
village had chosen their queen, and were
crowning her with appropriate ceremo
nies, while Annie Leigh, who seemed the
presiding genius of the scene, stood at a
little distance, enjoying the happiness of
those about her.
Haw beautiful she looked to Clarence


70 ILVEETON EECTOEY.
in her robes of simple white, with no
other ornament than her wreath of au
burn hair, worn untortured by art, and
the unconscious grace which dictated and
controlled every movement. Never, in
the halls of wealth and fashion, had he
seen a face and form which seemed to
him so perfect a model of womanhood, as
it came from the hand of the Creator.
For a few moments he gazed unobserved
on this central.figure of the scene; then
advancing towards her, his heart thrilled
with delight as he marked the vivid blush
and smile which greeted his appearance..
He had resolved to say nothing to her
of his love until after his return from the
Continent ; but at this unexpected meet
ing all his good resolutions took flight,
and drawing her aside from the noisy
circle round the May-pole, in a few burn
ing words he poured out his heart before
her.


WINSTON PASK. 71
Startled and affrighted at his vehe
mence, the trembling girl could not at
•first reply; but his assurances of love
found an echo in her own heart, and ere
she was aware he had drawn from her
the confession that it was so. Not until
she had reached home, and in the silence
of her own apartment recalled the events
of the last few hours, was she sensible of
her own imprudence in forgetting the
barriers which separated her from her
lover. But even then hope whispered
that Clarence, with his enthusiasm and
determination, would surely find some
way of overcoming those obstacles. An
nie was young, and in her eyes her par
ents were the first of earthly beings. It
was impossible therefore for her to real
ize that Sir Richard and Lady Brent
would regard their son’s alliance with
the family of the rector a degradation.
Still, in disposing of her own affee-


t2 ILVERTON RECTORY.
tions without parental sanction, Annie
felt that she had erred; and when Clar
ence came the next day to Ilverton, he
found her wholly unprepared to confirm
his hopes, or even to listen to his protes
tations of affection. In vain he assured'
her that, with a mother's penetration,
Mrs. Leigh must have read his heart, and
tacitly approved what she saw there; in
vain he declared his conviction that the
consent of her own parents would be
freely given when, on his return, he could
openly claim her for his own.
“I have done very wrong,” was her
only reply; “but not even for you, dear
Clarence, can I take another step without
the knowledge and consent of my father
and mother. Something tells' me the
happiness of which we have dreamed is
not for us, and I would not willingly, add
self-reproach to the bitterness of separa
tion.”


' "WINSTON PAEX. 73
“ Bless you for the acknowledgment,
dearest, that our separation will be bit
ter to you. Do not, however, believe
for a moment that it will be final. As
surely as my life is spared to see Eng
land once more, so surely shall we meet
again, and in circumstances where I can
declare my choice and openly claim this
dear hand before the world.”
The next day the young man left "Win
ston, and the utmost boon his eloquence
could obtain previous to his departure,
was the blushing confession that, were
all other obstacles to their union re
moved, none would exist in her own
heart.
The conversation between Annie and
her mother, recorded in the first chapter,
took place some days after Mrs. Leigh’s
return to the rectory, and the change Of
circumstances which then came upon
them, seemed to Annie to divide her so


74 ILVEETOU RECTORY.
hopelessly from the heir of Sir Richard
Brent, that the subject was not men
tioned to her father, and her attachment
was as truly buried in her own heart as
if the grave had already closed over its
object.


THE DAY OF EJECTMENT. f5
> CHAPTER IT.
THE DAY OE EJECTMENT.
Sunday, the 24th of August, 1662,
called in England Black Bartholomew,
in memory of this day, dawned as bright
ly on the rectory of Ilverton as though
happy hearts, instead of breaking ones,
welcomed its light. As the family met
in the pleasant breakfast-room, it was
with quivering lips and blanched cheeks
that the morning salutations were ex
changed; for all knew that the sun which
rose on them in peace and plenty, would,
ere its setting, see them reduced to ob
scurity and pauperism. Annie Leigh,
before leaving her own room, had sought
strength where alone it was to be found,
and her smile, if it had lost something of
its former radiance, was full of the souTs


.16. ILYEIITOH bectoey.
light, as slie came in from the garden with
a bouquet of fresh flowers for her mother,
saying, as she presented them,
“ These dear little pensioners on God’s
bounty greeted, me with such a cheering
good-morning, that I could not resist the
wish to bring them to yon, my mother,
that they may gladden your heart as
they have mine.”
“Thank you, love; they do indeed
teach a sweet lesson. If God so clothe
the grass of the field, shall he not much
more take thought and care for his de
pendent children ?”
The prayer which rose from the fam
ily altar that morning, at which the father
and pastor officiated, seemed to take hold
of the throne of God, as he pleaded with
a fervor that could not be denied, for
strength and grace to carry him through
the trying services of that eventful day.
An immense audience had assembled


. . TEE; DAY OE EJECTMENT.' 17
in the village church to hear the pastor’s
solemn farewell, for it was known through
out the town and vicinity, that Mr. Leigh
had refused to subscribe, and must there
fore leave 011 the morrow. As the loved
and venerated pastor moved slowly up the
aisle with sad yet steadfast mien, follow
ed by his family, there were tears in eyes
unused to weeping, while in-many pews
loud sobs testified the affection felt for
the inmates of the reetorjg and the sor
row occasioned by the thought, that in
that hallowed building their faces would
be seen 110 more.
Mr. Leigh took for his text 011 this
occasion the words of Paul to the perse
cuted Hebrews: “Ye took joyfully the
spoiling of your goods, knowing in your
selves that ye have in heaven a better
and more enduring substance.” After
dwelling at length on the .sufferings of
the early Christians for conscience’ sake.


18 ILVERTON RECTORY.
and the grace of G-od which supported
and comforted them under it all, he closed
by saying,
“And now, dear brethren, members of
the flock to which I have so long minis
tered in the gospel, I know you will ex-
pect-me to say something of the cause
which is about to separate us, and to
send me forth in my age houseless and
penniless upon the world. Let me tell
you this much: it is not obstinacy, nor
pride, nor ill-humor which moves me in
this matter. I know our enemies will
tell you that we are vain and peevish,
and would fain all be bishops, with di
vers other evil things; but the Lord be
witness between them and us in this. I
could do very much for the love I bear
my people; but I dare not sin. Belov
ed, I prefer my wife and children before
a blast of air or the talk of the multitude,
and am very sensible of what it is to be


THE DAY OF EJECTMENT. T9
reduced to a morsel of bread. Day and
night,"with prayer and fasting, I have
sought that this cup might pass from me,
if so it was possible with a good con
science ; but it may not be. I would do
or suffer any thing that is right to keep
myself in the work of God j. but to sin
against him and my own soul, I dare
not do it. I cannot subscribe to that
which I neither believe nor in many
things can innocently follow, and there
fore must embrace the alternative, silence
and beggary. Let the God of heaven
and earth do what he will with me and
mine ; our enemies cannot drive us be
yond his gracious presence., and Elijah’s
God has still the power and will to pro
vide for those who trust him.”
With a few words of- tender and pa
thetic exhortation to each member of the
assembly, he closed with the apostolic
benediction, and bade farewell to the


80 ILYEUTOX HECTOKY.
pulpit from which, for nearly twenty
years, he had dispensed the word of life
to an attentive and affectionate congre
gation. The people flocked round him
as he came down the aisle, each one
eager to obtain a last word or look from
one so justly beloved.
A grey-haired old man, whose love for
the rector was one of the strongest feel
ings of his nature, pulled at his gown
exclaiming,
“Ah, Mr. Leigh, if we might only get
by this evil day, and keep you still for
our minister, who knows what God would
do for us V’
“It cannot be, my friend, though I
would gladly stay with you, if I might
do it with a safe conscience.”
“ Oh, dear sir,” was the quaint reply,
“many nowadays make a great gash in
their consciences; couldn’t you just make
a little nicJc in yours ?”


THE HAY OF EJECTMENT. 81
“ Recollect, my brother, we are for
bidden to do evil that good may come.
I must obey God, whatever may be the
consequences. 77
The hymns sung at family worship on
that last evening in the rectory, were se
lected by the father with' special refer
ence to their peculiar circumstances 5 and
as the sweet, rich voice of Annie gave
utterance to the words of faith and trust
which have comforted so many suffering
children of Glod, the heart of Mrs, Leigh,
which seemed to be bound in fetters of
iron, melted within her, and tears like
summer showers were falling silently,
when little Rose came softly up, and
throwing her arms about her mother’s
neck and laying her soft cheek to hers,
whispered,
“What is the matter, dear mamma?
Is ‘ our Father who art in heaven’ dead,
that makes you cry so much ?”
Ilvertou Rectory. ' 6 ' c


82 ILVEHTON EECTOEY.
" Yerily,” exclaimed the pastor, “out
of the mouth of babes and sucklings G-od
is reproving our lack of'faith, and teach
ing us wisdom. Let us remember, dear
wife and children, our Father is not
dead, nor are his resources diminished.
If he marks the cry of the sparrow for
food, he will not forget us, for, sinful and
weak as we are, he has declared us of
more value than many sparrows.”
Monday, the dreaded day of ejectment,
found the family at the rectory early
astir, for much remained to be done be
fore taking their leave of that pleasant
and happy home. The few plain arti
cles of furniture which would be needed
in the humble dwelling henceforth to be
theirs, were to be selected, and the re
mainder disposed of to the best advan
tage among their neighbors and friends.
Almost every one was anxious to pos
sess some memorial of a family so justly


THE DAY OF-EJECTMENT. 88
beloved, and the money thus raised was
all on which they were to depend for
present subsistence. It was the more
needful, since the ejected ministers were
purposely thrust out of their parishes
just before the annual payment of the
tithes, which fell due in September, thus
depriving them of a year’s income which
was justly their own.
When Annie Leigh had made every
arrangement in her power to lighten the
burdens of her parents, she stole away
for a few hours to visit her poor and aged
pensioners, who for years had been ac
customed to watch for her comings as
the only ray of sunshine that gilded
. their darkened pathway. As she pass
ed through the orchard and garden, and
looked for the last time on the trees un
der whose branches she had played in
childhood, the flowers she had loved to
tend, and which in her imagination


84 ILVEKTON BECTOEY.
“Never would in other climate grow,”
the bitter contrast between the past and
present overcame her, and for the first
time in many days she gave way to a
natural burst of sorrow. Never had .the
home of her childhood seemed so dear
and beautiful as now, when she must
leave it for ever. Never had “love’s
young dream” shone with such enchant
ing radiange as now, when it was dis
solving in the sober light of reality. It
was a dangerous moment for that young
and untried heart, with such memories
pressing upon it.
Just then, however, a little girl be
longing to a school established by Mrs.
Leigh and her daughter came up with an
apron full of flowers; which she emptied
into the lap of the young girl, saying,
‘ ‘ They ’re all for you, dear Miss Annie;
we have been picking them this morn
ing, because we love you so; and granny


■ TEE DAY OF ^EJECTMENT. 85
says she hopes you hi come and see her
before you go. But why do you go
away ? it ; s such a pretty place here,
and nobody can ever love you as we do,
I ’insure; please stay, dear Miss Annie.”
■ The strained chords of feeling gave
way under this infantile touch; but
though tears fell in torrents, they were
less bitter, and after a few moments she
said, taking the hand of the child as she
rose to leave the grove,
“You are very kind, my child, to
think of your teacher, and to gather all
these beautiful flowers for me. I should
love to stay with you all, but Grod ap
points our lot, and he has made it my
duty to go with my parents and sister to
a new home. But always remember,
Mary, that if you love, the Bible and
obey your teachers and try to serve the
Saviour, you will see us all again, where
no wicked men will have power to sep-


86
ILVERTON RECTORY.
arate us. Will you promise me to
try?” '■
“ I would do any thing in the world
to live with you always,” replied the
child; “but there ’11 be nobody to teach
me how to be good when you are gone,
and I ? m afraid I shall forget what you
have said, so that I never shall see you
any more.”
That was a sad morning for Annie, as
she visited for the last time the cottages
of her humble friends, and many a with
ered cheek was wet with bitter tears, and
many an aged knee bent in fervent sup
plication for the lovely young creature
whose active and judicious kindness had
so often caused the widow’s heart to sing
for joy.
On leaving the cottages, the young
girl returned home by a circuitous route,
which led her past the Orange, a large
bld-fashioiled farm-house belonging to a.


