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´╗┐Title: Robin Tremayne - A Story of the Marian Persecution
Author: Holt, Emily Sarah, 1836-1893
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Robin Tremayne - A Story of the Marian Persecution" ***

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Robin Tremayne, by Emily Sarah Holt.

________________________________________________________________________
Emily Holt was a historian of no mean calibre.  Many of her books are
set in the Middle Ages or a little later.  This one is set in the 1550s,
and a little before and after.  This was the time when the Catholic Mary
was on the throne, and Catholicism was enforced as the official
religion.  It was also the time when Protestantism, which had been on
the rise, was checked, and many Protestants burnt at the stake.  When
Elizabeth came to the throne this was reversed, and Protestantism was
once more the official religion.

This book, which is quite largely based on well-researched fact, tells
of the family life of a few people who were Protestants, and who
preached the Gospel unerringly throughout, despite in the end some of
them being imprisoned, including Robin Tremayne himself.  His account of
the prison in which he was held is quite amazing--how wickedly unkind
people can be to one another.  At one stage in the story people were
being burnt at the stake quite wholesale.  When Elizabeth came to the
throne all the Bishops were Catholic, and at first none could be
persuaded to officiate at the Coronation.  Eventually the Bishop of
Carlisle agreed to do it, but as he hadn't any suitable vestments he
had to borrow some from Bonner, the Bishop of London, who wouldn't do
the Coronation himself.

Full of anecdotes like this, based on fact, the book is fascinating.
There is a watered-down version of Elizabethan speech, a few decades
before Shakespearean English, and so reasonably understandable. The
footnotes are there to explain the more unusual words and phrases.
________________________________________________________________________
ROBIN TREMAYNE, BY EMILY SARAH HOLT.



PREFACE.

More than three hundred years have rolled away since the events narrated
in the following pages stirred the souls of men; since John Bradford sat
down to his "merry supper with the Lord;" since Lawrence Saunders slept
peacefully at the stake, lifted over the dark river in the arms of God;
since Ridley and Latimer, on that autumn morning at Oxford, lighted that
candle in England which they trusted by God's grace should never be put
out.

And how stands it with England now?  For forty-three years, like a bird
fascinated by the serpent, she has been creeping gradually closer to the
outstretched arms of the great enchantress.  Is she blind and deaf?  Has
she utterly forgotten all her history, all the traditions of her
greatness?  It is not quite too late to halt in her path of destruction;
but how soon may it become so?  How soon may the dying scream of the
bird be hushed in the jaws of the serpent?

The candle which was lighted on that autumn morning is burning dim.  It
burns dimmer every year, as England yields more and more to Rome.  And
every living soul of us all is responsible to God for the preservation
of its blessed light.  O sons and daughters of England, shall it be put
out?



CHAPTER ONE.

THE FOLDING OF THE LAMB.

  "And then she fell asleep; but God
      Knew that His Heaven was better far,
      Where little children angels are;
  And so, for paths she should have trod
  Through thorns and flowers, gave her this sod.

  "He gave her rest for troublousness,
      And a calm sleep for fitful dreams
      Of what is, and of more that seems
  For tossings upon earth and seas
  Gave her to see Him where He is."

  W.M. Rossetti.

"Arbel, look forth and see if thy father and Robin be at hand.  I fear
the pie shall be overbaken."

The speaker was a woman of about forty years of age, of that quiet and
placid demeanour which indicates that great provocation would be needed
to evoke any disturbance of temper.  Gathering up the garment on which
she was at work, Arbel [Note 1] crossed the long, low room to a wide
casement, on the outer mullions of which sundry leafless boughs were
tapping as if to ask shelter from the cold; and after standing there for
two or three minutes, announced that the missing members of the family
were approaching.

"And a third party withal," added she; "that seemeth me, so far as I may
hence discern, to be Doctor Thorpe."

"He is very welcome, an' it be he," returned her mother, still calmly
spinning.  "I trust to ask his counsel touching Robin."

Figuratively speaking, for more than a century was yet to elapse ere
George Fox founded the Society of Friends, it might be said that
Custance [Note 2] Tremayne was born a Quakeress.  It had hitherto proved
impossible, through all the annals of the family experience, to offend
or anger her.  She was an affectionate wife and mother, but nothing
roused in her any outward exhibition of anxiety or annoyance.  The tenor
of her way was very even indeed.

Before Arbel had done much more than resume her seat and her needle, the
room was entered by two men and a lad of sixteen years.  The master of
the house, Mr Anthony Tremayne, [Note 3] who came in first, was a man of
more demonstrative manners than his quiet partner.  He who entered
second was shorter and stronger-built, and had evidently seen a longer
term of life.  His hair, plentifully streaked with grey, was thinned to
slight baldness on the summit of the head; his features, otherwise
rather strong and harsh, wore an expression of benevolence which
redeemed them; his eyes, dark grey, were sharp and piercing.  When he
took off his hat, he carefully drew forth and put on a black skull-cap,
which gave him a semi-priestly appearance.  The lad, who entered with a
slow and almost languid step, though in face resembling his father, was
evidently not without an element of his mother in his mental
composition.  His hair was dark, and his eyes brown: but the same calm
placidity of expression rested on his features as on hers, and his
motions were quiet and deliberate.

"Good morrow, Dr Thorpe," [Note 4] said Mistress Tremayne, rising from
her work.

"The like to you, my mistress," was the response.  "Well, how fare you
all?  Be any of you sick? or can you do without me for a se'nnight?"

"Whither go you, Doctor?" gently asked Custance.

The Doctor's brow grew graver.  "On a sorrowful errand, friend," he
replied.  "Our noble friends at Crowe are in sore trouble, for their
little maid is grievous sick."

"What, little Honor?" cried Arbel, pityingly.

"Ay, methinks the Master is come, and hath called for her.  We might
thank God, if we could see things as He seeth.  The sorrows of her House
shall never trouble her."

"Poor child!" said Custance in her quiet voice.  "Why, good Doctor, we
be none of us truly sick, I thank God; but in sooth I did desire you
should step in hither, touching Robin."

"Touching whom?" asked Dr Thorpe with a faint sound of satire in his
tone.

But the tone had no effect on Custance.

"Touching Robin," she repeated.  "I would fain have you to send him some
physic, an' it like you."

"What shall I send him?" said the Doctor with a grim smile.  "A bottle
of cider?  He lacketh naught else."

"Nay, but I fear me he groweth too fast for his strength," answered his
mother.

"Then give him more meat and drink," was the rather contemptuous reply.
"The lad is as strong as a horse: he is only a trifle lazy.  He lacketh
but stirring up with a poker."

"Send us the poker," said his father, laughing.

"I am not an ironmonger," retorted the Doctor, again with the same grim
smile.  "But the boy is all right; women be alway looking out for
trouble and taking thought."

"But I count you know a mother's fears," answered Custance calmly.

"How should I?" said he.  "I was never a woman, let alone a mother.  I
know all women be fools, saving a handful, of whom Isoult Avery, at
Bradmond yonder, is queen."

Mr Anthony Tremayne laughed heartily.  His wife merely replied as
quietly as before.  "So be it, Doctor.  I suppose men do fall sick at
times, and then they use not to think so for a little while at the
least."

"Well, I said not you were not in the handful," said he, smiling again.

"All that you yourself do know make the handful, I count," said
Tremayne.  "Ah!  Doctor, your bark did alway pass your bite.  But who
goeth yonder?  Come within!"

The door opened in answer to his call, and disclosed a good-looking man
in the prime of life, whose dark hair and beard were particularly
luxuriant in growth.

"Ah!  Jack Avery, God save thee!" resumed Tremayne, heartily.  "Thou art
right welcome.  What news?"

"Such news," was the response, in a clear, musical voice, "as we be
scarce like to hear twice this century.  May I pray you of a cup of
wine, to drink the health of the King?"

"Fetch it, Robin," said Tremayne.  "But what hath the King's Grace done,
Avery?  Not, surely, to repeal the Bloody Statute, his sickness making
him more compatient [Note 5] unto his poor subjects?  That were good
news!"

"I sorrow to say it," replied Avery, "but this is better news than that
should be."  And holding up the cup of wine which Robin offered him, he
said solemnly,--"The King's Majesty, Edward the Sixth!  God save him!"

From all except Custance there came in answer such a cry--half
amazement, half exultation--as we in this nineteenth century can
scarcely imagine for such an event.  For the last eight years of the
reign of Henry the Eighth, England had been in slavery--"fast bound in
misery and iron."  Every year it had grown heavier.  Murmuring was
treated as rebellion, and might have entailed death.  To know that Henry
was dead was to be free--to be at liberty to speak as a man thought, and
to act as a man believed right.

"Ay," resumed Avery gravely, "King Henry the Eight is gone unto the
mercy of God.  How much mercy God could show him, let us not presume to
think.  We can only know this--that it was as much as might stand with
His glory."

Dr Thorpe and John Avery left Tremayne together, for both were on their
way to Crowe.  A walk of twenty minutes brought them to the house of the
latter, an erection of some fifty years' standing.  Bradmond comprised
not only the house, but a large garden and a paddock, in which Avery's
horse Bayard took his ease.  There was also a small farm attached, with
its requisite buildings; and when the gentlemen arrived, Tom [Note 4],
the general factotum, was meandering about the flower-garden, under the
impression that he was at work, while Avery's little daughter, Kate
[Note 4] aged nearly four years, was trotting after him from one spot to
another, also under the impression that she was affording him material
assistance in his labours.

John Avery brought his guest into the hall, then the usual family
sitting-room when particular privacy was not desired.  Here they were
met by a lady, a little under middle height, with a fair pale
complexion, but dark brown eyes and hair, her manners at once very quiet
and yet very cordial.  This was Isoult Avery.

In due time the next morning the party set forth,--namely, John and
Isoult Avery, and Dr Thorpe,--and after two days' travelling reached
Crowe.

Crowe was a smaller house than Bradmond, less pleasantly situated, and
with more confined grounds.  The door was opened by a girl who, to judge
from her dress and appearance, was a maid-of-all-work, and with whom
tidiness was apparently not a cardinal virtue.

"Good morrow, Deb [Note 4]; how fareth the child?"

"Good lack, Mistress!" was all that could be extracted from Deb.

"Get thee down to the kitchen for a slattern as thou art, and wash thee
and busk [dress] thee ere thou open the door to any again!" said a
rather shrill, yet not unpleasant, voice behind Deb; and that damsel
disappeared with prompt celerity.  "The maid is enough to provoke all
the saints in the calendar.  Isoult, sweet heart, be a thousand times
welcomed!"  And the speaker, advancing, kissed her guest with as much
affection as though they had been sisters.

"And how goeth it with the child, Mrs Philippa?"

A quick shake of the head seemed to give an unfavourable answer.

"Demand that of Dr Thorpe, when he hath seen her; but our apothecary
feareth much."

Very unlike either of the women already described was Philippa Basset.
There was nothing passive about her; every thing was of the most active
type, and the mood in which she chiefly lived was the imperative.  While
really under the common height of women, in some mysterious way she
appeared much taller than she was.  Her motions were quick even to
abruptness: her speech sincere even to bluntness.  Every body who knew
her loved her dearly, yet every body would have liked to alter her
character a little.  Generally speaking, she seemed to take no part in
those softer feminine feelings supposed to be common to the sex; yet
there were times when that firm voice could falter, and those bright,
quick, grey-blue eyes grow dim with tears.  Whatever she did, she did
thoroughly and heartily: she loved fervently and hated fervently.  That
"capacity for indignation" which it has been said lies at the root of
all human virtues, was very fully developed in Philippa.  Her age was
thirty-one, but she looked nearer forty.  Perhaps Isoult Avery, who had
gone with her through the storm of suffering which fell on the House of
Lisle, could have guessed how that look of age had come into the once
bright and lively face of Philippa Basset.

"Come in, dear heart," continued Philippa, "and speak with my Lady my
mother; and I will carry up Dr Thorpe to see the child."

So John and Isoult went into the parlour, and Philippa conducted Dr
Thorpe to the sick chamber.

In the little parlour of the little house at Crowe sat a solitary lady.
She was not yet fifty years of age, but her hair was only one remove
from white; and though lines of thought and suffering were marked on her
pale face, it yet bore the remains of what had been delicate loveliness.
Her complexion was still exquisitely fair, and her eyes were a light,
bright blue.  Though she moved quickly, it was with much dignity and
grace.  She was a small, slightly-made woman; she sat as upright as a
statue; and she inclined her head like a queen.  It was no marvel, for
she had been all but a queen.  For twelve years of her life, her velvet
robes had swept over palace pavements, and her diamonds had glittered in
the light of royal saloons; and for seven of those years she had herself
occupied the highest place.  An invitation from her had been an envied
honour; a few minutes' conversation with her, a supreme distinction.
For this was Honor Plantagenet, Viscountess Lisle, sometime Lady
Governess of Calais.  But that was all over now.  She was "a widow
indeed, and desolate."  The House of Lisle had fallen seven years
before; and Honour's high estate, as well as her private happiness, fell
with it.  And with her, as with so many others, it ended in the old
fashion--

  "`Where be thy frendes?' sayd Robin.
  `Syr, never one wyll me know;
  Whyle I was ryche enow at home
  Grete boste then wolde they blowe;
  And now they renne awaye fro me,
  As bestes on a rowe;
  They take no more heed of me,
  Than they me never sawe.'"

  [Note 6].

Of the scores of distinguished persons who had enjoyed the princely
hospitality of Lady Lisle at Calais, not one ever condescended to glance
into the little house at Crowe.  She had friends left, but they were not
distinguished persons.  And foremost among these was Isoult Avery, who
for two years had been bower-woman to the Viscountess, in those old days
when she sat in the purple as Governess of Calais.

Many minutes had not elapsed before Philippa and Dr Thorpe entered the
parlour together.

"Well, what cheer?" asked Lady Lisle, quickly, even before her greeting:
for the grandchild who lay ill in the chamber above was very dear to
that lonely woman's heart.

"Madam, the child is dying."

"Alack, my poor lamb!"  And Lady Lisle rose and went above to the little
sufferer.

Dr Thorpe turned to Isoult.  "What aileth the mother?" he asked her
shortly.

"Frances?" she replied.  "In good sooth, I wis not.  I have not yet seen
her.  Doth aught ail her save sorrow?"

"The Lady Frances," he repeated.  "Methinks somewhat else doth ail her.
What it is essay you to discover."

He broke off rather abruptly as the door opened, and the lady under
discussion entered the room.  Taller than Lady Lisle or Philippa, she
was more slender and fragile-looking than either.  Hair of pale shining
gold framed a face very white and fair, of that peculiar pure oval
shape, and those serene, regular Grecian features, which marked the
royal Plantagenets.  For this lady was of the bluest blood, and but for
an act of cruel treachery on the part of King Edward the Fourth, she
might have been the Princess Royal of England.  And never had England a
daughter who could have graced that position more perfectly.  To a
character so high and pure, and a taste so delicate and refined, as were
almost out of place in that coarsest and most blunt of all the
centuries, she united manners exquisitely gentle, gracious, and winning.
The Lady Frances Basset was a woman taught by much and varied
suffering; she had known both the climax of happiness and the depth of
sorrow.  The crushing blow of her House's fall had been followed by two
years of agonising suspense, which had closed in the lonely and far-off
death of the father from whom she derived the fairest features of her
character, and whom she loved more than life.  Three years ensued,
filled by the bitter pain of watching the gradual fading of the husband
whom she loved with yet tenderer fervour; and at the end of that time
she was left a widow, but with two children to comfort her.  And now,
two years later, the Lord came and called the elder of those cherished
darlings.  Joseph was not, and Simeon was not, yet Benjamin must be
taken away.  But no tears stood in the soft, clear blue eyes, as Frances
came forward to greet Isoult.  They would come later; but the time for
them was not now, when little Honour's life was ebbing away.  The mother
was tearless.

"Come!" she said softly; and Isoult rose and followed her.

On a little truckle-bed in the chamber above, lay the dying child.  Had
she survived till the following spring, she would then have been eight
years old.  As Isoult bent over her, a smile broke on the thin wan face,
and the little voice said,--"Aunt Isoult!"  This was Honour's pet name
for her friend; for there was no tie of relationship between them.
Isoult softly stroked the fair hair.  "Aunt Isoult," the faint voice
pursued, "I pray you, tell me if I shall die?  My Lady my grandmother
will not say, and it hurteth my mother to ask her."

Isoult glanced at Lady Lisle for permission to reply.

"Speak thy will, child!" she said in a steeled voice.  "We can scarce be
more sorrowful than we are, I count.  Yet I do marvel what we have
sinned more than others, that God punisheth us so much the sorer."

A grieved look came into Isoult's eyes, but she only answered the
question of the little child.

"Ay, dear Honor," she replied; "methinks the Lord Jesus shall send His
angels for thee afore long."

"Send His angels?" she repeated feebly.

"Ay, dear heart.  Wouldst thou not love to see them?"

"I would rather He would come Himself," said the child.  "I were gladder
to see Him than them."

Isoult's voice failed her a minute, and Frances laid her head down on
the foot of the bed, and broke into a passion of tears.

"Go thy ways, child!" murmured Lady Lisle, her voice a little softer.
"It shall not take much labour to make _thee_ an angel."

"Aunt Isoult," said Honor again faintly, "will He not come Himself?"

"Maybe He will, sweet heart," answered she.

"Doth He know I want Him to come?" she said and shut her eyes wearily.

"Ay, He knoweth, darling," said Isoult.

"Doth He know how tired I am, thinkest?" broke in Lady Lisle, bitterly.
"Are three dread, woeful, crushing sorrows in six years not enough for
Him to give?  Will He take this child likewise, and maybe Frances and
Philippa as well, and leave me to creep on alone into my grave?  What
have I done to Him, that He should use me thus?  Was I not ever just to
all men, and paid my dues to the Church, and kept my duty, like a
Christian woman?  Are there no women in this world that have lived
worser lives than I, that He must needs visit me?  Answer me, Isoult!
Canst thou see any cause?  Frank will tell me 'tis wicked to speak thus,
if she saith aught; or maybe she shall only sit and look it.  Is it
wicked for the traitor on the rack to cry out?  Why, then, should not I,
who am on God's rack, and have so been these six years, and yet am no
traitor neither to Him nor to the Church?"

"Mother, dear Mother!" whispered Frances, under her breath.

"Well?" she resumed.  "Is that all thou hast to say?  I am so wicked, am
I, thus to speak?  But wherefore so?  Come, Isoult, I await thine
answer."

It was a minute before Isoult Avery could speak; and when she did so,
her voice trembled a little.  She lifted up her heart to God for wisdom,
and then said--

"Dear my Lady, we be all traitors unto God, and are all under the
condemnation of His holy law.  Shall the traitor arraign the Judge?  And
unto the repenting traitor, God's hand falleth not in punishment, but
only in loving discipline and fatherly training.  You slack not, I
count, to give Honor her physic, though she cry that it is bitter and
loathsome; nor will God set aside His physic for your Ladyship's crying.
Yet, dear my Lady, this is not because He loveth to see you weep, but
only because He would heal you of the deadly plague of your sins.  Our
Lord's blood shed upon the rood delivereth us from the guilt of our
sins; but so tied to sin are we, that we must needs be set under
correction for to make us to loathe it.  I pray your Ladyship mercy for
my rude speaking, but it is at your own commandment."

"Ah! 'tis pity thou art not a man, that thou mightest have had the
tonsure," replied Lady Lisle drily.  "Ah me, children!  If this be
physic, 'tis more like to kill than cure."

Little Honor lived through the night; and when the morning came, they
were still awaiting the King's messenger.  As those who loved her sat
round her bed, the child opened her eyes.

"Aunt Isoult," she said in her little feeble voice, "how soon will Jesus
come and take me?"

Isoult looked for an answer to Dr Thorpe, who was also present.  He
brushed his hand over his eyes.

"Would you liefer it were soon or long, little maid?" said he.

"For Mother's sake, I would liefer He waited," she whispered; "but for
mine, I would He might come soon.  There will be no more physic, will
there--nor no more pain, after He cometh?"

"Poor heart!" exclaimed Lady Lisle, who sat in the window.

"Nay, little maid," answered Dr Thorpe.

"Nor no more crying, Honor," said Isoult.

"I would He would take Mother along with me," pursued the child.  "She
hath wept so much these two years past.  She used to smile so brightly,
and it was so pretty to see her.  I would she could do that again."

"Thou shalt see her do that again, dear Honor," said Isoult, as well as
she could speak, "but not, methinks, in this world."

But her voice failed her, for she remembered a time when that smile had
been brighter than ever Honor saw it.

"If He would take us all," the child continued faintly: "me, and Mother,
and Arthur, and Grandmother, and Aunt Philippa!  And Father is there
waiting--is not he?"

"I think he is, Honor," answered Isoult.

"That would be so good," she said, as she closed her eyes.  "Aunt
Isoult, would it be wrong to ask Him?"

"It is never wrong to tell Him of our wants and longings, dear heart,"
was the answer.  "Only we must not forget that He knoweth best."

"Please to ask Him," the child whispered.  But Isoult's voice broke down
in tears.  "Ask Him thyself, little maid," said Dr Thorpe.  The child
folded her little hands on her breast.  "Lord Jesus!" she said, in her
faint voice, "I would like Thee to come and take me soon.  I would like
Thee to take us all together--specially Mother and Grandmother--with me.
And please to make Grandmother love Thee, for I am afeard she doth not
much; and then make haste and fetch her and Mother to me.  Amen."

"God bless thee, little maid!" said Dr Thorpe in a low voice.  "All the
singing of the angels will not stay that little prayer from reaching His
ear."

"But list the child!" whispered Lady Lisle under her breath.

Honor lay a minute with her eyes closed, and then suddenly opened them,
and clasped her little hands again.

"I forgot to ask Him one thing," she said.  "Please, Lord Jesus, not to
send the angels, but come and fetch me Thyself."

And her eyes closed again.  Frances came softly in, and sat down near
the bed; and a few minutes after her, Philippa looked in, and then came
forward and stood in the window.  She and Dr Thorpe looked at each
other, and he nodded.  Philippa whispered a word or two to Lady Lisle,
who appeared to assent to something; and then she came to Frances.

"Dr Thorpe confirmeth me in my thought," said she, "that 'twill not be
long now; therefore I will fetch Father Dell."

But Frances rose, and laid her hand on her sister's arm.

"Nay, Philippa!" she said.  "I will not have the child's last hour
disturbed."

"Disturbed by the priest!" exclaimed Philippa, opening her eyes.

"What do ye chaffer about?" cried Lady Lisle, in her old sharp manner.
"Go thy ways, Philippa, and send for the priest."

The noise aroused the dying child.

"Must the priest come?" asked the faint little voice from the bed.
"Will Jesus not be enough?"

Frances bent down to kiss her with a resolved look through all her pain.

"Ay, beloved--Jesus will be enough!" she answered, "and no priest shall
touch thee.--Mother! forgive me for disobeying you this once.  But I
pray you, by all that you hold dear and blessed, let my child die in
peace!  If not for my sake, or if not for hers, for their sakes--the
dead which have linked you and me--let her depart in peace!"

Philippa shook her head, but she sat down again.

"Have your way, Frank!" answered Lady Lisle, with a strange mingling of
sorrow and anger in her voice.  "There is more parting us than time or
earth, as I can see.  I thought it sore enough, when Jack set him on his
dying bed against the priest's coming; and then thou saidst never a
word.  But now--"

"There was no need," said Frances in a quivering voice.

"Have thy way, have thy way!" said her mother again.  "I was used to
boast there was no heresy in my house.  Ah, well! we live and learn.  If
thou canst fashion to reach Heaven by a new road, prithee do it.
Methinks it will little matter for her.  And when my time cometh, thou
wilt leave him come to me, maybe."

There was silence for a little while afterwards, and their eyes were all
turned where Honor lay, the little life ebbing away like the tide of the
ocean.  Her eyes were shut, and her breathing slow and laboured.
Suddenly, while they watched her, she opened her eyes, lifted her head,
and stretched forth her arms with a cry of pleasure.

"Oh!" she said, delightedly.  "Mother--it is not the angels--He is come
Himself!"

What she saw, how could they know?  The dying eyes were clear: but a
film of earth over the living ones hindered their seeing Him.  For an
instant hers kept fixed on something unseen by the rest, and they shone
like stars.  Then suddenly a shiver came over her, her eyelids drooped,
and she sank back into her mother's arms.

"Is she gone?" asked Lady Lisle.

"With God," said Dr Thorpe reverently.

Little Honor was buried at Crowe.  The evening of her funeral found
Isoult Avery in the painful position (for it is both painful and
perplexing) of a general confidante.  Each member of the family at Crowe
took her aside in turn, and poured into her ear the special story of her
troubles.  This, as it always does, involved complaints of the others.

Of these complaints Lady Frances uttered the fewest, and had the
greatest reason.  And Isoult now found that Dr Thorpe was right; for
more was troubling her than her maternal sorrow.  In the first place,
they were very poor.  The Priory of Frithelstoke, granted some years
before to Lord and Lady Lisle by the King their nephew, was all that
remained to the widow: and from this piece after piece of land was
detached and sold, to supply pressing necessities.  The second trouble
was of older standing.  For the House of Lisle was divided against
itself; and the Gospel had brought to them, not peace, but a sword.
Nine years before, while he was yet Governor of Calais, Lord Lisle's
heart had been opened to receive the truth, while his wife's remained
closed.  Frances followed her father, Philippa her mother.  And there
was in consequence a standing feud in the family, as to which religion
should be taught to Arthur, the remaining child left to Frances.  But
the third trouble was at that moment pressing the sorest.  Mr Monke of
Potheridge, a gentleman of good family and fortune, had requested Lady
Lisle's permission to seek the hand of her widowed daughter.  For
Frances was Lady Lisle's child by affinity in a double manner, being
both her husband's daughter and her son's widow.  Lady Lisle, under the
impression that Mr Monke was of the "old doctrine" which she professed
herself, not only gave him her leave, but aided him by every means in
her power, in the hope that Frances might thus be converted from the
error of her ways.  Very bitter was this to the bereaved mother of the
dead child.  To be asked to marry again at all was no light matter; but
to have the subject continually pressed upon her by the mother and
sister of the lost husband whose memory she cherished with unabated
devotion,--this was painful indeed.  Philippa was less to blame in the
matter than her mother.  Being herself of less delicate mould than her
sister-in-law, she really did not see half the pain she inflicted; and
her energetic nature would have led her to endeavour to forget sorrow,
rather than to nurse it, at any time.  In her belief, Frances thought
and mourned too much; she wanted rousing; she ought to make an effort to
shake off all her ills, physical and mental.  Philippa had honestly
mourned for her dead brother, as well as for his child; but now it was
over and done with; they were gone, and could not be recalled: and life
must go on, not be spent in moping and moaning.  This was Philippa's
view of matters; and under its influence she gave more distress to the
sister whom she dearly loved than, to do her justice, she had the
faintest idea that she was giving.

When Lady Frances had unburdened herself, by pouring her troubles into
her friend's sympathising ear, Philippa in her turn took Isoult aside
and bespoke her sympathy.

"Frances is but foolish and fantastical," she said, "or she should wed
with Jack's old friend Mr Monke, that would fain have her.  My Lady my
mother desireth the same much.  It should ease her vastly as matter of
money.  This very winter doth she sell two parcels of the Frithelstoke
lands, for to raise money; and at after, there is but Frithelstoke
itself, and Crowe; after the which sold, we may go a-begging."

"An' you so do, Mrs Philippa," said Isoult with a smile, "metrusteth you
shall come the first to Bradmond, after the which you shall need to go
no further."

Last came Lady Lisle's secrets.  Her complaint was short and decided,
like most things she said.

"Frank is a born fool to set her against Mr Monke.  He would make her a
jointure of eighty pounds by the year, and he spendeth two hundred by
the year and more.  And is a gentleman born, and hath a fair house, and
ne father ne mother to gainsay her in whatsoever she would.  Doth the
jade look for a Duke or a Prince, trow?  Methinks she may await long ere
she find them."

Isoult thought, but she did not say, that in all probability what
Frances wished was only to be let alone.  The result of these repeated
confidences was that Isoult began to want a confidante also; and as Dr
Thorpe had asked her to find out what was distressing Lady Frances, she
laid the whole matter before him.  When he was put in possession of as
much as Isoult knew, he said thoughtfully--

"'Tis my Lady Lisle, then, that doth chiefly urge her?"

"I think so much," she replied.  "Methinks Mrs Philippa doth but follow
my Lady her mother; and should trouble her but little an' she did
cease."

"She will cease ere long," he answered sadly.

"You think so, Dr Thorpe?" said Isoult, mistaking his meaning.  "I shall
verily be of good cheer when she doth so."

"You do misconceive me, Mrs Avery," said he.  "I do not signify that she
shall leave it of her good will; nay, nor perchance ere death take her.
But that will be ere long."

"Dr Thorpe!" cried Isoult.  "You would say--"

"I would say," answered he, "that my Lady Lisle's life is scantly worth
twelve months' purchase.  Methought it better to let you know so much,
Mrs Avery, for I would not give you but Scarborough warning."  [Note 7.]

"Woe worth the day!" said Isoult.

"The Lady Frances is but ill off touching her health," replied he, "but
with her 'tis rather the soul than the body that doth suffer.  Rest from
sorrow and vexations might yet avail for her.  But neither rest, nor
physic, nor aught save a miracle from God, can avail, as methinks, for
the Lady Lisle."

When Isoult came down into the little parlour the day after, she was
surprised to find there a stranger, in close conversation with Lady
Lisle and Philippa.  She hesitated a moment whether to enter, but Lady
Lisle desired her to come in; so she sat down and began to work.  Little
of the conversation reached her, for it was conducted almost in
whispers; until the door opened, and Lady Frances came slowly into the
room.  A quick colour rose to her cheek, and she slightly compressed her
lips; but she came forward, the stranger, a dark good-looking man,
kissing her hand before she sat down.

"Is there aught new, Mr Monke?" asked Philippa, changing the
conversation.

"I have heard but one thing," said he, "yet is that somewhat strange.
My Lord's Grace of Canterbury is become a Gospeller."

"Wherefore, gramercy?" inquired Lady Lisle, scornfully.

"Wherefore not, I can say," said Philippa.  "'Twill scarce serve to
curry Favelle."  [Note 8.]

"Very little, as I think," answered Mr Monke.  "As to the wherefore,
Madam, mecounteth my Lord Archbishop is gone according unto his
conscience.  'Tis his wont, as men do know."

"Humph!" was all Lady Lisle said.

"Men's consciences do lead them by mighty diverse ways now o' days,"
observed Philippa.  "I little wis wherefore all men cannot be of one
fashion of belief, as they were aforetime.  Thirty years gone, all was
peace in religion."

"The dead are at peace ever, Sister," said Frances, softly.  "The living
it is that differ."

"`Living,' quotha!" exclaimed Lady Lisle.  "Thy fashion of talk is aside
of me, Frank.--But what think you, Mr Monke?  Hath every man the born
right to do that which is good in his eyes, or should he bow and submit
his conscience and will unto holy Church and the King's Highness'
pleasure?"

Lady Lisle spoke scornfully; but Frances turned and looked earnestly at
Mr Monke.  Isoult did the same, and she wondered to see his face change
and his eyes kindle.

"Madam," said he, "maybe your Ladyship doth but set a trap for to hear
what I shall say touching this matter.  But verily, if I must tell mine
opinion, in matters so near to a man's heart and conscience as are his
soul and her affinity with God, methinks neither the King's Highness'
pleasure, neither the teaching of the Church, hath much ado.  I would
say that a man should submit his will to God's will, and his conscience
to God's Word, and no otherwise."

Lady Frances' eyes were radiant, and a quick flush was kindled on her
cheeks.  Her mother rose from her chair.

"Are you a Gospeller?" she said, yet in a tone from which no one could
have guessed whether she were one herself or not.

"I am so, Madam," answered Mr Monke, his colour deepening, but his voice
as firm as ever.

"Then get you gone out of mine house," cried she in a rage, "and come
hither no more a-tempting of my daughter!"

Mr Monke rose, and endeavoured to kiss her Ladyship's hand; but she drew
it from him as if he had been a snake.  He came over to where Isoult
sat, and held out his hand.

"Farewell, Mrs Avery," he said, in a low voice, which trembled a little.
"I have made an end of all mine hopes in this quarter.  Yet how could I
have done other?"

"Forgive me, Mr Monke, I pray you," she said, glancing at Frances' face,
whence the light and the colour had not yet died away.  "I think rather,
you have but now made a beginning."

Isoult Avery returned home in anything but a happy frame of mind.  Lady
Lisle had turned completely against Mr Monke, and now taunted Frances
with "caring nought for him save for his Gospelling;" while Philippa
took part, first with one side, and then with the other.  In all this
turmoil Isoult could see but one bright spot, which was the hope of an
approaching visit from Sir Henry and Lady Ashley.  Lady Ashley (_nee_
Katherine Basset) was Lady Lisle's second daughter, and there was some
reason to expect, from the gentleness of her disposition, that her
influence would be exerted on the side of peace.

A letter was waiting for Isoult Avery at Bradmond, from an old friend
and mistress whom she had not seen since her marriage.  It ran thus:--

"My Good Isoult,--But shall I call you _so_, now you be Mistress Avery?
Choose you if you will not have it so, for until you deny it I shall
call you so.

"Annis fareth right well, and is a maid of most sweet conditions.  Now I
see your brow to wrinkle, and that you shall say, How cometh my Lady of
Suffolk to wit any thing of Annis?  If all riddles were as readily
solute as this, it were scantly worth the trouble to make them.  But
have here mine explication of the mystery.  Three months gone, certain
of my kin writ unto me from Spain, to desire me to search and find a
discreet maiden of good degree, that should be apt at the tongues, and
that she should be reader of English unto the Queen's Grace of Spain,
the Emperor Charles his mother.  Truly I slept not on the matter, but
endeavoured myself to serve them with all the haste in my power: but
though maids be many, discreet maids be few, and discreet maids of good
degree be fewer yet.  Hereon writ I unto Mistress Anne Basset, the
discreetest maid I know, to ask at her if she were ware of an other as
discreet maid as herself, that would of her good will learn the Spanish
tongue, and dwell in Spain.  And what doth Mrs Anne but write me word in
answer that there is in all this world no maid to compare for discretion
with Annis Holland, which hath learned the French from her, and the
Latin from Mr Hungerford, of the King's house, and can chatter like a
pie in both the one and the other.  Wherefore I, being aweary of
searching for discreet maids, did lay hands with all quickness and
pleasure on this maid, and she is now in mine house a-learning of the
Spanish from Father Alonso, and Don Jeronymo, and me.  And so, being
weary, I commend you and Mr Avery to God.  From Grimsthorpe, this
Wednesday, at six of the clock in the morning; and like a sluggard [Note
9], in my bed.

"Your assured loving friend,--

"K. Suffolk."

The reader will need more explanation of this lively epistle than did
Isoult.  Anne Basset, the third of Lady Lisle's four daughters, had been
successively Maid of Honour to the four latter Queens of Henry the
Eighth; during much of which period (with an interval for her Calais
experience) Isoult Barry had been her bower-woman.  When Isoult quitted
Anne's service for that of the Duchess of Suffolk, she begged that her
old friend Annis Holland might be promoted to the vacant place,--a
request readily granted by Anne.  Since Isoult Barry became Isoult
Avery, she had seen little of either Anne or Annis; and the transference
of the latter to the Duchess's service was no little wonder to her.

Meanwhile public news poured in on all sides.  Mr Tremayne, who had
occasion to journey to Exeter, came back armed at all points with fresh
tidings of what was doing in the world; and as such live newspapers
supplied all that was to be had, every body in Bodmin immediately asked
him to dinner.  Mr Tremayne declined the majority of the invitations;
but he accepted that from Bradmond, which included his family also.  So
he, in a brown velvet suit, and Custance in the gravest drab, and Arbel
with some bright blue ribbons neutralising her sober "sad-coloured"
dress, and Robin, whose cap bore a white feather stuck in it in a style
not suggestive of Quakerism, walked up to Bradmond one Thursday
afternoon, to four-hours.

It is scarcely needful to explain that four-hours was a meal taken at
four p.m., and in style and custom corresponding to the "afternoon tea"
now in vogue.  It may be more desirable to indicate of what it
consisted, seeing that tea and coffee were yet mysteries of the future.
There were cakes of all varieties; there was clotted cream; and of
course there was junket.  There were apple puffs, and syllabubs, and
half-a-dozen different kinds of preserves.  In the place which is now
occupied by the tea-pot was a gallon of sack, flanked by a flagon of
Gascon wine; beside which stood large jugs of new milk and home-brewed
ale.  One thing at least was evident, there was no fear of starvation.
When the ladies had finished a little private conference, and all the
party were gathered round the table, Mr Tremayne was requested to open
his budget of news.

It was glad news for the Gospellers, for the grand item which in their
eyes overwhelmed every other, was that Bishop Gardiner had left Court--
not exactly in disgrace, yet with a tacit understanding that his stay
was no longer welcome--and that the King's uncle, the Earl of Hertford,
now created Duke of Somerset, was placed at the head of public affairs.
Somerset was a Lutheran, but just emerging from the twilight of
Lutheranism into the full Gospel day.

After the great subject came the smaller ones.  The knighting of the
young King by his uncle Somerset; the creation of a large batch of
peers,--Somerset himself and his brother, the brother of Queen Katherine
(made Marquis of Northampton), the half-brother of Lady Frances Basset
(created Earl of Warwick), and Wriothesley the persecutor, who was made
Earl of Southampton.  These were only a few of the number, but of them
we shall hear again.  Then came the account of the coronation on Shrove
Sunday: how that grave, blue-eyed child of nine years old, had been
crowned and anointed in the venerable Abbey, by Archbishop Cranmer, in
the presence of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal; and how he had sat in
the throne at the coronation-feast in the Hall, with the crown of
England on the little head, and all the nobles at separate tables below.
[Note 10.]  And throughout England rang the cry, "God bless him!" for
England's hope was all in God and him.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  Arabella; originally spelt Orabele or Orabilia, now Arbel or
Arbella.

Note 2.  Constance, at this time pronounced Custance.

Note 3.  The members of the Tremayne family are imaginary persons.

Note 4.  A fictitious character.

Note 5.  The lost adjective of _compassion_.

Note 6.  "A Litel Geste of Robyn Hode."

Note 7.  "Scarborough warning--a word and a blow, and the blow come
first."--Then a very popular proverb.

Note 8.

  "He that would in Court dwell
  Must curry Favelle."

Favelle was the mediaeval name for a chestnut horse, as Bayard for a
bay, and Lyard for a grey.  From this proverb has been corrupted our
modern phrase "to curry favour."  The word is sometimes spelt Fauvelle.

Note 9.  These expressions do no violence to her Grace's epistolary
style.  They are to be found in her genuine letters.

Note 10.  Diary of Edward the Sixth, Cott. Ms. Nero, c. x. folio 9, b.



CHAPTER TWO.

THE SILVER AND THE SABLE.

  "`We measure life by years and tears,' he said;
  `We live a little; then life leaves us dead,
  And the long grass grows greenly overhead.'"

While the party were still conversing, the post came in--always an
important event at that day--and brought two letters for Isoult.  The
first was from Beatrice Dynham [fictitious persons], who had been her
fellow bower-woman with the Duchess of Suffolk, and requested her old
friend to remember her in the first week in May, when she was to marry
Mr Vivian [a fictitious person], a gentleman of the late King's
household.  She also informed her that the young Duke of Suffolk, a boy
of eleven years, had been placed about the person of the young
Sovereign, under the care of the Duke of Somerset.  The second letter
was from Crowe.  Lady Ashley had arrived, and had tried hard to effect a
truce between the contending parties, she hoped not entirely without
good results.  Lady Lisle had been obliged to sell two pieces of land
from the Frithelstoke estate, called Choldysoke and Meryfield; and
Philippa Basset sent Isoult word that it was well Meryfield was sold,
seeing that all mirth had departed from them long ago.

"When shall my mistress your friend be wed, Mrs Avery?" very gravely
inquired Jennifer Trevor, Isoult's bower-woman.

"The first week in May," repeated Isoult, referring to the letter.

"Ay, methought you read so much," responded Jennifer, looking still more
solemn.

"Come, out with your thought, Mrs Trevor," said Tremayne; "for I do see
plainly that you have one."

"Why, Mr Tremayne," replied she, "'tis but that I would not be wed in
May for all the gold in Cornwall."

"But how if your servant [suitor] were a sailor, Mrs Jennifer, and
should set forth the last day of May?" queried Avery.

"Then," she said, "I would either be wed in April, or he should wait
till he came back.  But 'tis true, Mrs Avery, a May babe never liveth,
no more than a May chick thriveth; nor is a May kit ever a mouser.  'Tis
the unluckiest month in all the year.  I never brake in all my life a
steel glass [looking-glass] saving once, and that was in May; and sure
enough, afore the same day next May died one on that farm."

"One of the household?" asked Avery.

"Well, nay," answered Jennifer, "'twas but the old black cow, that had
been sick a month or more."

"Ah!" was the grave answer; "her dying was a marvel!"

"But there was a death, Mr Avery!" urged Jennifer.

"An' there had not been," said he, "I count you should have drowned the
cat, to make one.  But, Mrs Jennifer, in sober sadness, think you that
God keepeth record of the breaking of steel glasses and the ticking of
death-watches?"

"Eh, those death-watches!" cried she; "I were out of my wit if I heard
one."

"Then I trust you shall not hear one," answered he, "for I desire that
you should keep in your wit."

"Well, Mr Avery!" said Jennifer, "I could tell you somewhat an' I
listed."

"Pray give us to hear it," replied he.  "What is it? and whom threatens
it?  The red cow or the tabby cat?  Poor puss!" and he stooped down and
stroked her as she lay on the hearth.

"There shall come a stranger hither!" pursued Jennifer, solemnly.  "I
saw him yestereven in the bars of the grate."

"What favoured he?" asked Avery.

"'Twas a fair man, with a full purse," she replied.

"Then he is welcome, an' he come to give us the purse," was the answer.
"It shall be an other post, I cast little doubt; for he shall be a
stranger, and maybe shall have full saddlebags."

"You shall see, Mr Avery!" said Jennifer, pursing her lips.

"So I shall, Mrs Jennifer," responded he.  "But in how long time shall
he be here?"

"That I cannot tell," said she.

"Then the first fair man that cometh, whom you know not, shall serve?"
answered he.  "'Tis mighty easy witchery that.  I could fall to
prophesying mine own self at that rate.  It shall rain, Mrs Jennifer,
and thunder likewise; yea, and we shall have snow.  And great men shall
die, and there shall be changes in this kingdom, and some mighty ill
statutes shall be passed.  And you and I shall grow old, Mrs Jennifer
(if we die not aforetime), and we shall suffer pain, and likewise shall
enjoy pleasure.  See you not what a wizard I am?"

Tremayne laughed merrily as he rose to depart.

"I shall look to hear if Mrs Trevor be right in her prophecy," said he.

"We will give you to know that in a month's time," answered John Avery
rather drily.

In less than a month the news had to be sent, for a stranger arrived.
It was Mr Monke.  Jennifer was delighted, except for one item.  She had
announced that the stranger would be fair, and Mr Monke was dark.  In
this emergency she took refuge, as human nature is apt to do, in
exaggerating the point in respect to which she had proved right, and
overlooking or slighting that whereon she had proved wrong.

"I might readily blunder in his fairness," she observed in a
self-justifying tone, "seeing it did but lie in the brightness of the
flame."

"Not a doubt thereof," responded John Avery in a tone which did not
tranquillise Jennifer.

When there happened to be no one in the hall but himself and Isoult, Mr
Monke came and stood by her as she sat at work.

"Wish me happiness, Mrs Avery," he said in a low but very satisfied
voice.

Isoult Avery was a poor guesser of riddles.  She looked up with an air
of perplexed simplicity.

"Why, Mr Monke, I do that most heartily at all times," she answered.
"But what mean you?"

"That God hath given me the richest jewel He had for me," he said, in
the same tone as before.

Then Isoult knew what he meant.  "Is it Frances?" she asked, speaking as
softly as he had done.

"It is that fair and shining diamond," he pursued, "known among men as
the Lady Frances Basset."

For a moment Isoult was silent, and if Mr Monke could have read the
thoughts hidden behind that quiet face, perhaps he would not have felt
flattered.  For Isoult was wondering in her own mind whether she ought
to be glad or sorry.  But the next moment her delicate instinct had told
her what to answer.

"Mr Monke," she said, looking up again, "I do most heartily wish
happiness to both you and her."

And Mr Monke never guessed from any thing in the quiet face what the
previous thought had been.

The next day brought a letter to Isoult from Lady Frances herself; and
the last relic of Jennifer's uneasiness was appeased by the fair hair
and beard of the messenger.  She only said now that there might have
been two strangers in the fire; she ought to have looked more carefully.

All was smooth water now at Crowe.  Lady Lisle had given way, but not
until Frances plainly told her that she had urged this very match
earnestly before, and now that she was reluctantly endeavouring to
conform to her wishes, had turned round to the opposing side.  Philippa
was more readily won over.  Lady Frances had told Mr Monke honestly that
a great part of her heart lay in the grave of John Basset; but that she
thoroughly esteemed himself, and such love as she could give him he
should have.

"I trust," she wrote to Isoult, "that we may help, not hinder, the one
the other on the way to Heaven.  We look to be wed in June next, after
the new fashion, in the English tongue.  Pray meanwhile for me, dear
heart, that I may `abide in Him.'"

When Isoult came down-stairs from the careful perusal of her letter, she
heard Dr Thorpe's voice in the hall, and soon perceived that her husband
and he were deep in religious conversation.

"Softly, Jack!"  Dr Thorpe was saying as she entered.  "Methinks thou
art _somewhat_ too sweeping.  We must have priests, man (though they
need not be ill and crafty men); nor see I aught so mighty wrong in
calling the Lord's Table an altar.  Truly, myself I had liefer say
`table'; yet would I not by my good will condemn such as do love that
word `altar.'  Half the mischief that hath arisen in all these battles
of religion now raging hath come of quarrelling over words.  And 'tis
never well to make a martyr or an hero of thine adversary."

"I have no mind to make a martyr of you, my dear old friend," answered
Avery, "in whatsoever signification.  I see well what you would be at,
though I see not with you.  And I would put you in mind, by your leave,
that while true charity cometh of God, there is a false charity which
hath another source."

"But this is to split straws, Jack," said the Doctor.

"I pray you pardon me," replied he, "but I think not so.  I know,
Doctor, you do incline more toward the Lutheran than I, and therefore
'tis like that such matters may seem smaller unto you than to me.  But
when--"

"I incline toward the truth," broke in Dr Thorpe, bluntly.

"We will both strive our best so to do, friend," gently answered Avery.
"But, as I was about to say, when you come to look to the ground of this
matter, you shall see it (if I blunder not greatly) to be far more than
quarrelling over words or splitting of straws.  The calling of men by
that name of priest toucheth the eternal priesthood of the Lord Christ."

"As how?" queried the old man, resting his hands on his staff, and
looking Avery in the face.

"As thus," said he.  "Cast back your eyes, I pray you, to the times of
the old Jewish laws, and tell me wherefore they lacked so many priests
as all the sons of Aaron should needs be.  I mean, of course, so many at
one time."

"Why, man! one at once should have been crushed under the work!"
answered Dr Thorpe.  "If one man had been to slay Solomon his twenty-two
thousand sacrifices, he should not have made an end by that day month."

"Good.  Then the lesser priests were needed, because of the
insufficiency of the high priest for all that lacked doing?"

"That I allow," said Dr Thorpe, after some meditation.

"See you what you allow, friend?"  Avery answered, softly.  "If, then,
the lesser priests be yet needed, it must be by reason that the High
Priest is yet insufficient, and the sacrifice which He offered is yet
incomplete."

"Nay, nay, Jack, nay!" cried the old man, much moved, and shaking his
head.

"It must be so, dear friend.  To what good were those common and
ordinary priests, save to aid the high priest in that which, being but a
man, he might not perform alone?  Could the high priest have sufficed
alone, what need were there of other?  But our High Priest sufficeth,
and hath trodden the wine-press alone.  His sacrifice is perfect, is
full, is eternal.  There needeth no repeating--nay, there can be no
repeating thereof.  What do we, then, with priests now?  Where is their
sacrifice?  And a priest that sacrificeth not is a gainsaying of words.
Friend, whoso calleth him a priest now, by that word denieth the
sufficiency of the Lord Jesus."

"And whoso calleth the Table an altar--" began Dr Thorpe.

"Is guilty of the same sin," pursued he; "the same affront unto the
Majesty of Him that will not give His glory to an other."

"They mean it not so, I verily believe," responded Dr Thorpe, a little
uneasily.  "They mean assuredly to do Him honour."

"And He can see the difference," said Avery, tenderly, "betwixt the
denial of Peter that loved Him, and the betrayal of Judas that hated
Him.  Our eyes are rarely fine enough for that.  More than once or
twice, had the judgment lain with us, we had, I think, condemned Peter
and quitted Judas."

"I would all this variance betwixt Lutherans and Gospellers might
cease!" resumed Dr Thorpe, rather bitterly.  "When we should be pointing
our spears all against the enemy, we are bent on pricking of each
other!"

"A vain wish, friend," answered he.  "So far as I can see, that hath
been ever since the world began, and will last unto the world's end.  I
am not so fond as to look for Christ's kingdom until I see the King.
The fair Angel of Peace flieth in His train; but, methinks, never out of
it."

"It seemeth," said Dr Thorpe, "as though the less space there were
betwixt my doctrine and thine, the more bitterly must thou and I
wrangle!"

"Commonly it is so," replied Avery.

"And while these real battles be fighting," pursueth he, "betwixt
Christ's followers and Christ's foes,--what a sight is it to see the
followers dividing them on such matters as--whether childre shall be
baptised with the cross or no; whether a certain garment shall be worn
or no; whether certain days shall be kept with public service or no!
Tush! it sickeneth a man with the whole campaign."

Both rose, but after his farewell Dr Thorpe broke out again, as though
he could not let the matter drop.

"Do the fools think," asked the old man, "that afore the angels will
open the gate of Heaven unto a man, they fall a-questioning him--to wit,
whether salt were used at his baptism; whether his body were buried
looking toward the East or the West; whether when he carried his Bible
he held it in his right hand or his left?  Dolts, idiots, patches!
[Fools.]  It should do me a relief to duck every man of them in the
Tamar."

"And cause them to swallow a dose of physic at afterward?" laughed
Avery.

"It were hemlock, then," said Dr Thorpe, grimly.

"Nay, friend, not so bad as that, methinks.  But shall I give you one
dose of a better physic than any of yours?  `By this shall all men know
that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one toward another.'"

"How are they to know it now?" said Dr Thorpe, despairingly.  "How are
they to know it?  Well, I know not; maybe thou art not so far-off, Jack;
but for all other I know--"

And away he went, shaking his grey head.

Lady Frances and Mr Monke were married when the summer came.  John Avery
and Isoult were invited to the wedding; and Philippa sent a special
message requesting that their little Kate might be included; for, said
she, "Arthur shall be a peck of trouble, and an' he had one that he
might play withal he should be the less."

"List thee, sweet heart! thou art bidden to a wedding!" said Jennifer to
Kate.

"What is a wedding?" inquired four-year-old Kate, in her gravest manner.
"Is it a syllabub?"

"Ay, sweet heart; 'tis a great syllabub, full of sugar," answered
Jennifer, laughing.

"That is as it may be, Mrs Jennifer," observed Dr Thorpe, who was
present.  "I have known that syllabub full of vinegar.  That is,
methinks, a true proverb,--`If Christ be not asked at the match, He will
never make one at the marriage-feast.'  And 'tis a sorry feast where He
sitteth not at the table."

"I think He shall not be absent from this," said Isoult, softly.

So Kate went to Crowe with her parents; but her baby brother Walter, a
year old, was left behind in charge of Jennifer.

The evening after their arrival, the bride took Isoult apart, and,
rather to her surprise, asked her if she thought that the dead knew what
was passing in this world.  To such a question there was but one answer.
Isoult could not tell.

"Isoult," she said, her eyes filling with tears, "I would not have him
know of this, if it be so.  And can that be right and good which I would
not he should know?"

Isoult needed not to ask her who "he" was.

"Nay, sweet heart!" said she, "thinkest thou he would any thing save thy
comfort and gladness?  He is passed into the land where (saith David)
all things are forgotten--to wit, (I take it) all things earthly and
carnal, all things save God; and when ye shall meet again in the body,
it shall be in that resurrection where they neither marry nor are given
in marriage, but are equal unto the angels."

"All things forgotten!" she faltered.  "Hath he forgot me?  They must
sleep, then; that is a kind of forgetting.  But if I were awake and
witful, I never could forget him.  It were not _I_ that did so."

"Let us leave that with God, beloved," answered Isoult.

"O Isoult," she murmured, her tears beginning to drop fast, "I would do
God's will, and leave all to Him: but is this God's will?  Thou little
knowest how I am tortured and swayed to and fro with doubt.  It was
easier for thee, that hadst but a contract to fulfil."

Isoult remembered the time before she had ever seen her husband, when it
did not look very easy.  She scarcely knew what she ought to answer.
She only said--

"Dear heart, if thou do truly desire to do only God's will, methinks He
will pardon thee if thou lose thy way."

"It looketh unto me at times," she said, "as if it scarce could be
right, seeing it should lift me above want, and set me at ease."

This was a new thought to Isoult, and she was puzzled what to say.  But
in the evening she told John, and asked his advice.  Much to her
astonishment, he, usually gentle, pulled to the casement with a bang.

"Is that thine answer, Jack?" said Isoult, laughing.

"Somewhat like it," answered he drily.  "'Tis no marvel that ill men
should lose the good way, when the true ones love so much to walk in
byepaths."

"Thou riddlest, Jack," said Isoult.

"Tell me, dear heart," he answered, "doth God or Satan rule the world?"

"God ruleth the world, without doubt," said she, "but if Satan spake
sooth unto our Lord, he hath the power of the glory of it."

"Did Satan ever speak sooth, thinkest?" he replied smiling somewhat
bitterly.  "Howbeit to leave that point,--doth God, or doth Satan, mete
out the lives of God's people, and give them what is best for them?"

"God doth, assuredly," said she.

"Well said," answered he.  "Then (according unto this doctrine) when God
giveth His child a draught of bitter physic, he may with safety take and
drink it; but when He holdeth forth a cup of sugared succades
[sweetmeats], that must needs be refused.  Is it so?"

"Jack!" wonderingly cried Isoult.

"There be that think so," he made answer, "but I had scarce accounted my
Lady Frances one ere now.  Set the thing afore her in that light.  This
is the self spring whence cometh all the monasteries and nunneries, and
anchorites' cells in all the world.  Is God the author of darkness, and
not of light?  Doth He create evil, and not good?  Tell her, when the
Lord holdeth forth an honeycomb, He would have her eat it, as assuredly
as, when He giveth a cup of gall into her hand, He meaneth she should
drink it.  And methinks it can scarce be more joyful to Him to watch her
drink the gall than eat the honeycomb."

The last words were uttered very tenderly.

When Isoult told Frances what John had said, the tears rose to her eyes.

"O Isoult! have I been wronging my God and Father?" she said in a
quivering voice.  "I never meant to do that."

"Tell Him so, sweet heart," answered Isoult.

Isoult thought her husband was right, when, on the following day, she
came across the text, "The Lord that hath pleasure in the prosperity of
His people."  But in her innocent way she showed it to John, and asked
him if he thought it meant that it was a pleasure to the Lord Himself to
bestow happiness on His people.  John smiled at her, as he often did.

"Sweet heart," he answered, "doth it please or offend thee, when thou
dost kiss Kate, and comfort her for some little trouble, and she stayeth
her crying, and smileth up at thee?"

"Why, Jack, 'tis one of my greatest pleasures," answered Isoult.

Very gravely and tenderly he answered,--"`As one whom his mother
comforteth, so will I comfort you.'"

On the 17th of June, Isoult Avery wrote in her diary:--

"The church-bells are making music in mine ears as I sit to write.  An
hour gone, Frances and Mr Monke went forth, no longer twain, but one.
God go with her, and bless her, this dear sister of mine heart, and
comfort her for all she hath lost--ay, as `one whom his mother
comforteth!'"

The ink was scarcely dry from this entry when Philippa Basset marched
in, with unrecognised step, for her shoes were new.

"Why, Mrs Philippa! your new shoes wrought that I knew not your step,"
said Isoult, with a smile.

"New shoes!" said she, "yea, in good sooth.  I flung both mine old ones
after Frank; and had I had an hundred pairs in my cupboard, I had sent
them all flying."

The thought of a hundred pairs of shoes falling about, was too much for
Isoult's gravity.

"One of them smote the nag on his tail," continued Philippa; "I warrant
you it gave him a smart, for I sent it with all my might.  'Tis a good
omen that--saving only that it might cause the beast to be restive."

"Believe you in omens, Mrs Philippa?" answered Isoult.

"Not one half so much as I do believe in mine own good sense," said she.
"Yet I have known some strange things in my time.  Well, what thinkest
thou of this match of Frank's?"

"I trust with all mine heart she may find it an happy and a
comfortable," was the reply.

"Ay, maybe a scrap of happiness shall not hurt her overmuch," said
Philippa in her dry way.  "As to Mr Monke, I will wish him none, for
methought from his face he were as full as he could hold; and an' he had
some trouble, he demeriteth it, for having away Frank."

And so away she went, both laughing.

News that stirred _every_ Gospeller's heart reached Bradmond ere the
Christmas of 1547.  The Bloody Statute was repealed; and in every parish
church, by royal order, a Bible and a copy of the Paraphrases of Erasmus
were set open, for all the people to read.

But the repeal of the Bloody Statute, ardently as she desired it, was
not without sad memories to Isoult Avery.  The Act now abrogated had
brought death, four years before, to one very dear to her heart; and it
was not in human nature for her to hear of its destruction without a
sigh given to the memory of Grace Rayleigh.  In the churchyard at Bodmin
were two nameless graves--of a husband and wife whom that Bloody Statute
had parted, and who had only met at last in its despite, and to die.
And when Grace had closed the eyes of her beloved, she lay down to her
own long rest.  Her work was finished in this world; and very welcome
was the summons to her--"Come up higher."

  "From her long heart-withering early gone,
  She hath lived--she hath loved--her task is done."

Yet how was it possible to wish her back?  Back to pain, and sorrow, and
fear, and mournful memory of the far-off husband and the dead child!
Back from the lighted halls of the Father's Home, to the bleak, cold,
weary wilderness of earth!  Surely with Christ it was far better.

When Isoult came in comforted after her visit to Grace's grave, Barbara,
her parlour-maid, met her at the door.

"Mistress, a letter came for you in all haste shortly after you went
forth," said she.  "I had come unto you withal, had I known whither you
were gone."

Isoult took the letter from Barbara's hand.  On the outside was
written--the energetic ancient form of our mild direction "To be
delivered immediately"--a rather startling address to the postman.

"Haste, haste, for thy life, haste!"

With forebodings travelling in more than one direction, Isoult cut the
ribbon which fastened the letter and broke the seal.  There were not a
dozen lines written within; but her heart sank like lead ere she had
read half of them.

The letter was from Crowe, and was signed by Mr George Basset, the
eldest surviving son of Lady Lisle.  He desired John Avery and his wife
to hasten with all speed to Crowe, for Lady Lisle had been taken ill
suddenly and dangerously, and they feared for her life.  There was also
an entreaty to bring Dr Thorpe, if he could possibly come; for at Crowe
there was only an apothecary.  Doctors, regularly qualified, were scarce
in those days.  All the scattered members of the family within
reasonable distance had been summoned.

In as short a time as it was possible to be ready, John and Isoult set
forth with Dr Thorpe, who said he could accompany them without more than
temporary inconvenience to any of his patients.  It was two days'
journey to Crowe; and Isoult's heart sank lower and lower as they
approached the house.  But when they reached the end of the long lane
which led to it, they suddenly encountered, at a turn in the road, the
writer of the letter which had summoned them.  It was an instant relief
to see Mr George Basset smile and hold out his hand in welcome.

"Better news, thank God!" he said at once.  "My mother hath rested well
these two nights past, and is fairly amended this morrow.  I am glad
with all mine heart this bout is well over.  It hath feared us no
little, as I can tell you."

With lighter hearts they rode to the door, where Isoult had no sooner
alighted than she found herself drawn from behind into the arms of Lady
Frances Monke, who had arrived the day before.  Isoult followed her into
the little parlour, where in a large carved chair she saw a very stiff
and rich silk dress; and on looking a little higher, she found that
chair and silk were tenanted by Mrs Wollacombe, Lady Lisle's youngest
daughter.

"Ah, Isoult, art thou come?" inquired that young lady, playing with her
chatelaine.  "I hope thou hast left thy childre behind.  These childre
be such plagues."

"Hand me thine for a silver groat," interrupted Philippa, coming in.

"Thou art welcome, an' thou choose to take them," replied her sister.
"They do but rumple my ruffs and soil my gowns.  They be for ever in
some manner of mischievousness.  I cannot keep them out thereof, for all
I have two nursemaids, and Jack to boot."

"Thou art little like, Mall, an' thou add not thyself to the bargain,"
answered Philippa, in her old mocking way.  "Isoult, but for the
pleasure of seeing thee, I could be sorry I sent after thee.  My Lady my
mother is so sweetly amending (thank all the saints for it!) that I am
little pleased to have put thee to such charges and labour."

"I pray you say no word of that, Mrs Philippa," said Isoult, "for in
very sooth it giveth me right hearty pleasure to see you."

"Dr Thorpe," continued Philippa, turning to him, "I am right glad to
welcome you, and I thank you with all mine heart that you are come.
Will you grant us the favour of your skill, though it be less needed
than we feared, and take the pain to come up with me to see my Lady?"

Dr Thorpe assenting, she took him up-stairs; and the next minute Mr
Monke, coming in, greeted his friends cordially.  Then came Lady Ashley,
sweet and gentle as ever, and afterwards Sir Henry Ashley and Mr
Wollacombe.

"Mrs Philippa," said Isoult, when she returned, "we will not be a charge
on her Ladyship.  Jack and I will lie at the inn, for assuredly she
cannot lodge all us in this her house."

"I thank thee truly, dear heart," responded Philippa affectionately.
"In good sooth, there is not room for all, howsoever we should squeeze
us together; wherefore we must need disparkle [scatter] us.  Verily, an'
we had here but James and Nan, there were not one of us lacking."

"How fareth Mr James?" returned Isoult; "is he yet a priest?"

"He is now in London, with my Lord of Winchester," [Bishop Gardiner]
answered Philippa.  "Nay, so far from priesthood that he is now on the
eve of his wedding, unto one Mrs Mary Roper [daughter of the well-known
Margaret Roper], grand-daughter of Sir Thomas More."

It was late in the evening before Isoult could contrive to speak with Dr
Thorpe in private; and then she asked him to tell her frankly how he
thought Lady Lisle.

"Better this time," said he, significantly.

"Think you as you did, then?" she asked.

"Ay, Mrs Avery," said he, sadly, "I think as I did."

After this, Isoult saw Lady Lisle herself, but only for a moment, when
she struck her as looking very ill; but Philippa assured her that there
could be no comparison with what she had been two days before.

The next morning, Isoult, with Lady Frances, Lady Ashley, and Philippa,
sat for an hour in the invalid's chamber.  The conversation turned upon
public affairs; and at last they began to talk of the pulling down of
the roods, which Philippa opposed, while both Frances and Isoult
pronounced them idols.

"Fight it out an' ye will," said the sick lady, laughing feebly, "only
outside of my chamber."

"Go thou down, Kate, and fetch up Mr Monke first," responded Philippa;
"for I am well assured my first blow should kill Frank an' she had not
his help."

Thus playfully they chatted for a while, but Isoult fancied that Lady
Lisle was scarcely so angrily earnest in her opposition to the doctrines
of the Gospel as was generally her wont.  Presently up came the untidy
Deb, in all her untidiness, to say that dinner was served; and was
parenthetically told by Philippa that she was a shame to the family.

"Which of us would you with you, Mother?" asked Frances.

"Why, none of you," she replied.  "Go down all, children; I lack nought;
I am going to sleep."

And she laid back her head on the pillow of her chair.

"Shall I not abide, Madam?" suggested Lady Ashley.

"No, child," she answered.  "When you come above ye shall find me
asleep, if all go well."

So, seeing she preferred to be left alone, they all went to dinner.
When they returned, Lady Frances, Lady Ashley, and Isoult, went towards
Lady Lisle's chamber.  Lady Ashley opened the door softly, and put her
head in.

"Doth she sleep, Kate?" whispered Frances.

"Softly!" said Lady Ashley, withdrawing her head.  "Let us not disturb
her--she is so sweetly sleeping."

Sleeping! ay, a sleep that should have no waking, From that sleep not
the roaring of the winds, not the thunder of the tempest, not even the
anguished voices of her children, should ever arouse her again.

"She had no priest, after all," said Frances under her breath to Isoult,
the same evening.

Lady Ashley added very softly, "She said we should find her asleep, if
all went well.  We found her asleep.  Is it an omen that all did go
well?"

Isoult could make no answer.

Where Honor Plantagenet was buried, no record remains to tell us, unless
it be some early entry in a parish register of Cornwall or Devon.  It
might be in the family burying-place of her own kindred, the Grenvilles
of Stow; or it might be with her first husband, Sir John Basset, at
Umberleigh.  Only it may be asserted without fear of contradiction, that
it was not with the royal lord whom she had so bitterly lamented, and
whose coffin lay, with many another as illustrious as his own, in the
old Norman Chapel of the Tower.  No stranger admixture can there be on
earth, than among those coffins crowding that Norman Chapel,--from
traitors of the blackest dye, up to saints and martyrs.

The first news which the Averys heard after their return home, was not
encouraging to that religious party to which they belonged.  Bishop
Gardiner had been set free, and had gone back to his Palace at Farnham,
Mr James Basset accompanying him.  This was an evil augury; for wherever
Gardiner was, there was mischief.  But it soon appeared that Somerset
kept his eye upon the wolf, and on his first renewed attempt upon the
fold, he was quietly placed again in durance.  Meanwhile the leaven of
reformation was working slowly and surely.  On Candlemas Day there were
no candles in the Chapel Royal; no ashes on Ash Wednesday; no palms on
Palm Sunday.  At Paul's Cross, after eight years' silence, the earnest
voice of Hugh Latimer was heard ringing: and to its sound flocked such a
concourse, that the space round the Cross could not hold them, and a
pulpit was set up in the King's garden at Westminster Palace, where four
times the number of those at the Cross might assemble.  For eight years
there had been "a famine of the word of the Lord" in England, and now
men and women came hungering and ready to be fed.  Perhaps, if we had
borne eight years' famine, we should not quite so readily cry out that
the provisions are too abundant.  An outcry for short sermons has always
hitherto marked the spiritual decadence of a nation.  "Behold, what a
weariness is it!"  There is another inscription on the reverse side of
the seal.  "I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of Hosts."

The English service began with the following Easter.  Confession--not
yet abolished, yet so far relaxed as to be required of none who
preferred to omit it--was made in English, and the Lord's Supper was
also celebrated in English at the King's Chapel.

Isoult Avery began to think that she was to spend the year 1548 in
visiting.  She had not been long back from Crowe, when a letter reached
her from her own home at Wynscote, inviting her to the wedding of her
brother Hugh with Mrs Alice Wikes, which was to take place on the
fourteenth of May.  Jennifer Trevor shook her head in her most ominous
style at the date.  But Hugh, though a sailor, was nevertheless not at
all superstitious, so far as concerned the point in question; and he had
already sturdily declined to change the date selected by Alice, though
half the gossips round Wynscote prophesied all manner of consequent
evil.  For a maiden of the sixteenth century, Alice also was remarkably
free from the believing in omens and the observing of times: so Hugh and
she were married on the fourteenth of May, and Isoult Avery was never
able to discover that any harm had come of it.

On arrival at Wynscote, they found the house full and running over.  Not
only the family who ordinarily occupied it were there--namely, Mrs
Barry, the widowed mother; Henry Barry, the head of the house, who was
by calling a gentleman farmer, and by inclination the gentleman without
the farmer; his wife Margaret, who would have made a better farmer than
himself; and his three exceedingly noisy and mischievous boys, by name
Michael, William, and Henry.  But these, as I have said, were not by any
means all.  There was the bridegroom Hugh, who grumbled good-humouredly
at being banished to Farmer Northcote's for the night, for there was no
room for him except in the day-time; there was Bessy Dennis, the eldest
sister, and John Dennis her husband, and William, Nicholas, Anne, and
Ellen, their children.  No wonder that Isoult told her husband in
confidence that she did not expect to lose her headache till she reached
home.  Will Barry was the incarnation of mischief, and Will Dennis, his
cousin and namesake, followed him like his shadow.  The discipline which
ensued was of doubtful character, for Bessy's two notions on the subject
of rearing children were embodied in cakes or slaps, as they were
respectively deserved, or rather, as she thought they were: while Mr
Barry's ideas of education lay in very oracular exhortations, stuffed
with words of as many syllables as he had the good fortune to discover.
His wife's views were hardly better.  Her interference consisted only in
the invariable repetition of a formula--"Come, now, be good lads, do!"--
which certainly did not err on the side of severity.  But the
grandmother, if possible, made matters worse.  She had brought up her
own children in abject terror and unanswering submission; and Nature, as
usual, revenged herself by causing her never to cross the wills of her
grandchildren on any consideration.  Accordingly, when Will set fire to
the barn, let the pony into the bean-field, and the cows into Farmer
Northcote's meadow, Grandmother only observed quietly that "Boys will be
boys"--an assertion which certainly could not be contradicted--and went
on spinning as before.

The amazement of Isoult Avery--who had not previously visited home for
some time--was intense.  Her childhood had been a scene of obedience,
both active and passive; a birch-rod had hung behind the front door, and
nobody had ever known Anne Barry hesitate to whip a child, if there were
the slightest chance that he or she deserved it: the "benefit of the
doubt" being commonly given on the side of the birch-rod.  And now, to
see these boys--wild men of the woods as they were--rush unreproached up
to the inaccessible side of Grandmother, lay violent hands upon her
inviolable hood, kiss her as if they were thinking of eating her, and
never meet with any worse penalty than a fig-cake [the Devonshire name
for a plum-cake]--this was the source of endless astonishment and
reflection to Isoult.  On the whole, she congratulated herself that she
had left Kate and Walter at Bradmond.

The bride was a stranger to Isoult.  She talked to Bessy about her, and
found that lady rather looked down upon her.  "She was all very well,
but--"

Ah, these unended _buts_! what mischief they make in this world of ours!

