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Title: The Tower of London: A Historical Romance, Illustrated
Author: Ainsworth, William Harrison
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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A Historical Romance

By William Harrison Ainsworth


London: Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street,


































































It has been, for years, the cherished wish of the writer of the
following pages, to make the Tower of London—the proudest monument of
antiquity, considered with reference to its historical associations,
which this country or any other possesses,—the groundwork of a Romance;
and it was no slight satisfaction to him, that circumstances, at length,
enabled him to carry into effect his favourite project, in conjunction
with the inimitable Artist, whose designs accompany the work.

Desirous of exhibiting the Tower in its triple light of a palace, a
prison, and a fortress, the Author has shaped his story with reference
to that end; and he has also endeavoured to contrive such a series of
incidents as should naturally introduce every relic of the old pile,—its
towers, chapels, halls, chambers, gateways, arches, and drawbridges—so
that no part of it should remain un-illustrated.

How far this design has been accomplished—what interest has been given
to particular buildings—and what mouldering walls have been informed
with life—is now to be determined:—unless, indeed, it may be considered
determined by the numbers who have visited the different buildings,
as they have been successively depicted by pen and pencil, during the
periodical appearance of the work.

One important object the Author would fain hope his labours may achieve.
This is the introduction of the public to some parts of the fortress at
present closed to them. There seems no reason why admission should not
be given, under certain restrictions, to that unequalled specimen of
Norman architecture, Saint John’s Chapel in the White Tower,—to the
arched galleries above it,—to the noble council-chamber, teeming with
historical recollections,—to the vaulted passages—and to the winding
staircases within the turrets—so perfect, and so interesting to the
antiquary. Nor is there stronger reason why the prison-chamber in the
Beauchamp Tower, now used as a mess-room, the walls of which, like a
mystic scroll, are covered with inscriptions—each a tragic story
in itself, and furnishing matter for abundant reflection—should not
likewise be thrown open. Most of the old fortifications upon the inner
ballium-wall being converted into private dwellings,—though in many
cases the chambers are extremely curious, and rich in inscriptions,—are,
of course, inaccessible. But this does not apply to the first-mentioned
places. They are the property of the nation, and should be open to
national inspection.

It is piteous to see what havoc has already been made by alterations
and repairs. The palace is gone—so are many of the towers—and unless
the progress of destruction is arrested, the demolition of others will
follow. Let us attempt to preserve what remains.

Opposite the matchless White Tower—William of Orange by the side of
William the Conqueror,—is that frightful architectural abomination, the
Grand Store-House.

It may not be possible to remove this ugly and incongruous structure. It
is not possible to take away others that offend the eye at every turn.
It is not possible to restore the Tower to its pristine grandeur. But
it is possible to prevent further mutilation and desecration. It is
possible to clear the reverend and massive columns of Saint John’s
Chapel, which look like giants of departed days, from the thick coat
of white-wash in which they are crusted,—to sweep away the presses with
which its floors are cumbered, and to find some other equally secure,
but less interesting—less sacred, in every sense, depository for
the Chancery rolls. It is possible to render the same service to the
magnificent council-chamber, and the passages leading to it,—it is
possible to clear the walls of the Beauchamp Tower,—and it is, also,
possible and desirable, that the public should be admitted to these
places, in which they have so strong an interest. The visiter to the
Tower sees little—and can see little of its most curious features. But
it is the hope of the writer, that the day is not far off, when all that
is really worth seeing will be accessible. In this view, the present
publication may not be without use.

To those, who conceive that the Author has treated the character of
Queen Mary with too great leniency, he can only affirm that he has
written according to his conviction of the truth. Mary’s worst fault as
a woman—her sole fault as a sovereign—was her bigotry: and it is time
that the cloud, which prejudice has cast over her, should be dispersed.
“Let us judge of her dispassionately and disinterestedly,” says Griffet
*; “let us listen to the testimony of those who have known her, and have
had the best means of examining her actions and her discourse. Let us do
this, and we may perhaps discover that the reproaches which Protestant
writers have heaped upon her have been excessive; and after a strict
and impartial examination of her character, we may recognise in her
qualities worthy of praise.” To this authority may be added that of Mr.
Patrick Fraser Tytler, and Sir Frederick Madden, the latter of whom,
in his able introduction to the “Privy Purse Expenses of the Princess
Mary,” has most eloquently vindicated her.

     * Nouveaux Eclaircissements sur l’Histoire de Marie, Reine
     d’Angleterre. Adressés à M. David Hume. 1760.

Presuming upon the favour which the present work has experienced, the
Author begs to intimate that he has other chronicles of the old fortress
in contemplation, which he hopes to find leisure to produce. Those who
desire further insight into its history and antiquities, are referred
to Mr. Bayley’s excellent and comprehensive work on the subject,—a
publication not so much known as it deserves to be, and from which much
important information contained in the present volume has been derived.

It would be unpardonable in both Author and Illustrator, were they to
omit to allude to the courtesy and attention they have experienced from
the gentlemen connected with the different departments of the Tower,
as well as from the occupants of the various fortifications. They beg,
therefore, to offer their cordial acknowledgments to Major Elrington,
fort-major and acting governor; to Edmund L. Swift, Esq., keeper of
the regalia; to Robert Porrett, Esq., F. S. A., of the Principal
Store-keeper’s Office; and George Stacey, Esq., of the same; to Thomas
Hardy, Esq., F. S. A., keeper of the records in the Tower; to Lieutenant
Hall, barrack-master; and to many others.

The Author’s best thanks are, also, due to Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Bart.,
of Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk, (the lineal descendant of the Lieutenant
of the Tower introduced in the following pages,) for his obliging
communications respecting his ancestor.

“And so,” to adopt the words of old Stow, in his continuation of
Holinshed’s Chronicle, “craving a favourable acceptation of this tedious
travail, with a toleration of all such faults, as haply therein lie
hidden, and by diligent reading may soon be spied (especially by the
critics), we wish that they which best may, would once in their life
grow resolute and at a point in this laudable kind of study, most
necessary for common knowledge, little or much to exercise their head
and hand. Finally, beseeching God to bless these realms, and its ever
precious jewel, our gracious Queen Victoria, and the infant princess
newly given to us; to save them as the apple of his eye; and to protect
them with the target of his power against all ill,—the Chronicler, in
all humility, takes his leave.”

Kensal Lodge, Harrow Road, November 28, 1840.





N the 10th of July, 1553, about two hours after noon, a loud discharge
of ordnance burst from the turrets of Durham House, then the residence
of the Duke of Northumberland, grand-master of the realm, and occupying
the site of the modern range of buildings, known as the Adelphi; and,
at the signal, which was immediately answered from every point along the
river where a bombard or culverin could be planted,—from the adjoining
hospital of the Savoy,—the old palace of Bridewell, recently converted
by Edward VI., at the instance of Ridley, bishop of London, into a
house of correction,—Baynard’s Castle, the habitation of the Earl of
Pembroke,—the gates of London-bridge,—and, lastly, from the batteries
of the Tower,—a gallant train issued from the southern gateway of the
stately mansion abovenamed, and descended the stairs leading to the
water’s edge, where, appointed for their reception, was drawn up a
squadron of fifty superbly-gilt barges,—some decorated with banners
and streamers,—some with cloth-of-gold and arras, embroidered with the
devices of the civic companies,—others with innumerable silken pennons
to which were attached small silver bells, “making a goodly noise and a
goodly sight as they waved in the wind,”—while others, reserved for the
more important personages of the ceremony, were covered at the sides
with shields gorgeously emblazoned with the armorial bearings of the
different noblemen and honourable persons composing the privy council,
amid which the cognizance of the Duke of Northumberland,—a lion rampant,
or, double quevée, vert,—appeared proudly conspicuous. Each barge was
escorted by a light galley, termed a foist or wafter, manageable either
by oar or sail as occasion demanded, and attached to its companion by a
stout silken tow-line. In these galleys, besides the rowers, whose oars
were shipped, and in readiness to be dropped, at an instant’s notice,
into the tide, and the men-at-arms, whose tall pikes, steel caps, and
polished corslets flashed in the sun-beams, sat bands of minstrels
provided with sackbuts, shalms, cornets, rebecs, and other forgotten
musical instruments. The conduct of the whole squadron was entrusted to
six officers, whose business it was to prevent confusion, and who, in
the small swift wherries appointed to their use, rowed rapidly from
place to place, endeavouring by threats and commands to maintain order,
and keep off the crowd of boats and craft of all sorts hurrying towards
them from every quarter of the river. It was a brilliant and busy scene,
and might be supposed a joyous and inspiriting one—more especially, as
the object which had called together this assemblage was the conveyance
of a young and lovely sovereign to her throne within the Tower. But
it was not so. Young and lovely as was that sovereign,—rich,—richer,
perhaps, than any of her sex,—in endowments of mind and
person,—illustrious and royal in birth,—professing and supporting a
faith, then newly established throughout the country, and which it was
feared, and with reason, might be greatly endangered, if not wholly
subverted, if another and nearer claimant of the crown, the Princess
Mary, had succeeded to the inheritance; still, with all these high
recommendations,—though her rights were insisted upon by the ablest
and most eloquent divines from the pulpit, though her virtues, her
acquirements, and her beauty were the theme of every tongue;—as she was
not first in the succession, and, above all, as she had been invested
with regal authority by one who, from his pride, was obnoxious to
all men,—her father-in-law, the Duke of Northumberland,—the Lady Jane
Dudley’s accession was viewed by all ranks and all parties with mistrust
and apprehension. In vain had the haughty duke brought her with a
splendid cavalcade from Sion House to his own palace. No cheers greeted
her arrival—no rejoicings were made by the populace, but a sullen and
ominous silence prevailed amongst those who witnessed her entrance into
the capital. It is true that her youth and surpassing beauty excited
the greatest interest. Murmurs of irrepressible admiration arose at
her appearance; but these were immediately checked on the approach of
Northumberland, who, following closely behind her, eyed the concourse as
if he would enforce their applauses; and it was emphatically said, that
in pity of the victim of his soaring ambition, more tears were shed on
that occasion, than shouts were uttered. On the 9th of July, Lady Jane
Dudley—better known by her maiden title of Lady Jane Grey—had been
made acquainted with her exalted, but, as she herself (with a sad
presentiment of calamity) pronounced it, her fatal destiny. Edward the
Sixth had breathed his last, three days previously. His death had been
kept carefully concealed by Northumberland, who hoped, by despatching
false messages, to have secured the persons of the princesses Mary
and Elizabeth. But intelligence of her brother’s death having been
communicated to the latter, she avoided the snare; and the duke, finding
further dissimulation useless, resolved at once to carry his plan into
execution, and proclaim his daughter-in-law queen. With this view, and
accompanied by several members of the privy-council, he proceeded to
Sion House, where she was then living in retirement, and announced to
her that the late monarch had declared her by his letters-patent (an
instrument which he had artfully obtained) his successor. Jane refused
the proffered dignity, urging the prior claims of Edward’s sisters; and
adding, “I am not so young, nor so little read in the guiles of fortune,
to suffer myself to be taken by them. If she enrich any, it is but to
make them the subject of her spoil. If she raise others, it is but to
pleasure herself with their ruins. What she adorned but yesterday, is
to-day her pastime: and if I now permit her to adorn and crown me, I
must to-morrow suffer her to crush and tear me to pieces. Nay, with
what crown does she present me? A crown which has been violently and
shamefully wrested from Catherine of Arragon, made more unfortunate by
the punishment of Anne Boleyn, and others who wore it after her; and why
then would you have me add my blood to theirs, and be the third victim
from whom this fatal crown may be ravished, with the head that wears
it?” In this forcible and feeling language she couched her refusal;
and for some time she adhered to her resolution, until at length, her
constancy being shaken by the solicitations of her relatives, and above
all by the entreaties of her husband Lord Guilford Dudley, to whom
she was passionately attached, she yielded a reluctant assent. On the
following morning, she was conveyed, as has been just stated, with great
pomp to Durham House, in the Strand, where she received the homage of
her subjects, partook of a magnificent banquet, and tarried sufficiently
long to enable the duke to collect his retinue to conduct her in state
to the Tower: it being then the custom for the monarchs of England to
spend the first few days of their reign within this ancient fortress.
It is with the moment of her departure for this palace and prison of
crowned heads, that this chronicle commences.

The advanced guard of the procession was formed by a troop of
halberdiers dressed in striped hose of black and tawny, velvet caps
decked at the side with silver roses, and doublets of murrey and blue
cloth, embroidered on the front and at the back with the royal blazon,
woven in gold. Their halbert staves were covered with crimson velvet,
fastened with gilt nails, and ornamented with golden tassels. Filing oft
on the right and left, they formed two long lines, extending from the
gateway of the palace to the foot of the plank communicating with the
barge nearest the shore. A thick rayed cloth was then unfolded, and laid
down between them by several attendants in the sumptuous liveries of the
Duke of Northumberland. This done, a flourish of trumpets resounded from
within; a lively prelude arose from the musicians on the water; and
two ushers with white wands marched at a slow and stately pace from the
portal. They were followed by an officer bearing the mace; after whom
came another carrying the sword of state; then several serjeants of
the city guard, in their full accoutrements, and with badges on their
sleeves; then the garter king-at-arms in his tabard; then several
knights of the Bath, each having a white laco on his sleeve; then their
esquires; then the judges, in their robes of scarlet and coifs; then
the bishop of Ely, who, in his character of lord high chancellor, wore
a robe of scarlet, open before, and purfled with minever; then the
aldermen, likewise in cloaks of scarlet; the sheriffs; and, finally, the
lord mayor, Sir George Beame, in a gown of crimson velvet, and wearing
the collar of SS.

Sufficient time having been allowed for the embarkation of these
important personages, who, with their attendants, filled several barges,
another flourish of trumpets was heard, fresh symphonies resounded from
the river, and the heads of the different civic companies, in their
robes of state, descended and departed. Many an eye tracked their course
along the river, which flamed like a sheet of molten gold beneath its
glittering burthens. Many an ear listened to the measured sweep of
their oars, and the softening cadences of their minstrelsy; lingering,
enchanted, on the sight and sound till both faded away in the distance.
Still, though a thousand pulses beat high, and a thousand hearts
throbbed, not an acclamation was raised, not a. cap thrown in the air,
not a scarf waved. The same silence, that had prevailed during the
morning, prevailed now. Queen Jane, it was evident, was not the choice
of her people.

Meanwhile, two venerable persons had presented themselves on the
stair-head. These were Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, and Ridley,
bishop of London. They were attired in the scarlet simar, and surplice
with its snowy lawn sleeves, proper to their order, and were engaged in
deep converse together. The austere course of life prescribed to, and
pursued by, the fathers of the Reformed Church, had stamped itself in
lines of unusual severity on their countenances. Their demeanour was
grave and singularly dignified, and such as well beseemed their high
ecclesiastical rank. Arrived at the last step, Cranmer raised his eyes,
and, after glancing around as if in expectation of some greeting from
the multitude, observed to his companion, “This silence of the people
likes me not, my lord: disaffection, I fear, is abroad. This is not the
way in which our good citizens are wont to receive a triumph such as his
Grace of Northumberland has prepared.”

“Your Grace is in the right,” replied Ridley. “The assemblage before
whom I pronounced a solemn exhortation this morning at St. Paul’s
Cross,—when I proved, as I trust, satisfactorily, that Mary
and Elizabeth are excluded from the succession on the score of
illegitimacy,—received my discourse with murmurs of disapprobation.
Vainly did I tell them if they accepted Mary they would relapse into
darkness and idolatry: vainly did I enlarge on our young queen’s
virtues, and show them that she was prepared to carry into effect the
wise ordinations of her pious predecessor. They made no answer,—but
departed, as men resolved not to be convinced of their error.”

“These are signs indeed of troublous times,” sighed Cranmer; “and,
though it is not given to us to foresee the future, I cannot but fear
that a season of bitter persecution of our church is at hand. Heaven
avert the day! Heaven preserve queen Jane, who will prove our surest
safeguard! Had Mary ruled——”

“Had that false bigot ruled,” interrupted Ridley, frowning at the idea,
“your grace and I should, ere this, have changed places in the Tower
with Gardiner and Bonner. But should what you fear come to pass; should
evil times arise, and Rome and her abominations again prevail; should
our church need a martyr, she shall find one in me.”

“And in me,” rejoined Cranmer, fervently.

While this was passing, twelve French gentlemen in splendid habiliments,
consisting of pourpoints of white damask, barred with gold,
short mantles of crimson velvet, lined with violet taffeta, and
carnation-coloured hauts-de-chausses, took their way down the steps.
These galliards, who formed the suite of M. Antoine de Noailles,
ambassador from Henry the Second of France, were succeeded by a like
number of Spanish cavaliers, the attendants of M. Simon Renard, who
fulfilled the like high office for the emperor Charles the Fifth.
Dressed in suits of black velvet, entirely without ornament, the
Spaniards differed as much from the airy and elegant Frenchmen in
gravity and reserve of manner, as in simplicity of apparel. Their
leader, Simon Renard, was as plainly attired as his followers, his sole
decoration being the Toison d’Or: but of all that brilliant assemblage,
perhaps there was none so likely to arrest and rivet attention as this
remarkable man; and as he is destined to play no inconsiderable part
in this history, it may be worth while to take a narrower survey of his
personal appearance. Somewhat above the middle height, and of a spare
but muscular frame, he had a dark complexion, rendered yet more sombre
in its colour from the contrast it presented to his grizzled board and
moustaches. His eye was black and flaming, his nose long and hooked,
and he had astern searching glance, which few could withstand. There
was something mysterious both in his manner and character which made him
universally dreaded; and as he never forgave an offence, nor scrupled at
any means of gratifying his vengeance, it was not without reason that
he was feared. A subtle politician and skilful diplomatist, high in
the favour of the most powerful sovereign in Europe, with apparently
inexhaustible funds at his command; inexorable in hatred, fickle in
friendship, inconstant in affairs of gallantry, suspected of being mixed
up in every political intrigue or conspiracy, Simon Renard had been for
some time the terror and wonder of Edward’s court, and had been regarded
with suspicion and jealousy by Northumberland, who looked upon him as
a dangerous opponent. During Edward’s lifetime frequent quarrels had
occurred between these two crafty statesmen; but now, at this desperate
conjuncture, the duke deemed it prudent to forget his animosity, and
to conciliate his antagonist. More of a courtier, and not less of a
diplomatist, but without the skill, the resolution, or the cunning of
his brother ambassador, De Noailles would have been no match for Renard
had they been opposed: and, indeed, his inferiority was afterwards
signally manifested. But they were now united by common bonds of
animosity: both were determined enemies of Northumberland—both resolved
upon his overthrow, and that of the queen he had placed upon the throne.

No sooner had the ambassadors entered their barge, than withdrawing out
of earshot of their attendants, they commenced a conversation in a low

“How long will this farce last, think you?” inquired De Noailles, with a

“Not a day—not an hour,” rejoined Simon Renard, “if these suspicious and
timorous English nobles will but act in concert, and confide in me.”

“Confide in you?” said De Noailles, smiling. “They fear you more than

“They will not succeed without me,” returned Renard, coldly. “Mark
me, De Noailles, I, Simon Renard, simple bailli of Amont in the
Franche-Comte, and an unworthy representative of his Majesty Charles the
Fifth, hold in my right hand the destiny of this fair land of England.”

“Ha! ha! ha!” laughed De Noailles. “You have learnt to rhodomontade at
the court of Madrid, I perceive, Monsieur le Bailli.”

“This is no rhodomontade, messire,” rejoined the other, sternly; “were I
to join with Northumberland and Suffolk, I could establish Jane upon the
throne. Acting with the privy council, who, as you well know, are, like
ourselves, the duke’s secret enemies, I shall strike the sceptre from
her grasp, and place it in the hand of Mary. Nay more, I will tell you
that if I had not wished to ensure Northumberland’s destruction, I would
not have suffered him to proceed thus far. But he has now taken a step
which nothing can retrieve.”

“My hatred of him is as great as your own, M. Renard,” observed De
Noailles, gravely; “and I shall rejoice as heartily as yourself, or any
of his enemies, in his downfall. But I cannot blind myself to his power.
Clinton, the Lord High Admiral, his fast friend, is in possession of the
Tower, which is full of armed men and ammunition. The royal treasures
are in his hands; the troops, the navy, are his—and, as yet, the
privy council have sanctioned all his decrees—have sworn obedience
to Jane—have proclaimed Mary illegitimate, and deprived her of her

“They shall eat their own words,” replied Renard, in a sarcastic tone.
“But it is time, De Noailles, to admit you to my full confidence. First,
swear to me, by the holy Evangelists, that I may trust you.”

“I swear it,” replied De Noailles, “provided,” he added, smiling, “your
scheme has nothing treasonable against my liege lord, Henry the Second.”

“Judge for yourself,” answered Renard. “There is a plot hatching against
the life of Northumberland.”

“Mortdieu!” exclaimed the French ambassador; “by whom?”

“To-night you shall meet the conspirators,” replied Renard.

“Their names?” demanded De Noailles.

“It matters not,” answered the other; “I am their leader. Will you make
one of us?”

“Willingly,” rejoined the Frenchman. “But how is the duke to be put to

“By the headsman,” replied Simon Renard. “He shall die the death of a

“You were ever mysterious, messire,” observed De Noailles, drily; “and
you are now more mysterious than ever. But I will join your plot with
all my heart. Pardieu! I should like to offer Northumberland’s head to
Queen Mary. It would be as acceptable as that of Cicero to Fulvia.”

“My gift shall be yet more acceptable,” rejoined Simon Renard, sternly.
“I will offer her the fairest and the wisest head in England—that of
Queen Jane.”

During this conference, the procession had been increased by several
members of the privy-council, consisting of the Earls of Arundel,
Shrewsbury, Huntingdon, and Pembroke, the Lords Cobham and Rich, with
divers other noble and honourable persons, among whom Sir William Cecil,
principal secretary of state, (afterwards, the great Lord Burghley.)
must not pass unnoticed. Pembroke and Cecil walked together; and, in
spite of their forced composure, it was evident that both were ill
at case. As a brief halt took place amongst the foremost party, Cecil
seized the arm of his companion, and whispered hurriedly in his ear, “We
are lost, my lord. Your messengers to the queen have been arrested; so
have my trusty servants, Alford and Cayewood. Luckily, their despatches
are in cipher. But Northumberland’s suspicions once aroused, his
vengeance will not be slow to follow. There is yet time for escape.
Can we not frame some excuse for landing at your lordship’s residence,
Baynard’s Castle? Once within the Tower, I tremble for our heads.”

“My case is not so desperate as yours,” returned the earl, firmly; “but
were it so, I would never fly while others are left to pay the penalty
of my cowardice. We have advanced too far to retreat—and, be the issue
of this project what it may, I will not shrink from it. Simon Renard is
leagued with us, and he alone is a match for Northumberland, or for the
fiend himself, if opposed to him. Be of good cheer. The day will yet be

“Were I assured of Renard’s sincerity,” replied Cecil, “I might,
indeed, feel more confidence. But I have detected too many of his
secret practices—have had too much experience of his perfidy and
double-dealing, to place any faith in him.”

“You wrong him,” rejoined Pembroke; “by my soul you do! As we proceed, I
will give you proofs that will remove all apprehensions of treachery on
his part from your mind. He has proposed a plan.—But of this anon—for,
see!—all, save ourselves, have entered the barge. Do you mark how
suddenly the weather has changed? A thunder-storm is gathering over the
Tower. ‘Tis a bad omen for Northumberland.”

“Or for us,” rejoined Cecil, gloomily.

The sudden change in the weather, here alluded to, was remarked and
commented upon by many others besides the Earl of Pembroke; and by most
it was regarded as an evil augury against the young queen. The sky had
become overcast; the river, lately so smiling, now reflected only the
sombre clouds that overshadowed it; while heavy, leaden-coloured masses,
arising in the north-east, behind the Tower, seemed to threaten a speedy
and severe storm in that quarter. Alarmed by these signs, several of
the more prudent spectators, who preferred a dry skin to the further
indulgence of their curiosity, began to urge their barks homewards. The
majority of the assemblage, however, lingered: a glimpse of a queen
so beautiful as Jane was reputed, appeared to them well worth a little
personal inconvenience.

Meanwhile, a loud and prolonged trumpet-blast proclaimed the approach of
the Duke of Northumberland. He was accompanied by the Duke of Suffolk,
the father of the queen. Nothing more majestic can be conceived than the
deportment of the former—nothing more magnificent than his attire. His
features, though haughty and disdainful, with a fierce expression about
the mouth and eyes, were remarkably handsome and well-formed. His figure
was tall and commanding, and there was something which is generally
associated with the epithets chivalrous and picturesque in his
appearance. John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who by his genius and
rare abilities as a statesman had elevated himself to the lofty position
which he now held, could not be less in age than fifty. But he had none
of the infirmity of years about him. His forehead was bald, but that
only gave expanse to his noble countenance; his step was as firm as
a young man’s; his eye as keen and bright as that of an eagle. He was
habited in a doublet of white satin, with a placard or front-piece of
purple cloth of tissue, powdered with diamonds and edged with ermine.
Over this he wore a mantle of cloth of silver, pounced with his cipher,
lined with blue velvet, set with pearls and precious stones, and
fastened with a jewelled clasp. From his neck was suspended the order of
the Garter, while in his hand he carried the silver verder belonging
to his office as grand-master of the realm. The Duke of Suffolk was
scarcely less magnificently arrayed, in a doublet of black cloth of
gold, and a cloak of crimson satin flowered with gold, and ribanded
with nets of silver. He also wore the order of the Garter. Suffolk was
somewhat younger than his companion, of whom he stood, as indeed did all
the other nobles, greatly in awe. He had well-formed features, a fine
figure, a courtly air, and affable and conciliating manners; but though
a man of unquestionable ability and courage, he wanted that discernment
and active resolution which alone could have preserved him from the
dangers and difficulties in which he was afterwards involved. His
qualities have been admirably summed up by Holinshed, who describes him
as “a man of high nobility by birth, and of nature to his friend gentle
and courteous; more easy indeed to be led than was thought expedient,
nevertheless stout and hardy; hasty and soon kindled, but pacified
straight again, and sorry if in his heat aught had passed him otherwise
than reason might seem to bear; upright and plain in his private
dealings; no dissembler, nor well able to bear injuries; but yet
forgiving and forgetting the same, if the party would but seem to
acknowledge his fault and seek reconcilement; bountiful he was, and very
liberal; somewhat learned himself, and a great favourer of those that
were learned, so that to many he showed himself a very Maecenas; as
free from covetousness, as devoid of pride and disdainful haughtiness of
mind, more regarding plain-meaning men than clawback flatterers.” Such,
as depicted by the honest old chronicler above-named, was Henry Grey,
Duke of Suffolk, father of Queen Jane.

Just as the two dukes emerged from the portal, a slight commotion was
heard in the outer court, and a valet, stepping forward, made a profound
reverence to Northumberland, and presented him with a paper. The duke
broke the silken thread and seal with which it was fastened, and ran his
eye rapidly over its contents. His brow darkened for an instant, but
as speedily cleared, and a smile of fierce satisfaction played upon his
lips. “Traitors!” he ejaculated in an under tone, turning to Suffolk;
“but I have them now; and, by God’s precious soul! they shall not escape

“What new treason has come to light, brother!” demanded the Duke of
Suffolk, uneasily.

“Nothing new,—nothing but what I suspected. But their plots have taken a
more dangerous and decided form,” replied Northumberland, sternly.

“You do not name the traitors,—but you speak of the privy-council, I
conclude?” observed Suffolk.

“Ay, brother, of the privy-council. They are all my enemies,—your
enemies,—the queen’s enemies. This scroll warns me that a conspiracy is
forming against my life.”

“Heaven forbid!” ejaculated Suffolk. “Surely, our English nobles are not
turned assassins.”

“The chief mover in the dark scheme is not an Englishman,” returned

“It cannot be the light-hearted De Noailles. Ha! I have it: it is the
plotting and perfidious Simon Renard.”

“Your Grace is in the right,” replied Northumberland; “it is Simon

“Who are his associates?” inquired Suffolk.

“As yet I know not,” answered the other; “but I have netted them all,
and, like the fowler, will spare neither bird of prey nor harmless
songster. I have a trick shall test the true metal from the false.
What think you, brother?—a letter has arrived from Mary to this false
council, claiming the crown.”.

“Ha!” exclaimed Suffolk.

“It is here,” continued Northumberland, pointing to a paper folded round
his silver staff. “I shall lay it before them anon. Before I depart, I
must give orders for the proclamation. Bid the heralds come hither,” he
added to the attendant; who instantly departed, and returned a moment
afterwards, followed by two heralds in their coats of arms. “Take this
scroll,” continued the duke, “and let the Queens Highness be proclaimed
by sound of trumpet at the cross at Charing, in Cheapside, and in
Fleet-street. Take with you a sufficient guard, and if any murmuring
ensue let the offenders be punished. Do you mark me?”

“We do, your Grace,” replied the heralds, bowing. And, taking the
proclamation, they departed on their behest,—while the duke, accompanied
by Suffolk, entered his barge.

Preceded by two trumpeters, having their clarions richly dressed with
fringed silk bandrols, displaying the royal arms; a captain of the
guard, in a suit of scarlet bound with black velvet, and with a silver
rose in his bonnet, next descended the stairs, and announced, in a
loud and authoritative voice, that her Highness the Queen was about
to embark: an intimation, which, though received with no particular
demonstration of enthusiasm or delight by the spectators, was,
nevertheless, productive of considerable confusion among them. The more
distant wherrymen, who had been hitherto resting tranquilly on their
oars, in their anxiety to secure a better position for their fares, now
pressed eagerly forward; in consequence of which many violent collisions
took place; great damage was sustained by the foremost boats, some being
swamped and their owners plunged in the tide; while others, bereft of
their oars, were swept away by the rapid current. Amid this tumult, much
struggling and scuffling occurred; shrieks and oaths were uttered; and
many blows from sword, dagger, and club were dealt, and requited
with the heartiest good-will. Owing, however, to the exertions of the
officers, no lives were lost. The drowning persons were picked up and
carried ashore; and the disputants compelled to hold their peace,
and reserve the adjustment of their differences to another, and more
favourable opportunity. By the time Jane appeared, all was comparatively
quiet. But the incident had not tended to improve the temper of the
crowd, or create a stronger feeling in her favour. Added to this, the
storm seemed fast advancing and ready to burst over their heads; the
sky grew darker each moment; and when a second discharge of ordnance was
bred from the palace walls, and rolled sullenly along the river, it was
answered by a distant peal of thunder. In spite of all these adverse
circumstances, no delay occurred in the procession. A magnificent barge,
with two large banners, beaten with the royal arms, planted on the
foreship, approached the strand. Its sides were hung with metal
scutcheons, alternately emblazoned with the cognizances of the queen and
her consort; and its decks covered with the richest silks and tissues.
It was attended by two smaller galleys—one of which, designated the
Bachelors’ barge, was appropriated to the younger sons of the nobility:
the other was devoted to the maids of honour. In the latter was placed
a quaint device, intended to represent a mount with a silver tree
springing from it, on which was perched a dove with a circlet of
diamonds around its neck, bearing an inscription in honour of the queen,
and a crown upon its head. No sooner had the royal barge taken up its
position, than a train of twenty gentlemen, in doublets of black velvet
and with chains of gold, stepped towards it. They were followed by
six pages in vests of cloth of gold; after whom came the Earl of
Northampton, lord high chamberlain, bareheaded, and carrying a white
wand; and after the chamberlain, appeared the Lady Herbert, younger
sister of the queen, a beautiful blonde, with soft blue eyes and silken
tresses, accompanied by the Lady Hastings, younger sister of Lord
Guilford Dudley, a sprightly brunette, with large orient orbs, black
as midnight, and a step proud as that of a Juno. Both these lovely
creatures—neither of whom had attained her fifteenth year—had been
married at the end of May—then, as now, esteemed an unlucky month,—on
the sumo day that the nuptials of the Lady Jane Grey took place. Of
these three marriages there was not one but was attended with fatal

Immediately behind her sisters, with the laps of her dress supported
by the bishops of Rochester and Winchester, and her train, which was of
great length and corresponding magnificence, borne by her mother, the
duchess of Suffolk, walked queen Jane. Whatever disinclination she might
have previously shown to undertake the dangerous and difficult part
she had assumed; however reluctantly she had accepted the sovereignty;
nothing of misgiving or irresolution was now to be discerned. Her
carriage was majestic; her look lofty, yet tempered with such sweetness,
that while it commanded respect, it ensured attachment. Her attire—for
the only point upon which Jane did not conform to the rigid notions of
the early religious reformers was in regard to dress—was gorgeous in
the extreme; and never, assuredly, was rich costume bestowed upon a
more faultlessly beautiful person. Her figure was tall and slight, but
exquisitely formed, and gave promise, that when she attained the full
maturity of womanhood—she had only just completed her sixteenth year,
and (alas!) never did attain maturity—her charms would be without a
rival. In mental qualifications Jane was equally gifted. And, if it
is to be lamented that her beauty, like an opening flower, was
rudely plucked and scattered to the breezes, how much more must it
be regretted, that such faculties as she possessed should have been
destroyed before they were fully developed, and the fruit they might
have produced lost for ever! Reared in the seclusion of Bradgate, in
Leicestershire, Jane Grey passed hours which other maidens of her tender
age are accustomed to devote to amusement or rest, in the severest
study; and, long before she was called upon to perform the arduous
duties of her brief life, she had acquired a fund of knowledge such as
the profoundest scholars seldom obtain. If this store of learning
did little for the world, it did much for herself:—it taught her a
philosophy, that enabled her to support, with the constancy of a martyr,
her after trials. At the moment of her presentation to the reader,
Jane was in all the flush and excitement of her new dignity. Everything
around her was dazzling and delusive; but she was neither dazzled nor
deluded. She estimated her position at its true value; saw through its
hollowness and unsubstantiality; and, aware that she only grasped the
shadow of a sceptre, and bore the semblance of a crown, suffered neither
look nor gesture to betray her emotions. Her dress consisted of a gown
of cloth of gold raised with pearls, a stomacher blazing with diamonds
and other precious stones, and a surcoat of purple velvet bordered with
ermine. Her train was of purple velvet upon velvet, likewise furred with
ermine, and embroidered with various devices in gold. Her slender and
swan-like throat was encircled with a carcanet of gold set with rubies
and pearls, from which a single and almost priceless pearl depended. Her
head-dress consisted of a coif of velvet of the peculiar form then in
vogue, adorned with rows of pearls, and confined by a circlet of gold.
At her right walked Lord Guilford Dudley—a youthful nobleman, who
inherited his father’s manly beauty and chivalrous look, with much
of his ambition and haughtiness, but without any of his cunning and
duplicity, or of his genius. He was superbly attired in white cloth of
gold, and wore a collar of diamonds. Behind the queen marched a long
train of high-born dames, damsels, youthful nobles, pages, knights,
esquires, and ushers, until the rear-guard was brought up by a second
detachment of halberdiers. Prepared as the mass of the assemblage were
to evidence their dissatisfaction by silence, an involuntary burst
of applause hailed her approach, and many, who thought it a sort of
disloyalty to Mary to welcome a usurper, could not refuse to join in the

At the moment Jane was crossing the railed plank leading to her galley,
a small wherry, rowed by a young man of slight sinewy frame, clad in a
doublet of coarse brown serge, and wearing a flat felt cap, on which
a white cross was stitched, shot with marvellous rapidity from out the
foremost line of boats, and, in spite of all opposition, passed between
the state barges, and drew up at her feet. Before the daring intruder
could be removed, an old woman, seated in the stern of the boat, arose
and extended her arms towards Jane. She was dressed in mean attire, with
her grey locks gathered beneath an ancient three-cornered coif; but
her physiognomy was striking, and her manner seemed far above her lowly
condition. Fixing an imploring glance on the queen, she cried—“A boon! a

“It is granted,” replied Jane, in a kind tone, and pausing. “What would

“Preserve you,” rejoined the old woman. “Go not to the Tower.”

“And wherefore not, good dame?” inquired the queen.

“Ask me not,” returned the old woman,—her figure dilating, her eye
kindling, and her gesture becoming almost that of command, as she
spoke,—“Ask me not; but take my warning. Again, I say—Go not to the
Tower. Danger lurks therein,—danger to you—your husband—and to all you
hold dear. Return, while it is yet time; return to the retirement
of Sion House—to the solitudes of Bradgate.—Put off those royal
robes—restore the crown to her from whom you wrested it, and a long and
happy life shall be yours. But set foot within that galley—enter the
gates of the Tower—and another year shall not pass over your head.”

“Guards!” cried Lord Guilford Dudley, advancing and motioning to his
attendants—“remove this beldame and her companion, and place them in

“Have patience, my dear lord,” said Jane, in a voice so sweet, that it
was impossible to resist it—“the poor woman is distraught.”

“No, lady, I am not distraught,” rejoined the old woman, “though I have
suffered enough to make me so.”

“Can I relieve your distresses?” inquired Jane, kindly.

“In no other way than by following my caution,” answered the old woman.
“I want nothing but a grave.”

“Who are you that dare to hold such language as this to your queen?”
demanded Lord Guilford Dudley, angrily.

“I am Gunnora Braose,” replied the old woman, fixing a withering glance
upon him, “nurse and foster-mother to Henry Seymour, Duke of Somerset,
lord protector of England, who perished on the scaffold by the foul
practices of your father.”

“Woman,” rejoined Lord Guilford, in a menacing tone, “be warned by me.
You speak at the peril of your life.”

“I know it,” replied Gunnora; “but that shall not hinder me. If I
succeed in saving that fair young creature, whom your father’s arts have
placed in such fearful jeopardy, from certain destruction, I care not
what becomes of me. My boldness, I am well assured, will be fearfully
visited upon me, and upon my grandson at my side. But were it the last
word I had to utter,—were this boy’s life,” she added, laying her hand
on the youth’s shoulder, who arose at the touch, “set against hers, I
would repeat my warning.”

“Remove your cap in presence of the queen, knave,” cried one of the
halberdiers, striking off the young man’s cap with his staff.

“She is not my queen,” rejoined the youth, boldly; “I am for Queen Mary,
whom Heaven and Our Lady preserve!”

“Peace, Gilbert!” cried Gunnora, authoritatively.

“Treason! treason!” exclaimed several voices—“down with them!”

“Do them no injury,” interposed Jane, waving her hand; “let them depart
freely. Set forward, my lords.”

“Hear me, sovereign lady, before I am driven from you,” cried the old
woman, in accents of passionate supplication—“hear me, I implore you.
You are going to a prison, not a palace.—Look at yon angry sky from
which the red lightning is flashing. A moment since it was bright and
smiling; at your approach it has become black and overcast. It is an
omen not to be despised.”

“Hence!” cried Lord Guilford.

“And you, Lord Guilford Dudley,” continued Gunnora, in a stern
tone,—“you, who have added your voice to that of your false father, to
induce your bride to accept the crown,—think not you will ever rule this
kingdom,—think not the supreme authority will be yours. You are a puppet
in your father’s hands; and when you have served his turn, he will cast
you aside—or deal with you as he dealt with Lord Seymour of Dudley,—with
the lord protector, by the axe,—or, as he dealt with his sovereign,
Edward the Sixth, by poison.”

“This passeth all endurance,” exclaimed Lord Guilford;—“away with her to

“Not so, my dear lord,” said Queen Jane. “See you not that her supposed
wrongs have turned her brain? She is faithful to the memory of the lord
protector. If my reign prove as brief as she would have me believe it
will be, it shall never be marked by severity. My first act shall be
one of clemency. Take this ring, my poor woman,” she added, detaching a
brilliant from her taper finger, “and when you need a friend, apply to
Queen Jane.”

Gunnora received the costly gift with a look of speechless gratitude;
the tears started to her eyes, and she sank upon her knees in the boat,
burying her face in her hands. In this state, she was rowed swiftly
away by her grandson, while the loudest shouts were raised for the
munificence and mercy of Jane, who was not sorry to hide herself behind
the silken curtains of her barge.

At this moment, a loud and rattling peal of thunder burst overhead.

Seated beneath a canopy of state, supported by the richest silken
cushions, and with her tiny feet resting upon a velvet footstool,
adorned with her cipher and that of her husband interwoven with
love-knots, Jane proceeded along the river; her heart oppressed with
fears and forebodings, to which she gave no utterance, but which the
storm now raging around with frightful violence was not calculated to
allay. The thunder was awfully loud; the lightning almost insupportably
vivid; but fortunately for those exposed to the tempest, it was
unattended with rain. Lord Guilford Dudley was unremitting in his
assiduity to his lovely consort, and bitterly reproached himself for
allowing her to set forth at such a season. As they approached that part
of the river from which the noble old gothic cathedral of St. Paul’s—one
of the finest structures in the world, and destroyed, it is almost
needless to say, by the Fire of London, when it was succeeded by the
present pile—was best seen, Jane drew aside the curtains of her barge,
and gazed with the utmost admiration upon the magnificent fane. The
storm seemed to hang over its square and massive tower, and flashes
of forked lightning of dazzling brightness appeared to shoot down each
instant upon the body of the edifice.

“Like me, it is threatened,” Jane mentally ejaculated; “and perhaps
the blow that strikes me may strike also the religion of my country.
Whatever betide me, Heaven grant that that noble pile may never again be
polluted by the superstitious ceremonies and idolatries of Rome!”

Viewed from the Thames, London, even in our own time, presents many
picturesque and beautiful points; but at the period to which this
chronicle refers, it must have presented a thousand more. Then, gardens
and stately palaces adorned its banks; then, the spires and towers of
the churches shot into an atmosphere unpolluted by smoke; then,
the houses, with their fanciful gables, and vanes, and tall twisted
chimneys, invited and enchained the eye; then, the streets, of which a
passing glimpse could be caught, were narrow and intricate: then, there
was the sombre, dungeon-like strong-hold already alluded to, called
Baynard’s Castle; the ancient tavern of the Three Cranes; the
Still-yard; and above all, the Bridge, even then old, with its gateways,
towers, drawbridges, houses, mills, and chapel,-enshrined like a hidden
and cherished faith within its inmost heart. All this has passed away.
But if we have no old St. Paul’s, no old London Bridge, no quaint and
picturesque old fabrics, no old and frowning castles, no old taverns,
no old wharfs—if we have none of these, we have still the Tower; and
to that grand relic of antiquity, well worth all the rest, we shall,
without further delay, proceed.

Having passed beneath the narrow arches of London Bridge, the houses on
which were crowded with spectators, and the windows hung with arras and
rich carpets, the royal barge drew up at the distance of a bow-shot from
the Tower. Jane again drew aside the curtain, and when she beheld the
sullen ramparts of the fortress over which arose its lofty citadel (the
White Tower), with its weather-whitened walls relieved against the dusky
sky, and looking like the spectre of departed greatness,—her firmness
for an instant forsook her, and the tears involuntarily started to her
eyes. But the feeling was transient; and more stirring emotions were
quickly aroused by the deafening roar of ordnance which broke from the
batteries, and which was instantly answered from the guns of several
ships lying at anchor near them. By this time, the storm had in a great
measure subsided; the thunder had become more distant, and the
lightning only flashed at long intervals. Still, the sky had an ominous
appearance, and the blue electric atmosphere in which the pageant was
enveloped gave it a ghostly and unsubstantial look. Meanwhile, the lord
mayor and his suite, the bishops, the privy council, the ambassadors,
and the Dukes of Northumberland and Suffolk, having disembarked, the
wafter having the charge of the royal galley drew it towards the land.
Another “marvellous great shot,” as it is described, was then fired, and
amid flourishes of trumpets, peals of ordnance, and ringing of bells,
Jane landed. Here, however, as heretofore, she was coldly received
by the citizens, who hovered around in boats,—and here, as if she was
destined to receive her final warning, the last sullen peal of thunder
marked the moment when she set her foot on the ground. The same
preparations had been made for her landing as for her embarkation. Two
lines of halberdiers were drawn up alongside the platform, and between
them was laid a carpet similar to that previously used. Jane walked
in the same state as before,—her train supported by her mother,—and
attended on her right hand by her husband, behind whom came his esquire,
the young and blooming Cuthbert Cholmondeley.

Where there are so many claimants for attention, it is impossible
to particularize all; and we must plead this as an apology for not
introducing this gallant at an earlier period. To repair the omission,
it may now be stated that Cuthbert Cholmondeley was a younger branch of
an old Cheshire family; that he was accounted a perfect model of manly
beauty; and that he was attired upon the present occasion in a doublet
of white satin slashed with blue, which displayed his slight but
symmetrical figure to the greatest advantage.

Proceeding along the platform by the side of a low wall which guarded
the southern moat, Jane passed under a narrow archway formed by a small
embattled tower connected with an external range of walls facing Petty
Wales. She next traversed part of the space between what was then called
the Bulwark Gate and the Lion’s Gate, and which was filled with armed
men, and passing through the postern, crossed a narrow stone bridge.
This brought her to a strong portal, flanked with bastions and defended
by a double portcullis, at that time designated the Middle Tower. Here
Lord Clinton, Constable of the Tower, with the lieutenant, the gentleman
porter, and a company of warders, advanced to meet her. By them she
was conducted with much ceremony over another stone bridge, with a
drawbridge in the centre, crossing the larger moat, to a second strong
barbican, similarly defended and in all other respects resembling the
first, denominated the Gate Tower. As she approached this portal, she
beheld through its gothic arch a large assemblage, consisting of all the
principal persons who had assisted at the previous ceremonial, drawn
up to receive her. As soon as she emerged from the gateway with her
retinue, the members of the council bent the knee before her. The Duke
of Northumberland offered her the keys of the Tower, while the Marquess
of Winchester, lord treasurer, tendered her the crown.


At this proud moment, all Jane’s fears were forgotten, and she felt
herself in reality a queen. At this moment, also, her enemies, Simon
Renard and De Noailles, resolved upon her destruction. At this moment,
Cuthbert Cholmondeley, who was placed a little to the left of the queen,
discovered amid the by-standers behind one of the warders a face so
exquisitely beautiful, and a pair of eyes of such witchery, that his
heart was instantly captivated; and at this moment, also, another pair
of very jealous-looking eyes, peering out of a window in the tower
adjoining the gateway, detected what was passing between the youthful
couple below, and inflamed their owner with a fierce and burning desire
of revenge.


When the ceremonial at the Tower gate was ended, Queen Jane was
conducted by the Duke of Northumberland to an ancient range of
buildings, standing at the south-east of the fortress, between the
Lanthorn Tower, now swept away, and the Salt Tower. This structure,
which has long since disappeared, formed the palace of the old monarchs
of England, and contained the royal apartments. Towards it Jane
proceeded between closely-serried ranks of archers and arquebusiers,
armed with long-bows and calivers. The whole line of fortifications, as
she passed along, bristled with partizans and pikes. The battlements and
turrets of St. Thomas’s Tower, beneath which yawned the broad black
arch spanning the Traitor’s Gate, was planted with culverins and sakers;
while a glimpse through the grim portal of the Bloody Tower,—which,
with its iron teeth, seemed ever ready to swallow up the victims brought
through the fatal gate opposite it,—showed that the vast area and green
in front of the White Tower was filled with troops. All these defensive
preparations, ostentatiously displayed by Northumberland, produced much
of the effect he desired upon the more timorous of his adversaries.
There were others, however, who regarded the exhibition as an evidence
of weakness, rather than power; and amongst these was Simon Renard. “Our
duke, I see,” he remarked to his companion, De Noailles, “fears Mary
more than he would have us believe. The crown that requires so much
guarding cannot be very secure. Ah! well, he has entered the Tower by
the great gate to-day; but if he ever quits it,” he added, glancing
significantly at the dark opening of Traitors Gate, which they wero then
passing, “his next entrance shall be by yonder steps.” Jane, meanwhile,
had approached the ancient palace with her train. Its arched gothic
doorway was guarded by three gigantic warders, brothers, who, claiming
direct descent from the late monarch, Harry the Eighth, were nicknamed
by their companions, from their extraordinary stature, Og, Gog, and
Magog. Og, the eldest of the three, was the exact image, on a large
scale, of his royal sire. By their side, as if for the sake of contrast,
with an immense halbert in his hand, and a look of swelling importance,
rivalling that of the frog in the fable, stood a diminutive but
full-grown being, not two feet high, dressed in the garb of a page.
This mannikin, who, besides his dressed figure, had a malicious and
ill-favoured countenance, with a shock head of yellow hair, was a
constant attendant upon the giants, and an endless source of diversion
to them. Xit—for so was the dwarf named—had been found, when an infant,
and scarcely bigger than a thumb, one morning at Og’s door, where he was
placed in the fragment of a blanket, probably out of ridicule. Thrown
thus upon his compassion, the good-humoured giant adopted the tiny
foundling, and he became, as has been stated, a constant attendant
and playmate—or, more properly, plaything—of himself and his brethren.
Unable to repress a smile at the ludicrous dignity of the dwarf, who,
advancing a few steps towards her, made her a profound salutation as she
passed, and bade her welcome in a voice as shrill as a child’s treble;
nor less struck with the herculean frames and huge stature of his
companions,—they were all nearly eight feet high, though Magog exceeded
his brethren by an inch;—Jane ascended a magnificent oaken staircase,
traversed a long gallery, and entered a spacious but gloomy-looking
hall, lighted by narrow gothic windows filled with stained glass,
and hung with tarnished cloth of gold curtains and faded arras. The
furniture was cumbrous, though splendid,—much of it belonging to the
period of Henry the Seventh, though some of it dated as far back as the
reign of Edward the Third, when John of France was detained a prisoner
within the Tower, and feasted by his royal captor within this very
chamber. The walls being of great thickness, the windows had deep
embrasures, and around the upper part of the room ran a gallery. It was
in precisely the same state as when occupied by Henry the Eighth, whose
portrait, painted by Holbein, was placed over the immense chimney-piece;
and as Jane gazed around, and thought how many monarchs had entered
this room before her full of hope and confidence,—how with all their
greatness they had passed away,—she became so powerfully affected, that
she trembled, and could with difficulty support herself. Remarking her
change of colour, and conjecturing the cause, Northumberland begged her
to retire for a short time to repose herself before she proceeded to the
council-chamber within the White Tower, where her presence was required
on business of the utmost moment. Gladly availing herself of the
suggestion, Jane, attended by her mother and her dames of honour,
withdrew into an inner chamber. On her departure, several of the
privy-councillors advanced towards the duke, but, after returning
brief answers to their questions, in a tone calculated to cut short
any attempt at conversation, he motioned towards him two ushers, and
despatched them on different errands. He then turned to the Duke of
Suffolk, who was standing by his side, and was soon engaged in deep and
earnest discourse with him. Aware that they were suspected, and alarmed
for their safety, the conspiring nobles took counsel together as to
the course they should pursue. Some were for openly defying
Northumberland,—some for a speedy retreat,—some for the abandonment
of their project,—while others, more confident, affirmed that the Duke
would not dare to take any severe measures, and, therefore, there was no
ground for apprehension. Amid these conflicting opinions, Simon Renard
maintained his accustomed composure. “It is plain,” he said to the
group around him, “that the Duke’s suspicions are awakened, and that he
meditates some reprisal. What it is will presently be seen. But trust in
me, and you shall yet wear your heads upon your shoulders.”

At the expiration of a quarter of an hour, the Queen, who had been
summoned by Lord Guilford Dudley, reappeared. The great door was then
instantly thrown open by two officials with white wands, and, attended
by Northumberland, to whom she gave her hand, traversing a second long
gallery, she descended a broad flight of steps, and entered upon another
range of buildings, which has since shared the fate of the old palace,
but which then, extending in a northerly direction, and flanked on the
right by a fortification denominated the Wardrobe Tower, connected the
royal apartments with the White Tower. Taking her way through various
halls, chambers, and passages in this pile, Jane, at length, arrived at
the foot of a wide stone staircase, on mounting which she found herself
in a large and lofty chamber, with a massive roof crossed and supported
by ponderous beams of timber. This room, which was situated within the
White Tower, and which Jane was apprised adjoined the council-chamber,
was filled with armed men. Smiling at this formidable assemblage,
Northumberland directed the Queen towards a circular-arched opening in
the wall on the right, and led her into a narrow vaulted gallery formed
in the thickness of the wall. A few steps brought them to another narrow
gallery, branching off on the left, along which they proceeded. Arrived
at a wide opening in the wall, a thick curtain was then drawn aside by
two attendants, and Jane was ushered into the council-chamber. The sight
which met her gaze was magnificent beyond description. The vast hall,
resembling in all respects the antechamber she had just quitted, except
that it was infinitely more spacious, with its massive roof hung with
banners and its wooden pillars decorated with velvet and tapestry, was
crowded to excess with all the principal persons and their attendants
who had formed her retinue in her passage along the river, grouped
according to their respective ranks. At the upper end of the chamber,
beneath a golden canopy, was placed the throne; on the right of which
stood the members of the privy-council, and on the left the bishops.
Opposite to the throne, at the lower extremity of the room, the walls
were hung with a thick curtain of black velvet, on which was displayed
a large silver scutcheon charged with the royal blasen. Before this
curtain was drawn up a line of arquebusiers, each with a caliver upon
his shoulder.

No sooner was the Queen seated, than Northumberland, who had placed
himself at the foot of the throne, prostrated himself, and besought
her permission to lay before the lords of the council a despatch,
just received from the Lady Mary; which being accorded, he arose, and,
turning towards them, unfolded a paper, and addressed them in a stern
tone as follows:—“My lords,” he began, “it will scarcely surprise you to
be informed that the Lady Mary, in the letter I here hold, given under
her signet, and dated from Kenninghall in Norfolk, lays claim to the
imperial crown of this realm, and requires and charges you, of your
allegiance, which you owe to her, and to none other,—it is so written,
my lords,—to employ yourselves for the honour and surety of her person
only; and furthermore, to cause her right and title to the crown and
government of the realm to be proclaimed within the city of London and
other places, as to your wisdoms shall seem good. Now, my lords, what
say you? What answer will you make to these insolent demands—to these
idle and imaginary claims?”

“None whatever,” replied the Earl of Pembroke; “we will treat them with
the scorn they merit.”

“That may not be, my lord,” observed Queen Jane; “your silence will be

“Ay, marry will it,” rejoined Northumberland, glancing fiercely at
the Earl; “and your advice, my lord of Pembroke, savours strongly of
disloyalty. I will tell you how you shall answer this misguided lady.
You shall advertise her, firstly, that on the death of our sovereign
lord, Edward the Sixth, Queen Jane became invested and possessed with
the just and right title in the imperial crown of this realm, not only
by good order of ancient laws, but also by our late sovereign lord’s
letters patent, signed with his own hand, and sealed with the great seal
of England, in presence of the most part of the nobles, councillors,
judges, and divers other grave and sage personages, assenting to
and subscribing the same. You shall next tell her, that having sworn
allegiance to Queen Jane, you can offer it to no other, except you would
fall into grievous and unspeakable enormities. You shall also remind
her, that by the divorce made between the king of famous memory, King
Henry the Eighth, and the lady Catherine her mother, confirmed by sundry
acts of parliament yet in force, she was justly made illegitimate and
unheritable to the crown of this realm. And lastly, you shall require
her to surcease, by any pretence, to vex and molest our sovereign lady
Queen Jane, or her subjects from their true faith and allegiance unto
her grace. This, my lords, is the answer you shall return.”

“We will consider of it,” cried several voices.

“Your decision must be speedy,” returned the Duke, scornfully; “a
messenger waits without, to convey your reply to the Lady Mary. And to
spare your lordships any trouble in penning the despatch, I have already
prepared it.”

“Prepared it!” ejaculated Cecil.

“Ay, prepared it,” repeated the Duke. “It is here,” he added, producing
a parchment, “fairly enough written, and only lacking your lordships’
signatures. Will it please you, Sir William Cecil, or you, my lord of
Pembroke, or you, Shrewsbury, to cast an eye over it, to see whether
it differs in aught from what I have counselled as a fitting answer to
Mary’s insolent message? You are silent: then, I may conclude you are

“Your grace concludes more than you have warrant for,” rejoined the Earl
of Pembroke; “I am not satisfied, nor will I subscribe that letter.”

“Nor I,” added Cecil.

“Nor I,” repeated several others.

“We shall see,” returned Northumberland: “bring pen and ink,” he added,
motioning to an attendant, by whom his commands were instantly obeyed.
“Your grace of Canterbury,” he continued, addressing Cranmer, “will
sign it first. ‘Tis well. And now, my lord Marquess of Winchester, your
signature; my lord Bedford, yours; now yours, Northampton; yours, my
lord chancellor; next, I shall attach my own; and now yours, brother of
Suffolk. You see, my lords,” he said, with a bitter smile, “you will be
well kept in countenance.”

While this was passing, Simon Renard, who stood among the throng of
privy-councillors, observed in a whisper to those nearest him,—“If this
despatch is signed and sent forth, Mary’s hopes are ruined. She will
suspect some treachery on the part of her friends, and immediately
embark for France, which is what Northumberland desires to accomplish.”

“His scheme shall be defeated, then,” replied Pembroke; “it never shall
be signed.”

“Be not too sure of that,” rejoined Renard, with a scarcely-repressed

“And now, my lord of Arundel,” said the Duke, taking the document from
Suffolk, “we tarry for your signature.”

“Then your grace must tarry still longer,” replied Arundel, sullenly,
“for I am in no mood to furnish it.”

“Ha!” exclaimed Northumberland, fiercely,—but, instantly checking
himself, he turned to the next peer, and continued: “I will pass on,
then, to you, Lord Shrewsbury. I am assured of your loyalty. What! do
you, too, desert your queen? God’s mercy! my lord, I have been strangely
mistaken in you. Pembroke, you can now prove I was in error. You fold
your arms—‘tis well! I understand you. Rich, Huntingdon, Darcy, I appeal
to you. My lords! my lords! you forget to whom you owe allegiance. Sir
Thomas Cheney,—do you not hear me speak to you, Sir Thomas? Cecil, my
politic, crafty Cecil,—a few strokes of your pen is all I ask, and those
you refuse me. Gates, Petre, Cheke,—will none of you move? will none

“None,” answered Pembroke.

“It is false,” cried Northumberland, imperiously; “you shall all
sign,—all! vile, perjured traitors that you are! I will have your hands
to this paper, or, by God’s precious soul! I will seal it with your
blood. Now, will you obey me?”

There was a stern, deep silence.

“Will you obey him?” demanded Renard, in a mocking whisper. “No!”
answered Pembroke, fiercely.

“Guards!” cried Northumberland, “advance, and attach their persons.”

The command was instantly obeyed by the arquebusiers, who marched
forward and surrounded them.

Jane fixed an inquiring look upon Northumberland, but she spoke not.

“What next?” demanded Pembroke, in a loud voice.

“The block,” replied Northumberland.

“The block!” exclaimed Jane, rising, while the colour forsook her cheek.
“Oh! no, my lord,—no.”

“But I say yea,” returned the Duke, peremptorily. “‘Fore Heaven! these
rebellious lords think I am as fearful of shedding blood as they are of
shedding ink. But they shall find they are mistaken. Away with them to
instant execution.”

“Your grace cannot mean this!” cried Jane, horror-stricken.

“They shall have five minutes for reflection,” returned the Duke,
sternly. “After that time, nothing shall save them.’”

An earnest consultation was held among the council. Three minutes had
expired. The Duke beckoned a sergeant of the guard towards him.

“You had better sign,” whispered Simon Renard; “I will find some means
of communicating with her highness.”

“We have reflected,” cried the Earl of Pembroke, “and will do your
grace’s behests.”

“It is well,” answered Northumberland. “Set them free.” As soon as the
guard had withdrawn, the council advanced, and each, in turn, according
to his degree, subscribed the despatch. This done, Northumberland
delivered it to an officer, enjoining him to give it instantly to the
messenger, with orders to the latter to ride for his life, and not to
draw bridle till he reached Kenninghall.

“And now,” continued the Duke, addressing another officer, “let the
gates of the Tower be closed, the drawbridges raised, and suffer none to
go forth, on pain of death, without my written order.”

“Diable!” exclaimed De Noailles, shrugging his shoulders.

“Prisoners!” cried several of the privy-councillors.

“You are the queen’s guests, my lords,” observed the Duke, drily.

“Do you agree to my scheme now?” asked Renard, in a deep whisper. “Do
you consent to Northumberland’s assassination?”

“I do,” replied Pembroke. “But who will strike the blow?”

“I will find the man,” answered Renard.

These words, though uttered under the breath of the speakers, reached
the ears of Cuthbert Cholmondeley.

Shortly afterwards, the council broke up; and Jane was conducted with
much state to the royal apartments.


