Citation
The queen's story book

Material Information

Title:
The queen's story book being historical stories collected out of English romantic literature in illustration of the reigns of English monarchs from the conquest to Queen Victoria
Creator:
Gomme, George Laurence, 1853-1916 ( Editor, Author of introduction )
Robinson, W. Heath ( William Heath ), 1872-1944 ( Illustrator )
Archibald Constable & Co ( Publisher )
Selwood Printing Works ( Printer )
Butler and Tanner ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
Westminster
Publisher:
Archibald Constable & Co.
Manufacturer:
Butler Tanner ; The Selwood Printing Works
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xiv, [1], 446, 16 p., [20] leaves of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Courage -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Diligence -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Queens -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Kings and rulers -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Love -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Battles -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Soldiers -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Children's stories ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile literature -- Great Britain ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1898 ( rbgenr )
Juvenile literature -- 1898 ( rbgenr )
Children's stories -- 1898 ( lcsh )
Bldn dy 1898
Genre:
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
Children's literature ( fast )
Children's stories
non-fiction ( marcgt )
collective biography ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London -- Westminster
England -- Frome
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Pictorial front cover and spine.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Statement of Responsibility:
and edited with an introduction by George Laurence Gomme ; illustrated by W.H. Robinson.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026928179 ( ALEPH )
ALH6853 ( NOTIS )
08458801 ( OCLC )

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Full Text














THE QUEEN’S STORY BOOK



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‘And proceeded to Waltham.”
Frontispiece See page 4.

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4



THE
QUEEN’S STORY BOOK

BEING HISTORICAL STORIES COLLECTED OUT
OF ENGLISH ROMANTIC LITERATURE IN ILLUS-
TRATION OF THE REIGNS OF ENGLISH
MONARCHS FROM THE CONQUEST
TO QUEEN VICTORIA

e

AND EDITED
WITH AN INTRODUCTION

BY

GEORGE LAURENCE GOMME

ILLUSTRATED BY

W. H. ROBINSON

WESTMINSTER
ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE & CO
2 WHITEHALL GARDENS
1898



BUTLER & TANNER,
THE SELWOOD PRINTING WORKS,
FROME, AND LONDON.



TO
MY WIFE



INTRODUCTION

N the King’s Story Book issued last year I ventured
upon a new departure in books designed to amuse,
and the venture answered every expectation. It supplied
specimens of our romantic prose literature to many who
would gladly know more of what English literature has to
say of English history. But of course the mine was not
exhausted, and in the present volume, designed upon the
same principle as its predecessor, further contributions are
presented. The great masters Scott and Thackeray, to-
gether with Lytton, John Galt, Ainsworth and others, are
again called upon, while specimens from writers not used
in the former volume—Daniel Defoe, Thomas Love Peacock,
Lord Beaconsfield and others, together with stories from
Lord Berner’s Elizabethan translation of Froissart’s chron-
icle—are now included. Most people who love the masters
of English literature have their favourite passages, passages
that have been read through dozens of times, and always
with equal zest. To present many such passages as separate
stories will, I think, be an acceptable offering to the fireside
literature of our day.

The history presented by this volume begins with the
events which crowned the great victory at Hastings. These
events have passed from history to tradition, and from tra-
dition back again into historical fiction. The woful search
of Edith for the dead body of her beloved Harold the King
is a theme which reaches the young through a more subtle
channel than that of text-book or class lecture. They
learn it as they learn about King Alfred and the cakes and
about Cinderella—that is, in a manner not to be stated with
categorical nicety and precision, for it seems to have come
to them through the air they breathe. And delightful it is
to know of these few germs of traditional stories growing

vii



Viii INTRODUCTION

up from English history, for, unlike most people with a
history, the English do not, so to speak, live with it. They
keep it afar off as a thing that concerns them not, except as
a matter of training or of individual taste. But the fair form
of Edith and that grisly search among the dead is nearer
to the popular mind than most other events. Sir Charles
Napier’s not very well known story of this episode is
characteristic enough, flavoured though it is with a morality
which does not belong to the age of the event. For
William II. I have chosen the story of an anonymous writer
of some considerable power. He depicts the King on the
eve of the rebellion of Stephen of Aumale; and the tyranny
of the monarch, the feeling of the nobles, the position of
Flambard, all assembled at the council, are powerfully
shown. ‘Now, afore God and His holy saints!” exclaims
Hugh, Earl of Chester, ‘from the crown of thy head
downward, and from the sole of thy foot upward, William
of England! thou art, past thought and speech, a matchless
tyrant!” Henry I. is not represented in this volume ;
there is no romance which illustrates his reign. The story
of Matilda at Reading Abbey is by Charles Macfarlane, and
though perhaps not true of this particular abbey, is typical
of the position assumed by Matilda during her brief triumph
on the English throne.

The story of fair Rosamond’s death at the hands of
Queen Eleanor begins the rule of the Plantagenets. This
is another story belonging to history proper which has de-
scended to popular tradition. The episode in this volume
is written by Thomas Miller, and is perhaps one of the least
satisfactory stories in the volume, though perhaps it does
not do much violence to the character of this vindictive
queen. For that great hero of romance, Richard Coeur de
Lion, Thomas Love Peacock’s fine story of Maid Marian
is chosen,and Richard stands out well in close analogy to the
episode dealt with by Scott. The reign of John is not
represented, and Henry III. and his queen are only intro-
duced by a slight picture of their court taken from one of
the forgotten novels of Mrs. Radcliffe. Miss Porter’s romance
of the Scottish Chiefs supplies the story for Edward I.’s
reign, but this once popular romance is not of a sufficiently
high quality to be able to stand in contrast with the rest of



INTRODUCTION ix

the volume: Both the great Scottish hero and the great
English king are somewhat stunted compared with their
true position. The next three reigns are represented by ex-
tracts from Froissart’s chronicle in Lord Berner’s translation.
To the charms of the Tudor English are added the delight-
ful touches of the original chronicles, and I am sure these
specimens of a famous historian will be welcomed. The
adventures of Queen Isabella in France, whither she went
to seek aid against her miserable husband, Edward IL,
are particularly delightful, showing how gold and silver are
the metals “whereby love is attained both of gentlemen
and of poor soldiers.” The well-known battle of Nevil’s
Cross fought by Queen Philippa during the absence of
Edward III. before Calais and the deposition of Richard
II. are the two events in illustration of these reigns. I
fancy that the story of Henry’s treatment of Richard II.
will be new to many readers.

The House of Lancaster has not been the subject of
many romances, romantic though the period and events
are. Henry IV. is not represented by a separate story, and
for Henry V. I have chosen a scene from James’ Agincourt.
It represents the king in his changed character as monarch,
with reminiscences of the wild young prince; and though
this author’s romances are, of course, very inferior in cha-
racter, this particular story is not altogether unhappy in its
delineation of London and the events of a coronation. Of
the disastrous reign of Henry VI., the far-famed exploits of
Joan of Arc are a fitting representation, and Miss Manning’s
extremely fine picture supplies a very capital story, a story
that does not lose by contrast with the recently published
work of Mark Twain. Joan’s thoroughness of purpose
comes out in every sentence put into her mouth, and
altogether there is the ring of truth about this story. “It
is very terrible and very grand” is Joan’s remark when she
-hears cannon shot for the first time, and the reader feels
it too.

The Yorkists are represented by a description of King
Edward IV.’s court by Lord Lytton, a description which
is more ornate and more telling, perhaps, as a story than
anything which has gone before. It lets one, so to speak,
into the secrets of the royal household, and makes one feel



x INTRODUCTION

on confidential terms with the dissolute and able monarch.
Warwick’s deep character and Clarence’s wayward youth-
fulness are also well delineated in this clever bit of writing.
The young Edward V. is not represented, and Richard ITI.
is told of by Mary Shelley in the events which immediately
followed his death, the character of Perkin Warbeck appear-
ing to do duty for Richard Duke of York, whom he
impersonated.

The Tudor sovereigns introduce us to other events.
From Mrs. Shelley’s romance is chosen the story which
shows up Henry VII.’s selfishness and cynical cruelty, and
one of the best of Ainsworth’s stories supplies the illustra-
tion of Henry VIII.’s reign, in the fall of Cardinal Wolsey
and the rise of Anne Boleyn. Ainsworth is always true to
localities, and Windsor Castle appears very close to us
when reading this story. It was during this reign that the
style of ‘‘ Majesty” was applied to an English sovereign,
and it is interesting to note that in this respect all the
authors who have written in the earlier reigns correctly
represent the court etiquette. Edward VI. is not repre-
sented, and Ainsworth is again called upon to supply the
story for Mary’s reign, the Queen’s marriage with the hated
Spaniard forming a very taking narrative with its exhibi-
tion of court intrigue and personal details. For the reign
of Elizabeth, the great genius of Scott supplies the story,
and although it is perhaps one of his least satisfactory
works, it is astonishing how grandly the work of the master
stands out. The story of Amy Robsart is a fine one, and
all the picturesqueness of that famous court masque at
Kenilworth comes upon the reader with welcome freshness.
Elizabeth’s queenly dignity and womanly feeling were
surely never better displayed than here, while the gallantry
of Raleigh and the fickle inconstancy of Leicester are only
touches of the same hand that illumines the darkness of
past ages by the Queen’s natural allusion to “my godson
Harrington,” who could tell her of the fairy she had read
of in some Italian rhymes.

But the Stuart period shows Scott at his best. Who
could wish a better picture of King James than that taken
from /Vigel? The humour of the whole thing is always
counterbalanced by the unconscious dignity of the narra-



INTRODUCTION xi

tive, and though we laugh at the pedantic old monarch, we
love him nevertheless. Scott’s James the First is the King
who will always live, for he isso human. There is probably
nothing more quaintly humorous in the realm of fiction than
the story of the King teaching his jeweller how to present a
petition—it is a story that every one has read hundreds of
times. I have appealed to Daniel Defoe to supply a narra-
tive of the battle of Edgehill, to illustrate the reign of
Charles I. The story will be welcome, even if only on
account of its delightful simplicity and truthful description
of the battle and its results. Scott again contributes when
we come to Charles II., and the court scene taken from
Peveril of the Peak gives us the merry monarch to the
very life. This is one of the longest stories in the book,
but it could not have been shortened. John Galt tells the
story of Argyle’s fall in the reign of James II., and this
episode is a great turning-point in the history of this fateful
reign. For William and Mary we first come upon a story
of William Makepeace Thackeray, and the faithfulness of
the picture, the irony with which the sham sentiment of
Lady Castlewood is shown up, the little glimpse we get
of Dick Steele, Scholar Dick, are all delightful. For the
reign of Anne I have chosen the greatest story in the
whole book. Itis from Thackeray’s Zsmond. Looked atin
whatever way it is possible, I think this remarkable piece of
writing is perhaps truer to history than even historical narra-
tive itself. There is no foundation, so far as I know, for
the actual episode supposed to have taken place, but it is the
one episode which would account for all the circumstances
of this great event. And the detail is so splendid. The
coach going across the country from Kensington to Chelsea
is at once a touch of illuminating truth, and the truth sub-
ordinated to the place proper to its right understanding.
The sorry pettiness of the whole surroundings, the stirring
-picture of indignant renunciation of the prince by two
loyal adherents, the grim humour of the French training
of the prince—there is scarcely a line that is not indicative
of the master’s hand, and those who have read this story
so often will again read it in its present place with all the
old delight.

The period of the Guelphs opens up new scenes. The



xii INTRODUCTION

results of 1715, rather than the events themselves, are pour-
trayed for us by Sir Walter Scott in the story taken from
Rob Roy. Then for George II. Thackeray leads us into
the court of the King with its pettiness and its insincerity,
its red-faced king and his red-faced son, its obsequious
courtiers and its fawning bishops, the great solemn Pitt,
and withal the simplicity if not the commonplaceness of
the whole affair. It is a biting but not an untrue narrative.
The accession of George III. brings us back again to the
Stuarts and to Scott, and it is not uninteresting to note that
our Queen’s grandfather was in touch with the romanticism
of the Stuart episode. The story told by Scott has some
foundation in fact, and certainly in probability. For George
IV. and William IV. there are no representative stories, and
the series closes with a description of one of the scenes of
the Chartist riots belonging to the reign of the Queen and
told by Lord Beaconsfield. Even these events seem too far
off to belong to the present reign. Inspired by the genius
of a great romancist, the story, though marking an un-
pleasant episode of this great reign, is good in all respects,
and at all events serves to show those of this generation how
much we have advanced since such things were possible.

No alteration is made in the original narrative except to
leave out irrelevant passages and allusions, and very occa-
sionally to alter a sentence slightly so as to avoid inconsis-
tencies in the scheme of a short story. Otherwise each
story is lifted from its place in the original work to the
place assigned to it in this collection. Thus the whole
volume deals with events of our English history as they are
related in romantic literature.

LAURENCE GOMME.

24, DORSET SQUARE, N.W.



Io.
Il.

12.

ns
14.

[The reigns of Henry I., John, Henry IV., Edward V.,

CONTENTS

George IV., and William IV. are not represented.]}

WILLIAM I.: From Queen to Queen. Six Charles Napier
WILLIAM II.: At the Disposal of the King. Anonymous

STEPHEN: How Matilda, Queen and Empress, treated
Reading Abbey . : . . Charles Macfarlane

Henry II. : The Queen at Fair Rosamond’s Bower.
T. Miller

RIcHARD I. : How the Queen of the Forest met the King
of the Land. . : , . Thomas Love Peacock

Henry III.: King and Queen at Court . dfs. Radcliffe

Epwarp I.: For Wallace or for King Edward.
Jane Porter

Epwarp II. : How Queen Isabella left the King her Hus-

band . ; b 6 6 : . Lrotssart

Epwarp III. : The Queen wins a Battle . . Lrotssart

RicuarD II.: The Deposition of the King . Lroissart
Henry V.: At the Coronation of the King.

G. P. R. James

Henry VI.: The ee of the English Defeat in

France. : : . . Miss Manning

Epwarp IV.: At the Court of King Edward. Lord Lytton

Ricuarp III.: The King is Dead—Who shall be King ?
Mary W. Shelley

xiii

Edward VI,

PAGE

17
31

39
51

55
69
74
78

86

103
117

132



xiv CONTENTS

PAGE

15. HENRY VII.: The Marriage of a Queen.
Mary W. Shelley 140

16. Henry VIII.: The Rise of a New Queen
Harrison Ainsworth 146

17. Mary: When England and Spain were Friends.
Harrison Ainsworth 170

18. ELizaBETH: How the Queen visited her Favourite at

Kenilworth . 6 : : 5 Str Walter Scott 185
19. JAMES I.: The King and his Jeweller. Str Walter Scott 247
20. CuHar.es I.: The Battle of Edgehill . Daniel Defoe 264
21. CHar.es II.: How King Charles dealt with Friends and

Foes . FS ; ; 5 . Str Walter Scott 277
22, James II.: The Fall of Argyle. ” ‘ » John Galt 315

23. WILLIAM AND Mary: Plotting for the Stuarts.
W. M. Thackeray 324

24. ANNE: The Passing of the Crown from the Stuarts
W. M. Thackeray 340

25. GeEorGE I.: The First Fight for the Fallen Stuarts.
Sir Walter Scott 378

26. GEORGE II.: The King’s Drawing-room.
W. M. Thackeray 411

27. GeorceE III.: How the Gage of the Guelphs was taken
up 2 : a 3 ‘ ; Str Walter Scott 419
28, VicToria: A Story of the Chartist Riots.
; Lord Beaconsfield 427



Elst. OF ILEUS ERALIONS

TO FACE PAGE
“« And proceeded to Waltham” . . < 5 3 Frontispiece

“But our Prior spoke out with a right manful voice’

“* And before the images of Madonna and Child knelt fair Ro
mond” . : 5 - : :

‘“‘Leaning, in true Sherwood ee ait his bak against a

tree” . . . .
“* By his subtle wit fie set eek accra betweed the King aa
Queen”

«« And ever as they fie for aaa they met more people” ,

“¢It was what the Italians call a Supreme Moment” .

‘Was reclining on a bench beside a lady ” 5 :

‘‘Mynheer Jahn was somewhat loth to part with the little Prince”

‘Pressed her hand to his lips” . 5 ; 5

“*¢T attend your pleasure, Madam,’ said Wolsey ”

‘* «Farewell for ever, then,’ rejoined Dudley ”

“‘ While she spoke thus, Dudley bowed deeply ”

“¢Tt is a curious and vera artificial sculpture,’ said the King ”

‘*Who had more than once visited his confinement” .

‘«She was invited one afternoon to view certain articles of female
bravery” . 5 : 5 z

“Once or twice little Harry Me as their messenger ”

“‘The Prince started up in his bed”

‘But all was silent, all was solitary”

‘My uncle surveyed me with attention”

24
34
40

70

78
II4
120
138
142
154
182
204
256
292

316
326
372
388
422



From Queen to Queen

CARCELY had the victorious army of the Normans
given up pursuit, through the obscurity, and re-
assembled on the field of its triumph, than the pale moon
arose, casting her effulgence over the ensanguined battle-
ground: thousands and tens of thousands there lay, all
grim and ghastly to the view; the silvery light displayed
their gashes, and showed the blood of life yet trickling from
the wound. Here and there the imprisoned soul still shook
its mortal habitation with convulsive quiverings, marking
approaching death; and faint moanings, testifying man’s
cruelty, still floated on the air from distant parts of the
field.

“ Now,” exclaimed the Conqueror, “let us kneel and
thank the Almighty, who has given us this great victory.”

As he said this, the remnants of the Neustrian army
laid their stained weapons down, kneeled, and raised their
bloody hands in solemn invocation to the Deity. Odo,
gory and mitred, chanted forth hymns of peace and good-
_will towards man, and thankfulness, and masses for the
slain !

In truth it was a very blasphemy, and some could not
give thanks that night: stern as William Malet was, he
wept for the friends of those bloodless bodies that lay
bleaching around in heaps. Sixty thousand Saxons there
weltered in their blood; and the men who had done this

QS. B



2 WILLIAM I

butchery were kneeling to the God of all, amidst the im-
pious havoc!

When prayers were over they began to inter the slain
Normans, writing down as killed the names of all those
who answered not when called; of these there were above
twenty thousand—in sooth it was a hardly-earned victory.

While thus employed a fresh scene of woe took place:
the two monks of Waltham presented themselves to the
Conqueror. They were followed by a long train of holy
men, and came over that desecrated hill chanting a requiem
for the dead. As the solemn harmony flung its floating
strains upon the still air, the soldiers ceased to speak or
move, all listening to the mournful melody. The proces-
sion wound slowly down the steep, threading among the
slain, where scant space was found for living foot to fall
unwet with human gore. The sacred band advanced,
exalting the reproachful crucifix amidst the sacrilegious
desolation; censers in front cast incense, whose curling
smoke caught the moonbeams, and circling upwards seemed,
in conjunction with that solemn dirge, more acceptable to
Heaven than did the fierce Odo’s exultant prayers.

The tonsured supplicants came to demand in God’s name
that they might inter the dead.

“Mercy, great Conqueror! mercy to the vanquished |”

“Tt is granted to all,” answered William; “I war not
with the dead! and I will prove my words, holy fathers,
even now in your presence. Where is the knight who
smote the dead body of Harold with his sword? Bring
him before me.” The knight came forth: “Give me thy
sword,” said the duke, and in a voice of anger that always
made those about him quail. The knight tremblingly
obeyed. William, taking the weapon in his gauntleted
hands, broke it into pieces.

“ There, base and recreant soldier! know that he who
insults a dead enemy is as much disgraced as he who turns
his back upon a living one! Get thee hence !”



FROM QUEEN TO QUEEN 3

The caitiff sneaked away, condemned and cast out by all.

“Now, holy fathers, do such honour to the dead as best
beseemeth you, without further let or hindrance.”

“Sire!” said the monks, “we still crave a boon at thy
hands: in the name of the Saviour of the world, grant us
the body of Harold?”

William paused for a moment; but the natural generosity
of his disposition, not being opposed by any political ad-
vantage, swayed him.

‘Granted, even that traitor’s corpse; but ye will have
some trouble ere ye find it amidst the heaps of slain. Sir
William Malet, hie thee with these good monks, and take
such order that none insult them, nor offer indignity to the
body of Harold, nor to any Saxon, dead or alive. Where
Harold fell, and where his standard stood, shall a convent
be erected in memory of this great battle.”

The monks bowed to the victor, and proceeded up ihe
height.

On arriving there the moonlight fell upon an awful sight.
A kneeling female figure, her white garments steeped in
blood, hung over the disfigured corpse of Harold; a pro-
fusion of hair hid her head, but her lips seemed to be
pressed to his. The fatal arrow drawn from the wound
lay before her, and hillocks of slain rose about her, out of
which she had drawn the mangled corpse. As they
approached, she raised her head—it was Editha! Her
beauteous face was greatly agitated. ‘I will not quit him
—kill me if ye will, murderers ! ye shall not divide me from
him now.” With a violent tone she spoke, dropped a cross
- she held, and clasped the dead body in her arms with
maniac look and energy, raising it from the ground and
pressing the head to her breast.

Dear lady,” said Wulstan, “knowest thou not thy
friends? We are all thine own.”

“Then who is that Norman—what does he here? “Ha!
Sir William Malet, is it thou? Get thee hence, thou mur-



4 WILLIAM I

derer of the Saxons! Look here, bloodthirsty man, and
see what ye have done! Hence from my sight, or finish
thy hateful work, and add the blood of Editha to that
which now clots upon thy horrid weapon; it is the only
Saxon blood that Editha can spare thee, and dying she will
bless the hand that sheds it.”

Malet did not answer, and the good monk saw that he
could not answer.

“Lady,” said he, ‘‘ we have leave to bear the body hence
to Waltham ; and this good knight

“Callest thou a Norman good? O Wulstan! Wulstan!
cast thine eyes here, and all around, and with thy Saxon
tongue canst thou call Normans good ?”

“Dear lady of the Saxons! patience, patience! Behold
this!” said the monk as he picked up her crucifix ; “let not
that fall! for quitting it, what shall support us in this world
of miseries—with it, what shall we fear ?”

“Father, thy reproof is just, but call not the Normans
good, and tell this Norman to go hence from the sight of
Editha.”

“Let us all hence, that we may pay the last homage to
the body of the King, and inter his mortal remains with due
religious rites at Waltham ; and let us hasten, for day will
soon dawn and the victor may change his will, and then
who shall say him nay?”

Editha consented.

“O God, I am in thine hands! I see there is one way
in which these hateful Normans can yet make Editha
tremble”; again she kissed the cold lips of Harold and
rose up to let the monks take his body, which they laid
upon a bier, and proceeded to Waltham.

The rumour soon spread that the Saxon people would be
safe if they came to bury the dead, and that sorrowful field
was quickly covered with wailing and distracted women and
children.

Then the Normans marched towards Dover, and being





FROM QUEEN TO QUEEN 5

fearful of the danger to which Editha was exposed, Sir
William Malet followed her to Waltham; the Conqueror
had given him strict charge to maintain all that country in
tranquillity and free from pillage—for so his policy demanded.

When Editha and her melancholy train approached
Waltham, she was met by a vast multitude of unarmed
Saxons, men, women, and children; and as the bloody
corpse of the slain King passed by lamentations arose, and
loud wailings filled the air. Then, moved by some sudden
impulse, and with one accord, that great throng of mourners
fell upon their knees in silence and in prayers for the slain.

“ Stop,” cried Editha to the bearers of the body; “set
him down, and on these hallowed relics let me pray in the
midst of the people for whom he has fallen.”

There was a small tumulus hard by, and on this spot,
where the bones of inhumated warriors reposed, they laid
the lifeless hero of the Saxons. Editha kneeled beside the
remains of her husband, her lips moved in silent prayer, a
few big tears rolled down her wan face, and her eyes were
bent with an expression of doubt on those disfigured fea-
tures, as if yet searching for life; then hopelessly raising
her looks to heaven, like one imploring pity in this dread
moment of bitterest agony, she prayed inwardly. And all
that multitude prayed with her; and thousands were there,
like her bereaved of all; and thousands still poured in
upon that vast crowd, fresh, horror-stricken, from the field
of desolation, while convulsive sobs and maniac screams
here and there disturbed the religious silence.

Then sung the monks a loud Saxon dirge in honour of
the fallen. LEditha stooped over the body, and her rich
hair hid the tears which streamed upon the face of Harold,
mingling with his blood. The assembled Saxons joined in
the hymn, and when the sacred song ceased, the body was
again raised and borne to the grave within the chapel ; but
not by the monks—twelve Saxon warriors whose wounds
were fresh, burst from the crowd.



) WILLIAM I

“ Lady, we fled not from the field; we long lay senseless
amidst the slaughter; we stood by thy husband in many a
battle, we deserted him not yesterday, and we will yet die
fighting upon his body, if so the Normans please, for not
without a blow shall the guards of Harold fall. Like these
weapons,” said they, showing their battle-axes gory and
gapped, “we are injured, but not yet broken.”

Editha held out her hand to the speaker, but had no
power to do more; they kissed her proffered hand, lifted
the body of their lifeless monarch, and, as the solemn dirge
again arose, they bore him to the tomb.

The earth was now cast upon the coffin of Harold. It
fell with a sound that jarred, ruthless, cold, withering, upon
the heart of Editha. It was the last sound she heard. She
sunk lifeless in the arms of those who stood around her.

When she recovered, she found herself in bed ; her weeping
companions were by her side. The good Wulstan entered ;
he reasoned with the sorrowing queen, but Editha found
consolation in her own reflection alone, which told her that
life swiftly passes—that health and strength were not be-
stowed upon her to cast away as things of no value.

Time gradually produced a state of resignation to her life
of sorrow, and when Matilda came to England the following
letter told her, that her predecessor on the throne still
lived :—

“EDITHA TO MATILDA.

“To thee, Matilda, Isend the crown I once wore. While
shared with Harold, this gift of the Saxons was dear to me.
Harold is slain; the Saxons are no longer a people. Take
then their crown, and let it bespeak thy protection for the
oppressed.”

—Sir Caries Napier, William the Conqueror.



I]

At the Disposal of
the King

“IVE days after Robert de Mowbray had been pro-

claimed a traitor at the cross of Winchester, his

title and government annulled, and all his possessions con-

fiscated to the crown, a knight, Alberic du Coci, burst

suddenly, and with streaming brow and flashing eyes, into
the presence of King William and his minister Flambard.

“News, mighty Sovereign!” he exclaimed, hurrying to
the royal seat, and flinging himself upon one knee, almost
breathless with haste and excitement.

“News?” said the King. ‘“ What news, Brazen-brow?
they should be passing good, in amends of thy saucy
bluntness !”

“Pardon, my gracious Liege,” returned the vassal, “ hot
love forgets cold form. My news are passing evil, if your
Grace stir not with the fairer speed for their telling. The
arch-rebel, De Mowbray, is up and doing with a mighty
power in the North! He hath spread banner at York, at
Durham, at Alnwick, and at Bamborough ; and, at the four
"gates of each, with voice of herald and blast of trumpet,
proclaimed Stephen de Albemarle King of England.”

Rufus bounded from his seat.

“Oh, spacious villain!” he cried; “oh, mighty traitor!
hath he but one head? one life? King, saidst thou? Oh,
monstrous rebel! hast thou a dog, Du Coci, that would lap
Tvarl’s blood, ha?”

7



8 WILLIAM II

“Better, my Liege,” said the Knight, “a sword to shed
it for your Grace, if it be God’s pleasure ; but, by my faith,
there will lack ten thousand besides, and sharp and true
ones. Stephen himself——”

“Ho! what of him?” shouted the Monarch—“ what of
our traitor-cousin, in Hell’s name?—what of the doubly-
damned De Albemarle ?”

*‘Sped to De Mowbray,” answered Sir Alberic; ‘some
say at York—some further south; but, all agree, with a
vast strength, levied in the midland shires as he trooped
north. Their numbers, or equipment, or what traitor-
. names have joined them, as leaders or as allies, God
knows, my Sovereign Liege, not I.”

“Why! we will march and see! What recks it? ho!
summon De Miles! where sleeps Montgomery in this
pinch? Get thee to bed, good Ranulph; no market now
for thy politic wares.”

“Tush—tush, my Liege—fairer than ever,” said Flam-
bard ; ‘‘wit is sharper than steel, and shall yet be at higher
price. Hark, Du Coci, where didst thou, of all men, basket
up these tidings ? ”

“Further north,” replied Sir Alberic, “than I have know-
ledge of tower and town to tell ye. Ihave been scouring
in bootless quest of one that fiends, surely, have snatched
from earth, and met, by the way, with those who had fast
knowledge that this is sooth; the rather, that they them-
selves were hot upon the spur to join King Stephen—I
pray Heaven and your Grace to pardon me the word.”

‘“‘Oh, gracious fool!” cried Rufus, “to let hence his
prating daughter and her champion! Thou wert right,
Ranulph—it is they that have carried the lit torch to this
pile of treason! He waited but for them—ha! Black-
hearted villains! Their heads shall answer it. What!
nothing but tricks of treason? Whither away, my Lord
Justiciary 2”

“To summon aid and council, I,” said Flambard, “and



AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE KING) 9

that with such speed as horse, and herald, and trumpet-call
can do it. By God, my Liege, we must have gold! if it be
dug for in men’s hearts, where, as I live and breathe, I
think the greedy villains hide it from us in these pinches.
For what with these accursed Welsh wars; and your
Grace’s over-sea doings; and building huge halls and
castles, and fair dwellings, forsooth, for lurdane priests
and joult-headed friars ; and granting boons to all askers ;
and giving largesses as though your exchequer were a
heaped mountain ; I can tell ye, Sir King, moneys have
grown rarer with us here in Winchester than unicorns’
horns.”*

And, thus saying, the Procurator Fiscal vanished from
the chamber.

“Command me, mighty Sovereign,” said Du Coci,
‘whither must I the whilst this storm is brewing ?”

‘‘ Northward,” said Rufus, “as though a legion of fiends
drove thee! or, by my Father’s soul! lacking De Waleric
for their fence, our towers of Monkchester-on-Tyne will fall
into the rebels’ hands.”

‘Past prayer, my Liege,” replied the Knight, “for, if the
black truth must out, they are already stormed and taken.”

The Monarch stamped with a fury that shook the oaken
chamber, and filled it with the dust of the strewed rushes.
Fortunately, however, the sudden entrance of Montgomery
and De Miles, whom the Justiciary had opportunely met in
the castle-hall, broke upon his idle paroxysms. Immedi-
ately all were in their element. There was sparkling of
fierce eyes; grasping of hands; swearing of bitter oaths ;
and rapid suggestion of measures better fitted for wreaking
the royal anger than frantic words and gestures.

“For thy life, Du Coci,” said Flambard, “ride thou with
the Lord Marshal’s hests, whither he bids, and see that
twenty pursuivants-at-arms (less may not serve) be here in
tabard and in saddle within an hour. Our writs to every
Sheriff in the realnr must fly with their best wings ; or towns



10 WILLIAM II

and towers beyond the Trent will fall to the rebels by the
round score, ere we have power a-foot to strike a stroke !”

“Write then, good Ranulph,” said the King, “ Dispatch
—dispatch! Bid the stout Sheriffs ride day and night, and
summon all ’twixt sixty and sixteen. If they slumber or
tarry,—fire-brand and battle-axe for that! God’s curse
upon the sleepy villains that lost our Castle-upon-Tyne !
aye, and on thee, Du Coci, if thou amend not the evil
chance with speed. Away! we will take thought to give
thee needful force.”

Sir Alberic hurried from the chamber. De Tunbridge
‘and a few other of the higher crown-vassals, joined the
royal military conclave; and, on the other hand, the
Chamberlain, the Chancellor, and the Treasurer were sum-
moned in aid of the toiling Flambard, whose active mind
had already determined upon a hundred measures.

We pass to the Great Council, which, by the hour of
noon, was assembled with a fulness that crowded even that
vast hall to excess. Every Baron that the festival had
drawn to Winchester, lay and spiritual, was there. No
man caring or daring to be absent after a summons so
peremptory. Instantly as the Monarch assumed his
throne, a herald, upon the Marshal’s right hand, blew three
times a warning trumpet-note of proclamation, and then,
another, upon the left, stepping a little in advance, an-
nounced in a loud voice the rebellion of De Mowbray and
De Albemarle. A mixed sound of surprise and execration
rose and swelled on every side, but, when the King, start-
ing to his feet, demanded ‘“‘What comfort and what counsel
his loyal lieges gave him in such straits?” every lay-baron
present, except two, followed the example of Montgomery
and De Miles, who, suddenly, drawing their heavy swords,
and waving them aloft, swore a deep oath, that “with those
and their good lances alone they would give comfort and
counsel to their Sovereign |”



AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE KING 11

“T go, my Liege,” said the Marshal, “to fling abroad the
first of a thousand banners; but, were ten lances the full
muster of your battle against the high traitor, De Mowbray,
one of the ten were I! So help me God and his liege-saint,
St. George !”

“And 1!” exclaimed the Constable.

“And I!” echoed De Tunbridge.

“ And I!” broke in full concert from the assemblage ;
followed by a shout of acclamation which seemed to ring
and vibrate along the bannered walls, and the carved roof-
work of the hall.

“ Now, by St. Luke’s face ! these are sounds for a King’s
ear and a King’s heart ; aye, anda King’s thanks, were he
the best and strongest that ever yet was bearded by rebel-
lion! Thanks, therefore, my loyal and right-trusty lieges !
But, look !—” he added, pointing to the two whom we
have already alluded to as exceptions—“even in this
goodly quiver there are broken shafts. Marshal of Eng-
land, ask yonder Knights, if such they be, why they, and
they alone, fling scorn upon our presence with shut lips,
sheathed brands, and scowling brows? scorn upon us, we
say, and every token of others’ fealty. Bid them make
answer, on their lives.”

There was a dead silence, as Rufus, his eye kindling,
though he retained his seat, continued to point alternately
to the objects of his resentment; whom the general enthusi-
asm, indeed, now placed in strong and ungracious contrast
with all around.

Montgomery strode midway between the parties malecon-
tent; but they did not wait to be formally challenged.

‘Marshal of England,” said Hugh-le-Loup, his voice
hoarse and tremulous with passion, ‘‘ask yonder King and
his Justiciary, if it be sooth, that, at the banquet of yester-
even, whither nor I nor mine were bidden guests, the hand
and dowry of Maud de Aquila, my kinswoman and ward,
were gaged, by a royal oath, as price and guerdon for De



12 WILLIAM II

Mowbray’s head, struck off by whatsoever hand? Ask this
and give me answer.”

The words were scarcely uttered before Reginald de
Lacy, upon his part also, confronted the Earl of Shrews-
bury, and began with a like haughty formula,—

“Marshal of England, ask yonder King and his Justi-
ciary, if it be sooth, that, in the list of towns in Normandy,
marked out for grinding levies of men and arms—or, failing
these, of such scutage-tax as would drain every coffer within
their walls—my town of Mans be also written down? mine
by the self-same right that seats his father’s son upon yon
throne of England. Ask this, and give me answer.”

The audacity of these questions seemed literally to sus-
pend the breath of all who heard. But the spirit of the
Conqueror had boiled up in William Rufus.

“ Now, by the Mother of Heaven !” he exclaimed, starting
to his feet, ‘I am answered ! and will make answer, were it
the first and the last time that ever a true King answered
a false traitor !—”

“Traitor!” cried Hugh-le-Loup, turning fiercely upon
the Sovereign, “thy father, Sir King, thy mightier and
more kingly father, had other speech and other bearing
for one who was of the first and strongest to buckle mail,
and scatter treasure, that a poor feudatory Duke might
be transmewted into a free Monarch. But let pass.
Sword nor treasure of mine shall out till I be answered
touching this banquet boast. Is’t sooth or not?”

The King, who, it is said, for the first time in his life,
looked white with passion instead of red, strode up to
the offended and offending Earl, and, with a glare which
Lupus hardly sustained, replied from between his grinding
teeth :—

“Sooth, thou audacious villain! sooth as Heaven!
Art answered? ha? Why, we have pampered thee with
gifts and favour till pride and swollen surquedry gorge thee
to cracking! But, know, thou full-fed banqueter upon the



AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE KING 13

fruits of mine and my dead father’s largesse, that I will yet
work my pleasure with thee for good or evil; aye, as the
potter with his clay, mould thee to what I list; and where,
and when; thee, and thine earldom ; treasure, and sword
and life; thy gross body—” he added, scornfully, ‘and
thy fair kinswoman ! gnash fangs at that, Sir Wolf! For,
as I live and breathe, the daughter of De Aquila is no more
ward of thine than she is Queen of Heaven.”

Rage and insulted pride seemed to dilate even the full
portly dimensions of Hugh Vras.

“Now, afore God and his holy saints!” he exclaimed,
“from the crown of thy head downward, and from the sole
of thy foot upward, William of England! thou art, past
thought and speech, a matchless tryant! if it stand thus
with Maud de Aquila. . . . .”

“Tf!” vociferated the King, cerepine furiously —“ sound
trumpets yet again!”

And, as the heralds obeyed, he strode heavily upon the
steps of the throne, but without seating himself—then—
as the peal of the horn died away—

‘‘ Here,” he continued, ‘though tampering with rebellion
hath barred thee from our banquets, here, at least, thou art
a guest, bidden or unbidden; and here let thy own ears
warn thee. Mark! He that shall bring the traitor De
Mowbray’s head,—hacked off, or still upon the rebel trunk,
it recks not ;—now, by my sceptre and my soul! on him
(be he the meanest horse-boy of our camp!) on him will I
bestow this vaunted beauty, this Maud de Aquila, for wife,
for slave, or what not, even as his pleasure is! she, and her
every knight’s-fee, manor and tower, forest and field. Our
Lord Justiciary, and thou, Earl Marshal, look that a herald-
at-arms make proclamation thus, at every market cross
and city gate.”

The Earl of Chester struck with both hands clenched
upon a brow literally black with contending passions; and
it seemed to all present as if the violence of his emotions



14 WILLIAM II

must find speedy vent, either in execrations or tears. A
struggle, fearful while it lasted, gave him mastery over both.
Pacing slowly, but with little firmness, through the hall, he
passed the King, the Marshal, and the Justiciary, and,
taking from his baldric the sword which was given to
him by the Conqueror, delivered it, without a word, into
the hand of De Miles. As the constable received it with
reluctant awkwardness, Lupus pointed to the inscription
upon the blade, “Hugo comes Cestria,” and then, with
shaken finger, to the chafed Rufus, whose burning eye
followed the gesture, well understanding it as a tacit renun-
ciation of allegiance upon the Earl’s part.

The latter, with recovered firmness of step, but looking
deadly pale, then made for the hall door, saying to the
Barons who thronged between,—

“T pray you let me pass ;—this hall grows hot.”

“Wouldst cool thee in the north;” said Rufus, “ha,
Cousin Earl?”

“ My Lord of Chester,” said Flambard, speaking now for
the first time, “is cousin also to De Albemarle ; look well,
my Liege, to that. If choice between be question of near
blood, a sparrow’s feather will turn the scale.”

“ Hell-born and bred !” exclaimed the Earl, “ mine is in-
deed the blood of kings, and dost thou, mean, undescended
caitiff! dare to lift finger or wag tongue against me? ”

“Not,—” replied the sneering favourite, as he held
before him the intercepted letter from De Mowbray, and
pointed, insultingly, to the bitter passage—“ ‘if thou canst
leave turning and changing, and blowing hot and cold with
the same breath, and looking now backward, now for-
ward—’ ha? mighty Earl !—”

The hand of Lupus was upon his dagger; but so also
was the hand of another upon him, and a voice murmured,
“Not yet, nor here—be calm.”

He “looked daggers, but used none,” and again moved
for the door.



AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE KING 15

“Tarry,” said the King, “and take again thy sword.
Aye, and an oath upon its cross-hilt, under the beards of
these holy bishops and abbots, that thou wilt meet us, in
five days, with all thy power, levied both west and east of
Offa’s Dyke—”

The Earl indeed took back the sword, but it was only to
throw it upon the lowest step of the throne; “I will meet
thee, Cousin King,” he said equivocally, “with all my
power.”

“ Attach him of high treason,” said the Justiciary, and
the Marshal passed between Lupus and the door, but did
not lay hand upon him, nor repeat the words of arrest; for
there was that in the eyes of every Baron near, which ad-
monished forbearance. The Earl of Chester, indeed, could
draw no assurance or countenance from his own baronage
of the Palatinate, the Great Council being formed exclu-
sively of crown-tenants; but many of these had known
him for a munificent friend, and shared the princely hos-
pitality of Chester Castle. His cause, too, especially
against the hated Flambard, was that of the whole body of
English nobles, who, however loyally determined to sup-
port Rufus himself through the rebellion, were far from
willing that the hand of regal prerogative should lie heavy
upon one individual of their order.

“My Liege,” said De Miles aloud, “this wound craves
staunching; and not that your Justiciary should rend it
wider. I, for one, will fight against De Mowbray while I
have blood to shed, or flesh to hack; but these quillets of
law—these matters of wardship, and of heirship, that stir
your Grace against Hugh Lupus—these are targets beyond
my archery; and, by holy Saint Mary! Sir Justiciary,”
(turning abruptly to Flambard,) “ plainly, and at a word, I
will back ye therein neither with sword nor speech.”

There was a distinct buzz of approbation after this can-
did avowal. Some did not scruple to say aloud, “It is
well said, noble Milo; by Mary-mother, we are like-minded



16 WILLIAM II

with the good Constable!” and there were grim smiles of
satisfaction upon almost every face.

““T, also, my Liege,” said Montgomery, willing enough to
go with the stream, in spite of the glance of Rufus, “I
also crave that this storm be overblown. Hugh Lupus is
mine enemy ; but so God help me, as I will not crush him
with the hand of office till he be traitor manifest! If
there be any amongst these noble peers whom I offend by
this, let them pronounce, and I will bow me to their
censure.”

But there was not a single gainsaying voice.

Flambard, who, during all this, had placed one foot upon
the lowest step of the throne, now murmured in the
King’s ear, “‘ Let pass, my Liege, and be the shame on
me.” Then, aloud, “ Pardon, great King; very hardly did
I look for rebuke at your Grace’s hand, nor that the voice
of all your lieges should thus be surety for Hugh Lupus’
faith ; I pray God, their pledges be redeemed ! and touch-
ing the hot words of arrest your Grace reproves me for, I
say but as it is written, (if these holy bishops be well re-
membered,) ‘The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up.’”

He stretched his arm towards the Marshal, who, in his
turn, waved for free passage to the Earl of Chester. All fell
back with alacrity, to mark their triumph over the minister ;
and, with a measured step, without a single word of parting
reverence, Hlugh-le-Loup and Reginald de Lacy quitted the
royal hall.

—Anon., Rufus; or, the Red King,



III

How Matilda Queen and Empress
Treated Reading Abbey

OW some of the baronage and clergy did send
messengers into Anjou to invite the Empress
Matilda into England, and to give her assurance good that
they would place her upon the throne of her late father.
And the ex-Empress, being a woman of a high spirit, did
presently come over with her half-brother the Earl of
Gloucester, and one hundred and forty knights; and the
two nephews of the late Bishop Roger and many of the
optimates did renounce their allegiance to King Stephen
and join her standard. Bishop Nigel, who would have
continued to hold the castle of Devizes if it had not been
for that fearful fast, went into the Isle of Ely, his own
diocese, and there amidst the bogs and fens, and on the
very spot where Hereward the Lord of Brunn had with-
stood William the Conqueror, he raised a great rampart and
collected a great force against Stephen. In other parts our
bishops were seen mounted on war-horses, clad in armour,
and directing in the battle or the siege: and many and
bloody were the battles which were fought during two
years, and until King Stephen was surprised and defeated
in the great battle of Lincoln, and taken prisoner by the
Earl of Gloucester, the half-brother of the Empress.
Stephen was now thrown into a dungeon in Bristowe
Castle, and his brother the Bishop of Winchester and
legatus acknowledged the right and title of the Empress
QS. a Cc



18 STEPHEN

and led her in triumph to his cathedral church at Winches-
ter, and there blessed all who should be obedient to her,
and cursed all who should refuse to submit to her authority.
And this being done, Stephen’s brother, the bishop and
legate aforesaid, did convene an assembly of churchmen to
ratify her accession. At this synod the said legate bore
testimony against his brother, and said that God had pro-
nounced judgment against him ; and the great churchmen,
to whom it chiefly belongs to elect kings and ordain them,
did elect Matilda: to fill the place which Stephen’s demerits
had vacated. Yet some of the clergy there who did not
think that they could be so easily discharged of the oaths
they had taken unto Stephen, or move so far in this matter
without a direct command from our lord the pope, and
many lords there were, as well of the laity as of the clergy,
who did not like Matilda the better for knowing more of
her. But not one felt more unhappy at these changes than
our good lord abbat, who came back from the last meeting
of the clergy at Winchester well nigh broken-hearted ; for,
albeit he lamented his errors, he had much affection for
King Stephen and great reverence to the obligations of an
oath, and very earnestly desired peace and happiness to the
country.

Affairs were in this state, and the flames of civil war were
raging all round us, and the health of our good lord abbat
was daily breaking more and more, when the Empress
Matilda passed through Reading without stopping at our
abbey to say an orison at her father’s grave, being on her
way to Westminster, there to be crowned and anointed by
those who had crowned King Stephen only six years ago.
But the citizens of London, who were very bold and power-
ful, loved Stephen more than Matilda, and before the
coronation dresses could be got ready they rose upon her
and drove her from the city, flying on horseback and at first
almost alone, as she did. This time the daughter of the
Beauclerc found it opportune to come to our abbey, for



MATILDA AT READING ABBEY 19

she wanted food, lodging, and raiment, and knew not where
else to procure them. A messenger on a foundered horse
announced that she was coming, and by the time the man
had put his beast into our lord abbat’s stable, a great cloud
of dust was seen rolling on the road beyond the Kennet
from the eastward.

“ Medea fert tristes succos—she is coming, and will bring
poisons with her! She cometh in a whirlwind,” said our
good lord abbat, “and albeit she is her father’s daughter—
the lawfully begotten daughter of this house (though some
men do say the contrary), it grieves me that she cometh at
all. Last year, and at this same season of the year, we did
lodge and entertain King Stephen, and prayed God to bless
him ; and now must I feast this wandering woman and cry
God save Queen Matilda? The unlettered and rustical
people be slow of comprehension, yet will they not have
their hearts turned from us by seeing these rapid shiftings
and changings? And so soon as the commoner sort lose
their faith or belief in the principles of their betters, crime
and havoc will have it all their own way. This people—
this already mixed people of Saxons and Normans—will go
backwards into blood, and there will be war between
cottage and cottage as well as between castle and castle!”

The Empress-queen arrived at our gates, and with a
numerous atrendance ; for some had followed by getting
stealthily out of London, and some had joined her on the
road. Sooth to say she was an imperious, and despotical,
and loud-voiced, manlike woman, and of a very imposing
presence. Maugre her hasty flight she had a coronet of
gold on her head, and a jewel like a star on her breast, and
her garments were of purple and gold. A foreign lord,
with a truculent countenance, bore a naked sword before
her, and another knight, with a visage no less stern, carried
a jewelled sceptre

“Tis mine own father’s house,” said she as she came
within our gates, “’tis the gift and doing of mine own



20 STEPHEN

father, of blessed memory, and much, oh monks! did you
wrong him and me by entertaining within these walls the
foul usurper Stephen. The usurper is rotting in the nether-
most dungeon of Bristowe Castle, and there let him die:
but, oh abbat, lead me to my dear father’s tomb, that I may
say a prayer for the good of his soul; and see in the
coining place what money thou hast in hand, for much do
I lack money, and must for the nonce be a borrower! Bid
thy people make ready a banquet in the hall, for we be all
fasting and right hungry ; and send into the township and
call forth each man that hath a horse and a sword, in order
that he may follow us to Oxenford, and help to be our guard
upon the way. Do these few things, oh abbat, and I will
yet hold thee in good esteem. The land rings with thy
great wealth and power. By Notre Dame of Anjou! ’tis
a goodly house, and the walls be strong, and the ditch
round about broad and deep—by the holy visage of St.
Luke ! I will not hence to-night though all the rebel citizens
of London, that do swarm like bees from their hives,
should follow me so far.”

Our good lord abbat could do little more than bow and
cross himself, and our prior of the bellicose humour, who
partook in our abbat’s affection for King Stephen, reddened
in the face and turned aside his face and grinded his teeth,
and muttered down his own throat, ‘‘Beshrew the distaff!
The Beauclerc, her sire, was more courteous unto clerks !”

Our sub-prior, being of a more supple nature, and being,
moreover, not without his hopes of being nominated to the
abbatial dignity so soon as our lord abbat should be laid
under the chancel of the abbey church, kneeled before the
Empress-queen, and then formed some of the monks z
processionale, and began leading the way to the sepulchre of
Henricus Primus. But this roused the abbat and threw
the thoughts of our prior into another channel, and the lord
abbat said in a grim and loud whisper unto the sub-prior,
“T am chief here, and none must move without my



MATILDA AT READING ABBEY 21

bidding ”; and the prior said without an essay at a whisper,
“Oh, sub, seek not to climb above me!”

The proud woman reddened and said, “‘If ye would
honour me, oh monks, as your Queen, make haste to do it!
An ye will not, I can get me in without your ceremonies.
No time have I to lose, and money and aid must be forth-
coming !”

Then up spake the lord abbat Edward and said ina
loud voice, ‘Oh dread ladie, when that King of peace and
lion of justice, Rex pacts et leo justitie, did found this
house, he did give us his royal charter, wherein he said,
‘Let no person, great or small, whether by violence or as
a due custom, exact anything or take anything from the
persons, lands, or possessions whatsoever belonging unto
the monastery of Reading; nor levy any money, nor ask
any tax for the building of bridges or castles, for carriages
or for horses for carrying ; nor lay any custom or subsidy,
whether for shipmoney or tribute-money or for presents ;
Nor a hh ga

“Oh abbat of the close fist,” said Matilda, “I only want
to borrow.”

“But we may not lend without full consent of all our
chapter monks in chapter assembled,” quoth the prior.

“And the foundation charter of Henricus Primus,” said
our abbat, “recommends all the successors of the said
royal founder to observe the charter as they wish for the
divine favour and preservation, and pronounces a male-
diction upon any one that shall infringe or diminish his
donations, Dread ladie, thou art the Beauclerc’s daughter :
the curse of a father is hard to bear! ”

There was some whispering and sign-making among her
followers ; but the imperious woman said not a word: she
only stretched out her right hand and pointed forward, into
the interior of our abbey.

We now formed in more proper order and went through
the church to the Beauclerc’s grave, on the broad slab of



22 STEPHEN

which there burned unceasing lamps, and sweet incense re-
newed every hour, and at the edge of which there was ever
some brother of the house telling his beads and praying for
the defunct King, the founder of the house. Dim was the
spot, for death is darkness, and too much light suits ill with
the decaying flesh and bones of mortal man, be he king or
plough-hind; yet, as the Empress-queen entered, our
acolytes touched the tips of three hundred and sixty-
five tapers—sweet smelling tapers made of the wax
brought from Gascony and Spain and Italie—and in an
instant that dim sepulchral place was flooded with light, the
converging rays meeting and shining brightest upon the
black slab and the graven epitaph which began with the
proud titles of the Beauclerc King, and which ended with
that passage from holy writ which saith that all is vanity
here below.

Matilda knelt and put her lips to that black slab (which
she safely might do, for it was kept clear of all dirt and
dust, it being the sole occupation of one of the lay brothers
of our house to rub it every day and keep it clean), and she
said an orison, of the shortest, and made some show of
shedding tears; but then she quickly rose, and would have
gone forth from the vault or cappella. But the lord abbat
was not minded that the first visit paid by his daughter to
the tomb of her father should pass off with so little cere-
mony and devotion ; and, he himself taking the lead with
his deep solemn voice, the Officium de Functorum, or
Service for the Dead, was recited and chanted. The
Empress-queen was somewhat awed and moved, and there
seemed to be penitential tears in her eyes as we chaunted
“ Beati mortui quiin Domino moriuntur”; but at the last
“requiem eternam” she flung away from the place and
began to talk with a loud shrill voice of worldly affairs and
of battles and sieges—for the royal-born woman had the
heart of a warrior, and her grandfather the great Conqueror
was not more ambitious or avid of dominion than she.



MATILDA AT READING ABBEY 23

When we had well feasted Matilda and those who
followed her in the abbat’s apartment, we hoped she would
be gone, for it was a long and fine day of June, well nigh
upon the feast of St. John, and she well might have ridden
half way to Oxenford before nightfall; but she soon gave
the abbat to understand that she had no intention of going
so soon. Without blushing she did ask how and where we
monks could lodge her and her women for the night,
telling us that she could not think of sleeping in the town,
seeing that it was but poorly defended by walls and bul-
warks. The abbat looked at the prior, and all the fathers
looked at one another with astonishment, but the ungodly
waiting-women, who came all from Anjou and other foreign
parts, only smiled and simpered as they gazed at one
another and observed our exceeding great confusion.

“Tn truth, royal dame,” said our lord abbat, ‘‘it is
against the rule of our order to lodge females within our
walls.”

“But Iam your Queen, oh abbat,” said Matilda, “ and
this is a royal abbey, and my sire founded it and endowed
it! Have I not, as my father’s daughter and lawful
sovereign of this realm, the right to an exemption from the
severity of your ordinances ?”

“Tadie,” quoth the abbat, “I will not that you have
such right, or that the rule of St. Benedict is in any case to
be set aside.”

“ But it hath been set aside,” said Matilda, “and queens
and their honourable damsels have slept in royal abbeys
before now.”

“That,” quoth the abbat, “ was before the Norman con-
quest, when, through the indolence, carelessness, and
gluttony of the Saxon monks, the statutes of our order were
generally ill observed.”

* But I tell thee, oh stubborn monk, that I, the Empress-
queen, that I, thy liege ladie Matilda, have slept and so-
journed in half the abbeys and priories of England !”



24 STEPHEN.

“Tis because of these civil wars which have so long
raged to the destruction of all discipline and order, and to
the utter undoing of this poor people of England! I, by
the grace of God, abbat of Reading, would not shape my
conduct after the pattern of some abbats and priors that be
in this land, or willingly allow that which they perchance
may have permitted without protest, and to the spiritual
dishonour of their houses.”

Here the eyes of the Empress-queen flashed fire, and
wrathful and scornful was the voice with which she said
unto our good lord abbat, in presence of most of the com-
munity :

“Shaveling, I am here, and will here tarry so long as it
suits my occasions! I believe thy traitorous affection for
my false cousin Stephen hath more to do with thine
obstinacy than any reverence thou bearest to the rules of
thine order. But, monk, ’tis too late! thou shouldest
have kept thy gates closed! I and my maidens are within
thy house, and these my faithful knights will see thee and
thy brethren slain between the horns of the altar rather than
see the Queen of England thrust out like a vagrant beggar
from the abbey her own father founded ! ”

As the Empress-queen said these words the knights knit
their brows and made a rattling with their swords. This
did much terrify the major part of our community, and I,
Felix, being then of a timorous nature, and a great lover of
peace, as became my profession, did creep towards the door
of the hall. But our prior spoke out with a right manful
voice against the insults put upon our good abbat, telling
the Empress-queen to her face that respect and reverence
were due to the church even from the greatest of princes:
that her father, of renowned and happy memory, would not
so have treated the hum blestservant of the church; and
that if this unseemly business should be put to the issue of
arms—if swords should be drawn over her royal father’s
grave—it might peradventure happen that the armed



































































”

ght manful voice.

rior spoke out with a ri

© But our Pri

Page 24.



MATILDA AT’ READING ABBEY 25

retainers of the abbey would prove as good men as these
outlandish knights, and that the fathers and brothers of the
house would fight for their lives, as other servants of the
church had ofttimes been constrained to do in these tur-
bulent, lawless, ungodly days.

At this discourse of our bellicose prior the Empress-queen
turned pale and her lip quivered, though more through
wrath than fear, as it seemed to me; but her knights left
off noising with their swords; and one of them, a native
knight, spoke words of gentleness and accommodation, and
put itas an entreaty rather than as a command, that the
Queen should be allowed to infringe our rules for only one
night.

“My conscience doth forbid it,” said our lord abbat, “for
it may be made a precedent, to the great injury and decay
of our discipline. Therefore do I solemnly enter my pro-
test against it. But as I would not see this holy house
defiled by strife and blood, nor attempt a forcible expul-
sion, I will quit mine apartments.”

And so saying, the lord abbat withdrew, and was
followed by all of us. The Queen slept in the abbat’s bed ;
her maidens on the rushes, which were carried into that
‘chamber from the abbat’s hall; and the knights and men-
at-arms slept in the Aula Magna.

But before sleeping, the Empress-queen did many things,
for it still wanted some hours of the Ave Maria, and many
were the stormy thoughts that were working in her brain.
Two of her knights we allowed to go out of the house by
the postern gate, but farther ingress we granted to none;
and not only did our armed retainers keep watch for us, but
our monks, under the vigilant eye of the prior, did also
keep watch and ward all through that evening and night,
for we feared some extreme mischief; and it would not
have failed to happen if Matilda had been enabled to get
her partisans in greater force within the house. In truth,
not many of our community knew that night what sleep



26 STEPHEN

was. The materials for an abundant supper were furnished
to the Empress-queen and her people; and some of these
last were singing ungodly songs in the abbat’s great hall
when our church-bell tolled the midnight hour ; yea, there
was a noise of singing, and a running to and fro, and a
squealing of womanly voices long after that, to the great
sorrow and shame of the fathers of our house.

From all ungodly guests Zidera nos/ Although they had
feasted so late at night, the people of the Empress did
make an early call for a matutinal refection ; and our good
chamberlain and coquinarius and cellarius were made to
bestir themselves by times, and sundry of our lay brothers
and servitors, to the great endangering of their souls, were
made to run with viands and drink into our lord abbat’s
hall, and there wait upon the daughter of the Beauclerc
and her foreign black-eyed damsels, who did shoot love-
looks at them and discompose their monastic sobriety and
gravity by laying their hands upon their sleeves and twitch-
ing their hoods for this thing and that (for the young
Jezebels spoke no English), and by singing snatches of love
songs at them, even as the false syrens of old did unto the
wise Ulysses. Certes, the founder of our order, the blessed
Benedict, did know what he was a-doing when he con-
demned and prohibited the resort of women to our houses
and their in-dwelling with monks. Monks are mortal, and
mortal flesh is weak : et xe nos tnducas in tentationem.

It was still an early hour, not much more than half way
between prima and tertia, when more troubles came upon
us. The two knights who had been sent forth by the
daughter of the Beauclerc to make an espial into the con-
dition of the country, and to summon her friends unto her,
returned to our gate with a large company of knights and
men-at-arms, and demanded to be readmitted. Our good
abbat, calling together the fathers of the house, held coun-
sel with them ; and it was agreed that to admit so great a
company of men of war would be perilous to our com-



MATILDA AT READING ABBEY 27

munity; and even our bellicose prior did opine that our
people would be too few to protect the abbey if these men
without should be joined to those the Empress had within.
It was our prior who addressed that great company from
the porter’s window over the gateway, telling them that the
two knights who had come from London with the Empress
might be readmitted, but that our doors would not be
unbarred even unto them unless the rest of that armed
host went to a distance into the King’s Mead. Hereat
there arose a loud clamour from those knights and men-at-
arms, with great reproaches and threats. Yea, one of those
knights, Sir Richard & Chambre, who was in after time
known for a most faithless man, and a variable, changing
sides as often as the moon doth change her face, did call
our lord abbat apostate monk and traitor, and did threaten
our good house with storm and spoliation. The major
part of us had gathered in front of the house to see and
hear what was passing ; but, alack! we were soon made to
run towards the back of the abbey, for while Sir Richard 4
Chambre was discoursing in this unseemly strain, and
shaking his mailed fist at the iron bars through which he
could scantly see the tip of our prior’s nose, a knight on
foot, who wore black mail and a black plume in his casque,
and who never raised his visor and scarce spoke word after
these few, came running round the eastern angle of the
abbey walls, shouting, “’Tis open! ’tis ours! Win in, in
the name of Matilda!”

The voice that said these few words seemed to not a few
of us to have been heard before, but we had no time to
think of that. The armed host set up a shout, and ran
round for our postern gate, which openeth upon the Ken-
net, and we all began to run for the same, our lord abbat
wringing his hands, and saying, “The postern! the pos-
tern! Some traitor hath betrayed us!”

When we came into the paved quadrangle, we found
some of our retainers hastily putting on their armour; but



28 STEPHEN

when we came into the garden, we found it thronged with
men already armed, and we saw the postern wide open and
many more warriors rushing in through it: the evil men
who had stayed with the Queen, and who had so much
abused our hospitality, had already joined the new comers,
and the united and still increasing force was so great that
we could not hope to expel them and save our house from
robbery and profanation. Our very prior smote his breast
in despair. But our good abbat, though of a less bellicose
humour, had no fear of the profane intruders, for he stood
up in the midst of them and upbraided them roundly, and
threatened to lay an interdict upon them all for the thing
that they were doing. But anon the Empress herself came
forth with one that waved a flag over her head, and at sight
hereof the sinful men set up a shouting and fell to a kissing,
some the flag, which was but a small and soiled thing,
and some—on their knees—the hand of the Beauclerc’s
daughter ; and while this was passing, those foreign dam-
sels came salting and skipping, and clapping their hands
and talking Anjou French, into the garden. There was one
of them attired in a short green kirtle, that had the smallest
and prettiest feet, and the largest and blackest eyes, and
the longest and blackest eyelashes, and the laughingest
face, that ever man did behold in these parts of the
world; and she danced near to me on those tiny pretty
feet, and glanced at me such glances from those black
eyes, that my heart thumped against my ribs; but the
saints gave me strength and protection, and I pulled my
hood over my eyes and fell to telling my beads, and thus,
when others were backsliders, I, Felix the novice, was
enabled to stand steadfast in my faith.

The Empress had taken no heed of our lord abbat, or of
any of us; but when she had done welcoming the knights
that came to do her service, and, imprimis, to escort her
on her way to Oxenford, she turned unto the abbat and
said,—



MATILDA AT READING ABBEY 29

** Monk, thou art too weak to cope with a Queen, the
daughter of a King, the widow of an Emperor, and one from
whom many kings will spring. But by thy perversity,
which we think amounts to treason, thou hast incurred the
penalty of deprivation; and when we have time for such
matters, or at the very next meeting of a synod of bishops
and abbats, I will see that thou art both deprived and
imprisoned.”

“That synod,” said our abbat very mildly, “ will not sit
so soon, and from any synod I can appeal to his holiness
the Pope.”

“Fool!” quoth Matilda, with the ugliest curl of the lip
I ever beheld; “obstinate fool! the Pope’s legate is our
well-beloved subject and friend, the Bishop of Winchester.”

‘See that you keep his allegiance! He hath put you
upon a throne, and can pull you down therefrom !”

So spake our prior, who could not stomach the irreverent
treatment the Countess of Anjou put upon his superior,
and who knew that Matilda had in various ways broken
her compact with him, and done deeds highly displeasing
to King Stephen’s brother, the tough-hearted Bishop of
Winchester.

“Beshrew me!” quoth Matilda; ‘but these Reading
monks be proud of stomach and rebellious! Sir Walleren
of Mantes, drive them into their church, and see that they
quit it not while we tarry here.”

“TJ will,” said the foreign knight; “and also will I see
that they do sing the Salve, Regina,”

At this Sir Walleren and other unknightly knights drew
their swords and called up their retainers ; and before this
ungodly host the abbat and prior and the monks were all
compelled to retreat into the church, leaving the whole
range of the abbey to those who had so unrighteously
invaded it. But as soon as we were in the choir, instead
of singing a Salve, Regina, we did chant Zn ¢e, Domine,
Speravi.



30 STEPHEN

A strong guard was put at the church-door and in the
cloisters ; but it was not needed, as we could oppose no
resistance to those who were now robbing our house; and
as it had been determined, therefore, that all who had
come into the church should remain, with psalmody and
prayer, until these men of violence should take their de-
parture from the abbey, or complete their wickedness by
driving us from it. As they ransacked our house as
though it had been a castle taken by storm, and as they
shouted and made such loud noises as soldiers use when a
castle or a town has been successfully stormed, we only
chanted the louder in the choir. For full two hours did
these partisans of Matilda ransack the abbey, with none to
say them nay. At the end of that time they had gotten all
that they considered worth taking.

‘* And now,” quoth the violent daughter of the Beauclerc,
“let us ride on our way for Oxenford. Methinks we be
now strong enough to defy all traitors on the road.”

And she struck with her riding-wand the grey palfrey,
which it much grieved our abbat to lose, and, followed by
her knights and her leering and laughing foreign damsels,
she rode out at our gate, and with a great host departed
from Reading.

—C. Macrariane, A Legend of Reading Abbey.



IV

The Queen at Fair
Rosamond’s Bower

UEEN ELEANOR had just parted with the King

previous to his embarkation; the tramp of his steed
was fast dying upon her ear, and she stood in the same
position as when she took her cold farewell of him. As
the tramp of the charger’s hoofs sounded more and more
remote, she gradually raised herself from her musing posi-
tion, until her whole figure became erect, and she stood
with head elevated, and flashing eyes that glared with
almost a savage fury. ‘‘He is gone,” said she aloud, and
after a long pause, ‘and will no longer interpose, like a
shield between me and my vengeance: the hour of my
revenge is at hand; nor will I delay the deed for which it
hungers.” She took up a small silver bell, and having rung
it, her attendant, Oliphant Ugglethred, entered the apart-
ment.

“Are all in readiness?” said Eleanor, in a bold and
brief tone, and with a look that would well have become
a_commander on the eve of battle.

“All as your highness ordered,” replied Ugglethred.

“And the Leech?” inquired Eleanor, her countenance
changing as she spoke, “hast seen him, and——” she
paused, as if afraid to finish the sentence.

“ Obtained a phial of poison strong enough to kill Satan
himself,” said the ruffian ; “ better never entered the lip of

Crusader or Saracen.”
3t



32 HENRY II

“Speak not so loud, lest we should be overheard,” said
Eleanor, casting her dark eyes cautiously around the apart-
ment. ‘But how,” added she, suddenly changing her
mood after having walked to and fro in the apartment,
“how shall we gain admittance to the palace of Wood-
stock ?”

“They have no orders to keep out your highness,” replied
Oliphant, ‘as I learned from one who hath but little love
for the minstrel, but, on the contrary, are to treat you as if
nothing was amiss.”

“Then to-morrow will we take up our abode at Wood-
stock,” said the Queen, “and until then we leave all to thy
management.” So saying, she quitted the apartment.

The next day Eleanor arrived at the palace of Woodstock,
and drawing up with her retinue, demanded entrance;
while Oliphant Ugglethred with half a score of soldiers
were stationed in an adjacent thicket. As the drawbridge
was down, only the huge bars of the portcullis prevented
the party from making good their entry; but a man-at-arms
who was pacing to and fro within the gloomy postern,
refused to raise the grated doorway without the governor’s
orders.

“The Queen of England demands admission, sirrah,”
said Eleanor, waving back the attendant who had in vain
sued for entrance, and riding up to the strong fastness,
‘and unless the portcullis is instantly upraised, may doom
you to waver over the battlements of the postern.”

“Were it King Henry himself,” replied the warrior, still
pacing to and fro with the partisan in his hand, “he knows
a sentinel’s duty, and must bide the coming of the gover-
nor.”

Meantime De Whycherly arrived, to whom the keeping
of the palace was entrusted, and without further parley,
ordered the Queen’s instant admission, adding, ‘‘ My orders
extend not to the entry of your Highness’ attendants.”

“We take the command upon ourselves,” replied Eleanor



AT FAIR ROSAMOND'S BOWER 33

haughtily ; and while she spoke, the horsemen, with Uggle-
thred at their head, drew up. “At least,” added she, seeing
that the knight was about to make some resistance, “so far
as it regardeth our own attendants, I trust that your orders
extend not to my followers.”

“So far as it regardeth the time of watch—raising the
drawbridge at sunset, and admitting none after that hour,”
said the knight, ‘““my commands must be enforced during
the King’s absence.”

“‘ We shall not need to break your ee replied Eleanor,
glancing at Ugglethred; “if we chance to prolong our
sports beyond that period, we can return by the postern
that faces the pleasance.” So saying, she rode into the
court-yard, and resigning her palfrey to an attendant,
entered the hall of the palace.

Twice did Queen Eleanor attempt to reach the abode
of Rosamond, but was unable to discover the right course
through the labyrinth; and even Ugglethred gave up the
search in despair. Two days elapsed, and then they were
able to explore the labyrinth.

Passage after passage did they traverse, Eleanor still
leading the way with her garments disordered; and she
waved her torch to and fro—now to look down into some
of those gloomy depths which had never been explored for
ages; then again to examine the distant darkness, and see
if there was any outlet through the arched roof.

Suddenly the Queen rushed on holding the torch to the
ground, and having gone back for some space, she again
led the way, exclaiming with a shrill, savage laugh, which
sounded awfully through the vaulted avenues, “ She forgot
to put up her silk before she departed ; and although she
went somewhat quicker than a snail, yet here is her
trail |”

Ugglethred held his torch to the ground ;—it was even
as she said,—Rosamond in her flight had dropped the clew
of scarlet silk from her lap, and as one end was passed

QS. D



34 HENRY Il

through the sheath in her girdle, it became unwound, and
at once betrayed her path.

There was now no further difficulty; the few menials
who waited upon, and might yet have aided Rosamond,
had flown to such hiding-places as were only known to
themselves. Gamas Gobbo alone dared to show his teeth
before them ; but he, like a dog, kept barking and retreat-
ing, until one of the soldiers made a cut at him with his
sword, and he fled before them.

True as a bloodhound to its track, did Eleanor follow the
silken clue,—she came to the foot of the tower—it was still
there :—step by step, like a silent guide, it pointed out the
way ;—there was no obstacle,—not an arm was uplifted to
contest the passage. They entered the chief apartment,
which was dark, until their torches broke the gloom, and
before the images of Madonna and child, with clasped
hands, and cheeks bedewed with tears, ‘knelt fair Rosa-
mond.

Eleanor stood for a few moments over her victim, like a
dark thunder-cloud lowering above the goodly oak, before
the bolt is launched that prostrates it for ever. As her tall
figure drew nearer, the form of Rosamond seemed to shrink
before it ; like a dove burying itself in its nest, while the
wings of the fierce hawk flap coldly above her.

She ventured to turn her head as she knelt,—it was an
unconscious movement,—her eyes also raised themselves of
their own accord,—it might be that she looked up towards
Heaven ; but there only glared the fiery comet that denoted
death,—the revengeful countenance of Eleanor hung over
her. She uttered a loud shriek, and fell upon the floor.

“ Hast thou got the phial from Belton ?” said Eleanor.

“It is there!” said Ugglethred, pointing to the table,
without evincing the least emotion; “but she will need a
goblet to quaff it from.”

“Here is one,” said Eleanor, taking a silver cup from a
niche, and examining it minutely ; “the very goblet,” added















eee





“* And before the images of Madonna and Child knelt fair Rosamond.”

Fage 34.



AT FAIR ROSAMOND’S BOWER 35

she, “which I gave to Henry in France, and in which I
drank to him at our own nuptials :—cursed be the remem-
brance! But here is that which will sweeten the bitter
draught,” continued she, emptying the poison into the
goblet ; “rouse her, Ugglethred, to pledge the health of
Henry of England.”

“What would you with me?” said Rosamond, starting
up wildly, and throwing her hair back ; “ what wrong have
I done, that ye cast such menacing looks upon me? Whom
have I injured, that ye seek to harm me?”

Eleanor drew her mantle back with one hand, and fixing
her baleful glance upon her like the fabled basilisk, as if
she would strike her dead with her eyes; while a cold-
blooded scorn curled her haughty lips, and her nostrils
dilated like that of a savage when he is said to smell the
blood of his enemy, as she exclaimed, “‘ Cunning harlot! I
do but demean myself to waste a word upon thee. Is it
nothing to step in between me and the affections of the
King? to lay out thy allurements and wean him from his
Queen ?—to sow dissension in our bosoms, and cause him
to leave the mighty affairs of his realms to hold dalliance
with a strumpet like thyself? Couldst thou fly at none other
game? Would none but a king suit thy dainty taste, to
pinch and play with thy pallid cheeks? Poor pitiful
wretch ! J do thee too much honour to administer with my
own hand the death that shall crown thy ambition.”

*T am not what thou hast named me,” said Rosamond
in a low, but firm voice. “God is witness that I am not!
that I have never sought to sow dissension between thee
and his Highness; but that long before I heard of thy
name, or knew ” she paused—buried her face in her
hands, and added,—“‘ Heaven knows my innocence !”

“What art thou then ?—speak!” said Eleanor, springing
forward and grasping her by the arm, and dragging her
towards the light, with as much ease, as if she had but
seized the wrist of achild. ‘ Art thou his.wife >—Down on





36 HENRY I

thy knees, and swear, by the Holy Virgin, that thou wert
married to Henry before he knew me, and I will forgive
thee. Bring me the damning proofs!” added she, her
voice rising as she spoke, “and confirm it in the eyes of all
England, and I will give thee such a dower as never fell to
the share of a Norman daughter. Thou tremblest!” con-
tinued she, grasping her wrist tighter: ‘‘thy voice falters!
thou liest !” and she drove her back with such force that
Rosamond would have fallen had she not caught by the
figure of the Madonna.

“Holy Virgin, protect me!” said Rosamond, folding her
hands, and lifting up her beautiful eyes to Heaven, while
her fair cheeks were pale as death ; “grant me strength to
endure this trial, then take me to thyself.”

“‘There is some mystery in this affair,” said Ugglethred,
turning to Eleanor ; ‘were it not better to await the return
of the King, and confront them face to face?”

“‘ Hold thy peace, fool,” replied the angry Queen; “art
thou also in league with Rosamond; and seekest to elude
my vengeance by gaining time? No!” added she sternly,
and seizing the goblet as she spoke, “her day of mercy is
past. Here,” continued she, holding the cup in one hand
and brandishing the dagger in the other, “I give thee thy
choice, drain me this goblet to the very dregs, or with my
own hand I will let out thy lustful blood.”

“Oh, have mercy on me!” exclaimed Rosamond, throw-
ing herself on her knees, and laying hold of Eleanor’s
garment. ‘Thou art thyself a mother! oh, spare me for
the sake of my children.”

“ Wert thou my daughter, I would show thee no mercy,”
replied the cruel Queen; “loose thy hold, viper! and
implore me no longer, lest I set my heel upon all thy
poisonous brood, and crush them as I would the eggs of a
cockatrice. Answer me, wilt thou drink, or compel me to
defile my hands with thy blood?”

“Oh, spare my life,” continued Rosamond, still kneeling ;



AT FAIR ROSAMOND’S BOWER 37

“let me not taste of death so young ; leave me to end my
days in the Nunnery of Godstow, and I will never look
upon moat face again, never set foot beyond those
sacred walls.”

“Thy words will as soon remove the strong walls of this
tower from their place as me from my purpose,” replied
Eleanor, her brow growing darker as she spoke. “I am
no reed to be shaken by every ripple: hadst thou an
hundred tongues to plead with, they should not save thy
life. Thou shalt die! therefore, choose thy death instantly.
I have nursed my revenge too long to abandon it at a
moment like this.”

“Grant me then a brief space for prayer,” said Rosa-
mond, in a more collected manner; “and may Heaven
show you more mercy at the hour of death than you now
extend to me.”

“The moon is climbing above the dark trees,” said
Eleanor, glancing through the casement, and gazing on the
bright orb of night, which was fast scaling the topmost
branches. ‘When she hath past the highest bough, thou
shalt die.”

“Then is my hour indeed at hand,” replied Rosamond,
glancing at the sign, and without averting her face she
folded her hands in prayer. Her lips moved, but still her
eyes were fixed upon the moon; and although it arose calm
and cloudless up a summer sky, thickly clustered with
stars, yet never to her fancy did it make such speed, when
sailing through the stormy heavens, it passed cloud after
cloud like an arrow. She tried in vain to pray. She
remembered the days when she had gazed through the
same casement awaiting the return of Henry. Then her
memory flew to her father’s castle. She tried in vain to
pray. The remembrance of other days came gushing upon
her heart, and she fell with her face upon the floor, and
wept bitterly.

Eleanor also watched with impatience the rising orb;



38 HENRY II

half her disk already stood bold and bare upon the brow of
Heaven, making the deep blue of night around her look
darker. But the Queen’s face still retained the same cold,
cruel expression ; not a cloud had faded from her brow ;—
her compressed lips and steady eye told that she was firm
to her purpose.

“Tt is time,” said Eleanor, in a voice which, like the
sound of the last trumpet, when it shall awaken the dead,
caused Rosamond to spring instantly upon her feet, and,
without uttering a word, she held out her arm for the
goblet. With steady hand and fixed eye, and such a look
as would have driven the blood back into the boldest
heart, did Eleanor deliver the cup to her trembling victim.
Rosamond held it in her hand for a moment, uplifted her
eyes to Heaven, while her lips were seen to move, she then
closed them—drained the cup to the dregs,—and uttering
a deep groan, fell upon the floor.

—T. MILLER, Fair Rosamond.



V

How the Queen of the Forest
met the King of the Land

OBIN and Marian dwelt and reigned in the forest,
ranging the glades and the greenwoods from the
matins of the lark to the vespers of the nightingale, and
administering natural justice according to Robin’s ideas
of rectifying the inequalities of human condition : raising
genial dews from the bags of the rich and idle, and return-
ing them in fertilising showers on the poor and industrious :
an operation which more enlightened statesmen have happily
reversed, to the unspeakable benefit of the community at
large. The light footsteps of Marian were impressed on
the morning dew beside the firmer step of her lover, and
they shook its large drops about them as they cleared them-
selves a passage through the thick tall fern, without any
fear of catching cold, which was not much in fashion in the
twelfth century. Robin was as hospitable as Cathmor ; for
seven men stood on seven paths to call the strangers to his
feast. It is true; he superadded the small improvement of
making the stranger pay for it: than which what could be
“more generous? For Cathmor was himself the prime giver
of his feast, whereas Robin was only the agent to a series
of strangers, who provided in turn for the entertainment of
their successors ; which is carrying the disinterestedness of
hospitality to its acme. Marian often killed the deer,

Which Scarlet dressed, and Friar Tuck blessed,
While Little John wandered in search ef a guest.
39



40 RICHARD I

Robin was very devout, though there was great unity in his
religion: it was exclusively given to our Lady the Virgin,
and he never set forth in a morning till he had said three
prayers, and had heard the sweet voice of his Marian sing-
ing a hymn to their mutual patroness. Each of his men
had, as usual, a patron saint according to his name or taste.
The friar chose a saint for himself, and fixed on Saint
Botolph, whom he euphonised into Saint Bottle, and main-
tained that he was that very Panomphic Pantagruelian saint
well known in ancient France as a female divinity by the
name of La Dive Bouteille, whose oracular monosyllable,
“Trincq,” is celebrated and understood by all nations, and
is expounded by the learned doctor Alcofribas, who has
treated at large on the subject, to signify “drink.” Saint
Bottle, then, was the saint of Friar Tuck, who did not yield
even to Robin and Marian in the assiduity of his devotions
to his chosen patron. Such was their summer life, and in
their winter caves they had sufficient furniture, ample pro-
vender, store of old wine, and assuredly no lack of fuel,
with joyous music and pleasant discourse to charm away
the season of darkness and storms.

Many moons had waxed and waned, when on the after-
noon of a lovely summer day a lusty, broad-boned knight
was riding through the forest of Sherwood. The sun shone
brilliantly on the full green foliage, and afforded the knight
a fine opportunity of observing picturesque effects, of which
it is to be feared he did not avail himself. But he had not
proceeded far before he had an opportunity of observing
something much more interesting, namely a fine young out-
law leaning, in the true Sherwood fashion, with his back
against a tree. The knight was preparing to ask the
stranger a question, the answer to which, if correctly given,
would have relieved him from a doubt that pressed heavily
on his mind, as to whether he was in the right road or
the wrong, when the youth prevented the inquiry by say-
ing; “In God’s name, sir knight, you are late to your





= Ween ty me 3
¢ BE F ae E Sh pt irr

‘Leaning in true Sherwood fashion, with his back against a tree.”
Page 40.



THE QUEEN OF THE FOREST 41

meals. My master has tarried dinner for you these three
hours.” :

“TJ doubt,” said the knight, “I am not he you wot of.
I am nowhere bidden to-day, and I know none in this
vicinage.”

“We feared,” said the youth, ‘‘ your memory would be
treacherous: therefore am I stationed here to refresh it.”

“Who is your master?” said the knight; ‘“‘and where
does he abide?”

“My master,” said the youth, “is called Robin Hood,
and he abides hard by.”

* And what knows he of me?” said the knight.

“He knows you,” answered the youth, ‘as he does
every wayfaring knight and friar, by instinct.”

“Gramercy,” said the knight; ‘then I understand his
bidding: but how if I say I will not come ?”

“TI am enjoined to bring you,” said the youth. “If per-
suasion avail not, I must use other argument.”

“Say’st thou so?” said the knight; “I doubt if thy
stripling rhetoric would convince me.”

“That,” said the young forester, ‘‘ we will see.”

“We are not equally matched, boy,” said the knight.
“T should get less honour by thy conquest, than grief by
thy injury.”

‘“‘ Perhaps,” said the youth, “my strength is more than
my seeming, and my cunning more than my strength.
Therefore let it please your knighthood to dismount.”

“Tt shall please my knighthood to chastise thy pre-
_ sumption,” said the knight, springing from his saddle.

Hereupon, which in those days was usually the result of
a meeting between any two persons anywhere, they pro-
ceeded to fight.

The knight had in an uncommon degree both strength
and skill: the forester had less strength, but not less skill
than the knight, and showed such a mastery of his weapon
as reduced the latter to great admiration.



42 RICHARD I

They had not fought many minutes by the forest clock,
the sun; and had as yet done each other no worse injury
than that the knight had wounded the forester’s jerkin, and
the forester had disabled the knight’s plume; when they
were interrupted by a voice from a thicket, exclaiming,
“Well fought, girl: well fought. Mass, that had nigh been
a shrewd hit. Thou owest him for that, lass. Marry, stand
by, I'll pay him for thee.”

The knight turning to the voice, beheld a tall friar
issuing from the thicket, brandishing a ponderous cudgel.

“Who art thou?” said the knight.

“T am the church militant of Sherwood,” answered the
friar. ‘Why art thou in arms against our lady queen ?”

“What meanest thou?” said the knight.

“Truly, this,” said the friar, “is our liege lady of the
forest, against whom I do apprehend thee in overt act of
treason. What sayest thou for thyself?”

“T say,” answered the knight, “that if this be indeed a
lady, man never yet held me so long.”

“Spoken,” said the friar, ‘like one who hath done
execution. Hast thou thy stomach full of steel? Wilt
thou diversify thy repast with a taste of my oak-graff? Or
wilt thou incline thine heart to our vension, which truly is
cooling? Wilt thou fight ? or wilt thou dine? or wilt thou
fight and dine? or wilt thou dine and fight? I am for thee,
choose as thou mayest.”

“JT will dine,” said the knight; “for with lady I never
fought before, and with friar I never fought yet, and with
neither will I ever fight knowingly : and if this be the queen
of the forest, I will not, being in her own dominions, be
backward to do her homage.”

So saying, he kissed the hand of Marian, who was
pleased most graciously to express her approbation.

“Gramercy, sir knight,” said the friar, ‘I laud thee for
thy courtesy, which I deem to be no less than thy valour.
Now do thou follow me, while I follow my nose, which



THE QUEEN OF THE FOREST 43

scents the pleasant odour of roast from the depth of the
forest recesses. I will lead thy horse, and do thou. lead
my lady.”
The knight took Marian’s hand, and followed the friar,
who walked before them, singing:
When the wind blows, when the wind blows
From where under buck the dry log glows,
What guide can you follow,
O’er break and o’er hollow,
So true as a ghostly, ghostly nose?
They proceeded, following their infallible guide, first along
a light elastic greensward under the shade of lofty and
widespreading trees that skirted a sunny opening of the
forest, then along labyrinthine paths, which the deer, the
outlaw, or the woodman had made, through the close shoots
of the young coppices, through the thick undergrowth of
the ancient woods, through beds of gigantic fern that filled
the narrow glades and waved their green feathery heads
above the plume of the knight. Along these sylvan alleys
they walked in single file ; the friar singing and pioneering
in the van, the horse plunging and floundering behind the
friar, the lady following “in maiden meditation fancy-free,”
and the knight bringing up the rear, much marvelling at
the strange company into which his stars had thrown him.
Their path had expanded sufficiently to allow the knight to
take Marian’s hand again, when they arrived in the august
presence of Robin Hood and his court.
Robin’s table was spread under a high overarching
_ canopy of living boughs, on the edge of a natural lawn of
verdure, starred with flowers, through which a swift trans-
parent rivulet ran, sparkling in the sun. The board was
covered with abundance of choice food and excellent liquor,
not without the comeliness of snow-white linen and the
splendour of costly plate, which the sheriff of Nottingham
had unwillingly contributed to supply, at the same time
with an excellent cook, whom Little John’s art had spirited



44 RICHARD I

away to the forest with the contents of his master’s silver
scullery.