Then Isoult talked to Hugh, and found that if his description were to be
trusted, Alice Wikes would be no woman at all, but an angel from Heaven.
Bessy offered to take her sister to visit the bride, and Isoult
accepted the offer.  Meanwhile, she sketched a mental portrait of Alice.
She would be short, and round-faced, and merry: the colour of her hair
and eyes Isoult discreetly left blank.

So, three days before the wedding, her future sisters-in-law called upon
the bride.

They found Alice's mother, Mrs Wikes, busy with her embroidery; and as
soon as she saw who her guests were, she desired Mrs Alice to be
summoned.  After a little chat with Mrs Wikes upon things in general,
the door opened to admit a girl the exact opposite of Isoult's imaginary
picture.  Alice proved tall, oval-faced, and grave.

The wedding was three days later, and on Sunday.  Blue was the colour of
the bride's costume, and favel-colour--a bright yellowish-brown--that of
the bridesmaids.  After the ceremony there was a banquet at Wynscote,
and dancing, and a Maypole, and a soaped pig, and barley-break--an old
athletic sport, to some extent resembling prisoner's base.  Then came
supper, and the evening closed with hot cockles and blind-hoodman--the
latter being blindman's buff.  And among all the company, to none but
John and Isoult Avery did it ever occur that in these occupations there
was the least incongruity with the Sabbath day.  For they only were
Gospellers; and at that time the Gospellers alone remembered to keep it
holy.  Rome strikes her pen through the third and fourth commandments,
if less notoriously, yet quite as really, as through the second.

The Averys returned home about the 20th of May.  They had left all well,
and they found all well.  And neither they nor any one else saw on the
horizon a little cloud like a man's hand, which was ere long to break in
a deluge of hail and fire upon Devonshire and Cornwall.

One evening in the beginning of June, when John Avery sat at the table
making professional notes from a legal folio before him, and Isoult, at
work beside him, was beginning to wonder why Barbara had not brought the
rear-supper, a knock came at the door.  Then the latch was lifted, and
Mr Anthony Tremayne walked in.

"Heard you the news in Bodmin?" was the question which followed close
upon his greeting.

"No," answered John.  "I have not been in Bodmin for nigh a week, nor
hath any thence been here."

"One Master Boddy, the King's Commissioner for Chantries," saith he,
"came hither o' Friday; and the folk be all up at Bodmin, saying they
will not have the chantries put down; and 'tis thought Father Giles is
ahead of them.  I much fear a riot, for the people are greatly
aggrieved."

"I pray God avert the same, if His will is!" exclaimed Isoult.

This was the beginning of the first riots in Cornwall and Devon.  There
were tumults elsewhere, but the religious riots were worst in these
parts.  They began about the chantries, the people disliking the
visitation: and from that they went to clamouring for the re-enactment
of the Bloody Statute.  On the 4th of June there were riots at Bodmin
and Truro; and Father Giles, then priest at Bodmin, and a "stout
Papist," helped them to the best of his ability.  But on the 6th came
the King's troops to Bodmin, and took Father Giles and others of the
rioters, whom they sent to London to be tried; and about the 8th they
reached Truro, where Mr Boddy, the King's Commissioner for the
chantries, had been cruelly murdered five days before.  For a little
while after this, all was quiet in Bodmin; but the end was not come yet.

Father Giles, the priest of Bodmin, was hanged at London on the 7th of
July for his share in the riots: and Government fondly imagined that the
difficulty was at an end.  How fond that imagination was, the events of
the following year revealed.

Anthony Monke, the eldest child of Mr Monke and Lady Frances, was born
in the summer of 1548 [date unknown].  In June of that year, a civil
message from the Protector reached Bishop Gardiner at Farnham,
requesting him to preach at Court on the 29th, Saint Peter's Day,
following.  This message perturbed Gardiner exceedingly.  James Basset
found him walking up and down his chamber, his hands clasped behind him,
uttering incoherent words, indicative of apprehension; and this
continued for some hours.  On the 28th the Bishop reached London; on the
29th he preached before the King; and on the 30th he was in the Tower.
Probably the wily prelate's conscience, never very clear, had already
whispered the cause before he quitted Farnham.

On the 8th of September, at Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire, died the
Lutheran Queen, Katherine Parr.  She had taken a false step, and had
lived to mourn it.  Neglecting the command not to be unequally yoked
together with unbelievers, she had married Sir Thomas Seymour very
shortly after King Henry's death.  It can be no lack of charity to call
a man an unbeliever, a practical Atheist at least, whose daily habit it
was to swear and walk out of the house when the summons was issued for
family prayers.  Poor Katherine had all the piety on her own side, but
she had not to bear the penalty she had brought on herself long.  She
left behind her a baby daughter, Mary Seymour, who was sent to the care
of the Duchess of Suffolk; for very soon after the Queen's death,
Seymour was arrested and committed to the Tower.  He died on Tower Hill,
on the 20th of March following.  That Seymour was a bad man there can be
no question; whether he really were a traitor is much more doubtful.
The Lutheran party accused his brother the Protector of having brought
about his death.  It might be so; yet any evidence beyond probability
and declamation is lacking.  "It was Somerset's interest to get rid of
his brother; therefore he is responsible for his death."  This may be
assertion, but it surely is not argument.

Meanwhile in high places there was a leaven quietly working, unperceived
as yet, which was ere long to pervade the whole mass.  The government of
Edward the Sixth had come into power under the colours of the Gospel.
The Protector himself was an uncompromising Gospeller; and though many
Lords of the Council were Lutherans, they followed at first in his wake.
There was one member of the Council who never did so.

Nearly fifty years before that day, Henry the Seventh, whose
"king-craft" was at least equal to that of James the First, had
compelled the young heiress of Lisle, Elizabeth Grey, to bestow her hand
upon his unworthy favourite, Edmund Dudley.  It is doubtful whether she
was not even then affianced to Sir Arthur Plantagenet (afterwards Lord
Lisle), whose first wife she eventually became; but Henry Tudor would
have violated all the traditions of his house, had he hesitated to
degrade the estate, or grieve the heart, of a son of the House of York.
This ill-matched pair--the covetous Edmund and the gentle Elizabeth--
were the parents of four children: the first being John Dudley, who was
born in 1502.  It is of him I am about to speak.

His countenance, from a physiognomist's point of view, might be held to
announce his character.  The thick, obstinate lips, the cruel, cold blue
eyes, intimated with sufficient accuracy the disposition of the man.
Like all men who succeed, Dudley set before him one single aim.  In his
case, it was to dethrone Somerset, and step into his place.  He held,
too, in practice if not in theory, the diabolical idea, that the end
sanctifies the means.  And to hold that view is to say, in another form,
"I will be like the Most High."

Such was John Dudley, and such the goal at which he aimed.  And he just
touched it.  His hand was already stretched forth, to grasp the
glittering thing which was in his eyes the crown imperial of his world,
and then God's hand fell on him out of Heaven, and "he was brought down
to Hell, to the sides of the pit."

We shall see how this man prospered, as the tale advances: how he said
in his heart, "There is no God."  But to Isoult Avery it was a standing
marvel, how John Dudley could be the brother of Frances Monke.  And the
distance between them was as wide as from Hell to Heaven; for it was the
distance between a soul sold to the devil, and a temple of the Holy
Ghost.

The first introduction of Kate Avery to the grave and decorous behaviour
required in church, was made on the third of February, 1549.  Suffice it
to say, that Isoult was satisfied with the result of the experiment.
The new priest's name was Edmund Prideaux; and he was a Lutheran.
Coming home from church, John and Isoult fell in with the Tremaynes; and
were told by Mr Tremayne that all was now settled, and there was no fear
of any further riots.

Some weeks later, Robin and Arbel Tremayne again rode over to Bradmond
for four-hours.  Arbel's favourite was Walter, but Robin was fonder of
Kate, who on her part was greatly attached to him.  While they were
there Dr Thorpe came in.  When Robin and Arbel were gone home, the old
man remarked in confidence to John Avery, that he did not by any means
share Mr Tremayne's opinion that all was settled at Bodmin.  He thought
rather that the present tranquillity was like the crust of a volcano,
through which the fiery force might at any moment burst with little
warning.

That which finally broke the crust seemed at first a very little matter.
A proclamation came from the King, permitting land-owners to enclose
the waste lands around, within certain limitations.  And the old
Socialist spirit which is inherent in man rose up in arms at this favour
granted to the "bloated aristocrats"--this outrage upon "the rights of
the people."  For the three famous tailors of Tooley Street, who began
their memorial, "We, the people of England," had many an ancestor and
many a successor.

Mr Tremayne enclosed a piece of common behind his garden; John Avery
enclosed nothing.  The storm that fell swept away not only the guilty,
but as is generally the case, the innocent suffered with them.



CHAPTER THREE.

GOING FORTH.

  "O Day of endless brightness, dawn o'er these darkened skies!
  O Land of changeless beauty, break on these weary eyes!
  O Home whence no outgoing shall blind us with our tears--
  O rest and peace!  O life and love!  O summer of all years!"

The night of the fourth of July came hot and sultry, without a breath of
wind.  Isoult Avery had sunk to sleep after a weary day.  The very
warmth brought languor, and Walter had been naughty and peevish, needing
all her patience; and Mr Tremayne had had a large party to supper, of
which she had been one; and a multitude of little worries had pressed
upon her--those worries which seem too insignificant to repeat or care
about, yet form in the mass a large portion of our troubles.  Hardly
knowing it herself, her last thought before she slept had been a prayer
for rest.  But it was not rest that she really needed, and therefore it
was not rest she was to have.  Our Father giveth us often what we ask,
but always what we need.

From a troubled dream Isoult was now aroused, by a sound which at first
wove itself into her dream, and made her imagine herself in the great
hall of the Palace of Westminster, where carpenters were busy pulling
down the throne.

Knock, knock, knock!

Isoult hardly roused herself enough to recognise what the reality was
which answered to her imaginary carpenters, and John Avery slept calmly.

The knocking was repeated more loudly.

"Jack!" said Isoult at last--much too faintly to arouse any but a very
light sleeper.

Again came the knocking, and this time a voice with it.  "Mr Avery!"

Isoult, thoroughly awake at last, sat up, and succeeded after a minute
in bringing John to consciousness.  The knocking went on.  John sprang
up, and threw open the window.

"Who are you, and what do you lack?" he called to the unseen visitant
below.

"Let me in, and in haste, for God's sake!" cried a voice in answer,
which both the listeners immediately recognised as Robin Tremayne's.

"There is somewhat gone wrong," said John, and hurrying down, he
unbarred the door, and let in Robin.  Isoult followed as quickly as she
could.

"Why, Robin, lad, what is the matter?" she cried in dismay.  "What can
ail thee?  Is somewhat amiss at Tremayne?"

For Robin's face was white with terror, and he trembled from head to
foot, and his clothes were soiled and torn.

"All that can ail me in this world," murmured the poor lad, dropping
upon the settle.  "There is no Tremayne.  The enclosure men came thither
yestereven, and burned every brick of it to the ground."

"The rascals!" exclaimed Avery.  "And what came of thy father, and
mother, and sister, poor Robin?"

The lad looked up with tearless eyes.  "I am all of us."

Isoult was silent.  This was a sorrow beyond human comforting.  It had
been mockery to bid him be of good cheer then.

"My father had enclosed, as you know," resumed Robin in a low voice.
"And these rioters would no enclosures."

"Would to God he had let it alone!" murmured Avery under his breath.

"God would not, Mr Avery," quietly answered Robin, "or he had let it
alone."

And dropping his head upon his hands, the poor boy rocked himself to and
fro silently.  He seemed very faint and weary, yet Isoult doubted if he
could eat; but she fetched a jug of milk, and set it before him, bidding
him drink if he could.

"It would choke me, Mrs Avery," he answered.  "But you are exceeding
good unto me."

"Poor child!" said Avery, pityingly.  "Thou wilt be safe here at the
least.  I have not enclosed, I thank God."

"I thought you would take me in for a few days," said the lad, "until I
may see my way afore me, and win some little heart to pursue it."

"Thy way shall be my way, Robin," replied Avery tenderly.  "Twenty years
and more gone, when I was a stripling about thy years, thy father helped
me unto my calling with a gift of twenty pounds, which he never would
give me leave to pay him.  Under thy leave, I will pay it thee."

"You are exceeding good," he said again, not lifting his head.

"And how didst thou get away, poor Robin?" asked Isoult.

"I dropped from the window," said he.  "My chamber window was low built;
and when I heard the horrid shouts and yells at the front of the house,
I jumped out at the back, and hid me in the bushes beyond.  And there,
not daring to creep away till they were gone, lest they should discover
me, I heard and saw all."

"Then the bushes took not fire?" suggested Avery.

"Nay," said he, "the fish-pond lieth atween them and the house, mind
you."

He was silent a little while.  Then he said softly, under his
breath--"Mr Avery, when I saw the fiends lay hold upon Mother and Arbel,
I thought God must surely strike from Heaven for us.  But when, ten
minutes later, I saw the flames shooting up to the welkin, I thanked Him
in mine heart that He had taken them to His rest ere that."

"But, Robin, lad! didst thou not strike for them?" cried Avery, who
could not bear anything that seemed like cowardice.

"Should I, think you?" he made answer, in that low, hopeless tone that
goes to the heart.  "There were seventy or more of the enclosure men.  I
could but have died with them.  Maybe I ought to have done that.  I
think it had cost less."

"Forgive me, Robin!" said John, laying his hand on the lad's shoulder.
"Poor heart!  I meant not to reproach thee.  I spake hastily, therefore
unadvisedly."

"Let me have thee abed, poor Robin," said Isoult.  "'Tis but one of the
clock.  Canst thou sleep, thinkest?"

"Sometime, I count I shall again," he answered; "but an' I were to judge
by my feeling, I should think I never could any more."

"Time healeth," whispered Avery, rather to his wife than Robin; but the
lad heard him.

"God doth, Mr Avery," he said.  "And they are with God."

"Art thou less, Robin?" asked Avery tenderly.

"God is with me; that is the difference," he replied.

Robin Tremayne had always been a quiet, thoughtful boy; and even when
the first gush of his agony was over, there remained upon him a gentle,
grave pensiveness which it appeared as if he would never lose.

The next day proved as uneventful as other days at Bradmond.  No rioters
came near them.

In the evening Dr Thorpe appeared.  When the old man saw Robin, he cast
up his hands, and thanked God.

"Lad," said he, "I thought thou wert dead."

"I count God hath somewhat for me to do," answered Robin.  "But if He
hath not, I would I were."

"Hush thee, Robin dear!" said Isoult, uneasily.

"What wouldst thou be, Robin?" inquired Kate, her eyes wide open.

"Dead and buried," answered he.

"Then may I be dead and buried too?" she asked.

"Nay, Kate, not so!" cried Isoult, in dismay.

"It will not do, Robin," said Dr Thorpe, smiling.  And his face growing
grave, he pursued, "Lad, God setteth never too hard a lesson, nor layeth
on us more than we are able to bear."

"Too hard for what?" answered Robin.  "There have been that have had
lessons set that they might not learn and live.  Is that not too hard?"

"Nay, child!"  Dr Thorpe answered.  "If it be not too hard to learn, and
keep hold on eternal life, the lesser life of this little world is of no
matter."

"Nor the happiness of it, I suppose?" said Robin, gloomily.

"The plant God careth to grow now in us is holiness," he answered.
"That other fair flower, happiness, He keepeth for us in His own garden
above, where it is safer than in our keeping.  'Tis but stray fragments
and single leaves thereof that find their way down hither."

"I think so," said Robin, bitterly.

"Lad, lad! kick not against the pricks!" exclaimed Dr Thorpe, more
sternly.  "God's will is the best for us.  His way is the safe way, and
the only way."

"Easy to say so," answered Robin, slowly.  "And it was easy to think
so--yesterday morning."

Dr Thorpe looked on him and did not reply.

"O Robin!" cried Kate, running to him from the door.  "The sun is
shining again.  It was raining so fast all the morn; and now the sun is
come, and all the little drops are so pretty in the sunshine.  Come and
see!  They are so pretty shining on the roses."

Robin rose to follow her, with the first smile (though a mournful one)
that Isoult had seen flit across his face.

"Kate is the better comforter, Dr Thorpe, and hath learned the sweeter
lesson," he said.  "At least she hath learned it me.  You would have me
count the chastening joyous, even at this present: God's word pointeth
to the joyousness to come.  `Blessed are they that mourn,--for they
shall be comforted.'"

And he went after Kate.

For a few days more after Robin's coming all was quiet.  No one came to
inquire for him, and they began to hope the worst was over.  But late on
the Sunday evening, which was the seventh of July, suddenly there came a
rapping on the door.  And there, to the surprise of all, stood Dr
Thorpe.

"Welcome, good friend!" said Avery; "but your occasion should be great
to have you forth this even."

"So it is," said he.  "Is it not bed-time, Mrs Avery?"

"In very deed, Doctor," she answered.  "We were going above but now."

"Leave the lad and the maids go, then," said he, "and you and Jack bide
a space."

So the maids and Robin departed.

"What is it, Doctor?" asked Avery, when they were gone.

"What it is, Jack," said Dr Thorpe, who sat in the corner with his hands
upon his knees, "is a great burning mountain that is at this moment
quiet.  What it may be, is a great rushing and overflowing of the fiery
matter, that shall deal death all around.  And what it will be--the Lord
God knoweth, and He only."

"You speak in parables, Doctor," replied Avery.

"The safest matter to speak at this time," answered he.

"You look for a new riot, an' I take you rightly."

"Hardly for a riot," the other answered.  "Is the door fast?"

"I bolted it after you," said Avery.

Doctor Thorpe drew his chair closer, and spoke in a low, earnest voice.
"Not a riot," he said.  "Say an uprising--a civil war--a mighty
rebellion of all that be under, against all that be above.  Men that
will know no ruler, and bear no curb--little afraid to speak evil of
dignities, or to do evil against them.  `We are, and there is none
beside us:' yea, `we are the people, and wisdom shall die with us.'"

"There be such spirits alway," answered Avery, "but, I thank God, rarely
so many come together as shall do a mischief."

"There shall be mischief enough done in Cornwall and Devon within the
next month or twain," said Dr Thorpe, gloomily.  "I see more than you;
and I am come to tell you of somewhat that nearly toucheth both you and
me.  A year gone or thereabout, I was a-riding from Bodmin on the Truro
way, when I was aware of a little ragged lad that sat by the roadside,
the tears a-rolling down his not over clean face.  I drew bridle, and
asked the lad what ailed him.  He told me his mother did lie at death's
door, not far thence.  `Hath she any doctor or apothecary?' quoth I.
`Nay,' saith he, `neither the priest nor the apothecary would come
without money, and father hath not a penny.'  Well, I 'light from mine
horse, and throwing his bridle athwart mine arm, I bade the lad lead me
to his mother, for I was a physician, and could maybe do her some good.
I found her under an hedge, with nought save a ragged rug to cover her,
twain other children beside clamouring for bread, and her husband, a
rugged sullen-faced man, weaving of rushes for baskets.  All they were
dark-faced folk, and were, I take it, of that Egyptian [gipsy] crew that
doth over-run all countries at times.  I saw in a moment that though
beyond their skill, her disorder was not (with God's blessing) beyond
mine; yet it did require speedy remedy to serve her.  The physic that I
fetched for her quickly gave her ease, and I was something astonied at
the blessings which the husband did heap upon me when I departed from
them.  Methought, though he were rugged of face, yet he must be a man
that had some power of affection.  Well, the woman amended, and all they
left that part.  I heard no more of them sithence, until late last
night, as I was a-riding home, very nigh the same place, all suddenly an
hand was laid upon my bridle.  An highwayman, thought I; and I
remembered that I had little money upon me.  But in the stead of easing
me of my purse, mine highwayman put unto me a strange question.--`What
is your name, and where dwell you?'--`Verily,' said I, `I might ask the
same of you.  But sithence I am in no wise ashamed neither of my name
nor my dwelling-place, know you, that the one is Stephen Thorpe, and the
other is Bodmin.  What more would you?'--`Your calling?'--`A
physician.'--`Enough,' quoth my strange questioner.  `I pray you to
alight from your horse, and have no fear of me.  I will do you no harm;
I would not hurt you for a thousand pieces in good red gold.  I want
neither your money (howsoever much it be) nor your valuables that may be
on you.  Only, I pray you, let us two whisper together a season.'--`In
good sooth,' said I, `I have nought to whisper unto you.'--`But I have
to you,' saith he, `and what I say must not be spoken aloud.  You would
trust me if you knew what I would have.'--`Well, friend,' quoth I, `for
a friend metrusteth you be, I will do as you bid me.  All the money I
have upon me is but some few shillings, and to them, if you lack, you
are welcome.  For valuable matter, I carry none; and I myself am an old
man, no longer of much service unto any.  If you desire me to ply my
trade of healing, I am content; but I warn you that by murdering of me
you should gain little beside an evil conscience.'--So with that I
'lighted down.--`Throw the bridle on your arm,' saith he, `and follow
me.'--So, linking his arm in mine, he drew me (for it was pitch dark,
and how he found his way I know not) aside from the road, unto a small
forsaken and ruinated hut that stood on the common.--`Stand where you be
a moment,' quoth he; and striking the tinder, he lit a rush candle.
`Now, know you me?' saith he.  `Not a whit better than afore,' quoth
I.--He blew out the candle.--`You have forgot my face,' he saith.  `Mind
you a year gone, ministering unto a dying woman (as was thought), in
this place, under an hedge, whereby you did recover her of her
malady?'--`I know you now,' said I; `you are that woman's husband.'
`Then you are aware,' answereth he, `that I would do you no hurt.'--`Say
on,' quoth I.--`Suffer me,' saith he, `to ask you certain
questions.'--`So be it,' said I.--Then he,--`Is your house in Bodmin
your own?'--`It is so,' answered I, marvelling if he were about to ask
me for mine house.--`Sell it,' quoth he, `and quickly.'--`Wherefore?'
answered I.--`I passed no word touching your questions,' quoth he,
grimly.--`In good sooth,' said I, `this is a strange matter, for a man
to be bidden to sell his house, and not told wherefore.'--`You shall see
stranger things than that,' he answered, `ere your head be hoarier by
twain s'ennight from now.'--`Well! say on,' quoth I.--`Have you,'
pursueth he, `any money lent unto any friend, or set out at usury?  You
were best to call it in, if you would see it at all.'--`Friend,' said I,
`my money floweth not in so fast that my back lacketh it not so soon as
it entereth my purse.'--`The better,' quo' he.--`Good lack!' said I, `I
alway thought it the worse.'--`The worse afore, the better now,' he
answered.  `But once more--have you any friend you would save from
peril?'--And I,--`Why, I would save any from peril that I saw like to
fall therein.'--`Then,' quoth he, `give them privily the counsel that I
now give you.  If the sun find you at Bodmin,--yea, any whither in
Cornwall or Devon--twain s'ennights hence, he shall not set on you
alive.  Speak not another word.  Mount your horse, and go.'--I strave,
however, to say another word unto him, but not one more would he
hearken.  `Go!' he crieth again, so resolute and determinedly that I did
go.  Now, I fear greatly that this man did tell me but truth, and that
some fearful rising of the commons is a-brewing.  I shall surely take
his counsel, and go hence.  What say you, Jack?  Shall we go together?"

There was dead silence for a minute.  Isoult's head was in a whirl.

At last her husband said slowly, "What sayest thou, Isoult?"

"Jack," she replied, "whither thou art will I be."

"And that shall be--whither?" asked Dr Thorpe.  "It must be no whither
within Cornwall or Devon."

"But we have not enclosed," objected Avery, answering rather his
thoughts than his words.

"I doubt," he answered, "whether they shall wait to ask that."

"For me," Avery resumed, "I have friends in London, and Isoult likewise;
and if I thought it should be long ere we may turn again, thither should
I look to go rather than otherwhere.  But an' it be for a few weeks, it
should be unworth so long a journey."

"Weeks!" cried Dr Thorpe.  "Say months, Jack, or years.  For my part, I
look not to see Bodmin again.  But there be thirty years betwixt thee
and me."

"In that case," said he, "and methinks you have the right--I say,
London, if Isoult agree therewith.  There should be room in that great
city, I account, for both you and me to ply our several callings."

"Whither thou wilt, be it, Jack," said his wife, softly.  "But Mother,
and Hugh, and Bessy!  And Frances at Potheridge, and Mrs Philippa at
Crowe--what is to come of them, and who shall warn them?"

Dr Thorpe shook his head.

"Little time for all that, Mrs Avery," answered he.  "Send, an' you
will, to the two places--Potheridge and Crowe; but leave Potheridge to
warn Wynscote, and Wynscote to warn Matcott and Bindon."

"Let Robin take the brown horse," suggested Avery, "and ride post with a
letter from thee to Mrs Philippa; and Tom the white nag, and I will send
him likewise to Mr Monke.  I might have gone myself to one of the twain,
but--"

"Nay, Jack! bide thou with me," entreated Isoult, fearfully.

"Well said," answered Dr Thorpe.

"Well!"  Avery replied, "there seemeth little time to choose or bowne
[prepare] us; but as the Italians have it, `_Che sara, sara_.'  [`What
will be, will be.'] When set we forth, Doctor?"

"Now, if we could," answered Dr Thorpe, significantly.

Preparations for the journey were made in haste, and without waiting for
daylight.  Robin and Tom were sent on horseback to Crowe and Potheridge,
starting with the earliest gleam of dawn.  Isoult summoned Jennifer,
Barbara, and Ursula the cook, and asked whether they would cast in their
lot with hers or remain in Cornwall.  Jennifer answered that she feared
the journey more than the commons, and the fourth of July was a very
unlucky day on which to commence any undertaking: she would stay where
she was.  Ursula and Barbara, both of whom had been with their mistress
ever since her marriage, replied that they would go with her now.

"Nor have I any of mine own that I may well go unto," Ursula added.
"Mine only brother dwelleth in Somerset, and he is but an husbandman,
with little wages and a great sort of childre; and beside him I have no
kin."

"My mother is wed again," Barbara explained, "and my father that now is
should grudge to be troubled with me; and my sister, that is newly
wedded, hath but one chamber in a poor man's house.  I will hie after
you, Mistress, an' you will have me."

This question being settled, another arose.  Who should be left at
Bradmond?  Tom was too necessary for the journey; besides which, he was
ignorant of the arts of reading and writing, and would not be able to
send word how matters went on after their departure.  In this emergency,
while Isoult and John were talking over the subject, Barbara presented
herself with a deprecatory courtesy, or rather lout.

"Mistress," said she, "if you and our master bethink not yourselves
readily of any that should serve for to dwell here in your absence, I
would you would think on Marian my sister, and her husband [fictitious
persons].  They should, I do know, be right willing to be set in charge;
and Simon Pendexter (that is my brother) can right well read and write,
for he hath been a schoolmaster; and is (though I say it) a sad and
sober honest man, such as I do know you should be willing to use in this
matter."

This information settled the question.  Barbara was despatched to ask
Simon and Marian if they would be willing to come, and she returned with
a reply that they were not only willing, but thankful for the offer, and
had no fear of the rioters.

In such arrangements time passed on until the Friday evening, when Robin
reached home from Crowe, bringing Philippa Basset with him.  She
expressed her gratitude for the warning sent, and said that she was
ready to go to London.

"As for Crowe," she said, "'tis Arthur his house, not mine; and to me
all places be nigh alike.  I set some seeds that I looked to see come up
this next spring; but that is all I have to lose, save an old gown or
twain, and the like.  And," added she, turning away her head, "they will
not harm what alone I care for--my dead."

On the Sunday morning came Dickon, Dr Thorpe's man, with a message from
his master, desiring that all should be ready to set out by five o'clock
on the following morning.  "Bodmin," said he, "was plainly ill at ease:
men gathered together in knots in the streets, and the like, with all
manner of rumours and whisperings about; and if they were to go, go they
must."

"But Tom is not yet back," said Isoult.

It was settled, however, that it would not do to wait for him; but to
their relief, two or three hours before the time fixed for starting, Tom
came.  He brought letters from Mr Monke to John, and from Lady Frances
to Isoult; but he arrived alone.  Mr Monke thanked them heartily for
their loving care, and would readily undertake to warn Wynscote and
Combe; but he declined to join them.  Potheridge was well fortified with
walls and moat; and he had seven able-bodied men-servants, and double
the number of tenants, who could be called within at a few minutes'
notice: the house was well provisioned, and his armoury equipped: and he
ended his letter by saying,--"My trust is in God.  You do well to go;
yet methinks I do as well to abide."

"Metrusteth all shall be well," said Isoult, with a sigh; "yet if I
might have known how it should be with them, I had gone with an heart
the lighter."

"A wilful man," responded Philippa; "let him be."

Lady Frances said in her letter, "Dear heart, God is not gone from
Devon.  Fear not for us, only pray; and wheresoever we be, and
howsoever, let us abide in Him."

At last the preparations were completed.  Simon and Marian Pendexter had
been installed in office, with orders to write in a month: three sumpter
mules were laden with the family luggage: and the last farewells were
taken.  The party mounted their horses.  First rode John Avery on
Bayard, with his wife behind him on the pillion; then, on Blanche, a
white mare, came Ursula, with Kate strapped before her; on the black
farm mare, which had no particular name, rode Tom, with Barbara behind,
and Walter before him; and lastly, on a wiry white nag, came Robin, with
Philippa on the pillion.  So they moved slowly away from the home which,
for aught they knew, they might never see again.

It was a trial which cost Isoult Avery many tears.  Barbara, too, wept;
but no one else, only when Philippa spoke, it was in that short,
constrained manner with which some people hide sorrow.  Little Kate was
in high glee, until she saw her mother weep; and then she looked grave
and thoughtful--for about ten minutes.

When they reached the end of the lane which led into the high road from
Bradmond, they found Dr Thorpe seated on his bay horse, awaiting them.
Behind, on a brown nag, was Dickon, with a bundle strapped at his back.

"Come, friends mine!" cried Dr Thorpe.  "If you urge on your horses no
faster, we shall sleep on the common to-night."  Then as Bayard came up
with him, he added in a lower tone, "It was too true, Jack.  Fourteen
houses were sacked in Bodmin last night."

"Of them that had enclosed?"

"Mostly, but not all," he answered.  "They opened the cellars, and set
the conduits a-flowing with wine; then, having well drunken, marched to
the church, where they cast the new service-book into a bonfire [Note
1]; and at after surrounded Father Prideaux [a fictitious person] his
house, shouting and singing in uproarious wise, calling upon him to come
forth and set himself at their head.  (A fair body to be head of!)  By
God's providence, he was not within; but it was full two hours ere they
would depart, for all the handmaid's telling of them that her master was
from home.  At long last they did go thence, and down the streets,
shrieking and yelling like fiends."

"And is it over, think you?" suggested Avery.

"Is it begun?" answered Dr Thorpe.  "Tidings came yestre'en of riots in
Somerset; and, Jack, the commons have taken Exeter."

"Taken Exeter!" cried John and Isoult in a breath.

"Taken Exeter!" repeated he.  "What think you now?"

"Lord, have mercy upon us!" said Isoult under her breath.

"A letter is come from the King," pursued Dr Thorpe, "exhorting the
commons to obedience and patience, and they shall receive redress of
their griefs."

Philippa and Robin now came ambling alongside, for here they could ride
three abreast.

"But what profess the commons to be their griefs?" said Isoult; "for I
did never yet rightly understand."

"Firstly," said Dr Thorpe, "they do allege the young age of the King,
and the having a Protector over them."

"What foolishness!" exclaimed Avery.  "Would they have the King grow
unto manhood in a day? or think they that he abideth a child of set
purpose?"

"Then," pursueth Dr Thorpe, "their second matter is, the 'stablishing of
Lutheranism within the realm.  They would fain see the mass set up
again, and have the Six Articles back."

"The Bloody Statute!" cried Isoult.  "God forgive them!"

"And the third matter is the enclosures," added he.

"Methinks men are not over weighted with religion, that be so ready to
pull it down," remarked Philippa.

"That hangeth on whether it be truth or error," replied he.

"Nay," said she, "you draw lines too fine for me.  What I learnt in my
youth is truth enough for me."

"So do many think," said Avery.  "But there is yet an other question,
Mrs Basset, which they shall some day have to front, though they will
not now; and that is, whether it be truth enough for God?"

But to that she made no answer.

The fugitives journeyed as quietly as possible, yet as quickly as was
safe, until the Saturday.  And then, about four o'clock, as they gained
the ridge of a hill, Dr Thorpe, who rode first, suddenly drew bridle.

"Back, all of you!" cried he.  "Hide you behind the rocks yonder.  An
immense crowd of men is in the valley, advancing this way.  If these be
the commons, God be our help, for we can have none other."

"We can sell our lives dearly, at least," said Avery, looking to his
matchlock.

"We that be men were best to light off our horses," pursued Dr Thorpe,
"and leave the women thereon, that they may fly the faster if need be.
Set them and the childre behind, and thou, Jack, with me and Tom and
Dickon, stand out afore."

"They shall fly cruel slow on yon old black jade," said Tom, grinning.

"Master," inquired Dickon (who was a Somerset man), "if they catch I,
what shall they do to I?"

"Hold your idle tongues!" answered Dr Thorpe sternly, "and see that your
arms are in good order.  Robin, shall we count thee a man, or as one of
the childre?"

"You shall not count me to be guarded, but to guard," said Robin,
stoutly.

"Well said," replied Dr Thorpe.

"Truly, good Doctor, on my word," interposed Philippa, "but you shall
not count me as a sely woman.  I have handled a matchlock afore now, and
I can knock down a man an' I have hold of a poker.  I stand to the
front, an' it like you."

"Well said, brave heart!" answered he.  "So do."

So set, they awaited the death that might be at hand, and prayed to God
to guard them.  All were brave enough but Dickon, and he shivered like
an aspen leaf.

"Thou white-livered [our ancestors believed literally that cowards had
white livers] dolt!" cried Dr Thorpe sharply, and took the matchlock out
of his hands.  "Go behind for a child as thou art."

"And give me his matchlock," said Philippa.

"Take it," he answered.  "You are ten times over the man that he is."

Slowly they heard the tramp of feet advancing nearer and nearer.  All
were silent now.  The feet gained the ridge of the hill--they crossed
it--they came forward on the road.  All at once Avery, who was next that
side, threw down his matchlock with a shout.

"Forward, friends!" cried he triumphantly.  "These are no rebels--these
are the King's Majesty's troops.  See you not the royal lions flying at
the van?  God be with the armies of England!"

The revulsion was great from such terror to comfort, joy, and
thankfulness.  All came forward.  The leader of the army looked at the
group, stayed his horse, and lifted his visor.  A cry of joy broke from
Philippa and Isoult, for they saw beneath his helm a face that they had
known well in the old Calais days.

"Mrs Philippa Basset!" exclaimed he in amazement; "at the least if mine
eyes bewray me not.  And Mrs Barry!  God keep you both!  How come you
here? and do you lack aid?"

"Your eyes be true men, my Lord Grey de Wilton," [Note 2] said Philippa,
"and right glad are mine to light on no unfriendlier face.  Truly at the
first we took you for rebels, and had it not been for your coats and
your standard, I had picked you off with my matchlock ere I wist who it
were."

Lord Grey laughed merrily.

"Nay," said he, "we are marching against the rebels, by the King's
gracious commission.  What may I do for you, my mistresses?  Whither go
you?"

"We be on our way to London," answered Philippa, "if it like the saints
to have us there."

"It may like the troops, maybe, the better," said Lord Grey.  "Well, I
will then send with you certain picked soldiers, good men and true, to
see you safe on your way, if God permit."

"We thank you heartily, and will accept of your goodness with a very
good will," she replied.  "And what news, now?"

"Very ill news," answered he.  "The rebels be up all through Somerset,
and Kent, and Essex, and Lincoln, and Norfolk, and Suffolk."

"Thanks be to our Lady!" cried she; "none of those lie in our way to
London."

"Laud be to God therefor!" answered Lord Grey, gravely; "yet be wary.
How soon may Dorset and Wilts be up likewise?  My Lord of Northampton
layeth siege to Norwich, and ere this, I trust, is my Lord Russell and
his troops around Exeter.  But our work is not yet done by many a day's
labour."

"I pray you, noble sir," asked Dr Thorpe, "if I may aventure myself to
speak unto your Lordship, what think you of this rebellion?  Shall it be
a thing easily crushed, or a more graver matter?"

"I know not," said Lord Grey, turning his head to the speaker.  "It
should seem a very grave matter--another Jack Cade's rebellion.  Yet it
may be subdued readily.  I know not.  This only I know--that `unless the
Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.'"

Lord Grey, turning, called to him one of his officers, and spoke quietly
with him a moment.  Then turning again to Philippa, he said, "Look you
here, Mrs Basset, an't like you.  I will send with you twelve picked
men, that shall be a guard unto you, and shall not leave you until (by
God's allowing), they have you safe in London.  And there come," pursued
he to the captain of the men, "report yourself unto Sir Francis Jobson,
and await his order.  Stay--take with you a token."

Lord Grey drew a ring from his finger, and gave it to that officer who
seemed to be in authority as captain over the twelve men forming the
guard.  Then bowing low, he bade God keep them; and the troops marched
forward at his giving the word.

The little group journeyed on towards Dorset, their guard marching
before with their halberds in their hands.  The captain [a fictitious
person] had some talk with Dr Thorpe and Avery; he told them he was a
London man, and that his mother--a widow--dwelt in the Minories; and
both were Gospellers.  So in due time they reached Dorchester; and
thence Salisbury, both which they found quiet.  And at Windsor they
heard a rumour that Norwich had yielded; which on coming to London they
found true.  They heard further that Exeter was taken by Lord Russell;
and that Lord Grey de Wilton had reached Cornwall.

The captain of their guard took them to his mother, Mistress Brent,
[fictitious persons] whom they found a pleasant and pious woman.  The
next day they began looking for a house; and being inclined to settle in
the Minories [Note 3], Mrs Brent told them of a comfortable house which
was empty next door to her own.  John and Isoult went to see it, liked
it, and took it.  Philippa went to her sister, Lady Elizabeth Jobson, in
the Tower; and Dr Thorpe agreed to remain with the Averys until he
should make up his mind what to do.  Perhaps it was difficult to make
up; for without any regular agreement on the subject, yet to everybody's
satisfaction, they formed one family thereafter.

Meantime there was sad work at Exeter.

The Lord Privy Seal [John Russell, afterwards first Earl of Bedford],
who was sent there with his troops, finding his own forces fewer than
the rebels, stayed at Honiton, while the rebels besieged Exeter: and
right valiantly the men of Exeter kept their town.  [King Edward, from
whose Diary these details are taken, spells these names Honington and
Outrie.]  The rebels burnt the gates, but those within "kept them off by
hot fire, till they had made a rampart; and when they were undermined,
they drowned the mine and the powder with water."  The Lord Privy Seal,
hearing of their bravery, endeavoured to go round a bye-way to reinforce
them; but the rebels, having spies, discovered his movements, and cut
down all the trees between Saint Mary Ottery and Exeter.  Lord Russell
then burnt the town, intending to return home.  But the rebels held a
bridge against him, forcing him with his small band to fall upon them;
when he gained a great victory, killing some hundreds of them, and
retreating homeward without any loss of his own men.  Then Lord Grey
came to his help, and together they raised the siege of Exeter.

At Bodmin, Sir Anthony Kingston, who was sent there, hanged the Mayor, a
fervent Papist: and Father Prideaux would have fared ill at his hands,
had not all the Lutherans and Gospellers in the town risen in his
favour, and testified that he had not joined with other priests in the
rising (for the priests urged and fomented all these risings), but was a
good Protestant and faithful subject.

The fugitives were at first too busy to have much time for lamentation.
But when the pressure of constant occupation was relaxed, and the
furnishing and arranging of matters ended, they began to feel a little
like ship-wrecked men, thrown upon a strange coast.  Isoult Avery was
astonished to find what a stranger she felt in London, where she had
lived some years with Anne Basset and the Duchess of Suffolk.  One
afternoon in September she was peculiarly oppressed by this sense of
solitude in a crowd--the most painful solitude of any--but was trying to
bear up bravely.  She sat at her work, with Kate at her hornbook beside
her, when the door was unlatched, and Isoult heard her husband's
well-known voice say,--"Come in,--you shall see her now."

Isoult rose to receive her unknown visitor.

He was a man of some fifty years or upwards, neither stout nor spare,
but tall, and of an especially stately and majestic carriage.  His face
was bronzed as if with exposure to a southern sun; his hair and eyes
were dark, and he had a long dark beard.  Grave and deliberate in all
his actions, his smile was exquisitely sweet, and his expression
thoughtfully gentle.

"Isoult," said her husband, "this is Mr Rose, an ancient friend of mine,
and now parson of West Ham, nigh unto Richmond.  He would be acquaint
with thee, and so would his wife and daughter."

Isoult rose and louted to the visitor, and gave him her hand; and to her
surprise, Kate, who was commonly very shy with strangers, went up at
once to Mr Rose, and suffered him to lift her upon his knee and kiss
her.

"I knew not you were a man so much to childre's liking," said Avery;
"methinks I never saw my little maid so friendly unto a stranger afore."

"I love them dearly," answered Mr Rose.  "And I pray you, Mrs Avery, if
it will please you to take the pain to visit my wife, that you bring
this little maid withal."

This was Isoult's first introduction to one of the most remarkable men
of the sixteenth century.  Not so, perhaps, as the world sees eminence;
but as God and His angels see it.  Thomas Rose was a Devonshire man, and
had begun to preach about the same time as Latimer.  He was one of the
earliest converts of the Reformation, and was constantly and
consistently persecuted by the Papal party.  Much of his life had been
spent: abroad to escape their machinations.  The entire history of this
man was full of marvellous providences and hairbreadth escapes; and it
was to be fuller yet.  Weary of dealing in this manner, Rome had at
length tried upon him those poisoned shafts which she launched at many a
Gospeller--suborning false witnesses to accuse him of uncommitted
crimes.  Mr Rose stood the trial, and came unscathed out of it.

Isoult readily promised to visit Mrs Rose, though she was slightly
dismayed on afterwards hearing from John that Mr Rose had married a
foreigner.

"A Protestant, I trust?" she asked doubtfully, for she knew little of
foreigners, and with the exception of a handful of Lutherans and
Huguenots, thought they were all Papists--with a margin, of course, for
Jews, Turks, heretics, and infidels.

John laughed as if the question amused him exceedingly.  "Were it
possible," he responded, "that Thomas Rose's wife should be any thing
else?"

The train of visitors was only just beginning.  When Isoult came in from
the market, feeling very tired and overworked, on the following morning,
she found Philippa Basset in her large chair, looking very much at home,
while Kate, on her knee, was chattering away to her with the utmost
freedom.

"Well, Isoult!" was Philippa's greeting.  "Thou dost well to go
a-cheapening of carrots, and leave thy friends that come to visit thee
to find none in the house that they know save this," pointing to Kate.
"How dost thou, dear heart?"

"The better to see you, Mrs Philippa," said she.  "I will not ask how
you do, for you look rarely well.  Verily, I left more in the house than
Kate, or I had taken her withal."

"Isoult, dost thou mean to call me mistress all the days of thy life?"
she asked in answer.

"I mean to call you what it list you," said Isoult, "but truly you never
gave me leave to do other."

"And truly you never asked for it," replied she.  "Howbeit, take it now,
prithee, for ever henceforward."

Isoult thanked her, and asked her "if any news were abroad."

"Any news, quotha?" she answered.  "But a yard or twain.  Hast heard
that my Lord Protector is not in very good case?"

"Nay!" cried Isoult.  "My Lord Protector! what mean you, Mrs Philippa?"

"This, Mrs Avery," answered she.  "My Lord Protector, being no Lutheran,
but a Gospeller, is not over well liked of some that be Lutherans, and
no Gospellers: and as for us poor Catholics, we never (you know) held
him for a saint.  So this being the case (this in thine ear,
Isoult--'tis under _benedicite_ [under the seal of confession]),
certain, if not all of the King's Council, be resolved to be rid of my
high and mighty Lord.  And ere thou be ten days older, I count thou
shalt hear somewhat thereof.  I have so much from a good hand, that can
be trusted; the name I utter not."

"Then," said Isoult, "be the Catholics and Lutherans conspiring together
for this?"

"Truth," answered she; "they that be least Christians of both."

"You say well, Mrs Philippa," replied Isoult.

"Do I so, Mrs Avery?" she answered.

"I cry you mercy!" said Isoult; "Philippa, then, if you will have it
so."

"Ay, I will have it so," said she, laughing.

"But," answered Isoult, "what saith the King's Highness thereto?"

"The King!" exclaimed she.  "The King marketh but his twelfth birthday
this month, dear heart.  What can he know? or an' he spake, who would
heed him?"

"But," said Isoult, "we hear for ever of his Highness' sageness and
wisdom, such as 'tis said never had Prince afore him."

"Did we not so of his father?" asked she, with a short laugh.  "There be
alway that will sing loud hymns to the rising or risen sun.  Sageness
and wisdom, forsooth! of a lad of twelve years!  He may be as sage as he
will, but he will not match Dr Stephen Gardiner yet awhile."

A shudder ran through Isoult Avery at the name of the deviser of the
Bloody Statute.  But the danger of the Protector was too serious a
question to every Gospeller not to be recurred to and prayed against.

"It doth seem to me, Jack," said Isoult that evening, when the story had
been told, "as though the cause of the Gospel should stand or fall with
my Lord Protector.  What thinkest thou?"

"Sweet wife," he answered, "if my Lord Protector were the only prop of
the Gospel, it had fallen long ago.  The prop of the Gospel is not my
Lord or thy Lord, but the Lord of the whole earth.  His strength is
enough to bear it up."

"I know that, Jack," she said.  "Yet God worketh by means; and my Lord
Protector gone, who else is there?"

"Nay, child!" answered Dr Thorpe.  "Is God so lately become unable of
these stones to raise up children unto Abraham?  Shall He, by whose word
a nation shall be born in a day, be too weak to strengthen the King, in
despite of his tender years, or to raise up another man that shall
follow in the wake of my Lord Protector?"

"I know God can do miracles," said Isoult, somewhat despondingly.

"`For all but me'--is that thy thought, sweeting?" asked Avery, smiling.

"But where is there a man?" cried Isoult.

"How know I?" said Dr Thorpe.  "Some whither in the Indies, it may be.
But the Lord shall surely fetch him thence when the time cometh.
Prithee, Jack, bid thy friend the Hot Gospeller to dinner, and leave us
see if he (that I gather from thy talk to be mighty busy in public
matters) can find us a man for the time."

Avery smiled, and said he would ask Mr Underhill to dinner.  But Isoult
shook her head, averring that neither Dr Thorpe nor even the Hot
Gospeller could find a man for the time.

For some days, at her husband's desire, Isoult had been on the look-out
for a bower-woman to replace Jennifer.  She inquired from Mrs Brent and
other neighbours, but could nowhere hear of a satisfactory person.  On
the Sunday evening following Philippa's visit, as they were coming home
from Saint Botolph's, the church which stood at the top of the Minories,
Isoult heard her name softly called from the crowd of dispersing
worshippers.  She looked up into a pair of black, pensive eyes, which
she knew to belong to an old friend--a converted Jewess, who had been
one of her bridesmaids, but whom she had never met since that time.  The
friends halted and clasped hands.

"I knew not you were in this vicinage," said Esther in her grave manner,
"but methought that face could belong to none other."

"We dwell at this present in the Minories," said Isoult, "and are but
now come hither, by reason of certain riots in the western parts.  And
where dwell you?"

"I am now abiding," she replied, "with a friend, one Mistress Little,
until I may find conveniency to meet with a service: for I have left the
one, and am not yet fallen in with the other."

"And I am but now looking for a bower-woman," said Isoult.

"Have you covenanted with any?" asked she quickly.

"Nay," was the answer, "I have not yet fallen in with any with whom to
covenant."

"Mrs Avery, will you take me?" she said, earnestly.

"Nay," answered Isoult, "but will you come to me?  I had thought you
should look for a much better service than mine."

"I could not have a better, methinks," she responded, with a rather
sorrowful smile.  "I would right fain come to you, if that might be."

"Then it may be, dear heart!" said Isoult, much moved by her urgency.
"I would fainer have you than any which I do know, unless it were Annis
Holland, that I have known from the cradle.  But should it like you to
follow me into Devon? for we do look to return thither when the troubles
are past."

"I will follow you any whither," answered she.  "I care nothing where I
am, only this,--that I would liefer be out of London than in it."

So Esther came, and took up her quarters at the sign of the Lamb.  Every
house in London had then its sign, which served the purpose of a number.

Meanwhile the clouds gathered more darkly over the only man in power
(excepting the boy-King himself), who really cared more for the welfare
of England than for his own personal aggrandisement.  And it was not
England which forsook and destroyed Somerset.  It was the so-called
Lutheran faction, to the majority of whom Lutheranism was only the cloak
which hid their selfish political intrigues.  There had been a time when
Somerset was one of them, and had sought his own advancement as they now
did theirs.  And the deserted regiment never pardons the deserter.  The
faction complained that Somerset was proud and self-willed: he worked
alone; he acted on his own responsibility; he did not consult his
friends.  This of course meant in the case of each member of the faction
(as such complaints usually do), "He did not consult _me_."  Somerset
might truthfully have pleaded in reply that he had not a friend to
consult.  The Court held no friend to him; and, worst of all, his own
home held none.  He had, unquestionably, a number of acquaintances, of
that class which has been well and wittily defined as consisting of
"intimate enemies;" and he had a wife, who loved dearly the high title
he had given her, and the splendid fortune with which she kept it up.
But neither she nor any one else loved _him_--except One, who was
sitting above the Water-floods, watching His tried child's life, and
ready, when his extremity should have come, to whisper to that weary and
sorrowful heart, "Come and rest with Me."

But that time was not yet.  The battle must be fought before the rest
could come.

On Friday, the 5th of October, a private gathering of nineteen of the
Council was held at Lord Warwick's house in Holborn--that Lord Warwick
of whom I have already spoken as John Dudley, the half-brother of Lady
Frances Monke.  No man on earth hated Somerset more heartily than
Warwick, and perhaps only one other man hated him quite as much.  While
they were yet debating how to ruin Somerset, a letter came in the King's
name from Secretary Petre, inquiring for what cause they thus gathered
together: if they wished to speak with the Protector they must come
peaceably.  This letter sealed the fate of the conference--and of
Somerset.  The victim, it was evident, was awake and watching.  Ruin
might have served the original purpose: now only one end would serve
it--death.  But Warwick was one of the few who know how to wait.

In this emergency--for he manifestly feared for his life--Somerset
appealed to the only friends he had, the people of England.  And England
responded to the appeal.  Hour after hour thickened the crowd which
watched round Hampton Court, where the King and Protector were; and in
the middle of Sunday night, when he thought it safe, Somerset hastened
to take refuge with his royal nephew in the strong-hold of Windsor [Note
4], the crowd acting as guards and journeying with them.

It was a false move.  The populace were with Somerset, but the army was
with Warwick.  The crowd melted away; the Lords held London; and on
every gate of the city a list of the charges against the Protector was
posted up.  The bird, struggling vainly in the toils of the serpent, was
only exhausting its own life.

These were the charges (in substance), which Isoult Avery found Dr
Thorpe carefully reading when she came home from the market on Monday
morning.  The old man was making comments as he proceeded, not very
complimentary to my Lord of Warwick and his colleagues.

"One.  That he hath made inward divisions.

"Two.  That he hath lost his Majesty's pieces beyond the sea.

"Three.  That he did enrich himself in the war, and left the King's poor
soldiers unpaid of their wages.

"Four.  That he hath laboured to make himself strong in all countries.

"Five.  That he hath subverted all law, justice, and good order, whereby
he hath fearfully shaken the chair of the King's seat.

"Six.  That he hath little esteemed the grave advice of the King's good
and faithful councillors.

"Seven.  That he hath little regarded the order appointed by King Henry,
for the government of his son.

"Eight.  That he hath laboured to sow dissension in the kingdom among
the nobles, gentlemen, and commoners.

"Nine.  That the King and kingdom hath suffered great loss by his wilful
negligence."

"`Shaken the chair of the King's seat!'" cried he.  "If the men be not
rebels that writ this paper, I have little wit to know what a rebel is.
How dare they speak or think of shaking the King's seat, which is in the
hands of God, and is accountable unto none save Him?--`Little esteemed
the advice of the King's faithful councillors'--to wit, the runagates
that writ this paper.  `Laboured to sow dissension betwixt the gentry
and the commoners!'  'Tis the enclosures they point at, I reckon.  What!
was he the only man that allowed them? and who could have thought the
commons had been such dolts?  Now let us see the names of these wise,
good, and faithful councillors.  `R. Rich, W. Saint John, W.
Northampton, J. Warwick,'" [Note 5] and he paused a minute.  "Isoult,"
said he again, "methinks that Earl of Warwick is a knave."

"I never thought him otherwise, Dr Thorpe," said Isoult quietly.

Sir Anthony Wingfield was sent by the Lords of the Council to Windsor on
the following Friday.  He parted the Lord Protector from the King, and
set a strong guard to watch him until the coming of the Lords.  On the
Saturday the Lord Chancellor and the Council rode to Windsor, and that
night the Protector was set in ward in the Beauchamp Tower of Windsor
Castle.  And on the Monday afternoon was the Duke of Somerset (no longer
Lord Protector) brought to the Tower of London, riding between the Earls
of Southampton and Huntingdon, accompanied by many gentlemen, and three
hundred horse.  At his own desire, he came into London by way of Saint
Giles in the Fields; and opposite Soper Lane were knights sitting on
horseback, and all the officers with halberds.  And so they led him from
Holborn Bridge to Cheapside; where, with a loud voice, he cried to the
bystanders, "Good people, I am as true a man to the King as any here."
In all the streets were Aldermen or their deputies, on horseback; and
the householders, each man at his door, all standing with bills in their
hands, as he passed.  And so he was conducted to the Tower, where he
remained.

"As true a man to the King!"  Poor little Edward, bewildered and
deceived!  He did not know there was none other half so true.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  The enclosure riots had a more religious aspect in the West
than in the East or the Midland Counties.

Note 2.  William Lord Grey de Wilton was an eminent General, and a
staunch Gospeller.  He had been a member of the Council at Calais during
the persecution, and his close friendship with Lord and Lady Lisle is
shown by the fact that of his three children, two bore their names.
Lord Grey died at Cheston, near Waltham, December 25, 1562.

Note 3.  The Minories was then to all intents in the country.  A single
street, Whitechapel Bars, lay between it and the Spital Field on the
north; in front (west) was the city wall, with its gardens; on the east
lay Goodman's Fields, and an open space to the south, bounded by the
Tower enclosure and the Thames.  It must have been a very pleasant
suburb.

Note 4.  Most historians say that the removal was against Edward's will.
The account given by himself shows no trace of any such feeling.

Note 5.  At this era, peers did not use their titles only in signature,
but added at least the initial of the Christian name.



CHAPTER FOUR.

BENEATH BLUE SKY.

  "Ere suns and moons could wax and wane
  Ere stars were thundergirt, or piled
  The heavens, God thought on me His child,
  Ordained a life for me, arrayed
  Its circumstances every one
  To the minutest; ay, God said
  This head this hand should rest upon
  Thus, ere He fashioned star or sun."

  Robert Browning.

The 24th of October brought the expected letter from Simon Pendexter to
the master of Bradmond, and another from Marian to the mistress.
Simon's epistle was read first; but it proved to require both an English
dictionary and a Latin lexicon.  Simon wrote of "circumstances," [then a
new and affected word], of the "culpable dexterity" of the rebels who
had visited Bradmond, of their "inflammatory promulgation," of the
"celerity" of his own actions in reply, and of his "debarring from
dilation the aforesaid _ignis_."  He left them in a cloud of words, of
which Dr Thorpe understood about half, and Isoult much less.  John,
being a little wiser, was called upon for a translation.  "Hang me if I
know what the fellow is a-writing about!" testily cried Dr Thorpe.
"Jack, do thou put this foolery into decent English!"

"The enclosure men burnt your house, old friend," said John.  "Have
there the English."

"Plain enough at last, by my troth!" cried he.

A little more progress was made with Mr Pendexter's missive, when Isoult
interrupted it by exclaiming--

"Do tell me what he meaneth, Jack!"

"They set our house afire, dear heart, but he soon put it out,"
translated John.

"It was likely afeard of his big ruffling words!" said Dr Thorpe.

The letter concluded thus:--"With the which considerations, I do commit
your Honour to the tuition of God.  Inscribed at Bodmin, _die Veneris_,
the fourth in the month of October.  By the hand of your Honour's most
undemeritous and obeisant _paedagogus_, Simon Pendexter."

"This companion is clean out of his wits!" exclaimed Dr Thorpe.

"Isoult, read thy little letter," said John.  "Metrusteth it shall be
more clear than Simon's, and, at all charges, 'tis shorter."

"Unto Mistress Avery, At the Minories in London."

"Mistress,--This shall be to advertise you (my lowly duties first
remembered), that the fourteenth of July come unto Bradmond the ill men
you wot of, and after casting mine husband and me forth of the house
with little gentleness, did spread themselves thereabout, drinking up
the wine in the cellar, and otherwise making great bruit and disorder.
And in the end they set fire thereto, and departed.  God helping us, we
shortly had the fire under, for it began to rain; but the whole house is
ruinated, and a deal of mischief done.  Mistress, all the hangings be
burned or torn, and the furniture is but splinters; and the very walls
so knocked about, and the garden all trampled and desolated, that I am
well assured, were you this minute on the ground you should not find
conveniency to enter and abide for many a long day yet.  And in good
sooth, 'twill lack a mint of money spent thereon ere the house be meet
for any, let be a gentleman and gentlewoman of your honourableness.
Mistress, they tare away all the shutters, and tare up the planks of
some of the floors: and they left not a latch nor an andiron whole in
all the house.  Mine husband hath writ to Mr Avery.  From Bodmin, this
fourth day of October.  Mistress, I do beseech you of your gentleness to
give my poor sister to know that I do fare well, and trust so doth she
likewise.

"By the rude hand of her that is your servant, Marian Pendexter."

"Rude hand!" said John.  "Commend me to Marian Pendexter for the writing
of a letter.  'Tis one-half so long as Simon's, and tells us twice so
much as he; and her round letters be as clear as print, while his be all
quips and flourishes.  Well, I account we shall needs abide hither for
some time, Isoult; but methinks I must ride home, and see how matters
stand; and if the garden be truly desolated as for roses and the like,
well, the ground may as well be set with carrots and cabbages, that can
be sold.  And on my return hither, I must set me, as fast as I may, unto
the making of _pecunia_, as Simon hath it, in my calling.  Metrusteth
the house shall not need to be pulled down and built up again; for that
should take, methinks, some years to raise.  Howbeit, 'tis no good
looking forward too far."

Dr Thorpe said, when he had sat for a time in silence, "Ah, well! the
will of the Lord be done!  I trow they shall scantly burn mine other
house, in that city which hath foundations."

"Mr Edward Underhill, the Hot Gospeller."

Isoult Avery looked up and rose when John made this announcement, to the
evident amusement of the person introduced.

The Hot Gospeller's age was thirty-seven; of his personal appearance we
have no trustworthy account.  It may safely be asserted that his
feelings were strong, his affections warm, his partisanship fervent, and
his organ of humour decidedly developed.  I picture him lithe and quick,
with ready tongue and brilliant eyes; but perhaps I am as much mistaken
as Isoult was concerning Alice Wikes.  If the mania "_de faire son
portrait_" which was so much the fashion in France in the reign of Louis
the Fourteenth had pervaded England in the sixteenth century, we might
have obtained much curious information which is now lost to us.

When all the members of our little group were gathered round the
dinner-table,--which was not until eleven a.m., for the Averys dined
unusually late that day--Dr Thorpe laid the subject which had been
discussed before Mr Underhill, and requested his opinion on the matter.
Could he find a man for the time?

Isoult shook her head dubiously.

"With whom take you part?" said Dr Thorpe.

"With both of you," answered Mr Underhill.  "I lean to Mistress Avery's
thought that there is no man for the time; but I do partly share your
opinion, in that methinks there may be a woman."

"A woman, Mr Underhill?" cried Isoult, in amazement.

"What woman?" said Dr Thorpe.  "My Lady Duchess of Suffolk, I ween.
Nay, Master; she is good enough as may be, but her money-bags are a
sight scantier than when my Lord Duke was in life."

"My Lady of Suffolk! not she, forsooth," replied he.  "Nay, good Doctor;
mine hopes are anchored (under God) on none other than the King's `sweet
sister Temperance'--my young Lady Elizabeth's Grace."

"The Lady Elizabeth!" repeated Dr Thorpe, in a voice which intimated his
meaning.  "A child at her book and needle, Master Underhill!"

"She will not alway be so," answered he.  "Nor shall she be such long."

"And afore her standeth another," continued the doctor.

"Afore her standeth another," repeated Mr Underhill.  "Nor shall any man
alive ever see me to do evil that good may come.  But I scantly
signified all you would make me to say.  I did but point to my Lady
Elizabeth's power with the King, not to her being one to stand in her
own power, which God long defend!"

Dr Thorpe shook his head in turn, but did not further explain himself.

"You have friends at Court," said John to Mr Underhill.  "Which of these
ladies is commonly thought to stand best with the King her brother?"

"The Lady Elizabeth, by many a mile," answered he.  "And to go by what I
hear from her tutor Mr Ascham, a fair and ready wit enough she hath.
The Lady Frances [Note 1] her daughters, likewise, be great with the
King, and are young damsels of right sweet nature and good learning, so
far as their young age may show the same."

"What say men of the King's wedding?" quoth Dr Thorpe.  "Is it yet the
Queen of Scots?"

"The friends of my Lord Protector say 'tis a Princess of France; and his
foes will have it that had he not fallen too soon, it should have been--
the Lady Jane Seymour."

"What, my Lord Protector his daughter?" inquired Isoult.

"She," said Mr Underhill.

"That hath an ill look, an' it were so," remarked John, thoughtfully.

"`Less like than Paul's steeple to a dagger sheath,'" quoted Dr Thorpe,
who was rather fond of proverbs.

"Go to, Jack! we are all for ourselves in this world," responded Mr
Underhill philosophically.  "As to like, it may be no more like than
chalk to cheese, and yet be in every man's mouth from Aldgate to the
Barbican.  My Lord Protector is neither better nor worse than other men.
If you or I were in his shoes, we should do the like."

"I trust not, friend," said John, smiling.

"A rush for your trust!" laughed Mr Underhill.  "I would not trust
either of us."

"But I would so!" said Isoult warmly.  "Mr Underhill, you surely think
not that if Jack were Lord Protector, he should strive and plot for the
King to espouse our Kate?"

"Of course he would," said Underhill coolly.  "And so would you."

"Never!" she cried.

"Well, I am sure I should.  Think you I would not by my good will see my
Nan a queen?" answered he.

"With a reasonable chance of Tower Hill?" suggested Avery.  "You and I
have seen queens come to _that_, Ned Underhill."

"Well, there is better air at the Lime Hurst," replied Underhill
sententiously.

A long conference was held concerning the repairs at Bradmond.  The
resolution finally adopted was that John should ride home and ascertain
what the state of affairs really was.  Hitherto the family had been
living on their rents, with little need for professional work on John's
part unless it pleased him.  Slight repairs, however, would entail
saving; and serious ones might keep them in London for years, until he
had laid up sufficient money to defray them.

"'Tis all in the day's work," he said lightly, to cheer his wife.  "I
must have a factor to see unto the place, and for that Simon Pendexter
shall serve, if he affright not the poor tenants with his long words;
and I myself must needs set to work hard.  'Twill do me good, dear
heart; (for he saw Isoult look sad) I have hitherto been lazy, and only
have played at working."

So John left London on the first of November, along with a convoy of
travellers bound for Exeter; charging Isoult to make acquaintance in his
absence with Mrs Rose and Mrs Underhill, with the object of giving her
something to do.

"And think not, sweet wife," said he, "that we be all going a-begging,
because of what I said touching money.  I cast no doubt to make more
than enough thereof in my calling to keep all us, and that comfortably;
only if there lack much outlay at Bodmin, it shall need time to gather
wherewith to pay it.  Above all, I would not with my good will have any
stint in mine hospitality, specially unto them that be of the household
of faith.  Leave us not turn Christ our Master out at the doors, at the
least unless we need go there ourselves with Him."

A week after John's departure, Isoult put his advice into action, rather
because he had given it, than with any real hope of dispelling the
intense loneliness she felt.  Robin went with her, and Kate, all riding
upon Bayard, to West Ham, where they were directed to a small house near
the church as the residence of the parson.  For in those days parson had
not lost its original honourable meaning, whereby the clergyman was
spoken of as _par excellence_ "the person" in the parish.  The trio
alighted, and Isoult rapped at the door.  A girl of fifteen answered the
knock.

She was tall for her age, but slenderly built.  Her hair was of the
fairest shade of golden--the pale gold of our old poets--and her eyes
were brown.  Not a bright, shining brown; this brown was deep and misty,
and its light was the light given back from a lake, not the light of a
star.  In her face there was no rose at all; it was pure and pale as a
snowdrop; and her look, Isoult thought, was like the look of an angel.
Her smile was embodied sweetness; her voice soft and low, clear as a
silver bell.  There are few such voices out of England, but the
combination of fair hair with dark eyes is the Venetian style of beauty.
Rare in any land, yet there are occasional instances in each.  For
such, in Italy, was Dante's Beatrice; such, in Germany, was Louise of
Stolberg, the wife of the last Stuart; and such, with ourselves, was
"England's Elizabeth."

"Doth Mistress Rose here dwell, and may one have speech of her?"
inquired Isoult of the vision before her.

"Will it please you to take the pain to come within?" answered the sweet
voice.  "I am Thekla Rose."

Wondering at a name which she had never heard before, Isoult suffered
Thekla to lead her into a small, pleasant parlour, where Mrs Rose sat
spinning.  She was a comely, comfortable-looking woman of middle height,
round-faced and rosy, with fair hair like her daughter's, but grey eyes.
Isoult had forgotten her foreign origin till she heard her speak.  Her
English, however, was fluent and pleasant enough; and she told her
visitors that she came from a town in Flanders, close to the German
border.

"Where," pursued Mrs Rose, "people are bred up in their common life to
speak four tongues; which shall say, Flemish--that is the language of
Flanders; and Spanish--the Spaniards do rule over us; and Low Dutch
[German],--because we have much to do with the Low Dutch; and the better
bred women also French.  And I teach my Thekla all these tongues, saving
the Flemish; for they speak not Flemish only in Flanders; it should do
her not much good.  But in all these four tongues have I kinsfolk; for
my father was a true-born Fleming, and to him I alway spake Flemish; and
my mother was a Spanish woman, and I spake Spanish with her; and my
father's brother was wedded unto a dame of Low Dutchland (for whom my
daughter is named Thekla, which is a Low Dutch name); and his sister did
marry a Frenchman.  So you shall see I am akin to all this world!"

Mistress Rose entreated her guests to stay for four-hours, when she
hoped Mr Rose would be at home; but Isoult was somewhat afraid of losing
her way in the dark, and declined.  So she called her maid, and bade her
bring cakes and ale, and take Bayard to the shed where their nag was
stabled, and give him a mess of oats; begging them at least to stay an
hour or two.  Then Robin came in, and talked to Thekla and Kate, while
Isoult was occupied with Mrs Rose.  Mr Rose they did not see; his wife
said he was in his parish, visiting the people.  So at two o'clock they
departed, and reached home just as the dusk fell.

The next day Isoult rode to the Lime Hurst, to see Mrs Underhill.  She
found her a pleasant motherly woman, full of kindness and cordiality.
As they sat and talked Mr Underhill came in, and joined the
conversation; telling Isoult, among other matters, how he had once saved
Lord Russell from drowning, the heir of the House of Bedford.  The boy
had been thrown into the Thames opposite his house, in a bitterly cold
winter; and Underhill, springing in after him, rescued him, carried him
to his own house, and nursed him back to life.  Since that time the Earl
of Bedford had been the attached friend of his child's preserver.
[Underhill's Narrative, Harl. Ms. 425, folio 87, b.]

When Isoult returned home, she found a letter from Annis Holland
awaiting her.  It contained an urgent invitation from the Duchess of
Suffolk to visit her at her little villa at Kingston-on-Thames.  Isoult
hesitated to accept the invitation, but Dr Thorpe, who thought she
looked pale and tired, over-ruled her, chiefly by saying that he was
sure John would prefer her going; so she wrote to accept the offer, and
started with Robin on the following Monday.

Skirting the City wall, they passed through Smithfield and Holborn, and
turned away from Saint Giles into the Reading road, the precursor of
Piccadilly.  The roads were good for the time of year, and they reached
Kingston before dark.  The next morning Robin returned home, with strict
charges to fetch Isoult in a week, and sooner should either of the
children fall ill.

After Robin's departure, Isoult waited on the Duchess, whom she found
sitting in a cedar chamber, the casement looking on the river and the
terrace above it.  As the friends sat and talked in came a small white
dog, wagging its tail, but with very dirty paws.

"Get out, Doctor Gardiner!" cried her Grace, rising hastily, as the
soiled paws endeavoured to jump upon her velvet dress.  "I cannot abide
such unclean paws.  Go get you washed ere you come into my chamber!--
Bertie!"

Mr Bertie came in from the antechamber at her Grace's call; and smiling
when he saw what she wanted, he lifted the dog and set it outside.

"Have Dr Gardiner washed, prithee!" said the Duchess.  "I love a clean
dog, but I cannot abide a foul one."

Isoult could not help laughing when she heard her Grace call her dog by
Bishop Gardiner's name.

"He is easier cleansed than his namesake," she resumed, shaking her
head.  "If my Lord of Winchester win again into power, I count I shall
come ill off.  As thou wist, Isoult, I have a wit that doth at times
outrun my discretion; and when I was last in London, passing by the
Tower, I did see Master Doctor Gardiner a-looking from, a little window.
And `Good morrow, my Lord!' quoth I, in more haste than wisdom; `'tis
merry with the lambs, now the wolves be kept close!'  I count he will
not forgive me therefor in sharp haste."

Mr Bertie smiled and shook his head.

"Now, Bertie, leave thine head still!" said her Grace.  "I know what
thou wouldst say as well as if I had it set in print.  I am all
indiscreetness, and thou all prudence.  He that should bray our souls
together in a mortar should make an excellent wit of both."

"Your Grace is too flattering, methinks," said Mr Bertie, still smiling.