Cuthbert Cholmondeley, it may be remembered, was greatly struck by
a beautiful damsel whom he discovered among the crowd during the
ceremonial at the Gate Tower; and, as faithful chroniclers, we are bound
to state that the impression was mutual, and that if he was charmed
with the lady, she was not less pleased with him. Notwithstanding her
downcast looks, the young esquire was not so inexperienced in feminine
arts as to be unconscious of the conquest he had made. During the halt
at the gate, he never withdrew his eyes from her for a single moment,
and when he was reluctantly compelled to move forward with the
procession, he cast many a lingering look behind. As the distance
lengthened between them, the courage of the damsel seemed to revive; she
raised her head, and before her admirer had reached the extremity of the
lofty wall masking the lieutenant’s lodgings, he perceived her gazing
fixedly after him. She held by the hand a little curly-haired boy,
whom Cholmondeley concluded must be her brother,—and he was perplexing
himself as to her rank,—for though her beauty was of the highest order,
and her lineaments such as might well belong to one of high birth, her
attire seemed to bespeak her of no exalted condition,—when an incident
occurred, which changed the tenor of his thoughts, and occasioned him
not a little uneasiness. While she remained with her eyes fixed upon
him, a tall man in a dark dress rushed, with furious gestures and an
inflamed countenance, out of the gateway leading to the inner line
of fortifications on the left, and shaking his hand menacingly at
the esquire, forced her away. Cholmondeley saw her no more; but the
imploring look which she threw at him as she disappeared, produced so
powerful an effect upon his feelings that it was with difficulty he
could prevent himself from flying to her assistance. So absorbed was he
by this idea, that he could think of nothing else;—the pageant, at which
he was assisting, lost all interest for him, and amid the throng of
court beauties who surrounded him, he beheld only the tender blue eyes,
the light satin tresses, the ravishing countenance, and sylph-like
person of the unknown maiden. Nor could he exclude from his recollection
the figure of the tall dark man; and he vainly questioned himself as
to the tie subsisting between him and the damsel. Could he be her
father?—Though his age might well allow of such a supposition, there was
no family resemblance to warrant it. Her husband?—that he was scarcely
disposed to admit. Her lover?—he trembled with jealous rage at the idea.
In this perplexity, he bethought himself of applying for information
to one of the warders; and, accordingly, he addressed himself to Magog,
who, with Xit, happened to be standing near him. Describing the damsel,
he inquired of the giant whether he knew anything of her.

“Know her!” rejoined Magog, “ay, marry, do I. Who that dwells within
this fortress knows not fair Mistress Cicely, the Rose of the Tower, as
she is called? She is daughter to Dame Prudentia Trusbut, wife of Peter
the pantler—”

“A cook’s daughter!” exclaimed Cholmondeley, all his dreams of high-born
beauty vanishing at once.

“Nay, I ought rather to say,” returned the giant, noticing the young
mans look of blank disappointment, and guessing the cause, “that she
passes for his daughter.”

“I breathe again,” murmured Cholmondeley.

“Her real birth is a mystery,” continued Magog; “or, if the secret is
known at all, it is only to the worthy pair who have adopted her. She is
said to be the offspring of some illustrious and ill-fated lady, who
was imprisoned within the Tower, and died in one of its dungeons, after
giving birth to a female child, during the reign of our famous king,
Harry the Eighth,” and he reverently doffed his bonnet as he pronounced
his sire’s name; “but I know nothing of the truth or falsity of the
story, and merely repeat it because you seem curious about her.”

“Your intelligence delights me,” replied Cholmondeley, placing a noble
in his hand. “Can you bring me where I can obtain further sight of her?”

“Ay, and speech too, worshipful sir, if you desire it,” replied the
giant, a smile illuminating his ample features. “When the evening
banquet is over, and my attendance at the palace is no longer required,
I shall repair to the Stone Kitchen at Master Trusbut’s dwelling, where
a supper is provided for certain of the warders and other officers of
the Tower, to which I and my brethren are invited, and if it please you
to accompany us, you are almost certain to behold her.”

Cholmondeley eagerly embraced the offer, and it was next arranged that
the dwarf should summon him at the proper time.

“If your worship requires a faithful emissary to convey a letter
or token to the fair damsel,” interposed Xit, “I will undertake the

“Fail not to acquaint me when your master is ready,” replied
Cholmondeley, “and I will reward you. There is one question,” he
continued, addressing Magog, “which I have omitted to ask.—Who is the
tall dark man who seems to exercise such strange control over her? Can
it be her adoptive father, the pantier?”

“Of a surety no,” replied the giant, grinning, “Peter Trusbut is neither
a tall man nor a dark; but is short, plump, and rosy, as beseems his
office. The person to whom your worship alludes must be Master Lawrence
Nightgall, the chief jailor, who lately paid his suit to her. He is of a
jealous and revengeful temper, and is not unlikely to take it in
dudgeon that a handsome gallant should set eyes upon the object of his

“Your description answers exactly to the man I mean,” returned
Cholmondeley, gravely.

“Shall I bear a cartel to him from your worship?” said Xit. “Or, if you
require a guard, I will attend upon your person,” he added, tapping the
pummel of his sword.

“I do not require your services in either capacity, as yet, valiant
sir,” replied the esquire, smiling. “After the banquet I shall expect

Resuming his place near Lord Guilford Dudley, Cholmondeley shortly
afterwards proceeded with the royal cortege to the council-chamber,
where, being deeply interested by Northumberland’s address to the
conspiring lords, he for an instant forgot the object nearest his heart.
But the next, it returned with greater force than ever; and he was
picturing to himself the surprise, and, as he fondly hoped, the delight,
he should occasion her by presenting himself at her dwelling, when Simon
Renard’s dark proposal to the Earl of Pembroke reached his ear. Anxious
to convey the important information he had thus obtained to his master,
as soon as possible, he endeavoured to approach him, but at this moment
the council broke up, and the whole train returned to the palace. During
the banquet that followed, no opportunity for an instant’s private
conference occurred—the signal for the separation of the guests being
the departure of the Queen and her consort. While he was considering
within himself what course he had best pursue, he felt his mantle
slightly plucked behind, and, turning at the touch, beheld the dwarf.

“My master, the giant Magog, awaits you without, worshipful sir,” said
Xit, with a profound reverence.

Weighing his sense of duty against his love, he found the latter feeling
too strong to be resisted. Contenting himself, therefore, with tracing
a hasty lino of caution upon a leaf torn from his tablets, he secured it
with a silken thread, and delivering it to an attendant, commanded him
instantly to take it to the Lord Guilford Dudley. The man departed, and
Cholmondelcy, putting himself under the guidance of the dwarf,
followed him to the great stairs, down which he strutted with a most
consequential air, his long rapier clanking at each step he took.
Arrived at the portal, the young esquire found the three giants, who
had just been relieved from further attendance by another detachment
of warders, and, accompanied by them, proceeded along the ward in the
direction of the Gate-Tower. Sentinels, he perceived, were placed at ten
paces’ distance from each other along the ramparts; and the guards
on the turrets, he understood from his companions, were doubled. On
reaching the Gate-Tower, they found a crowd of persons, some of whom,
on presenting passes from the Duke of Northumberland, were allowed to go
forth; while others, not thus provided, were peremptorily refused.
While the giants paused for a moment to contemplate this novel scene,
an officer advanced from the barbican and acquainted the keepers of
the inner portal that a prisoner was about to be brought in. At this
intelligence, a wicket was opened, and two heralds, followed by a band
of halberdiers, amidst whom walked the prisoner, stepped through it.
Torches were then lighted by some of the warders, to enable them to
discern the features of the latter, when it appeared, from his ghastly
looks, his blood-stained apparel, and his hair, which was closely matted
to his head by the ruddy stream that flowed from it, that some severe
punishment had been recently inflicted upon him. He was a young man
of nineteen or twenty, habited in a coarse dress of brown serge, of a
slight but well-proportioned figure, and handsome features, though now
distorted with pain and sullied with blood, and was instantly recognised
by Cholmondelcy as the individual who had rowed Gunnora Braose towards
the Queen. On making the discovery, Cholmondeley instantly demanded, in
a stern tone, of the heralds, how they had dared, in direct opposition
to their sovereign’s injunctions, to punish an offender whom she had

“We have the Duke of Northumberland’s authority for what we have done,”
replied the foremost herald, sullenly; “that is sufficient for us.”

“The punishment we have inflicted is wholly disproportioned to the
villain’s offence, which is little short of high treason,” observed
the other. “When we proclaimed the Queen’s Highness at Cheapside, the
audacious knave mounted a wall, flung his cap into the air, and shouted
for Queen Mary. For this we set him in the pillory, and nailed his head
to the wood; and he may think himself fortunate if he loseth it not as
well as his ears, which have been cut off by the hangman.”

“Ungrateful wretch!” cried Cholmondeley, addressing the prisoner, his
former commiseration being now changed to anger; “is it thus you requite
the bounty of your Queen?”

“I will never acknowledge a usurper,” returned Gilbert, firmly.

“Peace!” cried the esquire; “your rashness will destroy you.”

“It may so,” retorted Gilbert, boldly; “but while I have a tongue to
wag, it shall clamour for Queen Mary.”

“Where are you going to bestow the prisoner?” inquired Gog from the
foremost herald.

“In the guard-room,” replied the man, “or some other place of security,
till we learn his grace’s pleasure.”

“Bring him to the Stone Kitchen, then,” returned Gog. “He will be as
safe there as anywhere else, and you will be none the worse for a can of
good liquor, and a slice of one of Dame Trusbut’s notable pasties.’”


“Agreed;” rejoined the heralds, smiling; “bring him along.” While this
was passing, Cholmondeley, whose impatience could brook no further
delay, entreated Magog to conduct him at once to the habitation of the
fair Cicely. Informing him that it was close at hand, the giant opened a
small postern on the left of the gateway leading to the western line
of fortifications, and ascending a short spiral staircase, ushered his
companion into a chamber, which, to this day, retains its name of the
Stone Kitchen. It was a low, large room, with the ceiling supported by
heavy rafters, and the floor paved with stone. The walls were covered
with shelves, displaying a goodly assortment of pewter and wooden
platters, dishes and drinking-vessels; the fire-place was wide enough to
admit of a whole ox being roasted within its limits; the chimney-piece
advanced several yards into the room, while beneath its comfortable
shelter were placed a couple of benches on either side of the hearth, on
which a heap of logs was now crackling. Amid the pungent smoko arising
from the wood could be discerned, through the vast aperture of the
chimney, sundry hams, gammons, dried tongues, and other savoury meats,
holding forth a prospect of future good cheer. At a table running across
the room, and furnished with flagons and pots of wine, several boon
companions were seated. The chief of these was a jovial-looking warder
who appeared to be the life and soul of the party, and who had a laugh,
a joke, or the snatch of a song, for every occasion. Opposite to him sat
Peter Trusbut, the pantler, who roared at every fresh witticism uttered
by his guest till the tears ran down his cheeks. Nor did the warder
appear to be less of a favourite with Dame Potentia, a stout buxom
personage, a little on the wrong side of fifty, but not without some
remains of comeliness. She kept his glass constantly filled with the
best wine, and his plate as constantly supplied with the choicest
viands, so that, what with eating, drinking, singing, and a little sly
love-making to Dame Trusbut, Pibald, for so was the warder named,
was pretty well employed. At the lower end of the table was placed
a savage-looking person, with red bloodshot eyes and a cadaverous
countenance. This was Mauger, the headsman. He was engaged in earnest
conversation with Master Hairun, the bearward, assistant-keeper of the
lions,—an office, at that time, of some consequence and emolument. In
the ingle nook was ensconced a venerable old man with a snowy beard
descending to his knees, who remained with his eyes fixed vacantly upon
the blazing embers. Seated on a stool near the hearth, was a little boy
playing with a dog, whom Cholmondeley perceived at once was Cicely’s
companion; while the adjoining chair was occupied by the fair creature
of whom the enamoured esquire was in search. Pausing at the doorway,
he lingered for a moment to contemplate her charms. A slight shade of
sadness clouded her brow—her eyes were fixed upon the ground, and
she now and then uttered a half-repressed sigh. At this juncture, the
jolly-looking warder struck up a Bacchanalian stave, the words of which
ran as follows:—

With my back to the fire and my paunch to the table,

Let me eat,—let me drink as long as I am able:

Let me eat,—let me drink whate’er I set my whims on,

Until my nose is blue, and my jolly visage crimson.

The doctor preaches abstinence, and threatens me with dropsy,

But such advice, I needn’t say, from drinking never stops ye:—

The man who likes good liquor is of nature brisk and brave, boys,

So drink away!—drink while you may!—

There’s no drinking in the grave, boys!

“Well sung, my roystering Pibald,” cried Magog, striding up to him, and
delivering him a sounding blow on the back—“thou art ever merry, and
hast the most melodious voice and the lustiest lungs of any man within
the Tower.”

“And thou hast the heaviest hand I ever felt on my shoulder, gigantic
Magog,” replied Ribald; “so we are even. But come, pledge me in a
brimmer, and we will toss off a lusty measure to the health of our
sovereign lady, Queen Jane. What say you, Master Trusbut?—and you, good
Hairun—and you, most melancholic Mauger, a cup of claret will bring the
colour to your cheeks. A pot of wine, good dame, to drink the Queen’s
health in. But whom have we yonder? Is that gallant thy companion,
redoubted Magog?”

The giant nodded an affirmative.

“By my faith he is a well-looking youth,” said Ribald—“but he seems to
have eyes for no one excepting fair Mistress Cicely.”


Aroused by this remark, the young damsel looked up and beheld the
passionate gaze of Cholmondeley fixed upon her. She started, trembled,
and endeavoured to hide her confusion by industriously pursuing her
occupation of netting. But in spite of her efforts to restrain herself,
she could not help stealing a sidelong glance at him; and emboldened by
this slight encouragement, Cholmondeley ventured to advance towards her.
It is scarcely necessary to detail the common-place gallantries which
the youth addressed to her, or the monosyllabic answers which she
returned to them. The language of love is best expressed by the look
which accompanies the word, and the tone in which that word is uttered;
and this language, though as yet neither party was much skilled in it,
appeared perfectly intelligible to both of them. Satisfied, at length,
that she was not insensible to his suit, Cholmondeley drew nearer, and
bending his head towards her, poured the most passionate protestations
in her ear. What answer she made, if she made answer at all to these
ardent addresses, we know not, but her heightened complexion and heaving
bosom told that she was by no means insensible to them. Meanwhile,
Og and Gog, together with the heralds and one or two men-at-arms, had
entered the chamber with the prisoner. Much bustle ensued, and Dame
Potcntia was so much occupied with the new-comers and their wants, that
she had little time to bestow upon her adoptive daughter. It is true
that she thought the handsome stranger more attentive than was needful,
or than she judged discreet; and she determined to take the earliest
opportunity of putting a stop to the flirtation—but, just then, it
happened that her hands were too full to allow her to attend to minor
matters. As to Peter Trusbut, he was so much entertained with the
pleasantries of his friend Ribald—and so full of the banquet he had
provided for the Queen, the principal dishes of which he recapitulated
for the benefit of his guests, that he saw nothing whatever that was
passing between the young couple. Not so a gloomy-looking personage
shrouded behind the angle of the chimney, who, with his hand upon his
dagger, bent eagerly forward to catch their lightest whisper. Two
other mysterious individuals had also entered the room, and stationed
themselves near the doorway. As soon as Dame Trusbut had provided
for the wants of her numerous guests, she turned her attention to the
prisoner, who had excited her compassion, and who sat with his arms
folded upon his breast, preserving the same resolute demeanour he had
maintained throughout. Proffering her services to the sufferer, she bade
her attendant, Agatha, bring a bowl of water to bathe his wounds, and
a fold of linen to bind round his head. At this moment, Xit, the dwarf,
who was by no means pleased with the unimportant part he was compelled
to play, bethought him of an expedient to attract attention. Borrowing
from the herald the scroll of the proclamation, he mounted upon Og’s
shoulders, and begged him to convey him to the centre of the room, that
he might read it aloud to the assemblage, and approve their loyalty.
The good-humoured giant complied. Supporting the mannikin with his left
hand, and placing his large two-handed sword over his right shoulder, he
walked forward, while the dwarf screamed forth the following preamble to
the proclamation:—“Jane, by the grace of God Queen of England, France,
and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and of the Church of England, and
also of Ireland, under Christ on earth the supreme head. To all our
loving, faithful, and obedients, and to every of them, greeting.” Here
he paused to shout and wave his cap, while the herald, who had followed
them, to humour the joke raised his embroidered trumpet to his lips, and
blew a blast so loud and shrill, that the very rafters shook with it.
To this clamour Og added his stunning laughter, while his brethren,
who were leaning over a screen behind, and highly diverted with the
incident, joined in lusty chorus. Almost deafened by the noise, Dame
Trusbut, by way of putting an end to it, raised her own voice to its
utmost pitch, and threatened to turn Xit, whom she looked upon as the
principal cause of the disturbance, out of the house. Unfortunately, in
her anger, she forgot that she was engaged in dressing the prisoner’s
wounds, and while her left hand was shaken menacingly at the dwarf, her
right convulsively grasped the poor fellow’s head, occasioning him such
exquisite pain, that he added his outcries to the general uproar. The
more Dame Trusbut scolded, the more Og and his brethren laughed, and the
louder the herald blew his trumpet—so that it seemed as if there was
no likelihood of tranquillity being speedily restored—nor, in all
probability would it have been so without the ejectment of the dwarf,
had it not been for the interference of Ribald, who at length, partly by
cajolery, and partly by coercion, succeeded in pacifying the angry dame.
During this tumult, the two mysterious personages, who, it has been
stated, had planted themselves at the doorway, approached the young
couple unobserved, and one of them, after narrowly observing the
features of the young man, observed in an under-tone to his companion,
“It is Cuthbert Cholmondeley—You doubted me, my lord Pembroke, but I was
assured it was Lord Guilford’s favourite esquire, who had conveyed the
note to his master, warning him of our scheme.”

“You are right, M. Simon Renard,” replied the earl. “I bow to your
superior discernment.”

“The young man is in possession of our secret,” rejoined Renard, “and
though we have intercepted the missive, he may yet betray us. He must
not return to the palace.”

“He never shall return, my lords,” said a tall dark man, advancing
towards them, “if you will entrust his detention to me.”

“Who are you?” demanded Renard, eyeing him suspiciously. “Lawrence
Nightgall, the chief jailor of the Tower.”

“What is your motive for this offer?” pursued Renard.

“Look there!” returned Nightgall. “I love that damsel.”

“I see;” replied Renard, smiling bitterly. “He has supplanted you.”

“He has,” rejoined Nightgall; “but he shall not live to profit by his
good fortune.”

“Hum!” said Renard, glancing at Cicely, “the damsel is lovely enough to
ruin a man’s soul. We will trust you.”

“Follow me, then, without, my lords,” replied Nightgall, “and I will
convey him where he shall not cause further uneasiness to any of us. We
have dungeons within the Tower, from which those who enter them seldom

“You are acquainted, no doubt, with the secret passages of the White
Tower, friend?” asked Renard.

“With all of them,” rejoined Nightgall. “I know every subterranean
communication—every labyrinth—every hidden recess within the walls of
the fortress, and there are many such—and can conduct you wherever you

“You are the very man I want,” cried Renard, rubbing his hands,
gleefully. “Lead on.”

And the trio quitted the chamber, without their departure being noticed.

Half an hour afterwards, as Cuthbert Cholmondeley issued from the
postern with a heart elate with rapture at having elicited from the fair
Cicely a confession that she loved him, he received a severe blow on
the head from behind, and before he could utter a single outcry, he was
gagged, and forced away by his assailants.


On that night Lord Guilford Dudley was summoned to a secret council by
his father, the Duke of Northumberland, and as he had not returned
at midnight, the Lady Hastings, who was in attendance upon the Queen,
proposed that, to while away the time, they should pay a visit to St.
John’s Chapel in the White Tower, of the extreme beauty of which they
had all heard, though none of them had seen it. Jane assented to the
proposal, and accompanied by her sister, the Lady Herbert, and the
planner of the expedition, Lady Hastings, she set forth. Two ushers
led the way through the long galleries and passages which had to be
traversed before they reached the White Tower; but on arriving at the
room adjoining the council-chamber which had so lately been thronged
with armed men, but which was now utterly deserted, Jane inquired from
her attendants the way to the chapel, and on ascertaining it, commanded
her little train to await her return there, as she had determined on
entering the sacred structure alone. In vain her sisters remonstrated
with her—in vain the ushers suggested that there might be danger in
trusting herself in such a place at such an hour without protection—she
remained firm—but promised to return in a few minutes, after which they
could explore the chapel together.

Taking a lamp from one of the attendants, and pursuing the course
pointed out to her, she threaded a narrow passage, similar to that she
had traversed with the Duke in the morning, and speedily entered upon
the gallery above the chapel. As she passed through the opening in the
wall leading to this gallery, she fancied she beheld the retreating
figure of a man, muffled in a cloak, and she paused for a moment,
half-inclined to turn back. Ashamed, however, of her irresolution, and
satisfied that it was a mere trick of the imagination, she walked on.
Descending a short spiral wooden staircase, she found herself within one
of the aisles of the chapel, and passing between its columns, entered
the body of the fane. For some time, she was lost in admiration of this
beautiful structure, which, in its style of architecture—the purest
Norman—is without an equal. She counted its twelve massive and circular
stone pillars, noted their various ornaments and mouldings, and admired
their grandeur and simplicity. Returning to the northern aisle, she
glanced at its vaulted roof, and was enraptured at the beautiful effect
produced by the interweaving arches.

While she was thus occupied, she again fancied she beheld the same
muffled figure she had before seen, glide behind one of the pillars.
Seriously alarmed, she was now about to retrace her steps, when her
eye rested upon an object lying at a little distance from her, on the
ground. Prompted by an undefinable feeling of curiosity, she hastened
towards it, and holding forward the light, a shudder ran through
her frame, as she perceived at her feet, an axe! It was the
peculiarly-formed implement used by the headsman, and the edge was
turned towards her.

At this moment, her lamp was extinguished.





NOT appearing, and some time having elapsed since her departure, her
sisters, who were anxiously awaiting her return in the room adjoining
the council-chamber, became so uneasy, that, notwithstanding her
injunctions to the contrary, they resolved to go in search of her.
Accordingly, bidding the ushers precede them, they descended to the
chapel; and their uneasiness was by no means decreased on finding
it buried in darkness, and apparently empty. As they gazed around in
perplexity and astonishment, a deep-drawn sigh broke from the northern
aisle; and, hurrying in that direction, they discovered the object of
their search, who had been hidden from view by the massive intervening
pillars, extended upon a seat, and just recovering from a swoon into
which she had fallen. Revived by their assiduities, Jane was soon able
to speak, and the first thing she uttered was a peremptory order that no
alarm should be given, or assistance sent for.

“I am now well—quite well,” she said, with a look and in a tone that
belied her words, “and require no further aid. Do not question me as to
what has happened. My brain is too confused to think of it; and I would
fain banish it altogether from my memory. Moreover, I charge you by your
love and allegiance, that you mention to no one—not even to my dear lord
and husband, should he interrogate you on the subject,—how you have
just found me. And if my visit here be not remarked by him—as is
not unlikely, if he should remain closeted with the Duke of
Northumberland,—it is my will and pleasure that no allusion be made to
the circumstance. You will not need to be told, dear sisters, that I
have good reasons for thus imposing silence upon you. To you, sirs,” she
continued, addressing the ushers, who listened to her with the greatest
surprise, “I also enjoin the strictest secrecy;—and look well you
observe it.”

The solemn and mysterious manner in which the Queen delivered her
commands quite confounded her sisters, who glanced at each other as if
they knew not what to think;—but they readily promised compliance, as
did the ushers. Supporting herself on the arm of Lady Herbert, Jane then
arose, and proceeded at a slow pace towards the eastern stair-case. As
she was about to turn the corner of the aisle, she whispered to Lady
Hastings, who walked on her left—“Look behind you, Catherine. Do you see
nothing on the ground?”

“Nothing whatever, your highness,” replied the other, glancing fearfully
over her shoulder. “Nothing whatever, except the black and fantastic
shadows of our attendants.”

“Thank Heaven! it is gone,” ejaculated Jane, as if relieved from a
weight of anxiety.

“What is gone, dear sister?” inquired Lady Herbert, affectionately.

“Do not ask me,” replied Jane, in a tone calculated to put an end to
further conversation on the subject. “What I have seen and heard must
for ever remain locked in my own bosom.”

“I begin to think a spirit must have appeared to your majesty,” observed
Lady Herbert, whose curiosity was violently excited, and who, in
common with most persons of the period, entertained a firm belief in
supernatural appearances. “Every chamber in the Tower is said to be
haunted,—and why not this ghostly chapel, which looks as if it were
peopled with phantoms? I am quite sorry I proposed to visit it. But if I
am ever caught in it again, except in broad daylight, and then only with
sufficient attendance, your majesty shall have free leave to send me
to keep company with the invisible world for the future. I would give
something to know what you have seen. Perhaps it was the ghost of Anne
Boleyn, who is known to walk;—or the guilty Catherine Howard,—or the old
Countess of Salisbury. Do tell me which it was—and whether the spectre
carried its head under its arm?”

“No more of this,” said Jane, authoritatively. “Come with me to the

“Your majesty is not going to remain here?” cried Lady Hastings. “I
declare positively I dare not stop.”

“I will not detain you longer than will suffice to offer a single prayer
to Heaven,” rejoined the Queen. “Be not afraid. Nothing will injure, or
affright you.”

“I am by no means sure of that,” replied Lady Hastings. “And now I
really do think I see something.”

“Indeed!” exclaimed Jane, starting. “Where?”

“Behind the farthest pillar on the right,” replied Lady Hastings,
pointing towards it. “It looks like a man muffled in a cloak. There!—it

“Go and see whether any one be lurking in the chapel,” said Jane to the
nearest usher, and speaking in a voice so loud, that it almost seemed as
if she desired to be overheard.

The attendant obeyed; and immediately returned with the intelligence
that he could find no one.

“Your fears, you perceive, are groundless, Catherine,” observed Jane,
forcing a smile.

“Not altogether, I am persuaded, from your manner, my dear sister, and
gracious mistress,” rejoined Lady Hastings. “Oh! how I wish I was safe
back again in the palace.”

“So do I,” added Lady Herbert.

“A moment’s patience and I am ready,” rejoined Jane.

With this, she approached the altar, and prostrated herself on the
velvet cushion before it.

“Almighty Providence!” she murmured in a tone so low as to be inaudible
to the others, “I humbly petition thee and supplicate thee, that if the
kingdom that has been given me be rightly and lawfully mine, thou wilt
grant me so much grace and spirit, that I may govern it to thy glory,
service, and advantage. But if it be otherwise—if I am unlawfully
possessed of it, and am an hindrance to one who might serve thee more
effectually, remove, O Lord, the crown from my head, and set it on
that of thy chosen servant! And if what I have this night beheld be a
fore-shadowing and a warning of the dreadful doom that awaits me, grant
me, I beseech thee, strength to meet it with fortitude and resignation;
so that my ending, like my life, may redound to thy honour, and the
welfare of thy holy church.” While Jane was thus devoutly occupied, her
sisters, who stood behind her, could scarcely control their uneasiness,
but glanced ever and anon timorously round, as if in expectation of
some fearful interruption. Their fears were speedily communicated to
the ushers; and though nothing occurred to occasion fresh alarm, the few
minutes spent by the Queen in prayer appeared an age to her companions.
There was something in the hour—it was past midnight,—and the place,
calculated to awaken superstitious terrors. The lights borne by the
attendants only illumined a portion of the chapel; rendering that which
was left in shadow yet more sombre; while the columned aisles on either
side, and the deeply-recessed arches of the gallery above, were shrouded
in gloom. Even in broad day, St. John’s Chapel is a solemn and a
striking spot; but at midnight, with its heavy, hoary pillars, reared
around like phantoms, its effect upon the imagination will be readily
conceived to be far greater.

Already described as one of the most perfect specimens of Norman
ecclesiastical architecture, this venerable structure, once used as a
place of private worship by the old monarchs of England, and now as
a receptacle for Chancery proceedings, has, from its situation in the
heart of the White Tower, preserved, in an almost unequalled state,
its original freshness and beauty; and, except that its floors are
encumbered with cases, and its walls of Caen stone disfigured by a thick
coat of white plaster, it is now much in the same state that it was at
the period under consideration. It consists of a nave with broad aisles,
flanked (as has been mentioned) by twelve circular pillars, of the
simplest and most solid construction, which support a stone gallery of
equal width with the aisles, and having an arcade corresponding with
that beneath the floor is now boarded, but was formerly covered with
a hard polished cement, resembling red granite. The roof is coved, and
beautifully proportioned; and the fane is completed by a semicircular
termination towards the east.

Old Stowe records the following order, given in the reign of Henry the
Third, for its decoration:—“And that ye cause the whole chapel of St.
John the Evangelist to be whited. And that ye cause three glass windows
in the same chapel to be made; to wit, one on the north side, with a
certain little Mary holding her child; the other on the south part, with
the image of the Trinity; and the third, of St. John the Apostle and
Evangelist, in the south part. And that ye cause the cross and the beam
beyond the altar of the same chapel to be painted well and with good
colours. And that ye cause to be made and painted two fair images where
more conveniently and decently they may be done in the same chapel;
one of St. Edward, holding a ring, and reaching it out to St. John the
Evangelist.” These fair images—the cross—the rood,—and the splendid
illuminated window, are gone—most of them, indeed, were gone in Queen
Jane’s time—the royal worshippers are gone with them; but enough remains
in its noble arcades, its vaulted aisles, and matchless columns, to
place St. John’s Chapel foremost in beauty of its class of architecture.

Her devotions over, Jane arose with a lighter heart, and, accompanied
by her little train, quitted the chapel. On reaching her own apartments,
she dismissed her attendants, with renewed injunctions of secrecy; and
as Lord Guilford Dudley had not returned from the council, and she felt
too much disturbed in mind to think of repose, she took from among the
books on her table, a volume of the divine Plato, whose Phædo, in the
original tongue, she was wont, in the words of her famous instructor,
Roger Ascham, “to read with as much delight as some gentlemen would take
in a merry tale of Boccace,” and was speedily lost in his profound and
philosophic speculations.

In this way the greater part of the night was consumed; nor was it till
near day-break that she was aroused from her studies by the entrance of’
her husband.

“Jane, my beloved queen!” he exclaimed, hastening towards her with a
countenance beaming with delight. “I have intelligence for you which
will enchant you.”

“Indeed! my dear lord,”’ she replied, laying down her book, and rising
to meet him. “What is it?”

“Guess,” he answered, smiling.

“Nay, dear Dudley,” she rejoined, “put me not to this trouble. Tell me
at once your news, that I may participate in your satisfaction.”

“In a word, then, my queen,” replied Lord Guilford,—“My father and the
nobles propose to elevate me to the same dignity as yourself.”

Jane’s countenance fell.

“They have not the power to do so, my lord,” she rejoined gravely; “I,
alone, can thus elevate you.”

“Then I am king,” cried Dudley, triumphantly.

“My lord,” observed Jane, with increased gravity, “you will pardon me if
I say I must consider of this matter.”

“Consider of it!” echoed her husband, frowning; “I must have your
decision at once. You can have no hesitation, since my father desires
it. I am your husband, and claim your obedience.”

“And I, my lord,” rejoined Jane, with dignity, “am your queen; and, as
such, it is for me, not you, to exact obedience. We will talk no further
on the subject.”

“As you please, madam,” replied Lord Guilford, coldly. “To-morrow you
will learn the Duke’s pleasure.”

“When I do so, he shall know mine,” rejoined Jane.

“How is this?” exclaimed Dudley, gazing at her in astonishment. “Can it
be possible you are the same Jane whom I left—all love—all meekness—all
compliance?—or have a few hours of rule so changed your nature, that you
no longer love me as heretofore?”

“Dudley,” returned Jane, tenderly, “you are dear to me as ever; and if
I accede not to your wishes, do not impute it to other than the
right motive. As a queen, I have duties paramount to all other
considerations,—duties which, so long as I am queen, I will fulfil to
the best of my ability, and at every personal sacrifice. Be not wholly
guided by the counsels of your father,—be not dazzled by ambition. The
step you propose is fraught with danger. It may cost me my crown, and
cannot ensure one to you.”

“Enough,” replied her husband, apparently convinced by her arguments.
“We will postpone its further consideration till to-morrow.”

When that morrow came, Dudley’s first business was to seek his father,
and acquaint him with the manner in which his communication to the Queen
had been received. The haughty Duke appeared surprised, but imputed the
failure to his son’s mismanagement, and undertook to set it right. With
this view, he repaired to the Queen’s apartments, and on obtaining an
audience, informed her that he and the lords of the council had resolved
to place her husband on the throne beside her. Her answer differed in
nothing from that which she had returned to Lord Guilford, except that
it was couched in a firmer tone; but it had this addition, that she was
well aware of his Grace’s object in the proposal, which was, in
effect, to obtain possession of the supreme power. In vain arguments,
entreaties, and even threats, were used by the Duke: Jane continued
inflexible. Northumberland was succeeded by his no less imperious
spouse, who, with all the insolence of her arrogant nature, rated her
daughter-in-law soundly, and strove to terrify her into compliance.
But she, too, failed; and Lord Guilford was so enraged at his consort’s
obstinacy, that he quitted the Tower, and departed for Sion House,
without even taking leave of her.

Perplexed as he felt by Jane’s conduct, Northumberland was too well
versed in human nature not to be aware that a character however soft
and pliant may, by the sudden alteration of circumstances, be totally
changed,—but he was by no means prepared for such a remarkable display
of firmness as Jane had exhibited. The more he considered the matter,
the more satisfied he became that she had some secret counsellor, under
whose guidance she acted, and with the view of finding out who it was,
he resolved to have all her motions watched. No one appeared so well
fitted to this office as his daughter, the Lady Hastings; and sending
for her, he extracted from her, in the course of conversation, all
particulars with which she was acquainted of the mysterious occurrence
in St. John’s Chapel. This information filled Northumberland with new
surprise, and convinced him that he had more to dread than he at first
imagined, and that the schemes of his enemies must be in full operation.
His suspicions fell upon Simon Renard, though he scarcely knew how to
connect him with this particular occurrence. Dismissing his daughter
with full instructions for the part he desired her to play, he continued
for some time brooding over the mystery, and vainly trying to unravel
it. At one time, he resolved to interrogate Jane; but the reception
he had recently experienced, induced him to adopt a different and more
cautious course. His thoughts, however, were soon diverted from the
subject, by the onerous duties that pressed upon him. Amongst other
distractions, not the least was the arrival of a messenger with the
intelligence that Mary had retired from Kenninghall in Norfolk, whither
he had despatched a body of men to surprise her, and retreated to a
more secure post, Framlingham Castle—that she had been proclaimed in
Norwich—and that her party was hourly gaining strength in all quarters.
Ill news seldom comes alone, and the proud Duke experienced the truth of
the adage. Other messengers brought word that the Earls of Bath, Sussex,
and Oxford, Lord Wentworth, Sir Thomas Cornwallis, Sir Henry Jerningham,
and other important personages, had declared themselves in her favour.

While he was debating upon the best means of crushing this danger in the
bud, a page from Lady Hastings suddenly presented himself, and informed
him that the Queen was at that moment engaged in deep conference with M.
Simon Renard, in St. Peter’s Chapel. On inquiry, the Duke learned
that Jane, who had been greatly disturbed in mind since her husband’s
departure, had proceeded to St. Peter’s Chapel—(a place of worship
situated at the north end of the Tower Green, and appropriated to the
public devotions of the court and household,)—accompanied by her
mother, the Duchess of Suffolk, and her sisters, the Ladies Herbert and
Hastings; and that the train had been joined by the Earls of Pembroke
and Arundel, De Noailles, and Simon Renard—the latter of whom, when the
Queen’s devotions were ended, had joined her. Tarrying for no further
information, the Duke summoned his attendants, and hastened to the Tower
Green. Entering the chapel, he found the information he had received
was correct. The wily ambassador was standing with the Queen before the



In spite of the interruption occasioned by the dwarf, the evening at the
Stone Kitchen passed off pleasantly enough. Dame Potentia was restored
to good humour by the attentions of the jovial warder, and the giants
in consequence were regaled with an excellent and plentiful supper,
of which Xit was permitted to partake. Whether it was that their long
fasting, or their attendance at the state-banquet, had sharpened the
appetites of the three gigantic brethren, or that the viands set before
them were of a more tempting nature than ordinary, we pretend not to
say, but certain it is that their prodigious performances at the table
excited astonishment from all who witnessed them, and elicited the
particular approbation of Ribald, who, being curious to ascertain how
much they could eat, insisted on helping them to everything on the
board, and, strange to say, met with no refusal.

With the profuse hospitality of the period, all the superfluities of
the royal feast were placed at the disposal of the household; and it
may therefore be conceived that Peter Trusbut’s table was by no means
scantily furnished. Nor was he disposed to stint his guests. Several
small dishes which had been set before them having disappeared with
marvellous celerity, he called for the remains of a lordly baron of
beef, which had recently graced the royal sideboard. At the sight of
this noble joint, Og, who had just appropriated a dish of roast quails,
two of which he despatched at a mouthful, uttered a grunt of intense
satisfaction, and abandoning the trifling dainties to Xit, prepared for
the more substantial fare.

Assuming the part of carver, Peter Trusbut sliced off huge wedges of the
meat, and heaped the platters of the giants with more than would have
satisfied men of ordinary appetites. But this did not satisfy them. They
came again and again. The meat was of such admirable quality—so well
roasted—so full of gravy, and the fat was so exquisite, that they could
not sufficiently praise it, nor do it sufficient justice. The knife was
never out of Peter Trusbut’s hands; nor was he allowed to remain idle
a moment. Scarcely had he helped Og, when Gog’s plate was empty; and
before Gog had got his allowance, Magog was bellowing for more. And so
it continued as long as a fragment remained upon the bones.

Puffing with the exertion he had undergone, the pantler then sat down,
while Ribald, resolved not to be balked of his pastime, entreated
Dame Potentia to let her guests wash down their food with a measure of
metheglin. After some little solicitation, she complied, and returned
with a capacious jug containing about three gallons of the balmy drink.
The jug was first presented to Magog. Raising it to his lips, he took
a long and stout pull, and then passed it to Gog, who detained it some
seconds, drew a long breath, and returned it to Dame Trusbut, perfectly
empty. By dint of fresh entreaties from the warder, Dame Potentia was
once more induced to seek the cellar; and, on receiving the jug, Og took
care to leave little in it for his brethren, but poured out what was
left into a beaker for Xit.

They were now literally “giants refreshed;” and Peter Trusbut,
perceiving that they still cast wistful glances towards the larder,
complied with a significant wink from Ribald, and went in search of
further provisions. This time he brought the better half of a calvered
salmon, a knuckle of Westphalia ham, a venison pasty with a castellated
crust of goodly dimensions, a larded capon, and the legs and carcass of
a peacock, decorated with a few feathers from the tail of that gorgeous
bird. Magog, before whom the latter dainty was placed, turned up his
nose at it, and giving it to Xit, vigorously assaulted the venison
pasty. It soon became evident that the board would again be speedily
cleared; and though he had no intention of playing the niggardly host on
the present occasion, Peter Trusbut declared that this was the last
time such valiant trenchermen should ever feed at his cost. But his
displeasure was quickly dispelled by the mirth of the warder, who
laughed him out of his resolution, and encouraged the giants to proceed
by every means in his power. Og was the first to give in. Throwing back
his huge frame on the bench, he seized a flask of wine that stood near
him, emptied it into a flagon, tossed it off at a draught, and declared
he had had enough. Gog soon followed his example. But Magog seemed
insatiable, and continued actively engaged, to the infinite diversion of
Ribald, and the rest of the guests.

There was one person to whom this festive scene afforded no amusement.
This was the fair Cicely. After Cholmondeley’s departure—though wholly
unacquainted with what had befallen him—she lost all her sprightliness,
and could not summon up a smile, though she blushed deeply when rallied
by the warder. In surrendering her heart at the first summons of the
enamoured esquire, Cicely had obeyed an uncontrollable impulse; but she
was by no means satisfied with herself for her precipitancy. She felt
that she ought to have resisted rather than have yielded to a passion
which, she feared, could have no happy result; and though her admirer
had vowed eternal constancy, and pleaded his cause with all the
eloquence and fervour of deep and sincere devotion—an eloquence which
seldom falls ineffectually on female ears—she was not so unacquainted
with the ways of the world as to place entire faith in his professions.
But it was now too late to recede. Her heart was no longer her own; and
if her lover had deceived her, and feigned a passion which he did not
feel, she had no help for it, but to love on unrequited.

While her bosom alternately fluttered with hope, or palpitated with
fear, and her hands mechanically pursued their employment, she chanced
to raise her eyes, and beheld the sinister gaze of Lawrence Nightgall
fixed upon her. There was something in his malignant look that convinced
her he read what was passing in her breast—and there was a bitter and
exulting smile on his lip which, while it alarmed her on her account,
terrified her (she knew not why) for her lover.

“You are thinking of the young esquire who left you an hour ago,” he
observed sarcastically.

“I will not attempt to deny it,” replied Cicely, colouring; “I am.”

“I know it,” rejoined the jailer; “and he dared to tell you he loved

Cicely made no reply.

“And you?—what answer did you give him, mistress?” continued Nightgall,
furiously grasping her arm. “What answer did you give him, I say?”

“Let me go,” cried Cicely. “You hurt me dreadfully. I will not be
questioned thus.”

“I overheard what you said to him,” rejoined the jailer. “You told him
that you loved him—that you had loved no other—and would wed no other.”

“I told him the truth,” exclaimed Cicely. “I do love him, and will wed

“It is false,” cried Nightgall, laughing maliciously. “You will never
see him again.”

“How know you that?” she cried, in alarm.

“He has left the Tower—for ever,” returned the jailer, moodily.

“Impossible!” cried Cicely. “The Duke of Northumberland has given orders
that no one shall go forth without a pass. Besides, he told me he was
returning to the palace.”

“I tell you he is gone,” thundered Nightgall. “Hear me, Cicely,” he
continued, passionately. “I have loved you long—desperately. I would
give my life—my soul for you. Do not cast me aside for this vain
court-gallant, who pursues you only to undo you. He would never wed

“He has sworn to do so,” replied Cicely.

“Indeed!” cried Nightgall, grinding his teeth, “The oath will never be
kept. Cicely, you must—you shall be mine.”

“Never!” replied the maiden. “Do you suppose I would unite myself to one
whom I hate, as I do you?”

“Hate me!” cried the jailer, grasping her arm with such force that she
screamed with pain. “Do you dare to tell me so to my face?”

“I do,” she rejoined. “Release me, monster!”

“Body of my father! what’s the matter?” roared Magog, who was sitting
near them. “Leave go your hold of the damsel, Master Nightgall,” he
added, laying down his knife and fork.

“Not at your bidding, you overgrown ox!” replied the jailer. “We’ll see
that,” replied the giant. And stretching out his hand, he seized him by
the nape of the neck, and drew him forcibly backwards.

“You shall bleed for this, caitiff!” exclaimed Nightgall, disengaging
himself, and menacing him with his poniard.

“Tush!” rejoined Magog, contemptuously, and instantly disarming him.
“Your puny weapon will serve me for a toothpick,” he added, suiting the
action to the word. And, amid the loud laughter of the assemblage, the
jailer slunk away, muttering interjections of rage and vengeance.

Nightgall’s dark hints respecting Cholmondeley were not without effect
upon Cicely, who, well aware of his fierce and revengeful character,
could not help fearing some evil; and when he quitted the Stone Kitchen,
an undefinable impulse prompted her to follow him. Hastily descending
the stairs, on gaining the postern she descried him hurrying along the
road between the ballium wall and the external line of fortifications,
and instantly decided on following him.

On reaching the projecting walls of the Beauchamp Tower, behind which
she sheltered herself, she saw that he stopped midway between that
fortification and the next turret, then known as the Devilin, or Robin
the Devil’s Tower, but more recently, from having been the prison of the
unfortunate Earl of Essex, as the Devereux Tower. Here he disappeared.
Hastening to the spot, Cicely looked for the door, through which he
must have passed; and after some little search, discovered it. Pushing
against it, it yielded to the pressure, and admitted her to a low
passage, evidently communicating with some of the subterranean dungeons
which she knew existed under this part of the fortress.

She had scarcely set foot within this passage, when she perceived the
jailor returning; and had barely time to conceal herself behind an angle
of the wall, when he approached the spot where she stood. In his
haste he had forgotten to lock the door, and he now, with muttered
execrations, hastened to repair his error; cutting off by this means the
possibility of Cicely’s retreat. And here, for the present, it will be
necessary to leave her, and return to the Stone Kitchen.

The attention which must otherwise have been infallibly called to
Cicely’s disappearance was diverted by the sudden entrance of a very
singular personage, whose presence served somewhat to damp the hilarity
of the party. This was Master Edward Underhill—a man of some ability,
but of violent religious opinions, who, having recently been
converted to the new doctrines, became so zealous in their support and
propagation, that he obtained among his companions the nick-name of the
“Hot-gospeller.” He was a tall thin man, with sandy hair, and a scanty
beard of the same colour. His eyes were blear and glassy, with pink lids
utterly devoid of lashes, and he had a long lantern-shaped visage. His
attire was that of a gentleman-pensioner.

Rebuking the assemblage for their unseemly mirth, and mounting upon a
stool, Master Underhill would fain have compelled them to listen to a
discourse on the necessity of extirpating papacy and idolatry from the
land—but he was compelled, by the clamour which his exordium occasioned,
to desist. He was, moreover, brought down, with undue precipitation,
from his exalted position by Xit, who creeping under the stool,
contrived to overset it, and prostrated the Gospeller on the floor, to
the infinite entertainment of the guests, and the no small damage of his

This incident, though received in good part even by the principal
sufferer, served to break up the party. Apprehensive of some further
disturbance, and not without fears that the giants might indulge as
freely with the fluids as they had done with the solids, Dame Trusbut
took advantage of the occurrence to dismiss her guests, which she did
without much ceremony.

It was then for the first time that she noticed the absence of Cicely.
Not being able to find her, the recollection of the handsome esquire,
and of the attention he had paid her, rushed to her mind; and with a
dreadful foreboding of impending misery, she despatched her husband to
the palace to make inquiries after him; while she herself went to the
gate—to the ramparts—everywhere, in short, that she thought it likely
she could gain any information,—but everywhere without success.

The giants, meanwhile, with Xit, betook themselves to their lodgings
in the By-ward Tower. The herald and the men-at-anns, who, it may be
remembered, had charge of the prisoner Gilbert, not having received any
further instructions respecting him, accompanied them thither. They were
also attended by Master Edward Underhill, who was bent upon admonishing
them, having been given to understand they were relapsing into papacy.


Arrived at the entrance of the By-ward Tower, the giants volunteered to
take charge of the prisoner till the morning—an offer which was gladly
accepted by the herald, who, intrusting him to their care, departed.
But the Gospeller was not to be got rid of so easily. He begged to be
admitted, and, partly by entreaties, partly by a bribe to the dwarf,
succeeded in his object. The first care of the giants, on entering their
abode—an octagonal chamber of stone, about sixteen feet wide, and twenty
high, with a vaulted coiling, supported by sharp groined arches of great
beauty, springing from small slender columns,—was to light a candle
placed in front of an ancient projecting stone fireplace. Their next was
to thrust the prisoner into the arched embrasure of a loop-hole at one
side of it.

The walls of the chamber were decorated with the arms and accoutrements
of the gigantic brethren,—the size of which would have been sufficient
to strike any chance-beholder with wonder. Over the embrasure in which
they had placed the prisoner, hung an enormous pair of gauntlets, and a
morion of equal size. Here was a quiver full of arrows, each shaft far
exceeding a cloth-yard in length—there a formidable club, armed with
sharp steel spikes; while the fire-place was garnished with a couple
of immense halberts. Having drawn a large pot of wine, which they first
offered to their guest, who refused it, they each took a deep draught;
and informing Underhill, if he was still resolved to hold forth, he
had better commence without further delay, they disposed themselves to
listen to him.

Placing a small table in the centre of the chamber, Og seated himself
opposite it, and took Xit upon his knee; while Gog sat down beside him,
and Magog supported his huge bulk against the wall. Divesting himself
of his cap and sword, and placing an hour-glass on the table, the
Hot-gospeller then opened a small volume, which he took from beneath his
cloak; from which he began to read certain passages and to comment upon
them in a vehement tone.


His exhortation opened with a burst of rejoicing on the accession of
Queen Jane—in which he pronounced terrible anathemas against all those
who sought to restore the fallen religion. Perceiving the fierce gaze of
the prisoner fixed upon him, he directed his chief thunders against
him, and, excited by his subject, soon worked himself into a state
approaching to frenzy.

In this strain he continued for some time, when a sound arose which
drowned even his vehemence. Overcome with drowsiness, the three giants,
who for a short time vainly endeavoured to attend to the discourse of
the Gospeller, had now sunk into a comfortable slumber—and the noise
which they made was tremendous. In vain Underhill endeavoured to
rouse them by thumping the table. Gog gazed at him for an instant
with half-shut eyes, and then leaning on Og’s shoulder, who, with
head dropped back and mouth wide open, was giving audible proof of his
insensible condition, he speedily dropped asleep again. Such was the
astounding din, that the Gospeller could not even make himself heard by
the dwarf, who, perched on Og’s knee at a few paces’ distance, stared in
amazement at his gesticulations.

More than an hour having passed in this manner, the Hot-gospeller, whose
energies were wholly exhausted, came to a pause; and after menacing
his insensible audience with proportionate punishment in the next
world—especially the idolatrous prisoner, whom he threatened with
gesture as well as with word—he closed his volume, and prepared to
depart. With some difficulty the three giants were awakened; and it was
only by the assistance of Xit, who tweaked their noses and plucked their
beards, that this could be accomplished.

Just as Master Underhill was taking his leave, Dame Trusbut arrived in
the greatest tribulation. The fair Cicely was nowhere to be found. Her
husband had been to the palace. Nothing could be heard of the young
esquire; nor could Lawrence Nightgall be met with. In this emergency,
she had come to entreat the giants to aid her in her search. They
agreed to go at once—and Xit was delighted with the prospect of such
employment. Accordingly, the door was locked upon the prisoner, and they
set forth with the distracted dame.

As soon as he was left alone, Gilbert surveyed the chamber to sec
if there was any means by which he might effect his escape. An idea
speedily occurred to him: by the help of one of the halberts he
contrived to free himself from his bonds, and then clambered up the


On recovering from the stunning effects of the blow he had received,
Cuthbert Cholmondeley found himself stretched on the floor of a gloomy
vault, or dungeon, for such he judged it. At first, he thought he must
be dreaming, and tried to shake off the horrible nightmare by which he
supposed himself oppressed. But a moment’s reflection undeceived him;
and starting to his feet, he endeavoured to explore the cell in which he
was confined. A heavy chain, which bound his leg to the floor, prevented
him from moving more than a few paces; and, convinced that escape was
impossible, he sank upon the ground in despair.

Unable to assign any cause for his imprisonment, and wholly at a loss
to imagine what offence he had committed, he taxed his brain as to
everything that had recently happened to him. This naturally directed
his thoughts to the fair Cicely—and with her gentle image came the
recollection of the malicious countenance and threatening gestures of
Lawrence Nightgall. Remembering what Magog had told him of the jealousy
and vindictive nature of this person, and remembering also that he had
heard him described as the chief jailer, he felt that he need seek no
further for the motive and the author of his imprisonment.

The assurance, however, which he had thus gained, afforded him no
consolation, but rather tended to increase his disquietude. If he had
been a prisoner of state, he might have hoped for eventual release;
but placed in the hands of so remorseless and unscrupulous an enemy
as Nightgall had shown himself, he felt he had little to hope. This
consideration filled him with anguish, which was heightened as he
thought of the triumph of his savage rival, who by some means—for he
seemed desperate enough to have recourse to any expedient—might
possess himself of the object of his passion. Fired by this thought,
Cholmondeley again sprang to his feet, and strove with all his force to
burst his bondage. But the effort was fruitless; and by lacerating his
hands, and straining his limbs, he only added bodily torture to his
mental suffering. Exhausted at length, he sank once more upon the floor.

By this time, having become habituated to the gloom of the place, he
fancied he could make out that it was an arched cell of a few feet in
width, and corresponding height. The only light admitted was from the
entrance, which appeared to open upon a passage branching off on
the left, and upon a further range of dungeons extending in the same

Not altogether unacquainted with the prisons of the Tower, Cholmondeley
felt against the walls to try whether he could find any of those
melancholy memorials which their unfortunate inmates delighted to
bequeath to their successors, and which might serve as a clue to the
particular place of his confinement. But nothing but the smooth surface
of the stone met his touch. This circumstance, however, and the peculiar
form of the cell, induced him to think that it must be situated beneath,
or at no great distance from the Devilin Tower, as he had heard of a
range of subterranean dungeons in that quarter: and, it may be added, he
was right in his conjecture.

The cell in which he was thrown was part of a series of such dreadful
receptacles, contrived in the thickness of the ballium wall, and
extending from the Beauchamp Tower to the Devilin Tower. They were
appropriated to those prisoners who were doomed to confinement for life.

Horrible recollections then flashed upon his mind of the dreadful
sufferings he had heard that the miserable wretches immured in these
dungeons underwent—how some were tortured—some destroyed by secret and
expeditious means—others by the more lingering process of starvation. As
the latter idea crossed him, he involuntarily stretched out his hand to
ascertain whether any provisions had been left him; but he could find

The blood froze in his veins as he thought of dying thus; his hair
stiffened upon his head; and he was only prevented from crying out to
make his lamentable case known to the occupants of any of the adjoining
cells, by the conviction of its utter futility. But this feeling passed
away, and was succeeded by calmer and more consolatory reflections.
While in this frame of mind, Nature asserted her sway, and he dropped


How long he remained thus, he knew not; but he was awakened by a loud
and piercing scream. Raising himself, he listened intently. The scream
was presently repeated in a tone so shrill and unearthly, that it filled
him with apprehensions of a new kind. The outcry having been a third
time raised, he was debating within himself whether he should in any way
reply to it, when he thought he beheld a shadowy figure glide along the
passage. It paused at a short distance from him. A glimmer of light
fell upon the arch on the left, but the place where the figure stood
was buried in darkness. After gazing for some time at the mysterious
visitant, and passing his hand across his brow to assure himself that
his eyesight did not deceive him, Cholmondeley summoned courage enough
to address it. No answer was returned; but the figure, which had the
semblance of a female, with the hands raised and clasped together as if
in supplication or prayer, and with a hood drawn over the face, remained
perfectly motionless. Suddenly, it glided forward, but with a step so
noiseless and swift, that almost before the esquire was aware of the
movement, it was at his side. He then felt a hand cold as marble placed
upon his own, and upon grasping the fingers they appeared so thin and
bony, that he thought he must have encountered a skeleton. Paralysed
with fright, Cholmondeley shrunk back as far as he was able; but the
figure pursued him, and shrieked in his ear—“My child, my child!—you
have taken my child!”

Convinced from the voice that he had a being of this world to deal with,
the esquire seized her vestment, and resolved to detain her till he had
ascertained who she was and what was the cause of her cries; but just
as he had begun to question her, a distant footstep was heard, ands
uttering a loud shriek, and crying—“He comes!—he comes!”—the female
broke from him and disappeared.

Fresh shrieks were presently heard in a more piteous tone than before,
mixed with angry exclamations in a man’s voice, which Cholmondeley
fancied sounded like that of Nightgall. A door was next shut with great
violence; and all became silent.

While he was musing on this strange occurrence, Cholmondeley heard
footsteps advancing along the passage on the left, and in another moment
Lawrence Nightgall stood before him.

The jailer, who carried a lamp, eyed the captive for a few moments in
silence, and with savage satisfaction.

“It is to you, then, I owe my imprisonment, villain,” said Cholmondeley,
regarding him sternly.

“It is,” replied the jailer; “and you can readily conjecture, I doubt
not, why I have thus dealt with you.”

“I can,” resumed the esquire; “your jealousy prompted you to the deed.
But you shall bitterly rue it.”

“Bah!” exclaimed Nightgall. “You are wholly in my power. I am not,
however, come to threaten, but to offer you freedom.”

“On what terms?” demanded Cholmondeley.

“On these,” replied the jailer, scowling—“that you swear to abandon

“Never!” replied the esquire.


“Then your fate is sealed,” rejoined Nightgall. “You shall never quit
this spot.”

“Think not to move me by any such idle threat,” returned Cholmondeley.
“You dare not detain me.”

“Who shall prevent me?” laughed the jailor, scornfully. “I, alone,
possess the key of these dungeons. You are their sole occupant.”

“That is false,” retorted the esquire. “There is another captive,—a
miserable female,—whom I, myself, have seen.”

“Has she been here?” cried Nightgall, with a look of disquietude.

“Not many minutes since,” replied the other, fixing a scrutinizing
glance upon him. “She came in search of her child. What have you done
with it, villain?”

Cholmondeley had no particular object in making the inquiry. But he was
astonished at the effect produced by it on the jailer, who started and
endeavoured to hide his confusion by pulling his cap over his brows.

“She is a maniac,” he said, at length, in a hoarse voice.

“If it be so,” rejoined the esquire, severely; “she has been driven
out of her senses by your barbarous usage. I more than suspect you have
murdered her child.”

“Entertain what suspicions you please,” replied Nightgall, evidently
relieved by the surmise. “I am not accountable for the ravings of a
distracted woman.”

“Who is she?” demanded the esquire.

“The names of those confined within these cells are never divulged,’”
returned the jailer. “She has been a prisoner of state for nineteen

“And during that term her child was born—ha?” pursued Cholmondeley.

“I will answer no further questions,” replied Nightgall, doggedly. “One
word before I depart. I am not your only enemy. You have others more
powerful, and equally implacable. You have incurred the displeasure of
the Privy Council, and I have a warrant, under the hands of its chief
members, for your execution. I am now about to summon the headsman for
the task.”

“Then your offer to liberate me was mere mockery,” observed the esquire.

“Not so,” replied the other; “and I again repeat it. Swear to abandon
Cicely, and to maintain profound silence as to what you have just seen,
and I will convey you by a secret passage underneath the Tower moat to
a place of security, where you will be beyond the reach of your enemies,
and will take the risk of your escape upon myself. Do you agree to

“No,” replied Cholmondeley, firmly. “I distrust your statement, and defy
your malice.”

“Obstinate fool!” growled the jailer. “Prepare to meet your fate in an

“Whenever it comes it will find me prepared,” rejoined the esquire.

Nightgall glared at him fiercely for a moment from beneath his shaggy
brows. He then strode sullenly away. But his departure was prevented by
Cicely, who suddenly appeared at the mouth of the dungeon.

“You here!” he exclaimed recoiling, and trembling as if an apparition
had crossed his path. “How have you obtained admittance?”,

“It matters not,” she answered. “I am come to purchase your prisoner’s

“You know the terms?” rejoined the jailer, eagerly.

“I do,” she replied; “and will comply with them when you have fulfilled
your share of the compact.”

“Cicely!” cried Cholmondeley, who had been to the full as much
astonished at her unexpected appearance as the jailer. “Cicely!” he
cried, starting to his feet, and extending his hands towards her. “Do
not consent to his proposal. Do not sacrifice yourself for me. I would
die a thousand deaths rather than you should be his.”

“Heed him not,” interposed Nightgall, grasping her arm, and preventing
her from approaching her lover; “but attend to me. You see this
warrant,” he added, producing a parchment. “It is from the Council, and
directs that the prisoner’s execution shall take place in such manner as
may best consist with despatch and secrecy. If I deliver it to Manger,
the headsman, it will be promptly obeyed. And I shall deliver it, unless
you promise compliance.”

“The villain deceives you, dear Cicely,” cried Cholmondeley, in a voice
of anguish. “The Council have not the power of life and death. They
cannot—dare not order my execution without form or trial.”

“The Council will answer for their actions themselves,” rejoined
Nightgall, carelessly. “Their warrant will bear me and my comrades
harmless. Mauger will not hesitate to act upon it. What is your
determination, Cicely?”

“Free him,” she replied.

“Recal your words, sweet Cicely,” cried Cholmondeley, throwing himself
at her feet, “if you have any love for me. You doom me to worse than
death by this submission.”

“Cholmondeley,” she replied in a mournful voice, “my resolution is
taken, and even you cannot induce me to change it. The opening of our
love has been blighted. My heart has been crushed, almost before it
knew for whom it beat. It matters not now what becomes of me. If my life
could preserve yours, or restore you to freedom, I would freely yield
it. But as nothing will suffice except my hand, I give that. Think of me
no more,—or think of me only as another’s.‘’’

“That thought were madness!” groaned Cholmondeley.