THE DAY OF EJECTMENT. 87
wealthy farmer, one of the few who, since
the Restoration, had shown ’ themselves
bitter enemies of the good rector of Ilver-
ton. Mr. G-oodwin was in the field over
looking his workpien; but when he saw
the graceful form.of Annie Leigh gliding
along, lie came forward hastily, saying
as he approached her,
“I am a plain man, Miss Leigh, and
may as well say to you, that I never
thought much of your father’s preaching
and praying, and I have had my doubts
whether he realty believed in them him
self. Every man has his trade .or busi
ness, and as his was religion, it was only
natural that he should drive it as fast
and as far as he could. Mind, I 7 m only
telling you what I have thought/ 7 as he
saw the indignant color rush to the cheek
andlirow of Annie; ‘ ‘ but I think so no lon
ger. Yesterday I learnt another lesson,
and 1 7 m not likely to forget it. When a


88 ILYERTON. RECTORY.
man gives up such a living as Ilverton,
and takes poverty and day-labor instead
of ease and plenty, all because he wont
forsake or deny his principles, then it ’s
time to begin to think there’s something
in religion more than X ; ve got, or am
likely to have.
‘ ‘ But I did n’t stop you to talk about
what I believe or don’t believe; it isn’t
much matter which. I understand from
my womankind, that you have some sort
of musical instrument at your house, on
which folks learn to play, and that it is
for sale. My daughter must be sent
away from home, I suppose, to learn all
sorts of useless things, and look down on
her old father and mother, and when she
comes back, she ’11 want something to
show off upon, and I thought perhaps
you’d like to part with that instrument.”
“You are very kind,” replied Annie;
“we shall have to part with the harpsi-



I


■ THE DAY OF EJECTMENT. 89
chord, which is very dear to us from hav
ing been my mother’s, but we feared there
would be no one about here who would
wish to purchase so expensive an arti
cle.”
“That’s just what I supposed,” return-,
ed the purse-proud farmer; “it isn’t
every one who can afford to spend Such a
sum for a useless thing like that, but I’ve
worked hard for my money, and have a
right to spend it to suit myself. I want
to say to you, that if ever you should
choose to have the instrument back again,
you shalffhave it at the same price that
I give; and I take it “that’s iair. ”
“My parents will accept your kind of
fer very gratefully I am certain,” said
Annie, “and I thank you for the assis
tance given us in this time of need.”
With the money thus raised, Mr. Leigh
was enabled to settle the few outstanding
bills which were to run until his tithes


90 IL YE It TON BECTOEY.
became due, at Michaelmas, but which
there now seemed no way to meet, until
provided for in this manner by a kind
Providence.
A market cart furnished by a friend,
was to take the family, together with their
humble plenishing, to the new house, which
none of them had yet seen. As they pass
ed through the long lines of friends and
neighbors who had assembled to bid them
farewell, every hat was raised, and many
a heartfelt supplication ascended to God,
for blessings On the beloved exiles. The
pastor and his family were outwardly
calm, though the pallid cheek and glisten
ing eye told a tale of sorrow too deep for
utterance.
“ The ■world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide,
They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way. ”


COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS. 91
CHAPTER V.
THE COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS.
By the kindness of a few friends, a cot
tage kad been obtained for the exiled
minister and his family, situated among
the hills, at the distance of eight or ten
miles from liver ton.' It had been "Occu
pied by a shepherd on the estate of Sir
Richard Brent, who had emigrated to
America a year or two before, leaving
the house vacant, as the situation was so
lonely that few cared to occupy it.
The house was larger and more com
modious than most of the hovels of the
poor at that period j boasting two apart
ments on the ground floor, one compara
tively large, into which the outer door
opened, and which was to constitute the
kitchen and family sitting-room; the oth-


92 ILVEBTON RECTORY/
er, opening from this, smaller, and light
ed by one small window set with diamond
shaped panes of glass, which was appro
priated to the use of Mr. and Mrs. Leigh.
These, with a little chamber for Annie
and Rose, and an open loft for Margery,
completed the inventory of apartments.
When, after a fatiguing journey over a
rough and hilly road, the family reached
the house which was henceforth to be
their home, and entered the desolate
rooms, looking as though no exercise of
skill or ingenuity could ever make them
habitable, Mrs. Leigh became so deadly
pale, that she seemed about to fall • but
Annie ran to her side, and throwing her
arms about her said cheerfully,
“ Only see, dear mother, what farmer
G-oodwin has done for us. He has had
the rough walls whitewashed so nicely,
and boards laid over the earth floors, and
now we shall soon be comfortable, you


COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS.' 83
will see, dearest mother; only take papa
and Rose out to the grove yonder for a
little while, and Margery and good dame
Green who has come to assist ns, will
make it look quite like another place.”
With difficulty she persuaded Mrs.
Leigh to leave all arrangements to her
and her two efficient assistants ; and hav
ing done so, with a heart lightened of
half its burdens by the desire to furnish
a pleasant surprise for that dear mother,
she set about arranging the inner room.
Thanks to farmer Gfoodwin and dame
Green, this room was in readiness for the
simple furniture.
• A piece of worn carpeting nearly cov
ered the rough floor; a white muslin cur
tain, looped back with a blue ribbon, gave
an air of taste and refinement to the small
window, and a case of drawers, a chintz-
covered sofa, and an old arm-chair, which
had been saved by Annie from the gen-


94 ILYEPTOX PECTOPY.
eral wreck, made the room look more
like home than at first deemed possible;
and when the neat tent-bed with its cov
ering of pure white was in its place, all
was ready for the occupants, and with
light step Annie left the house to find
and bring them back.
She had been so engrossed with care
for others when they first reached the
cottage, that its surroundings were al
most unnoticed. Now, however, she saw
with gladness that in leaving Ilverton
thc} r had not left all the beauties of na
ture behind them. Here were wood-
crowned hills all around, and forests of
tall, stately trees, and green grass look
ing as if levelled by the roller ; and to
crown all, a little rippling brook ran just
below the house, betraying its course by
the fringe of willows and alders which
lined its brink.
“How beautiful!” exclaimed Annie,


COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS. 95
as she gazed -upon the scene. “Since
. God is here also speaking through his
works, we cannot be wholly unhappy or
alone.”
She found her parents and sister on a
turf seat by the little brook, and so en
grossed in thought, that she stood before
them ere they were- aware of her ap
proach. If there was deep sorrow visi
ble in those dear faces, there was also
holy resignation depicted there; and as
the young girl described the beauties of
the surrounding scenery with the fervor
of an enthusiast, a smile, faint and win
try indeed, but still a smile, was 011 the
lip of Mrs. Leigh as she said,-
“ You must have looked 011 nature
through some beautifying medium, my
dear child, for we saw nothing of all this
as we came hither.”
“ But you shall see it as you go back,
my mother, and confess that I am right,


96 ' ILVERTON BECTORY.
for I shall take you home by a different
route, and c one that you would hardly
find yourself.”
The prospect was seen and admired
by all the little party, but on reaching
the house, as Mrs. Leigh was ushered
into the little room so changed by the
hand- of affection, she burst into tears,
and fondly clasping her daughter in her
arms, exclaimed,
“Forgive me, my Father, for deeming
myself poor while possessing such a treas
ure in this good and dutiful child. Hence
forth let me never repine while my hus
band and children are left to me.”
The next morning, Annie and her
faithful helper were up with the light,
arranging the few plain articles of furni
ture in the common room, which, under
the skilful fingers of the young girl, soon
wore an aspect of neatness and even of
comfort; and while old Margery pre-


COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS. 97
pared the simple breakfast, Annie ran
down to the brook for a plate of water-,
cresses with which to garnish the neatly
spread table. When all was in readi
ness, and little Bose had made her ap
pearance looking like a flower sparkling
with morning dew, Annie called her par
ents, welcoming them with a beaming
smile to the morning meal.
The open door, and windows destitute
of glass, from which the board shutters
had been thrown back, gave the room
an air of pleasantness from the verdure
which everywhere surrounded it; and
within, perfect neatness and order strip
ped poverty of its most revolting features.
“The Lord in heaven bless thee, my
child,” said the pastor, laying his hand
fondly on the head of his daughter, “ even
as thou art made a daily and hourly
blessing to us. Truly He who hath cast
us down from our former estate, hath gra-
Ilvertoa Hectory. 7


98
ILVERTON RECTORY..
ciously tempered the stroke by leaving: to
us all that was most valuable of our former
possessions—these precious children.”
It was impossible that the family of
the rector should not feel, 'and that se
verely, the great change in their condi
tion, as the thousand discomforts of their
humble abode pressed heavily upon them
from day to day; but G-od was with them
in the furnace, and the offering which
ascended from the domestic altar was a
tribute of praise and thanksgiving, that
where every blessing was forfeited, so
many had still been spared. Nor was
this an evanescent feeling.
“Still day by day the Lord those pilgrimsjed,
And gave them daily grace like daily bread,” .
while he enabled them to take joyfully,
the evils of this present life, in the pros
pect of a better and more enduring inher
itance beyond the grave. '
Several weeks passed, and no employ-


COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS. 99
ment had yet been found by Mr. Leigh,
whose scanty funds were rapidly dimin
ishing, when one day a pony-chaise drove
up the hill, from which a lady alighted,
and meeting Rose near the door, was
conducted by the child into the room
where Mrs. Leigh and Annie were en
gaged in some domestic avocation. The
visitor was of middle age, singularly at
tired in a costume partaking largely of
the masculine, and announced herself as
Miss Harvey of Briar Lodge, an estate
some miles distant.
“-I have recently lost my bailiff, ;; she
said, “ who for years has had charge of
my rents and lands, and on application
to my solicitor, who resides in Ilverton,
was recommended to Mr. Leigh as a suit
able person to take his place. Can I see
the man ? 5? '
A pang almost like that of death thrill
ed through the heart of Mrs. Leigh as she