"Am I so, verily?" answered she.  "Isoult, what thinkest thou?  'Twas
not I that gave the dog his name; it was Bertie here (who should be
'shamed of his deed, and is not so at all) and I did but take up the
name after him.  And this last summer what thinkest yon silly maid
Lucrece did?  (one of the Duchess's waiting-women, a fictitious person).
Why, she set to work and made a rochet in little, and set it on the
dog's back.  Heardst thou ever the like?  And there was he, a-running
about the house with his rochet on him, and all trailing in the mire.  I
know not whether Annis were wholly free of some knowledge thereof--nor
Bertie neither.  He said he knew not; I marvel whether he spake truth!"

"That did I, an't like your Grace," replied Mr Bertie, laughing.  "I saw
not the rochet, neither knew of it, afore yourself."

"Well, I count I must e'en crede thee!" said she.

It struck Isoult that the Duchess and her gentleman usher were
uncommonly good friends; rather more so than was usual at that time.
She set it down to their mutual Lutheranism; but she might have found
for it another and a more personal reason, which they had not yet
thought proper to declare openly.  The Duchess and Bertie were privately
engaged, but they told no one till their marriage astonished the world.

Isoult reached home on the sixteenth of December; and on Twelfth Day,
1550, John returned from Cornwall.  He brought word that the repairs
needed were more extensive than any one had supposed from the Pendexter
epistles.  Part of the house required rebuilding; and he was determined
not to begin before he could finish.  The result was, that they would
have to remain in London, probably, for five or six years more.

Shortly after John's return, a gentleman called to see him.  His name
was Roger Holland, and he was a merchant tailor in the City, but of
gentle birth, and related to the Earl of Derby.  Isoult wished to know
if he could be any connection of her friend Annis.  John thought not:
but "thereby hung a tale."

"This gentleman," said John Avery, "was in his young years bound
apprentice unto one Master Kempton, of the Blade Boy in Watling Street:
and in this time he (being young and unwary) did fall into evil company,
which caused him to game with them, and he all unskilfully lost unto
them not only his own money, but (every groat) thirty pounds which his
master had entrusted unto him to receive for him of them that ought it
[owed it].  Moreover, at this time was he a stubborn Papist, in which
way he had been bred.  So he, coming unto his master's house all
despairing, thought to make up his bundle, and escape away out of his
master's house, (which was a stern man) and take refuge over seas, in
France or Flanders.  But afore he did this indiscreet thing, he was
avised [he made up his mind] to tell all unto a certain ancient and
discreet maid that was servant in this his master's family, by name
Elizabeth Lake, which had aforetime showed him kindness.  So he gat up
betimes of the morrow, and having called unto her, he saith--`Elizabeth,
I would I had followed thy gentle persuadings and friendly rebukes;
which if I had done, I had never come to this shame and misery which I
am now fallen into; for this night have I lost thirty pounds of my
master's money, which to pay him, and to make up mine accounts, I am not
able.  But this much I pray you, desire my mistress, that she would
entreat my master to take this bill of my hand that I am this much
indebted unto him; and if I be ever able, I will see him paid; desiring
him that the matter may pass with silence, and that none of my kindred
nor friends may ever understand this my lewd part; for if it should come
unto my father's ears, it would bring his grey hairs over-soon unto his
grave.'

"And so would he have departed, like unto Sir Richard at the Lea, in the
fair old ballad--

  "`Fare wel, frende, and have good daye--
  It may noo better be.'

  [From "A Litel Geste of Robyn Hode."]

"But Elizabeth was as good unto him as ever Robin Hood unto the Knight
of Lancashire; yea, and better, as shall be seen.  `Stay,' saith she,
and away went she forth of the chamber.  And afore he was well over his
surprise thereat, back cometh she, and poured out of a purse before him
on the table thirty pound in good red gold.  This money she had by the
death of a kinsman of hers, but then newly come unto her.  Quoth she,
`Roger, here is thus much money; I will let thee have it, and I will
keep this bill.  But since I do thus much for thee, to help thee, and to
save thy honesty, thou shalt promise me to refuse all wild company, all
swearing, and unseemly talk; and if ever I know thee to play one
twelve-pence at either dice or cards, then will I show this thy bill
unto my master.  And furthermore, thou shalt promise me to resort every
day to the lecture at All Hallows, and the sermon at Poules every
Sunday, and to cast away all thy books of Papistry and vain ballads, and
get thee the Testament and Book of Service, and read the Scriptures with
reverence and fear, calling unto God still for His grace to direct thee
in His truth.  And pray unto God fervently, desiring Him to pardon thy
former offences, and not to remember the sins of thy youth; and ever be
afraid to break His laws, or offend His majesty.  Then shall God keep
thee, and send thee thy heart's desire.'

"So Mr Holland took her money, and kept his obligations unto her.  And
in the space of one half-year, so mightily wrought God's Spirit with
him, that of a great Papist he became as fervent a Gospeller; and going
into Lancashire unto his father, he took with him divers good books, and
there bestowed them, so that his father and others began to taste of the
gospel, and to leave their idolatry and superstition: and at last his
father, seeing the good reformation wrought in this his son, gave him
fifty pounds to begin the world withal, and sent him again to London,
where he now driveth a fair trade."

"And hath he met again with Mistress Lake," said Isoult, "and restored
unto her her thirty pounds?"

"That I cannot tell," returned John.

A letter came before long from Mr Barry, written at Christmas, and
informing his sister that matters were now settled and peaceable.
Indeed, at Wynscote they had heard nothing of the rioters.  But
Potheridge had been surrounded, and in answer to the rebels' summons to
surrender, Mr Monke had sent them a dauntless message of defiance: upon
which they had replied with threats of terrible vengeance, but had
retired, discomfited at the first trial of strength, and never came near
the place more.

Darker grew the clouds, meanwhile, over the prisoner in the Tower.  His
enemies drew up twenty-nine articles against him, and, going to him in
his captivity, read them to him, and informed the world that he had
humbly confessed them.

"Well," said John Avery, "some of these be but matter for laughter.  To
wit, that the Duke did command multiplication [coining] and alcumistry,
whereby the King's coin was abated.  As though my Lord of Somerset
should take upon him to abate the King's coin!"

"Nay, better men than he have dealt with alcumistry," answered Dr
Thorpe.  "The former charge moveth my laughter rather,--That my said
Lord hath done things too much by himself: to wit, without the knowledge
and sage avisement of these my Lords of the King's Council.  Is there so
much as one of them that would not do the same an' he had the chance?"

"Why," said Avery, "he had the chance, and therein lieth his offence.
They had not, and therein lieth their virtue."

From two poor innocent lambs cruelly pent up by the Protector, now that
he was himself in durance, there came a great outcry for relief.  These
were the imprisoned prelates, Bonner and Gardiner.  The latter said that
"he had been in prison one year and a quarter and a month; and he lacked
air to relieve his body, and books to relieve his mind, and good company
(the only solace of this world), and lastly, a just cause why he should
have come thither at all."  How well can the wolf counterfeit the lamb!
Had none of his prisoners lacked air, and books?  And had my Lord Bishop
of Winchester been so careful to see to a just cause in the case of
every man he sent to Tower or Fleet?

On the 27th of January the leaders of the Devon riots were hanged at
Tyburn; the chief of whom was Humphrey Arundel.  And on the 6th of
February the Duke of Somerset was delivered from the Tower, and suffered
to go home; but four days before a change had been made in the Council,
the Earls of Arundel and Southampton being dismissed and ordered to keep
their houses in London during the King's pleasure.

Mrs Rose and Thekla came several times to visit Isoult, and she returned
the compliment.  And one day in February came Philippa Basset, who was
about to go into Cheshire, to visit her sister, Lady Bridget Carden,
with whom she passed nearly a year before Isoult saw her again.  Lady
Bridget really was not her sister at all, she being Lord Lisle's
daughter, and Philippa Lady Lisle's; but they had been educated as
sisters, and as sisters they loved.  Not long afterwards, Sir Francis
Jobson resigned his office at the Tower, and went home to his own estate
of Monkwich, in Essex.  His wife was the Lady Elizabeth, sister of Lady
Bridget; and with her Philippa had lived ever since she came to London.
When she came back, therefore, she was forced to look out for another
home, for she did not wish to follow them into Essex: and she went to
her own youngest brother, Mr James Basset, who had a house in London.

All this while the Reformation was quietly progressing.  On the 19th of
April, Bishop Ridley came to Saint Paul's Cathedral, in communion-time,
and received the sacrament, together with Dr May, the Dean, and Dr
Barne; both the Dean and the Bishop took the consecrated bread in their
hands, instead of holding out the tongue, for the priest to put the
wafer upon it.  And before the Bishop would come into the choir, he
commanded all the lights that were on the Lord's Table to be put out.
The Dean, who was a Lutheran, was well pleased at all this; but not so
other men who were more kindly disposed towards Popery; and there was
much murmuring and disputing.

At this time the Princess Mary was hanging between life and death at
Kenninghall.  We know now how all things had been changed had she died.
But God could not spare her who was to be (however unwittingly or
unwillingly) the purifier of His Church, to show which was the dross,
and which the gold.

Some turmoil was also made concerning Joan Boucher, an Anabaptist girl
who had been condemned for heresy, and was burned in Smithfield on the
2nd of May.  The Papal party, ever ready to throw stones at the
Protestants, cried that "the old burning days were come again," and that
Archbishop Cranmer was just as much a persecutor as Bishop Gardiner.
They saw no difference between a solitary victim of the one (if Joan
Boucher can be called so), and the other's piles of martyrs.  Isoult,
rather puzzled about the question, referred it to her husband--the
manner in which she usually ended her perplexities.

"Dear heart," said he, "there be so few that can keep the mean.  When
men take God's sword in hand, is it any wonder that they handle it ill?"

"But wouldst thou leave such ill fawtors unchastened, Jack?" exclaimed
Dr Thorpe rather indignantly.

"That were scantly the mean, I take it," quietly returned he.

Mr Underhill was just then busied in presenting before the Archbishop of
Canterbury his parish priest, Mr Albutt, Vicar of Stepney, for his
unseemly behaviour to the Lutheran clergy who came, by order of the King
and the Archbishop, to preach in his church.  For he disturbed the
preachers in his church (writes Underhill), "causing bells to be rung
when they were at the sermon, and sometimes began to sing in the choir
before the sermon were half done, and sometimes would challenge
[publicly dispute his doctrines] the preacher in the pulpit; for he was
a strong stout Popish prelate.  But the Archbishop was too full of
lenity; a little he rebuked him, and bade him do no more so."

"My Lord," said Mr Underhill, "I think you are too gentle unto so stout
a Papist."

"Well," said he, "we have no law to punish them by."

"No law, my Lord!" cried Mr Underhill; "If I had your authority, I would
be so bold as to un-vicar him, or minister some sharp punishment unto
him and such other.  If ever it come to their turn, they will show you
no such favour."

"Well," said the Archbishop in his gentle manner, "if God so provide, we
must all bide it."

"Surely," answered Mr Underhill in his manner, which was blunt and
fearless, "God shall never con you thanks [owe you thanks] for this, but
rather take the sword from such as will not use it upon his enemies."
[Note 2.]

Mr and Mrs Rose, Thekla, and Mr Underhill, dined at the sign of the Lamb
one day in June.  Unfortunately, their conversation turned upon the
succession: and owing to the warmth of the weather, or of Mr Edward
Underhill, it became rather exciting.  Mr Rose was unexpectedly found to
hold what that gentleman considered heretical political views: namely,
that if the King should die childless, it would be competent to the
Gospellers to endeavour to hinder the succession of the Princess Mary in
favour of the Princess Elizabeth.  This, Underhill hotly protested,
would be doing evil that good might come.

"And," said he, "if it come to that pass, I myself, though I would a
thousand times rather have my Lady Elizabeth to reign, yet would I gird
on my sword over my buff jerkin, and fight for the Lady Mary!"

Mr Rose shook his head, but did not speak.

"Right is right, Thomas Rose!" cried Underhill, somewhat hotly.

"Truth, friend," answered he, "and wrong is wrong.  But which were the
right, and which were the wrong, of these two afore God, perchance you
and I might differ."

"Differ, forsooth!" cried Underhill again.  "Be two and two come to make
five? or is there no variance in your eyes betwixt watchet [pale blue]
and brasil [red]?  The matter is as plain to be seen as Westminster
Abbey, if a man shut not his eyes."

"I have known men do such things," said Mr Rose, with his quiet smile.

"I thank you, my master!" responded Underhill.  "So have I."

"Now, Ned Underhill, leave wrangling," said Avery.  "We be none of us
neither prophets nor apostles."

"`Brethren, be ye all of one mind,'" repeated Dr Thorpe.

"I am ready enough to be of one mind with Rose," said Underhill, "an' he
will listen to reason."

"That is," answered John, smiling, "an' he will come over to you, and
look through your spectacles."

"Man o' life! we can't be both right!" cried Underhill, striking his
hand heavily on the table.

"You may be both wrong, Ned," gently suggested John.

"Come, Rose!" said Underhill, cooling as suddenly as he had heated, and
holding out his hand.  "We are but a pair of fools to quarrel.  I
forgive you."

"I knew not that I quarrelled with you, friend," said Mr Rose, with his
quiet smile; "and I have nothing to forgive."

But he put his hand in Underhill's readily enough.

"You are a better Christian than I, methinks," muttered Underhill,
somewhat ashamed.  "But you know what a hot fellow I am."

"We will both essay to be as good Christians as we can," quietly
answered Mr Rose; "and that is, as like Christ as we can.  Methinks He
scantly gave hot words to Peter, whether the Emperor Tiberius Caesar
should have reigned or no."

"Ah!" said John, gravely, "he that should think first how Christ should
answer, should rarely indeed be found in hot words, and in evil, never."

"Well," replied Mr Underhill, "I am of complexion somewhat like Peter.
I could strike off the ear of Malchus an' I caught him laying hands on
my Master (yea, I know not if I should stay at the ear); and it had been
much had I kept that sword off the High Priest himself.  Ay, though I
had been hanged the hour after."

"The cause seemeth to lack such men at times," said John, thoughtfully,
"and then the Lord raiseth them up.  But we should not forget, Ned, that
`they which take the sword shall perish with the sword.'"

"Well!" cried Underhill, "I care not if I do perish with the sword, if I
may first mow down a score or twain of the enemies of the Gospel."

"Such men commonly do so," said Mr Rose aside to Isoult, by whom he sat.

"Do what?" broke in Underhill, who heard it.

"Do perish with the sword," answered he firmly, looking him full in the
face.

"Amen!" cried the other.  "I am abundantly ready--only, pray you, let me
have a good tilt with the old _mumpsimuses_ first."  [Note 3.]

"I would I were a little more like you, Underhill," said Mr Rose.  "I
could suffer, as methinks, and perchance fly, an' I had the opportunity;
but resist or defend me, that could I not."

"Call me to resist and defend you," answered Underhill.  "It were right
in my fashion."

"You may not be within call," said Mr Rose somewhat gloomily.  "But God
will be so."

"Mr Rose," said Isoult, "look you for a further persecution, that you
speak thus?"

Thekla's eyes filled with tears.

"As Jack saith, Mrs Avery," he answered, "I am neither prophet nor
apostle.  But methinks none of us is out of his place upon the
watch-tower.  There be black clouds in the sky--very black
thunder-clouds.  How know I whether they shall break or pass over?  Only
God knoweth; and He shall carry us all safe through them that have
trusted ourselves to Him.  That is a word full of signification--`Some
of you shall they cause to be put to death...  _Yet_ shall not an hair
of your heads perish.'  Our Master may leave any of His servants to die
or suffer; He will never allow so much as one of them to perish.  O
brethren! only let the thunder find us watching, praying always; and
whether we escape or no, we are assured that we shall be `counted worthy
to stand before the Son of Man.'  I would not like to `be _ashamed_
before Him at His coming.'"

No one answered.  All were too full of thought for words.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  The Lady Frances was the eldest daughter of Charles Duke of
Suffolk by his fourth wife, the Princess Mary, and was therefore in the
line of succession to the throne.  Her daughters were the Ladies Jane,
Katherine, and Mary Grey.

Note 2.  Harl. Ms. 425, folio 93.--Underhill gives no date for this
incident beyond saying "In King Edward's time."

Note 3.  In the reign of Henry the Eighth, an old priest was found who
for forty years had read the word _sumpsimus_ in his breviary as
_mumpsimus_.  On being remonstrated with, he retorted that "He would not
leave his old _mumpsimus_ for their new _sumpsimus_."  This story was
long popular with the Gospellers, who dubbed the Popish priests
_mumpsimuses_.



CHAPTER FIVE.

GATHERING CLOUDS.

  "God lays His burden on each back;
  But who
  What is within the pack
  May know?"

Half of the reign of Josiah, as his people loved to call him, was run
out in the summer of 1550.  The breathing-time of hope was nearly over.

A June morning in that summer found Isoult Avery seated by the window at
work, and Robin Tremayne holding a book which he was _not_ reading.  His
eyes were intently watching the light feathery clouds which floated
across the blue space beyond, and his thoughts were equally intent on
some subject not yet apparent.  Except Walter, who was busy in the
corner, manufacturing paper boats, there was no one else in the room.

Robin broke the silence, and rather suddenly.

"Mother,"--he had come to call her so,--"what think you of Mr Rose?"

"What think I of him, Robin?" repeated Isoult, looking up, while a faint
expression of surprise crossed her gentle countenance.  "Why, he liketh
me very well!"

"And what think you of Mrs Rose, Mother?"

The surprise increased in Isoult's look, and it was accompanied now by
perplexity.  But she only answered--

"She liketh me only less than her husband.  I would she had been
English-born, but that cannot she well help; and I have none other fault
to find with her."

"And what think you, Mother, of Mrs Thekla?"

Robin said this in a very low voice.  Dr Thorpe was coming in as he
spoke, and the old man turned and faced round on the lad.

"O ho!" cried the Doctor, "blows the wind from that quarter?"

Apparently it did so, for Robin coloured scarlet.

"Come, come, lad!" said he, "thou art but now out of thy
swaddling-clothes, and what dost thou with such gear?  Put it away, and
go whip thy top, like a good lad!"

"Dr Thorpe!" said Robin in an aggrieved voice, and drawing himself to
his utmost height, "I was nineteen years of age last Saint Agnes!"
[January 21.]

"Thou art as many years of discretion as there be crowns o' the sun
[Note 1] in a halfpenny," said he.  "Nineteen, quotha!  Why, thou idle
hilding [youth], I have years sixty-nine, and I never thought of
marrying yet."

Isoult laughed, but Robin was grave as a bishop, and plainly deemed
himself affronted.

"That is your affair, Dr Thorpe," said he, demurely, "and this is mine,
an't like you."

"A pretty plain hint to mind mine own business, whether it like me or
no," replied the old man, with a little merry laugh.  "Well, Robin, hie
after.  Are ye agreed? and is the wedding-day fixed?  Shall it be
Midsummer Day?  Give me a jolly piece of the cake, as what else thou
dost; and Isoult! mind thou set it mighty thick with plums."

"Dr Thorpe," said Robin, his patience woefully tried, "I wish you would
let me be.  I was talking with my mother."

"Say on!" answered he.  "I will strive hard to set mine old legs
a-dancing at thy wedding, though I promise not a galliardo [a dance
wherein high leaps were taken, requiring great agility].  My word on't,
it shall be a jovial sight!  Hast seen the tailor touching thine attire?
Purple satin, or cramoisie?"  [Crimson velvet.]

Robin's forbearance was plainly worn out.  He rose and walked toward the
door.

"Nay, lad, come!" called the old man.  "I meant not in deed to grieve
thee.  Come back, Robin, and I will cease flouting thee, if it trouble
thee.  Come back, thou silly child!"

Robin turned back, after a moment's thought, and sat down on the settle
he had left.

"I take your word for it, Dr Thorpe," he said, soberly.  "But think you
it not too grave a matter for jesting?"

"Grave!" cried Dr Thorpe.  "What, wouldst thou have it spoken of like an
execution?"

"I cry you mercy, Doctor," said Isoult, now joining in; "but in this
matter I do take part with Robin.  It alway seemeth me that men (ay, and
women too), do speak with too much jesting and lightness touching this
matter, which should be right serious.  A man's choice of a wife is a
choice for life, and is hardly to be talked of, meseemeth, in the same
fashion with his choice of a partlet [neck ruff].  I pray you, pardon me
if in so speaking, I fail aught in the reverence due unto your years."

"Why, dear child," saith he, "thou wist more of the matter than I, which
was never married; so talk away, and I will hold my peace, and trouble
my master the bridegroom no further.  Say on, Mr Robert Tremayne."

"Methinks enough is said," answered Robin, staidly.  "I await my
mother's answer."

"Which may scarce be given in a moment, Robin," said Isoult, "nor
without talk with mine husband thereupon.  Moreover, Mr Rose shall have
a word to say touching the matter."

John was hardly allowed to speak on his return from the law courts,
before he had heard Isoult's story.  He received the news at first as
something irresistibly comic, but the next minute he grew grave, and
evidently began to consider the matter seriously.

"I would fain hear thy thought hereon, Jack," said his wife, "for
methinks I do see in Robin his manner that this is no lad's fantasy
only, as Dr Thorpe did suppose, but a set purpose, that must be fairly
faced, and said yea or nay to."

"We must not forget, dear heart," was John's answer, "that though we are
unto him in place of elders [parents], Robin is truly his own master,
even afore he be of full age.  He is not our ward in law, neither in
articles nor apprenticeship; and he hath but himself to please.  And
even were we to let [hinder] him now (when I doubt not his natural
kindly and obedient feeling for us should cause him to assent thereto),
yet bethink thee that in a year and an half, when he cometh to his
mature age, he shall be at liberty in every way.  There be many husbands
in the realm younger than he; and truly, I see no way but leaving him to
his will, so soon only as we can be satisfied that it is no mere passing
fantasy that swayeth him, but that his heart and mind are verily set and
engaged therein.  Remember, we have no right over him; and think yet
again, that his choice (so far as I am able to judge) is a thorough good
one.  I see not what else may be done."

"But he did refer him unto our judgment by asking me thereon," said
Isoult.

"Truth," he answered; "wherein he showed his own judgment and wisdom,
and himself to be a good and gentle lad, as he is alway.  The more
reason, sweet heart, that our judgment should be gracious, and should
lean unto his wishes, so far as we may in right dealing and love unto
himself consent thereto.  And in good sooth, I see no cause for
dissent."

"Then," said Isoult, somewhat surprised, though she scarcely knew why
she should have expected any other decision, "thou wilt speak unto Mr
Rose?"

"Certainly," said he, "if Robin desire it."

"And we really shall have a wedding!" said Isoult.

"I said not that, dear heart," answered John, smiling.

"Mr Rose may refuse consent; or were he to give it, methinks I should
allgates [at all events] move (wherein I would look for Rose to agree
with me) that it should not be by and bye [immediately]; but to wait
until Robin be fairly settled in his calling."

The calling which Robin had chosen was holy orders.  He was studying
divinity, and Bishop Ridley had already promised to ordain him when he
should arrive at the proper age, if he were satisfied as to his fitness
on examination.  Mr Rose directed his reading--a fact which had caused
him to be thrown rather more into Thekla's society than he might
otherwise have been, in his frequent visits to West Ham, and occasional
waiting required when the Vicar happened to be absent.  "But, Jack!"
cried Isoult, with a sudden pang of fear, "supposing that the King were
to die issueless (as God defend!) and the Lady Mary to come in, and set
up again the mass, and--"

"And the Bloody Statute," he answered, reading her thought.  "Then we
should have a second Walter Mallet."

"And Thekla to be Grace!" murmured Isoult, her voice faltering.  "O
Jack, that were dreadful!  Could we do nought to let it?"

"Yes," he said in a constrained tone.  "We might do two things to let
it.  Either to hinder their marriage, or to let Robin from receiving
orders."

"But thinkest thou we ought so?"

"I think, sweet wife," answered he, tenderly, "that we ought to follow
God's leading.  He can let either; and if He see it best, whether for
Robin or for Thekla, that will He.  But for myself, I do confess I am
afeard of handling His rod.  I dare not walk unless I see Him going
afore.  And here, beloved, I see not myself that He goeth afore, except
to bid us leave things take their course.  Dost thou?"

"I see nothing," she answered; "I feel blind and in a maze touching it
all."

"Then," said he, "let us `tarry the Lord's leisure.'"

It was finally settled between John and Isoult that the former should
see Mr Rose after the evening service on the following Sunday, when he
was to preach at Bow Church, and speak to him on the subject of Robin
and Thekla.  So after the service they all returned home but John; and
though no one told Robin why he stayed behind, Isoult fancied from the
lad's face that he guessed the cause.  It was a long time before John's
return.  Isoult dismissed Esther to bed, determining to wait herself;
and with some indistinct observation about "young folk that could turn
night into day," Dr Thorpe took up his candle and trudged up-stairs
also.  Robin sat on; and Isoult had not the heart to say anything to
him; for she saw that his thoughts were at Bow Church, not occupied with
the copy of Latimer's sermon on the Plough, which lay open before him.

At last John came, with a slow, even step, from which his wife augured
ill before he entered the room.  He smiled when he saw Robin still
there.

"Ill news, Father!" said Robin.  "You need not to tell me."

"Thou art a sely prophet, lad," answered John, kindly.  "At this time I
have no news at all for thee, neither good nor ill, only that Mr Rose
giveth no absolute nay, and doth but undertake to think upon the matter,
and discourse with Mrs Rose.  Is that such ill news, trow?"

"Thank you," answered Robin in a low voice.  "You did your best, I know.
Good-night."

And he lifted his candle and departed.  But Isoult thought the lad
looked sad and disappointed; and she was sorry for him.

"Well, Jack, how spedst thou?" said she, when Robin was gone.

"Ah, grandmother Eva!" replied Jack, smiling.  "Wouldst know all?"

"Now, Jack!" said she, "flout me not for my womanly curiosity, but tell
me.  I am but a woman."

"Pure truth, dear heart," answered he, yet smiling.  "Well, I had to
await a short space, for I found Thekla with her father, and I could not
open the matter afore her.  So at last I prayed her of leave [asked her
to go] (seeing no other way to be rid of her), for I would speak with Mr
Rose privily.  Then went she presently away, and I brake Robin's
matter."

"And what said he?"

"He looked more amazed than thou; and trust me that was no little."

"But what said he?" repeated Isoult.

"He said he had never thought touching the marriage of Thekla, for he
looked thereon until now as a thing afar off, like as we of Robin.  But
(quoth he) he did suppose in all likelihood she should leave him
sometime, if God willed it thus; but it should be sore when it came.
And the water stood in his eyes."

"Looked he thereon kindly or no, thinkest?"

"I am somewhat doubtful," and John dropped his voice, "though I would
not say so much to Robin, whether or no he looketh kindly on her
marrying at all.  Thou wist, sweet heart, for thou heardst him to say so
much,--that he hath some thought that there shall yet be great
persecution in this land, and that Gospellers shall (in a worldly and
temporal sense) come but ill off.  And to have Thekla wife unto a
priest--I might see it liked him very evil for her sake.  Yet he
dimitted it not lightly, but passed word to talk it over with his wife:
but he said he would never urge Thekla to wed any, contrariwise unto her
own fantasy."

The Monday morning brought Mrs Rose.  Isoult felt glad, when she saw
her, that John had taken Robin with him to Westminster.  The two ladies
had a long private conference in Isoult's closet or boudoir.  Mrs Rose
evidently was not going to stand in the way; she rather liked the
proposed match.  She had strongly urged her husband to tell Thekla,
which, against his own judgment, he had at last consented to do.  For
Thekla's mother regarded her as a marvel of wisdom and discretion, while
her father, being himself a little wiser, thought less of her wonderful
powers, though he admitted that she was very sensible--for her years.

"She is a good child--Thekla," said Mrs Rose, in her foreign manner; "a
good child--but she dreameth too much.  She is not for the life, rather
a dreamer.  She would read a great book each day sooner than to spin.
But she doth the right; she knoweth that she must to spin, and she spin.
But she carrieth her thoughts up a great way off, into strange gear
whither I cannot follow.  See you, Mistress Avery, how I would say?  I,
I am a plain woman: I make the puddings, I work the spinning--and I love
the work.  Thekla, she only work the spinning and make the puddings,
because she must to do it.  She will do the right, alway, but she will
not love the work."

Isoult quite understood her, and so she told her.

"She do not come after me in her liking," pursued she, "rather it is her
father.  And it is very good, very good to read the great books, and
look at the stars, and to talk always of what the great people do, and
of what mean the prophet by this, and the saint by that: but for me it
is too much.  I do not know what the great people should do.  I make my
puddings.  The great people must go their own way.  They not want my
pudding, and I not want their great things.  But Thekla and Mr Rose are
both so good!  Only, when they talk together, they sit both of them on
the top of my head; I am down beneath, doing my spinning."

Nothing more was heard until Wednesday.  Then, before Isoult was down in
the morning, having apparently risen at some unearthly hour, Mr Rose
presented himself, and asked for John.  The two went out of doors
together, to Robin's deep concern, and not much less to Isoult's, for
she had her full share of womanly curiosity in an innocent way.

At last she saw them come up the street, in earnest conversation.  And
as John turned in at the door (for Mr Rose would not follow) she heard
him say almost mournfully, "Alack! then there is no likelihood thereof.
Good morrow!"

"Not the least," Mr Rose replied; and then away he went down the street.

"An augury of evil!" murmured Robin, under his breath.

"What dost thou with evil this morrow, Robin?" asked John, cheerily,
coming into the room.  "Be of good cheer, dear lad; the Lord sitteth
above all auguries, and hath granted thee the desire of thine heart."

Robin rose, and the light sprang to his eyes.

"Thekla Rose," pursued John, "seeth no good cause why she should not
change her name to Tremayne.  But bide a minute, Robin, man; thou art
not to be wed to-morrow morning.  Mr Rose addeth a condition which I
doubt not shall stick in thy throat."

"What?" said Robin, turning round, for he was on his way to leave the
room.

"But this," said John, lightly, "that will soon be over.  Ye are not to
wed for three years."

Robin's face fell with a look as blank as though it had been thirty
years.

"How now?" asked Dr Thorpe, coming in from the barber.  "Sir Tristram
looketh as woebegone as may lightly be.  I am afeard the Princess Isoude
hath been sore cruel."

John told him the reason.

"And both be such ancient folk," resumed he, "they are afeard to be dead
and buried ere then.  How now, Robin! take heart of grace, man! and make
a virtue of necessity.  Thou art neither seventy nor eighty, nor is
Mistress Thekla within a month or twain of ninety.  Good lack! a bit of
a younker of nineteen, quotha, to be a-fretting and a-fuming to be let
from wedding a smatchet of a lass of seventeen or so, until either have
picked up from some whither a scrap of discretion on their green
shoulders!"

"Thekla hath but sixteen years," said John; "and Rose thinketh her too
young to be wed yet."

"So should any man with common sense," replied Dr Thorpe.  "Why, lad!
what can a maid of such tender years do to rule an house?  I warrant
thee she should serve thy chicken at table with all the feathers on, and
amend thy stockings wrong side afore!"

"Nay," said Isoult, laughing; "her mother shall have learned her
something better than that."

"Get thee to thine accidence," said Dr Thorpe to Robin.  "_Hic, haec,
hoc_, is a deal meeter for the like o' thee than prinking of wedding
doublets!"

"Dr Thorpe!" answered Robin, aggrievedly, "you alway treat me as though
I were a babe."

"So thou art! so thou art!" said the old man.  "But now out of thy
cradle, and not yet fit to run alone; for do but see what folly thou
hadst run into if Jack and Mr Rose had not been wiser than thou!"

Robin's lip trembled, and he walked slowly away.  Isoult was sorry for
the lad's disappointment, for she saw that it was sore; yet she felt
that John and Mr Rose were right, and even Dr Thorpe.

"Rose saith," resumed John, "that he thinketh not his daughter to be as
yet of ripe judgment enough to say more than shall serve for the time;
and he will therefore have no troth plighted for this present.  In good
sooth, had not her mother much urged the consulting of her, methinks he
should rather have said nought unto her of the matter.  `But (quoth he)
let three years pass, in the which time Robin shall have years
twenty-two, and Thekla nineteen; and if then both be of like mind, why,
I will say no further word against it.'"

"Bits o' scraps o' childre!" said Dr Thorpe, under his voice, in a tone
of scorn and yet pity which would sorely have grieved Robin, had he not
gone already.

"Be not too hard on the lad, old friend," urged John, gently.  "Many
younger than he be wed daily, and I take it he hath had a disappointment
in hearing my news.  I thought best not to make too much thereof in the
telling; but scorn not the lad's trouble."

"I want not to scorn neither the lad nor the trouble," answered the
Doctor.  "I did but tell him it was folly; and so it is."

After this, for a while, there were fewer visits exchanged between the
Minories and West Ham; and Robin found himself quietly set to the study
of larger books, which took longer to get up than heretofore, so that
his appearances at the Vicarage were fewer also.  When the families did
meet, it was as cordially as ever.  Manifestly, Mr Rose's feelings were
not a whit less kindly than before; but he thought it better for Robin
that his affections should not be fed too freely.

"Jack," said Isoult, suddenly, "what discoursedst thou with Mr Rose o'
Wednesday morn, whereof I heard thee to say there was no likelihood?
Was it touching this matter of Robin?"

John had to search his memory before he could recall the incident.

"Dear heart, no!" he said, when he had done so; "it touched my Lord of
Somerset."

On the last day of July, Esther, going to the market, came in with news
which stirred Isoult's heart no little.  Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of
Southampton, had died on the previous day, at his house in London, to
which he had been confined by order of the King.

"An ill man and an unkindly," wrote Isoult in the diary she always kept,
"specially unto them which loved the Gospel.  But how those tidings
taketh me back to the days that be over and gone!  For the last time
that ever I saw this man was that black third of March, the year of our
Lord 1542, when the King that then was, sent him to bear his diamond and
message unto my dear master [Lord Lisle] in the Tower.  Can I ever
forget that even?

"Of this Thomas Wriothesley I dare say nothing.  I would think rather of
him whose voice I did hear last after his, in the commending of his
blessed and gentle spirit into the hands of God.  How many times
sithence that day have I thanked God for him!  Ay, Lord, we thank Thee
for Thy saints, and for Thy care and guidance of them.  For the longer I
do live, the surer am I that Thy way Home is not only the right way, but
for each of Thine, the only way.  I take it, we shall not think of the
thorns that tare us, nor shall we be ready for tears over the sharp
stones that wounded us, in that day when I and my dear-loved Lord may
sing to Thee together--`Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord God of truth!'"

Mrs Underhill walked into the Lamb, one warm afternoon in the beginning
of August, and remained to four-hours.  And of course the conversation
turned before long upon the Protestant controversy with Rome.  In the
Hot Gospeller's family, it rarely kept off that subject for many minutes
together.

"Mother!" said Kate, when she was gone, "what meaneth Mistress Underhill
by confession?  She said it was bad.  But it is not bad, is it, for me
to tell you and Father when I have done wrong?"

"No, sweeting, neither to tell God," answered Isoult.  "Mrs Underhill
meant not that, but spake only of confession unto a priest."

"Thou must know, Kate," explained Robin, "that some men will tell their
sins unto any priest, in the stead of seeking forgiveness of God in
their own chamber."

"But what toucheth it the priest?" asked the child.

"Why, never a whit," he answered.

"If the man have stole from the priest," resumed she, "it were right he
should tell him; like as I tell Father and Mother if I have done any
wrong, because it is wrong to them.  But if I had disobeyed Mother, what
good were it that I should ask Mr Rose to forgive me?  I should not have
wronged him."

"She hath a brave wit, methinks, our Kate," observed Isoult to Robin,
when the child had left the room.

Robin assented with a smile; but Dr Thorpe was so rude as to say, "All
mothers' geese be swans."

The smile on Robin's lips developed into laughter; Isoult answered, with
as much indignant emphasis as her gentle nature could indulge in, "Were
you no swan to yours, Dr Thorpe?"

Dr Thorpe's reply disarmed all the enemy's forces.

"Ah, child, I never knew her," the old man said, sadly.  "Maybe I had
been a better man had I known a mother."

It was not in Isoult Avery, at least, to respond angrily to such a
speech as that.

Before mid-winter was reached, the swans were increased by one in the
house in the Minories.  On the 29th of November, a baby daughter was
born to John and Isoult Avery; and on the 4th of December the child was
christened at Saint Botolph's, Mr Rose officiating.  The name given her
was Frances.  The sponsors were the Duchess of Suffolk, for whom Mrs
Rose stood proxy; and Lady Frances Monke, whose deputy was Mrs
Underhill; and, last and greatest, the young King, by Sir Humphrey
Ratcliffe, Captain of the Gentlemen Pensioners, and a Gospeller.  The
mania for asking persons of distinction to stand as sponsors was at its
height during the reigns of the Tudor sovereigns.  Every one of them was
godfather or godmother to countless multitudes of his or her subjects,
though they rarely, if ever, acted in person.  We shall find on a later
page, that even "the nine days' queen," Lady Jane Grey, was not without
this distinction during her momentary reign.

During the illness of Isoult--for she was so ill that for some days Dr
Thorpe considered her life in danger--the breach, if it may be called
so, with West Ham was made up.  Both Mr and Mrs Rose were in constant
attendance at the Minories, and Thekla came with them several times, her
charge being the children, so that Esther might be entirely free to wait
on her sick mistress.  The subject was not discussed again, but from
this date, on both sides, it appeared to be quietly taken for granted
that Robin and Thekla henceforward belonged to each other.  The
Underhills, too, were very kind, Mrs Underhill undertaking to sit up
with her invalid friend for several nights.

On the 13th of February 1551, Dr Gardiner was fully deprived of his
bishopric.  The Gospellers hoped it was for ever, but it will shortly be
seen how deceived they were.

And at Easter the holy table in Saint Paul's Cathedral was carried down
below the veil that had been hung up to hide from the non-communicants
the consecration of the elements, and set north and south; for, as yet,
the customary place of the table was east and west.

Strange tales were told this Lent of fearful and marvellous visions and
sights seen by many persons.  Beside Merton Abbey, and in other places,
men in armour were seen in the air, who came down to the earth and
faded; and in Sussex were three suns shining at once.  John Avery made
himself merry over these rumours, in which he had no faith.  "The three
suns," said he, "were but some matter of optical philosophy, which could
readily be expounded of such as were learned in it; and for the men in
armour, when he saw them he would believe them."  Dr Thorpe considered
the wonderful sights omens of coming ill, but from Esther they won very
scant respect.

In May the party from the Lamb dined with Mr Holland, at whose house
they met Mr Rose, and Mr and Mrs Underhill.  The last-named gentleman
could talk of nothing but the expected marriage of the young King with a
Princess of France.  This Princess was the hapless Elizabeth, afterwards
affianced to Don Carlos, and eventually married to his father, the
wretched Philip the Second.  At this time she was just five years old.

"But," said Isoult, "she shall be a Papist, trow?"

"She shall be a Papist of mighty few years old," said Mr Underhill,
laughing; "and we will quickly make a Protestant of her.  I hear she is
a mighty pretty child, her hair dark and shining, her eyes wondrous
bright, and her smile exceeding sweet."

"Sweeter than Thekla Rose's?" asked Mrs Underhill, herself smiling.

"Scantly, methinks," answered Mr Underhill.  "How like to a man's
fantasy of an angel doth that maid look!"

Robin looked very unlike an angel, for he appeared extremely
uncomfortable, but he said nothing.

From the King's marriage they came to that of the Princess Mary; and Mr
Underhill--who, being a Gentleman Pensioner, with friends at Court, was
allowed to speak with authority--gave the name of her projected
bridegroom as "the Lord Lewis of Portugal.  Wherein," pursued he,
"Father Rose and I may amend our differences, seeing that she should
first be called to renounce the succession."

Mr Rose smiled, and said, "A happy ending of a troublous matter, if it
were so."

But, as the reader well knows, the troublous matter was not doomed to
have so happy an end.

The next topic was the new Act to allow the marriage of priests.  All
the party being Gospellers, were, of course, unanimous upon this
subject.  But Mr Underhill, who was not in the family secrets,
unfortunately took it into his head to clap Robin rather smartly on the
back, and congratulate him that he might now be a priest without being
necessarily a bachelor.  Poor Robin looked unhappy again, but still
wisely remained silent, not relishing the opening of the subject in Mr
Rose's presence.  But Mr Rose only smiled, and quietly suggested that it
would be well for Mr Underhill to satisfy himself that he was not making
his friends sorrier instead of merrier, by coming down upon them with
such personal assaults.  John, by way of corollary, intimated in an
aside to Isoult, that the gentleman in question "had a sore heavy hand
when he was in right earnest."

The night after this day was one not soon forgotten in London.  In the
still darkness came an earthquake--that most terrible of phenomena held
in God's hand, whereby He saith to poor, puny, arrogant man, "Be still,
and know that I am God."  Isoult awoke to hear sounds on all sides of
her--the bed creaking, and below the dishes and pans dancing with a
noisy clatter.  In the next chamber she heard Walter crying, and Kate
asking if the end of all the world were come; but John would not permit
her to rise and go to them.  And she also heard Esther talking with them
and comforting them in a low voice, so she was comparatively satisfied.
The baby, Frances, slept peacefully through all.

The next morning Kate said,--"Mother, were you affrighted last night
with the great rocking and noise?"

"A little afeard lest some of us should be hurt, sweet heart, if any
thing should chance to fall down, or the like; but that was all."

"I thought," said she, "that the end of the world was come.  What should
have come unto us then, Mother?"

"Why, then," replied Isoult, "we should have seen the Lord Jesus Christ
coming in the clouds, with all the angels."

"Well," answered Kate, thoughtfully, "I would not have been afeard of
Him, for He took up the little babes in His arms, and would not have
them sent away.  If it had been some of them that desired for to have
them away, I might have been afeard."

"Ay," said Dr Thorpe, looking up from his book, "the servants are worse
to deal withal than the Master.  We be a sight harder upon one the other
than He is with any of us."

The Averys were visited, a day or two after the earthquake, by an old
acquaintance of Isoult, the companion--"servant" he was called at that
time--of Bishop Latimer.  Augustine Bernher was by nation a
German-Swiss, probably from Basle or its vicinity; and unless we are to
take an expression in one of Bradford's letters as figurative, he
married the sister of John Bradford.

Like every one else just then, Bernher's mind was running chiefly on the
earthquake.  He brought news that it had been felt at Croydon, Reigate,
and nearly all over Kent; and the question on all lips was--What will
come of it?  For that it was a prognostic of some fearful calamity, no
one thought of doubting.

Whether the earthquake were its forerunner or not, a fearful calamity
did certainly follow.  On the 7th of July the sweating sickness broke
out in London.  This terrible malady was almost peculiar to the
sixteenth century.  It was unknown before the Battle of Bosworth Field,
in 1485, when it broke out in the ranks of the victorious army; and it
has never been seen again since this, its last and most fatal epidemic,
in 1551.  It is said to have been of the character of rheumatic fever,
but its virulence and rapidity were scarcely precedented.  In some cases
death ensued two hours only after the attack; and few fatal instances
were prolonged to two days.  On the tenth of July, the King was hurried
away to Hampton Court, for one of his grooms and a gentleman of the
chamber were already dead.  The fury of the plague, for a veritable
plague it was, began to abate in London on the 20th; and between the 7th
and 20th died in the City alone, about nine hundred persons [Note 2].
Nor was the disease confined to London.  It broke out at Cambridge--in
term time--decimating the University.  The Duchess of Suffolk, who was
residing there to be near her sons, both of whom were then at Saint
John's, hastily sent away her boys to Bugden, the Bishop of Lincoln's
Palace.  But the destroying angel followed.  The young Duke and his
brother reached Bugden on the afternoon of July 13; and at noon on the
following day, the Duchess was childless.

The suspense was dreadful to those who lived in and near London.  Every
day Isoult watched to see her children sicken--for children were the
chief victims of the malady; and on the 15th, when Walter complained of
his head, and shivered even in the July sun, she felt certain that the
sword of the angel had reached to her.  The revulsion of feeling, when
Dr Thorpe pronounced the child's complaint to be only measles, was
intense.  The baby, Frances, also suffered lightly, but Kate declined to
be ill of any thing, to the great relief of her mother.  So the fearful
danger passed over.  No name in the Avery family was inscribed on the
tablet of death given to the angel.

John Avery was very indignant at the cant names given by the populace to
the sweating sickness.  "The new acquaintance"--"Stop-gallant"--"Stoop,
knave, and know thy master"--so men termed it, jesting on the very brink
of the grave.

"Truly," said he, "'tis enough to provoke a heavier visitation at God's
hand, when His holy ears do hear the light and unseemly manner wherein
men have received this one."

"Nor is the one of them true," replied Dr Thorpe.  "This disorder is no
new acquaintance, for we had it nigh all over one half of England in
King Henry's days.  I know I had in Bodmin eight sick therewith at one
time."

When this terror was passing away, an event happened which rejoiced the
Papists, and sorely grieved the Gospellers.

On the 5th of April previous, after the deprivation of Gardiner, Dr
Poynet had been appointed Bishop of Winchester, and 2000 marks in land
assigned for his maintenance.  The new Bishop was married; and soon
after his elevation, it transpired that his wife had a previous husband
yet living.  Whether the Bishop knew this at the time of his marriage
does not appear; but we may in charity hope that he was ignorant.  He
was publicly divorced in Saint Paul's Cathedral on the 28th of July; to
the extreme delight of the Papists, in whose eyes a blot on the
character of a Protestant Bishop was an oasis of supreme pleasure.

The Gospellers were downcast and distressed.  Isoult Avery, coming in
from the market, recounted with pain and indignation the remarks which
she had heard on all sides.  But John only smiled when she told him of
them.

"It is but like," said he.  "The sin of one member tainteth the whole
body, specially in their eyes that be not of the body.  Rest thee, dear
heart!  The Judge of all the earth shall not blunder because they do,
neither in Bishop Poynet's case nor in our own."

"But," said Isoult, "we had no hand in marrying Bishop Poynet."

"Little enough," he answered.  "He shall bear his own sin (how much or
little it be) to his own Master.  If he knew not that the woman was not
free, it is lesser his sin than hers; and trust me, God shall not doom
him for sin he did not.  And if he knew, who are we, that we should cast
stones at him, or say any thing unto him (confessing and amending)
beyond `Go, and sin no more'?"

"Nay," she said, "it is not we that flout him, but these Papistical
knaves which do flout us for his sake."

"Not for his sake," replied John, solemnly; "for an Other's sake.  We
know that the world hated Him before it hated us.  Bishop Poynet is not
the man they aim at; he is but a commodious handle, a pipe through which
their venom may conveniently run.  He whom they flout thus is an other
Man, whom one day they as well as we shall see coming in the clouds of
Heaven, coming to judge the earth.  The question asked of Paul was not
`Why persecutest thou these men and women at Damascus?'  It is not,
methinks, only `Inasmuch as ye did' this good, but likewise `Inasmuch as
ye did' this evil, `unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye did
it unto Me.'"

The next thing which aggrieved the people was an order for the abatement
of the coinage.  Henceforward, the nine-penny piece was to pass for
sixpence, the groat or four-penny piece for twopence, the two-penny
piece for a penny, the penny for a halfpenny, and the halfpenny for a
farthing.  Yet notwithstanding this, or perhaps in consequence of it,
the price of provisions rose instead of falling.

"Why," said Dr Thorpe, "this is plainly putting an hand in a man's
pocket, and robbing him of half his money!"

"Softly, good friend!" interposed John.  "You would not call the King's
Grace a robber?"

"The King's Grace is the King's Grace, and may do as it liketh him,"
said Dr Thorpe, a little testily; "'tis yonder rascally Council whereof
I speak, and in especial that cheating knave of Warwick.  I would we had
my Lord of Somerset back, for all he is not a Lutheran, but a Gospeller.
He never thrust his hand into my pocket o' this fashion."

"Ah!" replied John, laughing, "touch a man's pocket, and how he crieth
apace!"

"A child newly burnt dreadeth the fire, Jack," answered the old man.
"This is not the first time we have had the King's coin pulled down.  I
am as true a man to the King as any here; but I have taken no oath to
that dotipole [blockhead] of Warwick; and if he play this game once too
oft, he may find he hath fished and caught a frog."

"I count," suggested John, soberly, "that my Lord of Warwick's testers
shall not pass for any more than ours."

"What matters that to him, lad," cried Dr Thorpe, "when he can put his
hand into the King's treasury, and draw it out full of rose nobles?  The
scurvy rogue!  I would he were hanged!"

John laid his hand very gently and lovingly on the old man's shoulder.

"Would you truly that, friend?" said he, softly.

"A man meaneth not alway every thing he saith," replied Dr Thorpe,
somewhat ashamed.  "Bring me not to bar, prithee, for every word, when I
am heated."

"Dear old friend," John answered, softly, "we shall stand at one Bar for
every word."

"Then I shall look an old fool, as I do now," said he.  "Sit thee down,
lad! and hold that soft tongue o' thine.  I can stand a fair flyting
[scolding: still a Northern provincialism] or a fustigation [beating],
but I never can one of those soft tongues like thine."

John sat down, a little smile playing round his lips, and said no more.

One day in October, Mr Underhill dined at the Lamb.  He brought news
that at Hampton Court, that day, the Earl of Warwick was to be made Duke
of Northumberland; the Marquis Dorset [Henry Grey, husband of the late
Duke's elder daughter], Duke of Suffolk; the Lord Treasurer [William
Paulet, Lord Saint John], Marquis of Winchester; and Mr William Herbert,
Earl of Pembroke.

"Duke of Northumberland!" cried Dr Thorpe, fairly roused at this news.
"Duke of Blunderhead!  Had the King made him Duke of Cumberland I had
little marvelled.  Wherefore did his Grace (saving the reverence due)
not likewise make me Duke of Truro or Marquis of Bodmin?  I have been a
truer man unto his Highness than ever my Lord of Warwick, and have done
the kingdom a sight less harm."

"Less harm, quotha!" laughed Mr Underhill.  "Why, friend, if all were
made dukes and marquises that have done no harm to the kingdom, we
should have the Minories choke-full of noble houses."

"We should have mighty few of the Lords keeping their titles," said Dr
Thorpe, grimly.

A few days later, Dr Thorpe, having gone to the barber's near Aldgate,
returned with a budget of news, as was usual when he came from that
quarter.

"What will you give me for my news?" cried he, as he came in.  "Rare
news! glorious news!--for all knaves, dolts, and runagates!"

John entered likewise just after him.

"I will give you nought, Doctor, at that rate," said Isoult, laughing.

"I know it, friend," replied John, so sadly that her mirth vanished in a
moment.  "It is a woeful blow to the Gospel.  Isoult, the Duke of
Somerset and my Lord Grey de Wilton are committed to the Tower."

"The Duke of Somerset again!" she cried.  "But my Lord Grey de Wilton!--
what hath he done?"

"Served the King well in Cornwall," answered John; "I know of nothing
worse."

"'Tis that idiot, knave, dolt, and dizard [fool] of a Northumberland,"
cried Dr Thorpe in great indignation.  "I would the whole Dudley race
had never been born!  Knavery runs in their blood--'twill not out of
them!"

"There are a few honest men in England--but a few," said John,
mournfully, "and two of the foremost shall lie this night in the Tower
of London.  And for what?  Is it because my Lord Grey hath many times
shed his blood for England (the royal blood of England herself which
runneth in his veins [Note 3]), that now England herself shall shed it
on Tower Hill?  Is it because my Lord of Somerset hath given her the
best laws she had for many a day, that now she will needs strain her
laws to condemn him?  Shame upon England if it be so!  She shall not be
held guiltless for it either before God or men."

"And yestereven," continued Dr Thorpe, "was my Lady of Somerset sent
also to the Tower, for the great crime, I take it, of being wife unto
her husband.  And with her a fair throng of gentlemen--what they have
done I wis not.  Maybe one of them sent the Duke a peacock, and another
doffed his bonnet to the Lord Grey."

"The Duchess, too!" exclaimed John, turning to him.  "I heard not of her
committal.  What can they lay to her charge?"

"Marry, she must have trade on the tail [train] of my Lady of
Northumberland last Garter day," scornfully answered Dr Thorpe.  "Were
not this a crime well deserving of death?"

"Surely," said Isoult, "my Lady of Warwick [Note 4] will plead for her
own father and mother with her father of Northumberland?"

"Plead with the clouds that they rain not!" said he, "or with a falling
rock that it crush you not.  Their bosoms were easier to move than John
Dudley's heart of stone."

"And what saith the King to it all, mewondereth?" said Isoult.

"Poor child!" answered Jack, "I am sorry for him.  Either he pleadeth in
vain, or else they have poured poison into his ears, persuading him that
his uncle is his dire foe, and they his only friends [the last was the
truth].  God have pity on his gentle, childly heart, howsoever it be."

"More news, Isoult!" said Dr Thorpe, coming home on the following
Thursday.  "'Tis my Lord Paget this time that hath had the great
misfortune to turn his back upon King Northumberland, while the knave
was looking his way.  We shall have all the nobles of the realm
accommodated in the Tower afore long."

"Ah me!" said Isoult, with a shiver, "are those dreadful 'headings to
begin again?"

"Most likely so," answered he, sitting down.  "And the King's Grace hath
given his manor of Ashridge unto his most dear sister the Lady
Elizabeth.  I marvel, by the way, which of those royal ladies shall ride
the first unto Tower Hill.  We are getting on, child!  How the Devil
must be a-rubbing his hands just now!"

In the midst of these troubles came the Queen Dowager of Scotland, Marie
of Guise, to visit the King; upon which rumours instantly arose that the
King should even yet marry the young Queen of Scots.  But Mary Stuart
was never to be the wife of Edward Tudor: and there came days when,
looking back on this day, Isoult Avery marvelled that she could ever
have thought such events troubles at all.  The clouds were returning
after the rain.

In came Dr Thorpe from evensong on the Sunday night.

"One bit more of tidings, Isoult!" said he in his caustic style.  "'Tis
only my Lord of Arundel--nothing but an Earl--let him be.  Who shall be
the next, trow?"

"Mean you," said she, "that my Lord of Arundel is had to the Tower?"

"To the Tower," replied he, "ay; the general meeting-place now o' days."

"I wonder how it is with my Lady of Arundel," said Isoult.

"Why," answered he, "if she would get in likewise after her lord, she
hath but to tell my Lord of Northumberland to his face that he may well
be 'shamed of himself (a truer word was never spoke!) and she shall find
her there under an hour."

During the following month came an invitation to dine at West Ham.
There, beside the party from the Lamb, were Mr and Mrs Underhill and Mr
Holland.  The conversation turned on politics.  It was the usual topic
of that eventful decade of years.

Mr Rose said,--"I know one Master Ascham, now tutor unto my Lady
Elizabeth's Grace, which hath also learned the Lady Jane Grey, and hath
told me how learned and studious a damsel is she; and can speak and read
with all readiness not only French, and Spanish, and Italian, but also
Latin and Greek: and yet is she only of the age of fourteen years.  And
so gentle and lovely a maid to boot, as is scantly to be found in the
three kingdoms of the King's Majesty."

"How had she served for the King?" inquired John.

"Right well, I would say," answered Mr Rose.  "But men say she is
destined otherwhere."

"Whither, I pray you?" said Mr Holland.

"Unto a son of my Lord of Northumberland, as 'tis thought," he answered.

Whereupon, hearing the name of his enemy, as though touched by a match,
Dr Thorpe exploded.

"A son of my Lord of Northumberland, forsooth!" cried he.  "Doth earth
bear no men but such as be sons of my Lord of Northumberland?  Would the
rascal gather all the coronets of England on his head, and those of his
sons and daughters?  'Tis my Lord of Northumberland here, and there, and
everywhere--"

"Up-stairs and down-stairs, and in my Lady's chamber," sang Mr
Underhill, in a fine bass voice; for even in that musical age, he was
renowned for his proficiency in the art.

"In the King's chamber, certes," said Dr Thorpe.  "I would with all mine
heart he could be thence profligated."  [Driven out.]

"Methinks I can see one in the far distance that may do that," said Mr
Rose in his grave manner.  "At the furthest, my Lord of Northumberland
will not live for ever."

"But how many sons hath he?" groaned Dr Thorpe.  "`Such apple-tree, such
fruit' If the leopard leave ten or a dozen cubs, we be little better for
shooting him."

"My Lord Henry, allgates, is no leopard cub," said Mr Underhill.  "I
know the boy; and a brave, gallant lad he is."

"Go on," said Dr Thorpe.  "The rest?"

"My Lord of Warwick," pursued he, "is scarce the equal of his brother,
yet is he undeserving of the name of a leopard cub; and my Lord Ambrose,
as meseemeth, shall make a worthy honourable man.  For what toucheth my
Lord Guilford, I think he is not unkindly, but he hath not wit equal to
his father; and as for Robin [the famous Earl of Leicester]--well, you
shall call him a leopard cub an' you will.  He hath all his father's wit
and craft, and more than his father's grace and favour; and he looketh
to serve as a courtier."

"He shall carry on, then, in his father's place," said Dr Thorpe, with a
groan.

"Methinks he shall either make a right good man, or a right bad one,"
answered Mr Underhill.  "He hath wit for aught."

"And who," said Dr Thorpe, "ever heard of a Dudley a good man?"

"Is that the very gentleman," asked Mrs Rose, "that did marry with the
great heir, Mistress Robsart?"

"Ay,--Mrs Amie," answered Mr Underhill; "and a gentle one she is.  A
deal too good for Robin Dudley."

"Must we then look to my Lord Robert as the Cerberus of the future?"
said Mr Rose, smiling.

"The Devil is not like to run short of servants," answered Dr Thorpe,
grimly.  "If it be not he, it will be an other."

The clouds returned after the rain; but they gathered softly.
Unheralded by any suspicion on the part of England as to the fate which
it bore, came that fatal first of December which was the beginning of
the end.

Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, was arraigned that day in Westminster
Hall.  And round the doors England pressed, yet in more hope than fear.
A mere farce, she thought: he must be acquitted, of course.  She
prepared to welcome him home in triumph.

With such feelings in her heart--for was she not a part of England?--
Isoult Avery stood at her door about six o'clock that evening, waiting
for John's return from the trial which was the one occurrence of the
day.  Robin had gone with him; but Dr Thorpe remained at home.  For a
time there was nothing but silence.  The usual hum of the City was
stilled: everybody was at Westminster.  From Goodman's Fields the cows
came lowing home; now and then a single person, intent on business with
which nothing might interfere, passed quickly up the Minories; the soft
chime of the bells of Saint Katherine floated past the Tower wall, for
the ringers were practising after evensong; and one great gun rang out
sharply from the Tower, to inform the world that it was six o'clock.
Five minutes afterwards, a low sound, like the roll of distant thunder,
came from the City side of Aldgate.  It grew louder every moment.  It
became first a noise, then a roar.  At last the sound was articulate and
distinguishable.

"A Somerset! a Somerset!"  [Note 5.]

But what had happened?  Were they voices of Papists, or of Gospellers?

All at once they came pouring out of Aldgate.  In front colours were
flying and fifes screaming, and behind ran the crowd, their voices
drowning the fifes.  Isoult began to think of retreating and closing her
door, when she caught sight of Gillian Brent [a fictitious person], her
neighbour's daughter, who was struggling frantically to reach her
mother's house, being nearly carried off her feet by the press of
people.  Gillian, with much difficulty, fought her way through, and
reached Isoult, who had beckoned her to take refuge with her.  She came
in almost breathless, and sank upon the settle, completely worn out,
before she had strength to speak.  When she was a little recovered,
Gillian said--

"My Lord Protector is quit [acquitted] of all ill, Mistress; and
therefore the folk be thus glad."

"In very deed!" said Isoult, "and therefore am I right glad.  But,
Gillian, are you certain thereof?"

"Nay," said she; "I do know no more than that all the folk say so much."

Two hours more passed before John came home.

"Well, Jack!" said Dr Thorpe, so soon as he heard his foot on the
threshold, "so my Lord of Somerset is quit of all charges?"

"Who told you so much?" inquired John.

"All the folk say so," answered Isoult.

"All the folk mistake, then," answered he, sadly.  "He is quit of high
treason, but that only; and is cast for death [Note 6] of felony, and
remitted again unto the Tower."

"Cast for death!" cried Dr Thorpe and Isoult together.

Avery sat down with a weary air.

"I have been all this day in Westminster Hall," said he, "for I saw
there Mr Bertie, of my Lady of Suffolk's house, and he gat space for me
so soon as he saw me; and we stood together all the day to listen.  My
Lord of Somerset pleaded his own cause like a gentleman and a Christian,
as he is: verily, I never heard man speak better."

"Well!" said Isoult, "then wherefore, thinkest, fared he ill?"

"Ah, dear heart!" replied he, "afore a jury of wolves, a lamb should be
convicted of the death of a lion."

"Who tried him?" asked Dr Thorpe.

"My Lord of Northumberland himself hath been on the Bench," said John,
"and it is of the act of compassing and procuring his death that my Lord
of Somerset is held guilty."

"Knave! scoundrel! murderer!" cried Dr Thorpe, in no softened tone.
"Jack, if I were that man's physician, I were sore tempted to give him a
dose that should end his days and this realm's troubles!"

"Good friend," said John, smiling sadly, "methinks his days shall be
over before the troubles of this realm."

"But is there an other such troubler in it?" asked he.

"Methinks I could name two," said John; "the Devil and Dr Stephen
Gardiner."

"Dr Gardiner is safe shut up," he answered.

"He may be out to-morrow," said John.  "And if not so, the Devil is not
yet shut up, nor shall be till the angel be sent with the great chain to
bind him."

"Nay, Jack! the wise doctors say that was done under Constantine the
Emperor, and we have enjoyed the same ever sithence," answered he.

"Do they so?" replied John, somewhat drily.  "We be enjoying it now,
trow?--But the thousand years be over, and he is let out again.  And if
he were ever shut up, methinks all the little devils were left free
scope.  Nay, dear friend! before the Kingdom, the King.  The holy
Jerusalem must first come down from Heaven; and _then_ `there shall be
no more pain, neither sorrow, nor crying.'"

When the two were alone, John said to his wife--"Isoult, who thinkest
thou is the chief witness against my Lord of Somerset, and he that
showed this his supposed plot to the King and Council?"

"Tell me, Jack," said she.  "I cannot guess."  He said, "Sir Thomas
Palmer, sometime of Calais."

"God forgive that man!" cried Isoult, growing paler.  "He did my dear
master [Lord Lisle] to death,--will he do my Lord of Somerset also?"

"`Ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake.'  They that are so
shall have their names written in Heaven."  Avery spoke solemnly, and
said no more.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  Crowns were coined with either a rose or a sun on the obverse;
and were distinguished accordingly.

Note 2. 872 (Machyn's Diary, page 8); 938 (News Letter, Harl. Ms. 353,
folio 107).

Note 3.  The line of Grey de Wilton is the youngest branch of the royal
House of York.

Note 4.  John Earl of Warwick, eldest son of Northumberland, had married
Anne, eldest daughter of Somerset.

Note 5.  This ancient English shout is always spelt thus; but there is
reason to think that the first word was sounded _ah_.

Note 6.  Convicted.  The Duke was acquitted on the first count, of high
treason; and the people, hearing the announcement, "Not Guilty,"
supposed that the trial was ended, and the Duke completely acquitted.



CHAPTER SIX.

A CRIME WHICH WAS A BLUNDER.

  "We pass: the path that each man trod
  Is dim, or shall be dim, with weeds.
  What fame is left for human deeds
  In endless age?  It rests with God."

  Tennyson.

No ill befel Lord Grey de Wilton.  There was but little laid to his
charge,--only a journey to the North, preceding the Duke of Somerset, to
discover who were his friends.  Perhaps the Council was ashamed to shed
the blood of the man who had but lately put down the rising in Cornwall,
and joined in raising the siege of Exeter.  Whatever the cause were, he
was quietly acquitted on the 19th of December, and suffered to go home.

In came Dr Thorpe, shortly before Christmas, carrying in his hand a new
shilling.

"See thee!" said he, "Isoult, look well hereon.  Seest it?"

"Well, what of it, Doctor?" said she.  "I have seen many afore."

"Dost mark it?" inquired he.

"Ay," she answered, marvelling what he meant.

"Well," pursued he, "thou art not to speak evil of it."

"I am not like," said she, innocently, "for these new shillings be
lesser and neater than the broad shilling, and they like me the rather."

"Well," responded he, "take thou heed.  `Forewarned is forearmed.'"

"But what mean you.  Dr Thorpe?" asked the puzzled Isoult.

"Nay, nay, now!" answered the old man.  "This dolt, my Lord of
Northumberland--they must have missed rocking of him in his cradle!--
this patch, look thou, hath taken offence at the canting name men have
given to these new shillings."

"Why," said she, "what name gave they them?"

"Forsooth," replied he, "`ragged staffs;' and thou wist what that
meaneth."

"What, a quip on my Lord of Northumberland's arms?" answered Isoult.

"Yea, justly," said he; "and this sweet companion loveth not to have his
arms spoke about.  So here is a proclamation--come out of the Court of
Fools, as I live!--that no man henceforward shall speak evil of the new
coin upon penalty.  Didst ever hear such a piece of folly?"

"Ay," interposed John, who sat reading in the chimney-corner, "and heard
you how Master Latimer hath offended?  Some time agone, preaching before
the King, he chanced to repeat the device of the new shilling (that
coming pat, I take it, to his matter) to wit, `_Timor Domini fons
vitae_.'  And here quoth he, `We have now a pretty little shilling, in
deed a very pretty one.  I have but one, I think, in my purse; and the
last day I had put it away almost for an old groat.'  And so plucked it
out of his purse, and read the device to the people, with the
signification thereof.  Now (would you crede it?) there was murmuring
against Mr Latimer of my Lord of Northumberland's following, that he had
reviled the new shilling, and contemned it for no better than an old
groat."

"I do protest!" cried Dr Thorpe, "the world is gone mad!"

"Saving you and me," said John, gravely.

"I scantly know, Jack," answered he, shaking his white head.  "Methinks
I shall not save you nor me long."

One of the strangest things in this strange world is the contrasts
perpetually to be found in it.  While Somerset lay thus under sentence
of death, the Lord of Misrule passed through London.  He was George
Ferris, an old friend of the Hot Gospeller, and a warm Protestant
himself; yet it would be a tolerably safe guess to assert that Ferris
was a Lutheran.  Scarcely would a Gospeller have filled that position on
that day.

Perhaps the relics of Dr Thorpe's Lutheranism were to blame for his
persistent determination to have Twelfth Day kept with all the honours.
He insisted on cake and snap-dragon, and was rewarded for his urgency by
drawing the king, while Kate was found to be his queen.  Their mimic
majesties were seated in two large chairs at one end of the parlour, the
white-haired king laughing like a child, while the little queen was as
grave as a judge.  The snap-dragon followed, for which a summary
abdication took place; and greatly amused was the old man to find Walter
in abject fear of burning his fingers, while Kate plunged her hand into
the blue flaming dish with sufficient courage for any knight in
Christendom.  The evening closed with hot cockles, after which Esther
took possession of the children, declaring, with more earnestness than
was her wont, that they must and should not stay up another minute.

"Verily," said the old Doctor, when they were gone, "if the childre must
be had away, then should I follow; for I do feel in myself as though I
were a little child to-night."

"So you have been, methinks," responded Isoult, smiling on him, "for
assuredly they had enjoyed far less mirth without you."

And now the dark cloud closed over England, which was to be the one blot
on the reign of our Josiah.  Poor young King! he was but fourteen; how
could he tell the depth of iniquity that was hidden in those cold blue
eyes of the man who was hunting the hapless Duke of Somerset to death?
Probably there was only one man who fully fathomed it, and that was the
victim himself.  And his voice was sterling in England no more.

Words fail in the attempt to describe what the Duke's execution was to
the Gospellers.  There was not one of them, from the Tyne to the Land's
End, who for the country's sake would not joyfully have given his life
for the life of Somerset.  He was only a man, and a sinful man too; yet
such as he was, speaking after the manner of men, he was the hope of the
Gospel cause.  To every Gospeller it was as the last plague of Egypt;
and to judge by the lamentations to be heard in all their houses, it
might have been supposed that "there was not an house where there was
not one dead."  It is not often that a whole land mourns like this.
Among her sons England has not many darlings, but those that she has,
she holds very dear.

The morning of the 22nd of January came.

"Know you, Mrs Avery," asked Esther, "if the Duke of Somerset is like to
be had afore the Council again, and when it shall be?  I would like much
to see that noble gentleman, if I might get a glimpse of him."

Isoult referred the question to John, but he said he had heard nothing;
he was going to Fleet Street, and would see if he could find out.  But
before he set out there came a rapping on the door, and when Ursula
opened it, there stood Mr Rose.

"Welcome!" said John to him.  "Come in and give us your news."

"There shall be better welcome for me than them," he said, in his sad
grave manner.  "Know you that even this day doth my Lord of Somerset
suffer?"

"Is there no help for it?" said Dr Thorpe, sternly.

Mr Rose answered sadly,--"There is alway help from God; but His help is
not alway to be seen of men.  From men, in this matter, there is none
help whatever, remembering that he who should give it is my Lord of
Northumberland.  You may ask the lion to have mercy on his new-caught
prey, but not John Dudley upon Edward Seymour.  There is but this one
barrier betwixt him and--"

Mr Rose did not finish in words, but a slight motion of his hands over
his head [Note 1] showed well enough what he meant.

"But you count not that he would aim--" began Dr Thorpe.

Another motion of Mr Rose checked his further utterance.

"He that hath the thing in deed, doth sometimes all the better without
the name thereof," he said quietly.

"Where dieth he?" saith John, in a low voice.

"Upon Tower Hill," Mr Rose replied.

"I would like," he answered, "to see him once more, and hear what he
will say."

"You cannot," said Mr Rose.  "There hath been commandment issued that
all householders (except specially summoned) shall keep their houses,
upon sore pain, betwixt six and eight of the clock this morrow, until
all be over.  List! there goeth six of the clock now.  I thought to have
gone somewhat further on my way, but now I must needs abide with you
these two hours."

So they sat down and talked, mournfully enough, until the clock struck
seven; and then Mr Rose, rising from his chair, said, "Brethren, let us
pray."  John drew the bolts, and the curtains over the windows, and all
knelt down.

This morning England's heart was throbbing with pain; to-morrow she
would be mourning for her dead son.  The only man whom England trusted
was dying on Tower Hill!  And this group--atoms of England, and parts of
England's heart--without such guards as these, they dared not pray for
him.