“Master Lawrence Nightgall,” continued Cicely, “you say you can conduct
the prisoner beyond the walls of the Tower, Bring me back some token
that you have done so, and I am yours.”

“Willingly,” replied the jailer.

“Retire then for a moment, while I arrange with him what the token shall

Nightgall hesitated.

“Refuse, and I retract my promise,” she added.

And the jailer, with a suspicious look, reluctantly left the cell.

“Cicely, my beloved,” cried Cholmondeley, clasping her in his arms,
“why—why have you done this?”

“To preserve you,” she replied, hurriedly. “Once out of this dungeon, I
can bring assistance to liberate you.”

“Indeed!” ejaculated Nightgall, who, having placed his ear to the wall,
lost not a syllable of their discourse.

“It will be unavailing,” replied Cholmondeley. “No one will venture
to oppose an order of the Council. You must make known my case to Lord
Guilford Dudley. Take this ring. Explain all to him, and I may yet be
saved. Do you hear me, Cicely?”

“I do,” she replied “And I,” added Nightgall.

“In case you fail,” continued the esquire, “the token of my escape shall
be”—And placing his lips close to her ear, he spoke a few words in so
low a tone, that they escaped the jailer. “Till you receive that token
treat Nightgall as before.”

“Doubt it not,” she answered.

“I am content,” said the esquire.

“I see through the design,” muttered the jailer, “and will defeat it.
Have you done?” he added, aloud.

“A moment,” replied Cholmondeloy, again pressing the damsel to his
bosom, “I would sooner part with my life’s-blood than resign you.”

“I must go,” she cried, disengaging herself from his embrace. “Now,
Master Nightgall, I am ready to attend you.”

“In an hour I shall return and release you,” said the jailer, addressing
the prisoner. “Your hand, Cicely.”

“I will go alone,” she replied, shrinking from him with a look of

“As you please,” he rejoined, with affected carelessness. “You are

“Not till I have received the token. Farewell!” she murmured, turning
her tearful gaze upon Cholmondeley.

“For ever!” exclaimed the youth.

And as they quitted the cell, he threw himself despairingly on the

Issuing from the outer door of the dungeon, Cicely and her companion
took their way towards the Stone Kitchen. They had not proceeded far,
when they perceived several persons approaching them, who, as they drew
nearer, proved to be Dame Potentia, Xit, and the giants.

“What have you been doing, Cicely?” inquired her adoptive mother,
angrily. “I have been searching for you everywhere!”

“You shall know anon,” replied the maiden. “But come with me to the
palace. I must see Lord Guilford Dudley, or the Duke of Northumberland,
without a moment’s delay.”

“Warders,” interposed Nightgall, authoritatively: “go to Master Manger’s
lodging in the Bloody Tower. Bid him hasten with two assistants, and the
sworn tormentor, to the dungeon beneath the Devilin Tower. He will know
which I mean. Justice is about to be done upon a prisoner.”

“Oh no—no—do not go,” cried Cicely, arresting the giants. “He does not
mean it. He is jesting.”

“Go home, then, and do not stir forth till I bring you the token,”
rejoined Nightgall, in a deep whisper.

“In Heaven’s name, what is the meaning of all this?” cried Dame
Potentia, in amazement.

“I will inform you,” replied the jailer, drawing her aside. “Your
daughter was about to elope with the young esquire. I detected them
trying to escape by the secret passage beneath the moat, of which you
know I have the key. Lock her within her chamber. Pay no attention to
her tears, entreaties, or assertions. And, above all, take care no one
has any communication with her.”

“Trust me to guard her,” rejoined Dame Potentia. “I know what these
court-gallants are. They will venture anything, and contrive anything,
when a pretty girl is concerned. But what has happened to the esquire?”

“He is safe for the present,” answered Nightgall, significantly.

Cicely, meantime, had availed herself of their conversation, to whisper
a few words to Xit.

“Take this ring,” she said, placing the ornament given her by her lover,
in the hands of the dwarf, “and fly to the palace. Show it to Lord
Guilford Dudley, and say that the wearer is imprisoned in the dungeons
beneath the Devilin Tower. Assistance must be speedily rendered, as he
is ordered for immediate and secret execution. Do you understand?”

“Most precisely, lovely damsel,” replied Xit, kissing her hand, as he
took the ring; “and I guess the name and condition of the prisoner, as
well as the nature of the interest you take in him.”

“Fly!” interrupted Cicely. “Not a moment is to be lost. You shall be
well rewarded for your trouble.”

“I desire no higher reward than your thanks, adorable maiden,”
replied Xit. “Your behests shall be punctually obeyed.” So saying, he

“Come, young mistress,” cried Dame Potentia, seizing her adoptive
daughter’s arm, “you must to your chamber. You have led me and your
father, and these worthy warders, a pretty dance. But you shall lead us
all where you list, if I let you out of my sight in future.”

And thanking the giants, who had looked on in speechless astonishment,
she dragged Cicely along with her.

“Remember!” whispered Nightgall, as he walked a few paces by the side of
the latter.

“I shall expect the token in an hour,” she answered in the same tone.

“You shall have it,” he rejoined.

With this, he halted, and retraced his steps. The others then separated.
Cicely was conveyed to the Stone Kitchen; and the giants, after looking
in vain for Xit, and calling to him repeatedly but without effect,
returned to the By-ward Tower. Just as they reached it, a shot was fired
from the battlements, and was immediately answered from those of the
Middle Tower. Other reports followed. And, alarmed by the sounds, the
huge brethren hastily unlocked the door of their lodging, and entering
it, to their infinite dismay, found the prisoner gone.


Gilbert having freed himself from his bonds, and clambered into the
chimney in the By-ward Tower in the manner previously related, ascended
without any inconvenience, except what was occasioned by the pungent
smoke arising from the blazing fagots beneath, until he reached the
level of the upper story, where another fire-place, connected with the
passage up which he was mounting, so narrowed its limits, that it seemed
scarcely possible to proceed further. The sound of voices in the chamber
on this floor also alarmed him, and for some minutes he suspended his
labour to listen. But as nothing occurred to disturb him, and it was
evident, from the conversation of the speakers, that he had not been
noticed, he presently resumed his task, and redoubling his efforts, soon
vanquished all obstacles, and gained the opening of the chimney.

Here a fresh difficulty awaited him; and one for which he was wholly
unprepared. The smoke found a vent through a small circular opening or
louver, as it was termed,—for there was no chimney-top to disperse it
to the air,—in the battlements. Through this opening he must necessarily
creep; and, provided he could accomplish the feat, he had to elude the
vigilance of the sentinels stationed on the roof of the turret. Luckily,
the night was profoundly dark; and the gloom, increased by a thick
mist from the river, was so intense, that an object could scarcely
be discerned at a foot’s distance. Thus favoured, Gilbert resolved to
hazard the attempt.

Watching his opportunity, he drew himself cautiously through the louver,
and without being noticed by the sentinel, who was standing beside it,
crouched beneath the carriage of a culverin. In this state, he remained
for a short time, meditating what course he should next pursue, and
nerving himself for some desperate attempt, when a door at the side of
the southern turret suddenly opened, and three men-at-arms, the foremost
of whom carried a torch, came to relieve guard.

Aware that he should now infallibly be discovered, Gilbert started to
his feet, and drawing a dagger which he had picked up in the giants’
chamber, stood upon his defence. The movement betrayed him. Though
confounded by his appearance, the sentinel nearest him presented his
partizan at his breast and commanded him to surrender. Gilbert answered
by striking up the man’s arm, and instantly sprang over the battlements.

A loud splash told that he had fallen into the moat. The men held the
torch over the side of the turret. But it was too dark to distinguish
any object below. Presently, however, a noise was heard in the water
that convinced them the fugitive was swimming for the opposite bank. One
of the soldiers instantly discharged his caliver in the direction of the
sound,—but without effect.

This served as an alarm to the guards posted on the western ramparts, as
well as to those on the Middle Tower, both of which commanded this part
of the moat, and other shots were immediately fired. A signal was then
rapidly passed from tower to tower, and from portal to portal, until it
reached the Bulwark-gate, which formed the only entrance to the fortress
on the west, and a body of armed men carrying lights instantly sallied
forth and hurried towards the side of the moat.

Gilbert, meanwhile, swam for his life. Guided by the torches, which
served to discover his enemies rather than to betray him, he effected
a secure landing, But before he had climbed the steep bank, he was
observed by a soldier, who, making towards him, shouted to his comrades
for assistance. In the struggle that ensued, the torch borne by the
soldier was extinguished, and bursting from him, Gilbert darted at a
swift pace up Tower-hill. His pursuers were close upon him. But, well
acquainted with the spot, he contrived to baffle them, by flinging
himself beneath the permanent scaffold, then standing upon the brow
of the eminence, and thus eluded observation. As soon as his foes had
passed, he struck off swiftly to the left, and leaping a low wall,
skirted All-hallows Church, and speedily gained Tower-street.

While Gilbert was flying in this direction, his pursuers finding
themselves at fault, hastened back, and endeavoured to discover some
trace of him. Some mounted the steps of the scaffold to see whether
he had taken refuge on its blood-stained planks,—some crept under
it,—others examined the posts of the neighbouring gallows,—while a
fourth party flew to the postern gate, which defended the southern
extremity of the city wall, in the hope that he might have been stopped
by the watch. All, however, it is needless to say, were disappointed.
And after some time had been fruitlessly expended, the whole party
returned to the Tower to report the unsuccessful issue of their

Meanwhile, the report of the musquetry had reached the ears of
Lord Clinton, the constable, who, attended by the lieutenant, the
gentleman-porter, and a numerous patrol, chanced to be making the round
of the fortifications at the time, and he descended to the gates
to ascertain the cause of the alarm. On learning it, he immediately
summoned the herald and the gigantic warders to his presence, and after
sharply rebuking the former for neglect, ordered him into custody till
the morning, when he proposed to take the duke’s pleasure as to his
punishment. He then turned to the giants, who tried to soften his
displeasure by taking the blame upon themselves, and telling them he
would listen to their statement when the herald was examined, and, in
the interim, they would be answerable with their lives for any further
dereliction of duty, he dismissed the assemblage, and returned with his
train to the ramparts.

Among those who had been gathered together in the guardroom near
the By-ward Tower,—where the foregoing examination took place,—were
Nightgall and Xit,—the latter having just returned from the palace,
after a vain attempt to deliver his message to Lord Guilford Dudley,
who, it has been already stated, was engaged at the time in secret
conference with the Duke of Northumberland, and could not therefore be
spoken with.

Ever on the alert, and suspicious of those around him, Night-gall
overheard Og question the dwarf as to the cause of his absence; and
perceiving, from Xit’s manner, that he had some secret to communicate,
he contrived to approach them unobserved. He then learnt the message
with which the dwarf had been entrusted by Cicely, and enraged at
her endeavour to overreach him, snatched the ring from him as he was
displaying it to the giant, and threatened him with severe punishment,
if he dared to meddle further in the matter.

As soon as he had recovered from his surprise, the affronted mannikin
drew his rapier, and making several passes at Nightgall, would have
certainly wounded him, if he had not dextrously avoided the blows by
interposing the huge bulk of the giant between him and his assailant.
The fury of the dwarf was so excessive, and the contortions into which
he threw himself so inconceivably diverting, that Og could render him
no assistance for laughing. Thrusting his sword between the giant’s
legs,—now cutting on the right, now on the left,—Xit tried in every way
to hit the jailer, and must have succeeded, if Og, who was by no means
desirous to have blood shed in so ridiculous a fray, and who enjoyed the
pastime too much to speedily terminate it, had not prevented him.

Gog, moreover, having on the onset disarmed Nightgall, he could not
protect himself except by keeping under the shelter of the giant. Foiled
in his attempts, Xit’s indignation knew no bounds, and exasperated by
the derisive shouts and laughter of the spectators, he threatened to
turn his sword against Og if he did not deliver up the jailer to
his vengeance. This only produced louder roars of merriment from the
by-standers; and the dwarf, whose passion had almost deprived him of
reason, uttering a shrill scream like a child robbed of its plaything,
threw himself on Og’s leg, and scrambled up his body, with the intention
of descending on the other side, and exterminating his foe.

This feat raised the merriment of the spectators to the utmost. Og
suffered the imp to ascend without opposition, and clinging to the
points of the giant’s slashed red hose, Xit drew himself up to his broad
girdle, and then setting one foot on the circlet of raised gold thread
which surrounded the badge on his breast, soon gained his shoulder, and
would have leapt from thence upon his foe, if Og, who began to think it
time to put an end to the sport, had not seized him by the leg as he
was in the act of springing off, and held him at arm’s-length, with his
heels upwards.

After many useless struggles to liberate himself, and menaces of what
he would do when he got free, which, as may be supposed, only
provoked still further the laughter of the by-standers, Xit became so
unmanageable, that Og fastened him by his nether garments to a hook in
the wall, about fourteen feet from the ground, and left him to recover

Thus perched, the dwarf hurled his rapier at Nightgall’s head, and
replied to the jeers of the assemblage by such mops and mows as an
enraged ape is wont to make at its persecutors. After the lapse of a few
minutes, however, he began to find his position so uncomfortable,
that he was fain to supplicate for release, to which, on receiving
his assurance of quieter conduct for the future, Og consented, and
accordingly unhooked him, and set him on the ground.

Nightgall, meanwhile, had taken advantage of this diversion, to leave
the Guard-room, and hasten to the Stone Kitchen.

Dame Potentia was just retiring to rest as the jailer reached her
dwelling, and it was only by the most urgent importunity that he
succeeded in obtaining admission.

“Your pardon, good dame,” he said, as the door was opened. “I have
that to tell Cicely, which will effectually cure her love for the young

“In that case, you are right welcome, Master Nightgall,” she replied;
“for the poor child has almost cried her pretty eyes out since I
brought her home. And I have been so moved by her tears, that I greatly
misdoubt, if her lover had presented himself instead of you, whether I
should have had the heart to refuse to let him see her.”

“Fool!” muttered Nightgall, half aside. “Where is she?” he added, aloud.
“I have no time to lose. I have a secret execution to attend before

“Yours is a butcherly office, Master Nightgall,” observed Peter Trusbut,
who was dozing in an arm-chair by the fire. “Those secret executions, to
my mind, are little better than state murders. I would not, for all
the power of the Duke of Northumberland, hold your office, or that of
Gilliam Mauger, the headsman.”

“Nor I yours, on the same fee, Master Pantler,” rejoined Nightgall.
“Tastes differ. Where is your daughter, good dame?”

“In her chamber,” replied Potentia. “Ho! Cicely, sweetheart!” she added,
knocking at a door at the end of a short passage leading out of the
kitchen on the right. “Here is Master Nightgall desires to speak with

“Does he bring me the token?” demanded the maiden, from within.

“Ay marry, does he, child,” replied the dame, winking at the jailer.
“Heaven forgive me the falsehood,” she added,—“for I know not what she

“Leave us a moment, dear mother,” said Cicely, hastily unfastening the
door. “Now, Master Nightgall,” she continued, as Dame Potentia retired,
and the jailer entered the room, “have you fulfilled your compact?”

“Cicely,” rejoined the jailer, regarding her sternly, “you have not kept
faith with me. You have despatched a messenger to the palace.”

“Oh! he is free,” exclaimed the maiden, joyfully,—“your plans have been

Nightgall smiled bitterly.

“My messenger cannot have failed,” she continued, with a sudden change
of countenance. “I am sure Lord Guilford would not abandon his favourite
esquire. Tell me, what has happened?”

“I am come to claim fulfilment of your pledge,” rejoined the jailer.

“Then you have set him free,” cried Cicely. “Where is the token?”

“Behold it,” replied Nightgall, raising his hand, on which her lover’s
ring sparkled.

“Lost!—lost!” shrieked Cicely, falling senseless upon the floor.

The jailer gazed at her a moment in silence, but did not attempt to
offer any assistance. He then turned upon his heel, and strode out of
the room.

“Look to your daughter, dame,” he observed, as he passed through the


Hurrying along Tower Street, and traversing Eastcheap and Watling
Street—then narrow but picturesque thoroughfares—Gilbert,—to whom it is
now necessary to return,—did not draw breath till he reached the eastern
extremity of St. Paul’s. As he passed this reverend and matchless
structure—the destruction of which, was the heaviest loss sustained by
the metropolis in the Great Fire—he strained his eyes towards its lofty
tower, but the gloom was too profound to enable him to discern anything
of it beyond a dark and heavy mass.

“Thou art at present benighted, glorious fane!” he cried aloud. “But a
bright dawn shall arise for thee, and all thy ancient splendour, with
thy ancient faith, be restored. If I could see Mary queen, and hear mass
solemnized within thy walls, I could die content.”

“And you shall hear it,” said a voice in his ear.

“Who speaks?” asked Gilbert, trembling.

“Be at St. Paul’s Cross to-morrow at midnight, and you shall know,”
replied the voice. “You are a loyal subject of Queen Mary., and a true
Catholic, or your words belie you?”

“I am both,” answered Gilbert.

“Fail not to meet me then,” rejoined the other, “and you shall receive
assurance that your wishes shall be fulfilled. There are those at work
who will speedily accomplish the object you desire.”

“I will aid them heart and hand,” cried Gilbert.

“Your name?” demanded the other.

“I am called Gilbert Pot,” answered the youth, “and am drawer to Ninion
Saunders, at the Baptist’s Head, in Ludgate.”

“A vintner’s boy!” exclaimed the other, disdainfully.

“Ay, a vintner’s boy,” returned Gilbert. “But, when the usurper, Jane
Dudley, was proclaimed at Cheapside this morning, mine was the only
voice raised for Queen Mary.”

“For which bold deed you were nailed to the pillory,” rejoined the

“I was,” replied Gilbert; “and was, moreover, carried to the Tower,
whence I have just escaped.”

“Your courage shall not pass unrequited,” replied the speaker. “Where
are you going?”

“To my master’s, at the Baptist’s Head, at the corner of Creed Lane—not
a bow-shot hence.”

“It will not be safe to go thither,” observed the other. “Your master
will deliver you to the watch.”

“I will risk it, nevertheless,” answered Gilbert. “I have an old
grandame whom I desire to see.”

“Something strikes me!” exclaimed the other. “Is your grandame the old
woman who warned the usurper Jane not to proceed to the Tower?”

“She is,” returned Gilbert.

“This is a strange encounter, in good sooth,” cried the other. “She is
the person I am in search of. You must procure me instant speech with

“I will conduct you to her, right willingly, sir,” replied Gilbert. “But
she says little to any one, and may refuse to answer your questions.”

“We shall see,” rejoined the other. “Lead on, good Gilbert.”

Followed by his unknown companion, about whom he felt a strange
curiosity, not unalloyed with fear, Gilbert proceeded at a rapid pace
towards his destination. The whole of the buildings then surrounding
Saint Paul’s, it is almost unnecessary to say, were destroyed by the
same fire that consumed the Cathedral; and, though the streets still
retain their original names, their situation is in some respects

Passing beneath the shade of a large tree, which then grew at the
western boundary of the majestic edifice, Gilbert darted through a
narrow entry into Ave Maria Lane, and turning to the left, speedily
reached Ludgate, which he crossed at some fifty paces from the Gate—then
used, like several of the other city portals, as a prison—and, entering
Creed Lane, halted before a low-built house on the right. The shutters
were closed, but it was evident, from the uproarious sounds issuing from
the dwelling, that revelry was going on within. Gilbert did not deem it
prudent to open the street door, but calling to his companion, he went
to the back of the tavern, and gained admittance through a window on the
ground floor.

“They are having a merry rouse,” he observed to the other, “in honour of
the usurper; and my master, Ninion, will be too far gone to notice aught
except his guests and his sack brewage, so that I may safely conduct
your worship to my grandame. But first let me strike a light.”

With this, he searched about for flint and steel, and having found them,
presently set fire to a small lamp hanging against the wall, which he
removed and turned, not without some apprehension, towards the stranger.

His glance fell upon a tall man, with an ample feuille-morte coloured
cloak thrown over his left shoulder, so as completely to muffle the
lower part of his features. Gilbert could see nothing of the stranger’s
face, except an aquiline nose, and a pair of piercing black eyes; but
the expression of the latter was so stern and searching, that his
own regards involuntarily sank before them. A bonnet of black velvet,
decorated with a single drooping feather, drawn over the brow, added to
the stranger’s disguise. But what was revealed of the physiognomy was so
striking, that Gilbert was satisfied he should never forget it.

Something, indeed, there was of majesty in the stranger’s demeanour,
that, coupled with his sinister looks and the extraordinary brilliancy
of his eyes, impressed the superstitious youth with the notion that
he was in the presence of an unearthly being. Struck by this idea, he
glanced at the stranger’s feet, in expectation of finding one of the
distinctive marks of the Prince of Darkness. But he beheld nothing
except a finely-formed limb, clothed in black silk hose and a velvet
shoe, above which hung the point of a lengthy rapier.

“I am neither the enemy of mankind nor your enemy, good youth,” observed
the stranger, who guessed the cause of Gilbert’s apprehensions. “Bring
your grandame hither, and take heed how you approach her, or your looks
will alarm her more than mine do you.”

It was not without reason that this caution was given. Gilbert’s
appearance was ghastly in the extreme. His countenance was haggard with
the loss of blood; his garments torn and saturated with moisture; and
his black dripping locks, escaping from the blood-stained bandage around
his head, contrasted fearfully with the deathly paleness of his visage.
Acknowledging the justice of the suggestion, Gilbert decided upon
proceeding in the dark, that his appearance might not be observed.

Accordingly, he crept cautiously up stairs, and returned in a few
minutes with his aged relative. Gilbert found the stranger in the same
attitude he had left him, and his appearance startled Gunnora, as much
as it had done him.

Crossing herself, she glanced uneasily at the mysterious stranger. From
him her eye wandered to Gilbert; and terrified by his haggard looks, she
cried in a tone of anxiety, “You have suffered much, my child. The ill
news reached me of the shameful punishment with which you have been
visited for your loyalty to your true Queen. I heard also that you had
been conveyed a prisoner to the Tower; and was about to make suit to the
gracious lady, Jane Dudley, in your behalf. Was I wrongfully informed?”

“No, mother, you were not,” replied Gilbert. “But heed me not. There
stands the worshipful gentleman who desires to speak with you.”

“I am ready to answer his questions,” said Gunnora. “Let him propose

“First, let me tell you, dame,” said the stranger, “that your
grandsons devotion to Queen Mary shall not pass unrequited. Ere many
days—perchance many hours—shall have passed, he shall exchange his serge
doublet for a suit of velvet.”

“You hear that, mother,” exclaimed Gilbert, joyfully.

“Who are you that make him the offer?” asked Gunnora, stedfastly
regarding the stranger.

“You shall know, anon,” he replied. “Suffice it, I can make good my
words. Your presence is required in the Tower.”

“By the Lady Jane,—I should say by the queen?” rejoined Gunnora.

“By the Privy Council,” returned the stranger.

“What do they seek from me?” demanded the old woman.

“To testify to the death of his late Majesty, King Edward the Sixth,”
replied the other.

“Ha!” exclaimed Gunnora.

“Fear nothing,” rejoined the stranger. “The council will befriend you.
Their object is to prove that Edward was poisoned by Northumberland’s
order. Can you do this?”

“I can,” replied Gunnora. “My hand administered the fatal draught.”

“Yours, mother!” ejaculated Gilbert, horror-stricken.

“Prove this, and Northumberland will lose his head,” said the stranger.

“Were my own to fall with it, I would do so,” replied Gunnora. “My sole
wish is to avenge my foster-son, the great Duke of Somerset, who fell
by Northumberland’s foul practices. It was therefore when all the
physicians of the royal household were dismissed, and the duke sent
messengers for empirical aid, that I presented myself, and offered my
services. When I beheld the royal sufferer, I saw he had but short space
to live. But short as it was, it was too long for the duke. A potion was
prepared by Northumberland, which I administered. From that moment his
highness grew worse, and in six hours he was a corpse.”

“It was a cursed deed,” cried Gilbert.

“True,” replied Gunnora, “it was so, and Heaven will surely avenge it.
But I did it to get Northumberland into my power. The king’s case was
past all remedy. But he might have lingered for days and weeks, and the
duke was impatient for the crown. I was impatient too—but it was for his
head. And therefore I did his bidding.”

“Your vengeance shall be fully gratified,” replied the stranger. “Come
with me.”

“Hold!” exclaimed Gunnora. “How will his testimony affect the Lady

“It will deprive her of her crown—perchance her head,” rejoined the

“Then it shall never be uttered,” replied Gunnora, firmly.

“Torture shall wring it from you,” cried the stranger, furiously.

The old woman drew herself up to her full height, and, regarding the
stranger fixedly, answered in a stern tone—“Let it be tried upon me.”

“Mother,” said Gilbert, striding between them, and drawing his dagger,
“go back to your own room. You shall not peril your safety thus.”

“Tush!” exclaimed the stranger, impatiently. “No harm shall befal her.
I thought you were both loyal subjects of Queen Mary. How can she assume
the sovereign power while Jane grasps the sceptre?”

“But you aim at her life?” said Gunnora.

“No,” replied the stranger, “I would preserve her. My object is
to destroy Northumberland, and restore the crown to her to whom it
rightfully belongs.”

“In that case I will go with you,” returned the old woman.

“You will fall into a snare,” interposed her grandson. “Let him declare
who he is.”

“I will reveal my name to your grandame, boy,” replied the stranger. And
advancing towards Gunnora, he whispered in her ear. *

The old woman started and trembled.

“Hinder me not, Gilbert,” she said. “I must go with him.”

“Shall I accompany you?” asked her grandson.

“On no account,” replied the stranger, “unless you desire to be lodged
in the deepest dungeon in the Tower. Be at the place of rendezvous
to-morrow night, and you shall know more. Are you ready, good dame?”

Gunnora signified her assent; and, after a few parting words with her
grandson, the latter unfastened a small door, opening upon the yard, and
let them out.

They were scarcely clear of the house, when the stranger placing a
silver whistle to his lips, blew a call upon it, which was instantly
answered by a couple of attendants. At a signal from their leader
they placed themselves on either side of Gunnora, and in spite of her
resistance and remonstrances, dragged her forcibly along. The stranger,
who marched a few yards in advance, proceeded at so rapid a pace, that
the old woman found it utterly impossible to keep up with him. She
therefore stood still, and refused to take another step. But this did
not avail her, for the two attendants seized her in their arms, and
hurried forward as swiftly as before.

Though bewildered and alarmed, Gunnora did not dare to cry out for
assistance. Indeed, they did not encounter a single passenger in the
streets, until, as they were descending Budge-row, they heard the clank
of arms, and beheld the gleam of torches borne by a party of the watch
who were approaching from Can-wick-street, or as it is now called,

Turning off on the right, the stranger descended Dowgate-hill, and
gained Thames-street before he had been remarked. A short time sufficed
to bring him to St. Mary-hill, up which he mounted, and entering
Thames-street, and passing St. Dunstan’s in the East on the right, and
the ancient church of All Hallows Barking on the left, he reached Great

By this time, the vapours from the river had cleared off. The stars had
begun to peep forth, and the first glimpse of day to peer in the east.
By this light, and from this spot, the stern and sombre outline of the
Tower, with its ramparts—its citadel, and its numerous lesser turrets,
was seen to great advantage. On the summit of the Hill appeared the
scaffold and the gallows already noticed.

Pausing for a moment, and pointing to a range of buildings, the summits
of which could just be distinguished, to the south of the White Tower,
the stranger said—“Within that palace Northumberland now reposes,
surrounded by a triple line of fortifications, and defended by a
thousand armed men. But if you will only reveal all you know, ere
another week has passed his head shall be laid on that scaffold.”

“The last time I beheld that fatal spot,” returned Gunnora, “my
foster-son, the Duke of Somerset, was decapitated there. If I can avenge
him upon his foe, I shall die content.‘’

“Obey my directions implicitly, and you shall do so,” rejoined the

“How are we to enter the Tower?” asked Gunnora.

“Not by the ordinary road,” replied the other, significantly. “But we
shall be observed if we linger here. Forward!”

Crossing the Hill in the direction of the City Postern, the stranger
suddenly wheeled round, and, under cover of a low wall, approached the
moat. Exactly opposite the Devilin Tower, and the bastion occupying the
north-western anglo of the exterior line of fortifications, stood at
this time, at a little distance from the moat, a small low building.
Towards this structure the stranger hastened. As he drew near it, he
glanced uneasily at the ramparts, to ascertain whether he was observed.
But though the measured tread of the sentinels and the clank of arms
were distinctly audible, he remained unperceived.

Unlocking the door, the whole party entered the building, which was
apparently deserted. After a moment’s search, the stranger discovered a
spring in the floor, which he pulled, and a trap-door opened, disclosing
a long and steep flight of steps, at the foot of which sat a man with a
mask, bearing a torch.

No sooner did this person hear the noise occasioned by the opening of
the trap-door, than he hastily ascended, and placed himself in readiness
to guide the party. On gaining the level ground, it was evident, from
the dampness of the arched roof of the passage, and the slippery surface
of the floor along which they trod, that they were far below the bottom
of the moat. Traversing this damp dark passage for more than a hundred
yards, the humid atmosphere gave place to a more wholesome air, and the
ground became drier.

Hitherto, the passage had been about three feet wide and seven high, and
was arched and flagged with stone. But they had now arrived at a point
where it became more lofty, and their further progress was checked by a
strong door plated with iron, and studded with nails. Taking a huge key
from his girdle, the man in the mask unlocked this ponderous door, and,
admitting the party, fastened it behind him. He then led them up another
stone stair-case, similar in all respects to the first, except that
it did not ascend to more than half the height. This brought them to a
vaulted gallery, from which three passages branched.

Pursuing that on the right, and preceded by his masked attendant, the
stranger strode silently along. As she followed him, Gunnora noticed
several strong doors in the wall, which she took to be entrances to
dungeons. After threading this passage, the party ascended a third short
flight of steps, at the top of which was a trap-door. It was opened by
the guide, and admitted them into a small stone chamber, the walls of
which appeared, from the embrazures of the windows, to be of immense
thickness. The roof was groined and arched. In the centre of the room
stood a small table, on which some provisions were placed. A small
copper lamp, suspended from the roof, threw a sickly light around, and
discovered a little pallet stretched in a recess on the right.

“You are now in the Bowyer’s Tower, in the chamber where it is said
the Duke of Clarence was drowned in the butt of malmsey,” observed the
stranger. “Here you will remain till your presence is required by the

Gunnora would have remonstrated, but the stranger waved his hand to her
to keep silence, and, followed by his attendants, descended through the
trap-door, which was closed and bolted beneath.



It will now be proper to ascertain how far the Duke of Northumberland
was justified in his suspicion of Queen Jane’s conduct being influenced
by some secret and adverse counsel. After the abrupt departure of Lord
Guilford Dudley for Sion House, as before related, she was greatly
distressed, and refused at first to credit the intelligence. But when
it was confirmed beyond all doubt by a message from her husband himself,
declaring that he would not return till she had acceded to his request,
she burst into tears, and withdrew to her own chamber, where she
remained for some time alone.

When she re-appeared, it was evident from her altered looks that she
had suffered deeply. But it was evident also, from her composure of
countenance and firmness of manner, that whatever resolution she had
formed she would adhere to it.

Summoning the Earls of Arundel and Pembroke to her presence, she
briefly explained to them that she had heard, with infinite concern and
uneasiness, that the council had proposed to raise her husband to
the throne, because she foresaw that it would breed trouble and
dissatisfaction, and greatly endanger her own government.

“Your highness judges rightly,” replied the Earl of Pembroke. “It will
be said that in thus elevating his son, Northumberland seeks only his
own aggrandisement.”

“And it will be truly said, my lord,” rejoined Jane. “But if this is
your opinion, why was your voice given in favour of the measure?”

“No man is bound to accuse himself,” replied Pembroke.

“But every man is bound to speak truth, my lord,” rejoined Jane. “Again
I ask you, why your assent was given to this measure, which, by your own
admission, is fraught with danger?”

“The Duke of Northumberland is my enemy,” replied the Earl, sternly.
“Had this step been taken it would have ensured his destruction.”

“You speak frankly, my lord,” rejoined the Queen. “But you forget that
it must have ensured my destruction also.”

“I am a loyal subject of your majesty,” replied the Earl of Pembroke,
“and will shed my last drop of blood in the defence of your crown. But I
will not submit to the Duke’s imperious conduct.”

“And yet, my lord, you owe your own dignity to him,” rejoined Jane,
sarcastically. “Sir William Herbert would not have been Earl of Pembroke
but for the Duke’s intercession with our cousin Edward. For shame, my
lord! you owe him too much to act against him.”

“I owe him nothing,” interposed the Earl of Arundel, “and may therefore
speak without risk of any such imputation as your majesty has thrown
out against Lord Pembroke. If the overweening power of the Duke of
Northumberland be not checked, it will end in his downfal, and the
downfal of all those with whom he is connected.”

“I thank you for your counsel, my lord,” replied the Queen; “and,
setting down much to your private animosity, will place the rest to
loyalty to myself.”

“Your highness will be speedily satisfied of the truth of my assertion,
if you refuse compliance with Northumberland’s demands,” replied
Pembroke. “But you will find it, unless you have recourse to strong
measures, a difficult and a dangerous game to play.”

“To one who, though so young in years, is yet so old in wisdom as your
majesty,” added the Earl of Arundel, “it will be needless to say,
that on the first decisive movement of your reign—as on that of a
battle—depends the victory. If you yield, all is lost. From this one
step the Duke will estimate your character, and become either your
servant or your master. From his conduct, also, you will know what to
expect from him hereafter.”

“My resolution is taken, my lords,” returned the Queen.

“The course I have resolved upon in reference to the duke, you will
learn when I meet you in the council-chamber, where he will be present
to speak for himself—and, if need be, defend himself. My desire is that
my reign should begin and proceed in peace. And, if you hope for my
favour, you will forget your differences with his grace, and act in
concert with me. In asserting my own power, I trust I shall convince him
of the futility of any further struggle with me, and so bring him to a
sense of duty.”

“Your majesty may depend upon the full support of your council,”
rejoined Arundel.

“I doubt it not, my lord,” replied Jane. “And now to the business on
which I summoned you. It may have reached you that my dear lord has
departed this morning for Sion House, in great displeasure that I have
refused to comply with his wishes.”

“We have heard as much,” replied both noblemen.

“My desire is that you hasten after him and entreat him to return with
all speed,” pursued Jane.

“Your majesty then consents!” exclaimed Pembroke, hastily.

“Not so, my lord,” replied the Queen. “I will raise him to his father’s
rank. He shall have a dukedom, but not a kingdom.”

“I would counsel your majesty to reflect ere you concede thus much,”
observed Arundel.

“I have already said that my resolution is taken,” replied the Queen.
“Repeat what I have told you to him, and entreat him to return.”

“Entreat him!” echoed Pembroke scornfully. “It is not for your highness
to entreat, but to command. Obedience sworn at the altar by the lips of
the Queen of England, is cancelled as soon as uttered. Your husband is
your subject. Empower us to bring him to you, and he shall be at your
feet within an hour.”

“My pleasure is that you literally fulfil my injunctions, my lords,”
replied the Queen. “Lord Guilford Dudley was the husband of my choice.
When I gave my hand to him at the altar, I had no thought that it
would ever grasp a sceptre, Nor, till I obtained this unlooked-for—and,
believe me, most unwished-for dignity,—did the slightest
misunderstanding ever arise between us. But now that I am compelled to
sacrifice my affections at the shrine of duty,—now that I am Queen as
well as consort—and he is subject as well as husband—this disagreement
has occurred, which a little calm reflection will put to rights.”

“What if his lordship should refuse to return with us?” asked Pembroke.

“You will use your best endeavours to induce him to do so,” replied
Jane, a tear starting to her eye, and her voice faltering in spite of
her efforts to maintain her composure. “But if you fail, I shall at
least be satisfied that I have done my duty.”

“Your majesty’s commands shall be obeyed,” replied Pembroke. “But we
must have your licence to go forth—for we are detained as prisoners
within the Tower.”

“You shall have it,” replied Jane. And she immediately wrote out the

“The passport must be countersigned by the duke,” said Pembroke. “The
gate-keepers will not hold this sufficient authority.”

“How!” exclaimed Jane, reddening, “Am I not Queen? Is not my authority
absolute here?”

“Not while the duke holds his high office, gracious madam,” returned
Pembroke. “His followers give you the name of Queen. But they look up to
him as sovereign.”

“My lord, I need no assurance that you are Northumberland’s mortal
enemy,” replied Jane.

“I am your majesty’s loyal subject,” replied the earl. “And if your
passport be respected, I will confess that I have wronged him.”

“And if it be not, I will confess I have wronged you, my lord,” rejoined
Jane. “The royal barge is at your service.—An usher shall conduct you to

So saying, she motioned one of her train, to attend them, and the two
nobles bowed and departed.

As soon as they had quitted the royal presence, Pembroke observed to his

“We have now effected a quarrel, which will end in Northumberland’s
destruction and Jane’s dethronement. Simon Renard will so fan the flame,
that it shall never be extinguished.”

As the Earl anticipated, the Queen’s pass was refused—the warders
declaring that their instructions were to suffer no one to go forth
without the Duke’s written order. They then returned to the palace. It
was some time before they were admitted to the Queen, as she was engaged
in the angry conference previously-related with her mother-in-law. When
the Duchess had departed, they sought an audience.

“How, my lords,” cried Jane, turning very pale; “do I see you again so

“It is as I informed your highness,” replied the Earl of Pembroke,
laying the order on the table. “The Duke is master here.”

“Ha!” exclaimed the Queen, starting to her feet, “am I deserted by my
husband—braved by the Duke—and treated like an infant by his imperious
dame? I cry you pardon, my lords, you have not deceived me. You are my
loyal subjects. Oh! I could weep to think how I have been deluded. But
they shall find they have not made me queen for nothing. While I
have power I will use it. My lords, I bid you to the council at noon
tomorrow. I shall summon Lord Guilford Dudley to attend it, and he will
refuse at his peril.”

“Have a care, gracious madam, how you proceed with the Duke,” replied
Pembroke. “Your royal predecessor, Edward, it is said, came not fairly
by his end. If Northumberland finds you an obstacle to his designs,
instead of a means of forwarding them, he will have little scruple in
removing you.”

“I shall be wary, doubt it not, my lord,” rejoined Jane. “To-morrow you
shall learn my pleasure. I count on your fidelity.”

“Your majesty may safely do so,” they replied. And with renewed
assurances of zeal, they departed.

“Her spirit is now fairly roused,” observed Pembroke, as they quitted
the palace. “If she hold in the same mind till to-morrow, it is all over
with Northumberland.”

“Souvent femme varie, bien fol est qui s’y fie,” observed Simon Renard,
advancing to meet them. “Let me know how you have sped.”

The Earl of Pembroke then related the particulars of their interview
with the Queen.

“All goes on as well as I could desire,” observed Renard. “But she must
come to an open rupture with him, else the crafty Duke will find some
means of soothing her wounded pride. Be that my task.”

Taking their way slowly along the outer ward, the trio passed under the
gloomy gateway of the Bloody Tower, and ascended a flight of steps on
the left leading to the Tower Green. Here (as now,) grew an avenue of
trees, and beneath their shade they found De Noailles, who instantly
joined them. Renard then entered into a full detail of his schemes,
and acquainted them with the information he had received through his
messengers, in spite of all the Duke’s precautions, of the accession
in strength which Mary’s party had received, and of the numbers who had
declared themselves in her favour. He further intimated that his agents
were at work among the people to produce a revolt in the metropolis.

As they proceeded across the Tower-green, the Earl of Pembroke paused
at a little distance from the chapel, and pointing to a square patch of
ground, edged by a border of white stones, and completely destitute of
herbage, said—

“Two Queens have perished here. On this spot stood the scaffolds of Anne
Boleyn and Catherine Howard.”

“And ere long a third shall be added to their number,” observed Renard,

Shaping their course towards the north-east angle of the fortress, they
stopped before a small turret, at that time called the Martin Tower, and
used as a place of confinement for state offenders, but now denominated
the Jewel Tower, from the circumstance of its being the depository of
the regalia.

“Within that tower are imprisoned the Catholic Bishops Gardiner and
Bonner,’” remarked Arundel..

“Let Mary win the crown, and it shall be tenanted by the protestants,
Cranmer and Ridley,” muttered Renard.

While the others returned to the Green, Renard lingered for an instant
to contemplate the White Tower, which is seen perhaps to greater
advantage from this point of view than from any other in the fortress.
And as it is in most respects unchanged,—excepting such repairs as
time has rendered necessary, and some alterations in the doorways and
windows, to be noted hereafter,—the modern visitor to this spot may,
if he pleases, behold it in much the same state that it appeared to the
plotting Spanish ambassador.


Rising to a height of nearly a hundred feet; built in a quadrangular
form; terminated at each angle by a lofty turret, three of which are
square, while the fourth, situated at the northeast, is circular, and
of larger dimensions than the others; embattled; having walls of immense
thickness, exceeding fourteen feet, and further strengthened by broad
flat buttresses, dividing the face of the building into compartments;
lighted by deep semi-circular-arched windows;—this massive stronghold,
constructed entirely of stone,—and now in some parts defaced by a
coating of mortar and flints,—occupies an area of an hundred and sixteen
feet on the north and south, and ninety-six on the east and west. At
the south-east corner is a broad semi-circular projection, marking the
situation of St. John’s Chapel, already described. The round turret,
at the north-east angle, was used as an observatory by the celebrated
astronomer, Flamstead, in the reign of Charles the Second. The principal
entrance was on the north, and was much more spacious than the modern
doorway, which occupies its site.

At the period of this chronicle the White Tower was connected, as has
already been mentioned, on the south-east with the ancient palace.
On the south stood a fabric called the Jewel-house; while at the
south-western angle was another embattled structure of equal elevation
and dimensions with the By-ward Tower and the other gates, denominated
the Coal-harbour Tower. These, with the Lanthorn Tower and the line of
buildings extending in an easterly direction towards the Broad Arrow
Tower, have totally disappeared, and the White Tower is now disconnected
with every other edifice. For centuries it has stood, and for centuries
may it continue to stand! Within its walls the old monarchs of England
have held their councils,—within its vaults prisoners have sighed,—from
its gates queens have come forth to execution!—Long may it flourish as a
fearful memento of the past!

On the present occasion, it presented a stirring picture. From a tall
staff, planted on the roof, floated the royal standard. Cannon bristled
from its battlements, and armed men were seen marching from post to
post on its platforms. Before the principal entrance four warders were
stationed; and in front troops of arquebusiers and archers were passing
under the review of their leaders. The sound of martial music filled the
air; pennons and banners fluttered in the breeze; and pikes, steel caps,
and corslets glittered in the sunbeams. Amid these warlike groups, the
figures of the gigantic warders and their diminutive attendant, Xit,
caught the eye of Renard, and filled him with astonishment:—the
former being taller by the head and shoulders than the mass of their
companions, besides far exceeding them in bulk and size of limb; while
the latter, with more than ordinary pretensions to the dignity of
manhood, had scarcely the stature of a child. It must not be omitted in
the description of the White Tower that the summits of its four turrets
were surmounted by large vanes, each decorated with a crown, in the
hollows of which, as in our own time, the jackdaws were accustomed to

After gazing at this magnificent structure for a few minutes, and
indulging in the emotions which its contemplation inspired, Simon Renard
followed his companions, and resumed his discourse. They had again
adverted to Jane, when the door of the principal entrance of the White
Tower was thrown open, and, attended by the Duchess of Suffolk and the
Ladies Hastings and Herbert, the subject of their conference issued
from it and proceeded on foot towards St. Peter’s Chapel. The road was
immediately cleared by her attendants, and the three gigantic warders
and their tiny companion marched before her, and planted themselves
on either side of the chapel door. Glancing significantly at his
companions, Renard motioned them to follow him, and hurried towards the
sacred pile.

“What! you a rigid Catholic, M. Renard.” observed Pembroke, “about to
attend Protestant worship? Hopes may be entertained of your conversion.”

“Stronger hopes may be entertained that I shall restore the ancient
worship,” muttered Renard, as he entered the chapel, and took his place
unobserved by the Queen behind one of the columns of the aisle, while
she advanced to the altar.

Erected in the reign of Edward the First, the little chapel of St. Peter
ad Vincula (the parochial church—for the Tower, it is almost needless to
say, is a parish in itself), is the second structure occupying the same
site and dedicated to the same saint. The earlier fabric was much more
spacious, and contained two chancels, with stalls for the king and
queen, as appears from the following order for its repair issued in the
reign of Henry the Third, and recorded by Stow:—“The king to the keepers
of the Tower work, sendeth greeting: We command you to brush or plaster
with lime well and decently the chancel of St. Mary in the church of St.
Peter within the bailiwick of our Tower of London, and the chancel of
St. Peter in the same church; and from the entrance of the chancel of
St. Peter to the space of four feet beyond the stalls made for our
own and our queen’s use in the same church; and the same stalls to
be painted. And the little Mary with her shrine and the images of St.
Peter, St. Nicholas, and Katherine, and the beam beyond the altar of St.
Peter, and the little cross with its images to be coloured anew, and to
be refreshed with good colours. And that ye cause to be made a certain
image of St. Christopher holding and carrying Jesus where it may best
and most conveniently be done, and painted in the foresaid church. And
that ye cause two fair tables to be made and painted of the best colours
concerning the stories of the blessed Nicholas and Katherine, before the
altars of the said saints in the same church. And that ye cause to be
made two fair cherubims with a cheerful and joyful countenance standing
on the right and left of the great cross in the said church. And
moreover, one marble font with marble pillars well and handsomely

Thus much respecting the ancient edifice. The more recent chapel is a
small, unpretending stone structure, and consists of a nave and an aisle
at the north, separated by pointed arches, supported by clustered stone
pillars of great beauty. Its chief interest is derived from the many
illustrious and ill-fated dead crowded within its narrow walls.

Here rested, for a brief season, the body of John Fisher, Bishop
of Rochester, beheaded in 1535, for denying the king’s supremacy—“a
prelate,” says Holinshed, “of great learning and of very good life. The
Pope had elected him a cardinal and sent his hat as far as Calais. But
his head was off before his hat was on, so that they met not.” Next to
Fisher was interred his friend, the wise, the witty, the eloquent Sir
Thomas More, whom Hall, the chronicler, hesitates whether he shall
describe as “a foolish wise man, or a wise foolish man,”—and who
jested even on the scaffold. His body was afterwards removed, at the
intercession of his daughter, Margaret Roper, to Chelsea. Here also
was interred the last of the right line of the Plantagenets, Margaret,
Countess of Salisbury, the mother of Cardinal Pole. The venerable
countess refused to lay her head upon the block, saying (as Lord Herbert
of Cherbury reports),—“‘So should traitors do, and I am none.’ Neither
did it serve that the executioner told her it was the fashion:—so
turning her grey head every way, she bid him, if he would have it, to
get it as he could: so he was constrained to fetch it off slovenly.”

Here also was deposited the headless trunk of another of Henry the
Eighth’s victims, Thomas Lord Cromwell, the son of a blacksmith, who,
having served as a common soldier under Bourbon, at the sack of Rome,
entered Wolsey’s service, and rose to be Grand Chamberlain of the realm.
Here, in Elizabeth’s reign, were brought the remains of Thomas Howard,
Duke of Norfolk, who aspired to the hand of the Queen of Scots. And here
also were laid those of Robert Devereux, the rash and ill-fated Earl
of Essex. Under the communion-table was interred, at a later date, the
daring and unfortunate Duke of Monmouth, who fell a sacrifice to his
ambition. And to come down to yet more recent times, beneath the little
gallery at the west of the chapel, were buried the three leaders of the
rebellion of 1745—Lords Kilmarnock, Balmerino, and Lovat.

There were four other graves, which, as being more nearly connected with
the personages introduced in this chronicle, it will be proper to
notice separately. Before the altar, on the west, a plain flag bore the
inscription “Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, 1552.” On the next grave
to that of the great Lord Protector was written “Katherine Howard,”
and on the adjoining stone, “Anne Boleyn” These two queens,—equally
unfortunate, but not, perhaps, equally culpable,—perished within five
years of each other—the latter suffering in 1536, the former in 1541.
Close to the wall on the right, a fourth grave bore the name of “Thomas
Seymour, Baron Sudley.” Seymour was brother to the Duke of Somerset,
and Lord High Admiral of England; and the only stain on the Protector’s
otherwise reproachless character is, that he signed his death-warrant,
and declined to use the power he undoubtedly possessed, of procuring his
pardon. The fiery and ambitious Admiral was beheaded in 1549.

Between this grave and that of Anne Boleyn intervened a plain stone,
unmarked by any inscription, and indicating a vacant tomb. Beneath this
flag, eighteen months after the execution of his victim, the Duke of
Somerset—and barely six weeks from the day on which this chronicle
opens—was deposited the headless trunk of the once all-powerful and
arrogant Northumberland.

The service over, as the Queen was about to depart, Simon Renard
advanced to meet her. Returning his ceremonious salutation by a
dignified greeting, Jane, with a look of some surprise, inquired the
cause of his presence..

“I might have chosen a more fitting season and place for an audience
with your majesty,” replied Renard, in the low and silvery tone which he
could adopt at pleasure. “But I have that to communicate which emboldens
me to break through all forms.”

“Declare it then, sir,” replied the Queen.

Renard glanced significantly at her. She understood him, and motioning
her attendants to withdraw to a little distance, they obeyed; and Lady
Hastings seized the opportunity of despatching a messenger to her father
to acquaint him with the circumstance, as already related.

What was the nature of the disclosure made by the wily ambassador to the
Queen, it is not our present purpose to reveal. That it was important
was evident from the deep attention she paid to it; and it was apparent,
also, from her changing looks and agitated demeanour, that her fears
were greatly aroused.

As Renard proceeded, her uneasiness increased so much that she could
scarcely support herself, and her attendants were about to hasten to her
assistance, when a gesture from the ambassador checked them.

Different inferences were drawn by the various witnesses of this
singular interview. But all were satisfied of the ascendancy which
Renard had, in some manner, acquired over the youthful sovereign. While
glances of triumph were exchanged between the conspiring lords, who
watched them from their station in the aisle, the greatest misgivings
were experienced by the Ladies Hastings and Herbert. Unable to
comprehend the mystery, they were so much struck with the peculiar
expression of Jane’s countenance, which precisely resembled the look
she wore after the mysterious occurrence in St. John’s Chapel, that they
could not help thinking the present conference had some relation to that

Renard’s manner, indeed, was so extraordinary that it furnished some
clue to the nature of his discourse. Casting off the insinuating tone
and deferential deportment with which he had commenced, he gradually
assumed a look and accent of command, and almost of menace. His figure
dilated, and fixing his black flaming eye upon the trembling Queen, he
stamped his foot upon the vacant grave on which he was standing, and
said, in a voice so loud that it reached the ears of the listeners,
“Your Majesty will never wear your crown in safety till Northumberland
lies here.”

Before any answer could be returned, the door of the chapel was suddenly
thrown open, and the Duke presented himself. A momentary change passed
over Renard’s countenance at this interruption. But he instantly
recovered his composure, and folding his arms upon his breast, awaited
the result.

Unable to control his indignation, the Duke strode towards them, and
flinging his jewelled cap on the ground, drew his sword.

“M. Renard,” he exclaimed, “you are a traitor!”

“To whom, my lord?” replied Renard, calmly.

“To me—to the Queen,” rejoined the Duke.

“If to be your grace’s enemy is to be a traitor, I confess I am one,”
retorted Renard sternly. “But I am no traitor to her majesty.”

“It is false!” exclaimed the Duke, furiously. “You are her worst and
most dangerous enemy. And nothing but the sacred spot in which you have
sought shelter, prevents me from taking instant vengeance upon you.”

Renard smiled disdainfully.

“Your grace threatens safely,” he said, in a taunting tone.

“Insolent!” exclaimed the Duke, roused to a pitch of ungovernable fury.
“Draw and defend yourself, or I will strike you dead at my feet.”


“Put up your sword, my lord,” cried Jane, throwing herself between them.
“You forget in whose presence you stand.”

“No!” exclaimed Northumberland, “I do not forget. I am in the presence
of one who owes her authority to me—and who holds it through me. The
same power which made you queen, can as readily unmake you.”

“Your majesty will now judge who is the traitor,” observed Renard,

“I do,” she replied. “I command your grace,” she continued,
authoritatively addressing Northumberland, “to quit the chapel

“What if I refuse to obey?” rejoined the Duke.

“Your grace will do well not to urge me too far,” replied Jane. “Obey
me, or take the consequences.”

“What are they?” cried the Duke contemptuously.

“Your arrest,” said the Earl of Pembroke, laying his hand upon his
sword, and advancing. “If his grace will not submit himself to your
highness’s authority, we will compel him to do so.”

“Jane!” said the Duke, suddenly controlling himself—“be warned before it
is too late. You are in the hands of those who will destroy you.”

“On the contrary,” rejoined Renard, “her majesty is in the hands of
those who will uphold her, and destroy you?

“No more of this,” interposed the Queen. “If you are, what you profess
yourselves, my faithful subjects, you will reconcile your differences.”

“Never!” exclaimed the Duke. “Let M. Renard look to himself.”

“Another such menace, my lord,” said Jane, “and I place you in arrest.”

“Threatened men live long,” observed Renard. “I beseech your majesty not
to place any restraint upon his grace.”

“Will your highness grant me a moment’s speech with you!” said
Northumberland, sheathing his sword.

“Not now, my lord,” replied Jane. “To-morrow, at the council, you shall
be fully heard. And I charge you, by your allegiance, to cease all
hostilities till then. Have I your knightly word for this?”

“You have,” replied the Duke, after a moment’s reflection.

“And yours, M. Renard?” continued the Queen, turning to him.

“Since his grace has passed his word I cannot withhold mine,” replied
the ambassador. “But I give it with reluctance.”

“Your grace will not fail to attend the council to-morrow,” said Jane.

“If your highness desires it I will not, undoubtedly,” replied the Duke.
“But since you decline to act upon my advice, there can be little need
for my presence.”

“My wishes—my commands are, that you attend,” rejoined the Queen.

“Your wishes are commands,” rejoined the Duke. “I will be there.”

“Enough,” replied Jane. “M. Renard, you will accompany me to the

As the ambassador was preparing to depart, he perceived Northumberland’s
cap lying at his feet.

“Your grace’s hat,” he observed, pointing to it. And glancing
significantly at Jane, he added, in an audible whisper, “Would the head
were in it!”

“Ha!” exclaimed the Duke, laying his hand upon his sword. “But you are
safe till to-morrow.”

Renard made no reply, but with a smile of exultation followed the Queen
out of the chapel.


At noon on the following day, the Council was held as appointed by the
Queen. In the meantime, alarming intelligence having been received of
the accession which Mary’s party had obtained, it became absolutely
necessary that immediate and decisive measures should be taken against

As soon as the Lords of the Council, including the two ambassadors,
Renard and Noailles, were assembled, and the Queen had taken her
seat upon the throne, the Earl of Pembroke stepped forward, and thus
addressed her:—

“It is with infinite concern that I have to apprise your majesty that
news has just been brought that Sir Edward Hastings, with an army of
four thousand men, has gone over to the Lady Mary. Five counties also
have revolted. Your highness is already aware that the Earls of Sussex,
Bath and Oxford, Lord Wentworth, Sir Thomas Cornwallis and Sir Henry
Jerningham, have raised the commoners of Suffolk and Norfolk. Lord
Windsor, Sir Edmund Peckham, Sir Robert Drury, and Sir Edward Hastings,
have now raised those of Buckinghamshire. Sir John Williams and Sir
Leonard Chamberlain have stirred up a party in Oxfordshire, and Sir
Thomas Tresham another in Northamptonshire. These rebels with their
companies are now marching towards Framlingham Castle.”

“The revolt must be instantly checked,” rejoined Jane. “An army must be
sent against her.”

“To whom will your majesty entrust its command?” inquired the Earl of

“To one well fitted for the office,—my father, the Duke of Suffolk,”
answered the Queen.

“My advice is, that it be given to the Duke of Northumberland,” said the
Earl of Arundel. “Wherever he has carried his arms—in Scotland and in
France—he has been victorious. The recollection of the defeat sustained
by the rebels at Dussindale will operate in his favour. His grace has
every recommendation for the office. Having achieved the victory of
Norfolk once already, he will be so feared that none will dare to lift
up a weapon against him. Besides which, I need scarcely remind your
highness, who must be familiar with his high reputation, that he is the
best man of war in the realm, as well for the ordering of his camps
and soldiers, both in battle and in the tent, as for his experience and
wisdom, with which he can both animate his army and either vanquish his
enemies by his courage and skill, or else dissuade them (if need be,)
from their enterprise.”

“My voice is for Northumberland,” cried Cecil.

“And mine,” added Huntingdon.

“We are all unanimous,” cried the rest of the Council.

“Your grace hears the opinion just given,” said Jane. “Will you
undertake the command?”.

“No,” answered the Duke, bluntly. “I will shed my blood in your
majesty’s defence. But I see through the designs, of your artful
council, and will not be made their dupe. Their object is to withdraw me
from you. Let the Duke of Suffolk take the command. I will maintain the
custody of the Tower.”

“Do not suffer him to decline it,” whispered Simon Renard to the Queen.
“By this means you will accomplish a double purpose—insure a victory
over Mary, and free yourself from the yoke he will otherwise impose upon
you. If the Duke of Suffolk departs, and he is left absolute master of
the Tower, you will never attain your rightful position.”

“You are right,” replied Jane. “My lord,” she continued, addressing the
Duke, “I am satisfied that the Council mean you well. And I pray you,
therefore, to acquiesce in their wishes and my own.”.

“Why will not your highness send the Duke of Suffolk, as you have this
moment proposed?” rejoined Northumberland.

“I have bethought me,” replied the Queen. “And as my husband has thought
fit to absent himself from me at this perilous juncture, I am resolved
not to be left without a protector. Your grace will, therefore, deliver
up the keys of the Tower to the Duke of Suffolk.”

“Nay, your majesty,”—cried Northumberland.

“I will have no nay, my lord,” interrupted the Queen peremptorily. “I
will in nowise consent that my father shall leave me. To whom else would
your grace entrust the command?”

The Duke appeared to reflect for a moment.

“I know no one,” he answered.

“Then your grace must perforce consent,” said the Queen.

“If your majesty commands it, I must. But I feel it is a desperate
hazard,” replied Northumberland.

“It is so desperate,” whispered Pembroke to Renard,—“that he has not one
chance in his favour.”

“The Council desire to know your grace’s determination?” said Arundel.

“My determination is this,” rejoined the Duke. “Since you think it good,
I will go,—not doubting your fidelity to the Queen’s majesty, whom I
shall leave in your custody.”

“He is lost!” whispered Renard.

“Your grace’s commission for the lieutenantship of the army shall be
signed at once,” said Jane; “and I beseech you to use all diligence.”

“I will do what in me lies,” replied the Duke. “My retinue shall meet me
at Durham House to-night. And I will see the munition and artillery set
forward before daybreak.”

A pause now ensued, during which the Duke’s commission was signed by the
whole Council.

“It is his death-warrant,” observed Renard to the Earl of Arundel.

“Here is your warrant, under the broad seal of England,” said the Earl
of Pembroke, delivering it to him.

“I must have my marches prescribed,” replied the Duke. “I will do
nothing without authority.”

“What say you, my lords?” said Pembroke, turning to them.

“Agree at once,” whispered Renard—“he is planning his own ruin.”

“Your grace shall have full powers and directions,” rejoined Pembroke.

“It is well,” replied Northumberland. “My lords,” he continued
with great dignity, addressing the Council, “I and the other noble
personages, with the whole army that are now about to go forth, as well
for the behalf of you and yours, as for the establishing of the Queen’s
highness, shall not only adventure our bodies and lives amongst the
bloody strokes and cruel assaults of our adversaries in the open fields;
but also we leave the conservation of ourselves, children and families,
at home here with you, as altogether committed to your truth and
fidelity. If,” he proceeded sternly, “we thought you would through
malice, conspiracy, or dissension, leave us, your friends, in the briars
and betray us, we could as well, in sundry ways, foresee and provide for
our own safety, as any of you, by betraying us, can do for yours. But
now, upon the only trust and faithfulness of your honours, whereof we
think ourselves most assured, we do hazard our lives. And if ye shall
violate your trust and promise, hoping thereby of life and promotion,
yet shall not God account you innocent of our bloods, neither acquit
you of the sacred and holy oath of allegiance, made freely by you to
the Queen’s highness, who, by your own and our enticement, is rather
of force placed therein, than by her own seeking and request. Consider,
also, that God’s cause, which is the preferment of his word, and fear of
Papists’ entrance, hath been (as you have heretofore always declared,)
the original ground whereupon you even at the first motion granted your
good wills and consents thereunto, as by your handwritings appeareth.
And think not the contrary. But if ye mean deceit, though not forthwith,
yet hereafter, Heaven will revenge the same.”

