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ARBOR ô, montis viridans aprici
Ut tuis tandem recubem fub umbris
Hinc genis ardens roseis venustas;
Cogor in artes.
Ë ND of the second Number.
THE STUDEN T,
OR THE O X FORD MONTHLY MISCELLANY,
Number III. March 31; 17.50.
S the following anecdote contains a remarkable
circumstance belonging to the English History,
if you think it worthy a place in your Miscellany it is at your service. It may be necessary to inform your readers, that it is a transcript from the hand-writing of the famous Mr. LOCKHART, author of the Memoirs of Scotland; and that the original manuscript was inserted in a blank leaf of a volume of Lord CLARENDON'S Hiftory of the Rebellion, to which author the introduction to the story particularly refers.
Yours, &c. Namb. III.
ANECDOTE relating to King CHARLES
TT is very strange, that amongst so many dangers, to
I which King CHARLES II. was exposed, and from which he was surprizingly and iniraculously delivered, neither this, * nor any other author I have met with, takes the least notice of one of a very extraordinary, nature, which happened to him in Holland, and which was as follows.
The King, when at Brufils, being desirous and resolved to see his fifter the Princess of Orange, but withal under a necessity to make the journey with the utmoft secrecy, did communicate his design to 110 person whatsoever. He ordered -- FLEMING (a servant of the Earl of Wigton) who was in his service, and of whose fidelity he neither then nor ever after did doubt, secretly to provide a couple of good horses, and have them ready at a certain place and time of the next ensuing night by his Majesty appointed : that FLEMING with these horses should remain alone till he heard from the King.
At the time appointed, the King (having gone to bed, and afterwards dressed himself, and privately gone out of a back-door, and leaving only a letter to some one of his servants in whoin he confided, with an account of his having gone from them for a few days, and with directions to 'keep his absence as secret as possible under pretence of being indiíposed) came to the place: there he found FLEMING with the horses as he had dirceted. He then acquainted FLEMING of his defign of going to the Hague; and not regarding the hazards he might be exposed to, away he went with this slender equipage and attendance, travelling through the most secret by-ways, and contriving it so that he came to
* Meaning Lord CLARINDON.
the Hague by fix in the morning, and alighted at a scrub inn in a remote part of the town, where he was confident none would know him under the disguise he was then in. He immediately sent FLEMING to acquaint his sister where he was, and to leave it to her to contrive the way and manner of his having access to her, so as not to be known.
FLEMING having dispatched his commission in a very short time (less than an hour) was no sooner returned to. the King (finding him in the room where he had left him, and where he had been still alone) than an unknown person came and asked of the landlord, if two Frenchmen had not alighted at his house that morning? The landlord replied, that indeed two men had come, hut of what country he knew not. The stranger desired him to tell them, he wanted to speak to them ; which he having done the King was much surprized, but withal inclined to see the person. FLEMING opposed it, but the King being positive, the perfon was introduced, being an old reverend-like man, with a long beard and ordinary grey cloaths ; who looking and speaking to the person of the King told him, he was the person he wanted to speak to, and that all alone, on matters of importance. The King believing it might perhaps be a return from his sister, or being curious to know the result of such an adventure, desired FLEMING to withdraw; which he refused, till the King taking him aside told him there could be no hazard from such an old man, for whom he was too much, and commanded him to retire.
They were no sooner alone, than the stranger bolted the door (which brought the King to think on what might or would happen) and at the same time falling upon his knees, pulled off his very nice and artificial mask, and discovered himself to be Mr. DOWNING (afterwards well known by the name of Sir GEORGE, and ambassadour from the King to the States, after his restoration) then envoy or ambassadour from CROMWELL to the States, being the son of one DOWNING an independent minifier, who attended some of
the parliament-men who were once sent to Scotland to treat with the Scots to join against the King, and who was a very active virulent enemy to the Royal Family, as appears from this history. *
The King you may easily imagine was not a little fure prized at the discovery. But DoWNING gave him no time for reflection, having immediately spoke to him in the following manner : That he humbly begged his Majesty's para don for any share or part he had acted during the rebellion against his Royal interest; and affured him, that tho' he was just now in the service of the Usurper, he wished his Majesty as well as any of his subjects; and would, when an occasion offered, venture all for his service; and was hopeful, what he was to say would convince his Majesty of his fincerity : but before he inentioned the cause of his coming to him, he must insist that his Majesty would folemnly promise to him not to mention what had happened and he was to say, to FLEMING, or any other person whatsoever, until it pleased God his Majesty was restored to his crowns, when he should not have reason to desire it concealed ; tho' even then he must likewise have his Majesty's promise, never to ask or expect he should difcover how or when he came to know of his being there.
The King having solemnly engaged in the terms required, DOWNING proceeded, and told, that his master the Usurper, being now at peace with the Dutch, and the States so dependant and obsequious to him that they refused nothing he required, had with the greatest secrecy, in order to make it more effectual, entered into a treaty, by which among other trilling matters agreed to hinc inde, the chief and indeed main end of the negotiation was, that the States stood engaged to seize and deliver up to the Usurper the person of his Majesty, if so be at any time he should happen, by chance or design, to come within their territories, when re
* Lord CLARENDON'S,