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Title: The Household of Sir Thomas More
Author: Manning, Anne, 1807-1879
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's Notes.

Where no illustration caption appeared below the image, the
corresponding wording from the list of illustrations has been included
as a caption.

Italics are surrounded with _ _. The oe ligature has been replaced
in this version by the letters oe. Some words have been represented
in the print version as the first three letters of the word followed
by the last letter as a superscript and with a dot underneath. The
superscripted letters have been represented in this version as ^[.x].

On p. 59 of the original book, a presumed printer's error has been
corrected:

  "She seems 'em now!" (as printed in the original) has been changed to
  "She sees 'em now!" (in this version)

On p. 201, the date 1543 has been changed to 1534. This can be fairly
presumed to be the intended date based on historical occurrences
referred to and based on the continuity of entries.



  THE
  HOUSEHOLD OF
  SIR THO^[.S] MORE


  By the same Author

  _In crown 8vo, cloth, gilt top, 6s._

  Illustrated by JOHN JELLICOE and HERBERT RAILTON

  The Old Chelsea Bun-Shop:
  A Tale of the Last Century

  Cherry & Violet:
  A Tale of the Great Plague

  The Maiden and Married Life of Mary
  Powell, afterwards Mrs. Milton

_The many other interesting works of this author will be published from
time to time uniformly with the above._



  [Illustration:

  The Household of
  SIR THO^[.S] MORE

  _Illvstrations by_ John Jellicoe &
  Herbert Railton

  _Introdvction by_ The Rev^[.d] W. H. Hutton

  LONDON
  John C. NIMMO
  MDCCCXCIX
  ]

  [Illustration: LIBELLUS A MARGARETA MORE QVINDECIM ANNOS NATA CHELSELÆ
  INCEPTVS

  _Nvlla dies sine linea_ ]

  [Illustration: "Anon we sit down to rest and talk"]



  THE
  HOUSEHOLD OF
  SIR THO^[.S] MORE


  WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY
  THE REV. W. H. HUTTON, B.D.
  FELLOW OF S. JOHN'S COLLEGE, OXFORD


  AND TWENTY-FIVE ILLUSTRATIONS
  BY JOHN JELLICOE AND
  HERBERT RAILTON


  LONDON
  JOHN C. NIMMO
  NEW YORK: CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
  MDCCCXCIX


  Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & CO.
  At the Ballantyne Press



  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

  _From Drawings by_ JOHN JELLICOE _and_ HERBERT RAILTON.


  "ANON WE SIT DOWN TO REST AND TALK."
    _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE _and_ HERBERT RAILTON        _Frontispiece_

                                                              PAGE

  TITLE-PAGE.
    _Designed by_ HERBERT RAILTON                                iii

  MOTTO OF MARGARET MORE.
    _Designed by_ HERBERT RAILTON                                 iv

  SIR THOMAS MORE'S HOUSE.
    _Drawn by_ HERBERT RAILTON                                     1

  ERASMUS AND THE PEACOCKS.
    _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE                               _To face_ 6

  JACK AND CECY.
    _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE                                      26

  MORE IN THE BARROW.
    _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE                                      38

  MARGARET IN THE TREE.
    _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE                              _To face_ 44

  "I NOTICED ARGUS PEARCHT."
    _Drawn by_ HERBERT RAILTON                            _To face_ 52

  GAMMER GURNEY.
    _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE                                      58

  MORE READING WYNKYN DE WORDE.
    _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE _and_ HERBERT RAILTON          _To face_ 70

  THE JEW.
    _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE                                      76

  THE CARDINAL'S PROCESSION.
      _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE                                    87

  "I FELL INTO DISGRACE FOR HOLDING SPEECH
    WITH MERCY OVER THE PALES."
      _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE _and_ HERBERT RAILTON      _To face_ 110

  "LORD SANDS SANG US A NEW BALLAD."
      _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE      120

  "THE KING WAS HERE YESTERDAY."
      _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE _and_ HERBERT RAILTON      _To face_ 142

  "SHE COMETH HITHER FROM HEVER CASTLE."
      _Drawn by_ HERBERT RAILTON      _To face_ 148

  THE BEGGAR-WOMAN'S DOG.
      _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE      161

  IN THE GARDEN.
      _Drawn by_ HERBERT RAILTON      165

  "AND SAYTH, LOW BOWING AS HE SPOKE, 'MADAM,
    MY LORD IS GONE.'"
      _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE _and_ HERBERT RAILTON      _To face_ 172

  "IN COMETH A PURSUIVANT."
      _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE      203

  THE STAIRS.
      _Drawn by_ HERBERT RAILTON      210

  "HIS FEARLESSE PASSAGE THROUGH THE TRAITOR'S
    GATE."
      _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE _and_ HERBERT RAILTON      _To face_ 220

  GILLIAN AND THE FLOUR SACKS.
      _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE                                237

  MORE RETURNING FROM HIS TRIAL.
      _Drawn by_ JOHN JELLICOE                            _To face_ 258

  "NOR LOOKT I UP TILL ANEATH THE BRIDGE-GATE."
      _Drawn by_ HERBERT RAILTON                           _To face_ 262



Introduction


It is not always from the closest and most accurate historian that
we receive the truest picture of an age or of a character. The
artist gives a more real picture than the photographer; and it needs
imagination and sympathy, as well as labour and research, to make a
hero of old time live again to-day. The minutest investigation will
hardly better the vivid reality of Scott's James I. or Charles II.,
or portray more truly than Mr. Shorthouse has done the fragile yet
fascinating personality of Charles I. Yet to say this is not to
undervalue history or to contemn the labour of true students. Rather,
without their aid we cannot rightly see the past at all: it comes to us
only with the distortions of our own prejudice and our narrow modern
outlook. We need both the work of the scholar and the imagination of
the artist. Without the first we could not behold the past, without the
second we could not understand it.

In religion, in politics, in art, in all that makes life beautiful and
men true, we must know the past if we would use the present or provide
for the future. And our knowledge is barren indeed if it does not touch
the intimacies of human existence. What we must know is how men lived
and thought, not merely how they acted. We must see them in the home,
and not only in the senate or the field. It is thus that the Letters
of Erasmus, or Luther's Table Talk, are worth a ton of Sleidan's
dreary commentaries or Calvin's systematic theology. And yet we cannot
dispense with either. We must study past ages as a whole, and then
bring the imagination of the artist and the poet to show us the truth
and the passion that lies nearest to their heart. It is thus, then, in
history that the imaginary portrait has its valued place.

Saturated with contemporary literature, yet alive to the influences
of a wider life, the student who is also an artist turns to a great
movement, and with the touch of genius fixes the true impression of its
soul in poetry, on canvas, or in prose. Such was the work of Walter
Pater. He taught us, through the delicate study of a secondary but most
alluring painter, to "understand to how great a place in human culture
the art of Italy had been called." In his picture of a great scholar
and a beautiful, pathetic, childlike soul, he showed the fascination
of that priceless truth--that what men have thought and done, that what
has interested and charmed them, can never wholly die--"no language
they have spoken, nor oracle beside which they have hushed their
voices, no dream which has once been entertained by actual human minds,
nothing about which they have ever been passionate or expended time and
zeal."

And more. He taught us not only how to understand the past,
but he showed us how it understood itself. "A Prince of Court
Painters"--Watteau, as he was seen by one who loved him, by a
sympathetic woman--like all such, the keenest of critics, yet the
tenderest of hearts--is given to us as not even pictures or personal
letters could give. Sebastian van Storck, Duke Carl of Rosenmold--they
are portraits, though it is only imagination that makes them live.

I remember Mr. Freeman once saying to me, as he took me his favourite
walk at Somerleaze, that he had read a study of Mr. Pater's--a strange
mediæval story of Denys l'Auxerrois--and could not be satisfied till he
knew what it meant. Was it true? It was a question befitting one who
had made the past to live again. Truth was the first, almost the only,
thing the historian prized. Denys the organ-builder may never have
watched the decoration of the Cathedral of Saint Étienne, or made, by
the mere sight of him, the old feel young again. And yet Walter Pater
had painted a true portrait, as so often did Robert Browning, though it
were imaginary; and the artist as well as the historian had imaged for
us the reality of a past age.

Mr. Pater, though the most perfect artist of this school, was not the
first. Humbler writers have long endeavoured to draw the great heroes
as they thought their contemporaries saw them, by a fiction of memoir,
or correspondence, or journal. And the "Prince of Court Painters" is a
sketch in the same medium as "The Household of Sir Thomas More."

This charming book has passed through many editions, but its author, of
her own choice, remained almost unknown. The "Dictionary of National
Biography" has strangely passed her by. Almost all that her wishes
suffer us to know is that she was sister of Mr. William Oke Manning,
to whom she affectionately dedicated the fourth edition of the book
which is now reprinted; that she was never married; and that she was a
genuine student and an indefatigable writer on historical and literary
subjects. In "Mary Powell" she touched the heart of her generation, and
few books of its day had a wider circulation. "The Household of Sir
Thomas More" is a still more painstaking study, and a more complete
and delightful portrait. Its perfect sympathy and its quaint charm
of manner secured for it a welcome even among those who claimed for
the hero and his opinions a sanctity which Miss Manning's historical
judgment did not ratify. Cardinal Manning, writing on March 11, 1887,
rejoiced at its republication, and said: "The book is a singularly
beautiful one, and I regret that I had not the pleasure of knowing the
writer, whose mental gifts were of a very high order." Miss Manning
was a keen critic of the Romanism of the Reformation period, as her
Appendices to the fourth edition of her book show; but she did not
suffer her own opinions to destroy her sympathy for him whom Reginald
Pole called "the best of all the English."

"The Household of Sir Thomas More" is an imaginary portrait of a noble
character. It professes to be the journal begun by Margaret, More's
eldest daughter, most learned and best beloved, when she was but
fifteen years old, and continued till she had taken her father's head
from the pole whereon it was exposed, to treasure it till she should
lay it on her breast as she too passed into the peace of God. Among
"fair women" the heroic daughter is immortal:--

    "Morn broaden'd on the borders of the dark
    Ere I saw her, who clasped in her last trance
    Her murder'd father's head."

So Tennyson recorded the pathetic legend with which Miss Manning ended
her beautiful book.

When she wrote, it was not so hard as it is now to recall the London of
Henry VIII. Miss Manning herself described very happily in 1859 what
she remembered many years before.

"When we say," she wrote, "that some of our happiest and earliest
years were spent on the site of Sir Thomas More's country house in the
'village of palaces,' some of our readers will hardly believe we can
mean Chelsea. But, in those days, the gin-palace and tea-garden were
not; Cremorne was a quiet, aristocratic seclusion, where old Queen
Charlotte

     'Would sometimes counsel take, and sometimes tea.'

"A few old, quiet streets and rows, with names and sites dear to the
antiquary, ran down to the Thames, then a stranger to steamboats; a row
of noble elms along its strand lent their deep shade to some quaint
old houses with heavy architraves, picturesque flights of steps, and
elaborate gates; while Queen Elizabeth's Walk, the Bishop's Walk,
and the Bishop's Palace gave a kind of dignity to the more modern
designations of the neighbourhood.

"When the Thames was the great highway, and every nobleman had his six
or eight oared barge, the banks of the river as high as Chelsea were
studded with country houses. At the foot of Battersea Bridge, which
in those days did not disfigure the beautiful reach, Sir Thomas More,
then a private gentleman and eminent lawyer in full practice, built
the capital family house which was afterwards successively occupied
by the Marquis of Winchester, Lord Dacre, Lord Burleigh, Sir Robert
Cecil, the Earl of Lincoln, Sir Arthur Gorges, Lord Middlesex, the
first Duke of Buckingham, Sir Bulstrode Whitlock, the second Duke of
Buckingham, the Earl of Bristol, and the Duke of Beaufort. It stood
about a hundred yards from the river; its front exhibited a projecting
porch in the centre, and four bay windows alternating with eight large
casements; while its back presented a confused assemblage of jutting
casements, pent-houses, and gables in picturesque intricacy of detail,
affording 'coigns of vantage,' we doubt not, to many a tuft of golden
moss and stone-crop. This dwelling, which for convenience and beauty
of situation and interior comfort was so highly prized by its many and
distinguished occupants, appears at length to have been pulled down
when it became rickety and untenantable from sheer old age--in Ossian's
words, 'gloomy, windy, and full of ghosts.'"

Nor was Miss Manning obliged to rely only on her memory for a picture
of More's house as it had been. The site, when she knew it, was like
the New Place at Stratford-on-Avon, where only a few stones and
foundations enable us to picture how stood the house where Shakespeare
died. But while the household was still fresh in men's minds, and More
was beginning to be reverenced as a martyr and a saint, Ellis Heywood
published at Florence, in 1556, his sketch, "Il Moro," in which he set
in a true description of the Chelsea garden an imaginary picture of
the Chancellor and his friends talking on matters of high import to
soul and spirit. "From one part of the garden," he tells us, "almost
the whole of the noble city of London was visible, and from another
the beautiful Thames, with green meadows and wooded hills all around."
The garden had its own charm too. "It was crowned with an almost
perpetual verdure, and the branches of the fruit-trees that grew near
were interwoven in a manner so beautiful that it seemed like a living
tapestry worked by Nature herself."

So wrote Ellis Heywood of the external beauty of the scene. Of
the inner harmony Erasmus had written years before to Ulrich von
Hutten:--"More has built himself a house at Chelsea. There he lives
with his wife, his son, his daughter-in-law, his three daughters and
their husbands, with eleven grandchildren. There is not a man alive
so loving as he: he loves his old wife as if she were indeed a young
maiden." For Dame Alice, whom More had wedded very soon after the
death of his first child-wife, was _nec bella nec puella_--neither a
beauty nor a girl. And besides these, in the year when little Margaret,
according to Miss Manning, began to write in her "fayr Libellus" which
her tutor, Master Gunnel, gave her, there were dwelling in the house
the aged father, Sir John More, good judge and humorous man, with his
third wife.

"And the household," said Erasmus, "was a very 'platonic academy'--were
it not," he adds, "an injustice to compare it with an academy where
disputations concerning numbers and figures were only occasionally
mingled with discussion on the moral virtues. I should rather call his
house a school of Christianity; for though there is no one in it who
does not study the liberal sciences, the special care of all is piety
and virtue. No quarrelling or ill-tempered words are ever heard, and
idleness is never seen."

In such a household it was that Margaret, More's dearest and most
heroic child, was nurtured:--

                              "As it were
    An angel-watered lily, that near God
    Grows and is quiet."

She was one of those fine souls to whom come alike learning and love,
and in whom religion shows its fairest fruits. Holbein draws her with
a Seneca in her hand, but not far away is her prayer-desk. All the
children answered to their father's careful culture, for it is an idle
tale that makes young John More but a silly fellow. Elizabeth, who
married Mr. Dancey, Cecily, who became the wife of Giles Heron, a ward
of her father's, the step-daughter Alice, who became Lady Alington, and
the adopted child, Margaret Giggs, whom young Clement, sometime their
fellow-scholar, wedded, were all instructed in humane letters. But
Margaret was the flower of them all. To her her father wrote when she
was still but a child:--

"I cannot tell you, dearest Margaret, how pleasant to me are your most
delightful letters. Now, as I was reading them there chanced to be with
me that noble youth, Reginald Pole--not so highly ennobled, indeed,
by birth as by learning and every virtue. To him your letter seemed a
miracle, even before he knew how you were beset by shortness of time
and other hindrances. And hardly would he believe that you had no help
from your master, till I told him seriously that you had not only no
master in the house, but that also there was no man in it that had not
more need of your help in writing than you of his."

Indeed a good father and a good teacher made the household the wonder
of learned Europe. See what More wrote to the tutor he had chosen, when
he was himself abroad on an embassy:--

"I have received, my dear Gunnel, your letters, such as they are wont
to be, full of elegance and affection. Your love for my children I
gather from your letters; their diligence from their own. I rejoice
that little Elizabeth has shown as much modesty of deportment in her
mother's absence as she could have done in her presence. Tell her that
this delights me above all things; for, much as I esteem learning,
which, when joined with virtue, is worth all the treasures of kings,
what doth the fame of great scholarship, apart from well-regulated
conduct, bring us, except distinguished infamy? Especially in women,
whom men are ready enough to assail for their knowledge, because it is
uncommon and casts a reproach on their own sluggishness. Among other
notable benefits which solid learning bestows, I reckon this among the
first, that we acquire it not for the mere sake of praise or the esteem
of learned men, but for its own true value and use. Thus have I spoken,
my Gunnel, somewhat the more in respect of not coveting vainglory,
because of those words in your letter wherein you deem that the high
quality of Margaret's wit is not to be depressed, which, indeed, is
mine own opinion; but I think that they the most truly depress and
affront their wit who accustom themselves to practise it on vain and
base objects, rather than raise their minds by the study and approval
of what is good in itself. It mattereth not in harvest-time whether
the corn were sown by a man or a woman, and I see not why learning in
like manner may not equally agree with both sexes; for by it reason
is cultivated, and, as a field, sown with wholesome precepts, which
bring forth good fruit. Even if the soil of a woman's brain be of its
own nature bad, and apter to bear fern than corn, by which saying men
oft terrify women from learning, I am of opinion that a woman's mind
is, for that very reason, all the more in need of manure and good
husbandry, that the defect of nature may be redressed."

In these letters, and in many like them, there is given the best, and
the most authentic picture of the household of the great Chancellor.

Of More himself it is difficult to speak without using language which
seems extravagant. His character was so beautiful, his life so simple
and so pure, his conscientiousness so complete, his end so heroic, that
he stands out among the sordid meannesses of the sixteenth century like
a single star in the darkness of the world. Sinful popes and wicked
kings, greedy statesmen and timid clergy, who will accept the king's
supremacy one day and then burn what once they adored--among these
More has no place. His is a steadfast soul, happy in prosperity and
triumphant in the furnace of affliction. "O ye holy and humble men of
heart, O ye spirits and souls of the righteous, bless ye the Lord:
praise Him and magnify Him for ever."

And the position of More in the age of the Reformation is the more
remarkable because he belonged so clearly to the new as well as to
the old. He was, in the best sense, a Humanist. He was a scholar and
a bitter foe of all obscurantism. He fought the battle of Greek, and
so gave to England the scholarship of the succeeding generation to
which true religion and sound learning owe so great a debt. He could
take no part with those who could defend the old faith only with the
rusty weapons of a philosophic system which had failed to meet the
aspirations of the new age. No one laughed more readily than he at
the sallies of Erasmus against ignorant monks and illiterate clergy.
_Encomium Moriæ, Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum_, spoke his sentiments as
well as those of their authors. But while he loved the new learning
and adopted the new methods, he saw that there remained something
among the old things that was priceless and imperishable. It may be
that he did not clearly distinguish between the essentials and the mere
offshoots of a divine faith. It may be--we should say it must be--that
if he had lived a hundred years later, or in our own day, he would have
thought differently on some matters. The cause of intellectual freedom
was presented to him in its worst aspect, and the command to cast away
the childish things of mediævalism came in a revolting form from the
lips of a coarse and brutal tyrant. Had Colet lived, or Erasmus been a
stronger man, all might have been different. As it was, More saw but
one side of the new world, and that the worst, and he said, "The old is
better."

But while, in his final choice, he seemed to belong rather to the old
world than to the new, he had absorbed all the best spirit of the
Italian Renaissance, and he belonged as a social reformer to an age in
the far future. The _Utopia_, it is true, was the work of his youth,
and it is doubtful if much of it was meant seriously, and certain
that some was distinctly contrary to its author's mature convictions.
But nevertheless it sets forth an exquisite ideal picture of equality
in opportunity and of simplicity of life. Its whole tone speaks a
protest against the selfishness and the competition of the age that
degraded art and divided society. And this protest was enforced by the
asceticism of the author's own life and the purity of his household.

More's life was not a long one. He was born on February 7, 1478. His
family was "honourable, not illustrious." His father came to be an
eminent judge. As a boy he went to school in London, and then was
taken into the household of the famous Cardinal Morton, Archbishop
of Canterbury and Lord High Chancellor of England, the statesman who
advised the best measures of Henry VII., who began to reform the
monasteries, who heavily taxed the rich and took care for the poor.
There the young More was known as a bright lad, who would often speak a
piece in Christmas games for the guests' entertainment with a wit and
readiness which made the Archbishop prophesy for him a great career.
He went to Oxford; he studied at New Inn, and then at Lincoln's Inn.
He became a lawyer; he went into Parliament; he lectured publicly in
London on theology. When a young man he was widely known as a scholar
and a wit. He was a friend of all the learned men of his day, a member
of that little circle of students to which Colet and Grocyn and Linacre
belonged. Though he plunged into practical life, politics, and law,
and exchanged epigrams with the best wits of the time, his deepest
thoughts were always with religion. He was near becoming a Carthusian;
he had serious thoughts of refraining from marriage; he lived very
strictly, and was with difficulty won from a solitary life. When he
decided to marry and conform outwardly to the customs of the society of
his day, he did not abandon the secret rules by which his personal life
was restrained. He was outwardly of the world, but in spirit he was
always a recluse.

Gradually he came prominently before his contemporaries. His books made
him known to scholars. Wolsey may have known him at Oxford, and now
found him useful on embassies and at Court. The King sought him out
and made a friend of him, would talk with him of theological matters,
obtained his help for that book against Luther which won him the title
of "Defender of the Faith," and often at night "would have him up
to the leads, there to consider with him the courses, motions, and
operations of the stars and planets." So, when Wolsey fell, More, who
had already been Speaker of the House of Commons, and won great praise
alike from King and Cardinal, became Lord Chancellor--the first great
layman and lawyer who held that high office. As judge men spoke of him
with admiration for centuries. He was a statesman, too, as well as a
lawyer, and his aid was sought in all Henry's foreign negotiations.
He might have been the greatest man in England after the King if he
would have strained his conscience. But this he would not do. He never
approved the Divorce; he was known to be a champion of the injured
Queen Katherine, and a friend to her nephew, the Emperor Charles. As
Church questions, too, came in dispute, he took more and more the
conservative side. He would not repudiate the Pope's supremacy, or
separate himself from the imposing unity of Christendom, which it
seemed to him was threatened by the nationalism of Henry VIII., as well
as by the heresy of Luther. And so at last it came that the lion felt
his strength: it was More's own prophecy, and he was one of the first
victims.

On Monday, April 13, 1534, he was required to take oath to the
succession of the issue of Anne Boleyn, and in repudiation of the
validity of the first marriage of the King. He at once refused. He
would not deny to swear to the succession, but the oath put before
him he could not reconcile with his conscience. In this he persisted.
Imprisonment, trial, death, came naturally and inevitably; and of these
Miss Manning, with the letters and memoirs before her, has made the
faithful Margaret write as from a full heart.

On Tuesday, July 6, 1535, he was executed on Tower Hill. "He bore in
his hands a red cross, and was often seen to cast his eyes towards
heaven." He died as he had lived, with saintly calm, and still playing
with a gentle humour. "That at least," he said, as he drew aside his
beard from the block, "has committed no treason."

The King's wrath did not cease with the execution of his faithful
counsellor. Dame Alice More lost all, and had hard stress for the few
years that remained to her of life. Happily his son and his daughters
had all been married before the troubles came. Margaret's marriage was
a happy one. Will Roper was soon weaned from his "Lutheran" fancies,
and lived, thirty-four years after his wife, to write an exquisite
and pathetic memoir of the great Chancellor. When the tyrant was dead
More's family seemed almost sacred in the eyes of the nation. His
memory was cherished, and memorials of all kinds poured forth during
the years of Mary's reign; and when Elizabeth had been twenty years on
the throne Roper died in peace, desiring to be buried with his "dear
wife," where his father-in-law "did mind to be buried."

Margaret Roper herself died in 1544, and was buried in Chelsea Church.
Her monument is, with the Ropers', in S. Dunstan's, Canterbury. In
that ancient city the family of her husband had long dwelt, and the
house itself lasted till this century. Of it Miss Manning very prettily
wrote:--

"My friend, Mrs. George Frederick Young, who was born in the Ropers'
house at Canterbury, tells me that it was of singular antiquity, full
of queer nooks, corners, and passages, with a sort of dungeon below,
that went by the name of 'Dick's Hole,' the access to which was so
dangerous that it at length was forbidden to descend the staircase.
The coach-house and harness-room were curiously antique; the chapel
had been converted into a laundry, but retained its Gothic windows. At
length it became needful to rebuild the house, only the old gateway
of which remains. While the workmen were busy, an old gentleman in
Canterbury sent to beg Mrs. Young's father to dig in a particular
part of the garden, for that he had dreamed there was a money-chest
there. This request was not attended to, and he sent a more urgent
message, saying his dream had been repeated. A third time he dreamed,
and renewed his request, which at length was granted; and, curiously
enough, a chest _was_ found, with a few coins in it, chiefly of
antiquarian value, which, accordingly, were given to an archæologist
of the place. Here my information ceases."

More and his favourite daughter are those of whom we first think when
we try to recall some memories of the "Christian academy;" but their
famous guests must not be forgotten. I cannot speak now of the soldiers
and diplomatists, the priests and scholars, who pass across the scene
so rapidly as we read the letters of the Chancellor himself or the
memoirs of his son-in-law and his great-grandson. But two names stand
out as famous above the rest, and as both among the closest of those
friends whom More delighted to honour,--Erasmus the scholar and Holbein
the painter.

Of Erasmus who shall speak in a few words? Are not the libraries of
Europe full of his books, and are not his witticisms still repeated
to-day as if they were but the new thoughts of the newest of moderns?
The intellectual life of his age seems summed up in his person. It
had no interest in which he did not mingle, nor any opinion which he
did not weigh and test. If he held himself above its passions, it
was simply because his was a keen critical nature, loving in its own
fashion, but too cold to sympathise deeply with any combatant or to
thrill with any passion. "He had no mind," said Miss Manning rather
sharply, "to be a martyr, but only to suggest doubts which led braver
men to be such."

"This worthy man," says his eighteenth century biographer, Jortin,
"spent a laborious life in an uniform pursuit of two points: in
opposing barbarous ignorance and blind superstition, and in promoting
useful literature and true piety. These objects he attempted in a mild,
gentle manner, never attacking the persons of men, but only the faults
of the age. He knew his own temper and talents, and was conscious he
was not fitted for the rough work of a reformer."

Jortin's, indeed, is the juster estimate. It was Erasmus's keen sight,
not his want of moral courage, which prevented his being a martyr. He
could not sympathise with the foreign reformers; he had no taste for
antinomianism, still less for ignorance, and he saw that the Church
abroad, with all its accretions,--which none ridiculed so wittily as
he,--still preserved a treasure that the human mind could not afford to
lose.

Erasmus was a lifelong friend of More. They had met originally in
England while Henry VII. was still on the throne. Erasmus stayed at
More's house, and together they discussed the wrongs and follies of
the time. _Encomium Moriæ_--"The Praise of Folly"--was written by
Erasmus under More's roof, and the title had a punning reference to
the author's host. Later books, especially the great edition of the
New Testament which made the sacred text, said More, "shine with a new
light," had all of them the sanction of the faithful English friend. He
had to suffer rough handling from the obscurantists of his day. Greek
seemed to savour of heresy, just as now to some it seems a relic of
mediævalism unworthy of the study of a scientific age. Erasmus, indeed,
was in a position which has its parallel to-day. He stood boldly forth
to fight for a large and liberal education, and for wide and rational
methods of instruction, against those who would narrow the teaching of
the young to a merely technical and professional training. He fought
against the effort to sacrifice sound learning to utilitarian ends;
and he found the warmest sympathy, and the best expression of his
educational ideal, in the household of his English friend.

With More he bore reproach for a good cause. While the English lawyer
pleaded for the study of Greek at the English universities, the Dutch
scholar met the assaults of those who would check the publication of
the New Testament in the original tongue. He was justly indignant at
the treatment he received.

"There are none," he said, "that bark at me more furiously than those
who have never even seen the outside of my books. When you meet with
one of these brawlers, let him rave on at my New Testament till he
has made himself hoarse. Then ask him gently whether he has read it.
If he has the impudence to say yes, urge him to produce one passage
that deserves to be blamed. You will find that he cannot. Consider,
now, whether this be the behaviour of a Christian, to blacken a man's
reputation, which he cannot restore to him again if he would. Of all
the vile ways of defaming him, none is more villainous than to accuse
him of heresy; and yet to this they have recourse on the slightest
provocation!"

