*!- ** '% .
hwe Baldwin Library
"":, fi'iKi^ :, Wi N_,;5.
THE WINTER'S TAL
kEfttlU Mcrtram's 1nam.
e f a A"iU
THE WINTER'S TALE;
TO WHICH I A~DD
UtttU a rtram's 2rawm.
0 many voice s thine, thou Wind I ful l uy a rokse Ih thit ;
From every mene Ity wing o'er weeps thou htar't a soutid and Sig
A mirntrel wild and d roag thou art, with a mastery ell thige own,
And twh spirit is thy hap, O Wind! that gives thensweriag tone.
Mas. HK Awam.
CORNISH, LAMPORT &
- -L I-~-~.--I I--. --
--- I I I '---
The Snow Storm
* 0 D. w 44
* U U
U,. a 9
9 U aI a
LarTLE BERTAMx's DJ0A1m
v a 13aM
f thou wouldst reap in love,
First sow in holy fear;
So life a winter's morn may prove
Tc a bright endless year.
TIE scene is laid in Britain, in the early part of the reign of
Domitian, whilst Julius Agricola retained the government of that
THE WINTER'S TALE.
Ehe ta =bnto arm.
IT was more than seventeen hundred years
ago, and a stormy evening in November; a
cold and piercing wind, accompanied by a
thick fall of snow, swept over a wide extent
of down, the dreariness of which was, at the
best of seasons, unbroken by hill or vale,
grove or thicket. Yet through the drifting
snow-storm, and over the wild waste, had
two children to make their way; whilst, to
add to the discomfort of their situation, the
day had well nigh closed, and they were yet
14 THE WINTER'S TALE.
at some distance from their home. These
youthful travellers were a boy and girl, broth-
er and sister: the first about twelve or thir-
teen years of age, tall and robust, whilst his
weaker companion might not be' more than
eight or nine. Both were healthy, well-looking
children, with bright dark eyes and clear com-
plexion. Their clothing, chiefly composed of
coarse woollen cloth, was well adapted to the
climate. Each wore a short cloak: the boy's,
composed of the same material as the other
parts of his dress, was of a deep blue colour;
whilst the skins of wild cats, neatly sewn to-
gether, formed a yet warmer covering for his
sister. She carried in her hand a neatly made
wicker basket. The boy's equipment was com-
pleted by a sort of dirk, or long knife, with cop-
per blade and horn handle, stuck into his gir-
,..... .. ...
THE SNOW-STORM. 15
die, and a spear, which holding in one hand,
he with the other conducted his sister. The
knowledge and acquirements of these two chil-
dren may be very briefly enumerated, although,
in truth, they exceeded that which was com-
mon to their age and country; for the boy,
thanks to the occasional instructions of a very
good and holy man, who had come from an-
other country to teach these poor islanders the
knowledge of the true God,-thanks, I say, to
the pains of this good man, the boy Morgan
had learnt to read. This was the circumstance
which, joined to the blessing of having been
born of Christian parents, distinguished Morgan
from other lads of his age and class; for most,
like him, could use their spear, and wage suc-
cessful war against the wild animals of the for-
est: most were fleet of foot, and quick of sight;
16 THE WINTER'S TALL
could guide a coracle with dexterity, swim
the deepest rivers when they had non. All
these things, useful in their way, could Morgan
do, and some other things which were fai less
useful. Gifted with a clear voice, and a good
memory, he could sing or recite songs of great
length, which recounted the warlike deeds of
his ancestors, chiefly exercised against their
countrymen, the inhabitants of some adjoining
district; or he would sing of the fabulous ex-
ploits of Merlin, believed in those ignorant times
to have been a powerful wizard or enchanter.
The little girl, less instructed than her brother,
but active and hardy, could already make her-
self of use in various ways. She assisted her
mother and old Brengwain, the only domestic,
excepting a swineherd, whom the family could
now maintain. She could turn the cakes, set to
THE SNOW-STORM. 17
bake upon the embers, with greater skill and
attention than did, in later times, the great
king Alfred. She could seek wild herbs to
flavour the pottage, or fetch cresses from the
brook; and already, with small but dexterous
fingers, could fashion trifling articles of wicker-
work, that work for which her country was so
Such were the children whose situation we
have described. Warmly clad, and accustomed
to brave the inclemency of the weather, they
for a time held steadily on their course; but
when the air became so thick with the fast-
falling snow as to prevent their any longer
discerning those slight landmarks which to
their experienced eyes had been sufficient to
guide them across the waste, they began to
repent of the previous loitering to which they
THE WINTER'S TALE.
had been sent by
their mother, early
day, (with some provisions for their own use,)
to convey to the
alluded to, some trifling
IThe morning was fine.
plain with nimble steps, reached the lowly hut
of the good father, on the outskirts of a forest,
but found its
the noontide meal provided by
on his return, could
they closed the. door
menced their journey
not fail to discover
of the hut,
steps they skirted
forest; now collecting nuts, which, ungathered,
THE SNOW-STORM. 19
had fallen for very ripeness from their husks;
now feasting on bullaces, which the early frosts
had brought to perfection: and now may
Gwyneth leisurely fill her basket with these
dainties, for Morgan is in eager pursuit of a
squirrel, or is stopping to watch the upward
flight of that large bird of prey, whom his hasty
steps have startled from the brake.
Sooner than they expected, they found a
short November day had nearly closed, and
that a change in the weather was already taking
place. With resolute steps, therefore, they left
the precincts of the forest, to enter the wide-
spreading plain which divided them from their
home. For the space nearly .of an hour they
had steadily advanced through the rising storm;
but at last its fury caused them to relax in their
speed, and suggested to the minds of both the
THE WINTER'S TALE.
possibility of wandering from the track. Sud-
denly Morgan perceived, by his vicinity to a
huge block of stone, that they had already
slightly deviated from it. Drawing his sister
forward, he exclaimed-
Here, Gwyneth, we have reached the old
temple. Make haste: we will get to the lee-
side of one of these high stones, and wait till
the storm somewhat abates ; it will not hold on
at this rate all niil;ht, and presently the moon
will be up."
Oh brother," replied the little girl, let
us not stop at that dismal place. We know
where we are now, and shall not, may be, miss
the track again; and our mother will be
"For which reason, if for no other," an.
swered Morgan, "we will stay awhile where
THE SNOW-STORM. 21
we are. If we try to make our way through
the snow-stormn, we may be wandering about
the plain all night. I cannot see an arm's-
length before me, and had nearly run against
this friendly stone before I was aware. Come
in, I say. What ails thee ?"
Thus speaking, young Morgan half led, half
pulled his sister within the circle of gigantic
stones which have long been known under the
title of Stonehenie. Then selecting one so
situated as to answer his present purpose, he
set his back against it, and, drawing Gwyneth
close to his side, continued-
"Now, Gwyneth dear, you are finely shel-
tered from the north-wind, and somewhat too
from the snow. Hark there is hail pattering
against our stone rampart: that change bodes
tis some good. The moon will come out pre,
22 THE WINTERS TALE.
sently; and then, with fresh breath, we shall
scud over the plain, and reach home, after all,
before the cakes are cold."
"Yes, Morgan," replied Gwyneth, almost in
a whisper, perhaps; but this is such a dismal
"So you said before, Gwyneth; but why is
it worse than any other place ? For my part,
I think it better than the open plain, in such
weather as this."
"Old Brengwain tells, brother, of such shock-
ing things which were done here long since.
She says that many human beings, children,
and men and women, were sacrificed here;
think of that, Morgan !"
"t I do think of it," replied the youth; but
the Druids, all that escaped the sword of the
Romans, are gone far away to the north. I do
not think there is a single Druid remaining in
this part of the country."
