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Title: Margaret of Anjou - Makers of History
Author: Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Transcriber's note: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected, all
other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling
has been maintained.]



                    MAKERS OF HISTORY



                    MARGARET OF ANJOU


                           by


                      JACOB ABBOTT



                    WITH ENGRAVINGS



                  NEW YORK AND LONDON
             HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
                         1902


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight
hundred and sixty-one, by

HARPER & BROTHERS,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District
of New York.



[Illustration: The Bridal Procession.]



PREFACE.


The story of Margaret of Anjou forms a part of the history of England,
for the lady, though of Continental origin, was the queen of one of
the English kings, and England was the scene of her most remarkable
adventures and exploits. She lived in very stormy times, and led a
very stormy life; and her history, besides the interest which it
excites from the extraordinary personal and political vicissitudes
which it records, is also useful in throwing a great deal of light
upon the ideas of right and wrong, and of good and evil, and upon the
manners and customs, both of peace and war, which prevailed in England
during the age of chivalry.



CONTENTS.


CHAPTER                                                           PAGE

      I. THE HOUSES OF YORK AND LANCASTER                           15

     II. MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE TIME                            30

    III. KING HENRY VI                                              46

     IV. MARGARET'S FATHER AND MOTHER                               59

      V. ROYAL COURTSHIP                                            75

     VI. THE WEDDING                                                93

    VII. RECEPTION IN ENGLAND                                      115

   VIII. THE STORY OF LADY NEVILLE                                 125

     IX. PLOTTINGS                                                 143

      X. THE FALL OF GLOUCESTER                                    157

     XI. THE FALL OF SUFFOLK                                       171

    XII. BIRTH OF A PRINCE                                         188

   XIII. ILLNESS OF THE KING                                       199

    XIV. ANXIETY AND TROUBLE                                       207

     XV. MARGARET A FUGITIVE                                       222

    XVI. MARGARET TRIUMPHANT                                       231

   XVII. MARGARET AN EXILE                                         237

  XVIII. A ROYAL COUSIN                                            244

    XIX. RETURN TO ENGLAND                                         254

     XX. YEARS OF EXILE                                            269

    XXI. THE RECONCILIATION WITH WARWICK                           278

   XXII. BITTER DISAPPOINTMENT                                     285

  XXIII. CHILDLESS, AND A WIDOW                                    292

   XXIV. CONCLUSION                                                306



ENGRAVINGS.


                                                                  PAGE

  THE BRIDAL PROCESSION                                 _Frontispiece._

  GENERAL MAP                                                       14

  SELECTING THE ROSES                                               22

  ORDEAL COMBAT                                                     35

  HENRY VI. IN HIS YOUTH                                            54

  THE PENANCE                                                       56

  DISTRESS OF MARGARET'S MOTHER                                     65

  SUFFOLK PRESENTING MARGARET TO THE KING                          107

  ANCIENT PORTRAIT OF QUEEN MARGARET                               117

  FEMALE COSTUME IN THE TIME OF HENRY VI                           138

  THE CHARGES AGAINST GLOUCESTER                                   160

  ROUEN                                                            176

  VIEW OF BORDEAUX                                                 180

  THE TEMPLE GARDEN                                                192

  THE LITTLE PRINCE AND HIS SWANS                                  220

  MURDER OF RICHARD'S CHILD                                        235

  LOUIS XI., MARGARET'S COUSIN                                     251

  MAP OF THE BORDER                                                255

  MARGARET AT THE CAVE                                             263

  DEATH OF WARWICK                                                 289

  TEWKESBURY                                                       297

  THE MURDER OF PRINCE HENRY                                       302

  VIEW OF CHERTSEY                                                 308



[Illustration: Map, Illustrating the History of Margaret of Anjou.]



MARGARET OF ANJOU.



CHAPTER I.

THE HOUSES OF YORK AND LANCASTER.


[Sidenote: A real heroine.]

Margaret of Anjou was a heroine; not a heroine of romance and fiction,
but of stern and terrible reality. Her life was a series of military
exploits, attended with dangers, privations, sufferings, and wonderful
vicissitudes of fortune, scarcely to be paralleled in the whole
history of mankind.

[Sidenote: Two great quarrels.]

She was born and lived in a period during which there prevailed in the
western part of Europe two great and dreadful quarrels, which lasted
for more than a hundred years, and which kept France and England, and
all the countries contiguous to them, in a state of continual
commotion during all that time.

[Sidenote: Contest between the houses of York and Lancaster.]

The first of these quarrels grew out of a dispute which arose among
the various branches of the royal family of England in respect to the
succession to the crown. The two principal branches of the family
were the descendants respectively of the Dukes of York and Lancaster,
and the wars which they waged against each other are called in history
the wars of the houses of York and Lancaster. These wars continued for
several successive generations, and Margaret of Anjou was the queen of
one of the most prominent representatives of the Lancaster line. Thus
she became most intimately involved in the quarrel.

[Sidenote: Wars in France.]

The second great contention which prevailed during this period
consisted of the wars waged between France and England for the
possession of the territory which now forms the northern portion of
France. A large portion of that territory, during the reigns that
immediately preceded the time of Margaret of Anjou, had belonged to
England. But the kings of France were continually attempting to regain
possession of it--the English, of course, all the time making
desperate resistance. Thus, for a hundred years, including the time
while Margaret lived, England was involved in a double set of
wars--the one internal, being waged by one branch of the royal family
against the other for the possession of the throne, and the other
external, being waged against France and other Continental powers for
the possession of the towns and castles, and the country dependent
upon them, which lay along the southern shore of the English Channel.

[Sidenote: Origin of Difficulty.]

In order that the story of Margaret of Anjou may be properly
understood, it will be necessary first to give some explanations in
respect to the nature of these two quarrels, and to the progress which
had been made in them up to the time when Margaret came upon the
stage. We shall begin with the internal or civil wars which were waged
between the families of York and Lancaster. Some account of the origin
and nature of this difficulty is given in our history of Richard III.,
but it is necessary to allude to it again here, and to state some
additional particulars in respect to it, on account of the very
important part which Margaret of Anjou performed in the quarrel.

The difficulty originated among the children and descendants of King
Edward III. He reigned in the early part of the fourteenth century. He
occupied the throne a long time, and his reign was considered very
prosperous and glorious. The prosperity and glory of it consisted, in
a great measure, in the success of the wars which he waged in France,
and in the towns, and castles, and districts of country which he
conquered there, and annexed to the English domain.

[Sidenote: The sons of Edward III.]

In these wars old King Edward was assisted very much by the princes
his sons, who were very warlike young men, and who were engaged from
time to time in many victorious campaigns on the Continent. They began
this career when they were very young, and they continued it through
all the years of their manhood and middle life, for their father lived
to an advanced age.

[Sidenote: The Black Prince.]

The most remarkable of these warlike princes were Edward and John.
Edward was the oldest son, and John the third in order of age of those
who arrived at maturity. The name of the second was Lionel. Edward,
the oldest son, was of course the Prince of Wales; but, to distinguish
him from other Princes of Wales that preceded and followed him, he is
known commonly in history by the name of the Black Prince. He received
this name originally on account of something about his armor which was
black, and which marked his appearance among the other knights on the
field of battle.

[Sidenote: Richard II.]

The Black Prince did not live to succeed his father and inherit the
throne, for he lost his health in his campaigns on the Continent, and
came home to England, and died a few years before his father died.
His son, whose name was Richard, was his heir, and when at length old
King Edward died, this young Richard succeeded to the crown, under the
title of King Richard II. In the history of Richard II., in this
series, a full account of the life of his father, the Black Prince, is
given, and of the various remarkable adventures that he met with in
his Continental campaigns.

[Sidenote: John of Gaunt.]

Prince John, the third of the sons of old King Edward, is commonly
known in history as John of Gaunt. This word Gaunt was the nearest
approach that the English people could make in those days to the
pronunciation of the word Ghent, the name of the town where John was
born. For King Edward, in the early part of his life, was accustomed
to take all his family with him in his Continental campaigns, and so
his several children were born in different places, one in one city
and another in another, and many of them received names from the
places where they happened to be born.

[Illustration: Selecting the Roses.]

On the following page we have a genealogical table of the family of
Edward III. At the head of it we have the names of Edward III. and
Philippa his wife. In a line below are the names of those four of his
sons whose descendants figure in English history. It was among
the descendants of these sons that the celebrated wars between the
houses of York and Lancaster, called the wars of the roses, arose.

Genealogical Table of the Family of Edward III., Showing the
Connection of the Houses of York and Lancaster.

Genealogical table of the descendants of Edward III.

                          EDWARD III.==Philippa.
                                     |
       ______________________________|_______________________________
      |                   |                     |                   |
    EDWARD              LIONEL                JOHN                EDMUND
  (The Black           (Duke of         (of Gaunt, Duke of       (Duke of
   Prince).            Clarence).         of Lancaster).           York).
      |                   |                     |                   |
      |                   |                     |                   |
   RICHARD II.  PHILIPPA==Edward Mortimer.   HENRY            RICHARD==Anne.
                          |                     |         (_See second Column._)
                          |                     |                   |
                    ROGER MORTIMER            HENRY V      RICHARD PLANTAGENET
                   (Earl of Marche).            |            (Duke of York).
                          |                   HENRY VI.             |
                          |                     |                   |
                      ANNE==Richard of York.    |                   |
                   (_See fourth column._)     EDWARD       _________|__________
                                            (Prince of    |         |          |
                                              Wales).  EDWARD IV.  GEORGE   RICHARD III.
                                                                  (Duke of
                                                                  Clarence).

  The character == denotes marriage; the short perpendicular line | a
  descent. There were many other children and descendants in the
  different branches of the family besides those whose names are
  inserted in the table. The table includes only those essential to an
  understanding of the history.

[Sidenote: The roses.]

These wars were called the wars of the roses from the circumstance
that the white and the red rose happened in some way to be chosen as
the badges of the two parties--the white rose being that of the house
of York, and the red that of the house of Lancaster.

[Sidenote: The four brothers.]

The reader will observe that the dukes of Lancaster and York are the
third and fourth of the brothers enumerated in the table, whereas it
might have been supposed that any contest which should have arisen in
respect to the crown would have taken place between families of the
first and second. But the first and second sons and their descendants
were soon set aside, as it were, from the competition, in the
following manner.

[Sidenote: Ambition of Richard's uncles.]

[Sidenote: Richard's character.]

The line of the first brother soon became extinct. Edward himself, the
Prince of Wales, died during his father's lifetime, leaving his son
Richard as his heir. Then, when the old king died, Richard succeeded
him. As he was the oldest living son of the oldest son, his claim
could not be disputed, and so his uncles acquiesced in it. They wished
very much, it is true, to govern the realm, but they contented
themselves with ruling in Richard's name until he became of age, and
then Richard took the government into his own hands. The country was
tolerably well satisfied under his dominion for some years, but at
length Richard became dissipated and vicious, and he domineered over
the people of England in so haughty a manner, and oppressed them so
severely by the taxes and other exactions which he laid upon them,
that a very general discontent prevailed at last against him and
against his government. This discontent would have given either of his
uncles a great advantage in any design which they might have formed to
take away the crown from him. As it was, it greatly increased their
power and influence in the land, and diminished, in a corresponding
degree, that of the king. The uncles appear to have been contented
with this share of power and influence, which seemed naturally to fall
into their hands, and did not attempt any open rebellion.

[Sidenote: His cousin Henry.]

Richard had a cousin, however, a young man of just about his own age,
who was driven at last, by a peculiar train of circumstances, to rise
against him. This cousin was the son of his uncle John. His name was
Henry Bolingbroke. He appears in the genealogical table as Henry IV.,
that having been his title subsequently as King of England.

[Sidenote: Quarrel between Henry and Norfolk.]

[Sidenote: The trial.]

This cousin Henry became involved in a quarrel with a certain nobleman
named Norfolk. Indeed, the nobles of those days were continually
getting engaged in feuds and quarrels, which they fought out with the
greatest recklessness, sometimes by regular battles between armies of
retainers, and sometimes by single combat, in which the parties to the
dispute were supposed to appeal to Almighty God, who they believed, or
professed to believe, would give the victory to the just side in the
quarrel. These single combats were arranged with great ceremony and
parade, and were performed in a very public and solemn manner; being,
in fact, a recognized and established part of the system of public law
as administered in those days. In the next chapter, when speaking more
particularly of the manners and customs of the times, I shall give an
account in full of one of these duels. I have only to say here that
Richard, on hearing of the quarrel between his cousin Henry and
Norfolk, decreed that they should settle it by single combat, and
preparations were accordingly made for the trial, and the parties
appeared, armed and equipped for the fight, in the presence of an
immense concourse of people assembled to witness the spectacle. The
king himself was to preside on the occasion.

[Sidenote: Henry is sent into banishment.]

But just before the signal was to be given for the combat to begin,
the king interrupted the proceedings, and declared that he would
decide the question himself. He pronounced both the combatants guilty,
and issued a decree of banishment against both. Henry submitted, and
both prepared to leave the country. These transactions, of course,
attracted great attention throughout England, and they operated to
bring Henry forward in a very conspicuous manner before the people of
the realm. He was in the direct line of succession to the crown, and
he was, moreover, a prince of great wealth, and of immense personal
influence, and so, just in proportion as Richard himself was disliked,
Henry would naturally become an object of popular sympathy and regard.
When he set out on his journey toward the southern coast, in order to
leave the country in pursuance of his sentence, the people flocked
along the waysides, and assembled in the towns where he passed, as if
he were a conqueror returning from his victories instead of a
condemned criminal going into banishment.

[Sidenote: 1400.]

[Sidenote: His estates confiscated.]

Soon after this, the Duke of Lancaster, Henry's father, died, and then
Richard, instead of allowing his cousin to succeed to the immense
estates which his father left, confiscated all the property, under the
pretext that Henry had forfeited it, and so converted it to his own
use. This last outrage aroused Henry to such a pitch of indignation
that he resolved to invade England, depose Richard, and claim the
crown for himself.

[Sidenote: A revolution.]

This plan was carried into effect. Henry raised an armament, crossed
the Channel, and landed in England. The people took sides. A great
majority sided with Henry. A full account of this insurrection and
invasion is given in our history of Richard II. All that it is
necessary to say here is that the revolution was effected. Richard was
deposed, and Henry obtained possession of the kingdom. It was thus
that the house of Lancaster first became established on the throne.

[Sidenote: The elder branches of the family.]

But you will very naturally wonder where the representatives of the
second brother in Edward the Third's family were all this time, and
why, when Richard was deposed, who was the son of the first brother,
they did not appear, and advance their claims in competition with
Henry. The reason was because there was no male heir of that branch
living in that line. You will see by referring again to the table that
the only child of Lionel, the second brother, was Philippa, a girl.
She had a son, it is true, Roger Mortimer, as appears by the table;
but he was yet very young, and could do nothing to assert the claims
of his line. Besides, Henry pretended that, together with his claims
to the throne through his father, he had others more ancient and
better founded still through his mother, who, as he attempted to
prove, was descended from an English king who reigned _before Edward
III._ The people of England, as they wished to have Henry for king,
were very easily satisfied with his arguments, and so it was settled
that he should reign. The line of this second brother, however, did
not give up their claims, but reserved them, intending to rise and
assert them on the very first favorable opportunity.

Henry reigned about thirteen years, and then was succeeded by his son,
Henry V., as appears by the table. There was no attempt to disturb the
Lancastrian line in their possession of the throne during these two
reigns. The attention, both of the kings and of the people, during all
this period, was almost wholly engrossed in the wars which they were
waging in France. These wars were very successful. The English
conquered province after province and castle after castle, until at
length almost the whole country was brought under their sway.

[Sidenote: 1422.]

[Sidenote: Birth and accession of Henry VI.]

This state of things continued until the death of Henry V., which took
place in 1422. He left for his heir a little son, named also Henry,
then only about nine months old. This infant was at once invested with
the royal authority as King of England and France, under the title of
Henry VI., as seen by the table. It was this Henry who, when he
arrived at maturity, became the husband of Margaret of Anjou, the
subject of this volume. It was during his reign, too, that the first
effective attempt was made to dispute the right of the house of
Lancaster to the throne, and it was in the terrible contests which
this attempt brought on that Margaret displayed the extraordinary
military heroism for which she became so renowned. I shall relate the
early history of this king, and explain the nature of the combination
which was formed during his reign against the Lancastrian line, in a
subsequent chapter, after first giving a brief account of such of the
manners and customs of those times as are necessary to a proper
understanding of the story.



CHAPTER II.

MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE TIME.


[Sidenote: The nobles.]

[Sidenote: Their mode of life.]

In the days when Margaret of Anjou lived, the kings, princes, nobles,
and knights who flourished in the realms of England and France, though
they were, relatively to the mass of the people, far more wealthy,
proud, and powerful than their successors are at the present day,
still lived in many respects in a very rude and barbarous manner. They
enjoyed very few of the benefits and privileges which all classes
enjoy in the age in which we live. They had very few books, and very
little advantage of instruction to enable them to read those that they
had. There were no good roads by which they could travel comfortably
from place to place, and no wheeled carriages. They lived in castles,
very strongly built indeed, and very grand and picturesque sometimes
in external appearance, but very illy furnished and comfortless
within. The artisans were skillful in fabricating splendid caparisons
for the horses, and costly suits of glittering armor for the men, and
the architects could construct grand cathedrals, and ornament them
with sculptures and columns which are the wonder of the present age.
But in respect to all the ordinary means and appliances of daily life,
even the most wealthy and powerful nobles lived in a very barbarous
way.

[Sidenote: Retainers of the nobles.]

The mass of the common people were held in a state of abject
submission to the will of the chieftains, very much in the condition
of slaves, being compelled to toil in the cultivation of their
masters' lands, or to go out as soldiers to fight in their quarrels,
without receiving any compensation. The great ambition of every noble
and knight was to have as many of these retainers as possible under
his command. The only limit to the number which each chieftain could
assemble was his power of feeding them. For in those days men could be
more easily found to fight than to engage in any other employment, and
there were great numbers always ready to follow any commander who was
able to maintain them.

[Sidenote: Their courts.]

Each great noble lived in state in his castle, like a prince or a
petty king. Those of the highest class had their privy councilors,
treasurers, marshals, constables, stewards, secretaries, heralds,
pursuivants, pages, guards, trumpeters--in short, all the various
officers that were to be found in the court of the sovereign. To these
were added whole bands of minstrels, mimics, jugglers, tumblers,
rope-dancers, and buffoons. Besides these, there was always attached
to each great castle a large company of priests and monks, who
performed divine service according to the usages of those times, in a
gorgeously-decorated chapel built for this purpose within the castle
walls.

[Sidenote: Great power of the nobles.]

Thus the whole country was divided, as it were, into a vast number of
separate jurisdictions, each with an earl, or a baron, or a duke at
the head of it, who ruled with an almost absolute sway in every thing
that related to the internal management of his province, while,
however, he recognized a certain general dominion over all on the part
of the king. Such being the state of the case, it is not surprising
that the nobles were often powerful enough, as will appear in the
course of this narrative, to band together and set up and put down
kings at their pleasure.

[Sidenote: The Earl of Warwick.]

Perhaps the most powerful of all the great nobles who flourished
during the time of Margaret of Anjou was the Earl of Warwick. So great
was his influence in deciding between the rival claims of different
pretenders to the crown, that he is known in history by the title of
the _King-maker_. His wealth was so enormous that it was said that the
body of retainers that he maintained amounted sometimes in number to
thirty thousand men.

[Sidenote: Amusements of the nobility.]

The employments, and even the amusements of these great barons and
nobles, were all military. They looked down with great disdain upon
all the useful pursuits of art and industry, regarding them as only
fit occupations for serfs and slaves. Their business was going to war,
either independently against each other, or, under the command of the
king, against some common enemy. When they were not engaged in any of
these wars they amused themselves and the people of their courts with
tournaments, and mock combats and encounters of all kinds, which they
arranged in open grounds contiguous to their castles with great pomp
and parade.

[Sidenote: Courts of justice.]

[Sidenote: Quarrels among the nobles.]

It could not be expected that such powerful and warlike chieftains as
these could be kept much under the control of law by the ordinary
machinery of courts of justice. There were, of course, laws and courts
of justice in those days, but they were administered chiefly upon the
common people, for the repression of common crimes. The nobles, in
their quarrels and contentions with each other, were accustomed to
settle the questions that arose in other ways. Sometimes they did this
by marshaling their troops and fighting each other in regular
campaigns, during which they laid siege to castles, and ravaged
villages and fields, as in times of public war. Sometimes, when the
power of the king was sufficient to prevent such outbreaks as these,
the parties to the quarrel were summoned to settle the dispute by
single combat in the presence of the king and his court, as well as of
a vast multitude of assembled spectators. These single combats were
the origin of the modern custom of dueling.

[Sidenote: Dueling.]

At the present day, the settlement of disputes by a private combat
between the parties to it is made a crime by the laws of the land. It
is justly considered a barbarous and senseless practice. The man who
provokes another to a duel and then kills him in the fight, instead of
acquiring any glory by the deed, has to bear, for the rest of his
life, both in his own conscience and in the opinion of mankind, the
mark and stain of murder. And when, in defiance of law, and of the
opinions and wishes of all good men, any two disputants who have
become involved in a quarrel are rendered so desperate by their angry
passions as to desire to satisfy them by this mode, they are obliged
to resort to all sorts of manoeuvres and stratagems to conceal the
crime which they are about to commit, and to avoid the interference of
their friends or of the officers of the law.

[Illustration: Ordeal Combat.]

[Sidenote: The ancient trial by combat.]

[Sidenote: Old representation of it.]

In the days, however, of the semi-savage knights and barons who
flourished so luxuriantly in the times of which we are writing, the
settlement of a dispute by single combat between the two parties to it
was an openly recognized and perfectly legitimate mode of arbitration,
and the trial of the question was conducted with forms and ceremonies
even more strict and more solemn than those which governed the
proceedings in regular courts of justice.

The engraving on the preceding page is a sort of rude emblematic
representation of such a trial, copied from a drawing in an ancient
manuscript. We see the combatants in the foreground, with the judges
and spectators behind.

[Sidenote: Henry Bolingbroke.]

It was to a public and solemn combat of this kind that Richard the
Second summoned his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, and his enemy, as
related in the last chapter. In that instance the combat was not
fought, the king having taken the case into his own hands, and
condemned both the parties before the contest was begun. But in
multitudes of other cases the trial was carried through to its
consummation in the death of one party, and the triumph and acquittal
of the other.

[Sidenote: Arrangements made.]

[Sidenote: Guards.]

Very many detailed and full accounts of these combats have come down
to us in the writings of the ancient chroniclers. I will here give a
description of one of them, as an example of this mode of trial, which
was fought in the public square in front of King Richard the Second's
palace, the king himself, all the principal nobles of the court, and a
great crowd of other persons being provided with seats around the area
as spectators of the fight. The nobles and knights were all dressed
in complete armor; and heralds, and squires, and guards were stationed
in great numbers to regulate the proceedings. It was on a bright
morning in June when the combat was fought, and the whole aspect of
the scene was that of a grand and joyful spectacle on a gala day.

[Sidenote: Great concourse of people.]

It was estimated that more people from the surrounding country came to
London on the occasion of this duel than at the time of the coronation
of the king. It took place about three years after the coronation.

[Sidenote: The parties.]

The parties to the combat were John Anneslie, a knight, and Thomas
Katrington, a squire. Anneslie, the knight, was the complainant and
the challenger. Katrington, the squire, was the defendant. The
circumstances of the case were as follows.

[Sidenote: Nature of the quarrel.]

[Sidenote: Castle lost.]

Katrington, the squire, was governor of a castle in Normandy. The
castle belonged to a certain English knight who afterward died, and
his estate descended to Anneslie, the complainant in this quarrel. If
the squire had successfully defended the castle from the French who
attacked it, then it would have descended with the other property to
Anneslie. But he did not. When the French came and laid siege to the
castle, Katrington surrendered it, and so it was lost. He maintained
that he had not a sufficient force to defend it, and that he had no
alternative but to surrender. Anneslie, on the other hand, alleged
that he might have defended it, and that he would have done so if he
had been faithful to his trust; but that he had been _bribed_ by the
French to give it up. This Katrington denied; so Anneslie, who was
very angry at the loss of the castle, challenged him to single combat
to try the question.

[Sidenote: Reason for this mode of trial.]

It is plain that this was a very absurd way of attempting to ascertain
whether Katrington had or had not been bribed; but, as the affair had
occurred some years before, and in another country, and as, moreover,
the giving and receiving of bribes are facts always very difficult to
be proved by ordinary evidence, it was decided by the government of
the king that this was a proper case for the trial by combat, and both
parties were ordered to prepare for the fight. The day, too, was
fixed, and the place--the public square opposite the king's
palace--was appointed. As the time drew nigh, the whole country for
many miles around was excited to the highest pitch of interest and
expectation.

[Sidenote: The company assemble.]

[Sidenote: The combatants appear.]

At the place where the combat was to be fought a large space was
railed in by a very substantial barricade. The barricade was made very
strong, so as to resist the utmost possible pressure of the crowd.
Elevated seats, commanding a full view of the lists, as the area
railed in was called, were erected for the use of the king and the
nobles of the court, and all other necessary preparations were made.
When the hour arrived on the appointed day, the king and the nobles
came in great state and took their places. The whole square, with the
exception of the lists and proper avenues of approach, which were kept
open by the men-at-arms, had long since been filled with an immense
crowd of people from the surrounding country. At length, after a brief
period of expectation, the challenger, Anneslie, was seen coming along
one of the approaches, mounted on a horse splendidly caparisoned, and
attended by several knights and squires, his friends, all completely
armed.

[Sidenote: The horse excluded.]

He stopped when he reached the railing and dismounted from his horse.
It was against the laws of the combat for either party to enter the
lists mounted. If a horse went within the inclosure he was forfeited
by that act to a certain public officer called the high constable of
England, who was responsible for the regularity and order of the
proceedings.

Anneslie, having thus dismounted from his horse with the assistance of
his attendants, walked into the lists all armed and equipped for the
fight. His squires attended him. He walked there to and fro a few
minutes, and then a herald, blowing a trumpet, summoned the accused to
appear.

[Sidenote: Summons to the accused.]

"Thomas Katrington! Thomas Katrington!" he cried out in a loud voice,
"come and appear, to save the action for which Sir John Anneslie,
knight, hath publicly and by writing appealed thee!"

[Sidenote: Appearance of Katrington.]

Three times the herald proclaimed this summons. At the third time
Katrington appeared.

He came, as Anneslie had come, mounted upon a war-horse splendidly
caparisoned, and with his arms embroidered on the trappings. He was
attended by his friends, the representatives of the seconds of the
modern duel. The two stopped at the entrance of the lists, and
dismounting, passed into the lists on foot. Every body being now
intent on the combatants, the horse for the moment was let go, and,
being eager to follow his master, he ran up and down along the
railing, reaching his head and neck over as far as he could, and
trying to get over. At length he was taken and led away; but the lord
high constable said at once that he should claim him for having
entered the lists.

[Sidenote: Horse's head forfeited.]

"At least," said he, "I shall claim his head and neck, and as much of
him as was over the railing."

[Sidenote: The pleadings.]

The combatants now stood confronting each other within the lists. A
written document was produced, which had been prepared, as was said,
by consent of both parties, containing a statement of the charge made
against Katrington, namely, that of treason, in having betrayed to the
enemy for money a castle intrusted to his charge, and his reply. The
herald read this document with a loud voice, in order that all the
assembly, or as many as possible, might hear it. As soon as it was
read, Katrington began to take exceptions to some passages in it. The
Duke of Lancaster, who seemed to preside on the occasion, put an end
to his criticisms at once, saying that he had already agreed to the
paper, and that now, if he made any difficulty about it, and refused
to fight, he should be adjudged guilty of the treason, and should at
once be led out to execution.

[Sidenote: Katrington is ready.]

Katrington then said that he was ready to fight his antagonist, not
only on the points raised in the document which had been read, but on
any and all other points whatever that might be laid to his charge.
He had entire confidence, he said, that the justice of his cause would
secure him the victory.

[Sidenote: Singular oath administered.]

The next proceeding in this strange ceremony was singular enough. It
was the solemn administering of an oath to each of the combatants, by
which oath they severally swore that the cause in which they were to
fight was true, and that they did not deal in any witchcraft or magic
art, by which they expected to gain the victory over their adversary;
and also, that they had not about their persons any herb or stone, or
charm of any kind, by which they hoped to obtain any advantage.

After this oath had been administered, time was allowed for the
combatants to say their prayers. This ceremony they performed
apparently in a very devout manner, and then the battle began.

[Sidenote: The battle.]

The combatants fought first with spears, then with swords, and
finally, coming to very close quarters, with daggers. Anneslie seemed
to gain the advantage. He succeeded in disarming Katrington of one
after another of his weapons, and finally threw him down. When
Katrington was down, Anneslie attempted to throw himself upon him, in
order to crush him with the weight of his heavy iron armor. But he
was exhausted by the heat and by the exertion which he had made, and
the perspiration running down from his forehead under his helmet
blinded his eyes, so that he could not see exactly where Katrington
was, and, instead of falling upon him, he came down upon the ground at
a little distance away. Katrington then contrived to make his way to
Anneslie and to get upon him, thus pressing him down to the ground
with his weight. The combatants lay thus a few minutes locked together
on the ground, and struggling with each other as well as their heavy
and cumbrous armor would permit, Katrington being all the time
uppermost, when the king at length gave orders that the contest should
cease and that the men should be separated.

[Sidenote: The proceedings arrested by the king.]

In obedience to these orders, some men came to rescue Anneslie by
taking Katrington off from him. But Anneslie begged them not to
interfere. And when the men had taken Katrington off, he urged them to
place him back upon him again as he was before, for he said he himself
was not hurt at all, and he had no doubt that he should gain the
victory if they would leave him alone. The men, however, having the
king's order for what they were doing, paid no heed to Anneslie's
requests, but proceeded to lead Katrington away.

[Sidenote: Katrington's condition.]

They found that he was so weak and exhausted that he could not stand.
They led him to a chair, and then, taking off his helmet, they tried
to revive him by bathing his face and giving him some wine.

[Sidenote: Anneslie's request to the king.]

In the mean time, Anneslie, finding that Katrington was taken away,
allowed himself to be lifted up. When set upon his feet, he walked
along toward the part of the inclosure which was near the king's seat,
and begged the king to allow the combat to proceed. He said he was
sure that he should obtain the victory if they would but permit him to
continue the combat to the end. Finally the king and nobles gave their
consent, and ordered that Anneslie should be placed upon the ground
again, and Katrington upon him, in the same position, as nearly as
possible, as before.

But on going again to Katrington with a view of executing this decree,
they found that he was in such a condition as to preclude the
possibility of it. He had fainted and fallen down out of his chair in
a deadly swoon. He seemed not to be wounded, but to be utterly
exhausted by the heat, the weight of his armor, and the extreme
violence of the exertion which he had made. His friends raised him up
again, and proceeded to unbuckle and take off his armor. Relieved
from this burden, he began to come to himself. He opened his eyes and
looked around, staring with a wild, bewildered, and ghastly look,
which moved the pity of all the beholders, that is, of all but
Anneslie. He, on leaving the king, came to where poor Katrington was
sitting, and, full of rage and hate, began to taunt and revile him,
calling him traitor, and false, perjured villain, and daring him to
come out again into the area and finish the fight.

[Sidenote: Anneslie's rage.]

To this Katrington made no answer, but stared wildly about with a
crazed look, as if he did not know where he was or what they were
doing to him.

[Sidenote: The termination of the trial.]

So the farther prosecution of the combat was relinquished. Anneslie
was declared the victor, and poor Katrington was deemed to be proved,
by his defeat, guilty of the treason which had been charged against
him. He was borne away by his friends, and put into his bed. He
continued delirious all that night, and the next morning at nine
o'clock he died.

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus was this combat fought, as the ancient historian says, to the
great rejoicing of the common people and the discouragement of
traitors!



CHAPTER III.

KING HENRY VI.


[Sidenote: King Henry's accession.]

King Henry the Sixth, who subsequently became the husband of Margaret
of Anjou, was only about nine months old, as has already been said,
when he succeeded to the throne by the death of his father. He was
proclaimed by the heralds to the sound of trumpets and drums, in all
parts of London, while he was yet an infant in his nurse's arms.

[Sidenote: His uncles.]

Of course the question was now who should have the rule in England
while Henry remained a child. And this question chiefly affected the
little king's uncles, of whom there were three--all rude, turbulent,
and powerful nobles, such as were briefly described in the last
chapter. Each of them had a powerful band of retainers and partisans
attached to his service, and the whole kingdom dreaded greatly the
quarrels which every one knew were now likely to break out.

The oldest of these uncles was Thomas. He was Duke of Exeter.

The second was John. He was Duke of Bedford.

The third was Humphrey. He was Duke of Gloucester. Thomas and Humphrey
seem to have been in England at the time of their brother the old
king's death. John, or Bedford, as he was commonly called, was in
France, where he had been pursuing a very renowned and successful
career, in extending and maintaining the English conquests in that
country.

[Sidenote: Division of power.]

The leading nobles and officers of the government were assembled in
council soon after the old king's death, and in order to prevent the
breaking out of the quarrels which were otherwise to have been
anticipated between these uncles, they determined to divide the power
as nearly as possible in an equal manner among them. So they appointed
Thomas, the Duke of Exeter, who seems to have been less ambitious and
warlike in his character than the rest, to the charge and custody of
the young king's person. Humphrey, the Duke of Gloucester, was made
Protector of England, and John, the Duke of Bedford, the Regent of
France. Thus they were all seemingly satisfied.

[Sidenote: Quarrels.]

[Sidenote: Beaufort and Gloucester.]

