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Baronet had provided himself with letters to Sir Richard Browne, an envoy of the King's, who still resided at that city, though not recognised as such by the French government. In obedience to the dictates of Cromwell in the late treaty, they had ordered the English monarch out of the French territories, giving him a small supply of money, which was quickly wasted; and making him large promises for the future, which had never been performed. In this emergency, the Spaniards, then at war with the Protector, invited the wandering court into Flanders; where the Duke of York, at the head of a few motley regiments, mostly Irish, had accompanied Don John to the relief of Dunkirk, as we have already shown; while his royal brother established his necessitous, though gay and joyous, court at Bruges.
Sir Richard Browne, under whose care it was his father's intention to place Jocelyn, willingly undertook that office; declaring, however, that his own stay at Paris was rendered by political circumstances extremely uncertain; especially, since the arrival of Cromwell's ambassador at the French court; while he was in daily apprehension of an arrest, for debts incurred in the service of the King, from whom he had not received sufficient even to pay the rent of his house. As long, however, as he should remain, he promised his good offices; adding, that Jocelyn should join the studies and militarv exercises of two or three youths of condition,
whom the convulsed times had occasioned to be sent to Paris, and whose education he had been equally commissioned to superintend. To the establishment of these young men in the Fauxbourg St. Germain, he was accordingly introduced; and his father, after promising to correspond with him regularly, and giving him a world of good advice, particularly that he should attend closely to his military exercises, and never go near Noll's rascally Roundhead ambassador, shook him heartily by the hand, bade him adieu, and set off on his return to Bruges.
Just at the dangerous period of incipient manhood, gifted with a noble, generous, and kindly temperament, but of strong passions, and inflexible in his purposes, was Jocelyn thus left to himself in a dissipated capital, without parental guidance or any efficient control, to assist him in forming the mould of which his now ductile mind was to receive the permanent impression. His young companions, equally free from all restraint, except the equivocal authority of Sir Richard Browne, and the lax discipline of their French tutor, were little disposed to set him any very instructive example; it may easily be imagined, therefore, that the whole party devoted themselves more sedulously to amusement than to their studies; and frequented balls and theatres more punctually than the lecture-room or Sir Richard's chapel, where the English liturgy was still read twice a week. In obedience, however, to
his father's injunctions, Jocelyn applied himself strictly to his military exercises; and his duty being in this instance seconded by inclination, he soon eclipsed all his competitors; being not less admired for the singular comeliness of his person, than the dexterity and grace with which he went through all the evolutions of the manege, particularly in the mastery of the great horse. In the academy of Monsieur du Plessis, where were kept nearly a hundred brave horses, all managed to the great saddle, he not only perfected himself in the language, by associating with the young French nobility who frequented that establishment, but took lessons in fencing, dancing, and music, as well as occasional instructions in fortification and the mathematics; so that if he neglected the mere abstruse parts of learning, he was, at least, qualifying himself to become an accomplished cavalier and a good officer.
By frequenting this establishment he had already formed acquaintance with several distinguished families, both French and English, in whose houses he was a welcome visitant, and thus beguiled, in some degree, the loneliness of his situation. The number of his associates was now about to be increased by an occurrence which had considerable influence upon his future destiny. One fine morning of the summer, he had wandered with a book into the gardens of the Luxemburg Palace, situated in the immediate vicinity of his residence, whose
stately marble fountains, terraces, groves, parterres, grottoes, and umbrageous alleys, had often enabled him to wile away an idle hour in admiration of their various attractions. Upon this occasion, which was a public holiday, the formal and somewhat melancholy effect of the gloomy shades and trim embroidery in which the gardens were distributed, was relieved by the gay and motley appearance of the company. In some of the darker walks were seen melancholy friars in the habits of their different orders, slowly pacing up and down, or gathered into little parties, their robes mingling with the shade of the trees, and allowing nothing but their bald heads to be visible; at the extremity of the same alley were officers, gay ladies, and noble gallants, whose rich dresses and steel-hilted swords glittered in the sun; here upon a bench were studious scholars, with eyes rivetted to their book; there in a verdant alcove were lovers whispering to one another; and on the grass-plots around were a motley company of both sexes, amusing themselves at all sorts of sports, singing, playing upon the guitar, or forming little sets of graceful dancers, who tripped merrily upon the sward to the rural sound of the pipe and tabor.
Having amused himself some time in contemplating this diversified scene, Jocelyn strolled to a pool of water at the extremity of the enclosure, where the Duke of Orleans kept a number of tortoises. A singularly beautiful youth, apparently a
few years younger than himself, and whom he instantly recognised by his dress and appearance for a fellow countryman, had taken up one of these animals to examine it; while a French gentleman in splendid clothes was desiring him, in rather arrogant and offensive terms, to replace it in the water, express orders having been given against touching them. Either not choosing to obey so imperious a mandate, or not understanding the voluble terms in which it was conveyed, the youth retained the tortoise in his hand, looking up at the same time in the Gaul's angry face with a smiling wonderment that seemed to increase his agitation. When Jocelyn, however, volunteering the office of interpreter, explained to him what was required, the youth said he would instantly comply if the request were civilly and temperately made. This reasonable condition Jocelyn stated with all imaginable courtesy to the Frenchman, who, instead of acceding to the proposition, fell foul of the mediator, even proceeding so far in his wrath as to brandish, in a menacing manner, a little black baguette which he held in his hand. The inflammable temperament of his opponent was kindled in a moment. Snatching the uplifted wand and snapping it across his knee, he put one foot behind the Frenchman, as he continued angrily advancing, and at the same time giving him a smart push upon the chest, he rolled backwards upon the ground, breaking his sword in his fall, and distributing a cloud of scent