Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

in the Navy Gardens to make pastime for these merry wives. Dick Broome himself could hardly have imagined a more ‘jovial crew.

On Sunday, twenty-third day of April, 1665, Penn the Younger landed at Harwich with despatches from the Duke of York to Charles, and from Sir William Coventry to Lord Arlington, Secretary of State. He pressed for horses, as the Duke of York's instructions to him were—that he should get on shore, should ride as hard as horse could carry him, should go at once to the King's apartments, and should make a full report of what was being done at sea. By tearing on all night Penn reached Whitehall before the sun was up, and finding that the King was still in bed, he sent a message to Lord Arlington, who rose at once and passed into his master's bedroom. Charles leaped up on hearing that despatches from the Duke were come, and running into the ante-room, met William Penn. “Oh, it's you ! How is Sir William?' Having read the Duke's letter, chatted with the messenger, and asked about Sir William several times, Charles bade the youth go home and get to bed.

In June the fight came off; a striking victory for the English flag; a glory reaped by James, as first in rank, but which his royal highness was too frank in spirit not to share with Admiral Penn. In the same month the plague broke out in London, and the havoc wrought by this disease was chiefly in the districts lying round the Tower. It was a thing to make the merriest romp in the Navy Gardens pause.

When Admiral Penn came home, he was annoyed to see how great a change this plague had wrought in his eldest son. The youth was grave and silent; he had left off speaking French; had

ceased to carry his hat in hand; and all but ceased to show himself at court. His days were spent in reading, and the friends who came to him were men of sober life. Again the Admiral's hopes, now nearer fruit than ever, were in check. What could be do with such a moody youth? Suppose the lad turned ranter? He had tried the 'Jovial Crew' before. A good idea struck him. William might be sent to Ireland ; first to Dublin, where the Duke of Ormonde would be glad to see him ; afterwards to Shangarry Castle, where there was much for him to do, not only on his family estate, but in his office at Kinsale.

To Ireland he was sent. In order to provide him with abundant work, he was appointed Clerk of the Cheque at Kinsale barbour, and encouraged to believe that if he felt inclined to enter His Majesty's service he might get his father's company of foot.

CHAPTER V.
FATHER AND Son (1666–1667).

The Penns were fond of county Cork, in which they had already spent some years, and as their new estate—when it was free to them-would be larger than any one they could hope to buy in either Somerset or Essex, Admiral Penn was scheming for a settlement of his family in that picturesque and fertile shire. His kinsmen wished him to recover Penn's Lodge near Minety; but the place was small, and he had grown too great for the ambition of a country squire. His house at Chigwell was too paltry for the dignity of a peer. Shangarry Castle, with the lands which had been set apart for bim at Rostillon and Inchy, gave him what he could not find in England,-an address, a residence, and a rental of a thousand pounds a-year. His eyes were therefore turned towards county Cork, as likely to become his future home.

Penn sailed for Dublin; where he waited on the Duke of Ormonde. Before going down to Cork, he was to see Sir George Lane, the Irish secretary, and make as many friends as he could win at court. Lord Ossory, the Duke's eldest son was absent from Dublin, but Lord Arran was at home, and he and William Penn became fast friends. The Duke was pleased with Penn, and in a week or two accounts were sent to the Admiral assuring him that in separating his son from his London associates he had turned the current of his thoughts. Instead of moping in his room, the youth was always in the circle, gay and bright, with pretty foreign manners, and a spirit to attempt the boldest things. The Butlers were a family of soldiers, and the pomp and circumstance of war were topmost in the thoughts of Arran and his comrades. Penn was not behind these youngsters. While he was in Dublin, waiting on the court, a mutiny took place at Carrickfergus (May, 1666), where the insurgents seized the castle and alarmed the country-side from Antrim to Belfast. To Arran was assigned the duty of suppressing this revolt, and Penn took service with his friend. The mutineers fought well, but bit by bit were driven into the fort, and then the fort itself was stormed. Young Penn was talked of as the coolest of the cool, the bravest of the brave. Lord Arran was delighted with him ; for the young swordsman of Paris had become the proud sol. dier of Carrickfergus; and the Duke at once wrote off to tell the Admiral he was ready to confer on his son William that command of the company at Kinsale, which they had talked about for him before the lad returned from France.

Though Penn could not be made into a boon companion, a friend of comedians, and a partner in the romps and jinks of the Navy Gardens, there was still a chance of seeing him grow up into a soldier of his country and a bearer of his cross, a hero of the stamp of Thomas Grey. The glory won at Carrickfergus made him long to get his company. The fit was on him and he wanted to appear at Kinsale as Captain Penn instead of Clerk of the Cheque. His zeal amused and gratified his parents; but the Admiral had begun to change his plans. Affairs were looking ill at court; Sir William saw no chance of going to sea again; and he was talking of retiring to Shan

garry Castle and his government of Kinsale. If they should go to Cork, it would be well to keep the offices they had got; but if his son received his company of foot he must lose his highly prof. itable Clerkship of the Cheque.

“Well, Sir,' said the Duke of Ormonde to his guest before his courtiers, ‘has Sir William given you his company at Kinsale?'

‘He has promised it, your grace,' replied young Penn; 'and your lordship has promised to favour his request when made.'

‘But has he written nothing?'

'He is far from London, and is busy fitting out the fleet.

The Admiral affected to regard his son as being too young for such a post as Captain at Kinsale. When Penn was eager, he requested him to live a 'sober life,' and told him in the plainest terms he was too 'young' and 'rash.' Heroes at forty-five are apt to rail at heroes of twenty-two. The veteran, when he told his son not to let his 'desires' outrun his discretion,' forgot that he was himself a captain at twenty-one. Before the vision of a life in camp and field was gone for ever, Penn had himself painted with his harness on his back. It was the only portrait for which he ever sat; and thus the single record which the world possesses of a man whose name is Peace displays him in a coat of shining steel.

When he had warned his son to live a 'sober life at Kinsale, the Admiral gave him hints about doing his duty to the crown, yet making money in his office of the Cheque.

The post was one of some account. A Clerk of the Cheque bad to deal with captains of ships; to keep the poll-books; and to certify the accuracy of all accounts. He had the charge of govern

« ZurückWeiter »