An hundred foresters were here assembled, overready for
their dinner, some seated at the table and some lying in
groups under the trees.

Robin made courteous welcome to the knight, who took
his seat between Robin and Marian at the festal board; at
which was already placed one strange guest in the person
of a portly monk, sitting between little John and Scarlet,
with his rotund physiognomy elongated into an unnatural
oval by the conjoint influence of sorrow and fear: sorrow
for the departed contents of his travelling treasury, a good-
looking valise which was hanging empty on a bough; and
fear for his personal safety, of which all the flasks and
pasties before him could not give him assurance. The
appearance of the knight, however, cheered him up with
a semblance of protection, and gave him just sufficient
courage to demolish a cygnet and a numble-pie, which he
diluted with the contents of two flasks of canary sack.

But wine, which sometimes creates and often increases
joy, doth also, upon occasion, heighten sorrow: and so it
fared now with our portly monk, who had no sooner ex-
plained away his portion of provender, than he began to
weep and bewail himself bitterly.

“Why dost thou weep, man?” said Robin Hood.
“Thou hast done thine embassy justly, and shalt have
thy Lady’s grace.”

“Alack ! alack!” said the monk: “no embassy had I,
luckless sinner, as well thou wottest, but to take to my
abbey in safety the treasure whereof thou hast despoiled
me.”

*Propound me his case,” said Friar Tuck, “and I -will
give him ghostly counsel.”

“You well remember,” said Robin Hood, “ the sorrowful
knight, who dined with us here twelve months and a day
gone by.”



THE QUEEN OF THE FOREST 45

“Well do I,” said Friar Tuck. ‘‘ His lands were in
jeopardy with a certain abbot, who would allow no longer
day for their redemption. Whereupon you lent to him the
four hundred pounds which he needed, and which he was
to repay this day, though he had no better security to give
than our Lady the Virgin.”

“T never desired better,” said Robin, for she never yet
failed to send me my pay; and here is one of her own
flock, this faithful and well-favoured monk of St. Mary’s,
hath brought it me duly, principal and interest to a penny,
as Little John can testify, who told it forth. To be sure,
he denied having it, but that was to prove our faith. We
sought and found it.”

‘“‘T know nothing of your knight,” said the monk: “and
the money was our own, as the Virgin shall bless me.”

‘She shall bless thee,” said Friar Tuck, “for a faithful
messenger.”

The monk resumed his wailing. Little John brought
him his horse. Robin gave him leave to depart. He
sprang with singular nimbleness into the saddle, and van-
ished without saying, God give you good day.

The stranger knight laughed heartily as the monk rode
off.

“They say, sir knight,” said Friar Tuck, “ they should
laugh who win: but thou laughest who art likely to lose.”

“T have won,” said the knight, “a good dinner, some
mirth, and some knowledge: and I cannot lose by paying
for them.”

“Bravely said,” answered Robin. “Still it becomes
thee to pay: for it is not meet that a poor forester should
treat a rich knight. How much money hast thou with thee?”

“Troth, I know not,” said the knight. ‘ Sometimes
much, sometimes little, sometimes none. But search, and
what thou findest keep: and for the sake of thy kind
heart and open hand, be it what it may, I shall wish it were
more.”



46 RICHARD I

“Then, since thou sayest so,” said Robin, “not a penny
will I touch. Many a false churl comes hither, and dis-
burses against his will: and till there is lack of these, I
prey not on true men.”

“Thou art thyself a true man, right well I judge, Robin,”
said the stranger knight, ‘“‘and seemest more like one bred
in court than to thy present outlaw life.”

“Our life,” said the friar, ‘is a craft, an art, and a
mystery. How much of it, think you, could be learned at
court ?”

“Indeed, I cannot say,” said the stranger knight: ‘ but
I should apprehend very little.”

“And so should I,” said the friar: ‘“‘for we should find
very little of our bold open practice, but should hear abun-
dance of praise of our principles. To live in seeming
fellowship and secret rivalry ; to have a hand for all, anda
heart for none; to be everybody’s acquaintance, and no-
body’s friend; to meditate the ruin of all on whom we
smile, and to dread the secret stratagems of all who smile
on us; to pilfer honours and despoil fortunes, not by
fighting in daylight, but by sapping in darkness: these are
arts which the court can teach, but which we, by ’r Lady,
have not learned. But let your court minstrel tune up his
throat to the praise of your court hero, then come our
principles into play: then is our practice extolled: not by
the same name, for their Richard is a hero, and our Robin
is a thief: marry, your hero guts an exchequer, while your
thief disembowls a portmanteau; your hero sacks a city,
while your thief sacks a cellar: your hero marauds on a
larger scale, and that is all the difference, for the principle
and the virtue are one: but two of a trade cannot agree:
therefore your hero makes laws to get rid of your thief,
and gives him an ill name that he may hang him: for
might is right, and the strong make laws for the weak, and
they that make laws to serve their own turn do also make
morals to give colour to their laws.”



THE QUEEN OF THE FOREST 47

“Your comparison, friar,” said the stranger, “ fails in
this: that your thief fights for profit, and your hero for
honour. I have fought under the banners of Richard, and
if, as you phrase it, he guts exchequers, and sacks cities, it
is not to win treasure for himself, but to furnish forth the
means of his greater and more glorious aim.”

“‘Misconceive me not, sir knight,” said the friar. ‘We
all love and honour King Richard, and here is a deep
draught to his health: but I would show you, that we
foresters are miscalled by opprobrious names, and that
our virtues, though they follow at humble distance, are yet
truly akin to those of Cceur-de-Lion. I say not that Richard
is a thief, but I say that Robin is a hero: and for honour
did ever yet man, miscalled thief, win greater honour than
Robin? Do not all men grace him with some honourable
epithet? The most gentle thief, the most courteous thief,
the most bountiful thief, yea, and the most honest thief.
Richard is courteous, bountiful, honest, and valiant, but so
also is Robin: it is the false word that makes the unjust
distinction. They are twin spirits, and should be friends,
but that fortune hath differently cast their lot; but their
names shall descend together to the latest days, as the flower
of their age and of England; for in the pure principles of
freebootery have they excelled all men; and to the prin-
ciples of freebootery, diversely developed, belong all the
qualities to which song and story concede renown.”

“And you may add, friar,” said Marian, “ that Robin,
no less than Richard, is king in his own dominion; and

_that if his subjects be fewer, yet are they more uniformly
loyal.”

“T would, fair lady,” said the stranger, “that thy latter
observation were not so true. But I nothing doubt, Robin,
that if Richard could hear your friar, and see you and
your lady as I now do, there is not a man in England
whom he would take by the hand more cordially than your-
self.”



48 RICHARD I

“Gramercy, sir knight,” said Robin—— But his speech
was cut short by Little John calling, “‘ Hark !”

All listened. A distant trampling of horses was heard.
The sounds approached rapidly, and at length a group
of horsemen glittering in holiday dresses was visible among
the trees.

“God’s my life!” said Robin, “what means this? To
arms, my merrymen all.”

“No arms, Robin,” said the foremost horseman, riding
up and springing from his saddle. ‘Have you forgotten
Sir William of the Lee?”

“‘No, by my fay,” said Robin: “and right welcome again
to Sherwood.”

Little John bustled to re-array the disorganized economy
of the table, and replace the dilapidations of the provender.

“YT come late, Robin,” said Sir William, “but I came
by a wrestling, where I found a good yeoman wrongfully
beset by a crowd of sturdy varlets, and I staid to do him
right.”

“T thank thee for that, in God’s name,” said Robin, ‘‘as
if thy good service had been to myself.”

“And here,” said the knight, “is thy four hundred
pounds; and my men have brought thee an hundred bows
and as many well-furnished quivers, which I beseech thee
to receive and to use as a poor token of my grateful kind-
ness to thee: for me and my wife and children didst thou
redeem from beggary.”

“The bows and arrows,” said Robin, “ will I joyfully
receive: but of thy money, not a penny. It is paid al-
ready. My Lady, who was thy security, hath sent it me
for thee.”

Sir William pressed, but Robin was inflexible.

“Jt is paid,” said Robin, “as this good knight can
testify, who saw my Lady’s messenger depart but now.”

Sir William looked round to the stranger knight, and in-
stantly fell on his knees, saying, “God save King Richard.”



THE QUEEN OF THE FOREST 49

The foresters, friar and all, dropped on their knees to-
gether, and repeated in chorus: “God save King Richard.”

‘Rise, rise,” said Richard, smiling: ‘Robin is king
here, as his lady hath shown. I have heard much of thee,
Robin, both of thy present and thy former state. And
this, thy fair forest-queen, is, if tales say true, the Lady
Matilda Fitzwater.”

Marian signed acknowledgment.

“ Vour father,” said the King, “has approved his fidelity
to me, by the loss of his lands, which the newness of my
return, and many public cares, has not yet given me time to
restore: but this justice shall be done to him, and to thee
also, Robin, if thou wilt leave thy forest-life and resume thy
earldom, and be a peer of Cceur-de-Lion: for braver heart
and juster hand I never yet found.”

Robin looked round on his men.

“Your followers,” said the King, “shall have free pardon,
and such of them as thou wilt part with shall have main-
tenance from me; and if ever I confess to priest, it shall be
to thy friar.”

“Gramercy to your majesty,” said the friar; ‘‘and my
inflictions shall be flasks of canary ; and if the number be
(as in grave cases I may, peradventure, make it) too
great for one frail mortality, I will relieve you by vicarious
penance, and pour down my own throat the redundancy of
the burden.”

Robin and his followers embraced the King’s proposal.
A joyful meeting soon followed with the baron and Sir Guy
of Gamwell: and Richard himself honoured with his own
presence a formal solemnization of the nuptials of our
lovers, whom he constantly distinguished with his peculiar
regard.

The friar could not say, Farewell to the forest, without
something of a heavy heart: and he sang as he
turned his back upon its bounds, occasionally reverting his
head ;

Qs. ' E



50 RICHARD I

Ye woods, that oft at sultry noon
Have o’er me spread your massy shade :
Ye gushing streams, whose murmured tune
Has in my ear sweet music made,
While, where the dancing pebbles show
Deep in the restless mountain-pool
The gelid water’s upward flow,
My second flask was laid to cool :

Ye pleasant sights of leaf and flower :
Ye pleasant sounds of bird and bee:
Ye sports of deer in sylvan power :
Ye feasts beneath the greenwood tree :
Ye baskings in the vernal sun:
Ye slumbers in the summer dell :
Ye trophies that this arm has won:
And must you hear your friar’s farewell ?

But the friar’s farewell was not destined to be eternal.
He was domiciled as the family confessor of the Earl and
Countess of Huntingdon, who led a discreet and courtly
life, and kept up old hospitality in all its munificence, till
the death of King Richard and the usurpation of John, by
placing their enemy in power, compelled them to return to
their greenwood sovereignty ; which, it is probable, they
would have before done from choice, if their love of sylvan
liberty had not been counteracted by their desire to retain
the friendship of Cceur-de-Lion. Their old and tried
adherents, the friar among the foremost, flocked again
round their forest-banner; and in merry Sherwood they
long lived together, the lady still retaining her former name
of Maid Marian, though the appellation was then as much
a misnomer as that of Little John.

—TuHomas Love Pracock, Maid Marian.



VI

King and Queen
AtuaGount

HE King kept state with the Earl of Cornwall, the

Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Winchester, the

Bishop of Lincoln, Henry de Wernham, his chaplain, who

also had the custody of the Great Seal, the Earl of Norfolk,

the Earl of Hereford, and a number of other nobles of the
realm ; but the Queen kept her state apart.

The King’s great chamber was marvellous to behold.
There were twenty-five wax-lights held by esquires of the
household, all in the King’s livery, gentils as they were;
also twenty-five wax torches were fixed high up over the
tapestry. The walls were gorgeous with the story of
Troy-town in ancient tapestries.

There were, that night, playing in the chamber, the King’s
twelve minstrels, all clothed, for his honour and dignity, in
sumptuous livery, with their virger to order their pipings
and blowings. There were, besides, the children of the
chapel singing, at times, from the brown gallery; so that,
the doors being open, you might have heard them through
all that side of the castle; and those, who sat afar off in the
great hall, needed none other music.

There also was Maister Henry, the versifier, whose ballad
of the Giant of Cornwall was this night rehearsed to the
harp by Richard, the King’s harper, as was his famous
Chronicle of Charlemagne, which lasted till his Highness

was well-nigh weary, when he jocularly called out, having
5r



52 HENRY III

tasted of his golden cup, that Henry should have a butt of
wine with his wages, if he would shorten his ballads by one-
half.

That night, the King played at “Checkere” with the Earl
of Norfolk, on a board laid with jasper and chrystal, the
checkmen being of the same. Some said the kings and
queens were of ebony, studded over with jewels, but of this
I know not.

But, the finest sight of all was the going of the chamber-
lain to the cupboard, accompanied of three nobles of the

‘highest estate in the realm that were there present (save the
King’s family), to receive the King’s cup and spice-plates ;
and then the bringing up of the voide before his Highness.
And, first, the usher, having assembled the King’s sewers,
their towels about their necks, with the four esquires of the
body and the knights and esquires of the household, to the
number of seventeen; these, with divers other officers,
being met at the cupboard, the Chamberlain took the
King’s towel, and, having kissed it, as the custom is,
delivered it to the Earl of Norfolk, he being of the highest
estate, who reverently received the same, and laid it safely
upon his shoulder. Then the said chamberlain gave the
gold spice-plates covered to the Earl of Hereford ; and then
the King’s cup of massive gold, covered also, to the Earl of
Warwick. At the same time were given to the knights of the
household the Archbishop’s spice-plate and cup, covered also,
to be carried up by the space of one minute after the King’s.

And, certes, it was a goodly sight to see all these nobles
and gentils marching up the great chamber (the minstrels
playing the while), compassed about with esquires, bearing
great lights to the number of thirteen, especial care being
taken, as the manner all times has been at the voide, that
the lights were odd in number.

When this array drew near to the King, he, standing up
under his cloth of estate, which was rolled up high, with
the young Prince Edward on one hand and the Archbishop



KING AND QUEEN AT COURT 53

on the other, the Chamberlain taking the covers from off
the spice-plates, gave assaye unto the Earl of Gloucester.
The King, before he took his spice, made a beck to the
Archbishop, that he should take his first; and the knights
having advanced, as they well knew would be seemly, the
Archbishop forthwith obeyed.

But, when the Chamberlain uncovered the cup, all the
minstrels in the chamber blew up louder than ever, and so
held on till his Highness took the ypocras, so that every
roof in the castle rung with joy.

The King and Archbishop being served, his Highness’s
cup and spice-plates were again covered, but not so the
Archbishop’s. Then were the spice and cup carried to
Prince Edward and the Earl of Cornwall, by the knights ;
to the bishops by the esquires of the household, and to the
other estates by the esquires also. Which being done, his
Highness forthwith departed for “all night,” the trumpets
blowing before him. Then, were three healths drunk, one
to the King, one to the Queen, and one to the Prince
Edward ; after which it were not meet that the assemblage
should remain, and straight the great chamber was avoyded
of all there present.

The Queen that night sat in her bower with all her ladies.
There were mynstrelsy and dancing to the harp and viol.
The Lady Barbara was the marveil of all, that beheld her
moving to the sound of viols like unto some sprite, rather
than to a poor mortal. Prince Edward danced with her a
round, and the Queen often honoured her with her pleasing
‘speech.

The dancing being ended, Pierre, a Norman and the
Queen’s chief minstrel, apparelled in the guise of his
country, sang some of his ballads on the harp, in his own
tongue, which, albeit were they not esteemed like unto
Maister Henry’s, yet did they not displease. But belike,
if his Highness had been there at first, he would have
bidden him to shorten his ballad by one-half.



54 HENRY II

A more pleasureful sight could not be than the Queen’s
bower, as it was at that time, where she sat in estate, under
a cloth of gold, her ladies standing about her chair, and her
maidens on either hand, below the steps of her throne ; and
two young damsels of surpassing beauty and richly bedight,
sitting on the first step at her feet; the same that were used
so to sit when her Highness kept state in the great hall at
festivals.

The arched roof was curiously wrought in that fashion
which King Henry had newly brought into favour; and,
‘besides these lights, a great crystal lamp that hung from
the roof shone over the chamber and upon the goodly
assemblage, as they looked upon the Lady Barbara, passing
so winningly in the dance. That night the Earl of Rich-
mond bore the Queen’s spice-plate, and Sir Philip de
Kinton her cup.

When the Lady Barbara had ended her dance, the Queen
called her to her chair ; and, making her take of the sweet-
meats from her own plate, spoke commendable words to
her, as did his Highness King Henry. Then the Queen,
turning to the Lady Gloucester, took from her hands a
girdle, richly beset with jewels, and, clasping it on the Lady
Barbara, kissed her, and bade her wear it ever, for her sake
and for her honour. Her Highness then stretched out her
hand to Sir Gaston, who, kneeling, put it to his lips. “ May
you, sir knight,” said her Highness, “as well deserve this
lady, as she deserves this token of my regard!”

Then the King said many gracious things, and seemed
so merry of heart, that he made all around him gladsome ;
till, the voide being ended, he went forth with the Queen,
the trumpets blowing before them ; and the chamber was
then speedily avoided for all night.

—Mrs. RatcuirFre, Gaston de Blondeville.



VII

For Wallace or
for King Edward

ALLACE drew up his army in order for the new
battle near a convent of Cistercian monks, on the
narrow plain of Dalkeith. The two rivers Esk, flowing on
each side of the little phalanx, formed a temporary barrier
between it and the pressing legions of De Warenne. The
earl’s troops seemed countless, while the Southron lords
who led them on, being elated by the representations which
had been given to them of the disunited state of the Scottish
army, and the consequent dismay which had seized their
hitherto all-conquering commander, bore down upon the
Scots with an impetuosity which threatened their universal
destruction.

The sky was obscured ; an awful stillness reigned through
the air, and the spirits of the mighty dead seemed leaning
from their clouds, to witness this last struggle of their sons.
Fate did indeed hover over the opposing armies. She de-
scended on the head of Wallace, and dictated from amidst
his waving plumes. She pointed his spear, she wielded his

“flaming sword, she charged with him in the dreadful shock
of battle. De Warenne saw his foremost thousands fall.
He heard the shouts of the Scots, the cries of his men, and
the plains of Stirling rose to his remembrance. He, de-
scending the hill to lead forward himself, was met and
almost overwhelmed by his flying troops; horses without

riders, men without shield or sword, but all in dismay
55



56 EDWARD I

rushed past him. He called to them, he waved the royal
standard, he urged, he reproached, he rallied, and led them
back again. The fight recommenced. Long and bloody
was the conflict. De Warenne fought for conquest, and
to recover a lost reputation. Wallace contended for his
country ; and to show himself always worthy of her latest
blessing “before he should go hence, and be no more
seen.”

The issue declared for Scotland. But the ground was
covered with the slain, and Wallace chased a wounded foe
.with troops which dropped as they pursued. At sight of
the melancholy state of his intrepid soldiers, he tried to
check their ardour, but in vain. “It is for Wallace that
we conquer!” cried they ; ‘and we die, or prove him the
only captain in this ungrateful country !”

Night compelled them to halt ; and while they rested on
their arms, Wallace was satisfied that he had destroyed the
power of De Warenne.

The splendour of this victory struck to the souls of the
council of Stirling ; but with no touch of remorse. Scot-
land being again rescued from the vengeance of her im-
placable foe, the disaffected lords in the citadel affected to
spurn at her preservation, declaring to the Regent that
they would rather bear the yoke of the veriest tyrant in the
world than owe a moment of freedom to the man who
(they pretended to believe) had conspired against their
lives. And they had a weighty reason for this decision :
though De Warenne was beaten, his wife was a victor. She
had made Edward triumphant in the venal hearts of her
kinsmen; gold, and her persuasions, with promises of future
honours from the King of England, had sealed them en-
tirely his. All but the Regent were ready to commit every-
thing into the hands of Edward. The rising favour of
these other lords with the court of England induced him
to recollect that he might rule as the unrivalled friend of
Bruce, should that prince live; or, in case of his death, he



\

FOR WALLACE OR KING EDWARD 57

might have it in his own power to assume the Scottish
throne untrammelled. These thoughts made him fluctuate,
and his country found him as undetermined in treason as
unstable in fidelity.

Immediately on the victory at Dalkeith, Kirkpatrick
(eager to be the first communicator of such welcome news
to Lennox, who had planted himself as a watch at Stirling)
withdrew secretly from Wallace’s camp; and hoping to
move the gratitude of the refractory lords, entered full of
honest joy into the midst of their council.

He proclaimed the success of his commander. His
answer was accusation and insult. All that had been
charged against the too fortunate Wallace was re-urged
with added acrimony. ‘Treachery to the State, hypocrisy
in morals, fanaticism in religion—no stigma was too ex-
travagant, too contradictory, to be affixed to his name.
They who had been hurt in arecent fray in the hall, pointed
to their still smarting wounds, and called upon Lennox to
say if they did not plead against so dangerous a man.

“Dangerous to your crimes, and ruinous to your ambi-
tion!” cried Kirkpatrick; “for so help me God, as I
believe, that an honester man than Sir William Wallace
lives not in Scotland, and that ye know! And his virtues

overtopping your littleness, ye would uproot the greatness

which ye cannot equal.”

This speech, which a burst of indignation had wrested
from him, brought down the wrath of the whole party upon
himself. Lord Athol, yet stung with his old wound,
furiously struck him; Kirkpatrick drew his sword, and the
two chiefs commenced a furious combat, each determined
on the extirpation of the other. Gasping with almost the
last breathing of life, neither could be torn from their
desperate revenge, till many were hurt in attempting to
separate them ; and then the two were carried off insensible
and covered with wounds.

When this sad news was transmitted to Sir William



58 EDWARD I

Wallace, it found him on the banks of the Esk, just re-
turned from the citadel of Berwick, where, once more
master of that fortress, he had dictated the terms of a
conqueror and a patriot.

In the scene of his former victories, the romantic shades
of Hawthorndean, he now pitched his triumphant camp,
and from its verdant bounds despatched the requisite
orders to the garrison castles on the borders. While em-
ployed in this duty, his heart was wrung by an account of
the newly aroused storm in the citadel of Stirling; but as
some equivalent, the chieftains of Midlothian poured in to
him on every side ; and acknowledging him their protector,
he again found himself the idol of gratitude, and the almost
deified object of trust. At such a moment, when with one
voice they were disclaiming all participation in the in-
surgent proceedings at Stirling, another messenger arrived
from Lord Lennox, to conjure him, if he would avoid open
violence or secret treachery, to march his victorious troops
immediately to that city, and seize the assembled abthanes
at once as traitors to their country. ‘‘Resume the regency,”
added he, “which you only know how to conduct, and
crush a treason which, increasing hourly, now walks openly
in the day, threatening all that is virtuous, or faithful to
you.”

He did not hesitate to decide against this counsel; for,
in following it, it could not be one adversary he must
strike, but thousands.

“JT am only a brother to my countrymen,” said he to
himself, “and have no right to force them to their duty.
When their king appears, then these rebellious heads may
be made to bow.” While he mused upon the letter of
Lennox, Ruthven entered, and the friends returned together
into the council-tent. But all there was changed. Most
of the Lothian chieftains had also received messengers from
their friends in Stirling. Allegations against Wallace, argu-
ments to prove ‘“‘the policy of submitting themselves and



FOR WALLACE OR KING EDWARD 59

their properties to the protection of a great and generous
King, though a foreigner, rather than to risk all by attach-
ing themselves to the fortunes of a private person who
made their services the ladder of his ambition,” were the
contents of their packets ; and they had been sufficient to
shake the easy faith to which they were addressed. On
the re-entrance of Wallace, the chieftains stole suspicious
glances at each other, and without a word glided severally
out of the tent.

Next morning, instead of coming as usual directly to
their acknowledged protector, the Lothian chieftains were
seen at different parts of the camp closely conversing in
groups, and when any of Wallace's officers approached they
separated or withdrew to a greater distance. This strange
conduct Wallace attributed to its right source, and thought
of Bruce with a sigh when he contemplated the variable
substance of these men’s minds. However, he was so con-
vinced that nothing but the proclamation of Bruce, and
that prince’s personal exertions, could preserve his country
from falling again into the snare from which he had just
snatched it, that he was preparing to set out for Perthshire
with such persuasions when Ker hastily entered his tent.
He was followed by the Lord Soulis, Lord Buchan, and
several other chiefs of equally hostile intentions. Soulis
did not hesitate to declare his errand.

“We come, Sir William Wallace, by the command of
the Regent and the assembled abthanes of Scotland, to
take these brave troops, which have performed such good
service to their country, from the power of a man who, we
have every reason to believe, means to turn their arms
against the liberties of the realm. Without a pardon from
the states ; without the signature of the Regent; in con-
tempt of the court which, having found you guilty of high
treason, had in mercy delayed to pronounce sentence on
your crime, you have presumed to place yourself at the
head of the national troops, and to take to yourself the



60 EDWARD I

merit of a victory won ‘by their prowess alone! Your
designs are known, and the authority you have despised is
now roused to punish. You are to accompany us this day
to Stirling. We have brought a guard of four thousand
men to compel your obedience.”

Before the indignant Wallace could utter the answer his
wrongs dictated, Bothwell, who at sight of the Regent’s
troops had hastened to his general’s tent, entered, followed
by his chieftains.

“Were your guard forty thousand instead of four,” cried
he,. “ they should not force our commander from us—they
should not extinguish the glory of Scotland beneath the
traitorous devices of hell-engendered envy and murderous
cowardice !”

Soulis turned on him with eyes of fire, and laid his hand
on his sword.

“ Ay, cowardice!” reiterated Bothwell. ‘The midnight
ravisher, the slanderer of virtue, the betrayer of his country,
knows in his heart that he fears to draw aught but the
assassin’s steel. He dreads the sceptre of honour: Wallace
must fall, that vice and her votaries may reign in Scotland.
A thousand brave Scots lie under these sods, and a
thousand yet survive who may share their graves; but they
never will relinquish their invincible leader into the hands
of traitors !” .

The clamours of the citadel of Stirling now resounded
through the tent of Wallace. Invectives, accusations,
threatenings, reproaches, and revilings, joined in one tur-
bulent uproar. Again swords were drawn, and Wallace, in
attempting to beat down the weapons of Soulis and Buchan,
aimed at Bothwell’s heart, must have received the point of
Soulis’ in his own body had he not grasped the blade, and,
wrenching it out of the chief’s hand, broke it into shivers.
“Such be the fate of every sword which Scot draws against
Scot!” cried he. ‘‘Put up your weapons, my friends.
The arm of Wallace is not shrunk that he could not defend



FOR WALLACE OR KING EDWARD 61

himself did he think that violence were necessary. Hear
my determination, once and for ever!” added he. “TI
acknowledge no authority in Scotland but the laws. The
present Regent and his abthanes outrage them in every
ordinance, and I should indeed be a traitor to my country
did I submit to such men’s behests. I shall not obey their
summons to Stirling, neither will I permit a hostile arm to
be raised in this camp against their delegates, unless: the
violence begins with them. This is my answer.” Uttering
these words, he motioned Bothwell to follow him, and left
the tent.

Crossing a rude plank-bridge which then lay over the
Esk, he met Lord Ruthven, accompanied by Lord Sinclair.
The latter came to inform Wallace that ambassadors from
Edward awaited his presence at Roslyn.

“They come to offer peace to our distracted country,”
cried Sinclair.

“Then,” answered Wallace, “I shall not delay going
where I may hear the terms.”

Horses were brought; and during their short ride, to
prevent the impassioned representations of the still raging
Bothwell, Wallace communicated to his not less indignant
friends the particulars of the scene he had left. “These
contentions must be terminated,” added he; “and with
God’s blessing, a few days and they shall be so!”

“Heaven grant it!” returned Sinclair, thinking he re-
ferred to the proposed negotiation. “If Edward’s offers
be at all reasonable, I would urge you to accept them;
otherwise, invasion from without and civil commotion
within will probably make a desert of poor Scotland.”

Ruthven interrupted him: “Despair not, my lord!
Whatever be the fate of this embassy, let us remember that
itis our steadiest friend who decides, and that his arm is
still with us to repel invasion, to chastise treason !”

Arrived at the gate of Roslyn, Wallace, regardless of
those ceremonials which often delay the business they



62 EDWARD I

pretend to dignify, entered at once into the hall where
the ambassadors sat. Baron Hilton was one, and Le de
Spencer (father to the young and violent envoy of that
name) was the other. At sight of the Scottish chief they
rose, and the good baron, believing he came on a propi-.
tious errand, smiling, said, “Sir William Wallace, it is your
private ear I am commanded to seek.” While speaking he
looked on Sinclair and the other lords.

“These chiefs are as myself,” replied Wallace. ‘But I
will not impede your embassy by crossing the wishes of
your master in a trifle.” He then turned to his friends:
“Indulge the monarch of England in making me the first
acquainted with that which can only be a message to the
whole nation.”

The chiefs withdrew ; and Hilton, without further parley,
opened his mission. He said that King Edward, more
than ever impressed with the wondrous military talents of
Sir William Wallace, and solicitous to make a friend of so
heroic an enemy, had sent him an offer of grace, which, if
he contemned, must be the last. He offered him a theatre
whereon he might display his peerless endowments to the
admiration of the world—the kingdom of Ireland, with its
yet unreaped fields of glory, and all the ample riches of its
abundant provinces should be his. Edward only required,
in return for this royal gift, that he should abandon the
cause of Scotland, swear fealty to him for Ireland, and re-
sign into his hands one whom he had proscribed as the
most ungrateful of traitors. In double acknowledgment
for the latter sacrifice, Wallace need only send to England
a list of those Scottish lords against whom he bore resent-
ment, and their fates should be ordered according to his
dictates. Edward concluded his offers by inviting him
immediately to London to be invested with his new
sovereignty ; and Hilton ended his address by showing him
the madness of abiding in a country where almost every
chief, secretly or openly, carried a dagger against his life;



FOR WALLACE OR KING EDWARD 63

and therefore he exhorted him no longer to contend for a
nation so unworthy of freedom, that it bore with impatience
the only man who had the courage to maintain its inde
pendence by virtue alone.

Wallace replied calmly, and without hesitation: “To
this message an honest man can make but one reply. As
well might your sovereign exact of me to dethrone the
angels of heaven, as to require me to subscribe to his pro-
posals. They do but mock me; and aware of my rejec-
tion, they are thus delivered, to throw the whole blame of
this cruelly persecuting war upon me. Edward knows that
as a knight, a true Scot, and a man, I should dishonour
myself to accept even life, ay, or the lives of all my kindred,
upon these terms.”

Hilton interrupted him by declaring the sincerity of Ed-
ward, and contrasting it with the ingratitude of the people
whom he had served, he conjured him, with every persuasive
of rhetoric, every entreaty dictated by a mind that revered
the very firmness he strove to shake, to relinquish his faith-
less country, and become the friend of a king ready to re-
ceive him with open arms.

Wallace shook his head, and with an incredulous smile
which spoke his thoughts of Edward, while his eyes beamed
kindness upon Hilton, he answered: ‘“‘Can the man who
would bribe me to betray a friend be faithful in his friend-
ship? But that is not the weight with me. I was not
brought up in those schools, my good baron, which teach
that sound policy or true self-interest can be separated
from virtue. When I was a boy, my father often repeated
to me this proverb :—

‘«* Dico tibi verum, honestas, optima rerum,

Nunquam servili sub nexu vivitur fili.’

T learned it then ; I have since made it the standard of my
actions, and I answer your monarch ina word. Were all
my countrymen to resign their claims to the liberty which



64 EDWARD 1

is their right, I alone would declare the independence of
my country; and by God’s assistance, while I live, ac-
knowledge no other master than the laws of St. David, and
the legitimate heir of his blood.”

Baron Hilton turned sorrowfully away, and Le de Spencer
rose :—

“Sir William Wallace, my part of the embassy must be
delivered to you in the assembly of your chieftains !”

“In the congregation of my camp,” returned he; and
opening the door of the ante-room, in which his friends
stood, he sent to summon his chiefs to the platform before
the council-tent.

When Wallace approached his tent, he found not only
the captains of his own army, but the followers of Soulis
and the chieftains of Lothian. He looked on this range of
his enemies with a fearless eye, and passing through the
crowd, took his station beside the ambassadors on the plat-
form of the tent. The venerable Hilton turned away with
tears on his veteran cheeks as the chief advanced, and Le
de Spencer came forward to speak. Wallace, with a digni-
fied action, requested his leave for afew minutes, and then,
addressing the congregated warriors, unfolded to them the
offer of Edward to him and his reply.

“ And now,” added he, ‘the ambassador of England is
at liberty to declare his master’s alternative.”

Le de Spencer again advanced, but the acclamations
with which the followers of Wallace acknowledged the
nobleness of his answer excited such an opposite clamour
on the side of the Soulis party that Le de Spencer was
obliged to mount a war-carriage which stood near, and to
vociferate long and loudly for silence before he could be
heard. But the first words which caught the ears of his
audience acted like a spell, and seemed to hold them in
breathless attention.

“Since Sir William Wallace rejects the grace of his
liege lord, Edward, King of England, offered to him this



FOR WALLACE OR KING EDWARD 65

once, and never to be again repeated, thus saith the King
in his clemency to the earls, barons, knights, and com-
monalty of Scotland! To every one of them, chief and
vassal, excepting the aforesaid incorrigible rebel, he, the
royal Edward, grants an amnesty of all their past treasons
against his sacred person and rule, provided that within
twenty-four hours after they hear the words of this pro-
clamation, they acknowledge their disloyalty, with repent-
ance, and laying down their arms, swear eternal fealty to
their only lawful ruler, Edward, the lord of the whole
island from sea to sea.”

Le de Spencer then proclaimed the King of England
to be now on the borders with an army of a hundred
thousand men, ready to march with fire and sword into
the heart of the kingdom, and put to the rack all of
every sex, age, and condition, who should venture to dis-
pute his rights.

“Vield,” added he, “while you may yet not only grasp
the mercy extended to you, but the rewards and the
honours he is ready to bestow. Adhere to that unhappy
man, and by to-morrow’s sunset your offended King will
be on these hills, and then mercy shall be no more!
Death is the doom of Sir William Wallace, and a similar
fate to every Scot who after this hour dares to give him
food, ‘shelter, or succour. He is the prisoner of King
Edward, and thus I demand him at your hands!”

Wallace spoke not, but with an unmoved countenance
looked around upon the assembly. Bothwell’s full soul
then forced utterance from his labouring breast :

“Tell your Sovereign,” cried he, “that he mistakes. We
are the conquerors who ought to dictate terms of peace!
Wallace is our invincible leader, our redeemer from slavery,
the earthly hope in whom we trust, and it is not in the
power of men nor devils to bribe us to betray our bene-
factor. Away to your King, and tell him that Andrew

QS, F



66 EDWARD I

Murray and every honest Scot is ready to live or to die by
the side of Sir William Wallace.”

“ And by this good sword I swear the same!” cried
Ruthven.

“And so do I!” rejoined Scrymgeour, “or may the
standard of Scotland be my winding-sheet !”

“Or may the Clyde swallow us up quick!” exclaimed
Lockhart of Lee, shaking his mailed hand at the ambas-
sadors. -

. But not another chief spoke for Wallace. Even Sinclair
was intimidated, and like others who wished him well, he
feared to utter his sentiments. But most—oh! shame to
Scotland and to man—cast up their bonnets and cried
aloud, “‘ Long live King Edward, the only legitimate lord
of Scotland !”

At this outcry, which was echoed even by some in whom
he had confided, while it pealed around him like a burst of
thunder, Wallace threw out his arms, as if he would yet pro-
tect Scotland from herself,—

“Oh, desolate people!” exclaimed he, in a voice of
piercing woe, “too credulous of fair speeches, and not
aware of the calamities which are coming upon you! Call
to remembrance the miseries you have suffered, and start,
before it be too late, from this-last snare of your oppressor !
Have I yet to tell ye that his embrace is death? Oh! look
yet to heaven and ye shall find a rescue !”

“Seize that rebellious man,” cried Soulis to his mar-
shals. “In the name of the King of England, I command
you.”

“‘And in the name of the King of kings, I denounce
death on him who attempts it!” exclaimed Bothwell,
throwing himself between Wallace and the men; “ put
forth a hostile hand towards him, and this bugle shall call
a thousand resolute swords to lay this platform in blood !”

Soulis, followed by his knights, pressed forward to exe-
cute this treason himself, Scrymgeour, Ruthven, Lockhart,



FOR WALLACE OR KING EDWARD 67

and Ker rushed before their friend. Edwin, starting for-
ward, drew his sword, and the clash of steel was heard.
Bothwell and Soulis grappled together, the falchion of
Ruthven gleamed amidst a hundred swords, and blood
flowed around. The voice, the arm of Wallace, in vain
sought to enforce peace; he was not heard, he was not felt
in the dreadful warfare. Ker fell with a gasp at his feet,
and breathed no more.

At that moment Bothwell, having disabled Soulis, would
have blown his bugle to call up his men to a general con-
flict, but Wallace snatched the horn from his hand, and
springing upon the very war-carriage from which Le de
Spencer had proclaimed Edward’s embassy, he drew forth
his sword, and stretching the mighty arm that held it over
the throng, he exclaimed,—

“Peace, men of Scotland! and for the last time hear the
voice of William Wallace.”

A dead silence immediately ensued, and he proceeded,—

‘Tf you have aught of nobleness within ye, if a delusion
more fell than witchcraft has not blinded your senses, look
beyond this field of horror, and behold your country free.
Edward in these apparent demands sues for peace. Did
we not drive his armies into the sea? And were we re-
solved, he never could cross our borders more. What is it
then you do, when you again put your necks under his
yoke? Did he not seek to bribe me to betray you? and
yet when I refuse to purchase life and the world’s rewards
by such baseness, you—you forget that you are free-born
Scots, that you are the victors, and he the vanquished ;
and you give, not sell, your birthright to the demands of a
tyrant! You yield yourselves to his extortions, his oppres-
sions, his revenge! Think not he will spare the people he
would have sold to purchase his bitterest enemy, or allow
them to live unmanacled who possess the power of resist-
ance, On the day in which you are in his hands you will
feel that you have exchanged honour for disgrace, liberty



68 EDWARD I

for bondage, life for death! I draw this sword for you no
more. But there yet lives a prince, a descendant of the
royal heroes of Scotland, whom Providence may conduct
to be your preserver. Reject the proposals of Edward,
dare to defend the freedom you now possess, and that
prince will soon appear to crown your patriotism with
glory and happiness !|”

“We acknowledge no prince but King Edward of Eng-
land!” cried Buchan.

The exclamation was reiterated by a most disgraceful
majority on the ground. Wallace was transfixed.

““Then,” cried Le de Spencer, in the first pause of the
tumult, “to every man, woman, and child throughout the
realm of Scotland, excepting Sir William Wallace, I pro-
claim in the name of King Edward pardon and peace.”

At these words several hundred Scottish chieftains
dropped on their knees before Le de Spencer, and mur-
mured their vows of fealty.

Indignant, grieved, Wallace took his helmet from his
head, and throwing his sword into the hand of Bothwell,—

“That weapon,” cried he, “which I wrested from this
very King Edward, and with which I twice drove him from
our borders, I give to you. I relinquish a soldier’s name,
on the spot where I humbled England three times in one
day, where I now see my victorious country deliver herself
bound into the grasp of the vanquished! I go without
sword or buckler from this dishonoured field, and what
Scot, my public or private enemy, will dare to strike the un-
guarded head of William Wallace?”

As he spoke, he threw his shield and helmet to the
ground, and, leaping from the war-carriage, took his course
through the parting ranks of his enemies, wha, awe-struck,
or kept in check by a suspicion that others might not
second the attack they would have made on him, durst
not lift an arm or breathe a word as he passed.

—Jane Porter, The Scottish Chiefs.



VIII

How Queen Isabella left
the King her Husband

ING EDWARD THE SECOND, father to the noble
King Edward the Third, governed right diversely his
realm by the exhortation of Sir Hugh Spencer, who had
been nourished with him since the beginning of his youth ;
the which Sir Hugh had so enticed the King, that his father
and he were the greatest masters in all the realm, and by
envy thought to surmount all other barons of England;
whereby after the great discomfiture that the Scots had
made at Stirling, great murmuring there arose in England
between the noble barons and the King’s council, and
namely, against Sir Hugh Spencer. They put on him,
that by his counsel they were discomfited, and that he was
favourable to the King of Scots. And on this point the
barons had divers times communication together, to be
advised what they might do; whereof Thomas, Earl of
Lancaster, who was uncle to the King, was chief, And
anon, when Sir Hugh Spencer had espied this, he purveyed
for remedy, for he was so great with the King, and so near
him, that he was more beloved with the King than all the
world after.

So on a day he came to the King, and said: “ Sir, certain
lords of your realm have made alliance together against
you; and- without ye take heed thereto betimes, they
purpose to put you out of your realm”: and so by his

malicious means he caused that the King made all the said
£9



70 EDWARD II

lords to be taken, and their heads to be stricken off without
delay, and without knowledge or answer to any cause.
First of all Sir Thomas Earl of Lancaster, who was a noble
and a wise, holy knight, and hath done since many fair
miracles in Pontefract, where he was beheaded, for the
which deed the said Sir Hugh Spencer achieved great hate
in all the realm, and specially of the Queen, and of the
Earl of Kent, brother to the King.

And when he perceived the displeasure of the Queen,
by his subtle wit he set great discord between the King
and the Queen, so that the King would not see the Queen,
nor come in her company; the which discord endured a
long space. Then was it shewed to the Queen secretly,
and to the Earl of Kent, that without they took good heed
to themselves, they were likely to be destroyed; for Sir
Hugh Spencer was about to purchase much trouble to
them. Then the Queen secretly did purvey to go into
France, and took her way as on pilgrimage to Saint Thomas
of Canterbury, and so to Winchelsea; and in the night
went into a ship that was ready for her, and her young son
Edward with her, and the Earl of Kent and Sir Roger
Mortimer; and in another ship they had put all their
purveyance, and had wind at will, and the next morning
they arrived in the haven of Boulogne.

When Queen Isabel was arrived at Boulogne, and her
son with her, and the Earl of Kent, the captains and abbot
of the town came against her, and joyously received her
and her company into the abbey, and there she abode two
days: then she departed, and rode so long by her journeys,
that she arrived at Paris. Then King Charles, her brother,
who was informed of her coming, sent to meet her divers
of the greatest lords of his realm, as the Lord Sir Robert
d’Artois, the Lord of Coucy, the Lord of Sully, the Lord of
Roye, and divers other, who honourably did receive her,
and brought her into the city of Paris to the King her
brother. And when the King saw his sister, whom he had



Bod? = = ey
Taare VSM a
ihe EE



“ By his subtle wit he set great discord between the king and queen.”
Page 70.



HOW QUEEN ISABELLA LEFT THE KING 71

not seen long before, as she should have entered into his
chamber he met her, and took her in his arms, and kissed
her, and said: ‘Ye be welcome, fair sister, with my fair
nephew your son”; and took them by the hands, and led
them forth.

The Queen, who had no great joy at her heart, but that
she was so near to the King her brother, she would have
kneeled down two or three times at the feet of the King,
but the King would not suffer her, but held her still by the
right hand, demanding right sweetly of her estate and
business. And she answered him right sagely, and lament-
ably recounted to him all the felonies and injuries done to
her by Sir Hugh Spencer, and required him of his aid and
comfort.

When the noble King Charles of France had heard his
sister’s lamentation, who weepingly had shewed him all her
need and business, he said to her: “Fair sister, appease
yourself ; for by the faith I owe to God and to Saint Denis,
I shall right well purvey for you some remedy.”

The Queen then kneeled down, whether the King would
or not, and said: “‘My right dear lord and fair brother, I
pray God reward you.”

The King then took her in his arms, and led her into
another chamber, the which was apparelled for her, and for
the young Edward her son, and so departed from her, and
caused at his costs and charges all things to be delivered
that was behoveful for her and for her son.

After it was not long, but that for this occasion Charles,
King of France, assembled together many great lords and
barons of the realm of France, to have their counsel and
good advice how they should ordain for the need and
business of his sister Queen of England. Then it was
counselled to the King, that he should let the Queen his
sister to purchase for herself friends, whereas she would, in
the realm of France, or in any other place, and himself to
feign and be not known thereof; for, they said, to move



72 EDWARD II

war with the King of England, and to bring his own realm
into hatred, it were nothing appertinent nor profitable to
him, nor to his realm. But, they concluded, that con-
veniently he might aid her with gold and silver, for that is
the metal whereby love is attained, both of gentlemen and
of poor soldiers. And to this counsel and advice accorded
the King, and caused this to be shewed to the Queen privily
by Sir Robert d’Artois, who as then was one of the greatest
lords of all France.

Then the Queen, as secretly as she could, she ordained
for her voyage, and made her purveyance; but she could
not do it so secretly, but Sir Hugh Spencer had knowledge
thereof. Then he thought to win and withdraw the King
of France from her by great gifts, and so sent secret
messengers into France with great plenty of gold and silver
and rich jewels, and specially to the King, and his privy
council ; and did so much that, in short space, the King of
France and all his privy council were as cold to help the
Queen in her voyage, as they had before great desire to do
it. And the King brake all that voyage, and defended
every person in his realm, on pain of banishing the same,
that none should be so hardy to go with the Queen to
bring her again into England. And yet the said Sir Hugh
Spencer advised him of more malice, and bethought him
how he might get again the Queen into England, to be
under the King’s danger and his. Then he caused the
King to write to the holy father the Pope affectuously,
desiring him that he would send and write to the King of
France, that he should send the Queen his wife again into
England ; for he will acquit himself to God and the world,
and that it was not his fault that she departed from him;
for he would nothing to her but all love and good faith,
such as he ought to hold in marriage. Also there were
like letters written to the cardinals, devised by many subtle
ways, the which all may not be written here.

Also he sent gold and silver great plenty to divers



HOW QUEEN ISABELLA LEFT THE KING 73

cardinals and prelates, such as were most nearest and
secretest with the Pope, and right sage and able am-
bassadors were sent on this message; and they led the
Pope in such wise by their gifts and subtle ways, that he
wrote to the King of France that, on pain of cursing, he
should send his sister Isabel into England to the King her
husband.

These letters were brought to the King of France by the
Bishop of Saintes, whom the Pope sent in that legation.
And when the King had read the letters, he caused them
to be shewn to the Queen his sister, whom he had not
seen of long space before, commanding her hastily to
avoid his realm, or else he would cause her to avoid with
shame.

—Frotssart’s Chronicle, by LORD BERNERS, cap. vi.—viil.



IX

The Queen Wins
a Battle

‘H 7 HEN the King of England had besieged Calais, and
lay there, the Scots determined to make war into
England, and to be revenged of such hurts as they had
taken before: for they said then, how that the realm of
England was void of men of war; for they were, as they
said, with the King of England before Calais, and some in
Bretagne, Poitou, and Gascony: the French King did what
he could to stir the Scots to that war, to the intent that the
King of England should break up his siege, and return to
defend his own realm. The King of Scots made his sum-
mons to be at Perth, on the river of Tay, in Scotland;
thither came earls, barons, and prelates of Scotland, and
there agreed, that in all haste possible, they should enter
England ; to come in that journey was desired John of the
out Isles, who governed the wild Scots, for to him they
obeyed, and to no man else ; he came with a three thousand
of the most outrageous people in all that country.

When all the Scots were assembled, they were of one and
other, a fifty thousand fighting men; they could not make
their assembly so secret, but that the Queen of England,
who was as then in the marches of the North, about York,
knew all their dealing: then she sent all about for men,
and lay herself at York; then all men of war and archers
came to Newcastle with the Queen. In the mean season,

the King of Scots departed from Perth and went to Dun-
4



THE QUEEN WINS A BATTLE 75

fermline the first day; the next day they passed a little arm
of the sea, and so came to Stirling, and then to Edinburgh:
then they numbered their company, and they were a three
thousand men of arms, knights, and squires, and a thirty
thousand of other, on hackneys: then they came to Rox-
burgh, the first fortress English on that part; captain there
was Sir William Montague. The Scots passed by without
any assault-making, and so went forth, burning and destroy-
ing the country of Northumberland, and their couriers ran
to York, and burnt as much as was without the walls, and
returned again to their host, within a day’s journey of New-
castle-upon-Tyne.

The Queen of England, who desired to defend her

country, came to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and there tarried
‘for her men, who came daily from all parts. When the
Scots knew that the Englishmen assembled at Newcastle,
they drew thitherward, and their couriers came running
before the town; and at their returning, they burnt certain
small hamlets thereabout, so that the smoke thereof came
into the town of Newcastle. Some of the Englishmen
would have issued out, to have fought with them that made
the fires, but the captains would not suffer them to issue
out.

The next day the King of Scots, with a forty thousand
men, one and other, came and lodged within three little
English mile of Newcastle, in the land of the Lord Nevill,
and the King sent to them within the town, that if they
would issue out into the field, he would fight with them
gladly. ‘The lords and prelates of England said they were
content to adventure their lives with the right and heritage
of the King of England, their master; then they all issued
out of the town, and were in number a twelve hundred
men of arms, three thousand archers, and seven thousand
of other, with the Welshmen.

Then the Scots came and lodged against them, near to-
gether: then every man was set in order of battle: then



76 EDWARD III

the Queen came among her men, and there was ordained
four battles, one to aid another: the first had in governance
the Bishop of Durham, and the Lord Percy: the second
the Archbishop of York, and the Lord Nevill: the third the
Bishop of Lincoln, and the Lord Mowbray: the fourth the
Lord Edward de Balliol, captain of Berwick, the Archbishop
of Canterbury, and the Lord Ros: every battle had like
number, after their quantity. The Queen went from battle
to battle, desiring them to do their devoir, to defend the
honour of her lord the King of England, and in the name
of God, every man to be of good heart and courage, promis-
ing them, that to her power she would remember them as
well or better, as though her lord the King were there per-
sonally. Then the Queen departed from them, recommend-
ing them to God and to Saint George.

Then anon after, the battles of the Scots began to set
forward, and in like wise so did the Englishmen ; then the
archers began to shoot on both parties, but the shot of the
Scots endured but a short space, but the archers of England
shot so fiercely, so that when the battles approached, there
was a hard battle; they began at nine, and endured till
noon: the Scots had great axes, sharp and hard, and gave
with them many great strokes ; howbeit, finally the English-
men obtained the place and victory, but they lost many of
their men. ‘There were slain of the Scots, the Earl of Fife,
the Earl of Buchan, the Earl of Dunbar, the Earl of Suther-
land, the Earl of Strathern, the Earl of Mar, the Earl John
Douglas, and the Lord Alexander Ramsay, who bare the
King’s banner, and divers other knights and squires. And
there the King was taken, who fought valiantly, and was
sore hurt; a squire of Northumberland took him, called
John Copeland, and as soon as he had taken the King, he
went with him out of the field, with eight of his servants
with him, and so rode all that day, till he was a fifteen
leagues from the place of the battle, and at night he came
to a castle called Ogle; and then he said he would not



THE QUEEN WINS A BATTLE 77

deliver the King of Scots to no man nor woman living, but
all only to the King of England, his lord. The same day
there was also taken in the field the Earl Moray, the Earl
of March, the Lord William Douglas, the Lord Robert
Vesey, the Bishop of Aberdeen, the Bishop of St. Andrew’s,
and divers other knights and barons. And there were slain
of one and other a fifteen thousand, and the others saved
themselves as well as they might: this battle was beside
Newcastle, the year of our Lord MCCCXLVI,, the Saturday
next after Saint Michael.

Then the Queen made good provision for the city of
York, the castle of Roxburgh, the city of Durham, the town
of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and in all other garrisons on the
marches of Scotland, and left in those marches the Lord
Percy, and the Lord Nevill, as governors there: then the
Queen departed from York towards London. ‘Then she set
the King of Scots in the strong Tower of London, and the
Earl Moray, and all other prisoners, and set good keeping
over them. Then she went to Dover, and there took the
sea, and had so good wind, that in a short space she arrived
before Calais, three days before the feast of All Saints, for
whose coming the King made a great feast and dinner, to
all the lords and ladies that were there ; the Queen brought
many ladies and damosels with her, as well to accompany
her, as to see their husbands, fathers, brothers, and other
friends that lay at siege there before Calais, and had done
a long space.

—Froissart’s Chronicle, by LORD BERNERS, cap. cxxxvii.—

CXXXIX.



x

The Deposition of
the King

HE Duke of Bretagne and the Earl of Derby were

lovingly concluded together, and when all thing was
ready, the duke and the earl came thither, and when the
wind served the Earl of Derby and his company took the
sea; he had with him three ships of war to conduct him
into England, and the further they sailed the better wind
they had, so that within two days and two nights they
arrived at Plymouth in England, and issued out of their
ships ; and entered into the town little and little. The
baily of Plymouth, who had charge of the town under the
King, had great marvel when he saw so much people and
men of war. enter into the town; but the Bishop of
Canterbury appeased him, and said how they were men of
war that would do no harm in the realm of England, sent
thither by the Duke of Bretagne to serve the King and the
realm. Therewith the baily was content, and: the Earl of
Derby kept himself so privy in a chamber, that none of the
town knew him.

Then the Bishop of Canterbury wrote jeer signed with
his hand to London, signifying the coming of the Earl of
Derby, and sent them by a sufficient man in post, who took
fresh horses by the way, and came to London the same day
at night, and passed over the bridge and so came to the
mayor’s lodging, who as then was a-bed ; and as soon as the

mayor knew that a messenger was come from the Bishop of
78













2”

‘* And ever as they rode forward they met more people.

Page 79.



Full Text







THE QUEEN’S STORY BOOK
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‘And proceeded to Waltham.”
Frontispiece See page 4.

ih

4
THE
QUEEN’S STORY BOOK

BEING HISTORICAL STORIES COLLECTED OUT
OF ENGLISH ROMANTIC LITERATURE IN ILLUS-
TRATION OF THE REIGNS OF ENGLISH
MONARCHS FROM THE CONQUEST
TO QUEEN VICTORIA

e

AND EDITED
WITH AN INTRODUCTION

BY

GEORGE LAURENCE GOMME

ILLUSTRATED BY

W. H. ROBINSON

WESTMINSTER
ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE & CO
2 WHITEHALL GARDENS
1898
BUTLER & TANNER,
THE SELWOOD PRINTING WORKS,
FROME, AND LONDON.
TO
MY WIFE
INTRODUCTION

N the King’s Story Book issued last year I ventured
upon a new departure in books designed to amuse,
and the venture answered every expectation. It supplied
specimens of our romantic prose literature to many who
would gladly know more of what English literature has to
say of English history. But of course the mine was not
exhausted, and in the present volume, designed upon the
same principle as its predecessor, further contributions are
presented. The great masters Scott and Thackeray, to-
gether with Lytton, John Galt, Ainsworth and others, are
again called upon, while specimens from writers not used
in the former volume—Daniel Defoe, Thomas Love Peacock,
Lord Beaconsfield and others, together with stories from
Lord Berner’s Elizabethan translation of Froissart’s chron-
icle—are now included. Most people who love the masters
of English literature have their favourite passages, passages
that have been read through dozens of times, and always
with equal zest. To present many such passages as separate
stories will, I think, be an acceptable offering to the fireside
literature of our day.

The history presented by this volume begins with the
events which crowned the great victory at Hastings. These
events have passed from history to tradition, and from tra-
dition back again into historical fiction. The woful search
of Edith for the dead body of her beloved Harold the King
is a theme which reaches the young through a more subtle
channel than that of text-book or class lecture. They
learn it as they learn about King Alfred and the cakes and
about Cinderella—that is, in a manner not to be stated with
categorical nicety and precision, for it seems to have come
to them through the air they breathe. And delightful it is
to know of these few germs of traditional stories growing

vii
Viii INTRODUCTION

up from English history, for, unlike most people with a
history, the English do not, so to speak, live with it. They
keep it afar off as a thing that concerns them not, except as
a matter of training or of individual taste. But the fair form
of Edith and that grisly search among the dead is nearer
to the popular mind than most other events. Sir Charles
Napier’s not very well known story of this episode is
characteristic enough, flavoured though it is with a morality
which does not belong to the age of the event. For
William II. I have chosen the story of an anonymous writer
of some considerable power. He depicts the King on the
eve of the rebellion of Stephen of Aumale; and the tyranny
of the monarch, the feeling of the nobles, the position of
Flambard, all assembled at the council, are powerfully
shown. ‘Now, afore God and His holy saints!” exclaims
Hugh, Earl of Chester, ‘from the crown of thy head
downward, and from the sole of thy foot upward, William
of England! thou art, past thought and speech, a matchless
tyrant!” Henry I. is not represented in this volume ;
there is no romance which illustrates his reign. The story
of Matilda at Reading Abbey is by Charles Macfarlane, and
though perhaps not true of this particular abbey, is typical
of the position assumed by Matilda during her brief triumph
on the English throne.

The story of fair Rosamond’s death at the hands of
Queen Eleanor begins the rule of the Plantagenets. This
is another story belonging to history proper which has de-
scended to popular tradition. The episode in this volume
is written by Thomas Miller, and is perhaps one of the least
satisfactory stories in the volume, though perhaps it does
not do much violence to the character of this vindictive
queen. For that great hero of romance, Richard Coeur de
Lion, Thomas Love Peacock’s fine story of Maid Marian
is chosen,and Richard stands out well in close analogy to the
episode dealt with by Scott. The reign of John is not
represented, and Henry III. and his queen are only intro-
duced by a slight picture of their court taken from one of
the forgotten novels of Mrs. Radcliffe. Miss Porter’s romance
of the Scottish Chiefs supplies the story for Edward I.’s
reign, but this once popular romance is not of a sufficiently
high quality to be able to stand in contrast with the rest of
INTRODUCTION ix

the volume: Both the great Scottish hero and the great
English king are somewhat stunted compared with their
true position. The next three reigns are represented by ex-
tracts from Froissart’s chronicle in Lord Berner’s translation.
To the charms of the Tudor English are added the delight-
ful touches of the original chronicles, and I am sure these
specimens of a famous historian will be welcomed. The
adventures of Queen Isabella in France, whither she went
to seek aid against her miserable husband, Edward IL,
are particularly delightful, showing how gold and silver are
the metals “whereby love is attained both of gentlemen
and of poor soldiers.” The well-known battle of Nevil’s
Cross fought by Queen Philippa during the absence of
Edward III. before Calais and the deposition of Richard
II. are the two events in illustration of these reigns. I
fancy that the story of Henry’s treatment of Richard II.
will be new to many readers.

The House of Lancaster has not been the subject of
many romances, romantic though the period and events
are. Henry IV. is not represented by a separate story, and
for Henry V. I have chosen a scene from James’ Agincourt.
It represents the king in his changed character as monarch,
with reminiscences of the wild young prince; and though
this author’s romances are, of course, very inferior in cha-
racter, this particular story is not altogether unhappy in its
delineation of London and the events of a coronation. Of
the disastrous reign of Henry VI., the far-famed exploits of
Joan of Arc are a fitting representation, and Miss Manning’s
extremely fine picture supplies a very capital story, a story
that does not lose by contrast with the recently published
work of Mark Twain. Joan’s thoroughness of purpose
comes out in every sentence put into her mouth, and
altogether there is the ring of truth about this story. “It
is very terrible and very grand” is Joan’s remark when she
-hears cannon shot for the first time, and the reader feels
it too.

The Yorkists are represented by a description of King
Edward IV.’s court by Lord Lytton, a description which
is more ornate and more telling, perhaps, as a story than
anything which has gone before. It lets one, so to speak,
into the secrets of the royal household, and makes one feel
x INTRODUCTION

on confidential terms with the dissolute and able monarch.
Warwick’s deep character and Clarence’s wayward youth-
fulness are also well delineated in this clever bit of writing.
The young Edward V. is not represented, and Richard ITI.
is told of by Mary Shelley in the events which immediately
followed his death, the character of Perkin Warbeck appear-
ing to do duty for Richard Duke of York, whom he
impersonated.

The Tudor sovereigns introduce us to other events.
From Mrs. Shelley’s romance is chosen the story which
shows up Henry VII.’s selfishness and cynical cruelty, and
one of the best of Ainsworth’s stories supplies the illustra-
tion of Henry VIII.’s reign, in the fall of Cardinal Wolsey
and the rise of Anne Boleyn. Ainsworth is always true to
localities, and Windsor Castle appears very close to us
when reading this story. It was during this reign that the
style of ‘‘ Majesty” was applied to an English sovereign,
and it is interesting to note that in this respect all the
authors who have written in the earlier reigns correctly
represent the court etiquette. Edward VI. is not repre-
sented, and Ainsworth is again called upon to supply the
story for Mary’s reign, the Queen’s marriage with the hated
Spaniard forming a very taking narrative with its exhibi-
tion of court intrigue and personal details. For the reign
of Elizabeth, the great genius of Scott supplies the story,
and although it is perhaps one of his least satisfactory
works, it is astonishing how grandly the work of the master
stands out. The story of Amy Robsart is a fine one, and
all the picturesqueness of that famous court masque at
Kenilworth comes upon the reader with welcome freshness.
Elizabeth’s queenly dignity and womanly feeling were
surely never better displayed than here, while the gallantry
of Raleigh and the fickle inconstancy of Leicester are only
touches of the same hand that illumines the darkness of
past ages by the Queen’s natural allusion to “my godson
Harrington,” who could tell her of the fairy she had read
of in some Italian rhymes.

But the Stuart period shows Scott at his best. Who
could wish a better picture of King James than that taken
from /Vigel? The humour of the whole thing is always
counterbalanced by the unconscious dignity of the narra-
INTRODUCTION xi

tive, and though we laugh at the pedantic old monarch, we
love him nevertheless. Scott’s James the First is the King
who will always live, for he isso human. There is probably
nothing more quaintly humorous in the realm of fiction than
the story of the King teaching his jeweller how to present a
petition—it is a story that every one has read hundreds of
times. I have appealed to Daniel Defoe to supply a narra-
tive of the battle of Edgehill, to illustrate the reign of
Charles I. The story will be welcome, even if only on
account of its delightful simplicity and truthful description
of the battle and its results. Scott again contributes when
we come to Charles II., and the court scene taken from
Peveril of the Peak gives us the merry monarch to the
very life. This is one of the longest stories in the book,
but it could not have been shortened. John Galt tells the
story of Argyle’s fall in the reign of James II., and this
episode is a great turning-point in the history of this fateful
reign. For William and Mary we first come upon a story
of William Makepeace Thackeray, and the faithfulness of
the picture, the irony with which the sham sentiment of
Lady Castlewood is shown up, the little glimpse we get
of Dick Steele, Scholar Dick, are all delightful. For the
reign of Anne I have chosen the greatest story in the
whole book. Itis from Thackeray’s Zsmond. Looked atin
whatever way it is possible, I think this remarkable piece of
writing is perhaps truer to history than even historical narra-
tive itself. There is no foundation, so far as I know, for
the actual episode supposed to have taken place, but it is the
one episode which would account for all the circumstances
of this great event. And the detail is so splendid. The
coach going across the country from Kensington to Chelsea
is at once a touch of illuminating truth, and the truth sub-
ordinated to the place proper to its right understanding.
The sorry pettiness of the whole surroundings, the stirring
-picture of indignant renunciation of the prince by two
loyal adherents, the grim humour of the French training
of the prince—there is scarcely a line that is not indicative
of the master’s hand, and those who have read this story
so often will again read it in its present place with all the
old delight.

The period of the Guelphs opens up new scenes. The
xii INTRODUCTION

results of 1715, rather than the events themselves, are pour-
trayed for us by Sir Walter Scott in the story taken from
Rob Roy. Then for George II. Thackeray leads us into
the court of the King with its pettiness and its insincerity,
its red-faced king and his red-faced son, its obsequious
courtiers and its fawning bishops, the great solemn Pitt,
and withal the simplicity if not the commonplaceness of
the whole affair. It is a biting but not an untrue narrative.
The accession of George III. brings us back again to the
Stuarts and to Scott, and it is not uninteresting to note that
our Queen’s grandfather was in touch with the romanticism
of the Stuart episode. The story told by Scott has some
foundation in fact, and certainly in probability. For George
IV. and William IV. there are no representative stories, and
the series closes with a description of one of the scenes of
the Chartist riots belonging to the reign of the Queen and
told by Lord Beaconsfield. Even these events seem too far
off to belong to the present reign. Inspired by the genius
of a great romancist, the story, though marking an un-
pleasant episode of this great reign, is good in all respects,
and at all events serves to show those of this generation how
much we have advanced since such things were possible.

No alteration is made in the original narrative except to
leave out irrelevant passages and allusions, and very occa-
sionally to alter a sentence slightly so as to avoid inconsis-
tencies in the scheme of a short story. Otherwise each
story is lifted from its place in the original work to the
place assigned to it in this collection. Thus the whole
volume deals with events of our English history as they are
related in romantic literature.

LAURENCE GOMME.

24, DORSET SQUARE, N.W.
Io.
Il.

12.

ns
14.

[The reigns of Henry I., John, Henry IV., Edward V.,

CONTENTS

George IV., and William IV. are not represented.]}

WILLIAM I.: From Queen to Queen. Six Charles Napier
WILLIAM II.: At the Disposal of the King. Anonymous

STEPHEN: How Matilda, Queen and Empress, treated
Reading Abbey . : . . Charles Macfarlane

Henry II. : The Queen at Fair Rosamond’s Bower.
T. Miller

RIcHARD I. : How the Queen of the Forest met the King
of the Land. . : , . Thomas Love Peacock

Henry III.: King and Queen at Court . dfs. Radcliffe

Epwarp I.: For Wallace or for King Edward.
Jane Porter

Epwarp II. : How Queen Isabella left the King her Hus-

band . ; b 6 6 : . Lrotssart

Epwarp III. : The Queen wins a Battle . . Lrotssart

RicuarD II.: The Deposition of the King . Lroissart
Henry V.: At the Coronation of the King.

G. P. R. James

Henry VI.: The ee of the English Defeat in

France. : : . . Miss Manning

Epwarp IV.: At the Court of King Edward. Lord Lytton

Ricuarp III.: The King is Dead—Who shall be King ?
Mary W. Shelley

xiii

Edward VI,

PAGE

17
31

39
51

55
69
74
78

86

103
117

132
xiv CONTENTS

PAGE

15. HENRY VII.: The Marriage of a Queen.
Mary W. Shelley 140

16. Henry VIII.: The Rise of a New Queen
Harrison Ainsworth 146

17. Mary: When England and Spain were Friends.
Harrison Ainsworth 170

18. ELizaBETH: How the Queen visited her Favourite at

Kenilworth . 6 : : 5 Str Walter Scott 185
19. JAMES I.: The King and his Jeweller. Str Walter Scott 247
20. CuHar.es I.: The Battle of Edgehill . Daniel Defoe 264
21. CHar.es II.: How King Charles dealt with Friends and

Foes . FS ; ; 5 . Str Walter Scott 277
22, James II.: The Fall of Argyle. ” ‘ » John Galt 315

23. WILLIAM AND Mary: Plotting for the Stuarts.
W. M. Thackeray 324

24. ANNE: The Passing of the Crown from the Stuarts
W. M. Thackeray 340

25. GeEorGE I.: The First Fight for the Fallen Stuarts.
Sir Walter Scott 378

26. GEORGE II.: The King’s Drawing-room.
W. M. Thackeray 411

27. GeorceE III.: How the Gage of the Guelphs was taken
up 2 : a 3 ‘ ; Str Walter Scott 419
28, VicToria: A Story of the Chartist Riots.
; Lord Beaconsfield 427
Elst. OF ILEUS ERALIONS

TO FACE PAGE
“« And proceeded to Waltham” . . < 5 3 Frontispiece

“But our Prior spoke out with a right manful voice’

“* And before the images of Madonna and Child knelt fair Ro
mond” . : 5 - : :

‘“‘Leaning, in true Sherwood ee ait his bak against a

tree” . . . .
“* By his subtle wit fie set eek accra betweed the King aa
Queen”

«« And ever as they fie for aaa they met more people” ,

“¢It was what the Italians call a Supreme Moment” .

‘Was reclining on a bench beside a lady ” 5 :

‘‘Mynheer Jahn was somewhat loth to part with the little Prince”

‘Pressed her hand to his lips” . 5 ; 5

“*¢T attend your pleasure, Madam,’ said Wolsey ”

‘* «Farewell for ever, then,’ rejoined Dudley ”

“‘ While she spoke thus, Dudley bowed deeply ”

“¢Tt is a curious and vera artificial sculpture,’ said the King ”

‘*Who had more than once visited his confinement” .

‘«She was invited one afternoon to view certain articles of female
bravery” . 5 : 5 z

“Once or twice little Harry Me as their messenger ”

“‘The Prince started up in his bed”

‘But all was silent, all was solitary”

‘My uncle surveyed me with attention”

24
34
40

70

78
II4
120
138
142
154
182
204
256
292

316
326
372
388
422
From Queen to Queen

CARCELY had the victorious army of the Normans
given up pursuit, through the obscurity, and re-
assembled on the field of its triumph, than the pale moon
arose, casting her effulgence over the ensanguined battle-
ground: thousands and tens of thousands there lay, all
grim and ghastly to the view; the silvery light displayed
their gashes, and showed the blood of life yet trickling from
the wound. Here and there the imprisoned soul still shook
its mortal habitation with convulsive quiverings, marking
approaching death; and faint moanings, testifying man’s
cruelty, still floated on the air from distant parts of the
field.

“ Now,” exclaimed the Conqueror, “let us kneel and
thank the Almighty, who has given us this great victory.”

As he said this, the remnants of the Neustrian army
laid their stained weapons down, kneeled, and raised their
bloody hands in solemn invocation to the Deity. Odo,
gory and mitred, chanted forth hymns of peace and good-
_will towards man, and thankfulness, and masses for the
slain !

In truth it was a very blasphemy, and some could not
give thanks that night: stern as William Malet was, he
wept for the friends of those bloodless bodies that lay
bleaching around in heaps. Sixty thousand Saxons there
weltered in their blood; and the men who had done this

QS. B
2 WILLIAM I

butchery were kneeling to the God of all, amidst the im-
pious havoc!

When prayers were over they began to inter the slain
Normans, writing down as killed the names of all those
who answered not when called; of these there were above
twenty thousand—in sooth it was a hardly-earned victory.

While thus employed a fresh scene of woe took place:
the two monks of Waltham presented themselves to the
Conqueror. They were followed by a long train of holy
men, and came over that desecrated hill chanting a requiem
for the dead. As the solemn harmony flung its floating
strains upon the still air, the soldiers ceased to speak or
move, all listening to the mournful melody. The proces-
sion wound slowly down the steep, threading among the
slain, where scant space was found for living foot to fall
unwet with human gore. The sacred band advanced,
exalting the reproachful crucifix amidst the sacrilegious
desolation; censers in front cast incense, whose curling
smoke caught the moonbeams, and circling upwards seemed,
in conjunction with that solemn dirge, more acceptable to
Heaven than did the fierce Odo’s exultant prayers.

The tonsured supplicants came to demand in God’s name
that they might inter the dead.

“Mercy, great Conqueror! mercy to the vanquished |”

“Tt is granted to all,” answered William; “I war not
with the dead! and I will prove my words, holy fathers,
even now in your presence. Where is the knight who
smote the dead body of Harold with his sword? Bring
him before me.” The knight came forth: “Give me thy
sword,” said the duke, and in a voice of anger that always
made those about him quail. The knight tremblingly
obeyed. William, taking the weapon in his gauntleted
hands, broke it into pieces.

“ There, base and recreant soldier! know that he who
insults a dead enemy is as much disgraced as he who turns
his back upon a living one! Get thee hence !”
FROM QUEEN TO QUEEN 3

The caitiff sneaked away, condemned and cast out by all.

“Now, holy fathers, do such honour to the dead as best
beseemeth you, without further let or hindrance.”

“Sire!” said the monks, “we still crave a boon at thy
hands: in the name of the Saviour of the world, grant us
the body of Harold?”

William paused for a moment; but the natural generosity
of his disposition, not being opposed by any political ad-
vantage, swayed him.

‘Granted, even that traitor’s corpse; but ye will have
some trouble ere ye find it amidst the heaps of slain. Sir
William Malet, hie thee with these good monks, and take
such order that none insult them, nor offer indignity to the
body of Harold, nor to any Saxon, dead or alive. Where
Harold fell, and where his standard stood, shall a convent
be erected in memory of this great battle.”

The monks bowed to the victor, and proceeded up ihe
height.

On arriving there the moonlight fell upon an awful sight.
A kneeling female figure, her white garments steeped in
blood, hung over the disfigured corpse of Harold; a pro-
fusion of hair hid her head, but her lips seemed to be
pressed to his. The fatal arrow drawn from the wound
lay before her, and hillocks of slain rose about her, out of
which she had drawn the mangled corpse. As they
approached, she raised her head—it was Editha! Her
beauteous face was greatly agitated. ‘I will not quit him
—kill me if ye will, murderers ! ye shall not divide me from
him now.” With a violent tone she spoke, dropped a cross
- she held, and clasped the dead body in her arms with
maniac look and energy, raising it from the ground and
pressing the head to her breast.

Dear lady,” said Wulstan, “knowest thou not thy
friends? We are all thine own.”

“Then who is that Norman—what does he here? “Ha!
Sir William Malet, is it thou? Get thee hence, thou mur-
4 WILLIAM I

derer of the Saxons! Look here, bloodthirsty man, and
see what ye have done! Hence from my sight, or finish
thy hateful work, and add the blood of Editha to that
which now clots upon thy horrid weapon; it is the only
Saxon blood that Editha can spare thee, and dying she will
bless the hand that sheds it.”

Malet did not answer, and the good monk saw that he
could not answer.

“Lady,” said he, ‘‘ we have leave to bear the body hence
to Waltham ; and this good knight

“Callest thou a Norman good? O Wulstan! Wulstan!
cast thine eyes here, and all around, and with thy Saxon
tongue canst thou call Normans good ?”

“Dear lady of the Saxons! patience, patience! Behold
this!” said the monk as he picked up her crucifix ; “let not
that fall! for quitting it, what shall support us in this world
of miseries—with it, what shall we fear ?”

“Father, thy reproof is just, but call not the Normans
good, and tell this Norman to go hence from the sight of
Editha.”

“Let us all hence, that we may pay the last homage to
the body of the King, and inter his mortal remains with due
religious rites at Waltham ; and let us hasten, for day will
soon dawn and the victor may change his will, and then
who shall say him nay?”

Editha consented.

“O God, I am in thine hands! I see there is one way
in which these hateful Normans can yet make Editha
tremble”; again she kissed the cold lips of Harold and
rose up to let the monks take his body, which they laid
upon a bier, and proceeded to Waltham.

The rumour soon spread that the Saxon people would be
safe if they came to bury the dead, and that sorrowful field
was quickly covered with wailing and distracted women and
children.

Then the Normans marched towards Dover, and being


FROM QUEEN TO QUEEN 5

fearful of the danger to which Editha was exposed, Sir
William Malet followed her to Waltham; the Conqueror
had given him strict charge to maintain all that country in
tranquillity and free from pillage—for so his policy demanded.

When Editha and her melancholy train approached
Waltham, she was met by a vast multitude of unarmed
Saxons, men, women, and children; and as the bloody
corpse of the slain King passed by lamentations arose, and
loud wailings filled the air. Then, moved by some sudden
impulse, and with one accord, that great throng of mourners
fell upon their knees in silence and in prayers for the slain.

“ Stop,” cried Editha to the bearers of the body; “set
him down, and on these hallowed relics let me pray in the
midst of the people for whom he has fallen.”

There was a small tumulus hard by, and on this spot,
where the bones of inhumated warriors reposed, they laid
the lifeless hero of the Saxons. Editha kneeled beside the
remains of her husband, her lips moved in silent prayer, a
few big tears rolled down her wan face, and her eyes were
bent with an expression of doubt on those disfigured fea-
tures, as if yet searching for life; then hopelessly raising
her looks to heaven, like one imploring pity in this dread
moment of bitterest agony, she prayed inwardly. And all
that multitude prayed with her; and thousands were there,
like her bereaved of all; and thousands still poured in
upon that vast crowd, fresh, horror-stricken, from the field
of desolation, while convulsive sobs and maniac screams
here and there disturbed the religious silence.

Then sung the monks a loud Saxon dirge in honour of
the fallen. LEditha stooped over the body, and her rich
hair hid the tears which streamed upon the face of Harold,
mingling with his blood. The assembled Saxons joined in
the hymn, and when the sacred song ceased, the body was
again raised and borne to the grave within the chapel ; but
not by the monks—twelve Saxon warriors whose wounds
were fresh, burst from the crowd.
) WILLIAM I

“ Lady, we fled not from the field; we long lay senseless
amidst the slaughter; we stood by thy husband in many a
battle, we deserted him not yesterday, and we will yet die
fighting upon his body, if so the Normans please, for not
without a blow shall the guards of Harold fall. Like these
weapons,” said they, showing their battle-axes gory and
gapped, “we are injured, but not yet broken.”

Editha held out her hand to the speaker, but had no
power to do more; they kissed her proffered hand, lifted
the body of their lifeless monarch, and, as the solemn dirge
again arose, they bore him to the tomb.

The earth was now cast upon the coffin of Harold. It
fell with a sound that jarred, ruthless, cold, withering, upon
the heart of Editha. It was the last sound she heard. She
sunk lifeless in the arms of those who stood around her.

When she recovered, she found herself in bed ; her weeping
companions were by her side. The good Wulstan entered ;
he reasoned with the sorrowing queen, but Editha found
consolation in her own reflection alone, which told her that
life swiftly passes—that health and strength were not be-
stowed upon her to cast away as things of no value.

Time gradually produced a state of resignation to her life
of sorrow, and when Matilda came to England the following
letter told her, that her predecessor on the throne still
lived :—

“EDITHA TO MATILDA.

“To thee, Matilda, Isend the crown I once wore. While
shared with Harold, this gift of the Saxons was dear to me.
Harold is slain; the Saxons are no longer a people. Take
then their crown, and let it bespeak thy protection for the
oppressed.”

—Sir Caries Napier, William the Conqueror.
I]

At the Disposal of
the King

“IVE days after Robert de Mowbray had been pro-

claimed a traitor at the cross of Winchester, his

title and government annulled, and all his possessions con-

fiscated to the crown, a knight, Alberic du Coci, burst

suddenly, and with streaming brow and flashing eyes, into
the presence of King William and his minister Flambard.

“News, mighty Sovereign!” he exclaimed, hurrying to
the royal seat, and flinging himself upon one knee, almost
breathless with haste and excitement.

“News?” said the King. ‘“ What news, Brazen-brow?
they should be passing good, in amends of thy saucy
bluntness !”

“Pardon, my gracious Liege,” returned the vassal, “ hot
love forgets cold form. My news are passing evil, if your
Grace stir not with the fairer speed for their telling. The
arch-rebel, De Mowbray, is up and doing with a mighty
power in the North! He hath spread banner at York, at
Durham, at Alnwick, and at Bamborough ; and, at the four
"gates of each, with voice of herald and blast of trumpet,
proclaimed Stephen de Albemarle King of England.”

Rufus bounded from his seat.

“Oh, spacious villain!” he cried; “oh, mighty traitor!
hath he but one head? one life? King, saidst thou? Oh,
monstrous rebel! hast thou a dog, Du Coci, that would lap
Tvarl’s blood, ha?”

7
8 WILLIAM II

“Better, my Liege,” said the Knight, “a sword to shed
it for your Grace, if it be God’s pleasure ; but, by my faith,
there will lack ten thousand besides, and sharp and true
ones. Stephen himself——”

“Ho! what of him?” shouted the Monarch—“ what of
our traitor-cousin, in Hell’s name?—what of the doubly-
damned De Albemarle ?”

*‘Sped to De Mowbray,” answered Sir Alberic; ‘some
say at York—some further south; but, all agree, with a
vast strength, levied in the midland shires as he trooped
north. Their numbers, or equipment, or what traitor-
. names have joined them, as leaders or as allies, God
knows, my Sovereign Liege, not I.”

“Why! we will march and see! What recks it? ho!
summon De Miles! where sleeps Montgomery in this
pinch? Get thee to bed, good Ranulph; no market now
for thy politic wares.”

“Tush—tush, my Liege—fairer than ever,” said Flam-
bard ; ‘‘wit is sharper than steel, and shall yet be at higher
price. Hark, Du Coci, where didst thou, of all men, basket
up these tidings ? ”

“Further north,” replied Sir Alberic, “than I have know-
ledge of tower and town to tell ye. Ihave been scouring
in bootless quest of one that fiends, surely, have snatched
from earth, and met, by the way, with those who had fast
knowledge that this is sooth; the rather, that they them-
selves were hot upon the spur to join King Stephen—I
pray Heaven and your Grace to pardon me the word.”

‘“‘Oh, gracious fool!” cried Rufus, “to let hence his
prating daughter and her champion! Thou wert right,
Ranulph—it is they that have carried the lit torch to this
pile of treason! He waited but for them—ha! Black-
hearted villains! Their heads shall answer it. What!
nothing but tricks of treason? Whither away, my Lord
Justiciary 2”

“To summon aid and council, I,” said Flambard, “and
AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE KING) 9

that with such speed as horse, and herald, and trumpet-call
can do it. By God, my Liege, we must have gold! if it be
dug for in men’s hearts, where, as I live and breathe, I
think the greedy villains hide it from us in these pinches.
For what with these accursed Welsh wars; and your
Grace’s over-sea doings; and building huge halls and
castles, and fair dwellings, forsooth, for lurdane priests
and joult-headed friars ; and granting boons to all askers ;
and giving largesses as though your exchequer were a
heaped mountain ; I can tell ye, Sir King, moneys have
grown rarer with us here in Winchester than unicorns’
horns.”*

And, thus saying, the Procurator Fiscal vanished from
the chamber.

“Command me, mighty Sovereign,” said Du Coci,
‘whither must I the whilst this storm is brewing ?”

‘‘ Northward,” said Rufus, “as though a legion of fiends
drove thee! or, by my Father’s soul! lacking De Waleric
for their fence, our towers of Monkchester-on-Tyne will fall
into the rebels’ hands.”

‘Past prayer, my Liege,” replied the Knight, “for, if the
black truth must out, they are already stormed and taken.”

The Monarch stamped with a fury that shook the oaken
chamber, and filled it with the dust of the strewed rushes.
Fortunately, however, the sudden entrance of Montgomery
and De Miles, whom the Justiciary had opportunely met in
the castle-hall, broke upon his idle paroxysms. Immedi-
ately all were in their element. There was sparkling of
fierce eyes; grasping of hands; swearing of bitter oaths ;
and rapid suggestion of measures better fitted for wreaking
the royal anger than frantic words and gestures.

“For thy life, Du Coci,” said Flambard, “ride thou with
the Lord Marshal’s hests, whither he bids, and see that
twenty pursuivants-at-arms (less may not serve) be here in
tabard and in saddle within an hour. Our writs to every
Sheriff in the realnr must fly with their best wings ; or towns
10 WILLIAM II

and towers beyond the Trent will fall to the rebels by the
round score, ere we have power a-foot to strike a stroke !”

“Write then, good Ranulph,” said the King, “ Dispatch
—dispatch! Bid the stout Sheriffs ride day and night, and
summon all ’twixt sixty and sixteen. If they slumber or
tarry,—fire-brand and battle-axe for that! God’s curse
upon the sleepy villains that lost our Castle-upon-Tyne !
aye, and on thee, Du Coci, if thou amend not the evil
chance with speed. Away! we will take thought to give
thee needful force.”