"True, Gwyneth; but they will not appear
again till the last day, when the Son of God
will come, with all His holy angels, to judge the
" How know you that, brother ?
Aidan tell you so ?"
He did; and that all, whether dead or alive,
Britons or Romans, must then
the judgment-scat of Christ."
when that will
be, Morgan ?"
"No, indeed, sister,
any one else either.
he does not know, nor
3f that day and that hour
knoweth no man; though some of our old peo-
24 THE WINTER'S TALE.
pie, since the Romans have come from the
uttermost part of the earth to possess them-
selves of our country (which yet they affect to
despise,) are apt to believe that the world will
shortly come to an end."
"The Romans have done us some service,
at least," replied Gwyvneth, in delivering us
from the Druids and their frightful worship;
though Brengwain says, that the country has
never prospered since the Druids were driven
The Druids could not have aided us, had
they remained," replied Morgan; "but small
thanks to the Romans for ridding us of them;
for do they not want us to worship all manner
of false gods and goddesses, and in them all
manner of wickedness ?-works of the devil,
Father Aidan says, not less than the bloody
THE SNOW-STORM. 25
rites of the Druids. But we will not talk of
them just now, Gwyneth. Tell me-rather of
your journey the other day, with our mother,
to the Villa (as these proud strangers call it)
at Thruxton: I know pretty well what passed
there, but I shall like to hear your account of
Oh! brother, I was sadly frightened."
And with some reason, Gwynveth, on that
occasion; but tell me what you saw, and what
you noticed, as most curious at the Villa."
"Well, then, to begin at the beginning, the
Lady Valeria, you know, sent a litter, and a
kindly greeting, to our mother, praying her to
come to Thruxton, as she had somewhat to
communicate, and promising her a safe return,
after the interview, to her own home."
A fine coveyance, truly," iatrupted
26 THE WINTER'S TALE.
Morgan, "for the wife of a British prince! a
Roman litter, instead of her own curiously
worked chariot. But go on, Gwyneth."
There was room for one in this litter, and
my mother consented that I should accompany
her. When we reached the Villa, there were
I know not bow many steps of very smooth
stone to go up before we could enter the house,
and a row of high stone pillars, not nearly so
high as these, but smooth and round. Well,
we were taken into a room, and left by our*
selves till the Lady Valeria should know of our
coming; so my mother sat down, and I began
to look about me. The walls were beautifully
coloured to imitate flowers and fruit, but they
were not like the flowers and fruit of this coun-
try ; and the floor of the room was the most cu-
rious thing of all. It was fashioned of different-
THE SNOW-STORM. 27
coloured stones, put together so exactly as to
form the shape of birds and beasts, and many
other things I did not understand; but I par-
ticularly noticed, in the middle part of this
floor, a curious little fat man riding on a
strange-looking animal with a long beard:
there were little boys, some going before, and
some coming after, who carried large bunches
of green leaves and berries, I supposed for the
creatures to eat. I called my mother to look,
and she said that there were many such animals
in her own country, amongst the mountains to
the north-west, and that she thought the goat
(as she called it) was more like a goat than the
rider was like a man. We had not, however,
long to wait; they came to shew us the way to
another apartment, where we found the lady
and two or three waiting-women, one of whom
28 THE WINTER'S TALE.
held in her arms a young child about the age
of our little brother Madoc. This room was
very grand, Morgan, and had more rich things
in it than I should know how to describe. It
felt warm, although there was no smoke, ex
cepting a little thin smoke which came from a
sort of golden cup, and which smelt very sweet;
and the lady herself was so stately and so beau-
tiful! Her hair was all drawn up to the back
of her head, and round it she had a golden fil-
let. Her dress was looped up at her shoulders
with gold, for her arms were bare : neither
was it made of woollen, like our mother's but
of something soft and shining; it glistened like
the back of a beetle I saw one day on a sunny
"Well," interrupted Morgan, "enough of
the lady's dress; only I think she will require a
warmer if she remains through the winter in
Britain. What said she ?"
"She received my mother graciously, and
smiled when she spoke a few words to me. I do
not know what they were. By the help of one
of the slaves standing by, my mother and the
Lady were able to understand each other.
Then the Lady Valeria said that her young son
(the child whom the slave held in her arms)
was sickly,-and she feared that he would not
grow up to be strong like his brothers: and
that, if my mother would take him to her home,
and rear him with her own child, she would re-
compense her with rich gifts. The Lady said
something about a dream that she had dreamed,
which had put it into her mind to send her
child to be amongst the Britons. My mother
looked at the little child, and then said she
80 THE WINTER'S TALE.
would take charge of.him, and be careful of
him as if he were her own, but that she did
not wish for a recompense. 'But,' said the
lady, 'perhaps you are, or have been, one of
the followers of the Druids, as you term them;
and, in that case, I should fear to trust you
with my child: your willingness to take the
charge of him, without fee or reward, makes
me distrust you.' 'I am no approved of the
Druidical worship, lady,' replied my mother,
'neither is my husband; nor do we regret its
extinction in the land.' 'Then,' said the lady,
you will not object, I suppose, to sacrifice to
Jupiter ; and that will set my mind at case ?'"
What said our mother ?" inquired
"She was silent for a few moments, and
looked at me; then she told the lady plainly
THE SNOW-STORM. 31
that she could not comply with her request.;
and that, as the ceremony would not be bind-
ing on her conscience, it could avail nought
for the safety of the child. 'But,' she said,
'lady I will pledge the word of a British matron
for his being tended with the same care that I
would bestow were he my own child.' The
lady looked steadfastly at my mother, and said,
'I fear that if you have forsaken the ancient
superstition of your country, it has bqen only
to embrace another, and perhaps a worse; will
you deny that you are one of that new and
impious sect called Christians ?' My mother
replied, 'Lady, I dare not lie, and must there-
fore confess myself a sincere, but unworthy,
believer in Christ.' The countenance of the
Lady Valeria changed, and she looked angry.
I seized hold of my mother's vest; for I fear-
32 THE WINTER'S TALE.
ed they would drag her away, and perhaps put
her to death: but, after a pause, the lady spoke
again, though in a cold and haughty manner.
'Begone !' she said; I take no advantage of
your confession. My word was pledged for
your safe return to your home, and the word
of Varro's wife must be held sacred.' My
mother took me by the hand, and, with an
obeisance to the lady, silently withdrew. Glad
was I when we left the Villa; but I did not
feel quite safe and happy, Morgan, till we
reached our own home."
It was nobly done of our mother," replied
he, "and worthy is she to be descended from
the brave Caradoc.* But is it not shameful
that his grandchild, and the wife of Cymbeline,
should thus be treated-be sent for, insulted,
F9 WJL- CV
THE SNOW-STORM. 33
and dismissed by the wife of a pretty Roman
captain ? But they are a hateful race, wicked
as they are proud, and proud as-"
"A half-taught British youth," interrupted
a voice which seemed to proceed from an ad-
G.wyneth clung closer to her brother, who
grasped his spear more firmly.
If you cannot prevail on yourself to speak
of your enemies like a Christian, at least speak
not so loud," continued the voice; and Morgan
recognized the mild accents of Father Aidan.
"I Who was it, my son, that commanded us
to love our enemies, and to do good to those
who hate us ?"
"I cannot love a Roman, father; no Briton
can ever do that."
"You are not required to love him as you
THE WINTER'S TALE.
or a brother;
but you must
him ill, nor seek to
may have injured yc
)u; and you,
Morgan, whose father, received the first know-
ledre of our blessed religion from a captive
life his clemency had
are more especially bound to exercise towards
his countrymen the charity which our faith re-
I know it is Father Aidannow," exclaimed
Are you but now aware of that,
But tell me what brought you hiti
an hour, and in such unkindly weal
my child ?
ier at such
Morgan quickly explained the misadventures
how, in returning
from some distant
to his forest-home, he had been overtaken by
" he speaks such good words."
the storm, and, like the children, had sought a
partial shelter amongst the stones which com-
posed the ancient temple.