But the peace which resulted from this arrangement did not continue
very long. Pretty soon a certain Henry Beaufort, a bishop, was
appointed to be associated with Henry's uncle Thomas in the personal
charge of the king. This Henry Beaufort was Henry's great-uncle, being
one of the sons of John of Gaunt. He was a younger son of his father,
and so was brought up to the Church, and had been appointed Bishop of
Winchester, and afterward made a cardinal. Thus he occupied a very
exalted position, and possessed a degree of wealth, and power, and
general consequence little inferior to those of the grandest nobles in
the land. He was a man, too, of great capacity, very skillful in
manoeuvring and intriguing, and he immediately began to form ambitious
schemes for himself which he designed to carry into effect through the
power which the custody of the young king gave him. He was, of course,
very jealous of the influence and power of the Duke of Gloucester, and
the Duke of Gloucester became very jealous of him. It was not long
before occasions arose which brought the two men, and their bands of
followers, into direct and open collision.

[Sidenote: Progress of the quarrel.]

I can not here go into a full account of the particulars of the
quarrel. One of the first difficulties was about the Tower of London,
which Beaufort had under his command, and where there was a prisoner
whom Gloucester wished to set at liberty. Then there was a great riot
and disturbance on London Bridge, which threw the whole city of
London into a state of alarm. Beaufort alleged that Gloucester had
formed a plan to seize the person of the king and take him away from
Beaufort's custody; and that he had designs, moreover, on Beaufort's
life. To defend himself, and to prevent Gloucester from coming to the
palace where he was residing, he seized and fortified the passages
leading to the bridge. He built barricades, and took down the chains
of the portcullis, and assembled a large armed force to guard the
point. The people of London were in great alarm. They set watches day
and night to protect their property from the anticipated violence of
the soldiers and partisans of the combatants, and thus all was
commotion and fear. Of course there were no courts of justice powerful
enough to control such a contest as this, and finally the people sent
off a delegation to the Duke of Bedford in France, imploring him to
come to England immediately and see if he could not settle the
quarrel.

[Sidenote: Bedford summoned home from France.]

The Duke of Bedford came. A Parliament was convened, and the questions
at issue between the two great disputants were brought to a solemn
trial. The Duke of Gloucester made out a series of heavy charges
against the cardinal, and the cardinal made a formal reply which
contained not only his defense, but also counter charges against the
duke. These papers were drawn up with great technicality and ceremony
by the lawyers employed on each side to manage the case, and were
submitted to the Duke of Bedford and to the Parliament. A series of
debates ensued, in which the friends of the two parties respectively
brought criminations and recriminations against each other without
end. The result was, as is usual in such cases, that both sides
appeared to have been to blame, and in order to settle the dispute a
sort of compromise was effected, with which both parties professed to
be satisfied, and a reconciliation, or what outwardly appeared to be
such, was made. A new division of powers and prerogatives between
Gloucester, as Protector of England, and Beaufort, as custodian of the
king, was arranged, and peace being thus restored, Bedford went back
again to France.

[Sidenote: Death of Bedford.]

Things went on tolerably well after this for many years; that is,
there were no more open outbreaks, though the old jealousy and hatred
between Gloucester and the cardinal still continued. The influence of
the Duke of Bedford held both parties in check as long as the duke
lived. At length, however, when the young king was about fourteen
years old, the Duke of Bedford died. He was in France at the time of
his death. He was buried with great pomp and ceremony in the city of
Rouen, which had been in some sense the head-quarters of his dominion
in that country, and a splendid monument was erected over his tomb.

[Sidenote: Anecdote.]

A curious anecdote is related of the King of France in relation to
this tomb. Some time after the tomb was built Rouen fell into the
hands of the French, and some persons proposed to break down the
monument which had been built in memory of their old enemy; but the
King of France would not listen to the proposal.

[Sidenote: Generosity of the French king.]

"What honor shall it be to us," said he, "or to you, to break down the
monument, or to pull out of the ground the dead bones of him whom, in
his life, neither my father nor your progenitors, with all their
power, influence, and friends, were ever able to make flee one foot
backward, but who, by his strength, wit, and policy, kept them all at
bay. Wherefore I say, let God have his soul; and for his body, let it
rest in peace where they have laid it."

[Sidenote: Coronation of the young king in France.]

When King Henry was old enough to be crowned, in addition to the
English part of the ceremony, he went to France to receive the crown
of that country too. The ceremony, as is usual with the French kings,
was performed at the town of St. Denis, near Paris, where is an
ancient royal chapel, in which all the great religious ceremonies
connected with the French monarchy have been performed. A very curious
account is given by the ancient chroniclers of the pageants and
ceremonies which were enacted on this occasion. The king proceeded
into France and journeyed to St. Denis at the head of a grand
cavalcade of knights, nobles, and men-at-arms, amounting to many
thousand men, all of whom were adorned with dresses and trappings of
the most gorgeous description. At St. Denis the authorities came out
to meet the king, dressed in robes of vermilion, and bearing splendid
banners. The king was presented, as he passed through the gates, "with
three crimson hearts, in one of which were two doves; in another,
several small birds, which were let fly over his head; while the third
was filled with violets and flowers, which were thrown over the lords
that attended and followed him."

At the same place, too, a company of the principal civic dignitaries
of the town appeared, bearing a gorgeous canopy of blue silk, adorned
and embroidered in the most beautiful manner with royal emblems. This
canopy they held over the king as he advanced into the town.

[Sidenote: Curious pageants.]

At one place farther on, where there was a little bridge to be
crossed, there was a pageant of three savages fighting about a woman
in a mimic forest. The savages continued fighting until the king had
passed by. Next came a fountain flowing with wine, with mermaids
swimming about in it. The wine in this fountain was free to all who
chose to come and drink it.

Then, farther still, the royal party came to a place where an
artificial forest had been made, by some means or other, in a large,
open square. There was a chase going on in this forest at the time
when the king went by. The chase consisted of a living stag hunted by
real dogs. The stag came and took refuge at the feet of the king's
horse, and his majesty saved the poor animal's life.

[Sidenote: The coronation.]

Thus the king was conducted to his palace. Several days were spent in
preliminary pageants and ceremonies like the above, and then the
coronation took place in the church, the king and his party being
stationed on a large platform raised for the purpose in the most
conspicuous part of the edifice.

[Sidenote: 1441.]

[Sidenote: The banquet.]

After the coronation there was a grand banquet, at which the king,
with his lords and great officers of state, sat at a marble table in a
magnificent ancient hall. Henry Beaufort, the Bishop of Winchester,
was the principal personage in all these ceremonies next to the king.
Gloucester was very jealous of him, in respect to the conspicuous part
which he took in these proceedings.

[Illustration: Henry VI. in his Youth.]

Henry was quite young at the time of his coronations. He was a very
pretty boy, and his countenance wore a mild and gentle expression.

[Illustration: The Penance.]

[Sidenote: The old quarrel broke out again.]

[Sidenote: The duchess's penance.]

The quarrel between the Duke of Gloucester and the bishop was kept, in
some degree, subdued during this period, partly by the influence of
the Duke of Bedford while he lived, and partly by Gloucester's mind
being taken up to a considerable extent with other things, especially
with his campaigns in France; for he was engaged during the period of
the king's minority in many important military expeditions in that
country. At length, however, he came back to England, and there, when
the king was about twenty years of age, the quarrel between him and
the bishop's party broke out anew. The king himself was, however, now
old enough to take some part in such a difficulty, and so both sides
appealed to him. Gloucester made out a series of twenty-four articles
of complaint against the bishop. The bishop, on the other hand,
accused the duke of treason, and he specially charged that his wife
had attempted to destroy the life of the king by witchcraft. The
duchess was condemned on this charge, and it is said that, by way of
penance, she was sentenced to walk barefoot through the most public
street in London with a lighted taper in her hand. Some other persons,
who were accused of being accomplices in this crime, were put to
death.

[Sidenote: Witchcraft.]

The witchcraft which it was said these persons practiced was that of
making a waxen image of the king, and then, after connecting it with
him in some mysterious and magical way by certain charms and
incantations, melting it away by degrees before a slow fire, by which
means the king himself, as was supposed, would be caused to pine and
wither away, and at last to die. It was universally believed in those
days that this could be done.

[Sidenote: Position of the king.]

Of course, such proceedings as these only embittered the quarrel more
and more, and Gloucester became more resolute and determined than ever
in prosecuting his intrigues for depriving the bishop of influence,
and for getting the power into his own hands. The king, though he
favored the cardinal, was so quiet and gentle in his disposition, and
so little disposed to take an active part in such a quarrel, that the
bishop could not induce him to act as decidedly as he wished. So he
finally conceived the idea of finding some very intelligent and
capable princess as a wife for the king, hoping to increase the power
which he exercised in the realm through his influence over her.

[Sidenote: Scheme formed by Beaufort.]

The lady that he selected for this purpose was Margaret of Anjou.



CHAPTER IV.

MARGARET'S FATHER AND MOTHER.


[Sidenote: 1420.]

[Sidenote: Provinces of France.]

In former times, the territory which now constitutes France was
divided into a great number of separate provinces, each of which
formed almost a distinct state or kingdom. These several provinces
were the possessions of lords, dukes, and barons, who ruled over them,
respectively, like so many petty kings, with almost absolute sway,
though they all acknowledged a general allegiance to the kings of
France or of England. The more northern provinces pertained to
England. Those in the interior and southern portions of the country
were under the dominion of France.

[Sidenote: Great families.]

The great families who held these provinces as their possessions ruled
over them in a very lordly manner. They regarded not only the
territory itself which they held, but the right to govern the
inhabitants of it as a species of property, which was subject, like
any other estate, to descend from parent to child by hereditary right,
to be conveyed to another owner by treaty or surrender, to be assigned
to a bride as her marriage portion, or to be disposed of in any other
way that the lordly proprietors might prefer. These great families
took their names from the provinces over which they ruled.

[Sidenote: Anjou.]

[Sidenote: King René.]

One of these provinces was Anjou.[1] The father of Margaret, the
subject of this history, was a celebrated personage named Regnier or
René, commonly called King René. He was a younger son of the family
which reigned over Anjou. It is from this circumstance that our
heroine derives the name by which she is generally designated--Margaret
of Anjou. The reason why her father was called _King_ René will appear
in the sequel.

         [Footnote 1: See map at the commencement of the volume.]

[Sidenote: Lorraine.]

Another of the provinces of France above referred to was Lorraine.
Lorraine was a large, and beautiful, and very valuable country,
situated toward the eastern part of France. Anjou was considerably to
the westward of it.

[Sidenote: 1429.]

[Sidenote: Marriage of René to Isabella.]

The name of the Duke of Lorraine at this time was Charles. He had a
daughter named Isabella. She was the heiress to all her father's
possessions. She was a young lady of great beauty, of high spirit, of
a very accomplished education, according to the ideas of those times.
When René was about fourteen years old a match was arranged between
him and Isabella, who was then only about ten. The marriage was
celebrated with great parade, and the youthful pair went to reside at
a palace called Pont à Mousson, in a grand castle which was given to
Isabella by her father as a bridal gift at the time of her marriage.
Here it was expected that they would live until the death of her
father, when they were to come into possession of the whole province
of Lorraine.

[Sidenote: Birth of Margaret.]

In process of time, while living at this castle, René and Isabella had
several children. Margaret was the fifth. She was born in 1429. Her
birthday was March 23.

[Sidenote: Theophanie.]

The little infant was put under the charge of a family nurse named
Theophanie. Theophanie was a long-tried and very faithful domestic.
She was successively the nurse to all of Isabella's children, and the
family became so much attached to her that when she died René caused a
beautiful monument to be raised to her memory. This monument contained
a sculptured image of Theophanie, with two of the children in her
arms.

[Sidenote: 1431.]

Very soon after her birth Margaret was baptized with great pomp in the
Cathedral in the town of Toul. A large number of relatives of high
rank witnessed and took part in the ceremony.

[Sidenote: Isabella's uncle Antoine.]

[Sidenote: Conflict for the possession of Lorraine.]

When at length Charles, Duke of Lorraine, Isabella's father, died, and
the province should have descended to Isabella and René, there
suddenly appeared another claimant, who thought, not that he had a
better right to the province than Isabella, but that he had more power
to seize and hold it than she, even with all the aid that her husband
René could afford her. This claimant was Isabella's uncle, the younger
brother of Duke Charles who had just died. His name was Antoine de
Vaudemonte, or, as it would be expressed in English, Anthony of
Vaudemont. This uncle, on the death of Isabella's father, determined
to seize the duchy for himself, instead of allowing it to descend to
Isabella, the proper heir, who, being but a woman, was looked upon
with very little respect. "Lorraine," he said, "was too noble and
valuable a fief to descend in the family on the spindle side."

So he collected his adherents and retainers, organized an army, and
took the field. Isabella, on the other hand, did all in her power to
induce the people of the country to espouse her cause. René took the
command of the forces which were raised in her behalf, and went forth
to meet Antoine. Isabella herself, taking the children with her, went
to the city of Nancy[2]--which was then, as now, the chief city of
Lorraine, and was consequently the safest place for her--intending to
await there the result of the conflict. Little Margaret was at this
time about two years old.

         [Footnote 2: The position of Nancy, as well as the situation
         of the two provinces of Anjou and Lorraine, which are now
         departments of France, may be seen by referring to any good
         map of that country, or to that at the commencement of this
         volume.]

[Sidenote: The battle.]

[Sidenote: René wounded and made prisoner.]

The battle was fought at a place called Bulgneville, and the fortune
of war, as it would seem, turned in this case against the right, for
René's party were entirely defeated, and he himself was wounded and
taken prisoner. He fought like a lion, it is said, as long as he
remained unharmed; but at last he received a desperate wound on his
brow, and the blood from this wound ran down into his eyes and blinded
him, so that he could do no more; and he was immediately seized by the
men who had wounded him, and made prisoner. The person who thus
wounded and captured him was the squire of a certain knight who had
espoused the cause of Antoine, named the Count St. Pol.

[Sidenote: Isabella's terror and distress.]

In the mean time Isabella had remained at Nancy with the children, in
a state of the utmost suspense and anxiety, awaiting the result of a
conflict on which depended the fate of every thing that was valuable
and dear to her. At length, at the window of the tower where she was
watching, with little Margaret in her arms, for the coming of a herald
from her husband to announce his victory, her heart sank within her to
see, instead of a messenger of joy and triumph, a broken crowd of
fugitives, breathless and covered with dust and blood, suddenly
bursting into view, and showing too plainly by their aspect of terror
and distress that all was lost. Isabella was overwhelmed with
consternation at the sight. She clasped little Margaret closely in her
arms, exclaiming in tones of indescribable agony, "My husband is
killed! my husband is killed!"

[Sidenote: Heavy tidings.]

Her distress and anguish were somewhat calmed by the fugitives
assuring her, when they arrived, that her husband was safe, though he
had been wounded and taken prisoner.

[Illustration: Distress of Margaret's Mother.]

[Sidenote: Sympathy for Isabella.]

[Sidenote: Isabella's interview with her uncle.]

There was a great deal of sympathy felt for Isabella in her distress
by all the people of Nancy. She was very young and very beautiful. Her
children, and especially Margaret, were very beautiful too, and this
greatly increased the compassion which the people were disposed to
feel for her. Isabella's mother was strongly inclined to make new
efforts to raise an army, in order to meet and fight Antoine again;
but Isabella herself, who was now more concerned for the safety of her
husband than for the recovery of her dominions, was disposed to pursue
a conciliatory course. So she sent word to her uncle that she wished
to see him, and entreated him to grant her an interview. Antoine
acceded to her request, and at the interview Isabella begged her uncle
to make peace with her, and to give her back her husband.

[Sidenote: Negotiations for peace.]

Antoine said that it was out of his power to liberate René, for he had
delivered him to the custody of the Duke of Burgundy, who had been his
ally in the war, and the duke had conveyed him away to his castle at
Dijon, and shut him up there, and that now he would probably not be
willing to give him up without the payment of a ransom. He said,
however, that he was willing to make a truce with Isabella for six
months, to give time to see what arrangement could be made.

[Sidenote: Hostages.]

This truce was agreed upon, and then, at length, after a long
negotiation, terms of peace were concluded. René was to pay a large
sum to the Duke of Burgundy for his ransom, and, in the mean time,
while he was procuring the money, he was to leave his two sons in the
duke's hands as hostages, to be held by the duke as security. In
respect to Lorraine, Antoine insisted, as another of the conditions of
peace, that Isabella's oldest daughter, Yolante, then about nine years
old, should be betrothed to his son Frederick, so as to combine, in
the next generation at least, the conflicting claims of the two
parties to the possession of the territory; and, in order to secure
the fulfillment of this condition, Yolante was to be delivered
immediately to the charge and custody of Antoine's wife, the mother of
her future husband. Thus all of Isabella's children were taken away
from her except Margaret. And even Margaret, though left for the
present with her mother, did not escape being involved in the
entanglements of the treaty. Antoine insisted that she, too, should be
betrothed to one of his partisans; and, as if to make the case as
painful and humiliating to René and Isabella as possible, the person
chosen to be her future husband was the very Count St. Pol whose
squire had cut down and captured René at the battle of Bulgneville.

[Sidenote: Hard conditions of peace.]

[Sidenote: René can not procure the money for his ransom.]

These conditions were very hard, but Isabella consented to them, as it
was only by so doing that any hope seemed to be opened before her of
obtaining the release of her husband. And even this hope, in the end,
proved delusive. René found that, notwithstanding all his efforts, he
could not obtain the money which the duke required for his ransom.
Accordingly, in order to save his boys, whom he had delivered to the
duke as hostages, he was obliged to return to Dijon and surrender
himself again a prisoner. His parting with his wife and children,
before going a second time into a confinement to which they could now
see no end, was heartrending. Even little Margaret, who was yet so
very young, joined from sympathy in the general sorrow, and wept
bitterly when her father went away.

[Sidenote: His long confinement.]

The duke confined his captive in an upper room in a high tower of the
castle of Dijon, and kept him imprisoned there for several years. One
of the boys was kept with him, but the other was set at liberty. All
this time Margaret remained with her mother. She was a very beautiful
and a very intelligent child, and was a great favorite with all who
knew her. The interest which was awakened by her beauty and her other
personal attractions was greatly increased by the general sympathy
which was felt for the misfortunes of her father, and the loneliness
and distress of her mother.

[Sidenote: 1436.]

[Sidenote: His occupations and amusements in prison.]

In the mean time, René, shut up in the tower at the castle of Dijon,
made himself as contented as he could, and employed his time in
various peaceful and ingenious occupations. Though he had fought well
in the battle with Antoine, he was, in fact, not at all of a warlike
disposition. He was very fond of music, and poetry, and painting; and
he occupied his leisure during his confinement in executing beautiful
miniatures and paintings upon glass, after the manner of those times.
Some of these paintings remained in the window of a church in Dijon,
where they were placed soon after René painted them, for several
hundred years.

[Sidenote: Origin of René's royal title.]

It has already been stated that the name by which Margaret's father is
commonly designated is King René. The origin of this royal title is
now to be explained. He had an older brother, who became by
inheritance, with Joanna his wife, king and queen of the Two Sicilies,
that is, of the kingdom consisting of the island of Sicily and the
territory connected with Naples on the main land. The brother, at the
close of his life, designated René as his heir. This happened in the
year 1436, while René was still in captivity in the castle of Dijon.
He could, of course, do nothing himself to assert his claims to this
new inheritance, but Isabella immediately assumed the title of Queen
of the Two Sicilies for herself, and began at once to make
preparation for proceeding to Italy and taking possession of the
kingdom.

[Sidenote: Isabella and the children at Tarascon.]

While maturing her plans, she took up her residence for a time at the
chateau of Tarascon, on the banks of the Rhone, with the two children
who remained under her care, namely, her son Louis and Margaret. Her
other son was at Dijon with his father, and the other daughter,
Yolante, had been given up, as has already been said, to the custody
of the wife of Antoine, with a view of being married, as soon as she
was old enough, to Antoine's son.

The children attracted great attention at Tarascon. Their mother
Isabella was by birth a lady of very high rank, her family being
intimately connected with the royal family of France. She was now,
too, by title at least, herself a queen. The children were very
intelligent and beautiful, and the misfortunes and cruel captivity of
their father and brother were known and talked of in all the country
around. So the peasants and their families crowded around the chateau
to see the children. They brought them wreaths of flowers and other
votive offerings. They sang songs to serenade them, and they built
bonfires around the walls of the chateau at night, to drive away the
infection of the plague, which was then prevailing in some parts of
the country, and was exciting considerable alarm.

[Sidenote: Witches and the plague.]

The people of the country believed that this plague was produced by
magic and witchcraft, and there were some poor old women, who came
with the other peasants to the walls of the chateau of Tarascon to see
the children, who were believed to be witches. Afterward the plague
broke out at Tarascon, and Margaret's mother was obliged to go away,
taking the children with her. The poor women were, however, seized and
burned at the stake, it being universally believed that it was they
who had caused the plague.

[Sidenote: Isabella goes into Italy.]

Isabella's arrangements were now so far matured that she went at once
into Italy with the children, and took up her abode there in the town
of Capua. René still remained in captivity, but Isabella caused him to
be proclaimed King of the Two Sicilies with great pomp and parade. At
the time of this ceremony, the two children, Margaret and her brother,
were seated beside their mother in a grand state carriage, which was
lined with velvet and embroidered with gold, and in this way they were
conveyed through the streets of the city.

[Sidenote: René is at last set free.]

After a time René was liberated from his confinement, and restored to
his family, but he did not long enjoy this apparent return of
prosperity. His claim to the kingdom of Naples was disputed, and,
after a conflict, he was expelled from the country. In the mean time,
the English had so far extended their conquests in France that both
his native province of Anjou, and his wife's inheritances in Lorraine,
had fallen into their hands, so that with all the aristocratic
distinction of their descent, and the grandeur of their royal titles,
the family were now, as it were, without house or home. They returned
to France, and Isabella, with the children, found refuge from time to
time with one and another of the great families to which she was
related, while René led a wandering life, being reduced often to a
state of great destitution.

[Sidenote: His temper and disposition.]

[Sidenote: King René's fireside.]

He, however, bore his misfortunes with a very placid temper, and
amused himself, wherever he was, with music, poetry, and painting. He
was so cheerful and good-natured withal that he made himself a very
agreeable companion, and was generally welcome, as a visitor, wherever
he went. He retained the name of King René as long as he lived, though
he was a king without a kingdom. At one time he was reduced, it is
said, to such straits that to warm himself he used to walk to and fro
in the streets of Marseilles, on the sunny side of the buildings,
which circumstance gave rise to a proverb long known and often quoted
in those parts, which designated the act of going out into the sun to
escape from the cold as warming one's self at King René's fireside.

Such was the family from which Margaret of Anjou sprang.



CHAPTER V.

ROYAL COURTSHIP.


[Sidenote: 1444.]

[Sidenote: Margaret's talents and accomplishments.]

[Sidenote: Offers of marriage.]

When Margaret was not more than fourteen or fifteen years of age, she
began to be very celebrated for her beauty and accomplishments, and
for the charming vivacity of her conversation and her demeanor. She
resided with her mother in different families in Lorraine and in other
parts of France, and was sometimes at the court of the Queen of
France, who was her near relative. All who knew her were charmed with
her. She was considered equally remarkable for her talents and for her
beauty. The arrangement which had been made in her childhood for
marrying her to the Count of St. Pol was broken off, but several other
offers were made to her mother for her hand, though none of them was
accepted. Isabella was very proud of her daughter, and she cherished
very lofty aspirations in respect to her future destiny. She was
therefore not at all inclined to be in haste in respect to making
arrangements for her marriage.

[Sidenote: State of things in England.]

[Sidenote: Henry's character.]

In the mean time, the feud between the uncles and relatives of King
Henry, in England, as related in a preceding chapter, had been going
on, and was now reaching a climax. The leaders of the two rival
parties were, as will be recollected, Henry Beaufort, Bishop of
Winchester, or Cardinal Beaufort, as he was more commonly called, who
had had the personal charge of the king during his minority, on one
side, and the Duke of Gloucester, Henry's uncle, who had been regent
of England during the same period, on the other. The king himself was
now about twenty-four years of age, and if he had been a man of vigor
and resolution, he might perhaps have controlled the angry disputants,
and by taking the government fully into his own hands, have forced
them to live together in peace under his paramount authority. But
Henry was a very timid and feeble-minded man. The turbulence and
impetuousness of his uncles and their partisans in their quarrel was
altogether too great for any control that he could hope to exercise
over them. Indeed, the great question with them was which should
contrive the means of exercising the greatest control over _him_.

[Sidenote: Plans of the courtiers.]

In order to accomplish this end, both parties began very early to plan
and manoeuvre with a view of choosing the king a wife. Whichever of
the two great leaders should succeed in negotiating the marriage of
the king, they knew well would, by that very act, establish his
influence at court in the most absolute manner.

[Sidenote: Princes and kings.]

[Sidenote: Their matrimonial plans.]

Princes and kings in those days, as, indeed, is the case to a
considerable extent now, had some peculiar difficulties to contend
with in making their matrimonial arrangements, so far at least as
concerned the indulgence of any personal preferences which they might
themselves entertain on the subject. Indeed, these arrangements were
generally made for them, while they were too young to have any voice
or to take any part in the question, and nothing was left for them but
to ratify and carry into effect, when they came to years of maturity,
what their parents, or grand councils of state, had determined for
them when they were children, or else to refuse to ratify and confirm
it at the cost of incurring a vast amount of difficulty and political
entanglement, and perhaps even open and formidable war.

[Sidenote: Embarrassments.]

[Sidenote: Difficulty of leaving the country.]

And even in those cases where the prince or king arrived at an age to
judge for himself before any arrangements were made for him, which was
the fact in regard to Henry VI., he was still very much embarrassed
and circumscribed in his choice if he attempted to select a wife for
himself. He could not visit foreign courts and see the princesses
there, so as to judge for himself who would best please him; for in
those days it was very unsafe for personages of any considerable rank
or position to visit foreign countries at all, except at the head of
an army, and in a military campaign. In the case, too, of any actually
reigning monarch, there was a special difficulty in the way of his
leaving his kingdom, on account of the feuds and quarrels which always
in such cases arose in making the necessary arrangements for the
government of the kingdom during his absence.

[Sidenote: Miniatures.]

[Sidenote: Situation of King Henry.]

For these and various other causes, a king or a prince desiring to
choose a wife was obliged to content himself with such information
relating to the several candidates as he could obtain from hearsay in
respect to their characters, and from miniatures and portraits in
respect to their personal attractions. This was especially the case
with King Henry VI. Each of the two great parties, that of Cardinal
Beaufort on one hand, and that of the Duke of Gloucester on the other,
were desirous of being the means of finding a bride for the king, and
both were eagerly looking in all directions, and plotting for the
accomplishment of this end, and any attempt of the king to leave the
kingdom for any purpose whatever would undoubtedly have brought these
parties at once to open war.

[Sidenote: Plan of the Duke of Gloucester.]

The Duke of Gloucester and those who acted with him fixed their eyes
upon three princesses of a certain great family, called the house of
Armagnac. Their plan was to open negotiations with this house, and to
obtain portraits of the three princesses, to be sent to England, in
order that Henry might take his choice of them. Commissioners were
appointed to manage the business. They were to open the negotiations
and obtain the portraits. The cardinal, of course, and his friends
were greatly interested in preventing the success of this plan,
though, of course, it was necessary for them to be discreet and
cautious in manifesting any open opposition to it in the then present
stage of the affair.

[Sidenote: The three princesses of Armagnac.]

[Sidenote: Their portraits.]

The king was very particular in the instructions which he gave to the
commissioners in respect to the portraits, with a view of securing, if
possible, perfectly correct and fair representations of the originals.
He wished that the princesses should not be flattered at all by the
artist in his delineation of them, and that they should not be dressed
at their sittings in any unusually elegant manner. On the contrary,
they were to be painted "in their kirtles simple, and their visages
like as ye see, and their stature, and their beauty, and the color of
their skin, and their countenances, just as they really are." The
artist was instructed, too, by the commissioners to be expeditious in
finishing the pictures and sending them to England, in order that the
king might see them as soon as possible, and make his choice between
the three young ladies whose "images" were to be thus laid before him.

[Sidenote: The plan fails.]

This plan for giving the king an opportunity to choose between the
three princesses of Armagnac, nicely arranged as it was in all its
details, failed of being carried successfully into effect; for the
father of these princesses, as it happened, was at this same time
engaged in some negotiations with the King of France in respect to the
marriage of his daughters, and he wished to keep the negotiations with
Henry in suspense until he had ascertained whether he could or could
not do better in that quarter. So he contrived means to interrupt and
retard the work of the artist, in order to delay for a time the
finishing of the pictures.

[Sidenote: In what way.]

[Sidenote: The cardinal's scheme.]

In the mean time, while the Duke of Gloucester and his party were thus
engaged in forwarding their scheme of inducing Henry to make choice of
one of these three princesses for his wife, the cardinal himself was
not idle. He had heard of the beautiful and accomplished Margaret of
Anjou, and after full inquiry and reflection, he determined in his own
mind to make her his candidate for the honor of being Queen of
England. The manner in which he contrived to introduce the subject
first to the notice of the king was this.

[Sidenote: Champchevrier.]

There was a certain man, named Champchevrier, who had been taken
prisoner in Anjou in the course of the wars between France and
England, and who was now held for ransom by the knight who had
captured him. He was not, however, kept in close confinement, but was
allowed to go at large in England on his parole--that is, on his word
of honor that he would not make his escape and go back to his native
land until his ransom was paid.

[Sidenote: Champchevrier at court.]

Now this Champchevrier, though a prisoner, was a gentleman by birth
and education; and while he remained in England, held by his parole,
was admitted to the best society there, and he often appeared at
court, and frequently held converse with the king. In one of these
interviews he described, in very glowing terms, the beauty and
remarkable intelligence of Margaret of Anjou. It is supposed that he
was induced to this by Cardinal Beaufort, who knew of his
acquaintance with Margaret, and who contrived the interviews between
Champchevrier and the king, in order to give the former an opportunity
to speak of the lady to his majesty incidentally, as it were, and in a
way not to excite the king's suspicions that the commendations of her
which he heard were prompted by any match-making schemes formed for
him by his courtiers.

[Sidenote: His conversations with the king.]

If this was the secret plan of the cardinal, it succeeded admirably
well. The king's curiosity was strongly awakened by the piquant
accounts that Champchevrier gave him of the brilliancy of young
Margaret's beauty, and of her charming vivacity and wit.

[Sidenote: The king wishes for a picture.]

"I should like very much to see a picture of the young lady," said the
king.

"I can easily obtain a picture of her for your majesty," replied
Champchevrier, "if your majesty will commission me to go to Lorraine
for the purpose."

Champchevrier considered that a commission from the king to go to
Lorraine on business for his majesty would be a sufficient release for
him from the obligations of his parole.

[Sidenote: Champchevrier's expedition.]

The king finally gave Champchevrier the required authority to leave
the kingdom. Champchevrier was not satisfied with a verbal permission
merely, but required the king to give him a regular safe-conduct,
drawn up in due form, and signed by the king's name. Having received
this document, Champchevrier left London and set out upon his journey,
the nature and object of the expedition being of course kept a
profound secret.

[Sidenote: The Earl of Suffolk.]

A certain nobleman, however, named the Earl of Suffolk, was admitted
to the confidence of the king in this affair, and was by him
associated with Champchevrier in the arrangements which were to be
made for carrying the plan into execution. It would seem that he
accompanied Champchevrier in his journey to Lorraine, where Margaret
was then residing with her mother, and there assisted him in making
arrangements for the painting of the picture. They employed one of the
first artists in France for this purpose. When the work was finished,
Champchevrier set out with it on his return to England.

[Sidenote: Champchevrier in danger.]

In the mean time, the English knight whose prisoner Champchevrier was,
heard in some way that his captive had left England, and had returned
to France, and the intelligence made him exceedingly angry. He thought
that Champchevrier had broken his parole and had gone home without
paying his ransom. Such an act as this was regarded as extremely
dishonorable in those days, and it was, moreover, not only considered
dishonorable in a prisoner himself to break his parole, but also in
any one else to aid or abet him in so doing, or to harbor or protect
him after his escape. The knight determined, therefore, that he would
at once communicate with the King of France on the subject, explaining
the circumstances, and asking him to rearrest the supposed fugitive
and send him back.

[Sidenote: Gloucester writes to the King of France.]

So he went to the Duke of Gloucester, and, stating the case to him,
asked his grace to write to the King of France, informing him that
Champchevrier had escaped from his parole, and asking him not to give
him refuge, but to seize and send him back. Gloucester was very
willing to do this. It is probable that he knew that Champchevrier was
a friend of the cardinal's, or at least that he was attached to his
interests, and that it was altogether probable that his going into
France was connected with some plot or scheme by which the cardinal
and his party were to derive some advantage. So he wrote the letter,
and it was at once sent to the King of France. The King of France at
this time was Charles VII.

[Sidenote: Champchevrier arrested.]

The king, on receiving the letter, gave orders immediately that
Champchevrier should be arrested. By this time, however, the painting
was finished, and Champchevrier was on the way with it from Lorraine
toward England. He was intercepted on his journey, taken to Vincennes,
and there brought before King Charles, and called upon to give an
account of himself.

[Sidenote: The whole story comes out.]

Of course he was now obliged to tell the whole story. He said that he
had not broken his parole at all, nor intended in any manner to
defraud his captor in England of the ransom money that was due to him,
but had come to France _by the orders of the King of England_. He
explained, too, what he had come for, and showed Charles the painting
which he was carrying back to the king. He also, in proof of the truth
of what he said, produced the safe-conduct which King Henry had given
him.