Sir Alberic hurried from the chamber. De Tunbridge
‘and a few other of the higher crown-vassals, joined the
royal military conclave; and, on the other hand, the
Chamberlain, the Chancellor, and the Treasurer were sum-
moned in aid of the toiling Flambard, whose active mind
had already determined upon a hundred measures.

We pass to the Great Council, which, by the hour of
noon, was assembled with a fulness that crowded even that
vast hall to excess. Every Baron that the festival had
drawn to Winchester, lay and spiritual, was there. No
man caring or daring to be absent after a summons so
peremptory. Instantly as the Monarch assumed his
throne, a herald, upon the Marshal’s right hand, blew three
times a warning trumpet-note of proclamation, and then,
another, upon the left, stepping a little in advance, an-
nounced in a loud voice the rebellion of De Mowbray and
De Albemarle. A mixed sound of surprise and execration
rose and swelled on every side, but, when the King, start-
ing to his feet, demanded ‘“‘What comfort and what counsel
his loyal lieges gave him in such straits?” every lay-baron
present, except two, followed the example of Montgomery
and De Miles, who, suddenly, drawing their heavy swords,
and waving them aloft, swore a deep oath, that “with those
and their good lances alone they would give comfort and
counsel to their Sovereign |”
AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE KING 11

“T go, my Liege,” said the Marshal, “to fling abroad the
first of a thousand banners; but, were ten lances the full
muster of your battle against the high traitor, De Mowbray,
one of the ten were I! So help me God and his liege-saint,
St. George !”

“And 1!” exclaimed the Constable.

“And I!” echoed De Tunbridge.

“ And I!” broke in full concert from the assemblage ;
followed by a shout of acclamation which seemed to ring
and vibrate along the bannered walls, and the carved roof-
work of the hall.

“ Now, by St. Luke’s face ! these are sounds for a King’s
ear and a King’s heart ; aye, anda King’s thanks, were he
the best and strongest that ever yet was bearded by rebel-
lion! Thanks, therefore, my loyal and right-trusty lieges !
But, look !—” he added, pointing to the two whom we
have already alluded to as exceptions—“even in this
goodly quiver there are broken shafts. Marshal of Eng-
land, ask yonder Knights, if such they be, why they, and
they alone, fling scorn upon our presence with shut lips,
sheathed brands, and scowling brows? scorn upon us, we
say, and every token of others’ fealty. Bid them make
answer, on their lives.”

There was a dead silence, as Rufus, his eye kindling,
though he retained his seat, continued to point alternately
to the objects of his resentment; whom the general enthusi-
asm, indeed, now placed in strong and ungracious contrast
with all around.

Montgomery strode midway between the parties malecon-
tent; but they did not wait to be formally challenged.

‘Marshal of England,” said Hugh-le-Loup, his voice
hoarse and tremulous with passion, ‘‘ask yonder King and
his Justiciary, if it be sooth, that, at the banquet of yester-
even, whither nor I nor mine were bidden guests, the hand
and dowry of Maud de Aquila, my kinswoman and ward,
were gaged, by a royal oath, as price and guerdon for De
12 WILLIAM II

Mowbray’s head, struck off by whatsoever hand? Ask this
and give me answer.”

The words were scarcely uttered before Reginald de
Lacy, upon his part also, confronted the Earl of Shrews-
bury, and began with a like haughty formula,—

“Marshal of England, ask yonder King and his Justi-
ciary, if it be sooth, that, in the list of towns in Normandy,
marked out for grinding levies of men and arms—or, failing
these, of such scutage-tax as would drain every coffer within
their walls—my town of Mans be also written down? mine
by the self-same right that seats his father’s son upon yon
throne of England. Ask this, and give me answer.”

The audacity of these questions seemed literally to sus-
pend the breath of all who heard. But the spirit of the
Conqueror had boiled up in William Rufus.

“ Now, by the Mother of Heaven !” he exclaimed, starting
to his feet, ‘I am answered ! and will make answer, were it
the first and the last time that ever a true King answered
a false traitor !—”

“Traitor!” cried Hugh-le-Loup, turning fiercely upon
the Sovereign, “thy father, Sir King, thy mightier and
more kingly father, had other speech and other bearing
for one who was of the first and strongest to buckle mail,
and scatter treasure, that a poor feudatory Duke might
be transmewted into a free Monarch. But let pass.
Sword nor treasure of mine shall out till I be answered
touching this banquet boast. Is’t sooth or not?”

The King, who, it is said, for the first time in his life,
looked white with passion instead of red, strode up to
the offended and offending Earl, and, with a glare which
Lupus hardly sustained, replied from between his grinding
teeth :—

“Sooth, thou audacious villain! sooth as Heaven!
Art answered? ha? Why, we have pampered thee with
gifts and favour till pride and swollen surquedry gorge thee
to cracking! But, know, thou full-fed banqueter upon the
AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE KING 13

fruits of mine and my dead father’s largesse, that I will yet
work my pleasure with thee for good or evil; aye, as the
potter with his clay, mould thee to what I list; and where,
and when; thee, and thine earldom ; treasure, and sword
and life; thy gross body—” he added, scornfully, ‘and
thy fair kinswoman ! gnash fangs at that, Sir Wolf! For,
as I live and breathe, the daughter of De Aquila is no more
ward of thine than she is Queen of Heaven.”

Rage and insulted pride seemed to dilate even the full
portly dimensions of Hugh Vras.

“Now, afore God and his holy saints!” he exclaimed,
“from the crown of thy head downward, and from the sole
of thy foot upward, William of England! thou art, past
thought and speech, a matchless tryant! if it stand thus
with Maud de Aquila. . . . .”

“Tf!” vociferated the King, cerepine furiously —“ sound
trumpets yet again!”

And, as the heralds obeyed, he strode heavily upon the
steps of the throne, but without seating himself—then—
as the peal of the horn died away—

‘‘ Here,” he continued, ‘though tampering with rebellion
hath barred thee from our banquets, here, at least, thou art
a guest, bidden or unbidden; and here let thy own ears
warn thee. Mark! He that shall bring the traitor De
Mowbray’s head,—hacked off, or still upon the rebel trunk,
it recks not ;—now, by my sceptre and my soul! on him
(be he the meanest horse-boy of our camp!) on him will I
bestow this vaunted beauty, this Maud de Aquila, for wife,
for slave, or what not, even as his pleasure is! she, and her
every knight’s-fee, manor and tower, forest and field. Our
Lord Justiciary, and thou, Earl Marshal, look that a herald-
at-arms make proclamation thus, at every market cross
and city gate.”

The Earl of Chester struck with both hands clenched
upon a brow literally black with contending passions; and
it seemed to all present as if the violence of his emotions
14 WILLIAM II

must find speedy vent, either in execrations or tears. A
struggle, fearful while it lasted, gave him mastery over both.
Pacing slowly, but with little firmness, through the hall, he
passed the King, the Marshal, and the Justiciary, and,
taking from his baldric the sword which was given to
him by the Conqueror, delivered it, without a word, into
the hand of De Miles. As the constable received it with
reluctant awkwardness, Lupus pointed to the inscription
upon the blade, “Hugo comes Cestria,” and then, with
shaken finger, to the chafed Rufus, whose burning eye
followed the gesture, well understanding it as a tacit renun-
ciation of allegiance upon the Earl’s part.

The latter, with recovered firmness of step, but looking
deadly pale, then made for the hall door, saying to the
Barons who thronged between,—

“T pray you let me pass ;—this hall grows hot.”

“Wouldst cool thee in the north;” said Rufus, “ha,
Cousin Earl?”

“ My Lord of Chester,” said Flambard, speaking now for
the first time, “is cousin also to De Albemarle ; look well,
my Liege, to that. If choice between be question of near
blood, a sparrow’s feather will turn the scale.”

“ Hell-born and bred !” exclaimed the Earl, “ mine is in-
deed the blood of kings, and dost thou, mean, undescended
caitiff! dare to lift finger or wag tongue against me? ”

“Not,—” replied the sneering favourite, as he held
before him the intercepted letter from De Mowbray, and
pointed, insultingly, to the bitter passage—“ ‘if thou canst
leave turning and changing, and blowing hot and cold with
the same breath, and looking now backward, now for-
ward—’ ha? mighty Earl !—”

The hand of Lupus was upon his dagger; but so also
was the hand of another upon him, and a voice murmured,
“Not yet, nor here—be calm.”

He “looked daggers, but used none,” and again moved
for the door.
AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE KING 15

“Tarry,” said the King, “and take again thy sword.
Aye, and an oath upon its cross-hilt, under the beards of
these holy bishops and abbots, that thou wilt meet us, in
five days, with all thy power, levied both west and east of
Offa’s Dyke—”

The Earl indeed took back the sword, but it was only to
throw it upon the lowest step of the throne; “I will meet
thee, Cousin King,” he said equivocally, “with all my
power.”

“ Attach him of high treason,” said the Justiciary, and
the Marshal passed between Lupus and the door, but did
not lay hand upon him, nor repeat the words of arrest; for
there was that in the eyes of every Baron near, which ad-
monished forbearance. The Earl of Chester, indeed, could
draw no assurance or countenance from his own baronage
of the Palatinate, the Great Council being formed exclu-
sively of crown-tenants; but many of these had known
him for a munificent friend, and shared the princely hos-
pitality of Chester Castle. His cause, too, especially
against the hated Flambard, was that of the whole body of
English nobles, who, however loyally determined to sup-
port Rufus himself through the rebellion, were far from
willing that the hand of regal prerogative should lie heavy
upon one individual of their order.

“My Liege,” said De Miles aloud, “this wound craves
staunching; and not that your Justiciary should rend it
wider. I, for one, will fight against De Mowbray while I
have blood to shed, or flesh to hack; but these quillets of
law—these matters of wardship, and of heirship, that stir
your Grace against Hugh Lupus—these are targets beyond
my archery; and, by holy Saint Mary! Sir Justiciary,”
(turning abruptly to Flambard,) “ plainly, and at a word, I
will back ye therein neither with sword nor speech.”

There was a distinct buzz of approbation after this can-
did avowal. Some did not scruple to say aloud, “It is
well said, noble Milo; by Mary-mother, we are like-minded
16 WILLIAM II

with the good Constable!” and there were grim smiles of
satisfaction upon almost every face.

““T, also, my Liege,” said Montgomery, willing enough to
go with the stream, in spite of the glance of Rufus, “I
also crave that this storm be overblown. Hugh Lupus is
mine enemy ; but so God help me, as I will not crush him
with the hand of office till he be traitor manifest! If
there be any amongst these noble peers whom I offend by
this, let them pronounce, and I will bow me to their
censure.”

But there was not a single gainsaying voice.

Flambard, who, during all this, had placed one foot upon
the lowest step of the throne, now murmured in the
King’s ear, “‘ Let pass, my Liege, and be the shame on
me.” Then, aloud, “ Pardon, great King; very hardly did
I look for rebuke at your Grace’s hand, nor that the voice
of all your lieges should thus be surety for Hugh Lupus’
faith ; I pray God, their pledges be redeemed ! and touch-
ing the hot words of arrest your Grace reproves me for, I
say but as it is written, (if these holy bishops be well re-
membered,) ‘The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up.’”

He stretched his arm towards the Marshal, who, in his
turn, waved for free passage to the Earl of Chester. All fell
back with alacrity, to mark their triumph over the minister ;
and, with a measured step, without a single word of parting
reverence, Hlugh-le-Loup and Reginald de Lacy quitted the
royal hall.

—Anon., Rufus; or, the Red King,
III

How Matilda Queen and Empress
Treated Reading Abbey

OW some of the baronage and clergy did send
messengers into Anjou to invite the Empress
Matilda into England, and to give her assurance good that
they would place her upon the throne of her late father.
And the ex-Empress, being a woman of a high spirit, did
presently come over with her half-brother the Earl of
Gloucester, and one hundred and forty knights; and the
two nephews of the late Bishop Roger and many of the
optimates did renounce their allegiance to King Stephen
and join her standard. Bishop Nigel, who would have
continued to hold the castle of Devizes if it had not been
for that fearful fast, went into the Isle of Ely, his own
diocese, and there amidst the bogs and fens, and on the
very spot where Hereward the Lord of Brunn had with-
stood William the Conqueror, he raised a great rampart and
collected a great force against Stephen. In other parts our
bishops were seen mounted on war-horses, clad in armour,
and directing in the battle or the siege: and many and
bloody were the battles which were fought during two
years, and until King Stephen was surprised and defeated
in the great battle of Lincoln, and taken prisoner by the
Earl of Gloucester, the half-brother of the Empress.
Stephen was now thrown into a dungeon in Bristowe
Castle, and his brother the Bishop of Winchester and
legatus acknowledged the right and title of the Empress
QS. a Cc
18 STEPHEN

and led her in triumph to his cathedral church at Winches-
ter, and there blessed all who should be obedient to her,
and cursed all who should refuse to submit to her authority.
And this being done, Stephen’s brother, the bishop and
legate aforesaid, did convene an assembly of churchmen to
ratify her accession. At this synod the said legate bore
testimony against his brother, and said that God had pro-
nounced judgment against him ; and the great churchmen,
to whom it chiefly belongs to elect kings and ordain them,
did elect Matilda: to fill the place which Stephen’s demerits
had vacated. Yet some of the clergy there who did not
think that they could be so easily discharged of the oaths
they had taken unto Stephen, or move so far in this matter
without a direct command from our lord the pope, and
many lords there were, as well of the laity as of the clergy,
who did not like Matilda the better for knowing more of
her. But not one felt more unhappy at these changes than
our good lord abbat, who came back from the last meeting
of the clergy at Winchester well nigh broken-hearted ; for,
albeit he lamented his errors, he had much affection for
King Stephen and great reverence to the obligations of an
oath, and very earnestly desired peace and happiness to the
country.

Affairs were in this state, and the flames of civil war were
raging all round us, and the health of our good lord abbat
was daily breaking more and more, when the Empress
Matilda passed through Reading without stopping at our
abbey to say an orison at her father’s grave, being on her
way to Westminster, there to be crowned and anointed by
those who had crowned King Stephen only six years ago.
But the citizens of London, who were very bold and power-
ful, loved Stephen more than Matilda, and before the
coronation dresses could be got ready they rose upon her
and drove her from the city, flying on horseback and at first
almost alone, as she did. This time the daughter of the
Beauclerc found it opportune to come to our abbey, for
MATILDA AT READING ABBEY 19

she wanted food, lodging, and raiment, and knew not where
else to procure them. A messenger on a foundered horse
announced that she was coming, and by the time the man
had put his beast into our lord abbat’s stable, a great cloud
of dust was seen rolling on the road beyond the Kennet
from the eastward.

“ Medea fert tristes succos—she is coming, and will bring
poisons with her! She cometh in a whirlwind,” said our
good lord abbat, “and albeit she is her father’s daughter—
the lawfully begotten daughter of this house (though some
men do say the contrary), it grieves me that she cometh at
all. Last year, and at this same season of the year, we did
lodge and entertain King Stephen, and prayed God to bless
him ; and now must I feast this wandering woman and cry
God save Queen Matilda? The unlettered and rustical
people be slow of comprehension, yet will they not have
their hearts turned from us by seeing these rapid shiftings
and changings? And so soon as the commoner sort lose
their faith or belief in the principles of their betters, crime
and havoc will have it all their own way. This people—
this already mixed people of Saxons and Normans—will go
backwards into blood, and there will be war between
cottage and cottage as well as between castle and castle!”

The Empress-queen arrived at our gates, and with a
numerous atrendance ; for some had followed by getting
stealthily out of London, and some had joined her on the
road. Sooth to say she was an imperious, and despotical,
and loud-voiced, manlike woman, and of a very imposing
presence. Maugre her hasty flight she had a coronet of
gold on her head, and a jewel like a star on her breast, and
her garments were of purple and gold. A foreign lord,
with a truculent countenance, bore a naked sword before
her, and another knight, with a visage no less stern, carried
a jewelled sceptre

“Tis mine own father’s house,” said she as she came
within our gates, “’tis the gift and doing of mine own
20 STEPHEN

father, of blessed memory, and much, oh monks! did you
wrong him and me by entertaining within these walls the
foul usurper Stephen. The usurper is rotting in the nether-
most dungeon of Bristowe Castle, and there let him die:
but, oh abbat, lead me to my dear father’s tomb, that I may
say a prayer for the good of his soul; and see in the
coining place what money thou hast in hand, for much do
I lack money, and must for the nonce be a borrower! Bid
thy people make ready a banquet in the hall, for we be all
fasting and right hungry ; and send into the township and
call forth each man that hath a horse and a sword, in order
that he may follow us to Oxenford, and help to be our guard
upon the way. Do these few things, oh abbat, and I will
yet hold thee in good esteem. The land rings with thy
great wealth and power. By Notre Dame of Anjou! ’tis
a goodly house, and the walls be strong, and the ditch
round about broad and deep—by the holy visage of St.
Luke ! I will not hence to-night though all the rebel citizens
of London, that do swarm like bees from their hives,
should follow me so far.”

Our good lord abbat could do little more than bow and
cross himself, and our prior of the bellicose humour, who
partook in our abbat’s affection for King Stephen, reddened
in the face and turned aside his face and grinded his teeth,
and muttered down his own throat, ‘‘Beshrew the distaff!
The Beauclerc, her sire, was more courteous unto clerks !”

Our sub-prior, being of a more supple nature, and being,
moreover, not without his hopes of being nominated to the
abbatial dignity so soon as our lord abbat should be laid
under the chancel of the abbey church, kneeled before the
Empress-queen, and then formed some of the monks z
processionale, and began leading the way to the sepulchre of
Henricus Primus. But this roused the abbat and threw
the thoughts of our prior into another channel, and the lord
abbat said in a grim and loud whisper unto the sub-prior,
“T am chief here, and none must move without my
MATILDA AT READING ABBEY 21

bidding ”; and the prior said without an essay at a whisper,
“Oh, sub, seek not to climb above me!”

The proud woman reddened and said, “‘If ye would
honour me, oh monks, as your Queen, make haste to do it!
An ye will not, I can get me in without your ceremonies.
No time have I to lose, and money and aid must be forth-
coming !”

Then up spake the lord abbat Edward and said ina
loud voice, ‘Oh dread ladie, when that King of peace and
lion of justice, Rex pacts et leo justitie, did found this
house, he did give us his royal charter, wherein he said,
‘Let no person, great or small, whether by violence or as
a due custom, exact anything or take anything from the
persons, lands, or possessions whatsoever belonging unto
the monastery of Reading; nor levy any money, nor ask
any tax for the building of bridges or castles, for carriages
or for horses for carrying ; nor lay any custom or subsidy,
whether for shipmoney or tribute-money or for presents ;
Nor a hh ga

“Oh abbat of the close fist,” said Matilda, “I only want
to borrow.”

“But we may not lend without full consent of all our
chapter monks in chapter assembled,” quoth the prior.

“And the foundation charter of Henricus Primus,” said
our abbat, “recommends all the successors of the said
royal founder to observe the charter as they wish for the
divine favour and preservation, and pronounces a male-
diction upon any one that shall infringe or diminish his
donations, Dread ladie, thou art the Beauclerc’s daughter :
the curse of a father is hard to bear! ”

There was some whispering and sign-making among her
followers ; but the imperious woman said not a word: she
only stretched out her right hand and pointed forward, into
the interior of our abbey.

We now formed in more proper order and went through
the church to the Beauclerc’s grave, on the broad slab of
22 STEPHEN

which there burned unceasing lamps, and sweet incense re-
newed every hour, and at the edge of which there was ever
some brother of the house telling his beads and praying for
the defunct King, the founder of the house. Dim was the
spot, for death is darkness, and too much light suits ill with
the decaying flesh and bones of mortal man, be he king or
plough-hind; yet, as the Empress-queen entered, our
acolytes touched the tips of three hundred and sixty-
five tapers—sweet smelling tapers made of the wax
brought from Gascony and Spain and Italie—and in an
instant that dim sepulchral place was flooded with light, the
converging rays meeting and shining brightest upon the
black slab and the graven epitaph which began with the
proud titles of the Beauclerc King, and which ended with
that passage from holy writ which saith that all is vanity
here below.

Matilda knelt and put her lips to that black slab (which
she safely might do, for it was kept clear of all dirt and
dust, it being the sole occupation of one of the lay brothers
of our house to rub it every day and keep it clean), and she
said an orison, of the shortest, and made some show of
shedding tears; but then she quickly rose, and would have
gone forth from the vault or cappella. But the lord abbat
was not minded that the first visit paid by his daughter to
the tomb of her father should pass off with so little cere-
mony and devotion ; and, he himself taking the lead with
his deep solemn voice, the Officium de Functorum, or
Service for the Dead, was recited and chanted. The
Empress-queen was somewhat awed and moved, and there
seemed to be penitential tears in her eyes as we chaunted
“ Beati mortui quiin Domino moriuntur”; but at the last
“requiem eternam” she flung away from the place and
began to talk with a loud shrill voice of worldly affairs and
of battles and sieges—for the royal-born woman had the
heart of a warrior, and her grandfather the great Conqueror
was not more ambitious or avid of dominion than she.
MATILDA AT READING ABBEY 23

When we had well feasted Matilda and those who
followed her in the abbat’s apartment, we hoped she would
be gone, for it was a long and fine day of June, well nigh
upon the feast of St. John, and she well might have ridden
half way to Oxenford before nightfall; but she soon gave
the abbat to understand that she had no intention of going
so soon. Without blushing she did ask how and where we
monks could lodge her and her women for the night,
telling us that she could not think of sleeping in the town,
seeing that it was but poorly defended by walls and bul-
warks. The abbat looked at the prior, and all the fathers
looked at one another with astonishment, but the ungodly
waiting-women, who came all from Anjou and other foreign
parts, only smiled and simpered as they gazed at one
another and observed our exceeding great confusion.

“Tn truth, royal dame,” said our lord abbat, ‘‘it is
against the rule of our order to lodge females within our
walls.”

“But Iam your Queen, oh abbat,” said Matilda, “ and
this is a royal abbey, and my sire founded it and endowed
it! Have I not, as my father’s daughter and lawful
sovereign of this realm, the right to an exemption from the
severity of your ordinances ?”

“Tadie,” quoth the abbat, “I will not that you have
such right, or that the rule of St. Benedict is in any case to
be set aside.”

“ But it hath been set aside,” said Matilda, “and queens
and their honourable damsels have slept in royal abbeys
before now.”

“That,” quoth the abbat, “ was before the Norman con-
quest, when, through the indolence, carelessness, and
gluttony of the Saxon monks, the statutes of our order were
generally ill observed.”

* But I tell thee, oh stubborn monk, that I, the Empress-
queen, that I, thy liege ladie Matilda, have slept and so-
journed in half the abbeys and priories of England !”
24 STEPHEN.

“Tis because of these civil wars which have so long
raged to the destruction of all discipline and order, and to
the utter undoing of this poor people of England! I, by
the grace of God, abbat of Reading, would not shape my
conduct after the pattern of some abbats and priors that be
in this land, or willingly allow that which they perchance
may have permitted without protest, and to the spiritual
dishonour of their houses.”

Here the eyes of the Empress-queen flashed fire, and
wrathful and scornful was the voice with which she said
unto our good lord abbat, in presence of most of the com-
munity :

“Shaveling, I am here, and will here tarry so long as it
suits my occasions! I believe thy traitorous affection for
my false cousin Stephen hath more to do with thine
obstinacy than any reverence thou bearest to the rules of
thine order. But, monk, ’tis too late! thou shouldest
have kept thy gates closed! I and my maidens are within
thy house, and these my faithful knights will see thee and
thy brethren slain between the horns of the altar rather than
see the Queen of England thrust out like a vagrant beggar
from the abbey her own father founded ! ”

As the Empress-queen said these words the knights knit
their brows and made a rattling with their swords. This
did much terrify the major part of our community, and I,
Felix, being then of a timorous nature, and a great lover of
peace, as became my profession, did creep towards the door
of the hall. But our prior spoke out with a right manful
voice against the insults put upon our good abbat, telling
the Empress-queen to her face that respect and reverence
were due to the church even from the greatest of princes:
that her father, of renowned and happy memory, would not
so have treated the hum blestservant of the church; and
that if this unseemly business should be put to the issue of
arms—if swords should be drawn over her royal father’s
grave—it might peradventure happen that the armed
































































”

ght manful voice.

rior spoke out with a ri

© But our Pri

Page 24.
MATILDA AT’ READING ABBEY 25

retainers of the abbey would prove as good men as these
outlandish knights, and that the fathers and brothers of the
house would fight for their lives, as other servants of the
church had ofttimes been constrained to do in these tur-
bulent, lawless, ungodly days.

At this discourse of our bellicose prior the Empress-queen
turned pale and her lip quivered, though more through
wrath than fear, as it seemed to me; but her knights left
off noising with their swords; and one of them, a native
knight, spoke words of gentleness and accommodation, and
put itas an entreaty rather than as a command, that the
Queen should be allowed to infringe our rules for only one
night.

“My conscience doth forbid it,” said our lord abbat, “for
it may be made a precedent, to the great injury and decay
of our discipline. Therefore do I solemnly enter my pro-
test against it. But as I would not see this holy house
defiled by strife and blood, nor attempt a forcible expul-
sion, I will quit mine apartments.”

And so saying, the lord abbat withdrew, and was
followed by all of us. The Queen slept in the abbat’s bed ;
her maidens on the rushes, which were carried into that
‘chamber from the abbat’s hall; and the knights and men-
at-arms slept in the Aula Magna.

But before sleeping, the Empress-queen did many things,
for it still wanted some hours of the Ave Maria, and many
were the stormy thoughts that were working in her brain.
Two of her knights we allowed to go out of the house by
the postern gate, but farther ingress we granted to none;
and not only did our armed retainers keep watch for us, but
our monks, under the vigilant eye of the prior, did also
keep watch and ward all through that evening and night,
for we feared some extreme mischief; and it would not
have failed to happen if Matilda had been enabled to get
her partisans in greater force within the house. In truth,
not many of our community knew that night what sleep
26 STEPHEN

was. The materials for an abundant supper were furnished
to the Empress-queen and her people; and some of these
last were singing ungodly songs in the abbat’s great hall
when our church-bell tolled the midnight hour ; yea, there
was a noise of singing, and a running to and fro, and a
squealing of womanly voices long after that, to the great
sorrow and shame of the fathers of our house.

From all ungodly guests Zidera nos/ Although they had
feasted so late at night, the people of the Empress did
make an early call for a matutinal refection ; and our good
chamberlain and coquinarius and cellarius were made to
bestir themselves by times, and sundry of our lay brothers
and servitors, to the great endangering of their souls, were
made to run with viands and drink into our lord abbat’s
hall, and there wait upon the daughter of the Beauclerc
and her foreign black-eyed damsels, who did shoot love-
looks at them and discompose their monastic sobriety and
gravity by laying their hands upon their sleeves and twitch-
ing their hoods for this thing and that (for the young
Jezebels spoke no English), and by singing snatches of love
songs at them, even as the false syrens of old did unto the
wise Ulysses. Certes, the founder of our order, the blessed
Benedict, did know what he was a-doing when he con-
demned and prohibited the resort of women to our houses
and their in-dwelling with monks. Monks are mortal, and
mortal flesh is weak : et xe nos tnducas in tentationem.

It was still an early hour, not much more than half way
between prima and tertia, when more troubles came upon
us. The two knights who had been sent forth by the
daughter of the Beauclerc to make an espial into the con-
dition of the country, and to summon her friends unto her,
returned to our gate with a large company of knights and
men-at-arms, and demanded to be readmitted. Our good
abbat, calling together the fathers of the house, held coun-
sel with them ; and it was agreed that to admit so great a
company of men of war would be perilous to our com-
MATILDA AT READING ABBEY 27

munity; and even our bellicose prior did opine that our
people would be too few to protect the abbey if these men
without should be joined to those the Empress had within.
It was our prior who addressed that great company from
the porter’s window over the gateway, telling them that the
two knights who had come from London with the Empress
might be readmitted, but that our doors would not be
unbarred even unto them unless the rest of that armed
host went to a distance into the King’s Mead. Hereat
there arose a loud clamour from those knights and men-at-
arms, with great reproaches and threats. Yea, one of those
knights, Sir Richard & Chambre, who was in after time
known for a most faithless man, and a variable, changing
sides as often as the moon doth change her face, did call
our lord abbat apostate monk and traitor, and did threaten
our good house with storm and spoliation. The major
part of us had gathered in front of the house to see and
hear what was passing ; but, alack! we were soon made to
run towards the back of the abbey, for while Sir Richard 4
Chambre was discoursing in this unseemly strain, and
shaking his mailed fist at the iron bars through which he
could scantly see the tip of our prior’s nose, a knight on
foot, who wore black mail and a black plume in his casque,
and who never raised his visor and scarce spoke word after
these few, came running round the eastern angle of the
abbey walls, shouting, “’Tis open! ’tis ours! Win in, in
the name of Matilda!”

The voice that said these few words seemed to not a few
of us to have been heard before, but we had no time to
think of that. The armed host set up a shout, and ran
round for our postern gate, which openeth upon the Ken-
net, and we all began to run for the same, our lord abbat
wringing his hands, and saying, “The postern! the pos-
tern! Some traitor hath betrayed us!”

When we came into the paved quadrangle, we found
some of our retainers hastily putting on their armour; but
28 STEPHEN

when we came into the garden, we found it thronged with
men already armed, and we saw the postern wide open and
many more warriors rushing in through it: the evil men
who had stayed with the Queen, and who had so much
abused our hospitality, had already joined the new comers,
and the united and still increasing force was so great that
we could not hope to expel them and save our house from
robbery and profanation. Our very prior smote his breast
in despair. But our good abbat, though of a less bellicose
humour, had no fear of the profane intruders, for he stood
up in the midst of them and upbraided them roundly, and
threatened to lay an interdict upon them all for the thing
that they were doing. But anon the Empress herself came
forth with one that waved a flag over her head, and at sight
hereof the sinful men set up a shouting and fell to a kissing,
some the flag, which was but a small and soiled thing,
and some—on their knees—the hand of the Beauclerc’s
daughter ; and while this was passing, those foreign dam-
sels came salting and skipping, and clapping their hands
and talking Anjou French, into the garden. There was one
of them attired in a short green kirtle, that had the smallest
and prettiest feet, and the largest and blackest eyes, and
the longest and blackest eyelashes, and the laughingest
face, that ever man did behold in these parts of the
world; and she danced near to me on those tiny pretty
feet, and glanced at me such glances from those black
eyes, that my heart thumped against my ribs; but the
saints gave me strength and protection, and I pulled my
hood over my eyes and fell to telling my beads, and thus,
when others were backsliders, I, Felix the novice, was
enabled to stand steadfast in my faith.

The Empress had taken no heed of our lord abbat, or of
any of us; but when she had done welcoming the knights
that came to do her service, and, imprimis, to escort her
on her way to Oxenford, she turned unto the abbat and
said,—
MATILDA AT READING ABBEY 29

** Monk, thou art too weak to cope with a Queen, the
daughter of a King, the widow of an Emperor, and one from
whom many kings will spring. But by thy perversity,
which we think amounts to treason, thou hast incurred the
penalty of deprivation; and when we have time for such
matters, or at the very next meeting of a synod of bishops
and abbats, I will see that thou art both deprived and
imprisoned.”

“That synod,” said our abbat very mildly, “ will not sit
so soon, and from any synod I can appeal to his holiness
the Pope.”

“Fool!” quoth Matilda, with the ugliest curl of the lip
I ever beheld; “obstinate fool! the Pope’s legate is our
well-beloved subject and friend, the Bishop of Winchester.”

‘See that you keep his allegiance! He hath put you
upon a throne, and can pull you down therefrom !”

So spake our prior, who could not stomach the irreverent
treatment the Countess of Anjou put upon his superior,
and who knew that Matilda had in various ways broken
her compact with him, and done deeds highly displeasing
to King Stephen’s brother, the tough-hearted Bishop of
Winchester.

“Beshrew me!” quoth Matilda; ‘but these Reading
monks be proud of stomach and rebellious! Sir Walleren
of Mantes, drive them into their church, and see that they
quit it not while we tarry here.”

“TJ will,” said the foreign knight; “and also will I see
that they do sing the Salve, Regina,”

At this Sir Walleren and other unknightly knights drew
their swords and called up their retainers ; and before this
ungodly host the abbat and prior and the monks were all
compelled to retreat into the church, leaving the whole
range of the abbey to those who had so unrighteously
invaded it. But as soon as we were in the choir, instead
of singing a Salve, Regina, we did chant Zn ¢e, Domine,
Speravi.
30 STEPHEN

A strong guard was put at the church-door and in the
cloisters ; but it was not needed, as we could oppose no
resistance to those who were now robbing our house; and
as it had been determined, therefore, that all who had
come into the church should remain, with psalmody and
prayer, until these men of violence should take their de-
parture from the abbey, or complete their wickedness by
driving us from it. As they ransacked our house as
though it had been a castle taken by storm, and as they
shouted and made such loud noises as soldiers use when a
castle or a town has been successfully stormed, we only
chanted the louder in the choir. For full two hours did
these partisans of Matilda ransack the abbey, with none to
say them nay. At the end of that time they had gotten all
that they considered worth taking.

‘* And now,” quoth the violent daughter of the Beauclerc,
“let us ride on our way for Oxenford. Methinks we be
now strong enough to defy all traitors on the road.”

And she struck with her riding-wand the grey palfrey,
which it much grieved our abbat to lose, and, followed by
her knights and her leering and laughing foreign damsels,
she rode out at our gate, and with a great host departed
from Reading.

—C. Macrariane, A Legend of Reading Abbey.
IV

The Queen at Fair
Rosamond’s Bower

UEEN ELEANOR had just parted with the King

previous to his embarkation; the tramp of his steed
was fast dying upon her ear, and she stood in the same
position as when she took her cold farewell of him. As
the tramp of the charger’s hoofs sounded more and more
remote, she gradually raised herself from her musing posi-
tion, until her whole figure became erect, and she stood
with head elevated, and flashing eyes that glared with
almost a savage fury. ‘‘He is gone,” said she aloud, and
after a long pause, ‘and will no longer interpose, like a
shield between me and my vengeance: the hour of my
revenge is at hand; nor will I delay the deed for which it
hungers.” She took up a small silver bell, and having rung
it, her attendant, Oliphant Ugglethred, entered the apart-
ment.

“Are all in readiness?” said Eleanor, in a bold and
brief tone, and with a look that would well have become
a_commander on the eve of battle.

“All as your highness ordered,” replied Ugglethred.

“And the Leech?” inquired Eleanor, her countenance
changing as she spoke, “hast seen him, and——” she
paused, as if afraid to finish the sentence.

“ Obtained a phial of poison strong enough to kill Satan
himself,” said the ruffian ; “ better never entered the lip of

Crusader or Saracen.”
3t
32 HENRY II

“Speak not so loud, lest we should be overheard,” said
Eleanor, casting her dark eyes cautiously around the apart-
ment. ‘But how,” added she, suddenly changing her
mood after having walked to and fro in the apartment,
“how shall we gain admittance to the palace of Wood-
stock ?”

“They have no orders to keep out your highness,” replied
Oliphant, ‘as I learned from one who hath but little love
for the minstrel, but, on the contrary, are to treat you as if
nothing was amiss.”

“Then to-morrow will we take up our abode at Wood-
stock,” said the Queen, “and until then we leave all to thy
management.” So saying, she quitted the apartment.

The next day Eleanor arrived at the palace of Woodstock,
and drawing up with her retinue, demanded entrance;
while Oliphant Ugglethred with half a score of soldiers
were stationed in an adjacent thicket. As the drawbridge
was down, only the huge bars of the portcullis prevented
the party from making good their entry; but a man-at-arms
who was pacing to and fro within the gloomy postern,
refused to raise the grated doorway without the governor’s
orders.

“The Queen of England demands admission, sirrah,”
said Eleanor, waving back the attendant who had in vain
sued for entrance, and riding up to the strong fastness,
‘and unless the portcullis is instantly upraised, may doom
you to waver over the battlements of the postern.”

“Were it King Henry himself,” replied the warrior, still
pacing to and fro with the partisan in his hand, “he knows
a sentinel’s duty, and must bide the coming of the gover-
nor.”

Meantime De Whycherly arrived, to whom the keeping
of the palace was entrusted, and without further parley,
ordered the Queen’s instant admission, adding, ‘‘ My orders
extend not to the entry of your Highness’ attendants.”

“We take the command upon ourselves,” replied Eleanor
AT FAIR ROSAMOND'S BOWER 33

haughtily ; and while she spoke, the horsemen, with Uggle-
thred at their head, drew up. “At least,” added she, seeing
that the knight was about to make some resistance, “so far
as it regardeth our own attendants, I trust that your orders
extend not to my followers.”

“So far as it regardeth the time of watch—raising the
drawbridge at sunset, and admitting none after that hour,”
said the knight, ‘““my commands must be enforced during
the King’s absence.”

“‘ We shall not need to break your ee replied Eleanor,
glancing at Ugglethred; “if we chance to prolong our
sports beyond that period, we can return by the postern
that faces the pleasance.” So saying, she rode into the
court-yard, and resigning her palfrey to an attendant,
entered the hall of the palace.

Twice did Queen Eleanor attempt to reach the abode
of Rosamond, but was unable to discover the right course
through the labyrinth; and even Ugglethred gave up the
search in despair. Two days elapsed, and then they were
able to explore the labyrinth.

Passage after passage did they traverse, Eleanor still
leading the way with her garments disordered; and she
waved her torch to and fro—now to look down into some
of those gloomy depths which had never been explored for
ages; then again to examine the distant darkness, and see
if there was any outlet through the arched roof.

Suddenly the Queen rushed on holding the torch to the
ground, and having gone back for some space, she again
led the way, exclaiming with a shrill, savage laugh, which
sounded awfully through the vaulted avenues, “ She forgot
to put up her silk before she departed ; and although she
went somewhat quicker than a snail, yet here is her
trail |”

Ugglethred held his torch to the ground ;—it was even
as she said,—Rosamond in her flight had dropped the clew
of scarlet silk from her lap, and as one end was passed

QS. D
34 HENRY Il

through the sheath in her girdle, it became unwound, and
at once betrayed her path.

There was now no further difficulty; the few menials
who waited upon, and might yet have aided Rosamond,
had flown to such hiding-places as were only known to
themselves. Gamas Gobbo alone dared to show his teeth
before them ; but he, like a dog, kept barking and retreat-
ing, until one of the soldiers made a cut at him with his
sword, and he fled before them.

True as a bloodhound to its track, did Eleanor follow the
silken clue,—she came to the foot of the tower—it was still
there :—step by step, like a silent guide, it pointed out the
way ;—there was no obstacle,—not an arm was uplifted to
contest the passage. They entered the chief apartment,
which was dark, until their torches broke the gloom, and
before the images of Madonna and child, with clasped
hands, and cheeks bedewed with tears, ‘knelt fair Rosa-
mond.

Eleanor stood for a few moments over her victim, like a
dark thunder-cloud lowering above the goodly oak, before
the bolt is launched that prostrates it for ever. As her tall
figure drew nearer, the form of Rosamond seemed to shrink
before it ; like a dove burying itself in its nest, while the
wings of the fierce hawk flap coldly above her.

She ventured to turn her head as she knelt,—it was an
unconscious movement,—her eyes also raised themselves of
their own accord,—it might be that she looked up towards
Heaven ; but there only glared the fiery comet that denoted
death,—the revengeful countenance of Eleanor hung over
her. She uttered a loud shriek, and fell upon the floor.

“ Hast thou got the phial from Belton ?” said Eleanor.

“It is there!” said Ugglethred, pointing to the table,
without evincing the least emotion; “but she will need a
goblet to quaff it from.”

“Here is one,” said Eleanor, taking a silver cup from a
niche, and examining it minutely ; “the very goblet,” added












eee





“* And before the images of Madonna and Child knelt fair Rosamond.”

Fage 34.
AT FAIR ROSAMOND’S BOWER 35

she, “which I gave to Henry in France, and in which I
drank to him at our own nuptials :—cursed be the remem-
brance! But here is that which will sweeten the bitter
draught,” continued she, emptying the poison into the
goblet ; “rouse her, Ugglethred, to pledge the health of
Henry of England.”

“What would you with me?” said Rosamond, starting
up wildly, and throwing her hair back ; “ what wrong have
I done, that ye cast such menacing looks upon me? Whom
have I injured, that ye seek to harm me?”

Eleanor drew her mantle back with one hand, and fixing
her baleful glance upon her like the fabled basilisk, as if
she would strike her dead with her eyes; while a cold-
blooded scorn curled her haughty lips, and her nostrils
dilated like that of a savage when he is said to smell the
blood of his enemy, as she exclaimed, “‘ Cunning harlot! I
do but demean myself to waste a word upon thee. Is it
nothing to step in between me and the affections of the
King? to lay out thy allurements and wean him from his
Queen ?—to sow dissension in our bosoms, and cause him
to leave the mighty affairs of his realms to hold dalliance
with a strumpet like thyself? Couldst thou fly at none other
game? Would none but a king suit thy dainty taste, to
pinch and play with thy pallid cheeks? Poor pitiful
wretch ! J do thee too much honour to administer with my
own hand the death that shall crown thy ambition.”

*T am not what thou hast named me,” said Rosamond
in a low, but firm voice. “God is witness that I am not!
that I have never sought to sow dissension between thee
and his Highness; but that long before I heard of thy
name, or knew ” she paused—buried her face in her
hands, and added,—“‘ Heaven knows my innocence !”

“What art thou then ?—speak!” said Eleanor, springing
forward and grasping her by the arm, and dragging her
towards the light, with as much ease, as if she had but
seized the wrist of achild. ‘ Art thou his.wife >—Down on


36 HENRY I

thy knees, and swear, by the Holy Virgin, that thou wert
married to Henry before he knew me, and I will forgive
thee. Bring me the damning proofs!” added she, her
voice rising as she spoke, “and confirm it in the eyes of all
England, and I will give thee such a dower as never fell to
the share of a Norman daughter. Thou tremblest!” con-
tinued she, grasping her wrist tighter: ‘‘thy voice falters!
thou liest !” and she drove her back with such force that
Rosamond would have fallen had she not caught by the
figure of the Madonna.

“Holy Virgin, protect me!” said Rosamond, folding her
hands, and lifting up her beautiful eyes to Heaven, while
her fair cheeks were pale as death ; “grant me strength to
endure this trial, then take me to thyself.”

“‘There is some mystery in this affair,” said Ugglethred,
turning to Eleanor ; ‘were it not better to await the return
of the King, and confront them face to face?”

“‘ Hold thy peace, fool,” replied the angry Queen; “art
thou also in league with Rosamond; and seekest to elude
my vengeance by gaining time? No!” added she sternly,
and seizing the goblet as she spoke, “her day of mercy is
past. Here,” continued she, holding the cup in one hand
and brandishing the dagger in the other, “I give thee thy
choice, drain me this goblet to the very dregs, or with my
own hand I will let out thy lustful blood.”

“Oh, have mercy on me!” exclaimed Rosamond, throw-
ing herself on her knees, and laying hold of Eleanor’s
garment. ‘Thou art thyself a mother! oh, spare me for
the sake of my children.”

“ Wert thou my daughter, I would show thee no mercy,”
replied the cruel Queen; “loose thy hold, viper! and
implore me no longer, lest I set my heel upon all thy
poisonous brood, and crush them as I would the eggs of a
cockatrice. Answer me, wilt thou drink, or compel me to
defile my hands with thy blood?”

“Oh, spare my life,” continued Rosamond, still kneeling ;
AT FAIR ROSAMOND’S BOWER 37

“let me not taste of death so young ; leave me to end my
days in the Nunnery of Godstow, and I will never look
upon moat face again, never set foot beyond those
sacred walls.”

“Thy words will as soon remove the strong walls of this
tower from their place as me from my purpose,” replied
Eleanor, her brow growing darker as she spoke. “I am
no reed to be shaken by every ripple: hadst thou an
hundred tongues to plead with, they should not save thy
life. Thou shalt die! therefore, choose thy death instantly.
I have nursed my revenge too long to abandon it at a
moment like this.”

“Grant me then a brief space for prayer,” said Rosa-
mond, in a more collected manner; “and may Heaven
show you more mercy at the hour of death than you now
extend to me.”

“The moon is climbing above the dark trees,” said
Eleanor, glancing through the casement, and gazing on the
bright orb of night, which was fast scaling the topmost
branches. ‘When she hath past the highest bough, thou
shalt die.”

“Then is my hour indeed at hand,” replied Rosamond,
glancing at the sign, and without averting her face she
folded her hands in prayer. Her lips moved, but still her
eyes were fixed upon the moon; and although it arose calm
and cloudless up a summer sky, thickly clustered with
stars, yet never to her fancy did it make such speed, when
sailing through the stormy heavens, it passed cloud after
cloud like an arrow. She tried in vain to pray. She
remembered the days when she had gazed through the
same casement awaiting the return of Henry. Then her
memory flew to her father’s castle. She tried in vain to
pray. The remembrance of other days came gushing upon
her heart, and she fell with her face upon the floor, and
wept bitterly.

Eleanor also watched with impatience the rising orb;
38 HENRY II

half her disk already stood bold and bare upon the brow of
Heaven, making the deep blue of night around her look
darker. But the Queen’s face still retained the same cold,
cruel expression ; not a cloud had faded from her brow ;—
her compressed lips and steady eye told that she was firm
to her purpose.

“Tt is time,” said Eleanor, in a voice which, like the
sound of the last trumpet, when it shall awaken the dead,
caused Rosamond to spring instantly upon her feet, and,
without uttering a word, she held out her arm for the
goblet. With steady hand and fixed eye, and such a look
as would have driven the blood back into the boldest
heart, did Eleanor deliver the cup to her trembling victim.
Rosamond held it in her hand for a moment, uplifted her
eyes to Heaven, while her lips were seen to move, she then
closed them—drained the cup to the dregs,—and uttering
a deep groan, fell upon the floor.

—T. MILLER, Fair Rosamond.
V

How the Queen of the Forest
met the King of the Land

OBIN and Marian dwelt and reigned in the forest,
ranging the glades and the greenwoods from the
matins of the lark to the vespers of the nightingale, and
administering natural justice according to Robin’s ideas
of rectifying the inequalities of human condition : raising
genial dews from the bags of the rich and idle, and return-
ing them in fertilising showers on the poor and industrious :
an operation which more enlightened statesmen have happily
reversed, to the unspeakable benefit of the community at
large. The light footsteps of Marian were impressed on
the morning dew beside the firmer step of her lover, and
they shook its large drops about them as they cleared them-
selves a passage through the thick tall fern, without any
fear of catching cold, which was not much in fashion in the
twelfth century. Robin was as hospitable as Cathmor ; for
seven men stood on seven paths to call the strangers to his
feast. It is true; he superadded the small improvement of
making the stranger pay for it: than which what could be
“more generous? For Cathmor was himself the prime giver
of his feast, whereas Robin was only the agent to a series
of strangers, who provided in turn for the entertainment of
their successors ; which is carrying the disinterestedness of
hospitality to its acme. Marian often killed the deer,

Which Scarlet dressed, and Friar Tuck blessed,
While Little John wandered in search ef a guest.
39
40 RICHARD I

Robin was very devout, though there was great unity in his
religion: it was exclusively given to our Lady the Virgin,
and he never set forth in a morning till he had said three
prayers, and had heard the sweet voice of his Marian sing-
ing a hymn to their mutual patroness. Each of his men
had, as usual, a patron saint according to his name or taste.
The friar chose a saint for himself, and fixed on Saint
Botolph, whom he euphonised into Saint Bottle, and main-
tained that he was that very Panomphic Pantagruelian saint
well known in ancient France as a female divinity by the
name of La Dive Bouteille, whose oracular monosyllable,
“Trincq,” is celebrated and understood by all nations, and
is expounded by the learned doctor Alcofribas, who has
treated at large on the subject, to signify “drink.” Saint
Bottle, then, was the saint of Friar Tuck, who did not yield
even to Robin and Marian in the assiduity of his devotions
to his chosen patron. Such was their summer life, and in
their winter caves they had sufficient furniture, ample pro-
vender, store of old wine, and assuredly no lack of fuel,
with joyous music and pleasant discourse to charm away
the season of darkness and storms.

Many moons had waxed and waned, when on the after-
noon of a lovely summer day a lusty, broad-boned knight
was riding through the forest of Sherwood. The sun shone
brilliantly on the full green foliage, and afforded the knight
a fine opportunity of observing picturesque effects, of which
it is to be feared he did not avail himself. But he had not
proceeded far before he had an opportunity of observing
something much more interesting, namely a fine young out-
law leaning, in the true Sherwood fashion, with his back
against a tree. The knight was preparing to ask the
stranger a question, the answer to which, if correctly given,
would have relieved him from a doubt that pressed heavily
on his mind, as to whether he was in the right road or
the wrong, when the youth prevented the inquiry by say-
ing; “In God’s name, sir knight, you are late to your


= Ween ty me 3
¢ BE F ae E Sh pt irr

‘Leaning in true Sherwood fashion, with his back against a tree.”
Page 40.
THE QUEEN OF THE FOREST 41

meals. My master has tarried dinner for you these three
hours.” :

“TJ doubt,” said the knight, “I am not he you wot of.
I am nowhere bidden to-day, and I know none in this
vicinage.”

“We feared,” said the youth, ‘‘ your memory would be
treacherous: therefore am I stationed here to refresh it.”

“Who is your master?” said the knight; ‘“‘and where
does he abide?”

“My master,” said the youth, “is called Robin Hood,
and he abides hard by.”

* And what knows he of me?” said the knight.

“He knows you,” answered the youth, ‘as he does
every wayfaring knight and friar, by instinct.”

“Gramercy,” said the knight; ‘then I understand his
bidding: but how if I say I will not come ?”

“TI am enjoined to bring you,” said the youth. “If per-
suasion avail not, I must use other argument.”

“Say’st thou so?” said the knight; “I doubt if thy
stripling rhetoric would convince me.”

“That,” said the young forester, ‘‘ we will see.”

“We are not equally matched, boy,” said the knight.
“T should get less honour by thy conquest, than grief by
thy injury.”

‘“‘ Perhaps,” said the youth, “my strength is more than
my seeming, and my cunning more than my strength.
Therefore let it please your knighthood to dismount.”

“Tt shall please my knighthood to chastise thy pre-
_ sumption,” said the knight, springing from his saddle.

Hereupon, which in those days was usually the result of
a meeting between any two persons anywhere, they pro-
ceeded to fight.

The knight had in an uncommon degree both strength
and skill: the forester had less strength, but not less skill
than the knight, and showed such a mastery of his weapon
as reduced the latter to great admiration.
42 RICHARD I

They had not fought many minutes by the forest clock,
the sun; and had as yet done each other no worse injury
than that the knight had wounded the forester’s jerkin, and
the forester had disabled the knight’s plume; when they
were interrupted by a voice from a thicket, exclaiming,
“Well fought, girl: well fought. Mass, that had nigh been
a shrewd hit. Thou owest him for that, lass. Marry, stand
by, I'll pay him for thee.”

The knight turning to the voice, beheld a tall friar
issuing from the thicket, brandishing a ponderous cudgel.

“Who art thou?” said the knight.

“T am the church militant of Sherwood,” answered the
friar. ‘Why art thou in arms against our lady queen ?”

“What meanest thou?” said the knight.

“Truly, this,” said the friar, “is our liege lady of the
forest, against whom I do apprehend thee in overt act of
treason. What sayest thou for thyself?”

“T say,” answered the knight, “that if this be indeed a
lady, man never yet held me so long.”

“Spoken,” said the friar, ‘like one who hath done
execution. Hast thou thy stomach full of steel? Wilt
thou diversify thy repast with a taste of my oak-graff? Or
wilt thou incline thine heart to our vension, which truly is
cooling? Wilt thou fight ? or wilt thou dine? or wilt thou
fight and dine? or wilt thou dine and fight? I am for thee,
choose as thou mayest.”

“JT will dine,” said the knight; “for with lady I never
fought before, and with friar I never fought yet, and with
neither will I ever fight knowingly : and if this be the queen
of the forest, I will not, being in her own dominions, be
backward to do her homage.”

So saying, he kissed the hand of Marian, who was
pleased most graciously to express her approbation.

“Gramercy, sir knight,” said the friar, ‘I laud thee for
thy courtesy, which I deem to be no less than thy valour.
Now do thou follow me, while I follow my nose, which
THE QUEEN OF THE FOREST 43

scents the pleasant odour of roast from the depth of the
forest recesses. I will lead thy horse, and do thou. lead
my lady.”
The knight took Marian’s hand, and followed the friar,
who walked before them, singing:
When the wind blows, when the wind blows
From where under buck the dry log glows,
What guide can you follow,
O’er break and o’er hollow,
So true as a ghostly, ghostly nose?
They proceeded, following their infallible guide, first along
a light elastic greensward under the shade of lofty and
widespreading trees that skirted a sunny opening of the
forest, then along labyrinthine paths, which the deer, the
outlaw, or the woodman had made, through the close shoots
of the young coppices, through the thick undergrowth of
the ancient woods, through beds of gigantic fern that filled
the narrow glades and waved their green feathery heads
above the plume of the knight. Along these sylvan alleys
they walked in single file ; the friar singing and pioneering
in the van, the horse plunging and floundering behind the
friar, the lady following “in maiden meditation fancy-free,”
and the knight bringing up the rear, much marvelling at
the strange company into which his stars had thrown him.
Their path had expanded sufficiently to allow the knight to
take Marian’s hand again, when they arrived in the august
presence of Robin Hood and his court.
Robin’s table was spread under a high overarching
_ canopy of living boughs, on the edge of a natural lawn of
verdure, starred with flowers, through which a swift trans-
parent rivulet ran, sparkling in the sun. The board was
covered with abundance of choice food and excellent liquor,
not without the comeliness of snow-white linen and the
splendour of costly plate, which the sheriff of Nottingham
had unwillingly contributed to supply, at the same time
with an excellent cook, whom Little John’s art had spirited
44 RICHARD I

away to the forest with the contents of his master’s silver
scullery.

An hundred foresters were here assembled, overready for
their dinner, some seated at the table and some lying in
groups under the trees.

Robin made courteous welcome to the knight, who took
his seat between Robin and Marian at the festal board; at
which was already placed one strange guest in the person
of a portly monk, sitting between little John and Scarlet,
with his rotund physiognomy elongated into an unnatural
oval by the conjoint influence of sorrow and fear: sorrow
for the departed contents of his travelling treasury, a good-
looking valise which was hanging empty on a bough; and
fear for his personal safety, of which all the flasks and
pasties before him could not give him assurance. The
appearance of the knight, however, cheered him up with
a semblance of protection, and gave him just sufficient
courage to demolish a cygnet and a numble-pie, which he
diluted with the contents of two flasks of canary sack.

But wine, which sometimes creates and often increases
joy, doth also, upon occasion, heighten sorrow: and so it
fared now with our portly monk, who had no sooner ex-
plained away his portion of provender, than he began to
weep and bewail himself bitterly.

“Why dost thou weep, man?” said Robin Hood.
“Thou hast done thine embassy justly, and shalt have
thy Lady’s grace.”

“Alack ! alack!” said the monk: “no embassy had I,
luckless sinner, as well thou wottest, but to take to my
abbey in safety the treasure whereof thou hast despoiled
me.”

*Propound me his case,” said Friar Tuck, “and I -will
give him ghostly counsel.”

“You well remember,” said Robin Hood, “ the sorrowful
knight, who dined with us here twelve months and a day
gone by.”
THE QUEEN OF THE FOREST 45

“Well do I,” said Friar Tuck. ‘‘ His lands were in
jeopardy with a certain abbot, who would allow no longer
day for their redemption. Whereupon you lent to him the
four hundred pounds which he needed, and which he was
to repay this day, though he had no better security to give
than our Lady the Virgin.”

“T never desired better,” said Robin, for she never yet
failed to send me my pay; and here is one of her own
flock, this faithful and well-favoured monk of St. Mary’s,
hath brought it me duly, principal and interest to a penny,
as Little John can testify, who told it forth. To be sure,
he denied having it, but that was to prove our faith. We
sought and found it.”

‘“‘T know nothing of your knight,” said the monk: “and
the money was our own, as the Virgin shall bless me.”

‘She shall bless thee,” said Friar Tuck, “for a faithful
messenger.”

The monk resumed his wailing. Little John brought
him his horse. Robin gave him leave to depart. He
sprang with singular nimbleness into the saddle, and van-
ished without saying, God give you good day.

The stranger knight laughed heartily as the monk rode
off.

“They say, sir knight,” said Friar Tuck, “ they should
laugh who win: but thou laughest who art likely to lose.”

“T have won,” said the knight, “a good dinner, some
mirth, and some knowledge: and I cannot lose by paying
for them.”

“Bravely said,” answered Robin. “Still it becomes
thee to pay: for it is not meet that a poor forester should
treat a rich knight. How much money hast thou with thee?”

“Troth, I know not,” said the knight. ‘ Sometimes
much, sometimes little, sometimes none. But search, and
what thou findest keep: and for the sake of thy kind
heart and open hand, be it what it may, I shall wish it were
more.”
46 RICHARD I

“Then, since thou sayest so,” said Robin, “not a penny
will I touch. Many a false churl comes hither, and dis-
burses against his will: and till there is lack of these, I
prey not on true men.”

“Thou art thyself a true man, right well I judge, Robin,”
said the stranger knight, ‘“‘and seemest more like one bred
in court than to thy present outlaw life.”

“Our life,” said the friar, ‘is a craft, an art, and a
mystery. How much of it, think you, could be learned at
court ?”

“Indeed, I cannot say,” said the stranger knight: ‘ but
I should apprehend very little.”

“And so should I,” said the friar: ‘“‘for we should find
very little of our bold open practice, but should hear abun-
dance of praise of our principles. To live in seeming
fellowship and secret rivalry ; to have a hand for all, anda
heart for none; to be everybody’s acquaintance, and no-
body’s friend; to meditate the ruin of all on whom we
smile, and to dread the secret stratagems of all who smile
on us; to pilfer honours and despoil fortunes, not by
fighting in daylight, but by sapping in darkness: these are
arts which the court can teach, but which we, by ’r Lady,
have not learned. But let your court minstrel tune up his
throat to the praise of your court hero, then come our
principles into play: then is our practice extolled: not by
the same name, for their Richard is a hero, and our Robin
is a thief: marry, your hero guts an exchequer, while your
thief disembowls a portmanteau; your hero sacks a city,
while your thief sacks a cellar: your hero marauds on a
larger scale, and that is all the difference, for the principle
and the virtue are one: but two of a trade cannot agree:
therefore your hero makes laws to get rid of your thief,
and gives him an ill name that he may hang him: for
might is right, and the strong make laws for the weak, and
they that make laws to serve their own turn do also make
morals to give colour to their laws.”
THE QUEEN OF THE FOREST 47

“Your comparison, friar,” said the stranger, “ fails in
this: that your thief fights for profit, and your hero for
honour. I have fought under the banners of Richard, and
if, as you phrase it, he guts exchequers, and sacks cities, it
is not to win treasure for himself, but to furnish forth the
means of his greater and more glorious aim.”

“‘Misconceive me not, sir knight,” said the friar. ‘We
all love and honour King Richard, and here is a deep
draught to his health: but I would show you, that we
foresters are miscalled by opprobrious names, and that
our virtues, though they follow at humble distance, are yet
truly akin to those of Cceur-de-Lion. I say not that Richard
is a thief, but I say that Robin is a hero: and for honour
did ever yet man, miscalled thief, win greater honour than
Robin? Do not all men grace him with some honourable
epithet? The most gentle thief, the most courteous thief,
the most bountiful thief, yea, and the most honest thief.
Richard is courteous, bountiful, honest, and valiant, but so
also is Robin: it is the false word that makes the unjust
distinction. They are twin spirits, and should be friends,
but that fortune hath differently cast their lot; but their
names shall descend together to the latest days, as the flower
of their age and of England; for in the pure principles of
freebootery have they excelled all men; and to the prin-
ciples of freebootery, diversely developed, belong all the
qualities to which song and story concede renown.”

“And you may add, friar,” said Marian, “ that Robin,
no less than Richard, is king in his own dominion; and

_that if his subjects be fewer, yet are they more uniformly
loyal.”

“T would, fair lady,” said the stranger, “that thy latter
observation were not so true. But I nothing doubt, Robin,
that if Richard could hear your friar, and see you and
your lady as I now do, there is not a man in England
whom he would take by the hand more cordially than your-
self.”
48 RICHARD I

“Gramercy, sir knight,” said Robin—— But his speech
was cut short by Little John calling, “‘ Hark !”

All listened. A distant trampling of horses was heard.
The sounds approached rapidly, and at length a group
of horsemen glittering in holiday dresses was visible among
the trees.

“God’s my life!” said Robin, “what means this? To
arms, my merrymen all.”

“No arms, Robin,” said the foremost horseman, riding
up and springing from his saddle. ‘Have you forgotten
Sir William of the Lee?”

“‘No, by my fay,” said Robin: “and right welcome again
to Sherwood.”

Little John bustled to re-array the disorganized economy
of the table, and replace the dilapidations of the provender.

“YT come late, Robin,” said Sir William, “but I came
by a wrestling, where I found a good yeoman wrongfully
beset by a crowd of sturdy varlets, and I staid to do him
right.”

“T thank thee for that, in God’s name,” said Robin, ‘‘as
if thy good service had been to myself.”

“And here,” said the knight, “is thy four hundred
pounds; and my men have brought thee an hundred bows
and as many well-furnished quivers, which I beseech thee
to receive and to use as a poor token of my grateful kind-
ness to thee: for me and my wife and children didst thou
redeem from beggary.”

“The bows and arrows,” said Robin, “ will I joyfully
receive: but of thy money, not a penny. It is paid al-
ready. My Lady, who was thy security, hath sent it me
for thee.”

Sir William pressed, but Robin was inflexible.

“Jt is paid,” said Robin, “as this good knight can
testify, who saw my Lady’s messenger depart but now.”

Sir William looked round to the stranger knight, and in-
stantly fell on his knees, saying, “God save King Richard.”
THE QUEEN OF THE FOREST 49

The foresters, friar and all, dropped on their knees to-
gether, and repeated in chorus: “God save King Richard.”

‘Rise, rise,” said Richard, smiling: ‘Robin is king
here, as his lady hath shown. I have heard much of thee,
Robin, both of thy present and thy former state. And
this, thy fair forest-queen, is, if tales say true, the Lady
Matilda Fitzwater.”

Marian signed acknowledgment.

“ Vour father,” said the King, “has approved his fidelity
to me, by the loss of his lands, which the newness of my
return, and many public cares, has not yet given me time to
restore: but this justice shall be done to him, and to thee
also, Robin, if thou wilt leave thy forest-life and resume thy
earldom, and be a peer of Cceur-de-Lion: for braver heart
and juster hand I never yet found.”

Robin looked round on his men.

“Your followers,” said the King, “shall have free pardon,
and such of them as thou wilt part with shall have main-
tenance from me; and if ever I confess to priest, it shall be
to thy friar.”

“Gramercy to your majesty,” said the friar; ‘‘and my
inflictions shall be flasks of canary ; and if the number be
(as in grave cases I may, peradventure, make it) too
great for one frail mortality, I will relieve you by vicarious
penance, and pour down my own throat the redundancy of
the burden.”

Robin and his followers embraced the King’s proposal.
A joyful meeting soon followed with the baron and Sir Guy
of Gamwell: and Richard himself honoured with his own
presence a formal solemnization of the nuptials of our
lovers, whom he constantly distinguished with his peculiar
regard.

The friar could not say, Farewell to the forest, without
something of a heavy heart: and he sang as he
turned his back upon its bounds, occasionally reverting his
head ;

Qs. ' E
50 RICHARD I

Ye woods, that oft at sultry noon
Have o’er me spread your massy shade :
Ye gushing streams, whose murmured tune
Has in my ear sweet music made,
While, where the dancing pebbles show
Deep in the restless mountain-pool
The gelid water’s upward flow,
My second flask was laid to cool :

Ye pleasant sights of leaf and flower :
Ye pleasant sounds of bird and bee:
Ye sports of deer in sylvan power :
Ye feasts beneath the greenwood tree :
Ye baskings in the vernal sun:
Ye slumbers in the summer dell :
Ye trophies that this arm has won:
And must you hear your friar’s farewell ?

But the friar’s farewell was not destined to be eternal.
He was domiciled as the family confessor of the Earl and
Countess of Huntingdon, who led a discreet and courtly
life, and kept up old hospitality in all its munificence, till
the death of King Richard and the usurpation of John, by
placing their enemy in power, compelled them to return to
their greenwood sovereignty ; which, it is probable, they
would have before done from choice, if their love of sylvan
liberty had not been counteracted by their desire to retain
the friendship of Cceur-de-Lion. Their old and tried
adherents, the friar among the foremost, flocked again
round their forest-banner; and in merry Sherwood they
long lived together, the lady still retaining her former name
of Maid Marian, though the appellation was then as much
a misnomer as that of Little John.

—TuHomas Love Pracock, Maid Marian.
VI

King and Queen
AtuaGount

HE King kept state with the Earl of Cornwall, the

Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Winchester, the

Bishop of Lincoln, Henry de Wernham, his chaplain, who

also had the custody of the Great Seal, the Earl of Norfolk,

the Earl of Hereford, and a number of other nobles of the
realm ; but the Queen kept her state apart.

The King’s great chamber was marvellous to behold.
There were twenty-five wax-lights held by esquires of the
household, all in the King’s livery, gentils as they were;
also twenty-five wax torches were fixed high up over the
tapestry. The walls were gorgeous with the story of
Troy-town in ancient tapestries.

There were, that night, playing in the chamber, the King’s
twelve minstrels, all clothed, for his honour and dignity, in
sumptuous livery, with their virger to order their pipings
and blowings. There were, besides, the children of the
chapel singing, at times, from the brown gallery; so that,
the doors being open, you might have heard them through
all that side of the castle; and those, who sat afar off in the
great hall, needed none other music.

There also was Maister Henry, the versifier, whose ballad
of the Giant of Cornwall was this night rehearsed to the
harp by Richard, the King’s harper, as was his famous
Chronicle of Charlemagne, which lasted till his Highness

was well-nigh weary, when he jocularly called out, having
5r
52 HENRY III

tasted of his golden cup, that Henry should have a butt of
wine with his wages, if he would shorten his ballads by one-
half.

That night, the King played at “Checkere” with the Earl
of Norfolk, on a board laid with jasper and chrystal, the
checkmen being of the same. Some said the kings and
queens were of ebony, studded over with jewels, but of this
I know not.

But, the finest sight of all was the going of the chamber-
lain to the cupboard, accompanied of three nobles of the

‘highest estate in the realm that were there present (save the
King’s family), to receive the King’s cup and spice-plates ;
and then the bringing up of the voide before his Highness.
And, first, the usher, having assembled the King’s sewers,
their towels about their necks, with the four esquires of the
body and the knights and esquires of the household, to the
number of seventeen; these, with divers other officers,
being met at the cupboard, the Chamberlain took the
King’s towel, and, having kissed it, as the custom is,
delivered it to the Earl of Norfolk, he being of the highest
estate, who reverently received the same, and laid it safely
upon his shoulder. Then the said chamberlain gave the
gold spice-plates covered to the Earl of Hereford ; and then
the King’s cup of massive gold, covered also, to the Earl of
Warwick. At the same time were given to the knights of the
household the Archbishop’s spice-plate and cup, covered also,
to be carried up by the space of one minute after the King’s.

And, certes, it was a goodly sight to see all these nobles
and gentils marching up the great chamber (the minstrels
playing the while), compassed about with esquires, bearing
great lights to the number of thirteen, especial care being
taken, as the manner all times has been at the voide, that
the lights were odd in number.

When this array drew near to the King, he, standing up
under his cloth of estate, which was rolled up high, with
the young Prince Edward on one hand and the Archbishop
KING AND QUEEN AT COURT 53

on the other, the Chamberlain taking the covers from off
the spice-plates, gave assaye unto the Earl of Gloucester.
The King, before he took his spice, made a beck to the
Archbishop, that he should take his first; and the knights
having advanced, as they well knew would be seemly, the
Archbishop forthwith obeyed.

But, when the Chamberlain uncovered the cup, all the
minstrels in the chamber blew up louder than ever, and so
held on till his Highness took the ypocras, so that every
roof in the castle rung with joy.

The King and Archbishop being served, his Highness’s
cup and spice-plates were again covered, but not so the
Archbishop’s. Then were the spice and cup carried to
Prince Edward and the Earl of Cornwall, by the knights ;
to the bishops by the esquires of the household, and to the
other estates by the esquires also. Which being done, his
Highness forthwith departed for “all night,” the trumpets
blowing before him. Then, were three healths drunk, one
to the King, one to the Queen, and one to the Prince
Edward ; after which it were not meet that the assemblage
should remain, and straight the great chamber was avoyded
of all there present.

The Queen that night sat in her bower with all her ladies.
There were mynstrelsy and dancing to the harp and viol.
The Lady Barbara was the marveil of all, that beheld her
moving to the sound of viols like unto some sprite, rather
than to a poor mortal. Prince Edward danced with her a
round, and the Queen often honoured her with her pleasing
‘speech.

The dancing being ended, Pierre, a Norman and the
Queen’s chief minstrel, apparelled in the guise of his
country, sang some of his ballads on the harp, in his own
tongue, which, albeit were they not esteemed like unto
Maister Henry’s, yet did they not displease. But belike,
if his Highness had been there at first, he would have
bidden him to shorten his ballad by one-half.
54 HENRY II

A more pleasureful sight could not be than the Queen’s
bower, as it was at that time, where she sat in estate, under
a cloth of gold, her ladies standing about her chair, and her
maidens on either hand, below the steps of her throne ; and
two young damsels of surpassing beauty and richly bedight,
sitting on the first step at her feet; the same that were used
so to sit when her Highness kept state in the great hall at
festivals.

The arched roof was curiously wrought in that fashion
which King Henry had newly brought into favour; and,
‘besides these lights, a great crystal lamp that hung from
the roof shone over the chamber and upon the goodly
assemblage, as they looked upon the Lady Barbara, passing
so winningly in the dance. That night the Earl of Rich-
mond bore the Queen’s spice-plate, and Sir Philip de
Kinton her cup.

When the Lady Barbara had ended her dance, the Queen
called her to her chair ; and, making her take of the sweet-
meats from her own plate, spoke commendable words to
her, as did his Highness King Henry. Then the Queen,
turning to the Lady Gloucester, took from her hands a
girdle, richly beset with jewels, and, clasping it on the Lady
Barbara, kissed her, and bade her wear it ever, for her sake
and for her honour. Her Highness then stretched out her
hand to Sir Gaston, who, kneeling, put it to his lips. “ May
you, sir knight,” said her Highness, “as well deserve this
lady, as she deserves this token of my regard!”

Then the King said many gracious things, and seemed
so merry of heart, that he made all around him gladsome ;
till, the voide being ended, he went forth with the Queen,
the trumpets blowing before them ; and the chamber was
then speedily avoided for all night.

—Mrs. RatcuirFre, Gaston de Blondeville.
VII

For Wallace or
for King Edward

ALLACE drew up his army in order for the new
battle near a convent of Cistercian monks, on the
narrow plain of Dalkeith. The two rivers Esk, flowing on
each side of the little phalanx, formed a temporary barrier
between it and the pressing legions of De Warenne. The
earl’s troops seemed countless, while the Southron lords
who led them on, being elated by the representations which
had been given to them of the disunited state of the Scottish
army, and the consequent dismay which had seized their
hitherto all-conquering commander, bore down upon the
Scots with an impetuosity which threatened their universal
destruction.

The sky was obscured ; an awful stillness reigned through
the air, and the spirits of the mighty dead seemed leaning
from their clouds, to witness this last struggle of their sons.
Fate did indeed hover over the opposing armies. She de-
scended on the head of Wallace, and dictated from amidst
his waving plumes. She pointed his spear, she wielded his

“flaming sword, she charged with him in the dreadful shock
of battle. De Warenne saw his foremost thousands fall.
He heard the shouts of the Scots, the cries of his men, and
the plains of Stirling rose to his remembrance. He, de-
scending the hill to lead forward himself, was met and
almost overwhelmed by his flying troops; horses without

riders, men without shield or sword, but all in dismay
55
56 EDWARD I

rushed past him. He called to them, he waved the royal
standard, he urged, he reproached, he rallied, and led them
back again. The fight recommenced. Long and bloody
was the conflict. De Warenne fought for conquest, and
to recover a lost reputation. Wallace contended for his
country ; and to show himself always worthy of her latest
blessing “before he should go hence, and be no more
seen.”

The issue declared for Scotland. But the ground was
covered with the slain, and Wallace chased a wounded foe
.with troops which dropped as they pursued. At sight of
the melancholy state of his intrepid soldiers, he tried to
check their ardour, but in vain. “It is for Wallace that
we conquer!” cried they ; ‘and we die, or prove him the
only captain in this ungrateful country !”

Night compelled them to halt ; and while they rested on
their arms, Wallace was satisfied that he had destroyed the
power of De Warenne.

The splendour of this victory struck to the souls of the
council of Stirling ; but with no touch of remorse. Scot-
land being again rescued from the vengeance of her im-
placable foe, the disaffected lords in the citadel affected to
spurn at her preservation, declaring to the Regent that
they would rather bear the yoke of the veriest tyrant in the
world than owe a moment of freedom to the man who
(they pretended to believe) had conspired against their
lives. And they had a weighty reason for this decision :
though De Warenne was beaten, his wife was a victor. She
had made Edward triumphant in the venal hearts of her
kinsmen; gold, and her persuasions, with promises of future
honours from the King of England, had sealed them en-
tirely his. All but the Regent were ready to commit every-
thing into the hands of Edward. The rising favour of
these other lords with the court of England induced him
to recollect that he might rule as the unrivalled friend of
Bruce, should that prince live; or, in case of his death, he
\

FOR WALLACE OR KING EDWARD 57

might have it in his own power to assume the Scottish
throne untrammelled. These thoughts made him fluctuate,
and his country found him as undetermined in treason as
unstable in fidelity.

Immediately on the victory at Dalkeith, Kirkpatrick
(eager to be the first communicator of such welcome news
to Lennox, who had planted himself as a watch at Stirling)
withdrew secretly from Wallace’s camp; and hoping to
move the gratitude of the refractory lords, entered full of
honest joy into the midst of their council.

He proclaimed the success of his commander. His
answer was accusation and insult. All that had been
charged against the too fortunate Wallace was re-urged
with added acrimony. ‘Treachery to the State, hypocrisy
in morals, fanaticism in religion—no stigma was too ex-
travagant, too contradictory, to be affixed to his name.
They who had been hurt in arecent fray in the hall, pointed
to their still smarting wounds, and called upon Lennox to
say if they did not plead against so dangerous a man.

“Dangerous to your crimes, and ruinous to your ambi-
tion!” cried Kirkpatrick; “for so help me God, as I
believe, that an honester man than Sir William Wallace
lives not in Scotland, and that ye know! And his virtues

overtopping your littleness, ye would uproot the greatness

which ye cannot equal.”

This speech, which a burst of indignation had wrested
from him, brought down the wrath of the whole party upon
himself. Lord Athol, yet stung with his old wound,
furiously struck him; Kirkpatrick drew his sword, and the
two chiefs commenced a furious combat, each determined
on the extirpation of the other. Gasping with almost the
last breathing of life, neither could be torn from their
desperate revenge, till many were hurt in attempting to
separate them ; and then the two were carried off insensible
and covered with wounds.

When this sad news was transmitted to Sir William
58 EDWARD I

Wallace, it found him on the banks of the Esk, just re-
turned from the citadel of Berwick, where, once more
master of that fortress, he had dictated the terms of a
conqueror and a patriot.

In the scene of his former victories, the romantic shades
of Hawthorndean, he now pitched his triumphant camp,
and from its verdant bounds despatched the requisite
orders to the garrison castles on the borders. While em-
ployed in this duty, his heart was wrung by an account of
the newly aroused storm in the citadel of Stirling; but as
some equivalent, the chieftains of Midlothian poured in to
him on every side ; and acknowledging him their protector,
he again found himself the idol of gratitude, and the almost
deified object of trust. At such a moment, when with one
voice they were disclaiming all participation in the in-
surgent proceedings at Stirling, another messenger arrived
from Lord Lennox, to conjure him, if he would avoid open
violence or secret treachery, to march his victorious troops
immediately to that city, and seize the assembled abthanes
at once as traitors to their country. ‘‘Resume the regency,”
added he, “which you only know how to conduct, and
crush a treason which, increasing hourly, now walks openly
in the day, threatening all that is virtuous, or faithful to
you.”

He did not hesitate to decide against this counsel; for,
in following it, it could not be one adversary he must
strike, but thousands.

“JT am only a brother to my countrymen,” said he to
himself, “and have no right to force them to their duty.
When their king appears, then these rebellious heads may
be made to bow.” While he mused upon the letter of
Lennox, Ruthven entered, and the friends returned together
into the council-tent. But all there was changed. Most
of the Lothian chieftains had also received messengers from
their friends in Stirling. Allegations against Wallace, argu-
ments to prove ‘“‘the policy of submitting themselves and
FOR WALLACE OR KING EDWARD 59

their properties to the protection of a great and generous
King, though a foreigner, rather than to risk all by attach-
ing themselves to the fortunes of a private person who
made their services the ladder of his ambition,” were the
contents of their packets ; and they had been sufficient to
shake the easy faith to which they were addressed. On
the re-entrance of Wallace, the chieftains stole suspicious
glances at each other, and without a word glided severally
out of the tent.

Next morning, instead of coming as usual directly to
their acknowledged protector, the Lothian chieftains were
seen at different parts of the camp closely conversing in
groups, and when any of Wallace's officers approached they
separated or withdrew to a greater distance. This strange
conduct Wallace attributed to its right source, and thought
of Bruce with a sigh when he contemplated the variable
substance of these men’s minds. However, he was so con-
vinced that nothing but the proclamation of Bruce, and
that prince’s personal exertions, could preserve his country
from falling again into the snare from which he had just
snatched it, that he was preparing to set out for Perthshire
with such persuasions when Ker hastily entered his tent.
He was followed by the Lord Soulis, Lord Buchan, and
several other chiefs of equally hostile intentions. Soulis
did not hesitate to declare his errand.

“We come, Sir William Wallace, by the command of
the Regent and the assembled abthanes of Scotland, to
take these brave troops, which have performed such good
service to their country, from the power of a man who, we
have every reason to believe, means to turn their arms
against the liberties of the realm. Without a pardon from
the states ; without the signature of the Regent; in con-
tempt of the court which, having found you guilty of high
treason, had in mercy delayed to pronounce sentence on
your crime, you have presumed to place yourself at the
head of the national troops, and to take to yourself the
60 EDWARD I

merit of a victory won ‘by their prowess alone! Your
designs are known, and the authority you have despised is
now roused to punish. You are to accompany us this day
to Stirling. We have brought a guard of four thousand
men to compel your obedience.”

Before the indignant Wallace could utter the answer his
wrongs dictated, Bothwell, who at sight of the Regent’s
troops had hastened to his general’s tent, entered, followed
by his chieftains.

“Were your guard forty thousand instead of four,” cried
he,. “ they should not force our commander from us—they
should not extinguish the glory of Scotland beneath the
traitorous devices of hell-engendered envy and murderous
cowardice !”

Soulis turned on him with eyes of fire, and laid his hand
on his sword.

“ Ay, cowardice!” reiterated Bothwell. ‘The midnight
ravisher, the slanderer of virtue, the betrayer of his country,
knows in his heart that he fears to draw aught but the
assassin’s steel. He dreads the sceptre of honour: Wallace
must fall, that vice and her votaries may reign in Scotland.
A thousand brave Scots lie under these sods, and a
thousand yet survive who may share their graves; but they
never will relinquish their invincible leader into the hands
of traitors !” .

The clamours of the citadel of Stirling now resounded
through the tent of Wallace. Invectives, accusations,
threatenings, reproaches, and revilings, joined in one tur-
bulent uproar. Again swords were drawn, and Wallace, in
attempting to beat down the weapons of Soulis and Buchan,
aimed at Bothwell’s heart, must have received the point of
Soulis’ in his own body had he not grasped the blade, and,
wrenching it out of the chief’s hand, broke it into shivers.
“Such be the fate of every sword which Scot draws against
Scot!” cried he. ‘‘Put up your weapons, my friends.
The arm of Wallace is not shrunk that he could not defend
FOR WALLACE OR KING EDWARD 61

himself did he think that violence were necessary. Hear
my determination, once and for ever!” added he. “TI
acknowledge no authority in Scotland but the laws. The
present Regent and his abthanes outrage them in every
ordinance, and I should indeed be a traitor to my country
did I submit to such men’s behests. I shall not obey their
summons to Stirling, neither will I permit a hostile arm to
be raised in this camp against their delegates, unless: the
violence begins with them. This is my answer.” Uttering
these words, he motioned Bothwell to follow him, and left
the tent.

Crossing a rude plank-bridge which then lay over the
Esk, he met Lord Ruthven, accompanied by Lord Sinclair.
The latter came to inform Wallace that ambassadors from
Edward awaited his presence at Roslyn.

“They come to offer peace to our distracted country,”
cried Sinclair.

“Then,” answered Wallace, “I shall not delay going
where I may hear the terms.”

Horses were brought; and during their short ride, to
prevent the impassioned representations of the still raging
Bothwell, Wallace communicated to his not less indignant
friends the particulars of the scene he had left. “These
contentions must be terminated,” added he; “and with
God’s blessing, a few days and they shall be so!”

“Heaven grant it!” returned Sinclair, thinking he re-
ferred to the proposed negotiation. “If Edward’s offers
be at all reasonable, I would urge you to accept them;
otherwise, invasion from without and civil commotion
within will probably make a desert of poor Scotland.”

Ruthven interrupted him: “Despair not, my lord!
Whatever be the fate of this embassy, let us remember that
itis our steadiest friend who decides, and that his arm is
still with us to repel invasion, to chastise treason !”

Arrived at the gate of Roslyn, Wallace, regardless of
those ceremonials which often delay the business they
62 EDWARD I

pretend to dignify, entered at once into the hall where
the ambassadors sat. Baron Hilton was one, and Le de
Spencer (father to the young and violent envoy of that
name) was the other. At sight of the Scottish chief they
rose, and the good baron, believing he came on a propi-.
tious errand, smiling, said, “Sir William Wallace, it is your
private ear I am commanded to seek.” While speaking he
looked on Sinclair and the other lords.

“These chiefs are as myself,” replied Wallace. ‘But I
will not impede your embassy by crossing the wishes of
your master in a trifle.” He then turned to his friends:
“Indulge the monarch of England in making me the first
acquainted with that which can only be a message to the
whole nation.”

The chiefs withdrew ; and Hilton, without further parley,
opened his mission. He said that King Edward, more
than ever impressed with the wondrous military talents of
Sir William Wallace, and solicitous to make a friend of so
heroic an enemy, had sent him an offer of grace, which, if
he contemned, must be the last. He offered him a theatre
whereon he might display his peerless endowments to the
admiration of the world—the kingdom of Ireland, with its
yet unreaped fields of glory, and all the ample riches of its
abundant provinces should be his. Edward only required,
in return for this royal gift, that he should abandon the
cause of Scotland, swear fealty to him for Ireland, and re-
sign into his hands one whom he had proscribed as the
most ungrateful of traitors. In double acknowledgment
for the latter sacrifice, Wallace need only send to England
a list of those Scottish lords against whom he bore resent-
ment, and their fates should be ordered according to his
dictates. Edward concluded his offers by inviting him
immediately to London to be invested with his new
sovereignty ; and Hilton ended his address by showing him
the madness of abiding in a country where almost every
chief, secretly or openly, carried a dagger against his life;
FOR WALLACE OR KING EDWARD 63

and therefore he exhorted him no longer to contend for a
nation so unworthy of freedom, that it bore with impatience
the only man who had the courage to maintain its inde
pendence by virtue alone.

Wallace replied calmly, and without hesitation: “To
this message an honest man can make but one reply. As
well might your sovereign exact of me to dethrone the
angels of heaven, as to require me to subscribe to his pro-
posals. They do but mock me; and aware of my rejec-
tion, they are thus delivered, to throw the whole blame of
this cruelly persecuting war upon me. Edward knows that
as a knight, a true Scot, and a man, I should dishonour
myself to accept even life, ay, or the lives of all my kindred,
upon these terms.”