" And now,
us get on our way; the
violence of the storm
is somewhat abated, and the moon will give us
If we remain
limbs will stiffen
with the cold; and I freely
own that I am not yet inured to the climate of
Are you a Briton, then, father ?" inquired
birth, my son: and
choice of me for this mission, in preference to
many better and more learned m
that my zeal for the conversion
degree atone for
TIE WINTER'S TALE.
your ho mre,
I will see you
me kindly welcome; and I have
that 1in my bosom
will amply repay
their hospitality this night.."
is it, father ?"
" is it a bird, or some pretty little beast ?"
'" Neither, little one; it is a roll of parch-
ment, on which is transcribed a portion of the
Acts of the blessed Apostle.
I will commit
it to your care, Morgan, that you may study it
yourself, and read it to your parents."
At a stcadty pace, such as fitt ed the advanced
age of Father Aidan, the party proceeded over
the wiintIvy waste.
The vcathlier hIad mendeld,
and Gwyneth trudged on without complaiing
heard the howl-
ings of a wolf; but she
feared him not.
G ~\'5' "~utll;
TIHE SNOW-STORM. 37
thor Aidan carried a stout staff, headed with
stone, which served to help him on his way,
and was besides, no despicable weapon of
defence. Morgani had his spear, and, ere he
left the stones, careful to ascertain that his dirk
was safely deposited in his girdle ; and Gwyn-
eth, setting, aside her fear of the Druids, was a
stout-hearted little girl. At the end ofanothet
half-hour, ti1e country became rather less
barren, and they found themselves amongst
bushes and stunted trees familiar to them all.
They had now to descend a steepish till; and
long before they reached its base, a glimmer-
ing light-which, as they well knew, proceed-
ed from tlchir home-was joyfully recognized
by Morgan and Gwyneth. The dwelling of
Cymbeline was partly hollowed out of the
steep bank at the foot of which it was placed,
38 THE WINTER'S TAL.
and partly formed of turf and stones; whilst
two wings, as they might be termed, of wattle-
work, accommodated the servants and cattle.
Cymbeline had more than once looked anxi-
ously forth for the return of his children. He
knew that, had they left the hut of Aidan in
reasonable time, they must have arrived at
home before the storm had reached its height.
What had detained them, he knew not; but
lie did know the courage and sagacity of his
son, and ever and anon he spoke of both to his
wife, who patiently listened, and lifted her
heart in secret prayer to Heaven for the pre-
servation of her children. Old Brengwain sat
cowering over the embers, turning her cakes,
and muttering to herself, "Ay, ay, the lad is
over-venturesome, and the precious little one
will follow wherever he leads the way. I saw
more ravens flitting round the place to-day
than I have noticed for this year and more."
And think you not, old woman, they have
scented the carcass of the foal that died this
morning, and which, if Gwaith have not re-
moved, as I bade him, we shall have worse
visitants than the ravens. The wolves will
not fail to have their share."
The recollection of the wolves seemed to
urge Cymbeline to take some active measures
for the recovery of his children; and seizing
his spear, he was about to leave his rustic hall,
when it was hastily entered by Father Aidan
and his young companions. All was speedily
explained; gently did Colma chide her truant
children; much kindly greeting did she give
to the venerable man; while Brengwain mar-
veiled they should have escaped unhurt from
40 THE WINTER'S TALE.
the magic circle of stones, which mortal never,
as she averr.ed, had been able to number aright,
nor ever would, so long as they should stand.
Cymbelinec bade her hold her peace; and
serve the supper, which had been delayed till
long past the usual hour. Plentifully, though
not sui1ptuc:usl1y, the board was spread; and
all, including the two domestics, gathered
romnd it-all but the infant Madoc, who had
long been sleeping in his cradle. The good
Father Aidae prayed for a blessing on the
meal, to which all did ample'justice. Gwyn-
eth's nuts and wild-plums were not forgotten;
and she, in thI joyf l benevolence of her heart,
wished that every body in Britain had such a
shelter fi'om the storm, and such a meal to re-
fresh them after the fatigues of the day. It
is very sad that people should be obliged to
the swine, upon acorns and
nuts, as I have heard they do in the barbarous
parts of the country : the
beech-nuts are not
but I never
acorn in my life."
Peace, little one," said
her father, kindly
patting her on the head; "the holy
and not heard."
Again the grace
wIas said; then,
from his vest the precious roll, Father Aidan
read a chapter of that portion of Scripture which
he had lately rendered into the British tongue.
With simple, earnest words he
ed the doctrine
delivered by the blessed apo3-
ties, and endeavoured to impress
the minds of his hearers.
its truths on
All listened with at-
42 THE WINTER'S TALE.
derstood much of what was said; their minds
were very dark, and they clung to many of
their ancient superstitions; but they knelt de-
voutly with the rest of the family when Aidan
pronounced the simple phrase, "Let us pray."
He prayed that all there present might be
built up in the faith of Christ, and, through
His mediation, obtain remiission of their sins;
that they might be delivered from the evil one,
and enabled, by the help of the Holy Spirit, to
resist his temptations, and to approve them-
selves the faithful soldiers and servants of
Christ, even, if need were, to the death. He
prayed for the conversion of all heathen people,
whether Britons or Romans; and that the good
seed which had been sown, and was now
springing up in the land, might take deep root,
and prevail more and more, spreading .its
THE SNOW-STORM. 43
branches like the grain of mustard-seed in
Holy Scripture. Such were the heads of the
good Father Aidan's prayer to the Almighty;
then blessing the little flock committed to his
charge, they rose, and exchanging mutual good
wishes for safe and sound repose, the family'
retired to their respective beds. The wind
still blew gustily round their dwelling; but
ere Gwyneth had well begun to listen to the
fitful sound, her eyes had closed, and she was
THE storm had ceased, and, although the air
was slightly frosty, the sun shone brightly
forth; and, under the influence of its kindly
rays, the snow which had fallen the preceding
evening was fast melting away. Father Aidan
took a kindly leave of Colma and her children,
and, attended by his host, once more bent his
steps towards his forest-home. Cymbeline,
on finding himself alone with the good father,
communicated to him his apprehension lest
some evil consequence should result from the
late interview of his wife with .the Roman
lady, such as might expose his family to per-
section, and to avoid which, he had even
thought of removing his residence to another
quarter of the country
"Think not of it," replied the priest; "the
Lady Valeria is honourable, according to
Roman ideas of honour; she will not forfeit
her word by betraying your wife to the ma-
gistrates: nor, were such her wish, would she,
as I believe, have the power to injure her.
The policy of the present governor is to
conciliate the Britons; and, unless he receive
absolute commands from Caesar to the contrary,
or the Britons themselves exasperate him by a
renewal of hostilities, he will leave them un-
molested in regard to religion: nor will Agricola
thank the individual, who, by bringing the sub-
ject before him, should force his attention to
that which both humanity and policy incline
46 THE WINTER'S TALE
him to overlook. The days of persecution
may come, Cymbeline, and the Christians of
Britain may be called upon to drink of that
bitter cup in common with the' saints of other
countries: this is but too probable. Let us,
then, during the present interval of peace,
carefully nurse our infant Church; nor suffer
any rash and ill-timed attempts to shake off
the Roman yoke, to deluge the country again
with blood, and retard the. progress of that
faith, which, whatever may be our lot in this
world, can alone bring peace at the last."