King Charles laughed very heartily at hearing this explanation, and at
perceiving how neatly he had discovered the secret of King Henry's
love affairs. He was much pleased, too, with the idea of King Henry's
taking a fancy to a lady so nearly related to the royal family of
France. He thought that he might make the negotiation of such a
marriage the occasion for making peace with England on favorable
terms. So he dismissed Champchevrier at once, and recommended to him
to proceed to England as soon as possible, and there to do all in his
power to induce King Henry to choose Margaret for his queen.

[Sidenote: Trouble in court.]

Champchevrier accordingly returned to England and reported the result
of his mission. The king was very much pleased with the painting, and
he immediately determined to send Champchevrier again to Lorraine on a
secret mission to Margaret's mother. He first, however, determined to
release Champchevrier entirely from his parole, and so he paid the
ransom himself for which he had been held. The Duke of Gloucester
watched all these proceedings with a very jealous eye. When he found
that Champchevrier, on his return to England, came at once to the
king's court, and that there he held frequent conferences, which were
full of mystery, with the king and with the cardinal, and when,
moreover, he learned that the king had paid the ransom money due to
the knight, and that Champchevrier was to be sent away again, he at
once suspected what was going on, and the whole court was soon in a
great ferment of excitement in respect to the proposed marriage of the
king to Margaret of Anjou.

[Sidenote: Gloucester's opposition.]

[Sidenote: Margaret gains the day.]

[Sidenote: Truce proposed.]

The Duke of Gloucester and his party were, of course, strongly opposed
to Margaret of Anjou; for they knew well that, as she had been brought
to the king's notice by the other party, her becoming Queen of England
would well-nigh destroy their hopes and expectations for all time to
come. The other party acted as decidedly and vigorously in favor of
the marriage. There followed a long contest, in which there was
plotting and counterplotting on one side and on the other, and
manoeuvres without end. At last the friends of the beautiful little
Margaret carried the day; and in the year 1444 commissioners were
formally appointed by the governments of England and France to meet at
the city of Tours at a specified day, to negotiate a truce between the
two countries preparatory to a permanent peace, the basis and cement
of which was to be the marriage of King Henry with Margaret of Anjou.
The truce was made for two years, so as to allow full time to arrange
all the details both for a peace between the two countries, and also
in respect to the terms and conditions of the marriage.

[Sidenote: Opposition in England.]

As soon as the news that this truce was made arrived in England, it
produced great excitement. The Duke of Gloucester and those who were,
with him, interested to prevent the accomplishment of the marriage,
formed a powerful political party to oppose it. They did not, however,
openly object to the marriage itself, thinking that not politic, but
directed their hostility chiefly against the plan of making peace with
France just at the time, they said, when the glory of the English arms
and the progress of the English power in that country were at their
height. It was very discreditable to the advisers of the king, they
said, that they should counsel him to stop short in the career of
conquest which his armies were pursuing, and thus sacrifice the grand
advantages for the realm of England which were just within reach.

[Sidenote: Violent discussions.]

[Sidenote: Suffolk is alarmed.]

The discussions and dissensions which arose in the court and in
Parliament on this subject were very violent; but in the end Cardinal
Beaufort and his party were successful, and the king appointed the
Earl of Suffolk embassador extraordinary to the court of France to
negotiate the terms and conditions of the permanent peace which was to
be made between the two countries, and also of the marriage of the
king. At first Suffolk was very unwilling to undertake this embassy.
He feared that, in order to carry out the king's wishes, he should be
obliged to make such important concessions to France that, at some
future time, when perhaps the party of the Duke of Gloucester should
come into power, he might be held responsible for the measure, and be
tried and condemned, perhaps, for high treason, in having been the
means of sacrificing the interests and honor of the kingdom by
advising and negotiating a dishonorable peace. These fears of his were
probably increased by the intensity of the excitement which he
perceived in the Gloucester party, and perhaps, also, by open threats
and demonstrations which they may have uttered for the express purpose
of intimidating him.

[Sidenote: His safe-conduct.]

At any rate, after receiving the appointment, his courage failed him,
and he begged the king to excuse him from performing so dangerous a
commission. The king was, however, very unwilling to do so. Finally,
it was agreed that the king should give the earl his written order,
executed in due and solemn form, and signed with the great seal,
commanding him, on the royal authority, to undertake the embassage.
Suffolk relied on this document as his means of defense from all legal
responsibility for his action in case his enemies should at any future
time have it in their power to bring him to trial for it.

[Sidenote: Various difficulties and objections.]

In negotiating the peace, and in arranging the terms and conditions
of the marriage, a great many difficulties were found to be in the
way, but they were all at last overcome. One of these difficulties was
made by King René, the father of Margaret. He declared that he could
not consent to give his daughter in marriage to the King of England
unless the king would first restore to him and to his family the
province of Anjou, which had been the possession of his ancestors, but
which King Henry's armies had overrun and conquered. The Earl of
Suffolk was very unwilling to cede back this territory, for he knew
very well that nothing would be so unpopular in England, or so likely
to increase the hostility of the English people to the proposed
marriage, and consequently to give new life and vigor to the
Gloucester party in their opposition to it, as the giving up again of
territory which the English troops had won by so many hard-fought
battles and the sacrifice of so many lives. But René was inflexible,
and Suffolk finally yielded, and so Anjou was restored to its former
possessors.

[Sidenote: The king asks no dowry.]

Another objection which René made was that his fortune was not
sufficient to enable him to endow his daughter properly for so
splendid a marriage; not having the means, he said, of sending her in
a suitable manner into England.

But this the King of England said should make no difference. All that
he asked was the hand of the princess without any dowry. Her personal
charms and mental endowments were sufficient to outweigh all the
riches in the world; and if her royal father and mother would grant
her to King Henry as his bride, he would not ask to receive with her
"either penny or farthing."

[Sidenote: The king has a rival.]

[Sidenote: Margaret's wishes.]

King Henry was made all the more eager to close the negotiations for
the marriage as soon as possible, and to consent to almost any terms
which the King of France and René might exact, from the fact that
there was a young prince of the house of Burgundy--a very brave,
handsome, and accomplished man--who was also a suitor for Margaret's
hand, and was very devotedly attached to her. This young prince was in
France at this time, and ready, at any moment, to take advantage of
any difficulty which might arise in the negotiations with Henry to
press his claims, and, perhaps, to carry off the prize. Which of the
two candidates Margaret herself would have preferred there is no means
of knowing. She was yet only about fifteen years of age, and was
completely in the power and at the disposal of her father and mother.
And then the political and family interests which were at stake in
the decision of the question were too vast to allow of the personal
preferences of the young girl herself being taken much into the
account.

[Sidenote: The affair finally settled.]

At last every thing was arranged, and Suffolk returned to England,
bringing with him the treaty of peace and the contract of marriage, to
be ratified by the king's council and by Parliament. A new contest now
ensued between the Gloucester and Beaufort parties. The king, of
course, threw all his influence on the cardinal's side, and so the
treaty and the contract carried the day. Both were ratified. The Earl
of Suffolk, as a reward for his services, was made a marquis, and he
was appointed the king's proxy to proceed to France and espouse the
bride in the king's name, according to the usual custom in the case of
royal marriages.



CHAPTER VI.

THE WEDDING.


[Sidenote: Preparations for the wedding.]

[Sidenote: Excitement.]

Preparations were now immediately made for solemnizing the marriage
and bringing the young queen at once to England. The marriage ceremony
by which a foreign princess was united to a reigning prince, according
to the custom of those times, was twofold, or, rather, there were two
distinct ceremonies to be performed, in one of which the bride, at her
father's own court, was united to her future husband by proxy, and in
the second the nuptials were celebrated anew with her husband himself
in person, after her arrival in his kingdom. Suffolk, as was stated in
the last chapter, was appointed to act as the king's proxy in this
case, for the performance of the first of these ceremonies. He was to
proceed to France, espouse the bride in the king's name, and convey
her to England. Of course a universal excitement now spread itself
among all the nobility and among all the ladies of the court, which
was awakened by the interest which all took in the approaching
wedding, and the desire they felt to accompany the expedition.

[Sidenote: Dresses.]

[Sidenote: Company.]

A great many of the lords and ladies began to make preparations to
join Lord and Lady Suffolk. Nothing was talked of but dresses,
equipments, presents, invitations, and every body was occupied in the
collecting and packing of stores and baggage for a long journey. At
length the appointed time arrived, and the expedition set out, and,
after a journey of many days, the several parties which composed it
arrived at Nancy, the capital city of Lorraine, where the ceremony was
to be performed.

[Sidenote: King and Queen of France.]

At about the same time, the King and Queen of France, accompanied by a
great concourse of nobles and gentlemen from the French court, who
were to honor the wedding with their presence, arrived. A great many
other knights and ladies, too, from the provinces and castles of the
surrounding country, were seen coming in gay and splendid cavalcades
to the town, when the appointed day drew nigh, eager to witness the
ceremony, and to join in the magnificent festivities which they well
knew would be arranged to commemorate and honor the occasion. In a
word, the whole town became one brilliant scene of gayety, life, and
excitement.

[Sidenote: The marriage ceremony is performed.]

[Sidenote: The bride's household.]

The marriage ceremony was performed in the church, with great pomp
and parade, and in the midst of a vast concourse of people, composed
of the highest nobility of Europe, both lords and ladies, and all
dressed in the most magnificent and distinguished costumes. No
spectacle could possibly be more splendid and gay. At the close of the
ceremony, the bride was placed solemnly in charge of Lady Suffolk, who
was to be responsible for her safety and welfare until she should
arrive in England, and there be delivered into the hands of her
husband. Lady Suffolk was a cousin of Cardinal Beaufort, and she
undoubtedly received this very exalted appointment through his favor.
The appointment brought with it a great deal of patronage and
influence, for a regular and extended household was now to be
organized for the service of the new queen, and of course, among all
the lords and ladies who had come from England, there was a very eager
competition to obtain places in it. There are enumerated among those
who were appointed to posts of service or honor in attendance on the
queen, under the Marchioness of Suffolk, five barons and baronesses,
seventeen knights, sixty-five squires, and no less than one hundred
and seventy-four valets, besides many other servitors, all under pay.
Then, in addition to these, so great was the eagerness to occupy some
recognized station in the train of the bride, that great numbers
applied for appointments to nominal offices for which they were to
receive no pay.

[Sidenote: The express.]

If René, Margaret's father, had been possessed of a fortune
corresponding to his rank, the expense of all these arrangements, at
least up to the time of the departure of the bridal party, would, have
been defrayed by him; but as it was, every thing was paid for by King
Henry, and the precise amount of every expenditure stands recorded in
certain old books of accounts which still remain among the ancient
English archives.

[Sidenote: Tournament.]

[Sidenote: The victors in the games.]

The nuptials of the princess were celebrated by a tournament and other
accompanying festivities, which were continued for eight days. In
these tournaments a great many mock combats were fought, in which the
most exalted personages present on the occasion took conspicuous and
prominent parts. The King of France himself appeared in the lists, and
fought with René, the father of the bride. The king was beaten. It
would have been impolite for any one to have vanquished the father of
the bride at a tournament held in honor of the daughter's nuptials.
The Count St. Pol, too, who had formerly been betrothed to Margaret,
but had not been allowed to marry her, fought very successfully, and
won a valuable prize, which was conferred upon him with great ceremony
by the hands of the two most distinguished ladies present, namely, the
Queen of France and Isabella of Lorraine, the bride's mother. Perhaps
he too was politely allowed to win his victory and his honorary prize,
in consideration of his submitting so quietly to the loss of the real
prize which his great competitor, the King of England, was so
triumphantly bearing away from him.

[Sidenote: Romantic incident.]

[Sidenote: Grand elopement.]

[Sidenote: The parents finally appeased.]

The celebrations of the eight days were interrupted and enlivened by
one remarkable incident, which for a time threatened to produce very
serious difficulty. It will be remembered that when the original
contract and treaty were made between René and the uncle of Isabella,
Antoine of Vaudemonte, at the time when peace was re-established
between them, after the battle in which René was taken prisoner, that
not only was it agreed that Margaret should be betrothed to the Count
St. Pol, but also that Yolante, Margaret's elder sister, was betrothed
to Antoine's son Ferry, as he was called.[3] Now Ferry seemed not
disposed to submit quietly, as St. Pol had done, to the loss of his
bride, and as he had never thus far been able to induce René and
Isabella to fulfill their agreement by consenting to the consummation
of the marriage, he determined now to take the matter into his own
hands. So he formed the scheme of an elopement. His plan was to take
advantage of the excitement and confusion attendant on the tournament
for carrying off his bride. He organized a band of adventurous young
knights who were willing to aid him in his enterprise, and, laying his
plans secretly and carefully, he, assisted by his comrades, seized the
young lady and galloped away with her to a place of safety, intending
to keep her there in his own custody until King René and her mother
should consent to her immediate marriage. King René, when he first
heard of his daughter's abduction, was very angry, and declared that
he would never forgive either Ferry or Yolante. But the King and Queen
of France interceded for the lovers, and René at last relented. Ferry
and Yolante were married, and all parties were made friends again,
after which the celebrations and festivities were renewed with greater
spirit and ardor than before.

         [Footnote 3: The name was a contraction of Frederick.]

[Sidenote: Margaret takes leave of her friends.]

At length the time for the conclusion of the public rejoicings at
Nancy, and for the commencement of Margaret's journey to England,
arrived. Thus far, though nominally under the care and keeping of Lord
and Lady Suffolk, Margaret had of course been really most intimately
associated with her own family and friends; but now the time had come
when she was to take a final leave of her father and mother, and of
all whom she had known and loved from infancy, and be put really and
fully into the trust and keeping of strangers, to be taken by them to
a distant and foreign land. The parting was very painful. It seems
that Margaret's beauty and the charming vivacity of her manners had
made her universally beloved, and the hearts not only of her father
and mother, but of the whole circle of those who had known her, were
filled with grief at the thought of parting with her forever.

[Sidenote: Setting out of the procession.]

The King and Queen of France, who seem to have loved their niece with
sincere affection, determined to accompany her for a short distance,
as she set out on her journey from Nancy. Of course, many of the
courtiers went too. These together with the great number of English
nobles and gentry that were attached to the service of the bride, made
so large a company, and the dresses, caparisons, and trappings which
were exhibited on the occasion were so splendid and fine, that the
cavalcade, as it set out from the city of Nancy on the morning when
the journey was to commence, formed one of the gayest and grandest
bridal processions that the world has ever seen.

[Sidenote: Parting with the King and Queen of France.]

After proceeding for five or six miles the procession came to a halt,
in order that the King and Queen of France might take their leave. The
parting filled the hearts of their majesties with grief. The king
clasped Margaret again and again in his arms when he bade her
farewell, and told her that in placing her, as he had done, upon one
of the greatest thrones in Europe, it seemed to him, after all, that
he had really done nothing for her, "for even such a throne is
scarcely worthy of you, my darling child," said he. In saying this his
eyes filled with tears. The queen was so overwhelmed with emotion that
she could not speak; but, kissing Margaret again and again amid her
sobbings and tears, she finally turned from her and was borne away.

[Sidenote: Margaret's parents.]

Margaret's father and mother did not take their leave of her at this
place, but went on with her two days' journey, as far as to the town
of Bar le Duc, which was near the frontiers of Lorraine. Here they,
too, at last took their leave, though their hearts were so full, when
the moment of final parting came, that they could not speak, but bade
their child farewell with tears and caresses, unaccompanied with any
words whatever of farewell.

[Sidenote: The bride's new friends.]

Still Margaret was not left entirely alone among strangers when her
father and mother left her. One of her brothers, and some other
friends, were to accompany her to England. She had, moreover, by this
time become well acquainted with the Marquis and Marchioness of
Suffolk, under whose charge and protection she was now traveling, and
she had become strongly attached to them. They were both considerably
advanced in life, and were grave and quiet in their demeanor, but they
were very kind and attentive to Margaret in every respect, and they
made every effort in their power to console the grief that she felt at
parting with her parents and friends, and leaving her native land, and
they endeavored in every way to make the journey as comfortable and as
agreeable as possible to her.

[Sidenote: The vessel.]

[Sidenote: Causes of delay.]

During all this time a vessel, which had been dispatched from England
for the purpose, was waiting at a certain port on the northern coast
of France called Kiddelaws, ready to take the queen and her bridal
train across the Channel. The distance from Nancy to this port was
very considerable, and the means and facilities for traveling enjoyed
in those days were so imperfect that a great deal of time was
necessarily employed on the journey. Besides this, a long delay was
occasioned by the want of funds. King Henry had himself agreed to
defray all the expenses of the marriage, and also of the progress of
the bridal party through France to England. These expenses were
necessarily great, and it happened at this time that the king was in
very straitened circumstances in respect to funds. He was greatly
embarrassed, too, in the efforts which he made to procure money, by
the difficulties which were thrown in his way by the party of the Duke
of Gloucester, who resisted by every means in their power all action
of Parliament tending to furnish the king's treasury with money, and
thus promote the final accomplishment of the marriage.

[Sidenote: Henry's want of money.]

In consequence of all these difficulties and delays, it was nearly
three months from the time when the bridal ceremony was performed at
Nancy before Margaret was ready to embark for England in the vessel
that awaited her at Kiddelaws.

[Sidenote: Expenses to be incurred in England.]

It was not merely for the expenses of the journey through France of
Margaret and her train that Henry had to provide. On her arrival in
England there was to be a grand reception, which would require many
costly equipages, and the giving of many entertainments. Then,
moreover, the marriage ceremony was to be performed anew, and in a far
more pompous and imposing manner than before, and after the marriage a
coronation, with all the attendant festivities and celebrations. All
these things involved great expense, and Margaret could not come into
the kingdom until the preparations were made for the whole. To such
straits was the king reduced in his efforts to raise the money which
he deemed necessary for the proper reception of his bride, that he was
obliged to pledge a large portion of the crown jewels, and also of the
family plate and other personal property of that kind. A considerable
part of the property so pledged was never redeemed.

[Sidenote: Passage across the Channel.]

[Sidenote: Rough weather.]

At length, however, things were so far in readiness that orders
arrived for the sailing of the expedition. The party accordingly
embarked, and the vessel sailed. They crossed the Channel, and entered
Portsmouth harbor, and finally landed at the town of Porchester, which
is situated at the head of the harbor. The voyage was not very
agreeable. The vessel was small, and the Channel in this place is
wide, and Margaret was so sick during the passage, and became so
entirely exhausted, that when the vessel reached the port she could
not stand, and Suffolk carried her to the shore in his arms.

[Sidenote: Margaret's reception.]

The boisterous weather which had attended the party during their
voyage increased till it ended in a dreadful storm of thunder,
lightning, and rain, which burst over the town of Porchester just at
the time while the party were landing. The people, however, paid no
attention to the storm and rain, but flocked in crowds into the
streets where the bride was to pass, and strewed rushes along the way
to make a carpet for her. They also filled the air with joyful
acclamations as the procession passed along. In this way the royal
bride was conveyed through the town to a convent in the vicinity,
where she was to rest for the first night, and prepare for continuing
her journey to London.

[Sidenote: Passage to Southampton.]

The next day, the weather having become settled and fair, it was
arranged that Margaret and her party should be conveyed from
Porchester to Southampton along the shore in barges. The water of this
passage is smooth, being sheltered every where by the land. The barges
first moved down Portsmouth harbor, then out into what is called the
Solent Sea, which is a narrow, sheltered, and beautiful sheet of
water, lying between the Isle of Wight and the main land, and thence,
entering Southampton Water, they passed up, a distance of eight or ten
miles, to the town.[4]

         [Footnote 4: See Frontispiece.]

[Sidenote: The queen takes lodgings in a convent.]

On the arrival of the queen at Southampton, she was conveyed again to
a convent in the vicinity of the town, for this was before the days of
hotels. Here she was met by persons sent from the king to assist her
in respect to her farther preparations for appearing at his court.
Among other measures that were adopted, one was the sending a special
messenger to London to bring an English dressmaker to Southampton, in
order that suitable dresses might be prepared for the bride, to enable
her to appear properly in the presence of the English ladies at the
approaching ceremonies.

[Sidenote: The king.]

[Sidenote: Lichfield Abbey.]

[Sidenote: Margaret is seriously sick.]

In the mean time, King Henry, whom the rules of royal etiquette did
not allow to join the queen until the time should arrive for the
performance of the second part of the nuptial ceremony, came down from
London, and took up his abode at a place ten or twelve miles distant,
called Southwick, where he had a palace and a park. The nuptials were
to be celebrated at a certain abbey called Lichfield Abbey, which was
situated about midway between Southampton, where the queen was
lodged, and Southwick, the place of waiting for the king. The king had
expected that every thing would be ready in a few days, but he was
destined to encounter a new delay. Margaret had scarcely arrived in
Southampton when she was attacked by an eruptive fever of some sort,
resembling small-pox, which threw all her friends into a state of
great alarm concerning her. The disease, however, proved less serious
than was at first apprehended, and after a week or two the danger
seemed to be over.

During all the time while his bride was thus sick Henry remained in
great suspense and anxiety at Southwick, being forbidden, by the rigid
rules of royal etiquette, to see her.

[Sidenote: Recovery.]

At length Margaret recovered, and the day was appointed for the final
celebration of the nuptials. When the time arrived, Margaret was
conveyed in great state, and at the head of a splendid cavalcade, to
the abbey, and there the marriage ceremony was again performed in the
presence of a great concourse of lords and ladies that had come from
London and Windsor, or from their various castles in the country
around, to be present on the occasion.

[Illustration: Suffolk Presenting Margaret to the King.]

[Sidenote: 1445.]

[Sidenote: The final ceremony.]

This final ceremony was performed in April, 1445. Of course, as
Margaret was born in March, 1429, she was at this time sixteen
years and one month old.

[Sidenote: Strange bridal present.]

Among other curious incidents which are recorded in connection with
this wedding, there is an account of Margaret's receiving, as a
present on the occasion--for a pet, as it were, just as at the present
day a young bride might receive a gift of a spaniel or a
canary-bird--a lion. It was very common in those times for the wealthy
nobles to keep such animals as these at their castles. They were
confined in dens constructed for them near the castle walls. The kings
of England, however, kept their lions, when they had any, in the Tower
of London, and the practice thus established of keeping wild beasts in
the Tower was continued down to a very late period; so that I remember
of often reading, when I was a boy, in English story-books, accounts
of children, when they went to London, being taken by their parents to
see the "lions in the Tower."

[Sidenote: The lion sent to the Tower.]

Margaret sent her lion to the Tower. In the book of expenses which was
kept for this famous bridal progress, there is an account of the sum
of money paid to two men for taking care of this lion, feeding him and
conveying him to London. The amount was £2 5_s._ 3_d._, which is equal
to about ten or twelve dollars of our money. This seems very little
for such a service, but it must be remembered that the value of money
was much greater in those times than it is now.

[Sidenote: Margaret continues her journey toward London.]

[Sidenote: Rejoicings.]

Immediately after the marriage ceremony was completed, the
preparations for the journey having been all made beforehand, the king
and queen set out together for London, and it soon began to appear
that this part of the journey was to be more splendid and gay than any
other. The people of the country, who had heard marvelous stories of
the youth and beauty and the early family misfortunes of the queen,
flocked in crowds along the roadsides to get a glimpse of her as she
passed, and to gaze on the grand train of knights and nobles that
accompanied her, and to admire the magnificence of the dresses and
decorations which were so profusely displayed. Every body came wearing
a daisy in his cap or in his buttonhole, for the daisy was the flower
which Margaret had chosen for her emblem. At every town through which
the bride passed she was met by immense crowds that thronged all the
accessible places, and filled the windows, and in some places covered
the roofs of the houses and the tops of the walls, and welcomed her
with the sound of trumpets, the waving of banners, and with prolonged
shouts and acclamations.

[Sidenote: The Duke of Gloucester.]

[Sidenote: His plans.]

[Sidenote: His invitation to the queen.]

In the mean time, the Duke of Gloucester, who, with his party, had
done every thing in his power to oppose the marriage, now, finding
that it was an accomplished fact, and that all farther opposition
would not only be useless, but would only tend to hasten and complete
his own utter downfall, concluded to change his course, and join
heartily himself in the general welcome which was given to the bride.
His plan was to persuade the queen that the opposition which he had
made to King Henry's measures was directed only against the peace
which had been made with France, and which he had opposed for
political considerations alone, but that, so far as the marriage with
Margaret was concerned, he approved it. So he prepared to outdo, if
possible, all the rest of the nobility in the magnificence of the
welcome which he was to give her on her arrival in London. He
possessed a palace at Greenwich, on the Thames, a short distance below
London, and he sent an invitation to Margaret to come there on the
last day of her journey, in order to rest and refresh herself a little
preparatory to the excitement and fatigue of entering London. Margaret
accepted this invitation, and when the bridal procession began to
draw nigh, Gloucester came forth to meet her at the head of a band of
five hundred of his own retainers, all dressed in his uniform, and
wearing the badge of his personal service. This great parade was
intended partly to do honor to the bride, and partly to impress her
with a proper sense of his own rank and importance as one of the
nobles of England, and of the danger that she would incur in making
him her enemy.

[Sidenote: Great preparations in London.]

[Sidenote: Curious exhibitions.]

[Sidenote: Justice and peace.]

Very splendid preparations were made in the city of London to do honor
to the royal bride in her passage through the city. It was the custom
in those times to exhibit in the streets, on great public days,
tableaux, and emblematic or dramatic representations of certain truths
or moral sentiments appropriate to the occasion, and sometimes of
passages of Scripture history. A great many of these exhibitions were
arranged by the citizens of London, to be seen by the bride and the
bridal procession as they passed through the streets. Some of these
were very quaint and queer, and would only be laughed at at the
present day. For instance, in one place was an arrangement of two
figures, one dressed to represent justice, and the other peace; and
these figures were made movable and fitted with strings, so that, at
the proper moment, when the queen was passing, they could be made to
come together and apparently kiss each other. This was intended as an
expression of the text, justice and peace have kissed each other,
which was considered as an appropriate text to characterize and
commemorate the peace between England and France which this marriage
had sealed. In another place there was an emblematical pageant
representing peace and plenty. There were also, at other places,
representations of Noah's ark, of the parable of the wise and foolish
virgins, of the heavenly Jerusalem, and even one of the general
resurrection and judgment day.

[Sidenote: The queen passes through London.]

On the morning of the day appointed for the queen's entry into London,
the pageants having all been prepared and set up in their places, a
grand procession of the mayor and aldermen, and other dignitaries, was
formed, and proceeded down the river toward Greenwich, in order to
meet the queen and escort her through the city. These civic officers
were all mounted on horseback, and dressed in their gay official
costumes. The chiefs were dressed in scarlet, and the body of their
followers, arranged in bands according to their respective trades,
wore blue gowns, with embroidered sleeves and red hoods. In this way
the royal procession was escorted over London Bridge, and through the
principal streets of the city to Westminster, where the bride was at
length safely received in the palace of her husband.

[Sidenote: The coronation.]

[Sidenote: The queen left to repose.]

This was on the 28th of May. Two days afterward Margaret was crowned
queen in Westminster with great parade and ceremony. The coronation
was followed by a grand tournament of three days' duration,
accompanied with banquets and other festivities usual on such
occasions, and then at length the bride had the satisfaction of
feeling that the long-protracted ceremony was over, and that she was
now to be left to repose.



CHAPTER VII.

RECEPTION IN ENGLAND.


[Sidenote: Duke of Gloucester.]

Notwithstanding the grand reception which the Duke of Gloucester gave
to Margaret on her arrival in England, she knew very well that he had
always been opposed to her marriage, and had not failed to do all in
his power to prevent it. She accordingly considered him as her enemy;
and though she endeavored at first, at least, to treat him with
outward politeness, she felt a secret resentment against him in heart,
and would have been very glad to have joined his political enemies in
effecting his overthrow.

[Sidenote: The cardinal.]

[Sidenote: Margaret's affection for Lord and Lady Suffolk.]

[Sidenote: Quarrel.]

Cardinal Beaufort and the Earl of Suffolk, as has already been said,
were Gloucester's rivals and enemies. The cardinal was a venerable
man, now quite advanced in years. He was, however, extremely
ambitious. He was immensely wealthy, and his wealth gave him great
influence. He had, moreover, been the guardian of the king during his
minority, and in that capacity had acquired a great influence over his
mind. The Earl of Suffolk, who, with his lady, had been sent to
France to bring Margaret over, had inspired Margaret with a great
friendship for him. She felt a strong affection for him, and also for
Lady Suffolk, not only on account of their having acted so important a
part in promoting her marriage, but also on account of the very kind
and attentive manner in which they had treated her during the whole
period of her journey. Thus the cardinal and Suffolk, on the one hand,
had the advantage, in their quarrel with the Duke of Gloucester, of
great personal influence over the king and queen, while Gloucester
himself, on the other hand, enjoyed in some respects a still greater
advantage in his popularity with the mass of the people. Every body
perceived that the old quarrel between these great personages would
now, on the arrival of the queen in England, be prosecuted with more
violence than ever, and all the courtiers were anxious to find out
which was likely to be the victor, so that, at the end of the battle,
they might be found on the winning side.

[Sidenote: Margaret is left to herself.]

As soon as the coronation was over, the principal personages who had
been sent with Margaret by her father, for the purpose of accompanying
her on her journey, and seeing her properly and comfortably
established in her new home, were dismissed and allowed to set out on
their return. They all received presents in money from King Henry to
reimburse them for the expenses of the journey which they had made in
bringing him his bride.

[Illustration: Ancient Portrait of Queen Margaret.]

[Sidenote: Repair of the palaces.]

[Sidenote: The king's want of money.]

Margaret was thus left to herself in the new station and new sphere of
duty to which she had been transferred. All the royal palaces had
been fitted up expressly for her reception. This was very necessary in
fact, for some years had elapsed since there had been a queen in
England, and all the royal residences had become very much out of
repair. Those were rude times, and even the palaces and castles that
were built for kings and queens were at best very comfortless
dwellings. But when, during a long minority, they were abandoned to
the rude tenants and rough usages to which at such times they were
sure to be devoted, they came, in the end, to be little better than so
many barracks for soldiery. It required a great deal of time, and no
little expense, to prepare the Tower and the palaces of Westminster
and Richmond for the reception of a young and beautiful queen, and of
the gay company of ladies that were to attend her. King Henry was so
destitute of money at this time that he found it extremely difficult
to provide the means of paying the workmen. There is still extant a
petition which the clerk of the works sent in to the king, praying him
to supply him with more money to pay the men, for the labor was so
poorly paid, and the wages were so much in arrears, that it was
extremely difficult for him to find men, he said, to go on with the
work.

[Sidenote: The queen attaches herself to Cardinal Beaufort.]

[Sidenote: Jealousy of Gloucester.]

The palaces were, however, at last made ready before Margaret came.
There were apartments for her in the Tower, and there were also three
other palaces in and near London, in either of which she could reside
at her pleasure. Besides this, the cardinal, who, as has already been
remarked, was possessed of immense wealth, owned, among his other
establishments, a beautiful mansion at Waltham Forest, a few miles
north of London. The cardinal set apart a state chamber in this house
for the exclusive use of the queen when she came to visit him, and
caused it to be fitted up and furnished in a magnificent manner for
her. The drapery of the bed was of cloth of gold from Damascus, and
the other furniture and fittings were to correspond. The queen used
often to go and visit the cardinal at this country seat. She soon
became very fond of him, and willing to be guided by his counsel in
almost every thing that she did. Indeed, the ascendency which the
cardinal thus exercised over Margaret greatly increased his power over
the king. The affairs of the court and of the government were directed
almost wholly by his counsels. The Duke of Gloucester and the nobles
of his party became more and more indignant and angry at this state of
things. The realm of England, they said, through the weakness and
imbecility of the king, had fallen into the hands of a priest and of a
woman--a French woman, too.

[Sidenote: Great mistakes often made.]

But there was nothing that they could do. Margaret was so young and so
beautiful that every body was captivated with her person and behavior,
and whatever she did was thought to be right. Indeed, the general
course which she pursued on her first arrival in England _was_ right
in an eminent degree. There have been many cases in which young
queens, in coming as Margaret did, away from their native land and
from all their early friends, to reign in a foreign court, have
brought with them from home personages of distinction to be their
favorites and friends in their new position. But when this is done,
jealousies and ill-will always sooner or later spring up between these
relatives and friends of the foreign bride and the old native advisers
of the king her husband. The result is, in the end, a king's party and
a queen's party at court, and perpetual quarrels and dissensions
ensue, in which at least the people of the country are sure to become
involved, from their natural jealousy of the foreign influence, as
they call it, introduced by the queen.

[Sidenote: Margaret's friends and counselors.]

[Sidenote: Her good sense.]

[Sidenote: Example for all young brides.]

Queen Margaret had the good sense to avoid this danger. All the
principal persons who came with her to England, for the purpose of
accompanying her on the journey, and of carrying back to her father
and friends in France authentic assurances of her having been
honorably received by her husband as his bride and queen, were
dismissed and sent home again immediately after the coronation, as we
have already seen. Margaret retained only certain domestic servants,
and perhaps some two or three private and personal friends. As for
counselors and advisers, she threw herself at once upon the ministers
and counselors of the king--the Cardinal Beaufort, who had been his
guardian from childhood, and the Earl of Suffolk, who was one of his
principal ministers, and had been sent by him, as his proxy and
representative, to negotiate the marriage and bring home the bride.
She made Lady Suffolk, too--the wife of the earl--her most intimate
female friend. She appointed her to the principal place of honor in
her household, and in other ways manifested great affection for her.
The good sense and discretion which she thus manifested--young as she
was, for she was not yet seventeen--in choosing for her confidential
friend a lady of the age and standing of Lady Suffolk, instead of
attempting to place in that position some foreign belle of her own
years, whom she had brought with her for the purpose from her native
land, as many young brides in her situation would have done, deserves
much commendation. In a word, Margaret, in becoming a wife, gave
herself up entirely to her husband. She made his friends her friends,
and his interests her interests, and thus transferred herself, wholly
and without reserve, to her new position; an example which all young
ladies whose marriage brings them into entirely new circumstances and
relations would do well to follow. Nothing is more dangerous than the
attempt in such cases to bring from the old home influences in any
form to be introduced with a view of sharing the control in the new.