Hilton interrupted him by declaring the sincerity of Ed-
ward, and contrasting it with the ingratitude of the people
whom he had served, he conjured him, with every persuasive
of rhetoric, every entreaty dictated by a mind that revered
the very firmness he strove to shake, to relinquish his faith-
less country, and become the friend of a king ready to re-
ceive him with open arms.

Wallace shook his head, and with an incredulous smile
which spoke his thoughts of Edward, while his eyes beamed
kindness upon Hilton, he answered: ‘“‘Can the man who
would bribe me to betray a friend be faithful in his friend-
ship? But that is not the weight with me. I was not
brought up in those schools, my good baron, which teach
that sound policy or true self-interest can be separated
from virtue. When I was a boy, my father often repeated
to me this proverb :—

‘«* Dico tibi verum, honestas, optima rerum,

Nunquam servili sub nexu vivitur fili.’

T learned it then ; I have since made it the standard of my
actions, and I answer your monarch ina word. Were all
my countrymen to resign their claims to the liberty which
64 EDWARD 1

is their right, I alone would declare the independence of
my country; and by God’s assistance, while I live, ac-
knowledge no other master than the laws of St. David, and
the legitimate heir of his blood.”

Baron Hilton turned sorrowfully away, and Le de Spencer
rose :—

“Sir William Wallace, my part of the embassy must be
delivered to you in the assembly of your chieftains !”

“In the congregation of my camp,” returned he; and
opening the door of the ante-room, in which his friends
stood, he sent to summon his chiefs to the platform before
the council-tent.

When Wallace approached his tent, he found not only
the captains of his own army, but the followers of Soulis
and the chieftains of Lothian. He looked on this range of
his enemies with a fearless eye, and passing through the
crowd, took his station beside the ambassadors on the plat-
form of the tent. The venerable Hilton turned away with
tears on his veteran cheeks as the chief advanced, and Le
de Spencer came forward to speak. Wallace, with a digni-
fied action, requested his leave for afew minutes, and then,
addressing the congregated warriors, unfolded to them the
offer of Edward to him and his reply.

“ And now,” added he, ‘the ambassador of England is
at liberty to declare his master’s alternative.”

Le de Spencer again advanced, but the acclamations
with which the followers of Wallace acknowledged the
nobleness of his answer excited such an opposite clamour
on the side of the Soulis party that Le de Spencer was
obliged to mount a war-carriage which stood near, and to
vociferate long and loudly for silence before he could be
heard. But the first words which caught the ears of his
audience acted like a spell, and seemed to hold them in
breathless attention.

“Since Sir William Wallace rejects the grace of his
liege lord, Edward, King of England, offered to him this
FOR WALLACE OR KING EDWARD 65

once, and never to be again repeated, thus saith the King
in his clemency to the earls, barons, knights, and com-
monalty of Scotland! To every one of them, chief and
vassal, excepting the aforesaid incorrigible rebel, he, the
royal Edward, grants an amnesty of all their past treasons
against his sacred person and rule, provided that within
twenty-four hours after they hear the words of this pro-
clamation, they acknowledge their disloyalty, with repent-
ance, and laying down their arms, swear eternal fealty to
their only lawful ruler, Edward, the lord of the whole
island from sea to sea.”

Le de Spencer then proclaimed the King of England
to be now on the borders with an army of a hundred
thousand men, ready to march with fire and sword into
the heart of the kingdom, and put to the rack all of
every sex, age, and condition, who should venture to dis-
pute his rights.

“Vield,” added he, “while you may yet not only grasp
the mercy extended to you, but the rewards and the
honours he is ready to bestow. Adhere to that unhappy
man, and by to-morrow’s sunset your offended King will
be on these hills, and then mercy shall be no more!
Death is the doom of Sir William Wallace, and a similar
fate to every Scot who after this hour dares to give him
food, ‘shelter, or succour. He is the prisoner of King
Edward, and thus I demand him at your hands!”

Wallace spoke not, but with an unmoved countenance
looked around upon the assembly. Bothwell’s full soul
then forced utterance from his labouring breast :

“Tell your Sovereign,” cried he, “that he mistakes. We
are the conquerors who ought to dictate terms of peace!
Wallace is our invincible leader, our redeemer from slavery,
the earthly hope in whom we trust, and it is not in the
power of men nor devils to bribe us to betray our bene-
factor. Away to your King, and tell him that Andrew

QS, F
66 EDWARD I

Murray and every honest Scot is ready to live or to die by
the side of Sir William Wallace.”

“ And by this good sword I swear the same!” cried
Ruthven.

“And so do I!” rejoined Scrymgeour, “or may the
standard of Scotland be my winding-sheet !”

“Or may the Clyde swallow us up quick!” exclaimed
Lockhart of Lee, shaking his mailed hand at the ambas-
sadors. -

. But not another chief spoke for Wallace. Even Sinclair
was intimidated, and like others who wished him well, he
feared to utter his sentiments. But most—oh! shame to
Scotland and to man—cast up their bonnets and cried
aloud, “‘ Long live King Edward, the only legitimate lord
of Scotland !”

At this outcry, which was echoed even by some in whom
he had confided, while it pealed around him like a burst of
thunder, Wallace threw out his arms, as if he would yet pro-
tect Scotland from herself,—

“Oh, desolate people!” exclaimed he, in a voice of
piercing woe, “too credulous of fair speeches, and not
aware of the calamities which are coming upon you! Call
to remembrance the miseries you have suffered, and start,
before it be too late, from this-last snare of your oppressor !
Have I yet to tell ye that his embrace is death? Oh! look
yet to heaven and ye shall find a rescue !”

“Seize that rebellious man,” cried Soulis to his mar-
shals. “In the name of the King of England, I command
you.”

“‘And in the name of the King of kings, I denounce
death on him who attempts it!” exclaimed Bothwell,
throwing himself between Wallace and the men; “ put
forth a hostile hand towards him, and this bugle shall call
a thousand resolute swords to lay this platform in blood !”

Soulis, followed by his knights, pressed forward to exe-
cute this treason himself, Scrymgeour, Ruthven, Lockhart,
FOR WALLACE OR KING EDWARD 67

and Ker rushed before their friend. Edwin, starting for-
ward, drew his sword, and the clash of steel was heard.
Bothwell and Soulis grappled together, the falchion of
Ruthven gleamed amidst a hundred swords, and blood
flowed around. The voice, the arm of Wallace, in vain
sought to enforce peace; he was not heard, he was not felt
in the dreadful warfare. Ker fell with a gasp at his feet,
and breathed no more.

At that moment Bothwell, having disabled Soulis, would
have blown his bugle to call up his men to a general con-
flict, but Wallace snatched the horn from his hand, and
springing upon the very war-carriage from which Le de
Spencer had proclaimed Edward’s embassy, he drew forth
his sword, and stretching the mighty arm that held it over
the throng, he exclaimed,—

“Peace, men of Scotland! and for the last time hear the
voice of William Wallace.”

A dead silence immediately ensued, and he proceeded,—

‘Tf you have aught of nobleness within ye, if a delusion
more fell than witchcraft has not blinded your senses, look
beyond this field of horror, and behold your country free.
Edward in these apparent demands sues for peace. Did
we not drive his armies into the sea? And were we re-
solved, he never could cross our borders more. What is it
then you do, when you again put your necks under his
yoke? Did he not seek to bribe me to betray you? and
yet when I refuse to purchase life and the world’s rewards
by such baseness, you—you forget that you are free-born
Scots, that you are the victors, and he the vanquished ;
and you give, not sell, your birthright to the demands of a
tyrant! You yield yourselves to his extortions, his oppres-
sions, his revenge! Think not he will spare the people he
would have sold to purchase his bitterest enemy, or allow
them to live unmanacled who possess the power of resist-
ance, On the day in which you are in his hands you will
feel that you have exchanged honour for disgrace, liberty
68 EDWARD I

for bondage, life for death! I draw this sword for you no
more. But there yet lives a prince, a descendant of the
royal heroes of Scotland, whom Providence may conduct
to be your preserver. Reject the proposals of Edward,
dare to defend the freedom you now possess, and that
prince will soon appear to crown your patriotism with
glory and happiness !|”

“We acknowledge no prince but King Edward of Eng-
land!” cried Buchan.

The exclamation was reiterated by a most disgraceful
majority on the ground. Wallace was transfixed.

““Then,” cried Le de Spencer, in the first pause of the
tumult, “to every man, woman, and child throughout the
realm of Scotland, excepting Sir William Wallace, I pro-
claim in the name of King Edward pardon and peace.”

At these words several hundred Scottish chieftains
dropped on their knees before Le de Spencer, and mur-
mured their vows of fealty.

Indignant, grieved, Wallace took his helmet from his
head, and throwing his sword into the hand of Bothwell,—

“That weapon,” cried he, “which I wrested from this
very King Edward, and with which I twice drove him from
our borders, I give to you. I relinquish a soldier’s name,
on the spot where I humbled England three times in one
day, where I now see my victorious country deliver herself
bound into the grasp of the vanquished! I go without
sword or buckler from this dishonoured field, and what
Scot, my public or private enemy, will dare to strike the un-
guarded head of William Wallace?”

As he spoke, he threw his shield and helmet to the
ground, and, leaping from the war-carriage, took his course
through the parting ranks of his enemies, wha, awe-struck,
or kept in check by a suspicion that others might not
second the attack they would have made on him, durst
not lift an arm or breathe a word as he passed.

—Jane Porter, The Scottish Chiefs.
VIII

How Queen Isabella left
the King her Husband

ING EDWARD THE SECOND, father to the noble
King Edward the Third, governed right diversely his
realm by the exhortation of Sir Hugh Spencer, who had
been nourished with him since the beginning of his youth ;
the which Sir Hugh had so enticed the King, that his father
and he were the greatest masters in all the realm, and by
envy thought to surmount all other barons of England;
whereby after the great discomfiture that the Scots had
made at Stirling, great murmuring there arose in England
between the noble barons and the King’s council, and
namely, against Sir Hugh Spencer. They put on him,
that by his counsel they were discomfited, and that he was
favourable to the King of Scots. And on this point the
barons had divers times communication together, to be
advised what they might do; whereof Thomas, Earl of
Lancaster, who was uncle to the King, was chief, And
anon, when Sir Hugh Spencer had espied this, he purveyed
for remedy, for he was so great with the King, and so near
him, that he was more beloved with the King than all the
world after.

So on a day he came to the King, and said: “ Sir, certain
lords of your realm have made alliance together against
you; and- without ye take heed thereto betimes, they
purpose to put you out of your realm”: and so by his

malicious means he caused that the King made all the said
£9
70 EDWARD II

lords to be taken, and their heads to be stricken off without
delay, and without knowledge or answer to any cause.
First of all Sir Thomas Earl of Lancaster, who was a noble
and a wise, holy knight, and hath done since many fair
miracles in Pontefract, where he was beheaded, for the
which deed the said Sir Hugh Spencer achieved great hate
in all the realm, and specially of the Queen, and of the
Earl of Kent, brother to the King.

And when he perceived the displeasure of the Queen,
by his subtle wit he set great discord between the King
and the Queen, so that the King would not see the Queen,
nor come in her company; the which discord endured a
long space. Then was it shewed to the Queen secretly,
and to the Earl of Kent, that without they took good heed
to themselves, they were likely to be destroyed; for Sir
Hugh Spencer was about to purchase much trouble to
them. Then the Queen secretly did purvey to go into
France, and took her way as on pilgrimage to Saint Thomas
of Canterbury, and so to Winchelsea; and in the night
went into a ship that was ready for her, and her young son
Edward with her, and the Earl of Kent and Sir Roger
Mortimer; and in another ship they had put all their
purveyance, and had wind at will, and the next morning
they arrived in the haven of Boulogne.

When Queen Isabel was arrived at Boulogne, and her
son with her, and the Earl of Kent, the captains and abbot
of the town came against her, and joyously received her
and her company into the abbey, and there she abode two
days: then she departed, and rode so long by her journeys,
that she arrived at Paris. Then King Charles, her brother,
who was informed of her coming, sent to meet her divers
of the greatest lords of his realm, as the Lord Sir Robert
d’Artois, the Lord of Coucy, the Lord of Sully, the Lord of
Roye, and divers other, who honourably did receive her,
and brought her into the city of Paris to the King her
brother. And when the King saw his sister, whom he had
Bod? = = ey
Taare VSM a
ihe EE



“ By his subtle wit he set great discord between the king and queen.”
Page 70.
HOW QUEEN ISABELLA LEFT THE KING 71

not seen long before, as she should have entered into his
chamber he met her, and took her in his arms, and kissed
her, and said: ‘Ye be welcome, fair sister, with my fair
nephew your son”; and took them by the hands, and led
them forth.

The Queen, who had no great joy at her heart, but that
she was so near to the King her brother, she would have
kneeled down two or three times at the feet of the King,
but the King would not suffer her, but held her still by the
right hand, demanding right sweetly of her estate and
business. And she answered him right sagely, and lament-
ably recounted to him all the felonies and injuries done to
her by Sir Hugh Spencer, and required him of his aid and
comfort.

When the noble King Charles of France had heard his
sister’s lamentation, who weepingly had shewed him all her
need and business, he said to her: “Fair sister, appease
yourself ; for by the faith I owe to God and to Saint Denis,
I shall right well purvey for you some remedy.”

The Queen then kneeled down, whether the King would
or not, and said: “‘My right dear lord and fair brother, I
pray God reward you.”

The King then took her in his arms, and led her into
another chamber, the which was apparelled for her, and for
the young Edward her son, and so departed from her, and
caused at his costs and charges all things to be delivered
that was behoveful for her and for her son.

After it was not long, but that for this occasion Charles,
King of France, assembled together many great lords and
barons of the realm of France, to have their counsel and
good advice how they should ordain for the need and
business of his sister Queen of England. Then it was
counselled to the King, that he should let the Queen his
sister to purchase for herself friends, whereas she would, in
the realm of France, or in any other place, and himself to
feign and be not known thereof; for, they said, to move
72 EDWARD II

war with the King of England, and to bring his own realm
into hatred, it were nothing appertinent nor profitable to
him, nor to his realm. But, they concluded, that con-
veniently he might aid her with gold and silver, for that is
the metal whereby love is attained, both of gentlemen and
of poor soldiers. And to this counsel and advice accorded
the King, and caused this to be shewed to the Queen privily
by Sir Robert d’Artois, who as then was one of the greatest
lords of all France.

Then the Queen, as secretly as she could, she ordained
for her voyage, and made her purveyance; but she could
not do it so secretly, but Sir Hugh Spencer had knowledge
thereof. Then he thought to win and withdraw the King
of France from her by great gifts, and so sent secret
messengers into France with great plenty of gold and silver
and rich jewels, and specially to the King, and his privy
council ; and did so much that, in short space, the King of
France and all his privy council were as cold to help the
Queen in her voyage, as they had before great desire to do
it. And the King brake all that voyage, and defended
every person in his realm, on pain of banishing the same,
that none should be so hardy to go with the Queen to
bring her again into England. And yet the said Sir Hugh
Spencer advised him of more malice, and bethought him
how he might get again the Queen into England, to be
under the King’s danger and his. Then he caused the
King to write to the holy father the Pope affectuously,
desiring him that he would send and write to the King of
France, that he should send the Queen his wife again into
England ; for he will acquit himself to God and the world,
and that it was not his fault that she departed from him;
for he would nothing to her but all love and good faith,
such as he ought to hold in marriage. Also there were
like letters written to the cardinals, devised by many subtle
ways, the which all may not be written here.

Also he sent gold and silver great plenty to divers
HOW QUEEN ISABELLA LEFT THE KING 73

cardinals and prelates, such as were most nearest and
secretest with the Pope, and right sage and able am-
bassadors were sent on this message; and they led the
Pope in such wise by their gifts and subtle ways, that he
wrote to the King of France that, on pain of cursing, he
should send his sister Isabel into England to the King her
husband.

These letters were brought to the King of France by the
Bishop of Saintes, whom the Pope sent in that legation.
And when the King had read the letters, he caused them
to be shewn to the Queen his sister, whom he had not
seen of long space before, commanding her hastily to
avoid his realm, or else he would cause her to avoid with
shame.

—Frotssart’s Chronicle, by LORD BERNERS, cap. vi.—viil.
IX

The Queen Wins
a Battle

‘H 7 HEN the King of England had besieged Calais, and
lay there, the Scots determined to make war into
England, and to be revenged of such hurts as they had
taken before: for they said then, how that the realm of
England was void of men of war; for they were, as they
said, with the King of England before Calais, and some in
Bretagne, Poitou, and Gascony: the French King did what
he could to stir the Scots to that war, to the intent that the
King of England should break up his siege, and return to
defend his own realm. The King of Scots made his sum-
mons to be at Perth, on the river of Tay, in Scotland;
thither came earls, barons, and prelates of Scotland, and
there agreed, that in all haste possible, they should enter
England ; to come in that journey was desired John of the
out Isles, who governed the wild Scots, for to him they
obeyed, and to no man else ; he came with a three thousand
of the most outrageous people in all that country.

When all the Scots were assembled, they were of one and
other, a fifty thousand fighting men; they could not make
their assembly so secret, but that the Queen of England,
who was as then in the marches of the North, about York,
knew all their dealing: then she sent all about for men,
and lay herself at York; then all men of war and archers
came to Newcastle with the Queen. In the mean season,

the King of Scots departed from Perth and went to Dun-
4
THE QUEEN WINS A BATTLE 75

fermline the first day; the next day they passed a little arm
of the sea, and so came to Stirling, and then to Edinburgh:
then they numbered their company, and they were a three
thousand men of arms, knights, and squires, and a thirty
thousand of other, on hackneys: then they came to Rox-
burgh, the first fortress English on that part; captain there
was Sir William Montague. The Scots passed by without
any assault-making, and so went forth, burning and destroy-
ing the country of Northumberland, and their couriers ran
to York, and burnt as much as was without the walls, and
returned again to their host, within a day’s journey of New-
castle-upon-Tyne.

The Queen of England, who desired to defend her

country, came to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and there tarried
‘for her men, who came daily from all parts. When the
Scots knew that the Englishmen assembled at Newcastle,
they drew thitherward, and their couriers came running
before the town; and at their returning, they burnt certain
small hamlets thereabout, so that the smoke thereof came
into the town of Newcastle. Some of the Englishmen
would have issued out, to have fought with them that made
the fires, but the captains would not suffer them to issue
out.

The next day the King of Scots, with a forty thousand
men, one and other, came and lodged within three little
English mile of Newcastle, in the land of the Lord Nevill,
and the King sent to them within the town, that if they
would issue out into the field, he would fight with them
gladly. ‘The lords and prelates of England said they were
content to adventure their lives with the right and heritage
of the King of England, their master; then they all issued
out of the town, and were in number a twelve hundred
men of arms, three thousand archers, and seven thousand
of other, with the Welshmen.

Then the Scots came and lodged against them, near to-
gether: then every man was set in order of battle: then
76 EDWARD III

the Queen came among her men, and there was ordained
four battles, one to aid another: the first had in governance
the Bishop of Durham, and the Lord Percy: the second
the Archbishop of York, and the Lord Nevill: the third the
Bishop of Lincoln, and the Lord Mowbray: the fourth the
Lord Edward de Balliol, captain of Berwick, the Archbishop
of Canterbury, and the Lord Ros: every battle had like
number, after their quantity. The Queen went from battle
to battle, desiring them to do their devoir, to defend the
honour of her lord the King of England, and in the name
of God, every man to be of good heart and courage, promis-
ing them, that to her power she would remember them as
well or better, as though her lord the King were there per-
sonally. Then the Queen departed from them, recommend-
ing them to God and to Saint George.

Then anon after, the battles of the Scots began to set
forward, and in like wise so did the Englishmen ; then the
archers began to shoot on both parties, but the shot of the
Scots endured but a short space, but the archers of England
shot so fiercely, so that when the battles approached, there
was a hard battle; they began at nine, and endured till
noon: the Scots had great axes, sharp and hard, and gave
with them many great strokes ; howbeit, finally the English-
men obtained the place and victory, but they lost many of
their men. ‘There were slain of the Scots, the Earl of Fife,
the Earl of Buchan, the Earl of Dunbar, the Earl of Suther-
land, the Earl of Strathern, the Earl of Mar, the Earl John
Douglas, and the Lord Alexander Ramsay, who bare the
King’s banner, and divers other knights and squires. And
there the King was taken, who fought valiantly, and was
sore hurt; a squire of Northumberland took him, called
John Copeland, and as soon as he had taken the King, he
went with him out of the field, with eight of his servants
with him, and so rode all that day, till he was a fifteen
leagues from the place of the battle, and at night he came
to a castle called Ogle; and then he said he would not
THE QUEEN WINS A BATTLE 77

deliver the King of Scots to no man nor woman living, but
all only to the King of England, his lord. The same day
there was also taken in the field the Earl Moray, the Earl
of March, the Lord William Douglas, the Lord Robert
Vesey, the Bishop of Aberdeen, the Bishop of St. Andrew’s,
and divers other knights and barons. And there were slain
of one and other a fifteen thousand, and the others saved
themselves as well as they might: this battle was beside
Newcastle, the year of our Lord MCCCXLVI,, the Saturday
next after Saint Michael.

Then the Queen made good provision for the city of
York, the castle of Roxburgh, the city of Durham, the town
of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and in all other garrisons on the
marches of Scotland, and left in those marches the Lord
Percy, and the Lord Nevill, as governors there: then the
Queen departed from York towards London. ‘Then she set
the King of Scots in the strong Tower of London, and the
Earl Moray, and all other prisoners, and set good keeping
over them. Then she went to Dover, and there took the
sea, and had so good wind, that in a short space she arrived
before Calais, three days before the feast of All Saints, for
whose coming the King made a great feast and dinner, to
all the lords and ladies that were there ; the Queen brought
many ladies and damosels with her, as well to accompany
her, as to see their husbands, fathers, brothers, and other
friends that lay at siege there before Calais, and had done
a long space.

—Froissart’s Chronicle, by LORD BERNERS, cap. cxxxvii.—

CXXXIX.
x

The Deposition of
the King

HE Duke of Bretagne and the Earl of Derby were

lovingly concluded together, and when all thing was
ready, the duke and the earl came thither, and when the
wind served the Earl of Derby and his company took the
sea; he had with him three ships of war to conduct him
into England, and the further they sailed the better wind
they had, so that within two days and two nights they
arrived at Plymouth in England, and issued out of their
ships ; and entered into the town little and little. The
baily of Plymouth, who had charge of the town under the
King, had great marvel when he saw so much people and
men of war. enter into the town; but the Bishop of
Canterbury appeased him, and said how they were men of
war that would do no harm in the realm of England, sent
thither by the Duke of Bretagne to serve the King and the
realm. Therewith the baily was content, and: the Earl of
Derby kept himself so privy in a chamber, that none of the
town knew him.

Then the Bishop of Canterbury wrote jeer signed with
his hand to London, signifying the coming of the Earl of
Derby, and sent them by a sufficient man in post, who took
fresh horses by the way, and came to London the same day
at night, and passed over the bridge and so came to the
mayor’s lodging, who as then was a-bed ; and as soon as the

mayor knew that a messenger was come from the Bishop of
78










2”

‘* And ever as they rode forward they met more people.

Page 79.
THE DEPOSITION OF THE KING 79

Canterbury, he rose out of his bed and made the messenger
to enter into his chamber, who delivered him a letter from
the Bishop of Canterbury. The mayor read it and rejoiced
greatly of those news, and incontinent he sent of his ser-
vants from house to house, principally to such as were of
counsel of sending for the Earl of Derby. They were all
glad of that tidings, and incontinent there assembled
together of the most notablest men of the city to the
number of two hundred, and they spake together, and held
no long council, for the case required it not, but they said:
** Let us apparel ourself and go and receive the Duke of
Lancaster, since we agreed to send for him ; the Archbishop
of Canterbury hath well done his devoir, seeing that he
brought him into England.” Then they did choose certain
men to go abroad to publish the Earl’s coming to lords,
knights, and squires, such as were of their party, and more
than five hundred of the Londoners took their horses, and
they had so great desire to go forth that they were loth to
tarry one for another.

The Earl of Derby tarried not long at Plymouth, but the
next day as soon as their horses were unshipped they rode
towards London ; and all that season Sir Peter of Craonne
and the Bretons were still with the earl. The mayor of
London and they that had the governing of the city, were
the first that met the earl in the fields, and humbly received
him, and ever as they rode forward they met more people.
The first day they came and lay at Guildford, a five and twenty
mile from London: the next day a great number of the
men, women, and children of London, and the clergy came
to meet with the earl, they had such desire to see him.

The mayor rode cheek and cheek by him, which was
great pleasure for the people to see ; and the mayor some-
time said to the earl: “Sir, behold how the people rejoice
of your coming.” “That is true,” quoth the earl, and always
as he rode he inclined his head to the people on every side.
Thus the earl was brought to his lodging, and every man
80 RICHARD II

departed till after dinner. Then the mayor and the notable
men of the city, and divers other lords and knights, pre-
lates, bishops, and abbots, such as were in London came to
see the earl; also the Duchess of Gloucester and her
two daughters came to see the earl, who were his
cousins-German. Humphrey their brother was with King
Richard, more for fear than for love. With these ladies was
the Countess of Arundel and her children, and also the
Countess of Warwick, with divers other ladies, such as were
at London. The people of London were so joyful of the
earl’s coming, that there was no more working in London
that day than an it had been Easter Day.

To come to a conclusion of this business: The people
took counsel and advice to ride against the King, whom the
Londoners named Richard of Bordeaux, King without title
or honour : for the villains of London had the King in such
hate, that it was pain for them to hear speaking of him, but
to his condemnation and destruction, for they had treated the
Earl of Derby to be their King, and he was much ordered
by their counsels. The Earl of Derby took on him to be
King, and so to endure for ever, he and his heirs ; and there-
to the Londoners did swear and seal, and promised that
all the residue of the realm should do the same, so solemnly
that there should never question be made thereof after ; also
they promised him to aid and to assist him always. These
promises and bonds once taken and concluded, then it was
ordained that twelve hundred men of London, well-armed,
should ride with the earl towards Bristol, and to do so much,
that Richard of Bordeaux might be taken and brought to
London, and then to take advice what should be done with
him, and to be judged by the law and by the three estates
of the realm: also it was ordained (to make the less bruit
and slander), that the men of war of Bretagne, such as were
come thither with the earl, should be returned home again,
for it was said that they had men enough to do their own
deeds without them; so that the earl had all the Bretons
THE DEPOSITION OF THE KING 81

before him, and thanked them of their service that they had
done him, and gave them great rewards so that they were
well content, and so returned to Plymouth to the ships and
so into Bretagne.

The Earl of Derby was chief of that army, as reason was,
for it touched him most nearest. Thus he departed from
London, and as he rode, the country fell into him. Tidings
came into the King’s host of the coming of the Earl of
Derby and of the Londoners : many knights, squires, and
others knew it or the King had knowledge thereof, but they
durst not speak thereof. When the tidings spread more
abroad, such as were next the King were in great fear, for they
knew well the King and they both were likely to fall in
peril, because they had so many enemies in the realm ; and
such were then their enemies, that had made good face
before, for many knights, squires, and other, such as had
served the King before, departed from the court without any
licence ; some went home to their own houses, and some
took the next way they could straight to the Earl of Derby
to serve him.

The Earl of Derby and the Londoners had their spies
going and coming, who reported to them all the state of the
King ; and also the earl knew it by such knights and squires
as daily came from the king’s part to the earl, who had sure
knowledge that the King was gone to the castle of Flint,
and had no company with him but such as were of his own
household, and seemed that he would no war, but to escape
that danger by treaty. Then the earl determined to ride
thither, and to do so much to have the king either by force
or by treaty. Then the earl and all his company rode
thither, and within two mile of the castle they found a great
village ; there the earl tarried and drank, and determined in
himself to ride to the castle of Flint with two hundred
horse, and to leave the rest of his company still there: and
he said he would do what he could by fair treaty to enter
into the castle by love and not perforce, and to bring out

Qs. G
82 RICHARD II

the King with fair words, and to assure him from all peril,
except going to London, and to promise him that he shall
have no hurt of his body, and to be mean for him to the
Londoners, who were not content with him.

The earl’s device seemed good to them that heard it, and
they said to him: ‘Sir, beware of dissimulation: this
Richard of Bordeaux must be taken either quick or dead,
and all the other traitors that be about him and of his
counsel, and so to be brought to London and set in the
Tower; the Londoners will not suffer you to do the
contrary.” Then the earl said: ‘Sirs, fear not, but all that
is enterprised shall be accomplished ; but if I can get him
out of the castle with fair words, I will do it; and if I can
not, I shall send you word thereof, and then ye shall come
and lay siege about the castle, and then we will do so much
by force or by assault, that we will have him quick or dead,
for the castle is well pregnable.” To those words accorded
well the Londoners.

So the earl departed from the army, and rode with two
hundred men to the castle, whereas the King was among
his men right sore abashed. The earl came riding to the
castle gate, which was fast closed, as the case required :
the earl knocked at the gate; the porters demanded who
was there ; the earl answered, ‘‘I am Henry of Lancaster ;
I come to the King to demand mine heritage of the duchy
of Lancaster; shew the King this from me.” “Sir,” quoth
they within, ‘‘we shall do it.” Incontinent they went into
the hall and into the donjon where the King was, and such
knights about him as had long time counselled him. Then
these news were shewed to the King, and said: ‘Sir, your
cousin of Derby is at the gate, who demandeth of you to be
set in possession of the duchy of Lancaster his inheritance.”
The King then regarded such as were about him, and
demanded what was best todo. They said: ‘‘Sir, in this
request is none evil; ye may let him come in to you with
twelve persons in his company, and hear what he will say ;
THE DEPOSITION OF THE KING 83

he is your cousin, and a great lord of the realm; he may
well make your peace an he will, for he is greatly beloved in
the realm, and specially with the Londoners, who sent for
him into France ; they be as now the chief that be against
you. Sir, you must dissemble till the matter be appeased,
and till the Earl of Huntingdon your brother be with you ;
and it cometh now evil to pass for you that he is at Calais,
for there be many now in England that be risen against
you, that an they knew that your brother were about you,
they would sit still and durst not displease you: and yet he
hath to his wife the Earl of Derby’s sister: by his means
we suppose ye should come to peace and concord.” The
King agreed to those words, and said: ‘Go and let him
come in with twelve with him and no more.” Two knights
went down to the gate, and opened the wicket and issued
out and made reverence to the earl, and received him with
gracious words, for they knew well that they had no force to
resist them, and also they knew well the Londoners were sore
displeased with them : therefore they spake fair, and said to
the earl : “Sir, what is your pleasure? the King is at mass ;
he hath sent us hither to speak with you.” “TI say,” quoth
the earl, “ye know well I ought to have possession of the
duchy of Lancaster ; I am come in part for that cause, and
also for other things that I would speak with the King of.”
‘* Sir,” quoth they, “ye be welcome ; the King would be glad
to see you and to hear you, and hath commanded that ye
come to him all only with twelve persons.” The earl
answered: ‘It pleaseth me well”: so he entered into the
castle with twelve persons, and then the gate closed again,
and the rest of his company tarried without.

Now consider what danger the Earl of Derby was in, for
the King then might have slain him and such as were with
him, as easily as a bird ina cage; but he feared not the
matter, but boldly went to the King, who changed colours
when he saw the earl. Then the earl spake aloud, without
making of any great honour or reverence, and said: “Sir,
84 RICHARD II

are ye fasting?” The King answered and said: “Yea,
why ask you?” ‘It is time,” quoth the earl, “that ye
had dined, for ye have a great journey to ride.” ‘ Why,
whither should I ride?” quoth the King.

“Ve must ride to London,” quoth the earl, ‘“ wherefore
I counsel you eat and drink, that ye may ride with the
more mirth.” Then the King, who was sore troubled in his
mind, and ina manner afraid of those words, said, “I am
not hungry; I have no lust to eat.” Then such as were
by, who were as then glad to flatter the Earl of Derby, for
they saw well the matter was like to go diversely, said to
the King: “Sir, believe your cousin of Lancaster, for he
will nothing but good.” Then the King said: ‘Well, Iam
content; cover the tables.” Then the King washed and
sat down and was served. Then the earl was demanded
if he would sit down: he said No, for he was not fasting.

In the mean season while the King sat at dinner, who
did eat but little, his heart was so full that he had no lust
to eat, all the country about the castle was full of men of
war: they within the castle might see them out at the
windows, and the King when he rose from the table might
see them himself. Then he demanded of his cousin what
men they were that appeared so many in the fields. The
earl answered and said: ‘*The most part of them be
Londoners.” ‘* What would they have?” quoth the King.
“They will have you,” quoth the earl, ‘‘and bring you to
London, and put you into the Tower; there is none other
remedy, ye can ’scape none otherwise.” “No?” quoth the
King; and he was sore afraid of those words, for he knew
well the Londoners loved him not, and said: “Cousin,
can you not provide for my surety? I will not gladly put
me into their hands, for I know well they hate me, and
have done long, though I be their King.” Then the earl
said: ‘Sir, I sce none other remedy but to yield yourself as
my prisoner ; and when they know that ye be my prisoner
they will do you no hurt; but ye must so ordain you and
THE DEPOSITION OF THE KING 85

your company to ride to London with me, and to be as my
prisoner in the Tower of London.”

The King, who saw himself in a hard case, all his spirits
were sore abashed, as he that doubted greatly that the
‘Londoners would slay him. Then he yielded himself
prisoner to the Earl of Derby, and bound himself, and
promised to do all that he would have him to do. In like-
wise all other knights, squires, and officers yielded to the
earl, to eschew the danger and peril that they were in; and
the earl then received them as his prisoners. Thus the
Duke of Lancaster departed, and rode to Sheen, and from
thence in the night time. they conveyed the King to the
Tower of London, and such other knights and squires as the
King would. The next morning when the Londoners knew
that the King was in the Tower, they were greatly rejoiced,
but there was great murmuring among them, because the
King was conveyed thither so secretly ; they were angry that
the duke had not brought him through London openly, not
to have done him honour, but shame, they hated him so
sore. Behold the opinion of common people, when they
be up against their prince or lord, and specially in England ;
among them there is no remedy, for they are the periloust
people of the world, and most outrageous if they be up,
and specially the Londoners, and indeed they be rich and
of a great number; there was well in London a twenty-
four thousand men in harness complete, and a_ thirty
thousand archers, and they were hardy and high of courage :
the more blood they saw shed, the less they were abashed.
—froissar’s Chronicle, by LORD BERNERS, cap. ccxl--ccxlii,
XI

At the Coronation of
the King

ICHARD OF WOODVILLE rode away for London,

accompanied by two yeomen, a page, and Ned

Dyram, whose talents had not been long in displaying
themselves in the service of his master.

The first day’s journey was a long one, and Richard of
Woodville and his train were not many miles from London
when they again set forth early on the following morning,
so that it was not yet noon, on the ninth of April, when
they approached the city of Westminster, along the banks
of the Thames.

Winding in and out through fields and hedgerows, where
now are houses, manufactories, and prisons, with the soft
air of spring breathing upon them, and the scent of the
early cowslips, for which that neighbourhood was once
famous, rising up and filling the whole air, they came on,
now catching, now losing the view of the large, heavy Abbey
Church of Westminster, and its yet unfinished towers of
the same height as the main building, while rising tall above
it appeared the belfry of St. Stephen’s Chapel, with its
peaked roof open at the sides, displaying part of the three
enormous bells, one of which was said (falsely) to weigh
thirty thousand pounds. The top of two other towers
might also be seen, from time to time, over the trees, and
also part of the buildings of the monastery adjoining the

Abbey; but these were soon lost as the lane which the
86
AT THE CORONATION OF THE KING 87

travellers were following wound round under the west side
of Tote Hill, a gentle elevation covered with greensward,
and ornamented with clumps of oak and beech and fir,
amidst which might be discovered, here and there, some
large stone houses, richly ornamented with sculpture, and
surrounded with their own gardens. ‘The lanes, the paths,
the fields were filled with groups of people in their holiday
costume, all flocking towards Westminster ; and what with
the warm sunshine, the greenness of the grass, the tender
verdure of the young foliage, and the gay dresses of the
people, the whole scene was as bright and lively as it is
possible to conceive. At the same time the loud bells of
St. Stephen’s began to ring with the merriest tones they
could produce, and a distant ‘‘ hurrah!” came upon the
wind.

“ Now, Ned, which is the way?” asked Richard of Wood-
ville, calling up his attendant to his side, as they came
to a spot where the lane divided into two branches, one
taking the right hand side of the hill, and one the left.
“This seems the nearest,” he continued, pointing down the
former ; “but I know nought of the city.”

“The nearest may prove the farthest,” replied Ned
Dyram, riding up, “‘as it often does, my master. That is
the shortest, good sooth! but they call the shortest often
the fool’s way, and we might be made to look like fools if
we took it; for though it leads round to the end of St.
Stephen’s lane, methinks that to-day none will be admitted
to the palace court by that gate, as it is the King’s coronation
morning.”

“Indeed !” said Woodville, “I knew not that it was so.”

“Nor I either,” answered Ned; “ but I know it now.”

“ And how, pray?” asked his new master.

“By every sight and sound,” replied Ned Dyram ; “ by
that girl’s pink coats, by that good man’s blue cloak, by the
bells ringing, by the people running, by the hurrah we heard
just now. TI ever put all I hear and see together, for a man
88 HENRY V

who only sees one thing at once will never know what time
he is living in.”

“Then we had better turn to the left,” said Woodville,
not caring to hear more of his homily; “of course, if this
be the coronation day, I shall not get speech of the King
till to-morrow ; but we may as well see what is going on.”

“To the left will lead you right,” replied his quibbling
companion, “that is to say, to the great gate before the
palace court, and then we shall discover whether the King
will speak with you or not. Each prince has his own
manners, and ours has changed so boldly in one day, that
no one can judge from that which the lad did what the
man will do.”

“Has he changed much, then ?” asked Woodville, riding
on; “it must have been sudden, indeed, if you had time
to see it ere you left him.”

“ Ay, has he!” answered Dyram ; ‘the very day of his
father’s death he put on, not the robes of royalty, but the
heart, and those who were his comrades before gave place
to other men. They who counted much upon his love
found a cold face, and they who looked for hate met with
nought but grace.”

“Then perhaps my reception may not be very warm,”
said Woodville thoughtfully.

“You may judge yourself better than I can, master mine,”
replied Ned Dyram. ‘Did you ever sit with him in the
tavern drinking quarts of wine ?”

“ No,” answered Richard of Woodville, smiling.

“Then you shall be free of his table,” said Ned. “Did
you ever shoot deer with him by moonlight ?”

“ Never,” was his master’s reply.

“Then you may chance to taste his venison!” rejoined
the man. ‘Did you ever brawl, swear, or break heads for
him, or with him?”

“No, truly,” said the young gentleman. “I fought under
him with the army in Wales, when he and I were both but
AT THE CORONATION OF THE KING 89

boys, and I led him on his way one dark night, two days
before his father died; but that is all I know of him.”

“Then, perchance, you may enter into his council,”
answered Dyram; “for now that he is royal, he thinks
royally, and he judges man for himself, not with the eyes
of others.”

“ As all kings should,” said Richard of Woodville.

“And few kings do,” rejoined Ned. “I was not so
lucky ; but many a mad prank have I seen during the last
year; and though he knows, and heaven knows, I never
prompted what others did, yet I was one of the old gar-
ments he cast off as soon as he put on the new ones. I
fared better than the rest, indeed, because I sometimes had
told him a rough truth; and trust I shall fare better still,
if I do his bidding.”

“And what may be his bidding?” asked Richard of
Woodville; ‘for, doubtless, he gave you one when he sent
you to me.”

“He bade me live well and forget former days, as he
had forgotten them,” replied Ned Dyram; “and he bade
me serve you well, master, if you took me with you; so
you have no cause to think ill of the counsel that he gave
me in your case. But here we are, master mine, and a
goodly sight it is to see.”

As he spoke they turned into the wide street, or rather
road, which led from the village of Charing to the gates of
the palace at Westminster, and a gay and beautiful scene
it certainly presented, whichever side the eye turned. To
the north was seen the old gothic building where the royal
falcons were kept, and called from that circumstance the
Mew, while a little in advance, upon a spot slightly elevated,
stood the beautiful stone cross, one of the monuments of
undying regard, erected in the village of Charing by King
Edward the First. To the left appeared the buttery and
lodge and other offices of the hospital and convent of St.
James’s, forming together a large pile of buildings, with
90 HENRY V

gates and arches cutting each other in somewhat strange
confusion, while the higher storeys, supported by corbels,
overhung the lower. The effect of the whole, however,
massed together by the distance, was grand and striking,
while the trees of the fields, then belonging to the nunnery
and afterwards formed into a park, broke the harsher lines
and marked the distances down the course of the wide road.

A little nearer, but on the opposite side of the way, with
gardens and stairs extending to the river, was the palace
or lodging of the Kings of Scotland. The edifice has been
destroyed, but the ground has still retained the name which
it then bore, and many years had not elapsed, at the time
I speak of, since that mansion had been inhabited by the
monarchs of the northern part of this island when they
came to take their seats in parliament in right of their Eng-
lish feoffs. Gardens succeeded, till appeared, somewhat
projecting beyond the line of road, the old stern building
which had once been the property of Hubert de Burg, Earl
of Kent, more like a fortress than a dwelling, though its
gloomy aspect was relieved by a light and beautiful chapel,
lately built on the side nearest to Westminster by one of
the Archbishops of York.

Several smaller edifices, sometimes constructed of brick,
sometimes of grey stone, were seen on the right and left,
all in that peculiar style of architecture so well fitted to the
climate of northern Europe and the character of her people,
and still between all appeared the green branches of oaks,
and beeches, and fields, and gardens, blending the city and
the country together.

Up the long vista thus presented were visible thousands
of groups on horseback and on foot, decked out in gay and
glittering colours, and as brilliant a scene displayed itself
to the south, in the wide court before the palace, surround-
ing which appeared the venerable Abbey, the vast hall, the
long line of the royal dwelling, the monastery, the chapel
of St. Stephen, with its tall belfry, and many another tower
AT THE CORONATION OF THE KING 91

and lofty archway, and the old church of St. Margaret, built
about a century and a half before, together with the lofty
yet heavy buildings of the Woolstaple and the row of arches
underneath. Banners and pennons fluttering in the wind ;
long gowns of monks and secular clergymen ; tabards and
mantles of every hue under the sun; the robes and head-
dresses of the ladies and their women, and the gorgeous
trappings of the horses catching the light as they moved
hither and thither, rendered the line from the Eleanor Cross
to the palace one living rainbow; while the river, flowing
gently on upon the east, was covered with boats, all tricked
out with streamers and fluttering ribbons. Even the grave,
the old, and those dedicated to seclusion and serious
thought, seemed to have come forth for this one day, and
amongst the crowd might be distinguished more than one
of the long grey, black, or white gowns, with the coif and
veil which marked the nun. All seemed gay, however, and
nothing was heard but laughter, merriment, gay jests, the
ringing of the bells, the sounding of clarions, and, every
now and then, the deep tone of the organ through the open
windows of the Abbey, or a wild burst of martial music
from the lesser court of the palace,

Habited in mourning, Richard of Woodville felt himself
hardly fitted for so gay a scene, but his good mien and
courteous carriage gained him many a civil word as he
moved along, or perchance some shrewd jest, as the frank
simplicity of those days allowed.

‘Where is the black man going?” cried a pert London
apprentice; “he must be chief mourner for the dead
King.”

“Nay, he is fair enough to look upon, Tom,” replied a
pretty girl by his side. ‘You would give much to be as
fair.”

“Take care of my toes, master,” exclaimed a stout citizen,
‘your horse is mettlesome.”

“ He shall not hurt you, good sir,” replied Woodville,
92 HENRY V

“Let me hold by your leg, sir squire,” said a woman
near, “so shall I have a stout prop.”

“Blessings on his fair good-natured face,” cried an old
woman; “he has lost his lady, I will wager my life.”

“You have not much there to lose, good woman,” an-
swered a man behind her.

“Well, he will soon find another lady,” rejoined a buxom
dame, who seemed of the same party, “if he takes those
eyes to court.”

“Out on it, master,” exclaimed a man who had been
-amusing the people round him by bad jokes; ‘fis your
horse a cut purse? He had his nose in my pouch.”

“Where he found nothing, I dare say,” answered Wood-
ville; and in the midst of the peal of laughter which fol-
lowed from the easily moved multitude he made his way
forward to the gates, where he was stopped by a wooden
barrier drawn across and guarded by a large posse of the
royal attendants, habited in their coats of ceremony.

“What now? what now?” asked one of the jacks of
office, with a large mace in his hand, as Woodville rode
up; ‘you can have no entrance here, sir squire, if you be
not of the King’s house, or have not an order from one of
his lords. The court is crowded already. The King will
not have room to pass back.”

Before his master could answer, however, Ned Dyram
pushed forward his horse, and addressed the porter, saying,
in a tone of authority, ‘‘ Up with the barrier, Master Robert
Nesenham. ’Tis a friend of the King’s, for whom he sent
me—Master Richard of Woodville—you know the name.”

“That’s another affair, Ned,” replied the other; “but
let me see, are not you on the list of those who must not
come to court?”

“Not I,” replied Ned Dyram; “or if I be, you have
put me on yourself, Robin ; ’tis but the other day I left his
Grace upon this errand.”

“Well, come in if it be so, varlet,” replied the porter,
AT THE CORONATION OF THE KING 93

lifting the barrier; “ but if you come forbidden, the pillory
and your ears will be acquainted. How many men of you
are there? Stand back, fellows, or I will break your pates.
See, Tim, there is a fellow slipping through! Drive him
back—give him a throw—cast him over—break his neck—
five of you, that is all—stand back, fellows, or you shall
into limbo.”

While the good man strove with the crowd without, who
all struggled manfully to push through the barrier when it
was open, Richard of Woodville and his followers made
their way on into the court, and dismounting from his horse
in the more open space which it afforded, he advanced
towards the passage which was kept clear by the royal
officers, between the door of the great hall and the Abbey.
At first he was placed near a stout man dressed as a wealthy
citizen, and he inquired of him how long the King had
been in the church.

“ Three parts of an hour,” replied the other; “did you
not hear the shout and the bells begin to ring? Oh! it
was a grand sight! There was ” but the rest of what
he said was drowned by the noise around, aided by a loud
flourish of trumpets from the hall.

There was a loud “hurrah!” from the ground adjacent
to the Abbey door; a true, hearty, English shout, such as
no other nation on the earth can give, and the royal proces-
sion was seen returning. All pressed as near as they could;
and Richard of Woodville gained a place in front, where he
waited calmly, uncovered, for the passing of the King.

On came the train, bishops and abbots, priests and nobles,
the pages, the knights, the bearers of the royal emblems ;
but all eyes were turned to one person, as—with a step, not
haughty, but calm and firm, such as might well accord with
a heart fixed and confident to keep the solemn vows so
lately made in scrupulous fidelity; with a brow elevated by
high and noble purposes, more than by the splendour of the
crown it bore; and with an eye lightening with genius and


94 HENRY V

soul—Henry of Monmouth returned towards his palace,
amidst the gratulating acclamations of his people.

Richard of Woodville saw Hal of Hadnock in the whole
bearing of the monarch, as he had seen the prince in the
bearing of Hal of Hadnock, and he murmured to himself,
‘He is the same. ’Tis but the dress is altered, either in
mind or body. Excluded from the tasks of royalty, he
assumed a less noble guise; but still the man was the
same.”

As he thus thought, the King passed before him, looking
- to right and left upon the long lines of people that bordered
his way, though, marching in his state, he distinguished no
one by word or gesture. His eyes, indeed, fixed firmly for
an instant upon Richard of Woodville, and a slight smile
passed over his lip; but he went on without further notice ;
and the young gentleman turned, as soon as he had gone
by, thinking, ‘‘I will seek some inn, and come to the palace
to-morrow. To-day, it is in vain.”

The pressure of the multitude, however, prevented him
from moving for some time, and he was forced to remain
till the whole of the procession had gone by. He then
made his way out of the crowd, which gradually became less
compact, though few retired altogether, the greater number
waiting either to discuss the events of the day, or to see if
any other amusements would be afforded to the people; but
it was some time before the young gentleman could find his
horses, for the movements of the people had forced them
from the place where they had been left. Just as he was,
at length, putting his foot in the stirrup, Ned Dyram pulled
his sleeve, saying, “‘ There is a King’s page, my master, look-
ing for some one in the crowd. Always give yourself a
chance, It may be you he seeks.”

“J think not,” replied Richard of Woodville; “but you
can join him and inquire, if you will.”

The man instantly ran off at full speed; and, though
soon forced to slacken his pace amongst the people, he in
AT THE CORONATION OF THE KING 95

the end reached the page and asked for whom he was look-
ing.

“ A gentleman in black,” replied the boy, ‘named Richard
of Woodville.”

“Then there he is,” answered Ned, pointing with his
hand to where his master stood; and followed by the page,
he walked quickly to the spot.

“Tf your name be Richard of Woodville, sir,” said the
boy, ‘‘the King will see you now, while he is putting off his
heavy robes and taking some repose.”

“TI follow, young sir,” replied Woodville; and, accom-
panying the page, he turned towards the palace, while Ned
Dyram, after a moment’s hesitation, pursued the same course
as his master, “in order,” as he said mentally, ‘always to
give himself a chance.”

Crossing through the great hall of the palace of West-
minster, where so many a varied scene has been enacted in
the course of English history, where joy and sorrow, mirth,
merriment, pageantry, fear, despair, and the words of death,
have passed for well nigh a thousand years, and do pass
still, Richard of Woodville followed the page amidst tables
and benches, serving-men, servers, guards and ushers, till
they reached a small door at the left angle, which, when
opened, displayed the first steps of a small stone staircase.
Up these they took their way, and then, through a corridor
thronged with attendants, past the open door of a large
room on the right, in which mitres and robes, crosses and
swords of state met the young gentleman’s eye, to a door
at the end, which the page opened. Within was a small
antechamber containing several squires and pages in their
tabards, waiting either in silence, or at most talking to each
other in whispers. They made way for their comrade, and
the gentleman he brought with him, to pass, and, approach-
ing an opposite door, the boy knocked. No one answered;
but the door was immediately opened; and Richard of
Woodville was ushered into a bedchamber, where, seated in
96 HENRY V

a large chair, he found the King, attended by two men
dressed in their habits of state. One of these had just
given the visitor admission; but the other was engaged in
pulling off the boots in which the monarch had walked to
and from the Abbey, and in placing a pair of embroidered
shoes upon his feet instead.

“Welcome, Richard of Woodville,” said Henry, as soon
as he beheld him; ‘so you have come to see Hal of Had-
nock before you depart?”

“‘T have come to see my gracious sovereign, sire,” replied

“Woodville, advancing and bending the knee to kiss his
hand, ‘‘and to wish him health and long life to wear his
crown, for his own honour and the happiness of his peo-
ple.”

“Nay, rise, Richard, rise,” said Henry smiling kindly,
“no court ceremonies here. And I will tell you, my good
friend, that I do really believe there is not one of all those
who have shouted on my path to-day, or sworn to support
my throne, who more sincerely wishes my prosperity than
yourself. But say, did you guess that Hal of Hadnock was
the Prince of Wales?”

“T knew it, sire,” replied Woodville, ‘from the first mo-
ment I saw you. I had served under your Grace’s com-
mand in Wales.”

“T suspected as much,” replied the monarch, ‘from
some words you let fall.”

“T do beseech you, sire, to pardon me,” BoRtnneA
Richard, “if I judged my duty wrongly; but I thought
that so long as it was not your pleasure to give yourself
your own state, it was my part to know you only as you
seemed.”

“ And you did right, my friend,” replied the King; ‘‘ but
were you not tempted to breathe the secret to any one?”

“To no one, sire,” answered Woodville boldly, “not for
my right hand would I have said one word to the best
friend I had.”
AT THE CORONATION OF THE KING 97

“Vou are wise and faithful, Richard of Woodville,” said
Henry gravely ; “God send me many such.”

“ Here is the other mantle, sire,” said the attendant who
was dressing him, “will you permit me to unclasp that ?”

Henry rose, and the man disengaged the royal mantle
from his shoulders, replacing it with one less heavy, while
the King continued his conversation with Woodville. after a
momentary interruption, repeating, “God send me many
such ; for if I judge rightly, I shall have need of strong
arms, and wise heads, and noble hearts about me, Nor
shall I fail to call for yours when I have need, my friend.”

‘ Ah, sire,” answered Woodville with a smile, “as far as
a true heart and a strong arm may goa, I can, perhaps, serve
you; but for wise heads, I fear you must look elsewhere. I
am but a singer of songs, you know, and a lover of old
ballads.”

“Like myself, Richard,” replied Henry; “but none the
worse for that. JI know not why, but I always doubt the
man that is not fond of music. ’Tis, perhaps, that I love
it so well myself, that I cannot but think, he who does not,
has some discordant principle in his heart that jars with
sweet sounds. ’Tis to me a great refreshment also; and
when I have been sad or tired with all this world’s business,
when my thoughts have grown misty, or my brain turned
giddy, I have sat me down to the organ and played for a
few moments till all has become clear again; and I have
risen as a man does from a calm sleep. As for poesy,
indeed, I love it well enough, but I am no poet; and yet I
think that a truly great poet is more powerful, and has a
wider empire than a King. We monarchs rule men’s bodies
while we live; but their minds are beyond that sceptre, and
death ends all our power. The poet rules their hearts,
moulds their minds to his will, and stretches his arm over
the wide future. He arrays the thoughts of countless mul-
titudes for battle on the grand field of the world, and ex-
tends his empire to the end of time. Look at Homer—has

QS. H
98 HENRY V

not the song of the blind Greek its influence yet? and so
shall the verse of Chaucer be heard in years to come, long
after the brow they have this day crowned shall have moul-
dered in the grave.”

The thoughts which he had himself called up seemed to
take entire possession of the King, and he remained gazing
in deep meditation for a few minutes upon the glittering
amblems of royalty which lay upon the table before him,
while Richard of Woodville stood silent by his side, not
venturing to interrupt his reverie. ‘‘ Well, Richard,” con-
tinued the King, at length rousing himself, “‘so you go to
Burgundy? but hold yourself ready to join me when I have
need.”

“T am always ready, now or henceforward, sire,” an-
swered the young gentleman, “to serve you with the best of
my poor ability ; and the day will be a happy one that calls
me to you. I only go to seek honour in another land,
because I had so resolved before I met your highness, and
because you yourself pronounced it best for me.”

“ And so I think it still,” replied Henry. ‘‘I would my-
self advance you, Woodville, but for two reasons; first, I
find every office near my person filled with old and faithful
servants of the crown; and as they fall vacant, I would
place in them men who have themselves won renown. Next,
I think it better that your own arm and your own judgment
should be your prop, rather than a King’s favour; and as
yet, there is here no opportunity. Besides, there are many
other reasons why you will do well to go, in which I have
not forgotten your own best interests. But keep yourself
clear of long engagement to a foreign prince, lest your own
should need you.”

“That I most assuredly will, sire,” answered Richard of
Woodville. ‘I go but to take service as a volunteer, hold-
ing myself free to quit it when I see meet. I ask no pay
from any one; and if I gain honour or reward, it shall be
for what I have done, not for what I am to do,”
AT THE CORONATION OF THE KING 99

“Vou are right, you are right,” said Henry, “but have
you anything to ask of me?”

“Nothing, sire,” replied the young gentleman. “TI did
but wish to pay reverence to your state, and thank you for
the gracious letters you have given me, before I went,” and
he took a step back as if to retire. But Henry made a
sign, saying, “Stop! yet a moment; I have something to
ask you. Lay the gloves down there, Surtis. Tighten
this point a little, and then retire with Baynard.”

The attendants did as they were bid; and Henry then
inquired, ‘‘Is good Ned Dyram with you here in West-
minster?”

“He is in the hall below, sire,” answered Woodville ;
“and a most useful gift has he been to me already.”

“A loan, Richard, a loan!” cried the King; “I shall
claim him back one of these days, after he has served you
in Burgundy. You will find he has faults as well as virtues ;
so have an eye to correct them. But, even now, as the
country folk say, I have a mind to borrow my own horse.
T want his services for three days, if you will lend him to
me. You are not yet ready to set out?”

“Not yet, sire,” replied Woodville; “‘but in one week
more I hope to be on the sea.”

‘Well, then, send the man up to me, and he shall rejoin
you in four days,” answered Henry; ‘“‘but let me see you
to-morrow, my good friend, before you go home, for I would
fain talk further with you. It is seldom that a King can
meet one with whom he can speak his thoughts plainly, and
Lfind already a difference that makes me sad. Command
and obedience, arguments of state and policy, flattering
acquiescence in my opinion whether right or wrong, praise,
broad and coarse, or neat and half-concealed—of these I
can have plenty, and to surfeit; but a friend into whose
bosom one can pour forth one’s ideas without restraint,
whether they be sad or gay, is a rare thing inacourt. So,
for the present, fare you well, Richard. You will stay here
100 HENRY V

for the banquet in the hall, of course; and let me see you
to-morrow morning, towards the hour of eight.”

Richard of Woodville, as he well might, felt deeply grati-
fied at the confidence which the King’s words implied, and
he answered, “I will not fail, sire, to attend you at that
hour, with more gratitude for your good opinion than any
other favour. At the banquet I will try to find a place,
and will send Ned Dyram to you. Will you receive him
now?”

“Ves, at once,” replied the King, “for, good faith! these
lords and bishops who are waiting for me will think me
long. I will order you a place below. As to Ned Dyram,
he shall rejoin you soon. There is no way in which he
may not be useful to you; for there is scarce an earthly
chance for which his ready wit is not prepared. I met him
first studying alchemy with a poor wretch who, in pursuit of
science, had blown all his wealth up the chimney of his
furnace, and could no longer keep this boy. I found him
next in an armourer’s shop, hammering at hard iron, and
thence I took him. He has a thousand qualities, some bad,
some good. JI think him honest; but his tongue is some-
what too free ; and that which the wild prince might laugh
at, might not chime with the dignity of the crown. He will
learn better in your train; but, at the present, I have an
errand for him—so send him to me quickly.”

Richard of Woodville bowed and withdrew ; and, finding
his way down to the hall, he called Ned Dyram—who was
in full activity, aiding the royal officers to set out the tables
—and told him to go directly to the King. The man
laughed, and ran off to fulfil the command; and about
three-quarters of an hour elapsed before the monarch ap.
peared in the hall, which, by that time, was nearly filled
with guests invited to the banquet. He was followed by
the train of high nobles and churchmen, whom Woodville
had seen waiting in a chamber above; and the numerous
tables, were soon crowded.
AT THE CORONATION OF THE KING tor

One of the royal servants placed Richard of Woodville
according to his rank ; the banquet, with all its ceremonies,
was somewhat long in passing. The lower part of the
chamber was filled with minstrels, musicians, and attendants;
music, as usual, accompanied the feast ; but, ever and anon,
from the court before the palace and the -neighbouring
streets, were heard loud shouts and laughter, and bursts of
song, showing that the merriment and revelry of the multi-
tude were still kept up, while the King and his nobles were
feasting within.

Thus, when the banquet was over, the monarch gone
from the hall, and Richard of Woodville, with the rest of
the guests, issued forth into the court, he was not surprised
to find a gay and joyous scene without, the whole streets
and roads filled with people, and every one giving himself
up to joy and diversion. The gates of the court were thrown
open, the populace admitted to the very doors of the
palace, and a crowd of several hundred persons assembled
round a spot in the centre, where a huge pile of dry wood
had been lighted for the august ceremony of roasting an ox
whole, which was duly superintended by half a dozen white-
capped cooks, with a whole army of scullions and turnspits.
Butts of strong beer stood in various corners; and a foun-
tain, of four streams, flowed with wine at the side next to
the Abbey. In one spot, people were jostling and pushing
each other to get at the ale or wine; in another they were
dancing gaily to the sound of a viol; and farther on was a
tumbler, twisting himself into every sort of strange attitude
for the amusement of the spectators. Loud shouts and
exclamations, peals of laughter, the sounds of a thousand
different musical instruments playing as many different
tunes, with voices singing and others crying wares of several
sorts, prepared for the celebration of the day, made a
strange and not very melodious din; but there was an air
of festivity and rejoicing, of fun and good-humour, in the
whole, that compensated for the noise and the crowd.
102 HENRY V

Richard of Woodville had given orders for his horses to
be taken to an inn at Charing, while waiting in the hall
before the banquet; and he now proceeded on foot,
through the crowd in the palace courts, towards the gates.
It was a matter of some difficulty to obtain egress; for
twilight was now coming on, and the multitude were flock-
ing from the sights which had been displayed in the more
open road to Charing during the last two or three hours, to
witness the roasting of the ox, and to obtain some of the
slices which were to be distributed about the hour of nine.

At length, however, he found himself in freer air; but
still, every four or five yards, he came upon a gay group,
either standing and talking to each other, or gathered
round a show, or some singer or musician. It was one
constant succession of faces, some young, some old, some
pretty, some ugly, but all of them strange to Richard of
Woodville. Nevertheless, more than once he met the same
merry salutations which he had been treated to when on
horseback ; and, as he paused here and there, gazing at this
or that gay party, he was twice asked to join in the dance,
and still more frequently required to contribute to the pay-
ment of a poor minstrel with his pipe or cithern.

—G. P. R. James, Agincourt.
XII
The Beginning of the
English Defeat in France

“ CIRS,” the Mareschal de Boussac was saying, “I have

received advice from Chinon this morning, that the
Maid slept at Tours last night, and is even now on her way
to us.”

‘Who or what is the Maid,” said the Admiral scornfully,
“that her coming should be of any moment to us? She
does not supersede you in the command, I suppose ?”

“ That is as may be,” returned De Boussac. ‘‘ The King
has given her a banner, and she seems to be coming, in
some sort, as his delegate.”

“As well one as the other of them, I think,” said La
Hire bluntly. ‘The King’s field orders would do us no
good, but his presence would animate the troops—this
girl’s interference is impertinent ; but the men believe her
to be inspired, and, therefore, will fight under her as if
possessed.”

“JT am not going to resign my baton to her, though,”
said De Boussac, “so I hope she may not find herself in
a false position.”

“What matters it how the men’s spirits are raised?”
said La Hire. ‘Already many who had gone home are
re-assuming their arms for their country’s cause; they only
wait for her to cheer and animate them.”

“ Animate them and welcome,” said the Mareschal, “but
to undertake anything in the nature of command will be

103
104 HENRY VI

simply ridiculous. I, for one, am not going to be led by
a petticoat.”

“She wears male attire,” observed De Retz; “ with her
hair flowing over it, I understand, tied by a string or some-
thing.”

“What is her retinue ?” said the Admiral.

“Two or three lances,” replied De Boussac, ‘‘a chaplain,
a squire, two pages, and a maitre @hdtel.”

“ Her entry will be simple and unostentatious,” said De
Loré ironically.

“That depends,” said De Retz.

“Ts she noble?”

“J am not sure how her name is spelt. I rather think
it is only Darc.”

“Bertrand de Poulengey,” observed De Loré, “ who
escorted her across the country, is as true a son of chivalry
as ever lived. He is one of the King’s equerries of the
stable.”

“He wears her colours of course?”

“White is her colour, I understand. She wears white
armour, a white surcoat, and has a white banner.”

“We must give her a good reception, at any rate,” said
De Boussac, “since the King so wills it. Good quarters
and a good table. Who knows but that with this she may
be content, as a good little girl should be, and leave us
to do what is, after all, only men’s work.”

“Only,” said. La Hire, smiling a little, “we men have
not been able to relieve Orleans.”

“Nor will she, nor will she,” returned the Marshal
quickly. “ Notwithstanding all this foolery, nothing will be
done. It is a grievous thing, sirs, but Orleans must fall!”

Though the chiefs had so little relish for her assistance,
they were forced to yield some outward conformity to the
spirit of the citizens, who were in a tumult of joy at the
news of Joan’s approach. When, therefore, she drew near
to Blois, she saw them coming forth to meet her with every
THE ENGLISH DEFEAT IN FRANCE 105

outward demonstration of respect, while the hearty, genuine
cordiality of the multitude expressed itself in shouts that
rent the air. As usual, her first object was the cathedral,
whither she repaired, armed, but bareheaded, attended by
an immense concourse of people. The citizens were
forward to show their best hospitality to her and her train ;
but her severe rule let her do little justice to their feast.
She inquired, according to her wont, for some worthy dame
of avouched respectability as her hostess, and was assured
that she was to be the guest of the most honourable and
esteemed lady in the town. She bade Father Pasquerel
organize processions for the morrow, and sent one of her
heralds to beg Mareschal de Boussac would come to speak
to her without delay. He did so, accompanied by La
Hire.

“Beau sire,” said she, ‘you know my mission and my
authority. I trust you are ready to escort the provisions
to Orleans.”

“All in good time, maiden,” replied Mareschal de Bous-
sac lightly. “It is our intention so to do; but it will be
no easy enterprise in the face of the English, flushed with
recent success.”

“Tt will be your turn now,” replied she, “to be flushed
with success ; for you will go forward in the name of the
Lord—and at once!”

“We must talk of earthly things now,” observed De
Boussac, with impatience ; “and with respect to the con-
vey, it is im——

“Important that it should proceed without delay,” said
Joan, “ for the citizens are weak with hunger.”

“Rest content,” said De Boussac; ‘‘the men of Orleans

shall be succoured

“Yes; but at once,” insisted Joan; “and along the
northern bank.”

“My dear child,” interrupted De Boussac, with some-
thing of kindness in his tone, “what should you know of


106 HENRY VI

tactics? The Count de Dunois has expressly bidden us
to follow the south bank. Leave these things to men who
have studied them all their lives ie

“ Only you have not relieved Orleans,” she put in.

“That’s a stale answer,” said he impatiently. “To
proceed along the northern bank of the Loire would be
highly dangerous, and we should inevitably be cut off. I
have no right to throw away the lives of the King’s subjects
in that way, nor any mind to risk my own in what would
be mere folly. Content yourself with animating us by
your presence, and cheering the men onward, and we will
proceed, fair and softly, along the southern bank, and
through the province of Sologne, where the bastilles of the
English are weaker and worse guarded.”

“Nay, but,” said Joan, “I will go with you along the
north bank, or not at all.”

“This is sheer obstinacy,” said De Boussac, heating,
“and shows nothing but wrong-headedness. You want to
provoke me to throw down my baton, I suppose.”

“No,” said Joan, ‘‘I want you to carry succours to
Orleans along the north bank. That is all.”

“ All? bless my soul!”

“ My good girl——” interposed La Hire.

“Dear captain,” said she to him, “do you believe me
sent by Heaven or not?”

He was silent.

“T, Joan Darc, know nothing of the matter. I am
simply sent as a messenger, to lead you to victory. If you
do not believe in me, I have no more to say.”

“Well, but I do believe in you,” grumbled De Boussac;
“at least the King does, which is to the same effect.”

* And do not the soldiers ?”

ce Oh, yes pene?)

“Who put it into their hearts? May it not have been
the Holy Spirit? May not the Lord have chastised the
nation for its sins by these sad reverses, and may He not


THE ENGLISH DEFEAT IN FRANCE 107

be willing and desirous to show mercy, if so be we will but
yield us humbly and penitently to His guidance, though
it be but by the hand of a little child?”

“ Oh, if you are going to talk in that way ”

‘* Ah, fair sir, believe in Him as I do!”

“T wish J did,” exclaimed La Hire, with an oath. “Oh,
upon my honour, I didn’t mean to swear !”

“Maid, you are very coaxing and very persuasive——”
began the Marshal.

“No,” said Joan bluntly, “I scorn to be either.”

“Ah, well; you must be tired with your journey. Pray,
how did you leave his Majesty ?”

“Very anxious that you should relieve Orleans. He
expects it.”

“T hope his expectations will be gratified. Meanwhile,
we will relieve you of our presence ; at will be a season-
able relief at any rate. So fair a lady must need to lay
aside her armour u

“Sir, Iam no lady, nor yet fair, and I shall wear armour
till Orleans is saved and the King crowned. Then I will
go back to my sheep.”

“Little girl, you are brave,” said La Hire admiringly.

De Boussac gave a kind of snort; and, bowing low, took
his leave. La Hire paused for a moment.

“T shall see you in the morning,” said he.

‘In church, then,” said Joan, ‘for that is where I shall
be; and afterwards in the camp.”

He hastened after the Mareschal, who was striding to-
wards his quarters.

“What say you to this girl?” began he. ‘There’s a
mighty air of inspiration about her.”

“Oh! she would talk one dead,” said De Boussac.
“That’s the worst of people who have no manners.”

“Tf she has no manners, it follows that she has not bad
manners,” observed La Hire; ‘and I do not see that
manners, good or bad, have much to do-with it.”




108 HENRY VI

‘Only this, that she will not hear what is to be said on
the other side, and, whatever may be alleged, passes it over
and returns to the original thesis—that we must march at
once, and along the north bank.”

“ How do you mean to put her off?” asked La Hire.

“Simply, by never minding her.”

“That won’t relieve Orleans, though, as she said.”

“And as you said before her, my friend. I’m sick of
that stale answer.”

“J don’t see what is to be done, though,” said La Hire.
The other made no reply, but walked on, his armour clang-
ing at every step.

“What do you mean to do?” said La Hire.

The Mareschal replied—

‘¢TLead her a dance
All about France,
Out of France into Spain,
And then back again.”

La Hire laughed, but said, “I don’t think that will do.”

“T’ll try it, however,” said the Mareschal. ‘And now,
will you sup with me?”

“ Well, you know I live by rule ; but the rule is, never tc
refuse a good invitation.”

So they both laughed, and turned into De Boussac’s
lodging.

De Boussac readily acceded to Joan’s desire, that a
letter should be written to the English chiefs before
Orleans, summoning them to yield to King Charles all
the cities they held in his realm. Instead of writing “re-
store to the King,” however, his secretary wrote “restore to
the Maid,” which she afterwards complained of.

This letter was received with scorn and derision by the
English captains, who returned for answer that they would
burn the herald who brought it, as coming from a sorceress
and witch. Notwithstanding this unknightly threat, however,
THE ENGLISH DEFEAT IN FRANCE tog

which was not put into execution, an uncomfortable feeling
of dismay and distrust arose in their minds as to her
authority and mission; and the soldiers, especially, being
more ignorant and superstitious than their masters, were
quick to believe that she was commissioned from on high,
or leagued with the powers of darkness.

Meanwhile, De Boussac, loath to encounter the English,
yet wearied by the pertinacity with which Joan urged him
to advance, really practised the artifice he had proposed to
La Hire ; and, announcing that all was ready for the march,
started with some of his troops and provisions, crossed the
Loire with the Maid, and yet had the art to persuade her
they were keeping along the northern bank. La Hire’s
heart smote him for joining in the deceit; and as De
Poulengey and De Metz had not been of her council,
they knew not she was in error.

For the greater part of three days therefore they wandered
up and down the dreary wilderness of Sologne, than which
it is impossible to conceive a district more arid, mono-
tonous, and unproductive. Nothing met the eye but sand
and furze, gravel-pits and lizards; and the poor inhabitants
seemed brutish and wretched.

“Vou will see Orleans,” said De Boussac as they rode on,
‘from the very next bridge”; and encouraged by this, she
rode on.

“Oh!” exclaimed she, in indignation and grief, “the
river lies between us! You have deceived me after all!”

“ Forgive me, maiden,” said De Boussac. “It was by
Dunois’ order ; and the feint was necessary.”

“Tt was zof!” said she, with flashing eyes. “You have
betrayed your trust !”

De Boussac made no answer.

“See,” cried La Hire, ‘there is Dunois with yonder
boats. Let us ride down to hear what he has to say.”

Dunois waved his hand joyously to them as they ap-
proached, and sprang ashore.
IIo HENRY VI

“Right welcome, Mareschal!” cried he. ‘“ And you too,
La Hire! Maid! you need no herald to announce you !”

“ Are you the Count de Dunois?” said she.

“T am,” said he, ‘and very glad of your coming.”

“Was it indeed you,” said she, “who directed us to
come by Sologne instead of Beauce? ”

“Such was,” said he, “the advice of our wisest cap-
tains.”

‘“‘ They were wrong, they were wrong,” said Joan. “The
Lord is wiser than they. You thought to deceive me, but
you have only outwitted yourselves. Let no time be lost
now in embarking the supplies.”

“But a storm is coming on,” expostulated De Boussac,
“and the wind is contrary.”

“The wind will change, faint-hearted man
impetuously.

“Well, well,” said he, ‘“ there will be a downright squall,
but, since you insist, I will give the necessary orders.”

And in a few minutes all was activity and commotion.

“Marshal!” cried Dunois excitedly, “the wind has
changed /”

De Boussac started, and looked about him. “It cer-
tainly has,” said he.

The squall which the Mareschal had spoken of now
came on in full force, bending the heads of trees violently
to the ground as it swept on its course. Vivid lightning
rent the clouds, and thunder rolled overhead, and though it
was scarcely sunset, the gloom amounted almost to dark-
ness. The advantage this gave them in embarking close to
the English Fort of St. Jean le Blanc, and the impressive
fact of the wind having suddenly changed in their favour,
were improved on by Father Pasquerel and the priests of
Blois, whose voices were heard above the storm, animating
the soldiers by their exhortations.

“ Mareschal, you are coming with us?” cried Dunois
eagerly.

1

said she
THE ENGLISH DEFEAT IN FRANCE Ii!

“Certainly not,” replied De Boussac, “my duty is to
return for the other convoy.”

Dunois looked exasperated.

“ Are none of you coming to help us?” said he, his deep
blue eyes glancing from one face to another.

“Faith, I will,” said La Hire. ‘Come, Mareschal, give
me a couple of hundred lances.”

“So be it, then,” said De Boussac, “ only I call it down-
right madness. However, good luck attend you. You are
embarking under the very nose of St. Jean le Blanc, and
the English will pour their fire into you directly you are off.
Your beef and mutton will soon be eaten, and then you
will thank me for having gone for a fresh supply. Some of
those barges will go down if you overload them so. Was
ever such a hurricane? I can scarce hear myself speak.
Farewell, Maid! You are a stout heart, at all. events.
Cheer up the besieged, and say I am bringing them suc-
cours. Mind that horse, sirrah! you'll throw him down.
He'll walk the plank well enough if you are steady.
Dunois, I really think—ha, ha! there goes my plume.
Well, the English will hardly come out and look after you
in such weather as this, that’s one good thing. Adieu, De
Poulengey ; adieu, De Metz: ye aretrue hearts. Farewell,
La Hire, old friend! Father Pasquerel, since you will have
the priests of Blois, see to it they do the only good they
can, and keep up the excitement.”

De Boussac, thus talking while others were doing,
watched the embarkation and then instantly marched his
troops homewards, telling something within him that he
was doing the very best thing possible—which that some-
thing within him seemed rather to doubt.

Meanwhile, the heavily freighted barges were sailing
before the wind under cover of the advancing night; and
Dunois’ spirits rose like those of a boy. He was now
twenty-five years of age, and the bravest knight in France ;
inheriting much of his mother’s beauty, but having no
112 HENRY VI

earthly parent to thank for his goodness and spirit. It
would be very easy to sink him into a mere hero of
romance, a purpose I utterly disdain: his own good deeds
are his praise.

“ Maid !” said he, “ you will save us. God shows you to
be His angel of deliverance by making the winds speed us
on our way, and concealing us from the foe by clouds of
darkness.”

“But how bad it was of the Mareschal to go back,” said
Joan, “and to deceive me by coming through Sologne !”

_“You must forgive him,” said Dunois, “We really had
pre-arranged it.”

The storm had now spent its violence, and the moon
now and then appeared for a moment, as if travelling fast
through the troubled clouds that swept the sky—fitfully re-
vealing the dark outlines of the city, the cathedral, and the
heavy old nineteen-arched bridge, the chasm in which was
frowned over on the southern side by Sir William Glads-
dale’s fort, ‘“‘ Les Tournelles.”

“There lies Glacidas,” said Dunois, in a low voice;
“and there, on the bank, is the famous bastion the English
call ‘ London.’ ”

Joan and her companions listened with breathless interest
as he related, in subdued tones, the story of the siege, and
strained their eyes as though they would pierce the gloom
as he pointed out the dimly-discerned objects. A light
that twinkled on the bank was suddenly concealed: they
thought they were watched, but they floated quietly on.
Joan asked whether there were any good woman in Orleans
with whom she could lodge.

“A lodging is provided for you,” replied Dunois, “in
the Rue du Tabourg, at the house of the Duke of Orleans’
treasurer, Jacques Bouchier, as respectable a man as any
in the town. His house is close to the town wall, by the
Porte Renard; and his wife Colette, and his daughter
Charlotte, will treat you like a daughter of the house,”
THE ENGLISH DEFEAT IN FRANCE 11f3

“But is there room,” said Joan, ‘‘for my brothers, for
the Sires De Poulengey and De Metz, and for my other
attendants ?”

“Ves, yes,” said Dunois, “there is accommodation for
you all.”

“What is that?” said she, starting violently, as a heavy
sound broke the stillness.

“That,” said he, smiling, “is a cannon shot, which we
have become accustomed to, though you, perhaps, hear it
for the first time.”

She said, ‘It is very terrible, and very grand.”

They were now winding among the low, long sand-banks
or islands that began to be seen dimly heaving in narrow,
yellow lines from the river, and on which, if they had
fixed, they might have remained till morning, to fall an un-
resisting prey to the English. Happily this fate was averted
by careful pilotage; and as they stole along, nearer and
yet nearer the city, and within range of the English guns,
the silence was so intense that Joan’s quickened ear could
distinctly catch the low ripple of the water against the side
of the barge, making soft music. It was what the Italians
calla supreme moment. All at once they were startled, as
if by a shot, by all the church clocks sounding the first
stroke of eight, led by the heavy-booming cathedral bell—

‘* Swinging slow with solemn roar.”

At the same time, the English drums began to beat to
quarters—a summons evidently responded to in an unruly
manner by several convivial spirits. Guard was relieved ;
flambeaux and lanterns gleamed from tower, bridge, and
bastion, and sent long, perpendicular, red reflections to the
river below. On the town side of the Loire was heard a
continuous, hollow murmur as of thousands of persons
speaking under their breath; a woman’s call in some dis-
tant street of “salt fish, salt fish!” that sounded like a
wail or cry. No bark of dogs ; they had all been eaten !

Qs. I
II4 HENRY VI

A little shock against the bank, a rope thrown, and they
were fixed. A crowd of persons, who seemed to have been
silently watching them, now pressed forward.

“Ts she here? Where is she?” they eagerly whispered.

“Here; she is here,” said Dunois, putting Joan into the
extended arms of the brave old governor, De Gaucourt ;
and tears coursed down the old man’s furrowed cheeks.

“God bless you, my dear!” was his homely welcome,
as he took the unyielding steel-clad figure of the girl to his
heart. She put her head on his shoulder for an instant,
and gave one little quivering sob; for her feelings were
highly wrought. But it would not do to weep then!

“The Maid is come! the Maid is come!” screamed
several scarce human-sounding voices. Oh, what a cry
rang through the famished city! It seemed to give one
great sob, and then burst out into an ecstasy of rejoicing.
But the sob and the laughter did not cease there: it rose
wilder and louder; the sick and wounded dragged them-
selves from their beds to their casements, and leant out
crying—“ What is it? what is it?” “Joan the Maid!
Joan the Maid!” ‘O merciful Father !”

The tumult grew wilder and wilder as the news spread to
distant quarters. Every alley, court, and lane poured its
tributary stream into the main streets, ‘Joan the Maid!”
“Joan the Maid!” passed from mouth to mouth in frantic
accents. ‘Blessed girl! where, where is she?” cried the
women; and some of them, faint with hunger and long
suspense, fell into hysterical fits of laughter; while men
covered their faces and wept. All the church bells were
set clanging, the cathedral became one blaze of light, and
priests and choristers hurried on their surplices for “Te
Deum.” The English, startled at the uproar, were beating
to arms ; and now and then a rocket came whizzing through
the air.

Meanwhile, every one was pressing to see, to touch the
Maid, as, mounted on a noble white charger, whose hous-


































































































































1 PA trys ——— EIN P= WAU





‘*It was what the Italians call a supreme moment.”
Page 113.


THE ENGLISH DEFEAT IN FRANCE 115

ings swept the ground, she entered the gates (for she had
landed outside the walls), and slowly made her way to the
cathedral, with Dunois, on his black war-horse, on her left
hand, and followed by “les vaillans seigneurs de la suite,”
and by the officers and soldiers of the garrison. The
citizens, the troops, the women, the children, all held them-
selves delivered now she was among them, and were anxious
to look on her, and touch her, as some sacred thing.
Happy to have one glimpse of her glowing, kindly face,
and bright eyes shining with tears, they carried home
fabulous reports of her beauty. The tide rolled on to the
cathedral, a far more ancient pile than now exists under
that name, and rich in storied windows of painted glass.
There they sang “Te Deum,” as well they might.

Had it not been for the lean cheeks and hollow eyes of
all and sundry, it might have been thought the old city was
wholly given over to joy and festivity. But it was the joy
of hungry people who trusted to be fed on the morrow,
and of citizens, closed seven months within their city gates,
who expected soon to be free.

The Sire de Gaucourt had made a great supper for Joan,
and would have led her to it as soon as the service was
over; but she said, “ Dear sir, I cannot feast in a starving
city; the meat would choke me. Give my share to the
poor; and, if it please you, let me go to my lodging.”

The governor looked a little disappointed, but said,—

“Well, well; since ye will have it so, it shall even be as
ye say.”

_So she rode, with Dunois still at her side, and her train
close following, to the Rue du Tabourg; and the people
shouted ‘ Vive la Pucelle!” and ‘ Vive Dunois !”

Jacques Bouchier and his wife were well pleased to re-
ceive so honourable a guest. The house no longer stands,
though one on its site is shown for it. The table was
covered with the whitest of damask, and with some old-
fashioned pieces of plate ; and De Poulengey and De Metz
116 HENRY VI

were not sorry, when Dunois was gone, to see one or two
smoking hot dishes make their appearance.

But no hospitality could tempt Joan to do more than mix
some wine and water in a silver cup, and break some pieces
of bread into it, on which she supped; and this was the
first food she had taken that day. It had been arranged
that she was to sleep with Charlotte, Bouchier’s eldest
daughter ; and, as she retired with her for the night, De
Poulengey, holding out his hand to her with a cheerful
smile, said,—

“T think you have reason to be satisfied with this day’s
work.”

“Ah! what do you call work?” said she. ‘Mine is
but just beginning.”

—Miss Manninc, Wodle Purpose.
XII

At the Court of
King Edward

HE Tower of London, more consecrated to associa-

tions of gloom and blood than those of gaiety and
splendour, was, nevertheless, during the reign of Edward
IV., the seat of a gallant and gorgeous court. That King,
from the first to the last so dear to the people of London,
made it his principal residence when in his metropolis ;
and its ancient halls and towers were then the scene of
many a brawl and galliard. As Warwick’s barge now ap-
proached its huge walls, rising from the river, there was
much that might either animate or awe, according to the
mood of the spectator. The King’s barge, with many lesser
craft, reserved for the use of the courtiers, gay with awnings
and streamers, and painting, and gilding, lay below the
wharfs, not far from the gate of St. Thomas, now called the
_Traitor’s Gate. On the walk raised above the battlemented
wall of the inner ward, not only paced the sentries, but
there dames and knights were inhaling the noonday breezes,
and the gleam of their rich dresses of cloth of gold glanced
upon the eye at frequent intervals from tower to tower.
Over the vast round turret behind the Traitor’s Gate, now
called “The Bloody Tower,” floated cheerily in the light
wind the royal banner. Near the Lion’s Tower two or
three of the keepers of the menagerie, in the King’s livery,
were leading forth, by a strong chain, the huge white bear
that made one of the boasts of the collection, and was an

117
118 EDWARD IV

especial favourite with the King and his brother Richard.
The sheriffs of London were bound to find this grisly
minion his chain and his cord, when he deigned to amuse
himself with bathing or “ fishing” in the river ; and several
boats, filled with gapemouthed passengers, lay near the
wharf, to witness the diversions of Bruin. These folk set
up a loud shout of “ A Warwick !—a Warwick!” “The
stout earl, and God bless him!” as the gorgeous barge shot
towards the fortress. The earl acknowledged their greet-
ing by vailing his plumed cap, and passing the keepers with
a merty allusion to their care of his own badge, and a
friendly compliment to the grunting bear, he stepped
ashore, followed by his attendant squire. Now, however, he
paused a moment, and a more thoughtful shade passed
over his countenance, as, glancing his eye carelessly aloft
towards the standard of King Edward, he caught sight of
the casement in the neighbouring tower, of the very room
in which the sovereign of his youth, Henry the Sixth, was
a prisoner, almost within hearing of the revels of his suc-
cessor; then, with a quick stride, he hurried on through
the vast court, and, passing the White Tower, gained the
royal lodge. Here, in the great hall, he left his companion,
amidst a group of squires and gentlemen, to whom he
formally presented the Nevile as his friend and kinsman,
and was ushered by the deputy-chamberlain (with an
apology for the absence of his chief, the Lord Hastings,
who had gone abroad to fly his falcon) into the small
garden, where Edward was idling away the interval be-
tween the noon and evening meals—repasts to which
already the young King inclined with that intemperate zest
and ardour which he carried into all his pleasures, and
which finally destroyed the handsomest person, and em-
bruted one of the most vigorous intellects of the age.