The eye of Cymbeline kindled as he replied,
"Father, have you forgotten, or did you never
hear, the words which the patrician Cornelius
is reported to have spoken on his return to
Rome?-' The Britons,' said he, will never
jf forget that they have been free.' "
THE CAPTIVE. 47
May the Almighty, in His own time, re-
store them the blessings of freedom," meekly
replied the priest. "I have conversed, my
son, in other countries, with men highly es-
teemed for the learning and wisdom of this
world, and such I have heard to express their
doubts of the durability of the Roman power;
her eagle, they say, has taken too wide a flight,
and the strength of the Roman empire is im-
paired by the vastness of its extent. When
the Romans shall feel the necessity of confin-
ing their dominion within narrower limits,
the remote provinces, such as Britain, will be
the first to regain their liberty. In the mean-
time, it is by the mercy of God that the evils
of subjection to a foreign power are so greatly
softened, and that, for those which remain, the
people have-or I trust will have, if opportu.
48 THE WINTER'S TALE.
nity be offered-the supports and consolations
of the Gospel; the good tidings, which, if
faithfully delivered and thankfully received,
Christ's Church in Britain will be, to the end
of time, the strength and safeguard of the na-
tion. Think on these things, noble Cymbe-
line; and if it be the will of Providence that
you should no longer move as a prince amongst
your countrymen, yet be their friend, their
guide, and their example."
Thus they parted, and each pursued his
solitary way: Cymbeline, in pursuit of his
game, to survey from its heights the land
which had once beI subject to his sway; the
churchman to meditate and pray in the seclud-
ed nook, which sheltered, and barely shelter-
ed him from the inclemency of the weather.
Morgan, on the departure of his father and
THE CAPTIVE. 49
their guests, had hastened to the banks of the
Avon, and springing into his light coracle,
guided it swiftly down the quiet stream. And
here let us leave him awhile to his amusement,
that we may acquaint ourselves with other
personages, one of whom, at least, will share
with Morgan and Gwyneth whatever of interest
may be found in the following pfges.
At no great distance from the dwelling of
Cymbeline stood a rude cabin, the inhabitants
of which, not less rude than it, consisted of an
old man and woman, named Mordred and
Ursil, natives of the country, and of a young
girl, about eleven years of age, who, by birth
a Roman, was their captive and their slave.
In the general slaughter which had attended
a successful attack on a Roman colony, and
under the influence of some unwonted feeling
50 THE WINTER'S TALE.
of pity on the part of Mordred, the life of this
girl, then an infant in the cradle, had been
spared; and when, on the advance of a Roman
force to the relief of the place, the Britons
found themselves obliged to retire, still, through
blood, and fire, and smoke, Mordred conveyed
the child in safety, and finally consigned her
to the care of his wife, with an injunction to
tend and rear her. Great was Ursil's aston-
ishment at such a command; and, as she long
afterwards told Father Aidan, she considered
Mordred as under the influence of some spell;
for never before had he been known to spare
or save. At all events, the will of Mordred
was potent as any spell in his own cabin; and
the babe, though with little shew of tenderness,
was reared, and-however scantily fed, poorly
clothed, and, as she advanced in years, roughly
THE CAPTIVE. 61
used-was not less healthy and robust than the
children of the soil; whilst her proud spirit and
haughty temper gave testimony to her foregin
birth. Ignorant, of course, what name she
might have received from her parents, the old
man and woman addressed her, if in good
humour, only by the general appellation-
Child; and if as was more commonly the case,
they were cross and spiteful, by some more un-
gracious or reproachfif epithet. When Father
Aidan had heard her mournful history, he called
her Perdita, and from that time she was known
as Perdita in all the neighboring cabins-
Mordred and Ursil were heathens, and ob-
stinately attached to the old customs and pagan
rites of their country. Very ignorant were
they; and their young companion, as may be
supposed, was not less so. Father Aidan, ever
52 THE WINTER'S TALE.
since his arrival in that part of the country,
had, with unweared patience, endeavoured to
convey to this benighted family some know-
ledge of the true faith, but hitherto in vain:
the old couple would not make the slightest
effort to understand his doctrine; and Perdita
was equally averse to being instructed. Ac-
quainted with her own disastrous history, and
hating, with all her heart and soul, the Britons,
as enemies of her people, she set her mind re-
solutely against any compliance which might
assimilate her with that detested race, or render
her less worthy, as she fancied, of that family
to which she constantly cherished the hope of
being in time restored. No kindness of tone
or manner could induce her to regard Father
Aidan as a friend. She avoided him whenever
it was possible, and closed her ears to his in-
THE CAPTIVE. 53
structions, if there was no escape. There
were, however, two exceptions to her hatred,
Morgan and Gwyneth. Brought up in a very
different school, they never missed an op-
portunity of shewing kindness to the destitue
girl; and she had been too long, and too early,
accustomed to their kindness, to scruple in ac-
cepting it. Not. so, however, was it when
their mother, Colrma, after some fruitless at-
tempts to induce old Ursil to provide her
charge with warmer and more decent clothing,
sent to the cabin, for her use, a suit of clothes,
similar to those worn by her own child. With
taunting words the ill-tempered old woman pre-
sented Colma's gift; and Perdita, indignant at
the thought of becoming an object of British
charity, spurned the proffered boon,-still ap-
peared in her scanty, tattered garments, and
54 THE WINTER'S TALE.
thus continued through the autumn. At last,
one wintry day, the pride of Perdita gave way;
and thus it was. The three children had been
amusing themselves with sliding on a frozen
pool of water, till the delightful glow which
healthy exercise only can give had spread itself
through every limb. Poor Perdita could not
help expressing a wish that she always felt as
warm and comfortable as she then did: But
one cannot slide from morning till night; and
when I shall be driving those tiresome kine
before me, by and by, I shall get as cold as
ever. They move along like snails and Ursil
will not let me hurry them. You and Gwyneth
have not that to do before you get your
"No," replied Morgan; "nor, if we had,
should we feel the cold so much as you do;
for we have warm clothing."
THE CAPTIVE. 55
"You need not tell me that Gwyneth's
clothes are better than mine," replied Perdita,
somewhat sharply; any body with eyes may
see that. If she is not warm with that new
woollen vest bordered with hare-skin, I do not
know who should be."
"Somebody else might have worn such a
one, if they had pleased," answered Morgan,
The countenance of Perdita clouded over,
as, in a somewhat sulky tone, she replied, "I
do not want such fine things."
"You want whole things," said Morgan,
"and that you cannot deny. Look at your
almost naked feet; and your coat, besides being
thin and ragged, is become too short for you.
I would not see Gwyneth go about in that half-
clad manner for ever so much."
56 THE WINTER'S TALE.
"Do not blame her, brother," interrupted
Gwyneth, observing that Perdita was ready to
cry with vexation; "she cannot help it, you
She can help it, Gwyneth; and if she had
the love for you and me that we have for her,
she would help it."
"I am sure," said Perdita, "I do not know
how my being ragged and cold can harm you
or your sister, unless you are ashamed of being
seen with me; and that, I suppose, is the
"Oh, no, indeed; indeed that is not it,"
Gwyneth began; but her brother interrupted
her by saying-
"You know, Perdita, very well, that such is
not my meaning; and that if you had no better
garments than those you have on, and no kind
THE CAPTIVE. 57
friend to give you any, I would sooner lose
my best spear than speak to you as I did just
now. But now, Perdita, I put it to yourself,
-do you think that your refusing to wear the
clothes which our mother provided, and fash-
ioned for you with her own hands, and choos-
ing to go shivering about in that manner,
rather than accept of a kindness from her, can
be pleasing to Gwyneth and me. I think, if
you had the regard for us which you have
sometimes expressed, you would have accept-
ed the garments, and worn them for our sakes."