[Sidenote: Opinions in England.]

In consequence of the discreet course of conduct that Margaret thus
pursued, and of the effect produced on the court by her beauty, her
vivacity, and her many polite accomplishments, public opinion--that
is, the opinion of the outside world, who knew nothing of her secret
designs or of her real character--turned very soon after her arrival
in England entirely in her favor. As has already been said, the
general sentiment of the nobles and of the people was strongly against
the match when it was first proposed. They opposed it, not because
they had any personal objection to Margaret herself, but because, in
order to prepare the way for it, it was necessary to make peace with
France, and in making peace, to grant certain concessions which they
thought would weaken the power of the English on the Continent, and,
at any rate, greatly interfere with the farther extension of their
power there. But when the people came to see and know the queen, they
all admired and loved her.

[Sidenote: Henry's character.]

[Sidenote: Margaret's character.]

As for the king, he was perfectly enchanted with his bride. He was
himself, as has already been said, of a very sedate and quiet turn of
mind; amiable and gentle in disposition; devout, fond of retirement,
and interested only in such occupations and pleasures as are
consistent with a life of tranquillity and repose. Margaret was as
different as possible from all this. Her brilliant personal charms,
her wit, her spirit, her general intellectual superiority, the
extraordinary courage for which she afterward became so celebrated,
and which began to show itself even at this early period, all combined
to awaken in Henry's mind a profound admiration for his wife, and gave
her a great and rapidly-increasing ascendency over him.

[Sidenote: Her popularity in England.]

The impression which Margaret made upon the people was equally
favorable. England, they thought, had never seen a queen more worthy
of the throne than Margaret of Anjou. Some one said of her that no
woman equaled her in beauty, and few men surpassed her in courage and
energy. It seemed as if she had been born in order to supply to her
royal husband the qualities which he required in order to become a
great king.



CHAPTER VIII.

THE STORY OF LADY NEVILLE.


[Sidenote: Intrigues.]

[Sidenote: A romantic story.]

In reading the history of the English monarchy in these early times,
you will often hear of the _court intrigues_ which mingled with, and
sometimes greatly complicated, the movement of public affairs.
Margaret of Anjou found herself, on her arrival in England, involved
in many such intrigues. Indeed, she was admirably qualified, by her
sagacity and quickness of apprehension, and by the great ascendency
which these and other qualities which she possessed gave her over the
minds of all about her, to take a very active and successful part in
the management of manoeuvrings of all sorts. The nature of these court
intrigues is very well illustrated by the narration which the most
celebrated of Margaret's biographers gives of one in which he says
that Margaret herself became involved while on her way from France to
England. The story seems much more like romance than like reality.
Indeed, it doubtless is a romance, but it nevertheless illustrates
well the manner in which the private passions and personal and family
quarrels of the great became involved with, and sometimes entirely
controlled, the most important events in the national history, and
therefore it will not be amiss to relate it.

[Sidenote: Lady Neville.]

[Sidenote: First interview.]

[Sidenote: Dauphiness.]

The first connection which Queen Margaret, as we are henceforth to
call her, had with the affair of Lady Neville, took place at
Abbeville, a town in France not very far from Calais, when the queen
was advancing toward the sea-coast on her way to England. While she
was at Abbeville, there suddenly appeared a young and beautiful lady
who asked an audience of Margaret, announcing herself simply as one of
the ladies who had been attached to the service of the dauphiness, who
was the wife of the oldest son of the king,[5] and who had recently
died. She was admitted. She remained in private conversation with
Margaret two hours, and when this mysterious interview was concluded
she was introduced to the other ladies of Margaret's court as Miss
Sanders, an English lady who had been attached to the court of the
dauphiness, but who now, since the death of her mistress, wished to
return to England in Margaret's train. Margaret informed the other
ladies that she had received her into her household, and gave
directions that she should be treated with the utmost consideration.

         [Footnote 5: See map. The oldest son of the King of France
         and the heir to the crown is styled the Dauphin. His rank and
         position corresponds with that of the Prince of Wales in
         England.]

[Sidenote: Curiosity of the ladies.]

[Sidenote: The stranger's reserve.]

The other ladies were very curious to solve the mystery of this case,
but they could not obtain any clew to it. The stranger was very
reserved, mingled very little with her new companions, and evinced a
constant desire to avoid observation. There was something, however, in
her beauty, and in the expression of deep and constant grief which her
countenance wore, which made her an object of great interest to all
the household of the queen, but they could not learn any particulars
of her history. The facts, however, were these.

[Sidenote: Her story.]

Her real name was Anne Neville. She was the daughter of Richard
Neville, Earl of Salisbury, one of the leading and most
highly-connected noblemen in England. When she was about fifteen years
old she was married to a relative of the family. The marriage,
however, proved a very unhappy one. Her husband was very jealous of
her. From her subsequent conduct it would seem probable that he might
have had good reason to be so. At any rate, he was extremely jealous;
and as he was of a harsh and cruel temper, he made his young wife
very miserable by the exactions and privations which he enforced upon
her, and by the violent invectives with which he continually assailed
her.

[Sidenote: Her unhappy marriage.]

The incessant anxiety and suffering which these troubles occasioned
soon began to prey upon the lady's health, and, at length, her father,
observing that she was growing pale and thin, began to inquire into
the cause. He soon learned what a dreadful life his daughter was
leading. Like most of the other great nobles of those days, he was a
man of violent character, and he immediately determined on rescuing
his daughter from her husband's power, for he considered her husband
as the party chiefly, if not wholly, to blame.

[Sidenote: Her marriage dissolved.]

[Sidenote: Pretext.]

[Sidenote: Her marriage annulled.]

He ascertained, or pretended to ascertain, that there had been some
informalities connected with the marriage. His daughter was distantly
related to her husband, and there were certain steps which it was
necessary to take in such cases to obtain a dispensation from the
Church, in order to render such marriage legal. These steps he now
alleged had not been properly taken, and he immediately instituted
proceedings to have the marriage annulled. Whether there was really
any sufficient ground for such annulling, or whether he obtained the
decree through influences which his high position enabled him to bring
to bear upon the court, I do not know. He, however, succeeded in his
purpose. The marriage was annulled, and his daughter returned home;
and, in order to obliterate as far as possible all traces of the
unhappy union into which she had been drawn, she dropped the name
which she had received from her husband and resumed again her own
maiden name.

[Sidenote: She becomes free.]

She now began soon to appear at court, where she almost immediately
attracted great attention. On account of the peculiar circumstances in
which she was placed, she enjoyed all the privileges of a widow,
combined with the attractiveness and the charms of a lovely girl.
Almost every body was ready to fall in love with her.

[Sidenote: Her admirers.]

Among her other admirers was the Duke of Somerset. He was a man of
high rank and of great accomplishments, but he was married, and he
could not, therefore, innocently make her the object of his love. He
was not, however, deterred by this consideration, and he soon
succeeded in making a strong impression upon Lady Neville's heart.
They soon contrived means of meeting each other in private,
resorting to all sorts of manoeuvres and inventions to aid them in
keeping their guilty attachment to each other from the knowledge of
those around them.

[Sidenote: The Duke of Gloucester.]

In the mean while, the Duke of Gloucester himself, who was now,
however, considerably advanced in life, lost his wife, she dying about
this time, and he almost immediately conceived the idea of making Lady
Neville her successor. He thought it not proper to say any thing to
Lady Neville herself on this subject until some little time should
have elapsed, but he spoke to her father, the Earl of Salisbury, who
readily approved of the plan. Gloucester was at this time prime
minister of England, and the lady whom he should choose for his wife
would be elevated by her marriage to the highest pinnacle of grandeur.
Of course, the importance and influence of her father also, and of all
the members of her family, would be greatly increased by so splendid
an alliance.

[Sidenote: Splendid prospect.]

So it was agreed that the match should be made, but the arrangement
was to be kept secret, not only from the public, but from the intended
bride herself, until a suitable time should have elapsed for the
widower to recover from the grief which the death of his former wife
was supposed to have occasioned him.

[Sidenote: Gloucester's declaration.]

At length, when the proper time for mourning had expired, Gloucester
made his declaration of love. Lady Neville listened to it, thinking
all the time what Somerset would say when she came to communicate the
news to him. She did communicate it to him on the first opportunity.

[Sidenote: Perplexity of Lady Neville.]

Great was the distress and the perplexity which the lovers felt while
consulting together and determining what was to be done in such an
emergency. They could not endure the thought of a separation. They
could not be married to each other, for Somerset was married already.
For Lady Neville to remain single all her life in order to be at
liberty to indulge a guilty passion was an idea not to be entertained.
They knew, too, that their present relations to each other could not
long be continued. A thousand circumstances might happen at any time
to interrupt or to terminate it, and it could not be long, in any
event, before it must come to an end. So it was agreed between them
that Lady Neville should accede to the great minister's proposal and
become his wife. In the mean time, until the period should arrive for
the consummation of the marriage, they were to renew and redouble
their intimacy with each other, taking, however, every possible
precaution to conceal their movements from the eyes of others.

So the duke's offer was accepted, and it was soon made known to all
the court that Lady Neville was his affianced bride.

[Sidenote: The duke becomes uneasy.]

Thus far Lady Neville had treated the duke with great reserve in her
accidental intercourse with him at the reunions of the court, but now,
since he was her accepted lover, he thought he might reasonably expect
a greater degree of cordiality in her demeanor toward him. But he
found no change. She continued as formal and reserved as ever.
Moreover, when he went to visit her, which he did sometimes several
times a day, she was very often not at home--much too often, he
thought. He went to the place where her domestics said she had gone in
such cases, but she was very seldom to be found. He soon came to the
conclusion that there was some strange mystery involved in the affair,
and he determined to adopt effectual measures for unraveling it.

[Sidenote: His spies.]

So he employed certain trusty persons who were in his service to watch
and see where Lady Neville went, and how she passed her time during
these unaccountable absences from home. For many days this watch was
continued, but no discoveries were made. The spies reported that they
could not keep upon the lady's track. In spite of their best exertions
she would contrive to elude them, and for several hours every day they
lost sight of her altogether. They saw enough, however, to satisfy
them that there was something wrong going on. What it was, however,
they could not discover, so shrewd and complete were the precautions
which Somerset and Lady Neville had taken to prevent detection.

[Sidenote: Discoveries.]

[Sidenote: The duke's perplexity.]

[Sidenote: His mode of reasoning.]

The Duke of Gloucester was for a time much perplexed to know what to
do, whether openly to quarrel with Lady Neville and refuse to
consummate the marriage, or to banish his suspicions and take her for
his wife. His love for her finally triumphed, and he resolved to
proceed with the marriage. He had no positive evidence against her, he
said to himself, and then, besides, even if there were some secret
attachment on her part, to account for these mysterious appearances,
she might, after all, when once married to him, make him a faithful
and affectionate wife. Some lingering remains of a former affection
must often necessarily dwell, he thought, in the heart of a bride,
even when truly and honestly giving herself to the one on whom her
choice is finally made. Especially is this true in cases where the
lady is young, accomplished, and lovely, while her husband can only
offer wealth or high position instead of youth and personal
attractions as a means of winning her favor.

[Sidenote: The decision.]

So it was decided that the marriage should take place, and the day for
the wedding was appointed.

[Sidenote: Clandestine meeting of the lovers.]

[Sidenote: Village on the Thames.]

When the time for the wedding drew nigh, and the lovers found that the
period of their enjoyments was drawing to a close, they determined on
having a farewell interview with each other on the day before the
wedding, and in order to be safe from interruption, it was arranged
that they should spend the day together in a village on the banks of
the Thames, at some little distance from London.

When the day came, Lady Neville left her home to repair to the place
of rendezvous. She was followed by Gloucester's spies. She was
received at the village by Somerset. Somerset was, however, so
disguised that the spies did not know and could not discover who he
was. They were satisfied, however, from his demeanor toward Lady
Neville, that he was her lover, and they at once reported the facts to
Gloucester in London.

[Sidenote: Plans for her return.]

Gloucester was of course in a great rage. He swore terrible vengeance
against both Lady Neville herself and her lover, whoever he might be.
He at once armed a troop of his followers and rode off at the head of
them, guided by one of the spies, to the village of rendezvous. It was
dark before he arrived there. Some peasants of whom he made inquiry
informed him that a lady answering to the description which he gave
them had gone on board the boat to return to London some time before.
Gloucester immediately turned, and made all haste back to London
again, in hopes to reach the landing before the boat should arrive,
with a full determination to kill both the lady herself and her
paramour the moment they should touch the shore.

[Sidenote: Gloucester mistaken.]

He was mistaken, however, in supposing that the paramour, whoever he
might be, was with the lady. Somerset, in the excess of his
precaution, had returned to London by land, leaving Lady Neville to
return by herself in the boat with the other passengers; for the boat
was a sort of packet which plied regularly between the village and
London. He, however, had stationed trusty persons not far from the
landing in London, who were to receive Lady Neville on her arrival and
convey her home.

[Sidenote: The boat arrives.]

Gloucester arrived at the landing before the boat reached the shore.
It was, however, now so dark that he despaired of being able to
recognize the persons he was in pursuit of, especially under the
disguise which he did not doubt that they would wear. So, in the
recklessness of his rage, he resolved to kill every body in the boat,
and thus to make sure of his revenge.

[Sidenote: Assault upon the boat.]

Accordingly, the moment that the boat touched the shore, he and his
followers rushed on board, and a dreadful scene of consternation and
terror ensued. Gloucester himself made his way directly toward the
figure of a lady, whose air, and manner, and style of dress indicated,
so far as he could discern them in the darkness, that she was probably
the object of his fury. He plunged his dagger into her breast. She, in
an agony of terror, leaped into the river. She was buoyed up by her
dress, and floated down the stream.

[Sidenote: Boatmen murdered.]

In the mean time, the work of murder on board the boat went on. The
duke and his men continued stabbing and striking down all around them,
until the passengers and the boatmen were every one killed. The bodies
were then all thrown into the river, stones having been previously
tied to them to make them sink.

[Sidenote: Cries.]

The people in the houses of the neighborhood, on the banks of the
river, heard the cries, and raised their heads a moment from their
pillows, or paused as they were walking along the silent streets to
listen. But the cries were soon suppressed, for the massacre was the
work of a few moments only, and such sounds were far too common in
those days in the streets of London, and especially on the river, to
attract much regard.

[Sidenote: The boat sunk.]

The boat was of course covered with blood. The duke ordered his men to
take it out into the middle of the river and sink it, that being the
easiest and the quickest way of covering up all traces and proofs of
the crime.

[Sidenote: Gloucester.]

The writer who relates this story says that Gloucester's reason for
wishing to have his agency in this transaction concealed was not that
he feared any punishment, for the laws in those days were wholly
powerless to punish deeds of violence like this, committed by men of
Gloucester's rank and station. He only thought that if it were known
that he had murdered in this way so many innocent people, in order
merely to make sure of killing an object of his own private jealousy
and hate, it would injure his popularity!

[Sidenote: Escape of Lady Neville.]

In the mean time, Lady Neville, for it was really Lady Neville whom
Gloucester had stabbed, and who had leaped into the river, floated
on down the stream, borne up by her dress, which was made, according
to the fashion of the times, in a manner to give it great buoyancy in
the water, by means of the hoops with which the sleeves of the robe
were distended, and also from the form of the head-dress, which was
very large and light, and well adapted to serve as a float to keep the
head from sinking.

[Illustration: Female Costume in the Time of Henry VI.]

[Sidenote: Under the bridge.]

[Sidenote: Rescued.]

She floated on in this manner down the river until she had passed
London Bridge, being carried through by the current under one of the
arches. On emerging from the bridge, she came to the part of the river
where the ships and other vessels bound down the river were moored. It
happened that among other vessels lying at anchor in the stream was
one bound to Normandy. The captain of this vessel had been on shore,
but he was now coming off in his boat to go on board again. As the
captain was looking out over the water by the light of a lantern which
he held in his hand, to discern the way to his vessel, he saw
something floating at a short distance from him which resembled the
dress of a woman. He urged the boat forward in that direction. He
succeeded, with great difficulty, after arriving at the spot, in
getting the now almost lifeless form of Lady Neville on board his
boat, and then rowed on as fast as possible to the vessel.

[Sidenote: Received on board a vessel.]

[Sidenote: Her determination.]

Here every thing was done which the case required to restore the
drowning lady to life. She soon recovered her senses, and looked about
her wild with excitement and terror. She had the presence of mind,
however, not to say a word that could betray her secret, though her
dress, and her air and manner, convinced the captain that she was no
ordinary personage. The wound was examined and found not to be
serious. She had been protected by some portions of her dress which
had turned the poniard aside. When she found that the immediate danger
had passed she became more composed, and began to inquire in regard to
the persons and scenes around her. When she found that the vessel
which had received her was bound to Normandy, she determined to escape
to that country; so she contrived means to induce the captain to
conceal her on board until the time should arrive for setting sail,
and then to take her with him down the river and across the Channel.

[Sidenote: She is received by the dauphiness.]

On her arrival in France she repaired at once to the court of the
dauphiness, who, being an English princess, was predisposed to take
compassion upon her and to receive her kindly. She remained at this
court, as we have seen, under the assumed name of Miss Sanders, until
the death of the dauphiness. She was thus suddenly deprived of her
protector in France, but almost at the same time the marriage of
Margaret of Anjou seemed to open to her the means of returning to
England.

So long as the Duke of Gloucester lived and retained his power, she
knew very well that she could not return in safety to the English
court; but she thought that Margaret's going to England would probably
be the precursor of Gloucester's downfall.

[Sidenote: Political intrigues.]

"_She_ must hate him," said she to herself, "almost as much as I do,
for he has opposed her marriage from the beginning, and has done all
in his power to prevent it. Margaret will never be satisfied until she
has deposed him from his power and put some friend of hers in his
place. I can help her in this work, if she will receive me under her
protection and allow me to accompany her to England."

[Sidenote: Lady Neville and Margaret.]

So she proceeded to Abbeville to intercept the queen on her way to the
coast, as we have already seen. At the long and secret interview which
she had with her there she related to Margaret the story of her
connection with Somerset and with Gloucester, and of her almost
miraculous escape from death at Gloucester's hands. She now wished for
revenge; and if Queen Margaret would receive her into her service and
take her to England, she would concert measures with Somerset, her
lover, which would greatly aid Margaret in the plans which she might
form for effecting the downfall of Gloucester.

[Sidenote: Lady Neville returns.]

[Sidenote: Mystery.]

Margaret at once and very gladly acceded to this request, and took
Lady Neville with her to England. She treated her with great
consideration and honor; but still Lady Neville maintained a strict
reserve in all her intercourse with the other ladies of the court,
and kept herself in great seclusion, especially after the arrival of
the bridal party in England. Her pretext for this was her deep
affliction at the loss of her friend and patroness the Dauphiness of
France. But the other ladies of the court were not wholly satisfied
with this explanation. They were fully convinced that there was more
in the case than met the view, especially when they found that on the
arrival of the party in England the stranger seemed to take special
pains to avoid meeting the Duke of Gloucester. They exerted all their
powers of watchfulness and scrutiny to unravel the mystery, but in
vain.



CHAPTER IX.

PLOTTINGS.


[Sidenote: Personal and political intrigues.]

[Sidenote: Margaret's beauty.]

It was in this way that public affairs were mingled and complicated
with private and personal intrigues in the English court at the time
of Margaret's arrival in the country. Margaret was of a character
which admirably fitted her to act her part well in the management of
such intrigues, and in playing off the passions of ambition, love,
resentment, envy, and hate, as manifested by those around
her--passions which always glow and rage with greater fury in a court
than in any other community--so as to accomplish her ends. She was
very young indeed, but she had arrived at a maturity, both mental and
personal, far beyond her years. Her countenance was beautiful, and her
air and manner possessed an inexpressible charm, but her mental powers
were of a very masculine character, and in the boldness of the plans
which she formed, and in the mingled shrewdness and energy with which
she went on to the execution of them, she evinced less the qualities
of a woman than of a man.

[Sidenote: Lady Neville supposed to be dead.]

[Sidenote: Her father.]

It was supposed by all parties in England that Lady Neville was dead.
Of course the Duke of Gloucester had no idea that any one could have
escaped from the boat. He supposed that he had effected the complete
destruction of all on board of it. Somerset's men, who had been
stationed at some distance from the landing to receive Lady Neville
and convey her home, waited until long past the appointed hour, but no
one came. The inquiries which Somerset made secretly the next day
showed that the boat had sailed from the village, but no tidings of
her arrival in London could be obtained, and he supposed that she must
have been lost, with all on board, by some accident on the river. As
for the Earl of Salisbury, Lady Neville's father, Gloucester went to
him at once, and informed him what he had done. He had detected his
daughter, he said, in a guilty intrigue, which, if it had been made
public, would have brought not only herself, but all her family, to
shame. The earl, who was a man of great sternness and severity of
character, said that Gloucester had done perfectly right, and they
agreed together to keep the whole transaction secret from the world,
and to circulate a report that Lady Neville had died from some natural
cause.

[Sidenote: Arrival in London.]

Such was the state of things when Margaret and Lady Neville arrived in
London. As soon as the queen became somewhat established in her new
home, she began to revolve in her mind the means of deposing
Gloucester. Her plan was first to endeavor to arouse her husband from
his lethargy, and to awaken in his mind something like a spirit of
independence and a feeling of ambition.

[Sidenote: The queen and Henry.]

"You have in your hands," she used to say to him, "what may be easily
made the foundation of the noblest realm in Europe. Besides Great
Britain, you have the whole of Normandy, and other valuable
possessions in France, which together form a vast kingdom, in the
government of which you might acquire great glory, if you would take
the government of it into your own hands."

[Sidenote: Margaret's arguments.]

She went on to represent to him how unworthy it was of him to allow
all the power of such a realm to be wielded by his uncle, instead of
assuming the command at once himself, as every consideration of
prudence and policy urged him to do. A great many instances had
occurred in English history, she said, in which a favorite minister
had been allowed to hold power so long, and to strengthen himself in
the possession of it so completely, that he could not be divested of
it, so that the king himself came at length to be held in subjection
by his own minister. The Duke of Gloucester was advancing rapidly in
the same course; and, unless the king aroused himself from his
inaction, and took the government into his own hands, he would soon
lose all power to do it, and would sink into a condition of
humiliating dependence upon one of his own subjects.

[Sidenote: The example of ancestors.]

Then, again, she urged upon him at other times the example of his
father and grandfather, Henry IV. and Henry V., whose reigns, through
the personal energy and prowess which they had exhibited in
strengthening and extending their dominions, had given them a
world-wide renown. It would be extremely inglorious for the descendant
of such a line to spend his life in spiritless inactivity, and to
leave the affairs of his kingdom in the hands of a relative, who of
course could only be expected to exercise his powers for the purpose
of promoting his own interest and glory.

[Sidenote: Anne.]

[Sidenote: House of York.]

Moreover, she reminded him of a danger that he was in from the
representations of other branches of the royal line who still claimed
the throne, and might at any time, whenever an opportunity offered, be
expected to attempt to enforce their claims. As will be seen by the
genealogical table,[6] Lionel, the _second_ son of Edward III.--whose
immediate descendants had been superseded by those of John of Gaunt,
the third son, on account of the fact that the only child of Lionel
was a daughter, and she had been unable to make good her claims--had a
great-granddaughter, named Anne, who married Richard, a son of Edmund,
the _fourth_ of the sons of Edward III.[7] Richard Plantagenet, who
issued from this union, was, of course, the descendant and heir of
Lionel. He had also other claims to the throne, and Margaret reminded
her husband that there was danger at any time that he might come
forward and assert his claims.

         [Footnote 6: On page 20.]

         [Footnote 7: That is, the fourth of the table. There were
         other children not mentioned here.]

[Sidenote: The king not safe.]

Under these circumstances, it was evident, said she, that the king
could not consider his interests safe in the care of any person
whatsoever out of his own immediate family--that is, in any one's
hands but his own and those of his wife. A minister, however strong
his professions of fidelity and attachment might be, could not be
depended upon. If another dynasty offered him more advantageous terms,
there was not, and there could not be, any security against his
changing sides; whereas a wife, whose interests were bound up
inseparably with those of her husband, might be relied upon with
absolute certainty to be faithful and true to her husband in every
conceivable emergency.

[Sidenote: Margaret makes some impression.]

These representations which Margaret made to her husband from time to
time, as she had opportunity, produced a very considerable impression
upon him. Still he seemed not to have resolution and energy enough to
act in accordance with them. He said that he did not see how he could
take away from his uncle a power which he had always exercised well
and faithfully. And then, besides, he himself had not the age and
experience necessary for the successful management of the affairs of
so mighty a kingdom. If he were to undertake the duties of government,
he was convinced that he should make mistakes, and so get into
difficulty.

[Sidenote: Henry listens to her counsels.]

Margaret, however, clearly perceived that she was making progress in
producing an impression upon her husband's mind. To increase the
influence of her representations, she watched for occasions in which
Gloucester differed in opinion from the king, and failed to carry out
suggestions or recommendations which the king had made, relating
probably, in most cases, to appointments to office about the court.
Some say she _created_ these occasions by artfully inducing her
husband to make recommendations which she knew the duke would not
sanction. At all events, such cases occurred, and Margaret took
advantage of them to urge her views still more upon Henry's mind.

[Sidenote: 1446.]

[Sidenote: Henry's timidity.]

"How humiliating," said she, "that a great monarch should be dependent
upon one of his subjects for permission to do this or that, when he
might have all his affairs under his own absolute control!"

But Henry, in reply to this, said that it was not in human nature to
escape mistakes, and he thought he was very fortunate in having a
minister who, when he was in danger of making them, could interpose
and save him from the ill consequences which would otherwise result
from his errors.

[Sidenote: Margaret encourages him.]

To this Margaret rejoined that it was indeed true that human nature
was liable to err, but that it was very humiliating for a great and
powerful sovereign to have public attention called to his errors by
having them corrected in that manner by an inferior, and to be
restricted in the exercise of his powers by a tutor and a governor, in
order to keep him from doing wrong, as if he were a child not
competent to act for himself.

[Sidenote: The world indulgent to the great.]

"Besides," she added, "if you would really take the charge of your
affairs into your own hands and act independently, what you call your
errors you may depend upon it the public would designate by a
different and a softer name. The world is always disposed to consider
what is done by a great and powerful monarch as of course right, and
even when it would seem to them wrong they believe that its having
that appearance is only because they are not in a position to form a
just judgment on the question, not being fully acquainted with the
facts, or not seeing all the bearings of them."

She assured her husband, moreover, that if he would take the business
of the government into his own hands, he would be very successful in
his administration of public affairs, and would be well sustained by
all the people of the realm.

[Sidenote: Margaret's secret designs.]

Besides thus operating upon the mind of the king, Margaret was
secretly employed all the time in ascertaining the views and feelings
of the principal nobles and other great personages of the realm, with
a view to learning who were disposed to feel hostile to the duke, and
to unite all such into an organized opposition to him. One of the
first persons to whom she applied with this view was Somerset, the
former lover of Lady Neville.

[Sidenote: Opposition to the Duke of Gloucester.]

She presumed, of course, that Somerset would be predisposed to a
feeling of hostility to the duke on account of the old rivalry which
had existed between them, and she now proposed to make use of Lady
Neville's return, and of her agency in restoring her to him, as a
means of inducing him to enter fully into her plans for overturning
his old rival's power. In order to retain the management of the affair
wholly in her own hands, she agreed with Lady Neville that Lady
Neville herself was not in any way to communicate with Somerset until
she, the queen, had first had an interview with him, and that he was
to learn the safety of Lady Neville only through her. Lady Neville
readily consented to this, believing that the queen could manage the
matter better than she herself could do it.

[Sidenote: Somerset.]

It will be recollected that Somerset was married during the period of
his former acquaintance with Lady Neville, but his wife had died while
Lady Neville was in France, and he was now free; so that the plan
which the queen and Lady Neville now formed was to give him an
opportunity, if he still retained his love for her, to make her his
wife.

[Sidenote: A secret interview planned.]

In the prosecution of her design, the queen made arrangements for a
secret interview with Somerset, and in the interview informed him that
Lady Neville was still alive and well; that she was, moreover, not far
away, and it was in the queen's power to restore her to him if he
desired again to see her, and that she would do so on certain
conditions.

Somerset was overjoyed at hearing this news. At first he could not be
persuaded that it was true; and when assured positively that it was
so, and that the long-lost Lady Neville was alive and well, and in
England, he was in a fever of impatience to see her again. He would
agree to any conditions, he said, that the queen might name, as the
price of having her restored to him.

[Sidenote: The three conditions.]

The queen said that the conditions were three.

The first was that he was to see her but once, and that only for a few
minutes, in order that he might be convinced that she was really
alive, and then was to leave her and not to see her again until the
Duke of Gloucester had fallen from power.

The second was that he should pretend to be not on good terms with the
queen herself, in order to avert suspicion in respect to some of her
schemes until such time as she should be ready to receive him again
into favor.

[Sidenote: Party against Gloucester.]

The third was that he should do all he could to increase and
strengthen the party against the duke, by turning as many as possible
of his friends, and those over whom he had any influence, against him,
and then finally, when the party should become sufficiently strong, to
prefer charges against him in Parliament, and bring him to trial.

Somerset at once agreed to all these conditions, and the queen then
admitted him to an interview with Lady Neville.

[Sidenote: The interview.]

He was overwhelmed with transports of love and joy at once more
beholding her and pressing her in his arms. The queen, who was
present, was very much interested in witnessing the proofs of the
ardor of the affection by which the lovers were still bound to each
other, but she soon interrupted their expressions and demonstrations
of delight by calling Somerset's attention to the steps which were
next to be taken to further their plans.

[Sidenote: Lady Neville's father.]

"The first thing to be done," said she, "is for you to see the Earl of
Salisbury and ask the hand of his daughter, and at the same time
endeavor to induce him to join our party."

[Sidenote: The Earl of Salisbury.]

The Earl of Salisbury had a son, the brother, of course, of Lady
Neville, whose title was the Earl of Warwick. He was the celebrated
king-maker, so called, referred to in a former chapter. He received
that title on account of the great influence which he subsequently
exercised in raising up and putting down one after another of the two
great dynasties. His power was at this time very great, partly on
account of his immense wealth, and partly on account of his commanding
personal character. Margaret was extremely desirous of bringing him
over to her side.

[Sidenote: Progress of the intrigue.]

Somerset readily undertook the duty of communicating with the Earl of
Salisbury, with a view of informing him of his daughter's safety and
asking her hand, and at the same time of ascertaining what hope there
might be of drawing him into the combination which the queen was
forming against the Duke of Gloucester.

[Sidenote: Revelations.]

Somerset accordingly sought an interview with Salisbury, and told him
that the report which had been circulated that his daughter was dead
was not true--that she was still alive--that, instead of having been
drowned in the Thames, as had been supposed, she had made her escape
to France, where she had since lived under the protection of the
dauphiness.

[Sidenote: The case explained.]

He was, of course not willing to make known the real circumstances of
the case in respect to the cause of her flight, and so he represented
to the earl that the reason why she left the country was to escape the
marriage with Gloucester, which would have been extremely disagreeable
to her. She had now, however, returned, and he was commissioned by her
to ask the earl's forgiveness for what had passed, and his consent
that he himself--that is, Somerset, who had always been strongly
attached to her, and who now, by the death of his former wife, was
free, should be united to her in marriage.

[Sidenote: Somerset's proposal.]

[Sidenote: Cautious advances.]

[Sidenote: The earl's indignation.]

If Somerset had succeeded in this part of his mission, he was then
intending, when the old earl's love for his daughter should have been
reawakened in his bosom by the joyful news that she was alive, and by
the prospect of a brilliant marriage for her, to introduce the subject
of the Duke of Gloucester, and perhaps cautiously reveal to him the
true state of the case in respect to the murderous violence with which
the duke had assailed his daughter, and which was the true cause of
her flight. But the earl did not give him any opportunity to approach
the second part of his commission. After having heard the statement
which Somerset made to him in respect to his daughter, he broke out
in a furious rage against her. He called her by the most opprobrious
names. He had full proof of her dishonor, and he would have nothing
more to do with her. He had disinherited her, and given all her share
of the family property to her brother; and the only reason why he ever
wished her to come into his sight again was that he might with a surer
blow inflict upon her the punishment which Gloucester had designed for
her.

Somerset saw at once that the case was hopeless, and he withdrew.

[Sidenote: The scheme fails.]

Thus the attempt to draw Salisbury into the conspiracy against the
duke seemed for the time to fail. But Margaret was not at all
discouraged. She pushed her manoeuvres and intrigues in other quarters
with so much diligence and success that, in about two years after her
arrival in England, she found her party large enough and strong enough
for action.



CHAPTER X.

THE FALL OF GLOUCESTER.


At length the time arrived when Margaret considered her schemes ripe
for execution.

[Sidenote: The king's cabinet.]

[Sidenote: Gloucester sent for.]

Accordingly, one day, while Henry and herself were together in the
king's cabinet engaged in transacting some public affairs, Margaret
made some excuse for sending for Gloucester, and while Gloucester was
in the cabinet, Somerset, according to a preconcerted arrangement,
presented himself at the door with an air of excitement and alarm, and
asked to be admitted. He wished to see the king on business of the
utmost urgency. He was allowed to come in. He had a paper in his hand,
and his countenance, as well as his air and manner, denoted great
apprehension and anxiety. As soon, however, as he saw the Duke of
Gloucester, he seemed surprised and embarrassed, and was about to
retire, saying he had supposed that the king and queen were alone.

[Sidenote: Entrance of Somerset.]

But Margaret would not allow him to withdraw.