100 ILVERTON RECTORY. ,
thought of her husband, educated, refined,
and intelligent beyond his peers, occu
pying the station of a menial; but it soon
passed as she remembered that this was
a part of the appointed trial, and she
answered calmly that her husband was
absent, but would soon return.
“ Plow is this, my good woman?” in
quired the visitor; “one would imagine
from your appearance and that of these
beautiful girls that I have made a mis
take in calling here for the person of
whom I am in search. You have not al
ways been in your present station, I
1 am certain. Pardon me if I intrude ; I
have no wish to annoy you with inquiries
which, after all, do not affect my errand.
I only wish to know if your, husband
would take the vacant situation on my
estate.”
“My husband is here to answer for
himself,” was the reply, as Mr. Leigh


COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS. 101
entered the room, and advancing tow
ards Miss Harvey, sainted her with the
quiet dig-nity peculiarly his own.
“I have certainly been misinformed,”
she said hastily, and in some.confusion;
■‘ you cannot be the person of whom I
was in search.”
“I am the same, undoubtedly, madam,
since circumstances have made it neces
sary for me to earn my daily bread by
daily toil; and I am willing to perform
any honest labor for which a fair requi
tal may be made.”
An arrangement was soon entered into
between the parties, Mr. Leigh only stipu
lating that his family should remain where
they were, as from the general appear
ance of his employer, he had some doubts
of the permanence of his engagement.
Lor some time all went on pleasantly.
Mr. Leigh’s salary was sufficient to sup
ply his family with the necessaries and


102 ILVERTON RECTORY.
some of the comforts of life, and there
were opportunities of doing good of which
he gladly availed himself on every pos
sible occasion. The former bailiff had
been a sordid, grasping man, of whom
the tenants stood in constant fear, and
they soon learned to love the new stew
ard in proportion to the dislike and dread
felt for his predecessor.
One circumstance alone was a constant
source of discomfort to Mrs. Leigh, who
shrank with morbid sensitiveness, from
the v approach of strangers. Miss Harvey
had admired Annie and Bose so much
on her first visit, that she soon repeated
it; and as every interview only deep
ened the impression, she went often to
the cottage, never imagining that such
condescension could give any thing but
pleasure to the secluded family of her
bailiff. Every thing she saw and heard
there stimulated her desire to know more


COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS. 103
of individuals so strangely out of place
in that desolate abode. Though she felt
'kindly, her questions and allusions were
galling in the extreme, both to Annie and
her mother.
The artless Rose, charmed with the
good lady who brought her so many
pretty things, prattled to her of their
old home, until checked by a look from
her mother and sister; but little could
be learned from such a child of the past
history of the family, and the others were
invariably silent on the subject, so that
the curiosity of Miss Harvey was des
tined to remain ungratified.
Winter was passing away, and Mr.
Leigh had begun to find his new duties
more tolerable than at first, when one
Saturday evening, as he was about to
leave for home, he was summoned to the
Lodge, where Miss Harvey awaited him
in the library.


101 ILVERTON RECTORY.
“I Have sent for you,” she said, mo
tioning him to a. seat beside the .table,
which was covered with papers, “ to give
some directions about a matter of busi
ness which requires immediate attention.
I cannot give my time to it to-night, as
I am otherwise engaged, but to-morrow
is a day of leisure, and if you come early
to the Lodge, I will _give you directions,
so that in a few hours you can do all that
I desire.”
She spoke rapidly, and with the air
of one who neither expected nor would
brook refusal; but Mr. Leigh answered
firmly, though respectfully,
“ My time throughout the six days of
the week is at your disposal, madam, and
I will gladly remain to-night and write
until midnight, if it so please you.”
“ Have I not said I am engaged, and
cannot attend to it this evening ? Why
should you prefer staying away from


COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS. 105
your family to complying with my rea
sonable request that you should come to
morrow?”
“Because, clear madam, to-morrow is
not my own day, but belongs to One who
has forbidden me, on pain of his displeas
ure, to do any worldly business on the
Sabbath-day.”
“ You are then one of that miserable
canting sect the Puritans. I have some
times suspected the fact, but until now
have had no proof of- it. Am I then to
understand that you refuse to comply with
my requirement?” and a most ominous
frown contracted the harsh features of the
lady. . ■ ‘
“In aught that concerns myself alone,
it is both my wish and duty to comply
with your demands, madam • but where
duty to God is in question, I may not,
without sin, obey the creature rather than
the Creator.”


108 ILYEETON- RECTORY.
Astonishment at the boldness of one
whom she regarded as a menial, almost
deprived Miss Harvey of the power of
speech; still there was in the manner of
the bailiff a conscious rectitude and dig
nity which, in spite of her anger, impress
ed her with a feeling of respect.
“Perhaps you will condescend to tell
me,” she said with a sneer, “in what way
my proposal interferes with your duty to
(rod, about which you have so much to
say. I do not ask you to commit any
public breach of the Sabbath, to make
scandal among your own sect, only a lit
tle private transaction of business, which
can harm no one, however tender his con
science may be.”
“Pardon me, madam, if I say that I am
not allowed to make any such distinctions
in my obedience to the "command, ‘Re
member the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’
That commandment is exceeding broad;


COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS. 107
reaching even to the thoughts of the heart,
and the G-od I serve will not accept vain
excuses for disobeying his holy will.”
“Let him provide for yon then,” said
Miss Harvey, whose anger could no lon
ger be controlled; “for assuredly I shall
have no one in my employ who owes al
legiance to any authority higher than my
own. I will not however treat you'as
you deserve, by dismissing you instantly,
'but will give you time for reflection. If
you think better of your duty to me, come
to-morrow'to the Lodge, and this obsti
nacy shall be forgiven; but if you perse
vere in your absurd notions of duty, you
may consider yourself dismissed from
this evening, and I only hope your con
science will give you as good a support as
your wages here have done.”
So saying, with a haughty gesture she
dismissed the discarded bailiff, who could
only look silently up to the God he serv-


106 ILVERTON RECTORY.
ed, for help and strength, in the darkness
that surrounded him. . ;
It was impossible, with the small sti
pend he received, to lay by any thing in
winter, when fuel was high, and all the
. necessaries of life in proportion - particu
larly as he had never, like the former
steward, added to his wages by illegal
exactions from tenants whose leases.had ■
expired, or were about to exjiire.
“No matter,’ 7 said the good man to-
himself, “there are ravens still on the
earth, and. one of them will be'sent to me,
rather than that I or mine shall be suf
fered to want for bread.”
As he reached .the. house, the unwont
ed darkness and silence startled him, and
on entering the inner room, he found the
. family hanging in terror and anxiety over
the bed where the household pet lay
parched with fever; and in her delirium
calling upon the mother and sister, of


COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS. 109
whose tender cares she was wholly un
conscious. ' - .
, There was evidently great danger, and
medical aid must be had immediately j
but how were they to obtain it? The
nearest physician lived several miles
away, and the road .even by daylight was
rough and intricate; how could .a stran
ger like Mr. Leigh hope to find it in the
starless obscurity of night?.
But the precious life of the child was at
stake, and that thought outweighed all
othersj so the father was making ready
for his cheerless journey, when there was
a knock at the door, and on opening it, a
young man appeared, bending under the
weight of a large basket sent by farmer
Goodwin to the family at the cottage.
The youth in his rustic language announc
ed himself as Jim -Green, the son of their
kind-old friend dame Green, and when
he heard of the illness of Bose, express-


110 ILVEBTON EECTOKY.
ed his readiness to go at once for the
physician. Here then was the very mes
senger required, and with heartfelt thanks,
Mr. Leigh sent him for the physician, re
questing his immediate attendance.
It was a long sad night to the watchers
by-the bedside of the unconscious suffer
er, who was alternately tossing in fever
ed delirium; or oppressed by a stupor
which seemed destroying the very springs
of life. Towards morning the doctor
â–  came ; a cheerful benevolent looking old
man, whose pleasant face seemed to An
nie like a harbinger of good tidings. He
examined the little patient with great
care, and then, though he frankly owned
the case to be critical, he spoke with
courage and hope of the probable result.
For some days the conflict between life
and death so occupied the family, that
nothing was said by Mr. Leigh of the sad
change in his own prospects; nor was it


COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS. Ill
until Rose had been pronounced out of
danger, that he informed his wife and
daughter of his interview with Miss Har
vey and its consequences. At any other
time, the news would have been afflictiag
in the extreme to them; but the darling
of their hearts was spared, and there was
room for no other feelings but those of joy
and gratitude.
“You have acted like yourself, my hus
band,” said the wife, while tears filled the
eyes turned fondly upon him, “and we
ought to rejoice in the grace given you to
be faithful in the one talent, as you have
been in regard ( to the ten.Since God
has rescued our precious child from the
grave that seemed opening to receive her,
it is surely easy to trust him for food and
raiment.”
“Never had unworthy sinner such
comforters as God hath given me,” re
plied the husband. “Not once, through


112 ILVERTON RECTORY.
all our protracted trial, have their faith
and courage failed. I wonder not that
the poet calls woman, Gtod’s f last best
gift to man.’ With wife and children at
my side, methinks I could face a world
in anns. ,;
The bill for medical attendance was a
source of some anxiety to the pastor’s
family, for the good doctor had been un
remitting in his attentions to his little pa
tient by night and day, and the illness of
the child had exhausted their small store
of money, so^that they had no means of
meeting it. When, upon his next visit,
the circumstances were made known to
Dr. Price, with a feeling of embarrass
ment and pain known only to those who
have been in a similar situation, the kind
old man replied with a smile,
“G-ive yourself no uneasiness about
my bill, my friends; this little Bosebud
has paid it all as we went along. It is


COTTAGE AMONG THE HILLS. 113
reward enough to have been the means
of saving such a charming child ; 77 add
ing, as he looked archly at Annie, “be
sides receiving such eloquent looks of
gratitude, that were I a young man, they
would long ago have converted my heart
to tinder. Seriously, my dear sir, I
know a little of your history, and though
far from your way of thinking, I respect
and honor consistency whenever I am
so happy as to find it. I would not take
money for professional services, from a
man who chooses to adhere to his prin
ciples rather than his living, any sooner
than I would cry, ‘Stand and deliver! 7
to a traveller on Bagshot Heath. 77
By this and similar interpositions of
Providence, Mr. Leigh and his family
were carried through the winter; and
early in the spring, as nothing else offer
ed, he accepted the situation of under
shepherd on one of the estates of Sir
llverton Rectory. 9)


114 ILVEETON BECTOBY.
Richard Brent, obtained for him through
the influence of a former parishioner.
In that humble employment, tending
his flock on the upland and by the stream,'
in summer’s heat and winter’s cold,
might be seen the graduate of Oxford,
the companion of Pym and Hampden,
the friend of Cromwell, and more than
all, the eloquent and devoted preacher,
on whose lips listening thousands had
hung in entranced attention during his
former visits to the metropolis. But he
was thus enabled to procure food for his
dependent family, and when at evening
he returned to the humble home secured
for them by his daily toil, the fond wel
come of his faithful wife, the tender smile r
of his cherished Annie, and the playful
endearments of little Rose, more, than
repaid him for all the privations and
hardships he endured.




AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 115
CHAPTER YI.
AN UNEXPECTED MEETING.
Two winters had passed away, and a
second spring returned, with its unwritten
music, its glad sunshine and wealth of
flowers; and during all these months
Annie Leigh had not once heard from
her absent lover. Ho allusion was ever
made in the domestic circle to the brief
episode in her existence, which had once
seemed to comprise her all of life. His
name, that once familiar sound, was never
repeated, save in the hidden recesses 'of
her own heart; and but for the shade of
sadness resting on her young face when
she thought herself unobserved, and the
reveries in which she sometimes indulged,
he might have been deemed forgotten.
But


116 . ILVERTON RECTORY.
“ The heart that has truly loved never forgets,”
unless torn from its hold by the unwor
thiness of its object; and a nature so
tender and true as that of Annie, was
not one to recall its affections lightly,
even though they had been freely sacri
ficed on the altar of duty.
One day towards the close of April,
old Margery, who had been away for
some hours, returned just at evening,
and meeting the sisters, began to unfold
the budget of news with which she was
laden.
“Dame Jones says there ? s wonderful
doings over yonder at the great house,
some kind of a park, I think they call it.
The lord and lady have come back from
foreign parts, and sights of fine folks
with ’em, dressed up like so many pea
cocks. And, Miss Annie, the nice young
man who used to come so often to our
house at Ilverton—”


AN UNEXPECTED 11 EE TING-. 11?
“Oh, my own dear Mr. Clarence,’ 7 in
terrupted Rose, clapping her hands;
“ what of him, nurse ?”
“Nothing bad, only that he has come
too, and a lady with him as beautiful as
the day, to whom they say he is going to
be married.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry he’s going to be
married; are n’t you, sister ?”
Poor Annie could not reply, but Mar
gery answered,
“Why, little missy, yon never say
any thing about him, and I thought as
how you’d forgotten him like all the
rest,” looking reproachfully at Annie; for
Clarence had been a special favorite with
the old nurse from his first appearance
at the rectory.
“I haven’t forgotten him at all,” said
Rose indignantly, “only nobody ever
wanted me to talk about him, and so I
didn’t; but I love him, next to papa and


118 TLVERTON RECTORY.
mamma and sister, best of all, and I
always shall. Would n’t you, sister?”
It was fortunate for Annie that the
gathering shades of evening concealed
her features from the keen eyes fastened
upon them; but she felt that the power
of self-control was fast deserting her, and
hurried Rose into the house, where for
tunately her attention was attracted in
another direction, so that the dreaded
subject was not again brought forward.
May-day came, as bright and sunny as
even mirth could desire; but the heart
of Annie turned away sadly from its
beauty, for the contrast between this and
the well-remembered May-day two years
before, pressed upon her with a weight of
sweet and bitter memories that caused
every nerve to vibrate with a thrill of
anguish. Then she had wandered with
a troop of gay maidens, herself as joyous
as they, through the glades of the forest


AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 119
in search of wild flowers..; there she had
met one now lost to her for ever, who
told her his love, and won from her the
blushing confession that it was returned,
while the hours flew by unheeded in the
bliss of that perfect sympathy.
Then her parents were-.happy in the
enjoyment of all that could make life
desirable, the guides and benefactors of
a people who regarded them with un
bounded affection, and the centre of a
social circle in which the refinements of
polished life were united with the sim
plicity and sincerity of Christian princi
ple. Now what was their condition?
The father, of whom she was justly proud,
a servant of servants, whose severe and
incessant labor barely sufficed to. procure
for those dependent upon him the neces
saries of life; her gentle mother, trained
in the lap of ease and affluence, per
forming daily the ; most menial offices


120 - ILVERTOIT RECTORY.
without a murmur; and for herself, was
not the very light of life quenched for
ever in her breast by the blow which
had separated her from the chosen of
her heart ?
As these thoughts came' thronging upon
her, the young girl groaned aloud in bit
terness of spirit; but she had not now to
learn where to look for strength in time
of need; and as she knelt before the
mercy-seat, words of hope and consola
tion seemed whispered to her by angel
visitants, which chased away the gloom,
and filled her soul with peace and trust.
Long she communed with her own soul
and her G-od; and when at length she
joined the dear group below, it was al
most with the radiant smile of other days
that she returned their greetings.
“ Sister,” said little Rose at the close
of their frugal repast, “you have prom
ised ever so long to go with me to the


AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 121
‘Fairies’ Fountain;’ do please go to-day..
This is May-day, you know, and we ought
to do something nice on May-day.”.
“Go, my love,” said the mother in an
swer to Annie’s look of inquiry: “You
can well be spared from household duties,
and the walk will be a benefit to you
both.”
The two sisters started cheerfully away
hand in hand across green meadows and
copses gay with May flowers, through
“bushy bourne and bosky dell,” to the
clear mountain-spring called from time
immemorial “the Fairies’ Fountain.”
Rose was in raptures with every thing
she saw, and Annie felt the quiet beauty
of the scene stealing into her heart and
filling it with a sweet sense of enjoyment.
They made cups and baskets of the
inner bark of the smooth birch, which
Rose filled with acorns and delicate bits
of green and white moss; after which


122 ILVERT0N RECTORY.
they gathered quantities of the beautiful
trailing arbutus, to carry home as a me
morial of the day’s enjoyment. It was
with regret that, warned by the length
ening shadows of the flight of time, the
sisters prepared to leave a spot which, to
one of them at least, had seemed so sweet
a refuge from the cares and sorrows of
life.
The way home was solitary and unfre
quented, and 011 reaching the lonely cot
tage of old dame Green, Rose complained
of weariness, and begged so earnestly to
go in and see the good woman for a few
moments, that Annie consented, promis
ing to wait for her in the adjoining lane.
She had been alone but a short time,
IjWhen the sound of approaching footsteps'
j made her heart beat quickly, but at the
same time a deep rich voice met her ear,
and at the sound of those 'Well-remem
bered tones, unheard so long, an invol-


AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 123
untary exclamation escaped her, which
rendered the recognition mutual. “Be
loved Annie !” “Dear Clarence! ;; was all
that at first they conld utter, and in the
happy forgetfulness of the moment she
suffered herself to be drawn fondly to
the heart of her lover, and addressed by
every endearing name that affection could
suggest. But recollection came too soon,
and withdrawing herself from that dear
‘ embrace, she murmured,
“It surely cannot be reality; how is
it that you are here, dear Clarence ? ;;
“ I was making my way over the fields
to your home, my Annie, when, thanks
to Osric,” patting the neck of his splen
did Arabian, “who refused to cross
the moor, very unreasonably as I then
thought, I was compelled to take this
direction. What do I not owe him for
the unspeakable happiness of this meet
ing! But you are pale, dearest; your


124 ILYERTON RECTORY.
eyes turn sadly away from mine; yon
do not share my joy. Is this the wel
come you promised me on my return
after so long an absence ?”
“Alas, Clarence, there have been
many and sad changes since that happy
time. A gulf has opened between. us
which cannot be passed.”
“ What, do your words mean, Annie ?
They chill my very blood. There is but
one thing which cam open a gulf between
us; and if you have indeed forgotten me,
and learned to love another—”
“Do not imagine such a thing, Clar
ence, even for a moment. My heart has
- known no change; but have you not
heard of what has taken place at Ilver-
ton since your departure ?”
“I have heard it all, immediately on
iny arrival in England, and heard it with
grief and indignation unutterable. But
surely, my own Annie, these things can


"’AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 125
make no difference in our relations to
each other. You are, if possible, dearer
to me in sorrow than in prosperity j and
for all that you have suffered, if love
the most faithful and untiring can make
amends, my life shall henceforth be de
voted to the care of your happiness.”
It was hard, with that voice of thrill
ing tenderness penetrating to the very
centre of her being, for the young girl to
turn away from the enchanting prospect
thus placed before her, and with her own
hand to crush out the brightest hope of
her existence. But a sense of duty tri
umphed, and. her eye was clear and
bright, and her tones, though low, .were
firm, as she answered,
“I have already listened too long to
these dangerous words, which can only
torture my heart, but must not shake my
resolution. I erred at first in suffering
you to' speak to me of love, and griev-


126 ILVE.ETON RECTORY.
ously have I been punished for my fault.
Henceforth, dear Clarence, onr .paths are
utterly distinct, for there can be nothing
in common between the heir and hope of
a noble house and the daughter of a poor
shepherd on his father’s estate.”
“ Out on these ridiculous, unjust dis
tinctions. You know, dearest, when you
call your noble father a shepherd only,
you do him foul wrong. He is to me
the peer of princes j and for yourself, the
proudest coronet in the land could not
give additional lustre to that lovely -
brow.”
“ The barrier of rank and station is
hot the only one existing between us.
Our religion, our faith, our hopes for
eternity, all differ. Hay, Clarence, I
fear you do not worship the same Being
I have been taught to revere. Dazzled
by the brightness of the vision of happi
ness which dawned upon me, I forgot


AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 127
this; but the remembrance has been
forced upon me, and I dare not over
look it again. It is your duty to forget
me, or to think of me only as a friend
whose latest breath will be a prayer for
your happiness.”
With great difficulty the young man
had restrained himself while his compan
ion was speaking; but when she paused,
overcome by her emotions, he passion
ately exclaimed,
“G-ive yon up! learn to forget you, or
to think of you only as a friend! Never,
Annie; by all my hopes of happiness here
and hereafter, never. You are mine by
your own confession—by the voice of G-od
speaking within us, which proclaimed our
souls one; mine as truly as if the vows
which were registered in heaven had been
uttered in the presence of assembled
thousands. I have learned from my
tutor, one of the best of men, to examine


123 ILVEETON EECTOEY.
for myseif tlie points on which you - and
I differed, and the result has been a firm
conviction that the Puritans are the only
true friends of liberty in this distracted
country. I do not profess to feel as you
do, my Annie, but I honor and admire
your faith and practice; and if ever pow
er and influence are mine, both shall be
exerted to the utmost to secure equal tol
eration for all men. The time will come
when I can show your father, by some
thing better than words; how truly I love
and reverence him j and in the meantime,
give me the legal right to protect you:
let me claim this dear hand before the
world, and the sorrows that have so op
pressed you shall vanish like a dream of
the night.”
“But your father, your mother,” said
the agitated girl, “have you forgotten
them?”
“It is true, dear Annie, for I will con-


AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 129
ceal nothing from yon, that my mother is
proud and haughty, and would probably
oppose my wishes, but I think she loves
her son, and when she finds that my hap
piness is at stake, she must yield, or—”
“Say no more, dear Clarence,” inter
rupted Annie; “such words are worse
than useless. Full well do you know that
Sir Richard and Lady Brent would never
consent to such a union ; and I also am
assured that with this fact before his eyes,
my dear father would oppose it with equal
determination. There is indeed no hope
for us on earth. G-od hath severed our
destinies, and henceforth we must be
strangers, since to meet again would only
bring increased misery on both.”
“Cruel, unfeeling girl! you have never
truly loved, and seek now to veil your
indifference under this wretched subter
fuge. You talk of severing ties which
are woven about my very heartstrings,
EZvrton Sector?. 9


130 ILVEETON EECTOBY.
as coolly as if yon were planning some
scheme of pleasure, and then fancy it
meritorious to disregard my agony. Is
this the return to which I haye looked
forward so eagerly; this the reward for
which I have waited and watched with
unchanging affection?”
“May G-od forgive you, dear Clarence,
as I do, for these cruel and unjust words.
If to know that my whole heart is yours,
n'ever, never to feel another love—that
in this bitter separation, I have suffered,
and am still suffering pangs worse than
those of death: if this is consolation, take
it, for I have nothing else to offer. But
do not let our last sad parting be imbit-
tered by words of unkindness. We have
enough already to bear, and it needs not
this to make the memory of the past suf
ficiently bitter.”
“Forgive me, dearest, for the unman
ly violence of my words. I know I am


■AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 131
unworthy of your love, but since such a
treasure is mine, think not that I shall
tamely relinquish it. Think not this part
ing is our last. If my life is spared we shall
meet again, and under happier auspices.
Farewell,” he exclaimed, vaulting into the
saddle, “only till I can make good my
claim in the sight of G-od and man,”
The confidence expressed in these
words, in spite of herself, penetrated the
heart of the young girl, and awakened
there hopes which she thought dead, as
with Rose she hastened homeward, after
this agitating interview. The story was
related to her mother, whose sympathy
and counsel had so Often cheered her in
perplexity-; and as she sought her pillow
that night, Annie felt that whatever trials
might be in store for her, the assurance
of the continued affection of Clarence, was
a solace which made every burden seem
light.
i


132 ' ILVEBT0N BECTOBY.
Strange to say, she had not once dur
ing her conversation with him, remem
bered old Margery’s story of the. pre
ceding evening, deeply as it had then
affected her. It was impossible to look
on the ingenuous face. of the young
man, or to meet his clear, truthful eye,
and not to feel that treachery -or deceit
could never find a. place in his breast.
Without one word on the subject on
either side, the report was utterly dis
proved by every look and tone, and An
nie would as soon have doubted her own
existence, as the perfect faith of him she
loved.
At the close of the interview we have
described, Clarence Brent rode rapidly
home, and on reaching the house, went
at once to the apartment of his mother,
whom he found seated before a cheval-
glass, under the hands of her tiring wom
an, who was dressing her hair for the


AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 133
evening. As her son entered, she bowed
coldly, saying,
“Your ride has been somewhat of the
longest, my son j but where have yon left
your party? where is Lady Alicia ? ,;
“In truth, my mother, I know not, as
I have not the honor of being her lady
ship’s keeper. Possibly Captain Dela-
inere may be better informed on the sub
ject.”
“Is it possible that Clarence Brent
can stoop to be jealous, and of a man
like Delamere?”
“Hot so, my mother, there is no such
feeling in my heart. Jealousy and indif
ference never go together, and the move^
ments of Lady Alicia Somers have no
more interest for me than those of her
French waiting-maid. But I have ven
tured to intrude upon you to request the
favor of a private interview. Will it
please you to dismiss your tiring woman


134' ILVERTON RECTORY.
for a short time, as what I have to say
concerns your ear alone ?”
“What new whim is this, Clarence?
Something very absurd, I dare say; but,
Winter, you may retire, only remain
within call, as my toilette is not yet
made, and the hour of the evening meal
approaches.”
When they were alone, Clarence seat
ed himself on a tabouret at his mother’s
side, and taking the jewelled hand, which
gave back no answering pressure, he said,
“ My mother, I am sure you love your
son, good for nothing though he may be:
will you not listen as patiently and in
dulgently as possible to what I Jiave to
say ?”
Few mothers could have resisted the
pleading look and tone of such a son;
but Lady Brent was cased in an armor
of pride which rendered her invulnera
ble, so she quietly .withdrew her hand


AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 135
from his clasp and settled her rings as
she replied,
“ From such an opening, I am confident
that something very unreasonable is to
follow: but go on; I will hear you.with
what patience I may. 57
‘ ‘ I have told your ladyship that I can
not marry the woman you have selected
for my wife, for the good reason that I
do not, and never shall, love her; but I
have not informed you of the fact that
I love another with my whole soul, to
whom, I am pledged by every tie that
can bind an honorable man. 77
There certainly was no lack of interest
in the manner of Lady Brent as she heard
this announcement. She started forward
in her chair, the blood rushed to her brow,
and her hands were clasped and unclasp
ed in nervous agitation as she exclaimed,
. “ And you dare to tell me this ! You,
the hope of an ancient house, the heir of


186 ILVEET0N EECTOEY.
one of the finest estates in England, who
might without vanity aspire to the , hand
of an earl’s daughterj you shamelessly
avow your love for some low creature
who has practised on your weakness and
laughs at your credulityI”
“ Mother/ 7 said Clarence, as he rose
and stood before Lady Brent with flash
ing eyes, “ not even from you will I. listen
to such words concerning one of the best
and purest of G-od’s creatures. You know
nothing of whom, you speak : and though
I would not willingly grieve or disobey
you, yet rest assured that my determina
tion is unalterable. I am a man, with a
man’s strong feelings and purposes, and
if there is to be peace between us, even
you, my mother, must respect my feel
ings sufficiently to avoid heaping insult
on those dear to me”
This was an exhibition of character
which the mother had never before seen


AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 13?
in her son, and for which she was wholly
unprepared. She had always ruled her
household by the force of an iron will
which would brook no opposition; and
to meet it now,, on such a subject, and
from one 011 whom she had looked as
an indolent, careless youth, with little
strength of character, this was a trial
which for the moment unnerved her ;
but she soon rallied, and replied in tones
which trembled with anger,
“You do well to threaten a lady, and
that lady your mother. Doubtless this
is one of the accomplishments you have
learned from your new friends. I do not
ask or care to know who it is that has
caused you to forget your natural ties
and obligations; it is enough that you
have so carefully concealed your love,
to convict you of having chosen unwor
thily. Nay, do not reply; nothing you
can say will alter my resolution on this


138 ILVEBT0N EECTOEY.
subject. You can choose between the
parents to whom you owe every thing,
and this unknown object of love; for one
or the other must be relinquished. You
have thus far in life been suffered to take
your own way, because nothing of special
interest hung on your decision ; but when
your choice concerns the honor and con
tinuance of a noble house, it is time that
you should listen to the voice of parental
authority, according to the law of God
and of the land. I have spoken calmly,
because I can make allowance for your
youth and inexperience; but you will
find that the decree of the Medes and
Persians was not more unalterable than
my decision. You can now go, as I have
to prepare for the evening.”
During this cold and cruel speech, Clar
ence had been walking the room, but as
his mother ceased speaking, he came and
stood proudly erect before her, saying,


AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 139
“You are my mother, therefore I will
not attempt to answer your remarks; hut
rest assured of one thing, my heart and
hand are my own, sacredly and inalien
ably my own, to dispose of as I.see fit;
and though my action 011 this subject
may be delayed in deference to your
prejudices, it will never be relinquished.
So saying, he left the room; while his
mother, with a bitter smile, murmured,
“He is a true Brent, self-willed and
headstrong, but I greatly mistake if I do
not find means to tame him yet.”


140
ILVEETON EEC TOBY.
CHAPTER VII.
THE VISIT TO BEOMLEY.
In the earlier years of her married
life, Mrs. Leigh had several times visited
an annt, the sister of her mother, who
resided in the north of England, on a
handsome estate near Bromley. Mes
sages of affection and more substantial
tokens of remembrance, in the form of
hampers of game, fruit, etc., and some
times haunches of venison, came often to
the rectory from the childless widow; but
since leaving Ilverton, nothing had been
heard from her. Mrs. Leigh regretted
this the more, as she had few relatives
remaining, and the character of Mrs.
Graves rendered her an object of esteem
and affection to all who were favored
with her friendship.


. THE VISIT TO BROMLEY. 1 -11
Left a widow while still comparatively
young, she took upon herself the sole
management of her property, and by
her industry, energy, and economy, had
greatly enlarged and improved it, thus
adding to her means of doing good, of
which she availed herself to the utmost ex
tent. Her large and well-ordered house,
was a home for the poor and needy, and
many a Hon-conformist pastor had rea
son to bless the Lord for such a place of
refuge in the dark days that followed
black Bartholomew. She had lost sight
of the family at Ilverton for some months
after Mr. Leigh’s ejectment, for in those
da} r s cheap mails were unknown, and
news travelled but slowly over the realm,
until, through a casual meeting with a
mutual friend, she heard the story of their
constancy and suffering. Her heart was
deeply moved, and a letter was sent by
her at once, enclosing a sum "of money


142 ILVEETON RECTORY.y
for their immediate use, and containing
a request that Annie might he permitted
to visit Bromley, and remain as long as
she could he spared from home.
“I am growing old,” the letter said,
“and need the company of the young to
keep my heart from becoming cold and
withered. From what I hear, your child
is good and dutiful, and has the fear of
G-od before her eyes. She is therefore
just what I want. My husband’s prop
erty is strictly entailed on his own fam
ily, but I have a sufficiency of this world’s
goods for my own needs and those of my
friends, and your Annie shall be unto me
what a daughter would have been, had it
pleased the Lord to give me such a treas
ure. A good and worthy' man by the
name of Kelso, who with his wife is com
ing to superintend the dairy upon my
farm, will take charge of the child and
bring her‘to me safely.”


THE VISIT TO BEOMLEY. 143
, \
This letter was read by the pastor and
his wife with mingled emotions of pleas
ure and pain. To part with Their be
loved Annie for months was a trial of no
ordinary magnitude, when so few sources
of pleasure remained to them; but there
were reasons which rendered the step
•very desirable under present circum
stances.
It would separate her from Clarence
Brent, whose residence in the vicinity
was a constant source of, suffering, though
it could not shake her resolution, or tempt
her to swerve from the path of duty.
By Annie herself the visit would have
been anticipated with delight, but for the
thought of leaving her parents to bear
alone the trials and privations of their
daily lot. This objection was speedily
set aside by parental love, and the jour
ney once decided upon, the necessary
arrangements were soon made, and in


144 ILVERTON RECTORS.
company with, a kind friend she left home
for the nearest market-town, where she
was to join Mr. and Mrs. Kelso.
They were elderly, respectable people,
members of an Independent church at
Islington, and Annie felt certain, in plac
ing herself under their protection, that
she should be kindly cared for on the
way. The party journeyed in the mail-
coach, and several days were spent upon
the road, so that when they reached
Bromley, Annie, who was unaccustomed
to travel, was nearly worn out with fa
tigue and want of sleep.
This was all forgotten, however, when
she first caught sight, through a stately
avenue of trees, of the ancient looking
building which for the present was to be
her home. The gravel walks and velvet
turf about the premises were in perfect
order, and some attempts at ornament
were visible in the borders, gay with


THE VISIT TO BEOMLEY. 145
phlox, lupines, marigolds, and lychnis,
among which not a weed dared intrude.
As Annie entered the wide hall ex
tending through the house, she was met
by a bright, cheerful looking old lady,
with a face full of kindness, who saluted
her affectionately, bidding her welcome
to Bromley, and then ushered her into
the family sitting-room, at the same time
calling for Hannah to come and take
charge of the stranger.
Hannah was a stout Welsh woman,
with red hair cropped quite closely ; a
freckled face on which good sense and
strong character were legibly stamped;
and an odd mixture of rudeness and re
spect in her manner, the first resulting
from neglect in childhood, the other from
real kindness of heart. She was the ex
ecutive officer of the household; prompt
and resolute P in action, carrying out to
the letter, all the plans of her mistress,
Dv«-ton Rectory. IQ


