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ROSE ALEYN.

Let me not have this gloomy view,
About my room, around my bed ;
But morning roses, wet with dew,
To cool my burning brows instead.
As flowers that once in Eden grew,
Let them their fragrant spirits shed,
And every day the sweets renew,
Till I, a fading flower, am dead.

CRABBE.

Rose Aleyn sat at her needle-work, in the arbour at the end of the garden; it was early in a summer's morning ; the clock in the church tower had just struck six, and she lifted up her sweet face while she counted the chimes. Awhile she sat silent in the calm of her happy thoughts ; and then the mirth of her light heart danced out into singing. She hardly knew the song that her soft voice had chosen, but her rejoicing humour gave a just expression to each little word. Footsteps fell lightly on the greensward about that pleasant arbour ; and Rose Aleyn never dreamed that any one was near her; she heard only her own song ; or rather the murmur, not the words of the song, prevented her hearing any other sound.

" She is a winsome young creature," said the old gardener, " and as fresh as a rose.

He stood awhile to gaze upon her, as she sate in the arbour he had woven for her, all wreathed over with the broad leaved hop and the odorous honeysuckle, with deep blushing moss roses and pale white roses hanging in clusters about its green sides, and wild thyme and ground-ivy under her little feet. It was a hot morning, and the old man wiped his brow with his shirt sleeve, as he shaded his eyes with his arm; it was very hot, but his young mistress looked as cool and fresh as any dewy blossom around her. Quickly moved her small white fingers at her needlework, and the bold sun only pierced through the foliage, with a twinkling splendour; though it seemed as if the breeze playfully struggled with the green leaves to let in more of the golden light, stirring all the while the careless curls upon her brow, as if teaching her to feel less sensibly the ardent sunshine. The young girl started

up,

and the colour mounted in her cheek, as the old man spoke to her with his low quiet voice: “ There's a man and horse at the gate, Mistress Rose, and he brings a letter for you;

and he will give it into no hands but yours.”—Rose ran off in a moment to the front of the house, and down the old avenue. There stood the man with the letter, and when he had given it into the girl's own hand, he leaped upon his horse, and galloped off. She looked at the direction, and wondered why her friend Winifred had sent her letter in so strange a manner. She returned then to the willow arbour, and sat down to read her letter. She did not scream, she did not faint, as her eye glanced over the paper; but she sat motionless, as if every faculty had suddenly deserted her. At last she read the letter again.

“ Sweet Rose,-I would have thee come hither with all haste, and may God speed thee: for thy brother Frank, his life is in danger. He hath been taken by the King's troops, and they will hang him if they please ; and so indeed they threaten in two days to do. Sweet friend, more eyes are red than thine, more hearts are aching sorely, but come here, make no delay. Thou canst do nothing where thou art, at least thou canst see thy brother and comfort him here; so come I pray thee; and God comfort both him and thee. Thy loving sister,

" WINIFREDA LANGLAND." The thoughts of Rose Aleyn were now strangely bewildered. At once not only her morning cheerfulness, but all the calmness of her mind, was gone, and she sat in her arbour, trembling in every limb, and weeping bitterly. May the blessed God give me strength and wisdom,” said the poor girl; and she wiped the tears from her face, and then passed quickly to her own chamber. For a little while she remained there, with the door locked; and then came out with a calm look and a quiet step. Rose found her grandmother already in the little walnut-tree parlour, and the servants were standing near the door, waiting for her attendance at family prayers; so the child knelt down while her grandmother blessed her, and kissed her fair forehead. Then the large bible was opened, and Rose read aloud a chapter from Isaiah, and prayed in a voice which faltered only at a few words.

« Now," said the young girl, when she was left alone with her grandmother, “now we have read the book of God, and prayed for his grace to guide us all through the day, I must tell thee very grievous news, grandmother; a man and horse have been here this morning, with a letter from Winifred Langland. And may God help us, for my brother Frank is taken, and they will hang him in two days.” The old lady at first spoke not a word, but lifted up both her thin bony hands, while her pale lips quivered with anguish. “Go on,” she said “child, let me hear all."“There is nothing more to tell,” replied Rose, “at least my friend says nothing more of Frank. I will read her letter to thee.

-“ Frank Aleyn must die then,” said the old lady, after a long pause—“My own beautiful bold boy must die upon the shameful gallows. “Oh no! he must not, shall not die,” cried Rose, and she stopped suddenly in her speech, for she knew not how to proceed. “And how should we save him my poor child? Do we not hear of too many such deaths? How fared it with the prisoners

at Bridgewater, within this last month, were they not all butchered with cold blooded cruelty ? Were not their dying pangs mocked with jesting and music? If our sweet Frank be in the hands of that savage Colonel, and I fear he is, it will hard with him and us. My poor maiden, you are young enough to hope in any case, but I am near my grave now; I have lived many years, and seen strange changes. I put little trust in man: but the blessed God bringeth wondrous things to pass; we must look to him, my child, for he will direct all in his best way; and we must trust with a perfect faith; for his ways may seem at first dark to us."-Rose listened attentively to her grandmother, but, when she had finished speaking, said eagerly, “would you not send me to Winifred Langland.” Most assuredly, my love; we will bid Richard Pearse be at the door in half an hour, with the horse and pillion, and you may be at Taunton by twelve o'clock at noon.” The horse and pillion waited a few minutes at the door, while the old lady finished a letter which she was writing. _“You will give this letter,” she said to Rose, “ to the commanding officer, whoever he may be, that has pronounced the judgment of death upon our dear Frank Aleyn. An old woman can have little influence with a stern soldier, and I know not if he may look upon my letter ; but the simple pleading of the heart is often heard before wisdom; or, perchance, he may reverence my grey hairs.” Rose thought the letter would be successful, for she had been accustomed to hear all her grandmother's requests with attentive deference, and to obey them instantly; and so she rode off, presuming in the simplicity of her heart, to hope that her brother's life might yet be spared. Many hopes and many fears, however, arose in her bosom, with their alternate emotions, before she reached Taunton. Almost every visit which Rose had made to her friend Winifred, had been a sort of holiday-keeping to them both. She hardly remembered the first time that she had gone to Taunton, she had then been so young; for her own mother was, in her life time, as a sister to Mrs. Langland; and their fathers had fought and fallen side by side. The troubles of the times had then made many widows; and the mother of Rose Aleyn, always a pale sickly young creature, hung her head from the moment she heard of her husband's death, and died in the third month of her widowhood.

