Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/44

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battle might be hourly expected. She stole time for a visit to Kensington, and had three hours of quiet in the garden, then a rural solitude.[1] But the recollection of days passed there with him whom she might never see again overpowered her. "The place," she wrote to him, "made me think how happy I was there when I had your dear company. But now I will say no more; for I shall hurt my own eyes, which I want now more than ever. Adieu. Think of me, and love me as much as I shall you, whom I love more than my life."[2]

Early on the morning after these tender lines had been despatched, Whitehall was roused by the arrival of a post from Ireland. Nottingham was called out of bed. The Queen, who was just going to the chapel where she daily attended divine service, was informed that William had been wounded. She had wept much; but till that moment she had wept alone, and had constrained herself to show a cheerful countenance to her Court and Council. But when Nottingham put her husband's letter into her hands, she burst into tears. She was still trembling with the violence of her emotions, and had scarcely finished a letter to William in which she poured out her love, her fears and her thankfulness, with the sweet natural eloquence of her sex, when another messenger arrived with the news that the English army had forced a passage across the Boyne, that the Irish were flying in confusion, and that the King was well. Yet she was visibly uneasy till Nottingham had assured her that James was safe. The grave Secretary, who seems to have really esteemed and loved her, afterwards described with much feeling that struggle of filial duty with conjugal affection. On the same day she wrote to adjure her husband to see that no harm befell her father. "I know," she said, "I need not beg you to let him be taken care of; for I am confident you will for your own sake; yet add that to all your kindness; and, for my sake, let people know you would have no hurt happen to his person."[3] This solicitude, though amiable, was superfluous. Her father was perfectly competent to take care of himself. He

  1. Evelyn (Feb. 25, 1689/90) calls it "a sweet villa."
  2. Mary to William, July 5, 1690.
  3. Mary to William, July 6 and 7, 1690; Burnet, ii. 55.