146 ILVEETON EECTOBY.
whose love , of peace led her 'to shrink
from the consequences of insisting upon
them in her own person.
When this woman entered the room,
she stood for some moments gazing at the
new-comer, as. if deciding upon her mer
its, then nodding her head significantly,
she said to Mrs. G-raves in an audible
whisper, “She ’11 do, I reckon!” and then
requested Annie, who could hardly con
trol her features, to follow her up stairs.
She was taken to a large and pleasant
chamber overlooking the orchard, with
wall paper of light blue, and furniture of
the same-color. The room looked so cool
and neat, so much like the quiet resting-
place she needed, that the weary travel
ler uttered an. exclamation of delight as
she entered it, to which Hannah replied
with a grim smile,
■ “ Yes, I knew you’d likd it. I got the
yellow room ready for you before you


THE VISIT TO BEOMLEY. 147
eame, but as soon as I set eyes on you, I
says to myself, she shall have the blue
room, for the best is n’t too good for such
as her.”
“I thank you for your good opinion, but
any room would satisfy me, and I should
be sorry not to occupy the one chosen by
my aunt for me.”
“Lackaday, child, your aunt don’t
know nor care any more than a baby
what room you have, or whether you
have one or a dozen. She says to me,
‘Hannah, I depend on you to make my
niece comfortable,’ and that’s just what
I’m going - to do; so you need n’t trouble
your pretty head about it any way. ’Tis
not often we have any thing in these old.
walls worth looking at; and when we
have, I shall take good care of it, I prom
ise you.”
Mrs. Graves was a woman of sense and
penetration, and she soon saw that her


148 ILVEKTON BECTOEY.
young guest was suffering from weariness
both of mind and body, the consequence
of reaction from the continual tension of
thought and feeling to which- for months
she had been subjected. The first requi
site clearly was rest, the second, change,
and the kind old lady resolved she should
enjoy both to the utmost extent. Annie
would gladly have made herself useful at
once, but to her surprise, when the pres
sure of care was removed, she found her
self so languid, that exertion seemed im
possible, and she was compelled , to allow
Mrs. Graves and Hannah to pet and wait
upon her, from mere inability to resist
their kindness.
It was not long, under such a regimen,
before health and strength came back
again ; and then, on a Welsh pony pro
vided by her aunt for the purpose, she
took long rides over the hills and among
the dales, often, with her Bible and a bas-


THE VISIT.TO BROMLEY. 149
ket of delicacies, visiting the sick and
aged, who were accustomed to watch for
the coming of the brown pony and its fair
rider, as the most important event of the;
week to them.
Annie had been at Bromley three weeks
before she was able to attend the parish
church, and to her frequent inquiries con
cerning the incumbent of the living, her
aunt had never made any definite reply.
She only knew that he was one of the few
who were induced to subscribe, and thus
retained his place; and was surprised to
see, instead of the elderly rector whom
she had pictured to herself, a young man
ascending the pulpit stairs, who looked
almost boyish, from the profusion of light
hair falling about his face, which 1m wore
long, according to the court fashion of the
age. ' His manner was solemn, and the
sermon unexceptionable in matter, and
yet Annie was sensible pi a deficiency


150 IEVERTON RECTORY.
somewhere,'which, she could not under
stand.
On returning home, she spoke of this
impression to her aunt, who answered
with a sigh,
“Mr. Prescott was one of the clergy
men who by conformity was enabled to
preserve his living. His mother and a
maiden sister live with him at the recto
ry, and would have been turned home
less upon the world by his non-conform
ity. Doubtless he felt that he was act
ing rightly, and I would not judge him
harshly, though from the fact that lie,
was a pupil-of'the good Dr. Bates, I ex
pected a different course from him. To
his own Master he must stand or fall,
x and I would not even in thought con
demn him.”
“Mo indeed,” said Hannah afterwards,
“my mistress is too soft-hearted to con
demn any thing that breathes; but I in


THE VISIT TO BBOMLEY. 151
not one of tlie tender-hearted kind, and
I’d rather be Mr. Grant with his old
coat and empty stomach, than onr Mr.
Prescott with lands and living.”
Annie’s thoughts were with her own
dear father as she answered,
“I feel about it as you do, Hannah, and
yet there may be circumstances of which
none but God can judge; and in this
case, who can tell what temptations were
brought to bear upon him.”
“Well, I suppose it’s a good thing to
have charity, but all the charity in the
world, wouldn’t make me believe that
th ! e chokecherries on that tree are as good
as the sweet oxhearts in the orchard yon
der, or that the tree is as good, only some
thing happened to make it bear the wrong
kind of fruit.”
A few days after this conversation,
Annie met the young clergyman at the
bedside of a sick woman whom she visit-


152 ILVERTON BECTORY.
ed weekly; and from tliat time she en
countered him so frequently in her rides
and walks, that it was impossible to be
lieve tlie meetings casual on. bis part.
He even came to the farm-house, where
he had never before visited, well know
ing that by both mistress and maid, his
course was regarded with disapproba
tion.
The poor people wondered at the change
that had come over their minister, when
they found him visiting the sick and aged
so much more frequently than formerly ;
while Annie, fearing she knew not what,
confined herself to the house, or changed
^ her hours for riding and walking, in the
hope of avoiding him.
One afternoon when she had gone out
for her aunt, being overtaken by a show
er, she took refuge in a cottage near by ;
and finding the good woman out, was
amusingjherself with the children, when


. THE VISIT- TO BEOMLEY. 153
Mr. Prescott came in, like herself seek
ing shelter from the storm. Annie would
gladly have left the house, but the rain
was falling in torrents, and she was oblig
ed to wait until the boy whom she had
sent to the farm-house,-could return with
an umbrella and pattens, to enable her
to, reach home. She rose and walked to
the little casement, looking out for a few
moments, then resuming her seat, busied
herself with the children j but Mr. Pres
cott was resolved not to lose so favorable
an opportunity, and sending the children
to their play in the corner of the room,
said hastily,
“Miss Leigh, may I beg the favor of
saying a few words to you on a subject
which to me is of great importance ? It
may be vanity in me to suppose myself
in any way the object of thought to one
like yourself; and yet I fear that, like
others, you may have judged hardly of


R
154 ILVERTON RECTORY.
tlie course I have pursued in reference
to ■conformity.”
Annie was inexpressibly relieved at
the turn the conversation had taken, and
replied gently,
“Indeed, sir, I have felt no disposi
tion to judge or condemn you. Each one
must answer for himself at a higher tri
bunal than that of man; and if your own
conscience acquits you, who am I that I
should presume to sit in judgment on a
fellow-creature ? ,;
While she was speaking, the counte
nance of the young minister was pale and
red by turns, and as ^ she closed, he said
in a hurried voice,
' “ I do not profess to have the entire
( acquittal of my conscience. There are
i times when I fear that I have done
i wrong; but all I can say is, I acted for
Avhat I then thought the best for myself
and those dependent upon me. Others,


. THE VISIT TO BROMLEY. , 155
wiser tlian I, have thotight it right to
snbscrihe, and certaiiily we are com
manded to obey the powers that be,
which are ordained of G-od. ;;
“I have neither the wish nor ability
to argue this point with you, Mr. Pres
cott, but you must be aware that the
daughter of an ejected pastor can have
nothing in common with such sentiments
as these. I would/ather call myself
the daughter of Samuel Leigh the non
conformist, than trace my descent from
kings,” she . said with an energy which
made her cheeks glow and her eyes spar
kle like diamonds.
Mr. Prescott had risen, and was look
ing with undisguised admiration on the
fair girl while she spoke, and as she
ceased, he replied in a tone of deep feel
ing,'
“I reverence and admire your senti
ments more than I can express, Miss


156 ILVERTON RECTORY. V
Leigh, though they may seem to hear
severely on my own course. Believe me,
I can appreciate the excellence I may
not have the moral power to imitate.”
“I have heard my clear father say,”
was the reply, “that the pastors who
have been able to remain with their
flocks in this evil* time, have a double
responsibility 'resting upon them to de
clare faithfully theyvhole counsel of G-od,
since the mouths of so many have been
stopped. In this way, even if they have
erred in judgment, their mistake may be
overruled by Him who can bring good
out of evil, and cause even the wrath of
man to praise him. But pardon me, sir,
I had no intention of seeming to teach
you.”
“Make no apology, my dear young
lady ; a higher voice than that of man
has spoken to me through you; and
whatever the result may be, I thank


THE VISIT TO BROMLEY. , 157
you for the Ohristiau faithfulness which
prompted your words. If they do not
make me a better minister than I have
been, my guilt will be great. May I
/
hope for permission to call upon you at
the house of your aunt?”
Annie was troubled, and knew not
what to say, but she murmured some
thing about her aunt’s hospitality to all;
and then, as the rain was over, bade him
good-evening and returned home, feeling
that if the rector of Bromley had judged
differently from those she loved best in
the matter of conformity, he had erred,
if at all, rather from lack of moral cour
age, than from the want of religious prin
ciple.
Only a few days had elapsed ere Mr.
Prescott came to the farm-house, and his
visits were repeated until Annie could
no longer be blind to the fact, that her
presence constituted the attraction which


158 ILYERTON RECTORY.
drew him hither. The knowledge was
very unwelcome, and in spite of herself
her manner became so cold and con-
• strained, that the young man resolved
to bring matters to an issue.; He ac-
v cordingly availed himself of the first op
portunity offered by the absence .of Mrs.
Graves from the room, on one of his vis
its, to make known his feelings and wishes;
saying in conclusion,
“ I have waited from day to day be
cause of my deep conviction of unworthi
ness to possess such a treasure, but I can
wait no longer. I must know my fate
from your own lips. ' If you can return
my affection, I shall be the happiest of
men; if not, the consolation will at least
be mine, that I have loved the best and
noblest of women.”
Deeply moved by his evident sinceri
ty, Annie kindly but decidedly declined
his proposals, feeling keenly the pain she


THE VISIT TO'BROMLEY. 159
•was compelled to inflict, for she had none
of that contemptible vanity which de
lights in conquest for its own sake, and
would number its victims by hecatombs,
rather than doubt its own power to
charm.
From that time, during her stay at
Bromley, Annie saw the rector only in
the pulpit; but it was remarked by all
who heard him, that his ministrations
there were more spiritual, and his atten
tion to the poor and needy among the
people of his charge more constant than
ever before. Mrs. Graves rejoiced in
the change, and felt that the brief ac
quaintance, which had terminated so
painfully, might in the end prove a bless
ing both to pastor and people.
The winter passed happily and swiftly
away, every month bringing a letter from
the cottage to the absent one full of love
and hope; but no word from Clarence


1G0 ILVERTON RECTORY.
liad ever reached her since her depart
ure from home. It was best, since they
were separated hopelessly, that the cur
tain of oblivion should fall between them.
She knew this, and tried to feel it, though
the yearnings of heart for some tidings
of the beloved one could not alwa} r s be
controlled; but Annie had long since
found that, next to prayer, useful occu
pation of mind and body was the most
effectual method of banishing useless re
grets and restoring the spirits to a health
ful tone. She was therefore always em
ployed—the “busy beeof the family,
as her aunt fondly called her, secretly
thinking how dark the old house would
seem when deprived of her presence and
smiles.
That time, to her surprise and sorrow,
was just at hand. Early in April, Mr.
Leigh arrived at Bromley, looking like
his former self, in clerical attire, and