Unprepared for this appeal to her better
feelings, Perdita retuained for some moments
silent and motionlcms: her changing counte-
nance betokened some inward struggle, but it
was a short one. I will wear the clothes!"
she presently exclaimed; and pronouncing
58 THE WINTER'S TALE.
these few words, she disappeared in the di-
rection of Mordred's hut as fast as her nimble
feet could carry her. Once resolved on this
sacrifice to friendship, Perdita delayed not a
moment to accomplish it. Speedily arrayed
in the rejected garments, she again sped forth,
and presenting herself at the entrance of Col-
ma's dwelling, informed her, with the air and
tone of an empress, that her gift was accept-
ed; that the day might come when the wife
of Cymbeline would rejoice in having confer-
red an obligation on one of Roman birth, and
that, in the meantime, she wore the clothing
in token of her good-will to Morgan and Gwyn-
eth;-a discourse so little to the taste of old
Brengwain, who was carding wool in a cor-
ner of the apartment, that had she not been
restrained by the presence of her mistress, it
THE CAPTIVE. 59
is probable that Perdita might have borne away
on her shoulders some traces of the carding-
Let us now return to Morgan, whom we left
rowing his coracle on the Avon. Not long
had he thus amused himself, when he perceiv-
ed, on a woody bank which fringed the river
to his left, a herd of swine feeding; and pre-
sently, from the opposite side, appeared a
wolf, who, entering the water, swam straight
across the stream. "Some one must have
roused him from his lair, or he would not be
abroad at this hour," thought Morgan. How-
ever, being up and about, he will make no
ceremony of seizing one of old Mordred's hogs
as soon as he lands. His dogs are none of the
best, and Perdita will not be far off. I had
best see to it" Then urging forward his light
60 THE WINTER'S TALE.
bark, he gained the spot where the wolf had
landed, just as the piercing cries of an unhap-
py hog announced, with sufficient clearness,
the arrival of the enemy. The wolf had fast-
ened on his prey; the remainder of the herd
were flying in all directions; no dog was to
be seen; but the girl Perdita stood her ground
courageously, armed with a stick of some
strength and size.
"Hold, Perdita !" shouted Morgan, as he
leaped on the bank; "for your life, strike him
not." At the shout of Morgan, the wolf loos-
ened his hold, and one thrust of his spear sent
him howling into the thicket. Morgan pur-
sued; but the animal, not dangerously wound-
ed, had escaped through the brushwood, and
was speeding his way across the country
Morgan, retracing his steps, found Perdita en
THE CAPTIVE. 61
deavoi~ing to recover the scattered herd;
whilst the wounded hog had ceased his out-
cries, and, not being seriously hurt, was again
searching for acorns amongst the faded herb-
age. It cost both Morgan and Perdita some
time and trouble to collect the frightened ani-
Why have you no dogs ?" inquired Mor-
Because," replied the girl, Mordred has
taken one to hunt with, and old Orsil chose to
keep the other at home, for company belike."
"Well, it's no matter; there was no great
harm done: but there might have been, had
you struck the wolf, Perdita, which I feared,
when I first saw you with that great stick, you
were about to do."
"Not I," replied Perdita : "I would have
62 THE WINTER'S TALE.
used the stick to defend myself; but what
should I anger the wolf for, to save old Mor-
dred's hog V"
I thought you might have had some con-
cern for the sufferings of the animal," replied
Morgan; and still more for Mordred's anger
at its loss."
He could but beat me, as lie has done be-
fore; and better so, than that Roman blood
should be endangered to save the life of a
British hog "
Why, truly," answered Morgan, "I ques-
tion if the British wolf would have shewn any
respect for the Roman blood; so, though your
reasons were none of the best, you did well to
keep the peace. But, come now that we have
got the hogs together again, let us move on.
I will moor the coracle to that stump, and help
you to drive them homewards. I will speak
to Mondred too, if I can meet with him; for
though wolves do not often roam about at this
time of day, they ought not to send you with
the swine without a dog."
The party set forward, and clearing the
shaggy brow with as mnich speed as the nature
of their charge would permit, they reached an
open space, from whence diverged two or more
tracks, leading to different parts of the country.
In the centre stood a rude pedestal of stone,
surmounted by a bust, somewhat coarsely exe-
cuted, and already discoloured by exposure to
the vicissitudes of a northern climate.
"Know you what this means '" asked Mor-
"Yes," replied Perdita; it marks where
the three roads meet."'
THE WINTER'S TALL
So we, who know the country, could tell
without this stone figure," replied Morgan
laughing; "it is the work of your countrymen,
Surely," she replied; "the Britons could
not make it."
Nor worship it wheft made; at least," add-
ed Morgan, correcting himself, "not now.-
That is one of the gods of the Romans, Perdita."
"What that head of stone ? "
"No, not properly the head of stone itself;
but it is meant for the likeness of one of those
false gods. This god of the Romans," continued
Morgan, "is supposed to protect thieves."
"How can you say so, Morgan 1" exclaimed
Perdita, angrily; how should you know any
thing of the matter 1"
Because Father Aidan told me that much,"
THE CAPTIVE 6
"Father Aidan is a bad man to say such
"You are a bad girl," rejoined Morgan,
somewhat moved in his turn, to speak in that
irreverent way of the holy man, and to deny
so stoutly what you know nothing about."
They proceeded some little way in silence;
Morgan was the first to speak:-" Were you
out in the snow-storm yesterday, Perdita "
No; for old Ursil kept me at home all day
to grind some corn."
"It was all the better for you. Had you
been with Gwyneth and me, you would have
I do not think your arms ached like mine,"
answered Perdita, mournfully.
SThat is true," replied Morgan, in a tone
of compassion; but cheer up, Perdita; you
66 THE WINTER S TALE.
grow every day taller and stronger; and when
you are a woman grown, Mordred and Ursil,
if still living, will not have the power to treat
you harshly; nor, indeed, the wish, for they
will be dependent upon you for all their com-
"They will get none from me, I promise
you," Perdita sturdily replied.
Nay," said Morgan, "I will never believe
tfIat; you have not surely so bad a heart
No, indeed, I have not at all a bad heart:
I would hurt no one who did not hurt me; and,
if I had the power, I would shew kindness to
you or Gwyneth, or any one esle who had been
kind to me. Old Mordred and Ursil hate me,
and I hate them; they spite me now, and when
I can, I shall spite them."
THE CAPTIVE. 67
Ah said Morgan, remembering his'own
expressions the evening before, when overheard
by Father Aidan, so I suppose we all are by
All are what ?" asked his companion.
All haters and spiters of our enemies."
To be sure we are," replied the girl; it
comes to us, as you say, naturally. All people
who have any sense, I suppose, revenge them-
selves on their enemies; and foolish people,
too, for that matter;-at least I know that the
silly lad Cloten, who lives on the other side of
the river, will always throw dirt and stones at
those who have offended him; even he has
sense enough to do that."
"According to your notion of things, then,
Perdita, wise people are no better than fools in
68 THE WINTER'S TALE.
"There are no people so very foolish, I sup-
pose, as to do good to their enemies: did you
ever hear of such yourself 1"
Yes, I have; Father Aidan has told me of
Oh then," said Perdita, "they were Chris-
tians, of course, if Father Aidan talked about
them :-and," continued she, after a pause, "I
have heard people say, Morgan, that your fath-
er, though he could not be a king, might have
governed this province under the Romans, if
he had not been a Christian."
"Perhaps he might," said Morgan, endeav-
ouring to check some angry recollections, and
speaking hastily: "I do not know much about
it;" then added, more coolly, "it is very true,
Perdita, as I have been taught, that Christians
are often called upon to renounce the honours
-THE CAPTIVE. 69
and pleasures of this world, to abstain from re-
venge, and many other things to which they
may be naturally inclined, and sometimes to
lay down their lives for their religion."
That is a very hard religion, Morgan; I
shall never follow it."