A Dominican friar at Strasburg, who had spitefully attacked Erasmus's
Testament, was compelled to own that he had not read one word of it.
"These men," exclaims Erasmus, "first hate, next condemn, and, lastly,
seek for passages to justify their censures. And then, if any one
opposes them, and calls them what they are, they say he is a disturber
of the public peace; which is just as if you gave a man a blow in the
face, and then bid him be quiet, and not make a noise about nothing."

But all through the babel of contending voices Erasmus kept his own
course. He could neither be coerced to give up his liberal scholarship
nor lured to ally with Luther and the Protestant doctors. To him the
way of sound learning seemed the path of the Catholic Church. And here
too he was of one mind with More. The Englishman had to meet dangers
which never beset the foreign scholar, and he met them, it may be, as
Erasmus would not have dared to do. But it cannot be doubted that in
their opinions, as in their hearts, they were never really divided.

In Mistress Margaret's _Libellus_, Erasmus appears chiefly as a fellow
of infinite jest, but wise withal, chatting at table as he chats in his
letters, and saying, indeed, much that we have under the safe warrant
of his own pen.

If Erasmus was the typical scholar of that age which stood between
the Renaissance and the Reformation, Hans Holbein was typical of its
art. In his hand painting has come down from its high estate, its
Madonnas and its great Doges, its classic pageants and its heroic
legends, and treats of common life as men saw it every day. The German
artist descended from the lofty themes which had inspired the great
master of Italy, and took even the humbler work of illustrating books.
Botticelli, it is true, had drawn studies of the _Divina Commedia_,
but Holbein was ready to work for a printer, and to design letters and
tail-pieces for the _Libelli_ of his friends. It was through Froben,
the great Basle painter, no doubt, that More and Erasmus and Holbein
first came together. Holbein illustrated the _Utopia_, and came to
England with an introduction from the author of the _Encomium Moriæ_.
He was thirty years younger than the Dutch scholar, and twenty years
younger than More, but they became his chiefest friends. He tarried
some while in More's house, and it was there that he drew some of those
marvellous sketches now preserved at Windsor, that give us our truest
knowledge of the Court of Henry VIII. Fisher and Warham, the Earl
of Surrey and Sir Nicholas Poins, Colet and Godsalve, each in their
way representative of a class, but keenly individual and vigorously
characteristic, are preserved for us by those few sharp, bold strokes
with a power and reality which no portrait-painter has ever surpassed.
The luxury and the meanness, the treachery and the cold selfishness,
that form the background of the great struggles of the sixteenth
century are expressed for all time in those master-sketches which
Holbein drew and Margaret Roper, it may be, often looked upon.

And for More's own household we have, besides the letters and the
memoirs, the very form and pressure from the great artist's own hand.
The original design for the famous picture of the patriarchal family,
the three generations living together in love and reverence in their
"Platonic Academy," is at Basle; but in England, at Nostell and at
Cokethorpe, we have very fair presentments of the great picture as it
must have been. More sits by his shrewd old father in his habit as he
lived. The gentle, delicate son stands by, book in hand, and near his
affianced bride. The stepmother sits stately at one side of the group,
and the daughters cluster around. The sorrowful eyes of the great
Chancellor, and his pensive, meditative brow, speaking sound conscience
and a firm resolve, are not lightly to be forgotten; and the plain,
homely face of Margaret Roper, refined and thoughtful through all its
solid strength, may well linger in the memories of those who know her
beautiful life.

To the number of these Miss Manning's book has added many. She teaches
others to love her heroes because she loved them herself. Erasmus and
More and Holbein, Gunnel and Clement, Will Roper and faithful Patteson,
she knew as if she had lived among them. These, and such as these, are
the characters of whom she so skilfully drew portraits which were much
more than the fictions of imagination. She wrote from a considerable
knowledge of the literature of the time, and with a genuine love of all
things beautiful and good. In her style she imitated the quaintness
of old English without any precise restriction to the period of Henry
VIII.; and in the same way the vocabulary and the spelling which
she adopted were not claimed by her as minutely accurate. Over her
book and her characters I would gladly linger. But the first speaks
for itself, and my office is only to direct readers to it; and for
the characters, what I can say is said in my own Life of the great
Chancellor and Saint himself, the father of the gentle Margaret whom
Miss Manning so happily drew.

But there is a special feature in this reprint of which I must needs
say a word. Mr. Herbert Railton and Mr. John Jellicoe show that they
too are skilled in the drawing of imaginary portraits--that they have
seen More's house as indeed we think it must have been, and his family
in their habits as they lived. As the barge brings us past old London
Bridge to the Chelsea stairs, the mansion of the Chancellor stands
before us in the warm sun as when Ellis Heywood saw it three centuries
and a half ago. The children play in the garden, the Jew tells his
story, the peacocks flaunt their gay colours, and More reads his old
books and cracks his jests, as if the old time had come back again.
Bright pictures indeed, and a worthy setting; and the old story is told
anew as More himself and Holbein might have loved to think of it. But
good wines need no bush, and good pictures no prologue.

  W. H. HUTTON.

  THE GREAT HOUSE, BURFORD,
  _July 9, 1895_.



THE

HOUSEHOLD OF


SIR THO^[.S] MORE

  [Illustration: THE HOUSEHOLD OF SIR THO^[.S] MORE]

  _Chelsea, June 18th._

On asking Mr. _Gunnel_ to what Use I should put this fayr _Libellus_,
he did suggest my making it a Kinde of family Register, wherein to
note the more important of our domestick Passages, whether of Joy
or Griefe--my Father's Journies and Absences--the Visits of learned
Men, theire notable Sayings, etc. "You are ready at the Pen, Mistress
_Margaret_," he was pleased to say; "and I woulde humblie advise your
journalling in the same fearless Manner in the which you framed that
Letter which soe well pleased the _Bishop of Exeter_, that he sent
you a Portugal Piece. 'Twill be well to write it in English, which
'tis expedient for you not altogether to negleckt, even for the more
honourable Latin."

Methinks I am close upon Womanhood.... "Humblie advise," quotha! to me,
that have so oft humblie sued for his Pardon, and sometimes in vayn!

'Tis well to make trial of _Gonellus_ his "humble" Advice: albeit, our
daylie Course is so methodicall, that 'twill afford scant Subject for
the Pen--_Vitam continet una Dies_.

       *       *       *       *       *

... As I traced the last Word, methoughte I heard the well-known Tones
of _Erasmus_ his pleasant Voyce; and, looking forthe of my Lattice,
did indeede beholde the deare little Man coming up from the River Side
with my Father, who, because of the Heat, had given his Cloak to a tall
Stripling behind him to bear. I flew up Stairs, to advertise Mother,
who was half in and half out of her grogram Gown, and who stayed me to
clasp her Owches; so that, by the Time I had followed her down Stairs,
we founde 'em alreadie in the Hall.

So soon as I had kissed their Hands, and obtayned their Blessings,
the tall Lad stept forthe, and who should he be but _William Roper_,
returned from my Father's Errand over-seas! He hath grown hugelie, and
looks mannish; but his Manners are worsened insteade of bettered by
forayn Travell; for, insteade of his old Franknesse, he hung upon Hand
till _Father_ bade him come forward; and then, as he went his Rounds,
kissing one after another, stopt short when he came to me, twice made
as though he would have saluted me, and then held back, making me looke
so stupid, that I could have boxed his Ears for his Payns. 'Speciallie
as _Father_ burst out a-laughing, and cried, "The third Time's lucky!"

After Supper, we took deare _Erasmus_ entirely over the House, in a
Kind of family Procession, e'en from the Buttery and Scalding-house
to our own deare _Academia_, with its cool green Curtain flapping in
the Evening Breeze, and blowing aside, as though on Purpose to give
a glimpse of the cleare-shining _Thames_! _Erasmus_ noted and admired
the Stone Jar, placed by _Mercy Giggs_ on the Table, full of blue
and yellow Irises, scarlet Tiger-Lilies, Dog-Roses, Honeysuckles,
Moonwort, and Herb-Trinity; and alsoe our various Desks, eache in its
own little Retirement,--mine own, in speciall, so pleasantly situate!
He protested, with everie Semblance of Sincerity, he had never seene
so pretty an Academy. I should think not, indeede! _Bess_, _Daisy_,
and I, are of Opinion, that there is not likelie to be such another
in the World. He glanced, too, at the Books on our Desks; _Bessy's_
being _Livy_; _Daisy's_, _Sallust_; and mine, St. _Augustine_, with
_Father's_ Marks where I was to read, and where desist. He tolde
_Erasmus_, laying his Hand fondlie on my Head, "Here is one who knows
what is implied in the Word Trust." Dear _Father_, well I may! He
added, "there was no Law against laughing in _his Academia_, for that
his Girls knew how to be merry and wise."

From the House to the new Building, the Chapel and Gallery, and thence
to visitt all the dumb Kinde, from the great horned Owls to _Cecy's_
pet Dormice. _Erasmus_ was amused at some of theire Names, but doubted
whether _Duns Scotus_ and the _Venerable Bede_ would have thoughte
themselves complimented in being made Name-fathers to a couple of Owls;
though he admitted that _Argus_ and _Juno_ were goode Cognomens for
Peacocks. _Will Roper_ hath broughte Mother a pretty little forayn
Animal called a Marmot, but she sayd she had noe Time for suchlike
Playthings, and bade him give it to his little Wife. Methinks, I being
neare sixteen and he close upon twenty, we are too old for those
childish Names now, nor am I much flattered at a Present not intended
for me; however, I shall be kind to the little Creature, and, perhaps,
grow fond of it, as 'tis both harmlesse and diverting.

  [Illustration: Erasmus and the Peacocks.]

To return, howbeit, to _Erasmus_; _Cecy_, who had hold of his Gown,
and had alreadie, through his familiar Kindnesse and her own childish
Heedlessness, somewhat transgrest Bounds, began now in her Mirthe to
fabricate a Dialogue, she pretended to have overhearde, between _Argus_
and _Juno_ as they stoode pearcht on a stone Parapet. _Erasmus_ was
entertayned with her Garrulitie for a while, but at length gentlie
checkt her, with "Love the Truth, little Mayd, love the Truth, or, if
thou liest, let it be with a Circumstance," a Qualification which made
_Mother_ stare and _Father_ laugh.

Sayth _Erasmus_, "There is no Harm in a Fabella, Apologus, or Parabola,
so long as its Character be distinctlie recognised for such, but
contrariwise, much Goode; and the same hath been sanctioned, not only
by the wiser Heads of _Greece_ and _Rome_, but by our deare Lord
Himself. Therefore, _Cecilie_, whom I love exceedinglie, be not abasht,
Child, at my Reproof, for thy Dialogue between the two Peacocks was
innocent no less than ingenious, till thou wouldst have insisted that
they, in sooth, sayd Something like what thou didst invent. Therein
thou didst Violence to the Truth, which St. _Paul_ hath typified by a
Girdle, to be worn next the Heart, and that not only confineth within
due Limits, but addeth Strength. So now be Friends; wert thou more
than eleven and I no Priest, thou shouldst be my little Wife, and
darn my Hose, and make me sweet Marchpane, such as thou and I love.
But, oh! this pretty _Chelsea_! What Daisies! what Buttercups! what
joviall Swarms of Gnats! The Country all about is as nice and flat as
_Rotterdam_."

Anon, we sit down to rest and talk in the Pavilion.

Sayth _Erasmus_ to my _Father_, "I marvel you have never entered into
the King's Service in some publick Capacitie, wherein your Learning
and Knowledge, bothe of Men and Things, would not onlie serve your own
Interest, but that of your Friends and the Publick."

_Father_ smiled and made Answer, "I am better and happier as I am. As
for my Friends, I alreadie do for them alle I can, soe as they can
hardlie consider me in their Debt; and, for myself, the yielding to
theire Solicitations that I would putt myself forward for the Benefit
of the World in generall, would be like printing a Book at Request of
Friends, that the Publick may be charmed with what, in Fact, it values
at a Doit. The Cardinall offered me a Pension, as retaining Fee to
the King a little while back, but I tolde him I did not care to be a
mathematical Point, to have Position without Magnitude."

_Erasmus_ laught and sayd, "I woulde not have you the Slave of anie
King; howbeit, you mighte assist him and be useful to him."

"The Change of the Word," sayth _Father_, "does not alter the Matter; I
should _be_ a Slave, as completely as if I had a Collar rounde my Neck."

"But would not increased Usefulnesse," says _Erasmus_, "make you
happier?"

"Happier?" says _Father_, somewhat heating; "how can that be compassed
in a Way so abhorrent to my Genius? At present, I live as I will,
to which very few Courtiers can pretend. Half-a-dozen blue-coated
Serving-Men answer my Turn in the House, Garden, Field, and on the
River: I have a few strong Horses for Work, none for Show, plenty of
plain Food for a healthy Family, and enough, with a hearty Welcome,
for a score of Guests that are not dainty. The lengthe of my Wife's
Train infringeth not the Statute; and, for myself, I soe hate Bravery,
that my Motto is, 'Of those whom you see in Scarlet, not one is
happy.' I have a regular Profession, which supports my House, and
enables me to promote Peace and Justice; I have Leisure to chat with
my Wife, and sport with my Children; I have Hours for Devotion, and
Hours for Philosophie and the liberall Arts, which are absolutelie
medicinall to me, as Antidotes to the sharpe but contracted Habitts
of Mind engendered by the Law. If there be aniething in a Court Life
which can compensate for the Losse of anie of these Blessings, deare
_Desiderius_, pray tell me what it is, for I confesse I know not."

"You are a comicall Genius," says _Erasmus_.

"As for you," retorted _Father_, "you are at your olde Trick of arguing
on the wrong Side, as you did the firste Time we mett. Nay, don't we
know you can declaime backward and forwarde on the same Argument, as
you did on the _Venetian_ War?"

_Erasmus_ smiled quietlie, and sayd, "What coulde I do? The _Pope_
changed his holy Mind." Whereat _Father_ smiled too.

"What Nonsense you learned Men sometimes talk!" pursues _Father_.
"I--wanted at Court, quotha! Fancy a dozen starving Men with one
roasted Pig betweene them;--do you think they would be really glad
to see a Thirteenth come up, with an eye to a small Piece of the
Crackling? No; believe me, there is none that Courtiers are more
sincerelie respectfull to than the Man who avows he hath no Intention
of attempting to go Shares; and e'en him they care mighty little about,
for they love none with true Tendernesse save themselves."

"We shall see you at Court yet," says _Erasmus_.

Sayth _Father_, "Then I will tell you in what Guise. With a Fool's
Cap and Bells. Pish! I won't aggravate you, Churchman as you are, by
alluding to the Blessings I have which you have not; and I trow there
is as much Danger in taking you for serious when you are onlie playful
and ironicall as if you were _Plato_ himself."

Sayth _Erasmus_, after some Minutes' Silence, "I know full well that
you holde _Plato_, in manie Instances, to be sporting when I accept
him in very Deed and Truth. _Speculating_ he often was; as a brighte,
pure Flame must needs be struggling up, and, if it findeth no direct
Vent, come forthe of the Oven's Mouth. He was like a Man shut into a
Vault, running hither and thither, with his poor, flickering Taper,
agonizing to get forthe, and holding himself in readinesse to make a
Spring forward the Moment a Door should open. But it never did. 'Not
manie Wise are called.' He had clomb a Hill in the Darke, and stoode
calling to his Companions below, 'Come on, come on! this Way lies the
East; I am avised we shall see the Sun rise anon.' But they never
did. What a Christian he woulde have made! Ah! he is one now. He and
_Socrates_--the Veil long removed from their Eyes--are sitting at
_Jesus'_ Feet. _Sancte Socrates, ora pro nobis!_"

_Bessie_ and I exchanged Glances at this so strange Ejaculation; but
the Subjeckt was of such Interest, that we listened with deep Attention
to what followed.

Sayth _Father_, "Whether _Socrates_ were what _Plato_ painted him in
his Dialogues, is with me a great Matter of Doubte; but it is not of
Moment. When so many Contemporaries coulde distinguishe the fancifulle
from the fictitious, _Plato's_ Object could never have beene to
_deceive_. There is something higher in Art than gross Imitation. He
who attempteth it is always the leaste successfull; and his Failure
hath the Odium of a discovered Lie; whereas, to give an avowedlie
fabulous Narrative a Consistence within itselfe which permitts the
Reader to be, for the Time, voluntarilie deceived, is as artfulle as
it is allowable. Were I to construct a Tale, I woulde, as you sayd to
_Cecy_, lie with a Circumstance, but shoulde consider it noe Compliment
to have my Unicorns and Hippogriffs taken for live Animals. _Amicus
Plato, amicus Socrates, magis tamen amica Veritas._ Now, _Plato_ had
a much higher Aim than to give a very Pattern of _Socrates_ his snub
Nose. He wanted a Peg to hang his Thoughts upon----"

"A Peg? A Statue by _Phidias_," interrupts _Erasmus_.

"A Statue by _Phidias_, to clothe in the most beautiful Drapery," sayth
_Father_; "no Matter that the Drapery was his own, he wanted to show it
to the best Advantage, and to the Honour rather than Prejudice of the
Statue. And, having clothed the same, he got a Spark of _Prometheus_
his Fire, and made the aforesayd Statue walk and talk, to the Glory
of Gods and Men, and sate himself quietlie down in a Corner. By the
Way, _Desiderius_, why shouldst thou not submitt thy Subtletie to
the Rules of a Colloquy? Set _Eckius_ and _Martin Luther_ by the
Ears! Ha! Man, what Sport! Heavens! if I were to compound a Tale or a
Dialogue, what Crotchets and Quips of mine own woulde I not putt into
my Puppets' Mouths! and then have out my Laugh behind my Vizard, as
when we used to act Burlesques before _Cardinall Morton_. What rare
Sporte we had, one Christmas, with a Mummery we called the 'Triall of
Feasting'! _Dinner_ and _Supper_ were broughte up before my _Lord Chief
Justice_, charged with Murder. Theire Accomplices were _Plum-pudding_,
_Mince-pye_, _Surfeit_, _Drunkenness_, and suchlike. Being condemned
to hang by the Neck, I, who was _Supper_, stuft out with I cannot tell
you how manie Pillows, began to call lustilie for a Confessor, and, on
his stepping forthe, commenct a List of all the Fitts, Convulsions,
Spasms, Payns in the Head, and so forthe, I had inflicted on this one
and t'other. 'Alas! good Father,' says I, '_King John_ layd his Death
at my Door;--indeede, there's scarce a royall or noble House that hath
not a Charge agaynst me; and I'm sorelie afrayd' (giving a Poke at a
fat Priest that sate at my _Lord Cardinall's_ Elbow) 'I shall have the
Death of _that_ holy Man to answer for.'"

_Erasmus_ laughed, and sayd, "Did I ever tell you of the retort of
_Willibald Pirkheimer_? A Monk, hearing him praise me somewhat lavishly
to another, could not avoid expressing by his Looks great Disgust and
Dissatisfaction; and, on being askt whence they arose, confest he could
not, with Patience, heare the Commendation of a Man soe notoriously
fond of eating Fowls. 'Does he steal them?' says _Pirkheimer_. 'Surely
no,' says the Monk. 'Why, then,' quoth _Willibald_, 'I know of a Fox
who is ten times the greater Rogue; for, look you, he helps himself to
many a fat Hen from my Roost without ever offering to pay me. But tell
me now, dear Father, is it then a Sin to eat Fowls?' 'Most assuredlie
it is,' says the Monk, 'if you indulge in them to Gluttony.' 'Ah! if,
if!' quoth _Pirkheimer_. 'If stands stiff, as the _Lacedemonians_
told _Philip_ of _Macedon_; and 'tis not by eating Bread alone, my
dear Father, you have acquired that huge Paunch of yours. I fancy, if
all the fat Fowls that have gone into it could raise their Voices and
cackle at once, they woulde make Noise enow to drown the Drums and
Trumpets of an army.' Well may _Luther_ say," continued _Erasmus_,
laughing, "that theire fasting is easier to them than our eating to us;
seeing that every Man Jack of them hath to his Evening Meal two Quarts
of Beer, a Quart of Wine, and as manie as he can eat of Spice Cakes,
the better to relish his Drink. While I ... 'tis true my Stomach is
Lutheran, but my Heart is Catholic; that's as Heaven made me, and I'll
be judged by you alle, whether I am not as thin as a Weasel."

'Twas now growing dusk, and _Cecy's_ tame Hares were just beginning to
be on the alert, skipping across our Path, as we returned towards the
House, jumping over one another, and raysing 'emselves on theire hind
Legs to solicitt our Notice. _Erasmus_ was amused at theire Gambols,
and at our making them beg for Vine-tendrils; and _Father_ told him
there was hardlie a Member of the Householde who had not a dumb Pet
of some Sort. "I encourage the Taste in them," he sayd, "not onlie
because it fosters Humanitie and affords harmlesse Recreation, but
because it promotes Habitts of Forethoughte and Regularitie. No Child
or Servant of mine hath Liberty to adopt a Pet which he is too lazy
or nice to attend to himself. A little Management may enable even
a young Gentlewoman to do this, without soyling her Hands; and to
negleckt giving them proper Food at proper Times entayls a Disgrace
of which everie one of 'em would be ashamed. But, hark! there is the
Vesper-bell."

As we passed under a Pear-tree, _Erasmus_ told us, with much Drollerie,
of a Piece of boyish Mischief of his,--the Theft of some Pears off a
particular Tree, the Fruit of which the Superior of his Convent had
meant to reserve to himself. One Morning, _Erasmus_ had climbed the
Tree, and was feasting to his great Content, when he was aware of the
Superior approaching to catch him in the Fact; soe, quickly slid down
to the Ground, and made off in the opposite Direction, limping as he
went. The Malice of this Act consisted in its being the Counterfeit of
the Gait of a poor lame Lay Brother, who was, in fact, smartlie punisht
for _Erasmus_ his Misdeede. Our Friend mentioned this with a Kinde of
Remorse, and observed to my _Father_,--"Men laugh at the Sins of young
People and little Children, as if they were little Sins; albeit, the
Robbery of an Apple or Cherry-orchard is as much a breaking of the
Eighth Commandment as the stealing of a Leg of Mutton from a Butcher's
Stall, and ofttimes with far less Excuse. Our Church tells us, indeede,
of Venial Sins, such as the Theft of an Apple or a Pin; but, I think,"
(looking hard at _Cecilie_ and _Jack_,) "even the youngest among us
could tell how much Sin and Sorrow was brought into the World by
stealing an Apple."

At Bedtime, _Bess_ and I did agree in wishing that alle learned Men
were as apt to unite Pleasure with Profit in theire Talk as _Erasmus_.
There be some that can write after the Fashion of Paul, and others
preach like unto Apollos; but this, methinketh, is scattering Seed by
the Wayside, like the Great Sower.


  _Tuesday._

'Tis singular, the Love that _Jack_ and _Cecy_ have for one another; it
resembleth that of Twins. _Jack_ is not forward at his Booke; on the
other Hand, he hath a Resolution of Character which _Cecy_ altogether
wants. Last Night, when _Erasmus_ spake of Children's Sins, I observed
her squeeze _Jack's_ Hand with alle her Mighte. I know what she was
thinking of. Having bothe beene forbidden to approach a favourite Part
of the River Bank which had given way from too much Use, one or the
other of 'em transgressed, as was proven by the smalle Footprints in
the Mud, as well as by a Nosegay of Flowers, that grow not, save by the
River; to wit, Purple Loosestrife, Cream-and-codlins, Scorpion-grass,
Water Plantain, and the like. Neither of 'em woulde confesse, and
_Jack_ was, therefore, sentenced to be whipt. As he walked off with
Mr. _Drew_, I observed _Cecy_ turn soe pale, that I whispered _Father_
I was certayn she was guilty. He made Answer, "Never mind, we cannot
beat a Girl, and 'twill answer the same Purpose; in flogging him, we
flog both." _Jack_ bore the firste Stripe or two, I suppose, well
enow, but at lengthe we hearde him cry out, on which _Cecy_ coulde not
forbeare to doe the same, and then stopt bothe her Ears. I expected
everie Moment to heare her say, "_Father_, 'twas I;" but no, she had
not Courage for that; onlie, when _Jack_ came forthe all smirched with
Tears, she put her Arm about his Neck, and they walked off together
into the Nuttery. Since that Hour, she hath beene more devoted to him
than ever, if possible; and he, Boy-like, finds Satisfaction in making
her his little Slave. But the Beauty lay in my _Father's_ Improvement
of the Circumstance. Taking _Cecy_ on his Knee that Evening, (for she
was not ostensiblie in Disgrace,) he beganne to talk of Atonement and
Mediation for Sin, and who it was that bare our Sins for us on the
Tree. 'Tis thus he turns the daylie Accidents of our quiet Lives into
Lessons of deepe Import, not pedanticallie delivered, _ex cathedrâ_,
but welling forthe from a full and fresh Mind.

  [Illustration: Jack and Cecy.]

This Morn I had risen before Dawn, being minded to meditate on sundrie
Matters before _Bess_ was up and doing, she being given to much Talk
during her dressing, and made my Way to the Pavilion, where, methought,
I should be quiet enow; but beholde! _Father_ and _Erasmus_ were there
before me, in fluent and earneste Discourse. I would have withdrawne,
but _Father_, without interrupting his Sentence, puts his Arm rounde
me and draweth me to him; soe there I sit, my Head on 's Shoulder, and
mine Eyes on _Erasmus_ his Face.

From much they spake, and othermuch I guessed, they had beene
conversing on the present State of the Church, and how much it needed
Renovation.

_Erasmus_ sayd, the Vices of the Clergy and Ignorance of the Vulgar had
now come to a Poynt, at the which, a Remedie must be founde, or the
whole Fabric would falle to Pieces.

--Sayd, the Revival of Learning seemed appoynted by Heaven for some
greate Purpose, 'twas difficulte to say how greate.

--Spake of the new Art of Printing, and its possible Consequents.

--Of the active and fertile Minds at present turning up new Ground and
ferreting out old Abuses.

--Of the Abuse of Monachism, and of the evil Lives of Conventualls. In
special, of the Fanaticism and Hypocrisie of the Dominicans.

Considered the Evills of the Times such, as that Societie must
shortlie, by a vigorous Effort, shake 'em off.

Wondered at the Patience of the Laitie for soe many Generations, but
thoughte 'em now waking from theire Sleepe. The People had of late
begunne to know theire physickall Power, and to chafe at the Weighte of
theire Yoke.

Thoughte the Doctrine of Indulgences altogether bad and false.

_Father_ sayd, that the graduallie increast Severitie of Church
Discipline concerning minor Offences had become such as to render
Indulgences the needfulle Remedie for Burthens too heavie to be
borne.--Condemned a Draconic Code, that visitted even Sins of
Discipline with the extream Penaltie. Quoted how ill such excessive
Severitie answered in our owne Land, with regard to the Civill Law;
twenty Thieves oft hanging together on the same Gibbet, yet Robberie
noe Whit abated.

Othermuch to same Purport, the which, if alle set downe, woulde too
soon fill my Libellus. At length, unwillinglie brake off, when the Bell
rang us to Matins.

At Breakfaste, _William_ and _Rupert_ were earneste with my _Father_
to let 'em row him to _Westminster_, which he was disinclined to, as
he was for more Speede, and had promised _Erasmus_ an earlie Caste
to _Lambeth_; howbeit, he consented that they should pull us up to
_Putney_ in the Evening, and _William_ should have the Stroke-oar.
_Erasmus_ sayd, he must thank the _Archbishop_ for his Present of a
Horse; "tho' I'm full faine," he observed, "to believe it a Changeling.
He is idle and gluttonish, as thin as a Wasp, and as ugly as Sin. Such
a Horse, and such a Rider!"

In the Evening _Will_ and _Rupert_ had made 'emselves spruce enow, with
Nosegays and Ribbons, and we tooke Water bravelie;--_John Harris_ in
the Stern, playing the Recorder. We had the six-oared Barge; and when
_Rupert Allington_ was tired of pulling, Mr. _Clement_ tooke his Oar;
and when _he_ wearied, _John Harris_ gave over playing the Pipe; but
_William_ and Mr. _Gunnel_ never flagged.

_Erasmus_ was full of his Visitt to the _Archbishop_, who, as usuall, I
think, had given him some Money.