The garden, if bare of flowers, supplied their place by
the various and brilliant-coloured garbs of the living
beauties assembled on its straight walks and smooth sward.
AT THE COURT OF KING EDWARD 119

Under one of those graceful cloisters, which were the
taste of the day, and had been recently built and gaily
decorated, the earl was stopped in his path by a group
of ladies playing at closheys (ninepins) of ivory; and one
of these fair dames, who excelled the rest in her skill, had
just bowled down the central or crowned pin—the king of
the closheys. This lady, no less a person than Elizabeth,
the Queen of England, was then in her thirty-sixth year—
ten years older than her lord—but the peculiar fairness
and delicacy of her complexion, still preserved to her
beauty the aspect and bloom of youth. From a lofty head-
gear, embroided with fleur-de-lis, round which wreathed a
light diadem of pearls, her hair of the pale yellow con-
sidered then the perfection of beauty, flowed so straight
and so shining down her shoulders, almost to the knees,
that it seemed like a mantle of gold. The baudekin stripes
(blue and gold) of her tunic attested her royalty. The
blue court-pie of satin was bordered with ermine, and the
sleeves, fitting close to an arm of exquisite contour, shone
with seed-pearls. Her features were straight and regular,
yet would have been insipid but for an expression rather
of cunning than intellect; and the high arch of her eye-
brows, with a slight curve downward of a mouth otherwise
beautiful, did not improve the expression by an addition
of ‘something supercilious and contemptuous rather than
haughty or majestic.

**My lord of Warwick,” said Elizabeth, pointing to the
fallen closhey, “what would my enemies say if they heard
L had toppled down the King?”

“They would content themselves with asking which
of your grace’s brothers you would place in his stead,”
answered the hardy earl, unable to restrain the sarcasm.

The Queen blushed, and glanced round her ladies with
an eye which never looked direct or straight upon its
object, but wandered sidelong with a furtive and stealthy
expression, that did much to obtain for her the popular
120 EDWARD IV

character of falseness and self-seeking. Her displeasure
was yet more increased by observing the ill-concealed
smile which the taunt had called forth.

“ Nay, my lord,” she said, after a short pause, “we value
the peace of our roiaulme too much for so high an ambi-
tion. Were we to make a brother even the prince of the
closheys, we should disappoint the hopes of a Nevile.”

The earl disdained pursuing the war of words, and,
answering coldly, ‘‘The Neviles are more famous for
making ingrates than asking favours. I leave your high-
ness to the closheys,” turned away, and strode towards the
King, who, at the opposite end of the garden, was reclining
on a bench beside a lady, in whose ear, to judge by her
downcast and blushing cheek, he was breathing no un-
welcome whispers.

“ Mort-Dieu!” muttered the earl, who was singularly
exempt, himself, from the amorous follies of the day, and
eyed them with so much contempt that it often obscured
his natural downright penetration into character, and never
more than when it led him afterwards to underrate the
talents of Edward IV.,—‘ Mort-Dieu ! if an hour before the
battle of Touton some wizard had shown me in his glass
this glimpse of the gardens of the tower, that giglet for a
Queen, and that squire of dames fora King, I had not slain
my black destrier (poor Malech !) that I might conquer or
die for Edward Earl of March !”

** But see!” said the lady, looking up from the enamoured
and conquering eyes of the King; ‘art thou not ashamed,
my lord—the grim earl comes to chide thee for thy faith-
lessness to thy Queen, whom he loves so well.”

“ Pasque-Dieu ! as my cousin, Louis of France, says or
swears,” answered the King, with an evident petulance in
his altered voice,—“‘ I would that Warwick could be only
worn with one’s armour! I would as lief try to kiss through
my vizor as hear him talk of glory and Touton, and King
John and poor Edward II., because I am not always in




































‘* Was reclining on a bench beside a lady.”

Page 120.
AT THE COURT OF KING EDWARD tar

mail. Go! leave us, sweet bonnibel! we must brave the
bear alone !”

The lady inclined her head, drew her hood round her
face, and striking into the contrary path from that in which
Warwick was slowing striding, gained the group round the
Queen, whose apparent freedom from jealousy, the con-
sequence -of cold affections and prudent calculation, made
one principal cause of the empire she held over the power-
ful mind, but the indolent temper, of the gay and facile
Edward.

The King rose as Warwick now approached him; and
the appearance of these two eminent persons was in singular
contrast. Warwick, though richly and even gorgeously
attired—nay, with all the care which in that age was con-
sidered the imperative duty a man of station and birth owed
to himself, held in lofty disdain whatever vagary of custom
tended to cripple the movements or womanize the man.
No loose flowing robes—no shoon half a yard long—no
flaunting tawdriness of fringe and aiglet, characterized the
appearance of the baron, who, even in peace, gave his dress
a half-martial fashion.

But Edward, who, in common with all the princes of the
House of York, carried dress to a passion, had not only re-
introduced many of the most effeminate modes in vogue
under William the Red King, but added to them whatever
could tend to impart an almost oriental character to the
old Norman garb. His gown (a womanly garment which
had greatly superseded, with men of the highest rank, not
only the mantle but the surcoat) flowed to his heels,
trimmed with ermine, and broidered with large flowers of
crimson wrought upon cloth of gold. Over this he wore a
tippet of ermine, and a collar or necklace of uncut jewels
set in filagree gold; the nether limbs were, it is true, clad
in the more. manly fashion of tight-fitting hosen, but the
folds of the gown, as the day was somewhat fresh, were
drawn around so as to conceal the only part of the dress


122 EDWARD IV

which really betokened the male sex. To add to this un-
warlike attire, Edward’s locks, of a rich golden colour, and
perfuming the whole air with odours, flowed not in curls,
but straight to his shoulders, and the cheek of the fairest
lady in his court might have seemed less fair beside the
dazzling clearness of a complexion, at once radiant with
health and delicate with youth. Yet, in spite of all this
effeminacy, the appearance of Edward IV. was of effemi-
nate. From this it was preserved, not only by a stature
little less commanding than that of Warwick himself, and
of great strength and breadth of shoulder, but also by
features, beautiful indeed, but pre-eminently masculine—
large and bold in their outline, and evincing by their ex-
pression all the gallantry and daring characteristics of the
hottest soldier, next to Warwick, and, without any excep-
tion, the ablest captain of the age.

‘And welcome—a merry welcome, dear Warwick, and
cousin mine,” said Edward, as Warwick slightly bent his
proud knee to his King; “your brother, Lord Montagu,
has but left us. Would that our court had the same
joyaunce for you as for him.”

“Dear and honoured my liege,” answered Warwick, his
brow smoothing at once—for his affectionate though hasty
and irritable nature was rarely proof against the kind voice
and winning smile of his young sovereign—“ could I ever
serve you at the court as I can with the people you would
not complain that John of Montagu was a better courtier
than Richard of Warwick. But each to his calling. I
depart to-morrow for Calais, and thence to King Louis.
And, surely, never envoy or. delegate had better chance to
be welcome than one empowered to treat of an alliance
that will bestow on a prince, deserving, I trust, his fortunes,
the sister of the bravest sovereign in Christian Europe.”

“Now, out on thy flattery, my cousin; though I must
needs own I provoked it by my complaint of thy courtier-
ship. But thou hast learned only half thy business, good
AT THE COURT OF KING EDWARD 123

Warwick ; and it is well Margaret did not hear thee. Is
not the prince of France more to be envied for winning a
fair lady than having a fortunate soldier for his brother-in-
law?”

“ My liege,” replied Warwick, smiling, ‘thou knowest I
am a poor judge of a lady’s fair cheek, though indifferently
well skilled as to the valour of a warrior’s stout arm.
Algates, the Lady Margaret is indeed worthy in her ex-
cellent beauties to become the mother of brave men!”

“ And that is all we can wring from thy stern lip, man of
iron. Well, that must content us. But to more serious
matters.” And the King, leaning his hand on the earl’s
arm, and walking with him slowly to and fro the terrace,
continued, “ Knowest thou not, Warwick, that this French
alliance, to which thou hast induced us, displeases sorely
our good traders of London ? ”

* Mort-Dieu !” returned Warwick bluntly; “and what
business have the flat-caps with the marriage of a King’s
sister? Is it for them to breathe garlick on the alliances
of Bourbons and Plantagenets? Faugh! You have spoiled
them, good my lord King—you have spoiled them by your
condescensions. Henry IV. staled not his majesty to con-
sultations with the mayor of his city. Henry V. gave the
knighthood of the Bath to the heroes of Agincourt, not to
the vendors of cloth and spices.”

“ Ah, my poor knights of the Bath!” said Edward good-
humouredly, “wilt thou never let that sore scar quietly
over? Ownest thou not that the men had their merits ?”

“‘What the merits were, I weet not,” answered the earl ;
“unless, peradventure, their wives were comely and young.”

“Thou wrongest me, Warwick,” said the King, carelessly ;
** Dame Cook was awry, Dame Philips a grandmother, Dame
Jocelyn had lost her front teeth, and Dame Waer saw seven
ways at once! But thou forgettest, man, the occasion of
those honours—the eve before Elizabeth was crowned—
and it was policy to make the city of London have a share
124 EDWARD IV

inher honours. As to the rest,” pursued the King, earnestly
and with dignity, “I and my house have owed much to
London. When the peers of England, save thee and thy
friends, stood aloof from my cause, London was ever loyal
and true. Thou seest not, my poor Warwick, that these
burgesses are growing up into power by the decline of the
orders above them. And if the sword is the monarch’s
appeal for his right, he must look to contented and honoured
industry for his buckler in peace. This is policy—policy,
Warwick ; and Louis XI. will tell thee the same truths,
harsh though they grate in a warrior’s ear.”

The earl bowed his haughty head, and answered shortly,
but with a touching grace, “Be it ever thine, noble King, to
rule as it likes thee; and mine to defend with my blood
even what I approve not with my brain. But if thou
doubtest the wisdom of this alliance, it is not too late yet.
Let me dismiss my following, and cross not the seas.
Unless thy heart is with the marriage, the ties I would
form are threads and cobwebs.”

‘‘ Nay,” returned Edward irresolutely: “in these great
state matters thy wit is elder than mine; but men do say
the Count of Charolois is a mighty lord, and the alliance
with Burgundy will be more profitable to staple and mart.”

“Then, in God’s name, so conclude it!” said the earl
hastily, but with so dark a fire in his eyes that Edward,
who was observing him, changed countenance ; “only ask
me not, my liege, to advance such a marriage. The Count
of Charolois knows me as his foe—shame were mine did I
shun to say where I love, where I hate. That proud dullard
once slighted me when we met at his father’s court, and
the wish next to my heart is to pay back my affront with
my battle-axe. Give thy sister to the heir of Burgundy,
and forgive me if I depart to my castle of Middleham.”

Edward, stung by the sharpness of this reply, was about
to answer as became his majesty of King, when Warwick
more deliberately resumed: “Yet think well, Henry of
AT THE COURT OF KING EDWARD 125

Windsor is thy prisoner, but his cause lives in Margaret
and his son. There is but one power in Europe that can
threaten thee with aid to the Lancastrians, that power is
France. Make Louis thy friend and ally, and thou givest
peace to thy life and thy lineage; make Louis thy foe, and
count on plots and stratagems, and treason—uneasy days
and sleepless nights. Already thou hast lost one occasion
to secure that wiliest and most restless of princes in reject-
ing the hand of the Princess Bona. Happily this loss can
now be retrieved. But alliance with Burgundy is war with
France—war more deadly because Louis is a man who de-
clares it not—a war carried on by intrigue and bribe, by
spies and minions, till some disaffection ripens the hour
when young Edward of Lancaster shall land on thy
coasts, with the Oriflamme and the Red Rose, with French
soldiers and English malcontents. Wouldst thou look to
Burgundy for help? Burgundy will have enough to guard
its own frontiers from the gripe of Louis the Sleepless.
Edward, my King, my pupil in arms ; Edward, my loved, my
honoured liege, forgive Richard Nevile his bluntness, and
let not his faults stand in bar of his counsels.”

“Vou are right, as you are ever, safeguard of England
and pillar of my state,” said the King frankly, and pressing
the arm he still held, “‘Go to France and settle all as thou
wilt.”

Warwick bent low and kissed the hand of his sovereign.
* And,” said he, with a slight, but a sad smile, “when I
am gone my liege will not repent, will not misthink me,
will not listen to my foes, nor suffer merchant and mayor
to sigh him back to the mechanics of Flanders ?”

“ Warwick, thou deemest ill of thy King’s kingliness.”

“Not of thy kingliness, but that same gracious quality
of yielding to counsel which bows this proud nature to
submission often makes me fear for thy firmness when thy
will is won through thy heart. And now, good my liege,
forgive me one sentence more. Heaven forfend that I
126 EDWARD IV

should stand in the way of thy princely favours. A King’s
countenance is a sun that should shine on all. But be-
think thee well, the barons of England are a stubborn and
haughty race; chafe not thy most puissant peers by too
cold a neglect of their past services, and too lavish a largess
to new men.”

“Thou aimest at Elizabeth’s kin,” interrupted Edward,
withdrawing his hand from his minister’s arm ; “and I tell
once for all times that I would rather sink to my earldom
of March, with a subject’s right to honour where he loves,
than wear crown and wield sceptre without a King’s un-
questioned prerogative to ennoble the line and blood of one
he has deemed worthy of his throne. As for the barons,
with whose wrath thou threatenest me, I banish them not.
If they go in gloom from my court, why, let them chafe
themselves sleek again !”

“ King Edward,” said Warwick moodily, “tried services
merit not this contempt. It is not as the kith of the Queen
that I regret to see lands and honour lavished upon men,
rooted so newly to the soil that the first blast of the war-
trump will scatter their greenness to the winds. But what
sorrows me is to mark those who have fought against thee
preferred to the stout loyalty that braved block and field
for thy cause. Look round thy court; where are the men
of bloody York and victorious Touton? Unrequited, sullen
in their strongholds, begirt with their yeomen and their
retainers. Thou standest—thou, the heir of York—almost
alone (save where the Neviles—whom one day thy court
will seek also to disgrace and discard—vex their old com-
rades in arms by their defection); thou standest almost
alone among the favourites and minions of Lancaster. Is
there no danger in proving to men that to have served thee
is discredit, to have warred against thee is guerdon and
grace?”

“Enough of this, cousin,” replied the King, with an
effort which preserved his firmness. “On this head we
AT THE COURT OF KING EDWARD 127

cannot agree. Take what else thou wilt of royalty, make
treaties and contract marriages, establish peace or proclaim
war, but trench not on my sweetest prerogative to give and
to forgive. And now, wilt thou tarry and sup with us?
The ladies grow impatient of a commune that detains from
their eyes the stateliest knight since the Round Table was
chopped into firewood.”

“No, my liege,” said Warwick, whom flattery of this
sort rather angered than soothed; “I have much yet
to prepare. I leave your highness to fairer homage and
more witching counsels than mine.” So saying, he kissed
the King’s hand, and retired; and, passing the Queen and
her ladies with a lowlier homage than that with which he
had before greeted them, left the garden. Edward’s eye
followed him, musingly. The frank expression of his face
vanished, and, with the deep breath of a man who is
throwing a weight from his heart, he muttered,—

“He loves me—yes—but will suffer no one else to love
me! This must end some day. Iam weary of the bond-
age.” And sauntering towards the ladies he listened in
silence, but not apparently in displeasure, to his Queen’s
sharp sayings on the imperious mood and irritable temper
of the iron-handed builder of his throne.

As Warwick passed the door that led from the garden he
brushed by a young man, the baudekin stripes of whose
vest announced his relationship to the King, and who,
though far less majestic than Edward, possessed sufficient
of family likeness to pass for a very handsome and comely
person. But his countenance wanted the open and fearless
expression which gave that of the King so masculine and
heroic a character. The features were smaller, and less
clearly cut, and to a physiognomical observer there was
much that was weak and irresolute in the light blue eyes
and the smiling lips, which never closed firmly over the
. teeth. He did not wear the long gown then so much in
vogue, but his light figure was displayed to advantage by a
128 EDWARD IV

vest, fitting it exactly, descending half-way down the thigh,
and trimmed at the border and the collar with ermine.
The sleeves of the doublet were slit, so as to show the
white lawn beneath, and adorned with aiglets and knots of
gold. Over the left arm hung a rich jacket of furs and
velvet, something like that adopted by the modern hussar.
His hat or cap was high and tiara-like, with a single white
plume, and the ribbon of the garter bound his knee.
Though the dress of this personage was thus far less
effeminate than Edward’s, the effect of his appearance was
infinitely more so—partly, perhaps, from a less muscular
frame, and partly from his extreme youth. For George
Duke of Clarence was then, though initiated not only in
the gaieties, but all the intrigues of the court, only in his
eighteenth year. Laying his hand, every finger of which
sparkled with jewels, on the earl’s shoulder—“ Hold!” said
the young prince in a whisper, ‘‘a word in thy ear, noble
Warwick.”

The earl, who, next to Edward; loved Clarence the most
of his princely house, and who always found the latter as
docile as the other (when humour or affection seized him)
was intractable, relaxed into a familiar smile at the duke’s
greeting, and suffered the young prince to draw him aside
from the groups of courtiers with whom the chamber was
filled, to the leaning-places (as they were called) of a large
mullion window. In the meanwhile, as they thus conferred,
the courtiers interchanged looks, and many an eye of fear
and hate was directed towards the stately form of the earl.

Amongst those opposed to the earl, and fit in all qualities
to be the head of the new movement—if the expressive
modern word be allowed us—stood at that moment in the
very centre of the chamber, Anthony Woodville—in right
of the rich heiress he had married, the Lord Scales. As
when some hostile and formidable foe enters the meads
where the flock grazes, the gazing herd gather slowly round
their leader,—so grouped the Queen’s faction slowly, and by
AT THE COURT OF KING EDWARD 129

degrees, round this accomplished nobleman, at the pro-
longed sojourn of Warwick.

“Gramercy!” said the Lord Scales, in a somewhat
affected intonation of voice, ‘the conjunction of the bear
and the young lion is a parlous omen, for the which I could
much desire we had a wise astrologer’s reading.”

“Jt is said,” observed one of the courtiers, ‘that the
Duke of Clarence much affects either the lands or the
person of the Lady Isabel.”

‘“‘A passably fair damozel,” returned Anthony, “though
a thought or so too marked and high in her lineaments,
and wholly unlettered, no doubt: which were a pity, for
George of Clarence hath some pretty taste in the arts and
poesies. But as Occleve hath it—

“**Gold, silver, jewel, cloth, beddyng, array,’

would make gentle George amorous of a worse-featured
face than high-nosed Isabel: ‘strange to spell or rede,’ as
I would wager my best destrier to a tailor’s hobby the
damozel surely is.”

“Notest thou yon gaudy popinjay?” whispered the Lord
of St. John to one of his Touton comrades, as, leaning
against the wall, they overheard the sarcasms of Anthony,
and the laugh of the courtiers, who glassed their faces and
moods to his; “is the time so out of joint that Master
Anthony Woodville can vent his scurrile japes on the
heiress of Salisbury and Warwick, in the King’s chamber?”

“And prate of spelling and reading, as if they were the
cardinal virtues,” returned his sullen companion. ‘“ By my
halidame, I have two fair daughters at home, who will lack
husbands, I trow, for they can only spin and be chaste—
two maidenly gifts out of bloom with the White Rose.”

In the meanwhile, unwitting, or contemptuous of the
attention they excited, Warwick and Clarence continued
yet more earnestly to confer.

“No, George, no,” said the earl, who, as the descendant

QS. K
130 EDWARD IV

of John o’ Gaunt, and of kin to the King’s blood, main-
tained, in private, a father’s familiarity with the princes of
York, though on state occasions, and when in the hearing
of others, he sedulously marked his deference for their rank
—‘‘no, George, calm and steady thy hot mettle, for thy
brother’s and England’s sake. I grieve as much as thou to
hear that the Queen does not spare even thee in her froward
and unwomanly peevishness. But there is a glamour in
this, believe me, that must melt away, soon or late, and our
kingly Edward recover his senses.”

“Glamour!” said Clarence; “thinkest thou, indeed,
that her mother, Jacquetta, has bewitched the King? One
word of thy belief in such spells, spread abroad amongst
the people, would soon raise the same storm that blew
Eleanor Cobham from Duke Humphrey’s bed, along
London streets in her penance-shift.”

“Troth,” said the earl, indifferently, “I leave such grave
questions as these to prelate and priest; the glamour I
spoke of is that of a fair face over a wanton heart; and
Edward is not so steady a lover, that this should never
wear out.”

“Tt amates me much, noble cousin, that thou leavest the
court in this juncture. The Queen’s heart is with Burgundy
——the city’s hate is with France—and when once thou art
gone, I fear that the King will be teased into mating my
sister with the Count of Charolois.”

“Ho!” exclaimed Warwick, with an oath so loud that it
rung through the chamber, and startled every ear that heard
it. Then, perceiving his indiscretion, he lowered his tone
into a deep and hollow whisper, and griped the prince’s
arm, almost fiercely, as he spoke,

“Could Edward so dishonour my embassy—so palter
and juggle with my faith—so flout me in the eyes of
Christendom, I would—I would ” he paused, and re-
laxed his hold of the duke, and added, with an altered
voice—‘T would leave his wife and his lemans, and yon


AT THE COURT OF KING EDWARD 131

things of silk, whom he makes peers (¢hat is easy) but
cannot make men—to guard his throne from the grandson
of Henry V. But thy fears, thy zeal, thy love for me,
dearest prince and cousin, make thee misthink Edward’s
kingly honour and knightly faith. I go with the sure
knowledge that by alliance with France I shut the house
of Lancaster from all hope of this roiaulme.”

Without waiting for further parlance, the earl turned
suddenly away, threw his cap on his towering head, and
strode right through the centre of the whispering courtiers,
who shrunk, louting low, from his haughty path, to break
into a hubbub of angry exclamations, or sarcastic jests, at
his unmannerly bearing, as his black plume diseppedred i in
the arch of the vaulted door.

—Lorp Lytton, Last of the Barons.
XIV
The King is Dead—
Who Shall be King ?

HE Earl of Lincoln was waiting intelligence from the
field of Bosworth, in a palace he inhabited not far

from Tottenham Court, a secluded habitation, surrounded
by a garden and a high wall. This was an irksome situa-
tion for a warrior ; but though his uncle loved, he distrusted
him: his projected marriage with the Lady Elizabeth,
would probably cause him again to be father of an heir to
the crown, and knowing that Lincoln possessed, in the
young Duke of York, a dangerous rival, he refused to allow
him to take up arms against Richmond. Lord Lincoln
was alone, pacing his large and vaulted hall in deep and
anxious meditation. He, who with conscience for his rule,
takes, or endeavours to take, the reins of fate into his own
hands, must experience frequent misgivings ; and often feel,
that he wheels near the edge of a giddy precipice, down
which the tameless steeds he strives to govern, may, in an
instant, hurl him and all dependent upon his guidance.
The simple feeling of compassion, arising from the seeing
childhood lose its buoyancy in undue confinement, had
first led the princely noble to take charge of his young
cousin. Afterwards, when he beheld the boy grow in
health and years, developing the while extraordinary quick-
ness of intellect, and a sweet ingenuous disposition, he

began to reflect on the station he held, his rights and his
132
THE KING IS DEAD 133

injuries; and then the design was originated on which he
was now Called to act.

If Richard gained the day, all would stand as before.
Should he be defeated—and that second sense, that feeling
of coming events, which is one of the commonest, though
the least acknowledged of the secret laws of our nature,
whispered the yet unrevealed truth to him—who then
would assume England’s diadem, and how could he secure
it for its rightful owner, the only surviving son of Edward
the Fourth? All these reflections coursed themselves
through his brain, while, with the zeal of a partizan, and
the fervour of one wedded to the justice of his cause, he
revolved every probable change of time and fortune.

At this moment a courier was announced: he brought
tidings from the field. As is usual on the eve of a great
event, they were dubious and contradictory. The armies
faced each other, and the battle was impending. The
doubts entertained on both sides, as to the part that Lord
Stanley would take, gave still a greater uncertainty to the
anticipations of each.

Soon after the arrival of this man, the loud ringing at
the outer gate was renewed; and the trampling of horses,
as they entered the court, announced a more numerous
company. There was something in the movements of his
domestics, that intimated to the Earl that his visitor was of
superior rank. Could it be the King, who had fled; con-
quered, and a fugitive? Could such terms be applied to
the high-hearted Richard? The doors of the hall were
thrown open, and the question answered by the entrance
of his visitant: it was a woman; and her name, “ Lady
Brampton!” in a tone of wonder, burst from the noble’s
lips.

“Even I, my good lord,” said the lady; “allow me
your private ear; I bring intelligence from Leicestershire.
All is lost,” she continued, when the closing of the door
assured her of privacy; “all is lost, and all is gained—
134 RICHARD II

Richard is slain. My emissaries brought swift intelligence
of this event to me at Northampton, and I have hastened
with it hither, that without loss of time you may act.”

There was a quickness and a decision in the lady’s
manner that checked rather than encouraged her auditor.
She continued: ‘Vesper hour has long passed—it matters
not—London yet is ours. Command instantly that Richard
the Fourth be proclaimed King of England.”

Lord Lincoln started at these words. The death of his
uncle and benefactor could not be received by him like
the loss of a move at chess; a piece lost, that required the
bringing up of other pieces to support a weak place. “The
King is slain,” were words that rung in his ears; drowning
every other that the lady uttered with rapidity and agitation.
“We will speak of that anon,” he replied; and going to the
high window of his hall, he threw it open, as if the air
oppressed him. The wind sighed in melancholy murmurs
among the branches of the elms and limes in the garden:
the stars were bright, and the setting moon was leaving the
earth to their dim illumination. ‘“Yesternight,” thought
Lincoln, ‘he was among us, a part of our conversation, our
acts, our lives; now his glazed eyes behold not these stars.
The past is his; with the present and the future he has no
participation.”

Lady Brampton’s impatience did not permit the Earl long
to indulge in that commune with nature, which we eagerly
seek when grief and death throws us back on the weakness
of our human state, and we feel that we ourselves, our best
laid projects and loftiest hopes, are but the playthings of
destiny. ‘“ Wherefore,” cried the lady, “does de la Poole
linger? Does he hesitate to do his cousin justice? Does
he desire to follow in the steps of his usurping predecessor ?
Wherefore this delay ?”

* To strike the surer,” replied Lincoln. ‘‘ May not I ask
wherefore this impatience?”

Even as he spoke, steps were heard near the apartment ;
THE KING IS DEAD 135

and while the eyes of both were turned with inquietude on
the expected intruder, Lord Lovel entered: there was no
triumph, no eager anticipation on his brow—he was languid
from ill success and fatigue. Lincoln met him with the
pleasure of one who sees his friend escaped fromcertain death.
He was overjoyed to be assured of his existence; he was
glad to have his assistance on the present emergency.
“We know,” he said, “all the evil tidings you bring us;
we are now deliberating on the conduct we are to pursue:
your presence will facilitate our measures. Tell me what
other friends survive to aid us. The Duke of Norfolk, the
Staffords, Sir Robert Brakenbury, where are they?”

Lovel had seen the Duke fall, the Staffords had accom-
panied his flight; uncertainty still hung over the fate of
many others. This detail of the death of many of their
common friends, subdued the impetuosity of the lady, till
an account of how Richard himself had fought and been
slain, recalled her to their former topic of discussion; and,
again, she said, “It is strange that you do not perceive the
dangers of delay. Why is not the King proclaimed ?”

“Do you not know,” asked Lord Lovel, “that the King
is proclaimed ?”

Lady Brampton clasped her hands, exclaiming—“ Then
Richard the Fourth will wear his father’s crown!”

“ Henry the Seventh,” said Lovel, “possesses and wears
the English crown. Lord Stanley placed the diadem on
the head of the Earl of Richmond, and his soldiers, with
one acclaim, acknowledged him as their sovereign.”

“ This is mere trifling,” said the lady ; ‘‘the base-born off-
spring of Lancaster may dare aspire so high, but one act of
ours dethrones him. The Yorkists are numerous, and
will defend their King: London is yet ours.”

“Yes,” replied Lincoln, “it isin our power to deluge the
streets of London with blood; to bring massacre among its
citizens, and worse disaster on its wives and maidens. I
would not buy an eternal crown for myself—I will not
136 RICHARD III

strive to place that of England on my kinsman’s head—at
this cost. We have had over-much of. war: I have seen
too many of the noble, young, and gallant fall by the sword.
Brute force has had its day; now let us try what policy can
do.”

The council these friends held together was long and
anxious. The lady still insisted on sudden and resolute
measures. Lord Lovel, a soldier in all his nature, looked
forward to the calling together the Yorkists from every part
of the kingdom. The Earl, with a stateman’s experience,
saw more of obstacle to their purpose in the elevation of
Henry, than either of his companions would allow; the
extreme youth of the Duke of York, the oblivion into
which he had sunk, and the stain on his birth, which was
yet unremoved, would disincline the people to hazard life
and fortune in his cause. It was necessary now to place
him in safety, and far away from the suspicious eyes of his
usurping enemy. That morning Lord Lincoln had brought
him up from his rural retreat to the metropolis, and sheltered
him for a few hours under safe but strange guardianship.
He was left at the house of a Flemish money-lender well
known at court. It was agreed that Lord Lovel should
take him thence, and make him the companion of his
journey to Colchester, where they should remain watching
the turn of events, and secretly preparing the insurrection
which would place him on the throne. Lady Brampton
was obliged to proceed immediately northwards to join her
husband ; the north was entirely Yorkist, and her influence
would materially assist the cause. The Earl remained in
London; he would sound the inclinations of the nobility,
and even coming in contact with the new King, watch over
danger and power at its fountain-head. Time wore away
during these deliberations; it was past midnight before the
friends separated. Lord Lovel presented his young friend,
Edmund Plantagenet, to the Earl, and recommended him
to his protection. Refreshment was also necessary after
THE KING IS DEAD 137

Lovel’s fatiguing journey; but he was so intent on accom-
plishing his purpose, that he wasted but a few minutes in
this manner, and then, being provided with a fresh horse
from Lincoln’s stables, he left the palace, to proceed first
to the present abode of Richard of York, and afterwards,
accompanied by him, on his road to Essex.

Lord Lovel threaded his way through the dark narrow
streets of London towards Lothbury. The habitation of
the money-lender was well-known to him, but it was not
easily entered at past midnight. A promised bribe to the
apprentice who hailed him from the lofty garret-window,
and his signet-ring sent into his master, at length procured
admission into the bed-chamber of Mynheer Jahn Warbeck.
The old man sat up in his bed, his red cotton night-cap
on his head, his spectacles, with which he had examined
the ring, on his nose; his chamber was narrow and dilapi-
dated, his bed of ill condition. ‘‘Who would suppose,”
thought Lovel, “that this man holds half England in
pawn P”

When Warbeck heard that the errand of Lovel was to
take from him his princely charge, he rose hastily, wrapping
a robe round him, and opened a small wainscot door lead-
ing into a little low room, whence he drew the half-sleeping
and wondering boy. There was a rush taper in the room,
and daylight began to peep through the crevices of the
shutters, giving melancholy distinctness to the dirty and
dismantled chamber. One ray fell directly on the red
night-cap and spectacles of old Jahn, whose parchment
face was filled with wrinkles, yet they were lines of care,
not of evil, and there was even benevolence in his close
mouth; for the good humour and vivacity of the boy had
won on him, Besides he had himself a son, for whom he
destined all his wealth, of the same age as the little fellow
whose plump roseate hand he held in his own brown
shrivelled palm. The boy came in, rubbing his large blue
‘eyes, the disordered ringlets of his fair hair shading a face
138 RICHARD III

replete with vivacity and intelligence. Mynheer Jahn was
somewhat loth to part with the little prince, but the latter
clapped his hands in ecstasy when he heard that Lord Lovel
had come to take him away. ,

“T pray you tell me, Sir Knight,” said old Warbeck,
“whether intelligence hath arrived of the victory of our
gracious sovereign, and the defeat of the Welch rebels.”

Richard became grave at these words ; he fixed his eyes
enquiringly on the noble: “Dear Lord Lovel,” he cried,
“for I remember you well, my very good lord, when you
came to the Tower and found me and Robert Clifford play-
ing at bowls—tell me, how you have fought, and whether
you have won.”

“Mine are evil tidings,” said Lovel; ‘“‘all is lost. We
were vanquished, and your royal uncle slain.”

Warbeck’s countenance changed at these words; he la-
mented the King; he lamented the defeat of the party
which he had aided by various advances of money, and his
regrets at once expressed sorrow for the death of some, and
dread from the confiscation of the property of others.
Meanwhile, Richard of York was full of some thought that
swelled his little breast; taking Lovel’s hand, he asked
again, “ My uncle, Richard the Third, is dead?”

“Even so,” was the reply; “he died nobly on the field
of battle.”

The child drew himself up, and his eyes flashed as he
said proudly,—‘ Then I am King of England.”

“Who taught your Grace that lesson?” asked Lovel.

“My liege—my brother Edward. Often and often in
the long winter nights, and when he was sick in bed, he
told me how, after he had been proclaimed King, he had
been dethroned; but that when our uncle died he should
be King again; and that if it pleased God to remove him, I
should stand in his place; and I should restore my mother’s
honour, and this he made me swear.”

“Bless the boy!” cried Warbeck, “he speaks most
“Lilla



** Mynheer Jahn was somewhat loth to part with the little prince.”
Page 138.
THE KING IS DEAD 139

sagely ; may the saints incline my lord, the Earl of Lincoln,
to do his royal cousin justice!”

“Your Grace,” said Lovel, “shall hear more of this as
we proceed on our journey. Mynheer Jahn, the Earl bade
me apply to you; you are to repair to him before noon ;
meanwhile, fill this long empty purse with gold coins. He
will be my guarantee.”

This was an inducement not to be resisted. Warbeck
counted out the gold; the boy with light steps tripped
down the creaking old staircase, and when Lovel had
mounted, taking his hand, he sprung in the saddle before
him. ‘The fresh morning air was grateful to both, after the
close chambers of the Fleming. The noble put his horse
to a quick trot, and leaving London by a different road
from that by which he had entered, took his way through
Romford and Chelmsford to Colchester.

The news of the Earl of Richmond’s victory and assump-
tion of the crown reached London that night. The citizens
heard it on their awakening, and Henry the Seventh was
King.

——Mary WOLLSTONERAFT SHELLEY, Perkin Warbeck,
XV

The Marriage of
a Queen

ENRY THE SEVENTH was a man of strong sense
and sound understanding. He was prudent, resolute,
and valiant; on the other hand, he was totally devoid of
generosity, and was actuated all his life by base and bad
passions. At first the ruling feeling of his heart was hatred
of the House of York—nor did he wholly give himself up
to the avarice that blotted his latter years, till the extinction
of that unhappy family satisfied his revenge, so that for
want of fuel the flame died away. Most of his relatives
and friends had perished in the field or on the scaffold by
the hands of the Yorkists—his own existence had been in
jeopardy during their exaltation; and the continuance of
his reign, and even of his life, depended on their utter
overthrow.

The competitors for the crown were the daughters of
Edward the Fourth. Henry immediately saw the necessity
of agreeing to the treaty entered into by the Countess of
Richmond, for his marriage with the eldest of these prin-
cesses. He hated to owe his title to the crown to any part
of the House of York; he resolved, if possible, to delay
and break the marriage; but his own friends were urgent
with him to comply, and prudence dictated the measure ;
he therefore promised to adopt it—thus effectually to silence
the murmurs of the party of the White Rose.

Fortune smiled on the new sovereign. The disappear-
140
THE MARRIAGE OF A QUEEN 141

ance of the two children from the Tower caused the
Yorkists to settle their affections on the young Elizabeth.
She was at Sheriff-Hutton, waiting impatiently for her union
with her uncle; now she received commands to proceed to
London, as the affianced bride of that uncle’s conqueror.
Already the common talk ran on the entwining of the two
Roses ; and all the adherents of her family, who could gain
access, recommended their cause to her, and entreated her,
in the first days of power, not to forget her father’s friends,
but to incline the heart of her husband to an impartial love
for the long rival houses of Lancaster and Vork.

Two parties arrived on the same day at Sheriff-Hutton,
on the different missions of conducting the Lady Elizabeth
and the Earl of Warwick to London. On the morning of
their departure, they met in the garden of their abode to
take leave of each other. Elizabeth was nineteen years
old, Warwick was the exact age of her brother, Edward the
Fifth ; he was now sixteen.

“We are about to travel the same road with far different
expectations,” said Warwick. “TI go to be a prisoner; you,
fair cousin, to ascend a throne.”

‘There was a despondency in the youth’s manner that
deeply affected this Princess. ‘‘ Dear Edward,” she replied,
clasping his hand, “we have been fellow prisoners long, and
sympathy has lightened the burthen of our chains. Can I
forget our walks in this beauteous park, and the love and
confidence we have felt for each other? My dearest boy,
when I am Queen, Esther will claim a boon from Ahasuerus,
and Warwick shall be the chief noble in my train.”

She looked at him with a brilliant smile; her heart
glowed with sisterly affection. She might well entertain
high anticipations of future power; she was in the pride of
youth and beauty; the light spirit of expected triumph
lighted up her lovely face. She was about to become the
bride of a conqueror, yet one whose laurels would droop
‘without her propping; she was to be Queen of her native
142 HENRY VII

land, the pearly clasp to unite the silken bond with which
peace now bound long discordant England. She was un-
able to communicate this spirit of hope to her desponding
friend; he gazed on her beauty with admiration and deep
grief, asking, with tearful eyes, ‘Shall we ever meet again?”

“Yes! in London, in the Court of Henry, we shall
again be companions—friends.”

“T go to the Tower, not to the Court,” replied Warwick,
‘and when those gloomy gates close on me, I shall pray
that my head may soon repose on the cold stone that
pillows my cousin Edward. I shall sleep uneasily till
then.”

“Fie, cousin!” said Elizabeth; “such thoughts ill be-
seem the nearest kinsman of the future Queen of England.
You will remain but a short time in the Tower; but if you
nurse thoughts like these, you will pine there as you did
before I shared your prison here, and the roses with which
my care has painted your cheeks, will again fade.”

‘Wan and colourless will my cheek be ere your bright
eyes look on it again. Is it not sufficient grief that I part
from you, beloved friend!”

A gush at once of sorrow, of affection, of long suppressed
love, overpowered the youth. ‘TI shall think of you,” he
added, “in my prison-house ; and while I know that you
regret my fate, I cannot be wholly a wretch. Do you not
love me? And will you not, as a proof, give me one of
these golden hairs, to soothe poor Warwick’s misery? One
only,” he said, taking from her braided locks the small
gift he demanded ; “I will not diminish the rich beauty of
your tresses, yet they will not look lovelier, pressed by the
jewelled diadem of England, than under the green chaplet
I crowned you with a few months past, my Queen of May!”

And thus, the eyes of each glistening with tears, they
parted. For a moment Warwick looked as if he wished to
press his cousin to his heart ; and she, who loved him as a
sister, would have yielded to his embrace: but before his

THE MARRIAGE OF A QUEEN 143

arms enfolded her, he started back, bent one knee, pressed
her hand to his lips, his eyes, his brow, and bending his
head for an instant towards the ground, sprang up, and
rushed down the avenue towards the gate at which his
guard awaited him. Elizabeth stood motionless, watching
him till out of sight. The sun sparkled brightly on a tuft
of wild flowers at her feet. The glittering light caught her
eye. “It is noon,” she thought; ‘‘the morning dew is
dry; it is Warwick’s tears that gem these leaves.” She
gathered the flowers, and, first kissing them, placed them
in her bosom; with slow steps, and a sorrowing heart, she
re-entered the Castle.

The progress of the Lady Elizabeth from Sheriff-Hutton
to London was attended by every circumstance that could
sustain her hopes. She was received with acclamation and
enthusiasm in every town through which she passed. She
indeed looked forward with girlish vanity to the prospect of
sharing the throne with Henry. She had long been taught
the royal lesson, that with princes, the inclinations are not
to bear any part in a disposal of the hand.

With a fluttering heart she entered London: small pre-
paration had been made to receive her, and she was
immediately conducted to her mother’s abode at the Tower
Royal, in the parish of Walbrook. It was now the eigh-
teenth of October, and the preparations for the coronation
of Henry were in great forwardness; Parliament had
recognised his title without any allusion to the union with
the heiress of the House of York.

The dissatisfaction manifested by the English people
forced Henry to comply with the universal wish entertained
of seeing the daughter of Edward the Fourth on the throne:
yet it was not until the beginning of January that the
Princess received intimation to prepare for her nuptials.
This prospect, which had before elated, now visited her
coldly ; for, without the hope of influencing her husband,
the state of a Queen appeared mere bondage. In her
144 _ HENRY VII

heart she wished to reject her uncourteous bridegroom ;
and once she had ventured to express this desire to her
mother, who, filled with affright, laid aside her intrigues,
devoting herself to cultivate a more rational disposition in
her daughter. Henry paid the doomed girl one visit, and
saw little in her except a bashful child; while his keener
observation was directed towards the dowager Queen. She,
with smooth brow and winning smiles, did the honours of
reception to her future son-in-law—to her bitter foe. The
cold. courtesy of Henry chilled her; and a strong desire
lurked under her glossy mien, to reproach the usurper with
his weak title, to set up her daughter’s claim in opposition
to his, and to defy him to the field. As soon as Henry
departed, her suppressed emotions found vent in tears.
Elizabeth was astonished; she knelt before her, caressed
her, and asked if all were not well now, since the plighted
troth had passed between her and the King.

“Has it passed?” murmured the Queen, “and is your
hapless fate decided? Why did I not join you at Sheriff-
Hutton? Why did I not place your hand in that of your
noble cousin? Ah, Warwick! could I even now inspire
you with my energy, you would be free, in arms: and Eng-
land to a man would rise in the cause of Edward the Sixth,
and my sweet Elizabeth ! ”

The colour in the Princess’s cheeks varied during the
utterance of this speech: first they flushed deep red, but
the pale hue of resolution succeeded quickly to the agita-
tion of doubt. ‘ Mother,” she said, “I was your child;
plastic clay in your hands: had you said these words two
hours ago, Warwick might have been liberated—I perhaps
happy. But you have given me away; this ring is the
symbol of my servitude ; I belong to Henry. Say no word,
I beseech you, that can interfere with my duty to him.
Permit me to retire.”

On the eighteenth of January her nuptials were cele-
brated.
THE MARRIAGE OF A QUEEN 145

The forbidding manners of Henry threw a chill over the
marriage festival. He considered that he had been driven
to this step by his enemies; and that the chief among
these, influenced by her mother, was Elizabeth herself.
The poor girl never raised her eyes from the moment she
had encountered at the altar the stern and unkind glance
of the King. Her steps were unassured, her voice faltering :
the name of wife was to her synonymous with that of slave,
while her sense of duty prevented every outward demonstra-
tion of the despair that occupied her heart.

Her mother’s indignation was deeper, although not less
veiled. She could silence, but not quell the rage that
arose in her breast from her disappointment; and there
were many present who shared her sentiments. As far as
he had been able, Henry had visited the Yorkists with the
heaviest penalties. An act of attainder had been passed
against the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Lovel, the Staffords,
and all indeed of note who had appeared against him.
Those with whom he could not proceed to extremities, he
wholly discountenanced. The Red Rose flourished bright
and free—one single white blossom, doomed to untimely
blight, being entwined with the gaudier flowers.

—Mary WOLLSTONECRAFT SHELLEY, Lerkin Warbeck.
XVI

The Rise of a
New Queen

7 ING HENRY took aturn on the ramparts on the north
side of Windsor castle, between the Curfew Tower
and the Winchester Tower, and lingered for a short time
on the bastion commanding that part of the acclivity where
the approach, called the Hundred Steps, is now contrived.
Here he cautioned the sentinels to be vigilant, and having
gazed for a moment at the placid stream flowing at the foot
of the castle, and tinged with the last rays of the setting
sun, he proceeded to the royal lodgings, and entered the
banquet-chamber, where supper was already served.

Wolsey sat on his right hand, but he did not vouchsafe
him a single word, addressing the whole of his discourse to
the Duke of Suffolk, who was placed on his left. As soon
as the repast was over, he retired to his closet. But the
cardinal would not be so repulsed, and sent one of his
gentlemen to crave a moment’s audience of the King,
which, with some reluctance, was accorded.

“Well, cardinal,” cried Henry, as Wolsey presented him-
self, and the usher withdrew. ‘You are playing a deep
game with me, as you think; but take heed, for I see
through it.”

“IT pray you dismiss these suspicions from your mind,
my liege,” said Wolsey. ‘No servant was ever more faith-
ful to his master than I have been to you.”

“No servant ever took better care of himself,” cried the
146
THE RISE OF A NEW QUEEN 147

King fiercely. ‘ Not alone have you wronged me to enrich
yourself, but you are ever intriguing with my enemies. I
have nourished in my breast a viper; but I will cast you
off—will crush you as I would the noxious reptile.”

And he stamped upon the floor, as if he could have
trampled the cardinal beneath his foot.

“Beseech you, calm yourself, my liege,” replied Wolsey,
in the soft and deprecatory tone which he had seldom
known to fail with the King. “I have never thought of my
own aggrandizement, but as it was likely to advance your
power. For the countless benefits I have received at your
hands, my soul overflows with gratitude. You have raised
me from the meanest condition to the highest. You have
made me your confidant, your adviser, your treasurer, and,
with no improper boldness 1 say it, your friend. But I
defy the enemies who have poisoned your ears against me,
to prove that I have ever abused the trust placed in me.
The sole fault that can be imputed to me is, that I have
meddled more with temporal matters than with spiritual,
and it is a crime for which I must answer before Heaven.
But I have so acted because I felt that I might thereby best
serve your highness. If I have aspired to the papal throne
—which you well know I have—it has been that I might
be yet a more powerful friend to your majesty, and render
you, what you are entitled to be, the first prince in
Christendom.”

“Tut, tut!” exclaimed the King, who was, nevertheless,
moved by the artful appeal.

“The gifts I have received from foreign princes,” pursued
Wolsey, seeing the effect he had produced, “the wealth I
have amassed, have all been with a view of benefiting your
majesty.”

‘“‘Humph !” exclaimed the King.

“To prove that I speak the truth, sire,” continued the
wily cardinal, “the palace at Hampton Court, which I have
just completed”:
148: HENRY VIII

“ And at a cost more lavish than I myself should have
expended on it,” interrupted the King angrily.

“Tf I had destined it for myself, I should not have spent
a tithe of what I have done,” rejoined Wolsey. ‘“ Your
highness’s unjust accusations force me to declare my inten-
tions somewhat prematurely. Deign,” he cried, throwing
himself at the King’s feet, ‘‘deign to accept that palace and
all within it. You were pleased, during your late residence
there, to express your approval of it. And I trust it will
find equal favour in your eyes, now that it is your own.”

“By holy Mary, a royal gift!” cried Henry. ‘“‘ Rise,
cardinal. You are not the grasping, selfish person you
have been represented.”

“Declare as much to my enemies, sire, and I shall be
more than content,” replied Wolsey. ‘ You will find the
palace better worth acceptance than at first sight might
appear.”

‘“‘ How so?” cried the King.

“Your highness will be pleased to take this key,” said
the cardinal ; “‘it is the key of the cellar.”

“You have some choice wine there,” cried Henry signi-
ficantly ; “given you by some religious house, or sent by
some foreign potentate, ha!”

“Tt is a wine that a king might prize,” replied the
cardinal. ‘Your majesty will find a hundred hogsheads
in that cellar, and each hogshead filled with gold.”

“You amaze me!” cried the King, feigning astonishment.
“ And all this you freely give me?”

. “Freely and fully, sire,” replied Wolsey. ‘“ Nay, I have
saved it for you. Men think I have cared for myself,
whereas I have cared only for your majesty. Oh! my dear
liege, by the devotion I have just approved to you, and
which I would also approve, if needful, with my life, I
beseech you to consider well before you arise Anne Boleyn
to the throne. In giving you this counsel, I know I hazard
the favour I have just regained. But even at that hazard, I
THE RISE OF A NEW QUEEN 149

must offer it. Your infatuation blinds you to the terrible
consequences of the step. The union is odious to all your
subjects, but most of all to those not tainted with the new
heresies and opinions. It will never be forgiven by the
Emperor Charles the Fifth, who will seek to avenge the
indignity offered to his illustrious relative; while Francis
will gladly make it a pretext for breaking his truce with you.
Add to this the displeasure of the apostolic see, and it must
be apparent that, powerful as you are, your position will be
one of infinite peril.” :

“Thus far advanced, I cannot honourably abandon the
divorce,” said Henry.

“ Nor do I advise its abandonment, sire,” replied Wolsey ;
“but do not let it be a means of injuring you with all men.
Do not let a mal-alliance place your very throne in jeopardy ;
as, with your own subjects and all foreign powers against
you, must necessarily be the case.”

“Vou speak warmly, cardinal,” said Henry.

“‘ My zeal prompts me to do so,” replied Wolsey. ‘Anne
Boleyn is in no respect worthy of the honour you propose
her.”

“And whom do you think more worthy?” demanded
Henry.

“Those whom I have already recommended to your
majesty, the Duchess d’Alengon, or the Princess Renée,”
replied Wolsey; “by a union with either of whom you
would secure the cordial co-operation of Francis, and the
interests of the see of Rome, which, in the event of war
with Spain, you may need.”

“ “No, Wolsey,” replied Henry, taking a hasty turn across
the chamber; ‘no considerations of interest or security
shall induce me to give up Anne. I love her too well for
that. Let the lion Charles roar, the fox Francis snarl, and
the hydra-headed Clement launch forth his flames, I will
remain firm to my purpose. I will not play the hypocrite
with you, whatever I may do with others. I cast off
150 HENRY VII

Catherine that I may wed Anne, because I cannot other-
wise obtain her. And shall I now, when I have dared so
much, and when the prize is in my grasp, abandon it ?—
Never! Threats, expostulations, entreaties are alike unavail-
ing.”

“I grieve to hear it, my liege,” replied Wolsey, heaving
a deep sigh. “It is an ill-omened union, and will bring
woe to you, woe to your realm, and woe to the Catholic
Church.”

* And woe to you also, false cardinal!” cried Anne
Boleyn, throwing aside the arras, and stepping forward.
“JT have overheard what has passed; and from my heart
of hearts I thank you, Henry, for the love you have dis-
played for me. But I here solemnly vow never to give my
hand to you till Wolsey is dismissed from your counsels.”

“Anne!” exclaimed the King.

“ My own enmity I could forego,” pursued Anne vehe-
mently, ‘but I cannot forgive him his duplicity and perfidy
towards you. He has just proffered you his splendid palace
of Hampton, and his treasures ; and wherefore ?—TI will tell
you: because he feared they would be wrested from him.
His jester had acquainted him with the discovery just made
of the secret hoard, and he was therefore compelled to have
recourse to this desperate move. But I was appraised of
his intentions by Will Sommers, and have come in time to
foil him.”

‘“* By my faith, I believe you are right, sweetheart!” said
the King.

“Go, tell your allies, Francis and Clement, that the
King’s love for me outweighs his fear of them,” cried Anne,
laughing spitefully. ‘As for you, I regard you as nothing.
A few weeks ago I would have made terms with you.
Now I am your mortal enemy, and will never rest till I
have procured your downfall. Henry, you know the sole
terms on which you can procure my hand.”

The King nodded a playful affirmative.
THE RISE OF A NEW QUEEN 151

* Then dismiss him at once—disgrace him,” said Anne.

“Nay, nay,” replied Henry, “the divorce is not yet
passed. You are angered now, and will view matters more
coolly to-morrow.”

“T shall never change my resolution,” she replied.

“Tf my dismissal and disgrace can save my sovereign, I
pray him to sacrifice me without hesitation,” said Wolsey ;
“but while I have liberty of speech with him, and aught of
power remaining, I will use it to his advantage. I pray
your majesty suffer me to retire.”

And receiving a sign of acquiescence from the King, he
withdrew.

Anne Boleyn remained with her royal lover for a few
minutes to pour forth her gratitude for the attachment he
had displayed to her, and to confirm the advantage she had
gained over Wolsey. As soon as she was gone, Henry
summoned an usher, and proceeded to the Curfew Tower.

The King left the archers at the Curfew Tower, and,
wholly unattended, was passing at the back of St. George’s
Chapel, near the north transept, when he paused for a
moment to look at the embattled entrance to the New
Commons—a structure erected in the eleventh year of his
own reign by James Denton, a canon, and afterwards Dean
of Lichfield, for the accommodation of such chantry priests
and choristers as had no place in the college. Over the
doorway, surmounted by a niche, ran (and still runs) the
inscription :

“ ZEDES PRO SACELLANORUM CHORISTARUM COVIVIIS
EXTRUCTA, A.D. 1519.”

The building has since been converted into one of the
canons’ houses.

While he was contemplating this beautiful gateway, which
was glimmering in the bright moonlight, a tall figure sud-
denly darted from behind one of the buttresses of the
chapel, and seized his left arm with an iron grasp. The
152 HENRY VII

suddenness of the attack took him by surprise; but he
instantly recovered himself, plucked away his arm, and,
drawing his sword, made a pass at his assailant, who, how-
ever, avoided the thrust, and darted with inconceivable
swiftness through the archway leading to the cloisters.
Though Henry followed as quickly as he could, he lost
sight of the fugitive, but just as he was about to enter the
passage running between the tome-house and the chapel,
he perceived a person in the south ambulatory, evidently
anxious to conceal himself, and, rushing up to him and
dragging him to the light, he found it was no other than
the cardinal’s jester, Patch.

* What dost thou here, knave?” cried Henry angrily.

“Tam waiting for my master, the cardinal,” replied the
jester, terrified out of his wits.

“Waiting for him here!” cried the King. ‘‘ Where is he?”

“In that house,” replied Patch, pointing to a beautiful
bay window, full of stained glass, overhanging the exquisite
arches of the north ambulatory.

“Why, that is Doctor Sampson’s dwelling,” cried Henry ;
“he who was chaplain to the Queen, and is a strong
opponent of the divorce. What doth he there?”

“T am sure I know not,” replied Patch, whose terror
increased each moment. ‘‘Perhaps I have mistaken the
house. Indeed, I am sure it must be Dr. Voysey’s the
next door.”

“Thou liest, knave!” cried Henry fiercely ; ‘thy manner
convinces me there is some treasonable practice going for-
ward. But I will soon find it out. Attempt to give the
alarm, and I will cut thy throat.”

With this he proceeded to the back of the north am-
bulatory, and, finding the door he sought unfastened, raised
the latch and walked softly in. But before he got half-way
down the passage Doctor Sampson himself issued from an
inner room with a lamp in his hand. He started on seeing
the King, and exhibited great alarm.
THE RISE OF A NEW QUEEN 153

“The Cardinal of York is here—I know it,” said Henry,
in a deep whisper. “Lead me to him.”

“Oh, go not forward, my gracious liege!” cried Samp-
son, placing himself in his path.”

‘“‘ Wherefore not?” rejoined the King. ‘‘ Ha! what voice
is that I hearin the upper chamber? Is she here, and
with Wolsey? Out of my way, man,” he added, pushing
the canon aside, and rushing up the short wooden stair-
case.

When Wolsey returned from his interview with the King,
which had been so unluckily interrupted by Anne Boleyn,
he found his antechamber beset with a crowd of suitors, to
whose solicitations he was compelled to listen, and having
been detained in this manner for nearly half an hour, he at
length retired into an inner room.

“Vile sycophants!” he muttered, ‘they bow the knee
before me, and pay me greater homage than they render the
King, but though they have fed upon my bounty and risen
by my help, not one of them, if he was aware of my true
position, but would desert me. Not one of them but would
lend a helping hand to crush me. Not one but would
rejoice in my downfall. But they have not deceived me.
I knew them from the first—saw through their hollowness,
and despised them. While power lasts to me, I will punish
some of them. While power lasts!” he repeated. ‘Have
T any power remaining? I have already given up Hampton
and my treasures to the. King ; and the work of spoliation
once commenced, the royal plunderer will not be content
till he has robbed me of all; while his minion, Anne
Boleyn, has vowed my destruction. Well, I will not yield
tamely, nor fall unavenged.”

As these thoughts passed. through his mind, Patch, who
had waited for a favourable moment to approach him, de-
livered him a small billet carefully sealed and fastened with
a silken thread. Wolsey took it, and broke it open; and as
his eye eagerly scanned its contents, the expression of his
154 HENRY VII

countenance totally changed. A flash of joy and triumph
irradiated his fallen features: and thrusting the note into
the folds of his robe, he inquired of the jester by whom it
had been brought, and how long.

“Tt was brought by messenger from Doctor Sampson,”
replied Patch, “and was committed to me with special
injunctions to deliver it to your grace immediately on your
return, and secretly.”

The cardinal sat down, and for a few moments appeared
lost in deep reflection ; he then arose, and telling Patch he
should return presently, quitted the chamber. But the
jester, who was of an inquisitive turn, and did not like to be
confined to half a secret, determined to follow him, and ac-
cordingly tracked him along the great corridor, down a
winding staircase, through a private door near the Norman
Gateway, across the middle ward, and finally saw him enter
Doctor Sampson’s dwelling at the back of the north ambu-
latory. He was reconnoitring the windows of the house
from the opposite side of the cloisters in the hope of
discovering something when he was caught, as before
‘mentioned, by the King.

Wolsey, meanwhile, was received by Doctor Sampson
at the doorway of his dwelling, and ushered by him into
a small chamber on the upper floor, wainscoted with
curiously carved and lustrously black oak. A silver lamp
was burning on the table, and in the recess of the window,
which was screened by thick curtains, sat a majestic lady,
who rose on the cardinal’s entrance. It was Catherine of
Arragon.

“JT attend your pleasure, madam,” said Wolsey, with a
profound inclination.

“You have been long in answering my summons,” said
the Queen ; “but I could not expect greater promptitude.
Time was when a summons from Catherine of Arragon
would have been quickly and cheerfully attended to ; when
the proudest noble in the land would have borne her mes-


“ee
I attend
your pleasure, Madam,’ sai
,’ said Wolsey.”

Page 154.
THE RISE OF A NEW QUEEN 155

sage to you, and when you would have passed through
crowds to her audience-chamber. Now another holds her
place, and she is obliged secretly to enter the castle where
she once ruled, to despatch a valet to her enemy, to
attend his pleasure, and to receive him in the dwelling
of a humble canon. Times are changed with me, Wolsey
—sadly changed.”

“T have been in attendance on the King, madam, or I
should have been with you sooner,” replied Wolsey. ‘‘It
gtieves me sorely to see you here.”

“T want not your pity,” replied the Queen proudly. “I
did not send for you to gratify your malice by exposing my
abject state. I did not send for you to insult me by false
sympathy; but in the hope that your own interest would
induce you to redress the wrongs you have done me.”

* Alas! madam, I fear it is now too late to repair the
error I have committed,” said Wolsey, in a tone of affected
penitence and sorrow.

“You admit, then, that it was an error,” cried Catherine.
“Well, that is something. Oh! that you had paused be-
fore you began this evil work—before you had raised a
storm which will destroy me and yourself. Your quarrel
with my nephew, the Emperor Charles, has cost me dear,
but it will cost you yet more dearly.”

“TJ deserve all your reproaches, madam,” said Wolsey,
with feigned meekness; “and I will bear them without a
murmur. But you have sent for me for some specific
object, I presume ?”

“T sent for you to give me aid, as much for your own
sake as mine,” replied the Queen, “for you are in equal
danger. Prevent this divorce—foil Anne—and you retain
the King’s favour. Our interests are so far leagued to-
gether that you must serve me to serve yourself. My
object is to gain time to enable my friends to act. Your
colleague is secretly favourable to me. Pronounce no sen-
tence here, but let the cause be removed to Rome. My
156 ' HENRY VII

nephew, the emperor, will prevail upon the Pope to decide
in my favour.”

- “TI dare not thus brave the King’s displeasure, madam,”
replied Wolsey.

“ Dissembler !” exclaimed Catherine. ‘I now perceive
the insincerity of your professions. Thus much I have said
to try you. And now to my real motive for sending for
you. I have in my possession certain letters that will ruin
Anne Boleyn with the King.”

“Ha!” exclaimed the cardinal joyfully ; ‘if that be the
case, all the rest will be easy. Let me see the letters, I
pray you, madam.”

Before Catherine could reply, the door was thrown
violently open, and the King stood before them.

“Soh!” roared Henry, casting a terrible look at Wolsey,
“T have caught you at your treasonable practices at last!
And you, madam,” he added, turning to Catherine, who
meekly, but steadily, returned his gaze, ‘‘what brings you
here again? Because I pardoned your indiscretion yester-
day, think not I shall always be so lenient. You will leave
the castle instantly. As to Wolsey, he shall render mea
strict account of his conduct.”

“JT have nothing to declare, my liege,” replied Wolsey,
recovering himself. ‘I leave it to the Queen to explain
why I came hither.”

“The explanation shall be given at once,” said Catherine.
“TJ sent for the cardinal to request him to lay before your
majesty these two letters from Anne Boleyn to Sir Thomas
Wyat, that you might judge whether one who could write
thus would make you a fitting consort. You disbelieved
my charge of levity yesterday. Read these, sire, and judge
whether I spoke the truth.”

Henry glanced at the letters, and his brow grew dark.

“What say you to them, my liege?” cried Catherine,
with a glance of triumph. ‘In the one she vows eternal
constancy to Sir Thomas Wyat, and in the other—written
THE RISE OF A NEW QUEEN 157

after her engagement to you—she tells him that though they
can never meet as heretofore, she will always love him.”

“Ten thousand furies!” cried the King. ‘ Where got
you these letters, madam ?”

“They were given to me by a tall dark man as I quitted
the castle last night,” said the Queen. ‘“‘ He said they were
taken from the person of Sir Thomas Wyat while he lay
concealed in the forest.”

“Tf I thought she wrote them,” cried Henry, in an access
of jealous fury, ‘‘I would cast her off for ever.”

“ Methinks your majesty should be able to judge whether

they are true or false,” said Catherine. ‘‘I know her
writing well—too well, alas!—and am satisfied they are
genuine.”

“T am well assured that Wyat was concealed in the Lady
Anne’s chamber when your majesty demanded admittance
and could not obtain it—when the Earl of Surrey sacrificed
himself for her, and for his friend,” said Wolsey.

“ Perdition !” exclaimed the King, striking his brow with
his clenched hand. ‘Oh, Catherine!” he continued, after
a pause, during which she intently watched the workings
of his countenance, “and it was for this lighthearted crea-
ture I was about to cast you off.”

“J forgive you, sire—I forgive you!” exclaimed the
Queen, clasping his hands, and bedewing them with grate-
ful tears. “You have been deceived. Heaven keep you
in the same mind!”

“You have preserved me,” said Henry; “but you must
not tarry here. Come with me to the royal lodgings.”

“ “No, Henry,” replied Catherine, with a shudder, “not
while se is there.”

“Make no conditions, madam,” whispered Wolsey.
“ Go.”

“She shall be removed to-morrow,” said Henry.

“In that case I am content to smother my feelings,”
said the Queen. ‘
158 HENRY VII

“Come, then, Kate,” said Henry, taking her hand.
“Lord cardinal, you will attend us.”

“Right gladly, my liege,” replied Wolsey. “If this
mood will only endure,” he muttered, ‘all will go well.
But his jealousy must not be allowed to cool. Would that
Wyat were here!”

Doctor Sampson could scarcely credit his senses as he
beheld the august pair come forth together, and a word
from Wolsey explaining what had occurred threw him into
transports of delight. But the surprise of the good canon
was nothing to that exhibited as Henry and Catherine
entered the royal lodgings, and the King ordered his own
apartments to be instantly prepared for her majesty’s re-
ception.

Intelligence of the Queen’s return was instantly conveyed
to Anne Boleyn, and filled her with indescribable alarm.
All her visions of power and splendour seemed to melt
away at once. She sent for her father, Lord Rochford,
who hurried to her in a state of the utmost anxiety, and
closely questioned her whether the extraordinary change
had not been occasioned by some imprudence of her own.
But she positively denied the charge, alleging that she had
parted with the King scarcely an hour before on terms of
the most perfect amity, and with the full conviction that
she had accomplished the cardinal’s ruin.

“You should not have put forth your hand against him
till you were sure of striking the blow,” said Rochford.
“There is no telling what secret influence he has over the
King ; and there may yet be a hard battle to fight. But
not a moment must be lost in counteracting his operations.
Luckily Suffolk is here, and his enmity to the cardinal will
make him a sure friend to us. Pray Heaven you have not
given the King fresh occasion for jealousy! That is all I
fear.”

And quitting his daughter, he sought out Suffolk, who,
alarmed at what appeared like a restoration of Wolsey to
THE RISE OF A NEW QUEEN 159

favour, promised heartily to co-operate with him in the
struggle ; and that no time might be lost, the duke pro-
ceeded at once to the royal closet, where he found the King
pacing moodily to and fro.

“Vour majesty seems disturbed,” said the duke.

“‘ Disturbed !—ay!” exclaimed the King. ‘I have enough
to disturb me. I will never love again. I will forswear
the whole sex. Harkee, Suffolk, you are my brother, my
second self, and know all the secrets of my heart. After
the passionate devotion I have displayed for Anne Boleyn
—after all I have done for her—all I have risked for her—
I have been deceived.”

“Impossible, my liege!” exclaimed Suffolk.

“Why, so I thought,” cried Henry, “and I turned a
deaf ear to all insinuations thrown out against her till
proof was afforded which I could no longer doubt.”

“And what was the amount of the proof, my liege?”
asked Suffolk.

“These letters,” said Henry, handing them to him
“found on the person of Sir Thomas Wyat.”

“But these only prove, my liege, the existence of a
former passion—nothing more,” remarked Suffolk, after he
had scanned them.

“ But she vows eternal constancy to him!” cried Henry;
“says she shall ever love him—says so at the time she
professes devoted love forme! How can I trust her after
that? Suffolk, I feel she does not love me exclusively ;
and my passion is so deep and devouring that it demands
entire return. I must have her heart as well as her person ;
and I feel I have only won her in my quality of King.”

“Tam persuaded your majesty is mistaken,” said the duke.

“ Would I could think so!” sighed Henry. ‘ But no—
no, I cannot be deceived. I will conquer this fatal passion.
Oh, Suffolk ! it is frightful to be the bondslave of a woman
—a fickle, inconstant woman. But between the depths of
love and hate is but a step; and I can pass from one to the
other.”
160 HENRY VIII

“Do nothing rashly, my dear liege,” said Suffolk; ‘“no-
thing that may bring with it after-repentance. Do not be
swayed by those who have inflamed your jealousy, and who
could practise upon it. Think the matter calmly over, and
then act. And till you have decided, see neither Catherine
nor Anne; and, above all, do not admit Wolsey to your
secret counsels ”

“Vou are his enemy, Suffolk,” said the King sternly.

“T am your majesty’s friend,” replied the duke. “I
beseech you, yield to me on this occasion, and I am sure
of your thanks hereafter.”

“Well, I believe you are right, my good friend and
brother,” said Henry, “and I will curb my impulses of rage
and jealousy. To-morrow, before I see either the Queen
or Anne, we will ride forth into the forest, and talk the
matter further over.”

“Your highness has come to a wise determination,” said
the duke.

“Oh, Suffolk!” sighed Henry, “would I had never seen
this siren! She exercises a fearful control over me, and
enslaves my very soul.”

“‘T cannot say whether it is for good or ill that you have
met, my dear liege,” replied Suffolk, “but I fancy I can
discern the way in which your ultimate decision will be
taken. But it is now near midnight. I wish your majesty
sound and untroubled repose.”

On the following day a reconciliation took place between
the King and Anne Boleyn. During a ride in the Great
Park with his royal brother, Suffolk not only convinced him
of the groundlessness of his jealousy, but contrived to in-
cense him strongly against Wolsey. Thus the Queen and
the cardinal lost the momentary advantage they had gained,
while Anne’s power was raised yet higher. Yielding to her
entreaties not to see Catherine again, nor to hold further
conference with Wolsey until the sentence of the court
should be pronounced, Henry left the castle that very day,
THE RISE OF A NEW QUEEN 161

and proceeded to his palace of Bridewell. The distress of
the unhappy Queen at this sudden revolution of affairs may
be conceived. Distrusting Wolsey, and putting her sole
reliance on Heaven and the goodness of her cause, she
withdrew to Blackfriars, where she remained till the court
met. As to the cardinal himself, driven desperate by his
situation, and exasperated by the treatment he had experi-
enced, he resolved, at whatever risk, to thwart Henry’s
schemes, and revenge himself upon Anne Boleyn.

Thus matters continued till the court met as before in
the Parliament chamber, at Blackfriars. On this occasion
Henry was present, and took his place under a cloth of
estate—the Queen sitting at some distance below him.
Opposite them were the legates, with the Archbishop of
Canterbury, and the whole of the bishops. The aspect of
the assemblage was grave and anxious. Many eyes were
turned on Henry, who looked gloomy and menacing, but
the chief object of interest was the Queen, who, though
pale as death, had never in her highest days of power
worn a more majestic and dignified air than on this occasion.

The proceedings of the court then commenced, and the
King being called by the crier, he immediately answered to
the summons. Catherine was next called, and, instead of
replying, she marched towards the canopy beneath which
the King was seated, prostrated herself, and poured forth a
most pathetic and eloquent appeal to him, at the close of
which she arose, and, making a profound reverence, walked
out of the court, leaning upon the arm of her general re-
ceiver, Griffith. Henry desired the crier to call her back,
but she would not return; and seeing the effect produced
by her address upon the auditory, he endeavoured to efface
it by an eulogium on her character and virtues, accom-
panied by an expression of deep regret at the step he was
compelled to take in separating himself from her. But
his hypocrisy availed him little, and his speech was re-
ceived with looks of ill-disguised incredulity. Some further

Q. S. M
162 HENRY VII

discourse then took place between the Archbishop of Can-
terbury and the Bishop of Rochester; but as the Queen
had absented herself, the court was adjourned to the next
day, when it again met, and as she did not then appear,
though summoned, she was pronounced contumacious.
After repeated adjournments, the last session was held, and
judgment demanded on the part of the King, when Cam-
peggio, as had been arranged between him and Wolsey,
declined to pronounce it until he had referred the matter
to the Pope, and the court was dissolved.

About two months after this event, during which time
the legate’s commission had been revoked, while Henry
was revolving the expediency of accomplishing the divorce
through the medium of his own ecclesiastical courts, and
without reference to that of Rome, a despatch was received
from the Pope by the two cardinals, requiring them to cite
the King to appear before him by attorney on a certain day.
At the time of the arrival of this instrument, Campeggio
chanced to be staying with Wolsey at his palace at Esher,
and as the King was then holding his court at Windsor,
they both set out for the castle on the following day,
attended by a retinue of nearly a hundred horsemen, splen-
didly equipped.

It was now the middle of September, and the woods,
instead of presenting one uniform mass of green, glowed
with an infinite variety of lovely tints. And yet, despite
the beauty of the scene, there was something melancholy
in witnessing the decline of the year, as marked by those
old woods, and by the paths that led through them, so
thickly strewn with leaves. Wolsey was greatly affected.
“These noble trees will ere long be reft of their glories,”
he thought, “‘and so, most likely, will it be with me, and
perhaps my winter may come on sooner than theirs !”

The cardinal and his train had crossed Staines Bridge,
and passing through Egham, had entered the Great Park
near Englefield Green. They were proceeding along the
THE RISE OF A NEW QUEEN 163

high ridge overlooking the woody region between it and
the castle, when a joyous shout in the glades beneath
reached them, and, looking down, they saw the King, ac-
companied by Anne Boleyn, and attended by his falconers
and a large company of horsemen, pursuing the sport of
hawking. The royal party appeared so much interested
in their sport that they did not notice the cardinal and his
train, and were soon out of sight. But as Wolsey descended
Snow Hill, and entered the long avenue, he heard the
trampling of horses at a little distance, and, shortly after-
wards, Henry and Anne issued from out the trees. They
were somewhat more than a bow-shot in advance of the
cardinal ; but instead of halting till he came up, the King
had no sooner ascertained who it was, than, despatching a
messenger to the castle, who was seen galloping swiftly
down the avenue, he rode off with Anne Boleyn towards
the opposite side of the park. Though deeply mortified
by the slight, Wolsey concealed his vexation from his
brother cardinal, and pursued his way to the castle, before
which he presently arrived. The gate was thrown open at
his approach, but he had scarcely entered the lower wards
when Sir Henry Norris, the King’s groom of the stole, ad-
vanced to meet him, and, with a sorrowful expression of
countenance, said that his royal master had so many guests
at the castle that he could not accommodate him and his
train.

“J understand your drift, sir,” replied Wolsey; ‘‘ you
would tell me Iam not welcome. Well, then, his eminence
Cardinal Campeggio and myself must take up our lodgings
at some hostel in the town, for it is necessary we should
see the King.”

“Tf your grace is content to dismiss your attendants,”
said Norris, in a low tone, “you and Cardinal Campeggio
can be lodged in Henry the Third’s Tower. Thus much
I will take upon me; but I dare not admit you to the
royal lodgings.”
164 HENRY VIII

Wolsey tried to look unconcerned, and calling to his
gentleman usher, George Cavendish, gave him some in-
structions in a low voice, upon which the other immedi-
ately placed himself at the head of the retinue, and ordered
them to quit the castle with him, leaving only the jester,
Patch, to attend upon his master. Campeggio’s attendants
being, comparatively speaking, few in number, were allowed
to remain, and his litter was conveyed to Henry the Third’s
Tower—a fortification standing in the south side of the
lower ward, near the edge of the dry moat surrounding
the Round Tower. At the steps of this tower Wolsey
dismounted, and was about to follow Campeggio into the
doorway, when Will Sommers, who had heard of his
arrival, stepped forward, and, with a salutation of mock
formality, said, ‘I am sure it will grieve the King, my
master, not to be able to accommodate your grace’s train ;
but since it is larger than his own, you will scarce blame
his want of hospitality.”

‘Nor the courtesy of his attendants,” rejoined Wolsey
sharply. ‘I am in no mood for thy jesting now. Stand
aside, sirrah, or I will have the rod applied to thy back.”

“Take care the King does not apply the rod to your own,
lord cardinal,” retorted Will Sommers. “If he scourges
you according to your deserts, your skin will be redder than
your robe.” And his mocking laugh pursued Wolsey like
the hiss of a snake into the tower.

Some two hours after this Henry and his attendants
returned from the chase. The King seemed in a blithe
humour, and Wolsey saw him laugh heartily as Will
Sommers pointed with his bauble towards Henry the
Third’s Tower. The cardinal received no invitation to
the royal banquet; and the answer to his solicitation for
an interview was that he and Campeggio would be received
in the presence-chamber on the following morning, but not
before.

That night a great revel was held in the castle. Mas-
THE RISE OF A NEW QUEEN 165

quing, dancing, and feasting filled up the evening, and the
joyous sounds and strains reached Wolsey in his seclusion,
and forced him to contrast it with his recent position, when
he would have been second only to the King in the enter-
tainment.

The morning promised to be fine, but it was then hazy.
and the greater part of the forest was wrapped in mist,
The castle, however, was seen to great advantage. Above
Wolsey rose the vast fabric of the Round Tower, on the
summit of which the broad standard was at that moment
being unfurled; while the different battlements and towers
arose majestically around. But Wolsey’s gaze rested chiefly
upon the exquisite mausoleum lying immediately beneath
him, in which he had partly prepared for himself a magnifi-
cent monument. A sharp pang shook him as he contem-
plated it, and he cried aloud, “‘My very tomb will be
wrested from me by this rapacious monarch ; and after all
my care and all my cost I know not where I shall rest my
bones !”

Saddened by the reflection he descended to his chamber,
and again threw himself on the couch.

But Wolsey was not the only person in the castle who
had passed a sleepless night. Of the host of his enemies
many had been kept awake by the anticipation of his down-
fall on the morrow; and among these was Anne Boleyn,
who had received an assurance from the King that her
enmity should at length be fully gratified.

At the appointed hour the two cardinals proceeded to
the royal lodgings. They were detained for some time in
the ante-chamber, where Wolsey was exposed to the taunts
and sneers of the courtiers who had lately so servilely
fawned upon him. At length they were ushered into the
presence-chamber, at the upper end of which, beneath a
canopy emblazoned with the royal arms woven in gold, sat
Henry, with Anne Boleyn on his right hand. At the foot
of the throne stood Will Sommers, and near him the Dukes
166 HENRY VIII

of Richmond and Suffolk. Norfolk, Rochford, and a
number of other nobles, all open enemies of Wolsey, were
likewise present. Henry watched the advance of the
cardinals with a stern look, and, after they had made an
obeisance to him, he motioned them to rise.

“Vou have sought an interview with me, my lords,” he
said, with suppressed rage. ‘‘ What would you?”

“We have brought an instrument to you, my liege,” said
Wolsey, “which has just been received from his holiness
the Pope.”

““ Declare its nature,” said Henry.

“It is a citation,” replied Wolsey, ‘ enjoining your high-
ness to appear by attorney in the papal court under a
penalty of ten thousand ducats.”

And he presented a parchment, stamped with the great
seal of Rome, to the King, who glanced his eye fiercely over
it, and then dashed it to the ground with an explosion of
fury terrible to hear and to witness,

“Ha! by Saint George!” he cried; “am I as nothing
that the Pope dares to insult me thus ?”

“Tt is a mere judicial form, your majesty,” interposed
Campeggio; ‘‘and is chiefly sent by his holiness to let you
know we have no further jurisdiction in the matter of the
divorce.”

“JT will take care you have not, nor his holiness either,”
roared the King. “ By my father’s head, he shall find I
will be no longer trifled with.”

“But, my liege ” cried Campeggio.

“Peace,” cried the King. “T will hear no apologies nor
excuses. The insult has been offered, and cannot be
effaced. As for you, Wolsey 2

“Sire,” exclaimed the cardinal, shrinking before the
whirlwind of passion, which seemed to menace his utter
extermination.

“As for you, I say,” pursued Henry, extending his hand
towards him, while his eyes flashed fire, “who by your




THE RISE OF A NEW QUEEN 167

outrageous pride have so long overshadowed our honour—
who, by your insatiate avarice and appetite for wealth have
oppressed our subjects—who by your manifold acts of
bribery and extortion have impoverished our realm, and
by your cruelty and partiality have subverted the due
course of justice, and turned it to your own ends—the time
is come when you shall receive the punishment for your
offences.”

“You wrong me, my dear liege,” cried Wolsey abjectly.
“These are the accusations of my enemies. Grant me a
patient hearing and I will explain all.”

“T would not sharpen the King’s resentment against you,
lord cardinal,” said Anne Boleyn, ‘‘for it is keen enough ;
but I cannot permit you to say that these charges are
merely hostile. Those who would support the King’s
honour and dignity must desire to see you removed from
his counsels.”

“Peace!” thundered the King. “ Your accusers are not
one but many, Wolsey; nay, the whole of my people cry
out for justice against you. And they shall have it. But
you shall hear the charges they bring. Firstly, contrary to
our prerogative, and for your own advancement and profit,
you have obtained authority legatine from the Pope, by
which authority you have not only spoiled and taken away
their substance from many religious houses, but have
usurped much of our own jurisdiction. You have also
made a treaty with the King of France for the Pope with-
out our consent, and concluded another friendly treaty with
“ the Duke of Ferrara, under our great seal, and in our name,
without our warrant. And, furthermore, you have pre-
sumed to couple yourself with our royal self in your
letters and instructions as if you were on equality with us.”

“Halha! ‘The King and I would have you do thus !’
‘The King and I give you our hearty thanks!’ Ran it
not so, cardinal?” cried Will Sommers. ‘ You will soon
win the cap and bells.”
168 HENRY VIII

“In exercise of your legatine authority,” pursued the
King, “you have given away benefices contrary to our
crown and dignity, for the which you are in danger of
forfeiture of your lands and goods,

“Then it has been your practice to receive all the am-
bassadors to our court first at your own palace to hear
their charges and intentions, and to instruct them as you
might see fit. By your ambition and pride you have un-
done many of our poor subjects, have suppressed religious
houses, and received their possessions ; have seized upon
the goods of wealthy spiritual men deceased ; constrained
all ordinaries yearly to compound with you; have gotten
riches for yourself and servants by subversion of the laws,
and by abuse of your authority in causing divers pardons of
the Pope to be suspended until you, by promise of a yearly
pension, chose to revive them; and also by crafty and
untrue tales have sought to create dissension among our
nobles.”

“That we can all avouch for,” cried Suffolk. ‘It was
never merry in England while there were cardinals among
us.”

“Of all men in England your grace should be the last to
say so,” rejoined Wolsey, “for if I had not been cardinal
you would not have had a head upon your shoulders to
utter the taunt.”

“No more of this!” cried the King. ‘You have mis-
demeaned yourself in our court by keeping up as great state
in our absence as if we had been there in person, and
presumptuously have dared to join and imprint your badge,
the cardinal’s hat, under our arms, graven on our coins
struck at York. And lastly, whenever in open Parliament
allusion hath been made to heresies and erroneous sects,
you have failed to correct and notice them to the danger
of the whole body of good and Christian people of this our
realm.”

“This last charge ought to win me favour in the eyes of
THE RISE OF A NEW QUEEN 169

one who professes the opinions of Luther,” said Wolsey to
Anne. “But I deny it, as I do all the rest.”

“J will listen to no defence, Wolsey,” replied the King.
“‘T will make you a terrible example to others how they
offend us and our laws hereafter.”

“Do not condemn me unheard!” cried the cardinal,
prostrating himself.

“J have heard too much, and I will hear no more!”
cried the King fiercely. ‘I dismiss you from my presence
for ever. If you are innocent, as you aver, justice will be
done you. If you are guilty, as I believe you to be, look
not for leniency from me, for I will show you none.” And,
seating himself, he turned to Anne, and said in a low tone,
* Are you content, sweetheart?”

“Tam,” she replied. ‘I shall not now break my vow.”

And, accompanied by Campeggio, Wolsey slowly quitted
the presence-chamber.

—W. H. ArnswortH, Windsor Castle.
XVII
When England and

Spain were Friends

N the 2nd of January, 1554, a solemn embassy from
the Emperor Charles the Fifth, consisting of four of
his most distinguished nobles, the Count d’Egmont, the
Count Lalaing, the Seigneur de Courrieres, and the Sieur
de Nigry, chancellor of the order of the Toison d’Or,
arrived in London to sign the marriage-treaty between
Philip Prince of Spain and Queen Mary, which had been
previously agreed upon by the courts of England and Spain.
Gardiner, who as long as he found it possible to do so,
had strenuously opposed the match, and had recommended
Mary to unite herself to Courtenay, or at least to some
inglish nobleman, finding her resolutely bent upon it, con-
sented to negotiate the terms of marriage with Renard, the
Spanish Ambassador, and took especial care that they were
favourable to his royal mistress.

While this was going forward De Noailles and his party
had not been idle. Many schemes were devised, but some
were abandoned from the irresolution and vacillation of
Courtenay; others were discovered and thwarted by Renard.
Still the chief conspirators, though suspected, escaped detec-
tion, or rather their designs could not be brought home
to them, and they continued to form their plans as the
danger grew more imminent with greater zeal than ever.