Thus Mr Rose prayed:--

"O Lord, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders! whose
way is in the sea, and whose path in the great waters, and whose
footsteps are not known!  We kneel before Thee this dread morrow, to
beseech Thee on behalf of Edward Seymour, by Thy grace and providence
Duke of Somerset.  For causes unknown to us, but known to Thine
unfathomable wisdom, Thou hast given leave to his enemies to triumph
over him; and in Thy wise, and good, and just allowing and ordering of
men's ways, he is as this day cast for death.  We know, O Lord, that Thy
judgments are right, and that Thou in faithfulness dost afflict and
chasten man, whether for sin, or for correction and instruction in
righteousness.  Therefore we would not beseech Thee to remove Thine hand
from him--as, even at the last moment, Thou wert able to do--but rather
so to order this Thy very awful providence, that he may be strengthened
for death, and enabled to put his whole trust in Thy mercy, and in the
alone merits of the bitter cross and passion of Thy Son our Lord.
Suffer him not to depart from Thy fear, nor to lose his full and entire
confidence in Thy mercy.  Let not the malice of the Devil, neither the
traitorousness and perfidiousness of his own evil heart, cause him to
fall short of Thy heavenly calling.  O Lord God most holy, O Lord God
most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, suffer him not, in his last
hour, for any pains of death, to fall from Thee!"

He paused a moment, and all responded--"Amen."  Yet he rose not.  But
while they knelt, from within the wall of the Tower enclosure came a
sudden tumult, rushings to and fro, and shouts and cries of "Jesu, save
us!"  After a few minutes all was quiet.

And when all was quiet, Mr Rose went on.

"Lord, bow down Thine ear, and hear!  Open, Lord, Thine eyes, and see!
Reveal unto this dying man the glory of Thy kingdom, the beauty of
Thyself, that so he may count all things but loss that he may win
Christ.  Open unto him the gates of pearl, which the righteous shall
enter into--make him to shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of Thee, O
Father.  Grant him to endure this his cross for Thy love, and in Thy
strength, and after to reign with Thee in glory evermore."

He made another pause--a longer one; and again all responded, "Amen."
During his silence came another roar from Tower Hill; but all was again
silent [Note 2].  The minutes passed slowly to the kneeling group.  It
seemed a long time ere he spoke again.

"O Lord, shed Thy peace over the last moments of this our brother in the
Gospel of Christ--in Thy kingdom and patience.  Let Thy servant depart
in peace.  Suffer not Satan to harass and annoy him, nor the thought of
his own sins to grieve and shake him.  Fix his mind firmly upon Thee and
on Thy Christ.  O holy and merciful Saviour, suffer him not, at his last
hour, for any pains of death, to fall from Thee!"

As Mr Rose uttered the last word, the Tower guns rang out, clear and
sharp, on the frosty morning air.  Few sounds ever thrilled so straight
to the Gospellers' hearts as that.  None uttered another word while they
knelt.  Even the Amen was silent now.  They might pray no more for
Edward Duke of Somerset.

Slowly, one after another, all rose.  All still, in silent mourning,
they waited till the great clock of Saint Botolph's rang out eight
times.  The next minute every door in the street was opened, and men
were pouring out in a mass toward Aldgate.  Then Mr Rose, with a heavy
sigh, rose and held out his hand.  That action unloosed the tongues of
the party.

"Ah!  God be his rest!" said Dr Thorpe, meditatively.  "He did not alway
the right, but--"

"Do you?" answered Mr Rose, pointedly enough, with a quick flash in his
eyes.

"As said poor King Harry, `Kingdoms are but cares,'" said John [Note 3].
"He hath found a better now."

"He hath found a better, I am assured," answered Mr Rose, "and is now
singing the new song before the Throne.  Methinks he doth not wish
himself back now."

"I marvel," suggested Dr Thorpe, half sorrowfully, yet a little
scornfully, "how he and the Queen Katherine shall get along the one with
the other in Heaven?"

"I count, old friend," answered John, "that the Lutheran Queen and the
Gospelling Duke will each be taken up too much with the mercy that hath
forgiven his sins, to have any leisure for counting up those of the
other."

"Well, they will lack something of the sort," replied the old man.

"How can there be disagreement where each seeth clear?" said Mr Rose,
"or how any disliking in the presence of the Mediator?"

Dr Thorpe made no answer, but he shook Mr Rose's offered hand warmly;
and when he was gone, he said, "That is a good man.  I would I were a
better."

"Amen!" responded Avery, "for us all."

About the middle of March came Annis Holland to pay her farewell visit
to Isoult.  She was a quiet, gentle-looking woman, rather short, and
inclining to embonpoint, her hair black, and her eyes dark grey.  She
was to start for Spain on the 22nd of the same month, under the escort
of Don Jeronymo, a Spanish gentleman in the household of the Duchess of
Suffolk.  The city to which she was bound was Tordesillas, and there
(where the Queen resided) she was to await the orders of the Marquis of
Denia, who was her Majesty's Comptroller.  Annis promised to write to
her friend twice every year, while she remained abroad.

A few days after Annis's departure, there was a dinner-party at the
Lamb.  The guests were Mr and Mrs Underhill, Mr and Mrs Rose, Thekla,
and Mr Holland.

Mr Underhill brought bad news.  The King had fallen ill of small-pox,
and Parliament was likely to be prorogued, since he could no longer be
present at the debates.  The idea that the royal presence might overawe
the members, and the consequent absence of the Sovereign from the House
excepting for state ceremonies, are no older than the Restoration.  The
Plantagenet and Tudor Kings sat in their Parliaments as a matter of
course.

After dinner, Mr Holland, who was fond of children, set Kate on his
knee, and won her heart by permitting her to chatter as freely as she
pleased.  Robin and Thekla crept into a quiet corner by themselves; Mrs
Underhill made Esther her especial companion; and the rest sat round the
fire.

"What think you," said Dr Thorpe to Mr Underhill, "should now hap, if
(which God of His mercy defend!) this sickness of the King were to prove
mortal?"

"How mean you?"  Mr Underhill answered, "that the King should or should
not provide his successor?"

"Why," replied Dr Thorpe, "will he shut out his sisters?"

"There are that would right gladly have him to do so."

"Whom aim you at there?"

"My Lord of Northumberland and other," said he.

Dr Thorpe exploded, as was usual with him, at Northumberland's name.

"What, the Duke of Blunderhead?" cried he.  "Ay, I reckon he would like
well to be John the Second.  Metrusteth the day that setteth the fair
crown of England on that worthless head of his, shall see me safe in
Heaven, or it should go hard with me but I would pluck it thence!"

"I never can make out," answered Mr Underhill, laughing, "how you can be
a Lutheran, and yet such an enemy to my Lord of Northumberland, that is
commonly counted head of the Lutheran party, at the least in the sense
of public matters."

"Nay, my word on't!" exclaimed he, "but if I thought the Devil, by that
his proxy, to be head of the Lutheran party, in any sense or
signification whatsoever, I would turn Gospeller to-morrow!"

Mr Underhill roared with laughter.  John said, aside to Mr Rose,--"He is
not far from it now."

"Come, you are over hard on Jack Dudley," said Mr Underhill.  "He is an
old friend of mine."

"Then I wish you joy of your friends," replied Dr Thorpe, in a disgusted
tone: adding after a minute, "I yet look for your answer to my
question."

"I am no prophet," answered he, "neither a prophet's son; but it needeth
not much power of prophecy to see that a civil war, or something very
like it, should follow."

"In either case?" suggested Avery.

"In the case of the King making no appointment," he said, "very likely:
in the case of his so doing, almost certain."

"Eh, my masters!" continued Dr Thorpe very sadly, "when I was born,
seventy-one years gone, the Wars of the Roses were scantly over.  I have
heard my father tell what they were.  Trust me, rather than go through
such a time again, I would be on my knees to God to spare it unto us,--
ay, night and day."

"But in case no devise of the succession were made," said John, "the
Lady Mary's Grace should follow without gainsaying, I take it."

"Not without gainsaying," answered Mr Rose.  "My Lord of Northumberland
knoweth full well that he could not reign under her as he hath done
under King Edward.  Remember, she is no child, but a woman; ay, and a
woman taught by suffering also."

"And every Lutheran in the kingdom would gather round him," added Mr
Underhill.

"Round John Dudley?" cried Dr Thorpe.  "Hang me if I would!"

"Saving your mastership," said Mr Underhill, laughing, and making him a
low bow.

"And every Papist would go with the Lady Mary," said John.  "It were an
hard choice for us.  How think you?  Which way should the Gospellers
go?"

"Which way?" cried Mr Underhill, flaring up.  "Why, the right way!  With
the right heir of England, and none other!"

"I asked not you, Ned Underhill," answered John, smiling.  "I know your
horse, and how hard you ride him.  I wished to question Rose and
Holland."

Mr Rose did not answer immediately.  Mr Holland said, "It were an hard
case; yet methinks Mr Underhill hath the right.  Nothing can make right
wrong, I take it, neither wrong to be right."

"Truth: yet that is scarce the question," responded Avery.  "Rather is
it, if the King made another devise of the crown, who should then be the
right heir?"

"Ah! now you are out of my depth," answered Mr Holland.  "This little
maid and I understand each other better.  Do we not so, Kate?"

"Well, Rose?" inquired John.

"Prithee, get Mr Underhill out of the house first," interposed Dr
Thorpe, laughing.

"Or we shall have a pitched battle.  I would like nothing better!" said
Mr Underhill, rubbing his hands, and laughing in his turn.

"Brother," said Mr Rose, turning to him, "the wisdom that cometh from
above is peaceable."

"But first, pure!" answered Mr Underhill, quickly.

"There were little of the one, if it should lack the other," responded
he.

"Come, give us your thought!" cried Mr Underhill.  "I will endeavour
myself to keep mine hands off you, and allgates, if I grow very warlike,
Avery and Holland can let me from blood-shedding."

"When I find myself in the difficulty, I will," replied Mr Rose, with
his quiet smile.

And no more could Mr Underhill obtain from him: but he said that he
would demand an answer if the occasion arose.

The King had no sooner recovered from the small-pox than he took the
measles; and the Parliament, seeing no hope of his speedy amendment,
broke up on the 15th of April.

Mr Rose stepped into the Lamb that evening.

"There is a point of our last week's matter, that I would like your
thought upon," said Avery to him.  "Granted that the Gospellers should
make a self party, and not join them with Lutherans ne with Papists,
touching public matters, where, think you, look we for a leader?"

Mr Rose shook his head.  "We have none," said he.

"Not my Lord Archbishop?"

"Assuredly not; he is by far too gentle and timid.  We lack a man that
could stand firm,--not that should give up all short of God's Throne for
the sake of peace."

"Nor my Lord of London?"

"Dr Ridley is a bolder man than his superior; a fine, brave follow in
every way: yet methinks he hath in him scantly all the gear we lack; and
had we a command for him, I misdoubt greatly if he should take it.  He
is a man of most keen feeling and delicate judgment."

"My Lord of Sussex?"

"Gramercy, no!  Nature never cut _him_ out for a general."

"Mr Latimer, _quondam_ of Worcester?"

"As fiery as Ned Underhill," answered Mr Rose, smiling; "indeed,
somewhat too lacking in caution; but an old man, with too little
strength or endurance of body--enough of soul."

"Nay, then, I see but one more," continued Avery, "and if you say nay to
him also, I have done.  What think you of my Lord's Grace of Suffolk?"

"`Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel,'" he answered.  "A man weak
as any child, and as easily led astray.  If he be your head, Avery, I
would say it were scarce worth to turn out for the cause.  You would
have an halter round your neck in a week."

"Well," responded John, "I cannot see any other."

"I cannot see _any_," was Mr Rose's answer.

"Then we have no leader!" said Dr Thorpe, despondently.

Dr Thorpe was beginning to say "we" when he meant the Gospellers.

"We have no leader," said Mr Rose.  "We had one--an Heaven-born one--the
only man to whose standard (saving a faction) all England should have
mustered, the only man whose trumpet should have reached every heart.
And but three months gone, his blood reddened the surfeited earth upon
Tower Hill.  Friends, men may come to look upon that loss as upon a loss
never to be amended.  Trust me, we have not seen the worst yet.  If it
should be as you guess--and that may well be--there shall yet be a
bitterer wail of mourning, yet a cry of agony ringing to the Heaven, for
the lack of Edward Seymour."

"Ay, I am afeard the black clouds be not done opening themselves yet,"
sadly replied John.

"I think they have scantly done gathering," answered he.  "The breaking,
the tempest, cometh on apace.  But it is not yet come."

"When shall it come, think you?" said Dr Thorpe.

"Shortly," he answered.  "A word in your ear: the King is more grievous
sick than men wot of.  He may tide over this his malady; very like he
will.  But he hath no power within him to do battle with such disorders.
His strength is worn out.  He is scarce like to outlive an other."

"Nay, my master!  Worn out at fourteen!" cried Dr Thorpe.

"Men reckon time by days; God by endurance," said Mr Rose, mournfully.
"And this boy hath borne, these three years, more than you or I wot of.
The sword is too sharp for the scabbard.  It may be we have hardly known
how to rate his true worth; or it may be that his work is over.  Either
way, it shall not be long now ere he enter into God's rest and his.  Ay,
I know it is a woeful saying, yet again I say it: King Edward is worn
out at fourteen.  We may not seek to keep him; but this I am assured--
the angel's call to him shall be the signal for a fearful contest in the
realm he leaveth.  God defend the right! and God strengthen and comfort
us, for I warn you we shall need it."

"Alack! when shall all this end?" sighed Isoult.

"When Christ cometh again," answered Mr Rose.

"No sooner?" she cried.

"No sooner," said he.  "There may be gleams of light before then; but
there can be no full day ere the Sun arise.  There may be long times of
ease and exemption from persecution; but there can be no stable
settlement, no lasting peace, till He appear who is our peace.  He that
is born after the flesh must persecute him that is born after the
Spirit.  `If ye were of the world, the world would love his own.'  It is
because we are not of the world that the world hateth us.  Sister, let
us comfort ourselves and one another with these words.  Christ will not
fail us; see we that we fail not Him.  We may yet be called to go with
Him, both into prison and to death.  It may be that `the Lord hath need
of us' after this manner.  If it be so, let us march bravely in His
martyr train.  We must never allow His banner to fall unto the dust, nor
tremble to give our worthless lives for Him that bought us with His own.
If we can keep our eyes steady on the glory that shall follow, the
black river will be easier to cross, the chariot of fire less hard to
mount.  And remember, He can carry us over in His arms, that the cold
waters touch not so much as our feet."

When Mr Rose was gone, John said, his voice a little broken,--"Will _he_
be a martyr?"

"God avert it!" cried Isoult.

"Child!" said Dr Thorpe, solemnly, "'tis of such stuff as his that
martyrs be made."

But the King's work was not yet quite finished.  He recovered from his
double illness.

The Londoners were terrified in the beginning of June by what they
regarded as a fearful sign from Heaven--a shower of what is commonly
known as "red rain."  In their eyes it was blood, and a presage of
dreadful slaughter.  The slaughter followed, whatever the shower might
mean.  The last year of rest was at hand.

"What say you to my Lord of Northampton?" suddenly inquired John Avery
of Mr Rose, one morning when they met in the Strand.

It was an odd and abrupt beginning of conversation: but Mr Rose
understood its meaning only too well.  The thoughts of the Gospellers
were running chiefly now on the dark future, and their own disorganised
condition.

"What had Nehemiah said in the like accident to Sanballat?" was his
suggestive answer.

The Papists, who were not disorganised, and had no reason to fear the
future, were busy catching dolphins,--another portent--which made their
appearance at London Bridge in August.

The new service-book, as its contemporaries called it--the second Prayer
Book of Edward the Sixth, as we call it--was used for the first time in
Saint Paul's Cathedral, on All Saints' Day, November 1, 1552.  Bishop
Ridley's voice was the first that read it, and he took the whole duty
himself; and preached in the choir, habited only in his rochet.  In the
afternoon he preached at the Cross,--what was _then_ called a long
sermon--about three hours.  My Lord Mayor, who ought to have been
present, was conspicuous by his absence.  When remonstrated with, that
dignitary observed that "Bishop Ridley's sermons were alway so long,
that he would be at no more, for he was aweary of so long standing."
Wherein my Lord Mayor anticipated the nineteenth century, though it sits
out the sermon on cushions, and rarely is called upon to lend its ears
for one-third of the time which he was expected to do.  Dr Thorpe was
not far wrong in the conclusion at which he arrived:--that "my Lord
Mayor's heart passed his legs for stiffness."

The early winter of 1552 brought the first letter from Annis Holland.

"To the hands of my right worthy Mistress and most singular dear friend,
Mistress Avery, dwelling at the sign of the Lamb in the Minories,
without Aldgate, by London, give these.

"My right dearly beloved Isoult,--After my most loving commendations
remembered, this shall be to advertise thee of my safe landing in the
city of Santander, in Spain, and my coming unto the Queen's Highness'
Court at Tordesillas.  So much as to set down the names of all the towns
I have passed, betwixt the two, will I not essay.  It hath been a
wearyful journey and a long, yet should have been a pleasant one, but
for the lack of victual.  The strangest land ever I did see, or think to
see, is this.  The poor men hereaway dwell in good houses, and lack
meat: the rich dwell in yet fairer, and eat very trumpery.  I saw not in
all my life in England so much olive oil as in one week sithence I came
into Spain.  What I am for to live upon here I do marvel.  Cheese they
have, and onions by the cartload; but they eat not but little meat, and
that all strings (a tender piece thereof have I not yet seen); and for
ale they drink red wine.  Such messes as they do make in their cooking
like me very ill, but I trow I shall be seasoned thereto in due time.

"The first night we came to this city, which is sixteen days gone.
Master Jeronymo (that hath showed me much courtesy, and had a very great
care of me) brought me into the house of a gentleman his kinsman, whose
name is Don Diego de Mendoza [fictitious person], (which is to say,
Master James Mendoza).  This Don Diego is a rare courtier, all bows,
smiles, and courtesies; and Madam Isabel his wife [fictitious person]
cometh not far behind.  And (which I cannot away with), she is not
called Dona Isabel de Mendoza, after the name of her husband but
cleaveth to her own, as though she were yet a maid, and is called of all
men Dona Isabel de Alameda.  Methought this marvellous strange; but this
(Master Jeronymo telleth me) is the custom of his country, and our
fashion of names is to the full as strange to them.  So when we came
into the house (which is builded with pillars around the court, and a
fountain in the midst, right fair to see) Master Jeronymo leadeth me
forward, and courtesieth well-nigh down to the ground.  Quoth he to Don
Diego,--`Senor and my cousin, I beseech the high favour of kissing your
hand.'  And to Dona Isabel,--`Senora and my cousin, I entreat you to
bestow upon me the soles of your feet.'  [Note 5.]  Verily, I marvelled
at such words; but Dona Isabel in return louteth down to the earth,
with--`Senor, I am your entirely undeserving scullion.  I beg of you the
unspeakable honour to present me to the serenity of the most highly-born
lady beside you.'  Marry (thought I) how shall I ever dwell in a land
where they talk thus!  But I was not yet at the end of mine amaze.
Master Jeronymo answers,--`Senora, this English damsel, which hath the
great happiness to kiss your feet, is the most excellent Senora Dona
Ines [Note 6] de Olanda (marry, I never thought to see my name cut up
after such a fashion!) that shall have the weight of honour to be writer
of the English tongue unto our most serene Lady the Queen Dona Juana.'
Then Madam Isabel louteth down again to the floor, saying,--`Senora, I
have the delightsomeness to be your most humble and lowly serving-maid.
This your house is wholly at your disposal'--`Master Jeronymo (quoth I
in English), I pray you tell me what I must say?'--`Say (answereth he)
that you are the Senora's highly favoured slave, and are not worthy to
stand at the threshold of her door.'

"Eh, Isoult, dear heart, what a land is this!

"Master Jeronymo said unto me afterward that this his cousin would be
very good unto me in her meaning; for the Spaniards say not that of
their house being yours, without they mean much grace and kindness unto
you.

"Well, after this, Madam Isabel took me away with her into an other
chamber, where she gave me a cup of red wine and some cakes, that were
not ill to take.  And in this chamber were great cushions spread all
about the floor, like unto the mattress of a bed; the cushions of velvet
and verder [a species of tapestry], and the floor of marble.  Upon these
she desired me to repose me for a season; and (saith she) `At seven of
the clock, mine excellent cousin Don Jeronymo and my lord Don Diego, and
I your servant, shall take you up to the Castle, into the most ineffable
presence of the most glorious Lord Marquis of Denia.'  O rare!  (thought
I.)  If the Queen's Comptroller be so glorious and of so ineffable a
presence, what shall his mistress be?  So when even came (my Senora
Madam Isabel having meantime reposed and slumbered on the cushions), I
shifted me into my best and richest apparel for to enter this ineffable
presence, and went up unto the Castle, Don Diego leading me by the hand,
and Madam Isabel coming after with Master Jeronymo.  This was but across
the court; for no sooner had I reached the door, than what should I see
but two mules, richly-caparisoned, there standing.  I was somewhat
surprised, for the Castle is but a stone's throw from the house; but
Master Jeronymo, seeing my look, whispereth unto me that in Spain,
ladies of any sort [ladies of rank] do ride when they go of a journey,
be it but ten yards.  Methought it scarce worth the trouble to mount the
mule for to 'light off him again so soon: howbeit, I did as I was bid.
Madam Isabel suffered her lord to lift her upon the other; and away hied
we for the Castle, our cavaliers a-walking behind.  When we 'light, and
the portcullis was drawn up, Master Jeronymo prayeth the porter to send
word unto the ineffable Lord Comptroller that the English damsel sent
hither by the most noble Lady, Dona Catalina (so they call my Lady of
Suffolk's Grace) doth entreat for leave to kiss the dust under his feet.
This is their country mode; but I do ensure thee I had been little
gladded for leave to kiss the dust; and it doth yet tickle mine ears
whensoever I hear it.  So up the stairs went we, through a fair court
bordered with orange-trees, into a brave chamber hung about with silk,
and all over the floor a carpet of verder spread.  Here we awaited a
season; at the end whereof come in three or four gentlemen in brave
array, before the foremost whereof all we bowed down to the ground.
This was mine ineffable Lord Marquis.  A tall, personable gentleman he
is, something stiff and stately.

"`Senora,' saith he, inclining him unto us, `you are welcome as the
light!'

"And raising him up, he called in a loud voice for the Senora Gomez.
Come forth from the chamber beyond, a middle-aged dame, apparelled in
black.

"`Take this lady to her chamber,' saith he.  `Dona Ines is her name.
And remember what I told you!'

"So I took my leave of Master Jeronymo, and of Don Diego and Dona
Isabel, with many protestations and loutings; and again making low
reverence unto my Lord Marquis, away hied I with Madam Gomez.  She led
me on by so many lobbies, one after the other, that methought we should
never make an end and come to a chamber; but once, when I would have
spoken, she checked me with a finger on the lip.  At last she turned
into a fair large chamber, well hung and garnished.  She shut to the
door, and then her lips unclosed.

"`Here, Senora, is your chamber,' saith she.  `Two small alcoves for
sleeping be on the right, for yourself and your bower-woman; you have
been looked for of long time, and she awaiteth you.  I will send her to
you when I depart.'

"`I thank you,' quoth I.  `May I pray you of her name?'

"`Her name,' she answered, `is Maria Porcina' (the which should in
English be Mary Little-pig.  Methought it an unfair name).  `It will
please you,' she went on, `to speak but lowly, seeing your chamber is
nigh unto those of our Lady.'

"I thought that should please me but little.  `Senora,' quoth I, `shall
I have the honour to see the Queen's Grace at supper, think you?'

"The Senora Gomez looked at me; then she went to the door and drew the
bolt, and let back the curtain that was over the door.  This done, she
came back and sat in the window.

"`Senora,' she saith, in a voice little above a whisper, `to the world
outside we do not tell secrets.  But unto a damsel so wise and discreet
as your serenity, I will not fear to speak freely.'  (Much, methought,
she knew of my discretion!) `You desire to know if you shall see our
Lady this even.  No; you will never see her.'

"`But,' said I, `I am come hither to read and write English for her
Highness.'

"`You are come to read and write for the Lord Marquis,' she answered;
`not for her.'

"`Certes,' said I, `that was not told me.'

"`It is never told to any,' she replied.

"`But what is the secret, I pray your excellency?'  I asked.  `Is the
Queen's Highness sick, that she is never seen?'

"`She is mad,' answered she.

"`God have mercy on her!' cried I.

"`_Y la Santisima_!'  (And the most holy Virgin!) saith she.  `That is
what is said to the world.  Be you ware, Dona Ines, that you gainsay it
not.'

"`Mean you that it is not true?' cried I.

"`I mean,' quoth she, `that my Lord Marquis of Denia is master here, and
is an ill one to offend.  Say as he saith--that is our rule.'

"`Then,' said I, `there is somewhat behind, which men may not know.'

"`Behind!' she saith, with a low crafty laugh that it liked me not to
hear.  `Ay, there is Don Carlos the Emperor, son of our Lady, behind the
Lord Marquis.  Have a care what you do and say.  _Con el Rey y la
Inquisicion, chiton_!  (which is a Spanish saw [proverb], meaning, Be
silent touching the King and the Inquisition.)  And if you speak
unadvisedly of the one, you may find you within the walls of the other.
I speak in kindness, Senora, and of what I know.  This palace is not all
bowers and gardens.  There be dungeons beneath those bowers, deep and
dark.  Santa Maria defend us!  You tread on mines--hold your peace!'

"`I thank you, Senora, for your warning,' answered I.  `Go with God!'

"`And rest with Him!' she answered.  [`Vaya (_or_ quede) usted con
Dios.'] (In this fashion do the Spaniards take their leave.)  Then she
left me.

"Isoult, dear heart, I am well assured herefrom that this is an evil
place, and my Lord of Denia an ill man.  But there is yet more to tell
thee.

"When I went down to supper, I there found my Lord and Lady of Denia;
Fray Juan de Avila, confessor to her Highness; and her Grace's
bower-women, whose names be Dona Ximena de Lara [fictitious], a young
damsel (I hear), of very high degree, that is stately and silent; Dona
Catalina de la Moraleja [fictitious], a middle-aged dame, grave and
sedate; Dona Leonor Gomez, of whom I have spoken; and Dona Rosada de Las
Penas [fictitious], a young maid of gentle and kindly look.  And if thou
wouldst have their names in English--Ximena, I cannot interpret therein,
for it is a name particular unto these parts; but the others should be
Katherine [Note 7] and Eleanor, and Rose.  Dona Leonor Gomez, I do find,
will be saddest of any when my Lord's or the confessor's eyes be upon
her, but will talk away like very water let out when she hath one alone.

"It was some days ere I was called to any work.  The Tuesday thereafter,
my Lord Marquis sent for me, to read a letter come to him from England.
'Twas but filled with compliments and fair words--scarce worth the
sending, methought.  Very grave is this Lord Marquis, yet extreme
courteous withal.  As I stood a-reading come in Fray Juan.

"`How fareth her Highness?' asks my Lord.

"`She requires you,' answered the Friar.

"`I go,' his Lordship made answer.  `Is it the _premia_?'

"The Friar shrugged up his shoulders, but said nought; and my Lord, so
soon as I had made an end of reading, sent me away quickly [Note 8].
Now I marvelled much what they meant, seeing that _premia_ signifieth a
reward or kindness done unto one; and wherefore that should be I knew
not.  When I was in my chamber, I asked Maria what _premia_ meant.
(This is a good, kindly, simple lass I have.) `Senora,' said she, `it
signifieth a reward.'  And she plainly knew of no other signification.

"But in the night, I was waked from my sleep by the dreadfullest sound
ever I heard.  Surely I was deceived, but it did seem to me like shrieks
of some poor wretch in mortal pain.  Maria awaked also, and sitting up
in her bed, she cries under her breath, `All the saints preserve us!'

"`What can it be?' said I.

"`Senora,' quoth she, `may it please your serenity, I know not.  I have
heard it once afore, some time gone, but none would tell me the cause
thereof.  Methinks the Castle is haunted by goblins.'

"And she fell to crossing her and saying Ave Marys by the score.

"The screaming ceased not for some time, and then by degrees; but I
slept not again.

"The morrow after came Dona Leonor into my chamber; and after some talk
on things indifferent, she saith, `Did aught disturb you this night?'

"`Dona Leonor, what was it?' said I.

"`What heard you, Dona Ines?' quoth she.

"`Why,' said I, `horrible screaming, like unto the shrieks of a soul in
Purgatory.'

"`We hear them sometimes,' she answered.

"`But what is it?'  I repeated.

"`Dona Ines,' said she, `there are things not to be spoken about.  But
do not you fancy that the Castle is haunted by goblins.'

"And not an other word might I have from her.  But I am assured there is
some terrible matter afoot in this Palace; and I would I were safe
thereout.

"I must close my letter somewhat shortly, for Dona Isabel de Alameda,
that promised me to send it with one of hers that goeth to Cales
[Cadiz], hath sent her brother's son, Don Juan de Alameda [fictitious],
to request the same, and I must not keep him awaiting.  Be not thou
disturbed, dear heart; God is as near to Tordesillas as to London, and
He is stronger than all evil men and devils.  Unto His keeping I commend
thee.  From Tordesillas, this Monday.

"Thine own to her little power, Annis Holland.

"I pray thee, make my commendations unto Mr Avery and all thine."

When Christmas Day came, the Averys did what half London was doing: they
walked down to Westminster, to the great pulpit set up in the King's
garden.  Into the pulpit came a rather tall, spare old man, with a
wrinkled face, a large Roman nose, shaggy eyebrows, and radiant, shining
eyes.  And before the sermon was over, the eyes had kindled with a live
coal from the altar of the Lord, and the firm voice was ringing clearly
to every corner of that vast gathering.  The preacher was Hugh Latimer.

He was about to leave London the next morning for Grimsthorpe, where he
had undertaken, at the request of the Duchess of Suffolk, to deliver to
her and her household a series of lectures on the Lord's Prayer.  After
the sermon, those quick bright eyes speedily found out Edward Underhill,
and the old man came down from the pulpit and shook hands with him.
Then he turned to Isoult Avery, who stood near.  He remembered meeting
her at Ampthill and Guildford, some ten years before; and he blessed
her, and asked what family she had; and when she told him, "Three," he
said, "God bless them, and make them His childre."  Then he laid his
hand upon little Kate's head and blessed her; and then away, walking
with a quick firm step, like a man whose work was but half done; with
Augustine Bernher behind him, carrying the old man's Bible.

This year Saint Nicholas "went not about."  The ceremony had previously
taken place on his eve, December 5, when the priests carried his image
round from house to house, and gave small presents to the children as
from the saint.  The modern American custom of "Santa Claus" is a relic
of the old procession of Saint Nicholas; though the Dutch form of the
name shows it to have been derived not from the English, but the Dutch,
settlers.  Kate's Protestantism was not yet sufficiently intelligent to
prevent her from regretting Saint Nicholas; but Dr Thorpe coaxed Esther
to make a handful of sugar-plums, whereon he regaled his disappointed
pet.

The close of the year brought treats for both parents and children.  At
Saint Paul's, Bishop Ridley preached for five evenings together; and at
Cheapside, with the new year, came the Lord of Misrule--again George
Ferris--making his proclamations, and dining in state with the Lord
Mayor.  And at Shene, my Lord of Northumberland founded the first
hot-house, and presented a nosegay of living flowers to the King on New
Year's Day.

So, in flowers and laughter, came in the awful year 1553--most awful
year of all the century.

One morning in January, as Isoult stood waiting for John, to go with him
to Latimer's sermon, who should walk in but Philippa Basset, whose stay
in Cheshire had been much longer than she anticipated.  She brought many
a scrap of Northern news, and Lady Bridget's loving commendations to
Isoult.  And "Whither away?" asked she.

"Truly," said Isoult, "to the King's Garden, to hear Mr Latimer preach."

"Marry," said she, "I did never yet hear that mighty Gospeller.  Have [I
will go] with you, an' you will take me."

"With a very good will," said Isoult.

So she went with them, and listened to Latimer's sermon, wherein there
were some things which Isoult felt would vex her; for the subject was
praying to saints, and he said, "Invocation declareth an omnipotency."
But not a word could Isoult get from her when they came home (for she
stayed and dined with them), which showed how she liked it.  Only she
would say, "The man speaketh well; he hath good choice of words," and
similar phrases; but on all points concerning his doctrine she kept
silence.

As Isoult sat at her sewing the next morning, with Walter at his
hornbook, and Kate at her arithmetic beside her, a rap on the door
brought Ursula to open it.  Isoult fancied she knew the voice which
asked "if Mistress Avery there dwelt," but she could not think all at
once whose it was; yet the minute she came into the chamber, she well
knew her old friend and colleague, Beatrice Vivian.

Beatrice was fair and rosy, and looked well and happy, as she said she
was.  So when the ladies had sat and talked a little, and Beatrice had
kissed the children, and told Isoult that she had two, whose names were
Muriel and Alice, and that Mr Vivian was well, and other details: she
said--

"Isoult, I have news for thee, which by thy leave I will have thee to
guess."

"Is it good or bad?" said Isoult.

"Why, good, I hope," said Beatrice.  "'Tis a wedding, and both bride and
bridegroom we know."

"Dear heart," sighed Isoult, "I am an ill guesser, as thou wist of old.
Is it Mr Dynham?"  [Fictitious person.]

"What, my brother Leonard?" said she.  "Nay, sweet heart; he hath been
wed these six years."

"Is it over, or to come?"

"Over, this New Year, or should be," answered Beatrice.  "Dost thou lack
help? what thinkest of my Lady of Suffolk her own self?"  [The date is
fictitious.  It was probably about Christmas, 1552.]

"Beatrice, dear heart!" cried Isoult.  "Thou meanest not that?"

"Ay, but I do," said she, laughing.  "And now, whom hath her Grace
wedded?"

"I would guess," said Isoult, "some gentleman of great riches and very
high degree."

"Well, as to riches," she answered, "I fancy he hath hitherto earned
every penny he hath spent; and in respect of degree, hath been used to
the holding of his mistress' stirrup.  Canst thou guess now?"

"Mr Bertie!" cried Isoult, in amazement.  "Surely no!"

"Surely so," answered Beatrice, again laughing.  "Her Grace of Suffolk
and Mr Bertie be now man and wife.  And for my poor opinion, methinks
she hath chosen well for her own comfort."

"I am rarely glad to hear it," Isoult answered; "so think I likewise."

But for all that, she was exceedingly surprised.

There was some murmuring in May.  The Duke of Northumberland, in the
King's name, had ordered all the churches to furnish an account of their
goods; and on the first day of that month, the treasuries were robbed of
all the plate, money, jewels, and vestments, which were confiscated to
the King's use; and the very bells of the churches shared their fate.
Dr Thorpe had been growling over the matter in April, when it was but a
project; averring that "when he had caught a man's hand in his own
pocket, it little amazed him afterward to see it in his neighbour's:"
but now, when the project reached open burglary, his anger found vent in
hotter words.

"Lo' you now! this cut-purse hath got his hand into an other man's
pocket, even as I said.  _Will_ no man put this companion into the
Tower?  Can none clap him therein under any manner of warrant?"

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  A gesture well understood at that time, when plain speech was
often perilous--the half-clasped hands resting upon the head in the form
of a crown.  By this gesture, fifty years later, when past speech, Queen
Elizabeth answered the question of Robert Cecil concerning her
successor.  She meant, and he understood her to mean--"Let it be a
King."

Note 2.  The cause of the first tumult was a sudden panic, occasioned by
the running of some of the guards who arrived late; the second was due
to the appearance of Sir Anthony Browne, whom the people fancied had
been sent with a reprieve.

  Note 3.
  "Kingdoms are but cares,
  State is devoid of stay,
  Riches are ready snares,
  And hasten to decay."

  _King Henry the Sixth_.

Note 4.  Don and Dona are prefixes restricted to the Christian name.  An
Englishman using Don with the surname (an error to which our countrymen
are strangely prone) commits the very same blunder for which he laughs
at the Frenchman who says "Sir Peel."

Note 5.  A common Spanish greeting, the absurdity of which makes us
sympathise with Lope de Vega's Diana, in her matter-of-fact
reply,--"Estan a los pies asidas" (They are fixed to my feet).

Note 6.  Inez, the form more familiar to English readers, is the
Portuguese spelling.

Note 7.  Katherine is not really a translation of Catalina, but they
were considered interchangeable at this time.

Note 8.  Denia was at one time anxious to get rid of De Avila, because
he was too gentle and lenient!



CHAPTER SEVEN.

HOW HOPE DIED WITH EDWARD.

  "Alma real, dignissima d'impero,
  Se non fossi fra noi scesa si tardo."

  Petrarch.

Thus, to soft music, with sufficient minor chords to form a pleasant
contrast to the glad notes of the grand chorus, glided in upon the stage
of England the five awful years of the Marian persecution.

Never had there been five such years in England.  The sanguinary
struggles of the Roses, the grinding oppression of Henry the Seventh,
the spasmodic cruelties of Henry the Eighth, were not to be compared
with this time.  Of all persecutors, none is, because none other can be,
so coldly, mercilessly, hopelessly unrelenting, as he who believes
himself to be doing God service.

And now the floods of the great waters came nigh the struggling Church.
The storm fell upon her, as it never fell in this island before or
since.  The enemy had gathered his forces for one grand effort to crush
the life out of her.

But the life was immortal.  The waves beat powerlessly against the frail
barque; for it held One who, though He seemed verily "asleep on a
pillow," was only waiting the moment to arise and say, "Peace, be
still!"

The Lord sat above the water-floods; yea, the Lord sitteth a King for
ever.

Yet the "rough wind was stayed in the day of the east wind."  When forty
years are to be spent in the wilderness, then the shoes wax not old, nor
does the strength, fail.  But when the furnace is heated seven times
hotter than its wont, then the pain is not for long, and the furnace
holds a more visible Fourth, like to the Son of God.  Only dying men see
angels.  The sweet soft light of the Master's shining raiment, which we
may pass by in the glaring sunshine, is not so easily left unperceived
when it is the sole light of the martyr's dungeon.

And God was with His Church, during those five sharp, short years of
agony wherein so many of her members went to God.

And all opened with a flourish of silver trumpets.  There were flashings
of jewels, set where jewels should flash no more; white bridal robes,
soon to be drenched in blood; ghostly crowns, glimmering for an instant
over heads that should be laid upon the block ere one poor year were
over.  "Man proposed, and God disposed."  The incorruptible crown was
the fairer and brighter.

The last brilliant day which England was to know before that tempest
broke, dawned on the morning of the 21st of May, 1553.  Early on that
day all London was astir.  Three noble marriages were to be celebrated
at Durham House, in the King's presence; and to Durham House London was
crowding, to see the sight.  Among the crowd were John Avery, Dr Thorpe,
and Robin.  Isoult had declined to run the risk of having the clothes
torn off her back, or herself squeezed into a mummy; and it was agreed
on all sides that there would be danger in taking the children: but
nothing could keep Dr Thorpe at home--not even a sharp attack of
rheumatism, from which he had been suffering more or less all the
spring.  Mr Underhill of course would be there, in his place as
Gentleman Pensioner; and after a good deal of pressing from more than
one of his friends, a dubious consent to go, _if_ he could find time,
had been wrung from Mr Rose.

The bridegrooms and brides were apportioned in the following order.

The Lady Jane Grey to Lord Guilford Dudley.

The Lady Katherine Grey to Lord Herbert of Pembroke.

The Lady Katherine Dudley to Lord Hastings.  [Note 1.]

It was six o'clock before any of the birds flew home; and the first to
come was John Avery, who said he had left Robin in charge of Dr
Thorpe,--"or Dr Thorpe in charge of Robin, as it may please thee to take
it.  I know not when they will be back.  In all my life did I never see
a man so unweary and unwearyable as that our old friend."

"And what hast thou seen, Jack?" said Isoult.

"Three very fine ladies and three very fine gentlemen," answered he;
"with a great many more ladies and gentlemen, not quite so fine."

"What ware they?" asked Kate.

"Was the King there?"  Isoult inquired.

"What ware they, Moppet?" said John, taking up Kate; "why, many a yard
of cloth of gold, and satin, and velvet, and I cannot tell thee what
else.  They were as fine as ever the tailor could make them.--Ay, dear
heart, the King was there."

But his voice changed, so that Isoult could read in it a whole volume of
bad news.

"Is he sick, then, as we heard?" she asked.

"Hardly," he answered in a low voice, "say rather dying."

"O Jack!" cried she.

"O Isoult, if thou hadst seen him!" said he, his voice quivering.  "The
fierce, unnatural radiance in those soft, meek grey eyes, as though
there were a fire consuming him within; the sickly dead-white colour of
his face, with burning red spots on the cheeks; the languor and disease
of his manner, ever leaning his head upon his hand, as though he could
scarce bear it up; and when he smiled--I might scantly endure to look on
him.  And above all this, the hollow cough that ever brake the silence,
and seemed well-nigh to tear his delicate frame in twain--it was enough
to make a strong man weep."

"But tell me all about it!" cried Kate, laying her little hand upon her
father's face to make him turn round to her; "I want to know all about
it.  How old are these great ladies? and what are they like to? and what
ware they?  Was it blue, or red, or green?"

John turned to her with a smile, and his manner changed again.

"What a little queen art thou!" said he.  "Well, I must needs strive to
content thy majesty.  How old are the ladies that were married?  Well,
the Lady Jane is the eldest, and she is, I take it, sixteen or seventeen
years of age.  She looketh something elder than her years, yet rather in
her grave, quiet manner than in her face.  Then her sister the Lady
Katherine is nigh fourteen.  And the years of my Lady Katherine Dudley I
know not.  _Item_, what are they like unto?  That was the next question,
methinks."

"Ay," replied Kate.  "Which is the nicest?"

"Which thou shouldst think the nicest I cannot tell," said John.  "But
in so far as mine opinion lieth, the Lady Jane's face liked me the best.
Maybe my Lady Kate Dudley should have stricken thy fancy the rather,
for she ware a mighty brave blue satin gown, and her face was all smiles
and mirth."

"And what ware the other?"

"The Lady Jane and her sister were both donned in white velvet."

"And what colour were their hoods?"

"My Lady Katherine Dudley's amber-colour, set with sapphires; the other
ruby velvet, and their jewels rubies."

"And who married them, Jack?" asked Isoult.

"Bishop Ridley."

"Body o' me! who ever looked at Bishop Ridley, I would like to know!"
cried Dr Thorpe, coming halting in as though he had hurt himself.
"Isoult, if thou canst ever get my left shoe off, I will give thee a
gold angelet [half-angel; in other words, a gold crown].  Yonder dolt of
a shoemaker hath pinched me like a pasty.  But O the brave doings!  'Tis
enough to make a man set off to church and be married himself!"

And the old man sat down in a great chair.

"I will strive to earn it, Doctor," said Isoult, laughing, as she sat
down on the hearth before him, and took his lame foot in her lap.  "Art
thou weary, Robin?"

"Not much," said Robin, smiling.  "The shoemaker did not pinch me."

"Beshrew him for an owl that he did not!" answered Dr Thorpe, testily.
"Thou hadst stood it the better.  Eh, child, if thou hadst seen the--
mind thy ways, Isoult!--the brave gear, and the jewels, and the gold
chains, and the estate [Note 2], and the plumes a-nodding right down--
Oh!"

His shoe hurt him in coming off, and he sat rubbing his foot.

"Was Mr Rose there?" said Isoult, when they had finished laughing.

"No," said Robin.

"And Mr Underhill?"

"Ay, that was he, in the bravest and marvellousest velvet gown ever thou
sawest in all thy days, and a doublet and slop [very wide breeches
introduced from Holland] of satin, and a gold chain thick enough to tie
up a dog with.  And there, sweet heart, was my most gracious Lord of
Northumberland--in a claret velvet gown sewed with gold braid--and for
as many inches as could be found of the plain velvet in that gown, I
will give any man so many nobles.  There was not one!  And the bonnet in
's hand!--with a great ruby for a button!--and all set with
seed-pearl!--and the jewels in the hilt of's sword!--and great rubies in
face of his shoes!  The dolt and patch that he is!"

"I do believe Dr Thorpe had beheaded my Lord of Northumberland," said
John, laughing, "if that sword had been in his belt in lieu of the
other."

"I never saw him afore," replied he, "and I never do desire to see him
again.  He looketh the rogue [then a stronger word than now] that he
is."

"And now, as a physician, what think you of the King?" asked John,
sadly.

"I will give him three months to die in," was Dr Thorpe's short and
woeful answer.

By the second of July, England knew that the King was dying.  No longer
could there be any question of the sorrowful truth.  He was at Greenwich
Palace, Archbishop Cranmer and Bishop Ridley in frequent waiting on him;
and summons was sent to his sisters to come quickly.  On the 3rd of
July, which was Sunday, Dr Ridley preached at the Cross, where he dimly
foreshadowed the disposition of the Crown that was coming.  All who
heard him were much astonished, for not a word had crept out before.  It
was plain from what he said that the King's sisters were to be passed
over (to the no little surprise of all who knew his love for the
Princess Elizabeth); but it was not plain who was to come instead; and
the rumour ran that it would be the Lady Frances, Duchess of Suffolk,
the niece of King Henry, and mother of the Lady Jane Grey.

On the evening of the 6th of July, came a comforting rumour that the
King was better, and a hope sprang up that he would yet recover.  Those
who knew the Duke of Northumberland might have guessed at treachery.  In
truth, the King died that day; but the Duke kept it secret, until he
thought his plans secure for the Lady Jane's succession.

On the morning of the 10th of July, came Dr Thorpe in great haste, from
the barber's.

"Isoult!" cried he, "tie thine hood and bring the childre!"

"What is now to do?" said she to herself; but she tied on her hood, and
brought down the children with her.

"Where be Jack and Robin?" asked the old man.

"They went forth to Westminster together, half an hour gone," said
Isoult.

"They must shift for themselves, then," said he.  "Come away."

"But whither, Doctor?" she wished to know.

"Down to the river side by Saint Katherine's, with all the haste that
may be," answered he.  "Isoult, the King is dead, and the Lady Jane
Dudley proclaimed Queen of England, and she cometh apace from Shene to
the Tower.  We may chance to see her land, if we lose no time."

"The King dead!"

Isoult said no more, but away they ran down the street, till they
reached Saint Katherine by the Tower.  A crowd of people were already
there.  They took up their places by the church, whence they could see
the river; and they had not been there two minutes, ere they heard a
sound of cheering from the watermen below; and presently the royal barge
of England glided into sight.  At the bow played the standard of the
realm; and about the cloth of estate were several ladies and gentlemen,
all clad in mourning, surrounding a lady who sat under the canopy.  This
was all that could be seen till the barge stopped at the Tower-stairs.
Then from it (a blue cloth being first laid to the gate) came the Duke
of Northumberland, robed in a long, black gown trimmed with fox, leading
a fair, slender girl also in mourning, and Frances, Duchess of Suffolk
[Note 3], bore her train.  After them came the Duke of Suffolk, the Earl
of Arundel, a slim comely youth unknown to the crowd, and Lord Grey de
Wilton.  And the minute after, from the crowd thronging the postern, Mr
Ive, the High Constable (Mr Underhill's friend and neighbour at the Lime
Hurst), made his way to our little group.

"Ah! how do you?" said he.  "You are in fair time to see our new Queen."

"I pray you, Mr Ive," said Isoult, "is yonder damsel her Highness, that
my Lord's Grace of Northumberland hath by the hand?"

"Even so," replied he; "and yonder young gentleman that followeth is her
husband, the Lord Guilford Dudley."

Very earnestly they looked then on the face of their new Sovereign.  A
soft, gentle face, fair and clear complexion, brown hair, and meek,
thoughtful brown eyes; and eyes that had shed tears but very lately.
But Northumberland bore himself proudly, as though he felt himself a
King already.  And very few voices said "God save Queen Jane!"  Isoult
did hear a few, but few they were.

In the evening, throughout the City, and without the gates, was the new
Queen proclaimed.  It was now known that the King had died on the
Thursday previous, and that Northumberland had kept the matter secret,
until he thought Jane's succession ensured.  And by letters patent,
dated the 21st of June, King Edward had bequeathed the realm to the
heirs-male of his cousin the Lady Frances, Duchess of Suffolk; and
should she have no heirs-male before his death, the reversion was to
pass to her eldest daughter, the Lady Jane Dudley, now Queen; and for
lack of her issue, to her cousin Lady Margaret Clifford.  The sisters of
Jane were passed over, and also the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth,
sisters of the late King.

All the Queen's officers, and her Council, were sworn to serve her on
the 9th of July; and troops were sent to take the Lady Mary, who had
already been proclaimed Queen at Kenninghall in Norfolk.

Every body was glad to see Mr Rose come in that evening.

"Well!" said he, "we are well into a new reign.  Thank God for a
Protestant Prince!"

"There Underhill shall run a tilt with you," said John, smiling.

"My friend, had the Lady Mary not been exempted of the King her brother,
I had bowed to her sceptre," said Mr Rose.  "But she is lawfully put
forth; and Queen Jane as lawfully proclaimed."

"Who talks treason here?" cried Mr Underhill's voice behind, which all
dreaded to hear.  "What say you--`God save Queen Jane?'  I say, God save
Queen Mary!  I serve not my Lord of Northumberland, for all the Papists
nick [give me the nick-name] me his spy!  _I_ have not proclaimed King
John--whereof, as all men do know, Queen Jane is but the feminine.  I am
a servant of the Queen's Majesty that reigneth by right, and that Queen
is Mary.  God defend the right, as assuredly He will!"

Mr Rose looked quietly on him.

"You may live to forethink [regret] the setting of her up, if it were
so," was all he said.

"I may live to be sorry she was ever born," answered Mr Underhill.  "I
know that, Father Rose!  But right is right, and wrong is wrong; and I
say this is a wrong, and I stand forth for the right."

"God's will is the right," gently answered Mr Rose.  "Let us not fight
against God."

"And be you ware you do not!" cried Mr Underhill in his ringing voice.
"How look you to know what His will is herein?"

"We shall all know that ere it be long," said Mr Rose, sadly.

On the 13th of July [exact date unrecorded] was born Guilford Underhill,
Mr Underhill's eldest son.  He had already five daughters.  The 19th was
appointed for christening the child, and the sponsors were the Queen
(that is to say, Lady Jane), her father the Duke of Suffolk, and the
Earl of Pembroke.  John Avery was greatly amused that Mr Underhill
should believe the Lady Jane had no right to be Queen, and yet, because
she was Queen, would have her his child's sponsor.  It was an instance
of the consistent inconsistency inherent in human nature.

The 14th of July was a day of contrary rumours, and great trouble, and
running to and fro in the streets of the city.  From all sides news
poured in that the Lady Mary was proclaimed Queen--at Kenninghall, and
Framlingham, and Norwich, and in all the eastern parts.  The Council
would have sent the Duke of Suffolk against her; but Lady Jane his
daughter entreated with tears that he might remain with her; and they
then sent the Duke of Northumberland.  He and Lord Grey de Wilton (who
went unwillingly, being of Mr Underhill's way of thinking) set forth on
the 14th, with six hundred men.  That evening came news that Mary was
proclaimed in Buckinghamshire.

On the 16th, at seven o'clock at night, the gates of the Tower were
suddenly locked, and the keys carried to Lady Jane.  This was to secure
the Lord Treasurer, (the Marquis of Winchester), who was considered of
doubtful faith, and proved to be as he was considered.

As the party reached Saint Katherine's on their way to the christening,
the Lords of the Council were just riding out of the western gate of the
Tower.  These were the Earls of Pembroke, Shrewsbury, and Arundel, the
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, the Lord Mayor, and sundry knights.
The Duke of Suffolk was left behind.  The truth was, that he would have
been in the way.  The Council said that it was going to give audience to
the French Ambassador; but it was really bound on a very different
errand.  Lady Throgmorton was the Queen's deputy at the christening, and
named the child Guilford.

"Named for a Dudley!" whispered the irrepressible Dr Thorpe to Isoult.
"He will not thrive, take my word for it--unless he turn out a rascal."

Before the ceremony was ended, a great noise was heard in the City:
shouting, singing, and roaring all together.  The baptism over, Lady
Throgmorton returned into the Tower; and the rest of the party went on
to the Lamb, where they were all going to pass the afternoon.  Mistress
Helen Ive [a fictitious person], the High Constable's daughter, carried
the baby, and accompanied Isoult; but Mr Ive said he would go up to
Aldgate, and see what all the tumult had been; so away he went, while
the others rested and talked, and ate ale-brew [ale and bread, sometimes
called aleberry] and spiced cake; and Kate was wonderfully pleased with
the baby.  All at once, as they sat thus, Mr Ive returned, his face
showing that he brought strange tidings.

"They have proclaimed Queen Mary!" he cried breathlessly.

"Who have?" asked Mr Underhill, turning round.

"The Lords of the Council," answered he.

"Robin Hood's tales!" cried Mr Underhill.

"'Tis truth," responded Mr Ive.

"The Council of Queen Jane to proclaim Queen Mary!" said Mr Underhill,
scornfully.  "Ive, you are mad as a March hare."

"`Bate me an ace, quoth Bolton,'" said Dr Thorpe, shrugging his
shoulders.

"Bate your aces, and catch your March hares," answered Mr Ive, who took
all this banter very pleasantly; "but this is truth that I do tell you.
An hour gone, we being in the church, when we heard that mighty bruit
from the City, was Queen Mary proclaimed in Cheapside by the Council.
Their audience to the French King's Ambassador was but a feint, to get
well and all together out of the Tower.  And when they came to the
Chepe, they called an halt; and my Lord of Arundel, stepping forwards,
did there, in the hearing of all the people, proclaim--`Mary, by the
grace of God, of England, France, and Ireland, Queen'--and so forth.
And no sooner said than every man in the street flung up his cap, and
the people cheered as they had gone mad for joy.  The Earl of Pembroke
threw down in the street his cap full of angelets."

"My word on't, but I would Walter had been there, to run about and
gather them up!" said Dr Thorpe.  "We might have gleaned that comfort
thence, at least."

"And at the windows of many houses in the City," continued Mr Ive,
"money was thrown out; and bonfires all along the Chepe and Poultry be
a-lighting, and at all the gates, and in Cornhill, and Fleet Street, and
Aldersgate Street, and I know not where else; and (say they) such
shouting, crying, and singing of the people, ringing of bells, playing
of organs, tables of meal and drink setting forth in every street; and
such racket and bruit, as a man might scantly hear his own voice.  And
after the proclamation in Cheapside, all the Council rade to Poules, and
there was _Te Deum_ to be sung at evensong."

"But who be `they'?" cried Mr Underhill.  "Who told you all this jolly
tale?"

"The keeper of Aldgate, and your friend Mr Newman, and George Ferris,
and divers other.  I gat not all from one man."

"Newman and Ferris!  Then it is true," murmured Mr Underhill, very
gravely.

It was true.  Before night they knew all concerning this deed of
treachery.

And--last and worst of all--no sooner did the Duke of Suffolk, within
the Tower, hear that the Council had proclaimed Queen Mary without, than
out he came upon the hill, and saying "he was but one man, and would not
withstand all the Council," proclaimed Queen Mary on Tower Hill, to the
ruin of his own daughter: and then went into London, leaving poor Lady
Jane almost alone in the Tower,--for only Lord Guilford, and the Duchess
of Northumberland, and Lady Throgmorton and her husband Sir Nicholas,
and Sir John Bridges, were left with her.  And when Lady Throgmorton
returned from Saint Katherine's to the Tower, she found the cloth of
estate already taken down, and all changed; and when she would have
quitted the Tower again, she was not permitted to do so.

That evening, there was a gathering at the Lamb.  Mr Underhill stayed to
rejoice; Mr Rose came to mourn; Philippa Basset came to rail; and Mr
Holland came to pacify them.  And no very soft nor sweet words were
bestowed on Lord Sussex by Mr Holland (whose words were not all peace);
nor on Lord Arundel by Mr Rose; nor on Lord Grey by Mr Underhill; nor on
the Duke of Suffolk by any body; nor on any body by Philippa.  Only to
one no hard words were given by any; and that was the Lady Jane, whom
all united to excuse and pity.  But all agreed in calling Lord Arundel a
traitor, and Suffolk a man too weak and pitiful to be blamed.

All hope of the Lady Jane's success was now gone.  The Duke of
Northumberland himself proclaimed Queen Mary when he discovered it; but
notwithstanding this feeble attempt to curry favour, on the 22nd he was
apprehended at Cambridge.  Lord Grey de Wilton and others who submitted
themselves early were pardoned.  Lady Jane, Lord Guilford, and those
with them, were kept prisoners in the Tower.

Towards the end of July, Isoult and Esther were coming along the
riverside by the Tower, when they saw a great crowd shouting and running
towards them.  Neither John nor Robin being with them, Isoult was rather
frightened, and turned aside into the porch of Saint Katherine's for
safety.  But when they came nearer, she saw that here were the prisoners
borne under guard to the Tower.  First rode the traitor Earl of Arundel,
who had them in his guard; and had he received his deserts, he would
have been among them.  And after him, riding upon horses, their bridles
tied to those of the guards, came the Duke of Northumberland, his sons,
the Earl of Warwick, Lord Ambrose, and Lord Henry Dudley; Lord
Huntingdon, Lord Hastings, Sir John Gates, and his brother Sir Henry,
Sir Andrew Dudley (brother to the Duke), and Dr Sands, Chancellor of
Cambridge.  But when Isoult saw the face of the last prisoner, she was
unspeakably startled.  Esther asked if she were ill; "for (said she),
you look ever so white and faint!"  It was no wonder, when she looked up
into the unforgotten face of Sir Thomas Palmer.

Thirteen years had passed since she saw him; but Isoult knew him in a
moment.  All the old Calais memories came flashing back on her like an
overwhelming flood, drowning the newer evil he had done, as she saw this
man, who had persecuted the saints of God, who had done the Duke of
Somerset to death, who had been one of the four destroyers of her
beloved master--led to his prison and to his suffering in turn.

Sir Thomas looked at Isoult as he passed, seeing her eyes fixed on him;
but it was the look of a stranger to a stranger.

The storm broke now.  Few days passed unmarked by fresh arrests.  The
phrase "the Queen" had almost insensibly passed from Jane to Mary.  But
for a little while yet the crisis was political, not religious.  When
the danger was over, and before Mary reached her metropolis, the scene
was shifted, and the first Protestant arrest took place.  And so sudden
and unexpected was the blow, that it fell upon the Gospellers like a
thunderbolt.  Thirty hours had barely elapsed since her meeting with Sir
Thomas Palmer, when Isoult, coming down into the parlour, heard her
husband's voice say sorrowfully--"Ay, this is the beginning of sorrows."

"Is there any more news?" cried Isoult, fearfully; for fresh news then
meant bad news.

"The worst we have had yet," he said; "the Bishop of London is committed
to the Tower."

"And that all suddenly, with scantly a minute's warning," added Dr
Thorpe.

"Woe worth the day!" she wailed.  "Ay, thou mayest say so," answered he.
"God grant this be not the first step of a longer and dreader
persecution than we have yet known."

On Friday the Duke of Suffolk was brought to the Tower, where his
hapless daughter remained a prisoner.  But on the Monday following,
Suffolk was released.

"To ease the Tower dungeons, which must now be choke-full," suggested Dr
Thorpe; "or it may be the Queen thought him a sely [harmless, simple]
fellow, not worth the turning of an axe edge."

The Queen's grand entry into London took place on the 3rd of August.
There was no need for any in the Minories to go far to see her, for she
came to them, riding down Shoreditch and in at Aldgate.  She was
preceded by a guard of seven hundred and forty "velvet coats;" then rode
that "honourable man" my Lord of Arundel, bearing in his hand the sword
of state; then (after reaching Aldgate) the Lord Mayor; then the Queen,
royally arrayed, riding by herself on a richly-caparisoned barb, Sir
Anthony Browne bearing up her train.  What were the thoughts of that
long-persecuted woman, now in her turn to become a persecutor?  Then
followed her sister, the Lady Elizabeth.  What, too, were her thoughts?
After the royal sisters rode Elizabeth Stafford, wife of the imprisoned
Duke of Norfolk, and Gertrude, Marchioness of Exeter, mother of the
imprisoned Edward Courtenay.  Ladies and gentlemen followed to the
number of a hundred and eighty.  Lastly came the guard, with a crowd of
men from Northampton, Buckingham, and Oxford shires, all in armour, and
the peers' servants.  The number of horsemen, we are assured, was about
ten thousand.

And when the Queen came to the Tower, there, beside the gate, kneeling
upon the Tower green, were the old prisoners of her father and brother,
the old Duke of Norfolk, and Dr Stephen Gardiner, and the Duchess of
Somerset, and the young Lord Courtenay, who had scarcely ever been out
of the Tower in his life.  They, kneeling there, saluted her; and no
sooner had the Queen alighted, than she went to them and kissed them,
and said, "These are my prisoners."

The time-serving Earl of Pembroke had been ordered to wait upon the
Queen, but was too terrified to obey.  He felt himself too deeply
compromised for pardon.  One point, however, he was careful not to
neglect.  His son, Lord Herbert, was divorced in all haste and fear from
Lady Katherine Grey, the hapless sister of the "nine days' Queen."

On Saturday night, Mr Underhill walked into the Lamb, and tacitly asked
himself to supper.  He was in feverish delight.

"The good cause hath triumphed! and Queen Mary being known to be of
merciful complexion, I cast no doubt all shall be spared that can be."

Deluded man! but he was quickly to be undeceived in a very personal
manner.

"But meantime," responded John Avery, "some are being spared that should
not be--all them that have troubled the realm in King Edward's time, or
yet sooner.  Bishop Day is delivered; and Bishop Bonner not only
delivered, but restored to his see, and shall henceforth be Bishop of
London in the stead of Dr Ridley.  And what shall become of that our
good Bishop no man knoweth.  Moreover, Bishop Tunstal is delivered out
of prison; and Dr Gardiner (woe worth the day!) was this morrow sworn of
the Council.  Howso merciful be the Queen, the Council shall be little
that way inclined, if they have him amongst them."

It was not yet dinner-time on the following morning, when Barbara came
up-stairs to tell her mistress that Mrs Helen Ive wished to see her.
Her first words were ominous.

"Mrs Avery, I come from the Lime Hurst, with rare ill tidings."

"Alack!" said Isoult.  "Is Mistress Underhill worser? or the little babe
sick?"

"Neither," said she; "but Mr Underhill is in Newgate."

"Mr Underhill!" cried Isoult.  "For what cause?"

"God knoweth, and they that have him," said she; "for the rest, I wis
not whether he know himself.  But he was taken in the midst of the
night, being ten of the clock, and after long trial by the Council, is
now sent unto Newgate.  The Sheriff of Middlesex come unto my father's
house thus late, and brake the matter to my father, whom he desired to
go with him, as being Mr Underhill's very friend; and my father did
entreat him to leave him go and fetch his prisoner, for frightening of
Mrs Underhill in her weakness.  So my father, followed of the Sheriff
and his men bearing bills and glaives, knocked on the door, and there
came one to the door, unto whom he desired that he should ask Mr
Underhill to come out.  But upon this he heard Mr Underhill's voice,
calling to him to go within.  So he went within, and found Mr Underhill
in his bed; who demanding of him in his merry fashion what he did
breaking into a man's house at that hour of the night, my father
answered him that the Sheriff, and with him a great company were come to
fetch him.  Upon which Mr Underhill rose, and made him ready; and
willing not that Mistress Underhill should know anything of the matter,
he would not go into her chamber for any other gear, but cast about him
such as he had there, which was a brave satin gown that he had worn the
even afore."

"Ay," said Isoult, "a tawny satin night-gown [evening costume] laced
with green; he had it here at supper."

"Well," pursued Helen, "so out came he to the Sheriff, and demanded what
he would.  `Sir,' said he, `I have commandment from the Council to
apprehend you, and forthwith to bring you unto them.'--`Why,' answers Mr
Underhill, `it is now ten of the clock in the night; you cannot now
carry me unto them.'--`No, Sir,' said he; `ye shall go with me to my
house to London, where ye shall have a bed; and to-morrow I shall bring
you unto them at the Tower.'--`In the Name of God!'  [Note 4] quoth Mr
Underhill; and so went with the Sheriff.  `Know you the cause?' saith he
also; who [the Sheriff] answered that he knew of none.  Then said Mr
Underhill, `This needed not; any one messenger might have fetched me
unto them.'  So away went they, and my father turned home.  And this
morning went my father early unto the Tower, where the Council were
sitting, and took his place at the gate, where was a great throng of
people, that he might hear what should befall.  It was a mighty long
time ere Mr Underhill came forth; but at long last out came he, led
betwixt two of the guard, and my father (with a great throng) followed
to Mr Garret's house, the Sheriff, in the Stock Market.  There they took
Mr Underhill in, and after a while, to my father's great easement, came
forth without him.  Then, after some time, came forth Mr Underhill
again, with two of the Sheriff's men; but they had no bills with them,
nor they led him not, but followed a pretty way behind.  So he coming
into the street, my father, seeing him have such liberty, and such
distance between him and the officers, he stepped before them, and so
went talking with him through Cheapside.  And Mr Underhill told him
that my Lord of Sussex would have ordered him to the Fleet, and Sir
Richard Southwell cried out to have him to the Marshalsea: but neither
should content Sir John Gage nor Secretary Bourne, and they made great
ado that he were sent to Newgate, and prevailed.  Arrived thither, Mr
Underhill was delivered of the officers to Alisaunder the keeper [Note
5], who unlocked a door, and bade him go up-stairs into the hall.  My
father would not yet leave him, but went up with him, and there they sat
down and had some talk one with the other.  And Mr Underhill did require
my father not to let Mrs Underhill know that he was sent to Newgate, but
to the Counter, until such time as she were near her churching, and
better to abide ill news; and that she should send him his night-gown,
his Bible, and his lute.  So my father took his leave; and meeting me at
Aldgate on his way home, desired me to turn aside hither and tell you
thereof; and to ask you that you would come and visit Mrs Underhill in
her trouble, if it might stand with your conveniency."

"That will I, assuredly," said Isoult; "and it shall be the very first
thing I do on the morrow."

Isoult fulfilled her promise.  She rode to the Lime Hurst, with Tom as
escort; and found Mrs Underhill lying on the day-bed [the predecessor of
the sofa], with Helen Ive sitting by her; while Anne, her eldest girl,
was nursing her baby brother, and looked very much gratified to be
trusted with him.  Mrs Underhill burst into tears the moment her visitor
approached.  Taking the seat which Helen vacated for her, Isoult
endeavoured to cheer her invalid friend.  When she was able to speak,
Mrs Underhill was found very resolute.

"So soon as ever my strength shall serve," she said, "I will hie me to
the Lords of the Council, to entreat them for Ned's deliverance; and
methinks my Lord of Bedford at the least shall hear me, for the good hap
that we had to recover his son.  And I will moreover get help of Jack
Throgmorton, Master of the Quest, that is Ned's countryman and kinsman."

"But, dear heart," cried Isoult, "you are not strong enough to bear so
weary a burden."

"I will be strong enough!" she answered, determinately.  "And to that
end I do mean to be churched this next Sunday.  But to tell you the very
truth, Mrs Avery, I do fear this shall not be all.  Men do say Mr Rose
shall be deprived ere many days; and it may be, set in ward likewise.
Ah, well-a-day I we have need to take heed to our ways.  My way lieth
toward the Counter; if I might be there with Ned, I would not much lay
to heart for what cause.  Methinks when they take a man, they should
seize both halves of him."

Isoult smiled, but made no reply.

"And 'tis whispered about," she pursued, "that my Lord Archbishop should
forsake the Gospel, and be again a Lutheran, if not a Papist; and that
the mass shall be again set up; and that proclamation shall be made to
put forth from their cures all married priests.  Mrs Avery, have a care
of your Robin, that he either receive not orders, or wed not.  When
looked you for his being a priest?"

"Why," said Isoult, "he had been ordained of Bishop Ridley this next
Rogation-tide; but now I know not what shall fall, for no Popish Bishop
will admit him, nor would we ask it if he would so do.  May be, if Mr
Rose would speak with him (Robin being Cornwall-born), Bishop Coverdale
should grant him, an' he knew the case."

"Bishop Coverdale, and Mr Rose to boot," said she, "shall shortly have
enough to do to see to themselves.  Mrs Rose is sorely distressed
touching the forbiddance of wedded priests, which 'tis thought shall
shortly be had.  And 'twill be no gain to be Mr Rose his son when the
storm come.  An' I were you and Mr Avery, I would put him off both his
orders and his wedding."

"We have no right over him, Mrs Underhill," said Isoult.

"No right!" answered she.  "Doth not every man that knoweth you and him
know that you have but to whisper, and he shall run at your bidding?
Mrs Avery, if you asked that lad for his head, I do very nigh believe he
should cut it off for you."

"I must talk with Jack of this matter," responded Isoult, thoughtfully.

So, when she left the Lime Hurst, she came home to dinner, and after
dinner rode on to West Ham.  In the parlour there she found Thekla at
her spinning; but Mrs Rose (a most unwonted thing for her), sat by the
casement idle, with her hands lying before her.

"Hear you Mr Underhill is in prison?" were her first words.

"Ay," said Isoult; "and that you, dear friend, are sore disquieted, for
the which cause I come."

"Disquieted!" she answered, the tears springing to her eyes.  "Is it
like I shall be quiet?  How know I who shall be in prison to-morrow?
They may burn mine husband and banish me before a month.  And what is to
come of Thekla?"

"Dear mother," said Thekla, gently, "they will not put God in prison."

"They may put there every servant that He hath," said she, bitterly.

"I think you know, dear heart," replied Isoult, "that so long as we have
any shelter to offer unto her, Thekla shall not be without one."

"But how long may be that?" she answered; and, burying her face in her
handkerchief, she began sobbing.

Isoult hardly knew what to say, but she heard Mr Rose's step, and
awaited his coming.  He greeted her kindly, and then turning at once to
his wife, said, "Sweet heart, why weepest thou?"

"Mrs Rose feareth we may all be prisoned or execute afore a month be
over," said Isoult, for Mrs Rose was sobbing too heartily to speak.

"Truth," he answered.  "What then?"

"What then?" she cried through her tears.  "Why, Tom, art thou mad?
`What then,' to such matter as the breaking of our hearts and the
burning of our bodies?  `What then!'"

"Then," said he, gently, "thou art not ready (as Paul was) `not only to
be bound, but also to die' for the Lord Jesus?  Is it so, my
Marguerite?"

"I know not what I were ready to do myself," she said, "but I am not
ready to see thee nor Thekla to do so."

"Well, sweet heart," said he, "methinks I am ready.  Ready--to be
confessed before the angels of God, and the Father which is in Heaven:
ready--to wear a martyr crown before all the world: ready--to reign with
Christ a thousand years!  Is that matter to be wept for, Marguerite?"

"There is something else to come first," she said, shaking her head.

"There is so," replied he.  "To confess Christ, ere He confess us: to be
envied of angels, that have no such means of showing forth His glory: to
give a very little thing for the Redeemer who gave all He is, and all He
hath, for us.  Is that, also, matter for tears?"