"We sate down two hundred to Table," sayth he; "there was Fish,
Flesh, and Fowl; but _Wareham_ onlie played with his Knife, and drank
noe Wine. He was very cheerfulle and accessible; he knows not what
Pride is; and yet, of how much mighte he be proude! What Genius!
What Erudition! what Kindnesse and Modesty! From _Wareham_, who ever
departed in Sorrow?"

Landing at _Fulham_, we had a brave Ramble thro' the Meadows.
_Erasmus_, noting the poor Children a gathering the Dandelion and
Milk-thistle for the Herb-market, was avised to speak of forayn Herbes
and theire Uses, bothe for Food and Medicine.

"For me," says _Father_, "there is manie a Plant I entertayn in my
Garden and Paddock which the Fastidious woulde caste forthe. I like to
teache my Children the Uses of common Things--to know, for Instance,
the Uses of the Flowers and Weeds that grow in our Fields and Hedges.
Manie a poor Knave's Pottage woulde be improved, if he were skilled
in the Properties of the Burdock and Purple Orchis, Lady's-smock,
Brook-lime, and Old Man's Pepper. The Roots of Wild Succory and Water
Arrow-head mighte agreeablie change his Lenten Diet; and Glasswort
afford him a Pickle for his Mouthfulle of Salt-meat. Then, there
are Cresses and Wood-sorrel to his Breakfast, and Salep for his hot
evening Mess. For his Medicine, there is Herb-twopence, that will
cure a hundred Ills; Camomile, to lull a raging Tooth; and the Juice
of Buttercup to cleare his Head by sneezing. Vervain cureth Ague; and
Crowfoot affords the leaste painfulle of Blisters. St. _Anthony's_
Turnip is an Emetic; Goose-grass sweetens the Blood; Woodruffe is good
for the Liver; and Bindweed hath nigh as much Virtue as the forayn
Scammony. Pimpernel promoteth Laughter; and Poppy, Sleep: Thyme giveth
pleasant Dreams; and an Ashen Branch drives evil Spirits from the
Pillow. As for Rosemarie, I lett it run alle over my Garden Walls,
not onlie because my Bees love it, but because 'tis the Herb sacred
to Remembrance, and, therefore, to Friendship, whence a Sprig of it
hath a dumb Language that maketh it the chosen Emblem at our Funeral
Wakes, and in our Buriall Grounds. Howbeit, I am a Schoolboy prating in
Presence of his Master, for here is _John Clement_ at my Elbow, who is
the best Botanist and Herbalist of us all."

--Returning Home, the Youths being warmed with rowing, and in high
Spiritts, did entertayn themselves and us with manie Jests and Playings
upon Words, some of 'em forced enow, yet provocative of Laughing.
Afterwards, Mr. _Gunnel_ proposed Enigmas and curious Questions. Among
others, he woulde know which of the famous Women of Greece or Rome
we Maidens would resemble. _Bess_ was for _Cornelia_, _Daisy_ for
_Clelia_, but I for _Damo_, Daughter of _Pythagoras_, which _William
Roper_ deemed stupid enow, and thoughte I mighte have found as good a
Daughter, that had not died a Maid. Sayth _Erasmus_, with his sweet,
inexpressible Smile, "Now I will tell you, Lads and Lasses, what manner
of Man _I_ would be, if I were not _Erasmus_. I woulde step back some
few Years of my Life, and be half-way 'twixt thirty and forty; I would
be pious and profounde enow for the Church, albeit noe Churchman; I
woulde have a blythe, stirring, English Wife, and half-a-dozen merrie
Girls and Boys, an English Homestead, neither Hall nor Farm, but
betweene both; neare enow to the Citie for Convenience, but away from
its Noise. I woulde have a Profession, that gave me some Hours daylie
of regular Businesse, that should let Men know my Parts, and court me
into Publick Station, for which my Taste made me rather withdrawe. I
woulde have such a private Independence, as should enable me to give
and lend, rather than beg and borrow. I woulde encourage Mirthe without
Buffoonerie, Ease without Negligence; my Habitt and Table shoulde be
simple, and for my Looks I woulde be neither tall nor short, fat nor
lean, rubicund nor sallow, but of a fayr Skin with blue Eyes, brownish
Beard, and a Countenance engaging and attractive, soe that alle of my
Companie coulde not choose but love me."

"Why, then, you woulde be _Father_ himselfe," cries _Cecy_, clasping
his Arm in bothe her Hands with a Kind of Rapture; and, indeede, the
Portraiture was soe like, we coulde not but smile at the Resemblance.

Arrived at the Landing, _Father_ protested he was wearie with his
Ramble; and, his Foot slipping, he wrenched his Ankle, and sate for
an Instante on a Barrow, the which one of the Men had left with his
Garden-tools, and before he could rise or cry out, _William_, laughing,
rolled him up to the House-door; which, considering _Father's_ Weight,
was much for a Stripling to doe. _Father_ sayd the same, and, laying
his Hand on _Will's_ Shoulder with Kindnesse, cried, "Bless thee,
my Boy, but I woulde not have thee overstrayned like _Biton_ and
_Cleobis_."

  [Illustration: More in the Barrow.]


  _June 20._

This Morn, hinting to _Bess_ that she was lacing herselfe too
straitlie, she brisklie replyed, "One would think 'twere as great
Meritt to have a thick Waiste as to be one of the earlie Christians!"

These humourous Retorts are ever at her Tongue's end; and albeit, as
_Jacky_ one Day angrilie remarked when she had beene teazing him,
"_Bess_, thy Witt is Stupidnesse;" yet, for one who talks soe much
at Random, no one can be more keene when she chooseth. _Father_ sayd
of her, half fondly, half apologeticallie, to _Erasmus_, "Her Wit
hath a fine Subtletie that eludes you almoste before you have Time
to recognize it for what it really is." To which _Erasmus_ readilie
assented, adding, that it had the rare Meritt of playing less on
Persons than Things, and never on bodilie Defects.

Hum!--I wonder if they ever sayd as much in Favour of me. I know,
indeede, _Erasmus_ calls me a forward Girl. Alas! that may be taken in
two Senses.

Grievous Work, overnighte, with the churning. Nought would persuade
_Gillian_ but that the Creame was bewitched by _Gammer Gurney_, who was
dissatisfyde last Friday with her Dole, and hobbled away mumping and
cursing. At alle Events, the Butter would not come; but _Mother_ was
resolute not to have soe much good Creame wasted; soe sent for _Bess_
and me, _Daisy_ and _Mercy Giggs_; and insisted on our churning in turn
till the Butter came, if we sate up alle Night for 't. 'Twas a hard
Saying; and mighte have hampered her like as _Jephtha_ his rash Vow:
howbeit, soe soone as she had left us, we turned it into a Frolick,
and sang _Chevy Chase_ from end to end, to beguile Time; ne'erthelesse,
the Butter would not come; soe then we grew sober, and, at the Instance
of sweete _Mercy_, chaunted the 119th Psalme; and, by the Time we had
attained to "_Lucerna Pedibus_," I hearde the Buttermilk separating
and splashing in righte earneste. 'Twas neare Midnighte, however; and
_Daisy_ had fallen asleep on the Dresser. _Gillian_ will ne'er be
convinced but that our Latin brake the Spell.


  _21st._

_Erasmus_ went to _Richmond_ this Morning with _Polus_, (for soe he
Latinizes _Reginald Pole_, after his usual Fashion,) and some other
of his Friends. On his Return, he made us laugh at the following.
They had clomb the Hill, and were admiring the Prospect, when _Pole_,
casting his Eyes aloft, and beginning to make sundrie Gesticulations,
exclaimed, "What is it I beholde? May Heaven avert the Omen!" with
suchlike Exclamations, which raised the Curiositie of alle. "Don't you
beholde," cries he, "that enormous Dragon flying through the Sky? his
Horns of Fire? his curly Tail?"

"No," says _Erasmus_, "nothing like it. The Sky is as cleare as
unwritten Paper."

Howbeit, he continued to affirme and to stare, untill at lengthe,
one after another, by dint of strayning theire Eyes and theire
Imaginations, did admitt, first, that they saw Something; next, that
it mighte be a Dragon; and last, that it was. Of course, on theire
Passage homeward, they could talk of little else--some made serious
Reflections; others, philosophicall Speculations; and _Pole_ waggishly
triumphed in having beene the Firste to discerne the Spectacle.

"And you trulie believe there was a Signe in the Heavens?" we inquired
of _Erasmus_.

"What know I?" returned he smiling; "you know, _Constantine_ saw a
Cross. Why shoulde _Polus_ not see a Dragon? We must judge by the
Event. Perhaps its Mission may be to fly away with _him_. He swore to
the curly Tail."

How difficulte it is to discerne the supernatural from the incredible!
We laughe at _Gillian's_ Faith in our Latin; _Erasmus_ laughs at
_Polus_ his Dragon. Have we a righte to believe noughte but what we can
see or prove? Nay, that will never doe. _Father_ says a Capacitie for
reasoning increaseth a Capacitie for believing. He believes there is
such a Thing as Witchcraft, though not that poore olde _Gammer Gurney_
is a Witch; he believes that Saints can work Miracles, though not in
alle the Marvels reported of the _Canterbury_ Shrine.

Had I beene Justice of the Peace, like the King's Grandmother, I would
have beene very jealous of Accusations of Witchcraft; and have taken
infinite Payns to sift out the Causes of Malice, Jealousie, &c., which
mighte have wroughte with the poore olde Women's Enemies. _Holie Writ_
sayth, "Thou shalt not suffer a Witch to live;" but, questionlesse,
manie have suffered Hurte that were noe Witches; and for my Part, I
have alwaies helde ducking to be a very uncertayn as well as very cruel
Teste.

  [Illustration: Margaret in the Tree.]

I cannot helpe smiling, whenever I think of my Rencounter with
_William_ this Morning. Mr. _Gunnell_ had set me _Homer's_ tiresome
List of Ships; and, because of the excessive Heate within Doors, I
took my Book into the Nuttery, to be beyonde the Wrath of far-darting
_Phoebus Apollo_, where I clomb into my favourite Filbert Seat. Anon
comes _William_ through the Trees without seeing me; and seats him at
the Foot of my Filbert; then, out with his Tablets, and, in a Posture I
should have called studdied, had he known anie one within Sighte, falls
a poetizing, I question not. Having noe Mind to be interrupted, I lett
him be, thinking he would soone exhaust the Vein; but a Caterpillar
dropping from the Leaves on to my Page, I was fayn, for Mirthe sake,
to shake it down on his Tablets. As ill Luck would have it, however,
the little Reptile onlie fell among his Curls; which soe took me at
Vantage that I coulde not helpe hastilie crying, "I beg your Pardon."
'Twas worth a World to see his Start! "Why!" cries he, looking up,
"are there indeede _Hamadryads_?" and would have gallanted a little,
but I bade him hold down his Head, while that with a Twig I switched
off the Caterpillar. Neither coulde forbeare laughing; and then he
sued me to step downe, but I was minded to abide where I was. Howbeit,
after a Minute's Pause, he sayd, in a grave, kind Tone, "Come, little
Wife;" and taking mine Arm steadilie in his Hand, I lost my Balance and
was faine to come down whether or noe. We walked for some Time _juxta
Fluvium_; and he talked not badlie of his Travels, insomuch as I founde
there was really more in him than one would think.

--Was there ever Aniething soe perverse, unluckie, and downrighte
disagreeable? We hurried our Afternoone Tasks, to goe on the Water with
my _Father_; and, meaning to give Mr. _Gunnel_ my _Latin_ Traduction,
which is in a Booke like unto this, I never knew he had my Journalle
insteade, untill that he burst out a laughing. "Soe this is the famous
_Libellus_," quoth he.... I never waited for another Word, but snatcht
it out of his Hand; which he, for soe strict a Man, bore well enow. I
do not believe he could have read a Dozen Lines, and they were towards
the Beginning; but I should hugelie like to know which Dozen Lines they
were.

Hum! I have a Mind never to write another Word. That will be punishing
myselfe, though, insteade of _Gunnel_. And he bade me not take it
to Heart like the late _Bishop of Durham_, to whom a like Accident
befel, which soe annoyed him that he died of Chagrin. I will never
again, howbeit, write Aniething savouring ever soe little of Levitie or
Absurditie. The Saints keepe me to it! And, to know it from my Exercise
Book, I will henceforthe bind a blue Ribbon round it. Furthermore, I
will knit the sayd Ribbon in soe close a Knot, that it shall be worth
no one else's Payns to pick it out. Lastlie, and for entire Securitie,
I will carry the Same in my Pouch, which will hold bigger Matters than
this.


  _22nd._

This Daye, at Dinner, Mr. _Clement_ tooke the Pistoller's Place at
the Reading-desk; and, insteade of continuing the Subject in Hand,
read a Paraphrase of the 103rde Psalm; the Faithfulnesse and elegant
Turne of which, _Erasmus_ highlie commended, though he took Exceptions
to the Phrase "renewing thy Youth like that of the Phoenix," whose
fabulous Story he believed to have beene unknowne to the Psalmist,
and, therefore, however poeticall, unfitt to be introduced. A deepe
Blush on sweet _Mercy's_ Face ledd to the Detection of the Paraphrast,
and drew on her some deserved Commendations. _Erasmus_, turning to
my _Father_, exclaymed with Animation, "I woulde call this House the
Academy of _Plato_, were it not Injustice to compare it to a Place
where the usuall Disputations concerning Figures and Numbers were onlie
occasionallie intersperst with Disquisitions concerning the moral
Virtues." Then, in a graver Mood, he added, "One mighte envie you,
but that your precious Privileges are bound up with soe paynfulle
Anxieties. How manie Pledges have you given to Fortune!"

"If my Children are to die out of the Course of Nature, before
theire Parents," _Father_ firmly replyed, "I would rather they died
well-instructed than ignorant."

"You remind me," rejoyns _Erasmus_, "of _Phocion_; whose Wife, when
he was aboute to drink the fatal Cup, exclaimed, 'Ah, my Husband! you
die innocent.' 'And woulde you, my Wife,' he returned, 'have me die
guilty?'"

Awhile after, _Gonellus_ askt leave to see _Erasmus_ his Signet-ring,
which he handed down to him. In passing it back, _William_, who
was occupyde in carving a Crane, handed it so negligentlie that it
felle to the Ground. I never saw such a Face as _Erasmus_ made, when
'twas picked out from the Rushes! And yet, ours are renewed almost
daylie, which manie think over nice. He took it gingerlie in his
faire, Woman-like Hands, and washed and wiped it before he put it on;
which escaped not my Step-mother's displeased notice. Indeede, these
_Dutchmen_ are scrupulouslie cleane, though _Mother_ calls 'em swinish,
because they will eat raw Sallets; though, for that Matter, _Father_
loves Cresses and Ramps. She alsoe mislikes _Erasmus_ for eating Cheese
and Butter together with his Manchet; or what he calls _Boetram_; and
for being, generallie, daintie at his Sizes, which she sayth is an
ill Example to soe manie young People, and becometh not one with soe
little Money in 's Purse: howbeit, I think 'tis not Nicetie, but a weak
Stomach, which makes him loathe our Salt-meat Commons from Michaelmasse
to Easter, and eschew Fish of the coarser Sort. He cannot breakfaste
on colde Milk, like _Father_, but liketh Furmity a little spiced. At
Dinner, he pecks at, rather than eats, Ruffs and Reeves, Lapwings, or
anie smalle Birds it may chance; but affects Sweets and Subtilties,
and loves a Cup of Wine or Ale, stirred with Rosemary. _Father_ never
toucheth the Wine-cup but to grace a Guest, and loves Water from the
Spring. We growing Girls eat more than either; and _Father_ says he
loves to see us slice away at the Cob-loaf; it does him goode. What a
kind Father he is! I wish my _Step-mother_ were as kind. I hate all
sneaping and snubbing, flowting, fleering, pinching, nipping, and
such-like; it onlie creates Resentment insteade of Penitence, and
lowers the Minde of either Partie. _Gillian_ throws a Rolling-pin at
the Turnspit's Head, and we call it Low-life; but we looke for such
Unmannerlinesse in the Kitchen. A Whip is onlie fit for _Tisiphone_.

  [Illustration: "I Noticed Argus Pearcht."]

As we rose from Table, I noted _Argus_ pearcht on the Window-sill,
eagerlie watching for his Dinner, which he looketh for as punctuallie
as if he could tell the Diall; and to please the good, patient Bird,
till the Scullion broughte him his Mess of Garden-stuff, I fetched
him some Pulse, which he took from mine Hand, taking good Heede not
to hurt me with his sharp Beak. While I was feeding him, _Erasmus_
came up, and asked me concerning _Mercy Giggs_; and I tolde him how
that she was a friendlesse Orphan, to whom deare _Father_ afforded
Protection and the run of the House; and tolde him of her Gratitude,
her Meekness, her Patience, her Docilitie, her Aptitude for alle goode
Works and Alms-deeds; and how, in her little Chamber, she improved
eache spare Moment in the Way of Studdy and Prayer. He repeated
"Friendlesse? she cannot be called Friendlesse, who hath _More_ for
her Protector, and his Children for Companions;" and then woulde heare
more of her Parents' sad Story. Alsoe, would hear somewhat of _Rupert
Allington_, and how _Father_ gained his Lawsuit. Alsoe, of _Daisy_,
whose Name he tooke to be the true Abbreviation for _Margaret_, but I
tolde him how that my Step-sister, and _Mercy_, and I, being all three
of a Name, and I being alwaies called _Meg_, we had in Sport given one
the Significative of her characteristic Virtue, and the other that of
the French _Marguerite_, which may indeed be rendered either Pearl or
Daisy. And _Chaucer_, speaking of our English Daisy, saith

  "_Si douce est la Marguerite._"


  _23rd._

Since the little Wisdom I have Capacitie to acquire, soe oft gives me
the Headache to Distraction, I marvel not at _Jupiter's_ Payn in his
Head, when the Goddess of Wisdom sprang therefrom full growne.

       *       *       *       *       *

This Morn, to quiet the Payn brought on by too busie Application, Mr.
_Gunnel_ would have me close my Book and ramble forth with _Cecy_ into
the Fields. We strolled towards _Walham Greene_; and she was seeking
for Shepherd's Purses and Shepherd's Needles, when she came running
back to me, looking rather pale. I askt what had scared her, and she
made answer that _Gammer Gurney_ was coming along the Hedge. I bade
her set aside her Feares; and anon we came up with _Gammer_, who was
pulling at the purple Blossoms of the Deadly Nightshade. I sayd,
"_Gammer_, to what Purpose gather that Weed? knowest not 'tis Evill?"

She sayth, mumbling, "What GOD hath created, that call not thou evill."

"Well, but," quo' I, "'tis Poison."

"Aye, and Medicine too," returns _Gammer_. "I wonder what we poor Souls
might come to, if we tooke Nowt for our Ails and Aches but what we
could buy o' the Potticary. We've got noe Dr. _Clement_, we poor Folks,
to be our Leech o' the Household."

"But hast no Feare," quo' I, "of an Over-dose?"

"There's manie a Doctor," sayth she, with an unpleasant Leer, "that
hath given that at first. In Time he gets his Hand in; and I've had a
Plenty o' Practice--Thanks to Self and Sister."

"I knew not," quoth I, "that thou hadst a Sister."

"How should ye, Mistress," returns she shortlie, "when ye never comes
nigh us? We've grubbed on together this many a Year."

"'Tis soe far," I returned, half ashamed.

"Why, soe it be," answers _Gammer_; "far from Neighbours, far from
Church, and far from Priest; howbeit, my old Legs carries me to _your_
House o' Fridays; but I know not whether I shall e'er come agayn--the
Rye Bread was soe hard last Time; it may serve for young Teeth, and
for them as has got none; but mine, you see, are onlie on the _goe_;"
and she opened her Mouth with a ghastly Smile. "'Tis not," she added,
"that I'm ungratefulle; but thou sees, Mistress, I really _can't_ eat
Crusts."

After a Moment, I asked, "Where lies your Dwelling?"

  [Illustration: Gammer Gurney.]

"Out by yonder," quoth she, pointing to a shapeless Mass like a huge
Bird's Nest in the Corner of the Field. "There bides poor _Joan_ and I.
Wilt come and looke within, Mistress, and see how a Christian can die?"

I mutelie complyed, in spite of _Cecy's_ pulling at my Skirts. Arrived
at the wretched Abode, which had a Hole for its Chimney, and another
for Door at once and Window, I found, sitting in a Corner, propped on
a Heap of Rushes, dried Leaves, and olde Rags, an aged sick Woman, who
seemed to have but a little While to live. A Mug of Water stoode within
her Reach; I saw none other Sustenance; but, in her Visage, oh, such
Peace!... Whispers _Gammer_ with an awfulle Look, "She sees 'em now!"

"Sees who?" quoth I.

"Why, Angels in two long Rows, afore the Throne of GOD, a bending
of themselves, this Way, with theire Faces to th' Earth, and Arms
stretched out afore 'em."

"Hath she seen a Priest?" quoth I.

"LORD love ye," returns _Gammer_, "what coulde a Priest doe for her?
She's in Heaven alreadie. I doubte if she can heare me." And then,
in a loud, distinct Voyce, quite free from her usuall Mumping, she
beganne to recite in _English_, "Blessed is every one that feareth the
LORD, and walketh in his Ways," etc.; which the dying Woman hearde,
although alreadie speechlesse; and reaching out her feeble Arm unto
her Sister's Neck, she dragged it down till their Faces touched; and
then, looking up, pointed at Somewhat she aimed to make her see ...
and we alle looked up, but saw Noughte. Howbeit, she pointed up three
severall Times, and lay, as it were, transfigured before us, a gazing
at some transporting Sighte, and ever and anon turning on her Sister
Looks of Love; and, the While we stoode thus agaze, her Spiritt passed
away without even a Thrill or a Shudder. _Cecy_ and I beganne to
weepe; and, after a While, soe did _Gammer_; then, putting us forthe,
she sayd, "Goe, Children, goe; 'tis noe goode crying; and yet I'm
thankfulle to ye for your Teares."

I sayd, "Is there Aught we can doe for thee?"

She made Answer, "Perhaps you can give me Tuppence, Mistress, to lay on
her poor Eyelids and keep 'em down. Bless 'ee, bless 'ee! You're like
the good Samaritan--he pulled out Twopence. And maybe, if I come to 'ee
To-morrow, you'll give me a Lapfulle of Rosemarie, to lay on her poor
Corpse.... I know you've Plenty. GOD be with 'ee, Children; and be sure
ye mind how a Christian can die."

Soe we left, and came Home sober enow. _Cecy_ sayth, "To die is not
soe fearfulle, _Meg_, as I thoughte, but shoulde _you_ fancy dying
without a Priest? I shoulde not; and yet _Gammer_ sayd she wanted not
one. Howbeit, for certayn, _Gammer Gurney_ is noe Witch, or she would
not soe prayse GOD."

To conclude, _Father_, on hearing Alle, hath given _Gammer_ more than
enow for her present Needes; and _Cecy_ and I are the Almoners of his
Mercy.


  _June 24th._

Yesternighte, being _St. John's Eve_, we went into Town to see the
mustering of the Watch. Mr. _Rastall_ had secured us a Window opposite
the _King's Head_, in _Chepe_, where theire Majestys went in State to
see the Show. The Streets were a Marvell to see, being like unto a
Continuation of fayr Bowres or Arbours, garlanded acrosse and over the
Doors with greene Birch, long Fennel, Orpin, St. _John's_ Wort, white
Lilies, and such like; with innumerable Candles intersperst, the which,
being lit up as soon as 'twas Dusk, made the Whole look like enchanted
Land; while, at the same Time, the leaping over Bon-fires commenced,
and produced Shouts of Laughter. The Youths woulde have had _Father_
goe downe and joyn 'em; _Rupert_, speciallie, begged him hard, but he
put him off with, "Sirrah, you Goose-cap, dost think 'twoulde befitt
the Judge of the _Sheriffs' Court_?"

At length, to the Sound of Trumpets, came marching up _Cheapside_ two
Thousand of the Watch, in white Fustian, with the City Badge; and seven
hundred Cressett Bearers, eache with his Fellow to supplie him with
Oyl, and making, with theire flaring Lights, the Night as cleare as
Daye. After 'em, the Morris-dancers and City Waites; the Lord Mayor on
horseback, very fine, with his Giants and Pageants; and the Sheriff and
his Watch, and _his_ Giants and Pageants. The Streets very uproarious
on our way back to the Barge, but the homeward Passage delicious;
the Nighte Ayre cool; and the Stars shining brightly. _Father_ and
_Erasmus_ had some astronomick Talk; howbeit, methoughte _Erasmus_ less
familiar with the heavenlie Bodies than _Father_ is. Afterwards they
spake of the King, but not over-freelie, by reason of the Bargemen
overhearing. Thence, to the ever-vext Question of _Martin Luther_, of
whome _Erasmus_ spake in Terms of earneste, yet qualifyde Prayse.

"If _Luther_ be innocent," quoth he, "I woulde not run him down by a
wicked Faction; if he be in Error, I woulde rather have him reclaymed
than destroyed; for this is most agreeable to the Doctrine of our deare
Lord and Master, who woulde not bruise the broken Reede, nor quenche
the smoking Flax." And much more to same Purpose.

We younger Folks felle to choosing our favourite Mottoes and Devices,
in which the Elders at length joyned us. _Mother's_ was loyal--"Cleave
to the Crown though it hang on a Bush." _Erasmus's_ pithie--"_Festina
lente._" _William_ sayd he was indebted for his to St. _Paul_--"I
seeke not yours, but you." For me, I quoted one I had seene in an olde
Countrie Church, "_Mieux être que paroître_," which pleased _Father_
and _Erasmus_ much.


  _June 25th._

Poor _Erasmus_ caughte colde on the Water last Nighte, and keeps House
to-daye, taking warm Possets. 'Tis my Week of Housekeeping under
Mother's Guidance, and I never had more Pleasure in it; delighting to
suit his Taste in sweete Things, which, methinks, all Men like. I have
enow of Time left for Studdy, when alle's done.

He hathe beene the best Part of the Morning in our Academia, looking
over Books and Manuscripts, taking Notes of some, discoursing with Mr.
_Gunnel_ on others; and, in some Sorte, interrupting our Morning's
Work; but how pleasantlie! Besides, as _Father_ sayth, "Varietie is not
always Interruption. That which occasionallie lets and hinders our
accustomed Studdies, may prove to the ingenious noe less profitable
than theire Studdies themselves."

They beganne with discussing the Pronunciation of Latin and Greek,
on which _Erasmus_ differeth much from us, though he holds to our
Pronunciation of the _Theta_. Thence, to the absurde Partie of the
_Ciceronians_ now in _Italie_, who will admit noe Author save _Tully_
to be read nor quoted, nor any Word not in his Writings to be used.
Thence to the Latinitie of the _Fathers_, of whose Style he spake
slightlie enow, but rated _Jerome_ above _Augustine_. At length, to his
_Greek_ and _Latin Testament_, of late issued from the Presse, and the
incredible Labour it hath cost him to make it as perfect as possible:
on this Subject he so warmed that _Bess_ and I listened with suspended
Breath. "May it please GOD," sayth he, knitting ferventlie his Hands,
"to make it a Blessing to all Christendom! I look for noe other Reward.
Scholars and Believers yet unborn may have Reason to thank, and yet
may forget _Erasmus_." He then went on to explain to _Gunnel_ what he
had much felt in want of, and hoped some Scholar might yet undertake;
to wit, a Sort of _Index Bibliorum_, showing in how manie Passages of
Holy Writ occurreth anie given Word, etc.; and he e'en proposed it to
_Gunnel_, saying 'twas onlie the Work of Patience and Industry, and
mighte be layd aside, and resumed as Occasion offered, and completed at
Leisure, to the great Thankfullenesse of Scholars. But _Gunnel_ onlie
smiled and shooke his Head. Howbeit, _Erasmus_ set forth his Scheme
soe playnlie, that I, having a Pen in Hand, did privilie note down
alle the Heads of the same, thinking, if none else would undertake it,
why should not I? since Leisure and Industrie were alone required, and
since 'twoulde be soe acceptable to manie, 'speciallie to _Erasmus_.


  _June 29th._

Hearde _Mother_ say to _Barbara_, "Be sure the Sirloin is well basted
for the King's Physician;" which avised me that Dr. _Linacre_ was
expected. In Truth, he returned with _Father_ in the Barge; and they
tooke a Turn on the River Bank before sitting down to Table. I noted
them from my Lattice; and anon, _Father_, beckoning me, cries, "Child,
bring out my favourite Treatyse on Fisshynge, printed by _Wynkyn de
Worde_; I must give the Doctor my loved Passage."

