THESE studies in secret history follow no chronological order. The affair of James de la Cloche only attracted the author's attention after most of the volume was in print. But any reader curious in the veiled intrigues of the Restoration will probably find it convenient to peruse `The Mystery of James de la Cloche' after the essay on `The Valet's Master,' as the puzzling adventures of de la Cloche occurred in the years ( 1668-1669), when the Valet was consigned to life-long captivity, and the Master was broken on the wheel. What would have been done to `Giacopo Stuardo' had he been a subject of Louis XIV., `'tis better only guessing.' But his fate, whoever he may have been, lay in the hands of Lord Ailesbury's `good King,' Charles II., and so he had a good deliverance.
The author is well aware that whosoever discusses historical mysteries pleases the public best by being quite sure, and offering a definite and certain solution. Unluckily Science forbids, and conscience is on the same side. We verily do not know how the