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He talked a good deal with his son; and in the end not only forgave him, but approved of what he was doing. 'Son William/—these were almost the last words he uttered,—' if you and your friends keep to your plain way of preaching, and also keep to your plain way of living, you will make an end of priests to the end of the world' For himself, however, he died, as he had lived, a member of the Church. He added, 'Bury me near my mother; live all in love. Shun all manner of evil. ... I pray God to bless you all, and He will bless you.'
Eleven days after the trial Admiral Penn was gone. With a life-interest in his estate reserved to Lady Penn,—his daughter Margaret being married, —he left the whole of his property, his plate, his household furniture, the money owing to him by government, his lands in England and in Ireland, his claims in Spain, his claims in Jamaica, his gold chain and medal, and the sole executorship of his last will and testament to his Quaker son. Altogether this property was of very considerable amount. Besides the claims on the State for money lent to it and for arrears of salary—not much under 15,000Z.—the estates brought their owner, on the average, about fifteen hundred pounds a-year.
Fearing, not without good cause, from what had happened, that, unless his son were held up and supported by powerful friends, his life would be one continual act of martyrdom, Sir William had sent from his death-bed to both the King and the Duke of York to solicit at their hands those kind offices to his son which they had been ever ready to extend towards himself. The royal brothers had returned a nattering answer. James undertook the office of guardian and protector to the young man:— the natural origin of that connexion between the Quaker gentleman and the Catholic prince which afterwards created so much talk As Penn told the delegates of Magdalen College, in after days, the questions which made him intimate with the prince were such as affected his property, not his creed .
GULI SPRINGETT (1670-1671).
Gulielma Maria, daughter of Sir William Springett, of Darling, in Sussex, one of the leaders of the Parliamentary forces during the first years of the civil war, was living with her mother at the village of Chalfont, in Buckinghamshire, when her future husband first saw her. Guli was the delight of a small circle, including persons no less famous than John Milton, Thomas Ellwood, and Isaac Pennington. To Pennington, who was Guli's step-father, Ellwood owed his introduction to his great master. When the ravages of plague had driven the bard from London, he went down to Chalfont with his pupil, knowing that friends were living there who shared his opinions and revered his genius. Rarely is an unpretending village honoured with such company as Chalfont boasted in those days. Pennington occupied the Grange, which he rebuilt and beautified; Milton lived in a cottage at a distance; Ellwood had a house midway between the residences of his friends. To Guli, Ellwood had been a mate from childhood; one of her little playfellows in the hop-gardens of Kent, and in his manhood he was one of her most constant and devoted squires. It is not easy to decide which of the attractions of Chalfont — his master or his mistress — was the greater for Ellwood. To Milton he was warmly attached; and though his love for Guli Springett was true and earnest, it was not so fierce as to be beyond control. Sought and flattered by men of all ranks, by peers and commoners, by courtiers and puritans, Guli must have been well aware of her power. She cannot fail to have felt flattered by Ellwood's silent homage. As he never gave offence by obtruding passion on her thought, she graciously received his attentions, and contracted for him a friendship which lasted without a day of coldness on either side until her death.
Guli was fond of music. Music was Milton's passion. In the poet's cottage, in the philosopher's grange, the hours flew past, between psalms of love, converse from the bard, old stories of the war, in which the elder people had played their parts, and favourite passages from that stupendous work which was to crown the aged poet. It was to these friends that Milton first made known that he had written Paradise Lost; it was also in their society that Ellwood suggested to him the theme of Paradise Regained. Immortal Chalfont!
Penn, going down to Chalfont to see his friend Pennington, was struck by Guli's charms. He saw, he loved, he prospered in his love. All other suitors were forgotten, and the heart of Guli Springett passed from her for ever. In the handsome person, in the social station, in the sober bearing of her suitor, Guli found the hero of her waking dreams. The circumstances of the time, and recollections of the past, were not without their influence on his love. To understand these influences, it is requisite to look on the romantic story of Guli's house.
The father of Sir William Springett died in the third year of his marriage, leaving a widow and three infant children—one of them unborn—to inherit a good name and a moderate fortune. His widow devoted herself to the education of her children, and they grew up to be an honour to their native land. She was herself a character.
1 To her son William,' says Lady Springett, in a memoir which she wrote for Guli Penn's eldest son, 'she was a most tender and affectionate mother, and always showed great kindness towards me; indeed she was very honourable in counselling her son not to marry for an estate, and put by great offers of persons with thousands, urging him to consider what would make him happy in a choice.' Mary Proud, the memoir-writer—a daughter of Sir John Proud, a colonel in the service of the Dutch Republic—was then living in the same house with the Springetts; and being a young girl of great beauty and spirit, of nearly the same age as Sir William, and of his own station in society, both mother and son not unnaturally cast their eyes on their fair ward . Lady Springett, writing more than forty years after these events, in describing them to her grandson, Penn's eldest son William, says, 'She proposed my marriage to him, because