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and in despatching him to Ireland he was thinking only of the active life awaiting him in county Cork, the duties of his office, and the care of his estate.
Soon after Penn arrived, he heard that Thomas Loe the Quaker was about to preach in Cork. He went to hear him, wondering how his riper judgment would receive the eloquence that had stirred him when at Christ Church. Loe gave out his text, 'There is a faith that overcomes the world, and there is a faith that is overcome by the world,' a topic but too well adapted to his state of mind. That evening Penn became a Friend.
Attending Loe's services, he soon began to taste the cup for which he had exchanged the world. In no corner of these islands were the Quakers treated fairly, and least of anywhere in county Cork. Ignorant magistrates supposed they were the Cromwellites come back without their swords; and only to be ruled with whips and jails. On Tuesday, September &, 1667, a meeting of these people was called in Cork; a body of police and soldiers broke upon them, took the congregation prisoners, and carried them before the mayor. On seeing in this crowd, young Ensign Penn, lord of Shangany Castle, the mayor proposed to set him free on giving his word to keep the peace; but Penn denied that in meeting for worship, either he or any of his fellow-prisoners had been guilty of a breach of law. He would not give his word. 'Unless you give bonds for your good behaviour,' said the mayor, 'I must commit you with the rest.'
'On what authority do you act V
'A proclamation of the year 1660, ' replied the mayor. Penn knew that proclamation well. It was an act against the Fifth monarchy-men; fiery souls, with whom king-killing was not murder; and he told the mayor of Cork that these poor Quakers met to worship God, and not to pull down thrones and states. The mayor was zealous for the King, and as the heir of Shangarry Castle would not yield, he too was lodged in jaiL
From his prison Penn wrote to Orrery, as President of Munster. Lord Orrery sent an order to the mayor of Cork for Penn's discharge; but the incident made known to all the gossips of Cork and Dublin that Ensign Penn, the volunteer of Carrickfergus, had taken up with a lot of ranters and canters. His reply to these scorners was an open appearance among the Friends, as one of that persecuted sect.
The Admiral's friends in Dublin wrote to warn Sir William of his son's relapse. The Admiral was beside himself with rage. Was this the end of all his arts? Recalling his son to London, where he arrived a few days before Christmas, 1667, Sir William met him with a frown, which passed away as he observed his manner and attire. The young man's bearing was polite and easy, and his dress, adorned with lace and ruffles, sword and plume, was that of gentlemen at court. But in a few days he was undeceived . Observing that his son omitted to unbonnet, as the newest fashion was at court, the Admiral asked him what he meant.
'I am a Friend,' the young man said, 'and Friends take off the hat to none but God.'
Then how would he behave at court? Would he, a king's officer, Ensign Penn, Clerk of the Cheque, the son of a Navy Commissioner, wear his hat in presence of his prince? Penn asked for time to think this question over.
'Why V exclaimed the angry Admiral; 'in order to consult the Banters V
'No, sir, ' said the young man softly; 'I will not see them; let me go into my room.'
Penn slipped aside, and after some time, spent in prayer, he came back to his father with his final word—he could not lift his hat to mortal man.
'Not even to the Bang and to the Duke of York V
'No, sir; not even to the King and to the Duke of York?'
The indignant Admiral turned him out of doors.
To live an easy life and wear the coronet of an English peer? To pass through shadows and to dwell with the despised of men? Such was the choice now offered to the young swordsman of Paris, the modish gentleman of the Navy Gardens, and the volunteer of Carrickfergus. Was it craze of mind which led him to offend a generous father, to renounce a pleasant home, and sacrifice his prospects in the court, about some scruple as to taking off his hat? A man of sense might think so, if this lifting of the hat were all. But lifting, and not lifting, of the hat was very far from being all. It was a sign, and one of many signs.
With us to raise the hat is easy; we are used to it. Our hats are made for lifting, and we raise the hat in cases where our fathers would have bent the knee. Hat-homage is our social creed. But in the reign of Charles the Second it was new and strange. A hat is made to wear, not carry in your hand . Men wore their hats in house and church, as well as in the street and park. Men sate at meals in felt, and listened at a play in felt. 'I got a strange cold in my head,' wrote Pepys, 'by flinging my hat off at dinner.' Every one ate covered. Clarendon tells us that in his younger days he always stood uncovered in the presence of his elders, save at meals, when he and other lads put on their hats. A shopman stood behind the counter in his hat; a preacher mounted to the pulpit in his hat. The audience wore their hats, and only doffed them at the name of God. But with the coming in of Charles a hundred foreign follies had come in. French words, French habits, and French fashions, were the rage. Such wits as Rochester and Sedley brought in French, and fools of fashion cried at every pause of conversation, 'You have reason, sir,' 'In fine, sir,' and the like. Sir Martin Marrall in Dryden's comedy is a type of this new race of courtiers, just as Moody is a type of the Elizabethan men.
Hat-lifting, therefore, was the sign of a depraved and foreign fashion, recently brought into England from abroad. All sober men put on their hats, while wits and foplings carried them in their hands. The homely citizen wore his beaver, and the lord-inwaiting wore a periwig. To wear the hat was English, and to take it off was French.
Even Cromwell had been puzzled how to act towards those who wedded such a doctrine as nonresistance to that of the inner light. What was he to do with men who would not meet him foot to foot, yet claimed to be a law unto themselves? How could he manage men who told him they would