“Your grace wrongs us by these suspicions,” observed the Earl of

“I will say no more,” rejoined the Duke, “but in this perilous time wish
you to use constant hearts, abandoning all malice, envy, and private

“Doubt it not,” said Cecil.

“I have not spoken to you in this sort upon any mistrust I have of your
truths,” pursued the Duke, “of which I have always hitherto conceived
a trusty confidence. But I have put you in remembrance thereof, in case
any variance should arise amongst you in my absence. And this I
pray you, wish me not worse good-speed in this matter than you wish

“We shall all agree on one point,” observed Pembroke aside to
Renard—“and that is a hope that he may never return.”

“If your grace mistrusts any of us in this matter, you are deceived,”
rejoined Arundel, “for which of us can wash his hands of it. And if we
should shrink from you as treasonable, which of us can excuse himself as
guiltless. Therefore, your doubt is too far cast.”

“I pray Heaven it be so,” replied the Duke, gravely. “Brother of
Suffolk, I resign the custody of the Tower to you, entreating you, if
you would uphold your daughter’s crown, to look well to your charge. I
now take my leave of your highness.”

“Heaven speed your grace,” replied Jane, returning his haughty

“Farewell, my lord,” said the Earl of Arundel, “I am right sorry it
is not my chance to bear you company, as I would cheerfully spend my
heart’s blood in your defence.”

“Judas!” muttered the Duke.

Upon this, the Council broke up, and Jane returned to the palace,
accompanied by the Duke of Suffolk, the two ambassadors, and others of
the conspiring nobles.

“We may give each other joy,” said Pembroke to Renard, as they walked
along—“we are at last rid of Northumberland. Suffolk will be easily
disposed of.”

“Queen Mary shall be proclaimed in London, before tomorrow night,”
rejoined Renard.

Meanwhile, the Duke, attended by the Marquis of Northampton, the Lord
Grey, and divers other noblemen, entered his barge, and proceeded to
Durham House. On the same night, he mustered his troops, and made every
preparation for his departure, As he rode forth on the following morning
through Shoreditch, great crowds collected to see him pass. But they
maintained a sullen and ominous silence.

“The people press to see us,” observed the Duke, in a melancholy tone,
to Lord Grey, who rode by his side; “but not one saith God speed us!”



ON the night of the Duke of Northumberland’s departure, as the three
gigantic warders and their dwarfish attendant were assembled in their
lodging in the By-ward Tower, preparatory to their evening meal, the
conduct of Magog, which had been strange enough throughout the day,
became so very extraordinary and unaccountable, that his brethren began
to think he must have taken leave of his senses. Flinging his huge
frame on a bench, he sighed and groaned, or rather bellowed, like an
over-driven ox, and rolling his great saucer eyes upwards, till the
whites only were visible, thumped his chest with a rapid succession of
blows, that sounded like the strokes of a sledgehammer. But the worst
symptom, in the opinion of the others, was his inability to eat. Magog’s
case must, indeed, be desperate, if he had no appetite for supper—and
such a supper! Seldom had their board been so abundantly and invitingly
spread as on the present occasion—and Magog refused to partake of it. He
must either be bewitched, or alarmingly ill.

Supplied by the provident attention of the pantler and his spouse,
the repast consisted of a cold chine of beef, little the worse for its
previous appearance at the royal board; a mighty lumber pie, with a wall
of pastry several inches thick, moulded to resemble the White Tower,
and filled with a savoury mess of ham and veal, enriched by a goodly
provision of forcemeat balls, each as large as a cannon-shot; a soused
gurnet floating in claret; a couple of pullets stuffed with oysters, and
served with a piquant sauce of oiled butter and barberries; a skirret
pasty; an apple tansy; and a prodigious marrow pudding. Nor, in this
bill of fare, must be omitted an enormous loaf, baked expressly for the
giants, and compounded of nearly a bushel of mingled wheaten flour
and barley, which stood at one end of the table, while at the opposite
extremity was placed a nine-hooped pot of mead—the distance between each
hoop denoting a quart of the humming fluid.

But all these good things were thrown away upon Magog. With some
persuasion he was induced to take his seat at the table, but after
swallowing a single mouthful of the beef, he laid down his knife and
fork, and left the rest untasted. In vain Og urged him to try the
pullets, assuring him he would find them delicious, as they were cooked
by Dame Potentia herself:—in vain Gog scooped out the most succulent
morsels from the depths of the lumber pie, loading his plate with
gobbets of fat and forcemeat balls. He declined both offers with a
melancholy shake of the head, and began to sigh and groan more dismally
than ever.

Exchanging significant looks with each other, the two giants thought it
best to leave him to himself, and assiduously addressed themselves to
their own meal. By way of setting him a good example, they speedily
cleared the chine to the bone. The gurnet was next despatched; and
a considerable inroad made into the lumber pie,—three of its turrets
having already disappeared,—when, as if roused from a trance, Magog
suddenly seized the marrow pudding, and devoured it in a trice. He then
applied himself to the nine-hooped pot, and taking a long deep draught,
appeared exceedingly relieved.

But his calmness was of short duration. The fit almost instantly
returned with fresh violence. Without giving the slightest intimation
of his intention, he plucked his cap from his brow, and flung it at Xit,
who chanced at the moment to be perched upon a stool stirring a great
pan of sack posset, set upon a chafing-dish to warm, with such force
as to precipitate him over head and ears into the liquid, which,
fortunately, was neither hot enough to scald him, nor deep enough to
drown him. When he reappeared, the mannikin uttered a shrill scream
of rage and terror; and Og, who could not help laughing at his comical
appearance, hastened to his assistance, and extricated him from his
unpleasant situation.

By the aid of a napkin, Xit was speedily restored to a state of
tolerable cleanliness, and though his habiliments were not a little
damaged by the viscous fluid in which they had been immersed, he
appeared to have suffered more in temper than in any other way from
the accident. While Og was rubbing him dry,—perhaps with no very gentle
hand,—he screamed and cried like a peevish infant undergoing the process
of ablution; and he was no sooner set free, than darting to the spot
where Magog’s cap had fallen, he picked it up, and dipping it in
the sack-posset, hurled it in its owners face. Delighted with this
retaliation, he crowed and swaggered about the room, and stamping
fiercely upon the ground, tried to draw his sword; but this he found
impossible, it being fast glued to the scabbard. Magog, however, paid no
sort of attention to his antics, but having wiped his face with the end
of the table-cloth, and wrung his bonnet, marched deliberately out
of the room. His brothers glanced at each other in surprise, and were
hesitating whether to follow, when they were relieved from further
anxiety on this score by Xit, who hurried after him. They then very
quietly returned to the repast, and trusting all would come right,
contented themselves with such interjectional remarks as did not
interfere with the process of mastication. In this way they continued,
until the return of Xit, who, as he entered the room, exclaimed, with a
half-merry, half-mischievous expression of countenance, “I have found it
out—I have found it out.”

“Found out what?” cried out both giants.

“He is in love,” replied the dwarf.

“Magog in love!” ejaculated Og, starting. “Impossible!”

“You shall be convinced to the contrary if you will come with me,”
rejoined Xit. “I have seen him enter the house. And, what is more, I
have seen the lady.”

“Who is she?” demanded Gog.

“Can you not guess,” rejoined Xit.

“The fair Cicely,” returned the giant.

“You are wide of the mark,” replied the dwarf—“though, I confess, she is
lovely enough to turn his head outright. But he is not so moonstruck
as to aspire to her. Had I sought her hand, there might have been some
chance of success. But Magog—pshaw!”

“Tush!” cried Og, “I will be sworn it is Mistress Bridget Crumbewell,
the Bowyer’s daughter, who hath bewitched him. I have noted that she
hath cast many an amorous glance at him of late. It is she, I’ll be

“Then you are forsworn, for it is not Bridget Crumbewell,” rejoined
Xit—“the object of his affections is a widow.”

“A widow!” exclaimed both giants—“then he is lost.”

“I see not that,” replied the dwarf. “Magog might do worse than espouse
Dame Placida Paston. Her husband, old Miles Paston, left a good round
sum behind him, and a good round widow too. She has a bright black eye,
a tolerable waist for so plump a person, and as neat an ancle as can
be found within the Tower, search where you will. I am half disposed to
enter the lists with him.”

“Say you so,” replied Og, laughing at the dwarf’s presumption, “then
e’en make the attempt. And such assistance as we can render, shall
not be wanting; for neither Gog nor I—if I do not misapprehend his
sentiments—have any desire that our brother should enter into the holy
state of matrimony.”

“Right, brother,” rejoined Gog; “we must prevent it if possible, and I
see not a better way than that you propose. If it does nothing else, it
will afford us excellent pastime.”

“Excuse me a moment,” observed Xit. “If I am to play the suitor to
advantage, I must change my dress. I will return on the instant, and
conduct you to Dame Placida’s dwelling.”

So saying, he withdrew for a short space, during which he arrayed
himself in his holiday garments. “Magog will have no chance,” he
observed, as he strutted into the room, and glanced at his pigmy limbs
with an air of intense self-satisfaction; “the widow is already won.”

“If she be as fond of apes as some of her sex, she is so,” replied Og;
“but widows are not so easily imposed upon.”

The two giants, who, during Xit’s absence had entirely cleared the
board, and wound up the repast by emptying the nine-hooped pot, now
expressed themselves ready to start. Accordingly, they set out, and,
preceded by Xit, shaped their course along the southern ward, and
passing beneath the gateway of the Bloody Tower, ascended the hill
leading to the Green, on the right of which, as at the present time,
stood a range of buildings inhabited by the warders and other retainers
of the royal household.

Before one of these Xit stopped, and pointing to an open window about
six feet from the ground, desired Gog to raise him up to it, The giant
complied, when they beheld a sight that filled them with merriment. Upon
a stout oak table—for there was no chair in the domicile sufficiently
large to sustain him—sat Magog, his hand upon his breast, and his eyes
tenderly fixed upon a comely dame, who was presenting him with a large
foaming pot of ale. The languishing expression of the giant’s large
lumpish features was so irresistibly diverting, that it was impossible
to help laughing; and the lookers-on only restrained themselves, in the
hope of witnessing something still more diverting.


Dame Placida Paston had a short plump (perhaps a little too plump, and
yet it is difficult to conceive how that can well be,) figure; a round
rosy face, the very picture of amiability and good humour; a smooth
chin, dimpling cheeks, and the brightest and merriest black eyes
imaginable. Her dress was neatness itself, and her dwelling as neat as
her dress. With attractions like these, no wonder she captivated many a
heart, and among others that of Magog, who had long nourished a secret
passion for her, but could not muster courage to declare it—for, with a
bluff and burly demeanour towards his own sex, the giant was as bashful
as a shamefaced stripling in the presence of any of womankind.

With the tact peculiarly belonging to widows, Dame Placida had
discovered the state of affairs, and perhaps being not altogether
unwilling to discourage him, having accidentally met him on the Tower
Green on the day in question, had invited him to visit her in the
evening. It was this invitation which had so completely upset the
love-sick giant. The same bashfulness that prevented him from making
known his attachment to the object of it, kept him silent towards his
brethren, as he feared to excite their ridicule.

On his arrival at her abode, Dame Placida received him with the utmost
cordiality, and tried to engage him in conversation. But all without

“I see how it is,” she thought; “there is nothing like a little strong
liquor to unloose a man’s longue.” And she forthwith proceeded to a
cupboard to draw a pot of ale. It was at this juncture that she was
discovered by the observers outside.

Magog received the proffered jug, and fixing a tender look on the fair
donor, pressed his huge hand to his heart, and drained it to the last
drop. The widow took back the empty vessel, and smilingly inquired if he
would have it replenished. The giant replied faintly in the negative,—so
faintly, that she was about to return to the cupboard for a fresh
supply, when Magog caught her hand, and flung himself on his knees
before her. In this posture he was still considerably the taller of the
two; but bending himself as near to the ground as possible, he was about
to make his proposal in due form, when he was arrested by a tremendous
peal of laughter from without, and, looking up, beheld Xit seated on the
window-sill, while behind him appeared the grinning countenances of his

Ashamed and enraged at being thus detected, Magog sprang to his feet,
and seizing Xit by the nape of the neck, would have inflicted some
severe chastisement upon him, if Dame Placida had not interfered to
prevent it. At her solicitation, the mannikin was released; and he no
sooner found himself at liberty, than, throwing himself at her feet, he
protested he was dying for her. Perhaps it might be from a certain love
of teazing, inherent even in the best-tempered of her sex, or, perhaps,
she thought such a course might induce Magog more fully to declare
himself; but whatever motive influenced her, certain it is that Dame
Placida appeared by no means displeased with her diminutive suitor, but
suffered him, after a decent show of reluctance, to take her hand.

Thus encouraged, the dwarf was so elated, that springing upon a chair,
he endeavoured to snatch a kiss. But the widow, having no idea of
allowing such a liberty, gave him a smart box on the ear, which
immediately brought him to the ground.

Notwithstanding this rebuff, Xit would have persevered, had not Magog,
whose feelings were really interested, begun to appear seriously angry.
Seeing this, he judged it prudent to desist, and contented himself with
entreating the widow to declare which of the two she preferred. Dame
Placida replied, that she must take a few hours to consider upon it,
but invited them both to supper on the following evening, when she would
deliver her answer. Having given a similar invitation to the two giants
outside, she dismissed the whole party.


Several days had now elapsed since Cholmondeley was thrown into the
dungeon, and during that time he had been visited only at long intervals
by Nightgall. To all his menaces, reproaches, and entreaties, the
jailor turned a deaf ear. He smiled grimly as he set down the scanty
provisions—a loaf and a pitcher of water—with which he supplied his
captive; but he could not be induced to speak. When questioned about
Cicely and upbraided with his perfidy, his countenance assumed an
exulting expression which Cholmondeley found so intolerable that he
never again repeated his inquiries. Left to himself, his whole time was
passed in devising some means of escape. He tried, but ineffectually,
to break his bonds, and at last, satisfied of its futility, gave up the

One night, he was disturbed by the horrible and heartrending shrieks of
the female prisoner, who had contrived to gain access to his cell.
There was something about this mysterious person that inspired him with
unaccountable dread; and though he was satisfied she was a being of this
world, the conviction did not serve to lessen his fears. After making
the dungeon ring with her cries for some time, she became silent, and as
he heard no sound and could distinguish nothing, he concluded she must
have departed. Just then the unlocking of a distant door and a gleam of
sickly light on the walls of the stone passage announced the approach of
Nightgall, and the next moment he entered the cell. The light fell upon
a crouching female figure in one corner. The jailor started; and his
angry ejaculations caused the poor creature to raise her head.

Cholmondeley had never beheld anything so ghastly as her countenance,
and he half doubted whether he did not look upon a tenant of the grave.
Her eyes were sunken and lustreless; her cheeks thin and rigid, and
covered with skin of that deadly paleness which is seen in plants
deprived of light; her flesh shrunken to the bone, and her hands like
those of a skeleton. But in spite of all this emaciation, there was
something in her features that seemed to denote that she had once been
beautiful, and her condition in life exalted. The terror she exhibited
at the approach of the jailor proved the dreadful usage she had
experienced. In answer to his savage ejaculations to her to follow him,
she flung herself on her knees, and raised her hands in the most piteous
supplication. Nothing moved by this, Nightgall was about to seize her
and drag her away, when with a piercing scream she darted from him, and
took refuge behind Cholmondeley.

“Save me!—save me from him!” she shrieked; “he will kill me.”

“Pshaw!” cried the jailor. “Come with me quietly, Alexia, and you shall
have a warmer cell, and better food.”

“I will not go,” she replied. “I will not answer to that name. Give me
my rightful title and I will follow you.”

“What is your title?” asked Cholmondeley, eagerly.

“Beware!” interposed Nightgall, raising his hand menacingly. “Beware!”

“Heed him not!” cried Cholmondeley; “he shall not harm you. Tell me how
you are called?”

“I have forgotten,” replied the terrified woman, evasively. “I had
another name once. But I am called Alexia now.”

“What has become of your child?” asked Cholmondeley.

“My child!” she echoed, with a frightful scream. “I have lost her in
these dungeons. I sometimes see her before me running and clapping her
little hands. Ah! there she is—coming towards us. She has long fair
hair—light blue eyes—blue as the skies I shall never behold again. Do
you not see her?”

“No,” replied Cholmondeley, trembling. “How is she named?”

“She died unbaptised,” replied the female. “But I meant to call her
Angela. Ah! see! she answers to the name—she approaches. Angela! my
child!—my child!” And the miserable creature extended her arms, and
seemed to clasp a phantom to her bosom.

“Alexia!” roared the jailor, fiercely, “follow me, or I will have you
scourged by the tormentor.”

“He dare not—he will not,”—cried Cholmondeley, to whom the wretched
woman clung convulsively. “Do not go with him.”

“Alexia,” reiterated the jailor, in a tone of increased fury.

“I must go,” she cried, breaking from the esquire, “or he will kill me.”
And with a noiseless step she glided after Nightgall.

Cholmondeley listened intently, and as upon a former occasion, heard
stifled groans succeeded by the clangour of a closing door, and then
all was hushed. The jailor returned no more that night. When he
appeared again, it was with a moodier aspect than ever. He set down the
provisions, and instantly departed.

While meditating upon various means of escape, an idea at length
occurred to the young esquire upon which he resolved to act. He
determined to feign death. Accordingly, though half famished, he left
his provisions untouched; and when Nightgall next visited the cell,
he found him stretched on the ground, apparently lifeless. Uttering a
savage laugh, the jailor held the light over the supposed corpse, and
exclaimed, “At last I am fairly rid of him. Cicely will now be mine.
I will fling him into the burial-vault near the moat. But first to
unfasten this chain.”

So saying, he took a small key from the bunch at his girdle and unlocked
the massive fetters that bound Cholmondeley to the wall. During this
operation the esquire held his breath, and endeavoured to give his limbs
the semblance of death. But the jailor’s suspicions were aroused.

“He cannot have been long dead,” he muttered, “perhaps he is only in
a trance. This shall make all secure.” And drawing his dagger, he was
about to plunge it in the bosom of the esquire, when the latter being
now freed from his bondage, suddenly started to his feet, and flung
himself upon him.

The suddenness of the action favoured its success. Before Nightgall
recovered from his surprise, the poniard was wrested from his grasp and
held at his throat. In the struggle that ensued, he received a wound
which brought him senseless to the ground; and Cholmondeley, thinking
it needless to despatch him, contented himself with chaining him to the

Possessing himself of the jailor’s keys, he was about to depart, when
Nightgall, who at that moment regained his consciousness, and with it
all his ferocity, strove to intercept him. On discovering his situation,
he uttered a torrent of impotent threats and execrations. The only reply
deigned by the esquire to his menaces, was an assurance that he was
about to set free the miserable Alexia.

Quitting the cell, Cholmondeley turned off on the left, in the direction
whence he imagined the shrieks had proceeded. Here he beheld a range
of low strong doors, the first of which he unlocked with one of the
jailor’s keys. The prison was unoccupied. He opened the next, but with
no better success. It contained nothing except a few rusty links of
chain attached to an iron staple driven into the floor. In the third he
found a few mouldering bones; and the fourth was totally empty. He then
knocked at the doors of others, and called the miserable captive by her
name in a loud voice. But no answer was returned.

At the extremity of the passage he found an open door, leading to a
small circular chamber, in the centre of which stood a heavy stone
pillar. From this pillar projected a long iron bar, sustaining a coil
of rope, terminated by a hook. On the ground lay an immense pair of
pincers, a curiously-shaped saw, and a brasier. In one corner stood a
large oaken frame, about three feet high, moved by rollers. At the other
was a ponderous wooden machine, like a pair of stocks. Against the wall
hung a broad hoop of iron, opening in the middle with a hinge—a horrible
instrument of torture, termed “The Scavenger’s Daughter.” Near it were
a pair of iron gauntlets, which could be contracted by screws till they
crushed the fingers of the wearer. On the wall also hung a small brush
to sprinkle the wretched victims who fainted from excess of agony, with
vinegar; while on a table beneath it were placed writing materials
and an open volume, in which were taken down the confessions of the

Cholmondeley saw at once that he had entered the torture-chamber, and
hastily surveying these horrible contrivances, was about to withdraw,
when he noticed a trap-door in one corner. Advancing towards it, he
perceived a flight of steps, and thinking they might lead him to the
cell he was in search of, he descended, and came to a passage still
narrower and gloomier than that he had quitted. As he proceeded along
it, he thought he heard a low groan, and hurrying in the direction of
the sound, arrived at a small door, and knocking against it, called
“Alexia,” but was answered in the feeble voice of a man.

“I am not Alexia, but whoever you are, liberate me from this horrible
torture, or put me to death, and so free me from misery.”

After some search, Cholmondeley discovered the key of the dungeon and
unlocking it, beheld an old man in a strange stooping posture, with his
head upon his breast, and his back bent almost double. The walls of the
cell, which was called the Little Ease, were so low, and so contrived,
that the wretched inmate could neither stand, walk, sit, nor he at full
length within them.

With difficulty,—for the poor wretch’s limbs were too much cramped by
his long and terrible confinement, to allow him to move,—Cholmondeley
succeeded in dragging him forth.

“How long have you been immured here?” he inquired.

“I know not,” replied the old man. “Not many weeks perhaps—but to me it
seems an eternity. Support me—oh! support me! I am sinking fast!”

“A draught of water will revive you,” cried Cholmondeley. “I will bring
you some in a moment.”

And he was about to hurry to his cell for the pitcher, when the old man
checked him..

“It is useless,” he cried. “I am dying—nothing can save me. Young man,”
he continued, fixing his glazing eyes on Cholmondeley. “When I was
first brought to the Tower, I was as young as you. I have grown old
in captivity. My life has been passed in these dismal places. I was
imprisoned by the tyrant Henry VIII. for my adherence to the religion
of my fathers—and I have witnessed such dreadful things, that, were I to
relate them, it would blanch your hair like mine. Heaven have mercy on
my soul!” And, sinking backwards, he expired with a hollow groan.

Satisfied that life was wholly extinct, Cholmondeley continued his
search for the scarcely less unfortunate Alexia. Traversing the narrow
gallery, he could discover no other door, and he therefore returned to
the torture-room, and from thence retraced his steps to the cell. As he
approached it, Nightgall, who heard his footsteps, called out to him,
and entreated to be set at liberty.

“I will do so, provided you will conduct me to the dungeon of Alexia,”
replied the esquire.

“You have not found her?” rejoined the jailor.

“I have not,” replied Cholmondeley. “Will you guide me to it?”

Nightgall eagerly answered in the affirmative.

The esquire was about to unlock the chain, but as he drew near him,
the jailor’s countenance assumed so malignant an expression, that he
determined not to trust him. Despite his entreaties, he again turned to

“You will never get out without me,” said Nightgall.

“I will make the attempt,” rejoined Cholmondeley. And wrapping himself
in the jailor’s ample cloak, and putting on his cap, he quitted the

This time, he shaped his course differently. Endeavouring to recall the
road by which Nightgall had invariably approached, he proceeded for a
short time along the onward passage, and presently reaching a spot where
two avenues branched off—one to the right and the other to the left,—he
struck into the latter, and found a second range of dungeons. He opened
the doors of several, but they were untenanted; and giving up the idea
of rescuing the ill-fated Alexia, he began to think it time to attend to
his own safety.

The passage he had chosen, which, like all those he had previously
traversed, was arched and flagged with stone, brought him to a low
square chamber, from which a flight of steps ascended. Mounting these
he came to two other passages, and without pausing to consider, hurried
along the first. In a short time he was stopped by a strong iron door,
and examining the lock tried every key, but could find none to fit it.
Failing to procure egress in this quarter, he was obliged to return, and
choosing his course at random, struck into an avenue on the right.

Greatly surprised at the extent of the passages he had tracked, he could
not help admiring the extraordinary solidity of the masonry, and the
freshness of the stone, which looked as if it had just come from the
chisel. Arriving at a gate which impeded his further progress, he
applied to his keys, and was fortunately able to open it. This did not
set him free as he had anticipated, but admitted him into a spacious
vault, surrounded by deep cavernous recesses, filled with stone coffins.
Broken statues and tattered escutcheons littered the ground.

Wondering where he could have penetrated, he paused for a moment to
consider whether he should return; but fearful of losing his way in the
labyrinth he had just quitted, he determined to go on. A broad flight of
stone steps led him to a large folding-door, which he pushed aside,
and traversing a sort of corridor with which it communicated, he found
himself at the foot of a spiral staircase. Mounting it, he came to an
extremely narrow passage, evidently contrived in the thickness of the
wall; and threading it, he reached a small stone door, in which neither
bolt nor lock could be detected.

Convinced, however, that there must be some secret spring, he examined
it more narrowly, and at length discovered a small plate of iron.
Pressing this, the heavy stone turned as upon a pivot, and disclosed a
narrow passage, through which he crept, and found himself to his great
surprise in the interior of St. John’s Chapel in the White Tower. At
first, he thought he must be deceived, but a glance around convinced
him he was not mistaken; and when he called to mind the multitude of
passages he had traversed, his surprise was greatly diminished.

While he was thus musing, he heard footsteps approaching, and instantly
extinguished the light. The masked door from which he had emerged, lay
at the extremity of the northern aisle, and the parties (for there was
evidently more than one) came from the other end of the chapel. Finding
he had been noticed, Cholmondeley advanced towards them.


The brief and troubled reign of the ill-fated Queen Jane was fast
drawing to a close. Every fresh messenger brought tidings of large
accessions to the cause of the lady Mary, who was now at the head of
thirty thousand men,—an army trebling the forces of Northumberland.
Added to this, the metropolis itself was in a state of revolt. Immense
mobs collected in Smithfield, and advanced towards the Tower-gates,
commanding the warders to open them in the name of Queen Mary. These
rioters were speedily driven off, with some bloodshed. But their leader,
who was recognised as the prisoner Gilbert, escaped, and the next day
larger crowds assembled, and it was feared that an attack would be made
upon the fortress.

Meanwhile, Northumberland, whose order of march had been prescribed
by the council, proceeded slowly on the expedition; and the fate that
attended him fully verified the old proverb, that delay breeds danger.
An accident, moreover, occurred, which, while it greatly disheartened
his party, gave additional hope to that of the lady Mary. Six vessels,
well manned with troops and ammunition, stationed off Yarmouth to
intercept Mary in case she attempted to escape by sea, were driven into
that port, where their commanders were immediately visited by Sir
Henry Jerningham, who was levying recruits for the princess, and were
prevailed upon by him to join her standard.

When the news of this defection reached the Tower, even the warmest
partisans of Jane perceived that her cause was hopeless, and prepared
to desert her. The Duke of Suffolk could not conceal his uneasiness, and
despatched a secret messenger to Lord Guilford Dudley, who during the
whole of this trying period had absented himself, commanding his instant

On receiving the summons, Dudley immediately answered it in person. Jane
received him with the utmost affection, and their meeting, which took
place in the presence of her father, the Duchess of Northumberland, and
the Ladies Herbert and Hastings, was deeply affecting. Lord Guilford
was much moved, and prostrating himself before the queen, besought
her forgiveness for his ill-advised and ungenerous conduct—bitterly
reproaching himself for having deserted her at a season of so much

“I will not upbraid you, dear Dudley,” rejoined Jane, “neither will I
attempt to disguise from you that your absence has given me more anguish
than aught else in this season of trouble. My crown you well know was
your crown. But now, alas! I fear I have lost that which, though a
bauble in my eyes, was a precious-jewel in yours.”

“Oh, say not so, my queen,” replied Lord Guilford, passionately. “Things
are not so desperate as you imagine. I have letters full of hope and
confidence from my father, who has reached Bury Saint Edmund’s. He means
to give battle to the rebels to-morrow. And the next messenger will no
doubt bring news of their defeat.”

“Heaven grant it may prove so, my dear lord!” rejoined Jane. “But I
am not so sanguine. I have despatched missives to the sheriffs of the
different counties, enjoining them to raise troops in my defence, and
have summoned the Lord Mayor and the city-authorities to the council
to-morrow, to decide upon what is best to be done in this emergency.”

“Daughter,” said the Duke of Suffolk, “it is my duty to, inform you
that I have just received letters from his Grace of Northumberland, very
different in purport from that which has reached Lord Guilford. In them
he expresses himself doubtful, of the result of the conflict, and
writes most urgently for further succour. His men, he says, are
hourly deserting to the hostile camp. And, unless he speedily receives
additional force and munition, it will be impossible to engage the

“This is bad news, indeed, my lord,” replied Jane, mournfully.

“Have we not troops to send him?” cried Lord Guilford Dudley. “If a
leader is wanted, I will set forth at once.”

“We cannot spare another soldier from the Tower,” replied Suffolk.
“London is in a state of revolt. The fortress may be stormed by the
rabble, who are all in favour of Mary. The Duke has already taken all
the picked men. And, if the few loyal soldiers left, are removed, we
shall not have sufficient to overawe the rebels.”

“My lord,” observed the Duchess of Northumberland, “you have allowed the
council too much sway. They will overpower you. And your highness,”
she added, turning to Jane, “has suffered yourself to be deluded by the
artful counsels of Simon Renard.”

“Simon Renard has given me good counsel,” replied Jane.

“You are deceived, my queen,” replied her husband. “He is conspiring
against your crown and life.”

“It is too true,” added Suffolk, “I have detected some of his dark

“Were I assured of this,” answered Jane, “the last act of my reign—the
last exertion of my power should be to avenge myself upon him.”

“Are the guards within the Tower true to us?” inquired Dudley.

“As yet,” replied Suffolk. “But they are wavering. If something be not
done to confirm them, I fear they will declare for Mary.”

“And the council?”

“Are plotting against us, and providing for their own safety.”

“Jane,” said Lord Guilford Dudley, “I will not attempt to excuse my
conduct. But if it is possible to repair the injury I have done you, I
will do so. Everything now depends on resolution. The council are more
to be feared than Mary and her forces. So long as you are mistress of
the Tower, you are mistress of London, and Queen of England—even though
the day should go against the Duke, my father. Give me a warrant under
your hand for the arrest of the council, and the ambassadors Renard and
De Noailles, and I will see it instantly executed.”

“My lord!” she exclaimed.

“Trust me, my queen, it is the only means to save us,” replied Dudley.
“This bold step will confound them and compel them to declare their
purposes. If they are your enemies, as I nothing doubt, you will have
them in your power.”

“I understand,” replied Jane. “You shall have the warrant. It will bring
matters to an issue.”

At this moment, the door of the chamber was thrown open, and an usher
announced “Monsieur Simon Renard.”

“You are right welcome, M. Renard,” said Lord Guilford, bowing
haughtily. “I was about to go in search of you.”

“Indeed,” rejoined the ambassador, coldly returning the salutation.
“I am glad to spare your lordship so much trouble,—and I am still more
rejoiced to find you have recovered your temper, and returned to your
royal consort.”

“Insolent!” exclaimed Lord Guilford. “Guards!” he cried, motioning to
the attendants—“Assure yourselves of his person.”

“Ha!” exclaimed Renard, laying his hand upon his sword. “You have no
authority for this.”

“I have the Queens warrant,” rejoined Dudley, sternly.

“The person of an ambassador is sacred,” observed Renard.

“The emperor, Charles the Fifth, will resent this outrage as an insult
to himself.”

“I will take the consequences upon myself,” replied Lord Guilford,

“Your highness will not suffer this wrong to be done?” said Renard,
addressing Jane.

“Monsieur Renard,” replied the queen, “I have reason to believe you have
played me false. If I find you have deceived me, though you were brother
to the emperor, you shall lose your head.”

“You will have cause to repent this step,” rejoined Renard, furiously.
“The council will command my instant release.”

“The order must be speedy then,” replied Dudley, “for I shall place
them all in arrest. And here, as luck will have it, are your friends the
Earls of Arundel and Pembroke. They will attend you to the White Tower.”

So saying, he motioned to the guards to take them into custody.

“What means this?” cried Pembroke in astonishment.

“It means that Lord Guilford Dudley, who has been slumbering for
some time in Sion House, has awakened at last, and fancies his royal
consort’s crown is in danger,” rejoined Renard with a bitter sneer.

“This is some jest surely, my lord,” observed Pembroke. “The council
arrested at a moment of peril like this! Will you provoke us to manifest
our power?”

“I will provoke you to manifest your treacherous designs towards
her majesty,” replied Dudley. “Away with them to the White Tower!
Shrewsbury, Cecil, Huntingdon, Darcy, and the others shall soon join you

“One word before we go, gracious madam’?” said Pembroke, addressing the

“Not one, my lord,” replied Jane. “Lord Guilford Dudley has my full
authority for what he does. I shall hold early council to-morrow—which
you shall be at liberty to attend, and you will then have ample
opportunity to explain and defend yourself.”

Upon this, the confederate nobles were removed.

“It is time to put an end to this farce,” remarked Renard, as they were
conducted along the gallery towards the White Tower.

“It is,” answered Pembroke, “and my first address in the council
to-morrow shall be to proclaim Queen Mary.”

“The hair-brained Dudley imagines he can confine us in the White Tower,”
observed Renard, laughing. “There is not a chamber in it without a
secret passage. And thanks to the jailor, Nightgall, I am familiar with
them all. We will not be idle to-night.”


Having seen the rest of the council conveyed to the White Tower, Lord
Guilford Dudley returned to the palace. While discoursing on other
matters with the queen, he casually remarked that he was surprised he
did not perceive his esquire, Cuthbert Cholmondeley, in her highness’s
train, and was answered that he had not been seen since his departure
for Sion House. Greatly surprised by the intelligence, Lord Guilford
directed an attendant to make inquiries about him. After some time, the
man returned, stating that he could obtain no information respecting

“This is very extraordinary,” said Lord Guilford. “Poor Cholmondeley!
What can have happened to him? As soon as this danger is past, I will
make personal search for him.”

“I thought he had left the Tower with you, my dear lord,” observed Jane.

“Would he had!” answered her husband. “I cannot help suspecting he has
incurred the enmity of the council, and has been secretly removed. I
will interrogate them on the subject tomorrow.”

While they were thus conversing, an usher appeared, and informed the
queen that a young damsel supplicated an audience having somewhat to
disclose of importance.

“You had better admit her, my queen,” said Dudley. “She may have
accidentally learned some plot which it is important for us to know.”

Jane having signified her assent, the usher withdrew, and presently
afterwards introduced Cicely. The young damsel, who appeared to have
suffered much, greatly interested the queen by her extreme beauty and
modesty. She narrated her story with infinite simplicity, and though she
blushed deeply when she came to speak of the love professed for her by
Cholmondeley, she attempted no concealment.

Both Jane and Lord Guilford Dudley were astonished beyond measure, when
they learned that the young esquire had been incarcerated by Nightgall;
and the latter was about to reproach Cicely for not having revealed the
circumstance before, when she accounted for her silence by stating
that she had been locked within her chamber, ever since the night in
question, by her mother. Her story ended, Dudley declared his intention
of seeking out the jailor without delay. “I will first compel him to
liberate his prisoner,” he said, “and will then inflict upon him a
punishment proportionate to his offence.”

“Alas!” exclaimed Cicely, bursting into tears, “I fear your lordship’s
assistance will come too late. Nightgall has visited me daily, and he
asserts that Master Cholmondeley has quitted the Tower by some secret
passage under the moat. I fear he has destroyed him.”

“If it be so, he shall die the death he merits,” replied Dudley. “You
say that the gigantic warders, whose lodging is in the By-ward Tower,
are acquainted with the dungeon. I will proceed thither at once, be of
good cheer, fair damsel. If your lover is alive he shall wed you on
the morrow, and I will put it out of Nightgall’s power to molest you
further. Remain with the queen till I return.”

“Ay, do so, child,” said Jane, “I shall be glad to have you with me.
And, if you desire it, you shall remain constantly near my person.”

“It is more happiness than I deserve, gracious madam,” replied Cicely,
dropping upon her knee. “And though your majesty has many attendants
more highly born, you will find none more faithful.”

“I fully believe it,” replied Jane, with a sigh. “Rise, damsel.
Henceforth you are one of my attendants.”

Cicely replied by a look of speechless gratitude, while summoning a
guard, Dudley proceeded to the By-ward Tower. The giants informed him
they had just returned from Nightgall’s lodging, and that he was
absent. He then commanded them to accompany him to the entrance of the
subterranean dungeons beneath the Devilin Tower.

“It will be useless to attempt to gain admission without the keys, my
lord,” replied Og; “and they are in master Nightgall’s keeping.”

“Has no one else a key? demanded Dudley, impatiently.

“No one, unless it be Gillian Mauger, the headsman,” replied Xit; “I
will bring him to your lordship, instantly.”

So saying, he hurried off in search of the executioner, while Dudley,
attended by the two giants, proceeded slowly in the direction of the
Beauchamp Tower. In a short time, the dwarf returned with Mauger, who
limped after him as quickly as a lame leg would permit. He had no key
of the dungeon, and on being questioned, declared there was no other
entrance to it.

“Break open the door instantly, then,” cried Dudley.

Mauger declared this was impossible, as it was cased with iron, and
fastened with a lock of great strength.

Magog, who was standing at a little distance with his arms folded upon
his breast, now stepped forward, and, without saying a word, lifted up
a large block of stone placed there to repair the walls, and hurling it
against the door, instantly burst it open.

“Bravely done,” cried Lord Guilford. “How can I reward the service?”

“I scarcely know how to ask it of your lordship,” rejoined Magog; “but
if you could prevail upon her majesty to issue her commands to Dame
Placida Paston to bestow her hand upon me, you would make me the
happiest of mankind.”

“If the dame be willing, surely she does not require enforcement,”
replied Dudley, laughing; “and if not”——

“She has half promised her hand to me, my lord,” said Xit, “and your
lordship can scarcely doubt to whom she would give the preference.”

“She has indeed a fair choice betwixt giant and dwarf I must own,”
replied Dudley. “But bring torches and follow me. More serious business
now claims my attention.”

“I will guide your lordship through these dungeons,” said Xit. “I have
often accompanied Master Nightgall in his visits, and can conduct you to
every cell.”

“Lead on then,” said Dudley.

After traversing a vast number of passages, and examining many cells,
all of which were vacant, they at length came to the dungeon where
Cholmondeley had been confined. Here they found Nightgall, who at first
attempted to exculpate himself, and made a variety of wild accusations
against the esquire, but when he found he was utterly disbelieved, he
confessed the whole truth. Dismissing some of his companions in search
of the esquire, who it was evident, if the jailor’s statement was to
be credited, must have lost himself in some of the passages. Dudley
was about to follow them, when Nightgall flung himself at his feet, and
offered, if his life were spared, to reveal all the secret practices
of the Council which had come to his knowledge. Dudley then ordered
the rest of his attendants to withdraw, and was so much astonished at
Nightgall’s communication, that he determined upon instantly conveying
him to the palace. After a long, but ineffectual search for Chomondeley,
whose escape has already been related, Dudley contented himself with
leaving Xit and Og to look for him; and placing Nightgall in the custody
of the two other giants, returned with him to the palace.

While this was passing, the queen had received an unexpected visit.
She had retired to her closet with Cicely, and was listening to a
recapitulation of the young damsel’s love affair, when the hangings were
suddenly drawn aside, and Simon Renard stepped from a masked door in
the wall. Surprise for a moment held her silent, and Cicely was so much
astonished by the appearance of the intruder, and so much alarmed by
his stern looks, that she stood like one petrified. Renard’s deportment,
indeed, was most formidable, and could not fail to impress them both
with terror. He said nothing for a moment, but fixed his black flaming
eyes menacingly on the queen. As she remained speechless, he motioned
Cicely to withdraw, and she would have obeyed had not Jane grasped her
arm and detained her.

“Do not leave me!” she cried, “or summon the guard.”

The words were no sooner spoken, than Renard drew his sword, and placed
himself between her and the door.

“I have little to say,” he observed;—“but I would have said it to you
alone. Since you will have a witness, I am content.”

By this time, Jane had recovered her confidence, and rising, she
confronted Renard with a look as stern and haughty as his own.

“What brings you here, sir,” she demanded; “and by what means have you
escaped from the White Tower?—Are my guards false to their trust?”

“It matters not how I have escaped,” replied Renard. “I am come hither
to warn you.”

“Of what?” asked Jane.

“Of the peril in which you stand,’” replied Renard. “You are no longer
queen. The Duke of Northumberland has disbanded his army, and has
himself proclaimed Mary.”

“It is false,” rejoined Jane.

“You will do well not to neglect my caution,” replied Renard. “As yet
the news is only known to me. To-morrow it will be known to all within
the Tower. Fly! while it is yet time.”

“No,” replied Jane, proudly. “Were your news true, which I doubt,
I would not fly. If I must resign my crown, it shall not be at your
bidding. But I am still a queen; and you shall feel that I am so.
Guards!” she cried in a loud voice, “Arrest this traitor.”

But before the door could be opened, Renard had darted behind the arras
and disappeared. Nor, upon searching the wall, could the attendants
discover by what means he had contrived his escape. Soon after this,
Lord Guilford Dudley returned, and his rage and consternation when he
learned what had occurred was unbounded. He flew to the White Tower,
where he found that Simon Renard, De Noailles, and the Earls of Pembroke
and Arundel, who had been confined in a small room adjoining the
council-chamber, had disappeared. The guards affirmed positively that
they were not privy to their flight, and unable to obtain any clue
to the mystery, Dudley returned in a state of great perplexity to the
palace, where a fresh surprise awaited him.

Jane had scarcely recovered from the surprise occasioned by Renard’s
mysterious visit, when an usher presented himself, and delivering a ring
to her, said that it had been given him by an old woman, who implored an
audience. Glancing at the ornament, the queen instantly recognised it as
that she had given to Gunnora Braose, and desired the attendant to admit
her. Accordingly, the old woman was introduced, and approaching Jane,
threw herself on her knees before her.

“What seek you, my good dame?” asked Jane. “I promised to grant any boon
you might ask. Are you come to claim fulfilment of my promise?”

“Listen to me, gracious lady,” said the old woman, “and do not slight
my counsel,—for what I am about to say to you is of the deepest import.
Your crown—your liberty—your life is in danger! The Council mean to
depose you on the morrow, and proclaim Mary queen. Call to mind the
warning I gave you before you entered this fatal fortress. My words have
come to pass. You are betrayed—lost!”

“Rise, my good woman,” said Jane, “and compose yourself. You may speak
the truth. My enemies may prevail against me, but they shall not
subdue me. It is now too late to retreat. Having accepted the crown, I
cannot—will not lay it aside, till it is wrested from me.”

“It will be wrested from you on the block, dear lady,” cried Gunnora.
“Listen to me, I beseech you. To-night you can make your retreat.
To-morrow it will be too late.”

“It is too late already,” cried a stern voice behind them, and Renard
again presented himself. He was accompanied by the Earl of Pembroke, and
Cholmondeley who was muffled in the jailer’s cloak. “Lady Jane Dudley,”
continued the ambassador, in an authoritative voice, “there is one means
of saving your life, and only one. Sign this document,” and he extended
a parchment towards her. “It is your abdication. Sign it, and I will
procure you a free pardon for yourself and your husband from Queen

“Mary is not queen,—nor will I sign it,” replied Jane. “Then hear me,”
replied Renard. “In Queen Mary’s name, I denounce you as an usurper. And
if you further attempt to exercise the functions of royalty, you will
not escape the block.”

“He does not overrate your danger,” interposed Gunnora.

“What make you here, old woman?” said Renard, addressing her.

“I have come on the same errand as yourself,” she replied, “to warn this
noble, but ill-advised lady of her peril.”

“Have you likewise informed her why you were brought to the Tower?”
demanded Renard, sternly.

“No,” replied Gunnora.

“Then she shall learn it from me,” continued the ambassador, “though
it is not the season I would have chosen for the disclosure. This woman
administered poison to your predecessor, Edward VI, by order of the Duke
of Northumberland.”

“It is false,” cried Jane, “I will not believe it.”

“It is true,” said Gunnora.

“Wretch! you condemn yourself,” said Jane.

“I know it,” rejoined Gunnora; “but place me on the rack, and I will
repeat the charge.”

“What motive could the duke have for so foul a crime?” demanded the

“This,” replied Gunnora; “he wished to remove the king so suddenly,
that the princesses Mary and Elizabeth might have no intelligence of his
decease. But this is not all, madam.”

“What more remains to be told?” asked Jane.

“You were to be the next victim,” returned the old woman.

“Northumberland aimed at the supreme power. With this view, he wedded
you to his son; with this view, he procured the letters patent from King
Edward declaring you his successor; with this view, he proclaimed you
queen, raised you to the throne, and would have made your husband king.
His next step was to have poisoned you.”

“Poisoned me!” exclaimed Jane, horror-stricken.

“Ay, poisoned you,” repeated Gunnora. “I was to administer the fatal
draught to you as I did to Edward. It was therefore I warned you not to
enter the Tower. It was therefore I counselled you to resign a sceptre
which I knew you could not sustain. I saw you decked out like a victim
for the sacrifice, and I strove to avert the fatal blow—but in vain.”

“Alas! I begin to find your words are true,” replied Jane. “But if aught
remains to me of power, if I am not a queen merely in name, I will now
exert it. My lord of Pembroke, I command you to summon the guard, and
arrest this traitor,” pointing to Simon Renard. “I will not sleep till I
have had his head. How, my lord, do you refuse to obey me? Hesitate, and
you shall share his doom.”

At this moment, Cholmondeley threw off his cloak, and advancing towards
the ambassador, said, “M. Simon Renard, you are the queen’s prisoner.”

“Cholmondeley!” exclaimed Renard, starting; “can it be?”

“It is, traitor,” replied the esquire; “but I will now unmask you and
your projects.”

“Back, sir!” cried Renard, in a tone so authoritative that all were
overawed by it. “Lay hands upon me, and I give a signal which will
cause a general massacre, in which none of Queen Mary’s enemies will
be spared. Lady Jane Dudley,” he continued, addressing her, “I give you
till to-morrow to reflect upon what course you will pursue. Resign the
crown you have wrongfully assumed, and I pledge my word to obtain your
pardon. But Northumberland’s life is forfeited, and that of all his

“Think you I will sacrifice my husband, traitor?” cried Jane. “Seize
him,” she added, to Cholmondeley.

But before the young man could advance, Renard had unsheathed his sword,
and placed himself in a posture of defence. “Lady Jane Dudley,” he
ejaculated, “I give you till to-morrow. Your own conduct will decide
your fate.”

“Call the guard,” cried Jane.

The young esquire vainly endeavoured to obey this command, but he was
attacked and beaten off by the ambassador and the Earl of Pembroke,
who quickly retreating towards the masked door, passed through it, and
closed it after them. At this juncture, Lord Guilford Dudley returned
at the head of the guard. The occurrences of the last few minutes were
hastily explained to him, and he was about to break open the secret
door, when Nightgall said, “If I have a free pardon, I will conduct your
lordship to the secret retreat of the Council, and unravel a plot which
shall place them in your power.”

“Do this,” replied Lord Guilford, “and you shall not only have a free
pardon, but a great reward.”

“Take a sufficient guard with you, and follow me,” rejoined Nightgall.

Dudley complied, and the party proceeded on their errand, while
Cholmondeley remained with the queen and Cicely; and although his
transports at beholding her again were somewhat alloyed by the perilous
position in which Jane stood, he nevertheless tasted sufficient
happiness to recompense him in some degree for his recent misery.
Withdrawing to another apartment, Jane awaited in the utmost anxiety
her husband’s return. This did not occur for some hours, and when he
appeared she saw at once, from his looks, that his search had been

The remainder of the night was passed between the queen and her consort
in anxious deliberation. Cholmondeley was entrusted with the command of
the guard, and after a few hours’ rest and other refreshment, of which
he stood greatly in need, he proceeded with Lord Clinton, who still
apparently remained firm in his adherence, to make the rounds of the
Tower. Nothing unusual was noticed: the sentinels were at their posts.
But as Cholmondeley looked towards Tower-hill, he fancied he observed a
great crowd assembled, and pointed out the appearance to Lord Clinton,
who seemed a little confused, but declared he could perceive nothing.
Cholmondeley, however, was satisfied that he was not deceived; but
apprehending no danger from the assemblage, he did not press the point.
Towards daybreak he again looked out in the same quarter, but the mob
had disappeared. Meanwhile, Gunnora Braose had been conducted to the
Bowyer Tower, and locked within the chamber she had occupied, while
Nightgall was placed in strict confinement.


At length, the last morning which was to behold Jane queen dawned, and
after an agitated and sleepless night, she addressed herself to her
devotions, and endeavoured to prepare for the dangerous and difficult
part she had to play. The Duke of Suffolk tried to persuade her to
abdicate. But her husband, who, it has been already observed, inherited
his father’s ambitious nature, besought her not to part with the crown.

“It has been dearly purchased,” he urged, “and must be boldly
maintained. Let us meet the Council courageously, and we shall triumph.”

To this Jane assented. But it was evident from her manner she had but
slight hopes.

At an early hour the lord mayor, the aldermen, and all the civic
authorities who had been summoned, arrived. Cranmer and Ridley came
soon after. The Council were then summoned, and by ten o’clock all were
assembled, excepting the Earls of Pembroke and Arundel, Simon Renard,
and De Noailles. As soon as Jane was seated beneath the state canopy,
she ordered a pursuivant to summon them. Proclamation being made, a stir
was heard at the lower end of the council-chamber, and the absentees
presented themselves. All four advanced boldly towards the throne, and
took their place among the Council. Jane then arose, and with great
dignity and self-possession thus-addressed the assemblage:—

“My lords,” she said, “I have summoned you it may be for the last
time, to deliberate on the course to be pursued to check the formidable
tumults and rebellions that have been moved against me and my crown.
Of that crown I cannot doubt I have lawful possession, since it was
tendered me by your lordships, who have all sworn allegiance to me.
Fully confiding, therefore, in your steadiness to my service, which
neither with honour, safety, nor duty, you can now forsake, I look to
you for support in this emergency.”

Here a murmur arose among the Council.

“What!” exclaimed Jane: “do you desert me at the hour of need? Do you
refuse me your counsel and assistance?”

“We do,” replied several voices.

“Traitors!” exclaimed Lord Guilford Dudley: “you have passed your own

“Not so, my lord,” replied Simon Renard. “It is you who have condemned
yourself. Lady Jane Dudley,” he continued in a loud voice, “you who have
wrongfully usurped the title and station of queen,—in your presence I
proclaim Mary, sister to the late king Edward the Sixth, and daughter
of Henry the Eighth of famous memory, Queen of England and Ireland, and
very owner of the crown, government, and title of England and Ireland,
and all things thereunto belonging.”

“God save Queen Mary!” cried the Council.

A few dissentient voices were raised. But the Earl of Pembroke drew
his sword, and cried in a loud voice, “As heaven shall help me, I will
strike that man dead who refuses to shout for Queen Mary.” And he threw
his cap in the air.

“Hear me,” continued Renard, “and learn that resistance is in vain. I
hereby proclaim a free pardon, in Queen Mary’s name, to all who shall
freely acknowledge her,—excepting always the family of the Duke of
Northumberland, who is a traitor, and upon whose head a price is set. I
require your Grace,” he added to Suffolk, “to deliver up the keys of the

“They are here,” replied the Duke, pointing to Magog who bore them.

“Do you yield, my lord?” cried Lord Guilford, passionately.

“It is useless to contend further,” replied Suffolk. “All is lost.”

“True,” replied Jane. “My lords, I resign the crown into your hands; and
Heaven grant you may prove more faithful to Mary than you have been
to me. In obedience to you, my lord,” she continued, addressing her
husband, “I acted a violence on myself, and have been guilty of a
grievous offence. But the present is my own act. And I willingly
abdicate the throne to correct another’s fault, if so great a fault can
be corrected by my resignation and sincere acknowledgment.”

“You shall not abdicate it, Jane,” cried Dudley, fiercely. “I will not
yield. Stand by me, Cholmondeley, and these audacious traitors shall
find I am still master here. Let those who are for Queen Jane surround
the throne.”

As he spoke, he glanced round authoritatively, but no one stirred.

“Speak!” he cried, in accents of rage and disappointment. “Are ye all
traitors? Is no one true to his allegiance?”

But no answer was returned.

“They are no traitors, my lord,” said Simon Renard. “They are loyal
subjects of Queen Mary.”

“He speaks truly, my dear lord,” replied Jane. “It is useless to contend
further. I am no longer queen.”

So saying, she descended from the throne.

“My lords,” she continued, addressing the Council, “you are now masters
here. Have I your permission to retire?”

“You have, noble lady,” replied Pembroke. “But it grieves me to add,
that you must perforce remain within the Tower till the pleasure of her
Highness respecting you has been ascertained.”

“A prisoner!” exclaimed Jane, trembling. “And my husband, you will
suffer him to accompany me?”

“It cannot be,” interposed Simon Renard, harshly; “Lord Guilford Dudley
must be separately confined.”

“You cannot mean this cruelty, sir?” cried Jane, indignantly. “Do not
sue for me, Jane,” rejoined Dudley. “I will not accept the smallest
grace at his hands.”

“Guards!” cried Renard, “I command you, in Queen Mary’s name, to arrest
Lord Guilford Dudley, and convey him to the Beauchamp Tower.”

The order was instantly obeyed. Jane then took a tender farewell of her
husband, and accompanied by Cicely and Cholmondeley, and others of her
attendants, was escorted to the palace.,

She had no sooner taken her departure, than letters were despatched by
the Council to the Duke of Northumberland, commanding him instantly to
disband his army. And the Earl of Arundel was commissioned to proceed
with a force to arrest him.

“I have a brave fellow who shall accompany your lordship,” said Renard,
motioning to Gilbert, who stood among his followers.

“Hark’ee, sirrah!” he added, “you have already approved your fidelity to
Queen Mary. Approve it still further by the capture of the Duke, and,
in the Queen’s name, I promise you a hundred pounds in lands to you and
your heirs, and the degree of an esquire. And now, my lords, to publicly
proclaim Queen Mary.”

With this the whole train departed from the Tower, and proceeded to
Cheapside, where, by sound of trumpet, the new sovereign was proclaimed
by the title of “Mary, Queen of England, France, and Ireland, Defender
of the Faith.”

Shouts rent the air, and every manifestation of delight was exhibited.
“Great was the triumph,” writes an eye-witness of the ceremony; “for my
part, I never saw the like, and, by the report of others, the like was
never seen. The number of caps that were thrown up at the proclamation
was not to be told. The Earl of Pembroke threw away his cap full of
angels. I saw myself money thrown out of the windows for joy. The
bonfires were without number; and what with shouting and crying of
the people, and ringing of bells, there could no man hear almost what
another said—besides banquetting, and skipping the streets for joy.”

The proclamation over, the company proceeded to St. Paul’s, where Te
Deum was solemnly sung. It is a curious illustration of the sudden
change of feeling, that the Duke of Suffolk himself proclaimed Mary on
Tower Hill.

The utmost confusion reigned throughout the Tower. Some few there were
who regretted the change of sovereigns, but the majority were in favour
of Mary. Northumberland in fact was so universally hated by all classes,
and it was so notorious that the recent usurpation was contrived
only for his own aggrandisement, that though Jane was pitied, no
commiseration was felt for her husband or her ambitious father-in-law.
Great rejoicings were held in the Tower-green, where an immense bonfire
was lighted, and a whole ox roasted. Several casks of ale were also
broached, and mead and other liquors were distributed to the warders
and the troops. Of these good things the three gigantic warders and Xit
partook; and Magog was so elated, that he plucked up courage to propose
to Dame Placida, and, to the dwarf’s infinite dismay and mortification,
was accepted. Lord Guilford Dudley witnessed these rejoicings from the
windows of the Beauchamp Tower, in which he was confined; and as he
glanced upon the citadel opposite his prison, now lighted up by the
gleams of the fire, he could not help reflecting with bitterness what a
change a few days had effected. The voices which only nine days ago had
shouted for Jane, were now clamouring for Mary; and of the thousands
which then would have obeyed his slightest nod, not one would
acknowledge him now.

From a prince he had become a captive, and his palace was converted
into a dungeon. Such were the agonizing thoughts of Northumberland’s
ambitious son,—and such, or nearly such, were those of his unhappy
consort, who, in her chamber in the palace was a prey to the bitterest

Attended only by Cholmondeley and Cicely, Jane consumed the evening in
sad, but unavailing lamentations. About midnight, as she had
composed her thoughts by applying herself to her wonted solace in
affliction—study, she was aroused by a noise in the wall, and presently
afterwards a masked door opened, and Gunnora Braose presented herself.
Jane instantly rose, and demanded the cause of the intrusion. Gunnora
laid her finger on her lips, and replied in a low tone, “I am come to
liberate you.”

“I do not desire freedom,” replied Jane, “neither will I trust myself to
you. I will abide here till my cousin Mary makes her entrance into the
Tower, and I will then throw myself upon her mercy.”

“She will show you no mercy,” rejoined Gunnora. “Do not, I implore of
you, expose yourself to the first outbreak of her jealous and vindictive
nature. Queen Mary inherits her father’s inexorable disposition, and
I am well assured if you tarry here, you will fall a victim to her
displeasure. Do not neglect this opportunity, sweet lady. In a few hours
it may be too late.”

“Accept her offer, gracious madam,” urged Cicely, “it may be your last
chance of safety. You are here surrounded by enemies.”

“But how am I to escape from the fortress, if I accede to your wishes?”
replied Jane.

“Follow me, and I will conduct you,” answered Gunnora. “I have possessed
myself of the key of a subterranean passage which will convey you to the
other side of the moat.”

“But my husband?” hesitated Jane.

“Do not think of him,” interrupted Gunnora, frowning. “He deserted you
in the hour of danger. Let him perish on the scaffold with his false

“Leave me, old woman,” said Jane authoritatively; “I will not go with

“Do not heed her, my gracious mistress,” urged Cholmondeley, “your
tarrying here cannot assist Lord Guilford, and will only aggravate his
affliction. Besides, some means may be devised for his escape.”

“Pardon what I have said, dear lady,” said Gunnora. “Deadly as is the
hatred I bear to the house of Northumberland, for your sweet sake I will
forgive his son. Nay more, I will effect his deliverance. This I swear
to you. Come with me, and once out of the Tower make what haste you can
to Sion House, where your husband shall join you before the morning.”

“You promise more than you can accomplish,” said Jane.

“That remains to be seen, madam,” replied Gunuora: “but were it not that
he is your husband, Lord Guilford Dudley should receive no help from me.
Once more, will you trust me?”

“I will,” replied Jane.

Cholmondeley then seized a torch, and fastening the door of the chamber,
on the outside of which a guard was stationed, assisted Jane through
the masked door. Preceded by the old woman, who carried a lamp, they
threaded a long narrow passage built in the thickness of the wall, and
presently arrived at the head of a flight of stairs, which brought them
to a long corridor arched and paved with stone. Traversing this, they
struck into an avenue on the right, exactly resembling one of those
which Cholmondeley had recently explored. Jane expressed her surprise
at the vast extent of the passages she was threading, when Gunnora
answered—“The whole of the Tower is undermined with secret passages and
dungeons, but their existence is known only to few.’”

A few minutes’ rapid walking brought them to a stone staircase, which
they mounted, traversed another gallery, and finally halted before a low
gothic-arched door, which admitted them to the interior of the Bowyer
Tower. Requesting Cholmondeley to assist her, Gunnora, with his help,
speedily raised a trap-door of stone, and disclosed a flight of steps.
While they were thus employed, a strange and unaccountable terror took
possession of Jane. As she glanced timidly towards the doorway she had
just quitted, she imagined she saw a figure watching her, and in the
gloom almost fancied it was the same muffled object she had beheld in
St. John’s Chapel. A superstitious terror kept her silent. As she
looked more narrowly at the figure, she thought it bore an axe upon
its shoulder, and she was about to point it out to her companions, when
making a gesture of silence it disappeared. By this time the trap-door
being raised, Cholmondeley descended the steps with the torch, while
Gunnora holding back the flag, begged her to descend. But Jane did not


“Do not lose time,” cried the old woman, “we may be followed, and

Still Jane hesitated. She cast another look towards the doorway, and
the idea crossed her, that from that very outlet she should be led to
execution. A deadly chill pervaded her frame,-and her feet seemed nailed
to the ground. Seeing her irresolution, Cicely threw herself on her
knees before her, and implored her to make an effort. Jane advanced a
step, and then paused. After remaining a moment in deep abstraction, she
turned to Cicely, and said,—.