Do not speak thus, Perdita; you know not
what you say. Father Aidan could explain all
these things to you far better than I can; but
you will not listen to him, and therefore it is
that you know nothing, and that you say things
which, some day or other, I hope you will be
Thus conversing, they reached the hut of
Mordred; where Morgan, having explained to
Ursil the mishap of the morning, and by fair
words averted, as he hoped, the wrath which
threatened the luckless Perdita, returned to the
70 THE WINTER'S TALE.
river; and whilst he fulfilled his promise of
providing Ursil with some fish for her supper,
he thought much, and for his age, deeply, on
the unconverted state of poor Perdita, on whom
it seemed impossible to make any favourable
impression. Suddenly it darted into his mind
that Perdita had never been baptized; and this,
he thought, might be the cause of her im-
penitency. He tried to'remember all that
Father Aidan had ever told him concerning the
nature and object of baptism. He recollected
that when his little brother had been baptized,
the father had spoken of his being made a child
of God, and of his having a new nature given
him, and so, though lie could not arrange his
ideas on this important subject with the
clearness that he wished, he came to the con-
clusion that baptism was the great thing want-
THE CAPTIVE. 71
ing for Perdita, and that if she could obtain it,
some striking change would immediately take
place in her mind and disposition. His first
wish was now to converse with Father Aidan
on the subject, and this he trusted to have an
opportunity of doing on the following Sunday.
Two days were to intervene; and often did
Morgan turn the subject over in his mind;
sometimes pleasing himself with the idea of
the father's ready acquiescenee-accompanied,
perhaps, with some commendation of his own
zeal; but oftener checking his hopes with the
too probable consideration that, anxious as
Father Aidan had ever shewn himself for the
spiritual improvement of Perdita, he would
not have overlooked, and least of all neglected,
so important a circumstance, had he thought it
conducive to the object in view.
IT was no smoothly beaten road-no foot-path,
even, well-trodden, and winding through cul-
tivated enclosures, or by the side of sheltering
hedges-which conducted Cymbeline, his wife,
and their two elder children, to one of the first
Christian churches erected in this country.
It was early day: the sun, if risen, had no
power to penetrate the fog of a dark November
morning; and although the district occupied
THE CHURCH. 73
by Cymbeline and other British families might,
by comparison with lower and richer tracts of
the country, he considered dry and salubrious,
yet was the course they had to pursue suffi-
ciently dreary; to the bleak and shelterless ,
waste succeeded rough and broken ground;
and, finally, the travellers had to thread the
intricacies of that forest in whose deep re-
cesses Father Aidan's earliest converts had,
under his directions, reared the sacred edifice.
No Sabbath-bell summoned the scattered flock
from their homely dwellings, or served as guide
to the sequestered spot The circumstances
of the times demanded caution. A party of
Christians, assembled for the open and ac-
knowledged purpose of religious worship,
would have been rudely dispersed, their church
destroyed, and well if the order of the Roman
74 THE WINTER S TALE.
magistrate extended not to further outrage. It
was, therefore, in the solitude of the wilder-
ness, or in the depths of some primeval forest,
that the early Christians of this country were
compelled to rear, with unskillful hands, the
house of God; and it was in silence and se-
crecy, but with simple-hearted and true devo-
tion, that they sought the sanctuary which, by
the united prayers of priest and people, had
been consecrated to the pure worship of the
one Almighty God. None but the practised
eye of a native could have traced the path
which led to the church where Father Aidan
awaited his little flock. Placed in the obscurity
of a natural dell, the building could not be
discerned at all till very closely approached.
When the wood was green-when, in the
spring-time of the year, the blossoms of the
THE CHURCH. 75
whitethorn perfumed the air, and primroses
innumerable adorned the banks; or when, in
summer, the gay foxglove waved as profusely
from their summits-when the loud carol of
blackbird and thrush, the plaintive notes of the
woodpigeon, and the thousand songs of smaller
birds, resounded through the forest,-it was a
spot right pleasant both to eye and ear. But
now dreary was its aspect; the artless note of
the redbreast, or the harsh scream of some
bird of prey, alone broke the silence of the
wood. Its loveliness was gone; the leafless
branches dripped on the passing traveller;
whilst the mass of dead leaves, which thickly
carpeted the ground, struck cold and damp to
the foot. Yet was there comfort and warmth
in the hearts of these primitive Christians; for
they had "joy an'd peace in believing."
76 THE WINTER'S TALE.
No gracefully turned arch, pointed or round,
received this little band of faithful worshippers;
no lengthened aisle, no decorated screen or al-
tar met the curious eye; no painted glass, no
glass of any kind, secured the rude loop-holes,
which served to admit the light, from admitting
also both wind and rain. The rough, unhewn
stones of the country formed the walls; dried
heath or fern covered the lowly roof; the sim-
plest of our village churches would have stood
as a cathedral by the side' of this towerless
By the contrivers it was, however, viewed
with feelings of the deepest reverence; dearer
to them its rugged walls, its leaf-thatched roof,
than all that the knowledge of after-ages could
have made it. In its construction their ut-
most skill had been exerted; noprivate dwell-
THE CHURCH. 77
ing could boast of more elaborate workman-
ship; and they felt that they had given their
best. Decent and orderly were the internal
arrangements, though rude the materials.-
Seated in rows, the men on one hand, the
women and children on the other, they wait-
ed in respectful silence the commencement
of the service. This, as may be supposed,
differed in form from that which is now in
use; very old as portions of our Church ser-
vice undoubtedly are, the most ancient of
them were composed long after the time of
which we are now speaking. But this an-
cient liturgy had, like our own, holy Scrip-
ture for its foundation; and therefore, al-
though the words might be different, the
spirit and meaning of them was the- same.-
The Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed
78 THE WINTER'S TALE.
were known to these early Christians as well
as to ourselves; and, with infinite pains, Fa-
ther Aidan had succeeded in acquainting
them with some of the Psalms of David.-
These, committed to memory, they chanted
to their own national airs; so that "many,"
as an ancient father of the Church observes,
" that knew not a letter, can say David's
Psalms by heart."* The service was some-
what long; for in those time of difficulty
and danger, Christians, uncertain when and
how they might meet again, and obliged, as
it were, to snatch their religious privileges
by stealth, seldom separated without parta-
king of the holy communion. Therefore, I
say, it was long ere Morgan could gain the
opportunity he wished of addressing Father
See Bishop Sparrow on the Common Prayer.
THE CHURCH. .79
Aidan. He lingered with his sister near the
precincts of the church, till the party within
had concluded their devotions, and were be-
ginning to disperse; then, seizing a favoura-
ble moment, he acquainted the good priest
with his wish to converse with him in pri-
vate. Willingly, my child," replied the
holy man, "but it cannot be at present.-
A person of distinction amongst our coun-
try people has died, on the more distant side
of the High Tor, and the relatives and
friends of the deceased intend to-day to inter
the body, with their accustomed ceremonies,
on the plain, and in the vicinity of the great
temple, still sacred in their eyes. I shall
now hasten to the spot; the hearts of the sur-
vivors may be softened by grief. I possess not
the power, like the blessed apostles now de-
parted of restoring the dead to life; but the
80 THE WINTERS TALE.
same Holy Spirit which cried, Comfort ye my
people,' may move the hearts of our poor unin-
formed countrymen to listen to the offers of sal-
vation, and raise them, dead in trespasses and
sins, to light and life, and hopes of a glorious
immortality. Return then, Morgan, to your
home, and assist your little sister through the
toilsome path. If afterwards your parents re-
quire not your presence, seek me at the Druids'
temple. God being willing, I shall await you
The good father, as he ceased to speak,
turned from the youth; who, in obedience to
his command, hastened to overtake his parents
Fearful of losing his object by delay, 'with
all the speed that age can make,' Father Aidan
'proceeded through the forest, and across the
rlain, till the gigantic stones once more rose
THE CHURCH. 81
to view. Not far from them he perceived a
concourse of Britons assembled round a hollow
space, within which they had, as he supposed,
placed the body of the deceased.