"Stay," said she, "and let us know what the business is that seems so
urgent. You can speak freely. There is no one here beside ourselves
except the minister of the king, and there is nothing to be concealed
from him."

[Sidenote: Somerset's charges.]

Somerset, on hearing these words, paused for a moment, looked at
Gloucester, seemed irresolute, and then, as if nerving himself to a
great effort, he advanced resolutely and presented the paper which he
had in his hands to the king, saying, at the same time, in a very
solemn manner, that it contained charges of the gravest character
against Gloucester; and he added that, on the whole, he was not sorry
that the accused person was present to know what was laid to his
charge, and to reply if he had any proper justification to offer.

[Sidenote: Margaret interposes.]

The duke seemed thunderstruck. The king, too, was extremely surprised,
and began to look greatly embarrassed. Margaret put an end to the
awkward suspense by taking the paper from the king's hand, and opening
it in order to read it.

"Let us see," said she, "what these charges are."

[Illustration: The Charges against Gloucester.]

[Sidenote: The charges read.]

So she opened the paper and began to read it. The charges were
numerous. The principal one related to some transactions in respect to
the English dominions on the Continent, in which Gloucester was
accused of having sacrificed the rights and interests of the crown in
order to promote certain private ends of his own. There were a great
many other accusations, relating to alleged usurpations of the
prerogative of the king and high-handed violations of the laws of the
land. Among these last the murder of Lady Neville was specified, and
the deed was characterized in the severest terms as a crime of the
deepest dye, and one committed under circumstances of great atrocity,
although the author of the charges admitted that the details of the
affair were not fully known.

[Sidenote: The duke declares his innocence.]

As Margaret read these accusations one after another, the duke
affirmed positively of each one that it was wholly unjust. He seemed
for a moment surprised and confused when the murder of Lady Neville
was laid to his charge, but he soon recovered himself, and declared
that he was innocent of this crime as well as of all the others. The
whole series of accusations was a tissue of base calumnies, he said,
from beginning to end.

[Sidenote: Margaret's artful demeanor.]

Margaret read the paper through, pausing only from time to time to
hear what Gloucester had to say whenever he manifested a desire to
speak, but without making any observations of her own. She assumed, in
fact, the air and manner of an unconcerned and indifferent witness.
After she had finished reading the paper she folded it up and laid it
aside, saying at the same time to the king that those were very grave
and weighty charges, and it would be very unjust to the duke to
receive them against his positive declarations of his innocence,
without the most clear and conclusive proof.

[Sidenote: Proposes an investigation.]

"At the same time," she added, "they ought not to be lightly laid
aside without investigation. We can not suppose that the Duke of
Somerset can have made such charges without any evidence whatever to
sustain them."

The Duke of Somerset said immediately that he was prepared with full
proof of all the charges, and he was ready to offer the evidence in
respect to any one or all of them whenever his majesty should require
it.

[Sidenote: Selects a charge.]

Margaret then opened the paper, and, looking over the list of charges
again with a careless air, at last, as if accidentally, fixed upon the
one relating to the murder of Lady Neville.

"What proofs have you in respect to this atrocious murder that you
have charged against the duke?"

[Sidenote: Gloucester is pleased.]

[Sidenote: The murder.]

Gloucester felt for the moment much relieved at finding that this was
the charge selected first for proof; for so effectual had been the
precautions which he had taken to conceal his crime in this case,
that he was confident that, instead of any substantial evidence
against him, there could be, at worst, only vague grounds of
suspicion, and these he was confident he could easily show were
insufficient to establish so serious a charge.

[Sidenote: Astonishment of the duke.]

Somerset asked permission to retire for a few moments. Very soon he
returned, bringing in with him Lady Neville herself. An actual
resurrection from the dead could not have astounded Gloucester more
than this apparition. He was overwhelmed with amazement and almost
with terror. Lady Neville advanced to the king, and, falling upon her
knees before him, she related the circumstances of the assault made by
Gloucester upon the boat in the Thames, of the cruel murder of the
passengers and boatmen, of the wound inflicted upon herself by the
dagger of the duke, and the almost miraculous manner in which she made
her escape.

[Sidenote: 1447.]

[Sidenote: Parliament.]

The duke, overwhelmed by the emotions which such a scene might have
been expected to produce upon his mind, seemed to admit that what Lady
Neville said was true. At least he could not deny it, and his
confusion and distress amounted apparently to a virtual confession of
guilt. Margaret, however, soon interrupted the proceedings by saying
to the king that the case was plainly too serious to be disposed of in
so private and informal a manner. It was for the Parliament to
consider it, she said, and decide what was to be done; and measures
ought at once to be taken for bringing it before them.

So Gloucester and Somerset were both dismissed from the royal
presence, leaving the king in a state of great distress and
perplexity.

[Sidenote: Margaret's ingenuity.]

[Sidenote: The king brought over.]

Such is the story of the private manoeuvres resorted to by Margaret
with a view to destroying the hold which the Duke of Gloucester had
upon the mind of the king, preparatory to more widely-extended plans
for ruining him with the Parliament and the nation, which is told by
one of her most celebrated biographers. Whether there was or was not
any foundation for this particular story, there is no doubt but that
she exercised all her ingenuity and talent as a manoeuvrer to
accomplish her object, and that she succeeded. The king was brought
over to her views, and so strong a party was formed against Gloucester
among the nobles and other influential personages in the land, that at
length, in 1447, a Parliament was summoned with a view of bringing the
affair to a crisis.[8]

         [Footnote 8: The story of Lady Neville, and of her connection
         with the great political transactions in which Margaret of
         Anjou was engaged at this time, though it is in all
         probability to be considered as a romance, is not an
         invention of the compiler of this narrative. It is interwoven
         with the history of Margaret of Anjou precisely as it is
         given here, by one of her most ancient and most oft-quoted
         biographers. It is chiefly useful to modern readers as
         illustrating the ideas and the manners of the times.

         We often, in this series, thus repeat narratives which have
         come down from ancient times, and have thus become part and
         parcel of the literature of the period, and, as such, ought
         to be made known to the general reader, but which, at the
         present day, are not supposed to be historically true. In
         such cases, however, we intend always to give notice of the
         fact. In the absence of such notice, the reader may feel sure
         that all the statements in these narratives, even to the
         minutest details, are in strict accordance with the testimony
         of the best authorities now extant.]

[Sidenote: Treason.]

[Sidenote: Romance often mingles in history.]

[Sidenote: An explanation.]

Nothing, however, was said, in calling the Parliament, of the great
and exciting business which was to be brought before them. So great
was the power of such a man as Gloucester, that any open attempt to
arrest him would have been likely to have been met with armed
resistance, and might have led at once to civil war.

One of the charges against him was that he was intriguing with the
Duke of York, the representative and heir of the two other branches of
old King Edward the Third's family, who has already been mentioned as
claiming the throne. It was said that Gloucester was secretly
plotting with Richard, with a view of deposing Henry, and raising
Richard to the throne in his stead.

[Sidenote: Question of succession.]

The question of the succession was really, at this time, in a very
curious state. The Duke of Gloucester himself was Henry's heir in case
he should die without children; for Gloucester was Henry's oldest
uncle, and, of course, in default of his descendants, the crown would
go back to him. This was one reason, perhaps, why he had opposed
Henry's marriage.

[Sidenote: Position of the Duke of York.]

So long, therefore, as Henry remained unmarried, it was for
Gloucester's interest to maintain the rights of his branch of the
family--that is, the Lancaster line--against the claims of the house
of York. But in case Henry should have children, then he would be cut
off from the succession on the Lancaster side, and then it might be
for his interest to espouse the cause of the house of York, provided
he could make better terms in respect to his own position and the
rewards which he was to receive for his services on that side than on
the other.

[Sidenote: Gloucester alarmed.]

Now Henry was married, and, moreover, it had long been evident to
Gloucester that his own influence was fast declining. The scene in the
king's cabinet, when Somerset brought those charges against him, must
have greatly increased his fears in respect to the continuance of his
power under Henry's government. Still, if it was true that he was
contemplating making common cause with the Duke of York, he had not
yet so far matured his plans as to make any open change in his course
of conduct.

[Sidenote: Calling of Parliament.]

Accordingly, when the plan of calling a Parliament was determined by
the king and Margaret, every effort was made to keep it a secret from
the public that the case of Gloucester was to be brought before it. It
was summoned on other pretexts. The place of meeting was not, as
usual, at London, for Gloucester was so great a favorite with the
people of London that it was thought that, if it were to be attempted
to arrest him there, he would certainly resist and attempt to raise an
insurrection.

[Sidenote: Bury St. Edmund's.]

The Parliament was accordingly summoned to meet at Bury St.
Edmund's--a town situated about fifty or sixty miles to the northeast
of London, where there was a celebrated abbey.[9] The English
Parliament was in those days, as it is, in fact, in theory now,
nothing more nor less than a convocation of the leading personages of
the realm, called by the king, in order that they might give the
monarch their counsel or aid in any emergency that might arise, and
he could call them to attend him at any place within the kingdom that
he chose to designate.

         [Footnote 9: See map.]

While thus, by summoning Parliament to meet at Bury St. Edmund's, the
queen's party placed themselves beyond the reach of the friends and
adherents of Gloucester, who were very numerous in and around the
capital, they took care to have a strong force there on their own
side, ready to do whatever might be required of them.

[Sidenote: The abbey.]

[Sidenote: The duke arrested.]

When the appointed day arrived the Parliament assembled. It met in the
abbey. The great dining-hall of the abbey, or the refectory, as it was
called, the room in which the monks were accustomed to take their
meals, was fitted up for their reception. On the first day some
ordinary business was transacted, and on the second, suddenly, and
without any previous warning, the duke was arrested by the public
officer, who was attended and aided in this service by a strong force,
and immediately taken away to the Tower.

This event, of course, produced great excitement. The news of it
spread rapidly throughout the kingdom, and it awakened universal
astonishment and alarm.

[Sidenote: Discontents of the people.]

It was expected that charges would be immediately brought against
him, and that he would be at once arraigned for trial. But the
excitement which the affair had created was increased to a ten-fold
degree by the tidings which were circulated a few days afterward that
he was dead. The story was that he was found dead one morning in his
prison. People, however, were slow to believe this statement. They
thought that he had been poisoned, or put to death in some other
violent manner. The officers of the government declared that it was
not so; and, in order to convince the people that the duke had died a
natural death, they caused the body to be exposed to public view for
several days before they allowed it to be interred, in order that all
might see that it bore no marks of violence.

The people were, however, not satisfied. They thought that there were
many ways by which death might be produced without leaving any outward
indications of violence upon the person. They persisted in believing
that their favorite had been murdered.

[Sidenote: 1449.]

[Sidenote: Supposed mode of his death.]

One account which was given of the mode of death was that Somerset
went to visit him in his prison in the Tower, in order to see whether
he could not come to some terms with him but that Gloucester rejected
his advances with so much pride and scorn that a furious altercation
arose, in the course of which Somerset, with the assistance of men
whom he had brought with him, strangled or suffocated the unhappy
prisoner on his couch, and then, after arranging his limbs and closing
his eyes, so as to give him the appearance of being in a state of
slumber, his murderers went away and left him, to be found in that
condition by the jailer when he should come to bring him his food.



CHAPTER XI.

THE FALL OF SUFFOLK.


[Sidenote: Two years pass away.]

After the death of the Duke of Gloucester, Queen Margaret was plunged
in a perfect sea of plots, schemes, manoeuvres, and machinations of
all sorts, which it would take a volume fully to unravel. This state
of things continued for two years, during which time she became more
and more involved in the difficulties and complications which
surrounded her, until at last she found herself in very serious
trouble. I can only here briefly allude to the more prominent sources
of her perplexity.

[Sidenote: Suspicions of the people.]

[Sidenote: Their hearts alienated.]

In the first place, the people of England were very seriously
displeased at the treatment which Gloucester had received. They would
not believe that he died a natural death, and the impression gained
ground very generally that the queen was the cause of his being
murdered. They did not suppose that she literally ordered him to be
put to death, but that she gave hints or intimations, as royal
personages were accustomed to do in such cases in those days, on which
some zealous and unscrupulous follower ventured to act, certain of
pleasing her. As Gloucester had been a general favorite with the
nation, these rumors and suspicions tended greatly to alienate the
hearts of the people from the queen. Many began to hate her. They
called her the French woman, and vented their ill-will in obscure
threats and mutterings.

[Sidenote: Reverses in France.]

[Sidenote: Feeling in England.]

This feeling of hostility to the queen was increased by the very
unfortunate turn that things were taking in France about this time.
The provinces of Maine and Anjou lay directly to the south of
Normandy,[10] which last was the most valuable of the possessions
which the English crown held in France, and these two provinces had
been given up to the French at the time of Margaret's marriage. It was
only on condition that the English would give them up that Lord
Suffolk could induce Margaret's father to consent to the match.
Suffolk was extremely unwilling to surrender these provinces. He knew
that the English nobles and people would be very much dissatisfied as
soon as they learned that it was done, and he feared that he might at
some future day be called to account for having been concerned in the
transaction. But the king was so deeply in love with Margaret that he
insisted on Suffolk's complying with the terms which were exacted by
her friends, and the provinces were ceded.

         [Footnote 10: See map at the commencement of the volume.]

[Sidenote: York regent in France.]

The Duke of York was regent in France at that time, but Margaret felt
some uneasiness in respect to his position there. He was the
representative and heir of the rival line; and while it was for her
interest to give him prominence enough under Henry's government to
prevent his growing discontented and desperate, it was not good policy
to exalt him to too high a position. She was accordingly somewhat at a
loss to decide what to do.

[Sidenote: Somerset.]

Soon after the death of Gloucester, Somerset, finding that he was an
object of suspicion, felt himself to be in danger, and he proposed to
Margaret that he should retire into Normandy for a time. Margaret
suggested that he should take the regency of Normandy in the Duke of
York's stead. To this he finally consented. The Duke of York was
recalled, and Somerset went to take command of Normandy in his stead.

[Sidenote: Suffolk's intentions.]

[Sidenote: Exposed frontier.]

At the time that Suffolk negotiated the marriage contract between
Henry and Margaret, a truce had been made with the King of France, as
has already been stated. Suffolk intended and hoped to conclude a
permanent peace, but he could not succeed in accomplishing this. The
King of France, as soon as the marriage was fairly carried into
effect, seemed bent on renewing hostilities, and as he had now the
territories of Maine and Anjou in his possession, with all the castles
and fortresses which those provinces contained, he could advance to
the frontiers of Normandy on that side with great facility, and
organize expeditions for invading the country in the most effective
manner.

[Sidenote: Pretext for war.]

He now only wanted a pretext, and a pretext in such cases is always
soon found. A certain company of soldiers, who had been dismissed from
some place in Maine in consequence of the cession of that province to
France, instead of going across the frontier into Normandy to join the
English forces there, as they ought to have done, went into Brittany,
another French province near, and there organized themselves into a
sort of band of robbers, and committed acts of plunder. The King of
France complained of this to Somerset, for this was after Somerset had
assumed the command as regent, or governor of Normandy. Somerset
admitted the facts, and proposed to pay damages. The king named a sum
so great that Somerset could not or would not pay it, and so war was
again declared.

[Illustration: Rouen.]

[Sidenote: Invasion of Normandy.]

In consequence of the advantages which the King of France enjoyed in
having possession of Maine, he could organize his invading army in a
very effective manner. He crossed the frontier in great force, and
after taking a number of towns and castles, and defeating the English
army in several battles, he at last drove Somerset into Rouen, the
capital of the province--a very ancient and remarkable town--and shut
him up there.

After a short siege Rouen was compelled to capitulate, and, besides
giving up Rouen, Somerset was obliged to surrender several other
important castles and towns in order to obtain his own liberty.

[Sidenote: Normandy lost.]

Things went on in this way during the year 1449, from bad to worse,
until finally the whole of Normandy was lost. The town of Cherbourg,
which has lately become so renowned on account of the immense naval
and military works which have been constructed there, was the last
retreat and refuge of the English, and even from this they were
finally expelled.

[Sidenote: Rage of the English people.]

[Sidenote: The minister responsible.]

The people of England were in a great rage. The principal object of
their resentment was Lord Suffolk, who was now the first minister and
the acknowledged head of the government. During the progress of the
difficulties with Gloucester, Margaret had kept him a great deal in
the background, in order that the public might not associate him with
those transactions, nor hold him in any way responsible for them,
though there was no doubt that he was the queen's confidential friend
and counselor through the whole. After the death of Gloucester he had
been gradually brought forward, and he had now, for some time, been
the acknowledged minister of the crown, and as such responsible,
according to the theory of the British Constitution and to the ideas
of Englishmen, for every thing that was done, and especially for every
thing like misfortune and disaster which occurred.

[Sidenote: Suffolk in danger.]

There was, of course, a great outcry raised against Suffolk, and also,
more covertly, against the queen, who had brought Suffolk into power.
All the mischief originated, too, people said, in the luckless
marriage of Margaret to the king, and the cession of Maine and Anjou
to the French as the price of it. The French would never have been
able to have penetrated into Normandy had it not been for the
advantage they gained in the possession of those provinces on the
frontier.

[Illustration: View of Bordeaux.]

[Sidenote: Guienne.]

There were still large possessions held by the English in the
southwestern part of France on the Garonne. The capital of this
territory, which was the celebrated province of Guienne, was
Bordeaux,[11] a large and important city in those days as now. It
stands on the bank of the river where it begins to widen toward the
sea, and thus it was accessible to the English in their ships as well
as when coming with their armies by land. It was a place of great
strength as well as of commanding position, being provided with
castles and towers to defend it from the landward side, and thick
walls and powerful batteries along the margin of the water.

         [Footnote 11: See map.]

[Sidenote: Bordeaux lost.]

Suffolk did all in his power to raise and send off re-enforcements to
the army in Guienne, but it was in vain. The English were driven out
of one town and castle after another, until, at last, Bordeaux itself
fell, and all was lost.

[Sidenote: Excitement in England.]

The resentment and rage of the people of England now knew no bounds.
Suffolk was universally denounced as the author of all these dire
calamities. Lampoons and satires were written against him; he was
hooted sometimes by the populace of London when he appeared in the
streets, and every thing portended a gathering storm. At length, in
the fall of 1449, a Parliament was summoned. When it was convened,
Suffolk appeared in the House of Lords as usual, and, rising in his
place, he called the attention of the peers to the angry and
vindictive denunciations which were daily heaped upon him by the
public, declaring that he was wholly ignorant of the crimes which were
laid to his charge, and challenging his enemies to bring forward any
proof to sustain their accusations.

[Sidenote: Braving the storm.]

A spirit of bold defiance like this might have been successful in some
cases, perhaps, in driving back the tide of hostility and hate which
was rising so rapidly, but in this instance it seemed to have the
contrary effect. The enemies of Suffolk in the House of Commons took
up the challenge at once. They were strong enough to carry the house
with them. They passed an address to the peers, requesting them to
cause Suffolk to be arrested and imprisoned. They would, they said,
immediately bring forward the proofs of his guilt.

[Sidenote: Accusations made.]

The Lords replied that they could not arrest and imprison one of their
number except upon specific charges made against him. Whereupon the
Commons very promptly prepared a list of charges and sent them to the
Lords. On this accusation the Lords ordered Suffolk to be arrested,
and he was sent to the Tower.

[Sidenote: An impeachment.]

[Sidenote: Suffolk in the Tower.]

During the two months that succeeded his arrest his enemies were
busily engaged in preparing the bill of impeachment against him in
form, and collecting the evidence by which they were to sustain it,
while the queen was equally earnest and anxious in the work of
contriving means to save him. She visited him secretly, it is said, in
his prison, and conferred with him on the plan to be pursued. They
seem to have been both convinced that it was impossible for him to
remain in England and ride out the storm. The only course of safety
would be for him to leave the country for a while, provided the means
could be devised for getting him away. What the plan was which they
agreed upon for accomplishing this purpose will appear in the sequel.

[Sidenote: He is arraigned.]

[Sidenote: Suffolk's defense.]

[Sidenote: He appeals to the king.]

At length, on the thirteenth of March, he was summoned before the
House of Lords, and the bill of impeachment was brought forward. There
were a great many charges, beginning with that of having wickedly and
with corrupt motives surrendered, and so lost forever to the crown,
the provinces of Maine and Anjou, and going on to numerous accusations
of malfeasance in office, of encroachments on the prerogatives of the
king, and of acts in which the interest and honor of the country had
been sacrificed to his own personal ambition or private ends.
Suffolk defended himself in a general speech, without, however,
demanding, as he was entitled to do, a formal trial by his peers.
These proceedings occupied several days--as long as any lingering hope
remained in Suffolk's mind of his being able to stem the torrent. At
length, however, on the seventeenth of March, finding that the
pressure against him was continually increasing, and that there would
be no chance of an acquittal if he were to claim a trial, he appealed
to the king to decide his case, saying that, though he was entirely
innocent of the crimes charged against him, he would submit himself
entirely to his majesty's will.

[Sidenote: Sentence of banishment.]

In response to this appeal, the king declared, through the proper
officer, in the House of Lords, that he would not decide upon the
question of the guilt or innocence of the accused, since he had not
demanded a trial, but he thought it best, under all the circumstances
of the case, that Suffolk should leave the country. He therefore
issued a decree of banishment against him for five years. He was
required to leave England before the first of May, and not to put his
foot upon any English soil until the five years were expired.

[Sidenote: The people enraged.]

[Sidenote: A riot.]

The Lords were much displeased at having the affair thus taken out of
their hands. They made a formal protest against this decision, but
they could do nothing more. The people, too, were very much enraged.
They declared that Suffolk should never leave London alive; and on the
day when they expected that he was to be taken from the Tower to be
conveyed to France, a mob of two thousand men collected in the
streets, resolved to kill him.

[Sidenote: Suffolk escapes by sea.]

But the queen devised means for enabling him to evade them. Some of
his servants and followers were seized, but he succeeded in making his
escape, and, after going to his castle in the country, and making some
hurried arrangements there, he went down to the sea-coast at Ipswich,
a town in the eastern part of the island, and there embarked for
France in a vessel which the queen had taken the precaution to have
ready there for him.

[Sidenote: Suffolk made prisoner again.]

The vessel immediately sailed, steering to the southward, of course,
toward the Straits of Dover. As she was passing through the Straits,
between Dover and Calais, a man-of-war named the Nicholas of the
Tower, hove in sight, coming up to the vessel just as they were
sending a boat on shore at Calais to inquire whether Suffolk would be
allowed to land there. The boat was intercepted. At the same time, a
boat from the man-of-war came on board the vessel, bringing officers
who were instructed to search her thoroughly. Of course, they found
Suffolk on board, and the officer, as soon as Suffolk was discovered,
informed him that he must go with him on board the man-of-war.

Suffolk had no alternative but to obey. The captain of the man-of-war
received him, as he stepped upon the deck, with the words, I am glad
to see you, traitor, or something to that effect. Such a salutation
must have plainly indicated to Suffolk what was before him. The
man-of-war moved toward the English shore, and began to make signals
to some parties on the land. She remained there for two days,
exchanging signals in this way from time to time, and apparently
awaiting orders.

[Sidenote: His execution in a boat.]

At length, on the third day, a boat came off from the shore, provided
with every thing that was necessary for the execution of a criminal.
There was a platform with a block upon it, an axe, or cleaver of some
sort, and an executioner. Suffolk was conveyed on board the boat, and
there, with very little ceremony, his head was laid upon the block,
and the executioner immediately commenced his task of severing it from
the body. But, either from the unsteadiness of the boat, or the
unsuitableness of the instrument, or the clumsiness of the operator,
five several blows were required before the bloody deed was done.

[Sidenote: Disposal of the body.]

The boat immediately proceeded to the shore. The men on board threw
out the dissevered remains upon the beach, and then went away.

Some friends of Suffolk, hearing what had been done, came down to the
beach, and, finding the separate portions of the body lying in the
sand where they had been thrown, placed them reverently together
again, and gave them honorable burial.



CHAPTER XII.

BIRTH OF A PRINCE.


[Sidenote: 1453.]

After the death of Suffolk the queen was plunged into a sea of anxious
perplexities and troubles, which continued to disturb the kingdom and
to agitate her mind, until at length, in 1453, eight or nine years
after her marriage, she gave birth to a son. This event, strange as it
may seem, aggravated the difficulties of her situation in a ten-fold
degree.

[Sidenote: Margaret in great trouble.]

[Sidenote: The policy in respect to the Duke of York.]

The reason why the birth of her child increased her troubles was this.
It has already been said that the Duke of York claimed to be the
rightful sovereign of England on account of being descended from an
older branch of the royal family; but that, since Henry was
established upon the throne, he was inclined to make no attempt to
assert his claims so long as it was understood that he was to receive
the kingdom at Henry's death. In order to keep him contented in this
position, it had been Margaret's policy to treat him with great
consideration, and to bestow upon him high honors, but, at the same
time, to watch him very closely, and to avoid conferring upon him any
such substantial power within the realm of England as would enable him
to attempt to seize the throne. She accordingly gave him the regency
of France, and afterward, when she recalled him from that country in
order to send Somerset there, she sent him to Ireland.

[Sidenote: Somerset's return to England.]

After the death of Suffolk, Somerset came home from France. Indeed, he
was on his way home at the very time that Suffolk was killed, the
English possessions there having been almost entirely lost. As soon as
he returned, the queen received him into high favor at court, and soon
made him the chief minister of the crown. The people of the country
were displeased at this, and soon showed marks of great discontent.
They would very likely have risen in open rebellion had it not been
that Henry's health was so feeble, and the probability was so great
that he would die without issue--in which case the crown would devolve
peacefully to the Duke of York and his heirs.

[Sidenote: The people willing to wait.]

"Let us wait," said they, "for a short time, and it will all come
right. It is better to bear the evils of this state of things a little
longer than to plunge the country into the horrors of civil war in
attempting to change the dynasty by force before Henry dies."

[Sidenote: Two parties formed.]

[Sidenote: The nobles.]

[Sidenote: The two leaders.]

In the mean time, however, although this was so far the prevailing
public sentiment as to prevent an actual outbreak, it did not by any
means save the community from being unnecessarily agitated by
anxieties and fears lest an outbreak _should_ take place, nor did it
prevent innumerable plots and conspiracies being formed tending to
produce one. The country was divided into two great parties--those
that favored the Duke of York and his dynasty, and those who adhered
to the house of Lancaster. The nobles took sides in the quarrel, some
openly and others in secret. As these nobles were continually moving
to and fro from one castle to another, or between the country and
London, at the head of armed bodies of men more or less formidable, no
one could tell what plans were being formed, or how soon an explosion
might occur. The Duke of York was, of course, the head and leader of
one side, and the Duke of Somerset, as the confidential counselor and
minister of Henry and the queen, was the most prominent on the other
side, and each of these great leaders regarded the other with feelings
of mortal enmity.

[Illustration: The Temple Garden.]

This state of things kept both the king and queen in continual
anxiety. The queen began to find that, by her manoeuvrings and
management, she had involved herself in difficulties that were
beyond her control, and the poor king was so harassed by his troubles
and perplexities that his health, and, at last, his mind, began to
suffer severely.

[Sidenote: The Duke of York comes to England.]

At length the Duke of York, without permission from the government,
crossed the Channel from Ireland and landed in England. He soon
collected a large armed force, and began to move across the country
toward London. The government were much alarmed. He professed not to
have any hostile object in view, and declared that he still
acknowledged his allegiance to the Lancaster line; but there were no
means of being sure that this was not a mere pretext, and that he
might not, at any time, throw off his mask and rise in open rebellion.

[Sidenote: The roses.]

[Sidenote: Origin of these symbols.]

It was about this time that the famous symbols of the red and the
white rose were chosen as the badges of the houses respectively of
York and Lancaster, as has already been mentioned. The story goes that
at a certain time, while several nobles and persons of the court were
walking in what is called the Temple Garden, a piece of open and
ornamental ground on the bank of the river in London, Somerset and
Warwick, who were on different sides in this quarrel, gathered, the
one a white, and the other a red rose, and proposed to the rest of
the company to pluck roses too, each according to his own feelings and
opinions. From this beginning the two colors became the permanent
badge of the two lines, so much so that artificial roses of red and
white were manufactured in great numbers at last, to supply the
soldiers of the respective armies.

[Sidenote: An expedition.]

[Sidenote: Anxiety of the king.]

But to return to the Duke of York. When it was found that he was
advancing toward London, Somerset urged the king to put himself at the
head of a body of troops and go out to meet him, and call him to
account for his proceedings. The king did so, the queen accompanying
the expedition. She was very anxious, and felt much alarmed for the
safety of the king. After various marchings and manoeuvrings, the two
armies came near each other in the county of Kent, to the
southeastward of London. King Henry, who was eminently a man of peace,
being possessed of no warlike qualities whatever, and being extremely
averse to the shedding of blood, instead of attacking the Duke of
York, sent a messenger to him to know what his intentions were in
coming into the country at the head of such a force, and what he
desired.

[Sidenote: Professions.]

The duke replied that he had no designs against the king, but only
against the traitor Somerset, and he said that if the king would order
Somerset to be arrested and brought to trial, he should be satisfied,
and would disband his forces.

[Sidenote: An appointment]

The king, on receiving this message, was much troubled and perplexed,
but at length he concluded, under the advice of some of his
counselors, to comply with this demand. He caused Somerset to be
arrested, and notified the Duke of York that he had done so. The Duke
of York then disbanded his army, or at least sent the troops away, and
made an appointment to come unattended and visit the king in his tent,
with a view to conferring with him on the terms and conditions of a
permanent reconciliation.

[Sidenote: Somerset concealed.]

This interview resulted in a very extraordinary scene. It seems that
the queen had contrived the means of secretly releasing Somerset after
his arrest, and bringing him by stealth to the king's pavilion, and
concealing him there behind the arras at the time the Duke of York was
to be admitted, in order that he, Somerset, might be a witness of the
interview. While he was thus secreted, the Duke of York came in. He
commenced his conference with the king by repeating earnestly what he
said before, namely, that he had not been actuated in what he had
done by any feeling of hostility against the king, but only against
Somerset. His sole object in taking up arms, he said, was that that
arch traitor might be brought to punishment.

[Sidenote: Scene in the tent.]

[Sidenote: Fierce altercation.]

[Sidenote: The Duke of York imprisoned.]

On hearing these words, Somerset could contain himself no longer, but,
to the astonishment of the Duke of York and to the utter consternation
of the king, he rushed out from his hiding-place, and began to assail
the duke with the most violent reproaches, alleging that his
pretensions of friendship for Henry were false, and that the real
design of his movements was to usurp the throne. The duke retorted
with equally fierce denunciations and threats. During the continuance
of this altercation, the king remained stupefied and speechless, and
at length, when the duke retired, officers were ready at the door to
arrest him, having been stationed there by the queen.

[Sidenote: Released.]

He was held a prisoner, however, but a short time, for his son, who
afterward became Edward IV., immediately commenced raising an army to
come and release him. It was considered, for other reasons, dangerous
to attempt to hold such a man in durance, since probably more than
half the kingdom were on his side. So he was offered his liberty on
condition that he would take the new and solemn oath of fealty to the
king.

This he consented to do, and the oath was taken with great ceremony in
St. Paul's Cathedral, and then he was dismissed. He went off to one of
his castles in the country, muttering deep and earnest threats of
vengeance.

[Sidenote: Birth of the prince.]

It was about a year after this that Margaret's babe was born. It was a
son.

[Sidenote: Question of the succession.]

[Sidenote: New difficulties.]

Of course, the birth of this child immensely increased the
difficulties and dangers in which the kingdom was involved, for it
seemed to extinguish the hope that the quarrel would be settled by the
York family succeeding peaceably to the crown on the death of Henry.
Now, at length, there was an heir to the Lancastrian line. Of course
Margaret, and all those who were connected with the Lancastrian line,
either by blood or political partisanship, would resolve to support
the rights of this heir. On the other hand, it was not to be supposed
that the Duke of York would relinquish his claims, and he would no
longer have any inducement to postpone asserting them. Thus the birth
of the young prince was the occasion of plunging the country in new
and more feverish excitement than ever. Plots and counter-plots,
conspiracies and counter-conspiracies, were the order of the day.
Every body was taking sides, or, at least, making arrangements for
taking sides, as soon as the outbreak should occur. And no one knew
how soon this would be.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Prince of Wales.]

The child was born on a certain religious holiday called St. Edward's
day, and so they named him Edward. In a few months after his birth he
was made Prince of Wales, and it is by this title only that he is
known in history, for he never became king.



CHAPTER XII.

ILLNESS OF THE KING.


[Sidenote: Strange reverses.]

The circumstances of poor Margaret's case seem to have reversed all
ordinary conditions of domestic happiness. The birth of her son placed
her in a condition of extreme and terrible danger, while the immediate
bursting of the storm was averted, and the sufferings which she was in
the end called upon to endure in consequence of it were postponed for
a time by what would, in ordinary circumstances, be the worst possible
of calamities, the insanity of her husband. Happy as a queen, says the
proverb, but what a mockery of happiness is this, when the birth of a
child is a great domestic calamity, the evils of which were only in
part averted, or rather postponed, by an unexpected blessing in the
shape of the insanity of the husband and father.

[Sidenote: The king's insanity.]

[Sidenote: His condition concealed.]

[Sidenote: Margaret's policy.]

Henry's health had been gradually declining during many months before
the little Edward was born. The cares and anxieties of his situation,
which often became so extreme as to deprive him of all rest and sleep,
became, at length, too heavy for him to bear, and his feeble
intellect, in the end, broke down under them entirely. The queen did
all in her power to conceal his condition from the people, and even
from the court. It was comparatively easy to do this, for the
derangement was not at all violent in its form. It was a sort of
lethargy, a total failure of the mental powers and almost of
consciousness--more like idiocy than mania. The queen removed him to
Windsor, and there kept him closely shut up, admitting that he was
sick, but concealing his true situation so far as was in her power,
and, in the mean time, carrying on the government in his name, with
the aid of Somerset and other great officers of state, whom she
admitted into her confidence. Parliament and the public were very
uneasy under this state of things. The Duke of York was laying his
plans, and every one was anxious to know what was coming. But Margaret
would allow nobody to enter the king's chamber, under any pretext
whatever, except those who were in her confidence, and entirely under
her orders.