“Child, I thank you for your zeal, but I feel it is useless. Though I
may escape from the Tower, I cannot escape my fate.” Cicely, however,
renewed her entreaties, and seconded by Chomondeley she at length
prevailed. Pursuing the same course which Gunnora had taken on the night
she was brought to the Tower by Simon Renard, they at length arrived at
the shed at the further side of the moat.

“You are now safe,” said Gunnora. “Hasten to Sion House, and if my plan
does not fail, your husband shall join you there before many hours have

So saying, she departed. Jane and her attendants crossed Tower
Hill, from which she turned to gaze at the scene of her greatness,
indistinctly visible in the gloom—and so agonizing were the thoughts
occasioned by the sight that she burst into tears. As soon as she had
recovered from her paroxysm of grief, they proceeded to the river side,
where they fortunately procured a boat, and were rowed towards Sion


Gunnora Braose kept her word. Before daybreak, Lord Guilford Dudley
joined his afflicted consort. Their meeting was passionate and sad. As
Jane ardently returned her husband’s fond embrace, she cried—“Oh, my
dear lord, that we had never been deluded by the false glitter, of
greatness to quit this calm retreat! Oh that we may be permitted to pass
the remainder of our days here!”

“I have not yet abandoned all hopes of the throne,” replied Dudley. “Our
fortunes may be retrieved.”

“Never,” returned Jane, gravely—“never so far as I am concerned. Were
the crown to be again offered to me—were I assured I could retain it, I
would not accept it. No, Dudley, the dream of ambition is over; and I am
fully sensible of the error I have committed.”

“As you please, my queen, for I will still term you so,” rejoined
Dudley—“but if my father is in arms, I will join him, and we will make
one last effort for the prize, and regain it, or perish in the attempt.”

“Your wild ambition will lead you to the scaffold—and will conduct me
there, also,” replied Jane. “If we could not hold the power when it was
in our own hands—how can you hope to regain it?”

“It is not lost—I will not believe it, till I am certified under my
father’s own hand that he has abandoned the enterprise,” rejoined
Dudley. “You know him not, Jane. With five thousand men at his
command—nay, with a fifth of that number, he is more than a match for
all his enemies. We shall yet live to see him master of the Tower—of
this rebellious city, we shall yet see our foes led to the scaffold. And
if I see the traitors, Renard, Pembroke and Arundel, conducted thither I
will excuse Fortune all her malice.”

“Heaven forgive them their treason as I forgive them!” exclaimed Jane.
“But I fear their enmity will not be satisfied till they have brought us
to the block to which you would doom them.”

“This is not a season for reproaches, Jane,” said Dudley, coldly;
“but if you had not trusted that false traitor, Renard,—if you had not
listened to his pernicious counsels,—if you had not refused my suit
for the crown, and urged my father to undertake the expedition against
Mary,—all had been well. You had been queen—and I king.”

“Your reproaches are deserved, Dudley,” replied Jane, “and you cannot
blame me more severely than I blame myself. Nevertheless, had I acceded
to your desires,—had I raised you to the sovereignty,—had I turned a
deaf ear to Renard’s counsel, and not suffered myself to be duped by his
allies Arundel and Pembroke,—had I retained your father in the Tower,—my
reign would not have been of much longer duration.”

“I do not understand you, madam,” said Lord Guilford, sternly.

“To be plain, then,” replied Jane,—“for disguise is useless now—I am
satisfied that your father aimed at the crown himself,—that I was merely
placed on the throne to prepare it for him,—and that when the time
arrived, he would have removed me.”

“Jane!” exclaimed her husband, furiously.

“Have patience, dear Dudley!” she rejoined. “I say not this to rouse
your anger, or to breed further misunderstanding between us. Heaven
knows we have misery enough to endure without adding to it. I say it
to reconcile you to your lot. I say it to check the spirit of ambition
which I find is yet smouldering within your bosom. I say it to prevent
your joining in any fresh attempt with your father, which will assuredly
end in the destruction of both.”

“But you have brought a charge so foul against him, madam,” cried her
husband, “that as his son, I am bound to tell you you are grievously in

“Dudley,” replied Jane, firmly, “I have proofs that the Duke poisoned
my cousin, King Edward. I have proofs also, that he would have poisoned

“It is false,” cried her husband, furiously—“it is a vile calumny
fabricated by his enemies. You have been imposed upon.”

“Not so, my lord,” cried Gunnora Braose, who had been an unseen listener
to the conversation. “It is no calumny. The royal Edward was poisoned
by me at your ‘father’s instigation. And you and your consort would have
shared the same fate.”

“False hag! thou liest,” cried Lord Guilford.

“Read that,” replied Gunnora, placing a document in his hands. “It is my
order in the Duke’s own writing. Do you credit me now.”

Dudley hastily cast his eyes over the scroll. His countenance fell, and
the paper dropped from his grasp.

“And now hear my news,” continued the old woman, with a smile of
exultation. “Your father has proclaimed Queen Mary at Cambridge.”

“Impossible!” cried Dudley.

“I tell you it is true,” replied Gunnora—“a messenger arrived at
midnight with the tidings, and it was during the confusion created by
the intelligence that I contrived to effect your escape. The Earl of
Arundel is despatched to arrest him, and, ere to-morrow night, he
will be lodged within the Tower. Yes,” she continued with a ferocious
laugh—“I shall see him placed in the same dungeon in which he lodged my
foster-son, the great Duke of Somerset. I shall see his head stricken
off by the same axe, and upon the same scaffold, and I shall die

“Horrible!” cried Jane. “Leave us, wretched woman. Your presence adds to
my affliction.”

“I will leave you, dear lady,” replied Gunnora—“but though absent from
you, I will not fail to watch over you. I have powerful friends within
the Tower, and if any ill be designed you, I will give you timely
warning. Farewell!”

A miserable and anxious day was passed by Jane and her husband. Lord
Guilford would fain have departed with Chol-mondeley to join his
father at Cambridge, but suffered himself to be dissuaded from the rash
undertaking, by the tears and entreaties of his consort. As to Cicely
and her lover, their sympathies were so strongly excited for the
distresses of Jane, that the happiness they would otherwise have
experienced in each other’s society, was wholly destroyed. At night,
as the little party were assembled, Gunnora Braose again made her
appearance, and her countenance bespoke that some new danger was at

“What ill tidings do you bring?” cried Dudley, starting to his feet.

“Fly!” exclaimed Gunnora. “You have not a moment to lose. Simon Renard
has discovered your retreat, and Lord Clinton, with a body of men, is
hastening hither to convey you to the Tower. Fly!”

“Whither?” exclaimed Lord Guilford. “Whither shall we fly?”

“It is useless, my dear lord,” replied Jane, calmly, “to contend
further. I resign myself to the hands of Providence, and I counsel you
to do the same.”

“Come then with me, Cholmondeley,” cried Dudley, snatching up his cloak,
and girding on his sword, “we will to horse at once, and join my father
at Cambridge. If he has a handful of men left we can yet make a gallant

“The Duke is arrested, and on his way to the Tower,” said Gunnora.

“Ha!” exclaimed Dudley, “when did this occur?”

“Yesterday,” replied the old woman. “He was taken within his chamber by
my grandson, Gilbert Pot, who has received a hundred pounds in lands,
and the degree of an esquire, for the deed. He submitted himself to the
Earl of Arundel, and his deportment was as abject as it formerly was
arrogant. When he saw the Earl, he fell on his knees, and desired him to
have pity on him for the love of God. ‘Consider.’ he said, ‘I have done
nothing but by the order of you and the whole Council.’ Then the Earl
of Arundel replied, ‘I am sent hither by the Queen’s majesty, and in
her name I arrest you.’ ‘And I obey it, my lord.’ answered the Duke. ‘I
beseech you use mercy towards me, knowing the case as it is.’ ‘My lord,’
rejoined the Earl, ‘you should have sought mercy sooner. I must do
according to my commandment. You are my prisoner!’ And he committed him
in charge to my grandson and others of the guard.”

“How learnt you this?” inquired Lord Guilford.

“From a messenger who has just arrived at the Tower,” replied the old
woman—“and this is the last act of the great Duke of Northumberland. We
shall soon see how he comports himself on the scaffold.”

“Begone,” cried Jane, “and do not stay here to deride our misery.”.

“I am not come hither to deride it,” replied the old woman, “but to warn

“I thank you for your solicitude,” replied Jane—“but, it is needless.
Retire all of you, I entreat, and leave me with my husband.”

Her injunctions were immediately complied with, and her attendants
withdrew. The unfortunate pair were not, however, allowed much time
for conversation. Before they had been many minutes alone, the door
was burst open, and a troop of armed men headed by Lord Clinton, the
lieutenant of the Tower, rushed in.

“I am aware of your errand, my lord,” said Jane; “you are come to convey
me to the Tower. I am ready to attend you.”

“It is well,” replied Lord Clinton. “If you have any preparations to
make, you shall have time for them.”

“I have none, my lord,” she replied.

“Nor I,” replied Lord Guilford.

“My sole request is, that I may take one female attendant with me,” said
Jane, pointing to Cicely.

“I am sorry I cannot comply with the request,” answered Lord Clinton,
“but my orders are peremptory.”

“Will my esquire be permitted to accompany me?” inquired Dudley.

“If he chooses to incur the risk of so doing, assuredly,” replied
Clinton. “But he will go into captivity.”

“I will follow my Lord Guilford to death,” cried Cholmondeley.

“You are a faithful esquire, indeed!” observed Lord Clinton, with a
slight sneer.

While this was passing, Cicely hastily threw a surcoat of velvet over
her mistress’s shoulders, to protect her from the night air, and then
prostrating herself before her, clasped her hand, and bedewed it with

“Rise, child,” said Jane, raising her and embracing her—“Farewell! may
you be speedily united to your lover, and may your life be happier than
that of your unfortunate mistress!”

“My barge awaits you at the stairs,” observed Lord Clinton.

“We will follow you, my lord,” said Dudley.

Leaning upon Cicely, Jane, who was scarcely able to support herself, was
placed in the stern of the boat. Her husband took his seat near her, and
two men-at-arms, with drawn swords, were stationed as a guard on either
side of them. Bidding a hasty adieu to the weeping Cicely, Cholmondeley
sprang into the boat, and was followed by Clinton, who immediately gave
the signal to the rowers. Cicely lingered till the bark disappeared, and
as two halberdiers bearing torches were placed in the fore part of the
vessel, she was enabled to track its course far down the river. When
the last glimmer of light vanished, her heart died within her, and she
returned to indulge her grief in solitude.

Meanwhile, the boat with its unhappy occupants pursued a rapid course.
The tide being in their favour they shortly reached London, and as they
swept past Durham House—whence, only twelve days ago, she had proceeded
in so much pomp to the Tower—Jane’s feelings became too poignant almost
for endurance. The whole pageant rose before her in all its splendour.
Again she heard the roar of the cannon announcing her departure. Again
she beheld the brilliant crowd of proud nobles, gaily-dressed cavaliers,
lovely and high-born dames, grave prelates, judges and ambassadors.
Again she beheld the river glistening with golden craft. Again she heard
the ominous words of Gunnora, ‘Go not to the Tower!’ Again she beheld
the fierce lightning flash, again heard the loud thunder roll—and she
felt she had received a deep and awful warning. These thoughts affected
her so powerfully, that she sank half fainting on her husband’s

In this state she continued till they had shot London Bridge, and the
first object upon which her gaze rested, when she opened her eyes, was
the Tower.

Here again other harrowing recollections arose. How different was the
present, from her former entrance into the fortress! Then a deafening
roar of ordnance welcomed her. Then all she passed saluted her as Queen.
Then drawbridges were lowered, gates opened, and each vied with the
other to show her homage. Then a thousand guards attended her. Then
allegiance was sworn—fidelity vowed—but how kept? Now all was changed.
She was brought a prisoner to the scene of her former grandeur,
unattended, unnoted.

Striving to banish these reflections, which, in spite of her efforts,
obtruded themselves upon her, she strained her gaze to discover through
the gloom the White Towrer, but could discern nothing but a sombre mass
like a thunder-cloud. St. Thomas’s, or Traitor’s Tower was, however,
plainly distinguishable, as several armed men carrying flambeaux were
stationed on its summit.


The boat was now challenged by the sentinels—merely as a matter of form,
for its arrival was expected,—and almost before the answer could be
returned by those on board, a wicket, composed of immense beams of wood,
was opened, and the boat shot beneath the gloomy arch. Never had Jane
experienced a feeling of such horror as now assailed her—and if she had
been crossing the fabled Styx she could not have felt greater dread. Her
blood seemed congealed within her veins as she gazed around. The lurid
light of the torches fell upon the black dismal arch—upon the slimy
walls, and upon the yet blacker tide. Nothing was heard but the sullen
ripple of the water, for the men had ceased rowing, and the boat
impelled by their former efforts soon struck against the steps. The
shock recalled Jane to consciousness. Several armed figures bearing
torches were now seen to descend the steps. The customary form of
delivering the warrant, and receiving an acknowledgement for the bodies
of the prisoners being gone through, Lord Clinton, who stood upon the
lowest step, requested Jane to disembark. Summoning all her resolution,
she arose, and giving her hand to the officer, who stood with a drawn
sword beside her, was assisted by him and a warder to land. Lord Clinton
received her as she set foot on the step. By his aid she slowly ascended
the damp and slippery steps, at the summit of which, two personages were
standing, whom she instantly recognised as Renard and De Noailles.
The former regarded her with a smile of triumph, and said in a tone of
bitter mockery as she passed him—“So—Epiphany is over. The Twelfth Day
Queen has played her part.”

“My lord,” said Jane, turning disdainfully from him to Lord
Clinton—“will it please you to conduct me to my lodging?”

“What he! warders,” cried Lord Clinton, addressing the gigantic brethren
who were standing near—“Conduct Lady Jane Dudley to Master Partridge’s
dwelling till her chamber within the Brick Tower is prepared. Lord
Guilford Dudley must be taken to the Beauchamp Tower.”

“Are we to be separated?” cried Jane.

“Such are the Queen’s commands,” replied Lord Clinton, in a tone of deep

“The Queen’s!” exclaimed Jane.

“Ay! the Queen’s!” repeated Renard. “Queen Mary of England, whom Heaven





ARY made her public entry into the city of London, on the 3d of August,
1553. The most magnificent preparations were made for her arrival,
and as the procession of the usurper—for such Jane was now universally
termed,—to the Tower, had been remarkable for its pomp and splendour,
it was determined, on the present occasion, to surpass it. The Queen’s
entrance was arranged to take place at Aldgate, and the streets along
which she was to pass were covered with fine gravel from thence to the
Tower, and railed on either side. Within the rails stood the crafts of
the city, in the dresses of their order; and at certain intervals were
stationed the officers of the guard and their attendants, arrayed in
velvet and silk, and having great staves in their hands to keep off the

Hung with rich arras, tapestry, carpets, and, in some instances, with
cloths of tissue gold and velvet, the houses presented a gorgeous
appearance. Every window was filled with richly-attired dames, while
the roofs, walls, gables, and steeples, were crowded with curious
spectators. The tower of the old church of Saint Botolph, the ancient
walls of the city, westward as far as Bishopgate, and eastward to the
Tower postern, were thronged with beholders. Every available position
had its occupant. St. Catherine Coleman’s in Fenchurch Street—for it was
decided that the royal train was to make a slight detour—Saint Dennis
Backchurch; Saint Benedict’s; All Hallows, Lombard Street; in short,
every church, as well as every other structure, was covered.

The Queen, who had passed the previous night at Bow, set forth at noon,
and in less than an hour afterwards, loud acclamations, and still
louder discharges of ordnance, announced her approach. The day was as
magnificent as the spectacle—the sky was deep and cloudless, and the
sun shone upon countless hosts of bright and happy faces. At the bars
without Aldgate, on the Whitechapel road, Queen Mary was met by the
Princess Elizabeth, accompanied by a large cavalcade of knights and
dames. An affectionate greeting passed between the royal sisters, who
had not met since the death of Edward, and the usurpation of Jane, by
which both their claims to the throne had been set aside. But it was
noted by those who closely observed them, that Mary’s manner grew
more grave as Elizabeth rode by her side. The Queen was mounted upon
a beautiful milk-white palfrey, caparisoned in crimson velvet, fringed
with golden thread. She was habited in a robe of violet-coloured velvet,
furred with powdered ermine, and wore upon her head a caul of cloth of
tinsel set with pearls, and above this a massive circlet of gold covered
with gems of inestimable value. Though a contrary opinion is generally
entertained, Mary was not without some pretension to beauty. Her figure
was short and slight, but well proportioned; her complexion rosy and
delicate; and her eyes bright and piercing, though, perhaps, too stern
in their expression. Her mouth was small, with thin compressed lips,
which gave an austere and morose character to an otherwise-pleasing
face. If she had not the commanding port of her father, Henry the
Eighth, nor the proud beauty of her mother, Catherine of Arragon, she
inherited sufficient majesty and grace from them to well fit her for her
lofty station.

No one has suffered more from misrepresentation than this queen. Not
only have her failings been exaggerated, and ill qualities, which she
did not possess, attributed to her, but the virtues that undoubtedly
belonged to her, have been denied her. A portrait, perhaps too
flatteringly coloured, has been left of her by Michele, but still it is
nearer the truth than the darker presentations with which we are more
familiar. “As to the more important qualities of her mind, with a few
trifling exceptions, (in which, to speak the truth, she is like other
women, since besides being hasty and somewhat resentful, she is rather
more parsimonious and miserly than is fitting a munificent and liberal
sovereign,) she has in other respects no notable imperfection, and in
some things she is without equal; for not only she is endowed with a
spirit beyond other women who are naturally timid, but is so courageous
and resolute that no adversity nor danger ever caused her to betray
symptoms of pusillanimity. On the contrary, she has ever preserved a
greatness of mind and dignity that is admirable, knowing as well what is
due to the rank she holds as the wisest of her councillors, so that in
her conduct and proceedings during the whole of her life, it cannot
be denied she has always proved herself to be the offspring of a truly
royal stock. Of her humility, piety, and observance of religious duties,
it is unnecessary to speak, since they are well known, and have been
proved by sufferings little short of martyrdom; so that we may truly say
of her with the Cardinal, that amidst the darkness and obscurity which
overshadowed this kingdom, she remained like a faint flame strongly
agitated by winds which strove to extinguish it, but always kept alive
by her innocence and true faith, in order that she might one day shine
to the world, as she now does.” Other equally strong testimonies to her
piety and virtue might be adduced. By Camden she is termed a “lady never
sufficiently to be praised for her sanctity, charity, and liberality.”
And by Bishop Godwin—“a woman truly pious, benign, and of most
chaste manners, and to be lauded, if you do not regard her failure in
religion.” It was this “failure in religion” which has darkened her in
the eyes of her Protestant posterity. With so many good qualities it is
to be lamented that they were overshadowed by bigotry.

If Mary did not possess the profound learning of Lady Jane Grey, she
possessed more than ordinary mental acquirements. A perfect mistress of
Latin, French, Spanish and Italian, she conversed in the latter language
with fluency. She had extraordinary powers of eloquence when roused by
any great emotion, and having a clear logical understanding, was well
fitted for argument. Her courage was undaunted; and she possessed much
of the firmness of character—obstinacy it might perhaps be termed, of
her father. In the graceful accomplishment of the dance, she excelled,
and was passionately fond of music, playing with skill on three
instruments, the virginals, the regals, and the lute. She was fond of
equestrian exercise, and would often indulge in the chace. She revived
all the old sports and games which had been banished as savouring of
mummery by the votaries of the reformed faith. One of her sins in their
eyes was a fondness for rich apparel. In the previous reign female
attire was remarkable for its simplicity. She introduced costly stuffs,
sumptuous dresses, and French fashions.

In personal attractions the Princess Elizabeth far surpassed her sister.
She was then in the bloom of youth, and though she could scarcely be
termed positively beautiful, she had a very striking appearance, being
tall, portly, with bright blue eyes, and exquisitely formed hands, which
she took great pains to display.

As soon as Elizabeth had taken her place behind the Queen, the
procession set forward. The first part of the cavalcade consisted of
gentlemen clad in doublets of blue velvet, with sleeves of orange and
red, mounted on chargers trapped with close housings of blue sarsenet
powdered with white crosses. After them rode esquires and knights,
according to their degree, two and two, well mounted, and richly
apparelled in cloth of gold, silver, or embroidered velvet, “fresh
and goodlie to behold.” Then came the trumpeters, with silken pennons
fluttering from their clarions, who did their devoir gallantly. Then a
litter covered with cloth of gold, drawn by richly-caparisoned horses,
and filled by sumptuously-apparelled dames. Then an immense retinue of
nobles, knights, and gentlemen, with their attendants, all dressed in
velvets, satins, taffeties, and damask of all colours, and of every
device and fashion—there being no lack of cloths of tissue, gold,
silver, embroidery, or goldsmith’s work. Then came forty high-born
damsels mounted on steeds, trapped with red velvet, arrayed in gowns and
kirtles of the same material. Then followed two other litters covered
with red satin. Then came the Queen’s body guard of archers, clothed in
scarlet, bound with black velvet, bearing on their doublets a rose woven
in gold, under which was an imperial crown. Then came the judges;
then the doctors; then the bishops; then the council; and, lastly, the
knights of the Bath in their robes.

Before the Queen rode six lords, bare-headed, four of whom carried
golden maces. Foremost amongst these rode the Earls of Pembroke and
Arundel, bearing the arms and crown. They were clothed in robes of
tissue, embroidered with roses of fine gold, and each was girt with a
baldrick of massive gold. Their steeds were trapped in burnt silver,
drawn over with cords of green silk and gold, the edges of their apparel
being fretted with gold and damask. The Queen’s attire has been already
described. She was attended by six lacqueys habited in vests of gold,
and by a female attendant in a grotesque attire, whom she retained as
her jester, and who was known among her household by the designation
of Jane the Fool. The Princess Elizabeth followed, after whom came a
numerous guard of archers and arquebussiers. The retinue was closed by
the train of the ambassadors, Noailles and Renard. A loud discharge of
ordnance announced the Queen’s arrival at Aldgate. This was immediately
answered by the Tower guns, and a tremendous and deafening shout rent
the air. Mary appeared greatly affected by this exhibition of joy, and
as she passed under the ancient gate which brought her into the city,
and beheld the multitudes assembled to receive her, and heard their
shouts of welcome, she was for a moment overcome by her feelings. But
she speedily recovered herself, and acknowledged the stunning cries with
a graceful inclination of her person.

Upon a stage on the left, immediately within the gate, stood a large
assemblage of children, attired like wealthy merchants, one of whom—who
represented the famous Whittington—pronounced an oration to the Queen,
to which she vouchsafed a gracious reply. Before this stage was drawn
up a little phalanx, called the “Nine children of honour.” These youths
were clothed in velvet, powdered with flowers-de-luce, and were mounted
on great coursers, each of which had embroidered on its housing a
scutcheon of the Queen’s title—as of England, France, Gascony, Guienne,
Normandy, Anjou, Cornwall, Wales and Ireland. As soon as the oration
was ended, the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and their officers and
attendants, rode forth to welcome the Queen to the city. The Lord Mayor
was clothed in a gown of crimson velvet, decorated with the collar of
SS., and carried the mace. He took his place before the Earl of Arundel,
and after some little delay the cavalcade was again set in motion.
First marched the different civic crafts, with bands of minstrelsy and
banners; then the children who had descended from the stage; then
the nine youths of honour; then the city guard; and then the Queen’s
cavalcade as before described.

Mary was everywhere received with the loudest demonstrations of joy.
Prayers, wishes, welcomings, and vociferations attended her progress.
Nothing was heard but “God save your highness—God send you a long and
happy reign.” To these cries, whenever she could make herself heard, the
Queen rejoined, “God save you, all my people. I thank you with all my
heart.” Gorgeous pageants were prepared at every corner. The conduits
ran wine. The crosses and standards in the city wore newly painted and
burnished. The bells pealed, and loud-voiced cannon roared. Triumphal
arches covered with flowers, and adorned with banners, targets, and rich
stuffs, crossed the streets. Largesse was showered among the crowd with
a liberal hand, and it was evident that Mary’s advent was hailed on
all hands as the harbinger of prosperity. The train proceeded along
Fenchurch Street, where was a “marvellous cunning’ pageant, representing
the fountain of Helicon, made by the merchants of the Stillyard; the
fountain ran abundantly-racked Rhenish wine till night.” At the corner
of Gracechurch Street there was another pageant, raised to a great
height, on the summit of which were four pictures; above these stood an
angel robed in green, with a trumpet to its mouth, which was sounded
at the Queen’s approach, to the “great marvelling of many ignorant
persons.” Here she was harangued by the Recorder; after which the
Chamberlain presented her with a purse of cloth of gold, containing a
thousand marks. The purse she graciously received, but the money she
distributed among the assemblage. At the corner of Gracechurch Street
another stage was erected. It was filled with the loveliest damsels
that could be found, with their hair loosened and floating over their
shoulders, and carrying large branches of white wax. This was by far the
prettiest spectacle she had witnessed, and elicited Mary’s particular
approbation. Her attention, however, was immediately afterwards
attracted to the adjoining stage, which was filled with Romish priests
in rich copes, with crosses and censers of silver, which they waved
as the Queen approached, while an aged prelate advanced to pronounce a
solemn benediction upon her. Mary immediately dismounted, and received
it on her knees. This action was witnessed with some dislike by the
multitude, and but few shouts were raised as she again mounted her
palfrey. But it was soon forgotten, and the same cheers that had
hitherto attended her accompanied her to the Tower. Traversing
East-cheap, which presented fresh crowds, and offered fresh pageants
to her view, she entered Tower Street, where she was welcomed by larger
throngs than before, and with greater enthusiasm than ever. In this way
she reached Tower Hill, where a magnificent spectacle burst upon her.

The vast area of Tower Hill was filled with spectators. The crowds who
had witnessed her entrance into the city had now flocked thither, and
every avenue had poured in its thousands, till there was not a square
inch of ground unoccupied. Many were pushed into the moat, and it
required the utmost exertion of the guards, who were drawn out in lines
of two deep, to keep the road which had been railed and barred from the
end of Tower Street to the gates of the fortress clear for the Queen.
As Mary’s eye ranged over this sea of heads—as she listened to their
stunning vociferations, and to the loud roar of the cannon which broke
from every battlement in the Tower, her heart swelled with exultation.
It was an animating spectacle. The day, it has been said, was bright and
beautiful. The sun poured down its rays upon the ancient fortress,
which had so lately opened its gates to an usurper, but which now like a
heartless rake had cast off one mistress to take another. The whole line
of ramparts on the west was filled with armed men. On the summit of the
White Tower floated her standard, while bombard and culverin kept up a
continual roar from every lesser tower.

After gazing for a few moments in the direction of the lofty citadel,
now enveloped in the clouds of smoke issuing from the ordnance, and,
excepting its four tall turrets and its standard, entirely hidden from
view, her eyes followed the immense cavalcade, which, like a swollen
current, was pouring its glittering tide beneath the arch of the Bulwark
Gate; and as troop after troop disappeared, and she gradually approached
the fortress, she thought she had never beheld a sight so grand and
inspiriting. Flourishes of trumpets, almost lost in the stunning
acclamations of the multitude, and the thunder of artillery, greeted
her arrival at the Tower. Her entrance was conducted with much ceremony.
Proceeding through closely-serried ranks of archers and arquebussiers,
she passed beneath the Middle Gate and across the bridge. At the By-ward
Tower she was received by Lord Clinton and a train of nobles. On either
side of the gate, stood Gog and Magog. Both giants made a profound
obesiance as she passed. A few steps further, her course was checked by.
Og and Xit. Prostrating himself before her, the elder giant assisted
his diminutive companion to clamber upon his back, and as soon as he had
gained this position, the dwarf knelt down, and offered the keys of the
fortress to the Queen. Mary was much diverted at the incident, nor was
she less surprised at the vast size of Og and his brethren—than at
the resemblance they presented to her royal father. Guessing what was
passing through her mind, and regardless of consequences as of decorum,
Xit remarked,—

“Your majesty, I perceive, is struck with the likeness of my worthy
friend Og to your late sire King Henry VIII., of high and renowned
memory. You will not, therefore, be surprised, when I inform you that he
is his—”

Before another word could be uttered, Og, who had been greatly alarmed
at the preamble, arose with such suddenness, that Xit was precipitated
to the ground.

“Pardon me, your majesty,” cried the giant, in great confusion, “it
is true what the accursed imp says. I have the honour to be indirectly
related to your highness. God’s death, sirrah, I have half a mind to set
my foot upon thee and crush thee. Thou art ever in mischief.”

The look and gesture, which accompanied this exclamation, were so
indescribably like their royal parent, that neither the Queen nor the
Princess Elizabeth could forbear laughing.

As to Xit, the occurrence gained him a new friend in the person of Jane
the Fool, who ran up as he was limping off with a crestfallen look, and
begged her majesty’s permission to take charge of him. This was granted,
and the dwarf proceeded with the royal cortege. On learning the name of
his protectress, Xit observed,—

“You are wrongfully designated, sweetheart. Jane the Queen was Jane the
Fool—you are Jane the Wise.”

While this was passing, Mary had given some instructions in an under
tone to Lord Clinton, and he immediately departed to fulfil them. The
cavalcade next passed beneath the arch of the Bloody Tower, and the
whole retinue drew up on the Green. A wide circle was formed round the
queen, amid which, at intervals, might be seen the towering figures of
the giants, and next to the elder of them, Xit, who having been obliged
to quit his new friend had returned to Og and was standing on his
tip-toes to obtain a peep at what was passing. No sooner had Mary taken
up her position, than Lord Clinton re-appeared, and brought with him
several illustrious persons who having suffered imprisonment in the
fortress, for their zeal for the religion of Rome, wore now liberated by
her command. As the first of the group, a venerable nobleman, Approached
her and bent the knee before her, Mary’s eyes filled with tears, and she
exclaimed, in a voice of much emotion,—

“Arise, my Lord Duke of Norfolk. The attainder pronounced against you in
my father’s reign is reversed. Your rank, your dignities, honours, and
estates shall be restored to you.”


As the Duke retired, Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, advanced.

“Your Grace shall not only have your bishoprick again,” said Mary, “but
you shall have another high and important office.—I here appoint you
Lord Chancellor of the realm.”

“Your highness overwhelms me with kindness,” replied Gardiner, pressing
her hand to his lips.

“You have no more than your desert, my lord,” replied Mary. “But I pray
you stand aside a moment. There are other claimants of our attention.”

Gardiner withdrew, and another deprived bishop took his place. It was

“My lord,” said Mary, as he bowed before her, “you are restored to the
see of London, and the prelate who now so unworthily fills that high
post, Bishop Ridley, shall make room for you. My lord,” she added to
Lord Clinton, “make out a warrant, and let him be committed to the

“I told you how it would be,” observed Renard to Lord Pembroke.
“Ridley’s last discourse has cost him his liberty. Cranmer will speedily

Other prisoners, amongst whom was Tunstall, Bishop of Durham, and the
Duchess of Somerset, now advanced, and were warmly welcomed by the
Queen. The last person who approached her was a remarkably handsome
young man, with fine features and a noble figure. This was Edward
Courtenay, son of the Marquess of Exeter, who was beheaded in 1538.
Since that time Courtenay had been a close prisoner in the Tower. He was
of the blood-royal, being grandson of Catherine, youngest daughter of
Edward the Fourth, and his father had been declared heir to the throne.

“You are right welcome, my cousin,” said Mary, extending her hand
graciously to him, which he pressed to his lips. “Your attainder shall
be set aside, and though we cannot restore your father to life, we can
repair the fortunes of his son, and restore him to his former honours.
Henceforth, you are Earl of Devonshire. Your patent shall be presently
made out, and such of your sire’s possessions as are in our hands

Courtenay warmly thanked her for her bounty, and the Queen smiled upon
him in such gracious sort, that a suspicion crossed more than one bosom
that she might select him as her consort.

“Her majesty smiles upon Courtenay as if she would bestow her hand upon
him in right earnest,” observed Pembroke to Renard.

“Hum!” replied the ambassador. “This must be nipped in the bud. I have
another husband in view for her.”

“Your master, Philip of Spain, I’ll be sworn,” said Pembroke—“a suitable
match, if he were not a Catholic.”

Renard made no answer, but he smiled an affirmative.

“I am glad this scheme has reached my ears,” observed De Noailles, who
overheard the conversation—“it will not suit my master, Henry II., that
England should form an alliance with Spain. I am for Courtenay, and will
thwart Renard’s plot.”

Having received the whole of the prisoners, Mary gave orders to liberate
all those within the Tower who might be confined for their adherence to
the Catholic faith.

“My first care,” she said, “shall be to celebrate the obsequies of my
brother, Edward VI.,—whose body, while others have been struggling for
the throne, remains uninterred according to the forms of the Romish
church. The service shall take place in Westminster Abbey.”

“That may not be, your highness,” said Cranmer, who formed one of the
group. “His late majesty was a Protestant prince.”

“Beware how you oppose me, my lord,” rejoined Mary, sternly. “I have
already committed Ridley to prison, and shall not hesitate to commit
your Grace.”

“Your highness will act as it seems best to you,” rejoined Cranmer,
boldly; “but I shall fulfil my duty, even at the hazard of incurring
your displeasure. Your royal brother professed the Protestant faith,
which is, as yet,—though Heaven only knows how long it may continue
so,—the established religion of this country, and he must, therefore, be
interred according to the rites of that church. No other ceremonies, but
those of the Protestant church, shall be performed within Westminster
Abbey, as long as I maintain a shadow of power.”

“It is well,” replied Mary. “We may find means to make your Grace more
flexible. To-morrow, we shall publish a decree proclaiming our religious
opinions. And it is our sovereign pleasure, that the words ‘Papist’ and
‘Heretic’ be no longer used as terms of reproach.”

“I have lived long enough,” exclaimed the Duke of Norfolk, falling on
his knees—“in living to see the religion of my fathers restored.”

“The providence which watched over your Grace’s life, and saved you from
the block, when your fate seemed all but sealed, reserved you for this
day,” rejoined Mary.

“It reserved me to be a faithful and devoted servant of your majesty,”
replied the Duke.

“What is your highness’s pleasure touching the Duke of Northumberland,
Lord Guilford Dudley, and Lady Jane Dudley?” inquired Clinton.

“The two latter will remain closely confined till their arraignment,”
replied Mary. “Lady Jane, also, will remain a prisoner for the present.
And now, my lords, to the palace.”

With this, she turned her palfreys head, and passing under the Bloody
Tower, proceeded to the principal entrance of the ancient structure,
where she dismounted, and accompanied by a throng of nobles, dames, and
attendants, entered the apartments so lately occupied by the unfortunate


The first shock over, Jane bore her reverse of fortune with the utmost
patience and resignation, uttering no complaints, but making, in the
language of Fuller, “misery itself amiable by her pious behaviour.”
She then reaped the full benefit of the religious education she had
received, and her time was wholly passed in meditation, prayer, or
profound study. Her demeanour was gentle and calm—graver and more
thoughtful than it had been, but by no means cast down. If she had not
regained her cheer-.fulness, she had fully recovered her composure; and
the warder, Partridge, in whose habitation she was confined in the first
instance, described her “as looking more like a queen than when she sat
upon the throne.”

In this way, some days were spent, when word was brought her by an
attendant, that a chamber had been prepared for her in the Brick Tower,
and that a guard was without to conduct her to it. She received the
intimation with composure, and immediately rose to obey it, requesting
only that her books might be sent after her. The attendant, whose eyes
were blinded with tears, promised to fulfil her wishes. On going forth,
she found an officer and the three gigantic warders waiting to escort
her to her prison. The party moved forward in silence, and at a slow
pace. While crossing the Green, she perceived another group advancing
towards her, and as it drew nearer, she found it was her husband
attended by a guard. Uttering a loud cry, she would have rushed and
thrown herself into his arms, if she had not been prevented by the
officer. Dudley, whose eyes had been bent on the ground, heard the cry,
and immediately knew by whom it was uttered. He made a movement similar
to that of Jane, but like her he was checked by his attendants. So
deeply, however, were the guards on either side moved by the anguish of
the unfortunate pair, that, although expressly enjoined to the contrary,
they suffered them to approach and embrace each other. The meeting drew
tears from all eyes that beheld it; and the susceptible heart of Magog
was so touched, that he had much ado to hide his grief. From the few
hasty words she was able to exchange with her husband, Jane learnt that
his prison had been changed, and that an order had been issued for his
removal from the Beauchamp to the Bowyer Tower.

“Every dungeon in the Tower,” he said, “is filled with our friends and
partisans. Your father, the Duke of Suffolk, is confined in the Martin
Tower. And I have been just removed from the Beauchamp Tower to make
room for my father, the Duke of Northumberland, my two brothers, Ambrose
and Robert, and their faithful followers, Sir John Gates, Sir Henry
Gates, and Sir Thomas Palmer.”

“Alas!” cried Jane, “we are all equally culpable, and must all suffer
alike. But we shall be speedily released.”

“On the scaffold,” rejoined Dudley, bitterly.

“Ay, on the scaffold,” repeated Jane. “And I trust though the remainder
of our mortal life may be separated, that we shall meet above to part no
more. Pray for this, my dear lord. It is my own constant prayer. And it
is my firm reliance upon it that enables me to endure the agony of this
meeting, which otherwise would kill me.”

“I will strive to do so, Jane,” replied her husband. “But I still cling
to life and hope.”

“Divest yourself of these vain desires, my Lord,” cried Jane, earnestly,
“and turn your thoughts from earth to heaven. There indeed we shall
inherit an everlasting kingdom, undisturbed by misery and calamity.”

“Madam,” said the officer, advancing; “I grieve to abridge this short
meeting. But my duty admits of no alternative. You must follow me.”

“It is well, sir,” she replied—“Farewell, dear Dudley. My prayers shall
be for you.”

“And mine for you, dear Jane,” replied her husband, pressing her to his
bosom—“Heaven grant me your patience and resignation!”

“Amen!” she fervently ejaculated. And with another embrace, they parted.

For a short distance the two escorts walked close together, during which
the afflicted pair kept their eyes fondly fixed on each other. After
passing the north-west corner of the White Tower, Lord Guilford’s
attendants took a straight-forward course, while Jane’s guards proceeded
to the right. Still but a short distance intervened between them, until
Jane beheld her husband disappear beneath the low-arched entrance of the
Bowyer Tower. A convulsive movement passed over her frame; but the next
moment she was apparently as calm as ever, and followed the officer into
the structure destined for her reception.

This, as has already been intimated, was the Brick Tower, the next
turret on the east of the Bowyer Tower. The upper story, which is of
brick—whence its name—was erected in the reign of Edward the Fourth, or
Richard the Third: the basement story is of stone, and of much greater

Entering a narrow passage, she was ushered by the officer into a small
room, which he informed her was prepared for her reception. Everything
that circumstances would admit appeared to have been done to lessen the
rigour of her confinement. The stone walls were hung with arras; and
much of the furniture a carved oak table, and velvet-covered scats,
placed in the deep embrasures of the windows—had been brought from
Jane’s late chamber in the palace.

“This seat, said the officer, pointing to a curiously-carved chair, *
was used by Queen Anne Boleyn during her imprisonment. I had it brought
hither for your ladyship’s accommodation.”

“I thank you for your consideration, sir,” replied Jane; “it will serve
to support one as unhappy as that ill-fated princess.” Having inquired
whether she had any further commands with which it was possible for
him to comply, and being answered in the negative, the officer took his
departure, and Jane was left alone.


Alone! the thought struck chill to her heart. She was now a solitary
captive. She heard the door of her prison bolted—she examined its stone
walls, partly concealed by the tapestry—she glanced at its iron-barred
windows, and her courage forsook her. She had no bosom to lean upon—no
ear to which she could impart her sorrows. Her husband, though not far
from her, was, like her a prisoner. She pictured him in his solitary
room—and she would have given worlds to be near him—if only for a few
moments. The thought occasioned her so much anguish, that she burst
into tears, and for some time was a prey to despair. She then knelt
down beside the chair, and burying her face in her clasped hands, prayed
deeply and fervently for support through her trial. And she prayed not
in vain. She soon afterwards arose tranquil and refreshed.

     * This curious piece of furniture, authenticated to have
     belonged to the unfortunate queen above-named, is now in the
     possession of Mr. Cottenham, the architect, of Waterloo



The night of Queen Mary’s entrance into the Tower was spent by Simon
Renard, the Duke of Norfolk, Gardiner (the new Lord Chancellor),
Courtenay, Arundel, Pembroke, and other noble and honourable persons
composing her council, in framing a public declaration of her religious
opinions, to be proclaimed on the morrow, and in deliberating on other
mighty matters connected with the establishment of her government.
Throughout this consultation, when any difference of opinion arose,
the matter was invariably deferred to the judgment of the imperial
ambassador, whose decision was regarded as final; and as he was looked
upon as the chief instrument in crushing the late rebellion, so it was
supposed he could, by his sagacity and influence, establish Mary upon
her throne.

It was late when the council separated, and instead of returning to his
apartments in the palace, Renard, fevered and wearied by the protracted
discussion at which he had assisted, preferred refreshing himself by
a stroll in the open air. Accordingly, he proceeded to the green, and
began to pace backwards and forwards, at a brisk pace, between the
lieutenant’s lodgings and the chapel. He continued this exercise for
nearly an hour, pondering upon recent events, and revolving future
schemes within his plotting brain, when just as day was breaking, and
the hoary walls of the White Tower began to reveal themselves in all
their grandeur, he perceived a man, armed with a caliver, advancing
to meet him. Renard stood still, and throwing his ample cloak over his
shoulder, awaited the new comers approach. It proved to be a warder,
who, having seen him as he was going his rounds, at first supposed he
had some ill designs in view, but finding out his mistake, as he drew
nearer and recognised the Spanish ambassador, with whose person he was
familiar, he was about to withdraw, when Renard called him back and
demanded his name.

“I am called Gervase Winwike, worshipful sir,” readied the man, “and am
one of the senior warders of the Tower.

“Whither are you going, friend?” inquired Renard. “To the summit of the
White Tower,” answered Winwike; “to see that the sentinels are at their

“Is it inconsistent with your duty to take me with you?” asked the

“By no means,” rejoined the warder. “I shall feel honoured by your
presence. We shall reach the roof just at sunrise, and the view from
thence, on a fine clear morning like the present, is magnificent beyond
compare, and will amply repay your worship for climbing up so many steps
as you will have to scale to obtain it.”

“Let us make what haste we can, then,” said Renard, “I am impatient to
behold it.”

Thus exhorted, Winwike led the way to the north-west turret of the
ancient structure, before a door in which a sentinel was stationed, who,
on receiving the pass-word, lowered his halbert, and suffered them
to enter. They were now within a small circular chamber, from which a
flight of spiral stone steps ascended. Followed by Renard, the
warder commenced the ascent. Light was admitted at intervals through
loop-holes, gradually diminishing in width as they approached the
exterior of the walls, and serving to reveal their immense thickness.
As they mounted, Winwike pointed out to his companion the entrance of a
passage communicating with the Council-chamber. Renard was much struck
with the substantial and beautiful masonry of the turret; but being
anxious to gain the roof as soon as possible, he urged his companion to
quicken his pace, and they soon arrived at an arched door, which Winwike
threw open, and they stepped upon the roof..

Springing upon the platform, Renard was about to rush to the
battlements, when Winwike offered to lead him to the best point of view.
As he followed his conductor towards the southwest angle, Renard cast
his eye over the roof. Cannon were placed on the raised platform, while
armed men were stationed at twenty paces distant from each other. In the
centre of the building stood a tall staff, from which floated the royal

Depositing his caliver against the wall of the turret, Winwike told his
companion to look around. Renard obeyed, and a glorious panorama met
his gaze. Immediately beneath him lay the fortress, with its chain of
flowers—its ramparts—its fortifications—its bridges, and its broad
deep moat. Beyond was spread out old and picturesque London, with its
numerous steeples, above which rose the massive tower of St. Paul’s. A
little on the left was old London Bridge, covered with out-houses—the
noise of the falling water, and the mills, being distinctly audible
where they stood. Nearer, was the river glittering in the sunbeams, and
filled with a forest of masts. Renard contemplated this prospect for
some time in silent admiration.

“There you behold the Tower of London,” said Winwike, pointing

“And there I read the history of England,” replied Renard.

“If it is written in those towers it is a dark and bloody history,”
replied the warder—“and yet your worship says truly. The building on
which we stand, and those around us, are the best chronicles of our
country. I can recount to your worship their foundation, and the chief
events that have happened within them, if you are disposed to listen to

“Proceed then,” replied Renard, “and when I have had enough I will
interrupt you.”




In 1078, (for, instead of following the warder’s narrative to Simon
Renard, it appears advisable in this place to offer a slight sketch of
the renowned fortress, under consideration, especially as such a course
will allow of its history being brought down to a later period than
could otherwise be accomplished,) the Tower of London was founded
by William the Conqueror, who appointed Gundulph, Bishop of Exeter,
principal overseer of the work. By this prelate, who seems to have been
a good specimen of the church militant, and who, during the progress of
his operations, was lodged in the house, of Edmere, a burgess of London,
a part of the city wall, adjoining the northern banks of the Thames,
which had been much injured by the incursions of the tide, was taken
down, and a “great square tower,” since called the White Tower, erected
on its site.

Some writers have assigned an earlier date to this edifice, ascribing
its origin to the great Roman invader of our shores, whence it has been
sometimes denominated Cæsar’s Tower; and the hypothesis is supposed
to be confirmed by Fitz Stephens, a monkish historian of the period of
Henry the Second, who states, that “the city of London hath in the east
a very great and most strong Palatine Tower, whose turrets and walls do
rise from a deep foundation, the mortar thereof being tempered with the
blood of beasts.” On this authority, Dr. Stukeley has introduced a fort,
which he terms the Arx Palatina, in his plan of Londinium Augusta. But,
though it is not improbable that some Roman military station may have
stood on the spot now occupied by the White Tower,—certain coins and
other antiquities having been found by the workmen in sinking the
foundations of the Ordnance Office in 1777,—it is certain that no part
of the present structure was erected by Julius Cæsar; nor can he, with
propriety, be termed the founder of the Tower of London. As to its
designation, that amounts to little, since, as has been shrewdly
remarked by M. Dulaure, in his description of the Grand Châtelet at
Paris—“every old building, the origin of which is buried in obscurity,
is attributed to Cæsar or the devil.”

Fourteen years afterwards, in the reign of William Rufus, who, according
to Henry of Huntingdon, “pilled and shaved the people with tribute,
especially about the Tower of London,” the White Tower was greatly
damaged by a violent storm, which, among other ravages, carried off the
roof of Bow Church, and levelled above six hundred habitations with the
ground. It was subsequently repaired, and an additional tower built on
the south side near the river.

Strengthened by Geoffrey de Magnaville, Earl of Essex, and fourth
constable of the fortress, who defended it against the usurper Stephen,
but was, nevertheless, eventually compelled to surrender it; repaired in
1155, by Thomas à Becket, then Chancellor to Henry the Second; greatly
extended and enlarged in 1190, the second year of the reign of Richard
Cour de Lion, by William Longchamp, Bishop of Ely and Chancellor of the
realm, who, encroaching to some distance upon Tower Hill, and breaking
down the city wall as far as the first gate called the postern,
surrounded it with high embattled walls of stone, and a broad deep
ditch, thinking, as Stowe observes, “to have environed it with the river
Thames;”—the Tower of London was finished by Henry the Third, who,
in spite of the remonstrances of the citizens, and other supernatural
warnings, if credit is to be attached to the statement of Matthew of
Paris, completely fortified it.

A gate and bulwark having been erected on the west of the Tower, we are
told by the old chronicler above-mentioned, “that they were shaken as
it had been with an earthquake and fell down, which the king again
commanded to be built in better sort, which was done. And yet, again,
in the year 1241, the said wall and bulwarks that were newly builded,
whereon the king had bestowed more than twelve thousand marks, were
irrecoverably quite thrown down as before; for the which chance the
citizens of London were nothing sorry, for they were threatened, that
the said wall and bulwarks were builded, to the end, that if any of them
would contend for the liberties of the city, they might be imprisoned.
And that many might be laid in divers prisons, many lodgings were made,
that no one should speak with another.” These remarkable accidents (if
accidents they were,) were attributed by the popular superstition of the
times, to the miraculous interference of Thomas à Becket, the guardian
saint of the Londoners.

By the same monarch the storehouse was strengthened and repaired, and
the keep or citadel whitened, (whence probably it derived its name, as
it was afterwards styled in Edward the Third’s reign “La Blanche
Tour”) as appears by the following order still preserved in the Tower
Rolls:—“We command you to repair the garner within the said tower, and
well amend it throughout, wherever needed. And also concerning all
the leaden gutters of the Great Tower, from the top of the said tower,
through which the rain water must fall down, to lengthen them, and make
them come down even to the ground; so that the wall of the said tower,
lately whitened anew, may by no means decay, nor easily break out, by
reason of the rain water dropping down. But to make upon the said towers
alures of good and strong timber, and throughout to be well leaded; by
which people might see even to the foot of the said tower, and better to
go up and down, if need be.” Further orders were given in this reign
for the beautifying and fitting up the chapels of Saint John and Saint
Peter, as already mentioned in the account of those structures.

The same monarch planted a grove, or orchard of “perie trees,” as they
are described in his mandate to Edward of Westminster, in the vicinity
of the Tower, and surrounded it with a wall of mud, afterwards replaced
by another of brick, in the reign of Edward the Fourth. He likewise
established a menagerie within the fortress, allotting a part of the
bulwark at the western entrance since called the Lions’ Tower, for the
reception of certain wild beasts, and as a lodging for their keeper. In
1235, the Emperor Frederick sent him three leopards, in allusion to his
scutcheon, on which three of those animals were emblazoned; and from
that time, down to a very recent date, a menagerie has been constantly
maintained within the Tower. To support it, Edward the Second commanded
the Sheriffs of London to pay the keeper of his lions sixpence a day for
their food, and three half-pence a-day for the man’s own diet, out of
the fee farm of the city.

Constant alterations and reparations wero made to the ramparts and
towers during subsequent reigns. Edward the Fourth encroached still
further on Tower Hill than his predecessors, and erected an outer
gate called the Bulwark Tower. In the fifth year of the reign of this
monarch, a scaffold and gallows having been erected on Tower Hill, the
citizens, ever jealous of their privileges and liberties, complained of
the step; and to appease them, a proclamation was made to the effect,
“that the erection, and setting up of the said gallows be not a
precedent or example thereby hereafter to be taken, in hurt, prejudice,
or derogation, of the franchises, liberties, and privileges of the

Richard the Third repaired the Tower, and Stow records a commission to
Thomas Daniel, directing him to seize for use within this realm, as many
masons, bricklayers, and other workmen, as should be thought necessary
for the expedition of the king’s works within the Tower. In the
twenty-third of Henry the Eighth, the whole of the fortress appears to
have undergone repair—a survey being taken of its different buildings,
which is is still preserved in the Chapter-house at Westminster. In the
second of Edward the Sixth, the following strange accident occurred, by
which one of the fortifications was destroyed. A Frenchman, lodged in
the Middle Tower, accidentally set fire to a barrel of gunpowder, which
blew up the structure, fortunately without damage to any other than the
luckless causer of it.

At the period of this chronicle, as at the present time, the Tower of
London comprehended within its walls a superficies of rather more than
twelve acres, and without the moat a circumference of three thousand
feet and upwards. Consisting of a citadel or keep, surrounded by an
inner and outer ward, it was approached on the west by an entrance
called the Bulwark Gate, which has long since disappeared. The second
entrance was formed by an embattled tower, called the Lion’s Gate,
conducting to a strong tower flanked with bastions, and defended by a
double portcullis, denominated the Middle Tower. The outworks adjoining
these towers, in which was kept the menagerie, were surrounded by a
smaller moat, communicating with the main ditch. A large drawbridge then
led to another portal, in all respects resembling that last described,
forming the principal entrance to the outer ward, and called the
By-ward or Gate Tower. The outer ward was defended by a strong line
of fortifications; and at the north-east corner stood a large circular
bastion, called the Mount.

The inner ward or ballium was defended by thirteen towers, connected by
an embattled stone wall about forty feet, high and twelve feet thick, on
the summit of which was a footway for the guard. Of these towers, three
were situated at the west, namely, the Bell, the Beauchamp and the
Devilin Towers; four at the north, the Flint, the Bowyer, the Brick, and
the Martin Towers; three at the east, the Constable, the Broad Arrow,
and Salt Towers; and three on the south, the Well, the Lanthorn, and the
Bloody Tower. The Flint Tower has almost disappeared; the Bowyer Tower
only retains its basement story; and the Brick Tower has been so much
modernized as to retain little of its pristine character. The Martin
Tower is now denominated the Jewel Tower, from the circumstance of its
being the depositary of the regalia. The Lanthorn Tower has been swept
away with the old palace.

Returning to the outer ward, the principal fortification on the south
was a large square structure, flanked at each angle by an embattled
tower. This building, denominated Saint Thomas’s, or Traitor’s Tower,
was erected across the moat, and masked a secret entrance from the
Thames, through which state prisoners, as has before been related,
were brought into the Tower. It still retains much of its original
appearance, and recals forcibly to the mind of the observer the dismal
scenes that have occurred beneath its low-browed arches. Further on the
east, in a line with Traitor’s Tower, and terminating a wing of the old
palace, stood the Cradle Tower. At the eastern angle of the outer ward
was a small fortification over-looking the moat, known as the Tower
leading to the Iron Gate. Beyond it a draw-bridge crossed the moat, and
led to the Iron Gate, a small portal protected by a tower, deriving its
name from the purpose for which it was erected.

At this point, on the patch of ground intervening between the moat and
the river, and forming the platform or wharf, stood a range of mean
habitations, occupied by the different artisans and workmen employed in
the fortress. At the south of the By-ward Tower, an arched and embattled
gateway opened upon a drawbridge which crossed the moat at this point.
Opposite this drawbridge were the main stairs leading to the edge of the
river. The whole of the fortress, it is scarcely necessary to repeat,
was (and still is) encompassed by a broad deep moat, of much greater
width at the sides next to Tower Hill and East Smithfield, than at the
south, and supplied with water from the Thames by the sluice beneath
Traitor’s Gate.

Having now made a general circuit of the fortress, we shall return to
the inner ballium, which is approached on the south by a noble gateway,
erected in the reign of Edward the Third. A fine specimen of the
architecture of the fourteenth century, this portal is vaulted with
groined arches adorned with exquisite tracery springing from grotesque
heads. At the period of this chronicle, it was defended at each end by
a massive gate clamped with iron, and a strong portcullis. The gate and
portcullis at the southern extremity still exist, but those at the
north have been removed. The structure above it was anciently called the
Garden Tower; but subsequently acquired the appellation of the Bloody
Tower, from having been the supposed scene of the murder of the youthful
princes, sons of Edward the Fourth, by the ruthless Duke of Gloucester,
afterwards Richard the Third. Without pausing to debate the truth of
this tragical occurrence, it may be sufficient to mention that tradition
assigns it to this building.

Proceeding along the ascent leading towards the green, and mounting a
flight of stone steps on the left, we arrive in front of the ancient
lodgings allotted to the lieutenant of the Tower. Chiefly constructed
of timber, and erected at the beginning of the sixteenth century, this
fabric has been so much altered, that it retains little of its original
character. In one of the rooms, called, from the circumstance, the
Council-chamber, the conspirators concerned in the Gunpowder Plot
were interrogated; and in memory of the event, a piece of sculpture,
inscribed with their names, and with those of the commissioners by whom
they were examined, has been placed against the walls.

Immediately behind the lieutenant’s lodgings stands the Bell Tower,—a
circular structure, surmounted by a small wooden turret containing the
alarm-bell of the fortress. Its walls are of great thickness, and light
is admitted through narrow loopholes. On the basement floor is a small
chamber, with deeply-recessed windows, and a vaulted roof of very
curious construction. This tower served as a place of imprisonment to
John Fisher, the martyred bishop of Rochester, beheaded on Tower Hill
for denying Henry the Eighth’s supremacy; and to the Princess Elizabeth,
who was confined within it by her sister, Queen Mary.

Traversing the green, some hundred and forty feet brings us to the
Beauchamp, or Cobham Tower, connected with the Bell Tower by means of
a footway on the top of the ballium wall. Erected in the reign of Henry
the Third, as were most of the smaller towers of the fortress, this
structure appears, from the numerous inscriptions, coats of arms, and
devices that crowd its walls, to have been the principal state-prison.
Every room, from roof to vault, is covered with melancholy memorials of
its illustrious and unfortunate occupants.

Over the fire-place in the principal chamber, (now used as a mess-room
by the officers of the garrison,) is the autograph of Philip Howard,
Earl of Arundel, beheaded in 1572, for aspiring to the hand of Mary
Queen of Scots. On the right of the fire-place, at the entrance of a
recess, are these words:—“Dolor Patientia vincitur. G. Gyfford. August
8, 1586.” Amongst others, for we can only give a few as a specimen of
the rest, is the following enigmatical inscription. It is preceded by
the date 1568, April 28, but is unaccompanied by any signature.



The next we shall select is dated 1581, and signed Thomas Myagh.





Of this unfortunate person the following interesting account is given
by Mr. Jardine, in his valuable treatise on the Use of Torture in the
Criminal Law of England. “Thomas Myagh was an Irishman who was brought
over by the command of the Lord Deputy of Ireland, to be examined
respecting a treasonable correspondence with the rebels in arms in that
country. The first warrant for the torture of this man was probably
under the sign-manual, as there is no entry of it in the council
register. The two reports made by the Lieutenant of the Tower and Dr.
Hammond, respecting their execution of this warrant, are, however, to be
seen at the State-Paper Office. The first of these, which is dated the
10th of March, 1580-1, states that they had twice examined Myagh, but
had forborne to put him in Skevington’s Irons, because they had been
charged to examine him with secrecy, ‘which they could not do, that
manner of dealing requiring the presence and aid of one of the jailors
all the time that he should be in those irons,’ and also because they
‘found the man so resolute, as in their opinions little would be wrung
out of him but by some sharper torture.’ The second report, which
is dated the 17th of March, 1580, merely states that they had again
examined Myagh, and could get nothing from him, ‘notwithstanding that
they had made trial of him by the torture of Skevington’s irons, and
with so much sharpness, as was in their judgment for the man and his
cause convenient.’ How often Myagh was tortured does not appear; but
Skevington’s irons seem to have been too mild a torture, for on the 30th
of July, 1581, there is an entry in the council books of an authority to
the Lieutenant of the Tower and Thomas Norton, to deal with him with the
rack in such sort as they should see cause.”

From many sentences expressive of the resignation of the sufferers,
we take the following, subscribed A. Poole, 1564:—“Deo. servire.
penitentiam. inire. fato. ohedire. regnare. est.” Several inscriptions
are left by this person—one four years later than the foregoing, is as
follows: “A passage perillus maketh a port pleasant.” Here is another
sad memento: “O miser Hyon, che pensi od essero.” Another: “Reprens le:
sage: et: il: te: aimera: J. S. 1538.” A third: “Principium sapientio
timor Domini, I. h. s. x. p. s. Be friend to one. Be ennemye to none.
Anno D. 1571, 10 Sept. The most unhappy man in the world is he that is
not patient in adversities: For men are not killed with the adversities
they have, but with the impatience they suffer. Tout vient apoint, quy
peult attendre. Gli sospiri ne son testimoni veri dell angoscia mia. Æt.
20. Charles Bailly.”.

Most of these records breathe resignation. But the individual who carved
the following record, and whose naine has passed away, appears to have
numbered every moment of his captivity: “Close prisoner 8 months, 32
wekees, 224 dayes, 5376 houres.” How much of anguish is comprised in
this brief sentence!

We could swell out this list, if necessary, to a volume, but the above
may suffice to show their general character. Let those who would
know how much their forefathers have endured cast their eyes over the
inscriptions in the Beauchamp Tower. In general they are beautifully
carved, ample time being allowed the writers for their melancholy
employment. It has been asserted that Anne Boleyn was confined in the
uppermost room of the Beauchamp Tower. But if an inscription may be
trusted, she was imprisoned in the Martin Tower (now the Jewel Tower) at
that time a prison lodging.

Postponing the description of the remaining towers until we have
occasion to speak of them in detail, we shall merely note, in passing,
the two strong towers situated at the southwestern extremity of the
White Tower, called the Coal Harbour Gate, over which there was a
prison denominated the Nun’s Bower, and proceed to the palace, of which,
unluckily for the lovers of antiquity, not a vestige now remains.