He quietly advanced; and, greeting the
assembled mourners with tokens of respect,
.was suffered to enter the circle unmolested.-
The dead person had been a woman of some
distinction amongst her country-people, and it
was designed to raise a mound of considerable
height, to mark the spot where her remains
were buried. With them, as Father Aidan
could perceive, they had placed some articles
of household use, and others of ornament;
there was the spindle which the busy hand had
so lately plied, and the amber beads which
had decorated the now lifeless form.* Father
"The barrows contain, according as they possess the re.
82 THE WINTER'S TALE.
Aidan sighed in spirit as he looked on these
tokens of misplaced care and misdirected
hopes; but he waited till the burial was com-
pleted, and the work of barrow-raising had
proceeded to some height, ere he ventured to
call the attention of the company to himself.-
As friends and countrymen he at last addressed
them; to some he was known, by sight or re-
putation, as a teacher of religion; and either
from curiosity, or believing it his intention to
pronounce a funeral oration in honour of the
deceased, he was for some time listened to
without interruption, or any apparent dissatis-
faction. But when, from the tenour of his
discourse, it plainly appeared that the stranger
mains of either sex, sepulchral urns, spear-heads of a mixed me-
tal, stone celts, flint arrow-heads, bone instruments, beads of am-
ber, jet, glass, stone, and many other articles.-- Typographical
Cabinet: letter from the Rev. E. Duke.
THE CHURCH. 83
was no worshipper of the gods whom they had
been taught to adore-that he neither revered,
as deities, the sun, or the moon, or the great
serpent,* symptoms of disappointment became
manifest. Fearless, however, of consequences
-amid discordant and increasing sounds of
wrath, the preacher entreated his countrymen
to grant him a patient hearing, whilst he should
declare to them the word of the one only true
God, and acquaint them with truths most im-
portant for them to know; and which, if rightly
understood and believed, would enable them
hereafter to commit their deceased friends to
the earth in sure and certain hope of their ris-
ing again from thence; not to inhabit a world
of cares and necessities, like the present; not
Temple of the serpent, described in Mr. Browne's Illus.
trations of Stonehenge and Abury."
84 THE WINTER'S TALE.
in a different shape, but with their own bodies,
purified from every taint of sin and suffering;
and that soul and body, thus re-united, should
dwell to all eternity in the presence of the Al-
This doctrine of the resurrection of the
body, so entirely unknown to all heathen na-
tions, and so repugnant to the prevailing su-
perstition of the ancient Britons, was received
with shouts of indignation. The stranger
stood before them a contemner of the gods of
Britain, a setter forth of an unheard-of and
impossible doctrine. His destruction would,
no doubt, prove acceptable to these stern and
relentless deities, whose deserted temple seem-
ed, in its grim magnificence, to beckon their
mistaken votaries to revenge. Such, at least,
was the feeling which prevailed in the assem-
bly, and which, unhappily, displayed itself
with greater vehemence in their chief, the in-
dividual who had presided throughout the
whole of the funeral ceremony. With a loud
voice he exclaimed, Death to the dishonour-
er of our gods I"-and, raising his arm, hurled
at the destined victim the stone-headed blud-
geon which formed part of his accoutrements.
At that very moment, just as the fatal missile
cleaved the air, the clear shout of a youthful
voice was heard: Hold! hurt him not he
is my father's friend; and I am the son of Cym-
beline !" Morgan bounded into the circle;
rushed with extended arms before his venera-
ble friend; and although with one he contri-
ved to break in some degree the force of the
blow, the weapon struck him on the temple,
and he fell senseless at the feet of Father Ai-
86 THE WINTER'S TALE.
dan. The son of their former prince, whose
name was still loved and revered amongst
them, lay, to all appearance, a bleeding corpse
before their eyes; and he had perished by the
hand of his own countryman. But it was a
fortunate circumstance for the Father, that, ere
the rage which this unhappy accident had sus-
pended could resume its sway, a party of Ro-
man horse, whose approach, during the late
commotion, had been wholly unobserved,
came suddenly upon the collected Britons.-
The order to disperse was instantly obeyed;
resistance would have been unavailing; the
Britons, therefore, though with reluctant steps,
sullenly withdrew. Regardless, perhaps unob-
servant, of the remaining pair-the unconsci-
ous Morgan and his horror-struck companion
-the officer, with his troop, followed the re-
THE CHURCH. 8T
treating party to some distance. Kneeling on
the ground beside his beloved pupil, Father
Aidan sought to assure himself that life had
not wholly departed. With trembling hands
he endeavoured to raise Morgan from ,the
ground; but his head fell heavily on the bosom
of the sorrowing pastor, who, in the affliction
of his soul could have exclaimed with holy
.David, Would God that i had died for thee,
my son, my son!" Tears that would not be
Restrained, gushed from the eyes of the aged
j man, and fell upon the blood-stained counte-
nance of the youthful Morgan. As he gazed
upon the mournful sight, a scarcely percepti-
ble change in the features encouraged him
once more to place his hand upon the heart
of his charge. There was-yes, there was
motion,-life was not extinct, and conscious-
88 THE WINTER S TALE.
ness might return But where or how to seek
for help ? Water there was none near that
desolate spot; and the cold wintry wind was
more likely to impede the returning circulation
than to act as a restorative. The priest raised
his head, and, hopeless of earthly aid, cast a
despairing look around him. His eyes fell on
a slight figure, which, emerging from behind
the relics of the ancient temple, approached
with caution. It was the figure of a young
girl; it was Perdita. Very pale and thin she
looked; and as she approached the spot where
Father Aidan, seated on the ground, was sup-
parting Morgan, she, with a voice and manner
far different from her usual bold bearing, in-
quired if the latter were indeed dead. No,
no," replied the priest, in faltering accents, I
trust not. There is hope, could I get him re-
THE CHURCH. 89
moved from hence; but my strength is failing,
and I shall be long in bearing him to his home.
Now, girl, if there be aught of good in thee,
hie with the utmost speed thou canst make, and
acquaint Cymbeline with the condition of his
son. Tell him there is hope; and, if thou
canst, spare the mother."
I will go," replied Perdita, though it may
cost me dear; but haste I cannot make."
Thou wilt follow thy own will and way,
that I know."
Nay, old man, not so," interrupted Per-
dita; "I have scarcely tasted food for two
days'past; I am hungry and weak, and I can-
not run according to my wont; but I will make
what haste I can."
Nay, then," replied the other, "thou shalt
take my place, and I will myself seek for
90 THE WINTER'S TALE.
Cymbeline. Thou canst support poor Morgan's
head, and I will leave my vest to cover and
shelter him from the wind." Thus -speaking,
the priest resigned his place to Perdita; and,
taking of his outer garment, disposed it so as
to form some protection to the stiffened limbs
of the wounded youth. Seizing his staff, Father
Aidan hastened from the spot, his anxiety on
poor Morgan's account lending strength and
speed to his enfeebled limbs. With not less
solicitude Perdita watched his departing steps;
and scarcely had his lessening figure wholly
vanished from her gaze, when she heard the
sound.of horses' feet approaching in the oppo-
site direction. This was the returning party
of Roman soldiery, who, having followed the
steps of the retreating Britons, and witnessed
their dispersien, had resumed their m'hrch to-
THE CHURCH. 91
wards Thruxton, an outpost of the Roman
army stationed in that part of Britain. On
reaching the spot where Perdita and Morgan
had been left, the Roman leader, struck with
the peculiarity of their situation, reigned in his
horse, and commanded the soldiers who fol-
lowed him to halt. The pale and wild looks
of the girl, supporting, as it seemed, a lifeless
body, the helplessness of her condition, the
desolation of the scene, excited the curiosity,
if not the commiseration, of the Roman cap-
tain. What are ye T" he inquired. What
do ye here ?"