[Sidenote: Death of the archbishop.]

[Sidenote: 1454.]

[Sidenote: A deputation.]

At length, about two months after Edward was born, the highest
dignitary of the Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, died. This
event, according to the ancient usages of the realm, gave the House
of Lords the right to send a deputation to the king to condole with
him, and to ascertain his wishes in respect to the measures to be
adopted on the occasion.

This committee accordingly proceeded to Windsor, and coming, as they
did, under the authority of ancient custom, which in England, in those
days, had even more than the force of law, they could not be refused
admission. They found the king lying helpless and unconscious, and
they could not obtain from him any answer to what they said to him, or
any sign that the slightest spark of intelligence remained in his
mind.

[Sidenote: The duke's policy.]

[Sidenote: The duke made regent.]

The committee reported these facts to the House of Lords. Finding how
serious the king's illness was, the party of the Duke of York
concluded to wait a little longer. There was a great probability that
the king would soon die. The life, too, of the infant son was of
course very precarious. He might not survive the dangers of infancy,
and in that case the Duke of York would succeed to the throne at once
without any struggle. So a sort of compromise was effected. Parliament
appointed the Duke of York protector and defender of the king during
his illness, or until such time as Edward, the young prince, should
arrive at the proper age for undertaking the government. It was at
this time that young Edward was made Prince of Wales. The conferring
of this title upon him was confirmed by both houses of Parliament.
They thus solemnly decreed that, though the Duke of York was to
exercise the government during the sickness of the king and the
minority of Edward, still the kingdom was to be reserved for Edward as
the rightful heir, and he was to be put into possession of the
sovereign power, either as regent in case his father should continue
to live until that time, or as king if, in the interim, he should die.

[Sidenote: The duke's hopes.]

The Duke of York and his friends acceded to this arrangement, in hopes
that the prince never would arrive at years of discretion, but that,
before many years, and perhaps before many months, both father and son
would die. He thought it better, at any rate, to wait quietly for a
time, especially as, during the period of this waiting, he was put in
possession substantially of the supreme power.

[Sidenote: Margaret dissatisfied.]

Queen Margaret herself was extremely dissatisfied with the arrangement
by which the Duke of York was made regent, since it of course deprived
her of all her power. But she could do nothing to prevent it. Besides,
her mind was so filled with the maternal feelings and affections
which her situation inspired and with the care of the infant child,
that she had for a time no heart for political contention.

[Sidenote: Her condition.]

Then, moreover, the Parliament, at the same time that they made the
Duke of York regent, and thus virtually deprived the queen of her
power, settled upon her an ample annuity, by means of which she would
be enabled to live, with her son, in a state becoming her rank and her
ambition. One motive, doubtless, which led them to do this was to
induce her to acquiesce in this change, and remain quiet in the
position in which they thus placed her.

In addition to the liberal supplies which the Parliament granted to
the queen, they made ample provision for maintaining the dignity and
providing for the education of the young prince. Among other things, a
commission of five physicians was appointed to watch over his health.

[Sidenote: She concludes to submit.]

Margaret was the more easily persuaded to acquiesce in these
arrangements from believing, as she did, that the state of things to
which they gave rise would be of short duration. She fully believed
that her husband would recover, and then the regency of the Duke of
York would cease, and the king--that is, the king in name, but she
herself in reality--would come into power again. So she determined to
bide her time.

[Sidenote: The queen's establishment at Greenwich.]

She accordingly retired from London, and set up an establishment of
her own in her palace at Greenwich, where she held her court, and
lived in a style of grandeur and ceremony such as would have been
proper if she had been a reigning queen. Her old favorite, too,
Somerset, was at first one of the principal personages of her court;
but one of the first acts of the Duke of York's regency was to issue a
warrant of arrest against him. The officers, in executing this
warrant, seized him in the very presence-chamber of the queen.
Margaret was extremely incensed at this deed. She declared that it was
not only an act of political hostility, but an insult. She was,
however, entirely helpless. The Duke of York had the power now, and
she was compelled to submit.

[Sidenote: Her care of Henry.]

But she was not required to remain long in this humiliating position.
She procured the best possible medical advice and attendance for her
husband, and devoted herself to him with the utmost assiduity, and, at
length, she had the satisfaction of seeing that he was beginning to
amend. The improvement commenced in November, about eight or ten
months after he first fell into the state of unconsciousness. When at
length he came to himself, it seemed to him, he said, as if he was
awaking from a long dream.

[Sidenote: Recovery.]

Margaret was overjoyed to see these signs of returning intelligence.
She longed for the time to come when she could show the king her boy.
He had thus far never seen the child.

[Sidenote: The prince shown to him.]

[Sidenote: Marks of returning consciousness.]

We obtain a pretty clear idea of the state of imbecility or
unconsciousness in which he had been lying from the account of what he
did and said at the interview when the little prince was first brought
into his presence. It is as follows:

     "On Monday, at noon, the queen came to him and brought my lord
     prince with her, and then he asked 'what the prince's name was,'
     and the queen told him 'Edward,' and then he held up his hands,
     and thanked God thereof.

     "And he said he never knew him till that time, nor wist what was
     said to him, nor wist where he had been, while he had been sick,
     till now; and he asked who were the godfathers, and the queen
     told him, and he was well content.

     "And she told him the cardinal was dead,[12] and he said he
     never knew of it till this time; then he said one of the wisest
     lords in this land was dead.

     "And my Lord of Winchester and my Lord of St. John of Jerusalem
     were with him the morrow after Twelfth day, and he did speak to
     them as well as ever he did, and when they came out they wept for
     joy. And he saith he is in charity with all the world, and so he
     would all the lords were. And now he saith matins of our Lady and
     even-song, and heareth his mass devoutly."

         [Footnote 12: The Archbishop of Canterbury, the circumstance
         of whose death has already been referred to.]

[Sidenote: The king reinstated.]

The very first moment that the king was able to bear it, Margaret
caused him to be conveyed into the House of Lords, there to resume the
exercise of his royal powers by taking his place upon the throne and
performing some act of sovereignty. The regency was, of course, now at
an end, and the Duke of York, leaving London, went off into the
country in high dudgeon.

The queen, of course, now came into power again. The first thing that
she did was to release Somerset from his confinement, and reinstate
him as prime minister of the crown.



CHAPTER XIV.

ANXIETY AND TROUBLE.


[Sidenote: A great deal of trouble.]

[Sidenote: Angry disputes.]

[Sidenote: Insubordination.]

For about six years after this time, that is, from the birth of Prince
Edward till he was six years old, and while Margaret was advancing
from her twenty-fourth to her thirtieth year, her life was one of
continual anxiety, contention, and alarm. The Duke of York and his
party made continual difficulty, and the quarrel between him, and the
Earl of Warwick, and the other nobles who espoused his cause, on one
side, and the queen, supported by the Duke of Somerset and other great
Lancastrian partisans on the other, kept the kingdom in a constant
ferment. Sometimes the force of the quarrel spent itself in intrigues,
manoeuvres, and plottings, or in fierce and angry debates in
Parliament, or in bitter animosities and contentions in private and
social life. At other times it would break out into open war, and
again and again was Margaret compelled to leave her child in the hands
of nurses and guardians, while she went with her poor helpless husband
to follow the camp, in order to meet and overcome the military
assemblages which the Duke of York was continually bringing together
at his castles in the country or in the open fields.

The king's health during all this period was so frail, and his mind,
especially at certain times, was so feeble, that he was almost as
helpless as a child. There was an hereditary taint of insanity in the
family, which made his case still more discouraging.

[Sidenote: Modes of amusing the king.]

[Sidenote: The singing boys.]

Queen Margaret took the greatest pains to amuse him, and to provide
employments for him that would occupy his thoughts in a gentle and
soothing manner. When traveling about the country, she employed
minstrels to sing and play to him; and, in order to have a constant
supply of these performers provided, and to have them well trained to
their art, she sent instructions to the sheriffs of the counties in
all parts of the kingdom, requiring them to seek for all the beautiful
boys that had good voices, and to have them instructed in the art of
music, so that they might be ready, when called upon, to perform
before the king. In the mean time they were to be paid good wages, and
to be considered already, while receiving their instruction, as acting
under the charge and in the service of the queen.

[Sidenote: Pretended pilgrimages.]

[Sidenote: The king comforted.]

Margaret and the other friends of the king used to contrive various
other ways of amusing and comforting his mind, some of which were not
very honest. One was, for example, to have different nobles and
gentlemen come to him and ask his permission that they should leave
the kingdom to go and make pilgrimages to various foreign shrines, in
order to fulfill vows and offer oblations and prayers for the
restoration of his majesty's health. The king was of a very devout
frame of mind, and his thoughts were accustomed to dwell a great deal
on religious subjects, and especially on the performance of the rites
and ceremonies customary in those days, and it seemed to comfort him
very much to imagine that his friends were going to make such long
pilgrimages to pray for him.

So the nobles and other great personages would ask his consent that
they might go, and would take solemn leave of him as if they were
really going, and then would keep out of sight a little while, until
the poor patient had forgotten their request.

[Sidenote: One real pilgrimage.]

It is said, however, that one nobleman, the Duke of Norfolk, who was
so kind-hearted a man that he went by the name of the Good Duke,
actually made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem on this errand, and there
offered up prayers and supplications at the famous chapel of the Holy
Sepulchre for the restoration of his sovereign's health.

[Sidenote: The philosopher's stone.]

[Sidenote: Promised treasures.]

They used also to amuse and cheer the king's mind by telling him, from
time to time, that he was going to be supplied with inexhaustible
treasures of wealth by the discovery of the philosopher's stone. The
philosopher's stone was an imaginary substance which the alchemists of
those days were all the time attempting to discover, by means of which
lead and iron, and all other metals, could be turned to gold. There
were royal laboratories, and alchemists continually at work in them
making experiments, and the queen used to give the king wonderful
accounts of the progress which they were making, and tell him that the
discovery was nearly completed, and that very soon he would have in
his exchequer just as much money as his heart could desire. The poor
king fully believed all these stories, and was extremely pleased and
gratified to hear them.

[Sidenote: Intervals of good health.]

There were times during this interval when the king was tolerably
well, his malady being somewhat periodical in its character. This was
the case particularly on one occasion, soon after his first recovery
from the state of total insensibility which has been referred to. The
Duke of York, as has already been said, was put very much out of humor
by the king's recovery on this occasion, and by his own consequent
deposition from the office of regent, and still more so when he found
that the first act which the queen performed on her recovery of power
was to release his hated enemy, Somerset, from the prison where he,
the Duke of York, had confined him, and make him prime minister again.
He very soon determined that he would not submit to this indignity. He
assembled an army on the frontiers of Wales, where some of his chief
strong-holds were situated, and assumed an attitude of hostility so
defiant that the queen's government determined to take the field to
oppose him.

[Sidenote: Restoration of Somerset.]

[Sidenote: Armies marshaled.]

So they raised an army, and the Duke of Somerset, with the queen,
taking the king with them, set out from London and marched toward the
northwest. They stopped first at the town of St. Alban's.[13] When
they were about to resume their march from St. Alban's, they saw that
the hills before them were covered with bands of armed men, the forces
of the Duke of York, which he was leading on toward the capital.
Somerset's forces immediately returned to the town. Margaret, who was
for a time greatly distressed and perplexed to decide between her duty
toward her husband and toward her child, finally concluded to retire
to Greenwich with the little prince, and await there the result of the
battle, leaving the Duke of Somerset to do the best he could with the
king.

         [Footnote 13: See map.]

[Sidenote: St. Alban's.]

[Sidenote: The parley.]

Very soon a herald came from the Duke of York to the gates of St.
Alban's, and demanded a parley. He said that the duke had not taken
arms against the king, but only against Somerset. He professed great
loyalty and affection for Henry himself, and only wished to save him
from the dangerous counsels of a corrupt and traitorous minister, and
he said that if the king would deliver up Somerset to him, he would at
once disband his armies, and the difficulty would be all at an end.

[Sidenote: Reply.]

The reply sent to this was that the king declared that he would lose
both his crown and his life before he would deliver up either the Duke
of Somerset or even the meanest soldier in his army to such a demand.

[Sidenote: Attack on the town.]

[Sidenote: Terrible conflict.]

The Duke of York, on receiving this answer, immediately advanced to
attack the town. For some time Henry's men defended the walls and
gates successfully against him, but at length the Earl of Warwick,
who was the Duke of York's principal confederate and supporter in this
movement, passed with a strong detachment by another way round a hill,
and through some gardens, and thence, by breaking down the wall which
stood between the garden and the town, he succeeded in getting in. A
terrible conflict then ensued in the streets and narrow lanes of the
city, and the attention of the besieged being thus drawn off from the
walls and the gates, the Duke of York soon succeeded in forcing his
way in too.

[Sidenote: The king taken prisoner.]

King Henry's forces were soon routed with great slaughter. The Duke of
Somerset and several other prominent nobles were killed. The king
himself was wounded by an arrow, which struck him in the neck as he
was standing under his banner in the street with his officers around
him. When these his attendants saw that the battle was going against
him, they all forsook him and fled, leaving him by his banner alone.
He remained here quietly for some time, and then went into a shop near
by, where presently the Duke of York found him.

[Sidenote: The duke's demeanor.]

As soon as the Duke came into the king's presence he kneeled before
him, thus acknowledging him as king, and said,

"The traitor and public enemy against whom we took up arms is dead,
and now there will be no farther trouble."

"Then," said the king, "for God's sake, go and stop the slaughter of
my subjects."

[Sidenote: 1457.]

[Sidenote: The king conveyed to London.]

The duke immediately sent orders to stop the fighting, and, taking the
king by the hand, he led him to the Abbey of St. Alban's, a venerable
monastic edifice, greatly celebrated in the histories of these times,
and there caused him to be conveyed to his apartment. The next day he
took him to London. He rendered him all external tokens of homage and
obedience by the way, but still virtually the king was his prisoner.

[Sidenote: Margaret's despair.]

Poor Queen Margaret was all this time at Greenwich, waiting in the
utmost suspense and anxiety to hear tidings of the battle. When, at
length, the news arrived that the battle had been lost, that the king
had been wounded, and was now virtually a prisoner in the hands of her
abhorred and hated enemy, she was thrown into a state of utter
despair, so much so that she remained for some hours in a sort of
stupor, as if all was now lost, and it was useless and hopeless to
continue the struggle any longer.

[Sidenote: The king's wound.]

[Sidenote: The queen and the prince.]

She however, at length, revived, and began to consider again what was
to be done. The prospect before her, however, seemed to grow darker
and darker. The fatigue and excitement which the king had suffered,
joined to the effects of his wound, which seemed not disposed to heal,
produced a relapse. The Duke of York appears to have considered that
the time had not yet come for him to attempt to assert his claims to
the throne. He contented himself with so exhibiting the condition of
the king to members of Parliament as to induce that body to appoint
him protector again. When he had thus regained possession of power, he
restored the king to the care of the queen, and sent her, with him and
the little prince, into the country.

[Sidenote: Grand reconciliation.]

[Sidenote: 1458.]

[Sidenote: Mutual distrust.]

One of the most extraordinary circumstances which occurred in the
course of these anxious and troubled years was a famous reconciliation
which took place at one time between the parties to this great
quarrel. It was at a time when England was threatened with an invasion
from France. Queen Margaret proposed a grand meeting of all the lords
and nobles on both sides, to agree upon some terms of pacification by
which the intestine feud which divided and distracted the country
might be healed, and the way prepared for turning their united
strength against the foe. But it was a very dangerous thing to attempt
to bring these turbulent leaders together. They had no confidence in
each other, and no one of them would be willing to come to the
congress without bringing with him a large armed force of followers
and retainers, to defend him in case of violence or treachery.
Finally, it was agreed to appoint the Lord-mayor of London to keep the
peace among the various parties, and, to enable him to do this
effectually, he was provided with a force of ten thousand men. These
men were volunteers raised from among the citizens of London.

[Sidenote: Meeting of the nobles.]

When the time arrived for the meeting, the various leaders came in
toward London, each at the head of a body of retainers. One man came
with five hundred men, another with four hundred, and another with six
hundred, who were all dressed in uniform with scarlet coats. Another
nobleman, representing the great Percy family, came at the head of a
body of fifteen hundred men, all his own personal retainers, and every
one of them ready to fight any where and against any body, the moment
that their feudal lord should give the word.

[Sidenote: Armed bands.]

These various chieftains, each at the head of his troops, came to
London at the appointed time, and established themselves at different
castles and strong-holds in and around the city, like so many
independent sovereigns coming together to negotiate a treaty of peace.

[Sidenote: Disputes and debates.]

They spent two whole months in disputes and debates, in which the
fiercest invectives and the most angry criminations and recriminations
were uttered continually on both sides. At length, marvelous to
relate, they came to an agreement. All the points in dispute were
arranged, a treaty was signed, and a grand reconciliation--that is, a
pretended one--was the result.

[Sidenote: The treaty.]

This meeting was convened about the middle of January, and on the
twenty-fourth of March the agreement was finally made and ratified,
and sealed, in a solemn manner, by the great seal. It contained a
great variety of agreements and specifications, which it is not
necessary to recapitulate here, but when all was concluded there was a
grand public ceremony in commemoration of the event.

[Sidenote: Procession.]

At this celebration the king and queen, wearing their crowns and royal
robes, walked in solemn procession to St. Paul's Cathedral in the
city. They were followed by the leading peers and prelates walking two
and two; and, in order to exhibit to public view the most perfect
tokens and pledges of the fullness and sincerity of this grand
reconciliation, it was arranged that those who had been most bitterly
hostile to each other in the late quarrels should be paired together
as they walked. Thus, immediately behind the king, who walked alone,
came the queen and the Duke of York walking together hand in hand, as
if they were on the most loving terms imaginable, and so with the
rest.

[Sidenote: Mock reconciliation.]

The citizens of London, and vast crowds of other people who had come
in from the surrounding towns to witness the spectacle, joined in the
celebration by forming lines along the streets as the procession
passed by, and greeting the reconciled pairs with long and loud
acclamations; and when night came, they brightened up the whole city
with illuminations of their houses and bonfires in the streets.

[Sidenote: Fighting again.]

In about a year after this the parties to this grand pacification were
fighting each other more fiercely and furiously than ever.

[Illustration: The Little Prince and his Swans.]

[Sidenote: The prince's journey.]

[Sidenote: The little swans.]

At one time, when the little prince was about six years old, the queen
made a royal progress through certain counties in the interior of the
country, ostensibly to benefit the king's health by change of air, and
by the gentle exercise and agreeable recreation afforded by a journey,
but really, it is said, to interest the nobles and the people of the
region through which she passed in her cause, and especially in that
of the little prince, whom she took on that occasion to show to all
the people on her route. She had adopted for him the device of his
renowned ancestor, Edward III., which was a _swan_; and she had caused
to be made for him a large number of small silver swans, which he was
to present to the nobles and gentlemen, and to all who were admitted
to a personal audience, in the towns through which he passed. He was a
bright and beautiful boy, and he gave these little swans to the people
who came around him with such a sweet and charming grace, that all who
saw him were inspired with feelings of the warmest interest and
affection for him.

[Sidenote: War breaks out again.]

Very soon after this time the war between the two great contending
parties broke out anew, and took such a course as very soon deprived
King Henry of his crown. The events which led to this result will be
related in the next chapter.



CHAPTER XV.

MARGARET A FUGITIVE.


[Sidenote: 1459.]

[Sidenote: The battle of Blore Heath.]

[Sidenote: The queen's orders.]

In the summer of 1459, the year after the grand reconciliation took
place which is described in the last chapter, two vast armies,
belonging respectively to the two parties, which had been gradually
gathering for a long time, came up together at a place called Blore
Heath,[14] in Staffordshire, in the heart of England. A great battle
ensued. During the battle Henry lay dangerously ill in the town of
Coleshill, which was not far off. Margaret was at Maccleston, another
village very near the field of battle. From the tower of the church in
Maccleston she watched the progress of the fight. Salisbury was at the
head of the York party. Margaret's troops were commanded by Lord
Audley. When Audley took leave of her to go into battle, she sternly
ordered him to bring Salisbury to her, dead or alive.

         [Footnote 14: For the situation of Blore Heath, see map.]

[Sidenote: Decorations.]

Audley had ten thousand men under his command. The soldiers were all
adorned with red rosettes, the symbol of the house of Lancaster. The
officers wore little silver swans upon their uniform, such as Prince
Edward had distributed.

[Sidenote: Battle lost.]

The queen watched the progress of the battle with intense anxiety, and
soon, to her consternation and dismay, she saw that it was going
against her. She kept her eyes upon Audley's banner, and when, at
length, she saw it fall, she knew that all was lost. She hurried down
from the tower, and, with a few friends to accompany her, she fled for
her life to a strong-hold belonging to her friends that was not at a
great distance.

[Sidenote: Feeble condition of the king.]

The king, too, had to be removed, in order to prevent his being taken
prisoner. He was, however, too feeble to know much or to think much of
what was going on. When they came to take him on his pallet to carry
him away, he looked up and asked, feebly, "who had got the day," but
beyond this he gave no indication of taking any interest in the
momentous events that were transpiring.

[Sidenote: Spirit and temper of the queen.]

[Sidenote: 1460.]

[Sidenote: Success of her efforts.]

This defeat, instead of producing a discouraging and disheartening
effect upon Margaret's mind, only served to arouse her to new vigor
and determination. She had been somewhat timid and fearful in the
earlier part of her troubles, when she had only a husband to think of
and to care for. But now she had a son; and the maternal instinct
seemed to operate in her case, as it has done in so many others, to
make her fearless, desperate, and, in the end, almost ferocious, in
protecting her offspring from harm, and in maintaining his rights. She
immediately engaged with the utmost zeal and ardor in raising a new
army. She did not trust the command of it to any general, but directed
all the operations of it herself. There is not space to describe in
detail the campaigns that ensued, but the result was a complete
victory. Her enemies were, in their turn, entirely defeated, and the
two great leaders, the Duke of York and the Earl of Warwick, were
actually driven out of the kingdom. The Duke of York retreated to
Ireland, and the Earl of Warwick went across the Straits of Dover to
Calais, which was still in English possession, and a great naval and
military station.

[Sidenote: The Earl of Warwick.]

[Sidenote: His successful advance.]

In a very short time after this, however, Warwick came back again with
a large armed force, which he had organized at Calais, and landed in
the southern part of England. He marched toward London, carrying all
before him. It was now his party's turn to be victorious; for by the
operation of that strange principle which seems to regulate the ups
and downs of opposing political parties in all countries and in all
ages, victory alternates between them with almost the regularity of a
pendulum. The current of popular sentiment, which had set so strongly
in favor of the queen's cause only a short year before, appeared to be
now altogether in favor of her enemies. Every body flocked to
Warwick's standard as he marched northwardly from the coast toward
London, and at London the people opened the gates of the city and
received him and his troops as if they had been an army of deliverers.

[Sidenote: Northampton.]

[Sidenote: The king made captive.]

Warwick did not delay long in London. He marched to the north to meet
the queen's troops. Another great battle was fought at Northampton.
Margaret watched the progress of the fight from an eminence not far
distant. The day went against her. The result of the battle was that
the poor king was taken prisoner the second time and carried in
triumph to London.

The captors, however, treated him with great consideration and
respect--not as their enemy and as their prisoner, but as their
sovereign, rescued by them from the hands of traitors and foes. The
time had not even yet come for the York party openly to avow their
purpose of deposing the king. So they conveyed him to London, and
lodged him in the palace there, where he was surrounded with all the
emblems and marks of royalty, but was still, nevertheless, closely
confined.

[Sidenote: Parliament summoned.]

[Sidenote: The king.]

The Duke of York then summoned a Parliament, acting in the king's
name, of course, that is, requiring the king to sign the writs and
other necessary documents. It was not until October that the
Parliament met. During the interval the king was lodged in a country
place not far from London, where every effort was made to enable him
to pass his time agreeably, by giving him an opportunity to hunt, and
to amuse and recreate himself with other out-door amusements. All the
while, however, a strict watch was kept over him to prevent the
possibility of his making his escape, or of the friends of the queen
coming secretly to take him away.

As for the queen and the little prince, none knew what had become of
them.

[Sidenote: The duke's pretensions.]

When Parliament met, a very extraordinary scene occurred in the House
of Lords, in which the Duke of York was the principal actor, and which
excited a great sensation. Up to this time he had put forward no
actual claim to the throne in behalf of his branch of the family, but
in all the hostilities in which he had been engaged against the king's
troops, his object had been, as he had always said, not to oppose the
king, but only to save him, by separating him from the evil influences
which surrounded him. But he was now beginning to be somewhat more
bold.

[Sidenote: The duke comes to Parliament.]

Accordingly, when Parliament met, he came into London at the head of a
body-guard of five hundred horsemen, and with the sword of state borne
before him, as if he were the greatest personage in the realm. He rode
directly to Westminster, and, halting his men with great parade before
the doors of the hall where the House of Lords was assembled, he went
in.

[Sidenote: Scene in the House of Lords.]

He advanced directly through the hall to the raised dais at the end on
which the throne was placed. He ascended the steps, and walked to the
throne, the whole assembly looking on in solemn awe, to see what he
was going to do. Some expected that he was going to take his seat upon
the throne, and thus at once assume the position that he was the true
and rightful sovereign of England. He, however, did not do so. He
stood by the throne a few minutes, with his hand upon the crimson
cloth which covered it, as if hesitating whether to take his seat or
not, or perhaps waiting for some intimation from his partisans that he
was expected to do so. But for several minutes no one spoke a word.
At length the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was in some respects the
most exalted personage in the House of Lords, asked him if he would be
pleased to go and visit the king, who was at that time in an adjoining
apartment. He replied in a haughty tone,

"I know no one in this realm whose duty it is not rather to visit me
than to expect me to visit him."

[Sidenote: His haughty demeanor.]

He then turned and walked proudly out of the house.

[Sidenote: Henry's reasoning.]

Although he thus refrained from actually seating himself upon the
throne, it was evident that the time was rapidly drawing near when he
would openly assert his claim to it, and some of the peers, thinking
perhaps that Henry could be induced peaceably to yield, consulted him
upon the subject, asking him which he thought had the best title to
the crown, himself or the Duke of York.

To this question Henry replied,

"My father was king; his father was king. I have myself worn the crown
for forty years, from my cradle. You have all sworn fealty to me as
your sovereign, and your fathers did the same to my father and to my
grandfather. How, then, can any one dispute my claim?"

[Sidenote: Contesting claims.]

What Henry said was true. The crown had been in his branch of the
royal line for three generations, and for more than half a century,
during all which time the whole nation had acquiesced in their rule.
The claim of the Duke of York ran back to a period anterior to all
this, but he maintained that it was legitimate and valid,
notwithstanding.

[Sidenote: Decision of the question.]

There followed a series of deliberations and negotiations, the result
of which was a decision on the part of Parliament that the Duke of
York and his successors were really entitled to the crown, but that,
by way of compromise, it was not to be in form transferred to them
until after the death of Henry. So long as he should continue to live,
he was to be nominally king, but the Duke of York was to govern as
regent, and, at Henry's death, the crown was to descend to him.

The duke was satisfied with this arrangement, and the first thing to
be done, in order to secure its being well carried out, was to get the
little prince, as well as Henry, the king, into his possession; for he
well knew that, even if he were to dispose of the old king, and
establish himself in possession of the throne, he could have no peace
or quietness in the possession of it so long as the little prince,
with his mother, was at large.

[Sidenote: The queen commanded to return.]

So he found means to induce the king to sign a mandate commanding the
queen to come to London and bring the prince with her. This mandate
she was required to obey immediately, under penalty, in case of
disobedience, of being held guilty of treason.

Officers were immediately dispatched in all directions to search for
the queen, in order to serve this mandate upon her, but she was
nowhere to be found.



CHAPTER XVI.

MARGARET TRIUMPHANT.


[Sidenote: Sudden reverses.]

There followed after this time a series of very rapid and sudden
reverses, by which first one party and then the other became
alternately the victors and the vanquished, through changes of fortune
of the most extraordinary character.

At the end of the battle described in the last chapter, Margaret found
herself, with the little prince, a helpless fugitive. There were only
eight persons to accompany her in her flight, and so defenseless were
they, and such was the wild and lawless condition of the country, that
it was said her party was stopped while on their way to Wales, and the
queen was robbed of all her jewels and other valuables. Both she and
the prince would very probably, too, have been made prisoners and sent
to London, had it not been that, while the marauders were busy with
their plunder, she contrived to make her escape.

[Sidenote: Retreat to Scotland.]

[Sidenote: The queen re-enters England.]

[Sidenote: Success.]

She remained a very short time in Wales, and then proceeded by sea to
Scotland, where her party, and she herself personally, had powerful
friends. By the aid of these friends, and through the influence of
the indomitable spirit and resolution which she displayed, she was
soon supplied with a new force. At the head of this force she crossed
the frontier into England. The people seemed every where to pity her
misfortunes, and they were so struck with the energy and courage she
displayed in struggling against them, and in braving the dreadful
dangers which surrounded her in defense of the rights of her husband
and child, that they flocked to her standard from all quarters, and
thus in eight days from the time that the mandate was issued from
London commanding her to surrender herself a prisoner, she appeared in
the vicinity of the city of York, the largest and strongest city in
all the north of England, at the head of an overwhelming force.

[Sidenote: Movement of the duke.]

The Duke of York was astounded when this intelligence reached him in
London. There was not a moment to be lost. He immediately set out with
all the troops which he could command, and marched to the northward to
meet the queen. At the same time, he sent orders to the other leaders
of his party, in different parts of England, to move to the northward
as rapidly as possible, and join him there.

[Sidenote: Battle of Wakefield.]

[Sidenote: Death of the Duke of York.]

The duke himself arrived first in the vicinity of the queen's army,
but he thought he was not strong enough to attack her, and he
accordingly concluded to wait until his re-enforcements should come
up. The queen advanced with a much superior force to meet him. The two
armies came together near the town of Wakefield, and here, after some
delay, during which the queen continually challenged the duke to come
out from his walls and fortifications to meet her, and defied and
derided him with many taunts and reproaches, a great battle was
finally fought. Margaret's troops were victorious. Two thousand out of
five thousand of the duke's troops were left dead upon the field, and
the duke himself was slain!

Margaret's heart was filled with the wildest exultation and joy when
she heard that her inveterate and hated foe at last was dead. She
could scarcely restrain her excitement. One of the nobles of her
party, Lord Clifford, whose father had been killed in a previous
battle under circumstances of great atrocity, cut off the duke's head
from his body, and carried it to Margaret on the end of a pike. She
was for a moment horror-stricken at the ghastly spectacle, and turned
her face away; but she finally ordered the head to be set up upon a
pole on the walls of York, in view of all beholders.

[Sidenote: Murder of his son.]

A young son of the duke's, the Earl of Rutland, who was then about
twelve years old, was also killed, or rather massacred, on the field
of battle, after the fight was over, as he was endeavoring to make his
escape, under the care of his tutor, to a castle near, where he would
have been safe. This was the castle of Sandal. It was a very strong
place, and was in the possession of the Duke of York's party. The poor
boy was cut down mercilessly by the same Lord Clifford who has already
been spoken of, notwithstanding all that his tutor could do to save
him.

[Sidenote: Margaret's cruelties.]

[Sidenote: Her exultation.]

Other most atrocious murders were committed at the close of this
battle. The Earl of Salisbury was beheaded, and his head was set up
upon a pike on the walls of York, by the side of the duke's. Margaret
was almost beside herself at the results of this victory. Her armies
triumphant, the great leader of the party of her enemies, the man who
had been for years her dread and torment, slain, and all his chief
confederates either killed or taken prisoners, and nothing now
apparently in the way to prevent her marching in triumph to London,
liberating her husband from his thraldom, and taking complete and
undisputed possession of the supreme power, there seemed, so far as
the prospect now before her was concerned, to be nothing more to
desire.

[Illustration: Murder of Richard's Child.]



CHAPTER XVII.

MARGARET AN EXILE.


[Sidenote: A new reverse.]

Bright as were the hopes and prospects of Margaret after the battle of
Wakefield, a few short months were sufficient to involve her cause
again in the deepest darkness and gloom. The battle of Wakefield, and
the death of the Duke of York, took place near the last of December,
in 1460. In March, three months later, Margaret was an exile from
England, outlawed by the supreme power of the realm, and placed under
such a ban that it was forbidden to all the people of England to have
any communication with her.

[Sidenote: Reaction.]

[Sidenote: Head of the Duke of York.]

This fatal result was brought about, in a great measure, by the
reaction in the minds of the people of the country, which resulted
from the shocking cruelties perpetrated by her and by her party after
the battle of Wakefield. The accounts of these transactions spread
through the kingdom, and awakened a universal feeling of disgust and
abhorrence. It was said that when Lord Clifford carried the head of
the Duke of York to Margaret on the point of a lance, followed by a
crowd of other knights and nobles, he said to her,

"Look, madam! The war is over! Here is the ransom for the king!"

Then all the by-standers raised a shout of exultation, and began
pointing at the ghastly head, with mockings and derisive laughter.
They had put a paper crown upon the head, which they seemed to think
produced a comic effect. The queen, though at first she averted her
face, soon turned back again toward the horrid trophy, and laughed,
with the rest, at the ridiculous effect produced by the paper crown.

[Sidenote: The country shocked.]

[Sidenote: Margaret's ferocity.]