Joyning 'em with the Booke, I found _Father_ telling him of the Roach,
Dace, Chub, Barbel, etc., we oft catch opposite the Church; and
hastilie turning over the Leaves, he beginneth with Unction to read the
Passage ensuing, which I love to the full as much as he:--

He observeth, if the Angler's Sport shoulde fail him, "he at the best
hathe his holsom Walk and mery at his Ease, a swete Ayre of the swete
Savour of the Meade of Flowers, that maketh him hungry; he heareth the
melodious Harmonie of Fowles, he seeth the young Swans, Herons, Ducks,
Cotes, and manie other Fowles, with theire Broods, which me seemeth
better than alle the Noise of Hounds, Faukenors, and Fowlers can make.
And if the Angler take Fysshe, then there is noe Man merrier than he
is in his Spryte." And, "Ye shall not use this foresaid crafty Disporte
for no covetysnesse in the encreasing and sparing of your Money onlie,
but pryncipallie for your Solace, and to cause the Health of your
Bodie, and speciallie of your Soule, for when ye purpose to goe on your
Disportes of Fysshynge, ye will not desire greatlie manie Persons with
you, which woulde lett you of your Game. And thenne ye may serve GOD
devoutlie, in saying affectuouslie your customable Prayer; and thus
doing, ye shall eschew and voyd manie Vices."

  [Illustration: More reading Wynkyn de Worde.]

"Angling is itselfe a Vice," cries _Erasmus_, from the Thresholde; "for
my Part I will fish none, save and except for pickled Oysters."

"In the Regions below," answers _Father_; and then laughinglie tells
_Linacre_ of his firste Dialogue with _Erasmus_, who had beene
feasting in my Lord Mayor's Cellar:--"'Whence come you?' 'From below.'
'What were they about there?' 'Eating live Oysters, and drinking out of
Leather Jacks.' 'Either you are _Erasmus_,' etc. 'Either you are _More_
or Nothing.'"

"'Neither more nor less,' you should have rejoyned," sayth the Doctor.

"How I wish I had!" says _Father_; "don't torment me with a Jest I
might have made and did not make; 'speciallie to put downe _Erasmus_."

"_Concedo nulli_," sayth _Erasmus_.

"Why are you so lazy?" asks _Linacre_; "I am sure you can speak English
if you will."

"Soe far from it," sayth _Erasmus_, "that I made my Incapacitie
an Excuse for declining an English Rectory. Albeit, you know how
_Wareham_ requited me; saying, in his kind, generous Way, I served the
Church more by my Pen than I coulde by preaching Sermons in a countrie
Village."

Sayth _Linacre_, "The Archbishop hath made another Remark, as much to
the Purpose: to wit, that he has received from you the Immortalitie
which Emperors and Kings cannot bestow."

"They cannot even bid a smoking Sirloin retain its Heat an Hour after
it hath left the Fire," sayth _Father_. "Tilly-vally! as my good
_Alice_ says,--let us remember the universal Doom, '_Fruges consumere
nati_,' and philosophize over our Ale and Bracket."

"Not _Cambridge_ Ale, neither," sayth _Erasmus_.

"Will you never forget that unlucky Beverage?" sayth _Father_. "Why,
Man, think how manie poor Scholars there be, that content themselves,
as I have hearde one of St. _John's_ declare, with a penny piece of
Beef amongst four, stewed into Pottage with a little Salt and Oatmeal;
and that after fasting from four o'clock in the Morning! Say Grace for
us this Daye, _Erasmus_, with goode Heart."

At Table, Discourse flowed soe thicke and faste that I mighte aim
in vayn to chronicle it--and why should I? dwelling as I doe at the
Fountayn Head? Onlie that I find Pleasure, alreadie, in glancing over
the foregoing Pages whensoever they concern _Father_ and _Erasmus_, and
wish they were more faithfullie recalled and better writ. One Thing
sticks by me,--a funny Reply of _Father's_ to a Man who owed him Money
and who put him off with "_Memento Morieris_." "I bid you," retorted
_Father_, "_Memento Mori Æris_, and I wish you woulde take as goode
Care to provide for the one as I do for the other."

_Linacre_ laughed much at this, and sayd,--"That was real Wit; a Spark
struck at the Moment; and with noe Ill-nature in it, for I am sure your
Debtor coulde not help laughing."

"Not he," quoth _Erasmus_. "_More's_ Drollerie is like that of a young
Gentlewoman of his Name, which shines without burning," ... and, oddlie
enow, he looked acrosse at _me_. I am sure he meant _Bess_.


  _July 1st._

_Father_ broughte home a strange Guest to-daye,--a converted _Jew_,
with grizzlie Beard, furred Gown, and Eyes that shone like Lamps lit
in dark Cavernes. He had beene to _Benmarine_ and _Tremeçen_, to the
_Holie Citie_ and to _Damascus_, to _Urmia_ and _Assyria_, and I think
alle over the knowne World; and tolde us manie strange Tales, one
hardlie knew how to believe; as, for Example, of a Sea-coast Tribe,
called the _Balouches_, who live on Fish and build theire Dwellings of
the Bones. Alsoe, of a Race of his Countriemen beyond _Euphrates_ who
believe in _Christ_, but know nothing of the Pope; and of whom were
the Magians that followed the Star. This agreeth not with our Legend.
He averred that, though soe far apart from theire Brethren, theire
Speech was the same, and even theire Songs; and he sang or chaunted
one which he sayd was common among the Jews alle over the World, and
had beene soe ever since theire Citie was ruinated and the People
captivated, and yet it was never sett down in Prick-song. _Erasmus_,
who knows little or nought of Hebrew, listened to the Words with
Curiositie, and made him repeate them twice or thrice: and though I
know not the Character, it seemed to me they sounded thus:--

    _Adir Hu yivne bethcha beccaro,
    El, b'ne; El, b'ne; El, b'ne;
    Bethcha beccaro._

  [Illustration: The Jew.]

Though Christianish, he woulde not eat Pig's Face; and sayd Swine's
Flesh was forbidden by the Hebrew Law for its unwholesomenesse in
hot Countries and hot Weather, rather than by way of arbitrarie
Prohibition. _Daisy_ took a great Dislike to this Man, and woulde not
sit next him.

In the Hay-field alle the Evening. Swathed _Father_ in a Hay-rope,
and made him pay the Fine, which he pretended to resist. _Cecy_ was
just about to cast one round _Erasmus_, when her Heart failed and she
ran away, colouring to the Eyes. He sayd, he never saw such pretty
Shame. _Father_ reclining on the Hay, with his Head on my Lap and his
Eyes shut, _Bess_ asked if he were asleep. He made answer, "Yes, and
dreaming." I askt, "Of what?" "Of a far-off future Daye, _Meg_; when
thou and I shall looke back on this Hour, and this Hay-field, and my
Head on thy Lap."

"Nay, but what a stupid Dream, Mr. _More_," says _Mother_. "Why, what
woulde _you_ dreame of, Mrs. _Alice_?" "Forsooth, if I dreamed at alle,
when I was wide awake, it shoulde be of being _Lord Chancellor_ at the
leaste." "Well, Wife, I forgive thee for not saying at the _most_. Lord
Chancellor, quotha! And you woulde be Dame _Alice_, I trow, and ride in
a Whirlecote, and keep a Spanish Jennet, and a Couple of Greyhounds,
and wear a Train before and behind, and carry a Jerfalcon on your
Fist." "On my Wrist." "No, that's not such a pretty Word as t'other! Go
to, go!"

Straying from the others, to a remote Corner of the Meadow, or ever I
was aware, I came close upon _Gammer Gurney_, holding Somewhat with
much Care. "Give ye good den, Mistress _Meg_," quoth she, "I cannot
abear to rob the Birds of theire Nests; but I knows you and yours be
kind to dumb Creatures, soe here's a Nest o' young Owzels for ye--and
I can't call 'em dumb nowther, for they'll sing bravelie some o' these
Days." "How hast fared, of late, _Gammer_?" quoth I. "Why, well enow
for such as I," she made Answer; "since I lost the Use o' my right
Hand, I can nowther spin, nor nurse sick Folk, but I pulls Rushes, and
that brings me a few Pence, and I be a good Herbalist; onlie, because
I says one or two English Prayers, and hates the Priests, some Folks
thinks me a Witch." "But why dost hate the Priests?" quoth I. "Never
you mind," she gave Answer, "I've Reasons manie; and for my English
Prayers, they were taught me by a Gentleman I nursed, that's now a
Saint in Heaven, along with poor _Joan_."

And soe she hobbled off, and I felt kindlie towards her, I scarce knew
why--perhaps because she spake soe lovingly of her dead Sister, and
because of that Sister's Name. _My_ Mother's Name was _Joan_.


  _July 2nd._

_Erasmus_ is gone. His last Saying to _Father_ was, "They will have you
at Court yet;" and _Father's_ Answer, "When _Plato's_ Year comes round."

To me he gave a Copy, how precious! of his Testament. "You are an
elegant Latinist, _Margaret_," he was pleased to say, "but, if you
woulde drink deeplie of the Well-springs of Wisdom, applie to Greek.
The Latins have onlie shallow Rivulets; the Greeks, copious Rivers,
running over Sands of Gold. Read _Plato_; he wrote on Marble, with a
Diamond; but above alle, read the New Testament. 'Tis the Key to the
Kingdom of Heaven."

To Mr. _Gunnel_, he said smiling, "Have a Care of thyself, dear
_Gonellus_, and take a little Wine for thy Stomach's Sake. The Wages of
most Scholars now-a-days, are weak Eyes, Ill-health, an empty Purse,
and shorte Commons. I neede only bid thee beware of the two first."

To _Bess_, "Farewell, _Bessy_; thank you for mending my bad Latin. When
I write to you, I will be sure to signe myselfe, '_Roterodamius_.'
Farewell, sweete _Cecil_; let me always continue your 'desired
Amiable.' And you, _Jacky_,--love your Book a little more."

"_Jack's_ deare Mother, not content with her Girls," sayth _Father_,
"was alwaies wishing for a Boy, and at last she had one that means to
remain a Boy alle his Life."

"The Dutch Schoolmasters thoughte _me_ dulle and heavie," sayth
_Erasmus_, "soe there is some Hope of _Jacky_ yet." And soe, stepped
into the Barge, which we watched to _Chelsea Reach_. How dulle the
House has beene ever since! _Rupert_ and _William_ have had me into
the Pavillion to hear the Plot of a Miracle-play they have alreadie
begunne to talke over for _Christmasse_, but it seemed to me downrighte
Rubbish. _Father_ sleepes in Town to-nighte, soe we shall be stupid
enow. _Bessy_ hath undertaken to work _Father_ a Slipper for his tender
Foot; and is happie, tracing for the Pattern our three Moorcocks and
Colts; but I am idle and tiresome.

If I had Paper, I woulde beginne my projected _Opus_; but I dare not
ask _Gunnel_ for anie more just yet; nor have anie Money to buy Some.
I wish I had a couple of Angels. I think I shall write to _Father_ for
them to-morrow; he alwaies likes to heare from us if he is twenty-four
Hours absent, providing we conclude not with "I have Nothing more to
say."


  _July 4th._

I have writ my Letter to _Father_. I almoste wish, now, that I had not
sent it.

_Rupert_ and _Will_ still full of theire Moralitie, which reallie has
some Fun in it. To ridicule the Extravagance of those who, as the
Saying is, carry theire Farms and Fields on theire Backs, _William_
proposes to come in, all verdant, with a reall Model of a Farm on his
Back, and a Windmill on his Head.


  _July 5th._

How sweete, how gracious an Answer from _Father_! _John Harris_ has
broughte me with it the two Angels; less prized than this Epistle.


  _July 10th._

Sixteenth Birthdaye. _Father_ away, which made it sadde. _Mother_
gave me a payr of blue Hosen with Silk Clocks; Mr. _Gunnel_, an
ivorie-handled Stylus; _Bess_, a Bodkin for my Hair; _Daisy_, a
Book-mark; _Mercy_, a Saffron Cake; _Jack_, a Basket; and _Cecil_, a
Nosegay. _William's_ Present was fayrest of alle, but I am hurte with
him and myselfe; for he offered it soe queerlie and tagged it with such
... I refused it, and there's an End. 'Twas unmannerlie and unkinde of
me, and I've cried aboute it since.

_Father_ alwaies gives us a Birthdaye Treat; soe, contrived that
_Mother_ shoulde take us to see my _Lord Cardinal_ of _York_ goe to
_Westminster_ in State. We had a merrie Water-partie; got goode Places
and saw the Show; Crosse-bearers, Pillar-bearers, Ushers and alle.
Himselfe in crimson engrayned Sattin, and Tippet of Sables, with an
Orange in his Hand helde to 's Nose, as though the common Ayr were too
vile to breathe. What a pompous Priest it is! The Archbishop mighte
well say, "That Man is drunk with too much Prosperitie."

  [Illustration: The Cardinal's Procession.]

Betweene Dinner and Supper, we had a fine Skirmish in the Straits
of Thermopylæ. Mr. _Gunnel_ headed the Persians, and _Will_ was
_Leonidas_, with a swashing Buckler, and a Helmet a Yard high; but Mr.
_Gunnel_ gave him such a Rap on the Crest that it went over the Wall;
soe then _William_ thought there was Nothing left for him but to die.
Howbeit, as he had beene layd low sooner than he had reckoned on, he
prolonged his last Agonies a goode deal, and gave one of the Persians
a tremendous Kick just as they were aboute to rifle his Pouch. They
therefore thoughte there must be Somewhat in it they shoulde like to
see; soe, helde him down in spite of his hitting righte and lefte, and
pulled therefrom, among sundrie lesser Matters, a carnation Knot of
mine. Poor Varlet, I wish he would not be so stupid.

After Supper, _Mother_ proposed a Concert; and we were alle singing
a Rounde, when, looking up, I saw _Father_ standing in the Door-way,
with such a happy Smile on his Face! He was close behind _Rupert_ and
_Daisy_, who were singing from the same Book, and advertised them of
his Coming by gentlie knocking theire Heads together; but I had the
firste Kiss, even before _Mother_, because of my Birthdaye.


  _July 11th._

It turns out that _Father's_ Lateness Yester-even was caused by Press
of Businesse; a forayn Mission having beene proposed to him, which he
resisted as long as he could, but was at length reluctantlie induced to
accept. Lengthe of his Stay uncertayn, which casts a Gloom on alle; but
there is soe much to doe as to leave little Time to think, and _Father_
is busiest of alle; yet hath founde Leisure to concert with Mother for
us a Journey into the Country, which will occupy some of the Weeks of
his Absence. I am fulle of carefulle Thoughts and Forebodings, being
naturallie of too anxious a Disposition. Oh, let me caste alle my Cares
on another! _Fecisti nos ad te, Domine; et inquietum est cor nostrum,
donec requiescat in te._

  [Illustration]


  _May 27th, 1523._

'Tis soe manie Months agone since that I made an Entry in my
_Libellus_, as that my Motto, "_Nulla Dies sine Linea_," hath somewhat
of Sarcasm in it. How manie Things doe I beginne and leave unfinisht!
and yet, less from Caprice than Lack of Strength; like him of whom the
Scripture was writ,--"This Man beganne to build and was not able to
finish." My _Opus_, for instance; the which my _Father's_ prolonged
Absence in the Autumn, and my Winter Visitt to Aunt _Nan_ and Aunt
_Fan_ gave me such Leisure to carrie forward. But alack! Leisure was
less to seeke than Learninge; and when I came back to mine olde Taskes,
Leisure was awanting too; and then, by reason of my sleeping in a
separate Chamber, I was enabled to steale Hours from the earlie Morn
and Hours from the Night, and, like unto _Solomon's_ virtuous Woman, my
Candle went not out. But 'twas not to Purpose that I worked, like the
virtuous Woman, for I was following a Jack-o-Lantern; having forsooke
the straight Path laid downe by _Erasmus_ for a foolish Path of mine
owne; and soe I toyled, and blundered, and puzzled, and was mazed; and
then came on that Payn in my Head. _Father_ sayd, "What makes _Meg_ soe
pale?" and I sayd not: and, at the last, I tolde _Mother_ there was
somewhat throbbing and twisting in the Back of mine Head, like unto a
little Worm that woulde not die; and she made Answer, "Ah, a Maggot,"
and soe by her Scoff I was shamed. Then I gave over mine _Opus_,
but the Payn did not yet goe; soe then I was longing for the deare
Pleasure, and fondlie turning over the Leaves, and wondering woulde
_Father_ be surprised and pleased with it some Daye, when _Father_
himself came in or ever I was aware. He sayth, "What hast thou, _Meg_?"
I faltered and woulde sett it aside. He sayth, "Nay, let me see;"
and soe takes it from me; and after the firste Glance throws himself
into a Seat, his Back to me, and firste runs it hastilie through,
then beginnes with Methode and such Silence and Gravitie as that I
trembled at his Side, and felt what it must be to stand a Prisoner at
the Bar, and he the Judge. Sometimes I thought he must be pleased, at
others not: at lengthe, alle my fond Hopes were ended by his crying,
"This will never doe. Poor Wretch, hath this then beene thy Toyl? How
couldst find Time for soe much Labour? for here hath beene Trouble
enow and to spare. Thou must have stolen it, sweet _Meg_, from the
Night, and prevented the Morning Watch. Most dear'st! thy _Father's_
owne loved Child;" and soe, caressing me till I gave over my Shame and
Disappointment.

"I neede not to tell thee, _Meg_," _Father_ sayth, "of the unprofitable
Labour of _Sisyphus_, nor of drawing Water in a Sieve. There are some
Things, most deare one, that a Woman, if she trieth, may doe as well as
a Man; and some she cannot, and some she had better not. Now, I tell
thee firmlie, since the firste Payn is the leaste sharpe, that, despite
the Spiritt and Genius herein shewn, I am avised 'tis Work thou canst
not and Work thou hadst better not doe. But judge for thyselfe; if
thou wilt persist, thou shalt have Leisure and Quiet, and a Chamber in
my new Building, and alle the Help my Gallery of Books may afford. But
thy Father says, Forbear."

Soe, what coulde I say, but "My Father shall never speak to me in vayn."

Then he gathered the Papers up and sayd, "Then I shall take Temptation
out of your Way;" and pressing 'em to his Heart as he did soe, sayth,
"They are as deare to me as they can be to you;" and soe left me,
looking out as though I noted (but I noted not) the cleare-shining
_Thames_. 'Twas Twilighte, and I stoode there I know not how long,
alone and lonely; with Tears coming, I knew not why, into mine Eyes.
There was a Weight in the Ayr, as of coming Thunder; the Screaming,
ever and anon, of _Juno_ and _Argus_, inclined me to Mellancholie,
as it alwaies does: and at length I beganne to note the Moon rising,
and the deepening Clearnesse of the Water, and the lazy Motion of the
Barges, and the Flashes of Light whene'er the Rowers dipt theire Oars.
And then I beganne to attend to the Cries and different Sounds from
acrosse the Water, and the Tolling of a distant Bell; and I felle back
on mine olde heart-sighinge, "_Fecisti nos ad te, Domine; et inquietum
est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in te_."

Or ever the Week was gone, my Father had contrived for me another
Journey to _New Hall_, to abide with the Lay Nuns, as he calleth them,
Aunt _Nan_ and Aunt _Fan_, whom my Step-mother loveth not, but whom I
love and whom _Father_ loveth. Indeede, 'tis sayd in _Essex_ that at
first he inclined to Aunt _Nan_ rather than to my Mother; but that,
perceiving my Mother affected his Companie and Aunt _Nan_ affected it
not, he diverted his hesitating Affections unto her and took her to
wife. Howbeit, Aunt _Nan_ loveth him dearlie as a Sister ought: indeed,
she loveth alle, except, methinketh, herself, to whom, alone, she is
rigid and severe. How holie are my Aunts' Lives! Cloistered Nuns could
not be more pure, and could scarce be as usefulle. Though wise, they
can be gay; though noe longer young, they love the Young. And theire
Reward is, the Young love them; and I am fulle sure in this World they
seek noe better.

Returned to _Chelsea_, I spake much in Prayse of mine Aunts, and of
single Life. On a certayn Evening, we Maids were sett at our Needles
and Samplers on the Pavilion Steps; and, as Follie will out, 'gan
talk of what we would fayn have to our Lots, shoulde a good Fairie
starte up and grant eache a Wish. _Daisy_ was for a Countess's Degree,
with Hawks and Hounds. _Bess_ was for founding a College, _Mercy_ a
Hospital, and she spake soe experimentallie of its Conditions that
I was fayn to goe Partners with her in the same. _Cecy_ commenced,
"Supposing I were married; if once that I were married"--on which,
_Father_, who had come up unperceived, burst out laughing and sayth,
"Well, Dame _Cecily_, and what State would you keep?" Howbeit, as he
and I afterwards paced together, _juxta Fluvium_, he did say, "_Mercy_
hath well propounded the Conditions of an Hospital or Alms-house for
aged and sick Folk, and 'tis a Fantasie of mine to sett even such an
one afoot, and give you the Conduct of the same."

From this careless Speech, dropped as 'twere by the Way, hath sprung
mine House of Refuge! and oh, what Pleasure have I derived from it! How
good is my Father! how the Poor bless him! and how kind is he, through
them, to me! Laying his Hand kindly on my Shoulder, this Morning, he
sayd, "_Meg_, how fares it with thee now? Have I cured the Payn in thy
Head?" Then, putting the House-key into mine Hand, he laughingly added,
"'Tis now yours, my Joy, by _Livery_ and _Seisin_."


  _Aug. 6th._

I wish _William_ would give me back my Testament. 'Tis one thing to
steal a Knot or a Posie, and another to borrow the most valuable Book
in the House, and keep it Week after Week. He soughte it with a kind
of Mysterie, soe as that I forbeare to ask it of him in Companie, lest
I should doe him an ill Turn; and yet I have none other Occasion.

Alle Parties are striving which shall have _Erasmus_, and alle in vayn.
E'en thus it was with him when he was here last,--the _Queen_ would
have had him for her Preceptor, the _King_ and _Cardinall_ prest on him
a royall Apartment and Salarie, _Oxford_ and _Cambridge_ contended for
him, but his Saying was, "Alle these I value less than my Libertie, my
Studdies, and my literarie Toyls." How much greater is he than those
who woulde confer on him Greatnesse! Noe Man of Letters hath equall
Reputation, or is soe much courted.


  _Aug. 7th._

Yester-even, after overlooking the Men playing at Loggats, _Father_
and I strayed away along _Thermopylæ_ into the Home-field; and as we
sauntered together under the Elms, he sayth with a Sigh, "_Jack_ is
_Jack_, and no _More_ ... he will never be anything. An' 'twere not for
my beloved Wenches, I should be an unhappy Father. But what though!--My
_Meg_ is better unto me than ten Sons; and it maketh no Difference at
Harvest-time whether our Corn were put into the Ground by a Man or a
Woman."

While I was turning in my Mind what Excuse I might make for _John_,
_Father_ taketh me at unawares by a sudden Change of Subject; saying,
"Come, tell me, _Meg_, why canst not affect _Will Roper_?"

I was a good while silent, at length made Answer, "He is so unlike alle
I esteem and admire ... so unlike alle I have been taught to esteem and
admire by you."--

"Have at you," he returned laughing, "I wist not I had been sharpening
Weapons agaynst myself. True, he is neither _Achilles_ nor _Hector_,
nor even _Paris_, but yet well enough, meseems, as Times go--smarter
and comelier than either _Heron_ or _Dancey_."

I, faltering, made Answer, "Good Looks affect me but little--'tis in
his better Part I feel the Want. He cannot ... discourse, for instance,
to one's Mind and Soul, like unto you, dear _Father_, or _Erasmus_."

"I should marvel if he could," returned _Father_ gravelie, "thou art
mad, my Daughter, to look, in a Youth of _Will's_ Years, for the Mind
of a Man of fifty. What were _Erasmus_ and I, dost thou suppose, at
_Will's_ age? Alas, _Meg_, I should not like you to know what I was!
Men called me the Boy-sage, and I know not what, but in my Heart and
Head was a World of Sin and Folly. Thou mightst as well expect _Will_
to have my Hair, Eyes, and Teeth, alle getting the worse for Wear,
as to have the Fruits of my life-long Experience, in some Cases full
dearly bought. Take him for what he is, match him by the young Minds
of his owne standing: consider how long and closelie we have known
him. His Parts are, surelie, not amiss: he hath more Book-lore than
_Dancey_, more mother Wit than _Allington_."

"But why need I to concern myself about him?" I exclaymed; "_Will_ is
very well in his way: why should we cross each other's Paths? I am
young, I have much to learn, I love my Studdies,--why interrupt them
with other and less wise Thoughts?"

"Because nothing can be wise that is not practical," returned _Father_,
"and I teach my Children Philosophie to fitt them for living in the
World, not above it. One may spend a Life in dreaming over _Plato_,
and yet goe out of it without leaving the World a whit the better for
our having made Part of it. 'Tis to little Purpose we studdy, if it
onlie makes us exact Perfections in others which they may in vayn seek
for in ourselves. It is not even necessary or goode for us to live
entirelie with congeniall Spiritts. The vigourous tempers the inert,
the passionate is evened by the cool-tempered, the prosaic balances the
visionarie. Woulde thy Mother suit me better, dost thou suppose, if she
coulde discuss Polemicks like _Luther_ or _Melancthon_? E'en thine owne
sweet Mother, _Meg_, was less affected to Studdy than thou art,--she
learnt to love it for my Sake, but I made her what she was."

And, with a suddain Burste of fond Recollection, he hid his Eyes on my
Shoulder, and for a Moment or soe, cried bitterlie. As for me, I shed,
oh! such salt Teares!...


  _Aug. 17th._

Entering, o' the suddain, into _Mercy's_ Chamber, I founde her all
be-wept and waped, poring over an old Kirtle of Mother's she had bidden
her re-line with Buckram. Coulde not make out whether she were sick of
her Task, had had Words with Mother, or had some secret Inquietation
of her owne; but, as she is a Girl of few Words, I found I had best
leave her alone after a Caress and kind Saying or two. We alle have our
Troubles.


  _Wednesday, 19th._

Trulie may I say soe. Here have they ta'en a Fever of some low Sorte
in my House of Refuge, and _Mother_, fearing it may be the Sicknesse,
will not have me goe neare it, lest I should bring it home. _Mercy_,
howbeit, hath besought her soe earnestlie to let her goe and nurse
the Sick, that _Mother_ hath granted her Prayer, on Condition she
returneth not till the Fever bates ... thus setting her Life at lower
Value than our owne. Deare _Mercy_! I would fayn be her Mate.


  _21st._

We are alle mightie glad that _Rupert Allington_ hath at lengthe
zealouslie embraced the Studdy of the Law. 'Twas much to be feared at
the Firste there was noe Application in him, and though we alle pitied
him when _Father_ first broughte him Home, a pillaged, portionlesse
Client, with none other to espouse his Rightes, yet 'twas a Pitie soone
allied with Contempt when we founde how emptie he was, caring for
nought but Archerie and Skittles and the Popinjaye out o' the House,
and Dicing and Tables within, which _Father_ would on noe Excuse
permitt. Soe he had to conform, ruefullie enow, and hung piteouslie on
Hand for awhile. I mind me of _Bess's_ saying, about _Christmasse_,
"Heaven send us open Weather while _Allington_ is here; I don't believe
he is one that will bear shutting up." Howbeit, he seemed to incline
towards _Daisy_, who is handsome enow, and cannot be hindered of
Two-hundred Pounds, and soe he kept within Bounds, and when _Father_
got him his Cause he was mightilie thankfulle, and woulde have left
us out of Hand, but _Father_ persuaded him to let his Estate recover
itself, and turn the mean Time to Profitt, and, in short, soe wrought
on him, that he hath now become a Student in righte earneste.


  _22nd._

Soe we are going to lose not only Mr. _Clement_, but Mr. _Gunnel_!
How sorrie we alle are! It seemeth he hath long been debating for and
agaynst the Church, and at length finds his Mind soe stronglie set
towards it, as he can keep out of it noe longer. Well! we shall lose
a good Master, and the Church will gayn a good Servant. _Drew_ will
supplie his Place, that is, according to his beste, but our worthy
Welshman careth soe little for young People, and is soe abstract from
the World about him, that we shall oft feel our Loss. _Father_ hath
promised _Gonellus_ his Interest with the _Cardinall_.