Erected at different periods, and consisting of a vast range of halls,
galleries, courts and gardens, the old palace occupied, in part, the
site of the modern Ordnance Office. Commencing at the Coal Harbour Gate,
it extended in a south-easterly direction to the Lanthorn Tower, and
from thence branched off in a magnificent pile of building, called the
Queen’s Gallery, to the Salt Tower. In front of this gallery, defended
by the Cradle Tower and the Well Tower, was the privy garden. Behind it
stretched a large quadrangular area, terminated at the western angle by
the Wardrobe Tower, and at the eastern angle by the Broad Arrow Tower.
It was enclosed on the left by a further range of buildings, termed
the Queen’s Lodgings, and on the right by the inner ballium wall. The
last-mentioned buildings were also connected with the White Tower,
and with a small embattled structure flanked by a circular tower,
denominated the Jewel House where the regalia were then kept. In front
of the Jewel House stood a large decayed hall, forming part of the
palace; opposite which was a court, planted with trees, and protected by
the ballium wall.

This ancient palace—the scene of so many remarkable historical
events,—the residence, during certain portions of their reigns, of all
our sovereigns, from William Rufus down to Charles the Second—is now
utterly gone. Where is the glorious hall which Henry the Third painted
with the story of Antiochus, and which it required thirty fir-trees to
repair,—in which Edward the Third and all his court were feasted by the
captive John,—in which Richard the Second resigned his crown to Henry of
Lancaster,—in which Henry the Eighth received all his wives before their
espousals,—in which so many royal councils and royal revels have been
held;—where is that great hall? Where, also, is the chamber in which
Queen Isabella, consort of Edward the Second, gave birth to the child
called, from the circumstance, Joan of the Tower? They have vanished,
and other structures occupy their place. Demolished in the reign of
James the Second, an ordnance office was erected on its site; and
this building being destroyed by fire in 1788, it was succeeded by the
present edifice bearing the name.

Having now surveyed the south of the fortress, we shall return to the
north. Immediately behind Saint Peter’s Chapel stood the habitations
of the officers of the then ordnance department, and next to them
an extensive range of storehouses, armouries, granaries, and other
magazines, reaching to the Martin Tower. On the site of these buildings
was erected, in the reign of William the Third, that frightful
structure, which we trust the better taste of this, or some future age
will remove—the Grand Storehouse. Nothing can be imagined more monstrous
or incongruous than this ugly Dutch toy, (for it is little better,)
placed side by side with a stern old Norman donjon, fraught with a
thousand historical associations and recollections. It is the great blot
upon the Tower. And much as the destruction of the old palace is to be
lamented, the erection of such a building as this, in such a place, is
infinitely more to be deplored. We trust to see it rased to the ground.

In front of the Constable Tower stood another range of buildings
appropriated to the different officers and workmen connected with the
Mint, which, until the removal of the place of coinage to its present
situation on Little Tower Hill, it is almost needless to say, was held
within the walls of the fortress.

The White Tower once more claims our attention. Already described as
having walls of enormous thickness, this venerable stronghold is divided
into four stories including the vaults. The latter consist of two large
chambers and a smaller one, with a coved termination at the east, and
a deeply-recessed arch at the opposite extremity. Light is admitted to
this gloomy chamber by four semicircular-headed loopholes. At the north
is a cell ten feet long by eight wide formed in the thickness of the
wall, and receiving no light except from the doorway. Here tradition
affirms that Sir Walter Raleigh was confined, and composed his History
of the World.

Amongst other half-obliterated inscriptions carved on the arched doorway
of this dungeon, are these: He that indvreth TO THE ENDE SHALL BE SAVID.
M. 10. R. REDSTON. DAR. KENT. Ano. 1553.—Be feithful to the death and I
will give the a crown of life. T. Fane. 1554. Above stands Saint John’s
Chapel, and the upper story is occupied by the council-chamber and the
rooms adjoining. A narrow vaulted gallery, formed in the thickness
of the wall, communicating with the turret stairs, and pierced with
semicircular-headed openings for the admission of light to the interior,
surrounds this story. The roof is covered with lead, and crowned with
four lofty turrets, three angular and one square, surmounted with leaden
cupolas, each terminated with a vane and crown.

We have spoken elsewhere, and shall have to speak again of the secret
and subterranean passages, as well as of the dungeons of the Tower;
those horrible and noisome receptacles, deprived of light and air,
infested by legions of rats, and flooded with water, into which
the wretched captives were thrust to perish by famine, or by more
expeditious means; and those dreadful contrivances, the Little Ease—and
the Pit;—the latter a dark and gloomy excavation sunk to the depth of
twenty feet.

To the foregoing hasty sketch, in which we have endeavoured to make the
reader acquainted with the general outline of the fortress, we
would willingly, did space permit, append a history of the principal
occurrences that have happened within its walls. We would tell how in
1234, Griffith, Prince of Wales, in attempting to escape from the
White Tower, by a line made of hangings, sheets, and table-cloths, tied
together, being a stout heavy man, broke the rope, and falling from a
great height, perished miserably—his head and neck being driven into his
breast between the shoulders. How Edward the Third first established a
Mint within the Tower, coining florences of gold. How in the reign of
the same monarch, three sovereigns were prisoners there;—namely, John,
King of France, his son Philip, and David, King of Scotland. How in the
fourth year of the reign of Richard the Second, during the rebellion of
Wat Tyler, the insurgents having possessed themselves of the fortress,
though it was guarded by six hundred valiant persons, expert in arms,
and the like number of archers, conducted themselves with extraordinary
licence, bursting into the king’s chamber, and that of his mother, to
both of whom they offered divers outrages and indignities; and finally
dragged forth Simon Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, and hurrying him
to Tower Hill, hewed off his head at eight strokes, and fixed it on a
pole on London Bridge, where it was shortly afterwards replaced by that
of Wat Tyler.

How, in 1458, jousts were held on the Tower-Green by the Duke of
Somerset and five others, before Queen Margaret of Anjou. How in 1471,
Henry the Sixth, at that time a prisoner, was said to be murdered within
the Tower; how seven years later, George Duke of Clarence, was drowned
in a butt of Malmsey in the Bowyer Tower; and how five years after that,
the youthful Edward the Fifth, and the infant Duke of York, were also
said, for the tradition is more than doubtful, to be smothered in the
Blood Tower. How in 1483, by command of the Duke of Gloucester, who had
sworn he would not dine till he had seen his head off, Lord Hastings was
brought forth to the green before the chapel, and after a short shrift,
“for a longer could not be suffered, the protector made so much haste to
dinner, which he might not go to until this were done, for saving of his
oath,” his head was laid down upon a large log of timber, and stricken

How in 1512, the woodwork and decorations of Saint John’s chapel in
the White Tower were burnt. How in the reign of Henry the Eighth, the
prisons were constantly filled, and the scaffold deluged with blood. How
Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley, the hither of John Dudley, Duke
of Northumberland, were beheaded. How the like fate attended the Duke
of Buckingham, destroyed by Wolsey, the martyred John Fisher, Bishop of
Rochester, the wise and witty Sir Thomas More, Anne Boleyn, her brother
Lord Rochford, Norris, Smeaton, and others; the Marquis of Exeter, Lord
Montacute, and Sir Edward Neville; Thomas, Lord Cromwell, the counsellor
of the dissolution of the monasteries; the venerable and courageous
Countess of Salisbury; Lord Leonard Grey; Katherine Howard and Lady
Rochford; and Henry, Earl of Surrey.

How, in the reign of Edward the Sixth, his two uncles, Thomas Seymour,
Baron Sudley, and Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, were brought to the
block; the latter, as has been before related, by the machinations of

Passing over, for obvious reasons, the reign of Mary, and proceeding to
that of Elizabeth, we might relate how Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk,
was beheaded; how the dungeons were crowded with recusants and seminary
priests; amongst others, by the famous Jesuits, fathers Campion and
Persons; how Lord Stourton, whose case seems to have resembled the
more recent one of Lord Ferrers, was executed for the murder of the
Hartgills; how Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, shot himself in his
chamber, declaring that the jade Elizabeth should not have his estate;
and how the long catalogue was closed by the death of the Earl of Essex.

How, in the reign of James the First, Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded,
and Sir Thomas Overbury poisoned. How in that of Charles the First,
Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, and Archbishop Laud, underwent a
similar fate. How in 1656, Miles Sunderland, having been condemned
for high treason, poisoned himself; notwithstanding which, his body,
stripped of all apparel, was dragged at the horse’s tail to Tower Hill,
where a hole had been digged under the scaffold, into which it was
thrust, and a stake driven through it. How, in 1661, Lord Monson and Sir
Henry Mildmay suffered, and in the year following Sir Henry Vane. How
in the same reign Blood attempted to steal the crown; and how Algernon
Percy and Lord William Russell were executed.

How, under James the Second, the rash and unfortunate Duke of Monmouth
perished. How, after the rebellion of 1715, Lords Derwentwater and
Kenmuro were decapitated; and after that of 1745, Lords Kilmarnock,
Bahnerino, and Lovat. How in 1760, Lord Ferrers was committed to the
Tower for the murder of his steward, and expiated his offence at Tyburn.
How Wilkes was imprisoned there for a libel in 1762; and Lord George
Gordon for instigating the riots of 1780. How, to come to our own times,
Sir Francis Burdett was conveyed thither in April 1810; and how, to
close the list, the Cato-street conspirators, Thistlewood, Ings, and
others, were confined there in 1820.

The chief officer appointed to the custody of the royal fortress, is
termed the Constable of the Tower;—a place, in the words of Stowe, of
“high honour and reputation, as well as of great trust, many earls and
one duke having been constable of the Tower.” Without enumerating all
those who have filled this important post, it maybe sufficient to
state, that the first constable was Geoffrey de Mandeville, appointed
by William the Conqueror; the last, Arthur, Duke of Wellington. Next in
command is the lieutenant, after whom come the deputy-lieutenant, and
major, or resident governor. The civil establishment consists of
a chaplain, gentleman-porter, physician, surgeon, and apothecary;
gentleman-jailer, yeoman porter, and forty yeomen warders. In addition
to these, though in no way connected with the government or custody
of the Tower, there are the various officers belonging to the ordnance
department; the keepers of the records, the keeper of the regalia; and
formerly there were the different officers of the Mint.

The lions of the Tower—once its chief attraction with the many,—have
disappeared. Since the establishment of the Zoological Gardens,
curiosity having been drawn in that direction, the dens of the old
menagerie are deserted, and the sullen echoes of the fortress are no
longer awakened by savage yells and howling. With another and more
important attraction—the armories—it is not our province to meddle.

To return to Simon Renard and the warder. Having concluded his recital,
to which the other listened with profound attention, seldom interrupting
him with a remark, Winwike proposed, if his companion’s curiosity was
satisfied, to descend.

“You have given me food for much reflection.” observed Renard, aroused
from a reverie into which he had fallen; “but before we return I would
gladly walk round the buildings. I had no distinct idea of the Tower
till I came hither.”

The warder complied, and led the way round the battlements, pausing
occasionally to point out some object of interest.

Viewed from the summit of the White Tower, especially on the west, the
fortress still offers a striking picture. In the middle of the sixteenth
century, when its outer ramparts were strongly fortified—when the gleam
of corslet and pike was reflected upon the dark waters of its moat—when
the inner ballium walls were entire and unbroken, and its thirteen
towers reared their embattled fronts—when within each of those towers
state prisoners were immured—when its drawbridges were constantly
raised, and its gates closed—when its palace still lodged a
sovereign—when councils were held within its chambers—when its secret
dungeons were crowded—when Tower Hill boasted a scaffold, and its soil
was dyed with the richest and best blood of the land—when it numbered
among its inferior officers, jailors, torturers, and an executioner—when
all its terrible machinery was in readiness, and could be called into
play at a moment’s notice—when the steps of Traitor’s Gate wore worn by
the feet of those who ascended, them—when, on whichever side the gazer
looked, the same stern prospect was presented—the palace, the fortress,
the prison,—a triple conjunction of fearful significance—when each
structure had dark secrets to conceal—when beneath all these ramparts,
towers, and bulwarks, were subterranean passages and dungeons—then,
indeed, it presented a striking picture both to the eye and mind.

Slowly following his companion, Renard counted all the towers, which,
including that whereon he was standing, and these connected with
the bulwarks and palace, amounted to twenty-two,—marked their
position—commented upon the palace, and the arrangement of its offices
and outbuildings—examined its courts and gardens—inquired into the
situation of the queen’s apartments, and was shown a long line of
buildings with a pointed roof, extending from the south-east angle of
the keep to the Lanthorn Tower—admired the magnificent prospect of the
heights of Surrey and Kent—traced the broad stream of the Thames as
far as Greenwich—suffered his gaze to wander over the marshy tract of
country towards Essex—noted the postern gate in the ancient city walls,
standing at the edge of the north bank of the moat—traced those walls
by their lofty entrances from Aldgate to Cripplegate, and from thence
returned to the church of All Hallows Barking, and Tower Hill. The last
object upon which his gaze rested was the scaffold. A sinister smile
played upon his features as he gazed on it.

“There,” he observed, “is the bloody sceptre by which England is ruled.
From the palace to the prison is a step—from the prison to the scaffold

“King Henry the Eighth gave it plenty of employment,” observed Winwike.

“True,” replied Renard; “and his daughter, Queen Mary, will not suffer
it to remain idle.”

“Many a head will, doubtless, fall (and justly), in consequence of the
late usurpation,” remarked the warder.

“The first to do so now rests within that building,” rejoined Renard,
glancing at the Beauchamp Tower.

“Your worship, of course, means the Duke of Northumberland, since his
grace is confined there,” returned the warder. “Well, if she is spared
who, though placed foremost in the wrongful and ill-advised struggle,
was the last to counsel it, I care not what becomes of the rest. Poor
lady Jane! Could our eyes pierce yon stone walls,” he added, pointing to
the Brick Tower, “I make no doubt we should discover her on her knees.
She passes most of her time, I am informed, in prayer.”

“Humph!” ejaculated Renard. And he half muttered, “She shall either
embrace the Romish faith, or die by the hand of the executioner.”

Winwike made no answer to the observation, and affected not to hear it,
but he shuddered at the look that accompanied it—a look that brought to
mind all he heard of the mysterious and terrible individual at his side.

By this time, the sun was high in heaven, and the whole fortress astir.
A flourish of trumpets was blown on the Green, and a band of minstrels
issued from the portal of the Coalharbour Tower. The esquires,
retainers, pages, and servitors of the various noblemen, lodged within
the palace, were hurrying to and fro, some hastening to their morning
meal, others to different occupations. Everything seemed bright and
cheerful. The light laugh and the merry jest reached the ear of
the listeners. Rich silks and costly stuffs, mixed with garbs of
various-coloured serge, with jerkins and caps of steel, caught the eye.
Yet how much misery was there near this smiling picture! What sighs from
those in captivity responded to the shouts and laughter without! Queen
Mary arose and proceeded to matins in Saint John’s Chapel. Jane awoke
and addressed herself to solitary prayer; while Northumberland, who had
passed a sleepless night, pacing his dungeon like a caged tiger, threw
himself on his couch, and endeavoured to shut out the light of day and
his own agonizing reflections.

Meanwhile, Renard and the warder had descended from the White Tower and
proceeded to the Green.

“Who is that person beneath the Beauchamp Tower gazing so inquisitively
at its barred windows?” demanded the former.

“It is the crow scenting the carrion—it is Mauger the headsman,”
answered Winwike.

“Indeed?” replied Renard; “I would speak with him.”



Closely confined within the Beauchamp Tower, and treated with great
rigour, it was almost a satisfaction to the Duke of Northumberland to
be informed, after nearly a fortnight’s immediate prisonment, that his
trial would take place on the 18th of August. Though he anticipated
the result, and had no hope of escaping the block, the near approach of
death did not cast him down, but on the contrary served to reassure
his firmness, which of late, shaken by his altered state of health,
and intense mental anxiety, had in some degree failed him. The last few
weeks had wonderfully changed his appearance. Heretofore, though past
the middle term of life, he exhibited no symptom of decay. His frame was
strong and muscular—his deportment lofty and majestic—his eye piercing
as the eagle’s. He was now shrunken—bent—with the gait and look of an
old man. On the intelligence above mentioned being communicated to him,
he all at once shook off this feebleness. His eye regained its fire, his
frame its strength and lofty bearing; and if his figure was wasted and
his brow furrowed, it detracted nothing from his dignity. Aware that his
enemies would sit in judgment upon him, he determined to confront them

When the day appointed for the arraignment arrived, the Duke prepared
himself betimes. He was habited in a doublet of black velvet, and wore
the collar of the order of the garter. His eldest son, John Dudley, Earl
of Warwick, and the Marquess of Northampton, were to be tried with him,
and on the morning in question the three noblemen met for the first time
since their imprisonment. The meeting took place in a spacious chamber
on the first floor, now used, as has been already observed, as a
mess-room, but then as a hall in which the prisoners were separately
introduced at stated intervals to take exercise.

Throwing his arms round his son’s neck, and with difficulty repressing
his emotion, the Duke implored his forgiveness.

“For what, my lord?” demanded the young nobleman.

“For the great wrong I have done you in placing you in this fearful
jeopardy,” answered Northumberland.

“You have done me no wrong, my lord,” replied his son. “My wishes were
as strongly in favour of the cause as yours, and I am therefore
as culpable as yourself. And as I should have been the first to
congratulate you on its success, so I ought to be the last to reproach
you with its failure.”

“Nevertheless the fault is mine, and mine only,” replied the Duke. “I
was the originator of the scheme—the planner of the snare into which we
have fallen—and if you perish, your death will be at my door.”

“Think not of me, father,” replied the young man. “The life I received
from you, I will gladly lay down for you. If you desire my forgiveness
you shall have it. But I ought rather to ask your’s. And, at all events,
I entreat your blessing.”

“Heaven bless you, my son, and have mercy on us both,” exclaimed
Northumberland, fervently. “If the humblest supplication could move our
judges in your favour it should not be wanting. But I well know they are

“I would rather die a thousand deaths than you so demeaned yourself,”
replied Warwick. “Ask nothing from them but a speedy judgment. We go to
a condemnation, not a trial.”

“True, my lord,” added Northampton; “we have nothing to hope, and
therefore nothing to fear. The game is lost, and we must pay the

“Right, my lord,” rejoined Northumberland, embracing him, “and we will
discharge it to the uttermost. Would that my life could pay for all.”

“Since it cannot be, my lord,” replied Northampton, “e’en let us meet
our fate like men, and give our enemies no additional triumph. To see
your grace so well reconciled to your fate, must encourage those who
have lost so little in comparison.”

“I am so well reconciled to it,” replied the Duke, “that I scarcely
desire to be restored to my former condition. And yet,” he added,
sternly, “I would gladly enjoy my former power for an hour, to be
avenged on one man.”.

“His name?” inquired the Earl of Warwick, quickly.

“Simon Renard,” replied the Duke.

A deep silence ensued, which was broken at length by Northumberland, who
inquired from the officer in attendance if he knew aught of the Queen’s
intentions towards Lady Jane Dudley.

“Her highness, it is said, is inclined to pardon her, in consideration
of her youth,” replied the officer, “but her councillors are averse to
such leniency.”

“They are my enemies,” rejoined the Duke—“Again my crimes are visited on
an innocent head.”

At this moment, a small arched door near one of the recesses was opened,
and a warder announced that the escort was ready to convey the prisoners
to Westminster Hall.

Preceded by the officer, the Duke and his companions descended a short
spiral stone staircase, and, passing under an arched doorway, on either
side of which was drawn up a line of halberdiers, entered upon the
Green. The whole of this spacious’ area, from Saint Peter’s Chapel to
the Lieutenant’s lodgings—from the walls of the tower they had
quitted, to those of the White Tower, was filled with spectators. Every
individual in the fortress, whose duty did not compel his attendance
elsewhere, had hastened thither to see the great Duke of Northumberland
proceed to his trial; and so intense was the curiosity of the crowd,
that it was with great difficulty that the halberdiers-could keep them
from pressing upon him. On the Duke’s appearance something like a groan
was uttered, but it was instantly checked. Northumberland was fully
equal to this trying moment. Aware of his own unpopularity,—aware
that amid that vast concourse he had not one well-wisher, but that all
rejoiced in his downfall,—he manifested no discomposure, but marched
with a step so majestic, and glanced around with a look, so commanding,
that those who were near him involuntarily shrunk before his regards.
The deportment of Northampton was dignified and composed—that of the
Earl of Warwick fierce and scornful. Lord Clinton, the Constable of the
Tower, and the Lieutenant, Sir John Gage, now advanced to meet them, and
the former inquired from Northumberland whether he had any request to
make that could be complied with. Before an answer could be returned
by the Duke, an old woman broke through the ranks of the guard, and
regardless of the menaces with which she was assailed confronted him.

“Do you know me?” she cried.

“I do,” replied the Duke, a shudder passing over his frame. “You are
Gunnora Braose.”

“I am,” she answered. “I am, moreover, foster-mother to the Duke of
Somerset—the great, the good Lord Protector, whom you, murderer and
traitor, destroyed eighteen months ago. By your false practices, he was
imprisoned in the tower you have just quitted; he was led forth as you
are, but he was not received like you with groans and hootings, but with
tears. He was taken to Westminster Hall where you sat in judgment upon
him, and condemned him, and where he will this day testify against you.
Tremble! perfidious Duke, for a fearful retribution is at hand. He, whom
you have destroyed, sleeps in yon chapel. Ere many days have passed, you
will sleep beside him.”

“Peace! woman,” cried Lord Clinton, interfering.

“I will speak,” continued Gunnora, “were they the last words I had to
utter. Behold!” she cried, waving a handkerchief before the Duke, “this
cloth was dipped in thy victim’s blood. It is now beginning to avenge
itself upon thee. Thou goest to judgment—to death—to death—ha! ha!”

“Remove her!” cried Lord Clinton.

“To judgment!—to judgment!—to death!” reiterated the old woman with a
wild exulting laugh, as she was dragged away.

Order being restored, the procession set forth. First, marched a band of
halberdiers; then came a company of arquebussiers, armed with calivers.
Immediately before the Duke walked the gentleman-jailor, who, according
to a custom then observed towards those charged with high treason,
carried the axe with the edge turned from the prisoner. On either side
of Northumberland and his companions walked an officer of the guard,
with a drawn sword in his hand. The rear of the cortege was brought up
by two other bands of halberdiers and arquebussiers. Taking its course
across the green, and passing beneath the gloomy portal of the Bloody
Tower, the train entered an archway at the left of the By-ward Tower,
and crossing the drawbridge, drew up at the head of the stairs leading
to the river. Here several boats were in readiness to convey them to
their destination. As soon as the Duke and his companions had embarked,
the gentleman-jailor followed them, and stationed himself at the head of
the boat, holding the gleaming instrument of death in the same position
as before.

In this way, surrounded by the escort, and attended by a multitude of
smaller vessels, filled with curious spectators, the prisoners were
conveyed to Westminster. No sympathy was exhibited for the Duke’s
fallen state; but, on the contrary, the spectacle seemed to afford
more satisfaction to the observers than the gorgeous pageant he had
so recently devised for their entertainment. Northumberland was not
insensible to this manifestation of dislike, though he made no remark
upon it; but he could not avoid noticing, with a sensation of dread, one
boat following in his wake, as near as the escort would permit, in
which was seated an old woman, waving a bloodstained handkerchief, and
invoking vengeance upon his head. Many of the wherries pressed round
her to ascertain the cause of her vociferations, and as soon as it was
understood who she was, other voices were added to hers. On landing at
the stairs near Westminster Hall, the escort first disembarked, and then
the Duke and his companions, who, preceded by the gentleman-jailor in
the same order as before, were conducted to the place of trial. In the
midst of this magnificent and unrivalled hall, which William Rufus, who
built it, affirmed was “but a bedchamber in comparison of what he meant
to make,” was erected an immense scaffold, hung with black cloth. At
the upper extremity was a canopy of state, embroidered with the royal
escutcheon in gold; and on either side were twenty-seven seats, each
emblazoned with armorial bearings woven in silver. The canopy was
reserved for the Duke of Norfolk, Lord High Steward of England; the
chairs for the different peers appointed to hear the arraignment of the
prisoners. At the lower extremity was the bar. On entering the hall,
the Duke and his companions were conducted into a small chamber on the
right, where they were detained till the arrival of the judges.

After some time, they were summoned by an usher, and following the
attendant through two long files of halberdiers, the Duke slowly but
firmly ascended the steps of the scaffold. On arriving at the bar, he
bowed profoundly to the assemblage, and every peer, except the Duke of
Norfolk, immediately arose, and acknowledged the salutation. Drawing
himself up to his full height. Northumberland then glanced sternly
around the tribunal. Not one of those upon whom his gaze fell
but—scarcely a month ago—had trembled at his nod. Wherever be
looked, his glance encountered an enemy. There sat Arundel, Pembroke,
Shrewsbury, Rich, Huntingdon, Darcy,—the abettors in his treason, now
his judges. On the right of the Lord High Steward sat Bishop Gardiner,
in his capacity of Lord Chancellor: on the left, Lord Paget.

Northumberland’s indictment having been read, he thus addressed the

“My lords,” he said, “I here profess my faith and obedience to the
Queen’s highness, whom I confess to have most grievously offended, and
beyond the hope of pardon. I shall not attempt to say anything in my
own defence. But I would willingly have the opinion of the court in two

“State them,’” said the Duke of Norfolk.

“First then,” replied Northumberland, “I desire to know, whether the
performance of an act by the authority of the sovereign and the council,
and by warrant of the great seal of England, can be construed as

“Most undoubtedly, in your grace’s case,” replied the Duke of Norfolk;
“inasmuch as the great seal whence your authority was derived was not
the seal of the lawful Queen of the realm, but that of a usurper, and
therefore no warrant.” Northumberland bowed.

“I am answered,” he said. “And now to the second point on which I would
be resolved. Is it fitting or right,” he continued, glancing fiercely
around, “that those persons who are equally culpable with myself, and by
whose letters and commandments I have been directed in all I have done,
should be my judges, or pass upon my trial at my death?”

“Grant that others are as deeply implicated in this case as your Grace,”
replied the Duke of Norfolk; “yet so long as no attainder is of record
against them, they are able in the law to pass upon any trial, and
cannot be challenged, except at the Queen’s pleasure.”

“I understand,” replied Northumberland, bowing coldly; “and since it
is useless to urge any reasonable matter, I will at once confess the
indictment, entreating your Grace to be a means of mercy for me unto the

Judgment was then pronounced.

The Duke once more addressed them.

“I beseech you, my lords,” he said, “all to be humble suitors for me to
the queens highness, that she grant me four requests.” Most of the peers
having signified their assent by a slight inclination of the head, he

“First, that I may have that death which noblemen have had in times
past, and not the other. Secondly,” and his voice faltered, “that her
highness will be gracious to my children, who may hereafter do her good
service, considering that they went by my commandment, who am their
father, and not of their own free wills.”

“Do not include me in your solicitation, my lord,” interrupted the Earl
of Warwick, haughtily. “I neither ask mercy, nor would accept it at the
Queen’s hands; and prefer death to her service. What I have done, I have
done on no authority save my own, and were it to do again, I would act
in like manner.”

“Rash boy, you destroy yourself,” cried the Duke.

“Proceed, my lord,” observed the Duke of Norfolk, compassionately; “your
son’s indiscreet speech will not weigh with us.”

“Thirdly, then,” rejoined Northumberland, “I would entreat that I may
have appointed to me some learned man for the instruction and quieting
of my conscience. And fourthly, that her highness will send two of the
council to commune with me, to whom I will declare such matters as shall
be expedient for her and the state. And thus I beseech you all to pray
for me.”

“Doubt it not, my lord,” rejoined Norfolk; “and doubt not, also, that
your requests shall be duly represented to the Queen.”

“Add, if it please your grace,” pursued Northumberland, “a few words in
favour of the unhappy Lady Jane Dudley, who, as is well known to many
now sitting in judgment upon me, so far from aspiring to the crown, was
by enticement and force compelled to accept it.”

The Duke then retired, and the Marquess of Northampton having advanced
to the bar, and pleaded to his indictment, sentence was passed on him

His example was followed by the Earl of Warwick, who heard his
condemnation pronounced with a smile.

“I thank you, my lords,” he said, when the sentence was uttered,
“and crave only this favour of the Queen, that as the goods of those
condemned to death are totally confiscated, her highness will be pleased
to let my debts be paid.”

Upon this, he bowed to the tribunal and withdrew.

During the trial, an immense concourse had assembled in the open space
in front of the hall, waiting in breathless impatience for the result.
It was not till towards evening that this was known. The great doors
were then thrown open, and a troop of halberdiers came forth to clear
the way for the prisoners. A deep dead silence prevailed, and every eye
was bent upon the doorway. From beneath it marched the gentleman-jailor,
carrying the axe with its edge towards the prisoners. This was enough.
The mob knew they were condemned, and expressed their satisfaction by a
sullen roar.

Suddenly, the voice of a woman was heard exclaiming, “See ye not the
axe? See ye not the edge turned towards him? He is condemned. The slayer
of the good Duke of Somerset is condemned. Shout! Shout!”

And in obedience to her commands, a loud cry was raised by the mob.
Amid this clamour and rejoicing, Northumberland and his companions were
conveyed to their boat, and so to the Tower.


Several days having elapsed since the trial, and no order made for his
execution, the Duke of Northumberland, being of a sanguine temperament,
began to indulge hopes of mercy. With hope, the love of life returned,
and so forcibly, that he felt disposed to submit to any humiliation
to purchase his safety. During this time, he was frequently visited by
Bishop Gardiner, who used every persuasion to induce him to embrace the
Romish faith. Northumberland, however, was inflexible on this point,
but, professing the most, sincere penitence, he besought the Bishop, in
his turn, to intercede with the Queen in his behalf. Gardiner readily
promised compliance, in case his desires were acceded to; but as the
Duke still continued firm in his refusal, he declined all interference.
“Thus much I will promise,” said Gardiner, in conclusion; “your grace
shall have ample time for reflection, and if you place yourself under
the protection of the Catholic church, no efforts shall be wanting on my
part to move the Queen’s compassion towards you.”

That night, the officer on guard suddenly threw open the door of his
cell, and admitting an old woman, closed it upon them. The Duke, who
was reading at the time by the light of a small lamp set upon a table,
raised his eyes and beheld Gunnora Braose.

“Why have you come hither?” he demanded. “But I need no task. You have
come to gratify your vengeance with a sight of my misery. Now you are
satisfied, depart.”

“I am come partly with that intent, and partly with another,” replied
Gunnora. “Strange as it may sound, and doubtful, I am come to save you.”

“To save me!” exclaimed Northumberland, starting. “How?—But—no!—no! This
is mockery. Begone, accursed woman.”

“It is no mockery,” rejoined Gunnora. “Listen to me, Duke of
Northumberland. I love vengeance well, but I love my religion better.
Your machinations brought my foster-son, the Duke of Somerset, to the
block, and I would willingly see you conducted thither. But there is
one consideration that overcomes this feeling. It is the welfare of the
Catholic church. If you become a convert to that creed, thousands will
follow your example; and for this great good I would sacrifice my
own private animosity. I am come hither to tell you your life will be
spared, provided you abandon the Protestant faith, and publicly embrace
that of Rome.”

“How know you this?” demanded the Duke.

“No matter,” replied Gunnora. “I am in the confidence of those, who,
though relentless enemies of yours, are yet warmer friends to the Church
of Rome.”

“You mean Simon Renard and Gardiner!” observed Northumberland.

G minora nodded assent.

“And now my mission is ended,” she said. “Your grace will do well to
weigh what I have said. But your decision must be speedy, or the warrant
for your execution will be signed. Once within the pale of the Catholic
church, you are safe.”

“If I should be induced to embrace the offer!” said the Duke. “If”—cried
Gunnora, her eye suddenly kindling with vindictive fire.

“Woman,” rejoined the Duke, “I distrust you. I will die in the faith I
have lived.”

“Be it so,” she replied. “I have discharged the only weight I had upon
my conscience, and can now indulge my revenge freely. Farewell! my lord.
Our next meeting will be on Tower Hill.”

“Hold!” cried Northumberland. “It may be as you represent, though my
mind misgives me.”

“It is but forswearing yourself,” observed Gunnora, sarcastically. “Life
is cheaply purchased at such a price.”

“Wretch!” cried the Duke. “And yet I have no alternative. I accede.”

“Sign this then,” returned Gunnora, “and it shall be instantly conveyed
to her highness.”

Northumberland took the paper, and casting his eye hastily over it,
found it was a petition to the Queen, praying that he might be allowed
to recant his religious opinions publicly, and become reconciled to the
church of Rome. “It is in the hand of Simon Renard,” he observed.

“It is,” replied Gunnora.

“But who will assure me if I do this, my life will be spared!”

“I will,” answered the old woman.

“You!” cried the Duke.

“I pledge myself to it,” replied Gunnora. “Your life would be spared,
even if your head were upon the block. I swear to you by this cross,”
she added, raising the crucifix that hung at her neck, “if I have played
you falsely, I will not survive you.”

“Enough,” replied the Duke, signing the paper.

“This shall to the Queen at once,” said Gunnora, snatching it with a
look of ill-disguised triumph. “To-morrow will be a proud day for our

And with this she quitted the cell.

The next morning, the Duke was visited by Gardiner, on whose appearance
he flung himself on his knees. The bishop immediately raised him, and
embraced him, expressing his delight to find that he at last saw
through his errors. It was then arranged that the ceremonial of the
reconciliation should take place at midnight in Saint John’s Chapel in
the White Tower. When the Duke’s conversion was made known to the
other prisoners, the Marquess of Northampton, Sir Andrew Dudley,
(Northumbcrland’s brother,) Sir Henry Gates, and Sir Thomas Palmer;
they all—with the exception of the Earl of Warwick, who strongly and
indignantly reprobated his father’s conduct,—desired to be included in
the ceremonial. The proposal being readily agreed to, priests were sent
to each of them, and the remainder of the day was spent in preparation
for the coming rites.

At midnight, as had been arranged, they were summoned. Preceded by two
priests, one of whom bore a silver cross, and the other a large flaming
wax candle, and escorted by a band of halberdiers, carrying lighted
torches, the converts proceeded singly, at a slow pace, across the
Green, in the direction of the White Tower. Behind them marched the
three gigantic warders, Og, Gog, and Magog, each provided with a torch.
It was a solemn and impressive spectacle, and as the light fell upon the
assemblage collected to view it, and upon the hoary walls of the keep.
The effect was peculiarly striking. Northumberland walked with his arms
folded, and his head upon his breast, and looked neither to the right
nor to the left.

Passing through Coalharbour Gate, the train entered an arched door-way
in a structure then standing at the south-west of the White Tower.
Traversing a long winding passage, they ascended a broad flight of
steps, at the head of which was a gallery leading to the western
entrance of the chapel. Here, before the closed door of the sacred
structure, beneath the arched and vaulted roof, surrounded by priests
and deacons in rich copes, one of whom carried the crosier, while others
bore silver-headed staves, attired in his amice, stole, pluvial and alb,
and wearing his mitre, sat Gardiner upon a faldstool. Advancing slowly
towards him, the Duke fell upon his knees, and his example was imitated
by the others. Gardiner then proceeded to interrogate them in a series
of questions appointed by the Romish formula for the reconciliation of
a heretic; and the profession of faith having been duly made, he
arose, took off his mitre, and delivering it to the nearest priest, and
extended his arms over the converts, and pronounced the absolution.
With his right thumb he then drew the sign of the cross on the Duke’s
forehead, saying, “Accipe signum crucis.” and being answered, “Acccpi.”
he went through the same form with the rest. Once more assuming the
mitre, with his left hand he took the Duke’s right, and raised him,
saying, “Ingredere in ceclesiam Dei à qua incaute alerrasti. Horicsce
idola. Respite omnes gravitates et super superstitiones hereticus. Cole
Deum oninipotcntem et Jesum fillimm ejus, et Spiritum Sanctum.”

Upon this, the doors of the chapel were thrown open, and the bishop led
the chief proselyte towards the altar. Against the massive pillars at
the east end of the chapel, reaching from their capitals to the base,
was hung a thick curtain of purple velvet, edged with a deep border
of gold. Relieved against this curtain stood the altar, covered with a
richly-ornaincnted antipendium, sustaining a large silver crucifix, and
six massive candlesticks of the same metal. At a few paces from it, on
either side, were two other colossal silver candlesticks, containing
enormous wax lights. On either side were grouped priests with censers,
from which were diffused the most fragrant odours.


As Northumberland slowly accompanied the bishop along the nave, he saw,
with some misgiving, the figures of Simon Renard and Gunnora emerge from
behind the pillars of the northern aisle. His glance met that of Renard,
and there was something in the look of the Spaniard that made him fear
he was the dupe of a plot—but it was now too late to retreat. When
within a few paces of the altar, the Duke again knelt down, while the
bishop removed his mitre as before, and placed himself in front of him.


Meanwhile, the whole nave of the church, the aisles, and the circular
openings of the galleries above, were filled with spectators. A wide
semicircle was formed around the converts. On the right stood several
priests. On the left Simon Renard had planted himself, and near to him
stood Gunnora; while, on the same side against one of the pillars, was
reared the gigantic frame of Magog. A significant look passed between
them as Northumberland knelt before the altar. Extending his arms
over the convert, Gardiner now pronounced the following exhortation:—
“Omnipotens sempiterne Deus hanc ovem tuam de faucibus lupi tua virtute
subtractam paterna recipe, pietate et gregi tuo reforma piâ benignitate
ne de familiâ tua damno inimicus exultet; sed de conversione et
liberatione jus ecclesiam ut pia mater de filio reperto gratuletur per
Christum Dominum nostrum.”

“Amen!” ejaculated Northumberland.

After uttering another prayer, the bishop resumed his mitre, and seating
himself upon the faldstool, which, in the interim, had been placed by
the attendants in front of the altar, again interrogated the proselyte:—

“Homo, abrcnuncias Sathanas et angelos ejus?”

“Abrenuncio,” replied the Duke.

“Abrenuncias etiam omnes sectas hereticæ pravitatis?” continued the

“Abrenuncio,” responded the convert.

“Vis esse et vivere in imitate sancto fidei Catholico?” demanded

“Volo,” answered the Duke.

Then again taking off his mitre, the bishop arose, and laying his right
hand upon the head of the Duke, recited another prayer, concluding by
signing him with the cross. This done, he resumed his mitre, and seated
himself on the faldstool, while Northumberland, in a loud voice, again
made a profession of his faith, and abjuration of his errors—admitting
and embracing the apostolical ecclesiastical traditions, and
all others—acknowledging all the observances of the Roman
church——purgatory—the veneration of saints and relics—the power of
indulgences—promising obedience to the Bishop of Rome,—and engaging to
retain and confess the same faith entire and invio-lated to the end
of his life. “Ago talis,” he said, in conclusion, “cognoscens veram
Catholicam et Apostolicum fidem. Anathematizo hic publiée omnem heresem,
procipuè illam de qua hactenus extiti.” This he affirmed by placing both
hands upon the book of the holy gospels, proffered him by the bishop,
exclaiming, “Sic me Deus adjunct, et hoc sancta Dei evangelia!”

The ceremony was ended, and the proselyte arose. At this moment, he
met the glance of Renard—that triumphant and diabolical glance—its
expression was not to be mistaken. Northumberland shuddered, he felt
that he had been betrayed.


Three days after Northumberland’s reconciliation with the Church of
Rome, the warrant for his execution was signed by Queen Mary. The fatal
intelligence was brought him by the lieutenant, Sir John Gage, and
though he received it with apparent calmness, his heart sank within him.
he simply inquired when it was to take place, and, being informed on the
following day at an early hour, he desired to be left alone. As soon
as the lieutenant was gone, he abandoned himself wholly to despair,
and fell into a state bordering on distraction. While he was in this
frenzied state, the door of his cell opened, and the jailor introduced
Gunnora Braose and a tall man muffled in the folds of an ample black

“Wretch!” cried the Duke, regarding the old woman fiercely. “You have
deceived me. But the device shall avail you little. From the scaffold
I will expose the snare in which I have been taken. I will proclaim my
Protestant opinions; and my dying declaration will be of more profit to
that faith than my recent recantation can be to yours.”

“Your grace is mistaken,” rejoined Gunnora. “I do not deserve your
reproaches, as I will presently show. I am the bearer of a pardon to

“A pardon!” exclaimed Northumberland, incredulously.

“Ay, a pardon,” replied the old woman. “The Queen’s highness will spare
your life. But it is her pleasure that her clemency be as public as your
crime. You will be reprieved on the scaffold.”

“Were I assured of this,” cried Northumberland, eagerly grasping at the
straw held out to him, “I would exhort the whole multitude to embrace
the Catholic faith.”

“Rest satisfied of it, then,” replied Gunnora. “May I perish at the same
moment as yourself if I speak not the truth!”

“Whom have we here?” inquired the Duke, turning to the muffled
personage. “The headsman?”

“Your enemy,” replied the individual, throwing aside his mantle, and
disclosing the features of Simon Renard.

“It is but a poor revenge to insult a fallen foe,” observed
Northumberland, disdainfully.

“Revenge is sweet, however obtained,” rejoined Renard. “I am not come,
however, to insult your grace, but to confirm the truth of this old
woman’s statement. Opposed as I am to you, and shall ever be, I would
not have you forfeit your life by a new and vile apostacy. Abjure the
Catholic faith, and you will die unpitied by all. Maintain it; and at
the last moment, when the arm of the executioner is raised, and the axe
gleams in the air—when the eyes of thousands are fixed on it—sovereign
mercy will arrest the blow.”

“You awaken new hope in my bosom,” rejoined the Duke.

“Be true to the faith you have embraced, and fear nothing,” continued
Renard. “You may yet be restored to favour, and a new career of ambition
will open to you.”

“Life is all I ask,” replied the Duke; “and if that be spared, it shall
be spent in her majesty’s service. My pride is thoroughly humbled. But
the language you hold to me, M. Renard, is not that of an enemy. Let me
think that our differences are ended.”

“They will be ended to-morrow,” replied Renard, coldly.

“Be it so,” replied Northumberland. “The first act of the life I receive
from her highness shall be to prostrate myself at her feet: the next, to
offer my thanks to you, and entreat your friendship.‘’

“Tush,” returned Renard, impatiently. “My friendship is more to be
feared than my enmity.”

“If there is any means of repairing the wrong I have done you,” said the
Duke, turning to Gunnora, “be assured I will do it.”

“I am content with what your grace has done already,” rejoined Gunnora,
sternly. “You cannot restore the Duke of Somerset to life. You cannot
give back the blood shed on the scaffold—”

“But I can atone for it,” interrupted the Duke.

“Ay,” cried Gunnora, her eyes flashing with vindictive fire, “you
can—fearfully atone for it.”

“Ha!” exclaimed the Duke.

“Your grace will not heed her raving,” remarked Renard, seeing that
Northumberland’s suspicions were aroused by the old woman’s manner.

“You can atone for it,” continued Gunnora, aware of the impression she
had produced, and eager to remove it, “by a life of penance. Pass the
night in prayer for the repose of his soul, and do not omit to implore
pardon for yourself, and to-morrow I will freely forgive you.”

“I will do as you desire,” replied the Duke.

“I must now bid your grace farewell,” said Renard. “We shall meet
to-morrow—on the scaffold.”

“But not part there, I hope,” replied Northumberland, forcing a smile.

“That will rest with your grace—not me,” replied Renard, in a freezing

“Will you accept this from me?” said Northumberland, detaching a
jewelled ornament from his dress, and offering it to Gunnora.

“I will accept nothing from you,” replied the old woman. “Yes,—one
thing,” she added quickly.

“It is yours,” rejoined the Duke. “Name it?”

“You shall give it me to-morrow,” she answered evasively.

“It is his head you require,” observed Renard, with a sinister smile, as
they quitted the Beauchamp Tower.

“You have guessed rightly,” rejoined the old woman, savagely. “We have
him in our toils,” returned Renard. “He cannot escape. You ought to be
content with your vengeance, Gunnora. You have destroyed both body and

“I am content,” she answered.

“And now to Mauger,” said Renard, “to give him the necessary
instructions. You should bargain with him for Northumberland’s head,
since you are so anxious to possess it.”

“I shall not live to receive it,” rejoined Gunnora.

“Not live!” he exclaimed. “What mean you?”

“No matter,” she replied. “We lose time. I am anxious to finish this
business. I have much to do to-night.”

Taking their way across the Green, and hastening down the declivity they
soon arrived at the Bloody Tower. Here they learnt from a warder that
Manger, since Queen Mary’s accession, had taken up his quarters in the
Cradle Tower, and thither they repaired. Traversing the outer ward in
the direction of the Lantern Tower, they passed through a wide portal
and entered the Privy gardens, on the right of which stood the tower in


As they drew near, they heard the shrill sound produced by the
sharpening of some steel instrument. Smiling significantly at Gunnora,
Renard instead of opening the door proceeded to a narrow loop-hole, and
looked in. He beheld a savage-looking individual seated on a bench
near a grindstone. He had an axe in one hand, which he had just
been sharpening, and was trying its edge with his thumb. His fierce
blood-shot eyes, peering from beneath his bent and bushy brows, were
fixed upon the weapon. His dress consisted of a doublet of red serge
with tight black sleeves, and hose of the same colour. His brow was
lowering and wrinkled—the summit of his head perfectly bald, but the
sides were garnished with long black locks, which together with
his immense grizzled moustaches, bristling like the whiskers of a
cat-a-mountain, and ragged beard, imparted a wild and forbidding look to
his physiognomy. Near him rested a square, solid piece of wood, hollowed
out on either side to admit the shoulder and head of the person laid
upon it. This was the block. Had Renard not known whom he beheld,
instinct would have told him it was the headsman.


Apparently satisfied with the sharpness of the implement, Manger was
about to lay it aside, when the door opened, and Renard and Gunnora
entered the chamber. The executioner rose to receive them. He had
received a wound in his left leg which had crippled the limb, and he got
up with difficulty.

“Do not disturb yourself,” said Renard. “My business will be despatched
in a few seconds. You are preparing I see for the execution to-morrow.
What I have to say relates to it. The moment the Duke’s head is laid
upon this block,” he added, pointing to it, “strike. Give him not a
moment’s pause. Do you hear?”

“I do,” replied Mauger. “But I must have some warrant?”

“Be this your warrant,” replied Renard, flinging him a heavy purse. “If
you require further authority, you shall have it under the Queen’s own

“I require nothing further, worshipful sir,” replied Mauger, smiling
grimly. “Ere the neck has rested one second upon the block, the head
shall be off.”

“I have also a boon to offer, and an injunction to give,” said Gunnora
taking off the ring given her by the unfortunate Lady Jane, and
presenting it to him.

“Your gift is the richer of the two, or I am mistaken, good mistress,”
said Mauger, regarding the glittering gem with greedy eyes. “What am I
to do for it? I cannot behead him twice.”

“I shall stand in front of the scaffold to-morrow,” replied Gunnora, “in
some conspicuous place where you will easily discern me. Before you deal
the fatal blow, make a sign to me—thus—do you understand?”

“Perfectly,” replied the headsman. “I will not fail you.”

Upon this, Renard and the old woman quitted the Cradle Tower, and walked
together as far as the outer ward, where each took a separate course.

The last night of his existence was passed by the Duke of Northumberland
in a most miserable manner. Alternately buoyed up by hope, and depressed
by fear, he could neither calm his agitation, nor decide upon any line
of conduct. Allowed, as a matter of indulgence, to remain within the
large room, he occupied himself in putting the finishing touches to a
carving on the wall, which he had commenced on his first imprisonment,
and had wrought at at intervals. This curious sculpture may still
be seen on the right hand of the fireplace of the mess-room in the
Beauchamp Tower, and contains his cognizance, a bear and lion supporting
a ragged staff surrounded by a border of roses., acorns and flowers
intermingled with foliage.


Northumberland was employed upon the third line of the quatrain below
his name, which remains unfinished to the present day, when he was
interrupted by the entrance of a priest, sent to him by Gardiner. The
holy man found him in no very favourable frame of mind, but succeeded
after some time in awakening him to a due sense of his awful situation.
The Duke then made a full confession of his guilt, and received his
shrift. At daybreak, the priest departed, with a promise to attend him
to the place of execution.

Much tranquillised, the Duke now prepared himself for his last trial. He
pondered over what he should say on the scaffold, and nerved himself
to meet his fate, whatever it might be. The Duke of Warwick was then
introduced to him to receive his blessing, and to take an everlasting
farewell. After he had received the Duke’s embrace, the Earl observed,
“Would I could change places with you, father. I would say that on the
scaffold which would shake the bigot Mary on the throne.”

The Duke then partook of some refreshment, and wrapped himself in a
loose robe of grain-coloured damask. At eight o’clock, the Sheriffs
of London arrived at the Bulwark Gate, and demanded the body of the
prisoner. Upon this, the Lieutenant, accompanied by four warders,
proceeded to the Beauchamp Tower, and informed the Duke that all was in

“I am ready, too,” replied Northumberland, once more embracing his
son, whose firmness did not desert him at this trying juncture. And he
followed the Lieutenant to the Green. Here they found the priest, and
a band of halberdiers waiting to escort him to the scaffold. Among the
by-standers stood Simon Renard, who immediately advanced towards him.

“How fares your grace!” he asked.

“Well enough, sir, I thank you,” answered the Duke, bowing. “I shall be
better anon.”

The train then set forward, passing through lines of spectators, until
it reached the Middle Tower, where it halted, to allow the Lieutenant to
deliver the prisoner to the Sheriffs and their officers. This ceremony
over, it again set forward, and passed through the Bulwark Gate.

Prepared as the Duke was for some extraordinary sight, he was yet taken
completely by surprise. The whole area of Tower Hill seemed literally
paved with human heads. A line of scaffoldings was erected on the brink
of the moat, and every seat in them was occupied. Never before had so
vast an assemblage been collected in the same place. The whole of the
western ramparts of the fortress—the roof and battlements of the White
Tower—every point from which a view of the spectacle could be obtained,
was thronged. On the Duke’s appearance, a murmur of satisfaction
pervaded the immense host, and he then felt that even if the Queen’s
pardon should arrive, his personal safety was more than questionable.

Preceded by a band of arquebussiers, armed with calivers, and attended
by the sheriffs, the priest, and Simon Renard, Northumberland marched
slowly forward. At length, he reached the scaffold. It was surrounded
by seats, set aside for persons of distinction; and among its occupants
were many of his former friends and allies. Avoiding their gaze, the
Duke mounted the scaffold with a firm foot; but the sight of the vast
concourse from this elevated point almost unmanned him. As he looked
around, another murmur arose, and the mob undulated like the ocean. Near
the block stood Manger, leaning on his axe; his features concealed by a
hideous black mask. On the Duke’s appearance, he fell on his knees, and,
according to custom, demanded forgiveness, which was granted. Throwing
aside his robe, the Duke then advanced to the side of the scaffold, and
leaning over the eastern rail, thus addressed the assemblage:

“Good people. I am come hither this day to die, as ye know. Indeed,
I confess to you all that I have been an evil liver, and have done
wickedly all the days of my life; and, of all, most against the Queen’s
highness, of whom I here openly ask forgiveness,” and he reverentially
bent the knee. “But I alone am not the original doer thereof, I assure
you, for there were some others who procured the same. But I will not
name them, for I will now hurt no man. And the chief occasion that I
have erred from the Catholic faith and true doctrine of Christ, has been
through false and seditious preachers. The doctrine, I mean, which has
continued through all Christendom since Christ. For, good people, there
is, and hath been ever since Christ, one Catholic church; which church
hath continued from him to his disciples in one unity and concord, and
so hath always continued from time to time until this day, and yet doth
throughout all Christendom, ourselves alone excepted. Of this church I
openly profess myself to be one, and do steadfastly believe therein.
I speak unfeignedly from the bottom of my heart. And I beseech you all
bear witness that I die therein. Moreover, I do think, if I had had this
belief sooner, I never should have come to this pass: wherefore I exhort
you all, good people, take example of me, and forsake this new doctrine
betimes. Defer it not long, lest God plague you as he hath me, who now
suffer this vile death most deservedly.”

Concluding by desiring the prayers of the assemblage, he returned
slowly, and fixing an inquiring look upon Renard, who was standing with
his arms folded upon his breast, near the block, said in a low tone, “It
comes not.”

“It is not yet time,” replied Renard.

The Duke was about to kneel down, when he perceived a stir amid the mob
in front of the scaffold, occasioned by some one waving a handkerchief
to him. Thinking it was the signal of a pardon, he paused. But he was
speedily undeceived. A second glance showed him that the handkerchief
was waved by Gunnora, and was spotted with blood.

Casting one glance of the bitterest anguish at Renard, he then
prostrated himself, and the executioner at the same moment raised his
hand. As soon as the Duke had disposed himself upon the block, the axe
flashed like a gleam of lightning in the sunshine,—descended,—and the
head was severed from the trunk.

Seizing it with his left hand, Mauger held it aloft, almost before the
eyes were closed, crying out to the assemblage, in a loud voice, “Behold
the head of a traitor!”

Amid the murmur produced by the released respiration of the multitude, a
loud shriek was heard, and a cry followed that an old woman had suddenly
expired. The report was true. It was Gunnora Braose.




Mary still continued to hold her court within the Tower. Various reasons
were assigned for this choice of residence; but her real motive was that
her plans for the restoration of the Catholic religion could be more
securely concerted within the walls of the fortress than elsewhere.
Simon Renard, who had become her confidential adviser, and through whom
she carried on an active correspondence with her cousin, the Emperor
Charles the Fifth, could here visit her unobserved. Here, also,
she secretly received the envoy of Pope Julius the Third, Francisco
Commendone (afterwards the celebrated Cardinal of that name,) and
detained him until after the Duke of Northumberland’s execution, that he
might convey intelligence of the event, and of the effect produced by it
upon the populace, to the Pontiff. To Commendone she gave the strongest
assurances of her attachment to the Church of Rome, and of her fixed
determination to restore its worship. But at the same time she declared
that the change must be gradual, and that any undue precipitation would
be fatal. In this opinion both Gardiner and Renard, who were admitted to
the conference, concurred. And satisfied with their representations, the
envoy departed, overjoyed at the success of his mission.

Other and gentler thoughts, however, than those connected with her
government, occupied the bosom of the queen. We have already spoken
of the impression produced upon her at their first interview on the
Tower-Green, bv the striking figure and noble features of Edward
Courtenay, whom she on that occasion created Earl of Devonshire, and of
the speculations it gave rise to among the by-standers. The interest she
then felt had been subsequently strengthened. And it appeared certain
to all who had any means of observation, that if she selected a husband,
her choice would fall upon Courtenay.

The progress of her attachment was jealously watched by Renard, who
having other designs in view, secretly opposed it. But aware that Mary,
like many of her sex, was possessed of a spirit, which would be apt, if
thwarted, to run into the opposite extreme, he was obliged to proceed
with the utmost caution. He had, moreover, a strong party against him.
From the moment it became evident that the Queen regarded the Earl of
Devonshire with the eyes of affection, all were eager to pay court to
him. Among his warmest supporters were Gardiner and De Noailles; the
latter being mainly influenced in his conduct by distrust of the Court
of Spain. Renard, therefore, stood alone. But though everything appeared
against him, he did not despair of success. Placing reliance upon Mary’s
jealous and suspicious character, he felt certain of accomplishing his
purpose. Accordingly, he affected to approve her choice; and with
the view of carrying out his scheme more effectually, took care to
ingratiate himself with Courtenay.

Inexperienced as the latter was in the arts of a court, being then
only twenty-one, and having passed fourteen years of his life in close
captivity in the Tower, he was easily duped by the wily ambassador; and
though repeatedly warned against him by De Noailles, who saw through
Renard’s design, he disregarded the caution. Satisfied of the Queen’s
favourable disposition towards him, which was evinced by the most marked
attention on her part, this young nobleman conceived himself wholly
beyond the reach of rivalry; and trusting to his personal advantages,
and the hold he had obtained over the affections of his royal mistress,
he gave himself little concern about an opposition which he regarded as
futile. He looked upon himself as certain of the Queen’s hand; and but
for his own imprudence, he would have been actually possessed of it.

Mary’s meditated alliance was agreeable to all parties, except, as just
intimated, that of Spain. Already nearly related to the crown by his
descent from Edward the Fourth, no objection could be raised against her
favourite on the score of rank; while his frank and conciliating manner,
combined with his rare endowments of mind and person, won him universal
regard. Doctor Thomas Wilson, in the funeral oration pronounced over
Courtenay at Padua in 1556, states, that during his long imprisonment
in the Tower, “he wholly devoted himself to study, and that neither the
augustia loci, nec solitudo, nec amissio libertatis, ilium à literis
avocarent; that he made such progress in philosophy, that no nobleman
was equal to him in it; that he also explored the mysteria naturae; that
he entered into the mathematicorum labyrintha; that he was so fond of
painting, that he could easily and laudably make any one’s portrait on
a tabula; that he was equally attached to music, and had attained in
it absolutam perfectionem; and that to these acquisitions he added the
Spanish, French, and Italian languages. In manners he was grave
without pride; pleasant without levity; prudent in speech; cautious in
answering; modest in disputing; never boasting of himself, nor excluding
others; and though familiar with many, yet intimately known to few.”
Allowing for the drawbacks which must necessarily be made from such an
éloge, enough will remain to prove that his accomplishments were of no
common order.

On the onset of his career, however, Courtenay was assailed by
temptations which it required more experience of the world to resist.
Strictly confined from his earliest youth, it may be conceived that
when first exposed to female fascination, his heart was speedily melted.
Hitherto, he had only read of beauty. He now felt its full force, and
placed no bounds to the admiration which the charms of the dames
of honour excited within his breast. It was upon this point of his
character, that Renard justly grounded his hopes of alienating the
Queen’s affections. Encouraging his new-born licentiousness, he took
care that none of his gallantries should fail to reach the ears of his
royal mistress. Though of a staid and severe character, Mary was not
indisposed to make allowances for one so utterly inexperienced as
Courtenay; and her first direction to Renard was to check him. So
far from doing this, the artful ambassador incited him to further
irregularities, and contrived to place new objects in his way. In vain
De Noailles remonstrated, entreating him at least to be more guarded in
his conduct. In vain Gardiner sternly rebuked him. He turned a deaf
ear alike to remonstrance and reproof; and hurried on by the unbridled
impetuosity of youth, passed from one excess to another. Renard
witnessed his conduct with secret satisfaction; but he was not prepared
for the calmness with which the Queen viewed it. She was greatly
displeased, yet as her lover still seemed passionately devoted to her,
she looked upon his conduct as resulting from the circumstances of his
previous life, and trusting he would soon open his eyes to its folly,
was content to pardon it.

Renard then saw that he must have recourse to stronger measures. As
Mary’s jealousy was not to be easily aroused, he resolved to bring a
more formidable rival into the held. There was one ready made to his
hand. It was the Princess Elizabeth. On no one point was the Queen’s
vanity more easily touched than by any reference to the superior charms
of her sister. Any compliment paid the latter she construed into a
slight to herself; and she watched with an uneasy glance the effect
produced by her in public. So sensible was Elizabeth of the Queen’s
foible, that she kept in the back ground as much as possible. Unaware
of the mortification he inflicted upon his royal mistress, and of the
injury he did himself, Courtenay often praised the Princess’s beauty in
terms so rapturous as to call a blush into her cheek, while the blood
was driven from that of Mary. So undisguised was his admiration, that
the Queen resolved to remove the object of it from her court; and would
have done so, but for the artful management of Renard, who felt that
such a step would ruin his plans.

Long before Courtenay had noticed it, the subtle ambassador, well
skilled in woman’s feelings, ascertained the state of Elizabeth’s heart,
and saw that she was not proof against the captivating manners and
personal graces of the handsome young nobleman. It was not difficult
for one possessed of so many opportunities as himself to heighten this
feeling into a passion; and before long he had the satisfaction to find
that the princess was deeply enamoured of her sister’s suitor. Nor was
Courtenay less easily enthralled. Apprised of his conquest by Renard,
instead of resisting it, he at once surrendered himself to the snare.
Again De Noailles, who saw his dangerous position, came to his aid.
Again Gardiner rebuked him more severely than before. He derided their
remonstrances; and heedless of the changing manner of the Queen—heedless
also of the peril to which he exposed the princess, he scarcely
attempted to disguise his passion, or to maintain the semblance of love
for his royal mistress. Consumed by jealousy, Mary meditated some blow
which should satisfy her outraged feelings; while Renard only waited a
favourable opportunity to bring matters to a crisis.