The murder, too, of the innocent child, the duke's younger son,
produced a great and very powerful sensation throughout the land. The
queen, though she had not, perhaps, commanded this deed, still made
herself an accessory by commending it and exulting over it. The
ferocious hate with which she was animated against all the family of
her fallen foe was also shown by another circumstance, and that was,
that when she commanded the two heads, viz., that of the Duke of York
and that of the Earl of Salisbury, to be set upon the city walls, she
ordered that a space should be left between them for two other heads,
one of which was to be that of Edward, the oldest son of the Duke of
York, who was still alive, not having been present at the battle of
Wakefield, and who, of course, now inherited the title and the claims
of his father.

[Sidenote: The duke's heir.]

[Sidenote: Edward.]

This young Edward was at this time about nineteen years of age. His
title had been hitherto the Earl of March, and he would, of course,
now become the Duke of York, only he chose to assume that of King of
England. He was a young man of great energy of character, and he was
sustained, of course, by all his father's party, who now transferred
their allegiance to him. Indeed, their zeal in his service was
redoubled by the terrible resentment and the thirst for vengeance
which the cruelties of the queen awakened in their minds. Edward
immediately put himself in motion with all the troops that he could
command. He was in the western part of England at the time of his
father's death, and he immediately began to move toward the coast in
order to intercept Margaret on her march toward London.

[Sidenote: Battle at St. Alban's.]

[Sidenote: Warwick defeated.]

[Sidenote: Henry abandoned.]

At the same time, the Earl of Warwick advanced from London itself to
the northward to meet the queen, taking with him the king, who had up
to this time remained in London. The armies of Warwick and of the
queen came into the vicinity of each other not far from St. Alban's,
before the young Duke of York came up, and a desperate battle was
fought. Warwick's army was composed chiefly of men hastily got
together in London, and they were no match for the experienced and
sturdy soldiers which Margaret had brought with her from the Scottish
frontier. They were entirely defeated. They fought all day, but at
night they dispersed in all directions, and in the hurry and confusion
of their flight they left the poor king behind them.

[Sidenote: Is saved.]

During the battle Margaret did not know that her husband was on the
ground. But at night, as soon as Henry's keepers had abandoned him, a
faithful serving-man who remained with him ran into Margaret's camp,
and finding one of the nobles in command there, he informed him of the
situation of the king. The noble immediately informed the queen, and
she, overjoyed at the news, flew to the place where her husband lay,
and, on finding him, they embraced each other with the most passionate
tokens of affection and joy.

[Sidenote: The abbey.]

Margaret brought the little prince to be presented to him, and then
they all together proceeded to the abbey at St. Alban's, where
apartments were provided for them. They first, however, went to the
church, in order to return thanks publicly for the deliverance of the
king.

They were received at the door of the church by the abbot and the
monks, who welcomed them with hymns of praise and thanksgiving as they
approached. After the ceremonies had been performed, they went to the
apartments in the abbey which had been provided for them, intending to
devote some days to quiet and repose.

[Sidenote: Great excitement.]

In the mean time the excitement throughout the country continued and
increased. The queen perpetrated fresh cruelties, ordering the
execution of all the principal leaders from the other side that fell
into her hands. She alienated the minds of the people from her cause
by not restraining her troops from plundering; and, in order to obtain
money to defray the expenses of her army and to provide them with
food, she made requisitions upon the towns through which she passed,
and otherwise harassed the people of the country by fines and
confiscations.

[Sidenote: The people alarmed.]

The people were at length so exasperated by these high-handed
proceedings, and by the furious and vindictive spirit which Margaret
manifested in all that she did, that the current turned altogether in
favor of the young Duke of York. The scattered forces of his party
were reassembled. They began soon to assume so formidable an
appearance that Margaret found it would be best for her to retire
toward the north again. She of course took with her the king and the
Prince of Wales.

[Sidenote: Advance of Edward.]

At the same time, Edward, the young Duke of York, advanced toward
London. The whole city was excited to the highest pitch of enthusiasm
at his approach. A large meeting of citizens declared that Henry
should reign no longer, but that they would have Edward for king.

[Sidenote: London.]

When Edward arrived in London he was received by the whole population
as their deliverer. A grand council of the nobles and prelates was
convened, and, after solemn deliberations, Henry was deposed and
Edward was declared king.

Two days after this a great procession was formed, at the head of
which Edward rode royally to Westminster and took his seat upon the
throne.

[Sidenote: Battle of Towton.]

Margaret made one more desperate effort to retrieve the fortunes of
her family by a battle fought at a place called Towton. This battle
was fought in a snow-storm. It was an awful day. Margaret's party were
entirely defeated, and nearly thirty thousand of them were left dead
upon the field.

[Sidenote: Flight of the queen.]

As soon as the result was known, Margaret, taking with her her husband
and child and a small retinue of attendants, fled to the northward.
She stopped a short time at the Castle of Alnwick,[15] a strong-hold
belonging to one of her friends; but, finding that the forces opposed
to her were gathering strength every day and advancing toward her, and
that the country generally was becoming more and more disposed to
yield allegiance to the new king, she concluded that it would not be
safe for her to remain in England any longer.

         [Footnote 15: See map of the border at the commencement of
         chapter xix.]

[Sidenote: Alnwick.]

So, taking her husband and the little prince with her, and also a few
personal attendants, she left Alnwick, and crossed the frontier into
Scotland, a fugitive and an exile, and with no hope apparently of ever
being able to enter England again.



CHAPTER XVIII.

A ROYAL COUSIN.


[Sidenote: 1461.]

[Sidenote: Margaret in Scotland.]

[Sidenote: Her friends.]

As soon as Margaret escaped to Scotland, far from being disheartened
by her misfortunes, she began at once to concert measures for raising
a new army and going into England again, with a view of making one
more effort to recover her husband's throne. She knew, of course, that
there was a large body of nobles, and of the people of the country,
who were still faithful to her husband's cause, and who would be ready
to rally round his standard whenever and wherever it should appear.
All that she required was the nucleus of an army at the outset, and a
tolerably successful beginning in entering the country. There were
knights and nobles, and great numbers of men, every where ready to
join her as soon as she should appear, but they were nowhere strong
enough to commence a movement on their own responsibility.

[Sidenote: The prince.]

One of the measures which she adopted for strengthening her interest
with the royal family of Scotland was to negotiate a marriage between
the young prince, who was now seven years old, and a Scotch princess.
She succeeded in conditionally arranging this marriage, but she found
that she could not raise troops for a second invasion of England.

[Sidenote: Messengers sent to France.]

In the mean time, she had sent three noblemen as her messengers into
France, to see what could be done in that country. France was her
native land, and the king at that time, Charles VII., was her uncle.
She had strong reason to hope, therefore, that she might find aid and
sympathy there. Toward the close of the summer, however, she received
a letter from two of her messengers at Dieppe which was not at all
encouraging.

[Sidenote: Their letter.]

The letter began by saying, on the part of the messengers, that they
had already written to Margaret three times before; once by the return
of the vessel, called the _Carvel_, in which they went to France, and
twice from Dieppe, where they then were, but all the letters were
substantially to communicate the same evil tidings, namely, that the
king, her uncle, was dead, and that her cousin had succeeded to the
throne, but that the new king seemed not at all disposed to regard her
cause favorably. His officers at Dieppe had caused all their papers to
be seized and taken to the king, and he had shut up one of their
number in the castle of Arques, which is situated at a short distance
from Dieppe. He had been apparently prevented from imprisoning the
other two by their having been provided with a safe-conduct, which
protected them.

[Sidenote: The messengers' advice to the queen.]

Furthermore, the writers of the letter bade the queen keep up good
courage, and advised her, for the present, to remain quietly where she
was. She must not, they said, venture herself, or the little prince,
upon the sea in an attempt to come to France, unless she found herself
exposed to great danger in remaining in Scotland. They wished her to
notify the king, too, who they supposed was at that time secreted in
Wales, for they had heard that the Earl of March--they would not call
him King of England, but still designated him by his old name--was
going into Wales with an army to look for him.

[Sidenote: Their professions and promises.]

They said, in conclusion, that as soon as they were set at liberty
they should immediately come to the queen in Scotland. Nothing but
death would prevent their rejoining her, and they devoutly hoped and
believed that they should not be called to meet with death until they
could have the satisfaction of seeing her husband the king and herself
once more in peaceable possession of their realm.

But the reader may perhaps like to peruse the letter itself in the
words in which it was written. It is a very good specimen of the form
in which the English language was written in those days, though it
seems very quaint and old-fashioned now. It was as follows:

[Sidenote: The letter itself.]

     "MADAM,--Please your good God, we have, since our coming hither,
     written to your highness thrice; once by the carvel in which we
     came, the other two from Dieppe. But, madam, it was all one thing
     in substance, putting you in knowledge of your uncle's death,
     whom God assoil, and how we stood arrested, and do yet. But on
     Tuesday next we shall up to the king, your cousin-german. His
     commissaires, at the first of our tarrying, took all our letters
     and writings, and bore them up to the king, leaving my Lord of
     Somerset in keeping at the castle of Arques, and my fellow
     Whyttingham and me (for we had safe-conduct) in the town of
     Dieppe, where we are yet.

     "Madam, fear not, but be of good comfort, and beware ye venture
     not your person, nor my lord the prince, by sea, till ye have
     other word from us, unless your person can not be sure where ye
     are, and extreme necessity drive ye thence.

     "And, for God's sake, let the king's highness be advised of the
     same; for, as we are informed, the Earl of March is into Wales by
     land, and hath sent his navy thither by sea.

     "And, madam, think verily, as soon as we be delivered, we shall
     come straight to you, unless death take us by the way, which we
     trust he will not till we see the king and you peaceably again in
     your realm; the which we beseech God soon to see, and to send you
     that your highness desireth. Written at Dieppe the 30th day of
     August, 1461.

          "Your true subjects and liegemen,

                              "HUNGERFORD and WHYTTINGHAM."

[Sidenote: Fidelity.]

[Sidenote: Suspense.]

[Sidenote: King Louis XI.]

Margaret remained through the winter in Scotland, anxiously
endeavoring to devise means to rebuild her fallen fortunes. But all
was in vain; no light or hope appeared. At length, when the spring
opened, she determined to go herself to France and see the king her
cousin, in hopes that, by her presence at the court, and her personal
influence over the king, something might be done.

The king her cousin had been her playmate in their childhood. He was
the son of Mary, her father René's sister. Mary and René had been very
strongly attached to each other, and the children had been brought up
much together. Margaret now hoped that, on seeing her again in her
present forlorn and helpless condition, his former friendship for her
would revive, and that he would do something to aid her.

[Sidenote: Want of funds.]

[Sidenote: Gratitude.]

[Sidenote: Voyage to France.]

She was, however, entirely destitute of money, and she would have
found it very difficult to contrive the means of getting to France,
had it not been for the kindness of a French merchant who resided in
Scotland, and whom she had known in former years in Nancy, in
Lorraine, where she had rendered him some service. The merchant had
since acquired a large fortune in commercial operations between
Scotland and Flanders which he conducted. In his prosperity he did not
forget the kindness he had received from the queen in former years,
and, now that she was in want and in distress, he came forward
promptly to relieve her. He furnished her with the funds necessary for
her voyage, and provided a vessel to convey her and her attendants to
the coast of France. She sailed from the port of Kirkcudbright, on the
western coast of Scotland, and so passed down through the Irish Sea
and St. George's Channel, thus avoiding altogether the Straits of
Dover, where she would have incurred danger of being intercepted by
the English men-of-war.

She took the young prince with her. The king it was thought best to
leave behind.

[Sidenote: 1462.]

[Sidenote: Funds exhausted.]

So great were the number of persons dependent upon the queen, and so
urgent were their necessities, that all the funds which the French
merchant had furnished her were exhausted on her arrival in France.
She found, moreover, that the three friends, the noblemen whom she had
sent to France the summer before, and from whom she had received the
letter we have quoted, had left that country and gone to Scotland to
seek her. They had provided themselves with a vessel, in which they
intended to take the queen away from Scotland and convey her to some
place of safety, not knowing that she had herself embarked for France.
They must have passed the queen's vessel on the way, unless, indeed,
which is very probably the case, they went up the Channel and through
the Straits of Dover, thus taking an altogether different route from
that chosen by the queen.

[Sidenote: Missed by her friends.]

When they reached Scotland they hovered on the coast a long time,
endeavoring to find an opportunity to communicate with her secretly;
but at length they learned that she was gone.

[Sidenote: She goes to France.]

In the mean time, Margaret, having arrived in France, borrowed some
money of the Duke of Brittany, in whose dominions it would seem she
first landed. With this money Margaret supplied the most pressing
wants of her party, and also made arrangements for pursuing her
journey into the country, to the town in Normandy where her cousin the
king was then residing.

[Illustration: Louis XI., Margaret's Cousin.]

[Sidenote: Louis XI.]

It is said that, on arriving at the court of the king and obtaining
admission to his majesty's presence, Margaret took the young prince by
the hand, and, throwing herself down at her cousin's feet, she
implored him, with many tears, to take pity upon her forlorn and
wretched condition, and that of her unhappy husband, and to aid her in
her efforts to recover his throne.

But the king, with true royal heartlessness, was unmoved by her
distress, and manifested no disposition to espouse her cause.

[Sidenote: Negotiations.]

Some negotiations, however, ensued, at the close of which the king
promised to loan her a sum of money--for a consideration. The
consideration was that she was to convey to him the port and town of
Calais, which was still held by the English, and was considered a very
important and very valuable possession, or else pay back double the
money which she borrowed.

[Sidenote: Mortgage of Calais.]

Thus it was not an absolute sale of Calais, but only a mortgage of it,
which the queen executed. But, nevertheless, as soon as this
transaction was made known in England, it excited great indignation
throughout the country, and seriously injured the cause of the queen.
The people accused her of being ready to alienate the possessions of
the crown, possessions which it had cost so much both in blood and
treasure to procure.

[Sidenote: Doubtful security.]

Of course, the security which the king obtained for his loan was of a
somewhat doubtful character, for Margaret's mortgage deed of Calais,
although she gave it in King Henry's name, and was careful to state in
it that she was expressly authorized by him to make it, was of no
force at all so long as Edward of York reigned in England, and was
acknowledged by the people as the rightful king. It was only in the
event of Margaret's succeeding in recovering the throne for her
husband that the mortgage could take effect. The deed which she
executed stipulated that, as soon as King Henry should be restored to
his kingdom, he would appoint one of two persons named, in whom the
King of France had confidence, as governor of the town, with authority
to deliver it up to the King of France in one year in case she did not
within that time pay back double the sum of money borrowed.

[Sidenote: Conditions.]

He seemed to think that, considering the great risk he was taking, a
hundred per cent per annum was not an exorbitant usury.



CHAPTER XIX.

RETURN TO ENGLAND.


[Sidenote: Margaret finds a friend.]

Margaret found one friend in France, who seems to have espoused her
cause from a sentiment of sincere and disinterested attachment to her.
This was a certain knight named Pierre de Brezé.[16] He was an officer
of high rank in the government of Normandy, and a man of very
considerable influence among the distinguished personages of those
times.

         [Footnote 16: Pronounced Brezzay.]

[Illustration: Map of the Scottish Border.]

[Sidenote: Account of Brezé.]

[Sidenote: He enters the queen's service.]

Margaret had known him intimately many years before. He was appointed
one of the commissioners on the French side to negotiate, with Suffolk
and the others, the terms of Margaret's marriage, and he had taken a
very prominent part in the tournaments and other celebrations which
took place in honor of the wedding before Margaret left her native
land. When he now saw the poor queen coming back to France an exile,
bereft of friends, of resources, and almost of hope, the interest
which he had felt for her in former years was revived. It is said
that he fell in love with her. However this may be, it is certain that
Margaret's great beauty must have had a very important influence in
deepening the sentiment of compassion which the misfortunes of the
poor fugitive were so well calculated to inspire. At any rate, Brezé
entered at once into the queen's service with great enthusiasm. He
brought with him a force of two thousand men. With this army, and with
the money which she had borrowed of King Louis, Margaret resolved to
make one more attempt to recover her husband's kingdom.

[Sidenote: Margaret's plans.]

At length, in the month of October, 1462, five months after she
arrived in France, she set sail with a small number of vessels,
containing the soldiers that Brezé had provided for her. Her plan was
to land in the north of England, for it was in that part of the
country that the friends of the Lancaster line were most numerous and
powerful.

[Sidenote: She goes to England.]

King Edward's government knew something of her plans, or, at least,
suspected them, and they stationed a fleet to watch for her and
intercept her. She, however, contrived to elude them, and reached the
shores of England in safety.

[Sidenote: Hurried flight.]

The fleet approached the shore at Tynemouth, but the guns of the forts
were pointed against her, and she was forbidden to land. She, however,
succeeded, either at that place or at some other point along the
coast, in effecting a debarkation; but she was threatened so soon with
an attack by a large army which she heard was approaching, under the
command of the Earl of Warwick, that the French troops fled
precipitately to their ships, leaving Margaret, the prince, Brezé, and
a few others who remained faithful to her, on shore. Being thus
deserted, Margaret and her party were compelled to retreat too. They
embarked on board a fisherman's boat, which was the only means of
conveyance left to them, and in this manner made their way to Berwick,
which town was in the possession of her friends.

[Sidenote: A storm.]

[Sidenote: Ships wrecked.]

[Sidenote: Holy Island.]

They were long in reaching Berwick, being detained by a storm. The
storm, however, caused Margaret a much greater injury than mere
detention. The ships in which the French soldiers had fled were caught
by it off a range of rocky cliffs lying between Tynemouth and Berwick,
the most prominent of which is called Bamborough Head. The ships were
driven upon the rocks and rocky islands which lay along the shore, and
there broken to pieces by the sea which rolled in upon them from the
offing. All the stores, and provisions, and munitions of war which
Margaret had brought from France, and which constituted almost her
sole reliance for carrying on the war, were lost. Most of the men
saved themselves, and made their escape to an island that lay near,
called Holy Island. But here they were soon afterward attacked by a
body of Yorkist troops and cut to pieces.

[Sidenote: Margaret's escape.]

Margaret reached Berwick in her fishing-boat at last, bearing these
terrible tidings to her friends there. One would suppose that the last
hope of her being able to retrieve her fallen fortunes would now be
extinguished, and that she would sink down in utter and absolute
despair.

[Sidenote: Her spirit revives.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Hexham.]

[Sidenote: The king's escape.]

But it was not in Margaret's nature to despair. The more heavily the
pressure of calamity and the hostility of her foes weighed upon her,
the more fierce and determined was the spirit of resistance which they
aroused in her bosom. In this instance, instead of yielding to
dejection and despondency, she began at once to take measures for
assembling a new force, and the ardor and energy which she displayed
inspired all around her with some portion of her confidence and zeal.
A new army was raised during the winter. Very early in the spring it
took the field, and a series of military operations followed, in which
towns and castles were taken and retaken, and skirmishes fought all
along the Scottish frontier. At length the contending forces were
concentrated near a place called Hexham, and a general battle ensued.
The queen's army was defeated. The king, who was in the battle, had a
most narrow escape. He fled on horseback--for when he was in good
bodily health he was an excellent horseman--but he was so hotly
pursued that three of his body-guard were taken.

It is mentioned that one of the men thus taken wore the king's cap of
state, which was embroidered with two crowns of gold, one representing
the kingdom of England and the other that of France, the title to
which country the English sovereigns still pretended to claim, in
virtue of their former extended possessions there, although pretty
much all except the town of Calais was now lost.

Perhaps the pursuers of the king's party were deceived by this royal
cap, and took the wearer of it for the king. At any rate, the officer
wearing the cap was taken, and the king escaped.

[Sidenote: The queen's danger.]

Immediately after the victory on the field at Hexham, a body of the
Yorkist troops broke into the camp where the queen was quartered, and
where, with the young prince, she was awaiting the result of the
battle. As soon as the queen found that the enemy were coming, she
seized the prince and ran off with him, in mortal terror, into a
neighboring wood. She knew well that, if the child was taken, he
would certainly be killed. Indeed, such bloody work had been made on
both sides, with assassinations and executions during the year prior
to this time, that men's minds were in the highest state of
exasperation; and it is probable that both Margaret herself and the
child would have been butchered on the spot if they had remained in
the camp until the victorious troops entered it.

[Sidenote: Narrow escape.]

[Sidenote: Her flight.]

[Sidenote: The robbers.]

As soon as Margaret gained the wood she turned off into the most
obscure and solitary paths that she could find, thinking of nothing
but to escape from her pursuers, who, she imagined in her fright, were
close behind. At length, after wandering about in this manner for some
time, she fell in with a company of men in the wood, who were either a
regular band of robbers, or were tempted to become robbers on that
occasion by the richness of the stranger's dress, and by the articles
of jewelry and other decorations which she wore; for, although
Margaret's means were extremely limited, she still maintained, in some
degree, the bearing and the appointments of a queen.

[Sidenote: An escape.]

The men at once stopped her, and began to plunder her and the prince
of every thing which they could take from them that appeared to be of
value. As soon as they had possessed themselves of this plunder they
began to quarrel about it among themselves. Margaret remained standing
near, in great anxiety and distress, until presently, watching her
opportunity, she caught up the prince in her arms and slipped away
into the adjoining thickets.

[Sidenote: Alone in the woods.]

She ran forward as fast as she could go until she supposed herself out
of the reach of pursuit from the robbers, and then looked for a place
in the densest part of the wood where she could hide, with the
intention of remaining there until night. Her plan was then to find
her way out of the wood, and so wander on until she should come to the
residence of some one of her friends, who she might hope would harbor
and conceal her.

[Sidenote: Night.]

She accordingly continued in her hiding-place until evening came on,
and then, having recovered in some degree, by this interval of rest,
from the excitement, fatigue, and terror which she had endured, she
came out into a path again, leading little Edward by the hand. The
moon was shining, and this enabled her to see where to go.

[Sidenote: A stranger appears.]

After wandering on for some time, she was alarmed by the apparition of
a tall man, armed, who suddenly appeared in the pathway at a short
distance before her. She had no doubt that this was another robber. It
was too late for her to attempt to fly from him. He was too near to
allow her any chance of escape. In this extremity, she conceived the
idea of throwing herself upon his generosity as her last and only
hope. So she advanced boldly toward him, leading the little prince by
the hand, and said to him, presenting the prince,

[Sidenote: Margaret's appeal to the stranger.]

"My friend, this is the son of your king! Save him!"

[Sidenote: The outlaw's cave.]

The man appeared astonished. In a moment he laid his sword down at
Margaret's feet in token of submission to her, and then immediately
offered to conduct her and the prince to a place of safety. He also
explained to her that he was one of her friends. He had been ruined by
the war, and driven from his home, and was now, like the queen
herself, a wanderer and a fugitive. He had taken possession of a cave
in the wood, and there he was now living with his wife as an outlaw.
He led Margaret and the prince to the cave, where they were received
by his wife, and entertained with such hospitalities as a home so
gloomy and comfortless could afford.

[Illustration: Margaret at the Cave.]

[Sidenote: Appearance of the cave.]

Margaret remained an inmate of this cave for two days. The place is
known to this day as Margaret's Cave. It stands in a very secluded
spot on the banks of a small stream. The ground around it is now open,
but in Margaret's time it was in the midst of the forest. The entrance
to the cave is very low. Within, it is high enough for a man to stand
upright. It is about thirty-four feet long, and half as wide. There
are some appearances of its having been once divided by a wall into
two separate apartments.

[Sidenote: Margaret concealed in it.]

[Sidenote: A friend found.]

[Sidenote: Margaret's anger turned to grief.]

For two days Margaret remained in the cave, suffering, of course, the
extreme of suspense and anxiety all the time, being in great
solicitude to hear from her friends, the nobles and generals who had
been defeated with her in the battle. Her host made diligent though
secret inquiries, but could gain no tidings. At length, on the morning
of the third day, to Margaret's infinite relief and joy, he came in
bringing with him De Brezé himself, with his squire, whose name was
Barville, and an English gentleman who had escaped with De Brezé from
the battle, and had since been wandering about with him, looking every
where for the queen. Margaret was for the moment overjoyed to see
these friends again, but her exultation was soon succeeded by the
deepest grief at hearing the terrible accounts they gave of the death
of her nearest friends, some of whom had been killed in the battle,
and others had been taken prisoners and cruelly executed immediately
afterward. Up to this time, through all the danger and suffering which
she had endured since the battle, she had been either in a state of
stupor, or else filled with resentment and rage against her enemies,
and she had not shed a tear; but now grief for the loss of these dear
and faithful friends seemed to take the place of all other emotions,
and she wept a long time as if her heart would break.

Margaret learned, however, from her friends that the king had made his
escape, and was probably in a place of safety, and this gave her great
consolation. It was thought that the king had succeeded in making his
way to Scotland.

[Sidenote: They leave the cave.]

In the course of the day, one of the party who came with Brezé went
out into the neighboring villages to see if he could learn any new
tidings, and before long he returned bringing with him several nobles
of high rank and princes of the Lancastrian line. Margaret felt much
relieved to find her party so strengthened, and arrangements were soon
made by the whole party for Margaret to leave the cave with them, and
endeavor to reach the Scottish frontier, which was not much more, in
a direct line, than thirty miles from where they were.

[Sidenote: Generosity of the outlaw.]

Before they departed from the cave Margaret expressed her thanks very
earnestly to the outlaw and his wife for their kindness in receiving
her and the little prince into their cave, and in doing so much for
their comfort while there, although by so doing they not only
encroached very much upon their own slender means of support, but also
incurred a very serious risk in harboring such a fugitive. Having been
plundered of every thing by the robbers in the wood, she had nothing
but thanks to return to her kind protectors. The nobles who were now
with her offered the wife of the outlaw some money--for they had still
a small supply of money left--but she would not receive it. They would
require all they had, she said, for themselves, before they reached
Scotland.

[Sidenote: The queen's gratitude.]

The queen was much moved by this generosity, and she said that of all
that she had lost there was nothing that she regretted so much as the
power of rewarding such goodness.

[Sidenote: The journey.]

[Sidenote: The journey to Kirkcudbright.]

On leaving the wood at Hexham, the party, instead of proceeding north,
directly toward the frontier of Scotland, concluded to journey
westward to Carlisle, intending to take passage by water from that
place through Solway to Kirkcudbright, the port from which Margaret
had sailed when she went to France.[17] They were obliged to use a
great many precautions in traversing the country to prevent being
discovered. The party consisted of Margaret and the young prince,
attended by Brezé and his squire, and also by the man of the cave, who
was acquainted with the country, and acted as guide. They reached
Carlisle in safety, and there embarked on board a vessel, which took
them down the Firth and landed them in Kirkcudbright.

         [Footnote 17: See the map at the commencement of this
         chapter.]

[Sidenote: Her anxiety.]

Though now out of England, Margaret did not feel much more at ease
than before, for during her absence in France a treaty had been made
between King Edward and the Scottish king which would prevent the
latter from openly harboring her in his dominions; so she was obliged
to keep closely concealed.



CHAPTER XX.

YEARS OF EXILE.


[Sidenote: They are discovered.]

[Sidenote: An abduction.]

Margaret had not been long in Kirkcudbright before she was
accidentally seen by a man who knew her. This man was an Englishman.
His name was Cork. He was of the Yorkist party. He said nothing when
he saw the queen, but he immediately formed the resolution to seize
her and all her party, and to convey them to England and give them up
to King Edward. He contrived some way to carry this plot into
execution. He seized de Brezé and his squire, and also the queen and
the prince, and carried them on board a boat in the night, having
first bound and gagged them, to disable them from making resistance or
uttering any cries. It seems that De Brezé was not with the queen when
he was taken, and as it was dark when they were put on board the boat,
and neither could speak, neither party knew that the others were there
until the morning, when they were far away from the shore, out in the
wide part of the Solway Bay.

[Sidenote: De Brezé's exploit.]

In the night, however, De Brezé, who was a man of address and of
great personal strength, as well as of undaunted bravery, contrived to
get free from his bonds, and also to free his squire, without letting
the boatmen know what he had done. Then, in the morning, watching for
a good opportunity, they together rose upon the boatmen, seized the
oars, and, after a violent struggle, in which they came very near
upsetting the boat, they finally succeeded in killing some of the men,
and in throwing the others overboard. They immediately liberated
Margaret and the prince, and then attempted to make for the shore.

[Sidenote: Tossed about in Solway Firth.]

After having been tossed about for some time in the Gulf or Firth of
Solway, the boat was carried by the wind away up through the North
Channel more than sixty miles, and finally was thrown upon a sand-bank
near the coast of Cantyre, a famous promontory extending into the sea
in this part of Scotland. The boat struck at some distance from the
dry land, and the sea rolled in so heavily upon it that there was
danger of its being broken to pieces; so De Brezé took the queen upon
his shoulders, and, wading through the water, conveyed her to the
shore. Barville, the squire, carried the prince in the same way. And
so they were once more safe on land.

[Sidenote: They land in Scotland.]

They found the coast wild and barren, and the country desolate; but
this was attended with one advantage at least, and that was that the
queen was in little danger of being recognized; for, as one of
Margaret's historians expresses it, the peasants were so ignorant that
they could not conceive of any one's being a queen unless she had a
crown upon her head and a sceptre in her hand.

[Sidenote: Arrival at the hamlet.]

They all went up a little way into the country, and at length found a
small hamlet, where Margaret concluded to remain with the prince until
De Brezé could go to Edinburgh and learn what the condition of the
country was, and so enable her to consider what course to pursue.

The report which De Brezé brought back on his return was very
discouraging. Margaret, however, on hearing it, determined to go to
Edinburgh herself, to see what she could do. She found, on her arrival
there, that the government were not willing to do any thing more for
her. They would furnish her with the means, they said, if she wished,
of going back to England in a quiet way, with a view of seeking refuge
among some of her friends there, but that was all that they could do.

[Sidenote: Margaret reaches Bamborough.]

So Margaret went back to England, and remained for some little time in
the great castle of Bamborough, which was still in the hands of her
friends. She tried here to contrive some way of reassembling her
scattered adherents and making a new rally, but she found that that
object could not be accomplished. Thus all the resources which could
be furnished by France, Scotland, or England for her failing cause
seemed to be exhausted, and, after turning her eyes in every direction
for help, she concluded to cross the German Ocean into Flanders, to
see if she could find any sympathy or succor there.

[Sidenote: She sails for Flanders.]

[Sidenote: A storm.]

Compared with the number of attendants that were with her in her
flight into Scotland, the retinue of friends and followers by which
she was accompanied in this retreat to the Continent was quite large,
though it is probable that most of this company went with her quite as
much on their own account as on the queen's. The whole party numbered
about two hundred. They embarked from Bamborough on board two ships,
but very soon after they had left the land a storm arose, and the two
ships were separated from each other, and for twelve hours the one
which Margaret and the prince had taken was in imminent danger of
being overwhelmed. The wind rose to a perfect hurricane, and no one
expected that they could possibly escape.

[Sidenote: The Duke of Burgundy.]

At length, however, the gale subsided so as to allow the ship to make
a port; not the port of their destination, however, but one far to the
southward of it, in a territory belonging to Philip, Duke of Burgundy,
between whom and Margaret there had been, during all Margaret's life,
a hereditary and implacable enmity. Margaret was greatly alarmed at
finding herself thus at the mercy of a person whom she considered as
one of her deadliest foes.

[Sidenote: Generosity of the duke.]

But, very much to her surprise, the duke, as soon as he heard of her
arrival in the country, took pity on her misfortunes, forgot all his
former enmity, and treated her in the most generous manner. He was not
at Lille, his capital, when she arrived, but he sent his son to
receive her, and to conduct her to the capital, with every possible
mark of respect. When she went on afterward to meet the duke, he sent
a guard of honor to escort her, and when she arrived at his court,
which was at that time at a place called St. Pol, he received her in a
very distinguished manner, and prepared great entertainments and
festivities to do her honor.

He rendered her, also, still more substantial services than these, by
furnishing her with an ample supply of funds for all her immediate
wants. He gave to each of the ladies in her train a hundred crowns,
to Brezé a thousand, and to Margaret herself an order on his treasurer
for ten thousand.

[Sidenote: René's gratitude.]

King René, Margaret's father, was very much touched with this
generosity and kindness on the part of his old family enemy. He
himself, at that time, was wholly destitute, and unable to do any
thing for his daughter's relief. He, however, wrote a letter of warm
thanks to Philip, in which he declared that he had not merited and did
not expect such kindness at his hands.

[Sidenote: A rare example.]

We have, in the conduct of the Duke of Burgundy on this occasion, one
single and solitary example, among all the Christian knights, and
nobles, and princes that figure in this long and melancholy story of
contention, cruelty, and crime, in which the Savior's rule, Forgive
your enemies, do good to them that hate you, was cordially obeyed; and
what happy fruits immediately resulted to all concerned! How much of
all the vast amount of bloodshed and suffering which prevailed during
these gloomy times would have been prevented, if those who professed
to be followers of Christ had been really what they pretended.

[Sidenote: Margaret goes to Lorraine.]

With the money which Margaret obtained from the Duke of Burgundy she
was enabled to continue her journey in some tolerable degree of
comfort to the old home of her childhood in Lorraine. All that her
father could do for her was to furnish her a humble place of refuge in
a castle at Verdun, on the River Moselle, which flows through the
province. She went there, attended with a small number of followers,
and here she remained, in utter seclusion from the world, and almost
forgotten, for seven long years.

[Sidenote: The prince.]

[Sidenote: Bad news from the king.]

[Sidenote: His life spared.]