I fell into Disgrace for holding Speech with _Mercy_ over the Pales,
but she is confident there is noe Danger; the Sick are doing well,
and none of the Whole have fallen sick. She sayth _Gammer Gurney_ is
as tender of her as if she were her Daughter, and will let her doe
noe vile or paynfull Office, soe as she hath little to doe but read
and pray for the poor Souls, and feed 'em with savourie Messes, and
they are alle so harmonious and full of Cheer, as to be like Birds in
a Nest. _Mercy_ deserves theire Blessings more than I. Were I a free
Agent, she should not be alone now, and I hope ne'er to be withheld
therefrom agayn.

  [Illustration: "I fell into disgrace for holding Speech with Mercy over
  the Pales."]


  _30th._

Busied with my Flowers the chief o' the Forenoon, I was fayn to rest
in the Pavilion, when, entering therein, whom shoulde I stumble upon
but _William_, layd at length on the Floor, with his Arms under his
Head, and his Book on the Ground. I was withdrawing brisklie enow, when
he called out, "Don't goe away, since you _are_ here," in a Tone soe
rough, soe unlike his usuall Key, as that I paused in a Maze, and then
saw that his Eyes were red. He sprung to his Feet and sayd, "_Meg_,
come and talk to me;" and, taking my Hand in his, stepped quicklie
forthe without another Word sayd, till we reached the Elm-tree Walk.
I marvelled to see him soe moven, and expected to hear Somewhat that
shoulde displease me, scarce knowing what; however, I might have guest
at it from then till now, without ever nearing the Truth. His first
Words were, "I wish _Erasmus_ had ne'er crost the Thresholde; he has
made me very unhappie;" then, seeing me stare, "Be not his Council
just now, deare _Meg_, but bind up, if thou canst, the Wounds he has
made.... There be some Wounds, thou knowest, though but of a cut Finger
or the like, that we cannot well bind up for ourselves."

I made Answer, "I am a young and unskilled Leech."

He replyed, "But you have a quick Wit, and Patience, and Kindnesse, and
for a Woman, are not scant of Learning."

"Nay," I sayd, "but Mr. _Gunnel_--"

"_Gunnel_ would be the Last to help me," interrupts _Will_, "nor can I
speak to your Father. He is alwaies too busie now ... besides,--"

"Father _Francis_?" I put in.

"Father _Francis_?" repeats _Will_, with a Shake o' the Head and a
ruefulle Smile; "dost thou think, _Meg_, he coulde answer me if I put
to him _Pilate's_ Question, 'What is Truth?'"

"We know alreadie," quoth I.

Sayth _Will_, "What do we know?"

I paused, then made Answer reverentlie, "That _Jesus_ is the Way, the
Truth, and the Life."

"Yes," he exclaymed, clapping his Hands together in a strange Sort of
Passion; "that we _doe_ know, blessed be GOD, and other Foundation can
or ought noe Man to lay than that is layd, which is JESUS CHRIST. But,
_Meg_, is this the Principle of our Church?"

"Yea, verily," I steadfastlie replied.

"Then, how has it beene overlayd," he hurriedlie went on, "with Men's
Inventions! St. _Paul_ speaks of a Sacrifice once offered: we holde
the Host to be a continuall Sacrifice. Holy Writ telleth us, where a
Tree falls it must lie; we are taughte that our Prayers may free Souls
from Purgatorie. The Word sayth, 'By Faith ye are saved;' the Church
sayth, we may be saved by our Works. It is written, 'The Idols he shall
utterly abolish;' we worship Figures of Gold and Silver...." "Hold,
hold," I sayd, "I dare not listen to this.... You are wrong, you know
you are wrong."

"How and where?" he sayth; "onlie tell me. I long to be put righte."

"Our Images are but Symbols of our Saints," I made Answer; "'tis onlie
the Ignorant and Unlearned that worship the mere Wood and Stone."

"But why worship Saints at alle?" persisted _Will_; "where's your
Warrant for it?"

I sayd, "Heaven has warranted it by sundrie and speciall Miracles at
divers Times and Places. I may say to you, _Will_, as _Socrates_ to
_Agathon_, 'You may easilie argue agaynst me, but you cannot argue
agaynst the Truth.'"

"Oh, put me not off with _Plato_," he impatientlie replyed, "refer me
but to Holie Writ."

"How can I," quoth I, "when you have ta'en away my Testament ere I had
half gone through it? 'Tis this Book, I fear me, poor _Will_, hath
unsettled thee. Our Church, indeed, sayth the Unlearned wrest it to
theire Destruction."

"And yet the Apostle sayth," rejoyned _Will_, "that it contayns alle
Things necessarie to our Salvation."

"Doubtlesse it doth, if we knew but where to find them," I replied.

"And how find, unlesse we seeke?" he pursued, "and how know which Road
to take, when we find the Scripture and the Church at Issue?"

"Get some wiser Head to advise us," I rejoyned.

"But an' if the Obstacle remains the same?"

"I cannot suppose that," I somewhat impatientlie returned, "GOD'S Word
and GOD'S Church must agree; 'tis only we that make them at Issue."

"Ah, _Meg_, that is just such an Answer as Father _Francis_ mighte
give--it solves noe Difficultie. If, to alle human Reason, they pull
opposite Ways, by which shall we abide? I know; I am certain. '_Tu,
Domine Jesu, es Justicia mea!_'"

He looked soe rapt, with claspt Hands and upraysed Eyes, as that I
coulde not but look on him and hear him with Solemnitie. At length I
sayd, "If you know and are certayn, you have noe longer anie Doubts for
me to lay, and with your Will, we will holde this Discourse noe longer,
for however moving and however considerable its Subject Matter may be,
it approaches forbidden Ground too nearlie for me to feel it safe, and
I question whether it savoureth not of Heresie. However, _Will_, I most
heartilie pitie you, and will pray for you."

"Do, _Meg_, do," he replyed, "and say nought to any one of this Matter."

"Indeede I shall not, for I think 'twoulde bring you if not me into
Trouble; but, since thou haste soughte my Council, _Will_, receive it
now and take it...."

He sayth, "What is it?"

"To read less, pray more, fast, and use such Discipline as our Church
recommends, and I question not this Temptation will depart. Make a fayr
Triall."

And soe, away from him, though he woulde fain have sayd more; and I
have kept mine own Worde of praying for him full earnestlie, for it
pitieth me to see him in such Case.


  _Sept. 2nd._

Poor _Will_, I never see him look grave now, nor heare him sighe,
without thinking I know the Cause of his secret Discontentation. He
hath, I believe, followed my Council to the Letter, for though the
Men's Quarter of the House is soe far aparte from ours, it hath come
rounde to me through _Barbara_, who had it from her Brother, that
Mr. _Roper_ hath of late lien on the Ground, and used a knotted Cord.
As 'tis one of the Acts of Mercy to relieve others, when we can, from
Satanic Doubts and Inquietations, I have been at some Payns to make an
Abstracte of such Passages from the Fathers, and such Narratives of
noted and undeniable Miracles as cannot, I think, but carry Conviction
with them, and I hope they may minister to his Soul's Comfort.


  _Tuesday, 4th._

Supped with my Lord _Sands_. _Mother_ played Mumchance with my Lady,
but _Father_, who saith he woulde rather feast a hundred poor Men
than eat at one rich Man's Table, came not in till late, on Plea
of Businesse. My Lord tolde him the King had visitted him not long
agone, and was soe well content with his Manor as to wish it were his
owne, for the singular fine Ayr and pleasant growth of Wood. In fine,
wound up the Evening with Musick. My Lady hath a Pair of fine-toned
Clavichords, and a Mandoline that stands five Feet high; the largest in
_England_, except that of the Lady _Mary Dudley_. The Sound, indeed, is
powerfull, but methinketh the Instrument ungaynlie for a Woman. Lord
_Sands_ sang us a new Ballad, "_The King's Hunt's up_," which _Father_
affected hugelie. I lacked Spiritt to sue my Lord for the Words, he
being soe free-spoken as alwaies to dash me; howbeit, I mind they ran
somewhat thus....

    "_The Hunt is up, the Hunt is up,
    And it is well nigh Daye,
    Harry our King has gone hunting
    To bring his Deere to baye.
    The East is bright with Morning Lighte,
    And Darkness it is fled,
    And the merrie Horn wakes up the Morn
    To leave his idle Bed.
    Beholde the Skies with golden Dyes,
    Are...._"

--The Rest hath escaped me, albeit I know there was some Burden of
Hey-tantara, where my Lord did stamp and snap his Fingers. He is a
merry Heart.

  [Illustration: "Lord Sands sang us a New Ballad."]

  [Illustration]


  _1524, October._

Sayth Lord _Rutland_ to my Father, in his acute sneering Way, "Ah, ah,
Sir _Thomas_, _Honores mutant Mores_."

"Not so, in Faith, my Lord," returns _Father_, "but have a care lest we
translate the Proverb, and say Honours change _Manners_."

It served him right, and the Jest is worth preserving, because 'twas
not premeditate, as my Lord's very likely was, but retorted at once and
in Self-defence. I don't believe Honours _have_ changed the _Mores_.
As _Father_ told _Mother_, there's the same Face under the Hood. 'Tis
comique, too, the Fulfilment of _Erasmus_ his Prophecy. _Plato's_ Year
has not come rounde, but they have got _Father_ to Court, and the King
seems minded never to let him goe. For us, we have the same untamed
Spiritts and unconstrayned Course of Life as ever, neither lett nor
hindered in our daylie Studdies, though we dress somewhat braver, and
see more Companie. _Mother's_ Head was a little turned, at first, by
the Change and Enlargement of the Householde ... the Acquisition of
Clerk of the Kitchen, Surveyor of the Dresser, Yeoman of the Pastrie,
etc., but, as _Father_ laughinglie tolde her, the Increase of her Cares
soon steddied her Witts, for she found she had twenty Unthrifts to
look after insteade of half-a-dozen. And the same with himself. His
Responsibilities are soe increast, that he grutches at everie Hour the
Court steals from his Family, and vows, now and then, he will leave
off joking, that the King may the sooner wearie of him. But this is
onlie in Jest, for he feels it is a _Power_ given him over lighter
Minds, which he may exert to usefull and high Purpose. Onlie it keepeth
him from needing _Damocles_ his Sword; he trusts not in the Favour of
Princes nor in the Voyce of the People, and keeps his Soul as a weaned
Child. 'Tis much for us now to get an Hour's Leisure with him, and
makes us feel what our olde Privilleges were when we knew 'em not.
Still, I'm pleased without being over elated, at his having risen to
his proper Level.

The _King_ tooke us by Surprise this Morning: _Mother_ had scarce time
to slip on her Scarlett Gown and Coif, ere he was in the House. His
Grace was mighty pleasant to all, and, at going, saluted all round,
which _Bessy_ took humourously, _Daisy_ immoveablie, _Mercy_ humblie,
I distastefullie, and _Mother_ delightedlie. She calls him a fine Man;
he is indeede big enough, and like to become too big; with long slits
of Eyes that gaze freelie on all, as who shoulde say, "Who dare let or
hinder us?" His Brow betokens Sense and Franknesse, his Eyebrows are
supercilious, and his Cheeks puffy. A rolling, straddling Gait, and
abrupt Speech.

T'other Evening, as _Father_ and I were, unwontedly, strolling together
down the Lane, there accosts us a shabby poor Fellow, with something
unsettled in his Eye....

"Master, Sir Knight, and may it please your Judgeship, my name is
_Patteson_."

"Very likely," says Father, "and my Name is _More_, but what is that to
the Purpose?"

"And that is _more_ to the Purpose, you mighte have said," returned the
other.

"Why, soe I mighte," says _Father_, "but how shoulde I have proved it?"

"You who are a Lawyer shoulde know best about that," rejoyned the poor
Knave; "'tis too hard for poor _Patteson_."

"Well, but who are you?" says _Father_, "and what do you want of me?"

"Don't you mind me?" says _Patteson_; "I played Hold-your-tongue, last
_Christmasse_ Revel was five Years, and they called me a smart Chap
then, but last _Martinmasse_ I fell from the Church Steeple, and shook
my Brain-pan, I think, for its Contents have seemed addled ever since;
soe what I want now is to be made a Fool."

"Then you are not one already?" says _Father_.

"If I were," says _Patteson_, "I shoulde not have come to _you_."

"Why, Like cleaves to Like, you know they say," says _Father_.

"Aye," says t'other, "but I've Reason and Feeling enow, too, to know
you are no Fool, though I thoughte you might want one. Great People
like 'em at their Tables, I've hearde say, though I am sure I can't
guesse why, for it makes me sad to see Fools laughed at; ne'erthelesse,
as I get laughed at alreadie, methinketh I may as well get paid for
the Job if I can, being unable, now, to doe a Stroke of Work in hot
Weather. And I'm the onlie Son of my Mother, and she is a Widow. But
perhaps I'm not bad enough."

"I know not that, poor Knave," says _Father_, touched with quick Pity,
"and, for those that laugh at Fools, my Opinion, _Patteson_, is that
they are the greater Fools who laugh. To tell you the Truth, I had
had noe Mind to take a Fool into mine Establishment, having alwaies
had a Fancy to be prime Fooler in it myselfe; however, you incline me
to change my Purpose, for as I said anon, Like cleaves to Like, soe,
I'll tell you what we will doe--divide the Businesse and goe Halves--I
continuing the Fooling, and thou receiving the Salary; that is, if
I find, on Inquiry, thou art given to noe Vice, including that of
Scurrillitie."

"May it like your Goodness," says poor _Patteson_, "I've been the
Subject, oft, of Scurrillitie, and affect it too little to offend that
Way myself. I ever keep a civil Tongue in my Head, 'specially among
young Ladies."

"That minds me," says _Father_, "of a Butler who sayd he always was
sober, especially when he only had Water to drink. Can you read and
write?"

"Well, and what if I cannot?" returns _Patteson_, "there ne'er was but
one, I ever heard of, that knew Letters, never having learnt, and well
he might, for he made them that made them."

"_Meg_, there is Sense in this poor Fellow," says _Father_, "we will
have him Home and be kind to him."

And, sure enow, we have done so and been so ever since.


  _Tuesday, 25th._

A glance at the anteceding Pages of this _Libellus_ me-sheweth poor
_Will Roper_ at the Season his Love-fitt for me was at its Height. He
troubleth me with it noe longer, nor with his religious Disquietations.
Hard Studdy of the Law hath filled his Head with other Matters,
and made him infinitely more rationall, and by Consequents, more
agreeable. 'Twas one of those Preferences young People sometimes
manifest, themselves know neither why nor wherefore, and are shamed,
afterwards, to be reminded of. I'm sure I shall ne'er remind him.
There was nothing in me to fix a rational or passionate Regard.
I have neither _Bess's_ Witt nor white Teeth, nor _Daisy's_ dark
Eyes, nor _Mercy's_ Dimple. A plain-favoured Girl, with changefulle
Spiritts,--that's alle.


  _26th._

_Patteson's_ latest Jest was taking Precedence of _Father_ yesterday
with the Saying, "Give place, Brother; you are but Jester to King
_Harry_, and I'm Jester to Sir _Thomas More_; I'll leave you to decide
which is the greater Man of the two."

"Why, Gossip," cries _Father_, "his Grace woulde make two of me."

"Not a Bit of it," returns _Patteson_, "he's big enow for two such as
you are, I grant ye, but the King can't make two of you. No! Lords and
Commons may make a King, but a King can't make a Sir _Thomas More_."

"Yes, he can," rejoyns _Father_, "he can make me Lord Chancellor, and
then he will make me more than I am already; _ergo_, he will make Sir
_Thomas_ more."

"But what I mean is," persists the Fool, "that the King can't make such
another as you are, any more than all the King's Horses and all the
King's Men can put _Humpty-dumpty_ together again, which is an ancient
Riddle, and full of Marrow. And soe he'll find, if ever he lifts thy
Head off from thy Shoulders, which GOD forbid!"

_Father_ delighteth in sparring with _Patteson_ far more than in
jesting with the King, whom he alwaies looks on as a Lion that may, any
Minute, fall on him and rend him. Whereas, with t'other, he ungirds his
Mind. Their Banter commonly exceeds not Pleasantrie, but _Patteson_
is ne'er without an Answer; and although, maybe, each amuses himselfe
now and then with thinking, "I'll put him up with such a Question,"
yet, once begun, the Skein runs off the Reel without a Knot, and shews
the excellent Nature of both, soe free are they alike from Malice and
Over-license. Sometimes theire Cuts are neater than common Listeners
apprehend. I've seene _Rupert_ and _Will_, in fencing, make theire
Swords flash in the Sun at every Parry and Thrust; agayn, owing to
some Change in mine owne Position, or the Decline of the Sun, the
Scintillations have escaped me, though I've known their Rays must have
been emitted in some Quarter alle the same.

_Patteson_, with one of _Argus's_ cast Feathers in his Hand, is at
this Moment beneath my Lattice, astride on a Stone Balustrade; while
_Bessy_, whom he much affects, is sitting on the Steps, feeding her
Peacocks. Sayth _Patteson_, "Canst tell me, Mistress, why Peacocks
have soe manie Eyes in theire Tails, and yet can onlie see with two in
theire Heads?"

"Because those two make them soe vain alreadie, Fool," says _Bess_,
"that were they always beholding theire owne Glory, they woulde be
intolerable."

"And besides that," says _Patteson_, "the less we see or heare,
either, of what passes behind our Backs, the better for us, since
Knaves will make Mouths at us then, for as glorious as we may be. Canst
tell me, Mistress, why the Peacock was the last Bird that went into the
Ark?"

"First tell me, Fool," returns _Bess_, "how thou knowest that it was
soe?"

"Nay, a Fool may ask a Question would puzzle a Wiseard to answer,"
rejoyns _Patteson_; "I mighte ask you, for example, where they got
theire fresh Kitchen-stuff in the Ark, or whether the Birds ate other
than Grains, or the wild Beasts other than Flesh. It needs must have
been a Granary."

"We ne'er shew ourselves such Fools," says _Bess_, "as in seeking to
know more than is written. They had enough, if none to spare, and we
scarce can tell how little is enough for bare Sustenance in a State
of perfect Inaction. If the Creatures were kept low, they were all the
less fierce."

"Well answered, Mistress," says _Patteson_, "but tell me, why do you
wear two Crosses?"

"Nay, Fool," returns _Bess_, "I wear but one."

"Oh, but I say you wear two," says _Patteson_, "one at your Girdle,
and one that nobody sees. We alle wear the unseen one, you know. Some
have theirs of Gold, alle carven and shaped, soe as you hardlie tell
it for a Cross ... like my Lord Cardinall, for Instance ... but it is
one, for alle that. And others, of Iron, that eateth into their Hearts
... methinketh Master _Roper's_ must be one of 'em. For me, I'm content
with one of Wood, like that our deare LORD bore; what was goode enow
for him is goode enow for me, and I've noe Temptation to shew it,
as it isn't fine, nor yet to chafe at it for being rougher than my
Neighbour's, nor yet to make myself a second because it is not hard
enow. Doe you take me, Mistress?"

"I take you for what you are," says _Bess_, "a poor Fool."

"Nay, Niece," says _Patteson_, "my Brother your Father hath made me
rich."

"I mean," says _Bess_, "you have more Wisdom than Witt, and a real Fool
has neither, therefore you are only a make-believe Fool."

"Well, there are many make-believe Sages," says _Patteson_; "for mine
owne Part, I never aim to be thoughte a _Hiccius Doccius_."

"A _hic est doctus_, Fool, you mean," interrupts _Bess_.

"Perhaps I do," rejoins _Patteson_, "since other Folks soe oft know
better what we mean than we know ourselves. Alle I woulde say is, I
ne'er set up for a Conjuror. One can see as far into a Millstone as
other People, without being that. For Example, when a Man is overta'en
with Qualms of Conscience for having married his Brother's Widow,
when she is noe longer soe young and fair as she was a Score of Years
ago, we know what that's a Sign of. And when an _Ipswich_ Butcher's
Son takes on him the State of my Lord _Pope_, we know what that's a
Sign of. Nay, if a young Gentlewoman become dainty at her Sizes, and
sluttish in her Apparel, we ... as I live, here comes _Giles Heron_,
with a Fish in's Mouth."

Poor Bess involuntarilie turned her Head quicklie towards the
Watergate; on which, _Patteson_, laughing as he lay on his Back, points
upward with his Peacock's Feather, and cries, "Overhead, Mistress! see,
there he goes. Sure, you lookt not to see Master _Heron_ making towards
us between the Posts and Flower-pots, eating a dried Ling?" laughing as
wildly as though he were verily a Natural.

_Bess_, without a Word, shook the Crumbs from her Lap, and was turning
into the House, when he withholds her a Minute in a perfectly altered
Fashion, saying, "There be some Works, Mistress, our Confessors tell us
be Works of Supererogation ... is not that the Word? I learn a long one
now and then ... such as be setting Food before a full Man, or singing
to a deaf one, or buying for one's Pigs a Silver Trough, or, for the
Matter of that, casting Pearls before a Dunghill Cock, or fishing for
a Heron, which is well able to fish for itself, and is an ill-natured
Bird after all, that pecks the Hand of his Mistress, and, for all her
Kindness to him, will not think of _Bessy More_."

How apt alle are to abuse unlimited License! Yet 'twas good Counsel.


  _1525, July 2._

Soe my Fate is settled. Who knoweth at Sunrise what will chance before
Sunsett? No; the Greeks and Romans mighte speake of Chance and of Fate,
but we must not. _Ruth's Hap_ was to light on the Field of _Boaz_: but
what she thought casual, the LORD had contrived.

Firste, he gives me the Marmot. Then, the Marmot dies. Then, I, having
kept the Creature soe long, and being naturallie tender, must cry a
little over it. Then _Will_ must come in and find me drying mine Eyes.
Then he must, most unreasonablie, suppose that I could not have loved
the poor Animal for its owne Sake soe much as for his; and, thereupon,
falle a love-making in such downrighte Earneste, that I, being alreadie
somewhat upset, and knowing 'twoulde please _Father_ ... and hating
to be perverse, ... and thinking much better of _Will_ since he hath
studdied soe hard, and given soe largelie to the Poor, and left off
broaching his heteroclite Opinions ... I say, I supposed it must be
soe, some Time or another, soe 'twas noe Use hanging back for ever and
ever, soe now there's an End, and I pray GOD give us a quiet Life.

Noe one woulde suppose me reckoning on a quiet Life if they knew how
I've cried alle this Forenoon, ever since I got quit of _Will_, by
_Father's_ carrying him off to _Westminster_. He'll tell _Father_, I
know, as they goe along in the Barge, or else coming back, which will
be soone now, though I've ta'en no Heed of the Hour. I wish 'twere
cold Weather, and that I had a sore Throat, or stiff Neck, or somewhat
that might reasonablie send me a-bed, and keep me there till to-morrow
Morning. But I'm quite well, and 'tis the Dog-days, and Cook is
thumping the Rolling-pin on the Dresser, and Dinner is being served,
and here comes _Father_.

  [Illustration: "The King was here yesterday."]


  _1528, Sept._

_Father_ hath had some Words with the Cardinall. 'Twas touching the
Draught of some forayn Treaty which the Cardinall offered for his
Criticism, or rather, for his Commendation, which _Father_ could not
give. This nettled his Grace, who exclaimed,--"By the Mass, thou art
the veriest Fool of all the Council." _Father_, smiling, rejoined, "GOD
be thanked, that the King our Master hath but one Fool therein."

The _Cardinall_ may rage, but he can't rob him of the royal Favour.
The _King_ was here yesterday, and walked for an Hour or soe about the
Garden, with his Arm round _Father's_ Neck. _Will_ coulde not help
felicitating _Father_ upon it afterwards; to which _Father_ made
Answer, "I thank GOD I find his Grace my very good Lord indeed, and
I believe he doth as singularly favour me as any Subject within this
Realm. Howbeit, son _Roper_, I may tell thee between ourselves, I feel
no Cause to be proud thereof, for if my Head would win him a Castle in
_France_, it shoulde not fail to fly off."

--_Father_ is graver than he used to be. No Wonder. He hath much on
his Mind; the Calls on his Time and Thoughts are beyond Belief; but
GOD is very good to him. His Favour at home and abroad is immense: he
hath good Health, soe have we alle; and his Family are established to
his Mind, and settled alle about him, still under the same fostering
Roof. Considering that I am the most ordinarie of his Daughters,
'tis singular I should have secured the best Husband. _Daisy_ lives
peaceablie with _Rupert Allington_, and is as indifferent, me seemeth,
to him as to alle the World beside. He, on his Part, loves her and
theire Children with Devotion, and woulde pass half his Time in the
Nurserie. _Dancey_ always had a hot Temper, and now and then plagues
_Bess_; but she lets noe one know it but me. Sometimes she comes into
my Chamber and cries a little, but the next kind Word brightens her
up, and I verilie believe her Pleasures far exceed her Payns. _Giles
Heron_ lost her through his own Fault, and might have regained her good
Opinion after all, had he taken half the Pains for her Sake he now
takes for her younger Sister: I cannot think how _Cecy_ can favour him;
yet I suspect he will win her, sooner or later. As to mine own deare
_Will_, 'tis the kindest, purest Nature, the finest Soul, the ... and
yet how I was senselesse enow once to undervalue him!

Yes, I am a happy Wife; a happy Daughter; a happy Mother. When my
little _Bill_ stroaked dear _Father's_ Face just now, and murmured
"Pretty!" he burst out a-laughing, and cried,--

"You are like the young _Cyrus_, who exclaimed,--'Oh! Mother, how
pretty is my Grandfather!' And yet, according to _Xenophon_, the old
Gentleman was soe rouged and made up, as that none but a Child woulde
have admired him!"

"That's not the Case," I observed, "with _Bill's_ Grandfather."

"He's a _More_ all over," says _Father_, fondly. "Make a Pun, _Meg_,
if thou canst, about _Amor_, _Amore_, or _Amores_. 'Twill onlie be
the thousand and first on our Name. Here, little Knave, see these
Cherries: tell me who thou art, and thou shalt have one. '_More!
More!_' I knew it, sweet Villain. Take them all."

I oft sitt for an Hour or more, watching _Hans Holbein_ at his Brush.
He hath a rare Gift of limning; and has, besides, the Advantage of
deare _Erasmus_ his Recommendation, for whom he hath alreddie painted
our Likenesses, but I think he has made us very ugly. His Portraiture
of my Grandfather is marvellous; ne'erthelesse, I look in vayn for the
Spirituallitie which our _Lucchese_ Friend, _Antonio Bonvisi_, tells us
is to be found in the Productions of the Italian Schools.

_Holbein_ loves to paint with the Lighte coming in upon his Work from
above. He says a Lighte from above puts Objects in theire proper
Lighte, and shews theire just Proportions; a Lighte from beneath
reverses alle the naturall Shadows. Surelie, this hath some Truth if we
spirituallize it.


  _June 2d._

_Rupert's_ Cousin, _Rosamond Allington_, is our Guest. She is as
beautiful as ... not as an Angel, for she lacks the Look of Goodness,
but very beautiful indeed. She cometh hither from _Hever Castle_,
her Account of the Affairs whereof I like not. Mistress _Anne_ is
not there at present; indeed, she is now always hanging about Court,
and followeth somewhat too literallie the scriptural Injunction to
_Solomon's_ Spouse--to forget her Father's House. The _King_ likes
well enow to be compared with _Solomon_, but Mistress _Anne_ is not
his Spouse yet, nor ever will be, I hope. Flattery and Frenchified
Habitts have spoilt her, I trow.

  [Illustration: "She cometh hither from Hever Castle."]

_Rosamond_ says there is not a good Chamber in the Castle; even the
Ball-room, which is on the upper Floor of alle, being narrow and low.
On a rainy Day, long ago, she and Mistress _Anne_ were playing at
Shuttlecock therein, when _Rosamond's_ Foot tripped at some Unevennesse
in the Floor, and Mistress _Anne_, with a Laugh, cried out, "Mind you
goe not down into the Dungeon"--then pulled up a Trap-door in the
Ball-room Floor, by an iron Ring, and made _Rosamond_ look down into an
unknown Depth; all in the blacknesse of Darkness. 'Tis an awfulle Thing
to have onlie a Step from a Ball-room to a Dungeon! I'm glad we live in
a modern House; we have noe such fearsome Sights here.