THE VISIT TO BBOMLEY; 161
with ail aspect of cheerfulness which he
had not worn for years. He had come
for his child, and in answer to the won
dering inquiries of Mrs. G-raves and An
nie, related a story of the goodness of
Gr.od, which must he reserved for an
other chapter.
In a few days the young girl left Brom
ley, followed by the prayers and bless
ings not only of the family at the farm
house, but of the aged and infirm, at
whose humble cottages her visits had
been welcomed with tears of thankful
ness.
“It’s the living truth, mistress,” said
Hannah, wiping her eyes with her apron,
“ that I never thought to care for mortal
creature as I do for that blessed child.
It’s my belief that she hasn’t got as
much human natur about her as other
folks have, for she always thinks of ev
erybody before herself.”
Ilverton "Rectory. 11


V
162 ILVERT0N RECTORY.
“Ah, there is the secret, Hannah,’ 7
replied her mistress; “our dear Annie
has learned at the feet of the Saviour to
live for the good of others; and while
she is seeking the happiness of all around
her, I make no doubt her own will come
to her unsought. 77
I


SILVER-LINING OF THE CLOUD. 160
CHAPTER Till.
THE SILVER LINING OF THE CLOUD.
The toil and exposure to which Mr.
Leigh had for many months been subject
ed, were beginning to manifest their usual
effects upon his constitution, which ffad
never been inured to labor or fatigue.
His form, once erect and stately, was
now slightly bent, his raven locks were
thickly sprinkled with grey, and his clear
hazel eyes told at times a tale of weari
ness and depression which touched the
heart of his faithful wife far more than all
her own privations and sorrows. Hot
that the ejected pastor had lost faith. or
courage, or that he regretted his action
in the past.
Never for one moment had he faltered
in the course he then thought it right to


164 ILVERTON RECTORY.
take, but tke stoutest heart has its sea
sons of discouragement, and Mr. Leigh
was only a man; subject to infirmities
like others. The sacrifices made for
conscience 7 sake were not the less felt to
be sacrifices, because cheerfully offered at
the bidding of a moral necessity; and he
could not look on his beloved wife in her
present condition without a sharp pang.
To add to his sorrow, his companion and
comforter, who had always a smile and
cheering word for him, was away, and
he missed her more every day as the
vacant seat at the table and by the fire
side spoke eloquently of her absence.
He was returning home one evening
more than usually depressed, and in-,
wardly praying for strength from on high,
when he was met by Jim Green, the son
of his good old friend, who was the bearer
of a message from farmer Goodwin, re
questing Mr. Leigh to come instantly to


SILVER LINING OF THE CLOUD. 165
the Grange, as the farmer had been seri
ously injured by an accident, and was in
great danger. The pastor mounted the
horse which had been sent for that pur
pose, and having despatched young Green
to inform his wife of the circumstance,
went at once to the Grange. He found
the farmer suffering greatly, but the bro
ken limb had been set, and his symptoms
were more favorable, as it was now hoped
that no internal injuries had been sus
tained. When the surgeon had left, the
sick man requested Mr. Leigh to take a
chair by his side, and said to him with
great earnestness,
“I sent for you because in my soul I
believe you are a good man, and heaven
knows I have nee,d enough of such about
me.”
He groaned as he said this, and Mr.
Leigh scarcely knowing what to reply,
inquired,


166 . * ILVERTON RECTORY. ,
“Is there any thing, my dear sir,
which I can do to relieve your distress?
I am here for that purpose, and would
gladly render any assistance in my
power.” . '
“You see me on this bed a poor bruis
ed and maimed carcass, but my worst
pains are not those of the body. I have
been troubled with strange feelings for
months past, when I have thought of you
leading the life of a dog, in heat and bold,
sunshine and storm, exposed to all weath
ers, while ’ your wife and family—and
such a family—were sheltered in a hovr.
el; and all for what? Just because you
would stand by your belief,, and could n’t
say that white was!black and black white,
to please the great folks; for that’s what
it amounts to, in my thinking. Well,
says I to myself, if that’s religion, I
haven’t got it, and there aren’t many
that I know who have. Somehow it


SILVEE LINING OE THE CLOUD. 167
troubled me more and more, tliougb I
tried hard to think 7 t was no business of
mine any way; so I got out the big fam
ily Bible that I always kept laid up in a
chest of drawers, but little comfort could
I find in that. Now I am thrown by
here like a useless piece of lumber, and
I want to know of you if there’s any
hope for an old sinner like me ? ;;
"While the farmer was speaking, the
head of the pastor was bowed in devout
thanksgiving to God; and in answer to
the closing: inquiry, he told him of the
sufferings aM death of Christ, of the way
of salvation through faith in his name,
and the necessity of repentance and re
generation by the power of the Holy
Spirit; to all which the sick man listened
as for his life. Tears of penitence were
in his eyes all unused to weeping, and a
newly awakened soul, which had slept
for many years, was looking through


368 ILVEETON EECTOEY.
those windows with terror, anxiety, and
hope blended in one expression.
After prayer, Mr. Leigh took his leave,
promising to return as soon as possible,
and on his way homeward his heart was
full of joy and gratitude.
•'‘Here have I been, ,; was his solilo
quy, “deeming myself forsaken of G-od,
and thrown by as a broken vessel in
wdiick he had no pleasure, and lo, in the
midst of my complaining, he has, I trust,
given me this precious soul for my hire.
Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and forget
not all his benefits.” •
For some weeks the pastor visited the
Grange nearly every evening, and was
always received with eager joy by the
farmer, whose injuries, though not fatal,
were of such a character as to render
him an invalid for years, if not for life.
“I am a poor helpless lamiter,” he
once said to Mr. Leigh, “and shall never
I


SILVER LINING OF THE CLOUD. 169
be of use to anybody again; but in all
my years of health and prosperity, I
never had one feeling of gratitude to God
who gave me all; and now, when my
friends look on me as an object of pity
only, I feel like praising and thanking
him all the time for his goodness: what
does this mean ?”■
“I trust if means, my friend, that
whereas you was once blind, you now
see; that your heart of stone has become
a heart of flesh; and that instead of an
enemy and an alien, you have been made
a child of God and an heir of heaven.
Is not this sufficient cause for gratitude
and joy ?“ '
“ One thing lies heavy on my heart,”
said the farmer, “ above all my other
sins, though they are black enough: it is
my most unworthy feelings of dislike
and hostility towards you, dear sir, and
your brethren, the excellent of the earth


170 ILYEETON EECTOEY.
as I now know them to be, wko would
not perjure themselves, and were cast
out from their homes in consequence. It
was only because their conduct con
demned me, who cared nothing for my
soul, and to save my property would
have sworn allegiance to the Pope him
self. I want humbly to ask your par
don, and through you that of your breth
ren, for my wickedness. I trust God,
for Christ’s sake, has forgiven me ; but I
must have your forgiveness too.”
The change in farmer Goodwin was so
great that his family saw it with aston
ishment and distrust. At first they fear
ed that his mind was diseased; and when,
on his first leaving his room, the house
and farm servants were called together,
and the farmer taking his neglected Bi
ble, told them what God had done for
his soul, and announced his purpose of
attending family worship morning and


SILVEE LINING OF THE CLOUD'. 171.
evening, his wife and daughter felt cer
tain that the injuries he had received
were affecting his brain, and mourned
over him accordingly. But when they
saw him uniformly kind and cheerful
amid all his sufferings, bearing patiently
trials of temper that would formerly have
called forth a whirlwind of indignation,
they were obliged to confess that he was
changed greatly for the better, whatever
the cause might be.
In the warmth of his feelings, the kind
farmer would gladly have taken Mr.
Leigh and his family home to the Grange;
and when this offer was firmly though
gratefully refused, he besought the pas
tor to resign his present servile employ
ment, and take the situation of bailiff at
the farm, which, in the disabled condition
of the master, would become an office of
responsibility and profit. But this offer
also was declined with many thanks,


172 ILVEETON EEOTOEY.
since there were not wanting those who
would have accused the pastor of seek
ing his own emolument in making a con
vert of the wealthy farmer, if his condi
tion were to be improved by the change.
But many a liberal gift, secretly bestow
ed, testified the enduring gratitude of Mr.
G-oodwin, while it gave timely assistance
to a worthy and suffering family.
During the year spent by Annie at
Bromley, Clarence Brent had visited the
cottage but once, having left the country
soon after her departure, for Germany,
where the year was spent by him in
study under the supervision of Mr. Wat
son, his tutor and friend. No word had
passed between Lady Brent and her son
since the conversation we have recorded,
on the subject then brought forward, but
each felt that the purpose of the other
was unchanged, and by mutnal_ consent
it was carefully avoided.


SILVER LINING OF THE .CLOUD. It3
Sir Richard and his wife spent a part
of the summer on the Continent with
their son, and the remainder at London
and Eversden, only returning, to Win
ston in time for the Christmas festivities,
which were to be gaily kept by a large
party of guests in honor of the return of
the young heir. But before the day ar
rived, Clarence had signified his inten
tion of remaining at G-ottingen through
another winter, and his mother was suf
fering from the rapid development of a
fatal disease; so the invitations were re
called, and silence and gloom reigned at
the Park, instead of the anticipated gay-
ety and splendor. The most eminent
physicians from London were summoned
to attend her; and after repeated consul
tations her ladyship was informed that
in order to preserve, or even to prolong
her life, a painful and dangerous opera
tion was necessary. From such an oper-


174 ILVERTON RECTORY.
ation they hoped and expected the most
favorable results, though they frankly
informed her that it might prove almost
instantly fatal.
It was a fearful alternative for the
proud and worldly woman, who had nev
er thought of death in connection with
herself, and whose plans for the future
were all arranged without reference to
the possibility of failure. She hesitated
for a few moments only, and then said to
her physician,
“Obtain the very best surgical aid
from London without regard to expense,
and then do for me all you can. I will
^ take the chance.’ 7
It was the wish of Sir Richard to send
for their son before the day of trial; but
to this the mother refused her consent.
“I will not become an object of dread
and terror to my son,” she said, in an
swer to the entreaties of her husband: “if
\


SILVER'LINING OF THE CLOUD. 175
I get through it happily, there will be
, - time enough for rejoicing; if not, he will
be spared some pain,: in either case he is
better away.”
The day at length arrived- the opera
tion was performed with skill, and it was
at first hoped, with success; but after a
few hours symptoms of a fatal character
made their appearance, and the'surgeons
in attendance announced to Sir Richard
that their worst -apprehensions'were about
to be realized. The poor man was almost
beside himself with anxiety and terror:
he assured the family physician that it
was impossible for him to inform Lady
Brent of her danger, and entreated him
to take the solemn duty upon himself, to
which he reluctantly consented.
It was a scene never to be forgotten by
those who witnessed it. The horror with
which the sufferer heard the fatal sen
tence, so sudden and unexpected, for she


• 1Y6 ILVEETON EECTOEY.
had supposed the danger over, and the
bitterness of death passed ; her frantic en
treaties for more medical aid, that at least
she might live a little longer, and her
agony when told that all was in vain,
made the scene so terrible that few could
remain in the apartment.
When from mere exhaustion she had
become more calm, she entreated that a
clergyman might be instantly summoned
to attend her. A messenger was sent in
haste for the incumbent of the parish, who
returned with the intelligence that his
reverence was out with the hounds on a
hunt; and the curate, to Whom he was
next sent, had accompanied his patron.
“Is there then no one to pray with me?”
exclaimed the dying woman in accents of
despair; “must I depart without one cry
for'mercy?”
“May it please your honor,” said an
old serving man to Sir Eichard, who knew
/


SILVER LINING OF THE CLOUD. 177
not what to do, “I have heard. John Locke
the tinker say, that on your honor’s es
tate at Boughton, there is a shejiherd
who prays better than even his rever
ence himself,”
“Let him be instantly summoned,”
was the brief reply; and a man and horse
were speedily on their‘way to the dwell
ing of Mr. Leigh, who lost no time in
*■ obeying the summons. He was ushered
into the gorgeous apartment in which the
mistress of the mansion lay dying, clad
in his usual coarse garb, and kneeling by
the bedside offered up a prayer so appli
cable to the circumstances of the case,
so full of pathos and devotion, that the
silence of death reigned throughout the
room, and all present were overpowered
with emotion. It was a frail mortal
. wrestling by faith with the King of kings,
pleading for the life of an immortal soul
with a fervor that could not be denied.
/ riv^rion Kccfoi-y. 12


178 ILVERTON RECTORY.
Even the groans of the dying woman
were hushed, and as he rose from his
knees, she said to him faintly,
“I thank you, whoever you are, for you
mean kindly, but it is too la,te. I cannot,
in the brief space allowed me, unlearn
the belief and feelings of a whole life;
but you are evidently sincere, and if we
had met earlier, all might now have been
different with me.”
Her voice failed j and as the attendant
came to the bedside with a stimulant, Mr.
Leigh left the room with Sir Richard,
who, on reaching another apartment, thus
addressed him:
“Shepherd, I am well assured from
your language and appearance, that you
are far other than you seem. Tell me,
who and what are you?”
“I am a poor man,” was the meek re
ply, “employed on your honor’s estate
at Boughton, in tending sheep.”