During all this time she enjoyed the comfort and satisfaction of
having her son, the prince, with her, and of watching his progress to
manhood under her own personal charge and that of one or two
accomplished men who still adhered to her, and who aided her in the
education of her boy. She was, however, hopelessly separated from her
husband. For a long time she did not know what had become of him.
During this time he was leading a very precarious and wandering life
in England, going from one hiding-place to another, wherever his
friends could most conveniently secrete him. At length, however, the
heavy tidings came to the queen, in her retreat at Verdun, that her
husband had been betrayed in one of his retreats, and had been seized
and carried to London as a prisoner in a very ignominious manner. It
was to have been expected that he would be immediately put to death;
but, as a matter of policy, the York party thought it not best to
proceed to that extremity, especially as all his kingly right would
have immediately descended to his son, in whose hands, with such a
mother to aid him, they would have become more formidable than ever.
Thus, on many accounts, it was better for his enemies to allow the old
king to live.

[Sidenote: Cruelties.]

[Sidenote: Men tortured.]

But very special precautions were taken by King Edward's government to
prevent Margaret and the young prince from coming into England again.
A coast guard was set all along the shore, and every one in England
who was suspected of being in communication with the exiled queen was
watched and guarded in the closest manner possible. Some were tortured
and put to death in the attempt to force them to give up letters or
papers supposed to be in their possession. A certain wealthy merchant
of London was accused of treason, and very severely punished, simply
because he had been asked to loan money to Margaret, and, though he
refused to make the loan, did not inform the authorities of the
application which had been made to him.

[Sidenote: Great fidelity.]

Among other examples of the shocking cruelty of which those in power
were guilty, in their hatred of Margaret and her cause, it is said
that one man, who was found out, as they thought, in an attempt to
convey letters to and fro between Margaret and some of her friends in
England, was torn to pieces with red-hot pincers in a fruitless
attempt to make him confess who the persons were in England for whom
the letters were intended. But he bore the torture to the end, and
died without betraying the secret.



CHAPTER XXI.

THE RECONCILIATION WITH WARWICK.


[Sidenote: 1469.]

[Sidenote: Great news.]

[Sidenote: Revolt of Warwick.]

In the fall of 1469, Margaret's mind was aroused to new life and
excitement by news which came from England that great opposition had
gradually grown up in the realm against the government of Edward, that
many of his best friends had forsaken him, and that the friends and
partisans of the Lancaster line were increasing in strength and
courage to such a degree as to make it probable that the time was
drawing nigh when Henry might be restored to the throne. The most
important circumstance connected with the change which had taken place
was that the great Earl of Warwick, who had been the most efficient
and powerful supporter of the house of York, and the most determined
enemy of Margaret and Henry during the whole war, had now abandoned
Edward, and had come to France, and was ready to throw all the weight
of his power and influence on the other side.[18]

         [Footnote 18: The nature of the difficulties which had taken
         place in England, and the circumstances which led the Earl of
         Warwick to abandon Edward's cause, are explained fully in the
         history of Richard III.]

[Sidenote: Excitement.]

[Sidenote: Margaret sent for.]

Of course, these tidings produced a great excitement all over France.
King Louis XI. was specially interested in them, as they afforded a
hope that Margaret might regain her throne, and so be able to redeem
her mortgage, or else deliver up to him the security; so he called a
council at Tours to consider what was best to be done, and he sent for
Margaret at Verdun to come with the prince and attend it. He also sent
for René, her father, and other influential family friends. It is said
that when Margaret arrived and met her father, she was so much
agitated by the news, and by the hopes which it awakened in her bosom,
that, in embracing him, she burst into tears from the excess of her
excitement and joy.

[Sidenote: Reconciliation with Warwick proposed.]

But she could not endure the idea of a reconciliation with Warwick. At
first she positively refused to see or to speak to him. When, however,
at length he arrived at Tours, the king introduced him into Margaret's
presence, but for a long time she refused to have any thing to do with
him.

"She could never forgive him," she said. "He had been the chief author
of the downfall of her husband, and of all the sorrows and calamities
which had since befallen her and her son.

[Sidenote: Margaret's objections.]

"Besides," she said, "even if she were willing to forgive him for the
intolerable wrongs which he had inflicted upon her, it would be very
prejudicial to her husband's cause to enter into any agreement or
alliance with him whatever; for all her party and friends in England,
whom Warwick had done so much to injure, and who had so long looked
upon him as their worst and deadliest foe, would be wholly alienated
from her if they were to know that she had taken him into favor, and
thus she would lose much more than she would gain."

[Sidenote: Warwick's arguments.]

[Sidenote: His promises.]

Warwick replied to this as well as he could, pleading the injuries
which he had himself received from the Lancaster party as an excuse
for his hostility against them. Then, moreover, he had been the means
of unsettling King Edward in his realm, and of preparing the way for
King Henry to return; and he promised that, if Margaret would receive
him into her service, he would thenceforth be true and faithful to her
as long as he lived, and be as much King Edward's foe as he had
hitherto been his friend. He appealed, moreover, to the King of France
to be his surety that he would faithfully perform these stipulations.

[Sidenote: King Louis intercedes.]

The King of France said that he would be his surety, and he begged
that Margaret would pardon Warwick, and receive him into favor for
_his_ sake, and for the great love that he, the king, bore to him. He
would do more for him, he added, than for any man living.

Margaret at last allowed herself to be persuaded, and Warwick was
forgiven.

[Sidenote: A new proposal.]

There were several other great nobles, who had come over with Warwick,
that were received into Margaret's favor at the same time, and, when
the grand reconciliation was completely effected, the whole party set
out together to go down the Loire to Angers, where the Countess of
Warwick, the earl's wife, and his youngest daughter, Anne, were
awaiting them. The countess and Anne were presented to the queen, and
a short time afterward Louis ventured to propose a marriage between
Anne and Prince Edward.

[Sidenote: Margaret's indignation.]

Margaret received this proposal with astonishment, and rejected it
with scorn. She said she could see neither honor nor profit in it,
either for herself or for her son. But at length, after a fortnight
had been spent in reasoning with her on the advantages of the
connection, and the aid which she would derive from such an alliance
with Warwick in endeavoring to recover her husband's kingdom, she
finally yielded. She was influenced at last, in coming to this
decision, by the advice of her father, who counseled her to consent to
the match.

[Sidenote: The match finally agreed upon.]

The parties united in a grand religious ceremony in the cathedral
church of Angers to seal and ratify the covenants and agreements by
which they were now to be bound.

[Sidenote: The true cross.]

There was a fragment of the true cross, so supposed, among the relics
in the cathedral, and this was an object of such veneration that an
oath taken upon it was considered as imposing an obligation of the
highest sanctity. Each of the three great parties took an oath, in
turn, upon this holy emblem.

[Sidenote: Oaths taken.]

First, the Earl of Warwick swore that he would, without change, always
hold to the party of King Henry, and serve him, the queen, and the
prince, as a true and faithful subject ought to serve his sovereign
lord.

Next, the King of France swore that he would help and sustain, to the
utmost of his power, the Earl of Warwick in the quarrel of King Henry.

And, finally, Queen Margaret swore to treat the earl as true and
faithful to King Henry and the prince, and "for his deeds past never
to make him any reproach."

[Sidenote: 1470.]

[Sidenote: The betrothal.]

[Sidenote: Conditions.]

It was furthermore agreed at this time that Anne, the Earl of
Warwick's daughter, who was betrothed to the prince, should be
delivered to Queen Margaret, and should remain under her charge until
the marriage should be consummated. But this was not to take place
until the Earl of Warwick had been into England and had recovered the
realm, or the greater portion of it at least, and restored it to King
Henry. Thus the consummation of the marriage was to depend upon
Warwick's success in restoring Henry his crown.

[Sidenote: Ceremony.]

Still, a sort of marriage ceremony, or, more strictly, a ceremony of
betrothal, was celebrated at Angers between the prince and his
affianced bride a few days afterward, with great parade, and then
Warwick, leaving his countess and his daughter behind with Margaret,
set out for England with a troop of two thousand men which Louis had
furnished him.

[Sidenote: Margaret sets out for Paris.]

[Sidenote: Reception in Paris.]

After Warwick had gone, Margaret remained at Angers for some weeks,
and then set out for Paris, escorted by a guard of honor. Her party
arrived at the capital in November, and Margaret, by Louis's orders,
was received with all the ceremonies and marks of distinction due to a
queen. The streets through which she passed were hung with tapestry,
and ornamented with flags and banners, and with every other suitable
decoration. The people came out in throngs to see the grand procession
pass; for, in addition to the guard of honor which had conducted the
party to the capital, all the great public functionaries and high
officials joined in the procession at the gates, and accompanied it
through the city, thus forming a grand and imposing spectacle.

[Sidenote: Good news received.]

Queen Margaret and her party were in this way conducted to the palace,
and lodged there in great splendor. Their hearts were gladdened, too,
on their arrival, by receiving the news that Warwick had landed in
England, and had been completely successful in his undertaking. King
Edward was deposed, and King Henry had been released from his
imprisonment in the Tower and placed upon the throne.

Margaret, of course, at once determined that she would immediately
make preparations for returning to England.



CHAPTER XXII.

BITTER DISAPPOINTMENT.


[Sidenote: Preparations for going to England.]

[Sidenote: Harfleur.]

The preparations which were required for Margaret and her company to
return to England in suitable state seem to have consumed several
months; for, although it was as early as November that the great
entrance into Paris took place, and the news of Henry's restoration
was received, it was not until February that the royal party were
ready to embark. There were negotiations to be made, and men to be
enlisted, and ships to be procured, and funds to be provided, and
appointments to be decided upon, and dresses to be made, and a
thousand questions of precedence and etiquette to be considered and
arranged. At length, however, all was ready, and the whole company
proceeded together to the port which had been selected as the place of
embarkation. This port was Harfleur. Harfleur is situated on the coast
of Normandy, near the more modern port of Havre.

[Sidenote: Wind contrary.]

[Sidenote: Supposed witchcraft.]

When the time arrived for sailing, the weather looked very
unfavorable; but Margaret, who had become weary with the delays by
which her return had been so long postponed, and was very impatient to
arrive in her own dominions again, ordered the ships to put to sea.
Three times did they make the attempt, and three times were the ships
driven back into port again. Many of her friends were greatly
discouraged by these failures. Some said they thought that this
continued resistance of the elements to her plans ought to be regarded
as an indication of divine Providence that she was not to go to
England at present, and they begged her to defer the attempt. Others
thought that the contrary winds were raised by witches, and they began
to devise measures for finding out who the witches were.

[Sidenote: Large company.]

[Sidenote: Army to be embarked.]

[Sidenote: Margaret's fears.]

Margaret paid no attention to either of these suggestions, but
persisted in her determination to sail the moment that the weather
should allow. This delay was a source of great inconvenience to her,
and it occasioned a good deal of expense; for, besides her own
personal officers and attendants, Margaret had collected quite a large
body of soldiers to cross the Channel with her, in order to re-enforce
the armies of Warwick and of Henry. This was quite necessary; for,
although Henry had been nominally restored to the throne, his enemies
were yet in the field in considerable force, and Margaret was very
desirous of bringing with her the means of helping to put them down.
Indeed, she knew that the situation of her husband was extremely
precarious, and that the fortune of war might at any time turn against
him. And this consideration made her extremely impatient at the delay
occasioned by the weather at Harfleur. She did not know but that the
king might even then be engaged in close conflict with his foes, and
likely to be overwhelmed by them, and that her force, by being so long
delayed, would arrive too late to save him.

Alas for poor Margaret! It was, indeed, exactly so.

[Sidenote: Countess of Warwick.]

It was not until the 24th of March that it was possible to leave the
port; but then, although the weather was by no means settled, the
queen determined to wait no longer. The Countess of Warwick, who had
been left in France when the earl her husband went to England, sailed
from Harfleur at the same time with the queen, though in a different
vessel. Her daughter, however, the prince regent's bride elect, went
with the queen.

[Sidenote: Arrival in England.]

The weather continued very boisterous after the fleet sailed, and as
the gales which blew so heavily were from the north, the ships could
make very little progress. They were kept beating about in the
Channel, or lying at anchor waiting for a change of wind, for more
than a fortnight. During all this time Margaret was kept in a perfect
fever of impatience and anxiety.

At length, about the 10th of April, they reached the land at Weymouth.

[Sidenote: The landing.]

After the ships entered the port, the space of a day or two was
occupied in making preparations to land. Among these preparations was
included the work of arranging apartments at an abbey in the vicinity
of Weymouth to receive the queen and her attendants. In the mean time,
the landing of the troops was pushed forward as rapidly as possible.

The ship in which the Countess of Warwick embarked had sailed in a
different direction from Margaret's fleet, and it was not known yet
what had become of her.

[Sidenote: News of a battle.]

When at last the preparations were completed, the queen and her party
went on shore and took up their abode in the abbey. Margaret's mind
was intensely occupied with the arrangements necessary for marshaling
her troops and getting them ready to march to the assistance of
Warwick, when, to her amazement and consternation, she received news,
on the very next day after she took up her abode in the abbey, that
the party of King Edward had mustered in great force and advanced
toward London, and that a battle had been fought at a place called
Barnet, a few miles from London, in which Edward's party had been
completely victorious.

[Sidenote: Warwick killed.]

The Earl of Warwick had been killed. King Henry her husband had been
taken prisoner, and their cause seemed to be wholly lost.

[Illustration: Death of Warwick.]

[Sidenote: 1471.]

[Sidenote: Manner of Warwick's death.]

Warwick had gone into the battle on foot, in order the more
effectually to stimulate the emulation of his men, so that when, in
the end, his forces were defeated, and fled, he himself, being
encumbered by his armor, could not save himself, but was overtaken by
his remorseless enemies and slain.

[Sidenote: Margaret's despair.]

[Sidenote: Imminent danger.]

The terrible agitation and anguish that this news excited in the mind
of the queen it would be impossible to describe. She fell at first
into a swoon, and when at length her senses returned, she was so
completely overwhelmed with disappointment, vexation, and rage, and
talked so wildly and incoherently, that her friends almost feared that
she would lose her reason. Her son, the young prince, who was now
nearly nineteen years of age, did all in his power to soothe and calm
her, and at length so far succeeded as to induce her to consider what
was to be done to secure her own and his safety. To remain where they
were was to expose themselves to be attacked at any time by a body of
Edward's victorious troops and conveyed prisoner to the Tower.

[Sidenote: She seeks security.]

[Sidenote: The Countess of Warwick.]

There was another abbey at not a great distance from where Margaret
now was, which was endowed with certain privileges as a sanctuary,
such that persons seeking refuge there under certain circumstances
could not be taken away. The name of this retreat was Beaulieu Abbey.
Margaret immediately proceeded across the country to this place,
taking with her the prince and nearly all the others of her party.
Either on her arrival here, or on the way, she met the Countess of
Warwick, who, it will be recollected, had left Harfleur at the same
time that she did. The countess's ship had been driven farther to the
eastward, and she had finally landed at Portsmouth. Here she too had
learned the news of the battle of Barnet and of the death of her
husband, and, being completely overwhelmed with the tidings, and also
alarmed for her own safety, she had determined to fly for refuge to
Beaulieu Abbey too.

[Sidenote: Great reverse of fortune.]

The two unhappy ladies, who had parted, three weeks before, on the
coast of France with such high and excellent expectations, now met,
both plunged in the deepest and most over whelming sorrow. Their hopes
were blasted, all their bright prospects were destroyed, and they
found themselves in the condition of helpless and wretched fugitives,
dependent upon a religious sanctuary for the hope of even saving their
lives.



CHAPTER XXIII.

CHILDLESS, AND A WIDOW.


[Sidenote: Margaret found by friends.]

Margaret did not trust entirely for her safety to the sacredness of
the sanctuary where she had sought refuge. She endeavored, by all the
means in her power, to keep the place of her retreat secret from all
but her chosen and most trustworthy friends. Very soon, however, she
was visited by some of these, especially by some young nobles, who
came to her exasperated, and all on fire with rage and resentment, on
account of the death of their friends and relatives, who had been
slain in the battle.

[Sidenote: Her sad condition.]

They found Margaret, however, in a state of mind very different from
their own. She was beginning to be discouraged. The long-continued and
bitter experience of failure and disappointment, which had now, for so
many years, been her constant lot, seemed at last to have had power to
undermine and destroy even _her_ resolution and energy. Her friends,
when they came to see her, found her plunged in a sort of stupor of
wretchedness and despair from which they found it difficult to rouse
her.

[Sidenote: Her friends encourage her.]

[Sidenote: Little success.]

And when, at length, they succeeded in so far awakening her from her
despondency as to induce her to take some interest in their
consultations, her only feeling for the time being seemed to be
anxiety for the safety of her son. She begged and implored them to
take some measures to protect _him_. They endeavored to convince her
that her situation was not so desperate as she imagined. They had
still a powerful force, they said, on their side. That force was now
rallying and reassembling, and, with her presence and that of the
young prince at their head-quarters, the numbers and enthusiasm of
their troops would be very rapidly increased, and there was great hope
that they might soon be able again to meet the enemy under more
favorable auspices than ever.

[Sidenote: Her wishes.]

But the queen seemed very unwilling to accede to their views. It was
of no use, she said, to make any farther effort. They were not strong
enough to meet their enemies in battle, and nothing but fresh
disasters would result from making the attempt. There was nothing to
be done but for herself and the young prince, with as many others as
were disposed to share her fortunes, to return as soon as possible to
France, and there to remain and wait for better times.

[Sidenote: The young prince.]

But the young prince was not willing to adopt this plan. He was young,
and full of confidence and hope, and he joined the nobles in urging
his mother to consent to take the field. His influence prevailed; and
Margaret, though with great reluctance and many forebodings, finally
yielded.

[Sidenote: An army collected.]

So she left the sanctuary, and, with the prince, was escorted secretly
to the northward, in order to join the army there. The western
counties of England, those lying on the borders of Wales, had long
been very favorable to Henry's cause, and when the people learned that
the queen and the young prince were there, they came out in great
numbers, as the nobles had predicted, to join her standard. In a short
time a large army was ready to take the field.

[Sidenote: To Bath.]

Margaret was at this time at Bath. She soon heard that King Edward was
coming against her from London with a large army. Her own forces, she
thought, were not yet strong enough to meet him; so she formed the
plan of crossing the Severn into Wales, and waiting there until she
should have a larger force concentrated.

[Sidenote: To Bristol.]

[Sidenote: Endeavors to cross the river.]

Accordingly, from Bath she went down to Bristol, which, as will be
seen from the map, is on the banks of the Severn, at a place where the
river is very wide. She could not cross here, the lowest bridge on the
river being at Gloucester, thirty or forty miles farther up; so she
moved up to Gloucester, intending to cross there. But she found the
bridge fortified, and in the possession of an officer under the orders
of the Duke of Gloucester, who was a partisan of King Edward, and he
refused to allow the queen to pass without an order from his master.

[Sidenote: Arrival of Edward.]

It seemed not expedient to attempt to force the bridge, and,
accordingly, Margaret and her party went on up the river in order to
find some other place to cross into Wales. She was very much excited
on this journey, and suffered great anxiety, for the army of King
Edward was advancing rapidly, and there was danger that she would be
intercepted and her retreat cut off; so she pressed forward with the
utmost diligence, and at length, after having marched thirty-seven
miles in one day with her troops, she arrived at Tewkesbury, a town
situated about midway between Gloucester and Worcester. When she
arrived there, she found that Edward had arrived already within a mile
of the place, at the head of a great army, and was ready for battle.

[Sidenote: They make a stand.]

There was, however, now an opportunity for Margaret to cross the river
and retire for a time into Wales, and she was herself extremely
desirous of doing so, but the young nobles who were with her, and
especially the Duke of Somerset, a violent and hot-headed young man,
who acted as the leader of them, would not consent. He declared that
he would retreat no farther.

"We will make a stand here," said he, "and take such fortune as God
may send us."

So he pitched his camp in the park which lay upon the confines of the
town, and threw up intrenchments. Many of the other leaders were
strongly opposed to his plan of making a stand in this place, but
Somerset was the chief in command, and he would have his way.

[Sidenote: Battle of Tewkesbury.]

[Sidenote: Preparations for the fight.]

He, however, showed no disposition to shelter himself personally from
any portion of the danger to which his friends and followers were to
be exposed. He took command of the advanced guard. The young prince,
supported by some other leaders of age and experience, was also to be
placed in a responsible and important position. When all was ready,
Margaret and the prince rode along the ranks, speaking words of
encouragement to the troops, and promising large rewards to them in
case they gained the victory.

[Illustration: Tewkesbury.]

[Sidenote: Margaret's maternal anxiety.]

Margaret's heart was full of anxiety and agitation as the hour for the
commencement of hostilities drew nigh. She had often before staked
very dear and highly-valued friends in the field of battle, but now,
for the first time, she was putting to hazard the life of her dearly
beloved and only son. It was very much against her will that she was
brought to incur this terrible danger. It was only the sternest
necessity that compelled her to do it.

[Sidenote: She witnesses the fight.]

When the battle began, Margaret withdrew to an elevation within the
park, from which she could witness the progress of the fight. For some
time her army remained on the defensive within their intrenchments,
but at length Somerset, becoming impatient and impetuous, determined
on making a sally and attacking the assailants in the open field.

[Sidenote: Somerset.]

So, ordering the others to follow him, he issued forth from the lines.
Some obeyed him, and others did not. After a while he returned within
the lines again, apparently for the purpose of calling those who
remained there to account for not obeying him. He found Lord Wenlock,
one of the leaders, sitting upon his horse idle, as he said, in the
town. He immediately denounced him as a traitor, and, riding up to
him, cut him down with a blow from his battle-axe, which cleft his
skull.

[Sidenote: Panic and flight.]

The men who were under Lord Wenlock's banner, seeing their leader thus
mercilessly slain, immediately began to fly. Their flight caused a
panic, which rapidly spread among all the other troops, and the whole
field was soon in utter confusion.

[Sidenote: Margaret's terror.]

[Sidenote: She swoons.]

When Margaret saw this, and thought of the prince, exposed, as he was,
to the most imminent danger in the defeat, she became almost frantic
with excitement and terror. She insisted on rushing into the field to
find and save her son. Those around found it almost impossible to
restrain her. At length, in the struggle, her excitement and terror
entirely overpowered her. She swooned away, and her attendants then
bore her senseless to a carriage, and she was driven rapidly away out
through one of the park gates, and thence by a by-road to a religious
house near by, where it was thought she would be for the moment
secure.

[Sidenote: Capture of the prince.]

The poor prince was taken prisoner. He was conveyed, after the battle,
to Edward's tent. The historians of the day relate the following story
of the sad termination of his career.

[Illustration: The Murder of Prince Henry.]

When Edward, accompanied by his officers and the nobles in attendance
upon him, covered with the blood and the dust of the conflict, and
fierce and exultant under the excitement of slaughter and victory,
came into the tent, and saw the handsome young prince standing there
in the hands of his captors, he was at first struck with the elegance
of his appearance and his frank and manly bearing. He, however,
accosted him fiercely by demanding what brought him to England. The
prince replied fearlessly that he came to recover his father's crown
and his own inheritance. Upon this, Edward threw his glove, a heavy
iron gauntlet, in his face.

[Sidenote: Death of the Prince of Wales.]

The men standing by took this as an indication of Edward's feelings
and wishes in respect to his prisoner, and they fell upon him at once
with their swords and murdered him upon the spot.

[Sidenote: Margaret receives the tidings.]

Margaret did not know what had become of her son until the following
day. By that time King Edward had discovered the place of her retreat,
and he sent a certain Sir William Stanley, who had always been one of
her most inveterate enemies, to take her prisoner and bring her to
him. It was this Stanley who, when he came, brought her the news of
her son's death. He communicated the news to her, it was said, in an
exultant manner, as if he was not only glad of the prince's death, but
as if he rejoiced in having the opportunity of witnessing the despair
and grief with which the mother was overwhelmed in hearing the
tidings.

[Sidenote: She is borne to London.]

[Sidenote: Her condition on the journey.]

Stanley conveyed the queen to Coventry, where King Edward then was,
and placed her at his disposal. Edward was then going to London in a
sort of triumphant march in honor of his victory, and he ordered that
Stanley should take Margaret with him in his train. Anne of Warwick,
her son's young bride, was taken to London too, at the same time and
in the same way.

During the whole of the journey Margaret was in a continued state of
the highest excitement, being almost wild with grief and rage. She
uttered continual maledictions against Edward for having murdered her
boy, and nothing could soothe or quiet her.

[Sidenote: Her last hope.]

[Sidenote: Murder of the king.]

It might be supposed that there would have been one source of comfort
open to her during this dreadful journey in the thought that, in going
to the Tower, which was now undoubtedly to be her destination, she
should rejoin her husband, who had been for some time imprisoned
there. But the hope of being thus once more united to almost the last
object of affection that now remained to her upon earth, if Margaret
really cherished it, was doomed to a bitter disappointment. The death
of the young prince made it now an object of great importance to the
reigning line that Henry himself should be put out of the way, and, on
the very night of Margaret's arrival at the Tower, her husband was
assassinated in the room which had so long been his prison.

[Sidenote: Terrible reverse of fortune.]

Thus all Queen Margaret's bright hopes of happiness were, in two short
months, completely and forever destroyed. At the close of the month of
March she was the proud and happy queen of a monarch ruling over one
of the most wealthy and powerful kingdoms on the globe, and the mother
of a prince who was endowed with every personal grace and noble
accomplishment, affianced to a high-born, beautiful, and immensely
wealthy bride, and just entering what promised to be a long and
glorious career. In May, just two months later, she was childless and
a widow. Both her husband and her son were lying in bloody graves, and
she herself, fallen from her throne, was shut up, a helpless captive,
in a gloomy dungeon, with no prospect of deliverance before her to the
end of her days. The annals even of royalty, filled as they are with
examples of overwhelming calamity, can perhaps furnish no other
instance of so total and terrible reverse of fortune as this.



CHAPTER XXIV

CONCLUSION.


[Sidenote: The body of King Henry.]

On the day following the assassination of Henry, the body was taken
from the Tower and conveyed through the streets of London, with a
strong escort of armed men to guard it, to the Church of St. Paul's,
there to be publicly exhibited, as was customary on such occasions.
Such an exhibition was more necessary than usual in this case, as the
fact of Henry's death might, perhaps, have afterward been called in
question, and designing men might have continued to agitate the
country in his name, if there had not been the most positive proof
furnished to the public that he was no more.

[Illustration: View of Chertsey.]

[Sidenote: Borne away on the river to Chertsey.]

The body remained lying thus during the day. When night came, it was
taken away and carried down to Blackfriar's--a landing upon the river
nearly opposite Saint Paul's. Here there was a boat lying ready to
receive the hearse. It was lighted with torches, and the watermen were
at their oars. The hearse was put on board, and the body was thus
borne away, over the dark waters of the river, to the lonely
village of Chertsey, where it had been decided that he should be
interred.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Margaret in confinement.]

[Sidenote: Wallingford.]

For some time after Henry's death Margaret was kept in close
confinement in the Tower. At length, finding that every thing was
quiet, and that the new government was becoming firmly established,
the rigor of the unhappy captive's imprisonment was relaxed. She was
removed first to Windsor, and afterward to Wallingford, a place in the
interior of the country, where she enjoyed a considerable degree of
personal freedom, though she was still very closely watched and
guarded.

[Sidenote: She is ransomed.]

At length, about four years afterward, her father, King René,
succeeded in obtaining her ransom for the sum of fifty thousand
crowns. René was not the possessor of so much money himself, but he
induced King Louis to pay it, on condition of his conveying to him his
family domain.

The ransom was to be paid in five annual installments, but on the
payment of the first installment the queen was to be released and
allowed to return to her native land. It was stipulated, too, that, as
a condition of her release, she was formally and forever to renounce
all the rights of every kind within the realm of England to which she
might have laid claim through her marriage with Henry. It might have
been supposed that they would have required her to sign this
renunciation before releasing her. But it was held by the law of
England, then as now, that a signature made under durance was invalid,
the signer not being free. So it was arranged that an English
commissioner was to accompany her across the Channel, and go with her
to Rouen, where he was to deliver her to the French embassadors, who,
in the name of Louis, were to be responsible for her signing the
document.

[Sidenote: 1476.]

[Sidenote: The commissioner.]

[Sidenote: Margaret crosses the Channel.]

This plan was carried into effect. Margaret set out from the castle of
Wallingford under the care of a man on whom Edward's government could
rely for keeping a close watch over her, and taking care that she went
on quietly through England to the port of embarkation. This port was
Sandwich. Here she embarked on board a vessel, with a retinue of three
ladies and seven gentlemen, and bade a final farewell to the kingdom
which she had entered on her bridal tour with such high and exultant
expectations of grandeur and happiness.

[Sidenote: At Rouen.]

She arrived at Dieppe in the beginning of 1476, and proceeded
immediately to Rouen, where the commissioner, who came to attend her,
delivered her to the French embassadors appointed to receive her, and
attend to the signing of the renunciation.

[Sidenote: Her renunciation.]

The document was written in Latin, but the import of it was as
follows:

     I, Margaret, formerly in England married, renounce all that I
     could pretend to in England, by the conditions of my marriage,
     with all other things there, to Edward, now King of England.

[Sidenote: Feelings with which she signed it.]

It cost Margaret no effort to sign this paper. With the death of her
husband and her son all hope had been extinguished in her bosom, and
life now possessed nothing that she desired. She signed this fatal
document, renouncing not only all claims to be henceforth considered a
queen, but all pretension that she had ever been one, with a passive
indifference and unconcern which showed that her spirit was broken,
and that the fires of pride and ambition which had burned so fiercely
in her breast were now, at last, extinguished forever.

[Sidenote: Ungenerousness of Louis.]

When the paper was signed Margaret was dismissed and left at liberty
to go her own way to her native province of Anjou, where it was her
intention to spend the remainder of her days. Her plan was to pass by
the way of Paris, in order to see once more her cousin, King Louis,
who had treated her with so much consideration and honor when she was
on her way to England with a fair prospect of finding her husband upon
the throne. But the case was different now, Louis thought, and instead
of receiving kindly her intimation that she was intending to visit
Paris on her way home, he sent her word that she had better not come,
and advised her instead to make the best of her way to her father in
Anjou.

[Sidenote: An escort offered.]

He, however, as if to soften this incivility, sent an escort to
accompany her in her journey home, but Margaret was so stung by her
cousin's heartless abandonment of her in her distress that she
resolved to accept no favor at his hands; so she refused the escort,
and set out with her few personal companions alone.

[Sidenote: Danger.]

[Sidenote: English people in Normandy.]

This little blazing up of the old flames of pride and resentment in
her heart came near, however, to costing Margaret her life, for she
had not gone far on her journey before an emergency occurred in which
an escort would have been of great service to her. It seems that when
the English were driven out of Normandy, many families and some whole
villages remained of people who were too poor to return. These
people were now in a very low and miserable condition. They mourned
continually the hard necessity by which they had been left without
friends or protection in a foreign land; and they understood, too,
that the first beginning of the abandonment of their possessions in
France by the English was the cession of certain provinces by the
government of Henry VI. at the time of that monarch's marriage with
Margaret of Anjou, and that all the subsequent misfortunes of their
countrymen in France, by which, in the end, the whole country had been
lost, had their origin in these transactions.

[Sidenote: Margaret at the inn.]

[Sidenote: Riot at the inn.]

Now it happened that Margaret, on her journey from Rouen to Anjou,
stopped the first night at one of these villages. The people, seeing a
party of strangers come to town, gathered round the inn at night from
curiosity to learn who they might be. When they were informed that it
was Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England, who had been banished from
the kingdom, and was now returning home, they were excited to the
highest pitch of anger against her as the author of all their
sufferings. They made a rush into the house to seize her, and, if they
had been successful, they would doubtless have killed her upon the
spot. But some of the gentlemen who were in her party defended her
sword in hand, and kept the mob at bay until she gained her apartment.
They guarded her there until they could send for the authorities, who
came and dispersed the mob. Margaret immediately returned to Rouen,
willing enough now to accept of an escort. A proper guard was provided
for her, and under the protection of it she set out once more on her
journey, and this time went on in safety.

[Sidenote: Margaret arrives in Anjou.]

[Sidenote: Her father.]

When Margaret at last reached her native country of Anjou, she was
received very kindly by her father, and went to live with him in a
castle called the castle of Reculée, situated about a league from
Angers, the capital of the province.

Here she remained about four years. It was a very pleasant place. The
castle was situated upon the bank of a river, and yet in a commanding
situation, which afforded a pretty view of the town. There was a
beautiful garden attached to the castle, and a gallery of painting and
sculpture. Her father, King René, was a painter himself, and he amused
himself a great deal in painting pictures to add to his collection or
to give to his friends.

[Sidenote: Dreadful depression of spirits.]

But Margaret could take no interest in any of these things. Her mind
was all the time filled with bitter recollections of the past, which,
even if she did not cling to and cherish them, she could not dispel.
She dwelt continually upon thoughts of her husband and her child. She
made ceaseless efforts to obtain possession of their bodies, in order
that she might have them transported to Anjou, and, as she could not
succeed in this, she paid annually a considerable sum to secure the
services of priests to say masses over their graves in England, in
order to secure the repose of their souls.

[Sidenote: Its effects.]

Indeed, the anguish and agitation which continually reigned in her
heart preyed upon her like a worm in the centre of a flower. "Her
eyes, once so brilliant and expressive," says one of her historians,
"became hollow and dim, and permanently inflamed from continual
weeping." Indeed, the whole mass of her blood became corrupted, and a
fearful disease affected her once beautiful skin, making her an object
of commiseration to all who beheld her.

[Sidenote: Death of her father.]

She continued in this state until her father died. He, on his
death-bed, committed her to the care of an old and faithful friend,
who, after King René's decease, took her with him to his own castle of
Damprierre, which was situated about twenty-five miles farther up the
river.

[Sidenote: The closing scene.]

But, though Margaret was treated very kindly by the friend to whom
her father thus consigned her, she did not long survive this change.
She died, and was buried in the cathedral at Angers, and for centuries
afterward the ecclesiastics of the chapter, once every year, at the
return of the proper anniversary, performed a solemn ceremony over her
grave by walking round it with a slow and measured step, singing a
hymn.


THE END.





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