  _Sept. 26._

How many, many Tears have I shed! Poor, imprudent _Will_.

To think of his Escape from the _Cardinall's_ Fangs, and yet that he
will probablie repeat the Offence! This Morning _Father_ and he had a
long, and, I fear me, fruitless Debate in the Garden; on returning from
which, _Father_ took me aside and sayd,--

"_Meg_, I have borne a long Time with thine Husband; I have reasoned
and argued with him, and still given him my poor, fatherly Counsel; but
I perceive none of alle this can call him Home agayn. And therefore,
_Meg_, I will no longer dispute with him." ... "Oh, _Father_!" ... "Nor
yet will I give him over; but I will set another Way to work, and get
me to GOD and pray for him."

And have not I done so alreadie?


  _27th._

I feare me they parted unfriendlie; I hearde _Father_ say, "Thus much I
have a Right to bind thee to, that thou indoctrinate not her in thine
owne Heresies. Thou shalt not imperill the Salvation of my Child."

Since this there has been an irresistible Gloom on our Spiritts, a
Cloud between my Husband's Soul and mine, without a Word spoken. I
pray, but my Prayers seem dead.


  _Thursday, 28th._

Last Night, after seeking unto this Saint and that, methought, "Why
not applie unto the Fountain Head? Maybe these holie Spiritts may have
Limitations sett to the Power of theire Intercessions--at anie Rate,
the Ears of _Mary-mother_ are open to alle."

Soe I beganne, "_Eia mater, fons amoris._" ...

Then methoughte, "But I am onlie asking _her_ to intercede--I'll mount
a Step higher still." ...

Then I turned to the greate Intercessor of alle. But methought, "Still
he intercedes with another, although the same. And his owne Saying
was, 'In that Day ye shall ask _me nothing_. Whatsoever ye shall ask in
my Name, _he_ will give it you.'" Soe I did.

I fancy I fell asleep with the Tears on my Cheek. _Will_ had not come
up Stairs. Then came a heavie, heavie Sleep, not such as giveth Rest;
and a dark, wild Dream. Methought I was tired of waiting for _Will_,
and became alarmed. The Night seemed a Month long, and at last I grew
soe weary of it, that I arose, put on some Clothing, and went in search
of him whom my Soul loveth. Soon I founde him, sitting in a Muse; and
said, "_Will_, deare _Will_?" but he hearde me not; and, going up to
touch him, I was amazed to be broughte short up or ever I reached him,
by Something invisible betwixt us, hard, and cleare, and colde, ... in
short, a Wall of Ice! Soe it seemed, in my strange Dreame. I pushed at
it, but could not move it; called to him, but coulde not make him hear:
and all the While my Breath, I suppose, raised a Vapour on the glassy
Substance, that grew thicker and thicker, soe as slowlie to hide him
from me. I coulde discerne his Head and Shoulders, but not see down to
his Heart. Then I shut mine Eyes in Despair, and when I opened 'em, he
was hidden altogether.

Then I prayed. I put my hot Brow agaynst the Ice, and I kept a
weeping hot Tears, and the warm Breath of Prayer kept issuing from
my Lips; and still I was persisting, when, or ever I knew how, the
Ice beganne to melt! I felt it giving Way! and, looking up, coulde
in joyfulle Surprize just discerne the Lineaments of a Figure close
at t'other Side; the Face turned away, but yet in the Guise of
listening. And, Images being apt to seem magnified and distorted
through Vapours, methought 'twas altogether bigger than _Will_, yet
himself, nothingthelesse; and, the Barrier between us having sunk away
to Breast-height, I layd mine Hand on's Shoulder, and he turned his
Head, smiling, though in Silence; and ... oh, Heaven! 'twas not _Will_,
but----.

What coulde I doe, even in my Dreame, but fall at his Feet? What coulde
I doe, waking, but the same? 'Twas Grey of Morn; I was feverish and
unrefreshed, but I wanted noe more lying a-bed. _Will_ had arisen and
gone forthe; and I, as quicklie as I coulde make myself readie, sped
after him.

I know not what I expected, nor what I meant to say. The Moment I
opened the Door of his Closett, I stopt short. There he stoode, in
the Centre of the Chamber; his Hand resting flat on an open Book,
his Head raised somewhat up, his Eyes fixed on Something or some One,
as though in speaking Communion with 'em; his whole Visage lightened
up and glorifide with an unspeakable Calm and Grandeur that seemed
to transfigure him before me; and, when he hearde my Step, he turned
about, and 'steade of histing me away, helde out his Arms.... We parted
without neede to utter a Word.


  _June, 1530._

Events have followed too quick and thick for me to note 'em. Firste,
_Father's_ Embassade to _Cambray_, which I shoulde have grieved at more
on our owne Accounts, had it not broken off alle further Collision
with _Will_. Thoroughlie homesick, while abroad, poor _Father_ was;
then, on his Return, he noe sooner sett his Foot a-land, than the King
summoned him to _Woodstock_. 'Twas a Couple o' Nights after he left
us, that _Will_ and I were roused by _Patteson's_ shouting beneath
our Window, "Fire, Fire, quoth _Jeremiah_!" and the House was a-fire,
sure enow. Greate Part of the Men's Quarter, together with alle the
Out-houses and Barns, consumed without Remedie, and alle through the
Carelessnesse of _John Holt_. Howbeit, noe Lives were lost, nor any one
much hurt; and we thankfullie obeyed deare _Father's_ Behest, soe soone
as we received the same, that we woulde get us to Church, and there,
upon our Knees, return humble and harty Thanks to ALMIGHTY GOD for our
late Deliverance from a fearfulle Death. Alsoe, at _Father's_ Desire,
we made up to the poor People on our Premises theire various Losses,
which he bade us doe, even if it left him without soe much as a Spoon.

But then came an equallie unlookt-for, and more appalling Event: the
Fall of my _Lord Cardinall_, whereby my Father was shortlie raised
to the highest Pinnacle of professional Greatnesse; being made _Lord
Chancellor_, to the Content, in some Sort, of _Wolsey_ himself, who
sayd he was the onlie Man fit to be his Successor.

The unheard-of Splendour of his Installation dazzled the Vulgar; while
the Wisdom that marked the admirable Discharge of his daylie Duties,
won the Respect of alle thinking Men, but surprized none who alreadie
knew _Father_. On the Day succeeding his being sworn in, _Patteson_
marched hither, and thither, bearing a huge Placard, inscribed,
"Partnership Dissolved;" and apparelled himself in an old Suit, on
which he had bestowed a Coating of black Paint, with Weepers of white
Paper; assigning for't that "his Brother was dead." "For now," quoth
he, "that they've made him _Lord Chancellor_, we shall ne'er see Sir
_Thomas_ more."

Now, although the poor _Cardinall_ was commonlie helde to shew much
Judgment in his Decisions, owing to the naturall Soundness of his
Understanding, yet, being noe Lawyer, Abuses had multiplied during
his Chancellorship, more especiallie in the Way of enormous Fees and
Gratuities. _Father_, not content with shunning base Lucre in his
proper Person, will not let anie one under him, to his Knowledge, touch
a Bribe; whereat _Dancey_, after his funny Fashion, complains, saying,--

"The Fingers of my _Lord Cardinall's_ veriest Door-keepers were
tipt with Gold, but I, since I married your Daughter, have got noe
Pickings; which in your Case may be commendable, but in mine is nothing
profitable."

_Father_, laughing, makes Answer,--

"Your Case is hard, Son _Dancey_, but I can onlie say for your Comfort,
that, soe far as Honesty and Justice are concerned, if mine owne
Father, whom I reverence dearly, stoode before me on the one Hand, and
the Devil, whom I hate extremely, on the other, yet, the Cause of the
latter being just, I shoulde give the Devil his Due."

_Giles Heron_ hath found this to his Cost. Presuming on his near
Connexion with my Father, he refused an equitable Accommodation of a
Suit, which, thereon, coming into Court, _Father's_ Decision was given
flat agaynst him.

  [Illustration: The Beggar-Woman's Dog.]

His Decision agaynst _Mother_ was equallie impartiall, and had
Something comique in it. Thus it befelle.--A Beggar-woman's little Dog,
which had beene stolen from her, was offered my _Mother_ for Sale, and
she bought it for a Jewel of no greate Value. After a Week or soe, the
Owner finds where her Dog is, and cometh to make Complaynt of the Theft
to _Father_, then sitting in his Hall. Sayth _Father_, "Let's have a
faire Hearing in open Court; thou, Mistress, stand there where you be,
to have impartial Justice; and thou, Dame _Alice_, come up hither,
because thou art of the higher Degree. Now then, call each of you the
Puppy, and see which he will follow." Soe _Sweetheart_, in spite of
_Mother_, springs off to the old Beggar-woman, who, unable to keep from
laughing, and yet moved at Mother's Losse, sayth,--

"Tell 'ee what, Mistress ... thee shalt have 'un for a Groat."

"Nay," sayth _Mother_, "I won't mind giving thee a Piece of Gold;" soe
the Bargain was satisfactorily concluded.

_Father's_ Despatch of Businesse is such, that, one Morning before the
End of Term, he was tolde there was noe other Cause nor Petition to
be sett before him; the which, being a Case unparalleled, he desired
mighte be formally recorded.

He ne'er commences Businesse in his owne Court without first stepping
into the Court of King's Bench, and there kneeling down to receive
my Grandfather's Blessing. _Will_ sayth 'tis worth a World to see the
Unction with which the deare old Man bestows it on him.

In Rogation-week, following the Rood as usuall round the Parish,
_Heron_ counselled him to go a Horseback for the greater Seemlinesse,
but he made Answer that 'twoulde be unseemlie indeede for the Servant
to ride after his Master going afoot.

His Grace of _Norfolk_, coming yesterday to dine with him, finds him in
the Church-choir, singing, with a Surplice on.

"What?" cries the _Duke_, as they walk Home together, "my _Lord
Chancellor_ playing the Parish-clerk? Sure, you dishonour the King and
his Office."

"Nay," says _Father_, smiling, "your Grace must not deem that the
King, your Master and mine, will be offended at my honouring _his_
Master."

Sure, 'tis pleasant to heare _Father_ taking the upper Hand of these
great Folks: and to have 'em coming and going, and waiting his
Pleasure, because he is the Man whom the King delighteth to honour.

True, indeed, with _Wolsey_ 'twas once the same; but _Father_ neede not
feare the same Ruin; because he hath HIM for his Friend, whom _Wolsey_
said woulde not have forsaken him had he served HIM as he served his
earthly Master. 'Twas a misproud Priest; and there's the Truth on't.
And _Father_ is not misproud; and I don't believe we are; though proud
of him we cannot fail to be.

And I know not why we may not be pleased with Prosperitie, as well as
patient under Adversitie; as long as we say, "Thou, LORD, hast made
our Hill soe strong." 'Tis more difficult to bear with Comelinesse,
doubtlesse; and envious Folks there will be; and we know alle Things
have an End, and everie Sweet hath its Sour, and everie Fountain its
Fall; but ... 'tis very pleasant for all that.

  [Illustration: In the Garden.]


  _Tuesday, 31st, 1532._

Who coulde have thoughte that those ripe Grapes whereof dear _Gaffer_
ate soe plentifullie, should have ended his Dayes? This Event hath
filled the House with Mourning. He had us all about his Bed to receive
his Blessing; and 'twas piteous to see _Father_ fall upon his Face, as
_Joseph_ on the Face of _Jacob_, and weep upon him and kiss him. Like
_Jacob_, my Grandsire lived to see his duteous Son attain to the Height
of earthlie Glory, his Heart unspoyled and untouched.


  _July, 1532._

The Days of Mourning for my Grandsire are at an end; yet _Father_ still
goeth heavilie. This Forenoon, looking forthe of my Lattice, I saw
him walking along the River Side, his Arm cast about _Will's_ Neck;
and 'twas a dearer Sight to my Soul than to see the _King_ walking
there with his Arm around _Father's_ Neck. They seemed in such earnest
Converse, that I was avised to ask _Will_, afterwards, what they had
been saying. He told me that, after much friendly Chat together on this
and that, _Father_ fell into a Muse, and presently, fetching a deep
Sigh, says,--

"Would to GOD, Son _Roper_, on Condition three Things were well
established in Christendom, I were put into a Sack, and cast presently
into the _Thames_." _Will_ sayth,--

"What three soe great Things can they be, _Father_, as to move you to
such a Wish?"

"In Faith, _Will_," answers he, "they be these.--First, that whereas
the most Part of Christian Princes be at War, they were at universal
Peace. Next, that whereas the Church of CHRIST is at present sore
afflicted with divers Errors and Heresies, it were well settled in a
godly Uniformity. Last, that this Matter of the _King's_ Marriage were,
to the Glory of GOD, and the Quietness of alle Parties, brought to a
good Conclusion."

Indeed, this last Matter preys on my Father's Soul. He hath even knelt
to the King, to refrain from exacting Compliance with his Grace's
Will concerning it; movingly reminding him, even with Tears, of his
Grace's own Words to him on delivering the Great Seal, "First look unto
GOD, and, after GOD, unto me." But the King is heady in this Matter;
stubborn as a Mule or wild Ass's Colt, whose Mouths must be held with
Bit and Bridle if they be to be governed at alle; and the King hath
taken the Bit between his Teeth, and there is none dare ride him. Alle
for Love of a brown Girl, with a Wen on her Throat, and an extra Finger.


  _July 18th._

How short a Time agone it seemeth, that in my Prosperity I sayd, "We
shall never be moved; Thou, LORD, of Thy goodness hast made our Hill
soe strong! ... Thou didst turn away thy Face, and I was troubled!"


  _28th._

Thus sayth _Plato_: of Him whom he soughte, but hardly found: "Truth is
his Body, and Light his Shadow." A marvellous Saying for a Heathen.

Hear also what St. _John_ sayth: "GOD is Light; and in him is no
Darkness at all." "And the Light was the Life of Men: and the Light
shineth in Darkness, and the Darkness comprehended it not."

Hear also what St. _Augustine_ sayth: "They are the most uncharitable
towards Error who have never experienced how hard a Matter it is to
come at the Truth."

Hard, indeed. Here's _Father_ agaynst _Will_, and agaynst _Erasmus_, of
whom he once could not speak well enough; and now he says that if he
upholds such and such Opinions his dear _Erasmus_ may be the Devil's
_Erasmus_ for what he cares. And here's _Father_ at Issue with half the
learned Heads in Christendom concerning the King's Marriage. And yet,
for alle that, I think _Father_ is in the Right.

He taketh Matters soe to Heart that e'en his Appetite fails. Yesterday
he put aside his old favourite Dish of Brewis, saying, "I know not how
'tis, good _Alice_; I've lost my Stomach, I think, for my old Relishes"
... and this, e'en with a Tear in his Eye. But 'twas not the Brewis, I
know, that made it start.


  _Aug._

He hath resigned the Great Seal! And none of us knew of his having done
soe, nor e'en of his meditating it, till after Morning Prayers to-day,
when, insteade of one of his Gentlemen stepping up to my Mother in
her Pew with the Words, "Madam, my Lord is gone," he cometh up to her
himself, with a Smile on's Face, and sayth, low bowing as he spoke,
"Madam, my Lord is gone." She takes it for one of the manie Jests
whereof she misses the Point; and 'tis not till we are out of Church,
in the open Air, that she fully comprehends my _Lord Chancellor_ is
indeed gone, and she hath onlie her Sir _Thomas More_.

  [Illustration: "and sayth, low bowing as he spoke, 'Madam, my Lord is
  gone.'"]

A Burst of Tears was no more than was to be lookt for from poor
Mother; and, in Sooth, we alle felt aggrieved and mortyfide enough;
but 'twas a short Sorrow; for _Father_ declared that he had cast
_Pelion_ and _Ossa_ off his Back into the bottomless Pit; and fell
into such funny Antics that we were soon as merry as ever we were
in our Lives. _Patteson_, so soon as he hears it, comes leaping and
skipping across the Garden, crying, "A fatted Calf! let a fatted Calf
be killed, Masters and Mistresses, for this my Brother who was dead is
alive again!" and falls a kissing his Hand. But poor _Patteson's_ Note
will soon change; for _Father's_ diminished State will necessitate the
Dismissal of all extra Hands; and there is manie a Servant under his
Roof whom he can worse spare than the poor Fool.

In the Evening he gathers us alle about him in the Pavilion, where
he throws himself into his old accustomed Seat, casts his Arm about
_Mother_, and cries, "How glad must _Cincinnatus_ have been to spy out
his Cottage again, with _Racilia_ standing at the Gate!" Then, called
for Curds and Cream; sayd how sweet the soft Summer Air was coming over
the River, and bade _Cecil_ sing "The King's Hunt's up." After this,
one Ballad after another was called for, till alle had sung their Lay,
ill or well, he listing the While with closed Eyes, and a composed
Smile about his Mouth; the two Furrows between his Brows relaxing
graduallie till at length they could no more be seene. At last he
says,--

"Who was that old Prophet that could not or would not prophesy for a
King of _Judah_ till a Minstrel came and played unto him? Sure, he
must have loved, as I do, the very lovely Song of one that playeth well
upon an Instrument, yclept the Human Heart; and have felt, as I do now,
the Spirit given him to speak of Matters foreign to his Mind. 'Tis of
_res angusta domi_, dear Brats, I must speak; soe, the sooner begun,
the sooner over. Here am I, with a dear Wife and eight loved Children
... for my Daughters' Husbands and my Son's Wife are my Children as
much as any; and _Mercy Giggs_ is a Daughter too ... nine Children,
then, and eleven Grandchildren, and a Swarm of Servants to boot, all of
whom have as yet eaten what it pleased them, and drunken what it suited
them at my Board, without its being any one's Businesse to say them
nay. 'Twas the dearest Privilege of my _Lord Chancellor_; but now he's
dead and gone, how shall we contract the Charges of Sir _Thomas More_?"

We looked from one to another, and were silent.

"I'll tell ye, dear ones," he went on. "I have been brought up at
_Oxford_, at an Inn of Chancery, at Lincoln's Inn, and at the King's
Court; from the lowest Degree, that is, to the highest; and yet have
I in yearly Revenues at this Present, little above one Hundred Pounds
a-year; but then, as _Chilo_ sayth, 'honest Loss is preferable to
dishonest Gain: by the first, a Man suffers once; by the second for
ever;' and I may take up my Parable with _Samuel_, and say: 'Whose Ox
have I taken? whose Ass have I taken? whom have I defrauded? whom have
I oppressed? of whose Hand have I received any Bribe to blinde mine
Eyes therewith?' No, my worst Enemies cannot lay to my Charge any of
these Things; and my Trust in you is, that, rather than regret I should
not have made a Purse by any such base Methods, you will all cheerfully
contribute your Proportions to the common Fund, and share and share
alike with me in this my diminished State."

We all gat about him, and by our Words and Kisses gave Warrant that we
would.

"Well, then," quoth he, "my Mind is, that since we are all of a Will to
walk down-hill together, we will do soe at a breathing Pace, and not
drop down like a Plummet. Let all Things be done decently and in order:
we won't descend to _Oxford_ Fare first, nor yet to the Fare of _New
Inn_. We'll begin with _Lincoln's Inn_ Diet, whereon many good and wise
Men thrive well; if we find this draw too heavily on the Common-Purse,
we will, next Year, come down to _Oxford_ Fare, with which many great
and learned Doctors have been conversant; and, if our Purse stretch not
to cover e'en this, why, in Heaven's Name! we'll go begging together,
with Staff and Wallet, and sing a _Salve Regina_ at every good Man's
Door, whereby we shall still keep Company, and be merry together!"


  _Sept. 22d._

Now that the first Surprise and Grief, and the first Fervour of
Fidelity and Self-devotion have passed off, we have subsided into how
deep and holy a Quiet!

We read of the Desertion of the World, as a Matter of Course; but,
when our own Turn comes, it does seem strange, to find ourselves
let fall down the Stream without a single Hand outstretched to help
us; forgotten, in a Moment, as though we had never been, by those
who lately ate and laughed at our Table. And this, without any Fault
or Offence of ours, but merely from our having lost the Light of the
_King's_ Countenance. I say, it does seem strange; but how fortunate,
how blessed are those to whom such a Course of Events _only_ seems
strange, unaccompanied by Self-reproach and Bitterness! I could not
help feeling this, in reading an affectionate Letter deare _Father_
writ this Forenoon to _Erasmus_, wherein he sayd, "I have now obtained
what, from a Child, I have continually wished! that, being entirely
quit of Businesse and all publick Affairs, I might live for a Time only
to GOD and myself."

Having no Hankering after the old Round he soe long hath run, he now,
in Fact, looks younger every Day; and yet, not with the same Kind of
Youth he had before his Back was bowed under the Chancellorship. 'Tis
a more composed, chastised Sort of Rejuvenescence: rather the soft
Warmth of Autumn, which sometimes seems like May, than May itself: the
enkindling, within this mortal Tabernacle, of a heavenly Light that
never grows dim, because it is immortal; and burns the same yesterday,
to-day, and for ever: a Youthfulness of Soul and Mind characterised by
Growth; Something with which this World and its fleeting Fancies has
nothing to do: Something that the _King_ can neither impart nor take
away.

... We have had a tearfull Morning ... poor _Patteson_ has gone. My
Father hath obtained good Quarters for him with my _Lord Mayor_, with
a Stipulation that he shall retain his Office with the _Lord Mayor_
for the Time being, as long as he can fill it at all. This suits
_Patteson_, who says he will sooner shift Masters year by year, than
grow too fond of any Man again, as he hath of _Father_; but there has
been sad blubbering and blowing of Noses.


  _Sept. 24th._

This Afternoon, coming upon _Mercy_ seated in the Alcove, like unto the
Image of some Saint in a Niche, her Hands folded on her Lap, and her
Eyes steadfastly agaze on the setting Sun, I could not but mark how
Years were silentlie at work upon her, as doubtless upon us alle; the
tender, fearfulle Girl having thus graduallie changed into the sober,
high-minded Woman. She is so seldom seene in Repose, so constantly
astir and afoot in this or that kind Office, mostly about the Children,
that I had never thought upon it before; but now I was alle at once
avised to marvel that she who had so long seemed fitter for Heaven
than Earth, shoulde never literallie have vowed herself the Spouse of
_Christ_; more in especiall as all Expectation of being the Spouse of
anie else must long since have died within her.

I sayd, "_Mercy_, thou lookst like a Nun: how is't thou hast ne'er
become one in Earnest?"

She started; then sayd, "Could I be more usefull? more harmless?
less exposed to Temptation? or half so happy as I am now? In sooth,
_Meg_, the Time has been when methought, how sweet the living Death
of the Cloister! How good that must needs be which had the Suffrages
of _Chrysostom_ the golden-mouthed, and holy _Ambrose_, and our own
_Anselm_! How peacefull, to take Wing like the Dove, and fly away from
a naughty World, and be at Rest! How brave, to live alone, like St.
_Antony_, in the Desert! only I would have had some Books with me in my
Cave, and 'tis uncertayn whether St. _Antony_ had Knowledge of Letters,
beyond the heaven-taught Lesson, 'GOD is Love,' ... for methought so
much Reflection and no Action would be too much for a Woman's Mind to
bear--I might goe mad: and I remembered me how the Dove that gladly
flew away from the Ark, gladly flew back, and abode in the Ark till
such Time as a new Home was ready for her. And methought, cannot I
live apart from Sin here, and now; and as to Sorrow, where can we live
apart from that? Sure, we may live on the Skirts of the World in a
Spiritt as truly unworldlie, as though we were altogether out of it:
and here I may come and go, and range in the fresh Air, and love other
Folks' Children, and read my Psalter, and pore over the Sayings of the
wise Men of old, and look on the Faces I love, and sit at the Feet of
Sir _Thomas More_. Soe there, _Meg_, are my poor Reasons for not caring
to be a Nun. Our deare Lord is in himself all that our highest, holiest
Affections can seek or comprehend; for he made these our Hearts; he
gave us these our Affections; and through them the Spirit speaks.
Aspiring to their Source, they rise up like the white Smoke and bright
Flame; while, on Earth, if left unmastered, they burn, suffocate, and
destroy. Yet they have their natural and innocent Outlets even here;
and a Woman may warm herself by them without Scorching, and yet be
neither a Wife nor a Nun."


  _Sept. 28th._

Ever since _Father's_ Speech to us in the Pavilion, we have beene of
one Heart and one Soul; neither have any of us said that aught of the
Things we possessed were our own, but we have had all Things in Common.
And we have eaten our Meat with Gladness and Singleness of Heart.

This Afternoon, expressing to _Father_ my gratefull Sense of our
present Happiness ... "Yes, _Meg_," returns he, "I too, am deeply
thankful for this breathing Space."

"Do you look on it as no more, then?" I sayd.

"As no more, _Meg_: we shall have a Thunder-clap by-and-by. Look out on
the _Thames_. See how unwontedlie clear it is, and how low the Swallows
fly.... How distinctlie we see the green Sedges on _Battersea_ Bank,
and their reflected Images in the Water. We can almost discern the
Features of those poor Knaves digging in the Cabbage Gardens, and hear
'em talk, so still is the Air. Have you ne'er before noted these Signs?"

"A Storm is brewing," I sayd.

"Aye, we shall have a Lightning-flash anon. So still, _Meg_, is also
our moral Atmosphere just now. GOD is giving us a breathing Space, as
he did to the Egyptians before the Plague of Hail, that they might
gather their live Stock within Doors. Let us take for Example them that
believed and obeyed him; and improve this holy Pause."

Just at this Moment, a few heavie Drops fell agaynst the Window Pane,
and were seene by both. Our Eyes met; and I felt a silent Pang.

"Five Days before the _Passover_," resumed _Father_, "all seemed as
still and quiet as we are now; but JESUS knew his Hour was at hand.
E'en while he yet spake familiarly among the People, there came a Sound
from Heaven, and they that stood by said it thundered; but _he_ knew it
for the Voice of his dear Father. Let us, in like Manner, when the Clap
cometh, recognise in it the Voice of GOD, and not be afraid with any
Amazement."


  _Nov. 2d._

_Gammer Gurney_ is dead, and I must say I am glad of it. The Change,
to her, must be blessed, and there seemed some Danger lest, after
having escaped being ducked for a Witch, she shoulde have been burnt
for a Heretic. _Father_ looked on her as an obstinate old Woman; _Will_
counted her little short of a Saint and Prophetess, and kept her well
supplied with alle she could need. Latterly she was stone deaf; so 'tis
a happy Release.

The settled Purpose of _Father's_ Soul, just now, is to make up a
Marriage between _Mercy_ and Dr. _Clement_. 'Tis high Advancement for
her, and there seems to have been some old Liking between 'em we never
knew of.


  _1533, April 1._

Though some Months have passed since my Father uttered his warning
Voice, and all continues to go quiet, I cannot forbear, now and then,
to call his Monition to Mind, and look about for the Cloud that is to
bring the Thunder-clap; but the Expectation sobers rather than saddens
me.

This Morning, leaning over the River Wall, I was startled by the cold,
damp Hand of some one from behind being laid on mine. At the same Time
a familiar Voice exclaimed, "Canst tell us, Mistress, why Fools have
hot Heads and Hands icy cold?"

I made Answer, "Canst tell me, _Patteson_, why Fools should stray out
of Bounds?"

"Why, that's what Fools do every Day," he readily replied; "but this
is _All Fools' Day_, mine own special Holiday; and I told my _Lord
Mayor_ overnight, that if he lookt for a Fool this Morning, he must
look in the Glass. In sooth, Mistress _Meg_, I should by Rights wear
the Gold Chain and he the Motley; for a proper Fool he is, and I shall
be glad when his Year's Service to me is out. The worst o' these Lord
Mayors is, that we can't part with 'em till their Time's up. Why now,
this present one hath not so much Understanding as would foot an old
Stocking; 'twas but yesterday when, in Quality of my Taster, he civilly
enough makes over to me a half-eaten Plate of Gurnet, which I wave
aside, thus, saying, I eat no Fish of which I cannot affirm, '_rari
sunt Boni_,' few are the Bones ... and I protest to you he knew it not
for Fool's Latin. Thus I'm driven, from mere Discouragement, to leave
prating for listening, which thou knowest, Mistress, is no Fool's
Office; and among the sundrie Matters I hear at my Lord's Table ...
for he minds not what he says before his Servants, thereby giving new
Proof 'tis he shoulde wear the Motley ... I note his saying that the
_King's_ private Marriage will assuredlie be made publick this coming
Easter, and my Lady _Anne_ will be crowned ... more by token, he knows
the Merchant that will supply the _Genoa_ Velvet and Cloth of Gold, and
the Masquers that are to enact the Pageant. For the Love o' Safety,
then, Mistress _Meg_, bid thy good _Father_ e'en take a Fool's Advice,
and eat humble Pie betimes, for doubt not this proud Madam to be as
vindictive as _Herodias_, and one that, unless he appease her full
early, will have his Head set before her in a Charger. I've said my
Say."