"Ah, Tom!" said she, smiling through her tears, "thou turnest it all to
the contrary.  But thou knowest what I mean."

"The brighter and better way," he answered.  "But I do know thy meaning,
dear heart.  And in truth, it is hard, and the flesh is weak.  But
remember, our Lord knoweth that as well as we.  He hath not forgotten
the days of His flesh, when He offered up prayer, with strong crying and
tears, to Him that was able to save Him from death; though there were
one thing (and that the worst thing) in His sorrow, that there can never
be in ours.  The way may be rough and stony--but, mind thou, it is only
very short."

"When it may last for all the life, Tom!  Hard prison, and scant fare,
and loneliness, and bitter mourning!  Methinks the death were better
than that."

"Very short, still," repeated he, "to the endless days of eternity.  The
days of the journey be few indeed, compared with the number of those to
be spent in the Father's House.  And, sweet heart, even should we be
forced to go that journey apart, we will strive to look forward to the
glad meeting in the Home."

"Apart!" she echoed drearily, and her tears came streaming back.  "O
Tom, Tom!"

"I meant not to make thee weep again," he said, tenderly; "and yet there
is no good in shutting our eyes on a sorrow that must come, though there
be little use in grieving over such as may never come.  It is not yet
come; and when it so doth, it is only a little while.  Only a little
while, my Marguerite!  `In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be
of good cheer; I have overcome the world!'"

Thekla ceased her spinning, and coming forward to her mother, she passed
her arm round her, and kissed her brow.

"Mother!" she said, sweetly, "it may be God will let us go to Him
together.  Need we mourn for the night ere it be dark!  It will be so
sweet to go to Him.  Will it not help us to bear almost any thing, to
know that presently thereafter we shall see Christ, and be with Him for
ever?"

Mrs Rose was crying more quietly now, and Isoult rose to depart.  Mr
Rose said he would help her to mount, and she fancied that he wished to
speak with her in private.  And so she found it; for no sooner had he
shut the door, than he said--

"Mrs Avery, what do you touching Robin's orders?"

Isoult replied as she had done to Mrs Underhill, and added that she
meant to talk the matter over with John, when she could do so quietly.
"But, Mr Rose," she said, "your three years be already gone."

"Friend," he answered, his lip quivering, "had I made it three hundred
years, maybe it had been the better."

"I pray you say not that you will not give her unto him!" cried Isoult--
for she guessed what that would be to Robin, and perchance to Thekla.

"I will say no such thing," he answered.  "It should seem that Robin's
orders can now scarce be had; and if it were so, I tell you the truth,
mine heart were the lighter.  Thekla must choose for herself.  She is
now of ripe age to _know_ what is for and against the same; and if she
would have rather Robin and what may hap than to leave both, I will not
gainsay her choice.  But if she seeketh mine avisement--"

"You will say her nay?" asked Isoult, fearfully, as he hesitated.

"Can I say any thing else?" answered Mr Rose in a low voice.  "Were it
worse for Thekla to be let from wedding him, or to be roughly parted
from him ere they had been wed a year--perchance a month?  If Robin
should choose not to endeavour himself for the priesthood, then of force
is there no such difficulty.  But can I look forward to the parting that
must ere long come between my Marguerite and me, and lightly choose the
same doom for our child?"

Mr Rose's voice fell, and his face changed so painfully that the
listener could scarcely bear to see it.

"Think you that must come?" she said in a voice hardly above a whisper.

"It must come, if the Queen continue as she hath begun," answered he, in
a low voice.  "It may not be for long, if the Lord only try us, to
humble us, and to prove us, whether we will keep His commandments or no:
it may be for all this life.  Beyond this life, it cannot be.  The keys
of Heaven and earth are in the hands of Jesus Christ, not in those of
Mary Tudor!"

No more was said for that time.  The friends clasped hands and parted.

But when Isoult and John had their quiet talk together, she found that
he had already been thinking on the subject; and had conversed with
Robin.

"I did somewhat marvel," she admitted, "seeing the three years for the
which Mr Rose did covenant were run out in June, that Robin made no
motion thereunto.  But verily I did think he should speak the first."

"He hath spoken, dear heart," said John, "and I did entreat him to await
a season the upshot of this matter, till we should see who should
succeed the King, and what manner of government we were like to fall
under.  And I pressed him with much of the same reasoning that (as I
hear) Mr Rose hath given thee."

"And what saith he touching his priesthood?"

"I think he hardly knew what to say."

When all else had gone to bed, John and Isoult took Robin aside, and
John told him what Mr Rose had said.  Robin's eyes filled with tears.

"Then," said he, "it comes to this; I must either give up mine orders,
or give up--"

He uttered not, nor did they need, the name of Thekla Rose.

"But one other point, Robin, leave not out of thine account," said John.
"It may be thou canst not receive orders."

"Why, then," replied he, "if I cannot, I cannot.  But when shall I know
that I cannot?"

"When all the Protestant Bishops are in prison, I take it," said John,
smiling.

"Were it not better, Robin," suggested Isoult, "to fix thee a time, not
unreasonable distant, whereat, if thou mayest not hap to receive orders
afore, thou shalt resign that expectation, and be free to wed?"

"Good and wise counsel!" cried John.  "Thou hast hit the nail on the
head.  Thinkest not so, Robin?"

Robin sat silent for a moment.  Then he said,--"Ay--if Mr Rose agree
thereto."

"We will ask him that," answered John, "so soon as we may."

On the 11th of August, to borrow the expression of the Gospellers, the
abominable thing was once more set up in England.  For the first time
for six years, an old priest sang the Latin mass in Saint Bartholomew's
Church, to the awakening of such burning indignation on the part of his
hearers, that he was compelled to escape for his life by a side door.

The application to Mr Rose was made on the Sunday evening following,
when John and Isoult, with Robin, rode over to the evening service at
West Ham.  Mr Rose's sermon was a very solemn one, on the text, "I am
now ready to be offered."

Ready to be offered! how many of the Gospellers needed to be so, in that
autumn of 1553!

After the sermon, they waited for Mr Rose, and he walked with them for
one or two miles on their way home.  Robin led the horses a short
distance behind them.  Mr Rose was quite satisfied with Isoult's
proposal to fix a time beyond which Robin should resign the hope of
entering the ministry, and indeed seemed relieved by the suggestion.  At
his request, Robin was waited for, and when he came up with them, Mr
Rose asked him what was the reason of his unwillingness to resign the
hope of receiving holy orders.

Robin answered, that "having offered himself and his service unto God,
he counted it not right to withdraw the same, unless it should be plain
that this was not the way wherein God would have him to serve."

And Mr Rose's reply was,--"Then, Robin, wouldst thou give up rather
Thekla than thine orders?"

"It were well-nigh giving up my life; yet I would do as God will have
me," said Robin, softly.

Mr Rose grasped his hand, and called him a brave lad, adding that "if
God so would, he would be right glad of such a son."

This speech made the tears no further from Robin's eyes, but he smiled
and thanked him.  And he continued,--"Mr Rose, I would have you to know
that I do desire only to know and do what is God's will for me.  If He
will make me His minister, I will be thankful for so great an honour;
for I do account the service of God higher than the dominion over men.
Yet, if I can serve Him better as a door-porter or a scullion, I would
have Him do His will with me."

"Ah Robin, God bless thee!" answered Mr Rose, earnestly.  "Thou hast
learned a lesson which many a scholar of threescore and ten can yet
hardly spell."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  The two ladies first named were second cousins of the King, and
stood in the line of the succession.  The details here given are almost
entirely fictitious (except such as concern Edward himself), for little
is really known beyond the time, the place, and the King's presence.

Note 2.  The canopy over the throne was called the cloth of estate,
often abbreviated into the estate.

Note 3.  The Duchess Frances appears to have played a quiescent part in
this drama, so soon to turn into tragedy.  Otherwise she (from whom
alone the title was derived) would scarcely have borne so meekly the
train of her own daughter.

Note 4.  This must not be mistaken for swearing.  It was an expression
used in the most reverential manner, and equivalent to "God's will be
done."

Note 5.  A man infamous for his cruelty, especially to the Protestant
prisoners.



CHAPTER EIGHT.

THE TEMPEST THAT FOLLOWED.

  "O yet, in scorn of mean relief,
  Let Sorrow bear her heavenly fruit!
  Better the wildest hour of grief
  Than the low pastime of the brute!
  Better to weep, for He wept too,
  Than laugh as every fool can do."

  Hon. Robert Lytton.

"Heard you the news, friends?" asked Mr Holland, coming into the Lamb,
on the evening of the 14th of August.

"News!" cried Dr Thorpe.  "I am aweary of the news.  There is news every
day.  My Lord A. to the Tower, and my Lord B. delivered thence; and my
Lord C. to the Marshalsea; and my Lord D. to the Fleet; and my Lord E.,
that yesterday carried the sword afore the Queen, to-day hath his head
struck off; and my Lord F., that was condemned to die yestereven, shall
bear the Queen's sword this morrow.  Pshaw!  I am tired of it.  'Tis a
game of tables [backgammon], with players that have no skill, and care
for nought saving to rattle the dice."

Mr Holland laughed a moment, but immediately grew grave.

"But heard you my news?" said he.  "Do you know Father Rose is
deprived?"

All cried out together.  They had looked for this indeed, but not now.
Six months thence, when the Protestant Bishops were all sequestered, and
the Prebendaries in the Marshalsea, Bishop Gardiner might stoop to
lesser game; but that one of the very first blows should be struck at Mr
Rose, this they had not expected.  It showed how formidable an enemy he
was considered.

"Deprived!" cried all the voices together.

"Ay, 'tis too true," said Mr Holland.  "As a preacher, we shall hear his
voice no more."

"The lambs are like to fare ill," growled Dr Thorpe, "when all the great
wolves be let forth in a pack."

"Ah, mine old friend!" answered John, "not many weeks gone, you said of
my Lord of Northumberland, `Will none put this companion in the Tower?'
Methinks so many henceforward will scarce be over, ere you may say the
like with tears of Stephen Gardiner.  The fox is in the Tower; but the
wolf is out."

"You speak but truth," said Mr Holland.  "And now, my masters, after
mine ill news, I fear you will scarcely take it well of me to bid you to
a wedding; yet for that came I hither."

"Is this a time for marrying and giving in marriage?" groaned Dr Thorpe.

"I think it is," answered Mr Holland, stoutly.  "The more disease
[discomfort] a man hath abroad, the more comfort he lacketh at home."

"But who is to be married?" asked John.

"I am," answered Mr Holland.  "Have you aught against it?"

"You!" cried Avery, in a voice of astonishment, which Mr Holland
understood to imply the reverse of flattery.

"Upon my word, you are no losenger!"  [flatterer] saith he.  "Have I two
heads, or four legs, that you think no maid should have me? or is my
temper so hot that you count I shall lead her a dog's life? or what see
you in me, body or soul, to make you cry out in that fashion?"

"Nay, man," replied John, laughing, "thou art a proper man enough, and
as tall of thy hands as any in Aldersgate; and for thy temper, a dove
were crabbed in comparison.  I did but think thou wert wedded to thy
cloths and thy napery."

"You thought I took counsel of velvet, and solaced myself with
broidery!" laughed Mr Holland.  "Nay, friend; when I take a wife, I will
not wed a piece of Lincoln green."

"And who, pray you, is the bride?"

"Why, Avery, I had thought you should have guessed that without asking.
Who should it be, but mine old and true friend, Bessy Lake?"

"Then I give you joy," said John, "for you have chosen well."

Mr Holland's wedding took place at the Church of Saint Giles
Cripplegate, in August [it was in the first year of Queen Mary; exact
date unknown].  Bessy Lake, the bride, proved a very gentle,
amiable-looking woman, not pretty, but not unpleasing, and by at least
ten years the senior of her bridegroom.  After the ceremony, the wedding
party repaired to Mr Holland's house.  Mr Rose was present, with his
wife and Thekla; and Mr Ferris; and Mr Ive and Helen, who brought Mrs
Underhill's three elder little girls, Anne, Christian, and Eleanor.
Augustine Bernher did not appear until after dinner.  Mrs Rose and
Isoult had a little quiet conversation; the former was still looking
forward to further troubles, and plainly thought Mr Holland was courting
sorrow.

"But thank God he is not a priest!" she said; and the tears rose to her
eyes.

Meanwhile, John and Mr Rose were engaged in their private discourse.  It
was settled between them that the same day, two years later--August
20th, 1555--should be the date fixed, before which, if Robin should not
have been ordained, he should give up the expectation of it, and marry
Thekla.  Mr Holland, being taken into confidence, not only expressed his
sense of the wisdom of this arrangement, but at once offered, if Robin
wished it, to receive him without premium.  This part of the subject,
however, was left for future decision.

Helen Ive brought word from Mrs Underhill, that Mr Throgmorton had
readily promised to intercede for his cousin, as soon as he found a
satisfactory opportunity; which meant, when certain members of the
Council, adverse to Underhill, should be absent.

The persecution had begun in good earnest now.  The imprisonment of
Bishop Ridley and Mr Underhill, and the deprivation of Mr Rose, were
only the beginning of sorrows.  On the 16th of August, Mr John Bradford
of Manchester was sent to the Tower; and Mr Prebendary Rogers confined
to his own house, nor allowed to speak with any person out of it.  And
on Friday and Saturday, the 18th and 19th, were condemned to death in
the high court at Westminster, the great Duke of Northumberland, who so
many years had been all but a king in England; and the Marquis of
Northampton, and the Earl of Warwick (son of the Duke), and Sir Andrew
Dudley, the Duke's brother, and Sir Thomas Palmer.  The judges were the
Lord Treasurer, and the old Duke of Norfolk, the last only just released
from the Tower, where he had been a prisoner seven years.

"God's mill grindeth slowly, but it grindeth small."  He sitteth at the
disposing of the lots--there is no blind chance, for Him: and it was the
Lord who had these sinners in derision, who sat above the water-floods,
and stilled the raging of the people.

And if God's earthly judgments, that come now and then, be so terrific,
what shall be that last judgment of His Great White Throne, when _every_
man shall receive the things done in the body?

The great traitors--Northumberland and Palmer--the lesser traitor,
Northampton,--and the innocent Warwick, were tried and sentenced to
death.  On the following morning, mass was sung in the Tower; and the
Duke, the Marquis of Northampton, Sir Andrew Dudley, Sir Harry Gates,
and Sir Thomas Palmer, received the sacrament in one kind only.  Then
the Duke, turning to those present (who were many) said "he had been
seduced these sixteen years by the false and erroneous doctrine of the
new preachers (namely, the Gospel), but he was now assured and did
believe that the Sacrament there present was our Saviour and Redeemer,
Jesus Christ."  Then he knelt down and asked of all men forgiveness, and
said he forgave all men.  The Duke of Somerset's sons were standing by
(who had something to forgive that miserable sinner), and the Lady Jane
saw the Duke pass by to the chapel from her window.

"Lo' you now!" said John, "this was the chosen head of the Lutheran
party!"

"He was never mine," replied Dr Thorpe.

"How long is it sithence you were a Lutheran?" answered he.

"Go thy ways, Jack!" was all Dr Thorpe would say.

In the evening Mr Ive came in; who said he had been to Newgate to visit
his friend, Mr Underhill.

"And poor Underhill," said he, "is fallen sick of a burning ague in that
loathsome gaol.  He doth account the cause to be the evil savours and
the unquietness of the lodging; as may be also the drinking of a strong
draught wherein his fellow-prisoner would needs have him to pledge him.
He can take no rest, desiring to change his lodging, and so hath he done
from one to an other; but none can he abide, having so much noise of the
prisoners and naughty savours.  Now his wife hath leave to come unto him
for to tend him in his sickness; but he is constrained to pay eightpence
every meal, and as much for her."

"And how is he treated of Alisaunder?" said John.  "Not over well, I
warrant you."

"Nay, there you are out," said Mr Ive; "for (as Underhill told me), the
very first night that he went in, one of the prisoners took acquaintance
of him, whose name was Bristo, and would have him to have a bed in his
chamber.  He had been with Sir Richard Cromwell in his journey to
Landrecies, that Underhill also was in, and could play well on a rebeck,
and was a Protestant, which yet he kept secret, or (saith he to
Underhill), `I had never found such favour as I do at the keeper's hand
and his wife's; for to such as love the Gospel they be very
cruel.'--`Well (saith Underhill), I have sent for my Bible, and, by
God's grace, therein shall be my daily exercise.  I will not hide it
from them.'--`Sir (answered he), I am poor, but they will bear with you,
for that they see your estate is to pay well; and I will show you the
nature and manner of them, for I have been here a good while.  They both
do love music very well; wherefore you with your lute, and I with my
rebeck, will please them greatly.  He loveth to be merry and to drink
wine, and she also; and if you will bestow upon them every dinner and
supper a quart of wine and some music, you shall be their white son
[favourite], and have all their favour that they can show you.'  And so,
as Underhill told me, he found it come to pass."

"And where is the babe?" said Isoult, pityingly.

"My Nell hath little Guilford," answered Mr Ive, "and maketh as much ado
of him, as she were his own mother.  Concern you not for him; with God's
blessing, the child shall fare well."

On Tower Hill, whither they had sent so many better than themselves, on
the 22nd of August, Sir John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and Sir
Thomas Palmer, ended their wretched and evil lives.  With them died Sir
John Gates.

The Duke rehearsed his confession, as he had made it in the chapel;
avowing himself to be of the old learning, "and a Christian now, for
these sixteen years I have been none."  Which last was the truth.  And
he said, "he would every man not to be covetous, for that had been a
great part of his destruction."  And so he tied the handkerchief over
his own eyes, and lay down on the block, and his head was struck off.

So ended this miserable man; for whom it had been a thousand times
better that he had never been born, than to have destroyed himself and
England together, and to have offended so bitterly Christ's little ones.

After him came Sir John Gates, who said little, and would have no
handkerchief over his eyes; and his head fell at the third blow.

Last came Sir Thomas Palmer, "nothing in whose life became him like the
leaving it."  For when the people bade him good morrow, he said,--"I do
not doubt but that I have a good morrow, and that I shall have a better
good even."  And then he went on to tell them, "that he had been
lawfully condemned, and that he did therein thank God for His mercy: for
that sithence his coming into the Tower, he had seen himself, how
utterly and verily vile his soul was--yea, he did not think any sin to
be, that he had not plunged even into the midst of it [Note 1]; I and he
had moreover seen how infinite were God's mercies, and how Jesus sitteth
a Redeemer at the right hand of God, by whose means His people shall
live eternally.  For I have learned (said he) more in one little dark
corner in yonder Tower, than ever I learned by any travail in so many
places as I have been."  And he desired the people to pray for him, for
he "did in no wise fear death."  So, taking the executioner by the hand,
he said he forgave him heartily, but entreated him not to strike till he
had said a few prayers, "and then he should have good leave."  And so he
knelt down, and laid his head on the block, and prayed; then lifting his
head again, once more asked all present to pray for him; and so again
laid down his head, which was stricken from him at one stroke.

And that night Isoult Avery wrote in her diary--"Verily, I do know that
the mercies of God are infinite; and I bless Him heartily therefor.  But
had I been to say any that I knew which was little like to come unto
them, I had named this man.  God be lauded if He hath shown him what is
sin, and what is Christ, in his last hours, and hath so received him up
to that His infinite mercy.  I marvel what sort shall be the meeting
betwixt my Lord, and George Bucker, and the Duke of Somerset, and him."

At length Mr Throgmorton found his expected opportunity, and offered his
petition for Mr Underhill's release.  This petition set forth "his
extreme sickness and small cause to be committed unto so loathsome a
gaol," and besought that he might therefore be released, offering
sureties to be forthcoming when called upon: these were to be himself
and his brother-in-law John Speryn, a merchant of London, and a man
"very zealous in the Lord."  Poor Underhill was still very seriously
ill.  "I was cast," he tells us, "into an extreme burning ague, that I
could take no rest; desiring to change my lodging, and so did from one
to an other, but none I could abide, there was so much noise of
prisoners and evil savours.  The keeper and his wife offered me his own
parlour, where he lay himself, which was furthest from noise, but it was
near the kitchen, the savour whereof I could not abide.  Then did she
lodge me in a chamber wherein she said never no prisoner lay, which was
her store-chamber, where she said all the plate and money lay, which was
much."  [Harl. Ms. 425, folio 91, a.] Mr Ive reported that Mr Underhill
could be no weaker than he was, and live.  His friend Dr Record had been
to see him in the prison, whom he describes as "Doctor of Physic,
singularly seen [very skilful] in all the Seven Sciences [Grammar,
Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy], and a
great devyne."  Mr Rose took his deprivation very quietly.  Some of his
friends thought he might be all the safer for it, if the persecutors had
done all they cared about doing to him.  He had hired three rooms for
the present in a house in Leadenhall Street.  Tidings of further
persecution came now daily.  "Robin's orders do seem going further off
than ever," lamented Isoult.  For Bishops Hooper of Gloucester and
Coverdale of Exeter were cited before the Council; and the Archbishop,
and the Dean of Saint Paul's; and mass was now celebrated in many
churches of London.  A rumour went abroad of the lapsing of the
Archbishop, and that he had sung mass before the Queen; but it proved
false.  Again the altar was set up in Saint Paul's Cathedral; and when
Bishop Bonner came from the Marshalsea, great rejoicing was made.  Many
by the way bade him welcome home, and "as many of the women as might
kissed him."  No Gospeller would have kissed him for a King's ransom.
On the 5th of September came Mr Ive, with news of Mr Underhill at once
good and bad.  He was released from Newgate, but was so weak and ill
that they were obliged to carry him home in a horse-litter, and the
gaoler's servant bore him down the stairs to the litter in his arms like
a child; and for all this, those who accompanied him (Mrs Underhill, Mr
Speryn, Mr Ive, and others) were afraid lest he should not live till he
came home.  They were compelled to go very gently, and frequently to
halt; so that two hours were required to pass through the city, from
Newgate to Aldgate, and night fell before he could get to his house:
where he now remained in the same weak and deplorable state, and all the
Gospellers were asked to pray for him.

To the great relief of all Protestants, the Archbishop published a
letter in which he utterly denied that he had ever said or promised to
say mass, to gain favour with the Queen.

"I could have told you so much," said John.  "My Lord Archbishop is not
the man to curry Favelle."

"Now, I had thought he rather were," said Dr Thorpe.

"One of your Lutheran fantasies," answered John.

Which rather annoyed the old man, who did not like to be reminded that
he was or had been a Lutheran; and such reminders he occasionally
received from Mr John Avery.

"Have you the news?" said Mr Rose, on the evening of the 14th of
September.

"Which news?" asked John.  "We know all, methinks, touching my Lord
Archbishop, and the Bishops of Gloucester and Exeter, and that Mr Dean
is cited.  What more?"

"And that Mr Latimer is had to the Tower?"

"Alack, no!" cried Isoult.  "Is it assuredly so?"

"I shake hands with him on his way, and saw him go in," answered Mr
Rose, sorrowfully.

"With what cheer?"

"As bright and merry as ever I did see him.  The warder at the gate was
Will Rutter, whom he knew of old; and quoth he to him, `What, my old
friend! how do you?  I am now come to be your neighbour again.'  And so
went in smiling, and is lodged in the garden, in Sir Thomas Palmer's
lodging."

"He is a marvellous man," replied John.

"My Lord of Canterbury," pursued Mr Rose, "likewise came into the Tower
yesterday.  He is lodged in the gate against the Water-gate, where my
Lord of Northumberland lay."

"To the same end, I count, for both?" said Dr Thorpe, bitterly.

"The Lord knoweth," answered Mr Rose, "and `the Lord reigneth.'"

"And will they put down the service-book, think you?" said he.

"They will put down everything save God," said Mr Rose, solemnly; "and
Him also, could they but get at Him."

Before September was over, John and Isoult rode to the Limehurst to
visit Mr Underhill.  They found him in very good spirits for an invalid
in a very weak condition, and he said he was improving every day, and
had a long tale to tell them when his strength would permit.  Mrs
Underhill had been compelled to present herself before the Council in
order to procure his release, and had there to endure a severe scolding
from Lord Winchester for the relationship in which little Guilford had
been placed to Lady Jane Grey.  She bore it quietly, and got for her
reward a letter to the keeper of Newgate, signed by Winchester, Sussex,
Bedford, Rochester, and Sir Edward Waldegrave, ordering the release of
Mr Underhill, who was to be bound before a magistrate, in conjunction
with her brother, Mr Speryn, to appear when summoned.

The progress of the Retrogression--for such it may be fairly termed--was
swifter than that of the Reformation had been.  "Facilis descensus
Averni,"--this is the usual course.  High mass was restored in Saint
Paul's Cathedral, and in very few London churches were Gospel sermons
yet preached.  With bitter irony, liberty was granted to Bishop Ridley--
to hear mass in the Tower Chapel.  Liberty to commit idolatry was not
likely to be used by Nicholas Ridley.  The French Protestants were
driven out, except a few named by the Ambassador; Cranmer, Latimer,
Hooper, Coverdale, were cited before the Council; and on the 28th of
September, the Queen came to the Tower, in readiness for her coronation.

At one o'clock on the 30th, the royal procession set forth, fitly
preceded by a crowd of knights, doctors, bishops, and peers.  After them
rode the Council; and then the new Knights of the Bath, to create whom
it had been the custom, the day previous to the coronation.  The seal
and mace were carried next, between the Lord Chancellor (Bishop
Gardiner) and the Lord Treasurer, William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester.
The old Duke of Norfolk followed, with Lord Arundel on his right, and
Lord Oxford on his left, bearing the swords of state.  Sir Edward
Hastings, on foot, led the Queen's horse.  She sat in a chariot of
tissue, trapped with red velvet, and drawn by six horses.  Mary was
dressed in blue velvet, bordered with ermine, and on her head she
carried not only a caul of tinsel set with gold and stones, but also a
garland of goldsmith's work, so massive that she was observed to "bear
up her head with her hands."  She was subject to violent headaches, and
in all probability was suffering from one now.  A canopy was borne over
her chariot.  In the second chariot, which was "all white, and six
horses trapped with the same," sat the heiress presumptive of England,
the Princess Elizabeth, "with her face forward, and the Lady Anne of
Cleve, with her back forward:" both ladies were attired in crimson
velvet.  Then came "four ladies of estate riding upon horses"--the
eccentric old Duchess of Norfolk; the Marchioness of Winchester;
Gertrude, the long-tried Marchioness of Exeter; and Mary Countess of
Arundel, niece of Lady Lisle.  Both riders and horses were apparelled in
crimson velvet.  The third chariot, covered with cloth of gold, and the
horses similarly caparisoned, while the peeresses within were clad in
crimson velvet--two ladies on horseback, in crimson velvet--the fourth
and fifth chariots, and more ladies on horseback, to the total number of
forty-six, and all in crimson velvet--these followed one another in due
course.  Last came the Queen's women, riding upon horses trapped in
crimson satin, and attired in the same material.  Among them, the third
of the eight maids of honour, looked out the sweet face of Anne Basset,
gentlest of "her Highness' women."  [Note 2.]

And so closed this crimson pageant, meet inauguration of England's
bloodiest reign.  Of other pageants there was no lack; but I pass them
by, as also the airy gyrations of Peter the Dutchman on the weathercock
of Saint Paul's.

On the west side of the Cathedral was a sight which more amazed the
party of sight-seers from the Lamb than any other with which they had
met that day.  This was the Hot Gospeller, who had literally risen from
his bed to see the pageant.  Mr Edward Underhill sat upon a horse--but
he shall describe his own appearance, for it must have been remarkable.
"Scant able to sit, girded in a long night-gown, with double kerchiefs
about my head, a great hat upon them, my beard dubed hard too, my face
so leane and pale that I was the very image of death, wondered at of all
that did behold me, unknown to any.  My wife and neighbours were toto
[too-too, an archaism for _very_] sorry that I would needs go forth,
thinking I would not return alive.  Then went I forth, having of either
side of me a man to stay me...  When the Queen passed by, ... many of my
fellows the Pensioners and divers of the Council beheld me, and none of
them all knew me."  [Note 3.]

"Why, Ned!" cried John, "are you able to sit thus on an horse and mix in
crowds?"

"No," said he.

"Then," he answered, "what brought you hither?"

"Marry, mine own obstinate resolvedness," said Mr Underhill, laughing
feebly, "that neither my Jane, nor Jack Speryn, nor Ive, could combat."

John rode with his friend to the Limehurst, and saw him safe home, to
the great relief of Mrs Underhill, who declared that she had not had a
minute's rest since he set out, expecting every hour to receive some
terrible news concerning him.

Sunday, the 1st of October, was fixed for the coronation.  That ceremony
was almost invariably on the Lord's Day.  There was no service in the
Cathedral; for none but unmarried Bishops or priests would the Queen
permit to officiate before her; and there were very few of the first.
Order was also issued that no married priest should minister again in
any of the churches.

The Gospellers were reduced to stratagem.  Since the churches were
closed to them, they opened their own houses.  By arrangement with Mr
Rose, service was held in the Lamb on the evening of the Coronation Day,
safety being secured by a preconcerted signal-tap.  About forty persons
gathered, exclusive of the families of the host and the minister.  A
small congregation; but a congregation of live souls, who were ready to
yield life sooner than faith.  The majority of congregations are hardly
made of that material now.  "If all the real Christians were gathered
out of this church," once said William Romaine to his flock, "there
would not be enough to fill the vestry."  How frightfully uncharitable!
cries the nineteenth century--and I dare say the flock at Saint Anne's
thought so too.  But there is a _charity_ towards men's souls, and there
is a charity towards men's feelings.  If one of the two must be
dispensed with, we shall wish in the great day of account that it had
been the latter.  The two "keeping-rooms" of the Lamb--which they called
the great and little chambers, but which we, their degenerate
descendants, might term the dining-room and drawing-room--were filled
with this living congregation; and Mr Rose read prayers from the now
prohibited Service-Book, and preached the prohibited doctrines.  Before
all had dispersed, Mr George Ferris made his appearance, and supped at
the Lamb, as did Mr Rose and Mr Holland, with their respective families.

After supper, Mr Ferris, leaning back in his chair, suddenly said,--"If
you list to know the order of her Highness' crowning, I am he that can
tell you; for all this day have I been in Westminster Abbey and Hall."

He was universally encouraged to proceed.

"The Queen," said he, "came first by water to the old Palace, and there
tarried she till about eleven of the clock.  And thence went she afoot
to the Abbey, upon blue cloth railed in on every side; and she ware the
same array as she came in through London.  Afore her went the Bishops
(to wit, all the unwedded), their mitres on their heads and their
crosiers borne afore them.  She was led betwixt old Tunstal of Durham
and an other Bishop, and right behind her came the Devil in the likeness
of Stephen Gardiner, a-censing her and casting holy water upon her all
the way, which must needs have spoiled her brave blue velvet gown ere
she set foot in the Abbey.  In the Abbey was the throne, covered with
baudekyn; but I pray you, demand not of me a regular account of all that
was done; for it was so many and sundry ceremonies that my weak head
will not hold them.  I know only there was kneeling and courtesying and
bowing and censing, and holy water, and a deal more of the like
trumpery, wherewith I am no wise compatient [the lost adjective of
_compassion_]; and going up unto the altar, and coming down from it; and
five several times was she led thereto, once to offer there her pall of
baudekyn and twenty shillings, and once, leaving her crimson velvet
mantle behind the travers, she was laid down on a cushion afore the
altar, while four knights held the pall over her; and anointed with
tedious and endless ceremonies; and crowned with three crowns (Saint
Edward's, the imperial, and one made for her a-purpose) by the aforesaid
Stephen Gardiner; and a ring of gold set on her finger; and a bracelet
of precious stones and gold set upon her arm by the Master of the Jewel
House; and the sceptre given her of my Lord of Arundel (the old
time-server!) and the ball, of the Lord Treasurer; and the regal of
gold, of the Bishop of Winchester; and the staff of Saint Edward, of my
Lord of Bath; and the spurs, of my Lord of Pembroke.  Come, pray you
now, let me take breath!--Well, after all this, the Bishops and nobles
did homage to her Highness; but the time would not serve for all, seeing
the homage to the altar had taken so much away; so they knelt in groups,
and had a spokesman to perform for them.  My Right Reverend Lord Bishop
of Winchester was for himself and all other Bishops; old Norfolk stood
alone as a Duke (for all the other Dukes were in the Tower, either alive
or dead); the Lord Marquis of Winchester was for his order; my Lord of
Arundel for the Earls, my Lord of Hereford for the Viscounts, and my
Lord of Burgavenny for the Barons.  All these kissed her Highness' left
cheek; and all this time stood my Lord of Shrewsbury by her, aiding her
to hold up the sceptre.  Well then, believe it who will, my masters, but
after all this came the mass.  And no sooner begun, than the Bishop of
Lincoln and the Bishop of Hereford marched straight out of the church,
mitres and all.  It was nigh four of the clock ere her Grace came from
the Abbey; and she came in a gown of purple velvet, with the crown upon
her head, and every noble and noble lady following in cramoisie, and on
their heads crownets [the old form of the word coronet] of gold.  Three
swords were borne afore her, and a canopy over her, carried of the
Wardens of the Cinque Ports: and in one hand she held a sceptre of gold,
and in the other a ball of gold, which she twirled and turned in her
hand as she came.  And no sooner had she set foot in the Hall, than the
people fell a-scrambling for the cloth and rails.  Yea, they were not
content with the waste meat cast out of the kitchen to them, but they
pulled down and carried off the kitchen also."

"Come, Ferris, be reasonable in your Romaunts," said Mr Holland.

"Who did ever hear any man to be reasonable in a Romaunt?" asked he.
"But this is not romance, 'tis truth.  Why, the kitchen was but cast up
of boards outside the Palace, for the time and occasion; and they made
it a waste indeed.  It was candle-light ere her Grace took barge."

"But was there no pardon proclaimed?" said John.

"Lo' you, now!  I forgat that.  Ay, afore the anointing, my gracious
Lord Chancellor proclaimeth her Majesty's goodly pardon unto all
prisoners whatsoever and wheresoever--save and except an handful only,
to wit, such as were in the Marshalsea, and the Fleet, and the Tower,
and such as had order to keep their houses, and sixty-two more."

"Why, that were to except them all!" cried Mr Holland.

"Nay, they excepted not them in Newgate, nor the Counter."

"A goodly procession of pardoned men!" said John.

"Well," said Dr Thorpe, after a short pause, "the Queen's reign is now
fairly established; what shall the end be?"

"Ask not me," replied Mr Ferris.

"We know what it shall be," answered Mr Rose, thoughtfully.  "`I will
overturn, overturn, overturn, until He come whose right it is, and I
will give it Him.'  Let as pray for His coming.  And in the mean time
have we a care that our loins be girded about, and our lamps burning;
that when He cometh and knocketh, we may open unto Him immediately.  We
shall be unready to open immediately, if our hands be overfull of
worldly matters.  It were not well to have to say to Him, `Lord, let me
lay down this high post, and that public work, and these velvet robes,
and this sweet cup, and this bitter one--and then I will open unto
Thee.'  I had rather mine hand were on the latch of the door, looking
out for Him."

"But, Father Rose, men must see to public matters, and wear velvet
robes, and carry weights of all fashions--why, the world would stand
still else!"

"Must men do these things, Master Ferris? yet be there two ways of doing
them.  Believe me, there is one other thing they must do--they must meet
Christ."

A jovial, merry, gallant gentleman was George Ferris; and a Protestant--
of some sort.  But he outlived the persecution.  It was not of such
stuff as _his_ that martyrs were made.  The gorgeous pageants were over,
and the bitter suffering came back.

Parliament was opened on the 13th of November, with a solemn mass of the
Holy Ghost, the Queen herself being present in her robes; but as soon as
the mass began, the Archbishop of York, and the Bishops of Lincoln and
Hereford, rose and attempted to walk out of the House.  Hands were laid
on the Bishop of Lincoln, and his Parliament robe taken from him; and
upon confession of his faith, (which he made boldly) he was cited before
the Council.  The Archbishop and the Bishop of Hereford were suffered to
depart for that time; but rumour ran that Hereford would soon be
deprived, being a married priest.  Perhaps he was not made of metal that
would bear the furnace; for God took His child home, before the day of
suffering came.  The rough wind was stayed again in the day of the east
wind.  But on the 14th of November came a more woeful sight.  For the
prisoners in the Tower were led on foot to the Guild Hall, the axe
carried before them, there to be judged.  First walked the Archbishop of
Canterbury, his face cast down, between two others.  Then followed the
Lord Guilford Dudley, also between two.  After him came his wife, the
Lady Jane, apparelled in black, a black velvet book hanging at her
girdle, and another open in her hand.  After her followed her two
gentlewomen, and Lords Ambrose and Henry Dudley.  The Archbishop was
attainted for treason, although he had utterly refused to subscribe the
King's letters patent for the disinheriting of his sisters.

Late in the evening Mr Ive looked in, to say that he hath spent all the
day at the Guild Hall, and brought the sad news that the gentle Lady
Jane and all the Lords Dudley were condemned to death.  It was expected,
however, that the Queen would not suffer the sentence to be executed on
her own cousin Lady Jane.  The Archbishop, Mr Ive told them, came back
to the Tower, looking as joyful as he had before been cast down.  He was
entirely acquitted of treason, and remanded to be tried for heresy; for
which he blessed God in the hearing of the Court.

"One step more," said Mr Rose to Avery, whom he met in Cheapside.  "The
old service-book of King Henry must now be used, and the new of King
Edward put away; and in every church in London shall the mass be next
Sunday or Monday.  And Saint Katherine's Eve shall be processions, and
Saint Nicholas shall go about as aforetime."

So, slowly and darkly, closed the black year, 1553.

Married priests forbidden to minister--the English Service-Book
prohibited--orders issued for every parish church to provide cross,
censer, vestments, and similar decorations of the House of Baal--mass
for the soul of King Edward in all the churches of London.  It was not
six months since the boy had died, with that last touching prayer on his
lips--"Lord God, preserve this realm from Papistry!"  Was that prayer
lost in the blue space it had to traverse, between that soul and the
altar of incense in Heaven?  We know now that it was not.  But it seemed
utterly lost then.  O Lord, we know not what Thou doest now.  Give us
grace to wait patiently, to be content with Thy promise that we shall
know hereafter!

There was one bright spot visible to the tear-dimmed eyes of the
Gospellers, and only one.  The Parliament had been prorogued, and the
Bloody Statute was not yet re-enacted.  All statutes of premunire were
repealed, and all laws of King Edward in favour of reformation in the
Church.  But that first and worst of all the penalties remained as yet
in the oblivion to which he had consigned it.  But in recompense for
this, there was a very black cloud darkening the horizon of 1554.  The
Queen had announced to her Parliament her intended marriage with Prince
Philip of Spain.  All the old insular prejudices against foreigners rose
up to strengthen the Protestant horror of a Spanish and Popish King.
The very children in the streets were heard to cry, "Down with the Pope
and the Spaniards!"  Elizabeth would have known how to deal with such an
emergency.  But Mary was blind and deaf.  Disregarding this outbreak of
popular feeling, she went on, in the way which led to her ruin and
England's.  It was only one of the two which was irremediable.  The one
was followed by a summer day of glory; the other closed only in the
night of death.

The first news which reached the Lamb in 1554, was the startling
information--if any information can be called startling in that age of
sudden and shocking events--that the night before, Mr Ive had been
hastily apprehended and committed to the Marshalsea.  He was soon
released, unhurt; but this occurrence quickened Mr Underhill's tardy
movements.  He had already made up his mind to remove from the
Limehurst, where his abode was too well-known to the enemy; the arrest
of his friend and neighbour determined him to go at once.  He took "a
little house in a secret corner at the nether end of Wood Street,"
Cheapside.  About Epiphany was born Susan Bertie, the only daughter of
the Duchess of Suffolk.  Shortly before this the Emperor's Ambassadors
came over to treat concerning the Queen's marriage, and were pelted with
snowballs by children in the streets of the City.  The vacant sees were
filled up by Popish divines; Cardinal Pole was invited to return to
England (from which he had been so many years exiled), in the capacity
of Legate; the Queen dissolved the Court of First Fruits, and commanded
that the title of "Head of the Church in earth" should be omitted from
the enumeration of her titles in all future documents.  Permission
granted to Lady Jane to walk in the Queen's garden and on Tower Hill
revived for a moment the hopes of the Protestants so far as concerned
her.  No harm would come to her, they sanguinely repeated, if the Queen
were left to herself.  Possibly they were fight.  But what likelihood
was there that Gardiner would so leave her? and--a question yet more
ominous--what might Philip of Spain require in this matter?  Men not yet
sixty years of age could remember the time when, previous to the
marriage of Katherine of Aragon, the Earl of Warwick, last surviving
male of the House of York, had been beheaded on Tower Hill.  Once
before, the royal blood of England had been shed at the demand of Spain:
might the precedent not be repeated now?  The only difference being,
that the victim then was a tercel gentle, and now it would be a white
dove.

In the middle of January, before his removal from the Limehurst, and
when he was sufficiently recovered to "walk to London an easy pace," Mr
Underhill made his appearance one afternoon in the Minories.  He came
with the evident intention of telling his own story.

"And would you," said he, "hear the tale of my examination and
imprisonment?"

"That would we, and with a right good will," answered Dr Thorpe,
speaking for all.  "We do know even what Mr Ive could tell us, but
nothing further."

"Then what Ive could not tell you," resumed he, "take from me [these
incidents in Underhill's life are given almost entirely in his own
words].  I guessed (and rightly so) what was the cause of mine arrest;
to wit, a certain ballad that I had put forth against the Papists, and
for that I was a Sacramentary.  Well, when I came into the Tower, where
the Council sat, they were already busied with Dr Coxe and the Lord
Ferrers; wherefore I was to wait.  So I and my two men went to an
alehouse to dinner in the Tower, and after that repaired to the Council
chamber door, to be the first taken, for I desired to know my lot.  Then
came Secretary Bourne to the door, looking as the wolf doth for a lamb;
unto whom my two keepers delivered me, and he took me in greedily.  The
Earl of Bedford was chief judge, next the Earl of Sussex, and Sir
Richard Southwell; and on the side next me sat the Earl of Arundel and
Lord Paget.  By them stood Sir John Gage, the Constable, the Earl of
Bath, and Mr Mason; at the board's end stood Sergeant Morgan and
Secretary Bourne.  And the Lord Wentworth stood in the bay window.  Then
my Lord of Bedford (who was my very friend, owing unto the chance that I
had to recover his son, as I told you aforetime; yet would not now seem
to be familiar with me, nor called me not by my name), said,--`Did not
you set a ballad of late in print?'--I kneeled down, saying, `Yes,
truly, my Lord; is that the cause I am called before your
Honours?'--`Marry,' said Secretary Bourne, `you have one of them about
you, I am sure.'--`Nay truly, have I not,' said I.--Then took he one out
of his bosom and read it over distinctly, the Council giving diligent
ear.  When he had ended,--`I trust, my Lord,' said I, `I have not
offended the Queen's Majesty in the ballad, nor spoken against her
title, but maintained it.'--`You have, sir,' said Morgan.  `Yes, I can
divide your ballad, and make a distinction in it, and so prove at the
least sedition in it.'--`Yea,' I said, `you men of law will make of a
matter what ye list.'--`Lo!' said Sir Richard Southwell, `how he can
give a taunt!  You maintain the Queen's title with the help of an arrant
heretic, Tyndale.'--`You speak of Papists there, sir,' said Mr Mason.
`I pray you, how define you a Papist?'--`Why,' said I, `it is not long
since you could define a Papist better than I.'  With that some of them
secretly smiled, as the Lord of Bedford, Arundel, Sussex, and Paget.  In
great haste Sir John Gage took the matter in hand.  `Thou callest men
Papists there,' said he; `who be they thou judgest to be
Papists?'--`Sir,' said I, `I do name no man, nor I am not hither to
accuse any, nor none I will accuse; but your Honours do know that in
this controversy that hath been, some be called Papists and some
Protestants.'--`But we will know whom thou judgest to be Papists, and
that we command thee upon thine allegiance to declare.'--`Sir,' said I,
`I think if you look among the priests in Poules, ye shall find some old
_mumpsimuses_ there.'--`_Mumpsimuses_, knave!' saith he, `_mumpsimuses_!
thou art an heretic knave!' and sware a great oath.--Says the Earl of
Bath, `I warrant him an heretic knave, indeed.'--`I beseech your
Honours,' said I (speaking to the Lords that sat at the table, for these
other that stood by be not now of the Council), `be my good Lords.  I
have offended no laws, and I have served the Queen's Majesty's father
and her brother long time, and in their service have spent and consumed
part of my living, never having as yet any preferment or recompense, and
the rest of my fellows likewise, to our utter undoing, unless the
Queen's Highness be good unto us; and for my part I went not forth
against her Majesty, notwithstanding I was commanded, nor liked those
doings.'--`No, but with your writings you will set us together by the
ears,' saith the Earl of Arundel.--`He hath spent his living wantonly,'
saith Bourne, `and now saith he hath spent it in the King's service;
which I am sorry for: he is come of a worshipful house in
Worcestershire.'  [Note 4]--`It is untruly said of you,' said I, `that I
have spent my living wantonly.  I never consumed no part thereof until I
came into the King's service, which I do not repent, nor doubted of
recompense if either of my two masters had lived.  I perceive you are
Bourne's son of Worcester, who was beholden unto my uncle Wynter, and
therefore you have no cause to be my enemy, nor you never knew me, nor I
you, before now, which is too soon.'--`I have heard enough of you,' said
he.--`So have I of you,' said I, `how that Mr Sheldone drave you out of
Worcestershire for your behaviour.'--With that came Sir Edward Hastings
from the Queen in great haste, saying, `My Lords, you must set all
things apart, and come forthwith to the Queen.'--Then said the Earl of
Sussex, `Have this gentleman unto the Fleet, until we may talk further
with him.'  (Although I was knave before of Master Gage.)--`To the
Fleet?' saith Master Southwell, `have him to the Marshalsea!'--`Have the
heretic knave to Newgate!' saith Master Gage again.--`Call a couple of
the guard here,' saith Bourne, `and there shall be a letter sent to the
keeper how he shall use him, for we have other manner of matters with
him than these.'--`So had ye need,' said I, `or else I care not for
you.'--`Deliver him to Mr Garret, the Sheriff,' said he, `and bid him
send him to Newgate.'--`My Lord (said I unto my Lord of Arundel, for
that he was next me, as they were rising) I trust you will not see me
thus used to be sent to Newgate; I am neither thief nor traitor.'--`Ye
are a naughty fellow,' said he; `ye were alway tuting in the Duke of
Northumberland's ear, that ye were.'--`I would he had given better ear
unto me,' said I; `it had not been with him then as it is now.'--Mr
Hastings pushing by me (mine old adversary, with whom I had been
aforetime wont to reason touching the Sacrament), I thought good to
prove him, although he threatened before now.--`Sir,' said I, `I pray
you speak for me that I be not sent unto Newgate, but rather unto the
Fleet, which was first named.  I have not offended.  I am a gentleman,
as you know, and one of your fellows, when you were of this band of the
Pensioners.'--Very quietly he said unto me, `I was not at the table, Mr
Underhill, and therefore I can say nothing to it.'  But I think he was
not content with the place I was appointed to.  Well, I count Ive told
you all he saw, touching my progress to Master Sheriff, and thence to
Newgate.  But while I waited in the Sheriff's house, my Lord Russell
heard my voice, and showed very sorry for me; and sent me on the morrow
twenty shillings, and every week as much while I was in Newgate.  I
count Ive told you moreover of my sickness."

"Ay, and of the ill savours and noise that you could not abide," said Dr
Thorpe; "and of your changing of your lodging; and how Dr Record did
visit you, and divers other things."

"Then he told you all," said Mr Underhill.  "And now (for 'tis past nine
of the clock) this great knave, rogue, and heretic, must be on his way
home."

Mr Underhill left behind him a new ballad which he had lately published.
Since it probably does not exist in print now, it shall be subjoined,
and in the orthography of its author.

  "Love God above all thyngs, and thy neyghboure as thy selffe;
  Thatt this is Crist's doctryne, no mane cane it denye;
  Wyche litle is regarded in Yngland's common wealthe,
  Wherefore greate plags att hande be, the realme for to distroye.

  "`Do as thow woldest be done unto,' no place here he cane have,
  Off all he is remised, no mane wyll hym reseave;
  Butt pryvate wealthe, thatt cursed wreche, and most vyle slave,
  Over all he is imbraced, and ffast to hym they cleave.

  "He thatt hathe this world's goode, and seeth his neyghboure lake,
  And off hym hathe no compassyone, nor showithe hym no love,
  Nor relevithe his nesessite, butt suffers hym go to wrake,
  God dwellithe nott in thatt mane, the Scriptures playnely prove.

  "Example we have by Dyves, thatt dayntilye dide fare,
  In worldely wealthe and ryches therein he dide excell,
  Off poore Lazarous' mesery he hadde theroff no care,
  Therfore was sodenly taken and tormentide in Hell."

  [See Note 5 for explanations.]

Ten quiet days followed.  For many a month afterwards, quietness was
only to be remembered as a lost luxury.

"Have you the news?" inquired Mr Underhill, suddenly opening Avery's
door, and coming in hastily.

"I have heard you put that question five-and-twenty times," responded Dr
Thorpe.

"Well!" he answered, "you may hear it yet again so many.  There is like
to be some trouble."

"Then that is good news," said the doctor, sarcastically, "for during
some time there hath been trouble, not there hath been like to be."

"What is it, then, Ned?" inquired John.

"Why," answered he, "the Lord Cobham and Tom Wyatt be up in Kent, and my
Lord Warden of Dover, and many another, to resist the Queen's marriage,
and to remove certain councillors from her, which (as I take it) is
another way of spelling Stephen Gardiner's name: and my Lord of Suffolk,
and his two brothers [John and Thomas Grey], are fled from Shene (on
pretence of going to the Court), no man knows whither: and Rochester
Bridge is taken of one set of rebels, and Exeter of them in Devon--"

"Alack the day!" cried Isoult, her Devon blood stirring.

"And five hundred harnessed men are called to take the field against
Wyatt.  We Pensioners go down to White Hall to guard the Queen."

And Mr Underhill shut the door, and they saw no more of him.

There was some trouble.  On the 30th of January, the old Duke of Norfolk
and others marched against Sir Thomas Wyatt, but the same night they
came back in disorder, flying over London Bridge with only a fourth part
of their company.  Mr Brent, the Lamb's next neighbour, who was one of
the little army, came home with his "coat turned, and all ruinated, and
not a string to his bow."  They brought news that Wyatt was coming fast
on Southwark.

On the 1st of February came the Queen herself to Guild Hall, her sceptre
in her hand, which was a token of peace; and Bishop Gardiner attending
her, which was a token of blood.  She made an oration to the people,
which she had learned without book; and when it was done,--"O how happy
are we," cried Bishop Gardiner, "to whom God hath given such a wise and
learned Queen!"  Which outcry Dr Thorpe said was "as good as proof that
the Bishop himself writ the oration."

Wyatt and his company entered Southwark on the eve of Quinquagesima
Sunday, by four o'clock; and before five he had made a bulwark at the
bridge-foot, and fortified himself; but the Queen's men still held the
bridge against him.  The next morning, Mr Rose, with Mrs Rose and
Thekla, came to the Lamb, read the service out of the Prayer Book, and
preached: but they were afraid to sing.  At nine o'clock on Tuesday
morning Wyatt drew off his men, seeing that he could not take the
bridge, and turned towards Kingston.

In the evening came in Mr Underhill, in armour, with his pole-axe in his
hand, which he set down in a corner, and sat down and talked for an
hour.

"So Wyatt is gone?" said Dr Thorpe.

"Gone about to strengthen himself," answered Mr Underhill.  "He is
coming back, take my word for it.  He said unto his soldiers that he
would pay them the next time in Cheapside; and unto the men that held
the bridge quoth he,--`Twice have I knocked, and not been suffered to
enter; if I knock the third time I will come in, by God's grace!'"

"What did you at the Court?" said Dr Thorpe.  "Is good watch kept?"

Mr Underhill laughed.

"Marry, I did nothing," said he, "for I was not suffered.  I put on mine
harness, and went up into the Queen's chamber of presence, where were
all her women weeping and wringing their hands, like foolish fluttering
birds, and crying they should all be destroyed that night.  And then Mr
Norris, the Queen's chief usher, which was appointed to call the watch,
read over the names from the book which Moore (the clerk of our check)
gave him; but no sooner came he to my name than quoth he,--`What! what
doth he here?'--`Sir,' saith the clerk, `he is here ready to serve as
the rest be.'--`Nay!' saith he, and sware a great oath, `that heretic
shall not watch here! give me a pen.'  And so strake my name off the
book.  So Moore cometh to me, and `Mr Underhill,' saith he, `you are not
to watch; you may depart to your lodging.'--`May I?' said I; `I would be
glad of that,'--thinking I had been favoured because I was not recovered
of my sickness; but I did not well trust him, because he was also a
Papist.  `Marry, I depart indeed,' said I; `will you be my
discharge?'--`I tell you true,' said he, `Mr Norris hath stricken you
out of the book, saying these words--That heretic shall not watch here:
I tell you true what he said.'--`Marry, I thank him,' said I, `and you
also; you could not do me a greater pleasure.'--`Nay, burden not me
withal,' said he, `it is not my doing.'  So away went I, with my men and
a link.  And when I come to the Court gate, I fell in with Mr Clement
Throgmorton (that was come post from Coventry to the Queen with tidings
of the taking of the Duke of Suffolk) and George Ferris,--both my
friends, and good Protestants.  So away went we three to Ludgate, which
was fast locked, for it was past eleven of the clock, and the watch set
within, but none without.  And lo' you, for all our calling, and
declaring of our names, and the like, would they not open the gate.  Mr
Throgmorton cried to them that he would go to his lodging within, and Mr
Ferris said he was sent with weighty affairs to my Lord Will Howard
within: but they did nought but laugh, and at long last said they had
not the keys.  `What shall I do?' said Mr Throgmorton; `I am weary and
faint, and I wax now cold.  I am not acquainted hereabout, nor no man
dare open his doors in this dangerous time, nor I am not able to go back
again to the Court; I shall perish this night.'--`Well,' said I, `let us
go to Newgate; I think I shall get in there.'--`Tush!' said he, `it is
but in vain; we shall be answered there as we are here.'--`Well,' said
I, `and the worst fall, I can lodge ye in Newgate: you know what
acquaintance I have there, and the keeper's door is without the
gate.'--`That were a bad shift!' said he; `I had almost as lief die in
the streets; yet I will rather wander again to the Court.'  Howbeit, I
did persuade them to try at Newgate; and there found we my friend Newman
to be constable of the watch, which saith, `Mr Underhill! what news,
that you walk so late?'  So he let us through the gate with a good will,
and at long last we reached each man to his lodging."

At four o'clock on the morning of Ash Wednesday, London was awoke by
drums beating all through the streets of the city.  John and Robin rose
hastily, and went out to ascertain the cause.  They came in shortly,
saying that the drums beat for all soldiers to arm and repair to Charing
Cross, for that Wyatt was seeking to come in by Westminster, and had
reached as far as Brentford.  About one or two o'clock, Wyatt came, and
marched past Charing Cross, without hindrance (except that as he passed
Saint James's the Earl of Pembroke fell upon his rear), and so marched
along the Strand, and up Fleet Street, until he came before Ludgate.
There they knocked to come in, falsely saying that the Queen had granted
their request and pardoned them; but Lord William Howard was not to be
thus deceived, as others had been on the way.  His answer was a stern
cry of "Avaunt, traitor! thou shalt not come in here."  For a little
while Wyatt rested upon a seat at the Belle Sauvage gate; but at last,
being weary of this pastime, he turned back on Charing Cross.  When he
reached Temple Bar the Queen's horsemen met him, and the battle began.
When he saw the fight going against him, Wyatt yielded.  And so Sir
Maurice Berkeley and others brought him and his chief captains to Court,
and at five o'clock they were taken to the Tower by water.  And as they
passed in, Sir John Bridges, the Lieutenant, ungenerously upbraided the
prisoner, saying that "if it were not that the law must justly pass upon
him, he would strike him with his dagger."  To whom Wyatt answered,
"with a grim and grievous look"--"It were no mastery now."  And so they
passed on.

Thus was Wyatt's rebellion quashed.  The stars in their courses fought
against him.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  In addition to his cruel persecution of the Gospellers, he had
been a notorious libertine.

Note 2.  Cott. Ms., Appendix, twenty-eight, folio 93, 94.--Miss
Strickland says (Lives of the Queens, three, page 459), that this was
Mary, wife of James Basset; but the Tallies Roll for 2-3 Philip et Mary
distinctly names this lady as one of Queen Mary's maids of honour, in
recording the payment of her pension--"_Anna_ Basset, virginis Reginae."

Note 3.  Harl. Ms. 425, folio 92, 93.

Note 4.  Underhill is a Warwickshire family, but Anne Wynter, the mother
of Edward Underhill, was a Worcestershire woman.

Note 5.  Notes on this poem.  See Harl. Ms. 424, folio 9.  Plags means
plagues.  "Wealthe" means "personal interest."  "Wreche" means "wretch."
"Lake" means "lack."  "Wrake" means "wrack."



CHAPTER NINE.

WHO PAID THE PENALTY.

  "And make me die the thrall of Margaret's curse--
  Nor mother, wife, nor England's counted Queen."

  Shakespeare.

Few hours had been tolled on the great clock of Saint Paul's, or had
rung across the water from the Tower guns, ere England knew what was the
vengeance to be taken.  Once more royal blood was shed upon Tower Hill;
once more England stooped to commit murder at the dictation of a foreign
power.  The white dove was sacrificed.

About ten o'clock on the morning of the 12th of February, Lord Guilford
Dudley was beheaded on Tower Hill.  It is plain that he died a
Protestant, seeing that no priest was present at his death.  And like
the fiends they were, his executioners brought him, both going to the
scaffold, and his dead body in returning, past the windows of
Partridge's house, where his poor young wife had her lodging.  They let
her--that tender bird of seventeen short summers--from her chamber
lattice see all the horror she could see, and feel all the agony she
could feel; and then they brought her forth, to die also.

Calmly and quietly, as though she had been going to her forfeited
throne, she came forth to her death.  And she was going to her throne.
For she was one of Christ's martyrs, and sat upon His throne with Him.

She spoke very little on the scaffold; only saying that "though she had
consented unto the setting up of herself against the Queen's Highness,
yet was she innocent of all procurement or desire thereof: and that she
died a true Christian woman, looking for eternal life unto the passion
of Jesus Christ only, and to none other; and she thanked God, that had
given her space to repent; for when she was younger, and did know the
word of God, she had neglected the same, and had loved her own self and
the world."  And then she said to Dr Feckenham, "Shall I say this
Psalm?"

Feckenham--a man of the Jesuitical type, renowned for the softness and
sweetness of his manners--bowed assent.  Then the victim prayed through
the Fifty-first Psalm, and prepared herself for the sacrifice.  The
hangman knelt down and asked her forgiveness: she replied, "Most
willingly," and "I pray you, despatch me quickly.  Will you take it off
before I lay me down?"  Poor child!  The executioner was the one who
dealt with her most gently and respectfully.  He said, "No, Madam."  So
she handed her gloves to one of her women, and her book to Sir John
Bridges, and tied the handkerchief over her eyes.  Feeling about with
her hands for the block, she said,--"What shall I do?  Where is it?
Where is it?"  One of the bystanders guided her hand to it.  Then she
laid down her head; and saying, "Lord, into Thy hands I commend my
spirit!" her head fell with one stroke.  She was out of Philip's way
now.  And the angels of God, for whose company she exchanged a society
somewhat less angelic, were not so likely to account her in their way.

A fearful day was that from dawn to dusk.  Half an hour after the
execution of Lady Jane, Lord Courtenay (but a few days before made Earl
of Devon) was brought into the Tower; he would not declare the cause of
his coming there, saying he could not tell; "but," added he, "let the
world judge."  All the evening the noise of hammers was going in the
City, for the gallows were set up everywhere.  There was one at every
gate of the City, and at the bridge-foot one; four in Southwark, one at
Leadenhall two in Cheapside, six or eight in Fleet Street and Charing
Cross--nor were these all.

Throughout London all the prisons were so full that the less important
prisoners were kept in the churches, by eighty in a group.  Dr Thorpe
said, "If they hang all the Queen's subjects, there will be small fear
of a new rebellion."  Men greeted each other fearfully, scarcely knowing
if they should ever meet again.  But the worst fears of all were
awakened for the Archbishop, Bishop Ridley, and Mr Latimer, within the
Tower, and for Mr Rose outside it.  On the 15th of February, Isoult
Avery wrote in her diary--

"In Southwark all this day were the gallows at work, till I am sick at
heart for every sound I hear.  The gallows at Aldgate, I thank God,
cannot be seen from our windows, being hid by the gate.  If it could, I
scantly know what should come of us.  I dare not go forth of the door,
lest I meet some awful sight that I may not forget to my dying day.

"God Himself showeth His displeasure by fearful sights from Heaven.  Two
suns should this morrow be seen in the sky, and this even was a rainbow
over London, turned the diverse way, the arch on the ground, and the
points on high.  I dare not think what shall come next, either on earth
or in Heaven, unless Christ Himself (that scarce ever was more wanted)
would rend the heavens and come down to save us.  Yea, Amen, Lord Jesus,
come Thou quickly!"

But no sign of the Son of Man flashed on that weary land.  Not yet was
accomplished the number of the elect; and until the last sheep was
gathered into the fold, there could be no hastening of the kingdom.

The execution of Lady Jane's father quickly followed her own.  He died,
as men of his stamp often do, better than he had lived.  The "subjection
to bondage from fear of death," in which he had spent his trembling
life, vanished before death came to him.  Boldly and bravely this timid,
shrinking soul stood forth at the last, telling all the world that he
died in the faith of Christ, "trusting to be saved by His blood only,
and by no other trumpery."  Strange words from one of the weakest men
that ever lived!--yet it is the special characteristic of Christ's
strength that it is "made perfect in weakness."  It may be chiefly when
His children come to die that they understand the full meaning of that
passage, "He hath abolished death."  For our faith, as it has been said,
is a religion of paradoxes.  Strength, whose perfection lies in
weakness,--life, which is founded upon a death--glory, which springs out
of shame and suffering.  When the Twelve heard that, to draw all men
unto Him, the Master should be lifted up from the earth, it probably
never dawned upon their minds that the scene of that exaltation was to
be the cross.  News that made men tremble came before the end of
February.  The Lady Elizabeth had been summoned to Court--was it for
life or death?--and Bishop Bonner had issued a commission of inquiry
concerning all in his diocese, with orders to present all persons who
had failed to frequent auricular confession and the mass.  Many fell
away in this time of temptation--Sir William Cecil (afterwards Lord
Burleigh) and his wife Mildred, amongst others.  The Duchess of Suffolk
held on her way unwavering.  Annis Holland's second letter, which had
been delayed, reached Isoult Avery in the beginning of March.

"Unto my right entirely beloved friend, Mistress Avery, that dwelleth at
the sign of the Lamb, in the Minories, next without Aldgate, beside
London, be these delivered.

"My Very well beloved Isoult,--My most hearty and loving commendations
remembered unto thee.  Sithence my last writing have I made a most
woeful discovery, the which I would almost I had not done.  But thou
shalt know the same.

"An even of late, I was alone in my chamber sewing, having sent Maria
forth to buy certain gear I lacked.  And being so alone, I began to sing
lowly that hymn of Saint Bernard--`Hic breve vivitur, hic breve
plangitur,' [Note 1] when of a sudden I was aroused from my singing by a
sound like a groaning, and that very near.  I hearkened, and heard it
again.  One was surely moaning in the next chamber.  Thinking that one
of the bower-women might be evil at ease and lack one to help her, I
crept forth from my chamber, and, listening at the door of the next,
heard plainly the moaning again.  I laid mine hand on the latch, and
entered.

"It was a large chamber, airy, but not light.  All the windows were high
up in the wall.  There was a bed, divers chairs, and a table; and by the
table sat a woman apparelled in black, her arms laid thereon, and her
head upon them.  Her face showed much pain.  She lifted her head slowly
as I came towards her, and then I saw that she had the face of a
stranger.  `Who is it?' she said in a whispered voice.  `My name,
Senora, is Ines de Olanda,' said I.  `Meseemeth you lack ease.  Could I
in any wise bring it unto you?'  `Ay, I lack ease, _muchacha_' (which is
to say, maiden), quoth she.  `I lack rest.  But that lieth in--the
grave.'  She spake slowly and uncertainly.  `Whence comest thou?' she
said again.  `Thy tone is not of these parts.'--`Senora,' said I, `I am
a stranger from England.'--`And how camest thou hither?' quoth she.  `As
reader of English unto the Queen's Highness,' said I.  `How much hast
thou read unto the Queen?' she asked, and smiled.

"Her smile lighted up her face marvellously.  It was not a fair face.  I
misdoubt if it were ever such.  Her hair is near white now; but though
her complexion were good, and her eyes shining and dark grey, her
features must have been alway something harsh and strong.  `Nothing at
all, Senora,' then said I; `for it is now three months sithence
my coming, and yet had I never the honour to see her
Highness.'--`Traitors!' quoth she angrily; and her features grew harsher
than ever.  I stood in silence.  `Thou art not a Lutheran?' she said
suddenly.  `Methinks it should fare ill, Senora, with any that were so
here,' I made answer, desiring to be discreet.  `Is that any answer to
my question?' she said, knitting her brows.  `Senora,' said I, trembling
greatly, `I cannot tell a lie, even though you may betray me.  I am a
Lutheran.'--`I betray thee!' she said pitifully.  `Poor child! whoso
doth that, it will not be I.  I am under the same ban.'--`Senora!'  I
cried, much astonied, `you are a Lutheran? here, in the Queen's
Palace.'--`Doth that amaze thee?' she answered with another smile.
`Then a second thing I can tell thee will do so yet more:--I am the
Queen.'

"I set myself upon my knees afore her Highness, so soon as my
astonishment would give me leave.  `They do not burn me,' she said, in
the slow uncertain way wherein she had spoken at first.  `I think they
scarce liked to do that.  But I had suffered less; for then it had been
over long ago.  They say I am mad.  And it doth seem sometimes as if
somewhat in my head were lost,' she saith, pressing her hands wearily
upon her brow.  `It was Dona Isabel, my mother.  She used to give me the
_cuerda_!'--`Senora,' I answered, `craving your Highness' pardon, I,
being a maid from strange parts, know not that word _cuerda_!'--`Have
they the thing in your land?' answered the Queen heavily.  `Did they try
that on my poor sister, your Princess of Wales [Katherine of Aragon]?
_Ay de mi_!'--`I know not,' said I, `under the gracious pleasure of your
Highness, what the thing is.'--`Look!' she said, pointing with her thin,
trembling hand.

"I looked whither she pointed, and in the further corner of the chamber
I saw a frame of pulleys set in the ceiling.  But it came not presently
to my mind wherefore they were there.  `They set those short sticks
under my arms,' the Queen said, speaking heavily as it were with sleep.
`Then they jerk up the pulleys, and I have to go up with them.  It hurts
very much.  I think I scream sometimes, and then he beats me for
disturbing people.  They alway do it at night.  They say I need it, and
I am mad.  I marvel if they cure mad people so in England.  And I think
if they did it sometimes in the day, it would not disturb people so
much.  You see, I understand it not--at least they say so.  But I fancy
I understood better before the _cuerda_.'

"I was silent from very horror, as the fearful truth dawned slowly upon
me.  `_Ay de mi_!' sighed the Queen again, leaving her head fall back
upon her arms.  `My father never used to do so.  They say 'tis by his
command.  I marvel if they tell me the truth.'--`Who dareth to do thus
unto your Highness?'  I said at last.  `Denia,' she said, in the same
dreamy fashion, `and them he bringeth with him.  They want me to
confess, and to hear mass.  I think they make me go sometimes, when that
thing in mine head is lost.  But if I know it, I resist them.'

"Again she lifted her head, and her voice grew more resolute.
`_Muchacha_, I have been here twenty-six years.  All that time, in this
chamber!  They left me two of my children at the first.  Then they took
the Infant Don Fernando from me.  And all my heart twined round my
little maid,--my last-born, my Catalina!  So they took her.  I never
knew why.  I never did know wherefore they began at all, save for
listening to some French friars that came to see me.  And they told me
very good things.  God was good, they said, and loved me, and Jesus our
Lord had taken away all my sins.  And it was good to think so.  So then
_they_ beat me, and set me in the _cuerda_; and they called me an
heretic, and a Lutheran, and all the bad words they knew.  I do not
think the holy angels at the gates of Paradise will turn me away, nor
call me an heretic, because I thought Jesus had taken away my sins.  If
this be Lutheranism, then I am a Lutheran--then I will be a Lutheran for
ever!  And those were good friars, that came from Paris.  They say the
Observants are the ones I should believe.  The Queen Dona Isabel set
Observants about me.  But the Observants beat me, and put me in the
_cuerda_; and the Good Men [Note 2]--the French friars--said Jesus our
Lord loved me, and had taken away all my sins.  That was the better
Evangel of the two.  That thing in my head goes wrong when they give me
the _cuerda_.  But when I can sit quiet like this, and they will let me
alone a little while, I love to think of Jesus our Lord, and of His
taking away all my sins.  I know not wherefore I should be beaten for
that.  It is my head, thou seest.'

"Poor, poor lady!  I felt great tears running down _my face_, and
dropping on my gown as I knelt.  `_Ay Senora mia_!'  I said, so well as
I could falter it, `Jesus, our dear Lord, hath taken away all our sins
that do believe in Him.  He loveth your Highness, and if you will cling
to Him, He will have you to dwell with Himself at the end of this life.'

"I felt I must use words easy to be received, for her understanding
seemed gone, and like unto that of a little child.  `_Ay doncella mia_!'
she sighed, `I shall be glad when the end of this life is come.'

"And she laid down her poor head so wearily.  `When the Lord seeth
good,' I answered.  `Sometimes,' she said dreamily again, `I want so
sorely to go forth.  I long so much to breathe the sweet, cool air--to
see the cork-trees and the olives.  They never bring me so much as an
orange flower.  Then my head goes wrong, thou seest, when this longing
cometh on me; and then--.  And sometimes I feel sick, and cannot eat.
Then they make me eat with the _cuerda_.  I wish Jesus would make haste
and help me.  I used to understand it all better before I had the
_cuerda_.  But I had my husband then, and my children around me.  Not
one of them ever comes now; and there are six [Note 3].  My husband is
dead--I think he is; they say so [Note 4].  I think they might have let
one of them come, if only just to say "Mother" to me.  I cannot
understand it now; and it seems so long--so long!  _Ay de mi_! if Jesus
would come!'