I wait," replied' Perdita, for help to move
this wounded youth to his home."
Wounded !-where wounded ?" inquired
Pedita raised the covering from Morgan's
92 THE WINTER'S TALE.
disfigured face, who at the same moment partly
unclosed his eyes "Oh! he will live," she
exclaimed; "he will surely live: he was but
"I know not that," replied Varro; but
whose son is the youth, and where is this home
of which you speak ?"
"Noble sir!" replied Perdita, "he is the
son of Briton Cymbeline."
Cymbeline !" exclaimed the Roman.-
"Briton though he be, Cymbeline is a man
worthy of protection. The son of Cymbeline,
and the descendant of the brave Caractacus,
must not be left to perish "on the sod like a
Then turning to his soldiers, he commanded
that the British youth should be raised with
care from the ground, and being placed on
THE CHURCH. 93
horseback before one of the party, should be
conveyed, with such speed as he could bear, to
the dwelling of his parents. The soldier, re-
ceiving from Perdita the necessary instruction
respecting the way, set forward with his charge.
Varro then turning to the girl, whom he now
considered with more attention, said-" And
thou,-art thou the sister of the youth T"
At this inquiry Perdita threw herself on one
knee, and with clasped hands and flashing eye
replied, Noble captain! I am a Roman; save
ime from misery and bondage."
"A Roman," exclaimed Varro, and in bon-
dage Who has dared to treat a Roman as a
slave ? Not Cymbeline, I trust '"
Not Cymbeline," replied the girl;" it was
old Mordred, who brought me to his home,
when that town in the far west was sacked and
94 THE WINTER S TALE.
burnt. I was an infant, and can remember
nothing but old Mordred's hut; but this is what
I have heard the neighbours say, as well as
Mordrcd, and old Ursil too sometimes."
The name-the place ." eagerly inquired
the Roman captain. Was it Dunium 3"
It might be," replied Perdita; I know
not. This I know, that I am no Briton; and
sooner than return to be the slave of Mordred
and Ursil, I would starve, as I have already
done for the last two days."
"And this is all thou knowest?" replied
"All," said Perdita.
What is thy age ? Canst theu tell that T"
"Not well," replied Perdita. "I am older
than Gwyneth, but not so old as Morgan."
The officer, regarding once more her pale,
THE CHURCH. 95
emaciated countenance, signed to one of hisr
followers to take her under his charge.
There is something in thy countenance,"
he said, which persuades me that thou hast
spoken the truth; and thou art, at all events,
in some need of help. I will take thee to my
Villa, where thou shalt have food and raiment;
and it may be, if thou hast not altogether de-
ceived me in this matter, that I shall be able
to discover, and restore thee to thy family."
Thus was Perdita, by command of the Roman
officer, removed, as Morgan had been, from the
scene of their distress. The unfinished barrow
and the Druid's temple were speedily left be-
hind; the youth was slowly conveyed to the
abode of his parents; the girl more rapidly to
Thruxton, where, when refreshed with needful
food, she was presented by Varro to the Lady
ON the first intelligence of his son's misfortune,
brought by Father Aidan, Cymbeline started
from his home. Followed by Gwaith, he had
nearly ascended the hill, at the foot of which,
as before noticed, his dwelling was situated,
when he met the object of his solicitude, sup-
ported in front of the stout Roman soldier.
At the leisurely pace recommended by his
captain he had thus far conducted his helpless
charge, and now resigned him to the arms of
his anxious parent. -
Morgan was fast coming to himself, and re-
THE CONFERENCE. 97
covering both the consciousness of surrounding
objects and of severe bodily pain. Well did he
support the latter. The tender apprehension
of his mother, and the painful solicitude of the
good father, whose life he had preserved at the
risk of his own, received no additional pang.
that he could spare them. The utmost skill
of Brengwain, not inexperienced in the science
of simple surgery, was exerted for his relief,
and with such good success, that at the end of
two or three days, little excepting weakness
remained of an accident which had so nearly
proved fatal. During those few days Father
Aidan could not absent himself from his be-
loved pupil, now more than ever dear. Long
conversations, as Morgan became equal to
supporting them, beguiled the time, which,
debarred of his customary amusements, might
98 THE WINTER'S TALE.
otherwise have been wearisome to his active
spirit. With such simple materials as he could
command, he shaped miniature war-chariots
for his baby brother, or contrived trifling arti-
cles of housewifery for his mother or Breng-
wain; but the days, without the society ot
Father Aidan, would still have been long to
one so little used to sedentary occupation. It
was not till all apprehension of serious injury
had subsided, that Father Aidan deemed it
prudent to awaken his pupil's recollection of
the past. At last he ventured to inquire for
what cause Morgan had wished so particularly
to converse with him before his accident. On
hearing this question, Morgan passed his hand
across his brow, as if his ideas had been still
confused, then replied-
Before I answer your question, Father, be
THE CONFERENCE. 99
kind enough to satisfy me on one point. Was
it a fancy-a dream perhaps-or did I really
see Perdita on the plain, before the Roman sol-
dier took me from thence ?"
"Surely you did," answered Father Aidan;
"I left you in her charge, when I came hither
to seek your father. She was in no condition
to execute a hasty errand, but she did what
she could; and I have since found means,
though at some risk, to acquaint her with your
But what brought her to the plain ? did she
come to see the burial ?" inquired Morgan.
"I think not. She had escaped from the
hut of Mordred, and for two or three days had
been wandering with little of food or shelter.
It seems that Mordred, in a brutal fit, had beat
her for some accident to his herd of swine, and
100 THE WINTER'S TALE.
for which she appears to have been no way to
Nor was she," interrupted Morgan; "and
Ursil promised me to say nothing about it. I
sent her a supper to keep her in good humour.
Poor Perdita! And so they beat her, and she
could bear it no longer, and ran away ?"
"Just so," replied Father Aidan.
And where is she now ?" inquired Mor-
gan ;" I have not seen her here."
"She was conveyed, by order of the Roman
captain, to the Villa, where she still remains.
But what ails thee?" inquired the good
Father, observing in his young companion a
change of countenance. Is it that thy head
pains thee ? Thou must be silent, Morgan."
"Not so, Father; on the contrary, I must
now acquaint you with that which, when we
THE CONFERENCE. 101
first began our discourse, you wished to know,
though it may be that you will think me
somewhat too bold. It was your wish, Father,
that I should, as occasion served, converse
with Perdita, and endeavour to awaken her to
a sense of her own ignorance regarding a future
state, and of all things most needful for her to
"Surely, such was my desire," said Father
Aidan, "thinking you might gain the attention
which she ever refused to me. What has been
your success ?"
"None at all," replied Morgan. "Indeed,
the last time we conversed together, she
seemed, methought, more obstinate than ever.
The hardness of her heart, Father, gave me
great concern, and made me think if nothing
further could be done for her good; and I
102 THE WINTER'S TALE.
thought that, perhaps, if Perdita were
baptized, it might produce a great change in
her feelings, and make her, as we may say, a
new creature. Was I wrong, Father, to think
of such a thing ?'
"Not wrong, Morgan, to think of it; but
mistaken in your apprehension of the subject.
To suppose that Perdita, in her present un-
converted, and consequently unbelieving, state
of mind, could receive any immediate and
visible change for the better, would be, at the
same time, to suppose a departure from the
course in which it pleases the Almighty that
His Holy Spirit should work in us and for us.
I read not that the blessed Apostles admitted
their Gentile converts to the privilege of
baptism till they were really converts. Re-
pent, and be baptized," said St.Peter; and they