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who was his particular friend, to see him safely transported to Holland. Many thanks were given for this proposition, which seemed to meet the wishes of all parties; Winky Boss was locked up in one of the rooms until it could be put in practice; and the remainder of the party proceeded immediately to dinner.
During the repast, Jocelyn, who constantly saw fresh reason to distrust the desperadoes into whose society he had so unwaringly thrown himself, observed the utmost circumspection, discouraged every attempt to give the conversation a political turn, was cautious not to compromise himself by any unguarded expression, and withdrew as soon as possible, under the pretext of conveying the Dutchman to Greenwich, to put him on board the Danish ship before night-fall. It is unnecessary to state, that he had no real intention of this sort, having merely availed himself of the pretext to extricate him from the predicament in which he had found him. Instead of exporting that trusty though
bibulous personage to Holland, he took him into his own service ; and, though honest Boss, partly from drowsiness, and partly from the effect of liquor, had no very distinct recollection of the conversation he had overheard when concealed behind the screen, he retained enough of its general purport to determine Jocelyn never to exchange another with the fanatical and dangerous Colonel Rathborn. Just as he quitted the house at Battersea, intending to walk to Lambeth and take boat, he passed a stranger, who, as soon as he approached, muffled himself up in his cloak and struck into the fields,—a circumstance which he by no means regretted, as he was most anxious to avoid being recognised as a frequenter of that suspicious residence, or an associate with its plotting inmates.
“ Son of sixteen,
ENABLED now, by the complete restoration of his health, to bestir himself with activity, Jocelyn lost no time in instituting inquiries respecting Julia, but all his diligence proved unavailing in effecting any discovery of her retreat. Colonel Rathborn's conversation had directed his suspicions to the purlieus of the palace, in the first instance; and his search in that direction was proportionably keen. Baffled, however, in ob taining the smallest evidence that might justify his apprehensions, he determined to revisit the spot where he had rescued her, to inquire whe
ther any of the neighbours had heard the orders given to the coachman, or marked in what direction he had driven ; but the whole of Fleetstreet was an undistinguishable mass of ruins; the great fire having spread as far as the Temple; and none but a few houseless wretches, or vagrants, prowling for plunder, were to be seen among the still-smoking rubbish.
space, above two miles in length, and one in breadth, presented a vast unbroken scene of hideous desolation, where locality could only be rudely traced by the disfigured fragments of some public monument or tower; while in the midst of the destroyed city, the calcined and blackened skeleton of St. Paul's church reared itself up, attesting, by its gigantic bones and fragments, the stupendous dimensions that it had once exhibited.
Foiled in this project, he betook himself to Alderman Staunton's country-house, where he obtained an interview with that personage, who with infinite perturbation of manner, disclaimed all knowledge of Julia, or of her family, and
once more implored Jocelyn never to renew such inquiries at his house. Respecting Constantia, he could give him no information of a more satisfactory nature, contenting himself with stating that she had retired, for the present, into the country, and had not hitherto furnished him with her address. From the Alderman's he betook himself to South Lambeth, but Mr. Ashmole was either as ignorant or as uncommů. nicative as his friend ; and Jocelyn returned to Whitehall, more and more convinced, from the result of his inquiries, as well as from the concurrent circumstances of her disappearance, that the King had either caused her to be secreted, or must be privy to the place which, whatever might be her motives for that measure, she had voluntarily selected for her concealment.
To Jocelyn a state of suspense had always proved intolerable. Irritated at once by love, jealousy and disappointment, he determined, after many debates with his own mind, to disregard all risks of offence, to avow to the Man