"I could not utter another word ere Rosada brake in.  `Ines!' she cried
in a loud whisper; `what do you here?  Know you not, _amiga_, that the
Lord Marquis will well-nigh kill you if he find you in this chamber?
None of her Highness' women are ever allowed to enter at will.  Back,
back, as fast as you can go!'

"Then, kneeling a moment, she said hastily, `_Criada umilisima de Su
Alteza_!'  [`The most humble servant of her Highness.'] and arising,
pushed me forth of the chamber, and into mine own, almost before I knew
what she had said or done.  Five minutes later, my Lord of Denia his
steps sounded in the corridor.  `Thank the holy Virgin and all the
saints!' cried Rosada under her breath.  `_Amiga_, you know not that
man.  He would not hesitate one minute to stab you if he found you
there, and fancied any cause of suspicion against you.  'Tis forbidden
ground--Maria _sin pecado_ [without sin]!  How came you in such peril?
I knew her never before left alone even a moment.'--`I did but hear her
Highness moaning,' I said bewilderedly, `and was moved to go to
her.'--`The Devil must have moved you!' she saith breathlessly.  `I
think rather,' I answered, `saving your presence, Rosada, and not
intending you, it was the Devil pushed me forth hither.'--`You mean my
Lord Marquis?' quoth she, taking me rightly.  `The saints pardon her
Highness!  You know she is quite out of her mind.  She saith all manner
of evil of him.'

"I thought it better, perchance, to make no answer.  But into my mind
came a remembrance touching a way wherein the fools should not err; and
I thought she should maybe come in at the gates of Heaven afore either
Rosada or I.

"O Isoult!  I would I were forth of this horrible country!  It is
peopled with devils.  Leonor is not one, methinks; nor assuredly is
Rosada, neither this my poor sely maiden Maria; but I should find it
hard to write a fourth within this palace.

"I may not make my letter much longer.  Prithee tell me some news of
England, if any be; and shouldst thou hear ought of my gracious mistress
[the Duchess of Suffolk], I would like much to know it.

"I do well-nigh wish I had not gone into that chamber! and yet, if I
have in any wise comforted her, it is well.  It hath maybe done her some
little good to pour forth her sorrows to me for a minute.  But now I
never awake of a night but I listen for those fearful screams.  I thank
God, I have not heard them again as yet.  Methinks her gossips did
blunder in naming her Juana; they should have called her Dolores
[sorrows].

"I pray thee, make mine hearty commendations to Mr Avery and all other
that I know; and kiss thy little Kate for me.  And so I commend thee to
the tuition of God.  From Tordesillas, this fourteenth of August.--Thine
own assuredly,--

"Annis Holland."

When we look back over the way which the Lord has led us these forty
years in the wilderness, we sometimes find in retrospect the Marahs no
sadder than the Elims.  Nay, there are times when the Elims are the
sadder.

      "A sorrow's crown of sorrow
  Is, remembering happier things."

There was much sorrow of that class for the Gospellers at this time.
Ease and liberty had gone already: they were followed by the cruel agony
of parting.  Within fourteen days of the 25th of February, every married
priest in the diocese of London was commanded to be deprived and
divorced.  The first would have been a sufficiently bitter draught,
without the added desolation of the second.  On the table before Isoult
Avery lay a sheet of paper, containing a few lines of uneven writing.
They were blotted with tears, and were signed "Marguerite Rose."  Their
purport was to ask for shelter at the Lamb, for a few weeks, until she
could see her way more clearly.  Thekla herself brought her mother's
letter.  There were no tears from her, only her face was white, and
worn, and weary.

"And you have not wept, Thekla?" said Isoult.

"There are tears enough elsewhere," she said, and shook her head.  "I
cannot weep.  It would ease me, perhaps, if I could."

"These fiends of men!" cried Dr Thorpe, who was not renowned for
weighing his words carefully when he was indignant.  "Is it because they
cannot drive nor persuade us into the sin and unbelief of Hell, that
they be determined we shall lose none of the torment of it, so far as
lieth in their hand to give us?  Shall God see all this, and not move?
Have they banished Him out of the realm, with other strangers?"

"Bitter words, Dr Thorpe!" answered Robin, softly.  "`Shall God cast
away His people, whom He foreknew?'  From them that are lights in the
world, shall He who is the Light of the World depart?  Nay, `when we
pass through the waters He will be with us.'"

"They are dark waters for some of us," whispered Thekla under her voice.

"But not fathomless, dear Thekla," replied Robin.  "There are footsteps
before us, though we may not see them; and at the dreariest, there is
God above us."

"I hope so," responded Dr Thorpe.  "I am afeard, Robin, thou shalt say I
am an unbeliever and a fool; but it doth look mainly as if He had fallen
asleep, and the Devil had stole the reins of the world out of His
hands."

"Not an unbeliever," said Robin, in his gentle manner; "only a believer
in the dark.  `Lord, carest Thou not that we perish?'  They were not
unbelievers that said that.  But you well know the answer--`How is it
that ye have no faith?'"

"'Tis main hard to get hold of it, lad!" said Dr Thorpe, more quietly,
but with some choking in his voice.

"'Tis harder to do without it," answered Robin.

Dr Thorpe never twitted Robin with his youth now.  On the contrary, he
seemed to respect him, as one who with few years had amassed much
wisdom.

There was only one unpleasant element in the grant of a refuge to Mrs
Rose.  It would lock the doors of the Lamb on the beloved pastor.  Where
she was, he must come no more.  The chief element of comfort was Thekla.
She could have free access to both her parents, so long as they
remained at liberty; and Mr Rose might yet be heard to preach in the
houses of other Gospellers.

"Isoult," said Dr Thorpe, coming in, a few days after this woeful letter
had been received and answered, "for all the late 'headings, there be
fools left in the realm."

"Troth," said she, laughing, "I never cast doubt else."

"Why," pursued he, "if they hang up all the wise men, what else shall be
left?  But list the marvellous news.  Yesterday, a parcel of lads did
gather in a field by Saint James, for to have a game of childre's play."

"Is that such news?" said John.

"Hold thy peace till I have made an end," said Dr Thorpe.  "These
childre in their playing (as childre will) did elect to follow their
fathers in their late diversion; and one half of them should be the
Queen's men, and the other half Wyatt's men.  And so rough was their
play, that the lad which stood for the Prince of Spain was caught of
Wyatt's side, and half strangled of them.  But in the midst thereof, ere
he were full hanged, come the watch, and took all the young rebels into
custody, as well the one side as the other."

"I take it they boxed their ears and let them go," said John.

"Do you so?" answered Dr Thorpe.  "Not by no manner of means, worthy
Sir; but this day are the great and mighty rebels on their trial afore
the Queen's Council, and the statesmen of this realm do sit in sad
debate what shall be done with them.  I had counted that the lad which
was half hanged should have been enough punished for his state crimes;
but maybe they think not so, but shall hang him out.  But saw you a copy
of the Queen's Majesty's ordinances?"

"Nay," replied John.  "What be they?"

"It were well to know them," he answered.  "These be they:--

"First, all the statutes of King Henry touching religion shall be put in
force.  No Sacramentary shall be admitted to any benefice; all married
priests shall be deprived, but more lenity shall be shown to them whose
wives be dead (to wit, I take it, they shall not be divorced from their
dead wives).  If they shall part by consent, and shall promise to commit
the crime of matrimony no further, they may be admitted again, at
discretion of the Bishop, but in no case to the same benefice.  No
religious man shall be suffered to wed.  Processions, Latin service,
holy days, fasts, and all laudable and honest ceremonies, shall be
observed.  Homilies shall be set forth.  Men shall go to their parish
church only.  Suspected schoolmasters shall be put forth, and Catholic
men put instead.  And lastly, touching such persons as were heretofore
promoted to any orders, after the new fashion (hark to this, Robin!)
considering they were not ordained in very deed, the Bishop of the
diocese, finding otherwise sufficiency and ability in these men, may
supply that thing which wanted in them before, and thus according to his
discretion permit them to minister."

"Now here is a knot to untie: how say you concerning the divorce of such
men, _not_ again ordained of the Bishops?  If they be not priests, then
they need not to be divorced: or, if they be divorced, then are they
priests."

"Friend," said John, "there is no better man in this world than Dr
Gardiner for getting round a corner; and where he may not come round the
corner, he hath Alisaunder's sword, to cut the knot with no more ado."

The blow fell at last, and the home in Leadenhall Street was broken up.
Mr Rose himself brought his wife and daughter to the Lamb on the evening
of the 10th of March, which was the last allowed for all married priests
to separate from their wives.  Doubtless the parting was very painful;
but it passed in private, and the Averys too much reverenced his sorrow
to suffer him to depart otherwise than in silence.  Only John walked
with him to his desolate home, and he told Isoult that not a word was
spoken by either, but the clasp of Mr Rose's hand at parting was not to
be lightly forgotten.

The lads who had mimicked the rebellion were whipped and imprisoned for
three days, and then released, by the Queen's own command.  On the 12th
of March, the Archbishop, Dr Ridley, and Mr Latimer, set out for Oxford,
where they were--ostensibly, to maintain their theories in a public
disputation; really, to be martyred.  Dr Hooper went part of the way
with them.  He was going to Gloucester--to the same end.  For a week,
Thekla flitted backwards and forwards between her parents; generally
spending her mornings with her father, and the evenings with her mother.
Robin constituted himself her guard in all her journeyings.

Sunday was the day after his bereavement, and Mr Rose was silent; but
the following Sunday he preached at Mr Holland's house, where the
Gospellers gathered to hear him.  Thekla remained with her mother; she
would not leave her alone with her sorrowful thoughts.  It was a rainy
morning, but in the days before umbrellas were invented, rain was less
thought of than it has been since.  John Avery and his wife, Dr Thorpe,
Esther, and Robin, set forth, despite the rain.  Before they had gone
many yards, they overtook a crowd of people, all running riverwards; and
Isoult, looking towards the water, fancied that she could see the
standard of the royal barge.

"Whither away?" asked John of some of the crowd.

But no answer was vouchsafed, except a cry of "The Tower!" till suddenly
Mr Underhill hove in sight, and was questioned at once.

"What, know you not what all London knoweth?" said he; "that the Lady
Elizabeth's Grace is this morrow a prisoner of the Tower?  'Tis very
true, I warrant you: would it were less!  This moment is the Queen's
barge at hand with her.  Will you see?"

"Have with you," said Dr Thorpe, who never missed a sight, if he could
possibly help it.

The rest went on.  Mr Rose looked older, they thought, and more worn
than was his wont; but his voice was as gentle and his smile as sweet as
ever.  He came to them as soon as they came in, and wanted to know all
they could tell him of Mrs Rose and Thekla, though his eyes asked rather
than his lips; yet his first words were a query why Thekla was not with
them.  His sermon was on three words of David, "He shall live."  And
first he showed that David spoke this of Christ, by prophecy: and then
divided his subject into three heads--"He hath lived," "He doth live,"
"He shall live."  And under the first head, he pointed out how from all
eternity Christ had lived with the Father, and was His delight,
rejoicing alway before Him; and how then He had lived a little babe and
a weary man upon this earth defiled with sin, amidst a people who knew
Him not, and would not receive Him.  Then coming to the next part, "He
doth live," he showed what he now does, standing before the throne of
God, within the true veil and beside the better mercy-seat, presenting
in Himself every one of His people, and pleading every moment for them.
And lastly, "He shall live."  He shall come again; He shall reign over
the earth; He shall live for ever.  And "because He liveth, we shall
live also."  If He could die again, then might we.  But He dieth no
more, having died once for us; and we that believe in Him, He having
died in our stead, can never die the second death.  He hath abolished
death, as well for His Church as for Himself: He that is the Living One
for evermore holdeth the keys of Hell and of death.  And for this cause,
even the natural death, not one can suffer except by His permission.  Mr
Rose bade his hearers not to fall into the blunder that evil men held
their lives in their hands.  "Christ hath the keys, not they.  If they
be suffered to take our lives away, it is because we have ended our
work, and He calleth us home to Him.  And what child ever went home from
school that went not gladly, except indeed he had an ill home?  Let us
not bring up an evil report of that good Land, by unwillingness to go
Home."  Coming back, they found Dr Thorpe returned, and talking with
Thekla.

"She is the manliest woman ever I saw in all my life!" cried he.

Thekla made no answer, except a smile; but it disappeared as soon as she
saw her friends, and coming forward, she began to talk in a low tone
with Robin.

"There is small praise for somebody," said John.  "Who is it--my Lady
Elizabeth's Grace?"

"Even so," replied Dr Thorpe.

"Well, and how went the matter?" said he.

"Why," he answered, "they took her in at the drawbridge by the Traitor's
Gate.  And, the barge arrived there, my Lord Treasurer sent my Lord of
Sussex to desire her Grace to land.  `Nay, that will I not,' quo' she.
Nor could she, in very deed, unless she had gone into the water over her
shoe.  My Lord of Sussex then went back from her to my Lord Treasurer,
and brought word that she would not come.  Then said my Lord Treasurer
roughly, `She shall not choose.'  And all this while sat she in the
rain.  So my Lord Treasurer stepped forward and did proffer his cloak
for her to tread on.  Then up rose my Lady Elizabeth, and put back my
Lord Treasurer's cloak with her hand, with a good dash.  And setting her
foot upon the stair, she saith stoutly, `Here landeth the truest
subject, being a prisoner, that ever landed at these stairs.'  To whom
my Lord Treasurer--`So much the better for you, Madam.'  So in went she,
as manly as ever did man; and Sir John Gage shut up the gates upon her.
She hath the stoutest stomach ever I saw.  If all the men were hanged
through England, there should be yet one left in her."

On Good Friday the Marquis of Northampton was released from the Tower.
Dr Thorpe said, the Queen "played at see-saw with my Lord of
Northampton, for he is in the Tower this day and out the next, and so
over again."  In the afternoon of Easter Sunday, Esther and Mrs Rose
went out together.  When they returned, Mrs Rose went up quickly to her
own chamber; and Esther drew her mistress aside.

"Why, Esther, what is the matter?" said Isoult.

"Methinks I had better tell you," replied she.  "I would I could have
helped it; yet the Blessed saw not good.  As we came back through
Poules, there was set up on a board a long list of all the priests in
this diocese which have been divorced from their wives by decree of my
Lord of London; and them that had parted by consent were set by
themselves.  And in this list--"

"Good lack!" cried Isoult.  "Saw you Mr Rose's name?"

"_She_ saw it," said Esther in a low voice, "though I did essay to turn
her away therefrom by bidding her to observe the fair carving on the
other side the way; but it was to no good.  She caught the two
names--`Thomas Rose' and `Margaret Van der Velde.'  And she brake forth
when she saw them.  I thank the All Merciful we two were alone in the
cloister."

"But what said she?"

"`Margaret Van der Velde!' she cried.  `I am _not_ Margaret Van der
Velde!  I am Marguerite Rose.  I have borne his name for two and twenty
years, and shall I cast it off now at the Bishop of London's bidding?
No, not if he were the Pope and the whole College of Cardinals!'  Then
she fell into French and Spanish mixed together.  And `Parted by
consent!' quoth she.  `_Ay Dios! que veut-on dire_? what consent is
there?  They thrust us asunder with halberds, and then say we have
parted by consent!  God! art Thou in Heaven, and dost Thou see all
this?' she cried."

"Poor soul!  And what saidst thou, Esther?"

"I said little, only essayed to draw her away and to comfort her.  It is
hard work to bear such things, I know.  But I think we be too apt to
seek to be our King's kings--to bring down the Holy One that inhabiteth
eternity to the measure of our poor knowledge.  'Tis not alway when _we_
think Israel at the lowest that Othniel is raised up to judge us.  He
will come at the right time, and in time to save us; but very often that
is not the time we would choose."

Poor Mrs Rose!  Isoult could scarcely wonder at her words of
indignation.  But she had not seen nor borne the worst yet.

"Isoult!" said Dr Thorpe, coming in on the 8th of April, "there is a
jolly sight in the Chepe.  I take it, a piece of some Lutheran's or
Gospeller's work, whose wit and zeal be on the thither side of his
discretion.  On the gallows in Cheapside is a cat hanged, arrayed in
vestments, all proper, her head shaven, and her forefeet tied over her
head with a round of paper betwixt them for a wafer.  What say you to
that for a new thing?"

"Poor cat!" said Robin; yet he laughed.

"Nay, I know not that they killed the cat o' purpose," said Dr Thorpe.
"They may have taken a dead one."

"But what say the folk thereto?" asked Isoult.

"Some laugh," he answered, "and some rail, and some look mighty solemn.
Underhill was jolly pleased therewith; it served his turn rightly.  I
met him on my way home, and he asked me first thing if I had seen Sir
Cat."

"I warrant you," said John, "'tis a piece of his work, or else of George
Ferris.  Mind you not how he told us the tale of his [Underhill]
stealing the copper pix from the altar at Stratford on the Bow?  I will
be bound one of those merry twain hath done it."

"Little unlike," said Dr Thorpe.

Proclamation was made of a reward of twenty nobles, increased afterward
to twenty marks, to find the irreverent hanger up of the cat, but in
vain.  It was never discovered who did it.  On Cantate Sunday--April
22--Mr Rose preached at Mr Sheerson's house in Bow Churchyard.  John and
Isoult were there, with Esther, Thekla, and Robin.  After service (for
they were late, and it was beginning when they entered), Mr Rose came to
them, and, after a few minutes' conversation, asked if they had heard
the news from Oxford.

"Nay," said John, "is there so?"

"The sorest we might well have," he answered.  "My Lord Archbishop, Dr
Ridley, and Mr Latimer, be all three cast for death."

Such a cry broke from Isoult, that some turned to look at her, and Mrs
Holland came up and asked if she was ill, or what was the matter.

"Are you assured thereof?" asked John.

"With little question," answered he, "seeing Augustine Bernher came unto
me with the news, and is lodged with me: who was himself present at the
sentencing and all the whole disputation."

"If Austin brought it, it is true," said John, sorrowfully.

"But they will never burn Mr Latimer," cried Isoult in anguish.  "An
aged man such as he is, that must die in a few years at the furthest!"

"And my Lord Archbishop, that is chiefest subject of the whole realm!"
said John.

"There is an other before him now," answered Mr Rose.  "The chiefest
subject of the realm is Cardinal Pole, that is looked for nigh every
week."

Austin Bernher, who had been talking with Mr Holland, now came up, and
John begged him to tell them particulars of the trial.

"It was a right morris-dance," said he, "all the examination.  Mr
Prolocutor Weston disputed with the beer-pot at his elbow, and forgot
not his devoirs thereto in the course thereof.  And (whether the said
pot were in fault, I will not say, but) at opening he made a sorry
blunder, for he said that the Court was called `to dispute the
detestable heresy of the verity of the body of Christ in the Sacrament.'
There was much laughter in the Court thereupon.  It was in the choir of
Saint Mary the Virgin they held Court, and my Lord Archbishop was first
examined.  He denied all propositions advanced unto him, and spake very
modestly, wittily [cleverly], and learnedly.  So at the end of the day
he was sent back to Bocardo, where they held him confined.  Then the
next day they had in Dr Ridley, who showed sharp, witty, and very
earnest; and denied that (being Bishop of Rochester) he had ever
preached in favour of transubstantiation.  At _one_ point, the people
hissing at an answer he had given, Dr Ridley turned him around unto
them, and--`O my masters!' saith he, `I take this for no judgment.  I
will stand to God's judgment.'  The day thereafter called they up my
master [Latimer]; who, on his entering, escaped no hissings nor scornful
laughter.  He came in from the bailiff's house, where he was lodged,
having a kerchief and three or four caps on his head for the fear of
cold, his staff in his hand, and his spectacles hanging at his breast by
a string [Note 5].  He earnestly desired to be allowed a seat, and also
to speak in English; for (quoth he) `I am out of use with the Latin, and
almost as meet to dispute as to be a captain of Calais.'  Moreover, he
said his memory was weakened, and he very faint.  Then they asked him if
he would allow the verity of the body of Christ to be in the Sacrament.
Quoth he, `I have read over the New Testament seven times, and yet could
I never find the mass in it, neither the marrow-bones nor sinews of the
same.'  You know his merry fashion.  Then they asked him how long he had
been of that opinion; and he said he had not been so long; that time had
been when he said mass devoutly, for the which he craved God's mercy
now; and he had not been of this mind above seven years.  Then they
charged him that he was a Lutheran.  `Nay,' said he, `I was a Papist;
for I never could perceive how Luther could defend his opinion, without
transubstantiation.'  And they desired he should reason touching
Luther's opinion.  `I do not take in hand to defend Luther's sayings or
doings,' quoth my master.  `If he were here, he would defend himself
well enough.'  And so went they forward, my master answering readily,
but calmly: yet he warmed up high enough once, when one spake of the
priest offering of Christ.  Quoth he, with some of the ancient fire that
was wont to be in him, `He is too precious a thing for us to offer; He
offereth Himself.'  Well, after his examination was over (and they took
two days to it) Master Harpsfield disputed with my Lord Archbishop for
his doctor's gown.  And the day thereafter (which was Friday) were they
all three brought forth to be judged.  Then were Dr Ridley and my master
asked if they would turn; but they both answered, `Nay; I will stand to
that I have said.'  So then sentence of burning was passed upon all of
them for heresy.  Then said my Lord Archbishop,--`From your judgment and
sentence I appeal to the just judgment of God Almighty; trusting to be
present with Him in Heaven, for whose presence in the altar I am thus
condemned.'  Dr Ridley's answer was--`Although I be not of your company,
yet doubt I not but my name is written in an other place, whither this
sentence shall send us sooner than we should by the course of nature
have come.'  And quoth my master--`I thank God most heartily that He
hath prolonged my life to this end, that I may in this case glorify God
by this kind of death.'  So they carried them away, each to his old
lodging.  And yester-morn, but an hour before I set out, there was mass,
and procession down the High Street to Saint Mary's.  They caused my
Lord to behold it from Bocardo, and Dr Ridley from the Sheriff's house;
but not going by the bailiff's house, they fetched my master to see it.
Who thought he was going to his burning, and saith unto the catchpole,
`My master, I pray you, make a quick fire.'  But when he came to Carfax,
lo, there came the procession in sight, Dr Weston carrying the host, and
four other doctors supporting the canopy over him and his bread-god.
Which no sooner had my master seen than he gathered up his heels, and
away he ran, as fast as ever his old bones could carry him, into one
Spencer's shop, and would not so much as look toward it.  And
incontinent after that came I thence; so that I cannot tell any more."

From May to July there was a respite in some respects.  Were they
waiting for Philip?

The Princess Elizabeth was released from the Tower, and sent to
Richmond; Mr Bertie, summoned before Gardiner in Lent, took advantage of
the temporary cessation of the persecution in the summer, and escaped to
Germany.  The gallows set up for Wyatt's followers were taken down; the
cross in Cheapside was regilded; and bonfires, bell-ringing, and _Te
Deums_, were commanded throughout London, as soon as the news of
Philip's landing should be received.

"I marvel," observed Mr Rose, one Sunday, "if we should not do better to
sing _Miserere mei, Deus_."

Philip came at last--too soon at any time--landing at Hampton on the
20th of July.  He and the Queen were married in the Lady Chapel of
Winchester Cathedral on the 25th, Mr Underhill being present, and
receiving a venison pasty as his share of the spoil; and on the 19th of
August, London went forth to welcome its new King.  Dr Thorpe, of
course, put on clean ruffles and trudged off to see the sight; so did
John and Robin, though they contented themselves with strolling down to
the riverside to watch the barge pass.  Isoult declined, as she said,
"to go see one of whom she feared so much."  John asked Mrs Rose and
Thekla if they wished to go.

"What! to see the Prince of the Asturias?"  [Note 6] cried Mrs Rose.
"Think you we have seen too little of him in Flanders?  I would as soon
to see Satan."

Thekla smiled and shook her head; and that was her answer.  So when the
three returned, they were desired to say, "what like were the King."

"Not so high as Kate, nor any thing like so well favoured," growled Dr
Thorpe.

"Softly! softly!" said John, smiling.

"Call him a king!" said Dr Thorpe, who appeared somewhat put out.  "On
my word, I have seen many a mason and carpenter a deal fairer men, and
vastly taller fellows of their hands.  He should be 'shamed to be a
king, and so slender and pitiful a fellow."

Isoult could not help laughing, and so did Thekla.

"Now give us thine opinion, Jack," said his wife.

"Well," replied he, "methinks his Highness is somewhat taller than Kate;
but truly he is under the common height of men.  His limbs be well made
and lithe, and his person of fair proportions.  His hair is somewhat too
deep to call it yellow, yet fair; his eyes grey, with a weak look
thereabout, as though he might not bear overmuch light; his brow not
ill-made for wit, yet drawing backward; his lips large, very red, and
thick like all of his house [Note 7].  He hath a fair beard and
mustachio, and his complexion is fair, yet not clear, but rather of a
Cain-colour."  [Note 8].

"Ah, the lip of the House of Austria--how well I know it!  It maketh me
to shudder to hear you," said Mrs Rose.  "Yet if his complexion be
Cain-colour, he is changed from what he was.  In his young years was it
very fair and clear,--as fair as Walter."

"He is mighty unlike Walter now," said Dr Thorpe.

"And what is thy view, Robin?"

"I have not to add to what Father hath said," replied he, "saving that I
thought there was a gloomy and careworn look upon the King's face.  He
is stately and majestical of his carriage; but his nether part of his
face cometh forward in a fashion rather strong than seemly.  It struck
me he should be a man not easily turned from his purpose."

Mr Underhill presented himself in the evening.

"Well," said he, "saw you our goodly King Philip?"

"Nay," said Dr Thorpe, "I saw a mighty ill-favoured."

Mr Underhill laughed.  "Verily," said he, "I would be bond that I could
match him for beauty with any the first man I should meet withal in the
City.  There were two swords carried afore him--"

"Ay," said Dr Thorpe, "to cut off all heads withal that be left yet
unmown."

"I fear so much," answered Mr Underhill, more gravely than was his wont.
"Were you forth this even?"

"No," said John; "we have all sat at home sithence my home-coming."

"In the streets to-night," said he, "I count I have met four Spaniards
for every Englishman.  If the King bring all Spain over hither, we shall
be sweetly off.  As I was coming hither, I protest unto you, I heard
more Spanish talked than mine own tongue.  I trust some of you have that
tongue, or you shall find you in a foreign country--yea, even in the
heart of London."

"I have it," said John, "and so hath Mrs Rose; but methinks we stand
alone."

"No, Mr Avery, you do not so," quietly said Esther.  [Note 9].

"Marry, I never learned any tongue save mine own, nor never repented
thereof," answered Dr Thorpe; "saving, of course, so much Latin as a
physician must needs pick up withal.  I count I could bray like a
jackass an' I tried, and that were good enough for any strange-born
companion as ever cumbered the soil of merry England."

Mr Underhill laughed, as did John and Robin.

"Dr Thorpe, you are exceedingly courteous, and I thank you heartily,"
said Mrs Rose, smiling almost for the first time.

"Body o' me! what is a man to do when he falleth into the ditch o' this
manner?" said he, with a comical look.  "Mrs Rose, I am an ass by
nature, and shall find little hardship in braying.  I do beseech you of
pardon, for that I meant not to offend you; and in very deed, I scarce
ever do remember that you are not my countrywoman.  You are good enough
for an English woman, and I would you were--There!  I am about to make
yet again a fool of myself.  Heed not, I pray you, an old man in his
dotage."

"My good friend, say not one other word," answered Mrs Rose, kindly.  "I
do feel most delighted that you should say I am good enough for an
English woman.  I can see that is very much from you."

Spaniards were everywhere.  England had become a nation of Spaniards in
her streets, as she was a province of Spain in her government.  And
Englishmen knew that Spain, like Rome, whose true daughter she was,
never unloosed her hand from any thing she had once grasped.  Isoult
begged her husband to teach her Spanish; but Kate desired to know why
they were all come.

"Is there no meat ne drink in their country, that they come to eat up
ours?" she asked in her simplicity.

Her mother told her "they were come to wait on the King, which was a
gentleman of their nation."

"But wherefore so?" said she.  "Could the Queen not marry an Englishman,
that could have talked English?  I am sure our Robin is good enough for
any Queen that ever carried a crown on her head."

A view of the subject which so greatly tickled Robin that he could not
speak for laughing.  He was, and always had been, very fond of Kate, and
she of him.

A fresh rumour now ran that five thousand more Spaniards would shortly
be brought over; and some of them preferred to the vacated benefices and
sees.

On the 30th of September, Gardiner preached at the Cross, the Bishop of
London bearing his crosier before him.  All the Council _were_ present
who were then at Court.  He spoke much of charity, which is commonly
lauded by false teachers; and said that "great heresy had heretofore
been preachen at that place, by preachers in King Edward's time, which
did preach no thing but voluptuousness and blasphemous lies."  Then he
touched upon the Pharisees, who stood, said he, "for such men as will
reason and dispute in the stead of obeying."  And lastly, he spoke of
the King; praised his dominion and riches, and "willed all so obediently
to order them that he might still tarry with them."

"Well!" said Dr Thorpe, "I count I shall not need to order me for so
long time as King Philip is like to tarry with us: but afore I do go on
my marrow-bones to beg him tarry, I would fain know somewhat more of
what he is like to do for us."

Our friends at the Lamb were fearfully employed on the 5th of October.
For during the previous fortnight there had been so severe a search for
Lutheran books, and nearly sixty persons arrested who were found to
possess them, that John determined to hide all his in a secret place:
one that, he said, "with God's grace these bloodhounds shall not lightly
find, yet easy of access unto them that do know the way."  So he buried
all the books at which offence could be taken, leaving only his own
law-books, and Isoult's "Romaunts" that she had when a girl, and Dr
Thorpe's "Game of the Chess," and Robin's "Song of the Lady Bessy," and
the "Little Gest of Robin Hood," and similar works.

In the evening came Mr Underhill, whom they told what had been their
occupation.

"Why," said he, "but yesterday was I at the very same business.  I sent
for old Henry Daunce, the bricklayer of White Chapel (who used to preach
the gospel in his garden every holiday, where I have seen a thousand
persons), and got him to enclose my books in a brick wall by the chimney
side in my chamber, where they shall be preserved from moulding or mice.
Mine old enemies, the Papistical spies, John a Vales and Beard, have
been threatening me; but I sent them a message by means of Master Luke,
the physician of Coleman Street, to let them know that if they did
attempt to take me, except they had a warrant signed with four or five
of the Council's hands, I would go further with them than Peter did, who
strake off but the ear of Malchus, but I would surely strike off head
and all."

After which message Mr John Vales and Mr Beard never meddled further
with the Hot Gospeller, doubtless knowing they might trust him to keep
his word, and having no desire to risk their necks.

On the 3rd of November [see note in Appendix] was born Mr Underhill's
son Edward, at his house in Wood Street.  This being no time to search
for sponsors of rank, John Avery stood for the child, at the father's
request, with Mr Ive, and Mrs Elizabeth Lydiatt, Mr Underhill's sister,
who was staying with him at that time.  And only a week later they were
all at another christening, of Mr Holland's child, baptised by Mr Rose;
and the sponsors were Lord Strange, his kinsman (by deputy), Mr
Underhill, and Thekla; the child was named after Lord Strange, Henry.
[The sex and name of Roger Holland's child are not recorded.]  The
_all_, however, did not include Mrs Rose; for she knew too well, poor
soul! the dread penalty that would ensue if her husband "were taken in
her company."

The year ended better than the Gospellers feared.  No harm had come to
the Archbishop and his brother prisoners.  Mr Underhill and Mr Rose were
still at liberty.  Cardinal Pole had returned to the fatherland whence
he had been banished for many years; but from him they hardly looked for
evil.  The Princess Elizabeth was restored to favour.  Roger Holland had
left London for his own home in Lancashire, to prevent his child from
being re-baptised after the Roman fashion.  He meant to leave it with
his father, and return himself to London.  In the Gospellers' houses, Mr
Rose was still preaching: he was to administer the Sacrament on the
night of New Year's Day, at Mr Sheerson's house in Bow Churchyard.  And
Philip had been King five months.  Surely, the cloud had a silver
lining! surely, they had feared more than there was need!  So argued the
more sanguine of the party.  But it was only the dusk which hid the
black clouds that had gathered; only the roar of men's work which
drowned the growl of the imminent storm.  They were entering--though
they knew it not--on the darkest hour of the night.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.

  "Brief life is here our portion,
      Brief sorrow, short-lived care;
  The life that knows no ending,
      The tearless life is There."

  Neale's _Translation_.

Note 2.  Boni-Homines--translated into various languages,--was the
ancient title of the Waldensian Church and its offshoots.

Note 3.  The best of them, and the only Lutheran--Isabel Queen of
Denmark--died in 1525; but of course the imprisoned mother never knew
it.

Note 4.  The letters yet extant in the archives of Simancas, from Denia
and others, give rise to strong suspicion that the story which the world
has believed so long--Juana's insane determination not to bury the
coffin of her husband--was a pure invention of their own, intended to
produce (as it has produced) a general belief in the insanity of the
Queen.

Note 5.  This sketch in words, given by Foxe, is one of the most graphic
descriptions ever written.

Note 6.  King Juan the Second of Castilla conferred this title on his
heir in 1389, in imitation of that of the Prince of Wales, which he
greatly admired.

Note 7.  This well-known feature came into the House of Austria with the
Massovian Princess Cimburgha, a strong-minded woman, who used to hammer
the nails which confined her fruit-trees to the garden wall with her
knuckles.  She was the wife of Duke Ernest the Iron-handed, and
apparently might have shared his epithet.

Note 8.  In working the tapestry so much in vogue during the Middle
Ages, certain persons were indicated by hair or complexion of a
particular tint.  To Cain was given a sallow complexion, not unlike
Naples yellow, which was therefore known as Cain-colour; and Judas
Iscariot being always represented with red hair, this came to be called
Judas-colour.

Note 9.  The English Jews, being Sephardim, spoke Spanish mostly among
themselves at this time.



CHAPTER TEN.

THE DARKEST HOUR OF THE NIGHT.

  "I falter where I firmly trod;
  And falling with my weight of cares
  Upon the world's great altar-stairs
  That slope through darkness up to God,
  I stretch lame hands of faith."

  Tennyson.

Twenty-two hours of the year 1555 had passed away.  John Avery, Robin,
and Esther had gone to the service held in Mr Sheerson's house.  The
children had been put to bed before they went; Thekla was up-stairs with
her mother, who had begged her to remain at home.  Mrs Rose could give
no reason for her request, except that she felt low and nervous, and had
a fancy or a foreboding, which it might be, that it would be better for
Thekla to absent herself.  Dr Thorpe and Isoult sat alone in the little
chamber of the Lamb.  It was past ten o'clock--in the middle of the
night, to their apprehension--but there could be no going to bed until
they knew of the safety of the absent ones.  At last, half-an-hour at
least after they had expected it, John Avery's hand was heard on the
latch.  He came in alone.

"Thou art very late, Jack," said Isoult, when he entered.  "Where
leftest Robin and Esther?"

John, who had turned his back as soon as he came in, was very busy
hanging up his cloak, which Isoult thought took longer than his wont.
At last John came forward to the fire, and then his wife saw the look on
his face, and knew that some terrible thing had happened.

"Dear heart," he said, huskily, "the Lord doth all things well."

"A sure sign," murmured Dr Thorpe, "that something hath gone ill, when a
man shall say that at his first home-coming.  What is it, Jack?  Hath
Robin brake his leg in the frost?"

Suddenly the dread truth rushed on Isoult.

"O Jack, Jack! is Mr Rose taken?" she cried in terror.

John pointed above, where were two who must not hear that awful news
unprepared.

"Mr Rose, and all his hearers saving two."

"The good Lord have mercy upon them!"

So Dr Thorpe; but Isoult was silent.  Tears would not come yet.  "Who
were the two, Jack?  Is it Robin or Esther they have taken?" pursued Dr
Thorpe, with his brows knit.  "Both," said he, shortly.

It was strange: but for the first moment Isoult had not remembered
either Esther or Robin.  Two thoughts alone were present to her; that Mr
Rose was taken, and that John was safe.  Now the full sorrow broke on
her.

"O Jack, Jack! our Robin!--and Esther, too!"

"Beloved," said he, his voice trembling, "both are safe with Him who
having died for His own that are in the world, loveth them unto the end.
There shall not an hair of their heads perish.  `Of them that thou
gavest Me have I lost none.'"

"Who was the other that 'scaped them?"

"A man whose name I knew not," said John.  "Both we stood close to a
great closet in the wall, and slid therein noiselessly on the Sheriff's
entering; and by the good providence of God, it never came in their
heads to open that door.  So when they all were gone, and the street
quiet, we could go softly down the stairs, and win thence."

"And where were Robin and Esther?"

"Esther was on the further side of the chamber, by Mistress Sheerson,
and Robin stood near Rose at the other end thereof."

"Was the service over?"

"No.  Rose was in the act of giving the bread of the Lord's Supper."

Dr Thorpe asked all these questions, and more; Isoult could ask only
one.  "How shall I tell _them_?"

The troubles of that night were so many that she could scarcely feel
each to the full.  She would have sorrowed more for Esther had there not
been Robin; and perchance even more for Robin had Mrs Rose's anguish and
Thekla's weighed less upon her.

"Thank God, Thekla was not there!" said John.

The last word had not fallen from his lips when, with no sound to herald
her coming, Thekla herself stood before them.  The light died away from
her eyes like the sun under a cloud, and the colour left her lips; yet
her voice was calm.

"Then they have taken my father?"

John bowed his head.  Her sudden appearing choked his voice, and he
could find no words to answer her.

"And Robin?"  He bowed his head again.

"Perchance, had I been there, Mr Avery, I had thanked God rather."

As she said this, one great sob escaped her and she, turned round and
went back up the stairs without another word.  No one made any motion to
follow.  Her voice would break the tidings best, and this was an agony
which none could spare her.  In dead silence they sat for nearly half an
hour.  No sound came from the chamber above, save the soft murmur of
Thekla's voice, which could just be heard when they listened for it.
Her mother's voice they did not hear at all.

At last Isoult rose, lighted a candle, and went gently up-stairs.  She
paused a moment at Mrs Rose's door.  Should she go in, or not?  All she
could hear was Thekla reading or repeating a verse of Scripture.

"`In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer: I have
overcome the world.'"

Thekla opened the door while Isoult still stood there.

"Shall I come in, Thekla?"

"I think not, Mrs Avery, but I thank you," she answered.  "She hath not
awoke to the full sorrow yet; it is rather a shock, a stun, than an
agony.  And who is dead to pain is alike dead to comfort.  She will feel
it more to-morrow, and then it may be an help unto her to talk with
you."

"And for thee, Thekla, poor child!" said Isoult, sympathisingly.

"For me?" said she, the ghost of a smile flickering a moment about her
lips.  "It may be I have scarce awoke either; but I dare not allow
myself to think.  I have my mother to comfort and support.  If she can
sleep at all, then will be my time."

"And who is to support thee, poor Thekla?" whispered Isoult.

"Mrs Avery," she answered, the light returning a moment to her eyes, "He
that holdeth up heaven and earth can surely hold me up."

Isoult said no more, but to bid her "good-night."  She wondered at her,
but glided softly away.

The first thing in the morning, when Isoult rose and went into the
nursery, she saw a woman bending over Walter's crib, with black shining
hair that she knew could be on no head but Esther's.

"Esther, dear heart!" she cried, gladly, "I never was more fain to see a
face than thine this morrow."

She lifted her head and smiled.  Ay, certainly it was Esther.

"But how earnest thou safe?" asked Isoult.

"`Is any thing too hard for the Lord?'" she answered, in her soft,
measured voice.  "There were more prisoners than Sheriff's men, and not
enough rope to tie us all together; so they marched some of the women
last, and untied.  And while we went through a dark alley, I took mine
opportunity to slip aside into a doorway, the door standing open, and
there lay I hidden for some hours; and in the midst of the night, ere
dawn brake, I crept thence, and gat me to the house of my friend
Mistress Little, that I knew would be stirring, by reason that her son
was sick: and I rapping on her door and calling to her, she knew my
voice, and let me within.  So there I abode till the gate was opened;
and then coming home, Mrs Thekla saw me from her window, and opened to
me, not many minutes since."

"I thank God, that saved thee!" cried Isoult.  "Now, Esther, is there
any likelihood of Robin escaping likewise?"

"Yes," she said quietly, "if it shall be good in the eyes of the Blessed
to work a miracle to that end."

"But no otherwise?" wailed Isoult.

"Not, I think, with aught less," answered she.  "They tied him and Mr
Rose together, and marched them first, the Sheriff himself guarding
them."

Even in this agony there was cause for thankfulness.  Mrs Holland was
not there, nor Mr Underhill and his wife, nor Mr Ive and Helen, nor Mr
Ferris.

When the evening came, Isoult went up to Mrs Rose.  She found her, as
Thekla said, _awake_ now, and bemoaning herself bitterly.  Yet the
deepest part of her anguish seemed to be that she was left behind.  She
flung her arms around her friend's neck, weeping aloud, and spoke to her
in French (which, or Spanish, she used when her heart was moved),
calling her "_Isoude, chere soeur_" and besought her to call her
Marguerite.

"I am so alone now," she sobbed; "it should make me to feel as though I
had yet a sister."

There was no change in Thekla, nor any tears from her.  The next day,
the Lord sent them comfort, in the person of Austin Bernher, who came
straight from his good work, and told them that he had seen all the
prisoners.  Mr Rose, they heard with heavy hearts, was in the Tower; a
sure omen that he was accounted a prisoner of importance, and he was the
less likely to be released.  Robin was in the Marshalsea: both sent from
the Clink, where they were detained at first.  Austin spoke somewhat
hopefully of Robin, the only charge against him being that brought
against all the prisoners, namely, absence from mass and confession, and
presence at the service on New Year's night; yet he did not hide his
conviction that it would have been better for them all had that service
been any other than the Lord's Supper.  Isoult asked Austin if he had
any hope of Mr Rose.

"None whatever, as touching this life," was his terrible answer.

Both sent a message by Austin.

"Robin's was,--`Tell my father and mother, Austin, that I am, it may be,
less troubled than they; for I am ready to serve God in what way He will
have me; and if this be the way, why, I will walk therein with a light
heart and glad.  That it hath pleased Him to exalt me to this calling,
with all mine heart and soul, friend, I thank God!  I can go unto the
stake as I would to my bridal; and be assured of an happier and
blesseder meeting therefor hereafter.  Kiss the dear childre for me, and
tell them God hath given me some physic that I need, after the which He
promiseth me somewhat very sweet.'"

"And none other message, Tremayne?" said Austin, when he paused.  "Ay,"
resumed he, "one other.  `Ye now therefore have sorrow; but I will see
you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from
you.'"  Austin did not ask him to whom he should give this; but he
showed how well he knew, by waiting till Thekla was present before he
gave it.

Afterwards, he told them Mr Rose's words.  "Brethren, the Devil hath so
great wrath, that he must needs know he hath but a short time.  Yet for
the elect's sake the days shall be shortened.  The trouble shall be very
quickly over, and the joy shall be eternal.  Our way may be rough; yet
shall it not be painful, for we go to God.  Jesus Christ hath wrought
for us everlasting righteousness; He now waiteth to see of the travail
of His soul and to be satisfied.  He died for us, with the fearful
weight of the wrath of God upon Him; we die for Him, with the sweet and
certain hope of eternal life."

So much was for all the Gospellers; but there were added a few special
words for those at the Lamb.

"I ask not Avery and his wife to have a care of my beloved ones," said
he, "for I well know they will.  Say only from me to those beloved, that
the time is very short, and the glory of God is very near.  There shall
be no persecution, no death, no parting, in the presence of the Master,
whereunto I go.  Bid them come to me; I only pass on a few moments
before them.  We shall meet at Home."

"God bless Austin Bernher!  He is a Barnabas unto us all--the very son
of consolation."  So wrote Isoult in her diary--and well she might.
During the progress of the Marian persecution, no man was more blessed
by the victims and mourners than Austin.

Austin came again, four days later, with yet further bad news.  Bishop
Bonner had sent his sumner to lay hands upon Mr Holland's shop and
goods, and Mrs Holland had suffered some ill usage, because she could
not, or would not, tell where her husband was gone.  They had not,
however, apprehended her; and for Mr Holland, who was expected to return
to London that week, Austin was on the look-out.

"Isoult," said her husband to her that night, "when this befell, I was
about to tell thee that methought I had now laid up a sufficiency of
money for our returning to Bradmond.  What sayest thou?"

"O Jack! how can we?" cried Isoult.  "Could we leave Robin in prison?
and could we either forsake Mrs Rose and Thekla in their extremity, or
carry them with us into Cornwall?  But what is thine own thought?"

"Truly, dear heart," he answered, "my thought is that the Lord hath
spoken to us reasonable plain, and hath said, `Tarry where ye are until
I bring you word again.'"

"Yes," said she after a pause; "I think we must."

"And take for thy comfort, sweeting," said he tenderly, "one word that
hath been much laid upon mine heart of late: `I know where thou
dwellest, even where Satan's seat is.'  God's letters be never wrong
directed."

On the 10th of January, Austin came again, and brought some notes of Mr
Rose's examination before Gardiner.  It was plain that Mr Rose had stood
forth boldly, and braved the Bishop to his face.

"I wonder, my Lord," said he, "that I should be troubled for that which
by the Word of God hath been established, and by the laws of this realm
hath been allowed, and by your own writing, so notably in your book _De
Vera Obedientia_, confirmed."

"Ah sirrah, hast thou gotten that?" said the Bishop, who now could not
bear to hear of his heretical work.

"Yea, my Lord," calmly answered Mr Rose, "and do confess myself thereby
confirmed."

"But," continued Austin, "have you heard that my Lady of Suffolk's Grace
is clean escaped?"

"O Austin!" cried Isoult, "tell us all you know touching her."

"Why," said he, "it should seem to have been agreed betwixt her Grace
and Mr Bertie ere he left England, but none was told save one Master
Robert Cranwell, an ancient gentleman of Mr Bertie's acquaintance, in
whom he had great trust.  So last New Year, early in the morrow, afore
any were stirring, her Grace took her little daughter, and seven of the
meanest of her servants, and at four of the clock departed from the
Barbican in silence.  The Duchess, that was donned like a mean
merchant's wife, through much trouble, came safe to Lyon's Quay, where
(the morning being misty) the waterman was loth to launch out, yet her
Grace persuaded him, and so away rowed they toward Gravesend.  I have
yet heard with no certainty whither she hath reached; but assuredly she
is gone.  The Lord keep her safe, and grant her good landing whither He
shall see meet to provide the same!"

"Amen, with all mine heart!" said Isoult.  "Good Austin, if you hear any
further, I would earnestly pray you to do me to wit thereof."

"That will I," said he, "and with a very good will."

The 29th of January was a painful day to the prisoners.  Every one of
them, from all the prisons, was brought up before the Bishop of
Winchester, Dr Gardiner, in his house at Saint Mary Overy, and asked if
he would recant.  Mr Rose and Robin of course were amongst them.  But
all answered alike, that "they would stand to what they had believed and
taught."  When he heard this, the Bishop raved and stormed, and
commanded them to be committed to straiter prison than before.

The same day, in the general meeting of the Bishops assembled at
Lambeth, Cardinal Pole reproved some for too much harshness, these
doubtless being London and Winchester.  Of Cardinal Pole himself people
spoke diversely; some saying that he was the gentlest of all the Popish
Bishops, and had been known to visit Bishop Bonner's burnings ere the
fire was lighted, and to free all of his own diocese: while others
maintained that under the appearance of softness he masked great
severity.  Old Bishop Tunstal was perhaps the best to deal with; for he
"barked the more that he might bite the less."  If a Protestant were
brought before him, he would bluster and threaten, and end after all in
fining the man a few nobles, or locking him up for three days, and
similar slight penalties.  Worst of all was Bonner: who scourged men,
ay, and little children, with his own hands, and seemed to revel in the
blood of the martyrs.  Yet there came a time when even this monster
cried out that he was weary of his work.  As Bishop of London, said he,
he was close under the eyes of the Court, and two there gave him no
rest.  For those two--King Philip and Dr Gardiner--were never weary.
Drunk with the blood of the saints, they yet cried ceaselessly for more;
they filled London and the whole land, as Manasseh did Jerusalem, with
innocent blood, which the Lord would not pardon.

In the same month, by command of Bishop Bonner, Mr Prebendary Rogers was
removed from the Marshalsea to Newgate, and there set among the common
felons.  At this time, the worst of all the prisons was Newgate
(excepting the Bishop of London's coal-hole, where Archdeacon Philpot
and others were placed); somewhat better was the Marshalsea; still
better the Fleet; and easiest of all the Counter, where untried
prisoners were commonly kept to await their trial.  Alexander, the
keeper of Newgate, was wont to go to Bishop Bonner, crying, "Ease my
prison!  I am too much pestered with these heretics."  And then an
easement of the prison was made, by the burning of the prisoners.

Men grow not into monsters all at once.  It is a gradual proceeding,
though they generally run the faster as they near the end.  But the
seeds of the very same sin lie in all human hearts, and the very same
thing, by the withdrawal of God's Spirit, would take place in all.
God's restraining grace is no less marvellous than His renewing grace.
This world would be a den of wild beasts but for it.

On the same 29th of January--a black day in the Protestant calendar--
Bishop Hooper was condemned to death, and also Mr Prebendary Rogers; but
with the latter the Bishop said he would yet use charity.  "Ay,"
observed Mr Rogers to Austin Bernher, "such charity as the fox useth
with the chickens."  And such charity it proved.  Dr Rowland Taylor of
Hadleigh, and Mr Bradford of Manchester, were also adjudged to death:
both of whom, by God's grace, stood firm.  But Mr Cardmaker, who was
brought to trial with them, and had been a very zealous preacher against
Romanism, was overcome by the Tempter, recanted, and was led back to
prison.  Yet for all this he did not save himself.  More than once
during this persecution, he who loved his life was seen to lose it; and
he that hated his life to keep it,--even the lower life of this world.

During this season of trial, Augustine Bernher was almost ubiquitous.
On the 29th of January, he brought a letter of which he had been the
bearer, from Bishop Hooper to Mr Rose and the others who were taken with
him; Mr Rose having desired him to show the letter to his friends.  The
good Bishop wrote, "Remember what lookers-on you have, God and His
angels."  Again, "Now ye be even in the field, and placed in the
forefront of Christ's battle."

Mr Rose remained in the Tower very strictly guarded, yet Austin was
allowed to see him at will.

"Austin," said Isoult to him, "I marvel they never touch you."

"In very deed, Mrs Avery, no more than I," replied he; "but I do think
God hath set me to this work, seeing He thus guardeth me."

On January 27, Parliament broke up, having repealed all laws against the
Pope enacted since 1528; and re-enacted three old statutes against
heresy, the newest being of the reign of Henry the Fifth.  And "all
speaking against the King or Queen, or moving sedition," was made
treason; for the first offence one ear was to be cut off, or a hundred
marks paid; and for the second both ears, or a fine of 100 pounds.  The
"writer, printer, or cipherer of the same," was to lose his right hand.
All evil prayers (namely, for the Queen's death) were made treason.  The
Gospellers guessed readily that this shaft was aimed at Mr Rose, who was
wont to pray before his sermon, "Lord, turn the heart of Queen Mary from
idolatry; or if not so, then shorten her days."

The Council now released the three sons of the Duke of Northumberland
who were yet in the Tower; Lord Ambrose (now Earl of Warwick), Lord
Henry, and Lord Robert Dudley; with several others, who had been
concerned in Wyatt's rebellion.  Dr Thorpe said bitterly that they
lacked room for the Gospellers.  The Duchess of Northumberland, mother
of these gentlemen, died a few days before their deliverance.  Her
imprisoned sons came forth for her burial.

And before they broke up, Parliament received the Cardinal's blessing;
only one of eight hundred speaking against it.  This was Sir Ralph
Bagenall, as Mr Underhill told his friends.  Isoult asked him what sort
of man he was, and if he were a true Gospeller.

"Gospeller! no, not he!" cried Mr Underhill.  "Verily, I know not what
religion he professeth; but this know I, that he beareth about in his
heart and conversation never a spark of any.  He and I were well
acquaint once, in my blind days, ere I fell to reading the Scriptures,
and following the preachers.  I have sat many a night at the dice with
him and Miles Partridge, and Busking Palmer--"

"Mr Underhill!" exclaimed Isoult, "knew you Sir Thomas Palmer?"

"Knew him?" said he; "yea, on my word, did I, and have lost many a broad
shilling to him, and many a gold noble to boot.  Ay," he pursued, for
him very sadly, "there were a parcel of losels [profligates] of us, that
swallowed down iniquity like water, in that old time.  And now--
Partridge is dead, and Palmer is dead, and Bagenall is yet as he was
then.  And wherefore God should have touched the heart of one of the
worst of those sinners, named Edward Underhill"--(and he rose, and
lifted his cap from his head, as he looked on high)--"Lord, Thou hast
mercy on whom Thou wilt have mercy!"

Isoult thought she had never heard Mr Underhill speak so solemnly
before.

When Dr Thorpe came from the barber's, on the 4th of February, he looked
very thoughtful and pensive.

"What news abroad, Doctor?" inquired Isoult.

"The first drop of the thunder-shower, child," he answered.  "This
morrow Mr Prebendary Rogers was burned in Smithfield."

"Gramercy!" cried John.  "I saw flame shoot up beyond the gate, and I
thought there was some fire near Newgate.  I never thought of _that_
fire."

In the evening came Austin, who had been last with the martyr.  Isoult
asked him if he suffered much.

"I would say, no," replied he.  "He died very quietly, washing his hands
in the flame as it rose.  His wife and his eleven childre (one born
sithence he was put in prison) met him in his last journey."

"God help them, poor souls!" cried Isoult.

"When Sheriff Woodroofe said he was an heretic," pursued he, "he said,
`That shall be known at the Day of Judgment.'  Then said he, `I will
never pray for thee.'  `But I will pray for you,' he answered.  He sang
_Miserere_ by the way, and refused the pardon which was offered him."

"Is it _very_ fearful, Austin," said Isoult, "to see any burn?"

"Only not so," he answered, his face changing, "when you think of the
Home whereto they are going, and of the glorious welcome which Christ
the King shall give them."

"And what think you?" said John.  "Shall there be yet more burnings, or
is this merely to strike terror, and shall stand alone?"

"I think," replied he, "nor am I alone in my thought,--that it is the
first drop of the thunder-storm."

Isoult was struck by his use of the very words of Dr Thorpe.

"Ill times these," remarked Mr Underhill, entering the Lamb, ten days
later.

"Ill, in very sooth," said Dr Thorpe.  "It shall take us the rest of
this month to get over the burning of Mr Rogers."

"Marry, is that all you know!" said Mr Underhill, standing and looking
round.  "You live a marvellous quiet life; thank God for it."

"What mean you?" cried Mrs Rose, springing to her feet.

"Sit down, Mrs Rose, sit down," said he, gently.  "I am sorry I frighted
you--there was no need.  But is it possible you know not, all, that Mr
Lawrence Saunders of All Hallows hath been burned at Coventry, and
Bishop Hooper at Gloucester?"

"Bishop Hooper!" cried all the voices together.

"Ay," replied he, "or so was to be, five days gone; and this day is
Bishop Ferrar departed toward Saint David's, where he also shall die."

They sat silent from very horror.

At last John said, "Methinks there shall be some stir among the angels
at such a time."

"Among the devils, I should think," answered Mr Underhill.  "There be no
particular tidings yet; but when Austin cometh to London we shall hear
all.  They say, moreover, Mr Bradford shall die ere long; and, for all
his turning, Mr Cardmaker."

"The fiends!" cried Dr Thorpe.  "If they will rob a man of Heaven, they
might leave him earth!"

"Friend," said John, softly, "they can rob the most of us of earth, but
they _must_ leave us Heaven."

When the ladies retired, Isoult asked Mrs Rose why she was so pale and
heavy-eyed.  The tears sprang to her eyes.

"O Isoult!" cried she, "since the burning of Mr Rogers I have scarcely
slept at all.  And when I do sleep--" she shuddered, and turned away her
head.

"_Hermana mia_ [my sister], I see _him_--and the fire."

She did not mean Mr Rogers.

The party gathered on Ash Wednesday at Mr Underhill's house in Wood
Street, where Austin Bernher was come with news; and Mr Underhill
desiring to know all, had asked his friends from the Lamb to come and
hear also; yet he dared not ask more than those from one house, lest the
bloodhounds should get scent of it, and mischief should ensue.

So Austin told all the horrible story; for a horrible story it was.  He
was not at Mr Saunders' burning, but he had seen some one who told him
particulars of it.  To the Bishop of London, who degraded him, Saunders
said, "I thank God I am none of your Church."  And when he came to the
stake, he embraced and kissed it, saying, "Welcome the cross of Christ!
Welcome everlasting life!"  And so "being fastened to the stake, and
fire put to him, full sweetly he slept in the Lord."  [Foxe, Acts and
Monuments, Pratt's Townshend's edition, six, 428.]

But Austin himself was at Gloucester, where Bishop Hooper suffered his
passion.  "A passion indeed," said he, "for I think never man was burned
that had more pains of death.  Afore he went into the fire, the gentle
Bishop lift up his hands, and said, `Lord, I am Hell, but Thou art
Heaven!'  And `Strengthen me, of Thy goodness, that in the fire I break
not the rules of patience; or else assuage the terror of the pains, as
shall seem most to Thy glory.'  And God did strengthen him, for he was
patience herself, though the wood laid to him was all green, and the
wind blew the fire away from him, so that he was long dying, and had an
hard death.  It was a lowering, cold morning, and the fire first kindled
went out, having only touched his lower half.  You have seen him, and
know how high of stature he was.  But he said only, in a mild voice, `O
Jesus, Son of David! have mercy upon me, and receive my soul.'  Then
they fetched fresh faggots, but that fire was spent also.  He did but
say softly, `For God's love, good people, let me have more fire.'  This
was the worst his agony could wring from him.  The third fire kindled
was more extreme, and reached at last the barrels of gunpowder.  Then,
when he saw the flame shoot up toward them, he cried, `Lord Jesus, have
mercy upon me!  Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!'  And so, bowing forward
his head, he died at last as quietly as a child in his bed."  [Note 1.]

"O Austin, how frightful!" cried Isoult: and though she said no more,
she wondered secretly if that would ever be the case with her.

"On his way to the stake," resumed Austin, "they essayed to make him
turn.  Saith Sir Anthony Kingston unto him, `Life is sweet, and death
bitter.'  `Truth, friend,' quoth the Bishop; `yet is the death to come
more bitter, and the life to come more sweet.'"

"He hath found it so ere now," said John, softly.

"But have you," pursued Austin, "heard of Dr Taylor's burning?"

"Not of the inwards thereof," answered Mr Underhill, "only of the act."

"Well," said Austin, "when Bishop Bonner came to degrade him, quoth the
Bishop, `I wish you would remember yourself, and turn to your mother,
holy Church.'  Then said Dr Taylor, `I wish you and your fellows would
turn to Christ.  As for me, I will not turn to Antichrist.'  And at the
first, when he come afore my Lord Keeper [Bishop Gardiner], quoth
he--`Art thou come, thou villain?  How darest thou look me in the face
for shame?  Knowest thou not who I am?' with a great and big voice.
Then said Dr Taylor, `Yes, I know who you are.  Ye are Dr Stephen
Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, and Lord Chancellor; and yet but a
mortal man, I trow.  But if I should be afraid of your lordly looks, why
fear you not God, the Lord of us all?  How dare ye for shame look any
Christian man in the face, seeing ye have forsaken the truth, denied our
Saviour Christ and His Word, and done contrary to your own oath and
writing?' with more to the same end."

"My word on't," saith Dr Thorpe, "but yonder is a jolly hearing.  I am
right glad my Lord Chancellor got so well swinged!"

"Suffered Dr Taylor much, Austin?" asked Isoult.

"I trow not," answered he.  "When he came nigh Hadleigh, the Sheriff
asked him how he did.  Quoth he, `Well, God be praised, good Master
Sheriff, never better; for now I know I am almost at home.  I lack not
past two stiles to go over, and I am even at my Father's house.'  He was
a very tall and great man, with long snow-white beard and head; and he
stood in the fire with his hands folded, and never moved nor spake, till
one struck him on the head with a halberd (I know not whether it were in
malice or in compassion) and he fell down dead into the midst of the
fire."

"Well!" said Dr Thorpe, "I will tell you a thing: I would my gossips had
named me any thing but Stephen."

"There was a Stephen the first martyr," suggested Austin; "comfort you
with that remembrance."

"Verily," answered he; "yet I love not to be called the name which Satan
hath chose for himself on his incarnation."

One thing strange to human, reason is worthy of note, as showing the
good hand of our God upon those who suffered for Him.  In the case of
the majority of these martyrs, those who had the fear of physical
suffering had _not_ the suffering.  Ridley and Hooper bore themselves
bravely, and knew no terror; and they endured awful anguish at the last.
But Archbishop Cranmer, who at first held back for fear, uttered no cry
in the fire; Latimer, who did not hold back, yet trembled at what he had
to pass through, died to all appearance without pain.  Most marvellous
of all was the case of Lawrence Saunders, the gentle Rector of All
Hallows, a man of delicate feeling, who shrank from the bitter cup, yet
drank it off bravely for Christ's sake.  And Christ failed him not, but
carried him in His own arms over the dark river; for no sooner was he
chained to the stake than a deep sleep from God fell upon him, and he
never woke to feel the fire at all, but slept sweetly as a child while
his body was consuming.  "Is any thing too hard for the Lord?"

When Isoult and Thekla came in from the market one morning in March, Dr
Thorpe, who sat in the chimney-corner, asked them to go up to Mrs Rose.

"Yon dolt Carter hath been hither," said he, "and sat with her half an
hour; and from what I heard since over mine head, I am afeard he gave
her to wit some ill news, for she hath been sobbing ever since his
departing.  Go you and comfort her."

Thekla was up the stairs in a moment; and Isoult followed.  Mr Carter [a
fictitious person] was the clergyman who had stepped into Mr Rose's
place of minister to the Gospellers' gatherings, when they dared to hold
them; a good man, but very cold and harsh.

"O Thekla!  Isoult!" cried Mrs Rose when they came in.  "Am I so very
wicked as Mr Carter saith me to be?"

Poor soul! she had been weeping bitterly.

"Mother!" cried Thekla, in amazement, "what meanest thou?"

"If you be very wicked, dear Marguerite," said Isoult, "you have hidden
it from me hitherto.  But what saith Mr Carter?"

"He saith that I love my husband too much, and it is idolatry, which God
will punish; and (_ay de mi_!)  I ought not to grieve for him, but
rather rejoice that he is called unto the high honour of martyrdom.
_M'amie, c'est impossible_!  And he saith that by such sinful and
extravagant grieving, I shall call down on me, and on him also, the
great displeasure of God.  He saith God alway taketh away idols, and
will not suffer idolatry in His people.  It is an abominable sin, which
He hateth; and we ought to pray to be kept from loving overmuch.  _Ca
peut-il etre, ma soeur?  Que digas, nina_?"  [What sayest thou, child?]

Isoult looked at Thekla in dismay; for this was a new doctrine to her,
and a very unpleasant one.  Thekla's lip trembled, and her eyes flashed,
but she did not speak; so Isoult answered herself: for poor Mrs Rose's
wailings in French and Spanish showed that she was sorely troubled.

"Well, dear Marguerite," said she, "if it be thus, I fear I am to the
full as guilty as thou.  I never prayed in all my life to be kept from
loving Jack or my childre overmuch.  I thought in mine ignorance that I
was bound to love them as much as ever I could.  Doth not Scripture tell
us to love our neighbour as ourself?"

"Ay," answered Mrs Rose, sobbing again, "and so I said to Mr Carter; but
he answered that I loved him more than myself, because I did say I would
rather to have died than he; and that was wicked, and idolatry."

Thekla knelt down, and passed her arm round her mother, drawing her to
herself, till Mrs Rose's head lay upon her bosom.

"Mother," she said, "whatsoever Mr Carter or any other shall say, I dare
say that this is not God's Gospel.  There is an whole book of Scripture
written to bid us love; but I never yet fell in with any to bid us hate.
Nay, Mother dear, the wrong is not, assuredly, that we love each other
too much, but only that we love God too little."

"Thekla, thou art God's best gift to me!" said Mrs Rose, drying her
eyes, and kissing her.  "It made me so miserable, _mi querida_ [my
darling--literally, my sought-for one], to think that God should be
displeased with him because I loved him too much."

"I wish Mr Carter would keep away!" answered Thekla, her eyes flashing
anew.  "If he hath no better Gospel than this to preach to God's tried
servants, he might as well tarry at home."

"But, _hija mia_ [my daughter]! thou knowest God's Word _so_ well!--tell
me an other, if there be, to say whether it is wrong to grieve and
sorrow when one is troubled.  I do not think God meaneth to bid us do
what we cannot do; and I cannot help it."

"Methinks, dear Mother," said Thekla, more quietly, "that Mr Carter
readeth his Bible upside down.  He seemeth to read Saint Paul to say
that no chastening for the present is grievous, but joyous.  An
unmortified will is one thing; an unfeeling heart an other.  God loveth
us not to try to shake off His rod like a wayward and froward child; but
He forbiddeth us not to moan thereunder when the pain wringeth it from
us.  And it may be the moan soundeth unto other at times that which it
is not.  He knoweth.  He shall not put our tears into the wrong bottle,
nor set down the sum of our groans in the wrong column of His book.
Hezekiah should scantly be told `I have seen thy tears,' if he did very
evil in shedding them; nor Moses twice over, `I have seen, I have seen
the affliction of My people, and am come down to deliver them,' if they
had sinned in being afflicted.  When God wipeth away all tears from our
eyes, shall He do it as some do with childre--roughly, shaking the
child, and bidding it have done?  `Despise not thou the chastening of
the Lord' cometh before `faint not when thou art rebuked of Him.'"

"Of a truth, I never could abide to see any so use a child," said
Isoult, innocently; "but, Thekla, sweet heart, it should as little serve
to run unto the further extremity, and give all that a babe should cry
for."

"Were that love at all?" said Thekla; "unless it were the mother's love
for herself, and her own ease."

Isoult saw that Mrs Rose seemed comforted, and Thekla was well able to
comfort, so she gently withdrew.  But when she came down-stairs, John
having now returned, she asked him and Dr Thorpe to tell her their
opinions.

"My thought is," replied Dr Thorpe, "that the fellow knoweth not his
business.  He must have cold blood in his veins, as a worm hath.  I
might search the Decalogue a great while ere I came to his two
commandments--`Thou shalt not sorrow,' and `Thou shalt not love thy
neighbour any better than thyself.'"

"I have little patience with such doctrines, and scantly with such men,"
said John.  "They would `make the heart of the righteous sad, whom God
hath not made sad.'  They show our loving and merciful Father as an
harsh, stern ruler, `an austere man,' meting out to His servants no more
joy nor comfort than He can help.  For joy that is put on is not joy.
If it arise not of itself, 'tis not worth having.  Paul saith, `As
sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing;' but that joy showeth not alway in the
face: and Father Carter hath forgot the first half.  I do believe (as I
have said to thee, dear heart, ere now) that God taketh more pleasure to
see His people joyful than sorrowful; but He never taketh pleasure, sure
am I, to see them make up an hypocrite's face, and fall to dancing, when
their hearts are like to break.  Why, sweeting! thou lovest rather to
see Frank happy than woeful; but dost thou therefore desire her to
smother her tears, and force a smile, rather than come and lodge her
little troubles with thee?  Nay, rather do I believe that to do such
were to insult God.  I could tell thee of that I have seen, where I do
verily believe that pride, and naught else--that abominable sin that God
hateth--kept His afflicted child up, and smirking with a false smile
over the breaking heart; and no sooner was that self-righteous pride
subdued, and the child brake forth into open sobbing,--crying, `Father,
Thy rod doth hurt, and I have been a fool!'--no sooner, I say, was this
confession made, than God threw away His rod, and took His humbled child
to His heart.  Dear heart, when God taketh His rod in hand, He meaneth
us to feel it.  Methinks a man that can speak to one in such trouble as
Mrs Rose, as Father Carter hath spoken, hath not himself known neither
much love, neither much sorrow, neither much of God."

Bishop Ferrar was burnt in Wales on the 30th of March.  Soon after this,
the Queen declared her intention of restoring all the suppressed lands
to the Church; nor was she content with that, but plainly intimated that
she desired her nobles to follow where she had paved the way.  The old
Earl of Bedford had but lately died--he who said that he held his sweet
Abbey of Woburn worth more than all the fatherly counsels, that could
come from Rome; but comparatively few of the Lords followed her Majesty
in this matter.

On the 4th of April, the Queen took her chamber at Hampton Court.  The
Papists made great rejoicing over the young master for whom they hoped,
but the Gospellers were very sorrowful, seeing that he would take
precedence of the Lady Elizabeth, in whom after God was all their hope;
and also that he would unquestionably be brought up a Papist.  During
the last evening in April came news that a Prince was born, and through
all London there were ringing of bells and bonfires.  But the next day
came contrary tidings.  God had written next upon the Crown of England
the name of Queen Elizabeth, and no power less than His own could change
that label.

Early in May, Isoult went alone to market, which was not her custom; and
coming back along Cornhill, she suddenly heard a voice say,--"Is it not
Mrs Barry?"

Wondering who could thus recognise her who was not also aware of her
marriage, she looked up into the face of a handsome, courtly gentleman,
splendidly apparelled.

"Sir," said she, "I pray you of your pardon; I am Isoult Barry, but I am
not so fortunate as to know your name."

"Do you not so?" replied he, and he smiled.

And when he smiled, Isoult thought she knew him.

"Is it Mr James Basset?" said she.

"Truly so," answered he; "and I am very glad of thus meeting you.  I cry
you mercy for wrongly naming you, but in very deed I have forgot your
present name.  Dwell you hereabout?"

Isoult told him her name, and that she lived near London, yet not in the
City; but she did not give her exact address.

"I trust we may be better acquainted," said he, "and that I may find in
you (as I cast no doubt) a woman faithful unto God and the Queen's
Grace."

The terrible peril in which she stood stared her all at once in the
face.  James Basset was a gentleman of the chamber, and "a stout
Papist."

"Sir," said she, "I would be right sorry to be less."

"Of that I am well assured," replied he.  "Saw you of late my sister?"

Isoult answered that she had not seen Philippa lately; and he, bowing
low, bade our Lady keep her, and departed.  Isoult came home trembling
like an aspen leaf.  She knew well that, did his faith come into
question, ties of friendship would have little weight with James Basset.

The next morning brought Philippa Basset.