Affairs being in this state, it chanced one day that Courtenay received
a summons to the Queen’s presence, and instantly repairing thither, he
found her alone. His reception was so cold, that he was at no loss to
understand she was deeply offended; and he would have thrown himself at
her feet, if she had not prevented him by impatiently waving her hand.

“I have sent for you, my lord,” she said, “for the last time—.”

“For the last time, my gracious mistress!” exclaimed Courtenay.

“Do not interrupt me,” rejoined Mary, severely. “I have sent for you
to tell you that whatever were the feelings I once entertained for you,
they are now entirely changed. I will not remind you of the favours I
have shown you—of the honours I have bestowed on you—or of the greater
honours I intended you. I will simply tell you that your ingratitude
equals your perfidy; and that I banish you henceforth from my presence.”

“How have I offended your highness?” demanded Courtenay, panic-stricken.

“How?” cried Mary, fiercely—her eyes kindling, and her countenance
assuming the terrible expression she inherited from her father. “Do you
affect ignorance of the cause? I have overlooked your indiscretions,
though I have not been ignorant of them, imputing them to youth and
inexperience. I have overlooked them, I say, because I thought I
discovered amid all this vice and folly the elements of a noble
nature—and because,” and her voice faltered—“I persuaded myself that you
loved me.”

“Have you no faith in my adjurations of attachment?” cried Courtenay,
prostrating himself, and endeavouring to take her hand.

“None,” rejoined the queen, withdrawing her hand; “none whatever. Arise,
my lord, and do not further degrade yourself. You may love the queen,
but you do not love the woman.—You may prize my throne, but you do not
prize me.”

“You wrong me, gracious madam. On my soul you do,” rejoined Courtenay.
“I may have trifled with others, but I have given my heart wholly to

“It is false!” cried Mary, furiously. “You love the princess, my

Courtenay turned very pale. But he instantly recovered himself.

“Your highness is mistaken,” he answered.

“What!” cried the queen, her anger increasing each moment. “Dare you
persist in the denial of your falsehood? Dare you tell me to my face
that you have not breathed words of passion to her? Dare you assert that
you have not lamented your engagement to me? Dare you say this?”

“I dare, madam.”

“Then your own words shall give you the he, traitor,” replied the queen.
“Here is your letter to her,” she added, producing a paper, “wherein you
tell her so.”

“Confusion!” uttered Courtenay, “Renard has betrayed me.”

“Is this letter your writing?” demanded the queen.

“I will not prevaricate, madam,” replied Courtenay; “it is.”

“And in the face of this you declare you have not deceived me?”

“I have deceived you, gracious madam,” replied Courtenay. “But I have
never ceased to love you.”

“My lord!—my lord!” exclaimed Mary, in a menacing tone. “Beware how you
attempt to deceive me further, or as God shall judge me, you shall
find that the daughter of Henry the Eighth is not to be offended with

“I know you are terrible in anger, gracious madam,” replied Courtenay;
“but you are also just. Judge me—condemn me, if you please, but hear me:
he who gave you that letter,—Simon Renard,—counselled me to write it.”

“Ha!” exclaimed the queen.

“I have been guilty of folly—madness—” rejoined Courtenay—“but not the
black perfidy your highness imagines. Dismiss me from your presence—send
me into exile—I deserve any punishment—but do not believe that I have
ceased to love you.”

“I know not what you term love, my lord,” replied Mary; “but I have no
idea of sharing the affection of any man with another. Grant, however,
that you speak the truth, why have you addressed this passionate epistle
to the Princess Elizabeth?”

“I have already said I was deceived,” replied Courtenay. “I cannot
excuse my conduct—though I lament it.”

“Are you sincere?” said Mary, who began to be softened by her lover’s
apparent penitence.

“By what oath shall I confirm my truth?” he replied, fervently.

“I will test it more surely,” rejoined the queen, as if struck by a
sudden idea.

“In any way your highness thinks proper,” returned Courtenay.

“Summon the Princess Elizabeth to our presence instantly,” said Mary,
striking a small bell, the sound of which brought an usher before her.

“The Princess Elizabeth!” exclaimed Courtenay.

“Ay, the Princess,” repeated the queen. “I will confront you with her.
Bid the lord chancellor and the ambassadors of Spain and France attend
us,” she continued to the usher.

“I know not what your highness intends,” said Courtenay, as the
attendant departed. “But I will die rather than do aught to prejudice
the princess.”

“I doubt it not, my lord,” rejoined Mary, bitterly. “But though I cannot
punish the perfidy of a lover, I can the disobedience of a subject. If
you refuse to obey my commands, you will take the consequences.”

Courtenay bit his lips to repress the answer that rose to them.

In a few minutes, the usher returned and announced the Princess
Elizabeth, as well as Gardiner, Renard, and De Noailles. Instantly
perceiving how matters stood, the imperial ambassador deemed his own
triumph complete, and Courtenay’s disgrace certain.

“My lord,” said Mary, addressing Gardiner, “it is no secret to you,
neither to you, M. Renard, nor to you, M. De Noailles—that of all those
proposed to me in marriage—the Princes of Spain and Portugal, the King
of the Romans, Cardinal Pole, and others—I have preferred this man, whom
I myself have raised to the rank he now holds, and enriched with the
estates he enjoys.”

“We know it, gracious Madam,” replied Gardiner, alarmed at the ominous
commencement, “and we think your highness has made a happy choice, and
one most acceptable to your subjects. Do we not, M. Renard?”

The ambassador bowed, but said nothing.

“The alliance is in all respects agreeable to my sovereign, Henry the
Second of France,” observed De Noailles.

“What then if I inform you,” pursued Mary, “that the Earl of Devonshire
has rejected my proposal? What if he has broken his oath of fidelity?
What if he has cast aside the crown offered him, and smitten by the
charms of a youthful beauty, abandoned the Queen, who has stooped to
raise him to her throne!”

“Impossible!” exclaimed Gardiner and De Noailles.

“You are mistaken,” rejoined Mary, sternly. “You shall hear him avow his
perfidy with his own lips.”

“When I do hear it,” replied De Noailles, looking steadily at Courtenay,
“I will believe it. But I cannot think him capable of such madness.”

“Nor I,” said Gardiner, glancing significantly from beneath his bent

Elizabeth, who on the commencement of the Queen’s address had turned
very pale, could with difficulty maintain her composure. Her agitation
did not escape the notice of Mary, whose jealousy was increased by the

“What if I tell you,” she continued, “that this false earl has
transferred his affections to our sister?”

“Your highness!” exclaimed Elizabeth.

“Peace!” cried the Queen, fiercely. “And she, well knowing his
engagement to ourself, has dared to encourage his suit.”

“Whoever told your majesty this, lied in his throat,” cried Courtenay.
“I own myself guilty, but the Princess Elizabeth is no partner to my

“You do well to shield her, my lord,” retorted Mary. “But you cannot
deceive me. She is equally culpable.”

“Nay, more so, if it comes to this,” interposed Elizabeth, whose spirit,
which was quite equal to her sisters, was aroused. “If I had repressed
my admiration for the Earl of Devonshire, he would have made no advances
to me. I am the most to blame in this matter.”

“Not so;” replied Courtenay. “Let my folly and presumption be visited on
my own head. I pray your highness to pass sentence on me at once. But do
not let the Princess suffer for my fault.”

“So, so!” exclaimed Mary, with a bitter laugh, “I have brought you to
your confessions at last. If I had before doubted your love for each
other, your present conduct would have convinced me of it. You shall
have your request, my lord,” she added, turning to Courtenay. “I will
pass sentence upon you.”

“Hold, madam,” cried Gardiner. “Before the sentence is passed and
irrevocable, reflect—if only for one moment. You are a great queen,
and the daughter of a great king. But the rashness of one moment may
annihilate all your future peace, destroy the hopes of your people, and
the prosperity of your reign. The conduct of the Earl of Devonshire
is unpardonable, I allow. But for your own sake—for the sake of your
kingdom—not for his—I beseech you to overlook it. That he loves you, I
am assured.”

“Let him declare as much,” said Renard.

“Hear me, then,” replied Courtenay, throwing himself at the-Queen’s
feet. “I bitterly repent my rashness; and though I can never hope to be
restored to the place I once held in your Majesty’s affections, I shall
never cease to reproach myself—never cease to love you.”

Mary was visibly moved.

“If I thought you sincere?” she said.

“I will answer for his sincerity,” said Gardiner.

“And I,” added De Noailles. “She relents,” he continued in a whisper to
Courtenay. “Improve the advantage you have gained.”

“Grant me an instant’s private audience with your Majesty,” implored
Courtenay; “and I feel certain I can remove all your doubts.”

“No, my lord,” rejoined Mary. “As our rupture has been public, our
reconciliation (if it takes place,) shall be public, also.”

“It must never take place,” remarked Renard, in an under tone.

“Peace, sir,” said the Queen, aloud. “As far as our government is
concerned, we are content to follow your counsel. But in matters of the
heart we shall follow its dictates alone.”

“Your Majesty is in the right,” observed Gardiner.

“Declare, my lord,” pursued Mary, addressing Courtenay, “in the presence
of these gentlemen, in that of our sister—rival we ought to say,—that
you have deceived her, and, though your conduct may have misled
her,—have never swerved from your devotion to ourself.”

While the Queen pronounced these words, Renard’s keen glance wandered
from Courtenay to Elizabeth. The latter was violently agitated, and
seemed to await the Earl’s answer as if her fate hung upon it.

“Do you assert this, my lord?” demanded Mary.

“Hesitate, and you are lost, and so is the Princess,” whispered De

Before Courtenay could reply, Elizabeth fainted and would have fallen,
if Renard had not flown to her assistance.

“Summon our maids of honour, and let her be instantly cared for,” said
Mary, with a look of ill-disguised satisfaction. “My lord,” she added to
Courtenay, “you are forgiven.”

The Earl hastily, and with some confusion, expressed his thanks, while,
in obedience to the Queen’s mandate, Elizabeth was removed.

“And now, my lord,” said Mary to him, “I must pass from my own affairs
to those of my kingdom. I will not detain you further—nor you, M. De
Noailles. But I must crave your attendance, my lord, for a few minutes,”
she added, turning to Gardiner, “and yours, M. Renard.”

“Your highness may always command my best counsel,” replied the latter,
in a slightly sarcastic tone—“provided you will act upon it.”

“Farewell, my lord,” said Mary, extending her hand to Courtenay, which
he pressed to his lips. “I shall walk upon the Tower Green in an hour,
and shall expect you there.”

“I will attend your Majesty,” replied Courtenay. And accompanied by De
Noailles, he quitted the chamber.

“You have had a narrow escape, my lord,” remarked the French Ambassador,
as they traversed the long gallery together.

“So narrow that I thought I had lost all chance of the crown,” replied
Courtenay. “It is the work of that perfidious Simon Renard. But if I
live an hour, I will requite him.”

“You are the victor, my lord,” returned De Noailles. “Maintain your
present position, and you may defy his utmost malice.”

“Tarry with me a moment, M. De Noailles,” said Courtenay, “and you shall
see how I will avenge myself upon him.”

“Prudence, my good lord—prudence,” replied De Noailles. “Your rashness
has already put you once in his power. Do not let it do so a second

“I will punish his treachery, if it costs me my life,” replied


M eanwhile, a long discussion was carried on between Mary and her
councillors, as to the best means of effecting the entire restoration of
the Romish religion.

“I have a letter from Cardinal Pole,” observed the Queen, “wherein his
Eminence urges me to adopt no half measures.”

“It will not be safe to do so as matters now stand, gracious madam,”
replied Gardiner. “You must proceed cautiously. The noxious weed,
heresy, has taken too deep a root in this country to be forcibly
extirpated. I need not remind you of the murmurs that followed the
celebration of mass in the chapel in the White Tower, for the repose of
the King your brothers soul—of Cranmer’s vehement opposition—of the lord
mayor’s remonstrance, because mass was sung in another chapel in the
city—of the riot for a similar cause in Smithfield—of the dagger thrown
at Doctor Bourne, when he preached at Saint Paul’s Cross, and inveighed
against the deprivation of our prelates during the late reign. Your
Majesty did wisely to declare, at my suggestion, that although your
conscience is stayed in matters of religion, yet you meant not to compel
and constrain other men’s consciences. Abide by this declaration a
little longer. The two chief opponents of our religion, Ridley and
Latimer, are already prisoners in the fortress, and Cranmer will be
speedily brought hither.”

“So speedily, my lord, that he shall be lodged within it today,” replied
Mary. “The order is already signed for his committal on a charge of
high treason for counselling our disinheritance, and aiding the Duke of
Northumberland with horse and men against us in the revolt of the Lady
Jane Grey.”

“When will your highness have him arraigned?” asked Gardiner.

“After our coronation,” replied Mary; “when Lady Jane Grey and her
husband shall also be tried.”

“Suffolk is already liberated,” remarked Renard; “and yet he was more
deeply implicated than Cranmer.”

“True,” replied Mary; “but he is not so dangerous.”

“The counsel of my master, the emperor,” rejoined Renard, “as I
have more than once stated to your Highness, is to spare none of the
rebels—above all, the Lady Jane Grey, who, though she may have been the
instrument of others, is yet in the eyes of the people the principal

“Poor Lady Jane!” exclaimed Mary, in a compassionate tone. “She is very
young—very beautiful. I would rather reconcile her to our church than
doom her to the block.”

“I do not despair of being able to accomplish her conversion,” said
Gardiner, “though she is an obstinate heretic. I have appointed
to-morrow for a conference with her on the subject of her religion, and
I trust to be able to convince her of her errors.”

“With your lordship’s permission, I will attend the conference,” said

“By all means,” replied Gardiner. “It will take place in the Beauchamp
Tower. Her husband, Lord Guilford Dudley, has become a proselyte, and
they will be both present at the disputation.”

“I leave the care of her soul in your hands, my lord,” replied Mary.
“And now I must to my own devotions.”

So saying, she dismissed them, and proceeded to an oratory, where she
was joined by her confessor, Feckenham.

On issuing from the audience-chamber, Renard perceived De Noailles and
Courtenay pacing the gallery.

“I have waited for you, sir,’’ said the latter, advancing to meet him.

“I am sorry to have detained your lordship so long,” replied Renard.

“Apologies are needless,” rejoined Courtenay. “M. Renard, you are a
double-faced villain.”

“Rail on my lord, and welcome,” replied Renard, contemptuously. “Your
ill-humour has no effect on me!”

“Coward! will not that move you?” cried Courtenay, taking off his glove,
and striking him with it in the face.

“Ha!” exclaimed Renard fiercely, and half-unsheathing his sword. “Follow
me, my lord, and you shall find me as prompt to avenge an insult as you
can be to offer one.”

“My lord,” interposed De Noailles, “and you, M. Renard, I warn you
before you proceed further in this quarrel, that it will deeply offend
the queen.”

“It was not my seeking,” replied Renard, sternly. “But since it is
forced upon me, I will not be stayed. As his lordship has found no
difficulty in duping her majesty with a feigned passion, so, if he
survives, he may readily make out his case by an equally false statement
that I was the aggressor.”

“Insolent!” cried Courtenay. “Fool that I was to place any faith in one
in whom the whole perfidy of his country seems concentred. Follow me,
and quickly, or I will repeat the blow—unless,” he added with bitter
scorn, “like your own arrogant but cowardly nation you prefer avenging
it by assassination.”

“The cowardice will be yours, my lord,” rejoined Renard, haughtily, “if
you attempt to repeat the blow—nay, if you tarry here longer, I shall
think you desire to attract the attention of some of her majesty’s
attendants, and by causing us to be arrested, contrive to escape my

“Trust me, sir, I have no such intention,” replied Courtenay. “An
Englishman never deals a blow without allowing his adversary to return
it. M. De Noailles, I request your attendance at the duel. It will be
a mortal combat—for I will neither give mercy nor receive it from this
perfidious villain.”

“Pardon me, my lord, if I refuse your request,” replied De Noailles.
“I pledge my word that I will not interrupt you, nor cause you to be
interrupted during the adjustment of your differences. But I will be no
party to the duel.”

“As you please,” replied Courtenay. “Come then, sir,” he added, turning
to Renard, “and let the recollection of the insult I have offered you be
fresh in your memory.”

“M. De Noailles,” said Renard, “I take you to witness before I depart,
that I have not sought this quarrel. Whatever ensues, you will avouch
the truth.”

“Undoubtedly,” replied De Noailles. “Whither are you going?” he

“To the palace-garden,” replied Courtenay. “It is the only place in
the Tower, where we can be free from interruption. Beneath the trees we
shall be unobserved.”

“Lead on then, my lord,” cried Renard, impatiently. “The affair ought to
have been arranged by this time.”

Hastily quitting the corridor, they descended the grand staircase, and
traversing with rapid steps a long suite of apartments, passed through
a small door opening from the range of building called the Queen’s
gallery, upon the privy garden. At the western angle of this garden
stood a grove of trees, and thinking themselves unobserved they hastened
towards it.

It chanced however at this moment that Xit was passing along one of
the walks, and struck by their furious looks he immediately conjectured
their errand, and being, as has before been shown, of an inquisitive
turn, determined to watch them, and with this view struck into a
shrubbery, which effectually screened him from observation.

On reaching the grove, Renard instantly divested himself of his cloak,
and drawing his rapier and dagger, placed himself in an attitude of
defence. Courtenay did not remove his mantle, and therefore he was in
readiness before his adversary. The preliminary forms always observed by
the combatants of the period, being gone through, the conflict commenced
with great fury on the side of Courtenay, and with equal animosity, but
more deliberation, on that of Renard. As the latter was the most perfect
swordsman of his time, he felt little doubt as to the result of the
combat—but still the fury of the Earl was so irresistible that he broke
through his surest wards. In one of these furious passes Renard received
a slight wound in the arm, and roused by the pain, he forgot his
cautious system, and returned Courtenay’s thrusts with others equally

Feeling that he was no match for his antagonist, who was evidently his
superior both in force and skill, the Earl now determined to bring the
combat to a close, before his strength should be further exhausted.
Collecting all his energies, he dashed upon Renard with such
impetuosity, that the latter was compelled to retreat, and his foot
catching against the root of a tree, he fell, and lay at the mercy of
his antagonist.

“Strike!” he cried. “I will never yield.”

“No,” replied Courtenay. “I will not take this advantage. Arise, and
renew the combat.”

“Your courtesy is like your attachment, misplaced, my lord,” replied
Renard, springing to his feet, and preparing to attack him. “Look to

The combat recommenced with fresh fury, and must have speedily
terminated fatally, if a sudden interruption had not occurred. Alarmed
by the deadly nature of the strife, and thinking he should gain credit
with the queen if he prevented any accident to her favourite, Xit no
sooner beheld the swords drawn, than he ran off as swiftly as he could
to the garden-gate, near the Lanthorn Tower, where he know Og was
stationed. The giant did not require to be bid twice to accompany him;
but grasping his immense halbert, hurried in the direction of the fight,
and reached the grove just as it had recommenced.

The combatants were so occupied with each other, and so blinded with
rage, that they did not hear his approach. Og, however, soon made them
sensible of his presence. Bidding them in a voice of thunder lay down
their arms, and finding himself wholly disregarded, he rushed
between them, and seizing each by the doublet, hurled them forcibly
backwards—swearing lustily that if either advanced another footstep, he
would fell him to the ground with his partizan. By this time Xit, who
had come up, drew his sword, and seconded the giant’s threat, adding
with his usual coxcombical dignity, “My lords, I command you, in the
Queen’s name, to deliver up your weapons to me.”

Upon this, he took off his cap, and strutting up to Courtenay, demanded
his sword.

“What if I refuse it, sirrah?” said the earl, who in spite of his
indignation, could scarcely help laughing at the dwarf’s assurance.

“Your lordship, I am assured, will not compel me to enforce its
delivery,” replied Xit.

“I will not,” replied Courtenay, delivering the weapon to him.

“I shall not fail to report your magnanimity to my royal mistress,”
returned Xit. “Now yours, worshipful sir,” he added, to Renard.

“Take it,” replied the ambassador, flinging his rapier on the ground.
“It is fit that an affair so ridiculously begun, should have such a
ridiculous termination.”

“It is not ended, sir,” rejoined Courtenay.

“You will note that, Magog,” interposed Xit. “His lordship says it is
not ended. Her Majesty must hear of this. I take upon myself to place
you both in arrest. Attach their persons, Magog.”

“This insolence shall not go unpunished,” cried Courtenay, angrily.

“Heed him not, Magog,” whispered Xit. “I am sure her highness will
approve our conduct. At all events, I take the responsibility of the
arrest upon myself—though I promise thee, if there is any reward, thou
shalt share it. I arrived at a critical minute for your lordship,” he
added, in an under tone to Courtenay. “Your adversary’s blade was within
an inch of your breast.”

“Peace, knave,” cried Courtenay.

“Bring them along, Magog,” said Xit, “while I run to the palace to
apprise her Majesty of the occurrence, and ascertain her pleasure
concerning them.’

“Hold!” exclaimed Courtenay. “Take this purse, and keep silence on the

“No, my lord,” replied Xit, with an offended look, “I am above a bribe.
Had your lordship—but no matter. Magog, you will answer for their
peaceable conduct. I am off to the palace.”

And he hurried away, while the giant followed at a slow pace with
Courtenay and Renard.


During all this time, Jane was kept a close prisoner in the Brick Tower,
and neither allowed to hold any intercourse with her husband, nor to
correspond with him. Heart-breaking as the deprivation was to her in the
first instance, she became in some degree reconciled to it, on learning
from her jailor,—who displayed as much humanity towards her as was
consistent with his office,—that he bore his fate with the utmost
fortitude and resignation.

Entertaining no hopes of mercy, Jane’s whole time was past in
preparation for her end. Except the few hours of refreshment actually
required by nature, every moment was devoted to the most intense
application, or to fervent prayer. By degrees, all trace of sorrow
vanished from her features, and they assumed a spiritualized and almost
angelic expression. Lovely as she was before, she looked far more lovely
now—or rather her beauty was of a more refined and exalted character.
She was frequently visited by the queen’s confessor, Feckenham, who used
every effort to induce her to renounce her religion,—but in vain. When
told that the sure way to her Majesty’s favour would be to embrace the
faith of Rome—she replied that, anxious as she was to obtain the queen’s
forgiveness, she could not purchase it at the price of her salvation,
and that the only favour she desired was to pass the brief residue of
her days unmolested. Northumberland’s apostacy was a terrible shock to
her. Feckenham brought the intelligence, and boasted of the convert the
Catholic Church had gained.

“You may have induced the Duke to recant with his lips, sir,” replied
Jane; “but of this I am assured, he died a Protestant in heart.”

“It may be so,” rejoined Feckenham. “He was hypocrite enough to act
thus. It is enough for us that he publicly abjured his errors. And
before long, others of his house will follow his example.”

“What mean you, sir?” demanded Jane, anxiously. “You do not surely
allude to my husband?”

Feckenham made no reply, but with a significant smile departed. The
insinuation was not lost upon Jane. And now she more than ever lamented
that she was not near her husband, to strengthen his wavering faith,
and confirm his resolution. Well knowing that his character in a great
measure resembled his father’s, she feared that the inducement held
out by his enemies might be too much for his resistance. Unable to
communicate her fears to him—or to offer any of the counsel her
heart suggested, she could only relieve her distresses by earnest
supplications in his behalf. But even prayer did not on this
occasion afford her the consolation it was wont to do. The Duke of
Northumberland’s recantation perpetually haunted her; and the thought
that her husband might be made a similar example filled her with
inexpressible dread..

While suffering from these agonising reflections, she received another
visit from Feckenham. The expression of his countenance, which was
triumphing and sinister, alarmed her, and she almost felt unwilling,
though at the same time anxious, to question him.

After enjoying her suspense for a few minutes, he said, “Daughter, you
blamed the Duke of Northumberland for being reconciled to our church.
What, if I inform you that Lord Guilford Dudley has been likewise

“I should indeed be grieved to hear it,” replied Jane, in a tone of
anguish; “but I trust it is not so.”

“It is as I have said,” answered Feckenham.

“Heaven pardon him!” exclaimed Jane. “You bring me ill news, indeed.
I had far rather you came to tell me the executioner was waiting for
me—nay, that my husband was about to be led to the block—than this fatal
intelligence. I thought our separation would be short. But now I find it
will be eternal.”

“You are in error, daughter,” rejoined Feckenham, sternly. “You will
neither be separated from your husband in this world, nor the next, if
you are equally conformable.”

“Am I to understand, then, that his apostacy, for I can give it no
milder term, has been purchased by an offer of pardon?” demanded Jane.

“I said not so, daughter,” replied Feckenham; “but I now tell you that
his hopes of grace rest with yourself.”

“With me?” cried Jane, with a look of agony.

“With you, daughter,” repeated the confessor. “Much as it rejoices our
pious Queen to win over one soul like that of Lord Guilford Dudley to
the true faith—gladly as she will receive his recantation, she will
pledge herself to mercy only on one condition.”

“And that is—”

“Your conversion.”

“A safe promise, for her clemency will never be exhibited,” replied
Jane. “Not even to purchase my husband’s life would I consent. I would
willingly die to bring him back to the paths from which he has strayed.
But I will not surrender myself to Rome and her abominations.”

“Your firmness, in a good cause, daughter, would elicit my approbation,”
replied Feckenham. “As it is, it only excites my compassion. I am deeply
concerned to see one so richly gifted so miserably benighted—one so fair
so foully spotted with heresy. I should esteem it a glorious victory
over Satan to rescue your soul from perdition, and will spare no pains
to do so.”

“It is in vain, sir,” replied Jane; “and if I have hitherto repressed
my anger at these solicitations, it is because feeling firm in myself, I
look upon them merely as an annoyance, to which it is my duty to submit
with patience. But when I perceive the mischief they have done to
others, I can no longer contain my indignation. Yours is a pernicious
and idolatrous religion,—a religion founded on the traditions of men,
not on the word of God—a religion detracting from the merits of our
Saviour—substituting mummery for the simple offices of prayer,—and
though I will not be uncharitable enough to assert that its sincere
professors will not be saved,—yet I am satisfied, that no one to whom
the true light of heaven has once been vouchsafed, can believe in it, or
be saved by it.”

“Since you are thus obstinate, daughter,” replied Feckenham, “let us
dispute point by point, and dogma by dogma, of our creeds, and I think
I can convince you of the error in which you rest. Do not fear wearying
me. I cannot be better employed.”

“Pardon me, then, sir, if I reply, than I can be far better
employed,” returned Jane; “and, though I would not shrink from such a
discussion—were it useful,—and do not fear its result, yet, as no good
can arise from it, I must decline it.”

“As you please, daughter,” rejoined Feckenham. “But I must own that your
refusal to accept my challenge seems a tacit admission of the weakness
of your cause.”

“Put what construction you please upon it, sir,—so you leave me in
peace,” replied Jane. “I will fight the good fight when called upon
to do so. But I will not waste the little time that remains to me in
fruitless disputation.”

“Before I depart, however, daughter,” rejoined Feckenham, “let me
deliver your husband’s message to you.”

“What is it?” inquired Jane, eagerly,—“and yet, I almost dread to ask.”

“He implored you not to be his executioner,” answered Feckenham.

“His executioner!—my husband’s executioner!—oh, no!—no! that I can never
be!” cried Jane, bursting into tears.

“That you will be, unless you consent,” replied the priest, coldly.

“I beseech you, sir, urge me no further,” rejoined Jane.

“I would lay down my life for my husband a thousand times, but I cannot
save him thus. Tell him that I will pray for him night and day,—and oh!
tell him that his swerving from his faith has wounded me more severely
than the axe will ever do.”

“I shall tell him that I left you in the same obstinate state I found
you—deaf to the voice of truth—inaccessible to natural affection, and
besotted with heresy. Daughter, you love not your husband.”

“Not love him!” echoed Jane, passionately. “But no,—you shall not shake
my firmness. I thought to die calmly, and I looked forward to death as
to a certain restoration to my husband. This hope is now at an end. It
is you, sir, who are his true executioner. Not content with robbing him
of his eternal happiness, you impute his destruction to me. Tell him I
love him too well to grant his request—and if he loves me, and hopes to
be reunited to me in the bonds of unceasing happiness, he will remain
unshaken in his adherence to the Protestant faith.”

“Then you absolutely refuse compliance?” demanded Fecken-ham.

“Absolutely,” replied Jane.

“Your husband’s blood be upon your head!” exclaimed the confessor, in a
menacing voice.

And without another word, he departed.

As soon as the door of her chamber was locked, and Jane felt herself
alone, she threw herself on her knees, and was about to pour out her
heart in earnest supplication for her husband, but the shock had been
too great for her, and she fainted. On reviving, she was scarcely able
to move, and it was some time before she entirely regained her strength.

Repairing to the palace, Feckenham detailed the interview to the queen,
observing in conclusion, “I still do not despair of her conversion, and
shall leave no means untried to accomplish it.” The next day, he
again visited Jane, but with no better success. He found her in great
affliction, and she earnestly implored to be allowed to see her husband,
if only for a few minutes, and in the presence of witnesses. The
confessor replied that in her present frame of mind her request could
not be granted. But that if she showed herself conformable she should
no longer be separated from him, and he would answer for their ultimate
pardon. “I have already acquainted you with my determination, sir,”
rejoined Jane, “and you will seek in vain to move me. The rack should
not shake my constancy; neither shall the mental torture to which you
subject me.”

When Feckenham reported the result of his mission to Gardiner, the
bishop decided upon holding a religious conference with the captive,
feeling confident that notwithstanding her boasted learning and zeal,
he could easily overcome her in argument. To induce her to assent to the
plan, it was agreed that a meeting should be allowed between her and
her husband on the occasion. When the matter was announced to Jane,
she readily expressed her acquiescence, and begged that it might not be
delayed, as she had no preparation to make. “Take heed,” she observed,
in conclusion, “lest I win back from you the treasure you have gained.”

“We shall add to it a greater treasure—yourself, madam,” replied the

On the following day, she was summoned by an officer of the guard to
attend the Bishop in the Beauchamp Tower. Taking up a volume of the
Holy Scriptures lying on a table beside her, and wrapping herself in an
ermined surcoat, she arose and followed the officer—quitting her chamber
for the first time for nearly two months. On issuing into the open air,
the effect was almost overpowering, and she could not repress her tears.

It was a bright, sunshiny morning, and everything looked so beautiful—so
happy, that the contrast with her recent sufferings was almost too much
for her. Bearing up resolutely against her feelings, in order forcibly
to divert her attention she fixed her eyes upon the reverend walls
of the White Tower, which she was at that moment passing. Near it she
perceived the three gigantic warders, all of whom doffed their caps
as she approached. Og coughed loudly, as if to clear his throat; Gog
hastily brushed the moisture from his eyes with his sleeve; while Magog,
who was the most tender-hearted of the three, fairly blubbered aloud.
Xit, who formed one of the group, but who was the least affected, bade
her be of good cheer.

This encounter was so far of service to Jane, that it served to distract
her thoughts, and she had in a great measure regained her composure,
when another incident occurred, which had nearly upset her altogether.
As she passed near the porch of Saint Peter’s Chapel, she beheld Simon
Renard emerge from it. And if she felt her blood chilled by the sight of
her implacable foe, her alarm was not diminished on hearing him call to
her guards to bring her within the chapel. At a loss to comprehend the
meaning of this mysterious summons, Jane entered the sacred structure.
Coldly saluting her, Renard informed her that her husband was within
the chapel. Trembling at the intimation, Jane looked eagerly round.
At first, she could discern nothing; but, guided by the ambassador’s
malignant glance, she perceived a figure kneeling in front of the altar.
Instantly recognising her husband, with an exclamation of delight that
made him spring to his feet, she rushed forward and threw herself into
his arms.

After the first passionate emotion had subsided, Jane inquired how he
came to be there.

“Do you not know?” replied Lord Guilford. “Or have you been kept in
ignorance of the terrible tragedy which has been recently enacted? Look
there!” And he pointed downwards.

Jane obeyed, and saw that she was standing upon a gravestone, on which
was inscribed in newly-cut letters— JOHN DUDLEY, DUKE OF NORTHUMBERLAND.

Jane trembled and leaned upon her husband for support. “Here is the
victim—there the executioner,” said Lord Guilford, pointing from the
grave to Renard.

“Three months ago,” said the Ambassador, who stood with folded arms at a
little distance from them, “within this very chapel, I told the Duke of
Northumberland he would occupy that grave. My words have been fulfilled.
And I now tell you, Lord Guilford Dudley, and you Lady Jane, that unless
you are reconciled with our holy Church, you will rest beside him.”

With these words he quitted the chapel, and the guards closing round the
captives, they were compelled to follow. During their short walk, Jane
passionately implored her husband not to yield to the persuasions of his
enemies. He hung his head and returned no answer, and she inferred from
his silence, that he was not disposed to yield to her solicitations.
They were now close upon the Beauchamp Tower, when Dudley, pointing to a
barred window in the upper story of one of its turrets, observed—“Within
that room my father parsed the last few weeks of his existence.”


Ascending the spiral stone stairs of the tower, they passed beneath the
arched doorway, and entered the principal chamber—now used—as has more
than once been observed—as the mess-room of the garrison. Here they
found Gardiner awaiting their arrival, he was seated on a high backed
arm chair between Bonner and Feckenham, who occupied stools on either
side of him, while behind him stood the friar who had attended the Duke
of Northumberland on the scaffold. Across one of the deep and arched
embrazures of the room looking towards the south, a thick curtain was
drawn, and before it, at a small table covered with a crimson cloth, on
which writing materials were placed, sat a secretary prepared to take
down the heads of the disputation. On Jane’s appearance, Gardiner and
the other ecclesiastics arose and gravely saluted her.

“You are welcome, daughter,” said the bishop. “You have come hither an
unbeliever in our doctrines. I trust you will depart confirmed in the
faith of Rome.”

“I am come to vanquish, not to yield, my lord,” replied Jane, firmly.
“And as I shall give you no quarter, so I expect none.”

“Be it so,” rejoined the bishop. “To you, my son,” he continued,
addressing Lord Guilford, “I can hold very different language. I can
give you such welcome as the prodigal son received, and rejoice in your
reconciliation with your heavenly father. And I sincerely trust that
this noble lady, your consort, will not be a means of turning aside that
mercy which her most gracious Majesty is desirous of extending towards

“My lord,” said Jane, stepping between them, and steadfastly regarding
the bishop, “if I am wrong and my husband is right, the Queen will do
well not to punish the innocent with the guilty. And you, dear Dudley,”
she continued, taking his hand, and gazing at him with streaming eyes,
“grant me one favour—the last I shall ever ask of you.”

“Daughter!” observed Gardiner, severely, “I cannot permit this
interference. I must interpose my authority to prevent your attempting
to shake your husband’s determination.”

“All I ask, my lord, is this,” rejoined Jane, meekly; “that he will
abide the issue of the disputation before he renounces his faith for
ever. It is a request, which I am sure neither he, nor you will refuse.”

“It is granted, daughter,” replied Gardiner; “the rather that I feel
so certain of convincing you that I doubt not you will then as strongly
urge his reconciliation as you now oppose it.”

“I would that not my husband alone, but that all Christendom could be
auditors of our conference, my lord,” replied Jane. “In this cause I am
as strong, as in the late on which I was engaged I was weak. With this
shield,” she continued, raising the Bible which she carried beneath her
arm, “I cannot sustain injury.” Advancing towards the table at which
the secretary was seated, she laid the sacred volume upon it. She then
divested of her surcoat, and addressed a few words, in an under tone, to
her husband, while the ecclesiastics conferred together. While this
was passing, Lord Guilford’s eye accidentally fell upon his father’s
inscription on the wall, and he called Jane’s attention to it. She
sighed as she looked, and remarked, “Do not let your name be stained
like his.”

Perceiving Simon Renard gazing at them with malignant satisfaction, she
then turned to Gardiner and said, “My lord, the presence of this person
troubles me. I pray you, if he be not needful to our conference, that
you will desire him to withdraw.”

The bishop acquiesced, and having signified his wishes to the
ambassador, he feigned to depart. But halting beneath the arched
entrance, he remained an unseen witness of the proceedings.

A slight pause ensued, during which Jane knelt beside the chair, and
fervently besought heaven to grant her strength for the encounter. She
then arose, and fixing her eye upon Gardiner, said in a firm tone, “I am
ready, my lord, I pray you question me, and spare me not.”


No further intimation was necessary to the bishop, who immediately
proceeded to interrogate her on the articles of her faith; and being
a man of profound learning, well versed in all the subtleties of
scholastic dispute, he sought in every way to confound and perplex her.
In this he was likewise assisted by Bonner and Feckenham, both of
whom were admirable theologians, and who proposed the most difficult
questions to her. The conference lasted several hours, during which
Jane sustained her part with admirable constancy—never losing a single
point—but retorting upon her opponents questions, which they were
unable to answer—displaying such a fund of erudition—such powers of
argument—such close and clear reasoning—and such profound knowledge of
the tenets of her own faith and of theirs, that they were completely
baffled and astounded. To a long and eloquent address of Gardiner’s
she replied at equal length, and with even more eloquence and fervour,
concluding with these emphatic words—“My lord, I have lived in the
Protestant faith, and in that faith I will die. In these sad times,
when the power of your church is in the ascendant, it is perhaps needful
there should be martyrs in ours to prove our sincerity. Amongst these I
shall glory to be numbered—happy in the thought that my firmness will
be the means in after ages, of benefiting the Protestant church. On
this rock,” she continued, pointing to the Bible, which lay open before
her—“my religion is built, and it will endure, when yours, which is
erected on sandy foundations, shall be utterly swept away. In this
sacred volume, I find every tenet of my creed, and I desire no other
mediator between my Maker and myself.”

As she said this, her manner was so fervid, and her look so full of
inspiration, that all her listeners were awe-stricken, and gazed at her
in involuntary admiration. The secretary suspended his task to drink in
her words; and even Simon Renard, who ensconced beneath the door-way,
seemed no inapt representation of the spirit of evil, appeared

After a brief pause, Gardiner arose, saying, “the conference is ended,
daughter. You are at liberty to depart. If I listen longer,” he added,
in an under tone to his companions, “I shall be convinced against my

“Then you acknowledge your defeat, my lord,” said Jane, proudly.

“I acknowledge that it is in vain to make any impression on you,”
answered the bishop.

“Jane,” cried her husband, advancing towards her, and throwing himself
on his knees before her, “you have conquered, and I implore your
forgiveness. I will never change a religion of which you are so bright
an ornament.”

“This is indeed a victory,” replied Jane, raising him and clasping him
to her bosom. “And now, my lord,” she added to Gardiner, “conduct us
to prison or the scaffold as soon as you please. Death has no further

After a parting embrace, and an assurance from her husband, that he
would now remain constant in his faith, Jane was removed by her guard
to the Brick Tower, while Lord Guilford was immured in one of the cells
adjoining the room in which the conference had taken place.



Cuthbert Cholmondeley, who, it may be remembered, attended Lord Guilford
Dudley, when he was brought from Sion House to the Tower, was imprisoned
at the same time as that unfortunate nobleman, and lodged in the
Nun’s Bower—a place of confinement so named, and situated, as already
mentioned, in the upper story of the Coal Harbour Tower. Here he was
detained until after the Duke of Northumberland’s execution, when,
though he was not restored to liberty, he was allowed the range of the
fortress. The first use he made of his partial freedom was to proceed
to the Stone Kitchen, in the hope of meeting with Cicely; and his bitter
disappointment may be conceived on finding that she was not there, nor
was anything known of her by her foster-parents.

“Never since the ill-fated Queen Jane, whom they now call a usurper,
took her into her service, have I set eyes upon her,” said Dame
Potentia, who was thrown into an agony of affliction, by the sight
of Cholmondeley. “Hearing from old Gunnora Braose, that when her
unfortunate mistress was brought back a captive to the Tower she had
been left at Sion House, and thinking she would speedily return, I did
not deem it necessary to send for her; but when a week had elapsed, and
she did not make her appearance, I desired her father to go in search
of her. Accordingly, he went to Sion House, and learnt that she had been
fetched away, on the morning after Queen Jane’s capture, by a man who
stated he had come from us. This was all Peter could learn. Alas! Alas!”

“Did not your suspicions alight on Nightgall?” asked Cholmondeley.

“Ay, marry, did they,” replied the pantler’s wife; “but he averred he
had never quitted the Tower. And as I had no means of proving it upon
him, I could do nothing more than tax him with it.”

“He still retains his office of jailer, I suppose?” said Cholmondeley.

“Of a surety,” answered Potentia; “and owing to Simon Renard, whom you
may have heard, is her Majesty’s right hand, he has become a person of
greater authority than ever, and affects to look down upon his former

“He cannot look down upon me at all events,” exclaimed a loud voice
behind them. And turning at the sound, Cholmondeley beheld the bulky
figure of Gog darkening the door-way.

A cordial greeting passed between Cholmondeley and the giant, who in
the same breath congratulated him upon his restoration to liberty, and
condoled with him on the loss of his mistress.

“In the midst of grief we must perforce eat,” observed the pantler, “and
our worthy friends, the giants, as well as Xit, have often enlivened our
board, and put care to flight. Perhaps you are not aware that Magog has
been married since we last saw you.”

“Magog married!” exclaimed Cholmondeley, in surprise.

“Ay. indeed!” rejoined Gog, “more persons than your worship have been
astonished by it. And shall I let you into secret—if ever husband was
henpecked, it is my unfortunate brother. Your worship complains of
losing your mistress. Would to heaven he had had any such luck! And the
worst of it is that before marriage she was accounted the most amiable
of her sex.”

“Ay, that’s always the case,” observed Peter Trusbut; “though I must
do my dame the justice to say that she did not disguise her qualities
during my courtship.”

“I will not hear a word uttered in disparagement of Dame Potentia,”
cried Ribald, who at that moment entered the kitchen, “even by her
husband. Ah! Master Cholmondeley I am right glad to see you. I heard of
your release to-day. So, the pretty bird is flown you find—and whither
none of us can tell, though I think I could give a guess at the fowler.”

“So could I,” replied Cholmondeley.

“I dare say both our suspicions tend to the same mark,” said Ribald—“but
we must observe caution now—for the person I mean is protected by Simon
Renard, and others in favour with the queen.”

“He is little better than an assassin,” said Cholmondeley; “and has
detained a wretched woman whom he has driven out of her senses by his
cruelty a captive in the subterranean dungeons beneath the Devilin

And he proceeded to detail all he knew of the captive Alexia.

“This is very dreadful, no doubt,” remarked Ribald, who had listened to
the recital with great attention. “But as I said before, Nightgall is in
favour with persons of the greatest influence, and he is more dangerous
and vindictive than ever. What you do, you must do cautiously.”

By this time, the party had been increased by the arrival of Og and Xit,
both of whom, but especially the latter, appeared rejoiced to meet with
the young esquire.

“Ah! Master Cholmondeley,” said the elder giant, heaving a deep sigh.
“Times have changed with us all since we last met. Jane is no longer
Queen. The Duke of Northumberland is beheaded. Cicely is lost. And last
and worst of all, Magog is married.”

“So I have heard from Gog,” replied Cholmondeley, “and I fear not very
much to your satisfaction.1’

“Nor his own either,” replied Og, shrugging his shoulders. “However it
can’t be helped. He must make the best of a bad bargain.”

“It might be helped though,” observed Xit. “Magog seems to have lost all
his spirit since he married. If I had to manage her, I’d soon let her
see the difference.”

“You, forsooth!” exclaimed Dame Potentia, contemptuously. “Do you
imagine any woman would stand in awe-of you!”

And before the dwarf could elude her grasp, she seized him by the
nape of the neck, and regardless of his cries, placed him upon the
chimney-piece, amid a row of shining pewter plates.

“There you shall remain,” she added, “till you beg pardon for your

Xit looked piteously around, but seeing no hand extended to reach him
down, and being afraid to spring from so great a height, he entreated
the dame’s forgiveness in a humble tone; and she thereupon set him upon
the ground.

“A pretty person you are to manage a wife,” said Dame Potentia, with a
laugh, in which all, except the object of it, joined.

It being Cholmondeley’s intention to seek out a lodging at one of the
warder’s habitations, he consulted Peter Trusbut on the subject, who
said, that if his wife was agreeable, he should be happy to accommodate
him in his own dwelling. The matter being referred to Dame Potentia she
at once assented, and assigned him Cicely’s chamber.

On taking possession of the room, Cholmondeley sank upon a chair, and
for some time indulged the most melancholy reflections, from which he
was aroused by a tremendous roar of laughter, such as he knew could
only be uttered by the gigantic brethren, proceeding from the adjoining
apartment. Repairing thither, he found the whole party assembled round
the table, which was, as usual, abundantly, or rather superabundantly,
furnished. Amongst the guests were Magog and his wife, and the laughter
he had heard was occasioned by a box administered by the latter to
the ears of her spouse, because he had made some remark that sounded
displeasing in her own. Magog bore the blow with the utmost philosophy,
and applied himself for consolation to a huge pot of metheglin, which he
held to his lips as long as a drop remained within it.

“We had good doings in Queen’s Jane’s reign,” remarked Peter Trusbut,
offering the young esquire a seat beside him, “but we have better in
those of Queen Mary.”

And, certainly, his assertion was fully borne out by the great joints of
beef, the hams, the pasties, and pullets with which the table groaned,
and with which the giants were making their accustomed havoc. In the
midst stood what Peter Trusbut termed a royal pasty, and royal it was,
if size could confer dignity. It contained two legs of mutton, the
pantler assured his guests, besides a world of other savoury matters,
enclosed in a wall of rye-crust, and had taken twenty-four hours to

“Twenty-four hours!” echoed Magog. “I will engage to consume it in the
twentieth part of the time.”

“For that observation you shall not even taste it,” said his arbitrary

Debarred from the pasty, Magog made himself some amends by attacking
a gammon of Bayonne bacon, enclosed in a paste, and though he found it
excellent, he had the good sense to keep his opinion to himself. In this
way, the supper passed off—Ribald jesting as usual, and devoting himself
alternately to the two dames—Peter Trusbut carving the viands and
assisting his guests—and the giants devouring all before them.

Towards the close of the repast, Xit, who always desired to be an object
of attention, determined to signalise himself by some feat. Brandishing
his knife and fork, he therefore sprang upon the table, and striding up
to the royal pasty, peeped over the side, which was rather higher than
himself, to take a survey of the contents.

While he was thus occupied, Dame Placida, who was sitting opposite to
the pasty, caught him by the skirts of his doublet, and tossed him into
the pie, while Peter Trusbut instantly covered it with the thick lid
of crust, which had been removed when it was first opened. The laughter
which followed this occurrence was not diminished, as the point of Xit’s
knife appeared through the wall of pastry—nor was it long before he
contrived to cut a passage out.

His re-appearance was hailed with a general shout of merriment. And
Magog was by no means displeased at seeing him avenge himself by rushing
towards his plump partner, and before she could prevent him, throw his
arms round her, and imprint a sounding kiss upon her lips, while his
greasy habiliments besmeared her dress.

Xit would have suffered severely for this retaliation, if it had not
been for the friendly interference of Ribald, who rescued him from the
clutches of the offended dame, and contrived with a tact peculiar to
himself not only to appease her anger, but to turn it into mirth.
Order being once more restored, the dishes and plates were removed, and
succeeded by flagons and pots of ale and wine. The conversation then
began to turn upon a masque about to be given to the Queen by the Earl
of Devonshire, at which they were all to assist, and arrangements were
made as to the characters they should assume. Though this topic
was interesting enough to the parties concerned, it was not so to
Cholmondeley, who was about to retire to his own chamber to indulge his
grief unobserved, when his departure was arrested by the sudden entrance
of Lawrence Nightgall.

At the jailor’s appearance, the merriment of the party instantly ceased,
and all eyes were bent upon him.

“Your business here, master Nightgall?” demanded Peter Trusbut, who was
the first to speak.

“My business is with Master Cuthbert Cholmondeley,” replied the jailor.

“State it then at once,” replied the esquire, frowning. “It is to
ascertain where you intend to lodge, that I may report it to the
lieutenant,” said Nightgall.

“I shall remain here,” replied Cholmondeley, sternly—“in Cicely’s

“Here!” exclaimed Nightgall, starting, but instantly recovering
himself, he turned to Peter Trusbut, and in a voice of forced composure,
added—“You will be responsible then for him, Master Pantler, with your
life and goods to the Queen’s highness, which, if he escapes, will both
be forfeited.”

“Indeed!” cried Trusbut, in dismay. “I—I—”

“Yes—yes—my husband understands all that,” interposed Dame Potentia; “he
will be answerable for him—and so will I.”

“You will understand still further,” proceeded Nightgall, with a
smile of triumph, “that he is not to stir forth except for one hour at
mid-day, and then that his walks are to be restricted to the green.”

While this was passing, Og observed in a whisper to Xit—“If I were
possessed of that bunch of keys at Nightgall’s girdle, I could soon find

“Indeed!” said Xit. “Then you shall soon have them.” And the next minute
he disappeared under the table.

“You have a warrant for what you do, I suppose?” demanded Og, desirous
of attracting the jailor’s attention.

“Behold it,” replied Nightgall, taking a parchment from his vest. He
then deliberately seated himself, and producing an ink-horn and pen,
wrote Peter Trusbut’s name upon it.

“Master Pantler,” he continued, delivering it to him, “I have addressed
it to you. Once more I tell you, you will be responsible for the
prisoner. And with this I take my leave.”

“Not so fast, villain,” said Cholmondeley, seizing his arm with a firm
grasp,—“where is Cicely?”

“You will never behold her more,” replied Nightgall. “What have you done
with the captive Alexia?” pursued the esquire, bitterly.

“She likewise is beyond your reach,” answered the jailor, moodily. And
shaking off Cholmondeley’s grasp, he rushed out of the chamber with
such haste as nearly to upset Xit, who appeared to have placed himself
purposely in his path.

This occurrence threw a gloom over the mirth of the party.

The conversation flagged, and even an additional supply of wine failed
to raise the spirits of the guests. Just as they were separating, hasty
steps were heard on the stairs, and Night-gall again presented himself.
Rushing up to Cholmondeley, who was sitting apart wrapt in gloomy
thought, he exclaimed in a voice of thunder—“My keys!—my keys!—you have
stolen my keys.”

“What keys?” demanded the esquire, starting to his feet. “Those of
Alexia’s dungeon.”

“Restore them instantly,” cried Nightgall, furiously—“or I will
instantly carry you back to the Nun’s Bower.”

“Were they in my possession,” replied Cholmondeley, “nothing should
force them from me till I had searched your most secret hiding-places.”

“‘Tis therefore you stole them,” cried Nightgall. “See where my girdle
has been cut,” he added, appealing to Peter Trusbut. “If they are not
instantly restored, I will convey you all before the lieutenant, and you
know how he will treat the matter.”

Terrified by this threat, the pantler entreated the esquire, if he
really had the keys, to restore them. But Cholmondeley positively denied
the charge, and after a long and fruitless search, all the party except
Xit, who had disappeared, having declared their ignorance of what had
become of them, Nightgall at last departed, in a state of the utmost
rage and mortification.

Soon after this, the party broke up, and Cholmondeley retired to his own
room. Though the pantler expressed no fear of his escaping, he did not
neglect the precaution of locking the door. Throwing himself on a couch,
the esquire, after a time, fell into a sort of doze, during which he was
haunted by the image of Cicely, who appeared pale and suffering, and as
if imploring his aid. So vivid was the impression, that he started up,
and endeavoured to shake it off. In vain. He could not divest himself
of the idea that he was at that moment subjected to the persecutions
of Nightgall. Having endured this anguish for some hours, and the night
being far advanced, he was about to address himself once more to repose,
when he heard the lock turned, and glancing in the direction of the
door, perceived it cautiously opened by Xit. The mannikin placed his
finger to his lips in token of silence, and held up a huge bunch of
keys, which Cholmondeley instantly conjectured were those lost by
Nightgall. Xit then briefly explained how he had possessed himself of
them, and offered them to Cholmondeley.

“I love the fair Cicely,” he said, “hate Nightgall, and entertain a
high respect for your worship. I would gladly make you happy with your
mistress if I can. You have now at least the means of searching for her,
and heaven grant a favourable issue to the adventure. Follow me, and
tread upon the points of your feet, for the pantler and his spouse
occupy the next room.”

As they crossed the kitchen, they heard a sound proceeding from an
adjoining room, which convinced them that neither Peter Trusbut nor Dame
Potentia were on the watch.

“They don’t snore quite so loud as my friends the giants,” whispered
Xit; “but they have tolerably good lungs.’”

Having, at Xit’s suggestion, armed himself with a torch and materials to
light it, and girded on a sword which he found reared against the
wall, the esquire followed his dwarfish companion down a winding stone
staircase, and speedily issued from the postern.

The night was profoundly dark, and they were therefore unobserved by
the sentinels on the summit of the Byward Tower, and on the western
ramparts. Without delaying a moment, Cholmondeley hurried towards the
Devilin Tower. Xit accompanied him, and after some little search they
found the secret door, and by a singular chance Cholmondeley, on the
first application, discovered the right key. He then bade farewell to
the friendly dwarf, who declined attending him further, and entering the
passage, and locking the door withinside, struck a light and set fire to
the torch.

Scarcely knowing whither to shape his course, and fully aware of the
extent of the dungeons he should have to explore, Cholmondeley resolved
to leave no cell unvisited, until he discovered the object of his
search. For some time, he proceeded along a narrow arched passage,
which brought him to a stone staircase, and descending it, his further
progress was stopped by an iron door. Unlocking it, he entered another
passage, on the right of which was a range of low cells, all of which he
examined, but they were untenanted, except one, in which he found a man
whom he recognized as one of the Duke of Northumberland’s followers.
He did not, however, dare to liberate him, but with a few words of
commiseration passed on.

Turning off on the left, he proceeded for some distance, until being
convinced by the hollow sound of the floor that there were vaults
beneath, he held his torch downwards, and presently discovered an iron
ring in one of the stones. Raising it, he beheld a flight of steps, and
descending them, found himself in a lower passage about two feet wide,
and apparently of considerable length. Hastily tracking it, he gradually
descended until he came to a level, where both the floor and ceiling
were damp and humid. His torch now began to burn feebly, and threw a
ghastly light upon the slimy walls and dripping roof.

While he was thus pursuing his way, a long and fearful shriek broke
upon his ear, and thinking it might proceed from the captive Alexia, he
hastened forward as quickly as the slippery path would allow him. It
was evident, from the increasing humidity of the atmosphere, that he
was approaching the river. As he advanced the cries grew louder, and he
became aware, from the noise around, that legions of rats were
fleeing before him. These loathsome animals were in such numbers, that
Cholmondeley, half-fearing an attack from them, drew his sword.

After proceeding about fifty yards, the passage he was traversing
terminated in a low wide vault, in the centre of which was a deep pit.
From the bottom of this abyss the cries resounded, and hurrying to
its edge, he held down the torch, and discovered, at the depth of some
twenty feet, a miserable half-naked object up to his knees in water, and
defending himself from hundreds of rats that were swarming around him.
While he was considering how he could accomplish the poor wretch’s
deliverance, who continued his shrieks more loudly than ever, asserting
that the rats were devouring him, Cholmondeley perceived a ladder in a
corner of the vault, and lowering it into the pit, the sides of which
were perpendicular and flagged, instantly descended.

If he had been horrified at the vociferations of the prisoner, he
was now perfectly appalled by the ghastly spectacle he presented. The
unfortunate person had not exaggerated his danger when he said that the
rats were about to devour him. His arms, body, and face were torn
and bleeding, and as Cholmondeley approached he beheld numbers of his
assailants spring from him and swim off. More dead than alive, the
sufferer expressed his thanks, and taking him in his arms, Cholmondeley
carried him up the ladder.

As soon as he had gained the edge of the pit, the esquire, who had been
struck with the man’s voice, examined his features by the light of the
torch, and was shocked to find that he was one of the attendants of the
Duke of Northumberland, with whom he was well acquainted. Addressing him
by his name, the man instantly knew him, and informed him that he had
been ordered into confinement by the council, and having given some
offence to Nightgall, had been tortured and placed in this horrible pit.

“I have been here two days and nights,” he said, “as far as I can guess,
without food or light, and should soon have perished, had it not been
for your aid; and, though I do not fear death,—yet to die by inches—a
prey to those horrible animals—was dreadful.”

“Let me support you,” returned Cholmondeley, taking his arm, “and while
you have strength left, convey you to a more wholesome part of the
dungeon, where you will be free from these frightful assailants, till I
can procure you further assistance.”

The poor prisoner gratefully accepted his offer, and lending him all the
assistance in his power, Cholmondeley slowly retraced his course. Having
reached the flight of stone steps, leading to the trap-door, the esquire
dragged his companion up them, and finding it in vain to carry him
further, and fearing he should be disappointed in the main object of his
search, he looked around for a cell in which he could place him for a
short time.

Perceiving a door standing ajar on the left, he pushed it open, and,
entering a small cell, found the floor covered with straw, and, what
was still more satisfactory to him, discovered a loaf on a shelf, and
a large jug of water. Placing the prisoner on the straw, he spread the
provisions before him, and having seen him partake of them, promised to
return as soon as possible.

“Bestow no further thought on me,” said the man. “I shall die content

Cholmondeley then departed, and proceeding along the passage he had just
traversed, came to a wide arched opening on the left, which he entered,
and pursuing the path before him, after many turnings, arrived at
another low circular vault, about nineteen feet in diameter, which, from
the peculiar form of its groined arches, he supposed (and correctly)
must be situated beneath Devereux Tower.


Of a style of architecture of earlier date than the Beauchamp Tower,
the Devilin, or, as it is now termed, the Devereux Tower, from the
circumstance of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, the favourite of Queen
Elizabeth, having been confined within it in 1601, has undergone less
alteration than most of the other fortifications, and except in the
modernising of the windows, retains much of its original character.
In the dungeon into which Cholmondeley had penetrated, several curious
spear-heads of great antiquity, and a gigantic thigh-bone, have been
recently found.

At the further end of the vault Cholmondeley discovered a short flight
of steps, and mounting them unlocked a door, which admitted him to
another narrow winding stone staircase. Ascending it, he presently came
to a door on the left, shaped like the arched entrance in which it
was placed. It was of strong oak, studded with nails, and secured by a
couple of bolts.


Drawing back the fastenings, he unsheathed his sword, and pushing aside
the door with the blade, raised his torch, and beheld a spectacle that
Idled him with horror. At one side of the cell, which was about six feet
long and three wide, and contrived in the thickness of the wall, upon
a stone seat rested the dead body of a woman, reduced almost to a
skeleton. The face was turned from the door, but rushing forward he
instantly recognised its rigid features. On the wall close to where she
lay, and evidently carved by her own hand, was traced her name—ALEXIA.




Among those who viewed Mary’s accession to the throne with the greatest
dissatisfaction, was the Hot-Gospeller. Foreseeing the danger with which
the Protestant church was menaced, he regarded the change of sovereigns
as one of the most direful calamities that could have befallen his
country. The open expression of these sentiments more than once brought
him into trouble, and he was for some time placed in durance. On his
liberation, he observed more caution; and though his opinions were by no
means altered, but rather strengthened, he no longer gave utterance to

During his imprisonment, he had pondered deeply upon the critical state
of his religion; and having come to the conclusion that there was no
means but one of averting the threatened storm, he determined to resort
to that desperate expedient. Underhill’s temporal interests had been as
much affected as his spiritual, by the new government. He was dismissed
from the post he had hitherto held of gentleman-pensioner; and this
circumstance, though he was, perhaps, scarcely conscious of it,
contributed in no slight degree to heighten his animosity against the
queen. Ever brooding upon the atrocious action he was about to commit,
he succeeded in persuading himself, by that pernicious process of
reasoning by which religious enthusiasts so often delude themselves
into the commission of crime, that it was not only justifiable, but

Though no longer a prisoner, or employed in any office, the
Hot-Gospeller still continued to linger within the Tower, judging it the
fittest place for the execution of his purpose. He took up his abode in
a small stone cell, once tenanted by a recluse, and situated at the back
of Saint Peter’s chapel, on the Green; devoting his days to prayer,
and his nights to wandering, like a ghost, about the gloomiest and
least-frequented parts of the fortress. He was often challenged by the
sentinels,—often stopped, and conveyed to the guard-room by the patrol;
but in time they became accustomed to him, and he was allowed to pursue
his ramblings unmolested. By most persons he was considered deranged,
and his wasted figure—for he almost denied himself the necessaries of
life, confining his daily meal to a crust of bread, and a draught of
water,—together with his miserable attire, confirmed the supposition.