At one time it was determined to murder Arundel, Paget,
Rochester, and the chief supporters of the Spanish match,

170
ENGLAND AND SPAIN WERE FRIENDS 171

to seize the person of the Queen and compel her to marry
Courtenay, or depose her and place Elizabeth on the throne.
This plan not suiting the views of Lord Guilford Dudley
and Suffolk, was opposed by them ; and owing to the con-
flicting interests of the different parties that unity of purpose,
indispensable to success, could not be obtained.

Matters were in this state at the commencement of the
new year, when the ambassadors arrived from the court of
Spain. Shortly after their arrival they had an audience of
the Queen in the council chamber of the White Tower, and
when they had declared in due form that the Prince of
Spain demanded her in marriage, she replied with great
dignity, but some little prudery :—

“Tt does not became one of my sex to speak of her
marriage, nor to treat of it herself. Ihave therefore charged
my council to confer with you on the matter, and, by the
strictest conditions, to assure all rights and advantages to
my kingdom, which I shall ever regard as my first hus-
band.”

As she pronounced the last words she glanced at the
ring placed on her finger by Gardiner on the day of her
coronation.

On the following day the four ambassadors held a con-
ference with Gardiner, Arundel, and Paget. The terms
were entirely settled, and on the 12th of January the treaty
was signed and delivered on both sides.

Three days after the marriage-treaty was signed, namely,
on the 15th of January, 1554, the lords of the council, the
“lord mayor, the aldermen, and forty of the head commoners
of the city, were summoned to the Tower, where they were
received in the presence-chamber of the palace by Gardiner
and Renard, the former of whom, in his capacity of chan-
cellor, made them a long oration, informing them that an
alliance was definitely concluded between the Queen and
Philip of Spain; and adding, “that they were bound to
thank God that so noble, worthy, and famous a prince
172 MARY

would so humble himself in his union with her highness as
to take upon him rather the character of a subject than of a
monarch of equal power.”

The terms of the treaty were next read, and the chancellor
expatiated upon the many important concessions made by
the imperial ambassadors, endeavouring to demonstrate
that England was by far the greatest gainer by the alliance,
and stating “that it was her highness’s pleasure and re-
quest, that like good subjects they would, for her sake, most
lovingly receive her illustrious consort with reverence, joy,
and honour.”

No plaudits followed this announcement, nor was the
slightest expression of joy manifested except by the lords
Arundel, Paget, and Rochester,—the main supporters of the
match, when it was brought before Parliament. Gardiner
glanced at the council—at the civic authorities—as if in
expectation of a reply, but none was attempted unless
their very silence could be so construed. Whatever his
real sentiments might be, the chancellor assumed an air of
deep displeasure, and turning to Renard, who, with arms
folded on his breast, scanned the assemblage with a cold
scrutinizing gaze, asked in an undertone whether he should
dismiss them ?

“On no account,” replied the ambassador. ‘ Compel
them to give utterance to their thoughts. We shall the
better know how to deal with them. My project once
carried, and Philip united to Mary,” he muttered to him-
self, “we will speedily cudgel these stubborn English bull-
dogs into obedience.”

“Renard does not appear to relish the reception which
the announcement of her majesty’s proposed alliance has
met with,” observed De Noailles, who stood in one corner
of the chamber with Courtenay. “I will give him a fore-
taste of what is to follow. Had your lordship been pro-
posed to the assembly their manner would have been widely
different.”
ENGLAND AND SPAIN WERE FRIENDS 173

* Perhaps so,” returned Courtenay, with a gratified smile;
“and yet I know not.”

“Tt may be shortly put to the proof,” answered De Noailles.

“Never,” replied Courtenay ; “I will never wed Mary.”

“But Elizabeth?” cried the ambassador.

“* Ay, Elizabeth,” echoed the earl passionately, “ with, or
without a throne, she would be equally dear to me.”

“You shall have her and the crown as well,” replied De
Noailles.

“T care not for the latter, provided I can obtain the
former,” returned the earl.

“One is dependent upon the other,” rejoined De Noailles.
“While Mary reigns you must give up all hopes of Eliza-
beth.”

“Tt is that conviction alone that induces me to take part
in the conspiracy,” sighed Courtenay. ‘I am neither am-
bitious to rule this kingdom nor to supplant Philip of Spain.
But I would risk fortune, title, life itself, for Elizabeth.”

‘T know it,” ejaculated De Noailles to himself, “and
therefore I hold her out as a lure to you, weak, wavering
fool! I will use you as far as I find necessary, but no
farther. Rash and hare-brained as he is, Lord Guilford
Dudley would make the better leader, and is the more likely
to succeed. Jane’s party is hourly gaining strength. Well,
well, I care not who wins the day, provided I foil Renard,
and that I will do at any cost.”

“A thousand marks that I read your excellency’s
thoughts!” cried a martial-looking personage approaching
them. He was attired in a coat of mail, with quilted
sleeves, a velvet cassock, cuisses, and buff boots drawn
up above the knee, and carried in his hand a black velvet
cap, ornamented with broad bone-work lace. His arms
were rapier and dagger, both of the largest size. “Is the
wager accepted?” he added, taking the ambassador’s arm
within his own and drawing him aside.

“My thoughts are easily guessed, Sir Thomas Wyat,”
174 MARY

replied De Noailles, “I am thinking how prosperously all
goes for us.”

“ Right,” rejoined Wyat; “out of that large assemblage
three only are favourable to the imperialists. If you ap-
prove it, I will myself—though not a member of the council
—answer Gardiner’s speech, and tell him we will not suffer
this hateful alliance to take place.”

“That were unwise,” rejoined De Noailles; “do not meddle
in the matter. It will only attract suspicion towards us.”

“‘T care not if it does,” replied Wyat; “we are all ready
and sure of support. I will go further if need be, and
add, if the Queen weds not Courtenay, a general insurrec-
tion will follow.”

“Courtenay will never wed the Queen,” observed the
earl, who had followed them, and overheard the remark.

“ How?” exclaimed Wyat, in surprise.

“No more at present,” interposed De Noailles hastily.

- * Renard’s eyes are upon us.”

‘What if they are?” cried Wyat, glancing fiercely in the
direction of the imperial ambassador. “His looks—basilisk
though they be—have no power to strike us dead. Oh,
that I had an opportunity of measuring swords with him !
He should soon perceive the love I bear his prince and
him.”

“I share in your hatred towards him,” observed Courtenay.
“The favour Mary shows him proves the ascendency he has
obtained over her.”

“Tf he retains his power, farewell to the liberty of Eng-
lishmen,” rejoined Wyat; “we shall become as abject as
the Flemings. But I, for one, will never submit to the yoke
of Spain.”

“Not so loud!” cried De Noailles, checking him.
“You will effectually destroy our scheme. Renard only
seeks some plea to attack us. Have a moment’s patience,
and some one not connected with the plot will take the
responsibility upon himself.”
ENGLAND AND SPAIN WERE FRIENDS 175

The prudence of the ambassador’s counsel was speedily
exemplified. While the conversation above related occurred,
a few words passed between the principal members of the
council, and the heads of the civic authorities, and, at their
instance, the Earl of Pembroke stepped forward.

“We are aware, my lord,” he said, addressing Gardiner,
“that we ought, on the present occasion, to signify our ap-
proval of the Queen’s choice—to offer her our heartfelt
congratulations—our prayers for her happiness. But we
shall not seek to disguise our sentiments. We do zo¢ ap-
prove this match; and we have heard your lordship’s com-
munication with pain—with sorrow—with displeasure—
displeasure, that designing counsellors should have prevailed
upon her highness to take a step fatal to her own happiness,
and to the welfare of her kingdom. Our solicitations are,
therefore—and we earnestly entreat your lordship to repre-
sent them to her majesty, that she will break off this engage-
ment, and espouse some English nobleman. And we further
implore of her to dismiss from her councils the imperial
ambassador, M. Simon Renard, by whose instrumentality
this match has been contrived, and whose influence we con-
ceive to be prejudicial to the interests of our country.”

“You do me wrong, Lord Pembroke,” replied Renard;
“and I appeal to the lord chancellor, whether, in negoti-
ating this treaty, I have made any demands on the part of my
sovereign calculated to detract from the power or authority
of yours.”

“On the contrary,” replied Gardiner, “your excellency
has conceded more than we had any right to expect.”

“And more than my brother-ambassadors deemed fitting,”
rejoined Renard. ‘But I do not repent what I have done,
—well knowing how anxious the Emperor Charles the Fifth
is to unite his son to so wise, so excellent, and so religious
a princess as the Queen of this realm, and that no sacrifice
could be too great to insure him her hand.”

“Tam bound to add that your excellency has advanced
176 MARY

nothing but the truth,” acquiesced Gardiner; “and though,
at first, as is well known to Lord Pembroke and others of
the council, I was as averse to the match as he or they
could be, I am now its warmest advocate. But I will not
prolong the discussion. Her highness’s word is passed to
the prince—the contract signed—the treaty concluded.
Your remonstrances, therefore, are too late. And if you
will suffer me to point out to you the only course that can
with propriety be pursued, I would urge you to offer her
majesty your loyal congratulations on her choice—to pre-
pare to receive her consort in the manner she has directed
—and to watch over the interests of your country so care-
‘fully, that the evils you dread may never arise.”

“Tf my solemn assurance will satisfy the Earl of Pem-
broke and the other honourable persons here present,”
remarked Renard, “I will declare, in the prince my master’s
name, that he has not the remotest intention of interfering
with the government of this country—of engaging it in any
war—or of placing his followers in any office or post of
authority.”

‘‘ Whatever may be the prince’s intentions,” rejoined Gar-
diner, ‘‘he is precluded by the treaty from acting upon
them. At the same time, it is but right to add, that these
terms were not wrung from his ambassador, but voluntarily
proposed by him.”

“They will never be adhered to,” cried Sir Thomas Wyat,
stepping forward, and facing Renard, whom he regarded
with a look of defiance.

“Do you dare to question my word, sir?” exclaimed
Renard. ;

“TI do,” replied Wyat sternly. ‘And let no Englishman
put faith in one of your nation, or he will repent his folly.
I am a loyal subject of the Queen, and'would shed my
heart’s blood in her defence. But I am also a lover of my
country, and will never surrender her to the domination of
Spain!”
ENGLAND AND SPAIN WERE FRIENDS 177

“Sir Thomas Wyat,” rejoined Gardiner, “you are well
known as one of the Queen’s bravest soldiers ; and it is well
you are so, or your temerity would place you in peril.”

“T care not what the consequences are to myself, my
lord,” replied Wyat, “if the Queen will listen to my warning.
It is useless to proceed further with this match. The nation
will never suffer it to take place; nor will the prince be
allowed to set foot upon our shores.”

** These are bold words, Sir Thomas,” observed Gardiner
suspiciously. ‘Whence do you draw your conclusions ?”

“From sure premises, my lord,” answered Wyat. “The
very loyalty entertained by her subjects towards the Queen
makes them resolute not to permit her to sacrifice herself.
They have not forgotten the harsh treatment experienced
by Philip’s first wife, Maria of Portugal. Hear me, my
lord chancellor, and report what I say to her highness. If
this match is persisted in, a general insurrection will fol-
low.”

“This is a mere pretext for some rebellious design, Sir
Thomas,” replied Gardiner sternly. ‘‘Sedition ever masks
itself under the garb of loyalty. Take heed, sir. Your ac-
tions shall be strictly watched, and if aught occurs to con-
firm my suspicions, I shall deem it my duty to recommend
her majesty to place you in arrest.”

“Wyat’s rashness will destroy us,” whispered De Noailles
to Courtenay.

“Before we separate, my lords,” observed Renard, “I
think it right to make known to you that the Emperor,
deeming it inconsistent with the dignity of so mighty a
Queen as your sovereign to wed beneath her own rank, is
about to resign the crown of Naples and the dukedom of
Milan to his son, prior to the auspicious event.”

A slight murmur of applause arose from the council at
this announcement.

“You hear that,” cried the Earl of Arundel. “Can you
longer hesitate to congratulate the Queen on her union?”

Q. 8. N

”
178 MARY

The earl was warmly seconded by Paget and Rochester,
but no other voice joined them,

“The sense of the assembly is against it,” observed the
Earl of Pembroke.

“T am amazed at your conduct, my lords,” cried Gardiner
angrily. ‘You deny your sovereign the right freely accorded
to the meanest of her subjects—the right to choose for her-
self a husband. For shame! for shame! Your sense of
justice, if not your loyalty, should prompt you to act differ-
ently. The Prince of Spain has been termed a stranger to
this country, whereas his august sire is not merely the
Queen’s cousin, but the oldest ally of the crown. So far
from the alliance being disadvantageous, it is highly profit-
able, ensuring, as it does, the Emperor’s aid against our
constant enemies, the Scots and the French. Of the truth
of this you may judge by the opposition it has met with,
overt and secret, from the ambassador of the King of
France. But without enlarging upon the advantages of the
union, which must be sufficiently apparent to you all, I shall
content myself with stating that it is not your province to
dictate to the Queen whom she shall marry, or whom she
shall not marry, but humbly to acquiesce in her choice.
Her majesty, in her exceeding goodness, has thought fit to
lay before you-——a step altogether needless—the conditions
of her union. It pains me to say you have received her
condescension in a most unbecoming manner. I trust,
however, a better feeling has arisen among you, and that
you will now enable me to report you, as I desire, to her
highness.”

The only assenting voices were those of the three lords
constituting the imperial party in the council,

Having waited for a short time, Gardiner bowed gravely,
and dismissed the assemblage.

As he was about to quit the presence-chamber, he per-
ceived Courtenay standing in a pensive attitude in the em-
brasure of a window. Apparently, the room was entirely
ENGLAND AND SPAIN WERE FRIENDS 179

deserted, except by the two ushers, who, with white wands
in their hands, were stationed on either side of the door.
“It suddenly occurred to Gardiner that this would be a
favourable opportunity to question the earl respecting the
schemes in which he more than suspected he was a party,
and he accordingly advanced towards him.

“You have heard the reception which the announcement
of her majesty’s marriage has met with,” he said. “I will
frankly own to you it would have been far more agreeable
to me to have named your lordship to them. And you
have to thank yourself that such has not been the case.”

“True,” replied Courtenay, raising his eyes and fixing
them upon the speaker. ‘But I have found love more
powerful than ambition.”

* And do you yet love Elizabeth?” demanded Gardiner,
with a slight sneer. “Is it possible that an attachment can
endure with your lordship longer than a month? ”

“T never loved till I loved her,” sighed Courtenay.

“Be that as it may, you must abandon her,” returned the
chancellor. ‘The Queen will not consent to your union.”

“Your lordship has just observed, in your address to the
council,” rejoined Courtenay, ‘“‘that it is the privilege of all
—even of the meanest—to choose in marriage whom they
will. Since her highness would exert this right in her own
favour, why deny it to her sister ?”

“Because her sister has robbed her of her lover,” replied
Gardiner. “Strong-minded as she is, Mary is not without
some of the weaknesses of her sex. She could not bear to
witness the happiness of a rival.”

Courtenay smiled. :

“T understand your meaning, my lord,” pursued Gardiner
sternly; “but if you disobey the Queen’s injunctions in
this particular, you will lose your head, and so will the
princess.”

“The Queen’s own situation is fraught with more peril
than mine,” replied Courtenay. “If she persists in her
180 MARY

match with the Prince of Spain, she will lose her crown,
and then who shall prevent my wedding Elizabeth?”

Gardiner looked at him, as he said this, so fixedly, that
the earl involuntarily cast down his eyes.

“Your words and manner, my lord,” observed the chan-
cellor, after a pause, ‘convince me that you are implicated
in a conspiracy, known to be forming against the Queen.”

“My lord!” cried Courtenay.

“Do not interrupt me,” continued Gardiner,—“ the con-
duct of the council to-day, the menaces of Sir Thomas
Wyat, your own words, convince me that decided measures
must be taken. I shall therefore place you in arrest. And
this time, rest assured, care shall be taken that you do not
escape.”

Courtenay laid his hand upon his sword, and looked un-
easily at the door.

“ Resistance will be in vain, my lord,” pursued Gardiner ;
“T have but to raise my voice, and the guard will immedi-
ately appear.”

“You do not mean to execute your threats, my lord?”
rejoined Courtenay.

“T have no alternative,” returned Gardiner, “unless by
revealing to me all you know respecting this conspiracy
you will enable me to crush it. Not to keep you longer in
the dark, I will tell you that proofs are already before us of
your connection with the plot. The dwarf Xit, employed
by M. de Noailles to convey messages to you, and who
assisted in your escape, has, under threat of torture, made
a full confession. From him we have learnt that a guitar,
containing a key to the cipher to be used in a secret corre-
spondence, was sent to Elizabeth by the ambassador. The
instrument has been found in the princess’s possession at
Ashbridge, and has furnished a clue to several of your own
letters to her, which we have intercepted. Moreover, two
of the French ambassador’s agents, under the disguise of
Huguenot preachers, have been arrested, and have revealed
ENGLAND AND SPAIN WERE FRIENDS 181

his treasonable designs. Having thus fairly told you the
nature and extent of the evidence against you, I would
recommend you to plead guilty, and throw yourself upon
the Queen’s mercy.”

“If you are satisfied with the information you have ob-
tained, my lord,” returned Courtenay, “you can require
nothing further from me.”

“Yes ;—the names of your associates,” rejoined Gardiner.

“The rack should not induce me to betray them,” replied
Courtenay.

“But a more persuasive engine may,” rejoined the chan-
cellor.. “What if I offer you Elizabeth’s hand provided
you will give up all concerned in this plot ?”

“I reject it,” replied the earl, struggling between his
sense of duty and passion.

“Then I must call the guard,” returned the chancellor.

“Hold!” cried Courtenay, ‘I would barter my soul to
the enemy of mankind to possess Elizabeth. Swear to me
she shall be mine, and I will reveal all.”

Gardiner gave the required pledge.

“Yet if I confess, I shall sign my own condemnation,
and that of the princess,” hesitated Courtenay.

“Not so,” rejoined the chancellor. ‘In the last session
of parliament it was enacted, that those only should suffer
death for treason who had assisted at its commission, either
by taking arms themselves, or aiding directly and personally
those who fad taken them. Such as have simply known or
approved the crime are excepted—and your case is among
the latter class. But do not let us tarry here. Come with
me to my cabinet, and I will resolve all your scruples.”

“And you will ensure me the hand of the princess?”
said Courtenay.

“Undoubtedly,” answered Gardiner. “Have I not
sworn it P” .

And they quitted the presence-chamber.

No sooner were they gone, than two persons stepped
182 MARY

from behind the arras where they had remained concealed
during the foregoing conversation. They were De Noailles
and Sir Thomas Wyat.

*Perfidious villain!” cried the latter, “I breathe more
freely since he is gone. I had great difficulty in preventing
myself from stabbing him on the spot.” °

“Tt would have been a useless waste of blood,” replied
De Noailles. “It was fortunate that I induced you to
listen to their conversation. We must instantly provide for
our own safety, and that of our friends. The insurrection
must no longer be delayed.”

“Tt shall not be delayed an hour,” replied Wyat. “I
have six thousand followers in Kent, who only require to see
my banner displayed to flock round it. Captain Bret and
his company of London trainbands are eagerly expecting
our rising. Throckmorton will watch over the proceedings
in the city. Vice-Admiral Winter, with his squadron of
seven sail, now in the river, under orders to escort Philip of
Spain, will furnish us with ordnance and ammunition; and,
if need be, with the crews under his command.”

“Nothing can be better,” replied De Noailles. ‘We
must get the Duke of Suffolk out of the Tower, and hasten
to Lord Guilford Dudley, with whom some plan must be
instantly concerted. Sir Peter Carew must start forthwith
for Devonshire,—Sir James Croft for Wales. Your destin-
ation is Kent. If Courtenay had not proved a traitor, we
would have placed him on the throne. As it is, my advice
is that neither Elizabeth nor Jane shall be proclaimed, but
Mary Stuart.”

“There the policy of France peeps out,” replied Wyat.
“But I will proclaim none of them. We will compel the
Queen to give up this match, and drive the Spaniard from
our shores.”

“As you will,” replied De Noailles hastily. “Do not
let us remain longer here, or it may be impossible to quit
the fortress.”




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Page 184.



‘** Farewell for ever then,’ rejoined Dudley.”






ENGLAND AND SPAIN WERE FRIENDS 183

With this, they left the palace, and seeking the Duke of
Suffolk, contrived to mix him up among their attendants,
and so to elude the vigilance of the warders. As soonas they
were out of the Tower, Sir Thomas Wyat embarked in a
wherry, manned by four rowers, and took the direction of
Gravesend. De Noailles and the Duke of Suffolk hastened
to Sion House, where they found Lord Guilford Dudley
seated with Jane and Cholmondeley. On their appearance,
Dudley started to his feet, and exclaimed, ‘“‘ We are be-
trayed!”

“We are,” replied De Noailles. ‘“ Courtenay has played
the traitor. But this is of no moment, as his assistance
would have been of little avail, and his pretensions to the
crown might have interfered with the rights of your consort.
Sir Thomas Wyat has set out for Kent. We must collect
all the force we can, and retire to some place of conceal-
ment till his messengers arrive with intelligence that he is
marching towards London. We mean to besiege the Tower
and secure the Queen’s person.”

“ Dudley,” cried Jane, “if you have one spark of honour,
gratitude, or loyalty left, you will take no part in this in-
surrection.”

“Mary is no longer Queen,” replied her husband, bending
the knee before her. ‘To you, Jane, belongs that title, and
it will be for you to decide whether she shall live or not.”

“The battle is not yet won,” observed the Duke of
Suffolk. “Let us obtain the crown before we pass sentence
on those who have usurped it.”

_ ©The Lady Jane must accompany us,” whispered De

Noailles to Dudley. “If she falls into the hands of our
enemies, she may be used as a formidable weapon against
us.”

“My lord,” cried Jane, kneeling to the Duke of Suffolk ;
“if my supplications fail to move my husband, do not you
turn a deaf ear tothem. Believe me, this plot will totally
fail, and conduct us all to the scaffold.”
184 MARY

“The duke cannot retreat if he would, madam,” inter-
posed De Noailles. ‘Courtenay has betrayed us all to
Gardiner, and ere now I doubt not officers are despatched
to arrest us.”

“Jane, you must come with us,” cried Dudley.

“ Never,” she replied, rising. “I will not stir from this
spot. I implore you and my father to remain here likewise,
and submit yourselves to the mercy of the Queen.”

* And do you think such conduct befitting the son of the
great Duke of Northumberland?” replied Dudley. “No,
madam, the die is cast. My course is taken. You mus?
come with us. There is no time for preparation. Let
horses be brought round instantly,” he added, turning to
his esquire.

‘Father, dear father,” cried Jane, “ you will not go.”

But the duke averted his gaze from her, and rushed out
of the room. De Noailles made a significant gesture to
Dudley, and followed him.

“Jane,” cried Dudley, taking her hand, “I entreat—nay
command you to accompany me.”

“Dudley,” she replied, “I cannot—will not—obey you
in this. If I could, I would detain you. But as I cannot,
I will take no part in your criminal designs.”

“Farewell for ever, then,” rejoined Dudley, breaking
from her. ‘Since you abandon me in this extremity, and
throw off my authority, I shall no longer consider myself
bound to you by any ties.”

“Stay,” replied Jane. “You overturn all my good
resolutions. I cannot part thus.”

“T knew it,” replied Dudley, straining her to his bosom.
“Vou will go with me?”

‘J will,” replied Jane, ‘‘since you will have it so.”

“Come, then,” cried Dudley, taking her hand, and lead-
ing her towards the door—“ to the throne !”

“No,” replied Jane sadly—‘ to the scaffold!”

—W. H. Ainswortu, Zower of London.
XVIII

How the Queen Visited
Her Favourite at Kenilworth

SHOUT of applause from the multitude, so tre-

mendously vociferous that the country echoed for
miles round, caught up by the guards, thickly stationed
upon the road by which the Queen was to advance, ran like
wildfire to the castle, and announced to all within that
Queen Elizabeth had entered the Royal Chase of Kenil-
worth. The whole music of the castle sounded at once,
and a round of artillery, with a salvo of small arms, was dis-
charged from the battlements ; but the noise of drums and
trumpets, and even of the cannon themselves, was but
faintly heard amidst the roaring and reiterated welcomes of
the multitude.

As the noise began to abate, a broad glare of light was
seen to appear from the gate of the park, and, broadening
and brightening as it came nearer, advanced along the open
and fair avenue that led towards the Gallery-tower ; which
was lined on either hand by the retainers of the Earl of
Leicester. The word was passed along the line, “The
Queen! The Queen! Silence, and stand fast!” Onward
came the cavalcade, illuminated by two hundred thick waxen
torches, in the hands of as many horsemen, which cast a
light like that of broad day all around the procession, but
especially on the principal group, of which the Queen her-
self, arrayed in the most splendid manner, and blazing with
jewels, formed the central figure. She was mounted ona

185
186 ELIZABETH

milk-white horse, which she reined with peculiar grace and
dignity ; and in the whole of her stately and noble carriage,
you saw the daughter of an hundred kings.

The ladies of the court, who rode beside her Majesty,
had taken especial care that their own external appearance
should not be more glorious than their rank and the
occasion altogether demanded, so that no inferior luminary
might appear to approach the orbit of royalty. But their
personal charms, and the magnificence by which, under
every prudential restraint, they were necessarily distin-
guished, exhibited them as the very flower of a realm so
‘far famed for splendour and beauty. The magnificence of
the courtiers free from such restraints as prudence imposed
on the ladies, was yet more unbounded.

Leicester, who glittered like a golden image with jewels
and cloth of gold, rode on her Majesty’s right hand, as well
in quality of her host, as of her Master of the Horse. The
black steed which he mounted had not a single white hair
on his body, and was one of the most renowned chargers in
Europe, having been purchased by the Earl at large ex-
pense for this royal occasion. As the noble animal chafed
at the slow pace of the procession, and, arching his stately
neck, champed on the silver bits which restrained him, the
foam flew from his mouth, and specked his well-formed
limbs as if with spots of snow. ‘The rider well became the
high place which he held, and the proud steed which he
bestrode ; for no man in England, or perhaps in Europe,
was more perfect than Dudley in horsemanship, and all
other exercises belonging to his quality. He was bare-
headed, as were all the courtiers in the train ; and the red
torchlight shone upon his long curled tresses of dark hair,
and on his noble features, to the beauty of which even the
severest criticism could only object the lordly fault, as it
may be termed, of a forehead somewhat too high. On
that proud evening, those features wore all the grateful
solicitude of a subject, to show himself sensible of the high
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 187

honour which the Queen was conferring on him, and all the
pride and satisfaction which became so glorious a moment.
Yet, though neither eye nor feature betrayed aught but
feelings which suited the occasion, some of the Earl’s
personal attendants remarked that he was unusually pale,
and they expressed to each other their fear that he was
taking more fatigue than consisted with his health.

The train, male and female, who attended immediately
upon the Queen’s person, were of course of the bravest
and the fairest—the highest born nobles, and the wisest
counsellors, of that distinguished reign, to repeat whose
names were but to weary the reader. Behind came a long
crowd of knights and gentlemen, whose rank and birth,
however distinguished, were thrown into shade, as their
persons into the rear of a procession, whose front was of
such august majesty.

Thus marshalled, the cavalcade approached the Gallery-
tower, which formed the extreme barrier of the castle.

Amidst bursts of music, which, as if the work of enchant-
ment, seemed now close at hand, now softened by distant
space, now wailing so low and sweet as if that distance
were gradually prolonged until only the last lingering
strains could reach the ear, Queen Elizabeth crossed the
Gallery-tower, and came upon the long bridge, which ex-
tended from thence to Mortimer’s Tower, and which was
already as light as day, so many torches had been fastened
to the palisades on either side. Most of the nobles here
alighted, and sent their horses to the neighbouring village
ef Kenilworth, following the Queen on foot, as did the
gentlemen who had stood in array to receive her at the
Gallery-tower. ;

The Queen had no sooner stepped on the bridge than a
new spectacle was provided ; for as soon as the music gave
signal that she was so far advanced, a raft, so disposed as
to resemble a small floating island, illuminated by a great
variety of torches, and surrounded by floating pageants
188 ELIZABETH

formed to represent sea-horses, on which sat Tritons,
Nereids, and other fabulous deities of the seas and rivers,
made its appearance upon the lake, and, issuing from be-
hind a small heronry, where it had been concealed, floated
gently towards the farther end of the bridge.

On the islet appeared a beautiful woman, clad in a
watchet-coloured silken mantle, bound with a broad girdle,
inscribed with characters like the phylacteries of the He-
brews. Her feet and arms were bare, but her wrists and
ankles were adorned with gold bracelets of uncommon
size. Amidst her long silky black hair, she wore a crown
or chaplet of artificial mistletoe, and bore in her hand a
rod of ebony tipped with silver. Two nymphs attended
on her, dressed in the same antique and mystical guise.

The pageant was so well managed, that this Lady of the
Floating Island, having performed her voyage with much
picturesque effect, landed at Mortimer’s Tower with her
two attendants, just as Elizabeth presented herself before
that outwork. The stranger then, in a well-penned speech,
announced herself as that famous Lady of the Lake, re-
nowned in the stories of King Arthur, who had nursed
the youth of the redoubted Sir Lancelot, and whose beauty
had proved too powerful both for the wisdom and the
spells of the mighty Merlin. Since that early period she
had remained possessed of her crystal dominions, she said,
despite the various men of fame and might by whom
Kenilworth had been successively tenanted. The Saxons,
the Danes, the Normans, the Saintlowes, the Clintons, the
Mountforts, the Mortimers, the Plantagenets, great though
they were in arms and magnificence, had never, she said,
caused her to raise her head from the waters which hid
her crystal palace. But a greater than all these great
names had now appeared, and she came in homage and
duty to welcome the peerless Elizabeth to all sport, which
the castle and its environs, which lake or land could
afford.
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 189

The Queen received this address also with great courtesy,
and made answer in raillery, “‘We thought this lake had
belonged to our own dominions, fair dame; but since so
famed a lady claims it for hers, we will’ be glad at some
other time to have further communing with you touching
our joint interests,”

At the same time that the Queen was about to enter the
castle, that memorable discharge of fireworks by water and
land took place, which Master Laneham has strained all his
eloquence to describe.

It is by no means our purpose to detail minutely all
the princely festivities of Kenilworth, after the fashion of
Master Robert Laneham. It is sufficient to say, that under
discharge of the splendid fireworks, which we would have
borrowed Laneham’s eloquence to describe, the Queen
entered the base-court of Kenilworth, through Mortimer’s
Tower, and moving on through pageants of heathen gods
and heroes of antiquity, who offered gifts and compliments
on the bended knee, at length found her way to the great
hall of the castle, gorgeously hung for her reception with
the richest silken tapestry, misty with perfumes, and sound-
ing to strains of soft and delicious music. From the
highly carved oaken roof hung a superb chandelier of gilt
bronze, formed like a spread eagle, whose outstretched
wings supported three male and three female figures, grasp-
ing a pair of branches in each hand. The hall was thus
illuminated by twenty-four torches of wax. At the upper
end of the splendid apartment was a state canopy, over-
shadowing a royal throne, and beside it was a door, which
opened to a long suite of apartments, decorated with the
utmost magnificence for the Queen and her ladies, when-
ever it should be her pleasure to be private.

The Earl of Leicester having handed the Queen up to
her throne, and seated her there, knelt down before her,
and kissing the hand which she held out, with an air in
which romantic and respectful gallantry was happily mingled
190 ELIZABETH

with the air of loyal devotion, he thanked her, in terms of
the deepest gratitude, for the highest honour which a
sovereign could render to a subject. So handsome did
he look when kneeling before her, that Elizabeth was
tempted to prolong the scene a little longer than there
was, strictly speaking, necessity for; and ere she raised
him, she passed her hand over his head, so near, as almost
to touch his long curled and perfumed hair, and with a
movement of fondness,: that seemed to intimate she would,
if she dared, have made the motion a slight caress.

She at length raised him, and, standing beside the

throne, he explained to her the various preparations which
had been made for her amusement and accommodation, all
of which received her prompt and gracious approbation.
The Earl then prayed her Majesty for permission, that he
himself, and the nobles who had been in attendance upon
her during the journey, might retire for a few minutes, and
put themselves into a guise more fitting for dutiful atten-
dance, during which space, those gentlemen of worship
(pointing to Varney, Blount, Tressilian, and others), who
had already put themselves into fresh attire, would have
the honour of keeping her presence-chamber.

“Be it so, my lord,” answered the Queen: “you could
manage a theatre well, who can thus command a double
set of actors. For ourselves, we will receive your courtesies
this evening but clownishly, since it is not our purpose to
change our riding attire, being in effect something fatigued
with a journey, which the concourse of our good people
hath rendered slow, though the love they have shown our
person hath, at the same time, made it delightful.”

Leicester, having received this permission, retired accor-
dingly, and was followed by those nobles who had attended
the Queen to Kenilworth in person. The gentlemen who
had preceded them, and were of course dressed for the
solemnity, remained in attendance. But being most of
them of rather inferior rank, they remained at an awful
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 191

distance from the throne which Elizabeth occupied. The
Queen’s sharp eye soon distinguished Raleigh amongst
them, with one or two others who were personally known
to her, and she instantly made them a sign to approach,
and accosted them very graciously. Raleigh, in particular,
the adventure of whose cloak, as well as the incident of the
verses, remained on her mind, was very graciously received;
and to him she most frequently applied for information
concerning the names and rank of those who were in
presence. These he communicated concisely, and not
without some traits of humorous satire, by which Elizabeth
seemed much amused. ‘And who is yonder clownish
fellow ?” she said, looking at Tressilian, whose soiled dress
on this occasion greatly obscured his good mien.

“A poet, if it please your Grace,” replied Raleigh.

“T might have guessed that from his careless garb,” said
Elizabeth. ‘I have known some poets so thoughtless as to
throw their cloaks into gutters.”

“Tt must have been when the sun dazzled both their
eyes and their judgment,” answered Raleigh.

The lower door was opened, and Leicester, accompanied
by several of his kinsmen, and of the nobles who had em-
braced his faction, re-entered the castle-hall.

The favourite Earl was now apparelled all in white, his
shoes being of white velvet ; his under-stocks (or stockings)
of knit silk; his upper stocks of white velvet, lined with
cloth of silver, which was shown at the slashed part of the
middle thigh ; his doublet of cloth of silver, the close jerkin
of white velvet, embroidered with silver and seed-pearl, his
girdle and the scabbard of his sword of white velvet with
golden buckles; his poniard and sword hilted and mounted
with gold; and over all, a rich loose robe of white satin,
with a border of golden embroidery a foot in breadth. The
collar of the Garter, and the azure Garter itself around his
knee, completed the appointments of the Earl of Leicester ;
which were so well matched by his fair stature, graceful
192 ‘ELIZABETH

gesture, fine proportion of body, and handsome counte-
nance, that at that moment he was admitted by all who saw
him, as the goodliest person whom they had ever looked
upon, Sussex and the other nobles were also richly attired,
but, in point of splendour and gracefulness of mien, Leices-
ter far exceeded them all.

Elizabeth received him with great complacency. ‘‘We
have one piece of royal justice,” she said, ‘‘to attend to.
It is a piece of justice, too, which interests us as a woman,
as well as in the character of mother and guardian of the
English people.”

_ An involuntary shudder came over Leicester, as he bowed

low, expressive of his readiness to receive her royal com-
mands ; and a similar cold fit came over Varney, whose
eyes (seldom during that evening removed from his patron)
instantly perceived, from the change in his looks, slight as
that was, of what the Queen was speaking. But Leicester
had wrought his resolution up to the point which, in his
crooked policy, he judged necessary ; and when Elizabeth
added—“ It is of the matter of Varney and Tressilian we
speak—is the lady in presence, my lord?” his answer was
ready: ‘Gracious madam, she is not.”

Elizabeth bent her brows and compressed her lips, “ Our
orders were strict and positive, my lord,” was her answer



“‘ And should have been obeyed, good my liege,” replied
Leicester, ‘had they been expressed in the form of the
lightest wish. But—Varney, step forward—this gentleman
will inform your Grace of the cause why the lady ” (he could
not force his rebellious tongue to utter the words—Azs wife)
“cannot attend on your royal presence.”

Varney advanced, and pleaded with readiness, what in-
deed he firmly believed, the absolute incapacity of the party
(for neither did he dare, in Leicester’s presence, term her
his wife) to wait on her Grace.

“Here,” said he, ‘‘are attestations from a most learned
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 193

physician, whose skill and honour are well known to my
good Lord of Leicester ; and from an honest and devout
Protestant, a man of credit and substance, one Anthony
Foster, the gentleman in whose house she is at present be-
stowed, that she now labours under an illness which alto-
gether unfits her for such a journey as betwixt this castle
and the neighbourhood of Oxford.”

“ This alters the matter,” said the Queen taking the certi-
ficates in her hand, and glancing at their contents—‘ Let
Tressilian come forward. Master Tressilian, we have much
sympathy for your situation, the rather that you seem to
have set your heart deeply on this Amy Robsart, or Varney.
Our power, thanks to God, and the willing obedience of a
loving people, is worth much, but there are some things
which it cannot compass. We cannot, for example, com-
mand the affections of a giddy young girl, or make her love
sense and learning better than a courtier’s fine doublet; and
we cannot control sickness, with which it seems this lady is
afflicted, who may not, by reason of such infirmity, attend
our court here, as we had required her to do. Here are
the testimonials of the physician who hath her under his
charge, and the gentleman in whose house she resides, so
setting forth.”

‘Under your Majesty’s favour,” said Tressilian hastily,
and, in his alarm for the consequence of the imposition
practised on the Queen forgetting his promise to Amy not to
reveal where she was, “ these certificates speak not the truth.”

“How, sir!” said the Queen, “impeach my Lord of
Leicester’s veracity! But you shall have a fair hearing. In
our presence the meanest of our subjects shall be heard
against the proudest, and the least known against the most
favoured ; therefore you shall be heard fairly, but beware
you speak not without a warrant! Take these certificates
in your own hand; look at them carefully, and say manfully
if you impugn the truth of them, and upon what evidence.”

As the Queen spoke, his promise and all its consequences

Qs 0
194 ELIZABETH

rushed on the mind of the unfortunate Tressilian, and while
it controlled his natural inclination to pronounce that a
falsehood which he knew from the evidence of his senses to
be untrue, gave an indecision and irresolution to his appear-
ance and utterance, which made strongly against him in the
mind of Elizabeth, as well as of all who beheld him. He
turned the papers over and over, as if he had been an idiot,
incapable of comprehending their contents. The Queen’s
impatience began to become visible-—“ You are a scholar,
sir,” she said, “‘and of some note, as I have heard; yet you
seem wondrous slow in reading text hand. How say you,
are these certificates true or no?”

_ “Madam,” said Tressilian, with obvious embarrassment
and hesitation, anxious to avoid admitting evidence which
he might afterwards have reason to confute, yet equally de-
sirous to-keep his word to Amy, and to give her, as he had
promised, space to plead her own cause in her own way—
“ Madam—Madam, your Grace calls on me to admit evi-
dence which ought to be proved valid by those who found
their defence upon it.”

“Why, Tressilian, thou art critical as well as poetical,”
said the Queen, bending on him a brow of displeasure ;
“methinks these writings, being produced in the presence
of the noble Earl to whom this castle pertains, and his
honour being appealed to as the guarantee of their authen-
ticity, might be evidence enough for thee. But since thou
listest to be so formal—Varney, or rather my Lord of Leices-
ter, for the affair becomes yours” (these words, though spoken
at random, thrilled through the Earl’s marrow and bones),
“what evidence have you as touching these certificates ? ”

Varney hastened to reply, preventing Leicester,—‘ So
please your Majesty, my young Lord of Oxford, who is here
in presence, knows Master Anthony Foster’s hand and his
character.”

The Earl of Oxford, a young unthrift, whom Foster had
more than once accommodated with loans of usurious in-
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 195

terest, acknowledged, on this appeal, that he knew him as a
wealthy and independent franklin, supposed to be worth
much money, and verified the certificate produced to be his
handwriting.

“And who speaks to the doctor’s certificate?” said the
Queen. ‘“ Alasco, methinks, is his name.”

Masters, her Majesty’s physician (not the less willingly
that he remembered his repulse from Say’s Court, and
thought that his present testimony might gratify Leicester,
and mortify the Earl of Sussex and his faction), acknow-
ledged he had more than once consulted with Doctor
Alasco, and spoke of him as a man of extraordinary learning
and hidden acquirements, though not altogether in the
regular course of practice. The Earl of Huntingdon, Lord
Leicester’s brother-in-law, and the old Countess of Rutland,
next sang his praises, and both remembered the thin beau-
tiful Italian hand in which he was wont to write his receipts,
and which corresponded to the certificate produced as his.

“And now, I trust, Master Tressilian, this matter is
ended,” said the Queen. ‘“ We will do something ere the
night is older to reconcile old Sir Hugh Robsart to the
match. You have done your duty something more than
boldly ; but we were no woman had we not compassion
for the wounds which true love deals; so we forgive your
audacity, and your uncleansed boots withal, which have
wellnigh overpowered my Lord of Leicester’s perfumes.”

So spoke Elizabeth, whose nicety of scent was one of the
characteristics of her organization, as appeared long after-
wards when she expelled Essex from her presence, on a
charge against his boots similar to that which she now ex-
pressed against those of Tressilian.

But Tressilian had by this time collected himself, « as-
tonished as he had at first been by the audacity of the false-
hood so feasibly supported, and placed in array against the
evidence of his own eyes. He rushed forward, kneeled
down, and caught the Queen by the skirt of her robe.
196 ELIZABETH

“As you are Christian woman,” he said, ‘madam, as you
are crowned Queen, to do equal justice among your sub-
jects—as you hope yourself to have fair hearing (which God
grant you) at that last bar at which we must all plead, grant
me one small request! Decide not this matter so hastily.
Give me but twenty-four hours’ interval, and I will, at the
end of that brief space, produce evidence which will show
to demonstration, that these certificates, which state this
unhappy lady to be now ill at ease in Oxfordshire, are false
as hell!”

“Let go my.train, sir!” said Elizabeth, who was startled
_at his vehemence, though she had too much of lion in her
to fear; “the fellow must be distraught—that witty knave,
my godson Harrington, must have him into his rhymes of
Orlando Furioso! And yet, by this light, there is some-
thing strange in the vehemence of his demand. Speak,
Tressilian ; what wilt thou do if, at the end of these four-
and-twenty hours, thou canst not confute a fact so solemnly
proved as this lady’s illness ? ”

‘J will lay down my head on the block,” answered Tres-
silian.

“ Pshaw!” replied the Queen. ‘God’s light, thou speak’st
like a fool. What head falls in England, but by just sen-
tence of English law?”

Tressilian was again endeavouring to address the Queen,
when Raleigh, in obedience to the orders he had received,
interfered, and, with Blount’s assistance, half led, half forced
him out of the presence-chamber, where he himself indeed
began to think his appearance did his cause more harm
than good.

“Tt is a melancholy matter,” said the Queen, when
Tressilian was withdrawn, ‘‘to see a wise and learned man’s
wit thus pitifully unsettled. Yet this public display of his
imperfection of brain plainly shows us that his supposed
injury and accusation were fruitless; and therefore, my
Lord of Leicester, we remember your suit formerly made to
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 197

us in behalf of your faithful servant Varney, whose good
gifts and fidelity, as they are useful to you, ought to have
due reward from us, knowing well that your lordship, and
all you have, are so earnestly devoted to our service. And
we render Varney the honour more especially that we are
a guest, and we fear a chargeable and troublesome one,
under your lordship’s roof; and also for the satisfaction of
the good old Knight of Devon, Sir Hugh Robsart, whose
daughter he hath married; and we trust the especial mark
of grace which we are about to confer, may reconcile him
to his son-in-law. Your sword, my Lord of Leicester.”

The Earl unbuckled his sword, and, taking it by the
point, presented on bended knee the hilt to Elizabeth. She
took it slowly, drew it from the scabbard, and while the ladies
who stood around turned away their eyes with real or affected
shuddering, she noted with a curious eye the high polish
and rich damasked ornaments upon the glittering blade.

‘Had I been a man,” she said, “methinks none of my
ancestors would have loved a good sword better. As it is
with me, I like to look on one, and could, like the Fairy,
of whom I have read in some Italian rhymes—were my
godson Harrington here, he could tell me the passage—
even trim my hair, and arrange my head-gear, in such a
steel mirror as this is. Richard Varney, come forth, and
kneel down. In the name of God and Saint George, we
dub thee knight! Be Faithful, Brave, and Fortunate.
Arise, Sir Richard Varney.”

Varney arose and retired, making a deep obeisance to
_the Sovereign who had done him so much honour.

“The buckling of the spur, and what other rights re-
main,” said the Queen, “ may be finished to-morrow in the
chapel; for we intend Sir Richard Varney a companion in
his honours. And as we must not be partial in conferring
such distinction, we mean on this matter to confer with our
cousin of Sussex.”

That noble Earl, who since his arrival at Kenilworth
198 ELIZABETH

and indeed since the commencement of this Progress, had
found himself in a subordinate situation to Leicester, was
now wearing a heavy cloud on his brow—a circumstance
which had not escaped the Queen, who hoped to appease
his discontent, and to follow out her system of balancing
policy by a mark of peculiar favour, the more gratifying as
it was tendered at a moment when his rival’s triumph
appeared to be complete.

At the summons of Queen Elizabeth, Sussex hastily
approached her person; and being asked on which of his
followers, being a gentleman and of merit, he would wish
’ the honour of knighthood to be conferred, he answered,
with more sincerity than policy, that he would have ven-
tured to speak for Tressilian, to whom he conceived he
owed his own life, and who was a distinguished soldier and
scholar, besides a man of unstained lineage, “only,” he said,
“the feared the events of that night ” And then he stopped.

“T am glad your lordship is thus considerate,” said
Elizabeth ; “the events of this night would make us, in
the eyes of our subjects, as mad as this poor brain-sick
gentleman himself—for we ascribe his conduct to no
malice—should we choose this moment to do him grace.”

“Tn that case,” said the Earl of Sussex, somewhat dis-
countenanced, ‘‘ your Majesty will allow me to name my
master of the horse, Master Nicholas Blount, a gentleman of
fair estate and ancient name, who has served your Majesty
both in Scotland and Ireland, and brought away bloody
marks on his person, all honourably taken and requited.”

The Queen could not help shrugging her shoulders
slightly even at this second suggestion; and the Duchess
of Rutland, who read in the Queen’s manner that she had
expected Sussex would have named Raleigh, and thus
would have enabled her to gratify her own wish, while she
honoured his recommendation, only waited the Queen’s
assent to what he had proposed, and then said that she
hoped, since these two high nobles had been each permitted


THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 199

to suggest a candidate for the honours of chivalry, she, in
behalf of the ladies in presence, might have a similar in-
dulgence.

“TJ were no woman to refuse you such a boon,” said the
Queen, smiling.

“Then,” pursued the Duchess, “in the name of these
fair ladies present, I request your Majesty to confer the
rank of knighthood on Walter Raleigh, whose birth, deeds
of arms, and promptitude to serve our sex with sword or
pen, deserves such distinction from us all.”

‘Gramercy, fair ladies,” said Elizabeth, smiling, “ your
boon is granted, and the gentle squire Lack-Cloak shall
become the good knight Lack-Cloak, at your desire. Let
the two aspirants for the honour of chivalry step forward.”

Blount was not as yet returned; but Raleigh came forth
and, kneeling down, received at the hand of the Virgin
Queen that title of honour, which was never conferred on a
more distinguished or more illustrious object.

Shortly afterwards Nicholas Blount entered, and, hastily
apprized by Sussex, who met him at the door of the hall, of
the Queen’s gracious purpose regarding him, he was desired
to advance towards the throne. It is a sight sometimes
seen, and it is both ludicrous and pitiable, when an honest
man of plain common sense is surprised, by the coquetry
of a pretty woman, or any other cause, into those frivolous
fopperies which only sit well upon the youthful, the gay,
and those to whom long practice has rendered them a second
nature. Poor Blount was in this situation. His head was
already giddy from a consciousness of unusual finery, and
the supposed necessity of suiting his manners to the gaiety
of his dress; and now this sudden view of promotion
-altogether completed the conquest of the newly inhaled
spirit of foppery over his natural disposition, and converted
a plain, honest, awkward man into a coxcomb of a new and
most ridiculous kind.

The knight-expectant advanced up the hall, the whole
200 ELIZABETH

length of which he had unfortunately to traverse, turning
out his toes with so much zeal that he presented his leg at
every step with its broadside foremost, so that it greatly
resembled an old-fashioned table-knife with a curved point,
when seen sideways. The rest of his gait was in corre-
spondence with this unhappy amble; and the implied
mixture of bashful fear and self-satisfaction was so un-
utterably ridiculous, that Leicester’s friends did not suppress
a titter in which many of Sussex’s partisans were unable to
resist joining, though ready to eat their nails with mortifica-
tion. Sussex himself lost all patience, and could not for-
bear whispering into the ear of his friend, ‘“‘ Curse thee!
canst thou not walk like a man and a soldier?” an inter-
jection which only made honest Blount start and stop,
until a glance at his yellow roses and crimson stockings
restored his self-confidence, when on he went at the same
pace as before.

The Queen conferred on poor Blount the honour of
knighthood with a marked sense of reluctance. That wise
Princess was fully aware of the propriety of using great
circumspection and economy in bestowing these titles of
honour, which the Stewarts, who succeeded to her throne,
distributed with an imprudent liberality which greatly
diminished their value. Blount had no sooner arisen and
retired, than she turned to the Duchess of Rutland. “Our
woman wit,” she said, “dear Rutland, is sharper than that
of those proud things in doublet and hose. Seest thou,
out of these three knights, thine is the only true metal to
stamp chivalry’s imprint upon?”

“Sir Richard Varney, surely—the friend of my Lord of
Leicester—surely 4e has merit,” replied the Duchess.

“Varney has a sly.countenance, and a smooth tongue,”
replied the Queen, “I fear me, he will prove a knave—
but the promise was of ancient standing. My Lord of
Sussex must have lost his own wits, I think, to recommend
to us first a madman like Tressilian, and then a clownish
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 201

fool like this other fellow. I protest, Rutland, that while
he sat on his knees before me, mopping and mowing as if
he had scalding porridge in his mouth, I had much ado to
forbear cutting him over the pate, instead of striking his
shoulder.”

“Your Majesty gave him a smart accolade,” said the
Duchess; “we who stood behind heard the blade clatter
on his collar-bone, and the poor man fidgeted too as if he
felt it.”

“I could not help it, wench,” said the Queen, laughing ;
‘but we will have this same Sir Nicholas sent to Ireland or
Scotland or somewhere, to rid our court of so antique a
chevalier; he may be a good soldier in the field, pee a
preposterous ass in a banqueting-hall.”

The discourse became then more general, and soon after
there was a summons to the banquet.

In order to obey this signal, the company were under the
necessity of crossing the inner court of the castle, that
they might reach the new buildings, containing the large
banqueting-room, in which preparations for supper were
made upon ascale of profuse magnificence, corresponding
to the occasion.

In the course of the passage from the hall of reception to
the banqueting-room, and especially in the court-yard, the
new-made knights were assailed by the heralds, pursuivants,
minstrels, etc., with the usual cry of Zargesse, largesse,
chevaliers tres hardis/ an ancient invocation, intended to
awaken the bounty of the acolytes of chivalry towards those
whose business it was to register their armorial bearings,
and celebrate the deeds by which they were illustrated.
The call was of course liberally and courteously answered
by those to whom it was addressed. Varney gave his
largesse with an affectation of complaisance and humility.
Raleigh bestowed his with the graceful ease peculiar to one
who has attained his own place, and is familiar with its
dignity. Honest Blount gave what his tailor had left him
202 ELIZABETH

of his half year’s rent, dropping some pieces in his hurry,
then stooping down to look for them, and then distributing
them amongst the various claimants, with the anxious face
and mien of the parish beadle dividing a dole among
paupers.

It is unnecessary to say anything of the festivities
of the evening, which were so brilliant in themselves, and
received with such obvious and willing satisfaction by the
Queen, that Leicester retired to his own apartment with
all the giddy raptures of successful ambition.

It chanced upon the next morning that one of the earliest
-of the huntress train, who appeared from her chamber in
full array for the chase, was the Princess for whom all these
pleasures were instituted, England’s Maiden Queen. I know
not if it were by chance, or out of the befitting courtesy due
to a mistress by whom he was so much honoured, that she
had scarcely made one step beyond the threshold of her
chamber, ere Leicester was by her side, and proposed to
her, until the preparations for the chase had been com-
pleted, to view the Pleasance and the gardens which are
connected with the castle yard.

To this new scene of pleasures they walked, the Earl’s
arm affording his Sovereign the occasional support which
she required, where flights of steps, then a favourite orna-
ment in a garden, conducted them from terrace to terrace,
and from parterre to parterre. The ladies in attendance,
gifted with prudence, or endowed perhaps with the amiable
desire of acting as they would be done by, did not conceive
their duty to the Queen’s person required them, though
they lost not sight of her, to approach so near as to share,
or perhaps disturb, the conversation betwixt the Queen and
the Earl, who was not only her host, but also her most
trusted, esteemed, and favoured servant. They contented
themselves with admiring the grace of this illustrious couple,
whose robes of state were now exchanged for hunting suits,
almost equally magnificent.
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 203

Elizabeth’s silvan dress, which was of a pale blue silk,
with silver lace and azguillettes, approached in form to that
of the ancient Amazons ; and was, therefore, well suited at
once to her height, and to the dignity of her mien, which
her conscious rank and long habits of authority had rendered
in some degree too masculine to be seen to the best advan-
tage in ordinary female weeds. Leicester’s hunting suit of
Lincoln-green, richly embroidered with gold, and crossed
by. the gay baldric, which sustained a bugle-horn, and a
wood-knife instead of a sword, became its master, as did his
other investments of court or of war. For such were the
perfections of his form and mien, that Leicester was always
supposed to be seen to the greatest advantage in the char-
acter and dress which for the time he represented or
wore.

The conversation of Elizabeth and the favourite Earl has
not reached us in detail. But those who watched at some
distance (and the eyes of courtiers and court ladies are right
sharp) were of opinion, that on no occasion did the dignity
of Elizabeth, in gesture and motion, seem so decidedly to
soften away into a mien expressive of indecision and ten-
derness. Her step was not only slow, but even unequal, a
thing most unwonted in her carriage; her looks seemed
bent on the ground, and there was a timid disposition to
withdraw from her companion, which external gesture in
females often indicates exactly the opposite tendency in
the secret mind. The Duchess of Rutland, who ventured
nearest, was even heard to aver, that she discerned a tear
_ in Elizabeth’s eye, and a blush on her cheek; and still
farther, ‘“‘ She bent her looks on the ground to avoid mine,”
said the Duchess; ‘‘she who, in her ordinary mood, could
look down a lion.” To what conclusion these symptoms
led is sufficiently evident; nor were they probably entirely
groundless. The progress of a private conversation, betwixt
two persons of different sexes, is often decisive of their fate,
and gives it a turn very different perhaps from what they them-
204 ELIZABETH

selves anticipated. Gallantry becomes mingled with conver-
sation, and affection and passion come gradually to mix with
gallantry. Nobles, as well as shepherd swains, will, in such
a trying moment, say more than they intended, and queens,
like village maidens, will listen longer than they should.

Horses in the meanwhile neighed and champed the bits
with impatience in the base-court; hounds yelled in their
couples, and yeomen, rangers, and prickers, lamented the
exhaling of the dew, which would prevent the scent from
lying. But Leicester had another chase in view, or, to
speak more justly towards him, had become engaged in it
‘without pre-meditation, as the high-spirited hunter which
follows the cry of the hounds that have crossed his path by
accident. The Queen—an accomplished and handsome
woman—the pride of England, the hope of France and
Holland, and the dread of Spain, had probably listened
with more than usual favour to that mixture of romantic
gallantry with which she always loved to be addressed ; and
the Earl had, in vanity, in ambition, or in both, thrown in
more and more of that delicious ingredient, until his i impor-
tunity became the language of love itself.

“No, Dudley,” said Elizabeth, yet it was with broken
accents—“ No, I must be the mother of my people. Other
ties, that make the lowly maiden happy, are denied to her
Sovereign—No, Leicester, urge it no more. Were I as
others, free to seek my own happiness—then, indeed—but
it cannot—cannot be. Delay the chase—delay it for half
an hour—and leave me, my lord.”

‘Flow, leave you, madam!” said Leicester; “has my
madness offended you ?”

“No, Leicester, not so!” answered the Queen hastily ;
“but it is madness, and must not be repeated. Go—but
go not far from hence—and meantime let no one intrude
on my privacy.”

While she spoke thus, Dudley bowed deeply, and retired
with a slow and melancholy air, The Queen stood gazing























































































THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 205

after him, and murmured to herself—“ Were it possible—
were it 4v¢ possible !—but—no—no—Elizabeth must be
the wife and mother of England alone.”

As she spoke thus, and in order to avoid some one whose
step she heard approaching, the Queen turned into an
adjoining grotto.

The mind of England’s Elizabeth, if somewhat shaken by
the agitating interview to which she had just put a period,
was of that firm and decided character which soon: recovers
its natural tone. It was like one of those ancient Druidical
monuments called rocking-stones. The finger of Cupid,
boy as he is painted, could put her feelings in motion, but
the power of Hercules could not have destroyed their
equilibrium. As she advanced with a slow pace towards
the inmost extremity of the grotto, her countenance, ere
she had proceeded half the length, had recovered its dig-
nity of look, and her mien its air of command.

It was then the Queen became aware that a female figure
was placed beside, or rather partly behind, an alabaster
column, at the foot of which arose the pellucid fountain,
which occupied the inmost recess of the twilight grotto.
The classical mind of Elizabeth suggested the story of
Numa and Egeria, and she doubted not that some Italian
sculptor had here represented the Naiad, whose inspirations
gave laws to Rome. As she advanced, she became doubt-
ful whether she beheld a statue or a form of flesh and
blood. The unfortunate Amy Robsart, indeed, remained
motionless, betwixt the desire which she had to make her
condition known to one of her own sex, and her awe for
the stately form which approached her, and which, though
her eyes had never before beheld, her fears instantly sus-
pected to be the personage she really was. Amy had
arisen from her seat with the purpose of addressing the
lady, who entered the grotto alone, and, as she at first
thought, so opportunely. But when she recollected the
alarm which Leicester had expressed at the Queen’s know-
206 ELIZABETH

ing aught of their union, and became more and more
satisfied that the person whom she now beheld was Eliza-
beth herself, she stood with one foot advanced and one
withdrawn, her arms, head, and hands, perfectly motionless,
and her cheek as pallid as the alabaster pedestal against
which she leaned. Her dress was of pale sea-green silk,
little distinguished in that imperfect light, and somewhat
resembled the drapery of a Grecian nymph, such an an-
tique disguise having been thought the most secure, where
so many masquers and revellers were assembled, so that
the Queen’s doubt of her being a living form was well justified
by all contingent circumstances, as well as by the bloodless
- cheek and the fixed eye.

Elizabeth remained in doubt, even after she had ap-
proached within a few paces, whether she did not gaze
on a statue so cunningly fashioned, that by the doubtful
light it could not be distinguished from reality. She
stopped, therefore, and fixed upon this interesting object
her princely look with so much keenness that the astonish-
ment which had kept Amy immovable gave way to awe,
and she gradually cast down her eyes, and drooped her
head under the commanding gaze of the Sovereign. Still,
however, she remained in all respects, saving this slow and
profound inclination of the head, motionless and silent.

From her dress, and the casket which she instinctively
held in her hand, Elizabeth naturally conjectured that the
beautiful but mute figure which she beheld was a per-
former in one of the various theatrical pageants which had
been placed in different situations to surprise her with their
homage, and that the poor player, overcome with awe at
her presence, had either forgot the part assigned her, or
lacked courage to go through it. It was natural and
courteous to give her some encouragement; and Elizabeth
accordingly said, in a tone of condescending kindness,—
“How now, fair Nymph of this lovely grotto—art thou
spell-bound and struck with dumbness by the charms of
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 207

the wicked enchanter whom men term Fear? We are his
sworn enemy, maiden, and can reverse his charm. Speak,
we command thee.”

Instead of answering her by speech, the unfortunate
Countess dropped on her knee before the Queen, let her
casket fall from her hand, and clasping her palms together,
looked up in the Queen’s face with such a mixed agony
of fear and supplication, that Elizabeth was considerably
affected,

“What may this mean?” she said; “this is a stronger
passion than befits the occasion. Stand up, damsel—what
wouldst thou have with us?”

“Your protection, madam,” faltered forth the unhappy
petitioner.

“Each daughter of England has it while she is worthy of
it,” replied the Queen ; ‘“‘but your distress seems to have a
deeper root than a forgotten task. Why, and in what, do
you crave our protection ?”

Amy hastily endeavoured to recall what she were best to
say, which might secure herself from the imminent dangers
that surrounded her, without endangering her husband ;
and plunging from one thought to another, amidst the
chaos which filled her mind, she could at length, in answer
to the Queen’s repeated inquiries, in what she sought pro-
tection, only falter out, “ Alas! I know not.”

“This is folly, maiden,” said Elizabeth impatiently ; for
there was something in the extreme confusion of the sup-
pliant which irritated her curiosity, as well as interested
her feelings. ‘‘The sick man must tell his malady to the
physician, nor are WE accustomed to ask questions so oft
without receiving an answer.”

“TI request—I implore,” stammered forth the unfortunate
Countess,—“ I beseech your gracious protection—against—
against one Varney.” She choked wellnigh as she uttered
the fatal word, which was instantly caught up by the Queen.

“What, Varney—Sir Richard Varney—the servant of
208 ELIZABETH

Lord Leicester? What, damsel, are you to him, or he to
you ?.”

‘‘T__J—was his prisoner—and he practised on my life—
and I broke forth to—to——’”

“To throw thyself on my protection, doubtless,” said
Elizabeth. ‘Thou shalt have it—that is, if thou art
worthy ; for we will sift this matter to the uttermost. Thou
art,” she said, bending on the Countess an eye which
seemed designed to pierce her very inmost soul,—“ thou
art Amy, daughter of Sir Hugh Robsart of Lidcote Hall?”

“ Forgive me—forgive me—-most gracious Princess!” said
Amy, dropping once more on her knee, from which she had
arisen.

“For what should I forgive thee, silly wench?” said
Elizabeth ; “for being the daughter of thine own father?
Thou art brain-sick, surely. Well, I see I must wring the
story from thee by inches—thou didst deceive thine old
and honoured father—thy look confesses it,—cheated Mas-
ter Tressilian—thy blush avouches ‘it,—and married this
same Varney?”

Amy sprung on her feet, and interrupted the Queen
eagerly, with, ‘‘No, madam, no—as there is a God above
us, Iam not the sordid wretch you would make me! I
am not the wife of that contemptible slave—of that most
deliberate villain! JI am not the wife of Varney! I would
rather be the bride of Destruction !”

The Queen, overwhelmed in her turn by Amy’s vehe-
mence, stood silent for an instant, and then replied, ‘ Why,
God ha’ mercy, woman !—I see thou canst talk fast enough
when the theme likes thee. Nay, tell me, woman,” she
continued, for to the impulse of curiosity was now added
that of an undefined jealousy that some deception had been
practised on her, “tell me, woman—for by God’s day, I
WILL know—whose wife, or whose paramour, art thou?
Speak out, and be speedy—thou wert better endally with a
lioness than with Elizabeth.”
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 209

Urged to this extremity, dragged as it were by irresis-
tible force to the verge of the precipice, which she saw
but could not avoid—permitted not a moment’s respite by
the eager words and menacing gestures of the offended
Queen, Amy at length uttered in despair, “The Earl of
Leicester knows it all.”

“The Earl of Leicester!” said Elizabeth, in utter as-
tonishment. “The Earl of Leicester!” she repeated, with
kindling anger. ‘Woman, thou art set on to this—thou
dost belie him—he takes no keep of such things as thou
art. Thou art suborned to slander the noblest lord, and
the truest-hearted gentleman in England! But were he the
right hand of our trust, or something yet dearer to us, thou
shalt have thy hearing, and that in his presence. Come
with me—come with me instantly !”

As Amy shrunk back with terror, which the incensed
Queen interpreted as that of conscious guilt, Elizabeth
rapidly advanced, seized on her arm, and hastened with
swift and long steps out of the grotto, and along the prin-
cipal alley of the Pleasance, dragging with her the terrified
Countess, whom she still held by the arm, and whose
utmost exertions could but just keep pace with those of the
indignant Queen.

Leicester was at this moment the centre of a splendid
group of lords and ladies, assembled together under an
arcade, or portico, which closed the alley. The company
had drawn together in that place to attend the commands
of her Majesty when the hunting-party should go forward,
and their astonishment may be imagined when, instead of
-seeing Elizabeth advance towards them with her usual
measured dignity of motion, they beheld her walking so
rapidly that she was in the midst of them ere they were
aware ; and then observed, with fear and surprise, that her
features were flushed betwixt anger and agitation, that her
hair was loosened by her haste of motion, and that her eyes
sparkled as they were wont when the spirit of Henry VIII.

QS. P
210 ELIZABETH

mounted highest in his daughter. Nor were they less
astonished at the appearance of the pale, extenuated, half
dead, yet still lovely female, whom the Queen upheld by
main strength with one hand, while with the other she
waved aside the ladies and nobles who pressed towards her,
under the idea that she was taken suddenly ill. ‘ Where
is my Lord of Leicester?” she said, in a tone that thrilled
with astonishment all the courtiers who stood around.
“ Stand forth, my Lord of Leicester!”

If, in the midst of the most serene day of summer, when
all is light and laughing around, a thunderbolt were to fall
. from the clear blue vault of heaven, and rend the earth at
the very feet of some careless traveller, he could not gaze
upon the smouldering chasm, which so unexpectedly
yawned before him, with half the astonishment and fear
which Leicester felt at the sight that so suddenly presented
itself. He had that instant been receiving, with a political
affectation of disavowing and misunderstanding their mean-
ing, the half-uttered, half-intimated congratulations of the
courtiers upon the favour of the Queen, carried apparently
to its highest pitch during the interview of that morning,
from which most of them seemed to augur that he might
soon arise from their equal in rank to become their master.
And now, while the subdued yet proud smile with which he
disclaimed those inferences was yet curling his cheek, the
Queen shot into the circle, her passions excited to the
uttermost ; and, supporting with one hand, and apparently
without an effort, the pale and sinking form of his almost
expiring wife, and pointing with the finger of the other to
her half-dead features, demanded in a voice that sounded
to the ears of the astounded statesman like the last dread
trumpet-call that is to summon body and spirit to the
judgment-seat, “ Knowest thou this woman ?”

As, at the blast of that last trumpet, the guilty shall call
upon the mountains to cover them, Leicester’s inward
thoughts invoked the stately arch which he had built in his
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE a11

pride to burst its strong conjunction, and overwhelm them
in its ruins. But the cemented stones, architrave and
battlement, stood fast ; and it was the proud master himself
who, as if some actual pressure had bent him to the earth,
kneeled down before Elizabeth, and prostrated his brow to
the marble flagstones on which she stood.

“Teicester,” said Elizabeth, in a voice which trembled
with passion, “could I think thou hast practised on me—
on me thy Sovereign—on me thy confiding, thy too partial
mistress, the base and ungrateful deception which thy pre-
sent confusion surmises—by all that is holy, false lord, that
head of thine were in as great peril as ever was thy
father’s !”

Leicester had not conscious innocence, but he had pride
to support him. He raised slowly his brow and features,
which were black and swoln with contending emotions, and
only replied, “ My head cannot fall but by the sentence of
my peers; to them I will plead, and not to a princess who
thus requites my faithful service.”

‘What, my lords!” said Elizabeth, looking around, “‘we
are defied, I think—-defied in the castle we have ourselves
bestowed on this proud man! My Lord Shrewsbury, you
are marshal of England, attach him of high treason!”

“Whom does your Grace mean?” said Shrewsbury,
much surprised, for he had that instant joined the aston-
ished circle.

‘Whom should I mean but that traitor Dudley, Earl of
Leicester! Cousin of Hunsdon, order out your band of
_ gentlemen pensioners, and take him into instant custody.
I say, villain, make haste!”

Hunsdon, a rough old noble, who, from his relationship
to the Boleyns, was accustomed to use more freedom with
the Queen than almost any other dared to do, replied
bluntly, “ And it is like your Grace might order me to the
Tower to-morrow for making too much haste. I do be-
seech you to be patient ”
212 ELIZABETH

“ Patient—God’s life!” exclaimed the Queen—“ name
not the word to me; thou know’st not of what he is guilty!”

Amy, who had by this time in some degree recovered
herself, and who saw her husband, as she conceived, in
the utmost danger from the rage of an offended Sovereign,
instantly (and alas! how many women have done the
same) forgot her own wrongs, and her own danger, in her
apprehensions for him, and throwing herself before the
Queen, embraced her knees, while she exclaimed, “ He is
guiltless, madam—he is guiltless ; no one can lay aught to
the charge of the noble Leicester ! ”

“Why, minion,” answered the Queen, “ didst not thou
thyself say that the Earl of Leicester was privy to thy whole
history ?”

“Did I say so?” repeated the unhappy Amy, laying aside
every consideration of consistency and of self-interest ; ‘ oh,
if I did, I foully belied him. May God so judge me, as I
believe he was never privy to a thought that would harm
me!”

‘“ Woman,” said Elizabeth, “I will know who has moved
thee to this, or my wrath—and the wrath of kings is a
flaming fire—shall wither and consume thee like a weed in
the furnace.”

As the Queen uttered this threat, Leicester’s better angel
called his pride to his aid, and reproached him with the
utter extremity of meanness which would overwhelm him
for ever if he stooped to take shelter under the generous
interposition of his wife, and abandoned her, in return for
her kindness, to the resentment of the Queen. He had
already raised his head, with the dignity of a man of honour,
to avow his marriage, and proclaim himself the protector of
his Countess, when Varney, born, as it appeared, to be his
master’s evil genius, rushed into the presence with every
mark of disorder on his face and apparel.

“What means this saucy intrusion ?” said Elizabeth.

Varney, with the air of a man altogether overwhelmed
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 213

with grief and confusion, prostrated himself before her feet,
exclaiming, “Pardon, my liege, pardon! or at least let
your justice avenge itself on me, where it is due; but
spare my noble, my generous, my innocent patron and
master !”

Amy, who was yet kneeling, started up as she saw the
man whom she deemed most odious place himself so near
her, and was about to fly towards Leicester, when, checked
at once by the uncertainty and even timidity which his looks
had reassumed as soon as the appearance of his confidant
seemed to open a new scene, she hung back, and, uttering
a faint scream, besought of her Majesty to cause her to be
imprisoned in the lowest dungeon of the castle—to deal
with her as the worst of criminals—‘“‘ but spare,” she ex-
claimed, “‘ my sight and hearing what will destroy the little
judgment I have left—the sight of that unutterable and
most shameless villain !”

‘And why, sweetheart?” said the Queen, moved by a
new impulse; ‘“‘ what hath he, this false knight, since such
thou accountest him, done to thee?”

“Oh, worse than sorrow, madam, and worse than injury
—he has sown dissension where most there should be peace.
I shall go mad if I look longer on him!”

“ Beshrew me, but I think thou art distraught already,”
answered the Queen. ‘My Lord Hunsdon, look to this
poor distressed young woman, and let her be safely be-
stowed, and in honest keeping, till we require her to be
forthcoming.”

Two or three of the ladies in attendance, either moved
by compassion for a creature so interesting, or by some
other motive, offered their services to look after her; but
the Queen briefly answered, ‘ Ladies, under favour, no.
‘You have all (give God thanks) sharp ears and nimble
tongues—our kinsman Hunsdon has ears of the dullest,
and a tongue somewhat rough, but yet of the slowest.
Hunsdon, look to it that none have speech of her.”
214 ELIZABETH

“By our lady!” said Hunsdon, taking in his strong
sinewy arms the fading and almost swooning form of Amy,
“she is a lovely child; and though a rough nurse, your
Grace hath given hera kind one. She is safe with meas
one of my own ladybirds of daughters.”

So saying, he carried her off unresistingly and almost
unconsciously, his war-worn locks and long grey beard
mingling with her light-brown tresses, as her head reclined
on his strong square shoulder. The Queen followed him
with her eye—she had already, with that selfcommand
which form so necessary a part of a Sovereign’s accomplish-
ment, suppressed every appearance of agitation, and seemed
- as if she desired to banish all traces of her burst of passion
from the recollection of those who had witnessed it. “ My
Lord of Hunsdon says well,” she observed ; “he is indeed
but a rough nurse for so tender a babe.”

“My Lord of Hunsdon,” said the Dean of St. Asaph,
“T speak it not in defamation of his more noble qualities,
hath a broad licence in speech, and garnishes his discourse
somewhat too freely with the cruel and superstitious oaths,
which savour both of profaneness and of old papistrie.”

“Tt is the fault of his blood, Mr. Dean,” said the Queen,
turning sharply round upon the reverend dignitary as she
spoke; ‘‘and you may blame mine for the same distem-
perature. The Boleyns were ever a hot and plain-spoken
race, more hasty to speak their mind than careful to choose
their expressions. And, by my word—I hope there is no
sin in that affirmation—I question if it were much cooled
by mixing with that of Tudor.”

As she made this last observation, she smiled graciously,
and stole her eyes almost insensibly round to seek those of
the Earl of Leicester, to whom she now began to think she
had spoken with hasty harshness upon the unfounded sus-
picion of a moment.

The Queen’s eyes found the Earl in no mood to accept
the implied offer of conciliation. His own looks had
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 215

followed with late and rueful repentance the faded form
which Hunsdon had just borne from the presence ; they
now reposed gloomily on the ground, but more—so at least
it seemed to Elizabeth—with the expression of one who
has received an unjust affront, than of him who is conscious
of guilt. She turned her face angrily from him, and said
to Varney, ‘Speak, Sir Richard, and explain these riddles
—thou hast sense and the use of speech, at least, which
elsewhere we look for in vain.”

As she said this, she darted another resentful glance to-
wards Leicester, while the wily Varney hastened to tell his
own story.

“Your Majesty’s piercing eye,” he said, “has already
detected the cruel malady of my beloved lady, which, un-
happy that I am, I would not suffer to be expressed in the
certificate of her physician, seeking to conceal what has
now broken out with so much the more scandal.”

“She is then distraught?” said the Queen—“ indeed,
we doubted not of it—her whole demeanour bears it out.
I found her moping in a corner of yonder grotto; and
every word she spoke—which indeed I dragged from her
as by the rack—she instantly recalled and forswore. But
how came she hither? Why had you her not in safe
keeping ?”

‘My gracious liege,” said Varney, “the worthy gentle-
man under whose charge I left her, Master Anthony
Foster, has come hither but now, as fast as man and horse
can travel, to show me of her escape, which she managed
with the art peculiar to many who are afflicted with this
_ malady. He is at hand for examination.”

“Let it be for another time,” said the Queen. “But,
Sir Richard, we envy you not your domestic felicity ; your
‘lady railed on you bitterly, and seemed ready to swoon at
beholding you.”

“Tt is the nature of persons in her disorder, so please
your Grace,” answered Varney, “to be ever most inveter-
216 ELIZABETH

ate in their spleen against those, whom, in their better mo-
ments, they hold nearest and dearest.”

“We have heard so, indeed,” said Elizabeth, “‘and give
faith to the saying.”

“May your Grace then be pleased,” said Varney, “ to
command my unfortunate wife to be delivered into the
custody of her friends? ”

Leicester partly started ; but, making a strong effort, he
subdued his emotion, while Elizabeth answered sharply,
“You are something too hasty, Master Varney; we will
have first a report of the lady’s health and state of mind
from Masters, our own physician, and then determine what

‘shall be thought just. You shall have license, however, to
see her, that if there be any matrimonial quarrel betwixt
you—such things we have heard do occur, even betwixt a
loving couple—you may make it up, without further scandal
to our court, or trouble to ourselves.”

Varney bowed low, and made no other answer.

Elizabeth again looked towards Leicester, and said, with
a degree of condescension which could only arise out of the
most heartfelt interest, “ Discord, as the Italian poet says,
will find her way into peaceful convents, as well as into the
privacy of families ; and we fear our own guards and ushers
will hardly exclude her from courts. My Lord of Leicester,
you are offended with us, and we have right to be offended
with you. We will take the lion’s part upon us, and be the
first to forgive.”

Leicester smoothed his brow, as by an effort, but the
trouble was too deep-seated that its placidity should at once
return. He said, however, that which fitted the occasion,
“that he could not have the happiness of forgiving, because
she who commanded him to do so, could commit no injury
towards him.”

Elizabeth seemed content with this reply, and intimated
her pleasure that the sports of the morning should proceed.
The bugles sounded—the hounds bayed—the horses
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 217

pranced—but the courtiers and ladies sought the amuse-
ment to which they were summoned with hearts very differ-
ent from those which had leaped to the morning’s revecd/e.
There was doubt, and fear, and expectation on every brow,
and surmise and intrigue in every whisper.

Blount took an opportunity to whisper into Raleigh’s
ear, “‘This storm came like a levanter in the Mediterra-
nean.”

“ Varium et mutabile,” answered Raleigh, in a similar
tone.

“ Nay, I know nought of your Latin,” said Blount; “but
I thank God Tressilian took not the sea during that hur-
ricane. He could scarce have missed shipwreck, know-
ing as he does so little how to trim his sails to a court
gale.”

“Thou wouldst have instructed him ?” said Raleigh.

“Why, I have profited by my time as well as thou, Sir
Walter,” replied honest Blount. “I am knight as well as
thou, and of the earlier creation.”

“Now, God further thy wit,” said Raleigh; “ but for
Tressilian, I would I knew what were the matter with him.
He told me this morning he would not leave his chamber
for the space of twelve hours or thereby, being bound by a
promise. This lady’s madness, when he shall learn it, will
not, I fear, cure his infirmity. The moon is at the fullest,
and men’s brains are working like yeast. But hark! they
sound to mount. Let us to horse, Blount: we young
knights must deserve our spurs.”

It was afterwards remembered, that during the banquets
- and revels which occupied the remainder of this eventful
day, the bearing of Leicester and of Varney were totally dif-
ferent from their usual demeanour. Sir Richard Varney
had been held rather a man of counsel and of action, than
a votary of pleasure. Business, whether civil or military,
seemed always to be his proper sphere; and while in festi-
vals and revels, although he well understood how to trick
218 ELIZABETH

them up and present them, his own part was that of a mere
spectator; or, if he exercised his wit, it was in a rough,
caustic, and severe manner, rather as if he scoffed at the ex-
hibition and the guests, than shared the common pleasure.

But upon the present day his character seemed changed.
He mixed among the younger courtiers and ladies, and
appeared for the moment to be actuated by a spirit of light-
hearted gaiety, which rendered him a match for the liveliest.
Those who had looked upon him as a man given up to
graver and more ambitious pursuits, a bitter sneerer and
passer of sarcasms at the expense of those, who, taking life
as they find it, were disposed to snatch at each pastime it
presents, now perceived with astonishment that his wit could
carry as smooth an edge as their own, his laugh be as lively,
and his brow as unclouded. By what art of damnable hypo-
crisy he could draw this veil of gaiety over the black
thoughts of one of the worst of human bosoms, must re-
main unintelligible to all but his compeers, if any such ever
existed; but he was a man of extraordinary powers, and
those powers were unhappily dedicated in all their energy
to the very worst of purposes.

It was entirely different with Leicester. However habi-
tuated his mind usually was to play the part of a good
courtier, and appear gay, assiduous, and free from all care
but that of enhancing the pleasure of the moment, while
his bosom internally throbbed with the pangs of unsatisfied
ambition, and jealousy, or resentment, his heart had now a
yet more dreadful guest, whose workings could not be over-
shadowed or suppressed ; and you might read in his vacant
eye and troubled brow, that his thoughts were far absent
from the scenes in which he was compelling himself to play
apart. He looked, moved, and spoke, as if by a succession
of continued efforts; and it seemed as if his will had in
some degree lost the promptitude of command over the acute
mind and goodly form of which it was the regent. His
actions and gestures, instead of appearing the consequence
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 219

of simple volition, seemed, like those of an automaton, to
wait the revolution of some internal machinery ere they
could be performed; and his words fell from him piece-
meal, interrupted, as if he had first to think what he was
to say, then how it was to be said, and as if, after all,
it was only by an effort of continued attention that he
completed a sentence without forgetting both the one and
the other.

The singular effects which these distractions of mind
produced upon the behaviour and conversation of the most
accomplished courtier of England, as they were visible to
the lowest and dullest menial who approached his person,
could not escape the notice of the most intelligent princess
of the age. Nor is there the least doubt that the alternate
negligence and irregularity of his manner would have called
down Elizabeth’s severe displeasure on the Earl of Leicester,
had it not occurred to her to account for it, by supposing
that the apprehension of that displeasure which she had
expressed towards him with such vivacity that very morning,
was dwelling upon the spirits of her favourite, and, spite of
his efforts to the contrary, distracted the usual graceful
tenor of his mien, and the charms of his conversation.
When this idea, so flattering to female vanity, had once
obtained possession of her mind, it proved a full and satis-
factory apology for the numerous errors and mistakes of the
Earl of Leicester ; and the watchful circle around observed
with astonishment, that, instead of resenting his repeated
negligence, and want of even ordinary attention (although
these were points on which she was usually extremely
-punctilious), the Queen sought, on the contrary, to afford
him time and means to recollect himself, and deigned to
assist him in doing so, with an indulgence which seemed
altogether inconsistent with her usual character. It was
clear, however, that this could not last much longer, and
that Elizabeth must finally put another and more severe
construction on Leicester’s uncourteous conduct, when the
220 ELIZABETH

Earl was summoned by Varney to speak with him in a
different apartment.

After having had the message twice delivered to him, he
rose, and was about to withdraw, as it were, by instinct—
then stopped, and turning round, entreated permission of
the Queen to absent himself for a brief space upon matters
of pressing importance.

“Go, my lord,” said the Queen; “we are aware our
presence must occasion sudden and unexpected occurrences
which require to be provided for on the instant. Yet, my
lord, as you would have us believe ourself your welcome
and honoured guest, we entreat you to think less of our
good cheer, and favour us with more of your good counten-
ance than we have this day enjoyed; for, whether prince
or peasant be the guest, the welcome of the host will
always be the better part of the entertainment. Go, my
lord; and we trust to see you return with an unwrinkled
brow, and those free thoughts which you are wont to have
at the disposal of your friends.”

Leicester only bowed low in answer to this rebuke, and
retired.

The noble Lord of the Castle indulged in a prolonged
absence, and some anxiety and wonder took place in the
presence-hall. But great was the delight of his friends when
they saw him enter as a man, from whose bosom, to all
human seeming, a weight of care had been just removed,

With Elizabeth, Leicester played his game as one to
whom her natural strength of talent, and her weakness in
one or two particular points, were well known. He was too ~
wary to exchange on a sudden the sullen personage which
he had played before; but, on approaching her, it seemed
softened into a melancholy, which had a touch of tenderness
in it, and which, in the course of conversing with Elizabeth,
and as she dropped in compassion one mark of favour after
another to console him, passed into a flow of affectionate
gallantry, the most assiduous, the most delicate, the most
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 221

insinuating, yet at the same time the most respectful, with
which a Queen was ever addressed by a subject. Elizabeth
listened, as in a sort of enchantment ; her jealousy of power
was lulled asleep; her resolution to forsake all social or
domestic ties, and dedicate herself exclusively to the care
of her people, began to be shaken, and once more the star
of Dudley culminated in the court-horizon,

But Leicester did not enjoy this triumph over nature and
over conscience without its being embittered to him, not
only by the internal rebellion of his feelings against the
violence which he exercised over them, but by many acci-
dental circumstances, which, in the course of the banquet,
and during the subsequent amusements of the evening,
jarred upon that nerve, the least vibration of which was
agony.

The courtiers were, for example, in the great hall, after
having left the banqueting-room, awaiting the appearance of
a splendid masque, which was the expected entertainment
of this evening, when the Queen interrupted a wild career
of wit, which the Earl of Leicester was running against
Lord Willoughby, Raleigh, and some other courtiers, by
saying —“ We will impeach you of high treason, my lord, if
you proceed in this attempt to slay us with laughter. And
here comes a thing may make us all grave at his pleasure,
our learned physician Masters, with news belike of our poor
suppliant, Lady Varney—nay, my lord, we will not have
you leave us, for this being a dispute. betwixt married per-
sons, we do not hold our own experience deep enough to
decide thereon, without good counsel. How now, Masters,

~ what think’st thou of the runaway bride?”