"Well," said she, "Isoult, so thou fellest in with my brother James
yesterday?"

"I did so," answered Isoult, rather shortly.

"He told me so much," pursued she; "and said he had forgot to ask where
thou dwelledst.  So I told him."

Isoult drew her breath hard.

"I know not whether to thank you for that, Mrs Basset," observed John.

Philippa began to laugh.

"Do you take me for a fool, both of you?" said she.  "Or for worse--a
traitor?  If I be a Catholic, yet am I a woman, not a stone.  I told him
you dwelt on the thither side of Lambeth.  You have nought to fear from
me.  If all the Gospellers in the world were wrapped up in thy single
person, Isoult, none should ever lay hand on an hair of thine head by
means of Philippa Basset.  Yea, though mine own life were the
forfeit,--'tis not worth much to any now."

"I thank thee dearly for thy love, sweet Philippa," said Isoult, "but I
hardly know how to thank thee for lying.

"'Twere a venial sin, I am assured," said she, lightly.  "Why, dear
heart!  James would burn thee in Smithfield as soon as eat his dinner!"

About a fortnight passed uneventfully--a rare occurrence in the year
1555.  But as it was growing dusk on the 21st of May, there was a quick
rap at the door, and Mr Underhill hastily entered.

"Coming from the light, I may scantly see who is here," said he; "but I
wish to speak quickly with Mrs Rose--Mrs Thekla, I mean."

Mrs Rose and Isoult were sitting in the little chamber.  The latter rose
to call Thekla.

"What for Thekla?" asked her mother, earnestly.  "Can you not tell me,
Mr Underhill?  Is there some evil news for me?"

"I knew not you were here till I heard you speak, Mrs Rose," he
answered, in the gentle manner in which he always spoke to her.  "Well,
I suppose you may as well know it first as last.  Your husband is
ordered to Norwich for examination, and shall set forth this even.  He
shall pass the postern in half an hour, and I came to tell Mrs Thekla,
if she desired to speak with him, she should come at once with me."

Thekla ran up-stairs to fetch her hood.

"To Norwich!" cried poor Mrs Rose, "what for to Norwich?"

"I know not," said Mr Underhill; "is he Norfolk-born?"

"He was born at Exmouth," she answered; "is Exmouth in Norfolk?"

"Nay, surely," said Isoult; "'tis in Devon, as I well know."

"Then what for Norwich?" she said again.  "But, Mr Underhill! you take
Thekla--and you take not me?"

"I cannot, Mrs Rose," said he; "your peril--"

"What care I for my peril?" she cried, passionately.

"Doth he belong to them? or doth he belong only to Thekla?  Let me go,
Mr Underhill!  He is mine--mine--mine!  _Mi alma, mi bien_ [my soul, my
own]!  I will go, if it be the last sight of him!  Who shall let me?"

"Marry, I would, if I could," said Mr Underhill, under his voice.  "Mrs
Avery, what am I to do?" and he looked helplessly at Isoult.

"Leave me to speak to her, Mr Underhill," she answered.  "Dear sister
Marguerite, remember Mr Rose is not yet condemned: and there is the
shadow of hope that he may not be so.  But if they can prove him to have
been in your company, that hope will perish.  Will you go, knowing
that?"

Mrs Rose had knelt down by the table, and buried her head in her hands
upon it.  She gave no answer save a low, deep moan of unutterable
anguish.

"_Seigneur, pour combien de temps regarderas-tu cela_?"

"Go, Mr Underhill," said Isoult, softly.  "If I know her, she will not
follow."

Mr Underhill hurried Thekla away.

It was an hour before they came back.  Mrs Rose had gone up-stairs, and
Isoult sat alone in the chimney-corner.  She heard the latch lifted, and
Mr Underhill's voice bidding Thekla good-night.  He was not returning
with her.  Then her soft step came forward.  She paused as soon as she
entered the chamber.

"Who is here?" she said, under her breath.

"It is I, Thekla," answered Isoult.  "Thy mother is above, dear heart; I
am alone."

"I am glad of that."

And she came forward to the hearth, where suddenly she flung herself
down on her knees, and buried her face in Isoult's lap.

"I cannot see her just now!" she said in a choked voice.  "I must be
over mine own agony ere I can bear hers.  O Mrs Avery! he is so white,
and worn, and aged!  I hardly knew him till he smiled on me!"

And laying down her head again, she broke forth into sobbing--such a
very passion of woe, as Isoult had never heard before from the lips of
Thekla Rose.  Then in a little while--for she did not check her, only
smoothed down her hair lovingly--Thekla lifted her head again, and her
first gushing of pain seemed over.

"The Sheriff was good to me," she whispered.  "Mr Underhill said, `Would
it please you of your gentleness, to stay your prisoner five minutes?
Here is his daughter that would speak with him.'  And he stayed, and
gave us leave to speak--more than five minutes."

She dried her eyes, and smoothed back her hair.

"Now," she said, "I can go to her."

"God go with you, my poor child!" answered Isoult Thekla paused a moment
before she set her foot on the stairs.  "I feel," she said, "as if I
wanted Him very near to-night."

On Thursday, the 30th of May, Cardmaker and Warne were burned in
Smithfield.  And on the 10th of June, in the same place, died John
Bradford, saying he should have a merry supper with the Lord that night.

Four days afterwards came Austin Bernher.

"How do you all?" asked he.

"Marry, I shall do better when I know whence you come," said poor Mrs
Rose, lifting her heavy eyes.

"Then I come from Norwich," saith he, "and, I hope, with good news.  Mr
Rose hath been examined twice afore the Bishop, the last day of this
last month, and the seventh of this, but is not yet sentenced.  He is
kept in the Green Yard, next the Cathedral; and the charge against him
is that he hath held and defended in public that in the Eucharist, or
Sacrament of the Altar, the true, natural, and real body of Christ, and
the true, natural, and real blood of Christ, under the espece of bread
and wine, be not in verity; but that after consecration, the substance
of bread and wine remaineth; and that whoso shall adore that substance
shall commit idolatry, and shall give Divine honour unto a creature of
God.  And then he was asked but one question, `Whether you will be
obedient to the laws of the Catholic Church, whereof the Church of
England is a member?'  This was in the indictment; but the Bishop talked
with him no little, and saith unto him, `You have preached (quoth he)
that the presence of Christ is not in the sacrament.  What say you to
that?'  `Verily, I say,' Mr Rose answered, `that you are a bloody man,
and seek to quench your thirst in the blood of an innocent.  I have so
preached,' saith he, `yea, and I will so preach again.'"

"Gramercy!" cried Isoult.

"Ay, he was bold enough," said Austin.  "Well, after examination, afore
I set forth, come to me my old Lord of Sussex, and that gentle knight
Sir William Woodhouse, who told me they meant to see Mr Rose, and to do
whatsoever they might in his behalf.  And a word in your ear: the Queen
is very, very grievous sick.  My Lord of Sussex, and other likewise,
have told me that the Bishops _dare_ not sentence more heretics.  They
think Mr Rose shall have a lighter sentence than death--imprisonment it
may be.  But until they see how the Queen shall fare, they be sore
afraid."

"They were not afeard to burn Mr Bradford," suggested Isoult.

"Truth," he answered.  "But he, you see, was already sentenced.  Mrs
Avery, there is one thing I must needs tell you, and I pray you, let me
get the same out ere Mrs Thekla come in.  I am sore diseased touching Mr
Tremayne."

"For Robin!" she cried.  "Austin, have they sentenced him?"

"I know not what they have done unto him," saith he, "and that is the
very truth.  He is no longer in the Marshalsea.  They have carried him
thence some whither, and I, which am alway rambling up and down the
realm, have not yet discovered whither.  Trust me, you shall know as
soon as I."

Early in the morning, six days afterwards, before all were down, and
Isoult herself had but just descended the stairs, there came a hasty
rap, and in ran Austin.

"Where is Mrs Rose?" said he.  "I have good news for her."

"O Austin! is Mr Rose sentenced?" said Isoult, when she had called Mrs
Rose.

"Ay," he answered, "but to no worse than imprisonment in his lodging.
It is as I told you--the Bishops dare not act.  And Sir William
Woodhouse, being present, maketh offer (under the Bishop's leave) to
keep Mr Rose in his house, seeing he had no lodging in Norwich.  Whereto
the Bishop assents, but that he should come up when called for.  Sir
William therefore taketh him away, and at the very next day sendeth him
thence.  I cannot tell you where: Sir William will tell none.  Only this
I know; he is to be passed secretly from hand to hand, until means be
had to convey him over seas.  And now my Lord of Norwich is come to
London, and shall not be back for nigh a month; in which time Mr Rose
may win far enough ere he be bidden.--Why, Mrs Rose! is it matter for
weeping?"

"I think it is for weeping, Austin, but not for sorrow," said Isoult.

"One word, Augustine," said Mrs Rose, drying her eyes.  "Whither shall
they take him over seas?"

"In your ear, then," said he.  "To Calais, to Mr Stevens, whence he
shall be passed again through France, until he reach Geneva."

"Then I go thither," answered she.

"Softly, Mrs Rose!" said Austin, doubtfully.  "You must not, methinks,
stir out of the realm; a great mischief might ensue.  They should guess
presently that whither you went would he go."

"But what can I do?" she said plaintively.

"`Wait on the Lord,'" softly answered Isoult.

July brought a little respite to the horrible slaughter.  In the
beginning of August, came Austin, and with him Mr Underhill.

"There is somewhat merry news from Norwich," cried Mr Underhill.  "My
Lord the Bishop, returned thither, summons Rose afore his saintly
presence: who is no whither to be found.  Whereupon my Lord sendeth for
a wizard, and in his holiness biddeth him consult with the infernal
powers touching the whereabout of the prisoner.  Who answereth that Rose
is gone over the water, and is in keeping of a woman.  Wherein he spake
sooth, though maybe he knew it not; for Rose at that very minute lay
hidden in the mean cottage of a certain godly woman, and had to ford
more rivers than one to win thither.  So my Lord the Bishop, when he
gets his answer of the Devil, flieth at the conclusion that Rose is gone
over seas, and is safe in Germany, and giveth up all looking for him.
Wherefore, for once in our lives, we may thank the Devil."

"Nay, good Ned," said Jack; "we will thank the living God [this phrase
was another _symbolum hereticorum_], that did overrule both the Bishop
and the Devil."

"And what of Robin?" said Isoult.

"Mrs Avery, I am puzzled and bewildered as I never was before," replied
Austin.  "I cannot find him."

A week later, when the dusk had fallen, but John had not yet come home,
and Dr Thorpe and Isoult sat alone in the chamber, a quick footstep
approached the door.

"What he! is the door locked?" cried Mr Underhill's voice outside.

Barbara ran and let him in.

"Where is Mrs Rose?" was his first question.

"Above," said Isoult.  "Is there news for her?"

"Good," said he, without replying: "and Mrs Thekla?"

"Above likewise."

"Let her stay there a moment.  But tell her (whenas you can without her
mother's ears) that her father is in London again, in the keeping of
Speryn, my wife's brother; and there she may see him.  Tell her to come
to my house, and I or my wife shall go with her to the other.  But she
must not tarry in coming, for we hope to have him away to Calais on
Tuesday night."

And away he went.

Mrs Rose was not told a word; but Thekla saw her father before he left
England.  Then he was passed secretly across the Channel, and on Rysbank
Mr Stevens met him, and took him to his house.  The next day he was sent
away to Boulogne, and so on to Paris, always in the keeping of
Huguenots, and thence to Lyons, and so to Switzerland.

On the 26th of August, the King set out for Spain, the Queen going with
him as far as Greenwich, where she remained, and the Princess Elizabeth
with her.

The respite from the slaughter was short; and it was only the enemy's
breathing-time for a more terrible onslaught.  The next entry in
Isoult's diary ran thus:--

"By Austin Bernher woeful news is come.  My Lord Archbishop, that stood
so firm for God's truth--that was already doomed for his faithfulness--
that all we have so loved, and honoured, and mourned--Thomas Cranmer,
Archbishop of Canterbury, is fallen away from Christ, and hath recanted
and rejected the truth by which he stood so firm.  I knew never any
thing that so cut me to the heart after this sort, sithence Sir Will
Smith's recanting at Calais.  Surely, surely, Christ will rescue this
His sheep from the jaws of the wolf whereinto he is fallen!  Of them
whom the Father hath given Him, can He lose this one?"

Mr Underhill came in on the 19th of October strangely sad and pensive
for him.

"Have you the news this even?" said he.

"What news?" inquired John.  "Is it death or life?"

"It is martyrdom," he answered, solemnly.  "Is that death, or life?"

His manner fairly frightened Isoult.  She was afraid lest he should have
come to give them dreadful tidings of Robin; or, it might be, that Mr
Rose had been recaptured on his journey through France.

"O Mr Underhill!" she cried, tremblingly, "pray you, the name of the
martyr?"

It was neither Mr Rose's nor Robin's.  But no name, short of those two,
would have thrilled to her heart straighter than the other two he gave.

He said, "Nicholas Ridley, and Hugh Latimer."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  If the reader think this narrative horrible, let him know that
all the worst details have been omitted.  They are written in God's book
in letters of fire, and shall not be forgotten in the day when He maketh
up His jewels.



CHAPTER ELEVEN.

HOPE DEFERRED.

  "Ah, would we but only leave
      All things to our Father!
  Would we only cease to grieve,
      Wait His mercy rather!
  Meek resigning childish choice,
      Graceless, thankless pressing--
  Listen for His gentle voice,
      `Child, receive this blessing!'
  Faithless, foolish hearts! see you
      Seeds' earth-hidden growing?
  What our God for us will do,
      He Himself is knowing."

It was on the 4th of November 1555, that Annis Holland came home from
Spain.  Queen Juana was dead, and she had no longer any tie to a country
in which she had certainly not been happy.

"Please it you, Mistress!" said Ursula's voice at the chamber door,
where Isoult sat sewing.

"Well, Ursula?" replied her mistress.

"Mistress Holland would have speech of you, Mistress," said she.

Of course Isoult supposed her visitor to be Roger Holland's wife, and
thanked God in her heart that she was better off than Bessy; but she
came down into the chamber--not to see Bessy.  On another face her eyes
lighted, and a cry of gladness broke from her.

"What, Annis!"

When the first welcomings were over, and they sat down again, Isoult
thought she saw a grave, sad look on Annis' face that was not wont to be
there.

"I trusted to have seen thee home ere this, dear Annis," she said, "for
we heard that the Queen thy mistress was dead, and I thought thou
wouldst not be like to tarry yonder."

"Ay," she said, sadly.  "She is gone to God; and laud be to Him for it!
No, Isoult, I had no mind to abide there."

She shuddered, as with very horror, so that Isoult answered--"Methinks,
sweet heart, thy Lord Marquis of Denia could be no worser than Bishop
Gardiner."

"There be eviller things in Spain than even he is," said she, and shook
her head.

"And where wilt thou go, Annis?" asked Isoult, "for my Lady's Grace of
Suffolk is out of this kingdom.  I would have loved dearly to have thee
hither till thou mightest fit thyself with a service, but verily all my
chambers be full filled, and I would not lodge thee in the nursery,
where be already Esther and the childre, except for a short space."

A little smile played about the lips of Annis.

"Isoult," she said, "after all I have said and writ touching Spain (and
in good sooth may yet say and write), I fear thou shalt think me a
marvellous contrarious maid, if I own to thee that I am about to wed a
Spanish gentleman."

"Well," answered her friend, "that hangeth upon the Spanish gentleman's
particular."

"Truth," replied she; "and if I did not verily believe the grace of God
to be in his heart, trust me, Isoult, I would never have him."

"But wilt thou, then, go back to dwell in Spain?"

"God forbid!" cried she, heartily.

"I am afeard, sweet heart," suggested Isoult, "thou shalt find this
country little better.  There be nigh every week burnings some whither."

"O Isoult, Isoult!" cried she, vehemently.  "There may be any thing of
horrible and evil; but that all were not so much as worthy to be cast
into the scale against the Inquisition!"

"Well," said she, "I have not dwelt there as thou hast; but I have dwelt
here these last three years, the which thou hast not.  But who, prithee,
is thy servant [suitor]?  He is not in the King's house, trow?"

"No, nor like to be," said Annis.  "It is Don Juan de Alameda, brother's
son to Dona Isabel, of whom I writ to thee."

"Thou wrotest marvellous little to me, Annis," said Isoult, smilingly.

"Nay, I writ twice in every year, as I promised," answered she.

"Then know thou," said Isoult, "that I never had those thy letters,
saving two, which were (as I judge) the first thou didst write, and one
other, two years gone or more, writ on the 14th day of August."

"I writ thee three beside them," answered she.  "I suppose they were
lost at sea, or maybe they lie in the coffers of the Inquisition.  Any
way, let them be now.  I thank God I am come safe out of that land,
where, if any whither, Satan hath his throne."

"Then," said Dr Thorpe, who had come in while she was speaking, "he must
have two; for I am assured there is one set up at Westminster, nor is he
oft away from it."

Annis passed the rest of the day with Isoult, and Don Juan came in the
evening to escort her to the inn where she was staying.

"I must needs allow Don Juan a very proper gentleman, and right fair in
his ways; but I would Annis' husband had been an Englishman.  I feel not
to trust any Spaniard at all," said Isoult, after Annis was gone.

"Why," said Marguerite Rose, "they are like us women.  Some of the good
ones may be very good; but all the bad ones be very bad indeed."

Austin Bernher brought full news of the death of Ridley and Latimer.
Isoult asked especially "if they had great suffering, and if they abode
firm in the truth."

"To the abiding firm," said he, "yea, firm as the Mount Zion, that
standeth fast for ever.  For the suffering, it seemed me that my dear
master suffered nothing at all, but with Dr Ridley (I sorrow to say it)
it was far otherwise.  But hearken, and you shall wit all.

"The night afore they suffered, Dr Ridley was very pleasant at supper,
and bade them all that were at the table to his wedding; `for,' saith
he, `I must be married to-morrow.  And though my breakfast be somewhat
sharp and painful, yet I am sure my supper shall be more pleasant and
sweet.'  Then saith Mr Shipside, his brother [Note 1], `I will bide with
you this night.'  `Nay,' answered he, `not so, for I mean to go to bed,
and sleep as quietly as ever I did in my life.'

"The stake was made ready on the north side of the town, in the
town-ditch, over against Balliol College; and my Lord Williams of Thame
had the ordering thereof.  As Dr Ridley passed Bocardo, he looked up,
thinking to have seen my Lord Archbishop at the glass-window; but they
had provided against that, by busying him in disputation with a Spanish
friar.  Then Dr Ridley, looking back, espied my master coming after.
`Oh!' saith he, `be you there?'--`Yea,' saith my master; `have after as
fast as I can follow.'  So when they came to the stake, Dr Ridley
embraced him, saying, `Brother, be of good heart, for God will either
assuage the fury of the flame, or else strengthen us to abide it.'  Then
they knelt and prayed; and after, talked a little to each other, but
what they said none heard.  Dr Smith [Robert Smith, a renegade from
Lutheranism] preached the sermon, from `Though I give my body to be
burned,' and so forth, but his discourse lasted but a few minutes, and
was nought save railing against heretics.  Then Dr Ridley entreated of
my Lord Williams leave of speech; which he would have given, but Mr
Vice-Chancellor and the bailiffs would not suffer it, only that they
might speak if they would recant, Dr Ridley cried then, `I will never
deny my Lord Christ!' and arising from his knees, he cried again with a
loud voice, `Well, then, I commit our cause to Almighty God, who shall
indifferently judge all.'  Whereto my master added his old posy [motto,
maxim], `Well, there is nothing hid but it shall be opened.'  So that
after they made them ready, and were fastened to the stake; and Mr
Shipside brought two bags of gunpowder and tied around their necks.
Then they brought a lighted faggot, and laid it at Dr Ridley's feet.
Then said my master, `Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the
man; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England,
as I trust shall never be put out.'

"When Dr Ridley saw the fire flaming up towards him, he cried, with a
wondrous loud voice, `Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit!'  And
oft afterwards, `Lord, Lord, receive my spirit!'  My master, on the
other side, did as vehemently cry, `O Father of Heaven, receive my
soul!'  Who [Latimer] received the flame as it were embracing it, and
after he had stroked his face, and bathed his hands a little in the
fire, soon died, to the sight of all present having no pain.  Dr
Ridley's suffering, on the contrary side, was fearful, and only to
compare with Bishop Hooper.  Ask me not to say more touching it.  But at
last the flame reached the gunpowder, and after that he was seen to stir
no more, only to fall down at Mr Latimer's feet.  I will but say more,
that hundreds of them which saw the sight shed tears thereover."

No one spoke when Austin ended.

At last, John said softly, "`Never to be put out!'  Lord, grant this
word of Thy martyr, and let that bright lamp lighted unto Thee give
light for ever!"

Three hundred years have run out since that dread October day, when the
candle was lighted at Oxford which should never be put out.  And put out
it has never been.  Satan and all his angels may blow against it, but
God holds it in the hollow of His hand, and there it is safe.

Yet there is a word of warning, as well as a word of hope.  To the
Church at Ephesus saith our Lord, "I know thy works,"--yea, "and thy
labour,"--yea, "and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which
are evil; and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are
not, and hast found them liars; and hast borne, and hast patience, and
for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted."  Can more than
this be said to our Church?  Nay, can all this be said to her?  God
grant it.  "Nevertheless"--nevertheless!--"I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love."  O Lord, how tenderly Thou
dealest!  Not "left thy love:" it was not so bad as that.  Yet see how
He notes the leaving of the _first_ love!  A little colder; a little
deader; a little less ready to put on the coat, to defile the feet, to
rise and open to the Beloved.  Only a little; but how that little
grieves His heart, who hath never left His first love.  And what is the
end?  "I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick
out of his place, except thou repent."

"O earth," and O England, "hear the word of the Lord!"  Art thou yet
warm in thy first love?  Has there been no looking back to Sodom, no
longing for the flesh-pots of Egypt, no eyes wandering toward the house
of Baal?  God grant that thou mayest not lose thy candle!  It was
wrought of blood and in tears: is it a light thing that thou shouldst
let it be put out?

One night in November came in Mr Underhill, and an hour after him, Mr
Ferris.

"Welcome, George!" said Mr Underhill.  "Any news abroad?"

"Have you heard none to-night?" said he.

"Not so much as would go by the eye of a needle," he answered.  "Is
there tidings?"

"The Bishop of Winchester is dead."

Mr Underhill sprang to his feet with a cry of exultation.

"`Glory to God in the highest!' yea, I might go further--`on earth
peace!'  Jack, let us sing the _Te Deum_."

"Not in my house," said John, quietly.

"Thou recreant faint-heart!  What meanest?"

"I am ready enough to sing the _Te Deum_, Ned," pursued John, "but not
for so terrible a thing as the casting of that poor sinner, with the
blood of God's saints red upon his soul, into the lake that burneth with
fire and brimstone."

"How can you stay to think of it?" cried Mr Underhill in his ringing
voice.  "Is that blood even now not crying unto God?  Are Rogers and
Bradford, are Ridley and Latimer, yet avenged?  Shall not the saints
wash their feet _in_ the blood of the ungodly?  Yea, let them fall, and
never rise up again!  Shall we be thus slack to praise God for freedom?"

"Wait till we are free," said John, drily.

"And moderate your voice, Ned Underhill," added Mr Ferris, "if you would
be free long."

Mr Underhill laid his hands upon John's shoulders.

"Look me in the face, John Avery," answered he, "and tell me what you
mean.  Think you this great palace of cruelty and injustice built up by
him shall not crumble to dust along with Stephen Gardiner?"

"I doubt it very greatly," he replied.

"Assuredly not," said Marguerite Rose, "so long as the King Philip is in
this country, and the Bishop of London.  It might ask Dr Gardiner to
build the palace, but I think they shall be able to keep it standing."

"But King Philip is not in this country," said Mr Underhill.

"He is master of it," said John.

"Alas for my _Te Deum_, then!" sighed Mr Underhill, shrugging his
shoulders.  "But I hope you may yet find you mistaken, Jack Avery."

"Not more than I, Ned," said John, sadly.

John Avery did not find himself mistaken; but it was not long ere Mr
Underhill did so.  He allowed that his _Te Deum_ had been too soon, when
on the 18th of December Archdeacon Philpot was burned.  And the burnings
in Smithfield were then not half over.

On the 12th of January, at Mr Underhill's house in Wood Street, by Mr
Carter, was christened little Anne Underhill, born on Epiphany Eve [see
Note in Appendix].  Her sponsors were Mr Ferris, Helen Ive, and Isoult
Avery.

Ere this, a few days before Christmas, Mr Rose's first letter had
reached his wife's hands.  It brought the welcome tidings that he had
arrived safely at Geneva, yet through such perils that he would not
advise her to follow.  When Isoult had read the letter, she remarked--

"I do see Mr Rose accounteth not himself to be lawfully divorced, for he
maketh account of her as his wife all through the letter, and signeth
himself at the end thereof, her loving and faithful husband."

"Doth that astonish thee?" said John, laughing.

"Well, of a truth," she answered, "I had thought the worse of him for
any other dealing."

Annis Holland came again in March to spend a day at the Lamb.  On this
occasion she told the rest of her story, or, it may rather be called,
the story of Queen Juana.  For many months after that first accidental
meeting, she told them, she never again saw her royal mistress.  But
Dona Leonor Gomez, who was exceedingly loquacious when she had no fear
of consequences, and sometimes when she had, told her that so long as
she was in her right senses, nothing would ever induce the Queen to
attend mass.  To persuade her to do any thing else, they would tell her
they acted under command of the King her father (who had in reality been
dead many years); and she, loving him dearly, and not having sufficient
acuteness left to guess the deceit practised upon her, would assent
readily to all they wished, except that one thing.  Even that influence
failed to induce her to be present at mass.

"And one day," said Annis, "about the Christmastide, two years gone, I
was sitting and sewing in my chamber, Maria being forth, and I had been
chanting to myself the hymn, `_Christe Redemptor Omnium_.'  When I had
ended and was silent, thinking me alone, a voice from the further end of
the chamber saith, `Sing again, Dona Ines.'  I looked up in very terror,
for here was the Queen's Highness herself.  I marvelled how she should
have come forth of her chamber, and what my Lord of Denia should say.
`Senora,' said I, `I kiss the soles of your feet.  But allow me to
entreat your Highness to return to your chamber.'--`I will not return
till you have sung to me,' saith she.  And she sat right down on the
floor, and clasped her hands around her knees.  So I had no choice but
to sing my hymn over again.  When I ended, she saith, `What means it,
Dona Ines?  Is it somewhat of our Lord?'--`Ay, Senora,' I made answer,
`it is all touching Him,'--`I understood the Church hymns once,' she
said; `but that was before the _cuerda_.  Sing some more.'  Then I sang
`_Victimae Paschali_!' `_Miserere_!' she repeated, dreamily, as if that
word had woke some old echoes in her memory.  `Ay de mi! child, I lack
the mercy very sorely.'--`He knoweth that, Senora,' said I gently.  `And
His time is the best time.'  And she answered, as she had aforetime,--`I
would He would come!'  I knew scarce what to answer; but I had no time
to answer at all, ere the door opened, which the Queen had closed behind
her, and my dread Lord of Denia stood before me.  `What is this,
Senora?' he said to her Highness.  `Your Highness here!'  And turning to
me, `Dona Ines,' quoth he, `explain it if you can.'  I thought the
wisest thing should be to speak very truth, as well as the right, and I
told him even how matters stood with me.  `I see,' he answered.  `You
have not been to blame, except that you should have called immediately
for help, and have put her back into her chamber.  Rise, Senora!'  The
Queen clasped her hands closer around her knees.  `I am at ease here,'
she said.  `And I want Dona Ines to sing.'  The Marquis took a step
nearer her.  `_Alteza_,' he said, `I desire your Highness to rise.  You
should be ashamed--you, a Queen!'  She looked up on him with a look I
had not seen in her _eyes_ aforetime.  `Am I a Queen?' she said.  `If
so, a Queen captive in the enemy's hands!  If I be your Queen, obey me--
depart from this chamber when you hear my "_Yo la Reyna_."  [Note 2.]
Begone, senor Marques!  Leave me in peace.'  `Senora!' he answered,
unmoving, `I am surprised.  You are in your own Palace, where your
father detains you; and you call it captivity!  Rise at once, Senora,
and return to your chamber.'  He spoke sternly and determinedly.  The
captive lioness heard the keeper's voice, and obeyed.  `My father--ay
Don Fernando!' she said only.  And holding out both her hands to him, as
a child should do, he led her away.  After that, I saw her no more for
many weary months.  At times the terrible screams would arouse me from
sleep, and then I prayed for her, that God would strengthen her, and
ease the torment to her; but, above all, that God would take her.  I
trust it were not sin in me, Isoult.  But if thou hadst seen her as I
saw her!

"Well, I saw her no more until this last April.  Then there came a night
when the shrieks awoke me, more terrible than I had ever heard them yet.
When Dona Leonor came into my chamber on the morrow, which was Good
Friday, I asked if she knew the cause.  She told me ay.  Her Highness
lay dying, and had refused to receive [that is, to receive the
sacrament].  Fray Domingo de Soto would not suffer her to depart without
the host.  While she yet talked with me, entered Dona Ximena de Lara,
that had never been in my chamber afore, and alway seemed to hold her
much above me.  `Dona Ines,' quoth she, `my Lord of Denia commands you
to follow me quickly.  The Queen is in a fearful frenzy, and sith she
hath alway much loved music, and divers times hath desired you should be
fetched to sing to her, my Lord Marquis would have you try whether that
will serve to abate her rage.'

"`And they gave her the _cuerda_?' said I, as I followed Dona Ximena.
`Ay, for two hours and more,' saith she, `but alas! to no end.  She
refuseth yet to receive His Majesty.'  Know thou, Isoult, that these
strange folk call the wafer `His Majesty'--a title that they give at
once to God and the King.  `They gave her the _premia_ early last
night,' saith she, `but it was to no good; wherefore it was found
needful to repeat the same, more severely, near dawn.  Her screams must
have been heard all over the town.  A right woeful frenzy followed,
wherein (she being ignorant of what she did) they caused her to swallow
His Majesty.  Whereupon, in the space of some few minutes, by the power
of our Lord, she calmed; but the frenzy is now returned, and they think
her very near her departing.'  In her Highness' chamber a screen was
drawn afore the bed, that I could not see her; but her struggles and her
cries could too well be heard.  My Lord of Denia stood without the
screen, and I asked what it was his pleasure I should sing.  He
answered, what I would, but that it should be soft and soothing.  And
methought the Hymn for the Dead should be the best thing to sing for the
dying.

  "`Rex tremendae majestatis,
  Qui salvandos salvas gratis,
  Salve me, Fons Pietatis!'

"I had sung but one verse when her crying ceased; and ere I had sung
two, she saith with a deep sigh, `Ay Jesus!' and lay quiet.  Then, when
I paused, she said, `Is it Dona Ines?'--`Speak to her,' quoth my Lord
Marquis.  `Senora,' I answered, `I am your Highness' servant Ines, that
kisseth your feet.'--`Come hither to me,' the Queen said.  `Child, God
hath looked on long in silence, but He is come at last.'  My Lord of
Denia made me a sign to pass within the screen.  There lay she, her
snow-white hair scattered over the pillow; her ladies standing or
kneeling around the bed.  `It is over!' she said, speaking slowly, and
with pauses.  `I shall suffer no longer.  I shall go to God.'--`Senora,'
quoth my Lord Marquis, `I entreat your Highness to be silent.  You have
received His Majesty, and cannot be allowed to soil your soul by evil
words, when Christ is within you.'--`Ye forced me, did ye?' she
answered, a quick flash of anger breaking the calm of her face.  `Ah!
well, God knoweth.  _I_ did it not.  God knoweth.  And God will receive
me.  He witteth what I have been, and what ye.'  She lay silent a
season; and then, slowly, as if it pained her, she drew her hands
together, and folded them as if she prayed, Fray Domingo began a Latin
prayer.  `Silence!' saith the Queen, royally.  And for this once--the
last time--her gaolers obeyed her.  She fetched a long weary sigh, and
laid her hands one over the other on her breast.  Then, in low, calm,
quiet tones, her last words were spoken.  `Father, into Thine hands I
commit my spirit.  Jesus Christ, the Crucified, be with me!  I thank God
that my life is over.'  It was over, only a few minutes later.  And I
think He was with her through the valley of the shadow of death."  [Note
2.]

"Isoult," said Annis, as she ended her woeful story, "thinkest thou this
were martyrdom--this daily dying for six and twenty years?  Was it any
less, borne for our Lord's love, than any of His martyrs?  They that are
burned or beheaded, they do but suffer once, and then no more.  It must
be easier, methinks, than to die piecemeal, as she did.  And she knew so
little!  Isoult, dost thou think Christ will count her in the number of
His martyrs?"

"It soundeth very like, Annis," she answered.

"I do not fancy," said John, "that the Lord is so ill off for martyrs'
crowns that He will have none to spare for her."

"Well!" responded Dr Thorpe.  "It should be no great wonder if they were
used up, seeing how many must have been fetched within the last two
years."

"I could believe any thing of Don Carlos," answered Marguerite Rose.
"He that so ill used his aunt, that had been a mother unto him, the Lady
Marguerite of Savoy, that was Governess of Flanders,--he should not have
much love for his own mother."

And Thekla said,--"I think the crown of the Queen Dona Juana must have
been a very bright one.  It is so hard to watch and wait."

"My poor Thekla!" murmured Isoult, "thou hast had much thereof."

"I!" she answered, with a smile.  "I have done nothing.  I have not been
forsaken and ill dealt withal, as she was, of my best beloved,
throughout many years.  Compare me not with her!  If I may sit down some
whither in Heaven where I can but see her on the heights, that would be
too good for me."

"But art thou willing to see Christ only on the heights, Thekla?" said
John.

"No," she said, again with her sweet smile.  "I should want to be close
to Him.  No, I could not be content to look on Him afar off."

"In that case," said John, "there is no fear that He shall ask it of
thee."

No, there is no fear of His keeping us afar off.  It is we who follow
afar off.  "Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be
with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given
Me."  With our dear Master, it is never "_Go_, and do this hard thing,
go and suffer this heavy sorrow, go and bear this weary waiting."  It is
always "_Come_ and do it;" or at least, "Let _us_ go."

And now there came another martyrdom: the highest, and in some sense,
the sorest of them all; yet, by many, not the last.  There was room for
many souls under the Altar: ay, and on the Throne.

On the 22nd of March, with great pomp and splendour, "The Lord Raynald
Pole, Cardinal Legate," was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury.  It
was therefore apparent that Dr Cranmer had been degraded.  Isoult said
so to Mr Underhill, whom she met at the service at Mr Ferris' lodging,
and his answer troubled her no little.

"Nay, Mrs Avery," he replied; "'tis a sign that my Lord Archbishop is
dead, for I do know by letter from Bernher, which is now at Oxford, that
yesterday was appointed for his burning."

And they had never heard one word after his recantation.  Dead, without
recanting it!  Dead, denying Christ at his end, after confessing Him in
his life!  This was worse than many martyrdoms, for it was martyrdom of
the soul.  Was there no hope?  Must this death be the second death?
They knew that in the last hour, ay, even in the last minute, he might
have repented unto life, and have again caught hold of Christ: but
should they who had prayed so fervently for the lost brother, have no
word to say so--no "this thy brother is alive again?"  Must they never
know whether to look for him on the right or the left hand of the King,
till they should see him there in the last day?

"I told you too true, Mrs Avery; my Lord Archbishop is dead."

These were the first words which Isoult heard, when she came down the
stairs on the following morning.

"But how died he, Mr Underhill?" she cried anxiously.

"Gloriously!  Like a martyr and a Prince of God's Church, as he was,
publicly repenting the recantation whereto he had set his hand from
fear, and confessing Christ nobly before men, till at last they would
not hear a word further--they haled and hurried him to the stake."

"Thank God!"  Her voice failed her; she could say no more.

"It was a foul and rainy day," he went on; "so Austin told me.  My Lord
Archbishop was led from Bocardo to Saint Mary Church, betwixt two friars
that mumbled certain Psalms, and at the church door they began the _Nunc
Dimittis_.  My Lord was ill-favouredly clad, in a bare and ragged gown,
and an old square cap.  Dr Cole preached, and more than twenty times
during the sermon, the Archbishop was seen to have the water in his
eyes.  Then they did desire him to get up into the pulpit, and openly to
retract his preaching, and show all the people that he was become a true
Catholic."

"And did he that?"

"`Fair and softly go far in a day.'  Have a little patience, I pray you.
Well, he spake a long season, first, against the world; _item_, unto
obedience; _item_, to brotherly love; _item_, against money-love; and
lastly, he said over the Creed.  `And now (quoth he) I come to the great
thing which so much troubleth my conscience.'  He said his hand had
offended against God, in signing his recantation; and when he should
come to the fire, it should be first burned.  And so he spake bravely,
renouncing the Pope as Antichrist, and Christ's enemy and his, and that
he utterly abhorred all his false doctrine.  And touching the Sacrament,
the doctrine `which (saith he) I have taught in my book is true, and
will stand at the last day before the judgment of God, when the
Papistical doctrine contrary thereto shall be ashamed to show her head.'

"Well, like Paul, they gave him audience unto this word, and then cried
out, Away with such a fellow from the earth!  They cried that he was
false, and dissembled.  `Ah, my masters!' quoth our good Archbishop, `do
you take it so?  Always since I lived hitherto, I have been a hater of
falsehood, and a lover of simplicity, and never before this time have I
dissembled.'  The water stood in his eyes; and he would have spoken more
against the Pope and the mass, but Cole crieth out, `Stop the heretic's
mouth!  Take him away!'  Then the friars set upon him, and pulled him
down out of the pulpit, and so hurried him away to the place where, five
months before him, Dr Ridley had died.

"Then there he knelt and prayed, and made him, ready; and stood on the
stones robed in his long white shirt, barefoot, and his head (whenas his
cap were off) without one hair thereon, though his beard was long and
thick.  Then (he giving the hand to such as he knew about the stake),
they bound the chain around him, and lit the fire.  And until it was
full burned, he held forth his right hand in the fire, crying ever and
anon, `This unworthy right hand!'  At last he saith, `Lord Jesus,
receive my spirit!'  And so he yielded it up to Him.  But afterward,
when his ashes were cold, amid the charred faggots his heart was found
entire.

"So passed that great heart away from us, that perchance we knew not
fully how to prize.  Beshrew my weak eyes!  I am but a fool; yet 'tis
hard to think that we shall see his reverend countenance no more."

And Mr Underhill dashed away the tears from his eyes, much like Philippa
Basset.  Isoult never had seen him thus affected before.

But on their knees in their chambers, the Gospellers thanked God from
their hearts that day, for this pouring forth of His Spirit upon the dry
ground; for His glory thus exalted in the awakening of that dear brother
from sleep which seemed as though it might be death; for His strength,
so gloriously shown forth in mortal weakness, that warmed and quickened
the last beatings of the noble heart of Archbishop Cranmer.

"Jack," said Isoult that night to her husband, "I would I had asked Mr
Underhill if Austin had yet heard anything of Robin."

"Ah!" said he.

"Thou art not used to answer so short," she replied.  "Hast thou heard
any thing, Jack?"

"I have heard--nothing--certain," he answered, hesitatingly.

"Jack, what hast thou heard?" she cried in terror.

"With any surety, dear heart, nothing whatever," he said, lovingly;
"only that Austin hath spoken to me touching him, and therefore I could
not say I had heard nothing.  And at most 'tis only a guess.  I cry thee
mercy not to have told thee, but seeing how unsure it were, I thought it
more kindlier not to trouble thee.  Well, sweeting, what Austin said was
this: he hath made all search in every prison he hath visited, and spake
unto divers prisoners, but no word of the dear lad may he have.  And he
is afeard, Isoult--it is but a guess, thou wist!--that all is over
already."

Before he had half finished, his meaning struck on her heart, like a
passing bell.  "All over!" she knew what that meant.

"O my God! wilt thou not give us one word that we may know?  This
watching and waiting is so hard to bear.  I desire to be, to do, to
suffer Thy will; but, Father, it is very weary work to wait!  `If it be
possible,' send us some word of our lost darling!  `Make no long
tarrying, O my God!'"

It was not to John, and not aloud, that this was spoken.

It is not only children who are afraid of the dark.  We all love to walk
by sight.  We are rarely content to see only the next step we must take;
yet it is all we need see, and often all that God will show us.  The
darkness and the light are both alike to Him; and if only we would let
Him see for us, we should act the part of wise children.  It is easy,
when the light comes, to cry out at our past foolishness in being afraid
of the dark.  We never think so while the darkness is upon us.

A few days later came Philippa Basset, full of Court news, which she had
from her brother James.

"Yesterday," said she, "came a letter or messenger from King Philip,
denying his present return hither: whereupon the Queen fell into so
great a chafe, that she commanded his picture borne out of the privy
chamber.  Thus far my brother; but Jack Throgmorton saith that she
fetched a knife and scored the picture twice or thrice all the way down,
and then kicked it out of the chamber.  [Throgmorton denied having said
this, when a judicial inquiry was held.]  `Saint Mary worshipped might
she be!' said I to James, `is her Grace a woman like to do that?'
`Nay,' saith he, `not half so like as thou shouldst be in her place.'"
Whereat Philippa laughed merrily.

Isoult was in a mood for any thing rather than laughter.  It was too
near Easter for mirth.  Easter, which should be the most blessed
festival of the year, was now turned into an occasion of offence and of
mourning to the servants of God.

In the evening all from the Lamb were at Mr Underhill's farewell supper,
at his house in Wood Street, whence he purposed to set out for Coventry
the next day as soon as the gates were opened.  He said he would not
remain another Easter in London.

The last day of June came a letter to John Avery from Mr Underhill,
saying that they had all arrived safely at Coventry, and he had taken a
house a mile out of the city, "in a wood side," where he trusted to keep
quiet until the tyranny were overpast.

The darkness was growing thicker.

In that month of June began the procession in every church, at which the
Bishop commanded the attendance of every child in London, bearing books
or beads in hand, and of one adult from each house to take charge of
them.  "Ours are not like to go," said Isoult, tenderly; "but 'tis
harder work to set them in peril than to go therein one's self."

Sir John Gage died on the 18th of April, an old man full of years.  It
was he who had been on the Commission to Calais, and had brought Isoult
to England after Lord Lisle's arrest; and he had also endeavoured to
have Mr Underhill sent to Newgate.

The search against Lutheran books was now very strict (and laughable
enough in less sorrowful circumstances).  Among these Lutheran books the
most strictly forbidden were my Lord Chancellor's book "_De Vera
Obedientia_" and one written by the Queen herself when a girl, under the
auspices of Katherine Parr,--a translation of a work of Erasmus.

Another letter came from Mr Rose in July, bringing good news of his
welfare; and in August Annis Holland was married to Don Juan de Alameda.

Writing on the 21st of August, in her diary, Isoult said--

"Not one word more touching Robin.  There be times when I feel as though
I could bear it no longer, though what I could do to end it, soothly I
cannot tell.  I conceive well what David signified, when he saith he did
roar through the very disquietness of his heart.  I dare not tell this
to Marguerite, for she is too nearly of the same complexion to give me
any comfort; and to say a word to Esther is no good, for she silenceth
me at once with some passage of Holy Writ as `Shall not the Judge of all
the earth do right?'  And what can I say to that but Amen?  Jack is
always loving and tender, but he can (I well perceive) see little
comfort herein himself; and to do so much as name the thing to Thekla
were wanton cruelty, though I do fancy she should be the best comforter.
So I must wait on, and cry unto God.  It may be that is the very thing
He would have of me."

Bad news came by Austin, early in 1557--the death of the Earl of Sussex
[Note 4], Mr Rose's chief friend in high places.  Poor Marguerite was
much downcast, saying they had now lost their best friend.

"No, Mother dear," answered Thekla, "not our best Friend.  He is in an
higher place; and He dieth no more."

Another Easter came and passed; and King Philip returned to England.

Every now and then Austin visited the Lamb; but he brought no news of
Robin.  Isoult thought she had never realised how dearly she loved the
lad till now.  It was hard to thank God for such a blank in the home as
this; and yet deep in the inmost heart she knew, as every Christian
knows, that the Father was doing all things well, and that "there was no
must be without a needs be."  To wait on the Lord is no easy task to
flesh and blood; but there is one thing yet harder, and that is to rest
in the Lord while waiting.

And meanwhile Thekla drooped and faded, day by day.  She never spoke now
of Robin; but it was easy to see that she had not forgotten him.  Slower
and more languid grew her step, and her face whiter and graver, with an
expression of sorrowful patience, which did not quit its hold upon the
lips even when they smiled.

"She is worn to a shadow," said Marguerite, bitterly.  "Why cannot we go
home to God?  What profit is it to Him that we do suffer?"

And Isoult was silent; but she remembered Robin's words about "believers
in the dark."

On the 7th of June, which was Whit Monday, there was a Passion Play at
Court.  Isoult, coming in from a call upon her neighbour, Mrs Brent,
observed in a rather disgusted tone--

"Gillian Brent must needs go to see this mystery.  For me, I might as
easily or as willingly go to see a martyrdom.  She saith 'tis right
sweet and devotional, and maketh her to feel so good she cannot tell how
much.  'Tis a sort of goodness I covet not.  It were like murdering the
Son of God over again, to see His blessed name taken upon himself of a
sinful man, and His bitter passion set forth to divert men.  Gillian
saith none will see the thing as I do; but that cannot I help.
Perchance He may, when He looketh down upon it."

At her house at Chelsea, on the 16th of July, died Anna of Cleve, one of
the two widows of Henry the Eighth.  She came to England a Lutheran, and
died a Papist.  King Philip went to Flanders on the 5th of July; on the
14th of August came news of the great victory of Saint Quentin, which
the King had won there; and the next day there were great thanksgivings
and rejoicings over all the City.  And on the 20th of October died Mary
Countess of Arundel, at Arundel House; she was cousin of Philippa
Basset, and when she was Countess of Sussex, Isoult had lived for some
time in her house with Anne Basset.

A fortnight previous, London was requested to rejoice again, for peace
was concluded with the Pope.

"Verily," said Dr Thorpe, "this is a marvellous thing, to bid us
rejoice, and to give us cause for mourning."

"Marry," responded Mr Ferris, "for me, when the war brake forth, I sang
the _Te Deum_ under my breath; now will I clothe me in sackcloth under
my raiment, and so shall I have both sorrowed and rejoiced, and none can
grudge against me."

The year 1557 closed heavily.  The burnings went on, but they were
chiefly of poor men and women: sometimes, but not often, of children or
girls.  On the 12th of December a Gospellers' meeting was dispersed, and
many taken by the Sheriff; but no friends of the Averys.  All this time
Mr Holland, with his wife and child, were at his father's house in
Lancashire, and Mr Underhill with his household at Coventry.  Isoult's
last entry in her diary for this year ran as follows:--

"Austin came yesterday, to tell us my Lady of Suffolk and Mr Bertie did
quit Germany, where they had refuged, in April last, and be now safe in
Poland, at a town called Crossen, and the King's Grace of Poland hath
set Mr Bertie over a province of his.  I am glad to hear this.  They
had, nathless, many and great troubles in their journey, but sith 'tis
all over, it is not worth grieving for.

"Ah, faithless heart and foolish! and will not all troubles be so, when
the last mile of the journey cometh?  Yea, may we not find we had most
cause to thank God for the roughest parts of the way?  So saith my sense
and judgment: yet for all this will mine heart keep crying out, and will
not be silent.  O Robin, Robin! an other year!"

The Gospellers never entered on any year with heavier hearts than on the
year 1558.  The year of all the century! the year that was to close so
gloriously--to go out with trumpets, and bells, and bonfires, and _Te
Deums_, and all England in a wild ferment of delight and thanksgiving!
And how often do we enter on a year of mourning with our hearts singing
anthems?

It is well that it should be so.  We have abundant cause to thank God
that He has hidden the future from us.  It is enough for us to know that
all things work together for good to them that love Him, to them that
are the called according to His purpose.

But very, very mournfully came this year in; for it opened with the loss
of Calais.  Isoult had dwelt there for two years with Lady Lisle; and
there were few places nearer to her heart.  Perhaps we can hardly
picture to ourselves how nearly that loss touched every English heart.
It was as if each man in the land had lost a piece of his estate.
Calais belonged to every Englishman.

"Well, my friends in the monastery!" was the greeting of Mr Ferris,
"that I promised Underhill I would look to by times.  Hath your secluded
ear been yet pierced with the tidings this morrow--that be making every
man all over London to swear and curse, that loveth not his soul better
than his anger?"

"What now?" said John.  "Nay, the Courts be not yet opened again, so I
have bidden at home."

"And I am an old man, burdened with an access," [a fit of the gout] said
Dr Thorpe.  "Come, out with your news!  What platform [Note 5] toucheth
it?"

"Every platform in the realm.  Have it here--Calais is lost."

"Calais!"  They said no more.

But a vision rose before the eyes of Isoult--of George Bucker in the
pulpit of the Lady Church, and Lord and Lady Lisle in the nave below: of
the Market Place, where his voice had rung out true and clear: of the
Lantern Gate whereon his head had been exposed: of the gallows near
Saint Pierre whereon he had died.  His voice came back to her, and Lord
Lisle's--both which she had heard last in the Tower, but both which were
to her for ever bound up with Calais.  Her eyes were swimming, and she
could not speak.  And before another word had been uttered by any one,
the latch was lifted by Philippa Basset.

"There is not a man left in England!" she cried.  "Calais had never been
lost, had _I_ been there to fire the culverins."

"No, Madam," said Mr Ferris (who did not know that she was a Papist).
"They have all been burned or beheaded."

"Upon my word, but I am coming to think so!" cried she.  "Shame upon
every coward of them!  Were there not enough to fill the first breach
with a wall of men's bodies, rather than lose the fairest jewel of the
Crown?  Beshrew the recreants! but I had never come away from that
breach alive!  I would have died with Calais!"

"I am sorry you were not there, Madam," said he, "for the sake of
Calais.  For your own sake, 'tis well."

"I am sorry all over," answered she.  "The Queen taketh it most heavily
of all.  She said to her ladies that when she should be dead, they
should find `Calais' graved upon her heart."

Hitherto the storm of persecution had not come inside the little walled
circle of friends dear to the hearts of the Averys.  It had raged around
them, had broken fiercely upon men whom they reverenced and loved as
afar off.  But now it was to come within.  One whose eyes had looked
into theirs, whose lips had smiled on them, whose voice had bidden God
bless them,--ay, upon whose knee the children had sat, and chattered to
him in childish wise,--was summoned from the midst of them, to go up in
the chariot of fire into the presence of the Lord.

Austin and Mr Underhill came together, both very pensive, on the night
of the 6th of May.

"There is ill news with you, I fear," said John.

"There is ill news, and that right heavy," answered Mr Underhill.
"Roger Holland is taken."

"Where and how?" they asked.

"With six other, in a quiet close near Saint John's Wood, where they
were met to read God's Word and pray together, this last May Day; and
carried afore my Lord of London.  He had better have tarried at his
father's in Lancashire, whence he was but newly come."

"And Bessy?" said Isoult, compassionately.

"Roger left her and the child in Lancashire," said he; "where, if she
will take mine avisement, she will remain."

Mr Holland was examined before Bishop Bonner, Lord Strange being
present, with others of his Lancashire kinsmen.  Austin reported that
"he confessed Christ right nobly, and kept up the Bishop in a corner by
his wise and gentle learning--such as I had not thought had been in
him:" and at last, after much discussion, the Bishop lost his patience
(a commodity of which he never carried much to market), called Mr
Holland a blasphemous heretic, and sentenced him to be burned.

Mr Holland replied, as the gaoler was about to remove him,--"My Lord, I
beseech you, suffer me to speak two words."

"Nay!" cried he, "I will not hear thee: have him away!"

Lord Strange interfered, and begged that his cousin might be heard.

"Speak?" growled Bonner, "what hast thou to say?"

Mr Holland answered, "Even now I told you that your authority was from
God, and by His sufferance; and now I tell you, God hath heard the
prayer of His servants, which hath been poured forth with tears for His
afflicted saints, whom you daily persecute, as now you do us.  But this
I dare be bold in God to say (by whose Spirit I am moved), that God will
shorten your hand of cruelty, that for a time you shall not molest His
Church.  And this you shall in a short time well perceive, my dear
brethren, to be most true.  For after this day, in this place, there
shall not be any by him put to the trial of fire and faggot."

The Bishop replied that "he should yet live to burn, yea, and he would
burn, for all this prattling:" and so went his way, and Mr Holland was
taken back to Newgate.

But the Bishop, like many another, laid his plans without reference to
Him who sat above the water-floods.  Roger Holland had an unction from
the Holy One, and his prescience was true.  The commandment was gone
forth from the presence of the King--"Hitherto shalt thou come, and no
further."  After that once, by Bonner, and in Smithfield, there was
never another "trial of fire and faggot."

Yet for that once, the Devil and Edmund Bonner had their way.  Waiting
for Roger Holland were the white robe and the martyr's palm; and with
his name the muster-roll of soldiers slain in the great battle of
England was closed in Heaven.

It is not entirely unedifying to note _why_ this man was martyred.  So
long as he pursued the profligate course on which he had embarked in
early youth, Rome had not a word to say to him.  Sin does not come under
her cognisance, except to be muffled up in absolution, and hidden from
the eyes of the sinner--but not from the eyes of God.  But the moment
that Holland's course was altered, and he began to try so to walk as to
please God, that moment he came under the ban of her who dares to stand
up in the face of the world, and with unblushing effrontery to call
herself the Church of God.

Very late on the 28th of June, Augustine Bernher brought the news of the
last martyrdom.  His face told, before he spoke, that he came to say
something terrible.  The first thoughts of those at the Lamb, as usual,
flew to Robin and Mr Rose; but Austin quickly turned them into a
different channel.

"I am come," he said, "from Roger Holland's martyrdom."

"Eh, Austin! is it over with Mr Holland?" cried Isoult.

"It is over with him, and he shall suffer no more pains of death for
ever.  He and the other six taken with him were burned to-day in
Smithfield."

"And how went it with him?"

"When he was come to the stake," answered Austin, "he embraced it, and
looking up unto Heaven, he saith:--`Lord, I most humbly thank Thy
Majesty that Thou hast called me from the state of death unto the light
of Thy heavenly Word, and now unto the fellowship of Thy saints, that I
may sing and say, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts.  And, Lord, into
Thy hands I commit my spirit.  Lord, bless these Thy people, and save
them from idolatry.'  And so, looking up unto Heaven, and praising
God,--God stooped and took him."

"Alas, poor Bessy!" said Isoult, after a while.

"I must write unto her," said Austin.  "I trust she is yet safe in
Lancashire."

Isoult did not forget her before God that night.  It was easy for the
mass of the Gospellers to think of Mr Holland as he now was, at Home, in
the safe rest of the Father's house, and to praise God for him.  But his
Bessy was not likely to do so as yet.  When the night is very dark, we
cannot always lift our heads to see how fair the light shines on the
further side of the Jordan; and to us who are in the thickness of the
darkness, it is at times no lighter for that knowledge.  And the night
was very dark now.

And yet some tell us--ay, some of us, Englishmen whose fathers passed
through these dreadful scenes, leaving to their sons such awful
memories,--they tell us it were better to leave those memories sleeping.
"Why rake up such disagreeable reminiscences?  They belong to past
ages.  Rome is different now, just as society is different.  Is this
charity, peace, forbearance?"

I reply, it _is_ charity, and of the highest type.  When a man sees his
friend in the grasp of a tiger, he does not drop his levelled gun on the
plea of charity _to the tiger_.  And Rome is not different.  She only
looks so, because the wisdom of our fathers circumscribed her
opportunities, just as the tiger looks harmless in a cage in the
Zoological Gardens.  Shall we therefore open the cage door?

And we, who are bent on pulling down as fast as we can those bars which
our fathers forged in tears and blood,--let us be a little more
consistent.  Let us take away the locks from our doors, because for ten
years there has been no attempt at burglary in that street.  Let us pull
down the hurdles which surround our sheep-pens, because for some time no
lamb has been lost from that particular flock.  We are not such fools as
to do these things.  Men's bodies, and still more men's property, are
safely protected among us.  But how is it about men's souls?  How will
it be when the rulers of England shall stand at the Bar whence there is
no appeal, and hear from the great Judge the awful requirement,--"Where
is thy flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?"  Shall we hear
about "want of power"--which generally means want of will--about "the
voice of the nation," and "the spirit of the age," and "respect to the
opinions of others," and the numberless little fictions with which men
wile their souls to sleep, here and now?  Will the Bishop who swore
before God to "drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to
His Word," offer to the Judge then those convenient excuses with which
he salves over his conscience now?  Will the statesman who followed the
multitude to do evil, instead of leading them to do good, urge in His
presence who seeth in secret the platitudes about majorities and the
national will which he finds satisfactory now?  There is a very solemn
passage in God's neglected and despised Word, concerning him who knew
his Lord's will, and did it not.

Another Easter passed away, and left them safe.  The summer was a
season, not so much of suffering, as of fear and waiting.  They were
tarrying the Lord's leisure.  A few months later, Isoult Avery wrote in
her diary--

"My birthday, and I am now forty-five years of age.  It is not unmeet
that I should tarry a while at the milestones, and look back on the way
by which the Lord hath led me.  This last year hath been very woeful and
weary.  What shall the next be?

"O Lord, Thou knowest.  All the way is of Thine ordering, all guided by
wisdom that never erreth, by love that never waxeth faint.  I will trust
Thy wisdom to devise, and Thy love to effect.  Father in Heaven! let me
not faint under Thy correction, neither let me despise Thy chastening.
Be merciful unto me, O Lord, be merciful unto me!  And Thou (not I)
knowest best how and when I need Thy mercy.  Hear (and if need be,
forgive) the cry which echoes in mine heart for ever--`If it be
possible,' give us back our darling!"

The great Emperor Charles the Fifth died on the 21st of September in
this year, in the monastery of San Yuste, whither he went to "make his
salvation" in his old age.

"I trust," said Isoult, when she heard it, "that he repented him, among
other sins, of his ill-using of his mother.  There shall doubtless be
many masses for him here."

"_Il faut beaucoup prier_!" said Marguerite Rose, drily.

The end was at hand now.  The eventful November of 1558 had set in.

Philippa told Isoult that the Queen suffered fearfully.  She sat many
days on the floor of her chamber, her knees higher than her head.  The
pain in her head was dreadful; and people began to say that she, who was
originally accounted merciful, had been merciful all through, for that
others had given orders for the burnings, and she, even in sceptring the
Acts, had scarcely known what she did.  The last time that she went to
the House of Lords, she was too ill to walk, but was borne by her
gentlemen in waiting to the throne.  James Basset told his sister, that
"he counted all burned or beheaded in the Queen's reign had not suffered
so much, body nor soul, as she."

James Basset, who had been ailing for some time, grew worse on the 16th,
when the Queen and the Cardinal were both so ill, that it was thought
doubtful which of them would die the sooner.  All matters of state, and
many of business, were held as it were in the air, waiting the Queen's
death.  Many of the Council had already set forth for Hatfield.  "That
should not like me," said Isoult, "were I either the dying sister or the
living."  And she who lay in that palace of White Hall must have known
(if she were not beyond knowing anything) that round her grave would be
no mourners--that she had done little to cause England to weep for her,
and much to cause rejoicing that she could harm England no more.  Did
she know that men without were naming the day Hope Wednesday, because
every hour they expected news of her end?

"God save Queen Elizabeth!  Long live the Queen!  Yea, may the Queen
live for ever!"

These were the first sounds which Isoult heard when she was awoke from
sleep on the Friday morning.  Indeed, there was far too much tumult for
sleep.  Great crowds of men were pouring through Aldgate; and as she
looked from the window she saw men kissing, and embracing, and weeping,
and laughing, and shouting, all at once, and all together.  And but one
was the burden of all--"The Queen is dead!  The Lady Elizabeth is Queen!
God save Queen Elizabeth!"

"Hurrah!" said Mr Ferris, an hour later, flinging up his cap to the
ceiling as he came in.  "Hurrah! now is come the Golden Age again!  We
may breathe now.  Long life to the Queen of the Gospellers!"

"I thought she were rather the Queen of the Lutherans," suggested John.

"All one," answered he.  "Lutherans burn not Gospellers, nor clap them
into prison neither.  What have Gospellers to fear from Queen Anne's
daughter?"

"They may have something from King Henry's," answered John.

"Jack, thou deservest--I cannot stay to tell thee what: and I have
shouted and danced myself an hungered.  Mrs Avery, have you to spare of
that goodly round of beef?"

"Pray you, sit down with us, Mr Ferris," said she; "we shall not lack a
shive for you."

"Ah, but if I lack half-a-dozen shives, how then?" said he.

"Sit down, man," responded John.  "Why, George Ferris! you are in a
fever!"

"Pretty nigh," answered he.  "Is there any man in London out of one this
morrow?--except you."

"I am too thankful to be merry," he replied.  "But how goes it with
Cardinal Pole?"

"His death is hourly looked for," said Mr Ferris.

That afternoon, at the Cross and other places, was Queen Elizabeth
proclaimed.  Even by night men scarcely seemed to have cooled down: so
glad was England of her Protestant Queen, so freely she breathed when
the hand of the oppressor was withdrawn.  In the afternoon of Friday
died Cardinal Pole, outliving his cousin Queen Mary only twenty-four
hours.  John reported that the very faces he met in the streets looked
freer and gladder, as if every man were now at his ease and king of
himself.  Now, he thought, or, at the farthest, when the Queen was
crowned, would the prisons be opened.  Who would come out of them?--was
a very anxious question; and yet more, Who would not come?  That day
Marguerite wrote to Mr Rose, by Austin, who set out immediately to carry
the news to the banished Gospellers; and they looked forward hopefully
to seeing him ere long [Note 6].  Might they look, with any thing like
hope, to see another?  Their judgment had given up hope long ago.  But
the heart will hope, even against all, until it knows assuredly that
there can be hope no longer.

"Isoult," said her husband, when he came home in the evening, "I have
heard tidings that methinks shall make thee a little sorry."

"What be they, Jack?" said she.

"The death of Mr James Basset," he answered, "yestereven."

Isoult wrote a little loving note to Philippa; but she heard nothing
from her.

Again on the 28th was all London in a ferment of eager joy: for the
Queen came to the Tower, in readiness for her coronation.  She came from
the Charter House, sitting in a rich chariot, arrayed in a riding-dress
of purple velvet, and a scarf tied over her shoulder.  All London Wall
was hung with tapestry; and beside her rode Lord Robert Dudley, who had
been made Master of the Horse.

"Lack-a-daisy!" said Dr Thorpe, "must we be ridden with Dudleys yet
again?  Is the quotidian ague throughout England all this autumn not
plague enough, that my Lord Robin Dudley must needs bear the bell?  A
fig for all the Dudleys--nor are they worth that!"

On the 4th of December the Queen went through the City to Somerset
House.  Some trouble was feared concerning her coronation.  The
Archbishop of York and all the Popish Bishops refused to crown her; nor
would they consecrate any not of their way of thinking.  Thirteen
Bishops had died of the pestilence; but not Dr Bonner, to whom (alone of
all of them) Elizabeth refused her hand to kiss when they met her in
progress.  How differently this year had closed from the last!  The
Gospellers looked back, indeed, with trembling, yet with great
thankfulness; and there was no need to look forward (but for one thing)
save with hope.  They must know soon now the fate of the missing one.
At least the waiting and fearing would be over.  The knowledge might
leave their hearts sick; yet, even at the worst, it would be no longer
with hope deferred.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  An interesting notice of George Shipside, husband of Alice
Ridley, with an account of his Bible annotated by himself, will be found
in the _Sunday at Home_, 1871, page 789 _et seq_.

Note 2.  Spanish Sovereigns sign in a manner peculiar to themselves, not
by the Christian name, but "I the King," or "I the Queen."

Note 3.  With the exception of a few minor details, chiefly relating to
others than herself, this account of Queen Juana's gradual martyrdom is
strictly true.

Note 4.  He died February 15, 1557, at "Sir Harry Sydney's house, Chanon
Roo, Westminster" (Harl. Ms. 897, folio 79).

Note 5.  This old English word for _party_ we have so utterly lost, that
we fancy it a new one recently introduced from America.

Note 6.  It might have been expected that the banished or escaped
Protestants would wait to see the line which Elizabeth's policy would
take before venturing to return: but no such misgivings troubled their
minds.  So perfect was their confidence in her, that they flocked home
like doves to their windows.



CHAPTER TWELVE.

POST TENEBRAS LUX.

  "So," prayed we, "when our feet draw near
  The river dark with mortal fear,
  And the night cometh, chill with dew,
  O Father, let Thy light break through!
  So let the hills of doubt divide--
  So bridge with faith the sunless tide--
  So let the eyes that fail on earth
  On Thine eternal hills look forth;
  And, in Thy beckoning angels, know
  The dear ones whom we loved below."

  Whittier.

This eventful year closed with death.  Not a martyr death; God's martyr
train was closed in England now, for the last to join it had been Roger
Holland.  Another kind of death was this.  Softly, and tenderly, as He
called to Samuel, the Lord came and stood and called her--her who was
loved so dearly, whose going out made the world darker.  With a
"_Talitha cumi_"--a "Come up higher"--He summoned the beloved to the
Home where His beloved dwell with Him.  And what answer was left for her
but "Lord, here am I"?  So she spread the angel wings which had been
folded, that they could not be seen; and as she soared gladly up into
the heavenly light, the darkness of time and of earth thickened around
those she left behind.

O Lord our Master!  Thy voice is very sweet here below.  Not only Thy
staff, but even Thy rod comforteth; yea, it is with Thy rod that Thou
dost feed Thy people.  How much sweeter, when as one whom his mother
comforteth, so dost Thou comfort us!  And sweetest of all it must be, to
arise and _go to_ Thee.

Wherefore, then, are we so unwilling?  What mean we continually to talk
of being "spared"--spared from that happy journey, from that heavenly
Home!  They that are not journeying home are spared indeed: but how
faithless, how loveless is it in us to bring up an evil report of the
good Land, to show such fear and distance from the forgiving and
welcoming Father!

"He that is washed needeth only to wash his feet."  But, O our Father!
the feet of Thy children need a perpetual washing, an hourly dipping in
the blessed waters of the Fountain which Thou hast opened for sin and
for uncleanness.

This was the last entry in Isoult Avery's diary for the year 1558:--

"The Minories, Saint Stephen.

"`God knoweth best when His corn is ripe.'

"I have been told this to-day, and I need remember it this even.
Otherwise, methinks a shower of tears should blot out my writing.  I
thought that sheaf could be no riper, years ago.  The storms had beaten
on it, but had not hurt it, and it was very fair; and now it lacked but
a season of sunshine, and to that I looked forward in hope.  How little
did I know that the sunshine was but making it ready for the harvest,
meet for Heaven, nearer God!

"O my love, my own darling Frances! shall I say it is hard to think of
you in Heaven?  Shall I say it is hard that, in the stead of your coming
to me, I must now go to you?  Shall I grieve in the first hour of my
hope and England's, that God saw it best to take you gently to Himself,
ere that hope could do more than to throw the beam of his rising on your
dying pillow?

"You have seen your beloved father, my dear master.  And I do not think
he told you that the Lord dealt ungently with him."

Four hours earlier, as I was sewing in my chamber, Barbara came to me.

"Mistress," said she, "below is Mrs Basset, and with her two ladies in
doole."

Methought these might perhaps be the Lady Elizabeth Jobson and Mr James
Basset's widow, whom she had brought with her; and down went I to greet
Philippa.  But I found the two ladies were strangers; at the least I
knew not their faces.  I greeted Philippa, and sat down, when I had
louted to the others; but to mine amaze one of the ladies saith--

"Mrs Avery, have you forgot Kate Ashley?"

I rose in astonishment, and begged my Lady Ashley's pardon, for of a
surety I had not known her.  So I took her by the hand and kissed her;
and was about to sit down again, when, with a smile that I could scarce
fail to know, the other stranger saith--

"And hath Isoult Barry forgot Anne Basset?"

"My darling Nan!" cried I, "that I should not have known _thee_."

"Nay," saith she, again with her own sweet smile, "'tis no marvel, dear
heart, seeing thou hast not seen me for sixteen years."  For I had
missed seeing her in the procession at Queen Mary's coronation.

Then after we had embraced, Philippa said--

"I scantly know, Isoult, if thou wilt be glad to see us, considering the
ill news we bring."

"Why, Philippa, what ill news?" asked I.  "I heard of thy brother's
death,--Mr James,--and writ to thee thereupon,"--for methought Philippa
had not received my letter.

"Ay, I had thy letter, and I thank thee for it," answered she.  "But
hast heard aught further?"

"No," said I, fearfully.  "What is it, Philippa?"

"Kate," she pursued, "hath brought us woeful news from Potheridge--the
death of Frances, twenty days ago."

"Frances?"  I well-nigh startled at mine own cry.

"An ill time," addeth Philippa, "close on James's death.  We have hardly
time to dry our eyes betwixt them."

"The right time, dear heart," said my Lady Ashley, gently.  "God knoweth
best when His corn is ripe."

"Was she ever other, if thou mean ripe for heaven?" said she.

"Perhaps," answered my Lady Ashley, "we could not see much difference,
but He might."

I begged her to tell me, if she were present, any particulars of the
matter.

"Ay, I was there," she said.  "I went straight to Potheridge from
Wimborne, on receiving of a letter from Mr Monke, who told me that Frank
had brought him another daughter, and, he could not but fear, was not
faring over well.  I came to Potheridge upon the 4th of December, when I
found her in her bed, very weak and white.  Still I feared no instant
peril then.  On the 5th, methought she seemed somewhat better in the
morning; but that even she grew worse, and thence she sank quickly until
she died, at sunset on Wednesday, the 7th.  She remembered you, Mrs
Avery, and bade me give you her most hearty and loving commendations,
and to say that she was but journeying Home a little while afore you,
and that however long the time were to you, it would be short to her,
ere you should meet again.  And only an hour ere her death (she was in
her sense to the last), came a messenger to Mr Monke with news of the
Queen's death, and that the Lady Elizabeth was proclaimed Queen.  He
brake the tidings gently to her.  She smiled when she heard them, as I
should think an angel might smile in Heaven, and she saith softly,
`Lord, Thou hast seen, Thou hast seen the affliction of Thy people.'  I
answered her, `Ay, God hath been very gracious to us.'  She said, `He
hath been very good to me.'  Quoth I, `Thou dost not think He hath given
thee too much thought [anxiety] and sorrow?'  And as fervently as her
weakness did allow, she answered, `O no, no!  I shall clasp them all to
my heart to-night.'  In another minute she repeated softly, `And so
shall we ever be with the Lord.'  I do not think she spoke again."