  _April 4th._

Three Bishops have been here this Forenoon, to bid _Father_ to the
Coronation, and offer him twenty Pounds to provide his Dress; but
_Father_ hath, with Courtesie, declined to be present. After much
friendly pressing, they parted, seemingly on good Terms; but I have
Misgivings of the Issue.


  _April 9th._

A ridiculous Charge hath beene got up 'gainst dear _Father_; no less
than of Bribery and Corruption. One _Parnell_ complaineth of a Decree
given agaynst him in favour of one _Vaughan_, whose Wife, he deponeth,
gave _Father_ a gilt Flaggon. To the noe small Surprise of the Council,
_Father_ admitted that she had done soe: "But, my Lords," proceeded
he, when they had uttered a few Sentences of Reprehension somewhat too
exultantlie, "will ye list the Conclusion of the Tale? I bade my Butler
fill the Cup with Wine, and having drunk her Health, I made her pledge
me, and then restored her Gift, and would not take it again."

As innocent a Matter, touching the offering him a Pair of Gloves
containing Forty Pounds, and his taking the first and returning the
last, saying he preferred his Gloves without Lining, hath been made
publick with like Triumph to his own good Fame; but alack! these
Feathers show which way sets the Wind.


  _April 13th._

A heavier Charge than either of the above hath been got up, concerning
the wicked Woman of _Kent_, with whom they accuse him of having
tampered, that, in her pretended Revelations and Rhapsodies, she might
utter Words against the _King's_ Divorce. His Name hath, indeed, been
put in the Bill of Attainder; but, out of Favour, he hath been granted
a private Hearing, his Judges being, the new Archbishop, the new
Chancellor, his Grace of _Norfolk_, and Master _Cromwell_.

He tells us that they stuck not to the Matter in Hand, but began
cunningly enow to sound him on the _King's_ Matters; and finding they
could not shake him, did proceed to Threats, which, he told 'em, might
well enow scare Children, but not him; and as to his having provoked
his Grace the _King_ to sett forth in his Book aught to dishonour and
fetter a good Christian, his Grace himself well knew the Book was
never shewn him save for verbal Criticism when the Subject-matter was
completed _by the Makers of the same_, and that he had warned his Grace
not to express soe much Submission to the Pope. Whereupon they with
great Displeasure dismissed him, and he took Boat for _Chelsea_ with
mine Husband in such gay Spiritts, that _Will_, not having been privy
to what had passed, concluded his Name to have beene struck out of the
Bill of Attainder, and congratulated him thereupon soe soone as they
came aland, saying, "I guess, _Father_, all is well, seeing you thus
merry."

"It is, indeed, son _Roper_," returns _Father_ steadilie; repeating
thereupon, once or twice, this Phrase, "All is well."

_Will_, somehow mistrusting him, puts the Matter to him agayn.

"You are then, _Father_, put out of the Bill?"

"Out of the Bill, good Fellow?" repeats _Father_, stopping short in
his Walk, and regarding him with a Smile that _Will_ sayth was like to
break his Heart.... "Wouldst thou know, dear Son, why I am so joyful?
In good Faith, I have given the Devil a foul Fall; for I have with
those Lords gone so far, as that without great Shame I can ne'er go
back. The first Step, _Will_, is the worst, and that's taken."

And so, to the House, with never another Word, _Will_ being smote at
the Heart.

But, this Forenoon, deare _Will_ comes running in to me, with Joy all
bright, and tells me he hath just heard from _Cromwell_ that _Father's_
Name is in sooth struck out. Thereupon, we go together to him with the
News. He taketh it thankfully, yet composedly, saying, as he lays his
Hand on my Shoulder, "In faith, _Meg_, _quod differtur non aufertur_."
Seeing me somewhat stricken and overborne, he sayth, "Come, let's leave
good _Will_ awhile to the Company of his own select and profitable
Thoughts, and take a Turn together by the Water Side."

Then closing his Book, which I marked was _Plato's Phædon_, he steps
forthe with me into the Garden, leaning on my Shoulder, and pretty
heavilie too. After a Turn or two in Silence, he lightens his Pressure,
and in a bland, peaceifying Tone commences _Horace_ his tenth Ode, Book
second, and goes through the first fourteen or fifteen Lines in a kind
of lulling Monotone; then takes another Turn or two, ever looking at
the _Thames_; and in a stronger Voice begins his favourite

  _"Justum, ac tenacem Propositi Virum
  Non Civium Ardor," etc._

on to

  "_Impavidum ferient Ruinæ_;"

--and lets go his Hold on me to extend his Hand in fine, free Action.
Then, drawing me to him agayn, presentlie murmurs, "I reckon that the
Sufferings of this present Time are not worthy to be compared with
the Glory which shall be revealed in us.... Oh no, not worthy to be
compared. I have lived; I have laboured; I have loved. I have lived
in them I loved; laboured for them I loved; loved them for whom I
laboured; my Labour has not been in vayn. To love and to labour is the
Sum of living, and yet how manie think they live who neither labour nor
love! Agayn, how manie labour and love, and yet are not loved; but I
have beene loved, and my Labour has not been in vayn. Now, the Daye is
far spent, and the Night is at hand, and the Time draweth nigh when Man
resteth from his Labours, even from his Labours of Love; but still he
shall love and he shall live where the Spiritt sayth he shall rest from
his Labours, and where his Works do follow him, for he entereth into
Rest through and to Him who is Life, and Light, and Love."

Then looking steadfastlie at the _Thames_, "How quietlie," sayth he,
"it flows on! This River, _Meg_, hath its Origin from seven petty
Springs somewhither amongst the _Gloucestershire_ Hills, where they
bubble forthe unnoted save by the Herd and Hind. Belike, they murmur
over the Pebbles prettily enough; but a great River, mark you, never
murmurs. It murmured and babbled too, 'tis like, whilst only a Brook,
and brawled away as it widened and deepened and chafed agaynst
Obstacles, and here and there got a Fall, and splashed and made much
Ado, but ever kept running on towards its End, still deepening and
widening; and now towards the Close of its Course look you how swift
and quiet it is, running mostly between Flats, and with the dear blue
Heaven reflected in its Face." ...


  _1534, April 12._

'Twas o' _Wednesdaye_ was a Week, we were quietly taking our Dinner,
when, after a loud and violent Knocking at the outer Door, in cometh
a Pursuivant, and summoneth _Father_ to appear next Daye before the
Commissioners, to take the newly-coined Oath of Supremacy. _Mother_
utters a hasty Cry, _Bess_ turns white as Death, but I, urged by I
know not what suddain Impulse to con the new Comer's Visage narrowly,
did with Eagerness exclaim, "Here's some Jest of _Father's_; 'tis only
_Dick Halliwell_!"

Whereupon, _Father_ burst out a-laughing, hugged _Mother_, called
_Bess_ a silly Puss, and gave _Halliwell_ a Groat for's Payns. Now,
while some were laughing, and others taking _Father_ prettie sharplie
to Task for soe rough a Crank, I fell a muzing, what could be the Drift
of this, and coulde only surmize it mighte be to harden us beforehand,
as 'twere, to what was sure to come at last. And the Pre-apprehension
of this soe belaboured my alreadie o'erburthened Spiritts, as that I
was fayn to betake myself to the Nurserie, and lose all Thought and
Reflection in my little _Bess's_ prettie Ways. And, this not answering,
was forct to have Recourse to Prayer; then, leaving my Closett, was
able to return to the Nurserie, and forget myselfe awhile in the Mirth
of the Infants.

  [Illustration: In cometh a Pursuivant.]

Hearing Voyces beneathe the Lattice, I lookt forthe, and behelde his
Grace of _Norfolk_ (of late a strange Guest) walking beneath the Window
in earnest Converse with _Father_; and, as they turned about, I hearde
him say, "By the Mass, Master _More_, 'tis perilous striving with
Princes. I could wish you, as a Friend, to incline to the _King's_
Pleasure; for _Indignatio Principis Mors est_."

"Is that all?" says _Father_; "why then there will be onlie this
Difference between your Grace and me, that I shall die to-daye, and you
to-morrow;"--which was the Sum of what I caught.

Next Morning, we were breaking our Fast with Peacefullnesse of Heart,
on the Principle that sufficient for the Daye is the Evill thereof, and
there had beene a wordy War between our two Factions of the _Neri_ and
_Bianchi_, _Bess_ having defalked from the Mancheteers on the Ground
that black Bread sweetened the Breath and settled the Teeth, to the
no small Triumph of the Cob Loaf Party; while _Daisy_, persevering at
her Crusts, sayd, "No, I can cleave to the Rye Bread as steddilie
as anie among you, but 'tis vayn of _Father_ to maintain that it is
as toothsome as a Manchet, or that I eat it to whiten my Teeth, for
thereby he robs Self-deniall of its Grace."

_Father_, strange to say, seemed taken at Vantage, and was pausing
for a Retort, when _Hobson_ coming in and whispering Somewhat in his
Ear, he rose suddainlie and went forthe of the Hall with him, putting
his Head back agayn to say, "Rest ye alle awhile where ye be," which
we did, uneasilie enow. Anon he returns, brushing his Cap, and says
calmlie, "Now, let's forthe to Church," and clips _Mother's_ Arm
beneathe his owne and leads the Way. We follow as soon as we can; and
I, listing to him more than to the Priest, did think I never hearde him
make Response more composedlie, nor sing more lustilie, by the which
I founde myself in stouter Heart. After Prayers, he is shriven, after
which he saunters back with us to the House; then brisklie turning on
his Heel, cries to my Husband, "Now, _Will_, let's toward, Lad," and
claps the Wicket after him, leaving us at t'other Side without so much
as casting back a parting Look. Though he evermore had beene avised
to let us companie him to the Boat, and there kiss him once and agayn
or ever he went, I know not that I should have thoughte much of this,
had not _Daisy_, looking after him keenly, exclaymed somewhat shortlie
as she turned in Doors, "I wish I had not uttered that Quip about the
Cob-loaf."

Oh, how heavilie sped the Day! The House, too big now for its Master's
diminished Retinue, had yet never hitherto seemed lonesome; but now a
Somewhat of drearie and dreadfull, inexpressible in Words, invisible
to the Eye, but apprehended by the inner Sense, filled the blank Space
alle about. For the first Time, everie one seemed idle; not only
disinclined for Businesse, but as though there were Something unseemlie
in addressing one's Self to it. There was nothing to cry about, nothing
to talk over, and yet we alle stoode agaze at each other in Groups,
like the Cattle under the Trees when a Storm is at hand. _Mercy_ was
the first to start off. I held her back and said, "What is to do?" She
whispered, "Pray." I let her Arm drop, but _Bess_ at that Instant comes
up with Cheeks as colourless as Parchment. She sayth, "'Tis made out
now. A Pursuivant _de Facto_ fetched him forthe this Morning." We gave
one deep, universal Sigh; _Mercy_ broke away, and I after her, to seek
the same Remedy, but alack, in vayn....


  _15th._

How large a Debt we owe you, wise and holie Men of old! How ye counsel
us to Patience, incite us to Self-mastery, cheer us on to high Emprize,
temper in us the Heat of Youth, school our Inexperience, calm the
o'erwrought Mind, allay the Anguish of Disappointment, cheat Suspense,
and master Despair.... How much better and happier ye would make us, if
we would but list your Teaching!

_Bess_ hath fallen Sick; no marvell. Everie one goeth heavilie. Alle
Joy is darkened; the Mirthe of the House is gone.

_Will_ tells me, that as they pushed off from the Stairs, _Father_ took
him about the Neck and whispered, "I thank our LORD, the Field is won!"
Sure, _Regulus_ ne'er went forthe with higher Self-devotion.

Having declared his Inabilitie to take the Oath as it stoode, they bade
him, _Will_ tells me, take a Turn in the Garden while they administered
it to sundrie others, thus affording him Leisure for Re-consideration.
But they might as well have bidden the Neap-tide turn before its Hour.
When called in agayn, he was as firm as ever, so was given in Ward to
the _Abbot_ of _Westminster_ till the _King's_ Grace was informed of
the Matter. And now, the Fool's wise Saying of vindictive _Herodias_
came true, for 'twas the _King's_ Mind to have Mercy on his old
Servant, and tender him a qualifyed Oath; but Queen _Anne_, by her
importunate Clamours, did overrule his proper Will, and at four Days'
End, the full Oath being agayn tendered and rejected, _Father_ was
committed to the Tower. Oh, wicked Woman, how could you?... Sure, you
never loved a Father....

  [Illustration: The Stairs.]


  _May 22d._

In Answer to our incessant Applications throughout this last Month
past, _Mother_ hath at length obtayned Access to dear _Father_. She
returned, her Eyes nigh swollen to closing with weeping.... We crowded
round about, burning for her Report, but 'twas some Time ere she coulde
fetch Breath or Heart to give it us. At length _Daisy_, kissing her
Hand once and agayn, draws forthe a disjoynted Tale, somewhat after
this Fashion.

"Come, give over weeping, dearest _Mother_, 'twill do neither him, you,
nor us anie Goode.... What was your first Speech of him?"

"Oh, my first Speech, Sweetheart, was, 'What, my Goodness, Mr. _More_!
I marvell how that you, who were always counted a wise Man, should now
soe play the Fool as to lie here in this close, filthy Prison, shut up
with Mice and Rats, when you mighte be abroade and at your Liberty,
with the Favour of King and Council, and return to your righte fayr
House, your Books and Gallery, and your Wife, Children, and Household,
if soe be you onlie woulde but do what the Bishops and best learned of
the Realm have, without Scruple, done alreadie.'"

"And what sayd he, _Mother_, to that?" ...

"Why, then, Sweetheart, he chucks me under the Chin and sayeth, 'I
prithee, good Mistress _Alice_, to tell me one Thing.' ... Soe then I
say, 'What Thing?' Soe then he sayeth, 'Is not this House, Sweetheart,
as nigh Heaven as mine own?' Soe then I jerk my Head away and say,
'Tilly-valley! Tilly-valley!'"

Sayth _Bess_, "Sure, _Mother_, that was cold Comfort.... And what next?"

"Why, then I said, '_Bone Deus_, Man! _Bone Deus!_ will this Gear
never be left?' So then he sayth, 'Well then, Mrs. _Alice_, if it be
soe, 'tis mighty well, but, for my Part, I see no greate Reason why I
shoulde much joy in my gay House, or in Aniething belonging thereunto,
when, if I shoulde be but seven Years buried underground, and then
arise and come thither agayn, I shoulde not fail to find Some therein
that woulde bid me get out of Doors, and tell me 'twas none o' mine.
What Cause have I, then, to care soe greatlie for a House that woulde
soe soone forget its Master?'"

"And then, _Mother_? and then?"

"Soe then, Sweetheart, he sayth, 'Come tell me, Mrs. _Alice_, how
long do you think we might reckon on living to enjoy it?' Soe I say,
'Some twenty Years, forsooth.' 'In faith,' says he, 'had you said
some thousand Years, it had beene Somewhat; and yet he were a very
bad Merchant that woulde put himselfe in Danger to lose Eternity for
a thousand Years ... how much the rather if we are not sure to enjoy
it one Day to an End?' Soe then he puts me off with Questions, How
is _Will_? and _Daisy_? and _Rupert_? and this one? and t'other one?
and the Peacocks? and Rabbits? and have we elected a new King of the
Cob-loaf yet? and has _Tom_ found his Hoop? and is the Hasp of the
Buttery-hatch mended yet? and how goes the Court? and what was the
Text o' _Sunday_? and have I practised the Viol? and how are we off
for Money? and why can't he see _Meg_? Then he asks for this Book and
t'other Book, but I've forgot their Names, and he sayth he's kept
mighty short of Meat, though 'tis little he eats, but his Man _John a
Wood_ is gay an' hungry, and 'tis worth a World to see him at a salt
Herring. Then he gives me Counsell of this and that, and puts his Arm
about me and says, 'Come, let us pray;' but while he kept praying for
one and t'other, I kept a-counting of his gray Hairs; he'd none a Month
agone. And we're scarce off our Knees, when I'm fetched away; and I
say, 'When will you change your Note, and act like a wise Man?' and he
sayth, 'When? when?' looking very profound; 'why, ... when Gorse is
out of Blossom and Kissing out of Fashion.' Soe puts me forthe by the
Shoulders with a Laugh, calling after me, 'Remember me over and over
agayn to them alle, and let me see _Meg_.'"

... I feel as if a String were tied tight about my Heart. Methinketh
'twill burst if we goe on long soe.


  _July 25th._

He hath writ us a few Lines with a Coal, ending with "_Sursum Corda_,
dear Children! up with your Hearts." The Bearer was dear _Bonvisi_.


  _Aug. 16th._

The LORD begins to cut us short. We are now on very meagre Commons,
dear _Mother_ being obliged to pay fifteen Shillings a week for the
Board, poor as it is, of _Father_ and his Servant. She hath parted with
her Velvet Gown, embroidered overthwart, to my Lady _Sands'_ Woman. Her
Mantle edged with Coney went long ago.

But we lose not Heart; I think mine is becoming annealed in the
Furnace, and will not now break. I have writ somewhat after this
Fashion to him.... "What do you think, most dear _Father_, doth comfort
us at _Chelsea_, during this your Absence? Surelie, the Remembrance of
your Manner of Life among us, your holy Conversation, your wholesome
Counsells, your Examples of Virtue, of which there is Hope that they do
not onlie persevere with you, but that, by GOD'S Grace, they are much
increast."

I weary to see him.... Yes, we shall meet in Heaven, but how long
first, O LORD? how long?


  _Aug 20th._

Now that I've come back, let me seek to think, to remember.... Sure,
my Head will clear by-and-by! Strange, that Feeling shoulde have the
Masterdom of Thought and Memory, in Matters it is most concerned to
retayn.

... I minded to put the Haircloth and Cord under my Farthingale, and
one or two of the smaller Books in my Pouch, as alsoe some Sweets
and Suckets such as he was used to love. _Will_ and _Bonvisi_ were
a-waiting for me; and deare _Bess_, putting forthe her Head from her
Chamber Door, cries piteously, "Tell him, dear _Meg_, tell him ...
'twas never soe sad to me to be sick ... and that I hope ... I pray ...
the Time may come ..." then falls back swooning into _Dancey's_ Arms,
whom I leave crying heartilie over her, and hasten below to receive the
confused Medley of Messages sent by every other Member of the House.
For mine owne Part, I was in such a tremulous Succussion as to be
scarce fitt to stand or goe; but Time and the Tide will noe Man bide,
and, once having taken Boat, the cool River Air allayed my fevered
Spiritts; onlie I coulde not for awhile get ridd of the Impression of
poor _Dancey_ crying over _Bess_ in her Deliquium.

I think none o' the three opened our Lips before we reached _Lambeth_,
save, in the _Reach_, _Will_ cried to the Steersman, "Look you run us
not aground," in a sharper Voyce than I e'er heard from him. After
passing the _Archbishop's_ Palace, whereon I gazed full ruefullie,
good _Bonvisi_ beganne to mention some Rhymes he had founde writ with
a Diamond on one of the Window-panes at _Crosby House_, and would know
were they _Father's_? and was't the Chamber _Father_ had used to sleep
in? I tolde him it was, but knew Nought of the Distich, though 'twas
like enow to be his. And thence he went on to this and that, how that
_Father's_ cheerfulle, funny Humour never forsook him, nor his brave
Heart never quelled; instancing his fearlesse Passage through the
Traitor's Gate, asking his Neighbours whether _his_ Gait were that of
a Traditor; and, on being sued by the Porter for his upper Garment,
giving him his _Cap_, which he sayd was uppermost. And other such Quips
and Passages, which I scarce noted nor smiled at, soe sorry was I of
Cheer.

  [Illustration: "his fearlesse passage through the Traitor's Gate"]

At length we stayed rowing: _Will_ lifted me out, kissed me, heartened
me up; and, indeede, I was in better Heart then, having been quietlie
in Prayer a good While. After some few Forms, we were led through
sundrie Turns and Passages; and, or ever I was aware, I founde myself
quit of my Companions and in _Father's_ Arms.

We both cried a little at first; I wonder I wept noe more, but Strength
was given me in that Hour. As soone as I coulde, I lookt him in the
Face, and he lookt at me, and I was beginning to note his hollow
Cheeks, when he sayd, "Why, _Meg_, you are getting freckled;" soe
that made us bothe laugh. He sayd, "You shoulde get some Freckle-water
of the Lady that sent me here; depend on it, she hath Washes and
Tinctures in Plenty; and after all, _Meg_, she'll come to the same End
at last, and be as the Lady all Bone and Skin, whose ghastlie Legend
used to scare thee soe when thou wert a Child. Don't tell that Story
to thy Children; 'twill hamper 'em with unsavoury Images of Death.
Tell them of heavenlie Hosts a-waiting to carry off good Men's Souls
in fire-bright Chariots, with Horses of the Sun, to a Land where they
shall never more be surbated and weary, but walk on cool, springy Turf
and among Myrtle Trees, and eat Fruits that shall heal while they
delight them, and drink the coldest of cold Water, fresh from the River
of Life, and have Space to stretch themselves, and bathe, and leap,
and run, and, whichever Way they look, meet _Christ's_ Eyes smiling on
them. Sure, _Meg_, who would live, that coulde die? One mighte as lief
be an Angel shut up in a Nutshell as bide here. Fancy how gladsome the
sweet Spirit woulde be to have the Shell cracked! no matter by whom;
the King, or King's Mistress.... Let her dainty Foot but set him free,
he'd say, 'For this Release, much Thanks.' ... And how goes the Court,
_Meg_?"

"In Faith, _Father_, never better.... There is Nothing else there, I
hear, but Dancing and Disporting."

"Never better, Child, sayst thou? Alas, _Meg_, it pitieth me to
consider what Misery, poor Soul, she will shortlie come to. These
Dances of hers will prove such Dances that she will spurn our Heads
off like Footballs; but 'twill not be long ere her Head will dance the
like Dance. Mark you, _Meg_, a Man that restraineth not his Passions,
hath always Something cruel in his Nature, and if there be a Woman
toward, she is sure to suffer heaviest for it, first or last.... Seek
Scripture Precedent for't ... you'll find it as I say. Stony as Death,
cruel as the Grave. Those _Pharisees_ that were, to a Man, convicted of
Sin, yet haled a sinning Woman before the LORD, and woulde fain have
seene the Dogs lick up her Blood. When they lick up mine, deare _Meg_,
let not your Heart be troubled, even though they shoulde hale thee to
_London Bridge_, to see my Head stuck on a Pole. Think, most dear'st,
I shall then have more Reason to weep for thee than thou for me. But
there's noe weeping in Heaven; and bear in Mind, _Meg_, distinctlie,
that if they send me thither, 'twill be for obeying the Law of GOD
rather than of Men. And after alle, we live not in the bloody,
barbarous old Times of Crucifyings and Flayings, and immersing in
Cauldrons of boiling Oil. One Stroke, and the Affair's done. A clumsy
Chirurgeon would be longer extracting a Tooth. We have oft agreed
that the little Birds struck down by the Kite and Hawk suffer less
than if they were reserved to a naturall Death. There is one sensible
Difference, indeed, between us. In our Cases, Preparation is a-wanting."

Hereon, I minded me to slip off the Haircloth and Rope, and give the
same to him, along with the Books and Suckets, all which he hid away
privatelie, making merry at the last.

"'Twoulde tell well before the Council," quoth he, "that on searching
the Prison-cell of Sir _Thomas More_, there was founde, flagitiouslie
and mysteriouslie laid up ... a piece of Barley-sugar!"

Then we talked over sundrie Home-matters; and anon, having now both
of us attayned unto an equable and chastened Serenitie of Mind, which
needed not any false Shows of Mirth to hide the naturall Complexion of,
he sayth, "I believe, _Meg_, they that have put me here ween they have
done me a high Displeasure; but I assure thee on my Faith, mine owne
good Daughter, that if it had not beene for my Wife, and for you, my
dear good Children, I woulde faine have beene closed up, long ere this,
in as strait a Room, and straiter too."

Thereon, he shewed me how illegal was his Imprisonment, there being
noe Statute to authorize the Imposition of the Oath, and he delivered
himself, with some Displeasure, agaynst the King's ill Counsellors.

"And surelie, _Meg_," quoth he, "'tis pitie that anie Christian Prince
shoulde, by a flexible Council readie to follow his Affections, and by
a weak Clergy lacking Grace to stand constantly to the Truth as they
have learned it, be with Flattery so constantly abused. The Lotus Fruit
fabled by the Ancients, which made them that ate it lose all Relish
for the daylie Bread of their own Homes, was Flattery, _Meg_, as I
take it, and Nothing else. And what less was the Song of the Syrens,
agaynst which _Ulysses_ made his Sailors stop their Ears, and which
he, with all his Wisdom, coulde not listen to without struggling to be
unbound from the Mast? Even Praise, _Meg_, which, moderately given,
may animate and cheer forward the noblest Minds, yet too lavishly
bestowed, will decrease and palsy their Strength, e'en as an Over-dose
of the most generous and sprightlie Medicine may prove mortiferous. But
Flattery is noe Medicine, but a rank Poison, which hath slayn Kings,
yea, and mighty Kings; and they who love it, the LORD knoweth afar off;
knoweth distantlie, has no care to know intimatelie, for they are none
of his."

Thus we went on, from one Theme to another, till methinketh a
heavenlie Light seemed to shine alle about us, like as when the Angel
entered the Prison of _Peter_. I hung upon everie Word and Thought
that issued from his Lips, and drank them in as thirsty Land sucks
up the tender Rain.... Had the Angel of Death at that Hour come in
to fetch both of us away, I woulde not have sayd him nay, I was soe
passively, soe intenselie happy. At length, as Time wore on, and I
knew I shoulde soone be fetcht forthe, I coulde not but wish I had
the Clew to some secret Passage or Subterraneal, of the which there
were doubtless Plenty in the thick Walls, whereby we might steal off
together. _Father_ made Answer, "Wishes never filled a Sack. I make it
my Businesse, _Meg_, to wish as little as I can, except that I were
better and wiser. You fancy these four Walls lonesome; how oft, dost
thou suppose, I here receive _Plato_ and _Socrates_, and this and that
holy Saint and Martyr? My Gaolers can noe more keep them out than they
can exclude the Sunbeams. Thou knowest, JESUS stood among his Disciples
when the Doors were shut. I am not more lonely than St. _Anthony_
in his Cave, and I have a divine Light e'en here, whereby to con the
Lesson, 'GOD is Love.' The Futility of our Enemies' Efforts to make
us miserable was never more stronglie proven to me than when I was a
mere Boy in _Cardinall Morton's_ Service. Having unwittinglie angered
one of his Chaplains, a choleric and even malignant-spirited Man, he
did, of his owne Authoritie, shut me up for some Hours in a certayn
damp Vault, which, to a Lad afeard of Ghosts and devilish Apparitions,
would have beene fearsome enow. Howbeit, I there cast myself on the
Ground with my Back sett agaynst the Wall, and mine Arm behind my
Head, this Fashion ... and did then and there, by reason of a young
Heart, quiet Conscience, and quick Phansy, conjure up such a lively
Picture of the Queen o' the Fairies' Court, and alle the Sayings and
Doings therein, that never was I more sorry than when my Gaoler let me
goe free, and bade me rise up and be doing. In place, therefore, my
Daughter, of thinking of me in thy Night Watches as beating my Wings
agaynst my Cage Bars, trust that GOD comes to look in upon me without
Knocking or Bell-ringing. Often in Spiritt I am with you alle; in the
Chapel, in the Hall, in the Garden; now in the Hayfield, with my Head
on thy Lap, now on the River, with _Will_ and _Rupert_ at the Oar.
You see me not about your Path, you won't see my disembodied Spiritt
beside you hereafter, but it may be close upon you once and agayn for
alle that: maybe, at Times when you have prayed with most Passion, or
suffered with most Patience, or performed my Hests with most Exactness,
or remembered my Care of you with most Affection. And now, good Speed,
good _Meg_, I hear the Key turn in the Door.... This Kiss for thy
Mother, this for _Bess_, this for _Cecil_, ... this and this for my
whole School. Keep dry Eyes and a hopefull Heart; and reflect that
Nought but unpardoned Sin shoulde make us weep for ever."