The smile with which Leicester had been speaking, when
the Queen interrupted him, remained arrested on his lips,
as if it had been carved there by the chisel of Michael
Angelo, or of Chantrey ; and he listened to the speech of
the physician with the same immovable cast of counten-
ance.
222 ELIZABETH

“The Lady Varney, gracious Sovereign,” said the court
physician Masters, “is sullen, and would hold little con-
ference with me touching the state of her health, talking
wildly of being soon to plead her own cause before your
own presence, and of answering no meaner person’s en-
quiries.”

“Now, the heavens forefend!” said the Queen; “we
have already suffered from the misconstructions and broils
which seem to follow this poor brain-sick lady wherever she
comes. Think you not so, my lord?” she added, appeal-
ing to Leicester, with something in her look that indicated
regret, even tenderly expressed, for their disagreement of
that morning. Leicester compelled himself to bow low.
The utmost force he could exert was inadequate to. the
farther effort of expressing in words his acquiescence in the
Queen’s sentiment.

“Vou are vindictive,” she said, “my lord; but we will
find time and place to punish you. But once more to this
same trouble-mirth, this Lady Varney. What of her health,
Masters?”

“She is sullen, madam, as I already said,” replied
Masters, ‘‘and refuses to answer interrogatories, or be
amenable to the authority of the mediciner. I conceive
her to be possessed with a delirium, which I incline to
term rather Aypochondria than phrenesis; and I think she
were best cared for by her husband in his own house,
and removed from all this bustle of pageants, which dis-
turbs her weak brain with the most fantastic phantoms.
She drops hints as if she were some great person in dis-
guise—some Countess or Princess perchance. God help
them, such are often the hallucinations of these infirm per-
sons |”

“Nay, then,” said the Queen, “away with her with all
speed. Let Varney care for her with fitting humanity; but
let them rid the castle of her forthwith. She will think
herself lady of all, I warrant you. It is pity so fair a form,
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 223

however, should have an infirm understanding. What think
you, my lord?”

“Tt is pity indeed,” said the Earl, repeating the words
like a task which was set him.

“ But, perhaps,” said Elizabeth, “you do not join with us
in our opinion of her beauty; and indeed we have known
men prefer a statelier and more Juno-like form, to that
drooping fragile one that hung its head like a broken lily.
Ay, men are tyrants, my lord, who esteem the animation of
the strife above the triumph of an unresisting conquest,
and, like sturdy champions, love best those women who can
wage contest with them.—I could think with you, Rutland,
that give my Lord of Leicester such a piece of painted wax
for a bride, he would have wished her dead ere the end of
the honeymoon.”

As she said this, she looked on Leicester so expressively
that, while his heart revolted against the egregious false-
hood, he did himself so much violence as to reply in a
whisper that Leicester’s love was more lowly than her
Majesty deemed, since it was settled where he could never
command, but must ever obey.

The Queen blushed, and bid him be silent; yet looked
as if she expected that he would not obey her commands.
But at that moment the flourish of trumpets and kettle-
drums from a high balcony which overlooked the hall,
announced the entrance of the masquers, and relieved
Leicester from the horrible state of constraint and dissimu-
lation in which the result of his own duplicity had placed
him.

The masque which entered consisted of four separate
bands, which followed each other at brief intervals, each
consisting of six principal persons and as many torch-
bearers, and each representing one of the various nations
by which England had at different times been occupied.

So much did this part of the pageant interest the menials
and others of the lower class then in the castle, that many
224 ELIZABETH

of them forgot even the reverence due to the Queen’s
presence, so far as to thrust themselves into the lower part
of the hall.

The Earl of Leicester, seeing his officers had some diffi-
culty to repel these intruders without more disturbance
than was fitting where the Queen was in presence, arose
and went himself to the bottom of the hall; Elizabeth, at
the same time, with her usual feeling for the common
people, requesting that they might be permitted to remain
undisturbed to witness the pageant. Leicester went under
this pretext; but his real motive was to gain a moment
to himself, and to relieve his mind, were it but for one
instant, from the dreadful task of hiding, under the guise of
gaiety and gallantry, the lacerating pangs of shame, anger,
remorse, and thirst for vengeance. He imposed silence by
his look and sign upon the vulgar crowd, at the lower end
of the apartment.

Leicester again made his way amid the obsequious crowd,
which divided to give him passage, and resumed his place,
envied and admired, beside the person of his Sovereign.
But, could the bosom of him thus admired and envied
have been laid open before the inhabitants of that crowded
hall, with all its dark thoughts of guilty ambition, blighted
affection, deep vengeance, and conscious sense of meditated
cruelty, crossing each other like spectres in the circle of
some foul enchantress,—which of them, from the most
ambitious noble in the courtly circle, down to the most
wretched menial, who lived by shifting of trenchers, would
have desired to change characters with the favourite of
Elizabeth, and the Lord of Kenilworth!

New tortures awaited him as soon as he had rejoined
Elizabeth.

“You come in time, my lord,” she said, “to decide a
dispute between us ladies. Here has Sir Richard Varney
asked our permission to depart from the castle with his
infirm lady, having, as he tells us, your lordship’s consent
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 225

to his absence, so he can obtain ours. Certes, we have no
will to withhold him from the affectionate charge of this
poor young person—but you are to know, that Sir Richard
Varney hath this day shown himself so much captivated
with these ladies of ours, that here is our Duchess of Rut-
land says, he will carry his poor insane wife no farther than
the lake, plunge her in, to tenant the crystal palaces that
the enchanted nymph told us of, and return a jolly widower,
to dry his tears, and to make up the loss among our train.
How say you, my lord >—We have seen Varney under two
or three different guises—you know what are his proper
attributes—think you he is capable of playing his lady such
a knave’s trick?”

Leicester was confounded, but the danger was urgent,
and a reply absolutely necessary. ‘‘ The ladies,” he said,
“think too lightly of one of their own sex, in supposing she
could deserve such a fate, or too ill of ours, to think it
could be inflicted upon an innocent female.”

“ Hear him, my ladies,” said Elizabeth; “like all his
sex, he would excuse their cruelty by imputing fickleness
to us.”

“Say not ws, madam,” replied the Earl; “we say that
meaner women, like the lesser lights of heaven, have revo-
lutions and phases, but who shall impute mutability to the
sun, or to Elizabeth ?”

The discourse presently afterwards assumed a less
perilous tendency, and Leicester continued to support his
part in it with spirit, at whatever expense of mental agony.
So pleasing did it seem to Elizabeth, that the castle bell
had sounded midnight ere she retired from the company, a
circumstance unusual in her quiet and regular habits of
disposing of time. Her departure was of course the signal
for breaking up the company, who dispersed to their several
places of repose, to dream over the pastimes of the day, or
to anticipate those of the morrow.

The amusement with which Elizabeth and her court were

QS. Q
226 ELIZABETH

next day to be regaled, was an exhibition by the true-hearted
men of Coventry, who were to represent the strife between
the English and the Danes, agreeably to a custom long
preserved in their ancient borough, and warranted for truth
by old histories and chronicles. In this pageant, one party
of the townsfolk presented the Saxons, and the other the
Danes, and set forth, both in rude rhymes and with hard
blows, the contentions of these two fierce nations, and the
amazonian courage of the English women, who, according
to the story, were the principal agents in the general
massacre of the Danes, which took place.at Hocktide, in
the year of God 1012. This sport, which had been long
a favourite pastime with the men of Coventry, had, it seems,
been put down by the influence of some zealous clergyman,
of the more precise cast, who chanced to have considerable
influence with the magistrates. But the generality of the
inhabitants had petitioned the Queen that they might have
their play again, and be honoured with permission to repre-
sent it before her Highness. And when the matter was
canvassed in the little council, which usually attended the
Queen for dispatch of business, the proposal, although
opposed by some of the stricter sort, found favour in the
eyes of Elizabeth, who said that such toys occupied, with-
out offence, the minds of many, who, lacking them, might
find worse subjects of pastime ; and that their pastors, how-
ever commendable for learning and godliness, were some-
what too sour in preaching against the pastimes of their
flocks, and so the pageant was permitted to proceed.
Accordingly, after a morning repast, which Master Lane-
ham calls an ambrosial breakfast, the principal persons of
the court, in attendance upon Her Majesty, pressed to the
Gallery-tower, to witness the approach of the two contend-
ing parties of English and Danes; and after a signal had
been given, the gate which opened in the circuit of the
chase was thrown wide, to admit them. On they came,
foot and horse; for some of the more ambitious burghers
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 227

and yeomen had put themselves into fantastic dresses,
imitating knights, in order to resemble the chivalry of the
two different nations. However, to prevent fatal accidents,
they were not permitted to appear on real horses, but had
only license to accoutre themselves with those hobbyhorses,
as they are called, which anciently formed the chief delight
of a morrice-dance, and which still are exhibited on the
stage, in the grand battle fought at the conclusion of Mr.
Bayes’s tragedy. ‘The infantry followed in similar disguises.
The whole exhibition was to be considered as a sort of
anti-masque, or burlesque of the more stately pageants, in
which the nobility and gentry bore part in the show, and,
to the best of their knowledge, imitated with accuracy the
personages whom they represented. The Hocktide play
was of a different character, the actors being persons of
inferior degree, and their habits the better fitted for the
occasion, the more incongruous and ridiculous that they
were in themselves. Accordingly their array, which the
progress of our tale allows us no time to describe, was
ludicrous enough, and their weapons though sufficiently
formidable to deal sound blows, were long alder-poles in-
stead of lances, and sound cudgels for swords; and for
fence, both cavalry and infantry were well equipped with
stout headpieces and targets, both made of thick leather.
These rough rural gambols may not altogether agree with
the reader's preconceived idea of an entertainment pre-
sented before Elizabeth, in whose reign letters revived with
such brilliancy, and whose court, governed by a female,
whose sense of propriety was equal to her strength of mind,
-was no less distinguished for delicacy and refinement, than
her councils for wisdom and fortitude. But whether from
the political wish to seem interested in popular sports, or
whether from a spark of old Henry’s rough masculine spirit,
which Elizabeth sometimes displayed, it is certain the
Queen laughed heartily at the imitation, or rather burlesque
of chivalry, which was presented in the Coventry play.
228 ELIZABETH

She called near her person the Earl of Sussex and Lord
Hunsdon, partly perhaps to make amends to the former,
for the long and private audiences with which she had in-
dulged the Earl of Leicester, by engaging him in conversa-
tion upon a pastime, which better suited his taste than
those pageants that were furnished forth from the stores of .
antiquity. The disposition which the Queen showed to
laugh and jest with her military leaders gave the Earl of
Leicester the opportunity he had been watching for with-
drawing from the royal presence, which to the court around,
so well had he chosen his time, had the graceful appear-
ance of leaving his rival free access to the Queen’s person,
instead of availing himself of his right as her landlord, to
stand perpetually betwixt others and the light of her
countenance.

Leicester’s thoughts, however, had a far different object
from mere courtesy; for no sooner did he see the Queen
fairly engaged in conversation with Sussex and Hunsdon,
behind whose back stood Sir Nicholas Blount, grinning
from ear to ear at each word which was spoken, than,
making a sign to Tressilian, who, according to appoint-
ment, watched his motions at a little distance, he extricated
himself from the press, and walking towards the chase,
made his way through the crowds of ordinary spectators,
who, with open mouth, stood gazing on the battle of the
English and the Danes. When he had accomplished this,
which was a work of some difficulty, he shot another glance
behind him to see that Tressilian had been equally success-
ful, and as soon as he saw him also free from the crowd, he
led the way to a small thicket, behind which stood a lackey,
with two horses ready saddled. He flung himself on the
one, and made signs to Tressilian to mount the other, who
obeyed without speaking a single word.

Leicester then spurred his horse, and galloped without
stopping until he reached a sequestered spot, environed by
lofty oaks, about a mile’s distance from the castle, and in
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 229

an opposite direction from the scene to which curiosity was
drawing every spectator. He there dismounted, bound his
horse to a tree, and only pronouncing the words, “ Here
there is no risk of interruption,” laid his cloak across his
saddle, and drew his sword.

Tressilian imitated his example punctually, yet could not
forbear saying, as he drew his weapon, “ My lord, as I have
been known to many as one who does not fear death, when
placed in balance with honour, methinks I may, without
derogation, ask, wherefore, in the name of all that is
honourable, your lordship has dared to offer me such a
mark of disgrace, as places us on these terms with respect
to each other ?”

“Tf you like not such marks of my scorn,” replied the
Earl, “‘betake yourself instantly to your weapon, lest I
repeat the usage you complain of.”

“Tt shall not need, my lord,” said Tressilian. ‘“ God
judge betwixt us! and your blood, if you fall, be on your
own head.”

He had scarcely completed the sentence, when they
instantly closed in combat.

But Leicester, who was a perfect master of defence
among all other exterior accomplishments of the time,
had already seen enough of Tressilian’s strength and skill
to make him fight with more caution than heretofore,
and prefer a secure revenge to a hasty one. For some
minutes they fought with equal skill and fortune, till, in a
desperate lunge which Leicester successfully put aside,
_Tressilian exposed himself at disadvantage; and, in a sub-
sequent attempt to close, the Earl forced his sword from
his hand, and stretched him on the ground. With a grim
smile he held the point of his rapier within two inches of
the throat of his fallen adversary, and placing his foot at
the same time upon his breast, bid him confess his villainous
wrongs towards him, and prepare for death.

“J have no villainy nor wrong towards thee to confess,”
230 ELIZABETH

answered Tressilian, ‘‘and am better prepared for death
than thou. Use thine advantage as thou wilt, and may
God forgive you! I have given you no cause for this.”

“No cause!” exclaimed the Earl, “no cause !—but why
parley with such a slave >—Die a liar as thou hast lived !”

He had withdrawn his arm for the purpose of striking
the fatal blow, when it was suddenly seized from behind.

The Earl turned in wrath to shake off the unexpected
obstacle, but was surprised to find that a strange-looking
boy had hold of his sword-arm, and clung to it with such
tenacity of grasp that he could not shake him off without a
considerable struggle, in the course of which Tressilian had
opportunity to rise and possess himself once more of his
weapon. Leicester again turned towards him with looks of
unabated ferocity, and the combat would have recom-
menced with still more desperation on both sides, had not
the boy clung to Lord Leicester’s knees, and in a shrill
tone implored him to listen one moment ere he prosecuted
this quarrel.

“Stand up, and. let me go,” said Leicester, “or, by
Heaven, I will pierce thee with my rapier !—What hast thou
to do to bar my way to revenge?”

“ Much—much !” exclaimed the undaunted boy; “since
my folly has been the cause of these bloody quarrels be-
tween you, and perchance of worse evils. Oh, if you
would ever again enjoy the peace of an innocent mind, if
you hope again to sleep in peace and unhaunted by re-
morse, take so much leisure as to peruse this letter, and
then do as you list.”

While he spoke in this eager and earnest manner, to
which his singular features and voice gave a goblin-like
effect, he held up to Leicester a packet, secured with a long
tress of woman’s hair, of a beautiful light-brown colour.
Enraged as he was, nay, almost blinded with fury to see
his destined revenge so strangely frustrated, the Earl of
Leicester could not resist this extraordinary supplicant.
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 231

He snatched the letter from his hand—changed colour as
he looked on the superscription—undid, with faltering
hand, the knot which secured it—glanced over the con-
tents, and, staggering back, would have fallen, had he not
rested against the trunk of a tree, where he stood for an
instant, his eyes bent on the letter, and his sword-point
turned to the ground, without seeming to be conscious of
the presence of an antagonist, towards whom he had shown
little mercy, and who might in turn have taken him at
advantage. But for such revenge Tressilian was too noble-
minded—he also stood still in surprise, waiting the issue of
this strange fit of passion, but holding his weapon ready to
defend himself in case of need against some new and
sudden attack on the part of Leicester, whom he again
suspected to be under the influence of actual frenzy. The
boy, indeed, he easily recognised as his old acquaintance
Dickon, whose face, once seen, was scarcely to be forgotten;
but how he came thither at so critical a moment, why his
interference was so energetic, and, above all, how it came
to produce so powerful an effect upon Leicester, were
questions which he could not solve.

But the letter was of itself powerful enough to work
effects yet more wonderful. It was that which the unfor-
tunate Amy had written to her husband, in which she
alleged the reasons and manner of her flight from Cumnor
Place, informed him of her having made her way to
Kenilworth to enjoy his protection, and mentioned the
circumstances which had compelled her to take refuge in
Tressilian’s apartment, earnestly requesting he would, with-
~ out delay, assign her a more suitable asylum. The letter
concluded with the most earnest expressions of devoted
attachment, and submission to his will in all things, and
particularly respecting her situation and place of residence,
conjuring him only that she might not be placed under the
guardianship or restraint of Varney.

The letter dropped from Leicester’s hand when he had
232 ELIZABETH

perused it. ‘Take my sword,” he said, “Tressilian, and
pierce my heart, as I would but now have pierced yours !”

“My lord,” said Tressilian, “you have done me great
wrong ; but something within my breast ever whispered that
it was by egregious error.”

“Error, indeed!” said Leicester, and handed him the
letter ; “I have been made to believe a man of honour a
villain, and the best and purest of creatures a false profli-
gate.—Wretched boy, why comes this letter now, and where
has the bearer lingered ?”

“TJ dare not tell you, my lord,” said the boy, withdraw-
ing, as if to keep beyond his reach ;—“ but here comes one
who was the messenger.”

Wayland at the same moment came up ; and, interrogated
by Leicester, hastily detailed all the circumstances of his
escape with Amy,—the fatal practices which had driven her
to flight,—and her anxious desire to throw herself under
the instant protection of her husband,—pointing out the
evidence of the domestics of Kenilworth, “‘ who could not,”
he observed, ‘‘but remember her eager enquiries after the
Earl of Leicester on her first arrival.”

“The villains!” exclaimed Leicester; “but oh, that
worst of villains, Varney!—and she is even now in his
power!”

“But not, I trust in God,” said Tressilian, “with any
commands of fatal import ?”

“No, no, no!” exclaimed the Earl hastily. “I said
something in madness—but it was recalled, fully recalled,
by a hasty messenger; and she is now—she must now be
safe.”

“Ves,” said Tressilian, ‘‘she must be safe, and I must be
assured of her safety. My own quarrel with you is ended,
my lord; but there is another to begin with the seducer of
Amy Robsart, who has screened his guilt under the cloak
of the infamous Varney.”

“The seducer of Amy!” replied Leicester, with a voice
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 233

like thunder ; ‘say her husband !—her misguided, blinded,
most unworthy husband!—She is as surely Countess of
Leicester as I am belted Earl. Nor, can you, sir, point
out that manner of justice which I will not render her at my
own free will. I need scarce say, I fear not your compulsion.”

The generous nature of Tressilian was instantly turned
from consideration of anything personal to himself, and
centred at once upon Amy’s welfare. He had by no means
undoubting confidence in the fluctuating resolutions of
Leicester, whose mind seemed to him agitated beyond the
government of calm reason ; neither did he, notwithstanding
the assurance he had received, think Amy safe in the hands
of his dependents. ‘‘ My lord,” he said calmly, “I mean
you no offence, and am far from seeking a quarrel. But
my duty to Sir Hugh Robsart compels me to carry this
matter instantly to the Queen, that the Countess’s rank
may be acknowledged in her person.”

“You shall not. need, sir,” replied the Earl haughtily ;
“do not dare to interfere. No voice but Dudley’s shall
proclaim Dudley’s infamy.—To Elizabeth herself will I tell
it, and then for Cumnor Place with the speed of life and
death !”

So saying, he unbound his horse from the tree, threw
himself into the saddle, and rode at full gallop towards the
castle.

As Tressilian rode along the bridge, lately the scene of so
much riotous sport, he could not but observe that men’s
countenances had singularly changed during the space of
his brief absence. The mock fight was over, but the men,
still habited in their masquing suits, stood together in
groups, like the inhabitants of a city who have been just
startled by some strange and alarming news.

Sir Nicholas Blount was the first person of his own par-
ticular acquaintance Tressilian saw, who left him no time to
make inquiries, but greeted him with, ‘‘God help thy heart,
Tressilian, thou art fitter for a clown than a courtier—thou
234 ELIZABETH

canst not attend, as becomes one who follows her Majesty.
—Here you are called for, wished for, waited for—no man
but you will serve the turn; and hither you come with a
misbegotton brat on thy horse’s neck, as if thou wert dry
nurse to some suckling devil, and wert just returned from
airing.”

“Why, what is the matter?” said Tressilian, letting go
the boy, who sprang to the ground like a feather, and him-
self dismounting at the same time.

“Why, no one knows the matter,” replied Blount; “I
cannot smell it out myself, though I have a nose like other
courtiers. Only, my Lord of Leicester has galloped along
the bridge, as if he would have rode over all in his passage,
demanded an audience of the Queen, and is closeted even
now with her, and Burleigh and Walsingham—and you are
called for—but whether the matter be treason or worse, no
one knows.”

‘He speaks true, by Heaven!” said Raleigh, who that
instant appeared; “you must immediately to the Queen’s
presence.”

“Be not rash, Raleigh,” said Blount, “remember his
boots.—For Heaven’s sake, go to my chamber, dear
Tressilian, and don my new bloom-coloured silken hose
—I have worn them but twice.”

“Pshaw!” answered Tressilian ; “do thou take care of
this boy, Blount; be kind to him, and look he escapes
you not—much depends on him.”

So saying, he followed Raleigh hastily, leaving honest
Blount with the bridle of his horse in one hand, and the
boy in the other.

Tressilian traversed the full length of the great hall, in
which the astonished courtiers formed various groups, and
were whispering mysteriously together, while all kept their
eyes fixed on the door, which led from the upper end of
the hall into the Queen’s withdrawing apartment. Raleigh
pointed to the door—Tressilian knocked, and was instantly
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 235

admitted. Many a neck was stretched to gain a view into
the interior of the apartment; but the tapestry which
covered the door on the inside was dropped too suddenly
to admit the slightest gratification of curiosity.

Upon entrance, Tressilian found himself, not without a
strong palpitation of heart, in the presence of Elizabeth, who
was walking to and fro in a violent agitation, which she
seemed to scorn to conceal, while two or three of her most
sage and confidential counsellors exchanged anxious looks
with each other, but delayed speaking till her wrath had
abated. Before the empty chair of state in which she had
been seated, and which was half pushed aside by the
violence with which she had started from it, knelt Leicester,
his arms crossed, and his brows bent on the ground, still
and motionless as the effigies upon a sepulchre. Beside
him stood the Lord Shrewsbury, then Earl Marshal of
England, holding his baton of office—the Earl’s sword was
unbuckled, and lay before him on the floor.

“ Ho, sir,” said the Queen, coming close up to Tressilian,
and stamping on the floor with the action and manner of
Henry himself; “you know of this fair work—you are an
accomplice in this deception which has been practised on
us—you have been a main cause of our doing injustice ?”
Tressilian dropped on his knee before the Queen, his good
sense showing him the risk of attempting any defence at
that moment of irritation. ‘“ Art dumb, sirrah!” she con-
tinued ; “thou know’st of this affair—dost thou not ?”

“Not, gracious madam, that this poor lady was Countess
of Leicester.”

“Nor shall any one know her for such,” said Elizabeth.
“Death of my life! Countess of Leicester!—I say Dame
Amy Dudley—and well if she have not cause to write her-
self widow of the traitor Robert Dudley.”

“Madam,” said Leicester, ‘‘do with me what it may be
your will to do—but work no injury on this gentleman—he
hath in no way deserved it.”
236 ELIZABETH

“And will he be the better for thy intercession ?” said the
Queen, leaving Tressilian, who slowly arose, and rushing
to Leicester, who continued kneeling,—“ the better for chy
intercession, thou doubly false—thou doubly forsworn ?—
of thy intercession, whose villainy hath made me ridiculous
to my subjects, and odious to myself ?—I could tear out
mine eyes for their blindness !”

Burleigh here ventured to interpose.

“Madam,” he said, ‘“‘ remember that you are a Queen—
Queen of England—mother of your people. Give not away
to this wild storm of passion.”

_ Elizabeth turned round to him, while a tear actually
twinkled in her proud and angry eye. ‘ Burleigh,” she said,
“thou art a statesman—thou dost not, thou canst not,
comprehend half the scorn—half the misery, that man has
poured on me!”

With the utmost caution—with the deepest reverence,
Burleigh took her hand at the moment he saw her heart
was at the fullest, and led her aside to an oriel window,
apart from the others.

“Madam,” he said, “I am a statesman, but I am also a
man—a man already grown old in your councils, who have
not and cannot have a wish on earth but your glory and
happiness—I pray you to be composed.”

“Ah, Burleigh,” said Elizabeth, ‘“ thou little knowest,’—
here her tears fell over her cheeks in despite of her.

“‘T_ do—I do know, my honoured Sovereign. O beware
that you lead not others to guess that which they know
not!”

“Ha!” said Elizabeth, pausing as if a new train of thought
had suddenly shot across her brain. “ Burleigh, thou art
right—thou art right—anything but disgrace—anything but
a confession of weakness—anything rather than seem the
cheated—slighted—’Sdeath ! to think on it is distraction !”

“Be but yourself, my Queen,” said Burleigh ; “and soar
far above a weakness which no Englishman will ever bélieve
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 237

his Elizabeth could have entertained, unless the violence of
her disappointment carries a sad conviction to his bosom.”

“What weakness, my lord?” said Elizabeth, haughtily ;
“would you too insinuate that the favour in which I held
yonder proud traitor derived its source from aught ”—but
here she could no longer sustain the proud tone which she
had assumed, and again softened as she said, “ But why
should I strive to deceive even thee, my good and wise
servant !”

Burleigh stooped to kiss her hand with affection, and—
rare in the annals of courts—a tear of true sympathy dropped
from the eye of the minister on the hand of his Sovereign.

It is probable that the consciousness of possessing this
sympathy aided Elizabeth in supporting her mortification,
and suppressing her extreme resentment; but she was still
more moved by fear that her passion should betray to the
public the affront and the disappointment, which, alike as
a woman and a Queen, she was so anxious to conceal. She
turned from Burleigh, and sternly paced the hall till her
features had recovered their usual dignity, and her mien
its wonted stateliness of regular motion.

“Our Sovereign is her noble self once more,” whispered
Burleigh to Walsingham ; ‘‘mark what she does, and take
heed you thwart her not.”

She then approached Leicester, and cee with calmness,
‘My Lord Shrewsbury, we discharge you of your prisoner.
—My Lord of Leicester, rise and take up your sword—a
quarter of an hour’s restraint, under the custody of our
Marshal, my lord, is, we think, no high penance for
months of falsehood practised upon us. We will now hear
the progress of this affair.’—She then seated herself in her
chair, and said, “You, Tressilian, step forward, and say
what you know.”

Tressilian told his story generously, suppressing as much
as he could what affected Leicester, and saying nothing of
their having actually fought together. It is very probable
238 ELIZABETH

that, in doing so, he did the Earl good service; for had
the Queen at that instant found anything on account of
which she might vent her wrath upon him, without laying
open sentiments of which she was ashamed, it might have
fared hard with him. She paused when Tressilian had
finished his tale.

‘We will take that Wayland,” she said, “into our own
service, and place the boy in our Secretary-office for in-
struction, that he may in future use discretion towards
letters. For you, Tressilian, you did wrong in not com-
municating the whole truth to us, and your promise not to
do so was both imprudent and undutiful. Yet, having
given your word to this unhappy lady, it was the part of a
man anda gentleman to keep it; and on the whole, we
esteem you for the character you have sustained in this
matter. My Lord of Leicester, it is now your turn to tell
us the truth, an exercise to which you seem of late to have
been too much a stranger.”

Accordingly, she extorted, by successive questions, the
whole history of his first acquaintance with Amy Robsart—
their marriage—his jealousy—the causes on which it was
founded, and many particulars besides. Leicester’s con-
fession, for such it might be called, was wrenched from him
piece-meal, yet was upon the whole accurate, excepting
that he totally omitted to mention that he had, by implica-
tion or otherwise, assented to Varney’s designs upon the
life of his Countess.

At length, the haughty lord, like a deer that turns to
bay, gave intimation that his patience was failing.
“Madam,” he said, “I have been much to blame—more
than even your just resentment has expressed. Yet,
madam, let me say, that my guilt, if it be unpardonable,
was not unprovoked ; and that, if beauty and condescend-
ing dignity could seduce the frail heart of a human being,
I might plead both, as the causes of my concealing this
secret from your Majesty.”
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 239

The Queen was so much struck by this reply, which
Leicester took care should be heard by no one but herself,
that she was for the moment silenced, and the Earl had
the temerity to pursue his advantage. ‘‘Your Grace, who
has pardoned so much, will excuse my throwing myself on
your royal mercy for those expressions, which were yester-
morning accounted but’a light offence.”

The Queen fixed her eyes on him while she replied,
“Now, by Heaven, my lord, thy effrontery passes the
bounds of belief, as well as patience! But it shall avail
thee nothing.—What, ho! my lords, come all and hear the
news—My Lord of Leicester’s stolen marriage has cost me
a husband, and England a King. His Lordship is pa-
triarchal in his tastes—one wife at a time was not sufficient,
and he designed us the honour of his left hand. Now
is not this too insolent,—that I could not grace him with a
few marks of court favour, but he must presume to think
my hand and crown at his disposal?—You, however, think
better of me; and I can pity this ambitious man, as I
could a child, whose bubble of soap has burst between his
hands. We go to the presence-chamber—My Lord of
Leicester, we command your close attendance on us.”

All was eager expectation in the hall, and what was the
universal astonishment, when the Queen said to those next
her, “The revels of Kenilworth are not yet exhausted, my
lords and ladies—we are to solemnize the noble owner’s
marriage.”

There was an universal expression of surprise.

“Tt is true, on our royal word,” said the Queen; “he
hath kept this a secret even from us, that he might surprise
us with it at this very place and time. I see you are dying
of curiosity to know the happy bride—It is Amy Robsart,
- the same who, to make up the May-game yesterday, figured
in the pageant as the wife of his servant Varney.”

“For God’s sake, madam,” said the Earl, approaching
her with a mixture of humility, vexation, and shame in his
240 ELIZABETH

countenance, and speaking so low as to be heard by no one
else, “take my head, as you threatened in your anger, and
spare me these taunts! Urge not a falling man—tread not
on a crushed worm.”

“A worm, my lord?” said the Queen, in the same tone;
‘nay, a snake is the nobler reptile, and the more exact
similitude—the frozen snake you wot of, which was warmed
in a certain bosom——”

“For your own sake—for mine, madam,” said the Earl
—‘ while there is yet some reason left in me——”

“Speak aloud, my lord,” said Elizabeth, “and at farther
distance, so please you—your breath thaws our ruff. What
have you to ask of us?”

“ Permission,” said the unfortunate Earl, humbly, “ to
travel to Cumnor Place.”

“To fetch home your bride belike ?>—Why, ay,—that is
but right—for, as we have heard, she is indifferently cared
for there. But, my lord, you go not in person—we have
counted upon passing certain days in this Castle of Kenil-
worth, and it were slight courtesy to leave us without a
landlord during our residence here. Under your favour,
we cannot think to incur such disgrace in the eyes of our
subjects. Tressilian shall go to Cumnor Place instead of
you, and with him some gentleman who hath been sworn
of our chamber, lest my Lord of Leicester should be again
jealous of his old rival—Whom wouldst thou have to be in
_ commission with thee, Tressilian ? ”

Tressilian, with humble deference, suggested the name of
Raleigh.

‘“‘ Why, ay,” said the Queen; ‘‘so God ha’ me, thou hast
made a good choice. He is a young knight besides, and to
deliver a lady from prison is an appropriate first adventure.
—Cumnor Place is little better than a prison, you are to
know, my lords and ladies. Besides, there are certain fait-
ours there whom we would willingly have in fast keeping.
You will furnish them, Master Secretary, with the warrant
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 241

necessary to secure the bodies of Richard Varney and the
foreign Alasco, dead or alive. Take a sufficient force with
you, gentlemen—bring the lady here in all honour—lose no
time, and God be with you!”

They bowed, and left the presence.

In the meantime the Countess had been hurried off
by Varney to Cumnor Place. When they arrived, the
Countess asked eagerly for Janet, and showed much alarm
when informed that she was not to have the attendance
of the girl.

“My daughter is dear to me, madam,” said Fostet,
gruffly ; ““and I desire not that she should get the court-
tricks of lying and ’scaping—somewhat too much of that
has she learned already, an it please your ladyship.”

The Countess, much fatigued and greatly terrified by the
circumstances of her journey, made no answer to this
insolence, but mildly expressed a wish to retire to her
chamber.

“ Ay, ay,” muttered Foster, ‘’tis but reasonable; but,
under favour, you go not to your gew-gaw toy-house yonder
—you will sleep to night in better security.”

“‘T would it were in my grave,” said the Countess ; “ but
that mortal feelings shiver at the idea of soul and body
parting.”

“You, I guess, have no chance to shiver at that,” replied
Foster. ‘‘My lord comes hither to-morrow, and doubtless
you will make your own ways good with him.”

“But does he come hither?—does he indeed, good
Foster ?”

“QO ay, good Foster!” replied the other. ‘But what
Foster shall I be to-morrow, when you speak of me to my
lord—though all-I have done was to obey his own or-
ders ?”

“You shall be my protector—a rough one, indeed—but
still a protector,” answered the Countess. ‘Oh, that Janet
were but here !”

Q.S. o R
242 ELIZABETH

‘She is better where she is,” answered Foster—“ one of
you is enough to perplex a plain head—but will you taste
any refreshment ?”

“© no, no—my chamber—my chamber. I trust,” she
said apprehensively, “I may secure it on the inside?”

‘‘With all my heart,” answered Foster, “so I may secure
it on the outside ;” and taking a light, he led the way toa
part of the building where Amy had never been, and con-
ducted her up a stair of great height, preceded by one of
the old women with a lamp. At the head of the stair,
which seemed of almost immeasurable height, they crossed
a short wooden gallery, formed of black oak, and very nar-
row, at the farther end of which was a strong oaken door
which opened and admitted them into a miserable apart-
ment, homely in its accommodations in the very last degree,
and, except in name, little different toa prison-room.

Foster stopped at the door, and gave the lamp to the
Countess, without either offering or permitting the attend-
ance of the old woman who had carried it. The lady stood
not on ceremony, but taking it hastily, barred the door, and
secured it with the ample means provided on the inside for
that purpose.

Varney, meanwhile, had lurked behind on the stairs, but
hearing the door barred, he now came up on tiptoe, and
Foster, winking to him, pointed with self-complacence to a
piece of concealed machinery in the wall, which, playing
with much ease and little noise, dropped a part of the
wooden gallery, after the manner of a drawbridge, so as to
cut off all communication between the door of the bedroom,
which he usually inhabited, and the landing-place of the
high winding-stair, which ascended to it. The rope by
which this machinery was wrought was generally carried
within the bedchamber, it being Foster’s object to provide
against invasion from without; but now that it was intended
to secure the prisoner within, the cord had been brought
over to the landing-place, and was there made fast, when
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 243

Foster, with much complacency, had dropped the unsus-
pected trap-door.

Varney looked with great attention at the machinery, and
peeped more than once down the abyss which was opened
by the fall of the trap-door. It was as dark as pitch, and
seemed profoundly deep, going, as Foster informed his con-
federate in a whisper, nigh to the lowest vault of the castle.
Varney cast once more a fixed and long look down into
this sable gulf, and then followed Foster to the part of the
manor-house most usually inhabited.

When they arrived in the parlour, Varney requested
Foster to get them supper, and some of the choicest
wine.

“JT will seek Alasco,” he added; “we have work for
him to do, and we must put him in good heart.”

Foster groaned at this intimation, but made no remon-
strance,

“But,” said Varney, “to our graver matter. I will teach
thee a spring, Tony, to catch a pewit—yonder trap door
—yonder gimcrack of thine, will remain secure in ap-
pearance, will it not, though the supports are withdrawn
beneath ?”

“ Ay, marry, will it,” said Foster, “‘so Jong as it is not
trodden on.”

“But were the lady to attempt an escape over it,” replied
Varney, “her weight would carry it down?”

** A mouse’s weight would do it,” said Foster.

“ Why, then, she dies in attempting her escape, and what
could you or I help it, honest Tony? Let us to bed, we
will adjust our project to-morrow.”

On the next day, when evening approached, Varney sum-
moned Foster to the execution of their plan. Foster’s
old man-servant was sent on a feigned errand down to
the village, and Anthony himself, as if anxious to see that
the Countess suffered no want of accommodation, visited
her place of confinement. He was so much staggered
244 ELIZABETH

at the mildness and patience with which she seemed to en-
dure her confinement, that he could not help earnestly re-
commending her not to cross the threshold of her room on
any account whatever, until Lord Leicester should come,
“which,” he added, “I trust in God, will be very soon.”
Amy patiently promised that she would resign herself to her
fate, and Foster returned to his hardened companion with
his conscience half eased of the perilous load that weighed
on it. “I have warned her,” he said; “surely in vain is
the snare set in the sight of any bird!”

He left, therefore, the Countess’s door unsecured on the
outside, and, under the eye of Varney, withdrew the sup-
ports which sustained the falling trap, which, therefore, kept
its level position merely by a slight adhesion. They with-
drew to wait the issue on the ground-floor adjoining, but
they waited long in vain. At length Varney, after walking
long to and fro, with his face muffled in his cloak, threw it
suddenly back, and exclaimed, “Surely never was a woman
fool enough to neglect so fair an opportunity of escape !”

‘Perhaps she is resolved,” said Foster, ‘to await her
husband’s return.”

“ True !—most true,” said Varney, rushing out, “I had
not thought of that before.”

In less than two minutes, Foster, who remained behind,
heard the tread of a horse in the courtyard, and then a
whistle similar to that which was the Earl’s usual signal ;—
the instant after the door of the Countess’s chamber opened,
and in the same moment the trap-door gave way. There
was a rushing sound—a heavy fall—a faint groan—and all
was over.

At the same instant, Varney called in at the window, in
an accent and tone which was an indescribable mixture be-
twixt horror and raillery, “Is the bird caught ?—is the deed
done?”

“O God, forgive us!” replied Anthony Foster.

“Why, thou fool,” said Varney, “thy toil is ended, and
THE QUEEN VISITS HER FAVOURITE 245

thy reward secure. Look down into the vault—what seest
thou ?”

“T see only a heap of white clothes, like a snowdrift,”
said Foster. ‘O God, she moves her arm!”

“furl something down on her. Thy gold chest, Tony—
it is an heavy one.”

“‘ Varney, thou art an incarnate fiend!” replied Foster.
“There needs nothing more ; she is gone!”

‘So pass our troubles,” said Varney, entering the room.
“T dreamed not I could have mimicked the Earl’s call so
well.”

Oh, if there be judgment in heaven, thou hast deserved
it,” said Foster, “and wilt meet it! Thou hast destroyed
her by means of her best affections. It is a seething of the
kid in the mother’s milk !”

* Thou art a fanatical ass,” replied Varney; ‘‘let us now
think how the alarm should be given. The body is to re-
main where it is.”

But their wickedness was to be permitted no longer ; for,
even while they were at this consultation, Tressilian and
Raleigh broke in upon them, having obtained admittance
by means of Foster’s servant, whom they had secured at
the village.

Anthony Foster fled on their entrance; and, knowing
each corner and pass of the intricate old house, escaped all
search. But Varney was taken on the spot; and, instead
of expressing compunction for what he had done, seemed
to take a fiendish pleasure in pointing out to them the re-
mains of the murdered Countess, while at the same time he
defied them to show that he had any share in her death.
The despairing grief of Tressilian, on viewing the mangled
and yet warm remains of what had lately been so lovely
and so beloved, was such, that Raleigh was compelled to
have him removed from the place by force, while he himself
assumed the direction of what was to be done.

Varney, upon a second examination, made very little
246 ELIZABETH

mystery either of the crime or of its motives ; alleging, as a
reason for his frankness, that though much of what he con-
fessed could only have attached to him by suspicion, yet
such suspicion would have been sufficient to deprive him
of Leicester’s confidence, and to destroy all his towering
plans of ambition. ‘I was not born,” he said, ‘ to drag on
the remainder of life a degraded outcast ; nor will I so die,
that my fate shall make a holiday to the vulgar herd.”

The news of the Countess’s dreadful fate put a sudden
period to the pleasures of Kenilworth. Leicester retired
from court, and for a considerable time abandoned himself
to his remorse. But as Varney in his last declaration had
been studious to spare the character of his patron, the Earl
was the object rather of compassion than resentment. The
Queen at length recalled him to court; he was once more
distinguished as a statesman and favourite, and the rest of
his career is well known to history. But there was some-
thing retributive in his death, if, according to an account
very generally received, it took place from his swallowing
a draught of poison, which was designed by him for another
person. :

—SirR WALTER Scott, Kenzlworth.
| XIX
The King and his Jeweller

ASTER GEORGE HERIOT, citizen of London,
was bound to Whitehall in order to exhibit a piece
of valuable workmanship to King James, which he deemed
his Majesty might be pleased to view, or even to purchase.
He himself was therefore mounted upon his caparisoned
mule, that he might the better make his way through the
narrow, dirty, and crowded streets; and while one of his
attendants carried under his arm the piece of plate, wrapped
up in red baize, the other two gave an eye to its safety ; for
such was the state of the police of the metropolis, that men
were often assaulted in the public street for the sake of
revenge or of plunder; and those who apprehended being
beset, usually endeavoured, if their estate admitted such
expense, to secure themselves by the attendance of armed
followers. And this custom, which was at first limited to
the nobility and gentry, extended by degrees to those citi-
zens of consideration, who, being understood to travel with
a charge, as it was called, might otherwise have been selected
as safe subjects of plunder by the street-robber.

As Master George Heriot paced forth westward with this
gallant attendance, he paused at the shop door of his country-
man and friend, the ancient horologer, and having caused
Tunstall, who was in attendance in the shop, to adjust
his watch by the real time, he desired to speak with his
master ; in consequence of which summons, the old Time-

meter came forth from his den, his face like a bronze bust,
247
248 JAMES |

darkened with dust, and glistening here and there with
copper filings, and his senses so bemused in the intensity
of calculation, that he gazed on his friend the goldsmith
for a minute before he seemed perfectly to comprehend
who he was, and heard him express his invitation to David
Ramsay, and pretty Mistress Margaret, his daughter, to
dine with him next day at noon, to meet with a noble
young countryman, without returning any answer.

‘‘T’ll make thee speak, with a murrain to thee,” muttered
Heriot to himself; and suddenly changing his tone, he said
aloud,—‘‘I pray you, neighbour David, when are you and
I to have a settlement for the bullion wherewith I supplied
* you to mount yonder hall-clock at Theobald’s, and that
other whirligig that you made for the Duke of Buckingham?
I have had the Spanish house to satisfy for the ingots, and
I must needs put you in mind that you have been eight
months behind hand.”

There is something so sharp and azgve in the demand of
a peremptory dun, that no human tympanum, however in-
accessible to other tones, can resist the application. David
Ramsay started at once from his reverie, and answered in a
pettish tone, ‘Wow, George, man, what needs aw this din
about sax score 0’ pounds? Aw the world kens I can
answer aw claims on me, and you proffered yourself fair
time, till his maist gracious Majesty and the noble Duke
suld make settled accompts wi’ me; and ye may ken, by
your ain experience, that I canna gang rowting like an un-
mannered Highland stot to their doors, as ye come to
mine.”

Heriot laughed, and replied, “Well, David, I see a de-
mand of money is like a bucket of water about your ears,
and makes you a man of the world at once. And now,
friend, will you tell me, like a Christian man, if you will
dine with me to-morrow at noon, and bring pretty Mis-
tress Margaret, my god-daughter, with you, to meet with
our noble young countryman, the Lord of Glenvarloch ?”
THE KING AND HIS JEWELLER 249

“ The young Lord of Glenvarloch!” said the old mechan-
ist; “wi? aw my heart, and blithe I will be to see him.”

“ God be wi’ you, Davie,” said the citizen. ‘“ Forget not
to-morrow at noon.” And, so saying, he turned his mule’s
head westward, and crossed Temple Bar, at that slow and
decent amble, which at once became his rank and civic
importance, and put his pedestrian followers to no incon-
venience to keep up with him.

At the Temple gate he again paused, dismounted, and
sought his way into one of the small booths occupied by
scriveners in the neighbourhood. A young man with lank
smooth hair combed straight to his ears, and then cropped
short, rose, with a cringing reverence, pulled off a slouched
hat, which he would upon no signal replace on his head,
and answered, with much demonstration of reverence, to
the goldsmith’s question of, ‘‘ How goes business, Andrew?”
—“ Aw the better for your worship’s kind countenance and
maintenance.”

“ Get a large sheet of paper, man, and make a new pen,
with a sharp neb, and fine hair-stroke. Do not slit the
quill up too high, it’s a wastrife course in your trade,
Andrew—they that do not mind corn-pickles, never comes
to forpits. I have known a learned man write a thousand
pages with one quill.”

“ Ah! sir,” said the lad, who listened to the goldsmith,
though instructing him in his own trade, with an air of
veneration and acquiesence, “ how sune ony puir creature
like mysell may rise in the world, wi’ the instruction of such

a man as your worship !”

; “ My instructions are few, Andrew, soon told, and not
hard to practise. Be honest—be industrious—be frugal—
and you will soon win wealth and worship.—Here, copy
me this Supplication in your best and most formal hand.
I will wait by you till it is done.”

The youth lifted not his eye from the paper, and laid not
the pen from his hand, until the task was finished to his
250 JAMES I

employer’s satisfaction. The citizen then gave the young
scrivener an angel; and bidding him, on his life, be secret
in all business intrusted to him, again mounted. his mule,
and rode on westward along the Strand.

It may be worth while to remind our readers that the
Temple-Bar which Heriot passed, was not the arched
screen, or gateway, of the present day ; but an open railing,
or palisade, which, at night, and in times of alarm, was
closed with a barricade of posts and chains. The Strand
also, along which he rode, was not, as now, a continued
street, although it was beginning already to assume that
character. It still might be considered as an open road,
along the south side of which stood various houses and
hotels belonging to the nobility, having gardens behind
them down to the water-side, with stairs to the river, for
the convenience of taking boat; which mansions have
bequeathed the names of their lordly owners to many of
the streets leading from the Strand to the Thames. The
north side of the Strand was also a long line of houses, be-
hind which, as in Saint Martin’s Lane, and other points,
buildings were rapidly arising ; but Covent Garden was still
a garden, in the literal sense of the word, or at least but
beginning to be studded with irregular buildings. All that
was passing around, however, marked the rapid increase of
a capital which had long enjoyed peace, wealth, and a
regular government. Houses were rising in every direc-
tion; and the shrewd eye of our citizen already saw the
period not distant, which should convert the nearly open
highway on which he travelled into a connected and
regular street, uniting the court and the town with the
city of London.

He next passed Charing Cross, which was no longer the
pleasant solitary village at which the judges were wont to
breakfast on their way to Westminster Hall, but began to
resemble the artery through which, to use Johnson’s ex-
pression, “pours the full tide of London population.” The
THE KING AND HIS JEWELLER 251

buildings were rapidly increasing, yet scarcely gave even a
faint idea of its present appearance.

At last Whitehall received our traveller, who passed
under one of the beautiful gates designed by Holbein, and
composed of tesselated brick-work, being the same to which
Moniplies had profanely likened the West-port of Edin-
burgh, and entered the ample precincts of the palace of
Whitehall, now full of all the confusion attending improve-
ment.

It was just at the time when James, little suspecting that
he was employed in constructing a palace, from the window
of which his only son was to pass in order that he might
die upon a scaffold before it,—was busied in removing the
ancient and ruinous buildings of De Burgh, Henry VIIL.,
and Queen Elizabeth, to make way for the superb architec-
ture on which Inigo Jones exerted all his genius. The
King, ignorant of futurity, was now engaged in pressing on
his work ; and, for that purpose, still maintained his royal
apartments at Whitehall, amidst the rubbish of old build-
ings, and the various confusion attending the erection of
the new pile, which formed at present a labyrinth not easily
traversed.

The goldsmith to the Royal Household, and who, if
fame spoke true, oftentimes acted as their banker,—for
these professions were not as yet separated from each
other,—was a person of too much importance to receive
the slightest interruption from sentinel or porter; and,
leaving his mule and two of his followers in the outer
court, he gently knocked at a postern-gate of the building,
and was presently admitted, while the most trusty of his
attendants followed him closely, with the piece of plate
under his arm. This man also he left behind him in an
ante-room,—where three or four pages in the royal livery,
but untrussed, unbuttoned, and dressed more carelessly
than the place, and nearness to a King’s person, seemed to
admit, were playing at dice and draughts, or stretched upon
252 JAMES I

benches, and slumbering with half-shut eyes. A corre-
sponding gallery, which opened from the ante-room, was
occupied by two gentlemen-ushers of the chamber, who
gave each a smile of recognition as the wealthy goldsmith
entered.

No word was spoken on either side; but one of. the
ushers looked first to Heriot and then to a little door half-
covered by the tapestry, which seemed to say, as plain asa
look could, “Lies your business that way?” The citizen
nodded; and the court-attendant, moving on tiptoe, and
with as much caution as if the floor had been paved with
eggs, advanced to the door, opened it gently, and spoke a
few words in a low tone. The broad Scottish accent of
King James was heard in reply,—‘“‘ Admit him instanter,
Maxwell. Have you hairboured sae lang at the Court, and
not learned that gold and silver are ever welcome ?”

The usher signed to Heriot to advance, and the honest
citizen was presently introduced into the cabinet of the
Sovereign.

The scene of confusion amid which he found the King
seated, was no bad picture of the state and quality of
James’s own mind. There was much that was rich and
costly in cabinet pictures and valuable ornaments ; but they
were arranged in a slovenly manner, covered with dust, and
lost half their value, or at least their effect, from the manner
in which they were presented to the eye. The table was
loaded with huge folios, amongst which lay light books of
jest and ribaldry ; and, amongst notes of unmercifully long
orations, and essays on king-craft, were mingled miserable
roundels and ballads by the Royal ’Prentice, as he styled
himself, in the art of poetry, and schemes for the general
pacification of Europe, with a list of the names of the
King’s hounds, and remedies against canine madness.

The King’s dress was of green velvet, quilted so full as
to be dagger-proof—which gave him the appearance of
clumsy and ungainly protuberance ; while its being buttoned
THE KING AND HIS JEWELLER 253

awry, communicated to his figure an air of distortion.
Over his green doublet he wore a sad-coloured night-gown,
out of the pocket of which peeped his hunting-horn. His
high-crowned grey hat lay on the floor, covered with dust,
but encircled by a carcanet of large balas rubies; and he
wore a blue velvet nightcap, in the front of which was
placed a plume of a heron, which had been struck down by
a favourite hawk in some critical moment of the flight, in
remembrance of which the King wore this highly honoured
feather.

The monarch, who saluted Heriot by the name of Jing-
ling Geordie (for it was his well-known custom to give
nicknames to all those with whom he was on terms of
familiarity), enquired what new clatter-traps he had brought
with him, to cheat his lawful and native Prince out of his
siller.

“God forbid, my liege,” said the citizen, “that I should
have any such disloyal purpose. I did but bring a piece of
plate to show to your most gracious Majesty, which, both
for the subject and for the workmanship, I were loath to
put into the hands of any subject until I knew your
Majesty’s pleasure anent it.”

‘“‘ Body o’ me, man, let’s see it, Heriot; though, by my
saul, Steenie’s service o’ plate was sae dear a bargain, I had
’maist pawned my word as a Royal King to keep my ain
gold and-silver in future, and let you, Geordie, keep
yours.”

“ Respecting the Duke of Buckingham’s plate,” said the
goldsmith, “‘your Majesty was pleased to direct that no
_ expense should be spared, and. y

“What signifies what I desired, man? when a wise man
is with fules and bairns, he maun e’en play at the chucks.
But you should have had mair sense and consideration
than to gie Babie Charles and Steenie their ain. gate, they
wad hae floored the very rooms wi’ silver, and I wonder
they didna.”


254 JAMES I

George Heriot bowed, and said no more. He knew his
master too well to vindicate himself otherwise than by a
distant allusion to his order; and James, with whom
economy was only a transient and momentary twinge of
conscience, became immediately afterwards desirous to see
the piece of plate which the goldsmith proposed to exhibit,
and dispatched Maxwell to bring it to his presence. In the
meantime he demanded of the citizen whence he had pro-
cured it.

“From Italy, may it please your Majesty,” replied
Heriot.

“Tt has naething in it tending to papestrie?” said the
King, looking graver than his wont.

“Surely not, please your Majesty,” said Heriot; ‘‘I were
not wise to bring any thing to your presence that had the
mark of the beast.”

“You would be the mair beast yourself to do so,” said
the King; ‘it is weel kend that I wrestled wi’ Dagon in my
youth, and smote him on the ground-sill of his own temple;
a gude evidence that I should be in time called, however
unworthy, the Defender of the Faith.—But here comes
Maxwell, bending under his burden, like the Golden Ass of
Apuleius.”

Heriot hastened to relieve the usher, and to place the
embossed salver, for such it was, and of extraordinary
dimensions, in a light favourable for his Majesty’s Mewing
the sculpture.

‘Saul of my body, man,” said the King, ‘it is a curious
piece, and, as I think, fit for a King’s chalmer; and the
subject, as you say, Master George, vera adequate and
beseeming—being, as I see, the judgment of Solomon—a
prince in whose paths it weel becomes a’ leeving monarchs
to walk with emulation.”

“ But whose footsteps,” said Maxwell, ‘‘ only one of them
—if a subject may say so much—hath ever overtaken.”

““Haud your tongue for a fause fleeching loon!” said
THE KING AND HIS JEWELLER 255

the King, but with a smile on his face that showed the
flattery had done its part. ‘Look at the bonny piece of
workmanship, and haud your clavering tongue.—And whase
handiwork may it be, Geordie?”

“It was wrought, sir,” replied the goldsmith, “by the
famous Florentine, Benvenuto Cellini, and designed for
Francis the First of France; but I hope it will find a fitter
master.”

“Francis of France!” said the King; “send Solomon,
King of the Jews, to Francis of France !—Body of me,
man, it would have kythed Cellini mad, had he never done
ony thing else out of the gate. Francis !—why, he was a
fighting fule, man,—a mere fighting fule,—got himsell ta’en
at Pavia, like our ain David at Durham lang syne ;—if they
could hae sent him Solomon’s wit, and love of peace, and
godliness, they wad hae dune him a better turn. But
Solomon should sit in other gate company than Francis of
France.”

“T trust that such will be his good fortune,” said Heriot.

“Tt is a curious and vera artificial sculpture,” said the
King, in continuation ; “but yet, methinks, the carnifex, or
executioner there, is brandishing his gulley ower near the
King’s face, seeing he is within reach of his weapon. I
think less wisdom than Solomon’s wad have taught him
that there was danger in edge-tools, and that he wad have
bidden the smaik either sheath his shabble, or stand farther
back.”

George Heriot endeavoured to alleviate this objection
by assuring the King that the vicinity betwixt Solomon and
the executioner was nearer in appearance than in reality,
and that the perspective should be allowed for.

“Gang to the deil wi’ your prospective, man,” said the
‘King; ‘there canna be a waur prospective for a lawfu’
king, wha wishes to reign in luve, and die in peace and
honour, than to have naked swords flashing in his een. I
am accounted as brave as maist folks; and yet I profess to
256 JAMES I

ye I could never look on a bare blade without blinking and
winking. But a’thegither it is a brave piece ;—and what is
the price of it, man?”

The goldsmith replied by observing, that it was not his
own property, but that of a distressed countryman.

“Whilk you mean to mak your excuse for asking the
double of its worth, I warrant?” answered the King. “I
ken the tricks of you burrows-town merchants, man.”

“T have no hopes of baffling your Majesty’s sagacity,”
said Heriot ; “the piece is really what I say, and the price
a hundred and fifty pounds sterling, if it pleases your
Majesty to make present payment.”

“A hundred and fifty punds, man! ‘and as mony witches
and warlocks to raise them!” said the irritated Monarch.
“My saul, Jingling Geordie, ye are minded that your purse
shall jingle to a bonny tune !—How am I to tell you down
a hundred and fifty punds for what will not weigh as many
merks ? and ye ken that my very household servitors, and
the officers of my mouth, are sax months in arrear-!”

The goldsmith stood his ground against all this objurga-
tion, being what he was well accustomed to, and only
answered, that, if his Majesty liked the piece, and desired
to possess it, the price could be easily settled. It was true
that the party required the money, but he, George Heriot,
would advance it on his Majesty’s account, if such were his
pleasure, and wait his royal conveniency for payment, for
that and other matters ; the money, meanwhile, lying at the
ordinary usage.

“ By my honour,” said James, ‘“‘and that is speaking like
an honest and reasonable tradesman. We maun get
another subsidy frae the Commons, and that will make ae
compting of it. Awa wi’ it, Maxwell—awa wi’ it, and let it
be set where Steenie and Babie Charles shall see it as they
return from Richmond.—And now that we are secret, my
good auld friend Geordie, I do truly opine, that speaking
of Solomon and ourselves, the haill wisdom in the country








***Tt’s a curious and vera artificial sculpture,’ said the king.”
Page 255.
THE KING AND HIS JEWELLER = 257

left Scotland, when we took our travels to the Southland
here.”

George Heriot was courtier enough to say, that ‘“‘the
wise naturally follow the wisest, as stags follow their leader.”

“ Troth, I think there is something in what thou sayest,”
said James ; “‘ for we ourselves, and those of our court and
household, as thou thyself, for example, are allowed by the
English, for as self-opinioned as they are, to pass for reason-
able good wits; but the brains of those we have left behind
are all astir, and run clean hirdie-girdie, like sae mony
warlocks and witches on the Devil’s Sabbath-e’en.”

“Tam sorry to hear this, my liege,” said Heriot. ‘‘ May
it please your Grace to say what our countrymen have done
to deserve such a character?”

“They are become frantic, man—clean brain-crazed,”
answered the King. ‘I cannot keep them out of the Court
by all the proclamations that the heralds roar themselves
hoarse with. Yesterday, nae farther gane, just as we were
mounted, and about to ride forth, in rushed a thorough
Edinburgh gutterblood—a ragged rascal, every dud upon
whose back was bidding good-day to the other, with a coat
and hat that would have served a pease-bogle, and, without
havings or reverence, thrusts into our hands, like a sturdy
beggar, some Supplication about debts owing by our
gracious mother, and siclike trash; whereat the horse
spangs on end, and, but for our admirable sitting, wherein
we have been thought to excel maist sovereign princes, as
well as subjects, in Europe, I promise you we would have
been laid endlang on the causeway.”

“Your Majesty,” said Heriot, “is their common father,
and therefore they are the bolder to press into your gracious

_ presence.”

“JT ken I am pater patrie well enough,” said James;
“but one would think they had a mind to squeeze my
puddings out, that they may divide the inheritance. Ud’s
death, Geordie, there is not a loon among them can de-

QS. §
258 JAMES 1

liver a Supplication, as it suld be done in the face of
majesty.”

“T would I knew the most fitting and beseeming mode
to do so,” said Heriot, “were it but to instruct our poor
countrymen in better fashions.”

“ By my halidome,” said the King, “ye are a ceevileezed
fellow, Geordie, and I carena if I fling awa as much time as
may teach ye. And, first, see you, sir—ye shall approach
the presence of majesty thus,—shadowing your eyes with
your hand, to testify that you are in the presence of the
Vicegerent of Heaven.—Vera weel, George, that is done in
a comely manner.—Then, sir, ye sall kneel, and make as
if ye would kiss the hem of our garment, the latch of our
shoe, or such like.—Vera weel enacted—whilk we, as being
willing to be debonair and pleasing towards our lieges,
prevent thus,—and motion to you to rise ;—whilk, having a
boon to ask, as yet you obey not, but, gliding your hand
into your pouch, bring forth your Supplication, and place
it reverentially in our open palm.” The goldsmith, who
had complied with great accuracy with all the prescribed
points of the ceremonial, here completed it, to James’s no
small astonishment, by placing in his hand the petition of
the Lord of Glenvarloch.- “What means this, ye fause
loon?” said he, reddening and sputtering, “hae I been
teaching you the manual exercise, that ye suld present your
piece at our ain royal body ?—Now, by this light, I had as
lief that ye had bended a real pistolet against me, and yet
this hae ye done in my very cabinet, where nought suld
enter but at my ain pleasure.”

“T trust your Majesty,” said Heriot, as he continued to
kneel, “will forgive my exercising the lesson you conde-
scended to give me in the behalf of a friend?”

“Of a friend!” said the King ; “so much the waur—so
much the waur, I tell you. If it had been something to
do yoursell good there would have been some sense in it,
and some chance that you wad not have come back on me
THE KING AND HIS JEWELLER = 259

in a hurry; but a man may have a hundred friends, and
petitions for every ane of them, ilk ane after other.”

“Your Majesty, I trust,” said Heriot, “will judge me by
former experience, and will not suspect me of such pre-
sumption.”

“J kenna,” said the placable monarch ; “the world goes
daft, “I think—sed semel insanivimus omnes—thou art my
old and faithful servant, that is the truth; and, were’t
anything for thy own behoof, man, thou shouldst not ask
twice. But, troth, Steenie loves me so dearly, that he cares
not that any one should ask favours of me but himself.
Maxwell (for the usher had re-entered after having carried
off the plate), get into the ante-chamber wi’ your lang lugs.
In conscience, Geordie, I think as that thou hast been
mine ain auld fiduciary, and wert my goldsmith when I
might say with the Ethnic poet—WVon med renidet in domo
Jacunar—for, faith, they had pillaged my mither’s auld
house sae, that beechen bickers, and treen trenchers, and
latten platters, were whiles the best at our board, and glad
we were of something to put on them, without quarrelling
with the metal of the dishes. D’ye mind, for thou wert in
maist of our complots, how we were fain to send sax of the
Blue-banders to harry the Lady of Loganhouse’s dowcot
and poultry-yard, and what an awfw’ plaint the poor dame
made against Jock of Milch, and the thieves of Annandale,
wha were as sackless of the deed as I am of the sin of
murder P”

“It was the better for Jock,” said Heriot; “for, if I
remember weel, it saved him from a strapping up at Dum-
fries, which he had weel deserved for other misdeeds.”

“Ay, man, mind ye that?” said the King; “but he had
other virtues, for he was a tight huntsman, moveover, that
Jock of Milch, and could hollow to a hound till all the
woods rang again. But he came to an Annandale end at
the last, for Lord Torthorwald run his lance out through
him. Cocksnails, man, when I think of these wild passages,
260 JAMES I

in my conscience, I am not sure but we lived merrier in
auld Holyrood in those shifting days, than now when we
are dwelling at heck and manger. Cantabit vacuus—we
had but little to care for.”

“And if your Majesty please to remember,” said the
goldsmith, “the awful task we had to gather silver-vessail
and gold-work enough to make some show before the
Spanish Ambassador.”

“ Vera true,” said the King, now in a full tide of gossip,
“and I mind not the name of the right leal lord that helped
us with every unce he had in his house, that his native
Prince might have some credit in the eyes of them that
had the Indies at their beck.”

“T think, if your Majesty,” said the citizen, ‘will cast
your eye on the paper in your hand, you will recollect his
name.”

“Ay!” said the King, “say ye sae, man? Lord Glen-
varloch, that was his name indeed—/ustus et tenax propositi
—A just man, but as obstinate as a baited bull. He stood
whiles against us, that Lord Randal Olifaunt of Glen-
varloch; but he was a loving and a leal subject in the
main. But this supplicator maun be his son—Randal
has been long gone where king and lord must go, Geordie,
as weel as the like of you—and what does his son want
with us?”

“The settlement,” answered the citizen, “ of a large debt
due by your Majesty’s treasury, for money advanced to
your Majesty in great state emergency, about the time of
the Raid of Ruthven.”

“T mind the thing weel,” said King James—“ Od’s
death, man, I was just out of the clutches of the Master of
Glamis and his complices, and there was never siller mair
welcome to a born Prince,—the mair the shame and pity
that crowned King should need sic a petty sum. But what
need he dun us for it, man, like a baxter at the breaking?
We aught him the siller, and will pay him wi’ our con-
THE KING AND HIS JEWELLER 261

venience, or make it otherwise up to him, whilk is enow
between prince and subject. We are not 7 meditattone
fug@, man, to be arrested thus peremptorily.”

“ Alas! an it please your Majesty,” said the goldsmith,
shaking his head; “it is the poor young nobleman’s ex-
treme necessity, and not his will, that makes him impor-
tunate; for he must have money, and that briefly, to
discharge a debt due to Peregrine Peterson, Conservator of
the Privileges at Campvere, or his haill hereditary barony
and estate of Glenvarloch will be evicted in virtue of an
unredeemed wadset.”

“ How say ye, man—how say ye?” exclaimed the King,
impatiently ; “the carle of a Conservator, the son of a
Low-Dutch skipper, evict the auld estate and lordship of
the house of Olifaunt? God’s bread, man, that maun not
be—we maun suspend the diligence by writ of favour, or
otherwise.”

“J doubt that may hardly be,” answered the citizen, “if
it please your Majesty; your learned counsel in the law
of Scotland advise that there is no remeid but in paying
the money.”

“Ud’s fish,” said the King, “let him keep haud by the
strong hand against the carle, until we can take some order
about his affairs.”

“ Alas!” insisted the goldsmith, “if it like your Majesty,
your own pacific government, and your doing of equal
justice to all men, has made main force a kittle line to walk
by, unless just within the bounds of the Highlands.”

“‘Weel—weel—weel, man,” said the perplexed monarch,
whose ideas of justice, expedience, and convenience became
on such occasions strangely embroiled; “just it is we
should pay our debts, that the young man may pay his;
and he must be paid, and 1 verbo regis he shall be paid—
but how to come by the siller, man, is a difficult chapter—
ye maun try the city, Geordie.”

“To say the truth,” answered Heriot, “ please your
262 JAMES I

gracious Majesty, what betwixt loans and benevolences, and
subsidies, the city is at this present Mf

“ Donna tell me of what the city is,” said King James ;
“our Exchequer is as dry as Dean Giles’s discourses on the
penitentiary psalms—L2x xihilo nihil fit—It’s ill taking the
breeks aff a wild Highlandman—they that come to me for
siller, should tell me how to come by it—the city ye maun
try Heriot ; and donna think to be called Jingling Geordie
for nothing—and zz verbo regis I will pay the lad if you get
me the loan—I wonnot haggle on the terms; and, between
you and me, Geordie, we will redeem the brave auld estate
- of Glenvarloch. But wherefore comes not the young lord
to Court, Heriot—is he comely—is he presentable in the
presence ?”

“No one can be more so,” said’ George Heriot;
ce but poe eee),

‘Ay, I understand ye,” said his Majesty—“ I understand
ye—Les augusta domi—puir lad—puir lad !—and his father
a right true leal Scots heart, though stiff in some opinions.
Hark ye, Heriot, let the lad have twa hundred pounds to
fit him out. And, here—here”—(taking the carcanet of
rubies from his old hat)—“ye have had these in pledge
before for a larger sum, ye auld Levite that ye are. Keep
them in gage, till I gie ye back the siller out of the next
subsidy.”

“Tf it please your Majesty to give me such directions in
writing,” said the cautious citizen.

“The deil is in your nicety, George,” said the King ;
“ye are as preceese as a Puritan in form, and a mere
Nullifidian in the marrow of the matter. May not a King’s
word serve ye for advancing your pitiful twa hundred
pounds ?”

“But not for detaining the crown jewels,” said George
Heriot.

And the King, who from long experience was inured to
dealing with suspicious creditors, wrote an order upon


THE KING AND HIS JEWELLER 263

George Heriot, his well-beloved goldsmith and jeweller, for
the sum of two hundred pounds, to be paid presently to
Nigel Olifaunt, Lord of Glenvarloch, to be imputed as so
much debt due to him by the crown; and authorizing the
retention of a carcanet of balas rubies, with a great diamond,
as described in a Catalogue of his Majesty’s Jewels, to
remain in possession of the said George Heriot, advancer
of the said sum, and so forth, until he was lawfully con-
tented and paid thereof. By another rescript, his Majesty
gave the said George Heriot directions to deal with some
of the moneyed men, upon equitable terms, for a sum of
money for his Majesty’s present use, not to be under
50,000 merks, but as much more as could conveniently be
procured.

“And has he ony lair, this Lord Nigel of ours?” said
the King. :

George Heriot could not exactly answer this question ;
but believed “the young lord had studied abroad.”

“He shall have our own advice,” said the King, “how to
carry on his studies to maist advantage; and it may be
we will have him come to Court, and study with Steenie,
and Babie Charles. And, now we think on’t, away—away,
George—for the bairns will be coming hame presently, and
we would not as yet they kend of this matter we have been
treating anent. Propfera pedem, O Geordie. Clap your
mule between your houghs, and god-den with you.”

Thus ended the conference betwixt the gentle King
Jamie and his benevolent jeweller and goldsmith.

—SIR WALTER Scott, Fortunes of Nigel.
XX

The Battle of
Edgehill

N the rzoth of October the King’s army was in full

march, his Majesty generalissimo, the Earl of Lind-
sey general, of the foot; Prince Rupert, general of the
horse ; and the first action in the field was by Prince Rupert
and Sir John Byron. Sir John had brought his body of
500 horse from Oxford to Worcester; the Lord Say, with
a strong party, being in the neighbourhood of Oxford,
and expected in the town, Colonel Sandys, a hot man,
and who had more courage than judgment, advances with
about 1,500 horse and dragoons, with design to beat Sir
John Byron out of Worcester, and take post there for
the Parliament.

The King had notice that the Earl of Essex designed
for Worcester, and Prince Rupert was ordered to advance
with a body of horse and dragoons to face the enemy, and
bring off Sir John Byron. This his Majesty did to amuse
the Earl of Essex, that he might expect him that way;
whereas the King’s design was to get between the Earl of
Essex’s army and the city of London; and his Majesty’s
end was doubly answered, for he not only drew Essex on to
Worcester, where he spent more time than he needed, but
he beat the party into the bargain.

I went volunteer in this party, and rode in my father’s
regiment ; for though we really expected not to see the

enemy, yet I was tired with lying still, We came to Wor-
264
THE BATTLE OF EDGEHILL 205

cester just as notice was brought to Sir John Byron, that a
party of the enemy was on their march for Worcester, upon
which the Prince, immediately consulting what was to be
done, resolves to march the next morning and fight them.

The enemy, who lay at Pershore, about eight miles from
Worcester, and, as I believe, had no notice of our march,
came on very confidently in the morning, and found us
fairly drawn up to receive them. I must confess this was
the bluntest, downright way of making war that ever was
seen. The enemy, who, in all the little knowledge I had of
war, ought to have discovered our numbers, and guessed
by our posture what our design was, might easily have
informed themselves that we intended to attack them, and
so might have secured the advantage of a bridge in their
front ; but without any regard to these methods of policy,
they came on at all hazards. Upon this notice, my father
proposed to the Prince to halt for them, and suffer ourselves
to be attacked, since we found them willing to give us
the advantage. The Prince approved of the advice, so we
halted within view of a bridge, leaving space enough on our
front for about half the number of their forces to pass and
draw up ; and at the bridge was posted about fifty dragoons,
with orders to retire as soon as the enemy advanced, as if
they had been afraid. On the right of the road was a
ditch, and a very high bank behind, where we had placed
300 dragoons, with orders to lie flat on their faces till the
enemy had passed the bridge, and to let fly among them
as soon as our trumpets sounded a charge. Nobody but
Colonel Sandys would have been caught in such a snare,
* for he might easily have seen that when he was over the
bridge there was not room enough for him to fight in. But
the Lord of hosts was so much in their mouths—for that
was the word for that day—that they took little heed how
to conduct the host of the Lord to their own advantage.

As we expected, they appeared, beat our dragoons from
the bridge, and passed it. We stend firm in one line with
266 CHARLES I

a reserve, and expected a charge, but Colonel Sandys,
showing a great deal more judgment than we thought he
was master of, extends himself to. the left, finding the
ground too strait, and began to form his men with a great
deal of readiness and skill, for by this time he saw our
number was greater than he expected. The Prince per-
ceiving it, and foreseeing that the stratagem of the dragoons
would be frustrated by this, immediately charges with the
horse, and the dragoons at the same time standing upon
their feet, poured in their shot upon those that were passing
the bridge. This surprise put them into such disorder, that
we had but little work with them. For though Colonel
Sandys, with the troops next him, sustained the shock very
well, and behaved themselves gallantly enough, yet the con-
fusion beginning in their rear, those that had not yet passed
the bridge were kept back by the fire of the dragoons, and
the rest were easily cut in pieces. Colonel Sandys was
mortally wounded and taken prisoner, and the crowd was
so great to get back, that many pushed into the water, and
were rather smothered than drowned. Some of them who
never came into the fight, were so frighted, that they never
looked behind them till they came to Pershore, and, as
we were afterwards informed, the lifeguards of the General
who had quartered in the town, left it in disorder enough,
expecting us at the heels of their men.

If our business had been to keep the Parliament army
from coming to Worcester, we had a very good opportunity
to have secured the bridge at Pershore ; but our design lay
another way, as I have said, and the King was for drawing
Essex on to the Severn, in hopes to get behind him, which
fell out accordingly.

Essex, spurred by this affront in the infancy of their
affairs, advances the next day, and came to Pershore time
enough to be at the funeral of some of his men; and from
thence he advances to Worcester.

We marched back to Worcester, extremely pleased with
THE BATTLE OF EDGEHILL 207

the good success of our first attack, and our men were so
flushed with this little victory that it put vigour into the
whole army. The enemy lost about 3,000 men, and we
carried away near 150 prisoners, with 500 horses, some
standards and arms, and among the prisoners their colonel ;
but he died a little after of his wounds.

Upon the approach of the enemy, Worcester was quitted,
and the forces marched back to join the King’s army, which
lay then at Bridgnorth, Ludlow, and thereabout. As the
King expected, it fell out ; Essex found so much work at
Worcester to settle Parliament quarters, and secure Bristol,
Gloucester, and Hereford, that it gave the King a full
day’s march of him. So the King, having the start of
him, moves towards London; and Essex, nettled to be
both beaten in fight and outdone in conduct, decamps, and
follows the King.

The Parliament, and the Londoners too, were in a strange
consternation at this mistake of their General; and had the
King, whose great misfortune was always to follow pre-
cipitant advices,—had the King, I say, pushed on his first
design, which he had formed with very good reason, and
for which he had been dodging with Essex eight or ten
days, viz., of marching directly to London, where he had
a very great interest, and where his friends were not yet
oppressed and impoverished, as they were afterwards, he
had turned the scale of his affairs. And every man expected
it; for the members began to shift for themselves, expresses
were sent on the heels of one another to the Earl of Essex
_ to hasten after the King, and, if possible, to bring him to
a battle. Some of these letters fell into our hands, and
we might easily discover that the Parliament were in the
last confusion at the thoughts of our coming to London.
Besides this, the city was in a worse fright than the House,
and the great moving men began to go out of town. In
short, they expected us, and we expected to come, but
Providence for our ruin had otherwise determined it.
268 CHARLES I

Essex, upon news of the King’s march, and upon receipt
of the Parliament’s letters, makes long marches after us,
and on the 23rd of October reaches the village of Kineton,
in Warwickshire. The King was almost as far as Banbury,
and there calls a council of war. Some of the old officers
that foresaw the advantage the King had, the concern the
city was in, and the vast addition, both to the reputation of
his forces and the increase of his interest, it would be if the
King could gain that point, urged the King to march on
to London. Prince Rupert and the fresh colonels pressed
for fighting, told the King it dispirited their men to march
with the enemy at their heels; that the Parliament army
was inferior to him by 6,ooo men, and fatigued with hasty
marching; that as their orders were to fight, he had nothing
to do but to post himself to advantage, and receive them to
their destruction; that the action near Worcester had let
them know how easy it was to deal with a rash enemy ; and
that ’twas a dishonour for him, whose forces were so much
superior, to be pursued by his subjects in rebellion. These
and the like arguments prevailed with the King to alter
his wiser measures and resolve to fight. Nor was this all;
when a resolution of fighting was taken, that part of the
advice which they who were for fighting gave, as a reason
for their opinion, was forgot, and instead of halting and
posting ourselves to advantage till the enemy came up, we
were ordered to march back and meet them.

Nay, so eager was the Prince for fighting, that when,
from the top of Edgehill, the enemy’s army was descried in
the bottom between them and the village of Kineton, and
that the enemy had bid us defiance, by discharging three
cannons, we accepted the challenge, and answering with
two shots from our army, we must needs forsake the advan-
tages of the hills, which they must have mounted under
the command of our cannon, and march down to them
into the plain. I confess, I thought here was a great deal
more gallantry than discretion ; for it was plainly taking
THE BATTLE OF EDGEHILL 269

an advantage out of our own hands, and putting it into
the hands of the enemy. An enemy that must fight may
always be fought with to advantage.

’Tis true we were all but young in the war; the soldiers
hot and forward, and eagerly desired to come to hands with
the enemy. But I take the more notice of it here because
the King in this acted against his own measures ; for it was
the King himself had laid the design of getting the start of
Essex, and marching to London. His friends had invited
him thither, and expected him, and suffered deeply for the
omission; and yet he gave way to these hasty counsels,
and suffered his judgment to be overruled by majority of
voices ; an error the King of Sweden was never guilty of.
For if all the officers at a council of war were of a different
opinion, yet unless their reasons mastered his judgment,
their votes never altered his measures. But this was the
error of our good, but unfortunate master, three times in
this war, and particularly in two of the greatest battles of
the time, viz., this of Edgehill, and that of Naseby.

The resolution for fighting being. published in the army,
gave an universal joy to the soldiers, who expressed an
extraordinary ardour for fighting. I remember my father
talking with me about it, asked me what I thought of the
approaching battle. I told him I thought the King had
done very well; for at that time I did not consult the
extent of the design, and had a mighty mind, like other
rash people, to see it brought to a day, which made me
answer my father as I did.

“But,” said I, “sir, I doubt there will be but indifferent
doings on both sides, between two armies both made up of
fresh men that have never seen any service.”

My father minded little what I spoke of that; but when
I seemed pleased that the King had resolved to fight, he
looked angrily at me, and told me he was sorry I could
see no farther into things.

“T tell you,” says he hastily, “if the King should kill
270 CHARLES I

and take prisoners this whole army, General and all, the
Parliament will have the victory ; for we have lost more by
slipping this opportunity of getting into London, than we
shall ever get by ten battles.”

I saw enough of this afterwards to convince me of the
weight of what my father said, and so did the King too;
but it was then too late. Advantages slipped in war are
never recovered.

We were now in a full march to fight the Earl of Essex.
It was on Sunday morning, the 24th of October, 1642 ; fair
weather overhead, but the ground very heavy and dirty,
As soon as we came to the top of Edgehill, we discovered
their whole army. They were not drawn up, having had
two miles to march that morning, but they were very busy
forming their lines, and posting the regiments as they
came up. Some of their horse were exceedingly fatigued,
having marched forty-eight hours together; and had they
been suffered to follow us three or four days’ march
farther, several of their regiments of horse would have
been quite ruined, and their foot would have been
rendered unserviceable for the present. But we had no
patience.

As soon as our whole army was come to the top of the
hill, we were drawn up in order of battle. The King’s
army made a very fine appearance; and indeed they were
a body of gallant men as ever appeared in the field, and
as well furnished at all points; the horse exceedingly well
accoutred, being most of them gentlemen and volunteers,
some whole regiments serving without pay; their horses
very good and fit for service as could be desired. The
whole army were not above 18,000 men, and the enemy
not 1,000 over or under, though we had been told they
were not above 12,000 ; but they had been reinforced with
4,000 men from Northampton. The King was with the
General, the Earl of Lindsey, in the main battle; Prince
Rupert commanded the right wing, and the Marquis of
THE BATTLE OF EDGEHILL 271

Hertford, the Lord Willoughby, and several other very good
officers the left.

The signal of battle being given with two cannon shots,
we marched in order of battalia down the hill, being drawn
up in two lines with bodies of reserve ; the enemy advanced
to meet us much in the same form, with this difference
only, that they had placed their cannon on their right, and
the King had placed ours in the centre, before, or rather
between two great brigades of foot. Their cannon began
with us first, and did some mischief among the dragoons
of our left wing ; but our officers, perceiving the shot took
the men and missed the horses, ordered all to alight, and
every man leading his horse, to advance in the same order ;
and this saved our men, for most of the enemy’s shot flew
over their heads. Our cannon made a terrible execution
upon their foot for a quarter of an hour, and put them into
great confusion, till the General obliged them to halt, and
changed the posture of his front, marching round a small
rising ground by which he avoided the fury of our artillery.

By this time the wings were engaged, the King having
given the signal of battle, and ordered the right wing to
fall on. Prince Rupert, who, as is said, commanded that
wing, fell on with such fury, and pushed the left wing of
the Parliament army so effectually, that in a moment he
filled all with terror and confusion. Commissary-General
Ramsey, a Scotsman, a Low Country soldier, and an ex-
perienced officer, commanded their left wing, and though
he did all that an expert-soldier, and a brave commander
could do, yet twas to no purpose; his lines were imme-
diately broken, and all overwhelmed in a trice. Two
regiments of foot, whether as part of the left wing, or on
the left of the main body, I know not, were disordered

by their own horse, and rather trampled to death by the

horses, than beaten by our men; but they were so entirely
broken and disordered, that I do not remember that ever
they made one volley upon our men ; for their own horse
272 - CHARLES I

running away, and falling foul on these foot, were so
vigorously followed by our men, that the foot never had a
moment to rally or look behind them. The point of’ the
left wing of horse were not so soon broken as the rest, and
three regiments of them stood firm for some time. The
dexterous officers of the other regiments taking the oppor-
tunity, rallied a great many of their scattered men behind
them, and pieced in some troops with those regiments ; but
after two or three charges, with a brigade of our second
line, following the Prince, made upon them, they also were
broken with the rest.

Had Prince Rupert fallen in upon the foot, or wheeled
to the left, and fallen in upon the rear of the enemy’s right
wing of horse, or returned to the assistance of the left
wing of our horse, we had gained the most absolute and
complete victory that could be; nor had 1,000 men of the
enemy’s army got off. But this Prince, who was full of fire,
and pleased to see the rout of the enemy, pursued them
quite to the town .of Kineton, where indeed he killed
abundance of their men, and some time also was lost in
plundering the baggage. :

But in the meantime, the glory and advantage of the day
was lost to the King, for the right wing of the Parliament
horse could not be so broken. Sir William Balfour made
a desperate charge upon the point of the King’s left, and
had it not been for two regiments of dragoons who were
planted in the reserve, had routed the whole wing, for he
broke through the first line, and staggered the second, who
advanced to their assistance, but was so warmly received
by those dragoons, who came seasonably in, and gave their
first fire on horseback, that his fury was checked, and
having lost a great many men, was forced to wheel about to
his own men ; and had the King had but three regiments
of horse at hand to have charged him, he had been routed.
The rest of this wing kept their ground, and. received the
first fury of the enemy with great firmness ; after which,
THE BATTLE OF EDGE HILL 273

advancing in their turn, they were once masters of the Earl
of Essex’s cannon. And here we lost another advantage ;
for if any foot had been at hand to support these horse,
they had carried off the cannon, or turned it upon the main
battle of the enemy’s foot, but the foot were otherwise en-
gaged. The horse on this side fought with great obstinacy
‘and variety of success a great while. Sir Philip Stapleton,
who commanded the guards of the Earl of Essex, being
engaged with a party of our Shrewsbury cavaliers, as we
called them, was once in a fair way to have been cut off by
a brigade of our foot, who, being advanced to fall on upon
the Parliament’s main body, flanked Sir Philip’s horse in
their way, and facing to the left, so furiously charged him
with their pikes, that he was obliged to retire in great dis-
order, and with the loss of a great many men and horses.

