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ther away in that pestilent and watery sepulchre. Often did he accuse himself of cowardice and injustice in sacrificing the happiness, perhaps, of Julia, as well as his own, to undefined apprehensions and vague prejudice. His better reason, however, convinced him, that he who means to live in the world must consult the feelings of society; that an alliance with an infamous family would never be recognised by his own; and that happiness seldom attends a union unsanctioned by public opinion, or the consent of relatives. · Laying this unction to his soul, he hastened forward, lost in a thousand fruitless conjectures, as to the mystery that hung over the dark fate of Strickland, and occasionally diverting his thoughts to his own situation and prospects, and the most eligible mode of finding his way to England.
The disturbed state of Holland, and the peril to which he would be exposed, should he be recognised as the suspected English spy who had fled from the burgomaster's house at Rotterdam, determining him to avoid that country altogether, he made a considerable detour, intending to embark at some port of the Spanish Netherlands. On reaching his destined point, he could not find
vessel that would undertake to land him in England, the Dutch fleet being at that moment masters of the sea, and capturing every ship bound to the ports of their enemy. Disappointed in his first expectations, he betook himself to another harbour, where there was greater commerce, and, as he hoped, an additional chance of succeeding in his object; but here the same difficulties presented themselves, and a considerable interval elapsed, during which his finances
became so much reduced, that he began to apprehend he should soon want the means of purchasing a passage, a contingency which he contemplated with the greater mortification, as it was now known that the English fleet had sailed from Harwich, and were in search of the Dutch squadron. A Flemish fisherman at length, who had a sister married to a tradesman at Stepney, undertook to carry him up the Thames, and land him at that place, a proposition which was joyfully accepted, although the passage was to be made in an open boat: and they set sail the next day with a favourable breeze, which continued for some hours.
Upon the clearing up of the mist, early on the following morning, Jocelyn was not a little alarnied at finding himself in the midst of a numerous fleet of men-of-war, apprehensive that it might be the Dutch squadron, and not at all solicitous of being thrown into a prison in Holland. The fisherman, however, stoutly maintained that it was the English fleet. A shot from one of the ships, that flashed through the water a little a-head of them, quickly induced him to bring to, and run alongside the vessel whence it proceeded, when they were ordered on board, and Jocelyn had the satisfaction of finding himself in the Royal Oak, commanded by Sir John Lawson. Instead of the friendly greeting, however, which he expected, he met a rough and discourteous welcome, being told that the circumstances under which he was encountered, coming from the opposite coast with a foreign fisherman, and concealing himself amidst them in a fog, gave him very much the appearance of being one of those refugee Eng
lish, some of whom had already been detected acting as spies to the Dutch. Jocelyn, who thought it rather hard that he should be thus suspected by both parties of enacting a character which he held in particular abhorrence, indignantly recited his birth, parentage, and education, and made angry professions of his loyalty.
« You may be a spy for all that,» bluntly replied Sir John; « they are all apt to be plaguy loyal when detected: I should be sorry to run so well-timbered a fellow up at the yard-arm, but I cannot let you proceed without informing his Highness ; so you may e'en go on board the Royal Charles, and make out your own story the best way you can.» One of the ship's boats was accordingly lowered and manned, orders being given to the men to carry Jocelyn and the Fleming on board the Flag-ship, commanded by his Royal Highness the Duke of York. At the time of Jocelyn's mounting the ladder of the Royal Charles, its illustrious commander was standing on the deck, attended by the Earl of Falmouth, Mr Boyle, and Lord Muskerry,' the latter of whom fortunately knew our hero personally, and gladly vouched for his identity. The duke smiled at the over-vigilance of Sir John Lawson; and apologising very courteously for this interruption given to his voyage, informed Jocelyn he was at liberty to resume it whenever he thought fit. At the request of Lord Muskerry he remained on board while his lordship
· All three of whom were killed by one shot in the engagement tha, followed with the Dutch, on the 3d of June, 1665.
wrote a letter to his wife,' which our hero undertook to deliver; and immediately upon receiving it reimbarked on board the fishing-boat, and continued his voyage for England.
It was well that the weather proved moderate and favourable, for the bark to which Jocelyn had entrusted himself was not calculated to inspire much confidence, although her owner availed himself of the unanswerable argument that she had never sunk with him yet, and it was not likely she would begin such pranks in her old age, and after so long an acquaintance. Had any fair plea been afforded her, it is not at all improbable she might have proved somewhat skittish in this respect; but, with the aid of a summer sky and propitious gales, they entered the mouth of the Thames in safety. After they had passed Gravesend, the voyagers began to wonder at the unusual accumulation of shipping in the river, and the great number of people in each vessel, appearances that kept continually increasing as they reached London. Although the Fleming was not very loquacious, he did hail one or two of the craft they passed, but their crews cared not to answer them, and they passed on without parley to the neighbourhood of Stepney, where they both landed.
Here the mystery was presently solved, for Jocelyn
· Afterwards Viscountess Purbeck, well known as the Princesse de Babylon, in the lively pages of de Grammont, who visits her foibles with unsparing raillery, though he says nothing of that generous and magnificent spirit which ultimately led to the sale and dispersion of all her vast estates. When the inhabitants of Tunbridge Wells are enjoying the shades of their noble Grove, they should recollect that they owe it to the munificence of that liberal-minded woman.
learned, to his no small consternation, that the plague had been raging for some time in London, and that the many families they had seen afloat in their
progress from Gravesend were citizens who had fled from the town, in the hope of avoiding the devastating infection,
which, upon an average of the last nine weeks, had carBried off a thousand every day. Uncertain how to act,
and without other friends in London, he determined to proceed to Alderman Staunton's, in Aldersgate Street, in the hope of either gaining some tidings of Tracy, or learning how far he might venture to appear in public, without peril from the former order for his arrest. But he was so appalled and horror-stricken at the dismal
aspect of the death-devoted city as he advanced, that e his courage failed him:-he was sick at heart; and was
twice upon the point of turning round and fleebeing from a place which the Lord seemed to have doomed
to become an Aceldama, and to be utterly delivered over to the destroying Angel. Even in those streets which were usually the most thronged, there was a dead and awful silence; the grass grew rankly between the stones of Cornhill and Cheapside; there were no carriages stirring, although it was mid-day; and the few people that were seen moving about, here and there, walked in the middle of the road, for fear of infection from the houses; smelling to phials, chewing an antidote, or trusting to some philter, charm, or exorcism; while, by the dumb terror of their looks and the quickness of their progress, they might rather be taken for gliding phantoms than human creatures. Whole rows and streets of houses were shut up,