  _September._

Seeing the Woodman fell a noble Tree, which, as it went to the Ground,
did uptear severall small Plants by the Roots, methoughte such woulde
be the Fall of dear _Father_, herein more sad than that of the Abbot
of _Sion_ and the _Charterhouse_ Monks, inasmuch as, being celibate,
they involve noe others in theire Ruin. Brave, holie Martyrs! how
cheerfully they went to theire Death. I'm glad to have seene how pious
Men may turn e'en an ignominious Sentence into a kind of Euthanasy.
Dear _Father_ bade me note how they bore themselves as Bridegrooms
going to theire Marriage, and converted what mighte have beene a Shock
to my surcharged Spiritts, into a Lesson of deepe and high Comfort.

One Thing hath grieved me sorelie. He mistooke Somewhat I sayd at
parting for an Implication of my Wish that he shoulde yield up his
Conscience. Oh no, dearest _Father_, that be far from me! It seems to
have cut him to the Heart, for he hath writ that "none of the terrible
Things that may befall him touch him soe nearlie as that his dearly
beloved Child, whose Opinion he soe much values, shoulde desire him to
overrule his Conscience." That be far from me, _Father_! I have writ
to explayn the Matter, but his Reproach, undeserved though it be, hath
troubled my Heart.


  _November._

Parliament will meet to-morrow. 'Tis expected _Father_ and the good
Bishop of _Rochester_ will be attainted for Misprision of Treason
by the slavish Members thereof; and though not given hithertoe unto
much Heede of Omens and Bodements while our Hearts were light and our
Courage high, yet now the coming Evill seemeth foreshadowed unto alle
by I know not how many melancholick Presages, sent, for aught we know,
in Mercy. Now that the days are dark and short, and the Nights stormy,
we shun to linger much after Dusk in lone Chambers and Passages, and
what was sayd of the Enemies of _Israel_ may be nigh sayd of us, "that
a falling Leaf shall chase them." I'm sure "a going in the Tops of
the Mulberry Trees" on a blusterous Evening, is enow to draw us alle,
Men, Mothers, and Maids, together in an Heap.... We goe aboute the
House in Twos and Threes, and care not much to leave the Fireside.
Last _Sunday_ we had closed about the Hearth, and little _Bill_ was a
reading by the Fire-light how _Herodias'_ Daughter danced off the Head
of St. _John_ the _Baptist_, when down comes an emptie Swallow's Nest
tumbling adown the Chimnie, bringing with it enow of Soot, Smoke, and
Rubbish to half smother us alle; but the Dust was nothing to the Dismay
thereby occasioned, and I noted one or two of our bravest turn as pale
as Death. Then, the Rats have skirmished and gallopped behind the
Wainscoat more like a Troop of Horse than a Herd of such small Deer,
to the infinite Annoyance of _Mother_, who coulde not be more firmly
persuaded they were about to leave a falling House, if, like the scared
Priests in the Temple of _Jerusalem_, she had heard a Voyce utter, "Let
us depart hence." The round upper Half of the Cob-loaf rolled off the
Table this Morning; and _Rupert_, as he picked it up, gave a Kind of
Shudder, and muttered somewhat about a Head rolling from the Scaffold.
Worse than this was o' _Tuesday_ Night.... 'Twas Bed-time, and yet none
were liking to goe, when, o' suddain, we hearde a Screech that made
every Body's Heart thrill, followed by one or two hollow Groans. _Will_
snatches up the Lamp and runs forth, I close following, and alle the
others at our Heels; and after looking into sundrie deserted Cup-boards
and Corners, we descend the broad Stone Steps of the Cellars, half
way down which _Will_, stumbling over something he sees not, takes
a flying Leap to clear himself down to the Bottom, luckily without
extinguishing the Lamp. We find _Gillian_ on the Steps in a Swoon; on
bringing her to, she exclayms about a Ghost without a Head, wrapped
in a Winding-sheet, that confronted her and then sank to the Ground
as she entered the Vaults. We cast a fearfulle Look about, and descry
a tall white Sack of Flour, recently overturned by the Rats, which
clears up the Mystery, and procures _Gillian_ a little Jeering; but we
alle return to the Hall with fluttered Spiritts. Another Time I, going
up to the Nurserie in the Dark, on hearing Baby cry, am passed on the
Stairs by I know not what, breathing heavilie. I reache forthe my Arm,
but pass cleare through the spirituall Nature, whatever it is, yet
distinctlie feel my Cheek and Neck fanned by its Breath. I turn very
faint, and get Nurse to goe with me when I return, bearing a Light,
yet think it as well to say nought to distress the rest.

  [Illustration: Gillian and the Flour Sacks.]

But worst of alle was last Night.... After I had beene in Bed awhile,
I minded me that deare _Will_ had not returned me _Father's_ Letter.
I awoke him, and asked if he had broughte it up Stairs; he sleepily
replied he had not, soe I hastily arose, threw on a Cloke, took a
Light, and entered the Gallery; when, half-way along it, between me and
the pale Moonshine, I was scared to behold a slender Figure alle in
white, with naked Feet and Arms extended. I stoode agaze, speechlesse,
and to my Terror made out the Features of _Bess_ ... her Eyes open, but
vacant; then saw _John Dancey_ softly stealing after her, and signing
to me with his Finger on his Lips. She passed without noting me, on to
_Father's_ Door, there knelt as if in Prayer, making a low sort of
Wail, while _Dancey_, with Tears running down his Cheeks, whispered,
"'Tis the third Time of her thus sleep-walking ... the Token of how
troubled a Mind!"

We disturbed her not, dreading that a suddain Waking might bring on
Madness; soe after making Moan awhile, she kisses the senseless Door,
rises up, moves towards her own Chamber, followed by _Dancey_ and me,
wrings her Hands a little, then lies down and graduallie falls into
what seems a dreamlesse Sleep, we watching her in Silence till she's
quiet, and then squeezing each other's Hands ere we part.

----_Will_ was wide awake when I got back; he sayd, "Why, _Meg_, how
long you have beene! coulde you not lighte on the Letter?" ... When I
tolde him what had hindered me by the Way, he turned his Face to the
Wall and wept.


  _Midnight._

The wild Wind is abroad, and, methinketh, _nothing else_. Sure, how
it rages through our empty Courts! In such a Season, Men, Beasts, and
Fowls cower beneath the Shelter of their rocking Walls, yet almost fear
to trust them. LORD, I know that thou canst give the Tempest double
Force, but do not, I beseech thee! Oh! have Mercy on the frail Dwelling
and the Ship at Sea.

Dear little _Bill_ hath ta'en a feverish Attack. I watch beside him
whilst his Nurse sleeps. Earlie in the Night his Mind wandered, and he
told me of a pretty pyebald Poney, noe bigger than a Bee, that had
golden Housings and Barley-sugar Eyes; then dozed, but ever and anon
kept starting up, crying, "Mammy dear!" and softlie murmured, "Oh!"
when he saw I was by. At length I gave him my Forefinger to hold, which
kept him ware of my Presence without speaking; but presentlie he stares
hard towards the Foot of the Bed, and says fearfullie, "_Mother_, why
hangs yon Hatchet in the Air, with its sharp Edge turned towards us?"
I rise, move the Lamp, and say, "Do you see it now?" He sayth, "No,
not now," and closes his Eyes. After a good Space, during the which I
hoped he slept, he says in quite an altered Tone, most like unto soft,
sweet Music, "There's a pretty little Cherub there now, alle Head and
noe Body, with two little Wings aneath his Chin; but, for alle he's
soe pretty, he is just like dear _Gaffer_, and seems to know me ...
and he'll have a Body agayn too, I believe, by and by.... _Mother_,
_Mother_, tell _Hobbinol_ there's such a gentle Lamb in Heaven!" And
soe, slept.


  _17th._

He's gone, my pretty...! slipt through my Fingers like a Bird! upfled
to his own native Skies; and yet, whenas I think on him, I cannot
choose but weepe.... Such a guilelesse little Lamb!... My Billy-bird!
his Mother's owne Heart!--They are alle wondrous kind to me....


  _27th._

How strange that a little Child shoulde be permitted to suffer soe much
Payn, when of such is the Kingdom of Heaven! But 'tis onlie transient,
whereas a Mother makes it permanent, by thinking it over and over
agayn. One Lesson it taughte us betimes, that a naturall Death is not,
necessarilie, the most easie. We must alle die.... As poor _Patteson_
was used to say, "The greatest King that ever was made, must bed at
last with Shovel and Spade," ... and I'd sooner have my _Billy's_ Baby
Deathbed than King _Harry's_, or _Nan Boleyn's_ either, however manie
Years they may yet carry Matters with a high Hand. Oh, you Ministers
of Evill, whoever ye be, visible or invisible, you shall not build a
Wall between my GOD and me.... I've Something within me grows stronger
and stronger, as Times grow more and more Evill; some woulde call it
Resolution, but methinketh 'tis Faith.

Meantime, _Father's_ Foes ... alack that anie can shew 'emselves such!
are aiming, by fayr Seemings of friendlie Conference, to draw from him
Admissions they can come at after noe other Fashion. The new _Solicitor
Generall_ hath gone to the Tower to deprive him of the few Books I have
taken him from Time to Time.... Ah, Master _Rich_, you must deprive him
of his Brains afore you can rob him of their Contents!... and, while
having 'em packt up, he falls into easie Dialogue with him, as thus,
... "Why now, sure, Mr. _More_, were there an Act of Parliament made
that all the Realm shoulde take me for King, you woulde take me for
such with the Rest."

"Aye, that would I, Sir," returns _Father_.

"Forsooth, then," pursues _Rich_, "we'll suppose another Act that
should make me the Pope. Woulde you not take me for Pope?"

"Or suppose another Case, Mr. _Rich_," returns _Father_, "that another
Act shoulde pass, that GOD shoulde not be GOD, would you say well and
good?"

"No, truly," returns the other hastily, "for no Parliament coulde make
such Act lawful."

"True, as you say," repeats _Father_, "they coulde not," ... soe eluded
the Net of the Fowler; but how miserable and unhandsome a Device to lay
wait for him thus!

... I stole forthe, ere 'twas Lighte, this damp chill Morning, to pray
beside the little Grave, but found dear _Daisy_ there before me. How
Christians love one another!

_Will's_ Loss is as heavie as mine, yet he bears with me tenderlie.
Yesternighte, he sayth to me half reproachfullie, "Am not I better unto
thee than ten Sons?"


  _March, 1535._

Spring comes, that brings Rejuvenescence to the Land, and Joy to the
Heart, but it brings none to us, for where Hope dieth, Joy dieth. But
Patience, Soul; GOD'S yet in the Aumry!


  _May 7._

_Father_ arraigned.


  _July 1._

By Reason of _Will's_ minding to be present at the Triall, which,
for the Concourse of Spectators, demanded his earlie Attendance, he
committed the Care of me, with _Bess_, to _Dancey_, who got us Places
to see _Father_ on his Way from the _Tower_ to _Westminster Hall_.
We coulde not come at him for the Crowd, but clambered on a Bench to
gaze our very Hearts away after him as he went by, sallow, thin,
grey-haired, yet in Mien not a Whit cast down. Wrapt in a coarse
woollen Gown, and leaning on a Staff; which unwonted Support when
_Bess_ markt, she hid her Eyes on my Shoulder and wept sore, but soon
lookt up agayn, though her Eyes were soe blinded, I think she coulde
not see him. His Face was calm, but grave, as he came up, but just as
he passed he caughte the Eye of some one in the Crowd, and smiled in
his old, frank Way; then glanced up towards the Windows with the bright
Look he hath soe oft cast to me at my Casement, but saw us not. I
coulde not help crying "_Father_," but he heard me not; perchance 'twas
soe best.... I woulde not have had his Face cloud at the Sighte of poor
_Bessy's_ Tears.

... _Will_ tells me the Indictment was the longest ever hearde; on four
Counts. First, his Opinion on the King's Marriage. Second, his writing
sundrie Letters to the _Bishop of Rochester_, counselling him to hold
out. Third, refusing to acknowledge his Grace's Supremacy. Fourth, his
positive Deniall of it, and thereby willing to deprive the King of his
Dignity and Title.

When the reading of this was over, the _Lord Chancellor_ sayth, "Ye see
how grievouslie you have offended the King his Grace, but and yet he
is soe mercifulle, as that if ye will lay aside your Obstinacie, and
change your Opinion, we hope ye may yet obtayn Pardon."

_Father_ makes Answer ... and at Sounde of his deare Voyce alle Men
hold their Breaths; ... "Most noble Lords, I have great Cause to thank
your Honours for this your Courtesie ... but I pray ALMIGHTY GOD I may
continue in the Mind I'm in, through his Grace, until Death."

They coulde not make goode their Accusation agaynst him. 'Twas onlie
on the Last Count he could be made out a Traitor, and Proof of't had
they none; how coulde they have? He shoulde have beene acquitted out of
hand, 'steade of which, his bitter Enemy my _Lord Chancellor_ called
on him for his Defence. _Will_ sayth there was a generall Murmur or
Sigh ran through the Court. _Father_, however, answered the Bidding by
beginning to expresse his Hope that the Effect of long Imprisonment
mighte not have beene such upon his Mind and Body, as to impair his
Power of rightlie meeting alle the Charges agaynst him ... when,
turning faint with long standing, he staggered and loosed Hold of his
Staff, whereon he was accorded a Seat. 'Twas but a Moment's Weakness
of the Body, and he then proceeded frankly to avow his having always
opposed the _King's_ Marriage to his Grace himself, which he was soe
far from thinking High Treason, that he shoulde rather have deemed it
Treachery to have withholden his Opinion from his Sovereign King when
solicited by him for his Counsell. His Letters to the good _Bishop_
he proved to have been harmlesse. Touching his declining to give his
Opinion, when askt, concerning the Supremacy, he alleged there coulde
be noe Transgression in holding his Peace thereon, GOD only being
cognizant of our Thoughts.

"Nay," interposeth the _Attorney Generall_, "your Silence was the Token
of a malicious Mind."

"I had always understoode," answers _Father_, "that Silence stoode for
Consent. _Qui tacet, consentire videtur_;" which made Sundrie smile. On
the last Charge, he protested he had never spoken Word against the Law
unto anie Man.

The Jury are about to acquit him, when up starts the _Solicitor
Generall_, offers himself as Witness for the Crown, is sworn, and gives
Evidence of his Dialogue with _Father_ in the Tower, falselie adding,
like a Liar as he is, that on his saying "No Parliament coulde make
a Law that GOD shoulde not be GOD," _Father_ had rejoyned, "No more
coulde they make the King supreme Head of the Church."

I marvell the Ground opened not at his Feet. _Father_ brisklie made
Answer, "If I were a Man, my Lords, who regarded not an Oath, ye know
well I needed not stand now at this Bar. And if the Oath which you, Mr.
_Rich_, have just taken, be true, then I pray I may never see GOD in
the Face. In good Truth, Mr. _Rich_, I am more sorry for your Perjurie
than my Perill. You and I once dwelt long together in one Parish; your
manner of Life and Conversation from your Youth up were familiar to
me, and it paineth me to tell ye were ever held very light of your
Tongue, a great Dicer and Gamester, and not of anie commendable Fame
either there or in the _Temple_, the Inn to which ye have belonged.
Is it credible, therefore, to your Lordships, that the Secrets of my
Conscience touching the Oath, which I never woulde reveal, after the
Statute once made, either to the King's Grace himself, nor to anie of
you, my honourable Lords, I should have thus lightly blurted out in
private Parley with Mr. _Rich_?"

In short, the Villain made not goode his Poynt: ne'erthelesse, the
Issue of this black Day was aforehand fixed; my Lord _Audley_ was
primed with a virulent and venomous Speech; the Jury retired, and
presentlie returned with a Verdict of Guilty; for they knew what the
King's Grace woulde have 'em doe in that Case.

Up starts my Lord _Audley_;--commences pronouncing Judgment, when--

"My Lord," says _Father_, "in my Time, the Custom in these Cases was
ever to ask the Prisoner before Sentence, whether he coulde give anie
Reason why Judgment shoulde not proceed agaynst him."

My Lord, in some Confusion, puts the Question.

And then came the frightful Sentence.

Yes, yes, my Soul, I know; there were Saints of old sawn asunder. Men
of whom the World was not worthy.

... Then he spake unto 'em his Mind; and bade his Judges and Accusers
farewell; hoping that like as St. _Paul_ was present and consenting
unto St. _Stephen's_ Death, and yet both were now holy Saints in
Heaven, so he and they might speedilie meet there, joint Heirs of
e'erlasting Salvation.

Meantime, poor _Bess_ and _Cecilie_, spent with Grief and long waiting,
were forct to be carried Home by _Heron_, or ever _Father_ returned to
his Prison. Was't less Feeling, or more Strength of Body, enabled me to
bide at the Tower Wharf with _Dancey_? GOD knoweth. They brought him
back by Water; my poor Sisters must have passed him.... The first Thing
I saw was the Axe, _turned with its Edge towards him_--my first Note of
his Sentence. I forct my Way through the Crowd ... some one laid a cold
Hand on mine Arm; 'twas poor _Patteson_, soe changed I scarce knew
him, with a Rosary of Gooseberries he kept running through his Fingers.
He sayth, "Bide your Time, Mistress _Meg_; when he comes past, I'll
make a Passage for ye; ... Oh, Brother, Brother! what ailed thee to
refuse the Oath? _I've_ taken it!" In another Moment, "Now, Mistress,
now!" and flinging his Arms right and left, made a Breach through which
I darted, fearlesse of Bills and Halberds, and did cast mine Arms about
_Father's_ Neck. He cries, "My _Meg_!" and hugs me to him as though our
very Souls shoulde grow together. He sayth, "Bless thee, bless thee!
Enough, enough, my Child; what mean ye, to weep and break mine Heart?
Remember, though I die innocent, 'tis not without the Will of GOD, who
coulde have turned mine Enemies' Hearts, if 'twere best; therefore
possess your Soul in Patience. Kiss them alle for me, thus and thus
..." soe gave me back into _Dancey's_ Arms, the Guards about him alle
weeping; but I coulde not thus lose Sight of him for ever; soe, after
a Minute's Pause, did make a second Rush, brake away from _Dancey_,
clave to _Father_ agayn, and agayn they had Pitie on me, and made Pause
while I hung upon his Neck. This Time there were large Drops standing
on his dear Brow; and the big Tears were swelling into his Eyes. He
whispered, "_Meg_, for _Christ's_ Sake don't unman me; thou'lt not deny
my last Request?" I sayd, "Oh! no;" and at once loosened mine Arms.
"God's Blessing be with you," he sayth with a last Kiss. I coulde not
help crying, "My _Father_, my _Father_!" "The Chariot of _Israel_, and
the Horsemen thereof!" he vehementlie whispers, pointing upwards
with soe passionate a Regard, that I look up, almost expecting a
beatific Vision; and when I turn about agayn, he's gone, and I have noe
more Sense nor Life till I find myself agayn in mine owne Chamber, my
Sisters chafing my Hands.

  [Illustration: More returning from his Trial.]


  _July 5th._

Alle's over now ... they've done theire worst, and yet I live. There
were Women coulde stande aneath the Cross. The _Maccabees'_ Mother--
... yes, my Soul, yes; I know--Nought but unpardoned Sin.... The
Chariot of _Israel_.


  _6th._

Dr. _Clement_ hath beene with us. Sayth he went up as blythe as a
Bridegroom to be clothed upon with Immortality.

_Rupert_ stoode it alle out. Perfect Love casteth out Feare. Soe did
his.


  _17th._

My most precious Treasure is this deare Billet, writ with a Coal; the
last Thing he sett his Hand to, wherein he sayth, "I never liked your
Manner towards me better than when you kissed me last."


  _19th._

They have let us bury his poor mangled Trunk; but, as sure as there's a
Sun in Heaven, I'll have his Head!--before another Sun hath risen, too.
If wise Men won't speed me, I'll e'en content me with a Fool.

I doe think Men, for the most Part, be Cowards in theire Hearts ...
moral Cowards. Here and there, we find one like _Father_, and like
_Socrates_, and like ... this and that one, I mind not theire Names
just now; but in the Main, methinketh they lack the moral Courage of
Women. Maybe, I'm unjust to 'em just now, being crost.


  _July 20th._

I lay down, but my Heart was waking. Soon after the first Cock crew,
I hearde a Pebble cast agaynst my Lattice, knew the Signall, rose,
dressed, stole softlie down and let myself out. I knew the Touch of the
poor Fool's Fingers; his Teeth were chattering, 'twixt Cold and Fear,
yet he laught aneath his Breath as he caught my Arm and dragged me
after him, whispering, "Fool and fayr Lady will cheat 'em yet." At the
Stairs lay a Wherry with a Couple of Boatmen, and one of 'em stepping
up to me, cries, "Alas for ruth, Mistress _Meg_, what is't ye do?
Art mad to go on this Errand?" I sayd, "I shall be mad if I goe not,
and succeed too--put me in, and push off."

  [Illustration: Nor lookt I up till aneath the Bridge-gate]

We went down the River quietlie enow--at length reach _London Bridge_
Stairs. _Patteson_, starting up, says, "Bide ye all as ye are," and
springs aland and runneth up to the Bridge. Anon, returns, and sayth,
"Now, Mistress, alle's readie ... readier than ye wist ... come up
quickly, for the Coast's clear." _Hobson_ (for 'twas he) helps me
forth, saying, "GOD speed ye, Mistress.... An' I dared, I woulde goe
with ye." ... Thought I, there be others in that Case.

Nor lookt I up till aneath the Bridge-gate, when casting upward a
fearsome Look, I beheld the dark Outline of the ghastly yet precious
Relic; and, falling into a Tremour, did wring my Hands and exclaym,
"Alas, alas, that Head hath lain full manie a Time in my Lap, woulde
GOD, woulde GOD it lay there now!" When, o' suddain, I saw the Pole
tremble and sway towards me; and stretching forth my Apron, I did in
an Extasy of Gladness, Pity, and Horror, catch its Burthen as it fell.
_Patteson_, shuddering, yet grinning, cries under his Breath, "Managed
I not well, Mistress? Let's speed away with our Theft, for Fools and
their Treasures are soon parted; but I think not they'll follow hard
after us, neither, for there are Well-wishers to us on the Bridge.
I'll put ye into the Boat and then say, GOD speed ye, Lady, with your
Burthen."


  _July 23rd._

_Rizpah_, Daughter of _Aiah_, did watch her Dead from the Beginning of
Harvest until the latter Rain, and suffered neither the Birds of the
Air to light on them by Day, nor the wild Beasts of the Field by Night.
And it was told the King, but he intermeddled not with her.

_Argia_ stole _Polynices'_ Body by Night and buried it, for the which,
she with her Life did willingly pay Forfeit. _Antigone_, for aiding
in the pious Theft, was adjudged to be buried alive. _Artemisia_ did
make herself her loved one's Shrine, by drinking his Ashes. Such is the
Love of Women; many Waters cannot quench it, neither can the Floods
drown it. I've hearde _Bonvisi_ tell of a poor _Italian_ Girl, whose
Brothers did slay her Lover; and in Spite of them she got his Heart,
and buried it in a Pot of Basil, which she watered Day and Night with
her Tears, just as I do my Coffer. _Will_ has promised it shall be
buried with me; layd upon my Heart; and since then, I've beene easier.

He thinks he shall write _Father's_ Life, when he gets more composed,
and we are settled in a new Home. We are to be cleared out o' this
in alle Haste; the King grutches at our lingering over _Father's_
Footsteps, and gazing on the dear familiar Scenes associate with his
Image; and yet, when the News of the bloody Deed was taken to him, as
he sate playing at Tables with Queen _Anne_, he started up and scowled
at her, saying, "Thou art the Cause of this Man's Death!" _Father_
might well say, during our last precious Meeting in the Tower, "'Tis I,
_Meg_, not the King, that love Women. They belie him; he onlie loves
himself." Adding, with his own sweet Smile, "Your _Gaffer_ used to say
that Women were a Bag of Snakes, and that the Man who put his Hand
therein woulde be lucky if he founde one Eel among them alle; but 'twas
onlie in Sport, _Meg_, and he owned that I had enough Eels to my Share
to make a goodly Pie, and called my House the Eel-pie House to the
Day of his Death. 'Twas our Lord _Jesus_ raised up Women, and shewed
Kindnesse unto 'em; and they've kept theire Level, in the Main, ever
since."

I wish _Will_ may sett down everie Thing of _Father's_ saying he can
remember; how precious will his Book then be to us! But I fear me,
these Matters adhere not to a Man's Memory ... he'll be telling of
his Doings as Speaker and Chancellor, and his saying this and that in
Parliament. Those are the Matters Men like to write and to read; he
won't write it after my Fashion.

I had a Misgiving of _Will's_ Wrath, that Night, 'speciallie if I
failed; but he called me his brave _Judith_. Indeed I was a Woman
bearing a Head, but one that had oft lain on my Shoulder.

My Thoughts beginne to have Connexion now; but till last Night, I slept
not. 'Twas scarce Sunsett. _Mercy_ had been praying beside me, and I
lay outside my Bed, inclining rather to Stupor than Sleep. O' suddain,
I have an Impression that some one is leaning over me, though I hear
'em not, nor feel theire Breath. I start up, cry "_Mercy!_" but she's
not there, nor anie one else. I turn on my Side and become heavie to
Sleep; but or ere I drop quite off, agayn I'm sensible or apprehensive
of some living Consciousness between my closed Eyelids and the setting
Sunlight; agayn start up and stare about, but there's Nothing. Then I
feel like ... like _Eli_, maybe, when the Child _Samuel_ came to him
twice; and Tears well into mine Eyes, and I close 'em agayn, and say
in mine Heart, "If he's at Hand, oh, let me see him next Time ... the
third Time's lucky." But 'steade of this, I fall into quiet, balmy,
dreamlesse Sleep. Since then, I've had an abiding, assuring Sense of
Help, of a Hand upholding me, and smoothing and glibbing the Way before
me.

We must yield to the Powers that be. At this Present, we are weak,
but they are strong; they are honourable, but we are despised. They
have made us a Spectacle unto the World, and, I think, Europe will
ring with it; but at this present Hour, they will have us forth of our
Home, though we have as yet no certayn Dwelling-Place, and must flee
as scared Pigeons from their Dove-cot. No Matter; our Men are willing
to labour, and our Women to endure: being reviled, we bless; being
persecuted, we suffer it. Onlie I marvell how anie honest Man, coming
after us, will be able to eat a Mouthful of Bread with a Relish within
these Walls. And, methinketh, a dishonest Man will have sundrie Frights
from the _Lares_ and _Lemures_. There'll be Dearth o' black Beans in
the Market.

Flow on, bright shining _Thames_. A good brave Man hath walked
aforetime on your Margent, himself as bright, and usefull, and
delightsome as be you, sweet River. And like you, he never murmured;
like you, he upbore the weary, and gave Drink to the Thirsty, and
reflected Heaven in his Face. I'll not swell your full Current with
any more fruitless Tears. There's a River, whose Streams make glad
the City of our GOD. He now rests beside it. Good Christian Folks,
as they hereafter pass this Spot, upborne on thy gentle Tide, will,
maybe, point this Way, and say--"There dwelt Sir _Thomas More_;" but
whether they doe or not, _Vox Populi_ is a very inconsiderable Matter.
Who would live on theire Breath? They hailed St. _Paul_ as _Mercury_,
and then stoned him, and cast him out of the City, supposing him to
be dead. Theire Favourite of to-day may, for what they care, goe hang
himself to-morrow in his Surcingle. Thus it must be while the World
lasts; and the very Racks and Scrues wherewith they aim to overcome
the nobler Spiritt, onlie test and reveal its Power of Exaltation above
the heaviest Gloom of Circumstance.

_Interfecistis, interfecistis Hominem omnium Anglorum optimum._


FINIS



  Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & CO.
  Edinburgh & London





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