All this while the foot on both sides were desperately
engaged, and coming close up to the teeth of one another
with the clubbed musket and push of pike, fought with
great resolution, and a terrible slaughter on both sides,
giving no quarter for a great while ; and they continued to
do thus, till, as if they were tired and out of wind, either
party seemed willing enough to leave off and take breath.
Those which suffered most were that brigade which had
charged Sir William Stapleton’s horse, who, being bravely
engaged in the front with the enemy’s foot, were, on the
sudden, charged again in front and flank by Sir William
Balfour’s horse and disordered, after a very desperate de-
fence. Here the King’s standard was taken, the standard-
bearer, Sir Edward Verney, being killed; but it was rescued
again by Captain Smith, and brought to the King the same
night, for which the King knighted the captain.

This brigade of foot had fought all the day, and had not
‘been broken at last if any horse had been at hand to sup-
port them. The field began to be now clear; both armies
stood, as it were, gazing at one another, only the King,
having rallied his foot, seemed inclined to renew the

Q.5. T
294 CHARLES f

charge, and began to cannonade them, which they could
not return, most of their cannon being nailed while they
were in our possession, and all the cannoniers killed or
fled; and our gunners did execution upon Sir William
Balfour’s troops for a good while.

My father’s regiment being in the right with the Prince,
I saw little of the fight but the rout of the enemy’s left,
and we had as full a victory there as we could desire, but
spent too much time in it. We killed about 2,000 men in
that part of the action, and having totally dispersed them,
and plundered their baggage, began to think of our fellows
when ’twas too late to help them. We returned, however,
victorious to the King, just as the battle was over. The
King asked the Prince what news. He told him he could
give his Majesty a good account of the enemy’s horse.
“Ay, by G—d,” says a gentleman that stood by me,
“and of their carts too.” That word was spoken with such
a sense of the misfortune, and made such an impression in
the whole army, that it occasioned some ill-blood afterwards
among us; and but that the King took up the business, it
had been of ill consequence, for some person who had
heard the gentleman speak it, informed the Prince who it
was, and the Prince resenting it, spoke something about it
in the hearing of the party when the King was present.
The gentleman, not at all surprised, told his Highness
openly he had said the words; and though he owned he
had no disrespect for his Highness, yet he could not but
say, if it had not been so, the enemy’s army had been
better beaten. The Prince replied something very dis-
obliging ; upon which the gentleman came up to the King,
and kneeling, humbly besought his Majesty to accept of his
commission, and to give him leave to tell the Prince, that
whenever his Highness pleased, he was ready to give him
satisfaction. The Prince was exceedingly provoked, and as
he was very passionate, began to talk very oddly, and with-
out all government of himself. The gentleman, as bold as
THE BATTLE OF EDGE HILL = 275

he, but much calmer, preserved his temper, but maintained
his quarrel ; and the King was so concerned that he was
very much out of humour with the Prince about it. How-
ever, his Majesty, upon consideration, soon ended the
dispute by laying his commands on them both to speak no
more of it for that day; and refusing the commission from
the colonel, for he was no less, sent for them both next
morning in private, and made them friends again.

But to return to our story. We came back to the King
timely enough to put the Earl of Essex’s men out of all
humour of renewing the fight, and as I observed before,
both parties stood gazing at one another, and our cannon
playing upon them obliged Sir William Balfour’s horse to
wheel off in some disorder, but they returned us none
again, which, as we afterwards understood, was, as I said
before, for want of both powder and gunners, for the
cannoniers and firemen were killed, or had quitted their
train in the fight, when our horse had possession of their
artillery ; and as they had spiked up some of the cannon,
so they had carried away fifteen carriages of powder.

Night coming on ended all discourse of more fighting,
and the King drew off and marched towards the hills. I
know no other token of victory which the enemy had than
their lying in the field of battle all night, which they did
for no other reason than that, having lost their baggage and
provisions, they had nowhere to go, and which we did not,
because we had good quarters at hand.

The number of prisoners and of the slain were not very
unequal; the enemy lost more men, we most of quality.
Six thousand men on both sides were killed on the spot,
whereof, when our rolls were examined, we missed 2,500.
We lost our brave general the old Earl of Lindsey, who was
- wounded and taken prisoner, and died of his wounds; Sir
Edward Stradling, Colonel Lundsford, prisoners; and Sir
Edward Verney and a great many gentlemen of quality
slain. On the other hand we carried off Colonel Essex,
276 CHARLES I

Colonel Ramsey, and the Lord St. John, who also died of
his wounds; we took five ammunition waggons full of
powder, and brought off about 500 horse in the defeat of
the left wing, with eighteen standards and colours, and lost
seventeen.

The slaughter of the left wing was so great, and the flight
so effectual, that several of the officers rid clear away,
coasting round, and got to London, where they reported
that the Parliament army was entirely defeated—all lost,
killed, or taken, as if none but them were left alive to carry
the news. - This filled them with consternation for a while,
but when other messengers followed all was restored to
quiet again, and the Parliament cried up their victory and
sufficiently mocked God and their general with their public
thanks for it. Truly, as the fight was a deliverance to
them, they were in the right to give thanks for it; but as to
its being a victory, neither side had much to boast of, and
they less a great deal than we had.

—DanigEL Deror, Memoirs of a Cavalier.
XXI

How King Charles dealt with
Friends and Foes

PON the afternoon of a certain eventful day King
Charles held his court in the Queen’s apartments,
which were opened at a particular hour to invited guests
of acertain lower degree, but accessible without restriction
to the higher classes of nobility who had from birth, and to
the courtiers who held by office, the privilege of the exérée.
Tt was one part of Charles’s character, which unquestion-
ably rendered him personally popular, and postponed to a
subsequent reign the precipitation of his family from the
throne, that he banished from his court many of the formal
restrictions with which it was in other reigns surrounded.
He was conscious of the goodnatured grace of his manners,
and trusted to it, often not in vain, to remove evil impres-
sions arising from actions which he was sensible could not
be justified on the grounds of liberal or national policy.
Charles’s evenings, unless such as were destined to more
secret pleasures, were frequently spent amongst all who had
any pretence to approach a courtly circle ; and thus it was
upon the night which we are treating of. Queen Catherine,
reconciled or humbled to her fate, had long ceased to ex-
press any feelings of jealousy, nay, seemed so absolutely
dead to such a passion, that she received at her drawing-
room, without scruple and even with encouragement, the

Duchesses of Portsmouth and Cleveland, and others, who
°q7
278 CHARLES II

enjoyed, though in a less avowed character, the credit of
having been royal favourites. Constraint of every kind was
banished from a circle so composed, and which was fre-
quented at the same time, if not by the wisest, at least by
the wittiest courtiers who ever assembled round a monarch,
and who, as many of them had shared the wants and shifts
and frolics of his exile, had then acquired a sort of pro-
spective licence, which the good-natured Prince, when he
atrained his period of prosperity, could hardly have re-
strained had it suited his temper to do so. This, however,
was the least of Charles’s thoughts. His manners were
such as secured him from indelicate obtrusion; and he
sought no other protection from over-familiarity than what
these and his ready wit afforded him.

On the present occasion he was peculiarly disposed to
enjoy the scene of pleasure which had been prepared. He
even felt a degree of satisfaction on receiving intelligence
from the city that there had been disturbances in the streets,
and that some of the more violent fanatics had betaken
themselves to their meeting-houses, upon sudden summons,
to inquire, as their preachers phrased it, into the causes of
Heaven’s wrath, and into the backsliding of the court,
lawyers, and jury, by whom the false and bloody favourers
of the Popish Plot were screened and cloaked from de-
served punishment.

The King turned to a part of the stately hall, where
everything was assembled which could, according to the
taste of the age, make the time glide pleasantly away.

In one place, a group of the young nobility, and of the
ladies of the court, listened to Empson, who was accom-
panying with his unrivalled breathings on the flute, a
young siren, who, while her bosom palpitated with pride
and with fear, warbled to the courtly and august presence
the beautiful air beginning—

“* Young I am, and yet unskill’d
How to make a lover yield,” etc.
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 279

She performed her task in a manner so corresponding
with the strains of the amatory poet, and the voluptuous air
with which the words had been invested by the celebrated
Purcel, that the men crowded around in ecstasies, while
most of the ladies thought it proper either to look extremely
indifferent to the words she sang, or to withdraw from the
circle as quietly as possible. To the song succeeded a
concerto, performed by a select band of most admirable
musicians, which the King, whose taste was indisputable,
had himself selected.

At other tables in the apartment the elder courtiers wor-
shipped Fortune at the various fashionable games of ombre,
quadrille, hazard, and the like; while heaps of gold, which
lay before the players, augmented or dwindled with every
turn of a card or cast of a die. Many a year’s rent of fair
estates was ventured upon the main or the odds; which,
spent in the old deserted manor-house, had repaired the
ravages of Cromwell upon its walls, and replaced the
sources of good housekeeping and hospitality, that, ex-
hausted in the last age by fine and sequestration, were now
in a fair way of being annihilated by careless prodigality.
Elsewhere, under cover of observing the gamester, or listen-
ing to the music, the gallantries of that all-licensed age
were practised among the gay and fair, closely watched
the whilst by the ugly or the old, who promised them-
selves at least the pleasure of observing, and it may be
that of proclaiming, intrigues in which they could not be
sharers.

From one table to another glided the Merry Monarch,
exchanging now a glance with a court beauty, now a jest
with a court wit, now beating time to the music, and anon
losing or winning a few pieces of gold on the chance of the
game to which he stood nearest ;—the most amiable of
voluptuaries—the gayest and best-natured of companions—
the man that would, of all others, have best sustained his
character, had life been a continued banquet, and its only
* 280 CHARLES I

end to enjoy the passing hour, and send it away-as
pleasantly as might be.

But kings are least of all exempted from the ordinary lot
of humanity; and Seged of Ethiopia is, amongst monarchs,
no solitary example of the vanity of reckoning on a day or
an hour of undisturbed serenity. An attendant on the
court announced suddenly to their Majesties that a lady,
who would only announce herself as a peeress of England,
desired to be admitted into the Presence.

The Queen said, hastily, it was impossible. No peeress,
without announcing her title, was entitled to the privilege
of her rank.

“T could be sworn,” said a noble in attendance, “ that it
is some whim of the Duchess of Newcastle.”

The attendant who brought the message said that he did
indeed believe it to be the duchess, both from the singu-
larity of the message, and that the lady spoke with some-
what a foreign accent.

“Tn the name of madness, then,” said the King, “let us
admit her. Her Grace is an entire raree-show in her own
person—a universal masquerade—indeed, a sort of private
bedlam-hospital, her whole ideas being like so many
patients crazed. upon the subjects of love and literature,
who act nothing in their vagaries, save Minerva, Venus,
and the nine Muses.”

“Your Majesty’s pleasure must always supersede mine,”
said the Queen. “I only hope I shall not be expected to
entertain so a fantastic a personage.”

«Am I to understand, then, your Majesty’s pleasure is,
that the lady is to be admitted?” said the usher.

“Certainly,” said the King; “that is, if the incognita be
really entitled to the honour. It may be as well to inquire
her title; there are more madwomen abroad than the
Duchess of Newcastle. I will walk into the ante-room my-
self and receive your answer.”

But ere Charles had reached the lower end of the apart-
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 281

ment in his progress to the ante-room, the usher surprised
the assembly by announcing a name which had not for
many a year been heard in these courtly halls—‘ the
Countess of Derby !”

Stately and tall, and still, at an advanced period of life,
having a person unbroken by years, the noble lady ad-
vanced towards her sovereign, with a step resembling that
with which she might have met an equal. There was indeed
nothing in her manner that indicated either haughtiness or
assumption unbecoming that presence ; but her conscious-
ness of wrongs, sustained from the administration of
Charles, and of the superiority of the injured party over
those from whom, or in whose name, the injury had been
offered, gave her look dignity, and her step firmness. She
was dressed in widow’s weeds, of the same fashion which
were worn at the time her husband was brought to the
scaffold ; and which, in the thirty years subsequent to that
event, she had never permitted her tirewoman to alter.

The surprise was no pleasing one to the King ; and, curs-
ing in his heart the rashness which had allowed the lady
entrance on the gay scene in which they were engaged, he
saw at the same time the necessity of receiving her in a
manner suitable to his own character, and her rank in the
British court. He approached her with an air of welcome,
into which he threw all his natural grace, while he began, .
“Chere Comtesse de Derby, puissante Reine de Man, notre
tres auguste seur”

“Speak English, sire, if I may presume to ask such a
favour,” said the Countess. ‘I am a peeress of this nation
—mother to one English Earl, and widow, alas, to another!
In England I have spent my brief days of happiness, my
‘ long years of widowhood and sorrow. France and its lan-
guage are but to me the dreams of an uninteresting child-
hood. I know no tongue save that of my husband and my
son. Permit me, as the widow and mother of Derby, thus
to render my homage.”


282 CHARLES II

She would have kneeled, but the King gracefully prevented
her, and, saluting her cheek, according to the form, led her
towards the Queen, and himself performed the ceremony
of introduction. “Your Majesty,” he said, “ must be in-
formed that the Countess has imposed a restriction on
French—the language of gallantry and compliment. I
trust your Majesty will, though a foreigner, like herself,
find enough of honest English to assure the Countess of
Derby with what pleasure we see her at court, after the
absence of so many years.”

“‘T will endeavour to do so, at least,” said the Queen,
on whom the appearance of the Countess of Derby made a
more favourable impression than that of many strangers,
whom, at the King’s request, she was in the habit of receiv-
ing with courtesy.

Charles himself again spoke. ‘‘To any other lady of the
same rank I might put the question, why she was so long
absent from the circle? I fear I can only ask the Countess
of Derby what fortunate cause produces the pleasure of
seeing her here?”

“‘No fortunate cause, my liege, though one most strong
and urgent.”

The King augured nothing agreeable from this commence-
ment ; and in truth, from the countess’s first entrance, he
had anticipated some unpleasant explanation, which he
therefore hastened to parry, having first composed his
features into an expression of sympathy and interest.

“Tf,” said he, “the cause is of a nature in which we can
render assistance, we cannot expect your ladyship should
enter upon it at the present time ; but a memorial addressed
to our secretary, or, if it is more satisfactory, to ourselves
directly, will receive our immediate, and I trust I need not
add, our favourable construction.”

The Countess bowed with some state, and answered,
‘“‘My business, sire, is indeed important ; but so brief, that
it need not for more than a few minutes withdraw your ear
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 283

from what is more pleasing ;—yet it is so urgent, that I am
afraid to postpone it even for a moment.”

“This is unusual,” said Charles. ‘But you, Countess of
Derby, are an unwonted guest, and must command my
time. Does the matter require my private ear?”

“For my part,” said the Countess, “the whole court
might listen; but your Majesty may prefer hearing me in
the presence of one or two of your counsellors.”

“ Ormond,” said the King, looking round, “ attend us for
an instant—and do you, Arlington, do the same.”

The King led the way into an adjoining cabinet, and,
seating himself, requested the Countess would also take a
chair.

“Tt needs not, sir,” she replied ; then pausing for a mo-
ment, as if to collect her spirits, she proceeded with firm-
ness: “Your Majesty well said that no light cause had
drawn me from my lonely habitation. I came not hither
when the property of my son—that property which de-
scended to him from a father who died for your Majesty’s
rights—was conjured away from him under pretext of
justice, that it might first feed the avarice of the rebel
Fairfax, and then supply the prodigality of his son-in-law,
Buckingham.”

“These are over harsh terms, lady,” said the King. “A
legal penalty was, as we remember, incurred by an act of
irregular violence—so our courts and our laws term it,
though personally I have no objection to call it, with you,
an honourable revenge. But, admit it were such, in prose-
cution of the laws of honour, bitter legal consequences are
often necessarily incurred.”

“JT come not to argue for my son’s wasted and forfeited

inheritance, sire,” said the Countess; ‘“‘I only take credit
for my patience under that afflicting dispensation. I now
come to redeem the honour of the House of Derby, more
dear to me than all the treasures and lands which ever be-
longed to it.”
284 CHARLES II

“ And by whom is the honour of the House of Derby
impeached ?” said the King; “for, on my word, you bring
me the first news of it.”

“Has there one Narrative, as these wild fictions are
termed, been printed with regard to the Popish Plot-—this
pretended Plot, as I will call it—in which the honour of our
house has not been touched and tainted? And are there
not two noble gentlemen, father and son, allies of the
House of Stanley, about to be placed in jeopardy of their
lives, on account of matters in which we are the parties
first impeached ?”

The King looked around, and smiled to Arlington and
Ormond. “The Countess’s courage, methinks, shames
ours. What lips dared have called the immaculate Plot
pretended, or the Narrative of the witnesses, our preservers
from Popish knaves, a wild fiction? But, madam,” he
said, ‘though I admire the generosity of your interference
in behalf of the two Peverils, I must acquaint you that your
interference is unnecessary—-they are this morning ac-
quitted.”

“Now may God be praised!” said the Countess, folding
her hands. “TI have scarce slept since I heard the news of
their impeachment; and have arrived here to surrender
myself to your Majesty’s justice, or to the prejudices of the
nation, in hopes, by so doing, I might at least save the lives
of my noble and generous friends, enveloped in suspicion
only, or chiefly, by their connection with us. Are they in-
deed acquitted ?”

“They are, by my honour,” said the King. “TI marvel
you heard it not.”

“J arrived but last night, and remained in the strictest
seclusion,” said the Countess, “afraid to make any inquiries
that might occasion discovery ere I saw your Majesty.”

“ And now that we ave met,” said the King, taking her
hand kindly—“a meeting which gives me the greatest
pleasure—may I recommend to you speedily to return to
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 285

your royal island with as little é/a¢ as you came hither ?
The world, my dear Countess, has changed since we were
young. Men fought in the Civil War with good swords
and muskets ; but now we fight with indictments and oaths,
and such like legal weapons. You are no adept in such
warfare; and, though I am well aware you know how to
hold out a castle, I doubt much if you have the art to parry
off an impeachment. This Plot has come upon us like a
land storm—there is no steering the vessel in the teeth of
the tempest—we must run for the nearest haven, and happy
if we can reach one.”

“This is cowardice, my liege,” said the Countess. ‘ For-
give the word !—it is but a woman who speaks it. Call
your noble friends around you, and make a stand like your
royal father. There is but one right and one wrong—one
honourable and forward course; and all others which de-
viate are oblique and unworthy.”

“Your language, my venerated friend,” said Ormond,
who saw the necessity of interfering betwixt the dignity of
the actual sovereign and the freedom of the Countess, who
was generally accustomed to receive, not to pay observance,
“your language is strong and decided, but it applies not to
the times. It might occasion a renewal of the Civil War,
and of all its mysteries, but could hardly be attended with
the effects you sanguinely anticipate.”

“You are too rash, my lady Countess,” said Arlington,
“not only to rush upon this danger yourself, but to desire
to involve his Majesty. Let me say plainly, that, in this
jealous time, you have done but ill to exchange the security
of Castle Rushin for the chance of a lodging in the Tower
of London.”

** And were I to kiss the block there,” said the Countess,
'“as did my husband at Bolton-on-the-Moors, I would do
so willingly, rather than forsake a friend !—and one, too,
whom, as in the case of the younger Peveril, I have thrust
upon danger.”
286 CHARLES I

“But have I not assured you that both of the Peverils,
elder and younger, are freed from peril?” said the King ;
“and, my dear Countess, what can else tempt you to thrust
yourself on danger, from which, doubtless, you expect to be
relieved by my intervention? Methinks a lady of your
judgment should not voluntarily throw herself into a river,
merely that her friends might have the risk and merit of
dragging her out.”

The Countess reiterated her intention to claim a fair trial.
The two counsellors again pressed their advice that she
should withdraw, though under the charge of absconding
from justice, and remain in her own feudal kingdom.

The King, seeing no termination to the debate, gently
reminded the Countess that her Majesty would be jealous
if he detained her ladyship longer, and offered her his hand
to conduct her back to the company. This she was under
the necessity of accepting, and returned accordingly to the
apartments of state.

When Charles had reconducted the Countess of Derby
into the presence-chamber, before he parted with her, he
entreated her, in a whisper, to be governed by good counsel,
and to regard her own safety ; and then turned easily from
her, as if to distribute his attentions equally among the
other guests.

These were a good deal circumscribed at the instant, by
the arrival of a party of five or six musicians; one of whom,
a German, under the patronage of the Duke of Bucking-
ham, was particularly renowned for his performance on the
violoncello, but had been detained in inactivity in the ante-
chamber by the non-arrival of his instrument, which had
now at length made its appearance.

The domestic who placed it before the owner, shrouded
as it was within its wooden case, seemed heartily glad to be
rid of his load, and lingered for a moment, as if interested
in discovering what sort of instrument was to be produced
that could weigh so heavily. His curiosity was satisfied,


THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 287

and in a most extraordinary manner ; for, while the musi-
cian was fumbling with the key, the case being for his
greater convenience placed upright against the wall, the
case and instrument itself at once flew open, and out started
the dwarf, Geoffrey Hudson—at sight of whose unearthly
appearance, thus suddenly introduced, the ladies shrieked,
and ran backwards; the gentlemen started; and the poor
German, on seeing the portentous delivery of his fiddle-case,
tumbled on the floor in an agony, supposing, it might be,
that his instrument was metamorphosed into the strange figure
which supplied its place. So soon, however, as he recovered,
he glided out of the apartment, and was followed by most
of his companions.

“ Hudson!” said the King, ‘ my little old friend, I am
not sorry to see you; though Buckingham, who I suppose
is the purveyor of this jest, hath served us up but a stale
one.”

“Will your Majesty honour me with one moment’s atten-
tion ?” said Hudson.

“ Assuredly, my good friend,” said the King. ‘Old ac-
quaintances are springing up in every quarter to-night; and
our leisure can hardly be better employed than in listening
to them. It was an idle trick of Buckingham,” he added
in a whisper to Ormond, “to send the poor thing hither,
especially as he was to-day tried for the affair of the Plot.
At any rate, he comes not to ask protection from us, having
had the rare fortune to come off Plot-free. He is but fish-
ing, I suppose, for some little present or pension.”

The little man, precise in court etiquette, yet impatient
of the King’s delaying to attend to him, stood in the midst
of the floor, most valorously pawing and prancing, like a
Scots pony assuming the airs of a war-horse, waving mean-
while his little hat with the tarnished feather, and bowing
from time to time, as if impatient to be heard.

Speak on, then, my friend,” said Charles; “ if thou hast
some poetical address penned for thee, out with it, that
288 CHARLES II

thou mayst have time to repose these flourishing little limbs
of thine.”

“No poetical speech have I, most mighty sovereign,”
answered the dwarf; ‘but, in plain and most loyal prose, I
do accuse, before this company, the once noble Duke of
Buckingham of high treason !”

‘Well spoken, and manfully. Get on, man,” said the
King, who never doubted that this was the introduction to
something burlesque or witty, not conceiving that the charge
was made in solemn earnest.

A great laugh took place among such courtiers as heard,
and among many who did not hear, what was uttered by
the dwarf; the former entertained by the extravagant em-
phasis and gesticulation of the little champion, and the
others laughing not the less loud that they laughed for
example’s sake, and upon trust.

‘What matter is there for all this mirth?” said he, very
indignantly ; ‘‘Is it ft subject for laughing, that I, Geoffrey
Hudson, Knight, do, before King and nobles, impeach
George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, of high treason !”

**No subject of mirth, certainly,” said Charles, composing
his features ; ‘but great matter of wonder. Come, cease
this mouthing, and prancing, and mummery. If there be
a jest, come out with it, man; and if not, even get thee to
the beauffet, and drink a cup of wine to refresh thee after
thy close lodging.”

“T tell you, my liege,” said Hudson impatiently, yet in a
whisper, intended only to be audible by the King, “that if
you spend over much time in trifling, you will be convinced
by dire experience of Buckingham’s treason. I tell you—I
asseverate to your Majesty—two hundred armed fanatics
will be here within the hour, to surprise the guards.”

“Stand back, ladies,” said the King, “or you may hear
more than you will care to listen to. My Lord of Bucking-
ham’s jests are not always, you know, quite fitted for female
ears ; besides, we want a few words in private with our little
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 289

friend. You, my Lord of Ormond—you, Arlington” (and
he named one or two others), “‘may remain with us.”

The gay crowd bore back, and dispersed through the
apartment—the men to conjecture what the end of this
mummery, as they supposed it, was likely to prove; and
what jest, as Sedley said, the bass fiddle had been brought
to bed of—and the ladies to admire and criticise the antique
dress and richly embroidered ruff and hood of the Countess
of Derby, to whom the Queen was showing particular atten-
tion.

“And now, in the name of Heaven, and amongst
friends,” said the King to the dwarf, ““what means all
this?”

“Treason, my lord the King! Treason to his Majesty
of England. When I was chambered in yonder instrument,
my lord, the High-Dutch fellows who bore me carried me
into a certain chapel, to see, as they said to each other, that
all was ready. Sire, I went where bass fiddle never went
before, even into a conventicle of Fifth-Monarchists; and
when they brought me away, the preacher was concluding
his sermon, and was within a ‘Now to apply’ of setting off
like the bell-wether at the head of his flock, to surprise
your Majesty in your royal court! I heard him through
the sound-holes of my instrument, when the fellow set me
down for a moment to profit by this precious doctrine.”

“Jt would be singular,” said Lord Arlington, ‘‘ were there
some reality at the bottom of this buffoonery ; for we know
these wild men have been consulting together to-day, and
five conventicles have held a solemn fast.”

“ Nay,” said the King, “if that be the case, they are cer-
tainly determined on some villany.”

_ Might I advise,” said the Duke of Ormond, “I would
summon the Duke of Buckingham to this Presence. His
connections with the fanatics are well known, though he
affects to conceal them.”

“You would not, my lord, do his Grace the injustice to

QS. U
290 CHARLES II

treat him as a criminal on such a charge as this?” said the
King. “However,” he added, after a moment’s consider-
ation, ‘Buckingham is accessible to every sort of tempta-
tion, from the flightiness of his genius. I should not be
surprised if he nourished hopes of an aspiring kind—I
think we had some proof of it but lately. Hark ye,
Chiffinch ; go to him instantly, and bring him here on any
fair pretext thou canst devise. I would fain save him from
what lawyers call an overt act. The court would be dull as
a dead horse were Buckingham to miscarry.”

“Will not your Majesty order the Horse Guards to turn
out?” said young Selby, who was present, and an officer.

“No, Selby,” said the King, “I like not horse-play.
But let them be prepared; and let the High Bailiff collect
his civil officers, and command the Sheriffs to summon
their worshipful attendants, from javelin-men to hangmen,
and have them in readiness, in case of any sudden tumult
—double the sentinels on the doors of the palace—and see
no strangers get in.”

“Or out,’ said the Duke of Ormond. ‘ Where are the
foreign fellows who brought in the dwarf?”

They were sought for, but they were not to be found.
They had retreated, leaving their instruments, a circum-
stance which seemed to bear hard on the Duke of Buck-
ingham, their patron.

Hasty preparations were made to provide resistance to
any effort of despair which the supposed conspirators might
be driven to; and in the meanwhile, the King, withdrawing
with Arlington, Ormond, and a few other counsellors, into
the cabinet where the Countess of Derby had had her
audience, resumed the examination of the little discoverer.
His declaration, though singular, was quite coherent; the
strain of romance intermingled with it being in fact a part
of his character, which often gave him the fate of being
laughed at, when he would otherwise have been pitied, or
even esteemed.
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 291

He commenced with a flourish about his sufferings for
the Plot, which the impatience of Ormond would have cut
short, had not the King reminded his Grace that the top,
when it is not flogged, must needs go down of itself at
the end of a definite time, while the application of the
whip may keep it up for hours.

Geoffrey Hudson was, therefore, allowed to exhaust
himself on the subject of his prison-house, which he in-
formed the King was not without a beam of light—an
emanation of loveliness—a mortal angel—quick of step
and beautiful of eye, who had more than once visited his
confinement with words of cheering and comfort.

“By my faith,” said the King, “they fare better in
Newgate than I was awareof. Who would have thought
of the little gentleman being solaced with female society
in such a place?”

“JT pray your Majesty,” said the dwarf, after the man-
ner of a solemn protest, “to understand nothing amiss.
My devotion to this fair creature is rather like what we
poor Catholics pay to the blessed saints, than mixed with
any grosser quality. Indeed, she seems rather a sylphid
of the Rosicrucian system, than aught more carnal; being
slighter, lighter, and less than the females of common
life, who have something of that coarseness of make
which is doubtless derived from the sinful and gigantic
race of the antediluvians.”

“Well, say on, man,” quoth Charles. ‘“ Didst thou not
discover this sylph to be a mere mortal wench ofter
all?”

“ Who ?—I, my liege >—O fie!”

“Nay, little gentleman, do not be so particularly scan-
. dalized,” said the King; ‘I promise you I suspect you of
no audacity of gallantry.”

“Time wears fast,” said the Duke of Ormond im-
patiently, and looking at his watch. “ Chiffinch hath been
gone ten minutes, and ten minutes will bring him back.”
292 CHARLES It

“True,” said Charles gravely. “Come to the point,
Hudson; and tell us what this female has to do with
your coming hither in this extraordinary manner.”

“Everything, my lord,” said little Hudson. “I saw
her twice during my confinement in Newgate, and, in
my thought, she is the very angel who guards my life
and welfare; for, after my acquittal, as I walked towards
the city with two tall gentlemen, who had been in trouble
along with me, and just while we stood to our defence
against a rascally mob, and just as I had taken possession
of an elevated situation, to have some vantage against
the great odds of numbers, I heard a heavenly voice
sound, as it were, from a window behind me, counselling
me to take refuge in a certain house; to which measure
I readily persuaded my gallant friends the Peverils, who
have always shown themselves willing to be counselled by
me.”

“Showing therein their wisdom at once and modesty,”
said the King. “But what chanced next? Be brief—
be like thyself, man.”

“For a time, sire,” said the dwarf, “it seemed as if I
were not the principal object of attention. First, the
younger Peveril was withdrawn from us by a gentleman of
venerable appearance, though something smacking of a
Puritan, having boots of neat’s leather, and wearing his
weapon without a sword-knot. When Master Julian re-
turned, he informed us, for the first time, that we were
in the power of a body of armed fanatics, who were, as
the poet says, prompt for direful act. And your Majesty
will remark, that both father and son were in some
measure desperate, and disregardful from that moment of
the assurances which I gave them, that the star which I
was bound to worship would, in her own time, shine forth
in signal of our safety. May it please your Majesty, in
answer to my hilarious exhortations to confidence, the
father did but say ¢ws, and the son gskaw, which showed






‘* She who had more than once visited his confinement.”

Page 291.
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 293

how men’s prudence and manners are disturbed by afflic-
tion. Nevertheless, these two gentlemen, the Peverils,
forming a strong opinion of the necessity there was to
break forth, were it only to convey a knowledge of these
dangerous passages to your Majesty, commenced an as-
sault on the door of the apartment, I also assisting with
the strength which Heaven hath given, and some three-
score years have left me. Wecould not, as it unhappily
proved, manage our attempt so silently but that our
guards overheard us, and, entering in numbers, separated
us from each other, and compelled my companions, at
point of pike and poniard, to go to some other and more
distant apartment, thus separating our fair society. I was
again enclosed in the now solitary chamber, and I will.
own that I felt a certain depression of soul. But when
bale is at highest, as the poet singeth, boot is at nighest,
for a door of hope was suddenly opened ”

“In the name of God, my liege,” said the Duke of
Ormond, “let this poor creature’s story be translated into
the language of common sense by some of. the scribblers
of romances about court, and we may be able to make
meaning of it.”

Geoffrey Hudson looked with a frowning countenance of
reproof upon the impatient old Irish nobleman, and said,
with a very dignified air, “That one duke upon a poor
gentleman’s hand was enough at a time, and that, but for
his present engagement and dependency with the Duke of
Buckingham, he would have endured no such terms from
the Duke of Ormond.”

“Abate your valour, and diminish your choler, at our
request, most puissant Sir Geoffrey Hudson,” said the
King; ‘and forgive the Duke of Ormond for my sake;
but at all events go on with your story.”

Geoffrey Hudson laid his hand on his bosom, and
bowed in proud and dignified submission to his sove-
reign; then waved his forgiveness gracefully to Ormond,


294 CHARLES II
accompanied with a horrible grin, which he designed for
a smile of gracious forgiveness and conciliation. ‘Under
the Duke’s favour, then,” he proceeded, ‘‘when I saida
door of hope was opened to me, I meant a door behind
the tapestry, from whence issued that fair vision—yet not
so fair as lustrously dark, like the beauty of a continental
night, where the cloudless azure sky shrouds us in a veil
more lovely than that of day !—but I note your Majesty’s
impatience ;—enough. I followed my beautiful guide into
an apartment, where there lay, strangely intermingled,
warlike arms and musical instruments. Amongst these I
’ saw my own late place of temporary obscurity—a violon-
cello. To my astonishment she turned around the instru-
ment, and, opening it behind by pressure of a spring,
showed that it was filled with pistols, daggers, and am-
munition made up in bandoliers. ‘These,’ she said, ‘are
this night destined to surprise the court of the unwary
Charles ’—your Majesty must pardon my using her own
words; ‘but if thou darest go in their stead, thou mayst
be the saviour of King and kingdoms; if thou art afraid
keep secret, I will myself try the adventure.’ ‘Now, may
Heaven forbid that Geoffrey Hudson were craven enough,
said I, to let thee run such a risk! You know not—
you cannot know, what belongs to such ambuscades and
concealments—I am accustomed to them—have lurked
in the pocket of a giant, and have formed the contents
of a pasty.’ ‘Get in then,’ she said, ‘and lose no time?
Nevertheless, while I prepared to obey, I will not deny
that some cold apprehensions came over my hot valour,
and I confessed to her, if it might be so, I would rather
find my way to the palace on my own feet. But she
would not listen to me, saying hastily, ‘I would be in-
tercepted, or refused admittance, and that I must embrace
the means she offered me of introduction into the Pres-
ence, and, when there, tell the King to be on his guard—
little more is necessary ; for, once the scheme is known, it
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 295

becomes desperate.’ Rashly and boldly I bade adieu to
the daylight, which was then fading away. She withdrew
the contents of the instrument destined for my conceal-
ment, and, having put them behind the chimney-board,
introduced me in their room. As she clasped me in, I
implored her to warn the men who were to be entrusted
with me to take heed and keep the neck of the violincello
uppermost ; but ere I had completed my request, I found
I was left alone and in darkness. Presently, two or three
fellows entered, whom, by their language, which I in some
sort understood, I perceived to be Germans, and under
the influence of the Duke of Buckingham. I heard them
receive from the leader a charge how they were to deport
themselves, when they should assume the concealed arms
—and, for I will do the Duke no wrong—I understood
their orders were precise, not only to spare the person of
the King, but also those of the courtiers, and to protect all
who might be in the Presence against an irruption of the
fanatics. In other respects, they had charge to disarm the
Gentleman Pensioners in the guard-room, and, in fine, to
obtain the command of the court.”

The King looked disconcerted and thoughtful at this
communication, and bade Lord Arlington see that Selby
quietly made search into the contents of the other cases
which had been brought as containing musical instruments.
He then signed to the dwarf to proceed in his story, asking
him again and again, and very solemnly, whether he was
sure that he heard the Duke’s name mentioned, as com-
manding or approving this action.

The dwarf answered in the affirmative.

“This,” said the King, “is carrying the frolic somewhat
far.”

The dwarf proceeded to state that he was carried after
his metamorphosis into the chapel, where he heard the
preacher seemingly about the close of his harangue, the
tenor of which he also mentioned. Words, he said,
296 CHARLES II

could not express the agony which he felt when he found
that his bearer, in placing the instrument in a corner, was
about to invert its position ; in which case, he said, human
frailty might have proved too great for love, for loyalty, for
true obedience, nay, for the fear of death, which was like
to ensue on discovery; and he concluded that he greatly
doubted he could not have stood on his head for many
minutes without screaming aloud.

“T could not have blamed you,” said the King; “placed
in such a posture in the royal oak, I must needs have
roared myself. Is this all you have to tell us of this strange
conspiracy?” Sir Geoffrey Hudson replied in the affirma-
tive, and the King presently subjoined—‘Go, my little
friend ; your services shall not be forgotten. Since thou
hast crept into the bowels of a fiddle for our service, we are
bound in duty and conscience to find you a more roomy
dwelling in future.”

“Tt was a violoncello, if your Majesty is pleased to re-
member,” said the little jealous man, “not a common
fiddle ; though, for your Majesty’s service, I would have
crept even into a kit.”

‘Whatever of that nature could have been performed by
any subject of ours thou wouldst have enacted in our
behalf—of that we hold ourselves certain. Withdraw for a
little; and hark ye, for the present, beware what you say
about this matter. Let your appearance be considered—do
you mark me ?—as a frolic of the Duke of Buckingham ;
and not a word of. conspiracy.”

“Were it not better to put him under some restraint,
sire?” said the Duke of Ormond, when Hudson had left
the room.

“Tt is unnecessary,” said the King. ‘I remember the
little wretch of old. Fortune, to make him the model of
absurdity, has closed a most lofty soul within that little
miserable carcass. For wielding his sword and keeping his
word, he is a perfect Don Quixote in decimo-octavo, He
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 297

shall be taken care of. But, oddsfish, my lords, is not this
freak of Buckingham too villainous and ungrateful ?”

“He had not had the means of being so, had your
Majesty,” said the Duke of Ormond, “been less lenient on
other occasions.”

“My lord, my lord,” said Charles hastily—‘ your lord-
ship is Buckingham’s known enemy—we will take other
and more impartial counsel. Arlington, what think you of
all this? ”

“May it please your Majesty,” said Arlington, “I think
the thing is absolutely impossible, unless the Duke has had
some quarrel with your Majesty, of which we know nothing.
His Grace is very flighty, doubtless ; but this seems actual
insanity.”

“Why, faith,” said the King, “some words passed be-
twixt us this morning—his Duchess, it seems, is dead—and,
to lose no time, his Grace had cast his eyes about for
means of repairing the loss, and had the assurance to ask
our consent to woo my niece, Lady Anne.”

“Which your Majesty of course rejected?” said the
statesman.

“ And not without rebuking his assurance,” added the
King.

“In private, sire, or before any witnesses?” said the
Duke of Ormond.

“Before no one,” said the King—“ excepting, indeed,
little Chiffinch ; and he, you know, is no one.”

“ Hine tlle lachryme,” said Ormond. “I know his
Grace well. While the rebuke of his aspiring petulance
- was a matter betwixt your Majesty and him, he might have
let it pass by; but a check before a fellow from whom it
was likely enough to travel through the court, was a matter
to be revenged.”

Here Selby came hastily from the other room, to say that
his Grace of Buckingham had just entered the presence-
chamber.
298 CHARLES II

The King rose. ‘Let a boat be in readiness, with a
party of the Yeomen,” said he. ‘It may be necessary to
attach him of treason, and send him to the Tower.”

“ Should not a secretary of state’s warrant be prepared ?”
said Ormond.

“No, my lord Duke,” said the King sharply. ‘TI still
hope that the necessity may be avoided.”

At no period of his life, not even when that life was in
imminent danger, did the constitutional gaiety of Charles
seem more overclouded, than when waiting for the return
of Chiffinch with the Duke of Buckingham. His mind
revolted at the idea that the person to whom he had been
so particularly indulgent, and whom he had selected as the
friend of his lighter hours and amusements, should prove
capable of having tampered with a plot apparently directed
against his liberty and life. He more than once examined
the dwarf anew, but could extract nothing more than his
first narrative contained.

The persons who had been despatched to watch the
motions of Master Weiver’s congregation, brought back
word that they had quietly dispersed. It was known, at
the same time, that they had met in arms, but this augured
no particular design of aggression, at a time when all true
Protestants conceived themselves in danger of immediate
massacre; when the fathers of the city had repeatedly
called out the Train-Bands, and alarmed the citizens of
London, under the idea of an instant insurrection of the
Catholics ; and when, to sum the whole up, in the emphatic
words of an alderman of the day, there was a general belief
that they would all waken some unhappy morning with
their throats cut. Who was to do these dire deeds, it was
more difficult to suppose ; but all admitted the possibility
that they might be achieved, since one justice of the peace
was already murdered. There was, therefore, no inference
of hostile intentions against the State, to be decidedly
derived from a congregation of Protestants sar excellence,
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 299

military from old associations, bringing their arms with
them to a place of worship, in the midst of a panic so
universal.

While various reports were making from without, and
while their tenor was discussed by the King, and such
nobles and statesmen as he thought proper to consult on
the occasion, a gradual sadness and anxiety mingled with,
and finally silenced, the mirth of the evening. All became
sensible that something unusual was going forward; and
the unwonted distance which Charles maintained from his
guests, while it added greatly to the dulness that began to
predominate in the presence-chamber, gave intimation that
something unusual was labouring in the King’s mind.

Thus gaming was neglected—the music was silent, or
played without being heard—gallants ceased to make com-
pliments, and ladies to expect them ; and a sort of appre-
hensive curiosity pervaded the circle. Each asked the
others why they were grave; and no answer was returned,
any more than could have been rendered by a herd of
cattle instinctively disturbed by the approach of a thunder-
storm.

To add to the general apprehension, it began to be
whispered that one or two of the guests, who were desirous
of leaving the palace, had been informed no one could
be permitted to retire until the general hour of dismissal.
And these, gliding back into the hall, communicated in
whispers that the sentinels at the gates were doubled, and
that there was a troop of the Horse Guards drawn up in
the court—circumstances so unusual as to excite the most
anxious curiosity.

Such was the state of the court, when wheels were heard
without, and the bustle which took place denoted the
arrival of some person of consequence.

“Here comes Chiffinch,” said the King, “with his prey
in his clutch.”

Tt was indeed the Duke of Buckingham; nor did he
300 CHARLES II

approach the royal presence without emotion. On entering
the court, the flambeaux which were borne around the
carriage gleamed on the scarlet coats, laced hats, and drawn
broadswords of the Horse Guards—a sight unusual, and
cnulculated to strike terror into a conscience which was none
of the clearest.

The Duke alighted from the carriage, and only said to
the officer whom he saw upon duty, ‘You are late under
arms to-night, Captain Carleton.”

“Such are our orders, sir,” answered Carleton, with
military brevity ; and then commanded the four dismounted
sentinels at the under gate to make way for the Duke of
Buckingham. His Grace had no sooner entered, than he
heard behind him the command, “ Move close up, sentinels
—closer yet to the gate.” And he felt as if all chance of
rescue were excluded by the sound.

As he advanced up the grand staircase, there were other
symptoms of alarm and precaution. The Yeomen of the
Guard were mustered in unusual numbers, and carried
carabines instead of their halberds; and the Gentlemen
Pensioners, with their partisans, appeared also in propor-
tional force. In short, all that sort of defence which the
royal household possesses within itself, seemed, for some
hasty and urgent reason, to have been placed under arms,
and upon duty.

Buckingham ascended the royal staircase with an eye
attentive to these preparations, and a step steady and slow,
as if he counted each step on which he trod. When he
entered the presence-chamber the King stood in the midst
of the apartment, surrounded by the personages with whom
he had been consulting. The rest of the brilliant assembly,
scattered into groups, looked on at some distance. All
were silent when Buckingham entered, in hopes of receiving
some explanation of the mysteries of the evening. All
bent forward, though etiquette forbade them to advance,
to catch, if possible, something of what was about to pass
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 301

betwixt the King and his intriguing statesman. At the
same time, those counsellors who stood around Charles,
drew back on either side, so as to permit the Duke to pay
his respects to his Majesty in the usual form. He went
through the ceremonial with his accustomed grace, but was
received by Charles with much unwonted gravity.

“We have waited for you for some time, my lord Duke.
It is long since Chiffinch left us, to request your attendance
here. Isee you are elaborately dressed. Your toilet was
needless on the present occasion.”

“Needless to the splendour of your Majesty’s court,”
said the Duke, “but not needless on my part. This
chanced to be Black Monday at York Place, and my club
of Pendables were in full glee when your Majesty’s summons
arrived. I could not be in the company of Ogle, Maniduc,
Dawson, and so forth, but what I must needs make some
preparation, and some ablution, ere entering the circle
here.”

“TJ trust the purification will be complete,” said the
King, without any tendency to the smile which always
softened features, that, ungilded by its influence, were dark,
harsh, and even severe. ‘We wished to ask your Grace
concerning the import of a sort of musical mask which you
designed us here, but which miscarried, as we are given to
understand.”

“Tt must have been a great miscarriage indeed,” said
the Duke, “since your Majesty looks so serious on it. I
thought to have done your Majesty a pleasure (as I have
seen you condescend to be pleased with such passages),
by sending the contents of that bass-viol; but I fear the
jest has been unacceptable—I fear the fireworks may have
done mischief.”

“Not the mischief they were designed for, perhaps,” said
the King gravely ; “you see, my lord, we are all alive and
unsinged.”

“Long may your Majesty remain so,” said the Duke;
302 CHARLES II

“yet I see there is something misconstrued on my part—
it must be a matter unpardonable, however little intended,
since it hath displeased so indulgent a master.”

“Too indulgent a master, indeed, Buckingham,” replied
the King; ‘and the fruit of my indulgence has been to
change loyal men into traitors.”

“May it please your Majesty, I cannot understand this,”
said the Duke.

Follow us, my lord,” answered Charles, “and we will
endeavour to explain our meaning.”

Attended by the same lords who stood around hin, and
followed by the Duke of Buckingham, on whom all eyes
were fixed, Charles retired into the same cabinet which
had been the scene of repeated consultations in the course
of the evening. There, leaning with his arms crossed on
the back of an easy-chair, Charles proceeded to interrogate
the suspected nobleman.

“Let us be plain with each other. Speak out, Bucking-
ham. What, in one word, was to have been the regale
intended for us this evening ?”

“ A petty mask, my lord,” answered the Duke. ‘I had
destined a little dancing-girl to come out of that instrument,
who, I thought, would have performed to your Majesty’s
liking—a few Chinese fireworks there were, which, thinking
the entertainment was to have taken place in the marble
hall, might, I hoped, have been discharged with good
effect, and without the slightest alarm, at the first appear-
ance of my little sorceress, and were designed to have
masked, as it were, her entrance upon the stage. I hope
there have been no perukes singed—no ladies frightened
—no hopes of noble descent interrupted by my ill-fancied
jest?”

“We have seen no such fireworks, my lord; and your
female dancer, of whom we now hear for the first time,
came forth in the form of our old acquaintance, Geoffrey
Hudson, whose dancing days are surely ended.”
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 303

““Vour Majesty surprises me! JI beseech you, let
Christian be sent for—Edward Christian—he will be found
lodging in a large old house near Sharper the cutler’s, in
the Strand. As I live by bread, sire, I trusted him with
the arrangement of this matter, as indeed the dancing-girl
was his property. If he has done aught to dishonour my
concert, or disparage my character, he shall die under the
baton.”

“Tt is singular,” said the King, “and I have often ob-
served it, that this fellow Christian bears the blame of all
men’s enormities—he performs the part which, in a great
family, is usually assigned to that mischief-doing personage,
Nobody. When Chiffinch blunders, he always quotes
Christian. When Sheffield writes a lampoon, I am sure to
hear of Christian having corrected, or copied, or dispersed
it—he is the ame damnée of every one about my court—the
scapegoat, who is to carry away all their iniquities ; and he
will have a cruel load to bear into the wilderness. But
for Buckingham’s sins, in particular, he is the regular and
uniform sponsor; and I am convinced his Grace expects
Christian should suffer every penalty he has incurred, in
this world or the next.”

“Not so,” with the deepest reverence replied the Duke.
“T have no hope of being either hanged or damned by
proxy; but it is clear some one hath tampered with and
altered my device. If I am accused of aught, let me at
least hear the charge, and see my accuser.”

“That is but fair,” said the King. “Bring our little
friend from behind the chimney-board.” Hudson being
accordingly produced, he continued: “There stands the
Duke of Buckingham. Repeat before him the tale you
told us. Let him hear what were those contents of the
bass-viol which were removed that you might enter it. Be
not afraid of any one, but speak the truth boldly.”

“ May it please your Majesty,” said Hudson, “fear is a
thing unknown to me.”
304 CHARLES II

“ His body has no room to hold such a passion ; or there
is too little of it to be worth fearing for,” said Buckingham.
* But let him speak.”

Ere Hudson had completed his tale, Buckingham inter-
rupted him by exclaiming, “Is it possible that I can be
suspected by your Majesty on the word of this pitiful
variety of the baboon tribe?”

“Villain lord, I appeal thee to the combat!” said the
little man, highly offended at the appellation thus bestowed
on him.

“Ta you there now!” said the Duke. “The little
- animal is quite crazed, and defies a man who need ask no
other weapon than a corking-pin to run him through the
lungs, and whose single kick could hoist him from Dover to
Calais without yacht or wherry. And what can you expect
from an idiot, who is emgoué of a common rope-dancing
girl, that capered on a packthread at Ghent in Flanders,
unless they were to club their talents to set up a booth at
Bartholomew Fair? Is it not plain that, supposing the
little animal is not malicious, as indeed his whole kind bear
a general and most cankered malice against those who have
the ordinary proportions of humanity—Grant, I say, that
this were not a malicious falsehood of his, why, what does
it amount to?—That he has mistaken squibs and Chinese
crackers for arms! He says not he himself touched or
handled them ; and, judging by the sight alone, I question
if the infirm old creature, when any whim or preconception
hath possession of his noddle, can distinguish betwixt a
blunderbuss and a black pudding.”

The horrible clamour which the dwarf made so soon as
he heard this disparagement of his military skill—the haste
with which he blundered out a detail of his warlike experi-
ences—and the absurd grimaces which he made in order
to enforce his story, provoked not only the risibility of
Charles, but even of the statesmen around him, and added
absurdity to the motley complexion of the scene. The
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 305

King terminated this dispute by commanding the dwarf to
withdraw.

A more regular discussion of his evidence was then
resumed, and Ormond was the first who pointed out that
it went further than had been noticed, since the little man
had mentioned a certain extraordinary and treasonable
conversation held by the Duke’s dependents, by whom he
had been conveyed to the palace.

“JT am sure not to lack my Lord of Ormond’s good
word,” said the Duke scornfully ; “but I defy him alike,
and all my other enemies, and shall find it easy to show
that this alleged conspiracy, if any grounds for it at all
exist, is a mere sham plot, got up to turn the odium justly
attached to the Papists upon the Protestants. Here is a
half-hanged creature, who, on the very day he escapes from
the gallows, which many believe was his most deserved
destiny, comes to take away the reputation of a Protestant
peer—and on what? On the treasonable conversation of
three or four German fiddlers, heard through the sound-
holes of a violoncello, and that, too, when the creature was
encased in it, and mounted on a man’s shoulders! The
urchin, too, in repeating their language, shows he under-
stands German as little as my horse does; and if he did
rightly hear, truly comprehend, and accurately report what
they said, still, is my honour to be touched by the language
held by such persons as these are, with whom I have never
communicated, otherwise than men of my rank do with
those of their calling and capacity? Pardon me, sire, if I
presume to say that the profound statesmen who endea-
voured to stifle the Popish Conspiracy by the pretended
Meal-tub Plot, will take little more credit by their figments
about fiddles and concertos.”

The assistant counsellors looked at each other; and
Charles turned on his heel, and walked through the room
with long steps.

At this point the Peverils, father and son, were an-

Q.5. X
306 CHARLES II

nounced to have reached the palace, and were ordered into
the royal presence.

When the father and son entered the cabinet of audience,
it was easily visible that Sir Geoffrey had obeyed the sum-
mons as he would have done the trumpet’s call to horse;
and his dishevelled grey locks and half-arranged dress,
though they showed zeal and haste, such as he would have
used when Charles I. called him to attend a council of war,
seemed rather indecorous in a pacific drawing-room. He
paused at the door of the cabinet, but, when the King

_called on him to advance, came hastily forward, with every
feeling of his earlier and later life afloat and contending in
his memory, threw himself on his knees before the King,
seized his hand, and, without even an effort to speak, wept
aloud. Charles, who generally felt deeply so long as an
impressive object was before his eyes, indulged for a
moment the old man’s rapture.—‘‘ My good Sir Geoffrey,”
he said, “you have had some hard measure; we owe you
amends, and will find time to pay our debt.”

“ No suffering—no debt,” said the old man; “I cared
not what the rogues said of me—I knew they could never
get twelve honest fellows to believe a word of their most
damnable lies. I did long to beat them when they called
me traitor to your Majesty—that I confess—But to have
such an early opportunity of paying my duty to your
Majesty, overpays it all. The villains would have per-
suaded me I ought not to come to court—aha!”

The Duke of Ormond perceived that the King coloured
much ; for in truth it was from the court that the private
intimation had been given to Sir Geoffrey to go down to
the country without appearing at Whitehall; and he, more-
over, suspected that the jolly old knight had not risen from
his dinner altogether dry-lipped, after the fatigues of a day
so agitating. ‘My old friend,” he whispered, “you forget
that your sonis to be presented—permit me to have that
honour.”
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 307

“T crave your Grace’s pardon humbly,” said Sir Geoffrey,
“but it is an honour I design for myself, as I apprehend no
one can so utterly surrender or deliver him up to his
Majesty’s service as the father that begot him is entitled to
do. Julian, come forward, and kneel. Here he is, please
your Majesty—Julian Peveril—a chip of the old block—as
stout, though scarce so tall a tree, as the old trunk when at
the freshest. Take him to you, sir, for a faithful servant, @
vendre et & pendve,as the French say; if he fears fire or
steel, axe or gallows, in your Majesty’s service, I renounce
him—he is no son of mine—I disown him, and he may go
to the Isle of Man, the Isle of Dogs, or the Isle of Devils,
for what I care.”

Charles winked to Ormond, and having, with his wonted
courtesy, expressed his thorough conviction that Julian
would imitate the loyalty of his ancestors, and especially
of his father, added, that he believed his Grace of Ormond
had something to communicate which was of consequence
to his service. Sir Geoffrey made his military reverence at
this hint, and marched off in the rear of the Duke, who
proceeded to inquire of him concerning the events of the
day. Charles, in the meanwhile, having in the first place
ascertained that the son was not in the same genial condition
with the father, demanded and received from him a precise
account of all the proceedings subsequent to the trial.

Julian, with the plainness and precision which such a
subject demanded, when treated in such a presence, narrated
all that had happened down to the entrance of Bridgenorth ;
and his Majesty was so much pleased with his manner, that
he congratulated Arlington on their having gained the
evidence of at least one man of sense to these dark and
mysterious events. But when Bridgenorth was brought
upon the scene, Julian hesitated to bestow a name upon
him ; and although he mentioned the chapel which he had
seen filled with men in arms, and the violent language of
the preacher, he added, with earnestness, that, notwith-
308 CHARLES II

standing all this, the men departed without coming to any
extremity, and had all left the place before his father and
he were set at liberty.

“ And you retired quietly to your dinner in Fleet Street,
young man,” said the King severely, “without giving a
magistrate notice of the dangerous meeting which was held
in the vicinity of our palace, and who did not conceal their
intention of proceeding to extremities ?”

Peveril blushed, and was silent. The King frowned, and
stepped aside to communicate with Ormond, who reported
that the father seemed to have known nothing of the
matter. :

‘* And the son, I am sorry to say,” said the King, “‘ seems
more unwilling to speak the truth than I should have ex-
pected. We have all variety of evidence in this singular
investigation—a mad witness like the dwarf, a drunken
witness like the father, and now a dumb witness. Young
man,” he continued, addressing Julian, “your behaviour is
less frank than I expected from your father’s son. I must
know who this person is with whom you held such familiar
intercourse—you know him, I presume?”

Julian acknowledged that he did, but, kneeling on one
knee, entreated his Majesty’s forgiveness for concealing his
name; ‘‘he had been freed,” he said, “from his con-
finement, on promising to that effect.”

“That was a promise made, by your own account, under
compulsion,” answered the King, “and I cannot authorize
your keeping it; it is your duty to speak the truth—if you
are afraid of Buckingham, the Duke shall withdraw.”

“T have no reason to fear the Duke of Buckingham,”
said Peveril; ‘that I had an affair with one of his house-
hold was the man’s own fault, and not mine.”

“‘Oddsfish!” said the King, “the light begins to break
in on me—I thought I remembered thy physiognomy.
Wert thou not the very fellow whom I met at Chiffinch’s
yonder morning? The matter escaped me since; but now
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND: FOES 309

T recollect thou saidst then that thou wert the son of that
jolly old three-bottle baronet yonder.”

“Tt is true,” said Julian, “that I met your Majesty at
Master Chiffinch’s, and I am afraid had the misfortune to
displease you; but

“No more of that, young man—no more of that. But I
recollect you had with you that beautiful dancing siren.
Buckingham, I will hold you gold to silver that she was
the intended tenant of the bass fiddle!”

“Your Majesty has rightly guessed it,” said the Duke;
“and I suspect she has put a trick upon me by substituting
the dwarf in her place; for Christian thinks——”

“Damn Christian!” said the King hastily. ‘I wish
they would bring him hither, that universal referee.” And
as the wish was uttered, Christian’s arrival was announced.
“Let him attend,” said the King. “ But hark—a thought
strikesme. Here, Master Peveril—yonder dancing maiden
that introduced you to us by the singular agility of her per-
formance, is she not, by your account, a dependent on the
Countess of Derby?”

“T have known her such for years,” answered Julian.

‘Then we will call the Countess hither,” said the King.
“Tt is fit we should learn who this little fairy really is; and
if she be now so absolutely at the beck of Buckingham,
and this Master Christian of his—why, I think it would be
but charity to let her ladyship know so much, since I ques-
tion if she will wish, in that case, to retain her in her service.
Besides,” he continued, speaking apart, “this Julian, to
whom suspicion attaches in these matters from his obstinate
silence, is also of the Countess’s household. We will sift
this matter to the bottom, and do justice to all.”

The Countess of Derby hastily summoned, entered the
royal closet at one door, just as Christian and Zarah, or
Fenella, were ushered in by the other. The old Knight of
Martindale, who had ere this returned to the Presence, was
scarce controlled, even by the signs which she made, so


310 CHARLES II

much was he desirous of greeting his old friend; but, as
Ormond laid a kind restraining hand upon his arm, he was
.prevailed on to sit still.

The Countess, after a deep reverence to the King, ac-
knowledged the rest of the nobility present by a slighter
reverence, smiled to Julian Peveril, and looked with sur-
prise at the unexpected apparition of Fenella. Buckingham
bit his lip, for he saw the introduction of Lady Derby was
likely to confuse and embroil every preparation which he
had arranged for his defence; and he stole a glance at
Christian, whose eye, when fixed on the Countess, assumed
the deadly sharpness which sparkles in the adder’s, while
his cheek grew almost black under the influence of strong
emotion.

“Ts there any one in this Presence whom your ladyship
recognises,” said the King graciously, “besides your old
friends of Ormond and Arlington ?”

“Tsee, my liege, two worthy friends of my husband’s
house,” replied the Countess: ‘‘Sir Geoffrey Peveril and his
son—the latter a distinguished member of my son’s house-
hold.”

* Any one else?” continued the King.

‘“ An unfortunate female of my family, who disappeared
from the Island of Man at the same time when Julian
Peveril left iton business of importance. She was thought
to have fallen from the cliff into the sea.”

“ Had your ladyship any reason to suspect—pardon me,”
said the King, ‘for putting such a question—any improper
intimacy between Master Peveril and this same female at-
tendant?”

“ My liege,” said the Countess, colouring indignantly,
‘‘my household is of reputation.”

‘Nay, my lady, be not angry,” said the King; ‘I did
but ask—such things will befall in the best regulated
families.”

“Not in mine, sire,” said the Countess. ‘ Besides that,
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 311

in common pride and in common honesty, Julian Peveril
is incapable of intriguing with an unhappy creature, re-
moved by her misfortune almost beyond the limits of
humanity.”

The King looked fixedly at Peveril, and then said,
“Egad, I hold it next to certain that this wench put the
change on his Grace, and popped the poor dwarf into the
bass-viol, reserving her own more precious hours to be
spent with Master Julian Peveril. Think you not so, Sir
Christian, you, the universal referee? Is there any truth
in this conjecture?”

Christian stole a glance at Zarah, and read that in her
eye which embarrassed him. ‘‘He did not know,” he said ;
“he had indeed engaged this unrivalled performer to take
the proposed part in the mask ; and she was to have come
forth in the midst of a shower of lambent fire, very arti-
ficially prepared with perfumes, to overcome the smell of
the powder; but he knew not why—excepting that she
was wilful and capricious, like all great geniuses—she had
certainly spoiled the concert by cramming in that more
bulky dwarf.”

“T should like,” said the King, “ to see this little maiden
stand forth, and bear witness in such manner as she can
express herself on this mysterious matter. Can any one
here understand her mode of communication ?”

Christian said he knew something of it since he had
become acquainted with her in London. The Countess
spoke not till the King asked her, and then owned drily
that she had necessarily some habitual means of intercourse
with one who had been immediately about her person for
so many years.

Examined after her own fashion, Zarah confirmed the
tale of Christian in all its points, and admitted that she had
deranged the project laid for a mask, by placing the dwarf
in her own stead; the cause of her doing so she declined
to assign, and the Countess pressed her no further.
312 CHARLES II

“Everything tells to exculpate my Lord of Buckingham,”
said Charles, “from so absurd an accusation: the dwarf’s
testimony is too fantastic, that of the two Peverils does not
in the least affect the Duke; that of the dumb damsel com-
pletely contradicts the possibility of his guilt. Methinks,
my lords, we should acquaint him that he stands acquitted
of a complaint, too ridiculous to have been subjected to a
more serious scrutiny than we have hastily made upon this
occasion.”

Arlington bowed in acquiescence, but Ormond spoke
plainly.—“‘I should suffer, sire, in the opinion of the Duke
of Buckingham, brilliant as his talents are known to be,
should I say that I am satisfied in my own mind on this
occasion. But I subscribe to the spirit of the times ; and
I agree it would be highly dangerous, on such accusations
as we have been able to collect, to impeach the character
of a zealous Protestant like his Grace. Had he been a
Catholic, under such circumstances of suspicion, the Tower
had been too good a prison for him.”

Buckingham bowed to the Duke of Ormond, with a
meaning which even his triumph could not disguise. “ Zz
me la pagherat/” he muttered, in a tone of deep and
abiding resentment; but the stout old Irishman, who had
long since already braved his utmost wrath, cared little for
this expression of his displeasure.

The King then, signing to the other nobles to pass into
the public apartments, stopped Buckingham as he was
about to follow them; and when they were alone, asked,
with a significant tone, which brought all the} blood in
the Duke’s veins into his countenance, ‘When was it,
George, that your useful friend Colonel Blood became a
musician? You are silent,” he said; “do not deny the
charge, for yonder villain, once seen, is remembered for
ever. Down, down on your knees, George, and acknow-
ledge that you have abused my easy temper. Seek for no
apology—none will serve your turn. I saw the man myself,
THE KING WITH FRIENDS AND FOES 313

among your Germans, as you call them; and you know
what I must needs believe from such a circumstance.”

“ Believe that I have been guilty—most guilty, my liege
and King,” said the Duke, conscience-striken, and kneeling
down ;—“ believe that I was misguided—that I was mad.
Believe anything but that I was capable of harming, or
being accessory to harm, your person.”

““T do not believe it,” said the King; “I think of you,
Villiers, as the companion of my dangers and my exile,
and am so far from supposing you mean worse than you
say, that I am convinced you acknowledge more than ever
you meant to attempt.”

“By all that is sacred,” said the Duke, still kneeling,
“had I not been involved to the extent of life and fortune
with the villain Christian——’

“Nay, if you bring Christian on the stage again,” said
the King smiling, “it is time for me to withdraw. Come,
Villiers, rise—I forgive thee, and only recommend one act
of penance—the curse you yourself bestowed on the dog
who bit you—marriage, and retirement to your country-
seat.”

The Duke rose abashed, and followed the King into the
circle, which Charles entered, leaning on the shoulder of
his repentant peer; to whom he showed so much counte-
nance, as led the most acute observers present to doubt
the possibility of there existing any real cause for the sur-
mises to the Duke’s prejudice.

The Countess of Derby had in the meanwhile consulted
with the Duke of Ormond, with the Peverils, and with her
other friends; and, by their unanimous advice, though
with considerable difficulty, became satisfied, that to have
thus shown herself at Court was sufficient to vindicate the
honour of her house; and that it was her wisest course, after
having done so, to retire to her insular dominions, without
further provoking the resentment of a powerful faction.
She took farewell of the King in form.
314 CHARLES II

“T would,” said the King, ‘that all our political intrigues
and feverish alarms could terminate as harmlessly as now.
Here is a plot without a drop of blood; and all the
elements of a romance, without its conclusion. Here we
have a wandering island princess (I pray my lady of
Derby’s pardon), a dwarf, a Moorish sorceress, an impeni-
tent rogue, and a repentant man of rank, and yet all
ends without either hanging or marriage.”

“Not altogether without the latter,” said the Countess,
“There is a certain Major Bridgenorth, who, by dint of the
law, hath acquired strong possession over the domains of
Peveril, which he is desirous to restore to the ancient
owners, with much fair land besides, conditionally, that our
young Julian will receive them as the dowry of his only
child and heir.”

“By my faith,” said the King, “she must be a foul
favoured wench, indeed, if Julian requires to be pressed to
accept her on such fair conditions.”

“They love each other like lovers of the last age,” said
the Countess; “but the stout old knight likes not the
Roundheaded alliance.”

“Our royal recommendation shall put that to rights,”
said the King; ‘‘Sir Geoffrey Peveril has not suffered
hardship so often at our command, that he will refuse our
recommendation when it comes to make him amends for
all his losses.”

It may be supposed the King did not speak without
being fully aware of the unlimited ascendancy which he
possessed over the old Tory; for within four weeks after-
wards the bells of Martindale-Moultrassie were ringing for
the union of the families, from whose estates it takes its
compound name, and the beacon-light of the Castle blazed
high over hill and dale, and summoned all to rejoice who
were within twenty miles of its gleam.

Str WALTER Scott, Peveril of the Peak.
XXII
The fall of Argyle

S soon as it was known abroad that Charles the

Second was dead, the Covenanters, who had taken
refuge in Holland from the Persecution, assembled to con-
sult what ought then to be done. For the Papist, James
Stuart, on the death of his brother, had caused himself to
be proclaimed King of Scotland, without taking those oaths
by which alone he could be entitled to assume the Scottish
crown.

At the head of this congregation was the Earl of Argyle,
who, some years before, had incurred the aversion of the
tyrant to such a degree, that, by certain of those fit tools for
any crime, then in dismal abundance about the court of
Holyrood, he had procured his condemnation as a traitor,
and would have brought him to the scaffold, had the Earl
not fortunately effected his escape. And it was resolved
by that congregation, that the principal personages then
present should form themselves into a Council, to concert
the requisite measures for the deliverance of their native
land; the immediate issue of which was, that a descent
should be made by Arygle among his vassals, in order to
draw together a sufficient host to enable them to wage war
against the Usurper, for so they lawfully and rightly
denominated James Stuart.

The first hint that I gleaned of this design was through
the means of Mrs. Brownlee. She was invited one after-
noon by the gentlewoman of the Lady Sophia Lindsay, the

3t5
316 JAMES II

Earl’s daughter-in-law, to view certain articles of female
bravery which had been sent from Holland by his Lordship
to her mistress ; and, as her custom was, she, on her return
home, descanted at large of all that she had seen and
heard.

The receipt, at that juncture, of such gear from the Earl
of Argyle, by such a Judith of courage and wisdom as the
Lady Sophia Lindsay, seemed to me very remarkable, and
I could not but jealouse that there was something about it
like the occultation of a graver correspondence. I therefore
began to question Mrs. Brownlee how the paraphernalia
had come, and what the Earl, according to the last
accounts, was doing; which led her to expatiate on many
things, though vague and desultory, that were yet in con-
cordance with what I had overheard the Lord Perth say to
the Earl of Aberdeen in the Bishop’s house: in the end, I
gathered that the presents were brought over by the skipper
of a sloop, one Roderick Macfarlane, whom I forthwith
determined to see, in order to pick from him what intelli-
gence I could, without being at the time well aware in what
manner the same would prove useful. I felt myself, how-
ever, stirred from within to do so; and I had hitherto, in
all that concerned my avenging vow, obeyed every
instinctive impulse.

Accordingly, next morning, I went early to the shore of
Leith, and soon found the vessel and Roderick Macfarlane,
to whom I addressed myself, inquiring, as if I intended to
go thither, when he was likely to depart again for Amster-
dam.

While I was speaking to him, I observed something in
his mien above his condition; and that his hands were fair
and delicate, unlike those of men inured to maritime
labour. He perceived that I was particular in my in-
spection, and his countenance became troubled, and he
looked as if he wist not what to do.

“Fear no ill,” said I to him; “I am one in the jaws












‘She was invited one afternoon to view certain articles of female -

bravery.”

Page 316.
THE FALL OF ARGYLE 317

of jeopardy ; in sooth, I have no intent to pass into Hol-
land, but only to learn whether there be any hope that the
Earl of Argyle and those with him will try to help their
covenanted brethren at home.”

On hearing me speak so openly the countenance of the
man brightened, and after eyeing me with a sharp scrutiny,
he invited me to come down into the body of the bark,
where we had some frank communion, his confidence being
won by the plain tale of who I was and what I had en-
dured.

After some general discourse, Roderick Macfarlane told
me, that his vessel, though seemingly only for traffic, had
been hired by a certain Madam Smith in Amsterdam, and
was manned by Highlanders of a degree above the com-
mon, for the purpose of opening a correspondence between
Argyle and his friends in Scotland. Whereupon I proffered
myself to assist in establishing a communication with the
heads and leaders of the Covenanters in the West Country,
and particularly with Mr. Renwick and his associates, the
Cameronians, who, though grievously scattered and hunted,
were yet able to do great things in the way of conveying
letters, or of intercepting the emissaries and agents of the
Privy Council that might be employed to contravene the
Earl’s project.

As the spring advanced, being, in the manner related,
engaged in furthering the purposes of the exiled Coven-
anters, I prepared, through the instrumentality of divers
friends, many in the West Country to be in readiness to
join the Earl’s standard of deliverance. It is not, however,
to be disguised, that the work went on but slowly, and that
the people heard of the intended descent with something
like an actionless wonderment, in consequence of those by
whom it had been planned not sending forth any declar-
ation of their views and intents. And this indisposition,
especially among the Cameronians, became a settled
reluctance, when, after the Earl had reached Campbelton,
318 JAMES II

he published that purposeless proclamation, wherein,
though the wrongs and woes of the kingdom were pithily
recited, the nature of the redress proposed was in no man-
ner manifest. It was plain indeed, by many signs, that the
Lord’s time was not yet come for the work to thrive.

Sir John Cochrane, one of those who were with Argyle,
had, by some espial of his own, a correspondence with
divers of the Covenanters in the shire of Ayr; and he was
so heartened by their representations of the spirit among
them, that he urged, and overcame the Earl, to let him
make a trial on that coast before waiting till the Highlanders
were roused. Accordingly, with the three ships and the
men they had brought from Holland, he went toward
Largs, famed in old time for a great battle fought there ;
but, on arriving opposite to the shore, he found it guarded
by the powers and forces of the government, in so much,
that he was fain to direct his course farther up the river ;
and weighing anchor sailed for Greenock.

It happened at this juncture, after conferring with several
of weight among the Cameronians, that I went to Greenock
for the purpose of taking shipping for any place where I
was likely to find Argyle, in order to represent to him, that,
unless there was a clear account of what he and others with
him proposed to do, he could expect no co-operation from
the societies ; and I reached the town just as the three ships
were coming in sight.

I had not well alighted from my horse at Dugal M'‘Vicar
the smith’s public,—the best house it is in the town, and
slated. It stands beside an oak tree on the open shore,
below the Mansion-house-brae, above the place where the
mariners boil their tar-pots. As I was saying, I had not
well alighted there, when a squadron of certain time-serving
and prelatic-inclined heritors of the shire of Renfrew, under
the command of Houston of that ilk, came galloping to the
town as if they would have devoured Argyle, host, and ships
and all; and they rode straight to the minister’s glebe,
THE FALL OF ARGYLE 319

where, behind the kirk-yard dyke, they set themselves in
battle array with drawn swords, the vessels having in the
meanwhile come to anchor forenent the kirk.

Like the men of the town I went to be an onlooker, at a
distance, of what might ensue; and a sore heart it was to
me, to see and to hear that the Greenock folk stood so
much in dread of their superior, Sir John Shaw, that they
durst not, for fear of his blackhole, venture to say that day
whether they were Papists, Prelates, or Presbyterians, he
himself not being in the way to direct them.

Shortly after the ships had cast anchor, Major Fullarton,
with a party of some ten or twelve men, landed at the burn-
foot, near the kirk, and having shown a signal for parley,
Houston and his men went to him, and began to chafe and
chide him for invading the country.

‘*We are no invaders,” said the Major, ‘we have come
to our native land to preserve the Protestant religion ; andI
am grieved that such brave gentlemen, as ye appear to be,
should be seen in the cause of a Papist tyrant and usurper.”

“Ve lee,” cried Houston, and fired his pistol at the
Major, the like did his men; but they were so well and
quickly answered in the same language, that they soon were
obligated to flee like drift to the brow of a hill, called
Kilblain-brae, where they again showed face.

Those on board the ships seeing what was thus doing on
the land, pointed their great guns to the airt where the
cavaliers had rallied, and fired them with such effect, that
the stoure and stones brattled about the lugs of the heritors,
which so terrified them all that they scampered off; and, it
is said, some drew not bridle till they were in Paisley with
whole skins, though at some cost of leather.

When these tyrant tools were thus discomfited, Sir John
Cochrane came on shore, and tried in vain to prevail on
the inhabitants to join in defence of religion and liberty.
So he sent for the baron-bailie, who was the ruling power of
the town in the absence of their great Sir John, and ordered
320 JAMES Il

him to provide forthwith two hundred bolls of meal for the
ships. But the bailie, a shrewd and gausie man, made so
many difficulties the gathering of the meal, to waste time till
help would come that the knight was glad to content him-
self with little more than a fifth part of his demand.

Meanwhile I had made my errand known to Sir John
Cochrane, and when he went off with the meal-sacks to the
ships I went with him, and we sailed the same night to the
castle of Allengreg, where Argyle himself then was.

Whatever doubts and fears I had of the success of the
expedition, were all wofully confirmed, when I saw how
things were about that unfortunate nobleman. The con-
troversies in our councils at the Pentland raid were more
than renewed among those who were around Argyle; and
it was plain to me that the sense of ruin was upon his spirit ;
for, after I had told him the purport of my mission, he said
to me in a mournful manner—

“IT can discern no party in this country that desire to be
relieved ; there are some hidden ones no doubt, but only
my poor friends here in Argyle seem willing to be free.
God hath so ordered it, and it must be forthe best. I
submit myself to His will.”

I felt the truth of what he said, that the tyranny had
indeed bred distrust among us, and that the patience of
men was so worn out that very many were inclined to sub-
mit from mere weariness of spirit ; but I added, to
hearten him, if one of my condition may say so proud a
thing of so great a person, That were the distinct ends of
his intents made more clearly manifest, maybe the dispersed
hearts of the Covenanters would yet be knit together.
“Some think, my Lord, ye’re for the Duke of Monmouth
to be king, but that will ne’er do,—the rightful heirs canna
be set aside. James Stuart may be, and should be, put
down ; but, according to the customs registered, as I hae
read in the ancient chronicles of this realm, when our


THE FALL OF ARGYLE 321

nation in olden times cut off a king for his misdeeds, the
next lawful heir was ay raised to the throne.”

To this the Earl made no answer, but continued some
time thoughtful, and then said—

“Tt rests not all with me,—those who are with me, as
you may well note, take over much upon them, and will
not be controlled. They are like the waves, raised and
driven wheresoever any blast of rumour wiseth them to go.
I gave a letter of trust to one of their emissaries, and, like
the raven, he has never returned. If, however, I could get
to Inverary, I doubt not yet that something might be done;
for I should then bein the midst of some that would
reverence Argyle.”

But why need I dwell on these melancholious incidents ?
Next day the Earl resolved to make the attempt to reach
Inverary, and I went with him: but after the castle of Ark-
inglass, in the way thither, had been taken, he was obli-
gated, by the appearance of two English frigates which
had been sent in pursuit of the expedition, to return to
Allengreg; for the main stores and ammunition brought
from Holland were lodged in that castle; the ships also
were lying there; all which in a manner were at stake, and
no garrison adequate to defend the same from so great a
power.

On returning to Allengreg, Argyle saw it would be a
golden achievement, if in that juncture he could master
the frigates; so he ordered his force, which amounted to
about a thousand men, to man the ships and four prizes
which he had, together with about thirty cowan boats be-
longing to his vassals, and to attack the frigates. But in
this also he was disappointed, for those who were with
him, and wedded to the purpose of going to the Lowlands,
mutinied against the scheme as too hazardous, and obliged
him to give up the attempt, and to leave the castle with a
weak and incapable garrison.

Accordingly, reluctant, but yielding to these blind coun-

Qs. ¥
322 JAMES I]

cils, after quitting Allengreg, we marched for the Lowlands,
and at the head of the Gareloch, where we halted, the
garrison which had been left at Allengreg joined us with
the disastrous intelligence, that, finding themselves unable
to withstand the frigates, they had abandoned all.

I was near to Argyle when the news of this was brought
to him, and I observed that he said nothing, but his cheek
faded, and he hastily wrung his hands.

Having crossed the river Leven a short way above Dum-
barton, without suffering any material molestation, we halted
for the night. But as we were setting our watches a party
of the government force appeared, so that, instead of getting
any rest after our heavy march, we were obligated to think
of again moving.

The Earl would fain have fought with that force, his
numbers being superior, but he was again over-ruled ; so
that all we could do was, during the night, leaving our
camp-fires burning for a delusion, to make what haste we
could toward Glasgow.

In this the uncountenanced fortunes of the expedition
were again seen. Our guides in the dark misled us; so
that, instead of being taken to Glasgow, we were, after
grievous traversing in the moors, landed on the banks
of the Clyde near Kilpatrick, where the whole force broke
up, Sir John Cochrane, being fey for the West Country,
persuading many to go with him over the water, in order
to make for the shire of Ayr.

The Earl seeing himself thus deserted, and but few
besides those of his own kin left with him, rode about
a mile on towards Glasgow, with the intent of taking some
rest in the house of one who had been his servant 3 but
on reaching the door it was shut in his face, and barred,
and admission peremptorily refused. He said nothing, but
turned round to us with a smile of such resigned sadness
that it brought tears into every eye.

Seeing that his fate was come to such extremity, I pro-
THE FALL OF ARGYLE 323

posed to exchange clothes with him, that he might the
better escape, and to conduct him to the West Country,
where, if any chance were yet left, it was to be found
there, as Sir John Cochrane had represented. Where-
upon he sent his kinsmen to make the best of their way
back to the Highlands, to try what could be done among
his clan; and having accepted a portion of my apparel,
he went to the ferry-boat with Major Fullarton, and we
crossed the water together.

On landing on the Renfew. side the Earl went forward
alone, a little before the Major and me; but on reaching
the ford at Inchinnan he was stopped by two soldiers, who
laid hands upon him, one on each side, and in the grap-
pling one of them the Earl fell to the ground. Ina mo-
ment, however, his Lordship started up, and got rid of
them by presenting his pistols. But five others at the
same instant came in sight, and fired and ran in at him,
and knocked him down with their swords. “Alas! un-
fortunate Argyle,” I heard him cry as he fell: and the
soldiers were so astonished at having so rudely treated so
great a man, that they stood still with awe and dropped
their swords, and some of them shed tears of sorrow for
his fate.

Seeing what had thus happened, Major Fullarton and I
fled and hid ourselves behind a hedge, for we saw another
party of troopers coming towards the spot,—we heard
afterwards that it was Sir John Shaw of Greenock, with
some of the Renfrewshire heritors, by whom the Earl was
conducted a prisoner to Glasgow. But of the dismal
indignities, and degradations to which he was subjected,
and of his doleful martyrdom, the courteous reader may
well spare me the sad recital, as they are recorded in all
British histories.

—Joun Gait, Ringan Gilhatze.
| XXIII
Plotting for the Stuarts

HILE the Prince of Orange was at Salisbury, there

came a troop of dragoons with orange scarfs, and
quartered in Castlewood, and some of them came up to the
Hall, where they took possession, robbing nothing however
beyond the hen-house and the beer-cellar; and only in-
sisting upon going through the house and looking for
papers.

The family were away more than six months, and when
they returned they were in the deepest state of dejection,
for King James had been banished, the Prince of Orange
was on the throne, and the direst persecutions of those of
thé Catholic faith were apprehended by my Lady, who said
she did not believe that there was a word of truth in the
promises of toleration that Dutch monster made, or in a
single word the perjured wretch said. My Lord and Lady
were in a manner prisoners in their own house; so her
Ladyshijp gave the little page to know, who was by this
time growing of an age to understand what was passing
about him, and something of the characters of the people
he lived with.

“We are prisoners,” says she; “in everything but chains
we are prisoners. Let them come, let them consign me to
dungeons, or strike off my head from this poor little throat ”
(and she clasped it in her long fingers). ‘The blood of
the Esmonds will always flow freely for their kings. We
are not like the Churchills—the Judases, who kiss their

master and betray him. We know how to suffer, how even
324
PLOTTING FOR THE STUARTS — 325

to forgive in the royal cause” (no doubt it was that fatal
business of losing the place of Groom of the Posset to
which her Ladyship alluded, as she did half a dozen times
in the day). “Let the tyrant of Orange bring his rack and
his odious Dutch tortures—the beast! the wretch! I spit
upon him and defy him. Cheerfully will I lay this head
upon the block; cheerfully will I accompany my Lord to
the scaffold: we will cry, ‘God save King James!’ with
our dying breath, and smile in the face of the executioner.”
And she told her page, a hundred times at least, of the
particulars of the last interview which she had with His
Majesty.

“T flung myself before my liege’s feet,” she said, “‘at
Salisbury. I devoted myself—my husband—my house, to
his cause. Perhaps he remembered old times, when
Isabella Esmond was young and fair; perhaps he recalled
the day when ’twas not J that knelt—at least he spoke to
me with a voice that reminded me of days gone by.
‘Egad !’ said His Majesty, ‘you should go to the Prince
of Orange if you want anything.’ ‘No, sire,’ I replied,
‘T would not kneel to a Usurper; the Esmond that
would have served your Majesty will never be groom to a
traitor’s posset.’ The royal exile smiled, even in the midst
of his misfortune; he deigned to raise me with words of
consolation. The Viscount, my husband, himself, could
not be angry at the august salute with which he honoured
me!”

The public misfortune had the effect of making my Lord
and his Lady better friends than they ever had been since
their. courtship. My Lord Viscount had shown both
loyalty and spirit when these were rare qualities in the
dispirited party about the King; and the praise he got
elevated him not a little in his wife’s good opinion, and
perhaps in his own. He wakened up from the listless and
supine life which he had been leading ; was always riding
to and fro in consultation with this friend or that of the
326 WILLIAM AND MARY

King’s; the page of course knowing little of his doings,
but remarking only his greater cheerfulness and altered
demeanour.

Father Holt came to the Hall constantly, but officiated
no longer openly as chaplain ; he was always fetching and
carrying: strangers, military and ecclesiastic, were con-
tinually arriving and departing. My Lord made long
absences and sudden reappearances, using sometimes the
means of exit which Father Holt had employed, though
how often the little window in the chaplain’s room let in
or let out my Lord and his friends, no one could tell.

No garrison or watch was put into Castlewood when my
Lord came back, but a guard was in the village; and one
or other of them was always on the Green keeping a look-
out on our great gate, and those who went out and in.
Lockwood said that at night especially every person who
came in or went out was watched by the outlying sentries.
’Twas lucky that we had a gate which their worships knew
nothing about. My Lord and Father Holt must have made
constant journeys at night: once or twice little Harry
acted as their messenger and discreet aide-decamp. He
remembers he was bidden to go into the village with his
fishing-rod, enter certain houses, ask for a drink of water,
and tell the good man, “ There would be a horse-market at
Newbury next Thursday,” and so carry the same message
on to the next house on his list.

He did not know what the message meant at the time,
nor what was happening: which may as well, however, for
clearness’ sake, be explained here. The Prince of Orange
being gone to Ireland, where the King was ready to meet
him with a great army, it was determined that a great
rising of His Majesty’s party should take place in this
country; and my Lord was to head the force in our county.
Of late, he had taken a greater lead in affairs than before,
having the indefatigable Mr. Holt at his elbow, and my
Lady Viscountess strongly urging him on; and my Lord