SILVER LINING- OF THE 'CLOUD. 119
‘ ‘ Tending sheep! a man who looks and
speaks as yon do, keeping sheep for me!
What was your former occupation? for
well I am assured you have not always
been in the one of which you speak. Tell
me what you were formerly.”
A bright glow flitted across the bronz
ed cheek of the good man, but the emo
tion of pride was soon conquered, and he
answered calmly,
.“For more than twenty years I was an
under-shepherd of the Lord Jesus Christ, _
and employed in feeding the flock which
he purchased with his blood.”
“And your name?”
“Is Samuel Leigh.”
“What, the ejected -minister- of Ilver-
ton? I have heard of you, Mr. Leigh,
through my son, and ought at once to
have known you through the description
he has given. I little thought the man
so revered by him as well as others, was


180 ILVEETON EECTOEY.
a common laborer on my estate. This
must no longer be. I cannot, under pres
ent circumstances, attend to the matter,
but you shall hear .from me very soon,
and I trust we shall ,be able to arrange
things satisfactorily to all parties.”
Clarence Brent was summoned home
to attend the funeral of his mother; and
after all was over, he accompanied his
father to the cottage, and enjoyed his
surprise, on meeting Mrs.Leigh and Rose,
to find such beings in a situation so hum
ble.
“This is all wrong, my good sir,” said
the baronet; “your family have no busi
ness in this hut, where they are as
strangely out of place as you are in the
situation of shepherd. Henceforth you
shall be employed as my chaplain, with
a salary adequate to your support; and
we will contrive to gather a flock for you,
better suited to your character and at-


SILVER LINING OF THE CLOUD. 181
tainments than the one yon are now
tending. Make ready at once to quit
your present employment, and assume
again the one yon have heretofore so ;
worthily filled.”
Did not the persecuted Mon-conformist
feel, as his guests left him, the truth of
the Saviour’s words, i( Whosoever shall
lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s,
the same shall save it?”
In a few days a neat and pleasant cot
tage near the Park was put in order by
Sir Richard and his son,' who was a de
lighted assistant in the plans of his father;
and the family of the rector having re
moved to it, the father lost no time in
bringing back his absent daughter to
share the common joy.
It seemed like a dream to the happy
girl when, on reaching Winston, she drove
past the Lodge and through a side ave
nue of stately trees, and was received by


382 ILVERTOX RECTORY.
her mother and sister in their own pleas
ant home, while many well-remembered
articles of furniture, and above all the
old harpsichord, occupied their accus
tomed places in the tasteful apartment.
“You have not yet seen all, dear sis
ter,” said Eose, as she drew her out into
the little porch, where stood one whom
she hardly thought ever to meet again
on earth. The manner of Clarence was
tender and respectful, and well calculat
ed to reassure the trembling girl, whose
face, spite of her efforts to conceal it, was
radiant with delight at this unexpected
meeting.
“I am waiting, my own dear Annie,”
he found means to say before leaving,
“with what patience I can command, for
the time when I can claim you for my
own in the face of the world; but I will
not risk the happiness of the present mo
ment by offending the prejudices of my


SILVER LINING OF THE CLOUD. 183
father. When he comes to know yon, I
am certain he will be glad and proud to
call yon daughter.”
The prophecy was speedily fulfilled.
Sir ‘Richard was a frequent guest at the
-cottage, and as he saw from day to day
the unpretending loveliness of the maid
en, her filial tenderness and care, with all
that nameless charm of voice and man
ner which surrounded her like a garment,
his admiration knew no bounds. It was
a new revelation of feminine character
which he saw at the home of his chap
lain, and in proportion to its novelty was
its influence on the proud but kind-heart
ed baronet.
“Clarence,” he said one day to his son,
“ I shall begin to think you are as blind
as a mole in regard to your own interest,
if you can associate with such a girl as
the parsojds daughter without losing your
heart and trying to win hers in return.


X'84 ILVEETON EECTOEY. \
If the. young person of whom your poor
mother, stood in such mortal dread, was
half as good and beautiful as Annie Leigh,
I should not blame you for remaining true
to her, were she as poor as Lazarus.”
“ My father,” replied the young man
with a smile, ‘ ‘ your advice is excellent,
but it comes, a little too late. Has it
never occurred to you that the fair un
known to whom, my faith is pledged and
your favorite Annie might be the same?”
“Zounds, boy, what an idiot I have
been not to see this before. I might have
known you had too much sense to let such
a prize slip through your fingers; but why
have I been kept in ignorance so long?”
“My father, I feared your prejudices
in favor of birth and rank, and have
waited, well aware that nothing I could
say would reconcile my mother to my
alliance with the portionless daughter of
an ejected minister.”


SILVER LINING OE THE CLOUD. 185
“And you were right, boy; we should
both have been against you and your
dear Annie ; but I have learned some
profitable lessons lately, thanks to my
good friends at the cottage, and now
you are at full liberty to make yourself
happy in your own way.”
Clarence thanked his father with all
the eloquence of love and joy, and hast
ened to impart the good news to Annie
and her parents, whose consent could no
longer be withheld, since that of Sir Bich
ard had been so freely given.
A message from court summoned the
baronet to London during the summer,
but as he was confined to the house by
gout, his son went in his stead, and was
detained by the king for several months,
making only flying visits to the Park.
The folly, extravagance, and profligacy
of the court completed the work of con
viction commenced by the influence of


186 ILVERTON RECTORY.
Annie and the''teachings of Mr. Watson;
and Clarence adopted, with all the_ ear
nestness of his nature, the doctrines of
civil and religious liberty advocated by
the Non-conformists. His heart indeed
was still unchanged, but his wealth and
influence were freely given for the pro
motion of the rights of conscience; and as
the zeal of the party in power had been in
some degree satiated by the number of its
. victims, he was enabled to save many an
ejected minister from utter destitution by
his bounty, and to bring back hope and
comfort to many a darkened household.
The time came at last when he could
with honor bid adieu to a court with
which he had'beconie thoroughly dis
gusted, and hasten to the home where
'â–  love and happiness awaited him.
The festivities of Christmas were cele
brated in the princely halls of Winston
on a scale of magnificence befitting the


SILVER LINING OF THE CLOUD. IS?
occasion; for at that time a young and
lovely bride was brought home to his
ancestral halls by its happy heir, who
during his experience of life in the me
tropolis had only learned more fully to
appreciate the excellence of his long
loved Annie.
In the gilded saloons and tapestried
chambers of her new abode, the youthful
lady of Winston was like a ray of sun
shine gladdening all it touched; and when
called on various occasions to mingle
with the proud baronage of England, not
one among the high-born beauties who
graced the court of the second Charles
excelled Mistress Annie Brent in loveli
ness of person, or in those rarer endow
ments of mind and manner which won
all hearts to their unconscious possessor.
But the happiest moments of her life
were spent at the cottage, the pleasant
residence of her father and his family,


188 IEVERTON RECTORY.
where, surrounded by all she loved, the
young wife would seat herself at her fa
ther’s feet, with his hand resting fondly
on her sunny ringlets, and listen to his
grateful review of the checkered past,
while every member of the endeared cir
cle fervently responded to his closing
exclamation:
“Not one good thing in our experi
ence hath failed of all that the Lord hath
spoken concerning the sufferers for con
science’ sake. The trials of our life have
passed away as .a tale that is told; our
lot is cast in pleasant places, and we have
a goodly heritage. But let us not forget
in prosperity the message borne, to our
souls by affliction, or lose amid the sweet
est melodies of earth the whisper of the
still small voice that once said to us in
the roaring of the tempest, ‘Arise ye,
and depart; for this is not your.rest.’”


1
LIFE ILLUSTRATED SERIES.
HeswifMI W)mhwi©§ fer ©bMraii.
Helen Maurice.
A narrative of every-day home life. Three Engravings.
The Glen Cabin,
Or, Away to the Hills. Exciting scenes among the White
mountains.
Dora Hamilton.
The experience of a merchant’s daughter. Three Cuts.
Lilian.
A tale of three hundred years ago. Four Engravings.
The Huguenots of France,
Or, the Times of Henry IV. Some of the most stirring
incidents of history. With Cuts.
Evelyn Percival.
Highly interesting sketches and characters drawn from
life. Three Cuts.'
Ilverton Rectory,
Or, the Non-conformists of the Seventeenth Century.
Founded on fact. Four Engravings.
Allan Cameronr
The eventful life of a Scottish clergyman’s son, devel
oping a character of rare beauty and nobleness under the
moulding power of religion. Illustrated.
Walter Martin.
Progress through obstacles to a position of great useful
ness. Three Cuts.


Clayton Allyn,
Or, Learning Life’s First Lessons. "With Engravings.
Save tlio Erring,
Or, Tlio Gospel Purpose. A pleasing ancl insttnctivo Nar
rative. Tlrreo Cuts.
Effic Morrison,
Or, The Family of Bedbraes. A norrativo of trntli. WitV
illustrations.
The Weed with an Ill-nanic.
Lessons from naturo impressed upon the heart. With
cuts.
Onr Yillago in War Time.
Thrilling life-slietches, inculcating true patriotism and
piety. Illustrated.
The Swiss Children.
Welcome to the little exiles from abroad.. Two cuts.
The Missing Boat.
Tho perils of mischief, and safety of true ropontanco.
With Cuts.
Madeline.
The history of a Now England girl. Illustrated.
A Little More.
The value of contentment. Two Engravings.
The Light-house Boy.
A moral light-house for boys.
PUBLISHED AND FOR SALE BY
THE AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,
150 NASSAU-STIIEET, NEW YOIUC.
And for salo at 40 Corniull, BOSTON ; 1210 Chestnut-
btreet, PHILADELPHIA; and in other cities and towns.