Micah Clarke Page 01
HIS STATEMENT AS MADE TO HIS THREE GRANDCHILDREN JOSEPH, GERVAS, AND REUBEN DURING THE HARD WINTER OF 1734
I. OF CORNET JOSEPH CLARKE OF THE IRONSIDES.
II. OF MY GOING TO SCHOOL AND OF MY COMING THENCE.
III. OF TWO FRIENDS OF MY YOUTH.
IV. OF THE STRANGE FISH THAT WE CAUGHT AT SPITHEAD.
V. OF THE MAN WITH THE DROOPING LIDS.
VI. OF THE LETTER THAT CAME FROM THE LOWLANDS.
VII. OF THE HORSEMAN WHO RODE FROM THE WEST.
VIII. OF OUR START FOR THE WARS.
IX. OF A PASSAGE OF ARMS AT THE BLUE BOAR.
X. OF OUR PERILOUS ADVENTURE ON THE PLAIN.
XI. OF THE LONELY MAN AND THE GOLD CHEST.
XII. OF CERTAIN PASSAGES UPON THE MOOR.
XIII. OF SIR GERVAS JEROME, KNIGHT BANNERET OF THE COUNTY OF SURREY.
XIV. OF THE STIFF-LEGGED PARSON AND HIS FLOCK.
XV. OF OUR BRUSH WITH THE KING'S DRAGOONS.
XVI. OF OUR COMING TO TAUNTON.
XVII. OF THE GATHERING IN THE MARKET-SQUARE.
XVIII. OF MASTER STEPHEN TIMEWELL, MAYOR OF TAUNTON.
XIX. OF A BRAWL IN THE NIGHT.
XX. OF THE MUSTER OF THE MEN OF THE WEST.
XXI. OF MY HAND-GRIPS WITH THE BRANDENBURGER.
XXII. OF THE NEWS FROM HAVANT.
XXIII. OF THE SNARE ON THE WESTON ROAD.
XXIV. OF THE WELCOME THAT MET ME AT BADMINTON.
XXV. OF STRANGE DOINGS IN THE BOTELER DUNGEON.
XXVI. OF THE STRIFE IN THE COUNCIL.
XXVII OF THE AFFAIR NEAR KEYNSHAM BRIDGE.
XXVIII OF THE FIGHT IN WELLS CATHEDRAL.
XXIX. OF THE GREAT CRY FROM THE LONELY HOUSE.
XXX OF THE SWORDSMAN WITH THE BROWN JACKET.
XXXI. OF THE MAID OF THE MARSH AND THE BUBBLE WHICH ROSE FROM THE BOG.
XXXII. OF THE ONFALL AT SEDGEMOOR.
XXXIII. OF MY PERILOUS ADVENTURE AT THE MILL.
XXXIV. OF THE COMING OF SOLOMON SPRENT.
XXXV. OF THE DEVIL IN WIG AND GOWN.
XXXVI. OF THE END OF IT ALL.
Of Cornet Joseph Clarke of the Ironsides
It may be, my dear grandchildren, that at one time or another I have told you nearly all the incidents which have occurred during my adventurous life. To your father and to your mother, at least, I know that none of them are unfamiliar. Yet when I consider that time wears on, and that a grey head is apt to contain a failing memory, I am prompted to use these long winter evenings in putting it all before you from the beginning, that you may have it as one clear story in your minds, and pass it on as such to those who come after you. For now that the house of Brunswick is firmly established upon the throne and that peace prevails in the land, it will become less easy for you every year to understand how men felt when Englishmen were in arms against Englishmen, and when he who should have been the shield and the protector of his subjects had no thought but to force upon them what they most abhorred and detested.
My story is one which you may well treasure up in your memories, and tell again to others, for it is not likely that in this whole county of Hampshire, or even perhaps in all England, there is another left alive who is so well able to speak from his own knowledge of these events, or who has played a more forward part in them. All that I know I shall endeavour soberly and in due order to put before you. I shall try to make these dead men quicken into life for your behoof, and to call back out of the mists of the past those scenes which were brisk enough in the acting, though they read so dully and so heavily in the pages of the worthy men who have set themselves to record them. Perchance my words, too, might, in the ears of strangers, seem to be but an old man's gossip. To you, however, who know that these eyes which are looking at you looked also at the things which I describe, and that this hand has struck in for a good cause, it will, I know, be different. Bear in mind as you listen that it was your quarrel as well as our own in which we fought, and that if now you grow up to be free men in a free land, privileged to think or to pray as your consciences shall direct, you may thank God that you are reaping the harvest which your fathers sowed in blood and suffering when the Stuarts were on the throne.