"Did she die hardly?"  I faltered amid my tears.

"As softly as a child falling asleep in his mother's arms," answered my
Lady Ashley.  "We could not tell the very moment.  Her life went out
like a star hidden behind a cloud.  We only knew that it was gone."

"Farewell, sister of mine heart, my fair-souled Frances!  The world is
darker now thou art thence; but thou shalt never see evil any more.  The
storms shall not rave above thine head, nor the winds beat around thee
and chill thee.  God hath removed thee, His beautiful lily, from this
rude and barren moor, to that great garden of His Paradise, where thou
shall bloom for ever.  `There shall in no wise enter into it any thing
that defileth--but they that are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.'"

So Isoult Avery wrote: but she did not hear until afterwards that Lady
Frances had not passed through the Marian persecution without suffering.
Her blood royal had not saved her.  Only one child of her first
marriage was left; and on the 10th of March 1554, men--not God--took
that dearly-prized darling from her.  The custody of the person and
marriage of Arthur Basset was granted to James Basset, his Popish uncle
[Rot. Parl., 1 Mary, part 7].  This is sufficient to indicate that the
Roman proclivities of Mr Monke and Lady Frances were at least doubtful.
The double death--of the Queen and James Basset--freed Arthur; and by
dint of hard riding night and day--he scarcely knew why--he reached
Devon just in time to kneel and receive the last blessing of that
beloved mother.  She died two hours after her hand had rested on his
head.  If the Queen's object had been to make Arthur Basset a Papist,
she scarcely succeeded in her aim.

This was the last sad entry in that volume of Isoult's diary.  God did
help the Gospellers when the morning appeared; and the morning was
dawning now.  There is a ringing of church-bells through all that was
written in England, throughout that happy year, 1559.  New Year's Day
was the gladdest Sunday since the persecution began.  For at Bow Church
Mr Carter ministered openly; and throughout London the Gospel and
Epistle were read in English.  After the evening service was over, the
Averys received a visit from Annis and her husband; and before they had
sat and talked for ten minutes, who should follow them but Mr Underhill,
of whose return to London they had heard, but had not yet seen him.

"Is it not glorious?" were the first words he spoke.  "We shall have the
English service next Sunday, and the service-book restored ere
February."

"What a leaper art thou," said John, laughing.  "None that know thee
need ask wherefore men call thee the _Hot Gospeller_!"

"But can there be any other?" answered he.

"Why," said John, "wert thou King of England, by the name of Edward the
Seventh, I reckon we had had all ere November were fairly run out.  But
the Queen is a little more prudent and wary than thou, and remember thou
(as I bade Ferris, but he did little) that she is _not_ a Gospeller."

"A truce to thy wariness and prudence!" cried Mr Underhill.

"That shall be, assuredly, where thou art," answered John.

"I have no patience," said he, "with such faintheartedness (for I can
call it by no better name).  Who ever saw a Lutheran burn a Gospeller?"

"Ned Underhill," said John, sadly, "hast thou forgot so soon that we
have seen a Gospeller beheaded by Lutherans?"

"Whom point you at there?"

"The Duke of Somerset."

"Come! go not back to the time afore the Flood," exclaimed he.  "Let
bygones be bygones."

"I have no objection," said John, "if bygones will be bygones."

"Jack Avery, hold thy peace, or we shall quarrel!  I will not have cold
water flung over my fair bonfire of rejoicing!"

"It should take much to put it out, methinks," said Dr Thorpe.

"What say you, my master?" inquired Mr Underhill, turning with one of
his quick motions to Don Juan.

"Marry," answered Don Juan, smiling (he spoke English fairly), "I say,
we shall all know more about it a year hence."

"Gramercy! you are one of the wary ones," grumbled Mr Underhill.  "Come,
let me see if I cannot find one of my way of thinking.  Mrs Avery, are
you only Jack in a gown, or have you a mind of your own?"

"Verily, Mr Underhill, I know not how things shall go," said she, "and
therefore I were wisest to hold my peace."

"Alas!" answered he.  "Dr Thorpe, you are Prudence herself, and a
Lutheran to boot, wherefore--"

"Lutheran!" cried the old man, hastily.  "I am no more a Lutheran than
you!"

They all laughed at Dr Thorpe, thus brought to confession at last.

"Are you not so?" said Mr Underhill, laughing and bowing.  "In good
sooth, I am rejoiced to hear it.--Well!  Mrs Rose, allow me to ask at
you if you go with me or no?"

"Assuredly, Mr Underhill, no," said she.  "If I had ever any belief in
the goodness of the world, it did fly away from me a long time ago; and
I do not look to see the peace or the right all over it, as you seem to
look.  It may be that I answer rather your thoughts than your words; but
it seemed me you had that thought."

"But, Mrs Rose," said he, "if you take us all for ill and wicked, you
must find it hard work to love your neighbour as yourself.  We are
leaving our subject-matter, but let that pass."

"Ah, Mr Underhill!" she answered, with a smile, "I am as bad as any one
else; and I do not think we wait for people to become angels before we
love them."

"We do wait--for them to become angels, sometimes," said Annis, softly,
"before we know how well we love them."

They sat silent for a while after this: even Mr Underhill seemed to be
meditating; neither did he pursue his inquiry any further.  Marguerite
rose and went up-stairs, where Thekla was already; but the rest kept
their places.  And while they sat, there came a very soft rapping at the
door.  The party looked one on another in doubt, for the rapping was in
the form of the old signal-tap which the Gospellers were wont to use
when they assembled for prayer in each others' houses.  And there was no
gathering at the Lamb to-night.

Barbara rose and went to the door.  The minute she opened it, they heard
her cry "Eh!" but no more.  The person outside spoke, and Barbara
answered, more than once, but too low for those within to hear words, or
even whose voice it was; then Barbara stepped forward, and opened the
door of the chamber.  All felt some strange thing at hand, and they held
their breath.  And the next minute they were saluted by a voice which
had been silent to them for four long, weary years.

"How do you all, dear friends?" said Mr Rose.

All gathered round him with joyful greeting, but Isoult.  She never
stayed to think, but she found herself at the head of the stairs before
she had time to consider.  Thekla was just closing the door of the
chamber to come down.

"Thekla!" cried Isoult, seizing her by the arm.

"Who is come?" asked she.  "I heard something."

"Tell thy mother, darling," said Isoult--"but canst thou bear glad news
thyself?"

"I see them in your eyes," she answered.  "They are too glad but for one
of two things.  Is it my father?"

Ah! it was only one.  Thekla prepared her mother, in the gentle way she
knew, and then running below, was clasped in her father's arms.  She
took him up-stairs, and no more was seen of any of them; for,
anticipating that they would prefer to be alone, Isoult sent Esther
above with a dish from the supper-table.

It was four years to a day since Mr Rose was taken.  In his case, God
had been very gracious to them.  The four years were the same for Robin;
but how should the end be?  And--a thought at once joyous and yet
terrible--the end could not be far-off now.

Isoult saw that Mr Rose had aged in those four years, when she had time
to study his countenance.  If such a thing were possible, she thought
him even gentler and kinder than he used to be; yet even more grave and
quiet.  She asked him what he thought of Thekla, and was slightly
comforted to hear him say that he found her better than he dared to
hope.

"She hath suffered much, poor child!" said Isoult.

"Poor child!" he echoed.  "It was not in her nature to do other."

"And what think you," she asked, "of the chances touching Robin?"

"Mrs Avery," said he, "there are no chances in God's government.  And
this is a matter wherein we cannot so much as guess what may have been
His will.  Yet if you would know what I think most likely in mere human
reasoning, I confess I have little hope of his life."

Isoult's heart sank like lead: she felt now how much hope she had
nursed, though she thought it so little.  But her faith in Mr Rose's
forecast was great.  And Lady Ashley's words came back to her--"God
knoweth best when His corn is ripe."  Ah! how afraid she was that that
sheaf was ripe, and had been carried into the garner!  Yet could she
tell God that He had judged ill, or that He should have left His fair
sheaf to the spoiling, for her pleasure?

When John came home one evening, he told them that he had met with Mr
Underhill, who held by the hand his little Guilford.  And coming through
Cornhill, at the shop-door of a bowyer were bows and quivers of shafts;
and Guilford, pulling his father's hand, cried, "Father, Father, do buy
me a bow and arrows!"--"Buy thee a bow and arrows, quotha!" answered Mr
Underhill, "a shred and snip like thee!"

"What wouldst thou do an' thou hadst a bow and arrows, Guilford?" said
John.  "Shoot all the Papists," replied the child.  "Thou bloodthirsty
little ruffian!" cried Mr Underhill, yet laughing.  "Nay," said John to
him, "blame not the child: he doth but take mightily after a certain
father of his, that I know."  Whereat (said John) Mr Underhill laughed
till the tears ran from his eyes.

Mr Rose preached his first sermon since coming home, in the pulpit of
Bow Church, on the 8th of January.  It was a glad day to the Gospellers.
His text was, "When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we
were like them that dream."  He spoke highly of the Queen, saying that
"she had suffered for the Gospel, and should know how to be compatient
[sympathising] with other that had suffered."  Of himself he said
little; but of Christ much.

And when he came out of the church, dozens and dozens of hands were held
forth to welcome him, till the tears came into his eyes at such a
greeting.  One old Gospeller woman cried out, "Lord, now lettest Thou
Thy servant depart in peace!"

"Nay, good Joan," answered Mr Rose.  "The reason wherefore the Lord hath
kept us alive is, that we have not yet done all our work.  At least so I
take it.  'Tis somewhat too early to be singing the harvest-home afore
all the corn be gathered in.  Let us hasten to finish the reaping, and
then we may sing."

Then came Mr Underhill with great strides, and held out his hand.  (John
said aside to his wife, "I would Ned Underhill could learn, without any
telling him, that a man's hand, and yet more a woman's, is not made of
mill-stones.  He hath given me some cruel gripes ere now: 'tis a painful
form of love.")

"Welcome home the second time!" cried Mr Underhill, cheerily.  "Mrs
Rose, your servant.  But I say, man! do you not know you are divorced by
process of law?"

"Nay," answered Mr Rose, smiling; "I neither do nor will."

"What an ungovernable piece of merchandise are you!" said Mr Underhill,
laughing.  "But in good sooth, I have not talked with one of our
ministers that holdeth not the same view."

"Men parted us," said Marguerite, her voice trembling a little; "but I
think God never did.  At any rate, He hath undone it now."

Mr Rose talked with the Averys about his future, and they entreated him
to stay with them a little longer.  It was expected that the Queen would
present the deprived ministers to such benefices as would now be left
vacant by the Papists' deprivations; and at least, they urged, it would
be well to do nothing rashly.  And though they said little to each
other, all were waiting to see what would happen on the Coronation Day.
This was fixed for the ensuing Sunday, the Queen having consulted Dr
Dee, and heard from him that Sunday would be a fortunate day.  All were
now preparing for the Coronation.  Isoult had cloths ready to hang out,
and Kate and Frances were as busy as they could be, sewing green leaves
upon white linen, to form the Queen's name--Elizabeth.

Frances said "it was well her Highness had so long a name, for the work
should not be by the half so handsome were she called Jane or Anne."
But Thekla's work was by far the most beautiful.  She was skilled at
making wax-flowers, and had wreathed a garland of white roses, which,
set upon a green ground, was to encircle the name with which Kate and
Frances were busied [green and white were the Queen's colours].  It was
intended to be a magnificent piece of work; and the only grief was that
the Queen would never see it, for she was going from the Tower.

Mr Underhill had ordered a new velvet coat, wherein (said his wife) he
should be as fine as my Lord High Treasurer.  Moreover, Dr Thorpe would
needs have a new doublet.

"Why, dear child, my Sunday doublet hath a patch on it," said he; "and
if the Queen's Highness' gracious eyes should chance to alight on me,
thou wouldst not have them to light on a patch."  [Dr Thorpe might have
spared his concern; for Queen Elizabeth was much too near-sighted to
detect the patch.]

"Maybe they should take little hurt," said John.  "But, Doctor, if you
have a new doublet, I must needs have a new coat; and then Isoult shall
want a new gown; and we shall have Walter clamouring for a gaberdine,
and Kate for an hood.  Certes, but the Coronation shall be as chargeable
unto her Highness' lieges as to herself!"

"Nay, Father, I lack no new hood," said Kate, laughing; "I want only to
see the Queen's Grace, and I can do that as well in an old hood as a
new."

"Ay, sweet heart," answered he; "but Dr Thorpe would have one thing
more, to wit, that the Queen's Grace should see him."

Sir Henry and Lady Ashley came on the 12th to bid their friends
farewell, for they were about to leave town early on the morning after
the Coronation, and they expected to have little time at liberty.  They
advised the Averys not to take their stand in Bow Churchyard, as they
intended to do, but to beg the loan of some friend's window.  Mr
Underhill had too many customers to help them; but Annis, whose lodging
was in Saint Paul's Churchyard, was very glad to be of service.

In the afternoon they went down early to the waterside, to see the Queen
come to the Tower from Westminster Palace.  Her Majesty came about two
o'clock, royally arrayed, in her state barge, and landed at the privy
stairs.  Little Frances was in the greatest glee, because she said she
was most unfeignedly certain that the Queen looked on her.  "And she
walketh about the house," said John, "a fair foot the higher in her own
account, that she hath been seen of the Queen's Majesty."

The next day came Mr Underhill, bringing news that the Queen had dubbed
many Knights of the Bath, and had also created Edward Seymour, eldest
son of the late Duke of Somerset, Earl of Hertford.

"But which Edward?" said John, in his quiet way.

"Which?" replied Mr Underhill.  "Why, my Lord had but one son of his own
name."

"No had?" said John.  "I thought he had two."

"What mean you, Jack Avery?" said Mr Underhill.

"I know well what he meaneth," answered Mr Rose.  "It was the worst blot
on my Lord of Somerset's life.  I trust he did repent thereof ere God
called him."

"I was thinking," said John, in a low voice, "of one Katherine Folliott,
an humble violet plucked from her mossy bed, and after, flung withering
away to reach a peony."

"A black-thorn rather, if you would picture her complexion," suggested
Dr Thorpe.

"What, the Duke's first wife?" answered Mr Underhill.  "Why, man! the
whole world hath forgot her!"

"So did himself," responded John.

"I see," said Mr Underhill.  "You think, all, that my Lord did wickedly
in divorcing of her, in order to wed the great heir of the Stanhopes.
Well, it may be so: but, my word for it! he had leisure for repentance.
I would not lightly have been my Lady Duchess her lackey, much less her
lord."

"Well!" answered John, "I meant not to speak ill of the dead; surely not
of one whom I do hope and believe that God hath pardoned and taken to
Himself.  I did but signify the very thing I did ask--to wit, which of
the Edwards had been create Earl of Herts."

"The son of the Lady Anne Stanhope, of course!" said Mr Underhill.

"It might have been more just and righteous," pursued John, "had it been
the son of Katherine Folliott.  It may be that his last thought in this
world, just ere the axe slid down, was of that woeful wrong he never
could right more.  Alas for men's hearts in this wicked world! and yet
rather, alas for men's consciences!  Well, God forgive us all!"

At two o'clock on the morning of the 14th, forth sallied all, and
trudged amongst a moving crush of men and women to Annis' lodging, where
she and Don Juan willingly gave them standing-room with themselves at
their two windows.  John lifted Frances on his shoulder, where, said he,
she should have the best sight of all; and Walter was perched upon a
high chair in the window.  Kate stood below, in front of her father.
Her Majesty sat in a rich chariot, covered with crimson velvet,
splendidly attired, and a canopy was borne over her head by knights.
Many pageants and gifts were offered to her; but one must not be left
untold, which is that a copy of the English Bible was given to her at
the Little Conduit in Cheapside, and she, receiving it let down into her
chariot by a silken string, in both hands, kissed it, clasped it to her
bosom, and thanked the City for it, "the which," said she, "I do esteem
above all other, and will diligently read therein."  Mr George Ferris
and Mr Underhill were in the procession.  [Strange to say, hardly any
details are preserved of the procession and coronation of Elizabeth.]
The Bishop of Carlisle [Dr Oglethorpe] had at last been prevailed upon
to crown the Queen, but that so lately, that vestments were not ready
for him, and they had to be borrowed of Bishop Bonner.  He was the only
Bishop to meet her Majesty at Westminster Abbey.  The day following was
the Coronation Day of Queen Elizabeth.

First thing in the morning, Barbara and Ursula hung out the garland and
name that Kate and Thekla had made, which had been taken in over-night,
after the Queen's procession.  Then the party breakfasted; and, there
being no service anywhere, Mr Rose read the Common Prayer to the
assembled household, and gave them a short discourse on a passage from
the Psalms,--"With joy and gladness shall they be brought, and shall
enter into the King's Palace."  He could hardly be said to preach, for
he only sat on a chair in the midst of the group.  He spoke of the
Coronation Day; bidding them not to forget "that other fairer day of the
more glorious Coronation, when Christ shall see of the travail of His
soul, and shall be satisfied: when all His people shall be gathered
together, a full and perfected Church, the Lamb's Bride: when He shall
take unto Him His great power and reign."

The afternoon was spent quietly, no one looking in upon them; and when
the dark began to fall, and the candles were lighted, Mr Rose read the
Evening Prayers, and spoke again, this time on a text in the
Revelation,--"They are without fault before the Throne of God."
"Because," said he, "betwixt them and that Throne standeth Christ to
present [represent] them before God; and while all faults be in them, in
Him is no fault; and He covereth them with the fair white robe of His
own righteousness, that God's justice cannot see them apart from it and
Him that gave and wrought it."

When Evensong was over, John and Mr Rose went out for a half-hour's
walk: and there were left in the chamber Dr Thorpe, Esther, Isoult and
the children, and Thekla.  Isoult called to Barbara for candles, for
those they had were burning low in the socket; and while she was gone to
fetch them, came a low gentle tapping at the door.

"May I open it, Mother?" said Kate; and leave being given, away she ran.

Nothing was audible at the door, but Kate, coming back, said--

"Mother, 'tis a gentleman that would have speech of Father.  Will you
speak with him?"

Isoult lifted her eyes, and saw behind Kate a gentleman, it seemed to
her, of some thirty years or more, tall and spare, indeed, very thin and
worn, hollow-cheeked and sunken-eyed, with long dark brown hair, a long
beard lying low upon his breast, and a moustache curling round his upper
lip.  A stranger--at least, she knew neither his face nor his name.

"Sir," she said, "I am sorry mine husband is not within at this present;
but if it should please you to wait a little season, I am assured--"

"That he shall not be long," she was about to say: but she never got any
further.  Her speech was cut in two by a sharp, sudden cry from behind
her, that must have rung through every room in the house, and that broke
from the lips of Thekla Rose.

"Robin!  Robin!  Robin!"

It seemed to Isoult for a moment as though her very heart stood still.
Was it thus that God had given her its desire?  Was this white, worn,
bearded man verily "our Robin," who had passed away from them so very
different?  She seemed neither to know nor to see any thing, till she
felt two arms clasped around her, and a voice, that no time nor prison
could wholly alter, called her to herself, with--"Mother, I think you
have not forgot me?"  And then she awoke, and her heart was loosed, and
her eyes with it.  She bowed her head down upon Robin's breast, and wept
passionately.  Verily God had visited them!  God had heard their cry,
and had given them back their darling.

What followed was confusion.  Thekla's cry brought her mother down in
haste.  Kate and Walter ran to the new-comer, hailing him as "Dear
Brother Robin!" while little Frances hung back shyly, and had to be
coaxed to come.  Dr Thorpe said he would never have known him, had he
not been helped; but Robin answered that "he was then the better off of
the two, for he knew him the minute he stepped within."  Esther said she
thought she could have guessed at him with a little time and
consideration.

"I am very glad to see you, Mrs Esther," said he, "for I did never look
again to see any that were bound with me that night."

"Then thou lookest not," answered Isoult, "to see Mr Rose, which I trust
shall be in some few minutes."

"I did not, in good sooth," said he, "only I dared not to ask."

While he spoke, they heard John's hand upon the latch.

Kate instantly rushed upon him, crying, "Father, come and see!"

"Come and see what, sweeting?" said he.

"Come and see!" she answered, pulling him after her into the room.

Mr Rose followed more quietly.  John, come into the room, stood gazing
at Robin as though he knew not what to make of it.  Mr Rose passed him
and came forward.

"Robin Tremayne!" said he.  "I scarce dared to hope it."

So when all the glad greetings were over, they sat down, and drew their
chairs round the fire.  Barbara came in with the supper-board, and
stared when Robin said, "Good even, Barbara."

"Sir!" queried she, looking at him in amazement.  "Nay, sure! 'tis never
Master Robin come back?  Well, I be cruel glad!"

"And now, Robin," said John, "we want thine history, writ fair in a
great book."

"Then, Father," he answered, and smiled, "you must tarry the writing.
But I count I take you.  Mine history is not very long, for there was
but little change in it."

"But, Robin," said Isoult, "where hast thou been, dear lad?  Austin
Bernher hath searched all the prisons for thee, yea, over and over, for
months past, and asked at many prisoners; yet could never bring us
tidings."

"I trow, Mother," answered Robin, again smiling, "he searched every
whither but the right.  And few prisoners should have known anything of
me, seeing I was kept alone."

"Did they count thee a prisoner of import?" said John, in an astonished
tone.

"From what I heard them say," answered Robin, looking at Mr Rose, "I may
thank you for that.  Taking me with you, and standing close by you, they
counted me a very pestilent heretic, and treated me as such."

"Ah! see what it is to fall into bad company!" said Mr Rose, smiling.

"Well, Robin," said Isoult, "thou shalt tell us all after supper, an'
thou wilt.  But now all is ready, an't please you."

So they gathered round the supper-table, and Mr Rose had only just said
grace, when the latch was lifted, and Mr Underhill's cheery voice
cried--

"May an heretic come in?"

"Come forward, Ned!" shouted John in return.

And forward he came.

"I am weary as a dog!" said he.  "And I see yonder some eggs and butter
[`Buttered eggs' survive north of the Trent] that doth make my mouth
water; and a warden-pie [the warden was a very late pear, used chiefly
for pies], if mine eyes bewray me not.  Mrs Avery--" but here, his eye
catching Robin, he broke off short.  "Do you bid ghosts to supper?  If
those be not Robin Tremayne's eyes, they are the fairest copies ever
mine saw!"

"Robin Tremayne's eyes are very glad to see you, Mr Underhill," said he,
laughingly: and Mr Underhill wrung his hand till Robin's fingers must
have tingled no little.

"Draw a chair and fall to, man," said John.

"Go to!" replied Mr Underhill; and did so with much apparent gusto.

"Well, so your work is over," said John.  "How passed all? and where is
the Queen?"

"In her bed, I hope," answered Mr Underhill, "unless she be somewhat
more than other women.  Marry, but she must be aweary to-night!  'Twas a
splendrous matter, and worth seeing; but as cold as charity.  And when
'tis January other where, 'tis not August in Westminster Abbey.  We
heretics fared uncommon well; George Ferris and I got a red deer pie
betwixt us, and we made it look ashamed of himself ere we had done, I
warrant you."

"Ned Underhill!" said John, "'tis a standing marvel to me that Austin
Bernher and thou should have come out of Queen Mary's persecution
alive."

"'Tis a greater marvel to me that thou shouldst," replied Mr Underhill,
a second time attacking the buttered eggs.  "Mrs Avery, I hope you have
more eggs in the house?--With all thy prudence, and cautiousness, and
wariness, sweet Jack, thou earnest not off a whit better than thy rash
and foolish neighbour."

"Nay," answered John, "I came off thus much better, that I never yet saw
the inside of Newgate."

"Tush! that was for a ballad I writ," said he.  "But thou canst not say
I fared the worse, saving that."

"I cannot," answered John, "and thereat I marvel no little."

"O wise and sagacious Jack! didst ever pluck a nettle?"

"I have done such a thing," replied he.

"Then thou wist that the gentler 'tis handled, the more it stingeth.
Now for my moral: take Queen Mary as the nettle, and thou seest my way
of dealing."

"Your pardon, friend Underhill!" said Mr Rose, "but I can in no wise
allow that either of you were saved by your way of dealing.  Let Him
have all the glory unto whom it belongeth."

"Amen!" responded Mr Underhill.  "Jack, may we sing the _Te Deum_ in
thine house to-night, an't like thy squeamishness?"

"With a very good will, Ned," answered John.  When supper was over, Mr
Underhill (who, for all his weariness, seemed in no haste to be at home)
drew up his chair to the fire, in the midst of the group, and said--

"Now, Tremayne,--your first sermon!"

Thus bidden, Robin began his story.

"When Mr Rose and I were parted, I was sent first to the Marshalsea.
Here I abode a full year, during the which I several times saw Austin
Bernher.  But afore I had been there a month, I was had up afore my Lord
of London.  So soon as he saw me, he put on a very big and ruffling air,
and quoth he,--`Come hither, thou wicked heretic! what canst thou say
for thyself?'--`Nothing, my Lord,' said I, `save that though I be
sinful, yet am I no heretic,'--`Ha! sayest thou so?' quoth my Lord.  `I
will soon see whether thou be an heretic or no.  Tell me, dost thou hold
the very presence of Christ's body and blood to be in the sacrament of
the altar?'  To whom I--`My Lord, I do believe verily, as Christ hath
said, that where two or three be gathered together in His name, there is
He in the midst of them.'--`Ho, thou crafty varlet!' quoth he, `wouldst
turn the corner after that manner?  By Saint Mary her kirtle, but it
shall not serve thy turn.  Tell me now, thou pestilent companion; when
the priest layeth the bread and wine upon the altar, afore the
consecration, what then is there?'  Then said I,--`Bread and wine, my
Lord.'--`Well said,' quoth he.  `And after the words of consecration be
spoken, what then is there?'--`Bread and wine, my Lord,' I answered
again.--`Ha!' saith he, `I thought I could catch thee, thou lither
[wicked, abandoned] heretic.  Dost not then believe that after
consecration done, there in the body and blood of Christ, verily and
alone, nor any more the substance of bread and wine remaining?'--`My
Lord,' said I, `my sense doth assure me that the wine is yet wine, and
the bread, bread; mine understanding doth assure me that the body of our
Lord is a true natural human body, and cannot therefore be on an hundred
altars at one and the same time; and I am therein confirmed of Saint
Paul, which saith, that so oft as we do eat this _bread_, we do show
forth the death of the Lord.'--`Ha, thou runagate!' he roareth out;
`wilt thou quote from Scripture in English?  Hast thou no Latin?  I have
a whip that shall make thee speak Latin.'--`My Lord,' said I, `I can
quote from the Scripture in Latin, if that like your Lordship the
better; and likewise in Greek, the which (being the tongue wherein they
were written at the first) should be all the surer; but I, being an
Englishman born (for the which I thank God), do more naturally read the
Scripture in English.'--`I will not have thee to speak Greek!' crieth
he.  `'Tis the Devil that did invent Greek of late years, to beguile
unwary men.  And I do thee to wit that the Scripture was not writ in
Greek, thou lying varlet! but in the holy tongue, Latin.'--`It would ill
become me to gainsay your Lordship,' said I.--`I will have thee back,'
saith he, `to the first matter.  And I bid thee answer me without any
cunning or evasion: Dost thou believe that our Lord's body was eaten of
the blessed Apostles, or no?'--`My Lord,' I answered, `with all
reverence unto your Lordship's chair and office, seeing the Lord's body
was crucified on the Friday, I do not believe, nor cannot, that it was
eaten of the Apostles the even afore.'  Then he arose up out of his
seat, and gnashed his teeth, and railed on me with great abuse; crying,
`Ha, thou heretic! thou lither knave!  (and worser words than these) I
have thee!  I have outwitted thee!  Thou art fairly beat and put down.--
Have the heretic knave away, and keep him close.'  And so I was carried
back to the Marshalsea."

"Marry," said Mr Underhill, "but I think it was Edmund Bonner that was
put down.  I never knew what a witty fellow thou wert."

"Robin," said Isoult, "it should have aggrieved me sorely to be so
unjustly handled.  To hear him say that he had beat thee, when it was
thou that hadst beat him!  It should have gone mightily against the
grain with me."

"The old story," answered Mr Rose.  "`Is not that He whose high places
and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away?'  Methinks that should rankle
sore in Hezekiah's mind, and in the hearts of them that lovest him.
Bishop Bonner is somewhat coarser and less subtle, yet 'tis the same
thing in both cases."

"Well," said Robin, with a smile to those who had spoken, "after that I
was not called up again.  When at last I was brought out from the
Marshalsea, I counted it would be surely either for an other examination
or for burning.  But, to my surprise, they set me on an horse, that was
tied to the horse of one of the Sheriff's men, and I (with some twelve
other prisoners likewise bound) was taken a long journey of many days.
I could see by the sun that we were going west; but whither I wist not,
and the man to whom I was bound refused to tell me.  At the last we
entered into a great city, walled and moated.  Here we were brought
afore a priest, that demanded of each of us what was the cause of our
sentence; to whom I answered, `Sir, I have not yet been sentenced, but I
believe the cause of my prison to be that I do put faith in Saint Paul's
words, that when we do show forth the Lord's death in the Sacrament of
His Supper, it is bread the which we do eat.'  Whereat he smiled
somewhat, but after scowled, and bade an officer have me thence.  Of
whom I was taken down _into_ a cell or little dungeon, and there set by
myself.  I asked of the officer where I was; and he laughed, and at
first would not tell me.  But after he said, `Well, you are in Exeter,
but say not unto any that I told it you.'  In the prison at Exeter
(where I was alone) I lay methinks over _two_ years.  Ah!" pursued
Robin, dropping his voice, "it was hard work lying there!  Men had
forgotten me, I thought; I began to marvel whether God had.  I saw none
but my gaoler, that brought me meat [then the generic term for food]
morning and evening, but scarce ever spake to me: and I fell at times to
talking with myself, that I should not forget mine own tongue, nor be
affrighted at the sound of mine own voice.  At last, just as the warm
days of Spring were coming, I was brought out, and again set on an
horse.  We went north this time; and one even, after passing by certain
monastical buildings, we stayed at the door of a stately palace.  Here I
was bidden to 'light, for that we should go no further.  They carried me
away through many lobbies, and down stairs, and at length we came unto a
chamber where was a gaoler sitting, with his keys at his girdle.  He and
my guide spake together, and he then bare me unto a cell, wherein I was
locked.  I asked again where I was, but to no end beyond being bidden to
hold my peace, and stricken on the head with his keys.  Here I passed
not many days, ere one even the gaoler came unto me, and bade me to
follow him.  He led me down further stairs, and at the very bottom
opened a heavy door.  I could see nothing within.  `Go in,' said he,
gruffly, `and fall no further than you can help.  You were best to slide
down.'  I marvelled whither I were going; but I took his avisement, and
grasping the door-sill with mine hands, I slid down into the darkness.
At length my feet found firm ground, though I were a little bruised in
the descent; but I lighted on no floor, but a point only--all the walls
sloping away around me.  `Are you there?' growls the gaoler--but his
voice sounded far above me.  `I am some whither,' said I, `but I can
find no floor.'  He laughed a rough laugh, and saith `You can find as
much as there is.  There is _little ease_ yonder.'  And he shut to the
door and left me.  All at once it flashed on me where I was: and so
terrible was the knowledge, that a cold sweat brake forth all over me.
I had heard of the horrible prison in the Bishop of Lincoln's Palace of
Woburn, called Little Ease [Note 1], which tapered down to a point,
wherein a man might neither stand, nor sit, nor lie.  Somewhat like
despair came over me.  Were they about to leave me to lie here and die
of hunger?  I shouted, and my voice came back to me with a mocking echo.
I held my breath to listen, and I heard no sound.  I was an outcast, a
dead man out of mind; `the earth with her bars was about me for ever.'
I had borne all easily (so to speak) save this.  But now I covered my
face with mine hands, and wept like a child."

"My poor Robin!" said Isoult.  "Tell me when this was."

"It was at the beginning of the hot weather," he answered.  "I fancy it
might be about June.  I thanked God heartily that it was not winter."

"Ay," said she, "thou wouldst have more light."

"Light!" he said, and smiled.  "No light ever came into Little Ease.  I
never knew day from night all the while I was there.  Once in three days
my gaoler unlocked the door, and let down to me a rope, at the end
whereof was a loaf of bread, and after a tin pitcher of water; and I had
to fasten thereto the empty pitcher.  Such thirst was on me that I
commonly drank the water off, first thing."

"But how didst thou go to bed?" asked Walter.

Robin smiled, and told the child there was no bed to go to.

"And did the gaoler never forget thee?"  Kate wished to know.

"Twice he did," answered Robin, "for a day.  But that would not kill me,
thou wist.  I became very weak ere I came forth.  But to continue:--I
wept long and bitterly, but it gave me no comfort.  I felt as if nothing
ever would give me comfort again.  The Devil was very near me.  It was
all folly, he whispered.  I had hoped a vision, and had believed a lie.
God was dead, if there ever were any God; He never came into Little
Ease.  None would ever know where and what I was become.  I should die
here, and if fifty years hence my whitened bones were found, none would
know whose they had been.  Your dear faces rose around me, and I could
have wept again, to think I should never see you any more.  But the
fountain of my tears was dried now.  Mine heart seemed to be freezing
into rock than which the walls of Little Ease were no harder.  I sat or
lay, call it what you will, thinking gloomily and drearily, until at
last nature could bear no more, and I slept, even there."

"Well, Robin!" said Kate, "if thine heart were frozen, methinks it
thawed again afore thou earnest hither."

"It did so, sweet heart," said he, smiling on her.  "Even as I awoke, a
text of Scripture darted into my memory, well-nigh as though one had
spoken it to me.  A strange text, you will say,--yet it was the one for
me then:--`Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's
belly.'  Well, I was no worse off than Jonah.  It seemed yet more
unlike, his coming forth of that fish's belly, than did my coming forth
of Little Ease.  Methought I, so near in Jonah's case, would try Jonah's
remedy.  To have knelt I could not; no more, I fancy, could Jonah.  But
I could pray as well as he.  That was the first gleam of inward light;
and after that it grew.  Ay--grew till I was no more alone, because God
companied with me; till I was no more an hungred, because God fed me;
till I thirsted no more, because God led me unto living fountains of
waters; till I wept no more, because God wiped away all tears from mine
eyes.  Ere I came forth, I would not have changed Little Ease for the
fairest chamber of the Queen's Palace, if thereby I had left Him behind.
It gained on me, till my will grew into God's will--till I was
absolutely content to die or live, as He would; to be burned in
Smithfield, or to come home and clasp you all to mine heart--as should
be most to His glory.  The heats of summer, I thought, must be come; but
on the hottest summer day, there was but cold and damp in Little Ease.
The summer, methought, must be passing; and then, it must be past.  I
had left hoping for change.  I only thought how _very_ fair and sweet
the House of the Father would be to me after this.  So the hours rolled
away, until one morrow, out of the wonted order, I heard the door
unlocked.  `Are you there?' calls the gaoler in his gruff voice.  `Ay,'
said I.  `Feel about for a rope,' quoth he, `and set the noose under
your arms; you are to come forth.'  Was this God calling to me?  I did
not think of the pains of death; I only remembered the after-joy of
seeing Him.  I found the rope, and the loop thereof, which I set under
mine arms.  `Cry out when you are ready,' saith he.  I cried, and he
slung me up.  Can I tell you what pain it was?  The light--the sweet
summer light of heaven--was become torture; and I could neither stand
nor walk.  `Ha!' saith he, when he saw this, `you have not grown
stronger.  How liked you Little Ease?'--`I like what God liketh for me,'
I made answer.  He looked on me somewhat scornfully.  `Methinks you be
but half rocked yet,' saith he.  `Maybe you shall come back.  Matt!'  At
the shout an under-gaoler came forth of a door.  `Take thou this fellow
by the arm,' saith he.  `We shall be like to bear him.'  Himself took
mine other arm, and so, more borne than walking, I reached the hall of
the Palace.  Here they took me into a little light chamber, suffered me
to wash, and gave me clean garments, to my great ease.  Then they sat me
down at a table, and set before me a mess of sodden meat, with bread and
drink, and bade me to eat well.  I thought I was going afore the Bishop
for sentence.  But, to my surprise, they let me alone; locked me into
the chamber, and there left me.  This chamber had a barred window,
looking out on the Palace court, in the midst whereof was a round of
green grass.  I cannot set in words the exquisite delight that window
gave me.  The green grass and the blue sky--I could never tire of them.
Here they fed me well three times in the day; and at night I lay on a
mattress, which was softer to me then than I ever felt afore a bed of
down.  When at last I was strong enough to ride, I was set on an horse,
and his bridle tied to the horse of the Sheriff's man.  So we rade away
from Woburn, twenty or more in company.  This time I saw we went south.
At the last (I will not essay to tell you with what feelings), I knew we
were nearing London.  I wonder where were you, beloved, that even that I
rade in at Aldgate?  I looked longingly down the Minories, but I could
see no familiar face."

"Why, Robin dear, what even was it?" said Isoult.

"How shall I tell thee, sweet mother, when I know not yet what even is
this?" said he, and smiled.  "It was fifteen weeks from to-day, saving
three days."

"There is a sum!" said Mr Underhill.  "Jack, whether can thou or I do
it?  Fifteen--two thirty-ones and a thirty--saving three--the 5th of
October, I make it."

"I think so," assented John.

"October!" said Robin, still smiling.  "I fancied it earlier.  It is
January, then, now?  I thought we were not past Christmas.  Well,
through the City went we, and into Newgate, where, as afore, I was
lodged alone."

"Newgate!" cried Mr Underhill.  "And how doth mine old friend
Alisaunder, and my most gentlest mistress his wife?"

"I saw not her," replied Robin; "but to judge from his face, I should
say he doth rarely well.  Here, then, in Newgate, I lay, marvelling that
I was never sentenced and burned; but I knew nothing of the cause nor of
what passed, until this even all the doors were unlocked, and we
prisoners all were bidden to go forth, whither we would, for Queen
Elizabeth reigned, and this was her Coronation Day.  How strange it was
to be free!"

"I marvelled what thou wert suffering, Robin dear," said Isoult, "but we
never thought of Little Ease.  We took thee for dead."

"So I thought you would," said he.  "And now that I am returned to men's
life again, tell me, I pray you, what day is this--of the month and
week?"

"'Tis the 15th of January," said she, "and Sunday."

"And the year," he resumed, pausing, "I suppose, is Fifteen Hundred and
Fifty-Eight?"  [By the old reckoning from Easter to Easter.]

"It is so, dear heart," answered Isoult.

"It seemeth me," said Robin, "a little picture of the resurrection."

"Come, friends!" cried Mr Underhill, springing up, "I must be going, and
I will not be balked of my _Te Deum_.  Jack, thou promisedst it me."

"So I did," answered he, smiling.  "Strike up, and we will all follow."

He struck up the chant, in his fine deep voice, and all joined in.  Then
Mr Underhill took his leave, and went home; after which the rest sat a
little while in silence.  Mr Rose was the first to break it.

"Robin, hast thou still a purpose to receive orders?"

"More than ever!" cried Robin, eagerly.  "I never could before have told
the people one-half of what I can tell now.  I knew that God was
sufficient for some things, but now I see Him all-sufficient and for
all.  I knew He could lift man up to Him, like a mother learning a child
day by day; but I scantly knew how He could come down to man, like the
same mother bending her sense down to the stature of her child, entering
into his difficulties, feeling his troubles, making her a child for him.
`I, even I, am He that comforteth you;' `I will comfort you, and ye
shall be comforted;' yea, `as one whom his mother comforteth, so will I
comfort you.'"

"I think thou art right," said Mr Rose, softly.

Again they sat in silence till the clock struck eight--the hour at which
they commonly parted for the night.  Before any one moved, Mr Rose
called Thekla to him.  When she obeyed, he took her hand, and laid it in
Robin's.

"The Lord bless you, and keep you!" he said tenderly.  "My son, thou
hast been in sorrow, and God hath been with thee: see thou leave Him not
out of thy joy.  May Jesus, who was the chief guest at the wedding in
Cana of Galilee, be with you also, and turn the water of earthly hope
into the best wine of heavenly peace.  We have asked Him to the match;
Lord, make One at the marriage!"

There was no voice silent in the Amen.

And then, as if the very act of lifting up his heart to God had borne
him above earth, and he had forgotten the thing that caused it, Mr Rose
went on:--

"`For Thou only art holy, Thou only art the Lord!  Thou only, O Christ,
with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father!'"

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  There were several prisons which bore this name, one of them in
London.  The most horrible of all was that at Woburn, and was, I
believe, the only one constructed on this cruel principle.



CHAPTER THIRTEEN.



APPENDIX.

HISTORICAL NOTES.

BERNHER, AUGUSTINE.

By birth a German-Swiss, probably from the neighbourhood of Basle.  In
contemporary notices often called Latimer's servant; but if the meaning
of the word at that time be borne in mind, and the kind of service
noted, it will be seen that he was only a servant in the sense of being
in receipt of a salary from his employer.  He was ordained in or before
the reign of Edward the Sixth; and during the persecution under Mary, no
man was more fervid and fearless than he.  At many martyrdoms we find
him consoling the martyr; visiting the condemned prisoners, and forming
the recognised means of communication between them.  His safety through
all can only be attributed to the direct interposition of his Almighty
Master.  "Mine own good Augustine," wrote Bradford, "the Lord of mercy
bless thee, my dear brother, for ever...  The keeper telleth me that it
is death for any to speak with me, but yet I trust that I shall speak
with you."  (Foxe's Acts and Monuments, eight 262).  At the commencement
of the persecution, Bernher lived at Baxterley, near Mancetter; but for
a time during its height, he was minister of a small London
congregation, which assembled secretly, sometimes in very curious
places, and often on board some vessel in the Thames.  Bernher was a
married man.  After the accession of Elizabeth, this Christian hero was
presented by the Crown to the rectory of Southam, county Warwick
(Richings' Narrative of Sufferings of Glover, etcetera, pages 10-12).
But only for a very few years did Bernher survive the persecution.  The
scaffolding had served its purpose, and was taken down; the servant of
God had done his work in aiding the brethren at risk of life, and the
summons was issued to himself, "Come up higher."  On April 19, 1566,
Bartholomew Greene was presented to the rectory of Southam, "vacant by
the death of Augustine Barnehere."  (Dugdale's Warwickshire, page 339).

BONNER, BISHOP EDMUND.

This coarsest and most cruel persecutor of the Protestants, whose anger
was particularly rife against married priests, was himself the
illegitimate son of a priest, George Savage, the illegitimate son of Sir
John Savage of Cheshire.  His father was parson of Dunham; and during
his earlier years he was known indiscriminately as Edmund Savage or
Bonner, which last appears to have been his mother's name.  The only
punishment which this monster received at the hands of men lay in the
refusal of Elizabeth to permit him to kiss her hand when the Bishops met
her on her coronation progress, and the restriction of his residence for
the remainder of his life.  Probably he might even have been spared the
last penalty, had he not had the cool effrontery to take his seat in the
House of Lords as Bishop of London in Elizabeth's first Parliament.
This provocation was too much for the patience of that determined
Princess, and Bonner speedily found himself in the Marshalsea, where he
was not uncomfortably accommodated until his death.

Elected Bishop of Hereford, December 17, 1539, but translated to London
before consecration; consecrated Bishop of London, in the Bishop of
London's Palace, by Stephen Gardiner of Winchester, Richard Sampson of
Chichester, and John [?  William] Skippe of Hereford, April 2, 1540;
deprived, October 1, 1549; restored, August 5, 1553; re-deprived, May
29, 1559; died September 5, 1569; buried in the churchyard of Saint
George, Southwark.

FERRIS, GEORGE.

This worthy is sometimes called George Ferrers.  He was born at or near
Saint Albans, educated at Oxford, studied at Lincoln's Inn, wrote poems
much admired in his day, and translated Magna Charta from French into
Latin.  He was patronised by Cromwell, and was "Master of the Revels in
the King's house" in 1552 and 1553.  Ferris died at Flamstead, in
Hertfordshire, in 1579.

GREY, LADY JANE.

The opinion which her contemporaries formed of this lady, and which is
to a great extent shared by their posterity, was not the true view of
her character.  She was by no means the meek, gentle, spiritless being
whom novelists, and even historians, have usually depicted under her
name.  On the contrary, she was a woman with a very decided will of her
own, and with far more character than her husband, who had set his weak
mind on being proclaimed King.  This Jane bluntly refused, though she
was willing to create him a Duke.  Through all her letters now extant
there runs a complaining, querulous strain which rather interferes with
the admiration that would otherwise be excited by her talents,
character, and fate.  My business in the story is to paint Lady Jane as
the Protestants of her day believed her to be; but it is hardly just not
to add that they believed her to be made of softer and more malleable
material than she really was.  The fact of her having been persuaded, or
rather forced, to accept the Crown, has given this erroneous impression
of her disposition.  It was the only point on which she was ever
influenced against her own judgment; the instigator being Lord Guilford,
who in his turn was urged by his ambitious, unprincipled father, and his
equally ambitious and unprincipled mother, in whose hands his weak,
affectionate, yielding temperament rendered him an easy tool.  The
probability is, that had Jane been firmly established as Queen, she
would have shown a character more akin to that of Elizabeth than is
commonly supposed, though undoubtedly her personal piety was much more
marked than that of her cousin.  It seems rather strange that the child
of parents, morally speaking, so weak as Dorset and Frances, should have
displayed so strong and resolved a character as did Lady Jane Grey.

Born at Bradgate, 1536-7; married at Durham House, London, May 21, 1553;
beheaded on Tower Hill, February 12, 1554.

HOLLAND, ROGER.

As much as is known of the history of this last of the Smithfield
martyrs will be found in Foxe's Acts and Monuments, eight, 473-479.
There is much difficulty, however, in deciding from what branch of the
great Holland family the martyr came.  All accounts tell us that he was
a Holland of Lancashire; yet his name does not appear in any pedigree of
the numerous Lancastrian lines.  All these families are descended from
Sir Robert de Holand, who died in 1328, and his wife Maude, heiress of
La Zouche.  Nor is it any easier to trace the relationship between Roger
Holland and Lord Strange, or Mr Eccleston, both of whom Foxe calls his
kinsmen.  More than one branch of Holland married into Eccleston; and
the Derby connection has eluded all my researches.  Roger's wife was
named Elizabeth, but her surname does not appear: they were married in
"the first year of Queen Mary," 1553-4, and had issue one child, sex and
name unknown.  His martyrdom took place on the 27th of June 1558, or
"about" that time; Foxe speaks doubtfully as to the exact day.  Nothing
further is known of his wife and child.

MONKE, THOMAS.

Son of Anthony Monke of Potheridge and Elizabeth Woode of London; born
in 1516.  He was twice married after the death of Lady Frances,--first,
to Elizabeth Powell of Stroud, and lastly, to Katherine Hawkes.  The
third wife was childless; by the second he had one daughter, Dorothy.
The male line of Monke failed in Christopher, only son of George Monk,
Duke of Albemarle.  In the female line the blood of the Plantagenets
descended to many very obscure families.  The wife of Colonel Pride, who
conducted King Charles the First to his trial, was Elizabeth Monke of
Potheridge, the eventual representative of the family.  (Ancient
Compotuses of Exchequer, Devon, 37-8 H. eight; Harl. Mss. 1538, folio
213; 3288, folio 50.)

NORTHUMBERLAND, JOHN DUDLEY, DUKE.

In some respects, this was the most remarkable man of his age.  He may
be said to have risen from nothing, for though his mother was Elizabeth,
eleventh Viscountess Lisle in her own right, his father was Edmund
Dudley, the mean and avaricious favourite of Henry the Seventh.  The
marriage of Dudley and Elizabeth was apparently forced upon the
Viscountess, then a mere girl of some twenty years of age or under; and
when she was left free, she re-married Sir Arthur Plantagenet (Viscount
Lisle), to whom it seems probable that she had been originally
betrothed.  John Dudley was the eldest child of this ill-matched pair,
and was born in 1502.  The solitary object of his love was John Dudley,
and the one aim of his existence was to advance that gentleman's
fortunes.  From a worldly point of view, he succeeded remarkably well.
He passed gradually through the several gradations of Knight, Viscount
Lisle (March 12, 1542), Lord High Admiral (1544), Governor of Calais
(about 1545), Earl of Warwick, (February 17, 1547), Duke of
Northumberland (October 11, 1551).  The last title placed him at the
very summit of his ambition.  There were only two other Dukes in
England, Norfolk and Suffolk: and had he been proclaimed King, his power
could scarcely have been any greater than it was.  "Yet all this availed
Haman nothing, so long as he saw Mordecai the Jew sitting at the King's
gate;" and so long as Edward Seymour drew the breath of life, there was
bitterness in all the honours of John Dudley.  He stooped to the lowest
and vilest means of destroying his rival, and he effected his purpose;
himself to be destroyed in his turn by the accession of Mary, not two
years later.  His attempt to make his daughter-in-law Queen was his last
and most aspiring effort at his own aggrandisement.  When that failed,
all failed; and he sank "down as low as high he soared."  Through life
he was the acknowledged head of the Lutheran party; but in respect of
personal religion he was a By-ends, adopting the creed which he thought
would best advance his interests; his own proclivity being towards
Popery, as he showed in the last days of his life,--unless it be thought
that this, his latest act, worthy of the life which had preceded it, was
a mere attempt to curry favour with Queen Mary.  Bad as the man was, I
do not like to think that his dying act was a lie.  He suffered on Tower
Hill, August 22, 1553.  Northumberland was but once married, though he
left a large family.  His wife was Jane, daughter of Sir Edmund
Guilford; a fitting wife for such a husband, being as ambitious and
unscrupulous as himself.  His children were thirteen in number, of whom
only two left issue--the famous Earl of Leicester, and Lady Mary Sidney.
The entire Dudley race is now extinct, except in the female line.

PALMER, SIR THOMAS.

In early life a great gamester and a notorious libertine, known as Long
Palmer, on account of his height, and Busking Palmer--a term about
equivalent to the modern "dandy."  He generally signs his name as above,
but upon one occasion, "Thomas de Palmer."  He was at one time in the
service of the Lord Privy Seal, Cromwell; and was one of the "gentlemen
ushers daily wayters" at Court, before 1522; for three years he was
knight porter at Calais.  The part he took against the Gospellers during
the Calais persecution is alluded to by Foxe (A. and M., five, 497, 505,
506, 520), and will be found fully detailed in my previous volume,
"Isoult Barry of Wynscote."  At the sorrowful time of Lord Lisle's
arrest, his friend Palmer was jousting at Court.  Edward Underhill names
him as one of those "companions" with whom he was "conversant a while,
until I fell to reading the Scriptures and following the preachers."  In
the army of Boulogne, 1544, Palmer was one of the captains of the
infantry, and was taken prisoner by the French.  We meet with him next,
October 7, 1551, when "Sir Thomas Paulmer" writes Edward the Sixth (and
another hand has interlined, "Hating the Duke and hated of him"), "came
to the Duke of Northumberland to deliver him his cheine... whereupon, in
my Lord's garden, he declared a conspiracy," evolved out of his inner
consciousness, of which Somerset was the supposed inventor and real
victim.  On the 16th, conspirators and informer were impartially
arrested, Palmer "on the terrace walking there."  To Somerset, Palmer
had denied every word he had uttered, when the Duke sent for him and
charged him with the uttering: on the trial he was the principal
witness, though the Duke denied his accusation, and "declared all the
ill he could devise of Palmer."  It was not necessary to "devise" much.
It was soon plain that Palmer's arrest was a mere farce.  He was not
only released, but was appointed, March 4, 1552, one of the
commissioners to treat with Scotland.  In 1553 he proved true to his
friend Northumberland, and shared his fate.  Two versions of his dying
speech are given, in the Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary, pages
22-24.

Lisle Papers, two, 125; nine, 10; seventeen, 94;--Cott. Ms., Nero, c.
ten, 40, 41, 44-46, 51;--Harl. Mss., 69, folio 50; 283, folio 3; 425,
folio 93;--Rutland Papers, page 102.

PEDIGREES.

The story will be scarcely intelligible without some elucidation of the
pedigrees of the three families whose members are constantly meeting the
reader--Barry, Basset, and Lisle.  I have tried to put them into a form
at once as short and as easy of reference as possible.

_Barry of Wynscote_.--Richard Barry, descended from the Lords Barry of
Ireland, died June 2, 1462.  _His son_:--John, died September 16, 1510.
_His son_;--John, born 1473, died July 25, 1538: married Anne, daughter
of Patrick Bellewe of Aldervescot, and Anne Dennis of Oxleigh, county
Devon (and half-sister of Anne and Margery Basset.  See below).  _His
issue_:--1.  Henry, born 1514, died 1566; married Margaret, daughter of
Nicholas Specott (she died March 14, 1580) 2.  Hugh, of Bindon, married
Alice, daughter and co-heir of Richard Wikes. 3.  Elizabeth, married
John Dennis of Matcott (branch of D. of Oxleigh). 4.  Isoult, married
John Avery of Bradmond, Badmond, or Bodmin, county Cornwall.  _Issue of
Henry Barry_:--1.  Michael, married 1566, Jane, daughter of George
Pollard of Langlough (issue, Thomasine, born January 5, 1570). 2.
William. 3.  Henry. 4.  Lawrence. 5.  Anne.  _Issue of Hugh Barry_:--1.
Alexander, died S.P. 2.  Giles, married--(issue, Eleanor and Giles). 3.
John, married Grace, daughter of Richard Oliver of Barnstable (issue,
John, born 1604; Levi, born 1607; John, born 1610; Patience, born 1613;
Philip, born 1615). 4.  Margaret. 5.  Anne.  _Issue of Elizabeth
Dennis_:--1.  William, married Lucy, daughter of John Cloberie, and left
issue. 2.  Nicholas. 3.  Ellen. 4.  Anne. 5.  Henry. 6.  Giles. 7.
Robert. 8.  Philip.  _Issue of Isoult Avery_ unknown; but the following,
who appear in the Bodmin Registers, may have been her sons:--Edward
Avery (son baptised, 1562); Thomas (_ibidem_. 1563); Walter (children
baptised, 1585, 1595); Michael, buried September 28, 1569.

_Basset of Umberleigh_.--Sir John Basset, died January 31, 1528; married
(a) Anne, daughter of John Dennis of Oxleigh, and Eleanor Gifford; widow
of Patrick Bellewe of Aldervescot; (b) Jane, daughter of Thomas Beaumont
of Devon; (c) Elizabeth, family unknown; (a) Honor, daughter of Sir
Thomas Grenville of Stow, and Isabel Gilbert; born circa 1498, married
circa 1515, died circa 1548.  (See Lisle, below.) _His issue_:--a. 1.
Anne, married Sir James Courtenay (issue unknown). 2.  Margery, married
Sir John Marres of Cornwall (issue, Margaret, married George Rolle). b
or c (uncertain). 3.  Jane, apparently died unmarried: born circa 1505.
4.  Thomasine, born circa 1512; died unmarried, March 19, 1535.  (d) 5.
Philippa, born circa 1516, apparently died unmarried. 6.  Katherine,
born circa 1518, married Sir Henry Ashley, of Ashley and Wimborne
(Shaftesbury family: issue, Henry and Edward, both S.P.) 7.  John, born
October 26, 1519; died at Crowe, April 3, 1545; married Frances, eldest
daughter of Arthur Lord Lisle (see Lisle, below). 8.  Anne, born circa
1520, married after 1554 Francis Hungerford (issue unknown). 9.  George,
born circa 1522; died in London, 1580: married Jaquit, daughter and heir
of John Coffyn of Portledge, county Devon (she re-married Henry Jones,
and died November 25, 1588). 10.  Mary, born circa 1525, married John
Wollacombe of Combe, county Devon (issue, John, Thomas, and Honor). 11.
James, born 1527, servant of Bishop Gardiner, and afterwards Gentleman
of the Chamber to Queen Mary; died November 1558; buried Black Friars'
Church, London: married Mary, daughter of William Roper.  _Issue of John
Basset_:--1.  Honor, born at Calais, 1539, apparently died young. 2.
Sir Arthur, born 1540, probably at Calais; married Eleanor, daughter of
John Chichester of Rawley:--issue, 1.  Anne, 2.  Robert, who claimed the
Crown as lineal descendant of Edward the Fourth, in 1603, and was
compelled to fly to France; he married, at London, November 21, 1591,
Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Sir William Perjam:--issue, 1.
Arthur, died young; 2.  Arthur, born circa 1597, died January 7, 1672;
married--Leigh: 3.  William, born March 28, 1602: 4.  Anne, married
Jonathan Rashley of Fox: 5.  Ellen, married George Yeo of Hushe: 6.
Eleanor. 7.  Mary.  _Issue of George Basset_:--1.  James, born 1565,
died at Illogan, February 8, 1604; married Jane, daughter of Francis
Godolphin: left issue. 2.  Katherine: 3.  Blanche.  _Issue of James
Basset_:--Philip, married -- Verney, and left female issue; died after
October 1, 1583.

_Lisle_.--Sir Arthur Plantagenet, son of Edward the Fourth and Elizabeth
Lucy, born at Lille, circa 1462, created Viscount Lisle at Bridewell
Palace, April 26, 1523; Governor of Calais, March 24, 1533; arrested May
17, 1540; died in the Tower, March 3, 1542; buried in the Tower.
Married (1) Elizabeth, eleventh Viscountess Lisle, eldest daughter of
Elizabeth Talbot, eighth Viscountess, and Sir Edward Grey of Groby; born
circa 1480, married circa 1515, died 1527:--(2) Honor, youngest daughter
of Sir Thomas Grenville of Stow, and Isabel Gilbert; born circa 1498,
married circa 1530, died circa 1548.  (See Basset, above.) _His
issue_:--a. 1.  Frances, born circa 1516, married (1) at Calais,
February 17-22, 1538, John Basset of Umberleigh; (2) circa 1547, Thomas
Monke of Potheridge; died circa 1560.  Issue: (1) see Basset, above; (2)
1.  Anthony, died May 9, 1620, married Mary, daughter of Richard
Arscott, and left issue; 2.  Katherine, married Jeremy Meo of
Borrington; 3.  Margaret, died unmarried; 4.  John; 5.  Francis or
Frances; 6.  Mary, (died unmarried). 2.  Elizabeth, born circa 1518,
married Sir Francis Jobson, of Monkwich, county Essex, who died June 11,
1573; she was living in 1560 (issue, 1.  John, married Ellen, daughter
of Sir Richard Pepsall, and left female issue; 2.  Edward, of West
Doniland, married Mary Boade, and left female issue; 3.  Henry; 4.
Thomas; 5.  Mary). 3.  Bridget, born circa 1520, married Sir William
Carden, of Cawarden, Cheshire; living January 1, 1558 (issue, 1.
Thomas, who left issue; 2.  John), (b) 4.  Infant, still-born or died
soon after birth, at Calais, September 1537.

PROTESTANTS.

The Protestants in England, as on the Continent, were early divided into
two great parties, known as Lutherans and Gospellers, or
Consubstantiaries and Sacramentaries.  These were nearly equivalent to
the modern High Church (not Ritualistic) and Evangelical parties.  There
was yet a further division, at a later period, by the formation of a
third sect known as Hot Gospellers, the direct ancestors of the
Puritans.  Without bearing these facts in mind, it is scarcely possible
to enter into the politics of the period.  Many who began as Lutherans
ended as Gospellers: e.g., Cranmer, Somerset, Katherine Duchess of
Suffolk.  Some remained Lutherans for life, e.g., Queen Katherine Parr,
Queen Elizabeth.  And there were a few who never were Lutherans at all,
of whom the representative is Latimer.  The enmity between Somerset and
Northumberland had a religious origin, Somerset being a Gospeller, and
Northumberland professedly a Lutheran.  It may be added that the
Gospellers were as a rule Calvinists, the Lutherans Arminians.

ROSE, REVEREND THOMAS.

I do not think it needful to recapitulate the history of Rose, which may
be found at length in Foxe's Acts and Monuments, eight, 581 _et seq_;
and I only propose to add a few particulars and explanations which are
not to be found in Foxe.  It is only probable, not certain, that Mrs
Rose was a foreigner, her name not being on record; and the age and
existence of their only child are the sole historical data for the
character of Thekla.  I must in honesty own that it is not even proved
that Rose's wife and child were living at the time of his arrest; but
the contrary is not proved either.  The accusation brought against him
is extant among Foxe's Mss. (Harl. Ms. 421, folio 188); from which we
find that he was detained at the Cross, in the Green Yard, near the
Cathedral, Norwich; and that he was accused of having publicly held and
taught "that in the eucharist, or sacrament of the altar, the true,
natural, and real body and blood of Christ, under the forms of bread and
wine, are not; but that after consecration the substance of bread and
wine remaineth; and that whosoever shall adore that substance committeth
idolatry, and giveth divine honour to a creature."  (Foxe's Mss., Harl.
Ms. 421, folio 188.) "Sir Thomas Rose, clerk, saith that he hath so
preached, and _will_ so preach" (Ibidem folio 146).  On the 12th of May
1555, "Mr Thomas Rosse, preacher, was by the counsailles letters
delyvered from the tower to the shrief of Norfolk, to be convayed and
delyvered to the Bishop of Norwiche, and he either to reduce hym to
recante or elles to precede against hym accordinge the lawe."  (Diary of
the Council's Proceedings, ibidem, Harl. Ms. 419, page 153.)  And four
days later,--"16 May.  A letter to the Lord Treasourer, signifyinge what
the 11 [Lords] had done for Rosse, and that order should be given
according his Ls [Lordship's] request for letters to the Busshopps."
(_ibidem_) Rose is by many of his contemporaries called Ross or Rosse,
but he appears to have spelt his own name Rose.  I say _appears_,
because his autograph has been searched for in vain; the narrative of
his sufferings, written by himself, and printed in the Acts and
Monuments, is not extant among Foxe's papers.  When Rose returned to
England after the accession of Elizabeth, he took possession again of
his old vicarage, West Ham; but resigned it when he was presented by the
Crown to the vicarage of Luton in Bedfordshire.  This was on November 4,
1562; and the living was vacant by the death of the Reverend -- Mason.
It formed a quiet retreat for the old age of the persecuted preacher.
At Luton he spent nearly thirteen years, dying there in 1574; for on the
18th of June in that year, William Home was presented to the vacant
living.  (Rot. Parl. 5 Elizabeth, part 4; 16 Elizabeth; Bibl. Topogr.
British Antiquities, volume four.)  Foxe, therefore, was apparently
mistaken when he spoke of Rose as still living, in his edition of 1576;
he had in all probability not yet heard of his death.  As Rose was born
at Exmouth in or about 1500, his age was about seventy-four when he
died--probably rather more than less.  For such further details of his
life as can be found in Foxe's volumes, I must refer my readers to his
familiar and accessible work.

SOMERSET, EDWARD SEYMOUR, DUKE.

This very eminent man was the second son of Sir John Seymour of Wolf
Hall, and Margaret Wentworth of Nettlestead, and owed his first rise to
notice entirely to the elevation of his sister, Queen Jane Seymour.  He
married, at some period previous to this, Katherine, daughter and
co-heir of Sir William Folliott, whom he repudiated when he reached a
rather higher position, in order to marry Anne Stanhope, a great
heiress.  This was probably in 1537.  On the 6th of June in that year he
was created Viscount Beauchamp, and on the 18th of October following was
advanced to the dignity of Earl of Hertford.  So late as the accession
of Edward the Sixth, he was still a Lutheran; for had he been then a
Gospeller, we should not have found his signature to a letter written to
the Council recommending a pardon at the Coronation, because "the late
King, being in Heaven, has no need of the _merit_ of it."  He was
created by his royal nephew, February 16, 1547, Duke of Somerset, and
Lord Protector of England during the King's minority.  It was very soon
after this that he became a Gospeller; and immediately the Lords of the
Council, headed by Northumberland, conspired to ruin him.  The fullest,
and the saddest, account of the plot against Somerset will be found in
that Diary of Edward the Sixth, which records only facts, not opinions,
much less feelings.  Edward never enters anything in his Diary but
events; and he did not see that the affair was a plot.  Among Somerset's
judges were his rival Northumberland, his daughter-in-law's father
Suffolk, the Gospeller Sussex, his enemy Pembroke, and his cousin
Wentworth.  The Duke was acquitted of high treason, and condemned to
death for felony, i.e., for devising the death of Northumberland.
Somerset rose and owned honestly so much of the accusation as was true.
He _had_ considered whether it were advisable to impeach Northumberland
and others; and had decided not to do so.  He might have added that for
his rival, a simple member of the Council, to depose and afterwards to
impeach the Lord Protector, was at last as felonious or treasonable as
any act of his.  But words were vain, however true or eloquent.
Northumberland had resolved upon his death, and thirsted for his blood.
Somerset died upon Tower Hill, January 22, 1552.  His Duchess survived
him, but she was not released from the Tower until the accession of
Mary.  He left behind him twelve children; three by Katherine Folliott,
nine by Anne Stanhope.  The present Duke of Somerset is the
representative of the former; the Duke of Northumberland, by the female
line, of the latter.  Lady Jane, the proposed Queen of Edward the Sixth,
was afterwards Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth, and died unmarried,
March 19, 1560, aged only nineteen.  Somerset's failings were pride and
ambition; and he suffered in having married a woman whose faults were
similar to his own.  The character delineated in the text is not that
attributed to him by modern historians.  I must beg my readers to
remember, that the necessities of the story oblige me to paint the
historical persons who enter into it, not as modern writers regard them,
nor indeed as I myself regard them, but as they were regarded by the
Gospellers of their day.  And the feelings of the Gospellers towards
Somerset were those of deep tenderness and veneration.  Whether the
Gospellers or the historians were in the right, is one of those
questions on which men will probably differ to the end of the world.  I
believe that his last days, the worst from a worldly point of view, were
the best from a religious one, and that he was chastened of the Lord
that he should _not_ be condemned with the world.

TITLES.

But a very short time had elapsed, at the date of this story, since the
titles of Lord and Lady had been restricted to members of the Royal
Family alone, when used with the Christian name only.  A great deal of
this feeling was still left; and it will be commonly found (I do not say
universally) that when persons of the sixteenth century used the
definite article instead of the possessive pronoun, before a title and a
Christian name, they meant to indicate that they regarded him of whom
they spoke as a royal person.  Let me instance Lord Guilford Dudley.
Those who called him "_the_ Lord Guilford" were partisans of Lady Jane
Grey: those from whose lips he was "my Lord Guilford _Dudley_" were
against her.  This is perhaps still more remarkable in the case of
Arthur Lord Lisle, whom many persons looked upon as the legitimate son
of Edward the Fourth.  As a Viscount, his daughters of course had no
claim to the title of Lady; those who gave it regarded him as a Prince.
Oddly enough, his friends generally give the higher title, his servants
the lower.  From his agent Husee it is always _Mrs_ Frances, never Lady;
but from Sir Francis Lovell her sister is the "Lady Elyzabeth
Plantagenet."

UNDERHILL, EDWARD.

The "Hot Gospeller," most prominent of his party, was the eldest son of
Thomas Underhill of Wolverhampton and Anne Wynter of Huddington.  He is
known in the pedigrees of his family as Edward Underhill of Honingham.
He was born in 1512, and at the age of eight succeeded to the family
inheritance on the death of his grandfather, having previously lost his
father (Harl. Ms. 759, folio 149).  Underhill married, in 1545, Jane,
daughter of a London tradesman, whom the pedigrees call Thomas Price or
Perrins (Harl. Ms. 1100, folio 16; 1167, folio 10); but as Underhill
himself calls his brother-in-law John Speryn, I have preferred his
spelling of the name.  The narrative of "the examynacione and
Impresonmentt off Edwarde Underehyll" (from August 5 to September 5,
1553) is extant in his own hand--tall, upright, legible writing--in
Harl. Mss. 424, folio 9, and 425, folios 86-98.  Nearly the whole
narrative, so far as it refers to Underhill himself, has been worked
into the present story.  Two short extracts have been printed from it,
in the Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary (pages 128, 170); and
Strype has made use of it also.  The ballad given in chapter eight is
evidently not the one on account of which the author was imprisoned.
Underhill had eleven children;--1.  Anne, born December 27, 1548 [query
1546]. 2.  Christian, born September 16, 1548. 3.  Eleanor, born
November 10, 1549. 4.  Rachel, born February 4, 1552 [query 1551]. 5.
Unica, or Eunice, born April 10, 1552. 6.  Guilford, born at the
Limehurst, July 13, 1553, to whom Lady Jane Grey stood sponsor as her
last regnal act; died before 1562. 7.  Anne, born in Wood Street,
Cheapside, January 4, 1555. 8.  Edward, born in Wood Street, February
10, 1556; the eventual representative of the family. 9.  John, born at
Baginton, about December, and died infant, 1556. 10.  Prudence, born
1559, died young. 11.  Henry, born September 6, 1561, living 1563.  Some
writers speak of a twelfth child, Francis; but this seems to require
confirmation.  Underhill removed to Baginton, near Coventry, about
Easter, 1556.  He appears to have lost his wife in 1562, if she were the
"Mistress Hunderell" buried in Saint Botolph's on the 14th of April.  He
was living himself in 1569 (Rot. Pat., 10 Elizabeth, Part two); nothing
has been ascertained concerning him subsequent to that date, but
according to one of the Heralds' Visitations he returned to Honyngham.
Notices of his descendants are very meagre; Lord Leicester's "servant
Underhill," in 1585, is reported to have been one of his two surviving
sons, Edward and Henry; and Captain John Underhill, the Antinomian, who
figures in the early history of America, is said to have been the
grandson of the Hot Gospeller.  The Ms. which has chiefly supplied the
dates given above was not found until too late to correct the text.  The
dates of birth, therefore, of Anne and Edward, as given in the story,
are inaccurate.  Underhill lent his "Narrative" to Foxe, who is said to
have returned it without making use of it.  That he made no use of it is
certain, beyond recording the day of Underhill's committal to Newgate:
but whether he ever returned it is not so certain; for it is bound with
Foxe's papers at this day, to which fact we probably owe its
preservation.  In Ainsworth's "Tower of London," a fancy portrait of
Underhill is given, precisely the opposite of that which I should
sketch.  "He was a tall, thin man, with sandy hair, and a scanty beard
of the same colour.  His eyes were blear and glassy, with pink lids
utterly devoid of lashes; and he had a long lantern-shaped visage" (page
43).  Mr Ainsworth (who evidently regards him as a grim ascetic)
proceeds, with due poetical justice, to burn our friend on Tower Green,
in 1554.  I imagine that the dry humour for which Underhill was
remarkable, would have been keenly evoked by perusal of the adventures
there mapped out for him.  For many of these details I am indebted to a
distant relative of the Hot Gospeller.





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