Rose had known little sorrow, for her grandmother was really religious, and therefore very cheerful; still her merriest moments had been passed with Winifred Langland, a person of her own age, and the maiden she loved best in the world. Her heart throbbed quick as she beheld the town of Taunton. Her eye marked out the whole of the town and the surrounding country, and she felt with grief how near she was to her brother, while she could not at once seek his

presence.

The day was very sultry as Rose entered Taunton. Few persons but soldiers were in the streets ; insolent-looking fellows, who swaggered and lounged about, as if conscious of their own vulgar importance. Rose was frightened by their bold looks, and she drew her sad-coloured hood half over her face to escape their notice. She arrived, however, without any mishap, at the house of Mrs. Langland. Winifred kissed her friend, as she welcomed her into the house, but said nothing for some minutes. Her face was deadly pale, and her soft eyes swam with tears. They proceeded at once to the parlour, in which the family usually sat. There they found Mrs. Langland and her brother, a middle-aged single gentleman, who always resided with her. Mrs. Langland received Rose with much affection; and Master Bryan Roper, rising up, laid down his book, and kissed her cheek. The beloved friends among whom Rose sat down, did not attempt to console her with false hopes; they told her very plainly, that there seemed little hope of Frank Aleyn's life; every exertion 'had been already made by Master Bryan Roper, but without any success : he had not even been permitted to see the prisoner.

- And shall I not see my brother ?” said Rose, « shall I never see him again ?” Mrs. Langland and her brother replied only by looks of grave sadness, but Winifred half rose from her seat; the colour deepened on her cheek; she did not speak, but clasped her hands together, and sobbed aloud. I cannot rest,” said Rose, after she had sat for some time in silent thought, “ I cannot rest, while Frank Aleyn lives; but God help me, for I have no heart to hope now.”

That very morning Master Bryan Roper had sought an interview with Colonel Kirk, (for that man was indeed the savage judge of Frank Aleyn,) but admittance was positively refused to his presence. It was, however, agreed, (for what else could be done,) that Rose should herself go immediately to the residence of Colonel Kirk, and, if possible, present with her own hand the letter from her aged grandmother. Rose walked with Mrs. Langland to the street where_Colonel Kirk had taken up his residence, and Master Bryan Roper followed behind them at a considerable distance, to watch if his presence would be required: many times he came forward, for the soldiers who loitered about often stopped to stare boldly at the beautiful maid as she passed along. However her way was not impeded, and she knocked at the door of the house. It was immediately unclosed, and the two females were admitted. They entered a small court, partly surrounded by the house in which Colonel Kirk resided : the principal entrance was on the right side, and there Rose and her companion had still to wait. That house had been well known to Rose Aleyn, for a friend of her

ness.

grandmother had lived there till her decease, which event had taken place but a year before. The change about the house appeared very striking to Rose. She had last stood in that court when all there was in neat and quiet order ; the little grass-plot now displayed none of the smooth and lively green it then wore; the vine now hung in wild and careless luxuriance from the walls, on which it had been then trained with beautiful exact

On the left side of the court, a sort of arcade or cloister extended through an arch, leading to the garden behind the house: this arch-way passed through the inner front of the house. The arcade was closed in by a low balustrade, surmounted by stone vases, then filled with fine exotic plants in blossom; a few of those plants yet remained there, quite withered, and the rest of the vases were thrown down, and lay scattered about the court. Mrs. Langland and Rose stood waiting for the servant, who had admitted them, and who had left them to inform his master of their presence. The man had told them that they would not be admitted, but Rose waited there in anxious hope to find some way of entrance. She was determined that force should alone drive her away, before she had seen the man on whom her brother's life depended. The servant had not returned, when the noise of loud laughter sounded near, and three young officers entered the arcade from the arched passage leading to the garden. When they perceived the women they stopped; and one of them came forward, with an air of affected deference, and requested to know for whom they were inquiring. He had not been able to take a full view of Rose Aleyn's features; and as he continued speaking to Mrs. Langland in the same tone of pretended humility, the whole attention of his insolent look was fixed on the timid girl, who hung down her head, and turned away, blushing with indignation at his impertinence. His two companions came nearer, laughing loudly, and joking in coarse and noisy language; but Rose turned towards the door, which now opened. The servant appeared, and brought a positive denial from his master. Rose forgot the insolence of the young officers, and appealed to them at once, saying, "gentlemen, I ask you as men of honour to befriend me. My brother, young Frank Aleyn, will be hung if you do not.” The young men were taken by surprise, as Rose turned her beautiful face full upon them, and spoke in her sweet fearless voice. They looked at each other with confusion of countenance, and one of them instantly went into the house. In a few minutes an upper casement was thrown

open.
Rose looked

up,

and beheld a darkvisaged man, leaning out. Are you the child,” he said, “that would see Colonel Kirk ?”—“ Yes, yes, indeed I am,” she replied, “pity me, and spare my brother's life.” • Not so fast, my pretty maid; but tell me," he added, “what your companion may wait for?

" She is my friend--she was my mother's

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