Upon one occasion, Mary herself, who was making the rounds of the
fortress, happened to notice him, and ordered him to be brought before
her. A blaze of fierce delight passed over the enthusiast’s face when
the mandate was conveyed to him. But his countenance fell the next
moment, on recollecting that he was unarmed. Bitterly reproaching
himself for his want of caution, he searched his clothes. He had not
even a knife about him. He then besought the halberdiers who came for
him to lend him a cloak and a sword, or even a partizan, to make a
decent appearance before the queen. But laughing at the request, they
struck him with the poles of their weapons, and commanded him to follow
them without delay.

Brought into the royal presence, he with difficulty controlled himself.
And nothing but the conviction that such a step would effectually defeat
his design, prevented him from pouring forth the most violent threats
against the queen. As it was, he loudly lamented her adherence to the
faith of Rome, entreating her to abjure it, and embrace the new and
wholesome doctrines,—a course, which he predicted, would ensure her
a long and prosperous reign, whereas, a continuance in her present
idolatrous creed would plunge her kingdom in discord, endanger her
crown, and, perhaps, end in her own destruction.

Regarding him as a half-crazed, but harmless enthusiast, Mary paid
little attention to his address, which was sufficiently wild and
incoherent to warrant the conclusion that his intellects were
disordered. Pitying his miserable appearance, and inquiring into his
mode of life, she ordered him better apparel, and directed that he
should be lodged within the palace.

Underhill would have refused her bounty, but, at a gesture from Mary, he
was removed from her presence.

This interview troubled him exceedingly. He could not reconcile the
queen’s destruction to his conscience so easily as he had heretofore
done. Despite all his reasoning to the contrary, her generosity affected
him powerfully. He could not divest himself of the idea that she might
yet be converted; and persuading himself that the glorious task was
reserved for him, he resolved to make the attempt, before resorting to a
darker mode of redress. Managing to throw himself, one day, in her way,
as she was proceeding along the grand gallery, he immediately commenced
a furious exhortation. But his discourse was speedily interrupted by the
queen, who ordered her attendants to remove him into the court yard, and
cudgel him soundly; directing that any repetition of the offence should
be followed by severer chastisement. This sentence was immediately
carried into effect. The Hot-Gospeller bore it without a murmur. But he
internally resolved to defer no longer his meditated design.

His next consideration was how to execute it. He could not effect
his purpose by poison; and any attempt at open violence would, in all
probability, (as the queen was constantly guarded,) be attended by
failure. He therefore determined, as the surest means, to have recourse
to fire-arms. And, being an unerring marksman, he felt certain of
success in this way.

Having secretly procured an arquebuss and ammunition, he now only
awaited a favourable moment for the enterprise. This soon occurred.
It being rumoured one night in the Tower, that the queen was about to
proceed by water to Whitehall on the following morning, he determined to
station himself at some point on the line of road, whence he could take
deliberate aim at her. On inquiring further, he ascertained that the
royal train would cross the drawbridge leading from the south of the
Byward Tower to the wharf, and embark at the stairs. Being personally
known to several officers of the guard, he thought he should have no
difficulty in obtaining admittance to Saint Thomas’s Tower, which, while
it commanded the drawbridge, and was within shot, was yet sufficiently
distant not to excite suspicion. Accordingly, at an early hour, on the
next day, he repaired thither, wrapped in a cloak, beneath which he
carried the implement of his treasonable intent.

As he anticipated, he readily procured admission, and, under pretence of
viewing the passage of the royal train, was allowed a place at a narrow
loophole in the upper story of one of the western turrets. Most of the
guard being required on the summit of the fortification, Underhill
was left alone in the small chamber. Loud shouts, and the discharge of
artillery from the ramparts of the fortress, as well as from the roofs
of the different towers, proclaimed that Mary had set forth. A few
embers were burning on the hearth in the chamber occupied by the
enthusiast. With these he lighted his tow-match, and offering up a
prayer for the success of his project, held himself in readiness for its

Unconscious of the impending danger, Mary took her way towards the
By-ward Tower. She was attended by a numerous retinue of nobles and
gentlemen. Near her walked one of her councillors, Sir Henry Bedingfeld,
in whom she placed the utmost trust, and whose attachment to her had
been often approved in the reigns of her father and brother, as well
as during the late usurpation of Lady Jane Grey. Sir Henry was a
grave-looking, dignified personage, somewhat stricken in years. He was
attired in a robe of black velvet, of the fashion of Henry the Eighth’s
time, and his beard was trimmed in the same bygone mode. The venerable
knight walked bare-headed, and carried a long staff, tipped with gold.

By this time, Mary had reached the gateway opening upon the scene of her
intended assassination. The greater part of her train had already passed
over the drawbridge, and the deafening shouts of the beholders, as
well as the renewed discharges of artillery, told that the queen was
preparing to follow. This latter circumstance created a difficulty,
which Underhill had not foreseen. Confined by the ramparts and the
external walls of the moat, the smoke from the ordnance completely
obscured the view of the drawbridge. Just, however, as Mary set foot
upon it, and Underhill had abandoned the attempt in despair, a gust
of wind suddenly dispersed the vapour. Conceiving this a special
interposition of Providence in his favour, who had thus placed his
royal victim in his hands, the Hot-Gospeller applied the match to the
arquebuss, and the discharge instantly followed.

The queen’s life, however, was miraculously preserved. Sir Henry
Bedingfeld, who was walking a few paces behind her, happening to cast
his eye in the direction of Traitor’s Tower, perceived the barrel of
an arquebuss thrust from a loop-hole in one of the turrets, and pointed
towards her. Struck with the idea that some injury might be intended
her, he sprung forward, and interposing his own person between the queen
and the discharge, drew her forcibly backwards. The movement saved her.
The ball passed through the knight’s mantle, but without harming him
further than ruffling the skin of his shoulder; proving by the course
it took, that, but for his presence of mind, its fatal effect must have
been certain.

All this was the work of an instant. Undismayed by the occurrence, Mary,
who inherited all her father’s intrepidity, looked calmly round, and
pressing Bedingfeld’s arm in grateful acknowledgment of the service
he had rendered her, issued her commands that the assassin should be
secured, strictly examined, and, if need be, questioned on the rack. She
then proceeded to the place of embarkation as deliberately as if nothing
had happened. Pausing before she entered the barge, she thus addressed
her preserver:—

“Sir Henry Bedingfeld, you have ever been my loyal servant. You were the
first, during the late usurpation, to draw the sword in my defence—the
first to raise troops for me—to join me at Framlingham—to proclaim me at
Norwich. But you have thrown all these services into the shade by your
last act of devotion. I owe my life to you. What can I do to evince my

“You have already done more than enough in thus acknowledging it,
gracious madam,” replied Sir Henry; “nor can I claim any merit for the
action. Placed in my situation, I am assured there is not one of your
subjects, except the miscreant who assailed you, who would not have
acted in the same manner. I have done nothing, and deserve nothing.”

“Not so, sir,” returned Mary. “Most of my subjects, I believe, share
your loyalty. But this does not lessen your desert. I should be wanting
in all gratitude were I to let the service you have rendered me pass
unrequited. And since you refuse to tell me how I can best reward you, I
must take upon myself to judge for you. The custody of our person and of
our fortress shall be entrusted to your care. Neither can be confided
to worthier hands. Sir John Gage shall receive another appointment.
Henceforth, you are Lieutenant of the Tower.”

This gracious act was followed by the acclamations of the bystanders;
and the air resounded with cries of “God save Queen Mary!—a
Bedingfeld!—a Bedingfeld!”

“Your majesty has laid an onerous duty upon me, but I will endeavour to
discharge it to your satisfaction,” replied Sir Henry, bending the knee,
and pressing her hand devotedly to his lips. And amid the increased
acclamations of the multitude, Mary entered her barge.

Edward Underhill, meanwhile, whose atrocious purpose had been thus
providentially defeated, on perceiving that his royal victim had
escaped, uttered an ejaculation of rage and disappointment, flung down
the arquebuss, and folding his arms upon his bosom, awaited the result.
Fortunately, an officer accompanied the soldiers who seized him, or they
would have hewn him in pieces.

The wretched man made no attempt to fly, or to defend himself, but when
the soldiers rushed into the room, cried, “Go no further. I am he you

“We know it, accursed villain,” rejoined the foremost of their number,
brandishing a sword over his head. “You have slain the queen.”

“Would I had!” rejoined Underhill. “But it is not the truth. The Lord
was not willing I should be the instrument of his vengeance.”

“Hear the blasphemer!” roared another soldier, dealing him a blow in the
mouth with the pummel of his dagger, that made the blood gush from his
lips. “He boasts of the villany he has committed.”

“If my arm had not been stayed, I had delivered the land from idolatry
and oppression,” returned Underhill. “A season of terrible persecution
is at hand, when you will lament as much as I do, that my design has
been frustrated. The blood of the righteous would have been spared; the
fagots at the stake un-lighted; the groans of the martyrs unheard. But
it is the Lord’s will that this should be. Blessed be the name of the

“Silence, hell-dog!” vociferated a third soldier, placing the point of
his halbert at his breast. “Host think Heaven would approve the foul
deed thou meditatedst? Silence! I say, or I will drive my pike to thy

“I will not be silent,” rejoined Underhill, firmly. “So long as breath
is left me, I will denounce the idolatrous queen by whom this unhappy
land is governed, and pray that the crown may be removed from her head.”

“Rather than thou shalt do so in my hearing, I will pluck out thy
traitorous tongue by the roots,” returned the soldier who had last

“Peace,” interposed the officer. “Secure him, but harm him not. He may
have confederates. It is important that all concerned in this atrocious
attempt should be discovered.”

“I have no accomplice,” replied Underhill. “My own heart dictated what
my hand essayed.”

“May that hand perish in everlasting fire for the deed!” rejoined the
officer. “But if there be power in torture to make you confess who set
you on, it shall not be left untried.”

“I have already spoken the truth,” replied the enthusiast; “and the
sharpest engine ever devised by ruthless man shall not make me gainsay
it, or accuse the innocent. I would not have shared the glory of the
action with any one. And since it has failed, my life alone shall pay
the penalty.”

“Gag him,” cried the officer. “If I listen longer, I shall be tempted
to anticipate the course of justice, and I would not one pang should be
spared him.”

The command was obeyed. On searching him, they found a small
powder-flask, a few bullets, notched, to make the wound they inflicted
more dangerous, a clasp-knife, and a bible, in the first leaf of which
was written a prayer for the deliverance and restoration of Queen
Jane,—a circumstance afterwards extremely prejudicial to that
unfortunate lady.

After Underhill had been detained for some hours in the chamber where
he was seized, an order arrived to carry him before the council. Brought
before them, he answered all their interrogations firmly, confessed his
design, related how he had planned it, and denied as before, with the
strongest asseverations, that he had any accomplice. When questioned as
to the prayer for Lady Jane Grey, whom he treasonably designated “Queen
Jane,” he answered that he should ever regard her as the rightful
sovereign, and should pray with his latest breath for her restoration to
the throne—a reply, which awakened a suspicion that some conspiracy
was in agitation in Jane’s favour. Nothing further, however, could be
elicited, and he was ordered to be put to the rack.

Delivered by the guard to Lawrence Nightgall and his assistants, he was
conveyed to the torture-chamber. The sight of the dreadful instruments
there collected, though enough to appal the stoutest breast, appeared to
have no terror for him. Scrutinizing the various engines with a look of
curiosity, he remarked that none of them seemed to have been recently
used; and added, that they would soon be more frequently employed. He
had not been there many minutes, when Mauger, the headsman, Wolfytt, the
sworn tormentor, and Sorrocold the chirurgeon, arrived, and preparations
were made for administering the torture.

The rack has already been described as a large oaken frame, raised about
three feet from the ground, having a roller at each end, moved by a
lever. Stripped, and placed on his back on the ground, the prisoner was
attached by strong cords to the rollers. Stationing themselves at either
extremity of the frame, Mauger and Wolfytt each seized a lever, while
Nightgall took up his position at the small table opposite, to propose
the interrogations, and write down the answers. The chirurgeon
remained near the prisoner, and placed his hand upon his wrist. Those
preparations made, Nightgall demanded, in a stern tone, whether the
prisoner would confess who had instigated him to the crime he had

“I have already said I have no accomplices,” replied Underhill.

Nightgall made a sign to the assistants, and the rollers were turned
with a creaking sound, extending the prisoners limbs in opposite
directions, and giving him exquisite pain. But he did not even groan.

After the lapse of a few moments, Nightgall said, “Edward Underhill, I
again ask you who were your accomplices?”

No answer being returned, the jailor waved his hand, and the levers were
again turned. The sharpness of the torture forced an involuntary cry
from the prisoner. But beyond this expression of suffering, he continued

The interrogation was a third time repeated; and after some effort on
the part of the assistants, the levers were again turned. Nightgall
and the chirurgcon both watched this part of the application with some
curiosity. The strain upon the limbs was almost intolerable. The joints
started from their sockets, and the sinews were drawn out to their
utmost capability of tension.

After the wretched man had endured this for a few minutes, Sorrocold
informed Nightgall, in a low tone, that nature was failing. The cords
were then gradually relaxed, and he was unbound. His temples being
bathed with vinegar, he soon afterwards revived.

But he was only recovered from one torture to undergo another. The next
step taken by his tormentors was to place him in a suit of irons,
called the Scavenger’s Daughter—a hideous engine devised by Sir William
Skevington, lieutenant of the Tower, in Henry the Eighth’s reign, and
afterwards corrupted into the name above mentioned. By this horrible
machine, which was shaped like a hoop, his limbs were compressed so
closely together that he resembled a ball; and being conveyed to an
adjoining dungeon, he was left in this state without light or food for
further examination.


Congratulations, rejoicings, and public thanksgivings followed the
queen’s preservation from the hand of the assassin. Courtenay, who
had long planned a masque to be exhibited for her amusement within the
Tower, thought this a fitting occasion to produce it. And the utmost
expedition being used, on the day but one after Underhill’s attempt, all
was in readiness.

Great mystery having been observed in the preparations for the pageant,
that it might come upon the spectators as a surprise, none, except those
actually concerned in it, knew what was intended to be represented. Even
the actors, themselves, were kept in darkness concerning it, and it was
only on the night before, when their dresses were given them, that they
had any precise notion of the characters they were to assume. A sort of
rehearsal then took place in one of the lower chambers of the palace; at
which the Earl of Devonshire assisted in person, and instructed them in
their parts. A few trials soon made all perfect, and when the rehearsal
was over, Courtenay felt satisfied that the pageant would go off with
tolerable eclat.

As may be supposed, the three gigantic warders and their diminutive
follower were among the mummers. Indeed, the principal parts wore
assigned them; and on no previous occasion had Xit’s characteristic
coxcombry been more strongly called forth than during the rehearsal.
No consequential actor of modern times could give himself more airs.
Perceiving he was indispensable, he would only do exactly what pleased
him, and, when reprimanded for his impertinence, refused to perform at
all, and was about to walk off with an air of offended dignity. A few
conciliatory words, however, from the Earl of Devonshire induced him
to return; and when all was arranged to his satisfaction, he began to
exhibit a fun and humour that bid fair to outshine all his competitors.

The rehearsal over, a substantial repast was provided by the earl
for his troop. And here, as usual, the giants acquitted themselves to
admiration. Unfortunately, however, for Magog, his spouse was present,
and his dull apprehension of his part at the rehearsal, having excited
her displeasure, she now visited it upon his devoted head. Whenever he
helped himself to a piece of meat, or a capon, she snatched it from his
plate, and transferred it to those of his brethren.

Supper was nearly over, and the hen-pecked giant, who as yet had tasted
nothing, was casting wistful glances at the fast-vanishing dishes, when
Dame Placida arose, and saying she was greatly fatigued, expressed her
determination to return home immediately. In vain Magog remonstrated.
She was firm, and her hapless spouse was arising with a most rueful
countenance to accompany her, when Ribald very obligingly offered to
take his place and escort her. Dame Placida appeared nothing loth, and
Magog, having eagerly embraced the proposal, the pair departed.

“And now brother,” said Gog, “you can do as you please. Make up for lost

“Doubt it not,” replied Magog, “and by way of commencing, I will trouble
you for that sirloin of beef. Send me the dish and the carving-knife,
I pray you, for with this puny bit of steel I can make no progress at

His request was immediately complied with, and it was pleasant to behold
with what inconceivable rapidity slice after slice disappeared. In a
brief space, a few bare bones were all that remained of the once-lordly
joint. Magog’s brethren watched his progress with truly fraternal
interest. Their own appetites being satisfied, they had full leisure to
minister to his wants; and most sedulously did they attend to them. A
brisket of veal, steeped in verjuice, supplied the place of the sirloin,
and a hare-pie, in due season, that of the veal.

Magog acknowledged these attentions with grateful murmurings.

He was too busy to speak. When the hare-pie, which was of a somewhat
savoury character, was entirely consumed, he paused for a moment, and
pointed significantly to a large measure of wine at some little distance
from him. Og immediately stretched out his arm, and handed it to him.
Nodding to his brother, the married giant drained its contents at a
draught, and then applied himself with new ardour to the various dishes
with which his plate was successively laden.

“What would your wife say, if she could see you now?” observed Peter
Trusbut, who sat opposite to him, and witnessed his proceedings with
singular satisfaction.

“Don’t mention her,” rejoined Magog, bolting a couple of cheesecakes
which he had crammed, at the same time, into his capacious mouth; “don’t
mention her, or you will take away my appetite.”

“No fear of that,” laughed the pantler; “but what say you to a glass
of distilled waters? It will be a good wind-up to your meal, and aid

“With all my heart,” rejoined the giant.

The pantler then handed him a stone bottle, holding perhaps a quart, and
knowing his propensities, thought it needful to caution him as to the
strength of the liquid. Disregarding the hint, Magog emptied the greater
part of the spirit into a flagon, and tossed it off, as if it had been
water. Peter Trusbut held up his hands in amazement, and expected to see
the giant drop senseless under the table. But no such event followed.
The only consequence of the potent draught being that it brought the
water into his eyes, and made him gasp a little to recover his breath.

“How do you feel after it, brother?” inquired Og, slapping him on the

“So valiant,” hiccupped Magog, “that I think when I get home, I shall
assert my proper position as a lord of the creation.”

“Act up to that resolution, Master Magog,” observed the pantler,
laughing, “and I shall not think my liquor thrown away.”

“If such be its effect,” said Xit, who; it has before been remarked,
had an unconquerable tendency to imitate, and, if possible, exceed the
extravagancies of his companions, “I will e’en try a drop of it myself.”

And before he could be prevented, the mannikin applied the stone bottle
to his lips, and drained it to the last drop. If Magog’s brain was
sufficiently stolid to resist the effect of the fiery liquid, Xit’s was
not. Intoxication speedily displayed itself in the additional brilliancy
of his keen sparkling little orbs, and in all his gestures. At first,
his antics created much diversion, and he was allowed to indulge them
freely; but before long he became so outrageous and mischievous, that
it was found necessary to restrain him. Springing upon the table, he
cut the most extraordinary capers among the dishes, breaking several of
them, upsetting the flagons and pots of wine, tweaking the noses of the
male guests, kissing the females, and committing a hundred other monkey

On being called to order, he snapped his fingers in the face of the
reprover, and conceiving himself especially affronted by Gog, he threw
a goblet at his head. Luckily, the missile was caught before it reached
its mark. He next seized a torch, and perceiving that Magog had fallen
asleep, set fire to his beard, to arouse him. Starting to his feet, the
giant clapped his hand to his chin—too late however, to save a particle
of his hirsute honours. His rage was terrific. Roaring like a wild bull,
he vowed he would be the death of the offender; and would have kept his
word, if it had not been for his brethren, who, seizing each an arm,
restrained him by main strength, and forced him into his seat, where,
after a few minutes, his anger gave way to laughter.

This was mainly attributable to an accident that befel Xit in his hurry
to escape. Not being particular where he set his feet, the dwarf plumped
into an open plum tart, the syrup of which was so thick and glutinous
that it detained him as effectually as birdlime. In his terror, he
dragged the dish after him to a considerable distance, and his grimaces
were so irresistibly ludicrous that they convulsed the beholders with
laughter. No one attempted to assist him, and it was only by the loss
of both shoes that he could extricate himself from his unpleasant
situation. Peter Trusbut then seized him, and thrusting him into a
basket, fastened down the lid to prevent further mischief.

This occurrence served as the signal for separation. Og and Gog
took their way to the By-ward Tower, the latter carrying the basket
containing Xit under his arm, while Magog, bemoaning the loss of his
beard, and afraid of presenting himself to his wife under such untoward
circumstances, accompanied them as far as the gateway of the Bloody
Tower. Here he paused to say good night.

“Would I could anticipate a good night, myself!” he groaned “But I can
neither eat, drink, nor sleep in comfort now. Ah! brothers, if I had but
listened to your advice! But repentance comes too late.”

“It does—it does,” replied Gog; “But let us hope your dame will amend.”

“That she never will,” screamed Xit from the basket. “What a lucky
escape I had—ha! ha!”

“Peace! thou stinging gadfly,” roared Magog. “Am I ever to be tormented
by thee!”

But as Xit, who imagined himself secure, only laughed the louder, he
grew at last so enraged, that snatching the basket from Og, he placed it
on the ground, and gave it such a kick, that it flew to the top of the
ramparts beyond Traitor’s Tower, where it was picked up by a sentinel,
and the dwarf taken out more dead than alive.

On reaching his habitation—which was the same Dame Placida had formerly
occupied during her state of widowhood, at the right of the road leading
from the Bloody Tower to the Green,—Magog found she had not retired to
rest as he expected, but was engaged in conversation with Ribald, who
had been prevailed upon to remain for a few minutes to taste the ale
for which she was so much, and so justly, celebrated. One cup had led to
another, and the jovial warder seemed ‘in no hurry to depart. The giant
was delighted to see him, and, forgetting his misfortune, was about to
shake him heartily by the hand, when his wife screamed out—“Why Magog,
what is the matter with your chin? You have lost your beard!”

Humbly deprecating her resentment, the giant endeavoured to explain. But
as nothing would satisfy her, he was fain to leave her with Ribald, and
betake himself to his couch, where he speedily fell asleep, and forgot
his troubles.


During the early part of the next day, the majority of the inmates of
the Tower were on the tiptoe of expectation for the coming pageant,
which was fixed to take place in the evening in the large court lying
eastward of that wing of the palace, denominated the Queen’s Lodgings.
The great hall, used on the previous night for the rehearsal, was
allotted as a dressing-room to those engaged in the performance, and
thither they repaired a few hours before the entertainment commenced.

As the day declined, multitudes flocked to the court, and stationed
themselves within the barriers, which had been erected to keep off the
crowd. In addition to these defences, a warder was stationed at every
ten paces, and a large band of halberdiers was likewise in attendance to
maintain order. Banners were suspended from the battlements of the four
towers flanking the corners of the court,—namely, the Salt Tower, the
Lanthorn Tower, the Wardrobe Tower, and the Broad Arrow Tower. The
summits of these fortifications were covered with spectators, as were
the eastern ramparts, and the White Tower. Such windows of the palace as
overlooked the scene, were likewise thronged.

At the southern extremity of the court, stretching from the Lanthorn
Tower to the Salt Tower, stood a terrace, raised a few feet above the
level of the inclosure, and protected by a low-arched balustrade of
stone. This was set apart for the Queen, and beneath a mulberry-tree,
amid the branches of which a canopy of crimson velvet was disposed, her
chair was placed.

About six o’clock, when every inch of standing-room was occupied, and
expectation raised to its highest pitch, a door in the palace leading
to the terrace was thrown open, and the Queen issued from it. Stunning
vociferations welcomed her, and these were followed, or rather
accompanied, by a prolonged flourish of trumpets. It was a moment of
great excitement, and many a heart beat high at the joyous sounds. Every
eye was directed towards Mary, who bowing repeatedly in acknowledgment
of her enthusiastic reception, was saluted with—“God save your
highness! Confusion to your enemies! Death to all traitors!” and other
exclamations referring to her late providential deliverance.

The Queen was attired in a rich gown of raised cloth of gold. A partlet,
decorated with precious stones, surrounded her throat, and her stomacher
literally blazed with diamonds. Upon her head she wore a caul of gold,
and over it, at the back, a round cap, embroidered with orient pearls.
In front, she wore a cornet of black velvet, likewise embroidered with
pearls. A couple of beautiful Italian greyhounds, confined by a silken
leash, accompanied her. She was in excellent spirits, and, whether
excited by the promised spectacle, or by some secret cause, appeared
unusually animated. Many of the beholders, dazzled by her gorgeous
attire, and struck by her sprightly air, thought her positively
beautiful. Smilingly acknowledging the greetings of her subjects, she
gave her hand to the Earl of Devonshire, and was conducted by him to the
seat beneath the mulberry-tree.

They were followed by a numerous train of dames and nobles, foremost
among whom came Sir Henry Bedingfeld,—who as lieutenant of the Tower,
claimed the right of standing behind the royal chair. Next to the knight
stood the Princess Elizabeth, who viewed with the bitterest jealousy
the devoted attention paid by Courtenay to her sister; and, next to the
princess, stood Jane the Fool. Simon Renard also was among the crowd.
But he kept aloof, resolved not to show himself, unless occasion
required it.

As soon as the Queen was seated, another flourish of trumpets was blown,
and from the great gates at the further end of the court issued a crowd
of persons clothed in the skins of wild animals, dragging an immense
machine, painted to resemble a rocky island. On reaching the centre of
the inclosure, the topmost rock burst open, and discovered a beautiful
female seated upon a throne, with a crown on her head, and a sceptre in
her hand. While the spectators expressed their admiration of her beauty
by loud plaudits, another rock opened, and discovered a fiendish-looking
figure, armed with a strangely-formed musket, which he levelled at the
mimic sovereign. A cry of horror pervaded the assemblage, but at that
moment another rock burst asunder, and a fairy arose, who placed a
silver shield between the Queen and the assassin; while a gauze drapery,
wafted from beneath, enveloped them in its folds.


At the appearance of the fairy, the musket fell from the assassin’s
grasp. Uttering a loud cry, a troop of demons issued from below, and
seizing him with their talons bore him out of eight. The benignant fairy
then waved her sword; the gauzy drapery dropped to her feet; and four
other female figures arose, representing Peace, Plenty, Justice, and
Clemency. These figures ranged themselves round the Queen, and the
fairy addressed her in a speech, telling her that these were her
attributes;—that she had already won her people’s hearts, and ended by
promising her a long and prosperous reign. Each word, that applied
to Mary, was followed by a cheer from the bystanders, and when it was
ended, the applauses were deafening. The mimic queen then arose, and
taking off her crown, tendered it to the real sovereign. The four
attributes likewise extended their arms towards her, and told her they
belonged to her. And while the group was in this position, the machine
was borne away.

Fresh flourishes of trumpets succeeded; and several lively airs were
played by bands of minstrels stationed at different points of the

A wild and tumultuous din was now heard; and the gates being again
thrown open, forth rushed a legion of the most grotesque and fantastic
figures ever beheld. Some were habited as huge, open-jawed sea-monsters;
others as dragons, gorgons, and hydras; others, as satyrs and harpies;
others, as gnomes and salamanders. Some had large hideous masks, making
them look all head,—some monstrous wings,—some long coiled tails, like
serpents many were mounted on hobby-horses,—and all whose garbs would
permit them, were armed with staves, flails, or other indescribable

When this multitudinous and confused assemblage had nearly filled the
inclosure, loud roarings were heard, and from the gateway marched Gog
and Magog, arrayed like their gigantic namesakes of Guildhall. A long
artificial beard, of a blue tint, supplied the loss which Magog’s singed
chin had sustained. His head was bound with a wreath of laurel leaves.
Gog’s helmet precisely resembled that worn by his namesake, and he
carried a curiously-formed shield, charged with the device of a black
eagle, like that with which the wooden statue is furnished. Magog was
armed with a long staff, to which a pudding-net, stuffed with wool,
was attached; while Gog bore a long lathen spear. The appearance of the
giants was hailed with a general roar of delight. But the laughter and
applauses were increased by what followed.

Once more opened to their widest extent, the great gates admitted
what, at first, appeared to be a moving fortification. From its sides
projected two enormous arms, each sustaining a formidable club. At the
summit stood a smaller turret, within which, encircled by a wreath of
roses and other flowers, decorated with silken pennoncels, sat Xit, his
pigmy person clothed in tight silk fleshings. Glittering wings fluttered
on his shoulders, and he was armed with the weapons of the Paphian God.
The tower, which, with its decorations, was more than twenty feet high,
was composed of basket-work, covered with canvass, painted to resemble a
round embattled structure. It was tenanted by Og, who moved about in it
with the greatest case. A loophole in front enabled him to see what
was going forward, and he marched slowly towards the centre of the
inclosure. An edging of loose canvass, painted like a rocky foundation,
concealed his feet. The effect of this moving fortress was highly
diverting, and elicited shouts of laughter and applause from the

“That device,” observed Courtenay to the queen, “represents a tower of
strength—or rather, I should say, the Tower of London. It is about to be
attacked by the rabble rout of rebellion, and, I trust, will be able to
make good its defence against them.”

“I hope so,” replied Mary, smiling. “I should be grieved to think that
my good Tower yielded to such assailants. But who is that I perceive?
Surely, it is Cupid?”

“Love is at present an inhabitant of the Tower,” replied Courtenay, with
a passionate look.

Raising his eyes, the next moment, he perceived Elizabeth behind Sir
Henry Bedingfeld. She turned from him with a look of reproach.

A seasonable interruption to his thoughts was offered by the tumultuous
cry arising from the mummers. Gog and Magog having placed themselves on
either side of the Tower as its defenders, the assault commenced. The
object of the assailants was to overthrow the fortress. With this
view, they advanced against it from all quarters, thrusting one another
forward, and hurling their weapons against it. This furious attack
was repelled by the two giants, who drove them back as fast as they
advanced, hurling some head over heels, trampling others under foot,
and exhibiting extraordinary feats of strength and activity. The Tower,
itself, was not behind-hand in resistance. Its two arms moved about like
the sails of a windmill, dealing tremendous blows.

The conflict afforded the greatest amusement to the beholders; but while
the fortress and its defenders maintained their ground against all the
assailants, there was one person who began to find his position somewhat
uncomfortable. This was Xit. So long as Og contented himself with
keeping off his enemies, the dwarf was delighted with his elevated
situation, and looked round with a smile of delight. But when the giant,
animated by the sport, began to attack in his turn, the fabric in which
he was encased swayed to and fro so violently, that Xit expected
every moment to be precipitated to the ground. In vain he attempted to
communicate his fears to Og. The giant was unconscious of his danger,
and the din and confusion around them was so great, that neither Gog
nor Magog could hear his outcries. As a last resource, he tried to creep
into the turret, but this he found impracticable.

“The god of love appears in a perilous position, my lord,” observed the
queen, joining in the laughter of the spectators.

“He does, indeed,” replied Courtenay; “and though the Tower may defend
itself, I fear its chief treasure will be lost in the struggle.”

“You speak the truth, my lord,” remarked the deep voice of Simon
lienard, from behind.

If Courtenay intended any reply to this observation of his mortal foe,
it was prevented by an incident which at that moment occurred. Combining
their forces, the rabble rout of dragons, gorgons, imps, and demons had
made a desperate assault upon the Tower. Og whirled around his clubs
with increased rapidity, and dozens were prostrated by their sweep. Gog
and Magog likewise plied their weapons vigorously, and the assailants
were driven back completely discomfited.

But, unluckily, at this moment, Og made a rush forward to complete
his conquest, and in so doing pitched Xit out of the turret. Falling
head-foremost into the yawning jaws of an enormous goggle-eyed
sea-monster, whose mouth seemed purposely opened to receive him,
and being moved by springs, immediately closed, the dwarf entirely
disappeared. A scream of delight arose from the spectators, who looked
upon the occurrence as part of the pageant.

The queen laughed heartily at Xit’s mischance, and even Courtenay,
though discomposed by the accident, could not help joining in the
universal merriment.

“I might take it as an evil omen,” he remarked in an under tone to Mary,
“that love should be destroyed by your majesty’s enemies.”

“See! he re-appears,” cried the queen, calling the earl’s attention
to the monster, whose jaws opened and discovered the dwarf. “He has
sustained no injury.”

Xit’s disaster, meanwhile, had occasioned a sudden suspension of
hostilities among the combatants. All the mummers set up a shout of
laughter, and the echoing of sound produced by their masks was almost
unearthly. Gog and Magog, grinning from ear to ear, now approached
the dwarf, and offered to restore him to his turret. But he positively
refused to stir, and commanded the monster, in whose jaws he was seated,
to carry him to the queen. After a little parley, the order was obeyed;
and the huge pasteboard monster, which was guided within-side by a
couple of men, wheeled round, and dragged its scaly length towards the

Arrived opposite the royal seat, the mimic Cupid sprang out of the
monster’s jaws, and fluttering his gauzy wings (which were a little the
worse for his recent descent) to give himself the appearance of flying,
ran nimbly up the side of the terrace, and vaulted upon the balustrade
in front of her majesty. He had still possession of his bow and arrows,
and poising himself with considerable grace on the point of his left
foot, fitted a silver shaft to the string, and aimed it at the queen.

“Your highness is again threatened,” observed Sir Henry Bedingfeld,
advancing and receiving the arrow, which, winged with but little force,
dropped harmlessly from his robe.

“You are ever faithful, Sir Henry,” observed Mary, to the knight, whose
zeal in this instance occasioned a smile among the attendants; “but we
have little fear from the darts of Cupid.”

Xit, meanwhile, had fitted another arrow, and drawing it with greater
force, struck Courtenay on the breast. Not content with this, the
mischievous urchin let fly a third shaft at the Princess Elizabeth, who
had advanced somewhat nearer the queen, and the arrow chancing to stick
to some of the ornaments on her stomacher, appeared to have actually
pierced her bosom. Elizabeth coloured deeply as she plucked the dart
from her side, and threw it angrily to the ground. A cloud gathered on
the queen’s brow, and Courtenay was visibly disconcerted.

Xit, however, either unconscious of the trouble he had occasioned,
or utterly heedless of it, took a fourth arrow from his quiver, and
affecting to sharpen its point upon the stone balustrade, shot it
against Jane the Fool. This last shaft likewise hit its mark, though
Jane endeavoured to ward it off with her marotte; and Xit Completed the
absurdity of the scene by fluttering towards her, and seizing her hand,
pressed it to his lips,—a piece of gallantry for which he was rewarded
by a sound cuff on the ears.

“Nay, mistress,” cried Xit, “that is scarcely fair. Love and Folly were
well matched.”

“If Love mate with Folly, he must expect to be thus treated,” replied

“Nay, then, I will bestow my favours on the wisest woman I can find,”
replied Xit.

“There thou wilt fail again,” cried Jane; “for every wise woman will
shun thee.”

“A truce to thy rejoinders, sweetheart,” returned Xit. “Thy wit is as
keen as my arrows, and as sure to hit the mark.”

“My wit resembles thy godship’s arrows in one particular only,” retorted
Jane. “It strikes deepest where it is most carelessly aimed. But, hie
away! Thou wilt find Love no match for Folly.”

“So I perceive,” replied Xit, “and shall therefore proceed to Beauty. I
must have been blinder than poets feign, to have come near thee at all.
In my pursuit of Folly, I have forgot the real business of Love. But
thus it is ever with me and my minions!”

With this, he fluttered towards the queen, and prostrating himself
before her, said—“Your majesty will not banish Love from your court?”

“Assuredly not,” replied Mary; “or if we did banish thee, thou wouldst
be sure to find some secret entrance.”

“Your majesty is in the right,” replied the mimic deity, “I should.
And disdain not this caution from Cupid. As long as you keep my two
companions, Jealousy and Malice, at a distance, Love will appear in
his own rosy hues. But the moment you admit them, he will change his
colours, and become a tormentor.”

“But if thou distributest thy shafts at random, so that lovers dote on
more than one object, how am I to exclude Jealousy?” asked the queen.

“By cultivating self-esteem,” replied Cupid. “The heart I have wounded
for your highness can never feel disloyalty.”

“That is true, thou imp,” observed Courtenay; “and for that speech, I
forgive thee the mischief thou hast done.”

“And so thou assurest me against infidelity?” said Mary.

“Your highness may be as inconstant as you please,” replied Cupid,
“since the dart I aimed at you has been turned aside by Sir Henry
Bedingfeld. But rest easy. He who loves you can love no other.”

“I am well satisfied,” replied Mary, with a gratified look.

“And since I have thy permission to love whom I please, I shall avail
myself largely of it, and give all my heart to my subjects.”

“Not all your heart, my gracious mistress,” said Courtenay, in a tender

At this juncture, Xit, watching his opportunity, drew an arrow from his
quiver, and touched the queen with it near the heart.

“I have hit your majesty at last, as well as the Earl of Devonshire,” he
cried gleefully. “Shall I summon my brother Hymen to your assistance? He
is among the crowd below.”

A half-suppressed smile among the royal attendants followed this daring

“That knave’s audacity encourages me to hope, gracious madam,” whispered
Courtenay, “that this moment may be the proudest—the happiest of my

“No more of this—at least not now, my lord,” replied Mary, whose
notions of decorum were somewhat scandalised at this public declaration.
“Dismiss this imp. He draws too many eyes upon us.”

“I have a set of verses to recite to your majesty,” interposed Xit,
whose quick ears caught the remark, and who was in no hurry to leave the
royal presence.

“Not now,” rejoined Mary, rising. “Fear nothing, thou merry urchin. We
will take care Love meets its desert. We thank you, my lord,” she added,
turning to Courtenay, “for the pleasant pastime you have afforded us.”

As the queen arose, loud and reiterated shouts resounded from the
spectators, in which all the mummers joined. Amid these acclamations she
returned to the palace. Courtenay again tendered her his hand, and the
slight pressure which he hazarded was sensibly returned.

Just as she was about to enter the window, Mary turned round to bow for
the last time to the assemblage, when there arose a universal cry—“Long
live Queen Mary!—Long live the Earl of Devonshire!”

Mary smiled. Her bosom palpitated with pleasure, and she observed to her
lover—“You are the people’s favourite, my lord. I should not deserve to
be their queen if I did not share in their affection.”

“May I then hope?” asked the Earl, eagerly.

“You may,” replied Mary, softly.

The brilliant vision which these words raised before Courtenay’s eyes,
was dispersed by a look which he at that moment received from Elizabeth.

The festivities in the court did not terminate with the departure of the
royal train. Xit was replaced in the turret, whence he aimed his darts
at the prettiest damsels he could perceive, creating infinite merriment
among the crowd. An immense ring was then formed by all the mummers, who
danced round the three giants, the minstrels accompanying the measure
with appropriate strains. Nothing more grotesque can be imagined than
the figures of Gog and Magog, as engaged in the dance, in their uncouth
garbs. As to Og, he flourished his clubs, and twirled himself round with
great rapidity in the opposite direction to the round of dancers, until
at last, becoming giddy, he lost his balance, and fell with a tremendous
crash, upsetting Xit for the second time.

Ever destined to accidents, the dwarf, from his diminutive stature,
seldom sustained any injury, and upon this occasion, though a good deal
terrified, he escaped unhurt. Og was speedily uncased, and, glad to be
set at liberty, joined the ring of dancers, and footed it with as much
glee as the merriest of them.

As the evening advanced, fire-works were discharged, and a daring
rope-dancer, called Peter the Dutchman, ascended the cupola of the
south-east turret of the White Tower, and got upon the vane, where he
lighted a couple of torches. After standing for some time, now upon one
foot—now on the other, he kindled a firework placed in a sort of helmet
on his head, and descended amid a shower of sparks by a rope, one end
of which was fastened in the court where the masquers were assembled.
A substantial supper, of which the mummers and their friends partook,
concluded the diversions of the evening, and all departed well satisfied
with their entertainment.


While the festivities above described occurred without the palace,
within, all was confusion and alarm. The look, which Elizabeth had given
Courtenay, sank into his very soul. All his future greatness appeared
valueless in his eyes, and his only desire was to break off the alliance
with Mary, and reinstate himself in the affections of her sister. For
the queen, it is almost needless to say, he felt no real love. But he
was passionately enamoured of Elizabeth, whose charms had completely
captivated him.

As soon as she could consistently do so, after her return to the palace,
the princess retired to her own apartments, and though her departure
afforded some relief to the earl, he still continued in a state of great
perturbation. Noticing his altered manner, the queen inquired the cause
with great solicitude. Courtenay answered her evasively. And putting her
own construction upon it, she said in a tone of encouragement—“It was
a strange remark made by the little urchin who enacted Cupid. Was he
tutored in his speech?”

“Not by me, gracious madam,” replied Courtenay, distractedly.

“Then the knave hath a ready wit,” returned the queen. “He has put
thoughts into my head which I cannot banish thence.”

“Indeed!” exclaimed the earl. “I trust his boldness has not offended

“Do I look so?” rejoined Mary, smiling. “If I do, my countenance belies
my feelings. No, Courtenay, I have been thinking that no woman can
govern a great kingdom, like mine, unaided. She must have some one, to
whom she can ever apply for guidance and protection,—some one to
whom she can open her whole heart,—to whom she can look for counsel,
consolation, love. In whom could she find all this?”

“In no one but a husband, gracious madam,” replied Courtenay, who felt
he could no longer affect to misunderstand her.

“You are right, my lord,” she replied playfully. “Can you not assist our

“If I dared,”—said Courtenay, who felt he was standing upon the verge of
a precipice.

“Pshaw!” exclaimed Mary. “A queen must ever play the wooer. It is part
of her prerogative. Our choice is already made—so we need not consult
you on the subject.”

“May I not ask whom your majesty has so far distinguished?” demanded the
earl, trembling.

“You shall learn anon, my lord,” replied the queen. “We choose to keep
you a short time in suspense, for here comes Simon Renard, and we do not
intend to admit him to our confidence.”

“That man is ever in my path,” muttered the earl, returning the
ambassador s stern glance with one equally menacing. “I am half
reconciled to this hateful alliance by the thought of the mortification
it will inflict upon him.”

It would almost seem from Renard’s looks, that he could read what was
passing in the other’s breast; for his brow grew each instant more

“I must quit your majesty for a moment,” observed Courtenay, “to see
to the masquers. Besides, my presence might be a restraint to your
councillor. He shall not want an opportunity to utter his calumnies
behind my back.”

Renard smiled bitterly.

“Farewell, my lord,” said the queen, giving him her hand to kiss. “When
you return, you shall have your answer.”

“It is the last time his lips shall touch that hand,” muttered Renard,
as the earl departed.

On quitting the royal presence, Courtenay wandered in a state of the
utmost disquietude to the terrace. He gazed vacantly at the masquers,
and tried to divert his thoughts with their sports; but in vain. He
could not free himself from the idea of Elizabeth. He had now reached
the utmost height of his ambition. He was all but affianced to the
queen, and he doubted not that a few hours—perhaps moments—would decide
his fate. His bosom was torn with conflicting emotions. On one side
stood power, with all its temptations—on the other passion, fierce,
irrepressible passion. The struggle was almost intolerable.

After debating with himself for some time, he determined to seek one
last interview with Elizabeth, before he finally committed himself to
the queen, vainly imagining it would calm his agitation. But, like most
men under the influence of desperate emotion, he acted from impulse,
rather than reflection. The resolution was no sooner formed, than
acted upon. Learning that the Princess was in her chamber, he proceeded
thither, and found her alone.

Elizabeth was seated in a small room, partially hung with arras, and
over the chair she occupied, were placed the portraits of her sire,
Henry the Eighth, and two of his wives, Anne Boleyn and Catharine of
Arragon. Greatly surprised by the earl’s visit, she immediately arose,
and in an authoritative tone commanded him to withdraw.

“How is this?” she cried. “Are you not content with what you have
already done, but must add insult to perfidy!”

“Hear me, Elizabeth,” said Courtenay, advancing towards her, and
throwing himself on his knee. “I am come to implore your forgiveness.”

“You have my compassion, my lord,” rejoined Elizabeth; “but you shall
not have my forgiveness. You have deeply deceived me.”

“I have deceived myself,” replied Courtenay.

“A paltry prevarication, and unworthy of you,” observed the Princess,
scornfully. “But I have endured this long enough. Arise, and leave me.”

“I will not leave you, Elizabeth,” said Courtenay, “till I have
explained the real motives of my conduct, and the real state of my
feelings, which, when I have done, I am persuaded you will not judge me
as harshly, as you do now.”

“I do not desire to hear them,” replied tho Princess. “But since you are
determined to speak, be brief.”

“During my captivity in this fortress,” began Courtenay, “when I
scarcely hoped for release, and when I was an utter stranger, except
from description, to the beauties of your sex, I had certain vague and
visionary notions of female loveliness, which I have never since found
realized except in yourself.”

Elizabeth uttered an exclamation of impatience.

“Do not interrupt me,” proceeded Courtenay. “All I wish to show is, that
long before I had seen you, my heart was predisposed to love you. On my
release from imprisonment, it was made evident in many ways, that the
Queen, your sister, regarded me with favourable eyes. Dazzled by the
distinction—as who would not be?—I fancied I returned her passion. But I
knew not then what love was—nor was it till I was bound in this thraldom
that I became acquainted with its pangs.”

“This you have said before, my lord,” rejoined Elizabeth, struggling
against her emotion. “And if you had not, it is too late to say it now.”

“Your pardon, dearest Elizabeth,” rejoined Courtenay, “for such you will
ever be to me. I know I do not deserve your forgiveness. But I know,
also, that I shall not the less on that account obtain it. Hear the
truth from me, and judge me as you think proper. Since I knew that I
had gained an interest in your eyes, I never could love your sister. Her
throne had no longer any temptation for me—her attachment inspired me
with disgust. You were, and still are, the sole possessor of my heart.”

“Still are! my lord,” exclaimed Elizabeth, indignantly. “And you are
about to wed the Queen. Say no more, or my pity for you will be changed
into contempt.”

“It is my fate,” replied the earl. “Oh! if you knew what the struggle
has cost me, to sacrifice love at the shrine of ambition, you would
indeed pity me.”

“My lord,” said Elizabeth, proudly, “if you have no respect for me, at
least have some for yourself, and cease these unworthy lamentations.”

“Tell me you no longer love me—tell me you despise—hate me—anything to
reconcile myself to my present lot,” cried Courtenay.

“Were I to say I no longer loved you, I should belie my heart,” rejoined
Elizabeth; “for, unfortunately for my peace of mind, I have formed a
passion which I cannot conquer. But were I also to say that your abject
conduct does not inspire me with contempt—with scorn for you, I should
speak falsely. Hear me, in my turn, my lord. To-morrow, I shall solicit
permission from the Queen to retire from the court altogether, and I
shall not return till my feelings towards yourself are wholly changed.”
“Say not so,” cried Courtenay. “I will forego all the brilliant
expectations held out to me by Mary. I cannot endure to part with you.”

“You have gone too far to retreat, my lord,” said Elizabeth. “You are
affianced to my sister.”

“Not so,” replied Courtenay, “and I never will be. When I came hither,
it was to implore your forgiveness, and to take leave of you for ever.
But I find that wholly impossible. Let us fly from this fortress,
and find either in a foreign land, or in some obscure corner of this
kingdom, a happiness, which a crown could not confer.”

As he pronounced these words with all the ardour of genuine passion, he
pressed her hand to his lips. Elizabeth did not withdraw it.

“Save me from this great crime,” he cried—“save me from wedding one whom
I have never loved—save me from an union, which my soul abhors.”

“Are you sincere?” asked Elizabeth, much moved.

“On my soul I am,” replied Courtenay fervently. “Will you fly with
me—this night—this hour,—now?”


“I will answer that question,” cried a voice, which struck them both
as if a thunderbolt had fallen at their feet. “I will answer that
question,” cried Mary, forcibly throwing aside the arras and gazing at
them with eyes that literally seemed to flash fire,—“she will not.”

“Had I not heard this with my own ears,” she continued in a terrible
tone, addressing her faithless lover, who still remained in a kneeling
posture, regarding her with a look of mingled shame and defiance—“had I
not heard this with my own ears, and seen it with my own eyes, I could
not have believed it! Perfidious villain! you have deceived us both.
. But you shall feel what it is to incur the resentment of a queen—and
that queen the daughter of Henry the Eighth. Come in, sir,” she added to
some one behind the arras, and Simon Renard immediately stepped forth.
“As I owe the discovery of the Earl of Devonshire’s perfidy to you, the
least I can do is to let you witness his disgrace.”

“I will not attempt to defend myself, gracious madam,” said Courtenay,

“Defend yourself!” echoed the Queen, bitterly. “Not a word of your
conversation to the Princess has escaped my ears. I was there—behind
that curtain—almost as soon as you entered her chamber. I was acquainted
with your treachery by this gentleman. I disbelieved him. But I soon
found he spoke the truth. A masked staircase enabled me to approach you
unobserved. I have heard all—all, traitor, all.”

“To play the eaves-dropper was worthy of Simon Renard,” returned
Courtenay, with a look of deadly hatred at the ambassador, “but
scarcely, I think, befitting the Queen of England.”

“Where the Queen of England has unworthy persons to deal with, she must
resort to unworthy means to detect them,” returned Mary. “I am deeply
indebted to M. Renard for his service—more deeply than I can express.
An hour more, and it had been too late. Had I affianced myself to you,
I should have considered the engagement binding. As it is, I can
unscrupulously break it. I am greatly beholden to you, sir.”

“I am truly rejoiced to be the instrument of preventing your majesty
from entering into this degrading alliance,” said Renard.—“Had it taken
place, you would have unceasingly repented it.”

“For you, minion,” continued the Queen, turning to Elizabeth, who had
looked silently on, “I have more pity than anger. You have been equally
his dupe.”

“I do not desire your highness’s pity,” rejoined the Princess,
haughtily. “Your own case is more deserving of compassion than mine.”

“Ah! God’s death! derided!” cried the Queen, stamping her foot with
indignation. “Summon the guard, M. Renard. I will place them both in
confinement. Why am I not obeyed?” she continued, seeing the ambassador

“Do nothing at this moment, I implore you, gracious madam.” said Renard,
in a low voice. “Disgrace were better than imprisonment. You punish the
Earl sufficiently in casting him off.”

“Obey me, sir,” vociferated Mary, furiously, “or I will fetch the guard
myself. An outraged woman may tamely submit to her wrongs—an outraged
Queen can revenge them. Heaven be thanked! I have the power to do so, as
I have the will. Down on your knees, Edward Courtenay, whom I have made
Earl of Devonshire, and would have made King of England—on your knees, I
say. Now, my lord, your sword.”

“It is here,” replied the Earl, presenting it to her, “and I entreat
your majesty to sheathe it in my bosom.”

“His crime does not amount to high treason,” whispered Renard, “nor can
your highness do more than disgrace him.”

“The guard! the guard, sir!” cried Mary, authoritatively. “Our father,
Henry the Eighth, whose lineaments frown upon us from that wall, had not
authority for all he did. He was an absolute king, and we are absolute
queen. Again, I say, the guard! and bid Sir Henry Bedingfeld attend us.”

“Your majesty shall be obeyed,” replied Renard, departing. “Do with me
what you please, gracious madam,” said Courtenay, as soon as they were
alone. “My life is at your disposal. But, I beseech you, do not visit my
faults upon the Princess Elizabeth. If your majesty tracked me hither,
you must be well aware that my presence was as displeasing to her as it
could be to yourself.”

“I will not be sheltered under this plea,” replied Elizabeth, whose
anger was roused by her sister’s imperious conduct. “That the interview
was unsought on my part, your highness well knows. But that I lent a
willing ear to the Earl of Devonshire’s suit is equally true. And if
your highness rejects him, I see nothing to prevent my accepting him.”

“This to my face!” cried Mary, in extremity of indignation.

“And wherefore not?” returned Elizabeth, maliciously.

“Anger me no further,” cried Mary, “or by my father’s soul! I will not
answer for your head.” Her manner was so authoritative, and her looks so
terrible, that even Elizabeth was awed.

“Again,” interposed Courtenay, humbly, “let me, who am the sole cause
of your majesty’s most just displeasure, bear the weight of it. The
Princess Elizabeth, I repeat, is not to blame.”

“I am the best judge in my own cause, my lord,” replied the Queen. “I
will not hear a word more.”

A deep silence then ensued, which was broken by the entrance of the
Lieutenant of the Tower and the guard. Renard brought up the rear.

“Sir Henry Bedingfeld,” said Mary, “I commit the Princess Elizabeth and
the Earl of Devonshire to your custody.”

“I can scarcely credit my senses, gracious Madam,” replied Bedingfeld,
gazing at the offenders with much concern, “and would fain persuade
myself it is only a part of the pastime I have so recently witnessed.”

“It is no pastime, Sir Henry,” replied the Queen, sternly. “I little
thought, when I entrusted you with the government of this fortress, how
soon, and how importantly, you would have to exercise your office. Let
the prisoners be placed in close confinement.”

“This is the first time in my life,” replied the old knight, “that I
have hesitated to obey your majesty. And if I do so now, I beseech you
to impute it to the right motive.”

“How, sir!” cried the Queen fiercely. “Do you desire to make me regret
that I have removed Sir John Gage? He would not have hesitated.”

“For your own sake, gracious madam,” said Sir Henry, falling on his
knees before her, “I beseech you pause. I have been a faithful servant
of your high and renowned father. Henry the Eighth—of your illustrious
mother, Catherine of Arragon, who would almost seem,—from their pictures
on that wall,—to be present now. In their names, I beseech you pause.
I am well aware your feelings have been greatly outraged. But they may
prompt you to do that which your calmer judgment may deplore.”

“Remonstrance is in vain,” rejoined the Queen. “I am inexorable. The
Princess Elizabeth may remain a close prisoner in her own apartments.
The Earl of Devonshire must be removed elsewhere. You will be answerable
for their safe custody.”

“I will,” replied Bedingfeld, rising; “but I would that I had never
lived to see this day!”

With this, he commanded his attendants to remove Courtenay, and when the
order was obeyed, he lingered for a moment at the door, in the hope that
the Queen would relent. But, as she continued immoveable, he departed
with a sorrowful heart, and conveyed the Earl to his own lodgings.

Courtenay gone, Elizabeth’s proud heart gave way, and she burst into a
hood of tears. As Mary saw this, a feeling of compassion crossed her,
which Renard perceiving, touched her sleeve, and drew her away.

“It were better to leave her now,” he observed. Yielding to his advice,
Mary was about to quit the room, when Elizabeth arose and threw herself
at her feet.

“Spare him!” she cried.

“She thinks only of her lover,” thought the Queen; “those tears are for
him. I will not pity her.”

And she departed without returning an answer.

Having seen two halberdiers placed at the door of the chamber, and two
others at the foot of the masked staircase by which she and Renard had
approached, Mary proceeded with the ambassador to her own apartments.

On thinking over the recent occurrences, her feelings were so
exasperated, that she exclaimed aloud, “Oh! that I could avenge myself
on the perjured traitor.”

“I will show you how to avenge yourself,” replied Renard.

“Do so, then,” returned the queen.

“Unite yourself to my master, Philip of Spain,” rejoined the ambassador.
“Your cousin, the Emperor, highly desires the match. It will be an
alliance worthy of you, and acceptable to your subjects. The Prince is a
member of your own religion, and will enable you to restore its worship
throughout your kingdom.”

“I will think of it,” replied Mary, musingly.

“Better act upon it,” rejoined Renard. “The prince, besides his royal
birth, is in all respects more richly endowed by nature than the Earl of

“So I have heard him accounted,” replied Mary.

“Your majesty shall judge for yourself,” rejoined Renard, producing
a miniature. “Here is his portrait. The likeness is by no means

“He must be very handsome,” observed Mary, gazing at the miniature.

“He is,” replied Renard; “and his highness is as eager for the alliance
as his imperial father. I have ventured to send him your majesty’s
portrait, and you shall hear in what rapturous terms he speaks of it.”

And taking several letters from his doublet, he selected one sealed with
the royal arms of Spain, from which he read several highly complimentary
remarks on Mary’s personal appearance.

“Enough, sir,” said Mary, checking him. “More unions are formed from
pique than from affection, and mine will be one of them. I am resolved
to affiance myself to the Prince of Spain, and that forthwith. I will
not allow myself time to change my mind.”

“Your highness is in the right,” observed Renard, eagerly.

“Meet me at midnight in Saint John’s Chapel in the White Tower,”
continued the queen, “where in your presence, and in the presence of
Heaven, I will solemnly affiance myself to the prince.”

“Your majesty transports me by your determination,” replied the
ambassador. And full of joy at his unlooked-for success, he took his

At midnight, as appointed, Renard repaired to Saint John’s Chapel. He
found the Queen, attended only by Feckenham, and kneeling before the
altar, which blazed with numerous wax-lights. She had changed her
dress for the ceremony, and was attired in, a loose robe of three-piled
crimson velvet, trimmed with swansdown. Renard remained at a little
distance, and looked on with a smile of Satanic triumph.

After she had received the sacrament, and pronounced the “Veni Creator,”
Mary motioned the ambassador towards her, and placing her right hand on
a parchment lying on the altar, to which were attached the broad
seals of England, addressed him thus:—“I have signed and sealed this
instrument, by which I contract and affiance myself in marriage to
Philip, Prince of Spain, son of his imperial majesty, Charles the Fifth.
And I further give you, Simon Renard, representative of the prince, my
irrevocable promise, in the face of the living God and his saints, that
I will wed him and no other.”


“May Heaven bless the union!” exclaimed Feckenham.

“There is the contract,” pursued Mary, giving the parchment to Renard,
who reverentially received it. “On my part, it is a marriage concluded.”

“And equally so on the part of the prince, my master,” replied Renard.
“In his name I beg to express to your highness the deep satisfaction
which this union will afford him.”

“For the present this contract must be kept secret, even from our privy
councillors,” said the queen.

“It shall never pass my lips,” rejoined Renard.

“And mine are closed by my sacred calling,” added the confessor.

“Your majesty, I am sure, has done wisely in this step,” observed
Renard, “and, I trust, happily.”

“I trust so too, sir,” replied the Queen—“but time will show. These
things are in the hands of the Great Disposer of events.”


Horror-stricken by the discovery he had made of the body of the
ill-fated Alexia, and not doubting from its appearance that she must
have perished from starvation, Cholmondeley remained for some time in a
state almost of stupefaction in the narrow chamber where it lay. Rousing
himself, at length, he began to reflect that no further aid could
be rendered her,—that she was now, at last, out of the roach of her
merciless tormentor,—and that his attention ought, therefore, to be
turned towards one who yet lived to suffer from his cruelty.

Before departing, he examined the corpse more narrowly to ascertain
whether it bore any marks of violence, and while doing so, a gleam
of light called his attention to a small antique clasp fastening her
tattered hood at the throat. Thinking it not impossible this might
hereafter furnish some clue to the discovery of her real name and
condition, he removed it. On holding it to the light, he thought
he perceived an inscription upon it, but the characters were nearly
effaced, and reserving the solution of the mystery for a more favourable
opportunity, he carefully secured the clasp, and quitted the cell. He
then returned to the passages he had recently traversed, explored every
avenue afresh, reopened every cell-door, and after expending several
hours in fruitless search, was compelled to abandon all hopes of finding

Day had long dawned when he emerged from the dungeon; and as he was
slowly wending his way towards the Stone Kitchen, he descried Lawrence
Nightfall advancing towards him. From the furious gestures of the
jailor, he at once knew that he was discovered, and drawing his sword,
he stood upon his defence. But a conflict was not what Nightgall
desired. He shouted to the sentinels on the ramparts, and informing them
that his keys had been stolen, demanded their assistance to secure the
robber. Some half-dozen soldiers immediately descended, and Cholmondeley
finding resistance in vain, thought fit to surrender. The keys being
found upon him, were delivered to Nightgall, while he himself was
conveyed to the guard-room near the By-ward Tower.

After he had been detained there for some hours in close captivity,—not
even being allowed to communicate with his friends in the
Stone-kitchen,—Nightgall returned with an order from the council for his
imprisonment in the Nun’s Bower, whither he was forthwith removed.
On the way to his place of confinement, he encountered Xit, and the
friendly dwarf would fain have spoken with him, but he was kept at a
distance by the halberts of the guard. He contrived, however, to inform
him by sundry nods, winks, and expressive gestures, that he would keep a
sharp watch upon the proceedings of Nightgall.

Having seen Cholmondeley safely bestowed, the jailor repaired to the
entrance of the subterranean dungeons, and lighting a torch, opened the
door of a small recess, from which he took a mattock and spade. Armed
with these implements, he proceeded to the vault, beneath the Devilin
Tower, where he commenced digging a grave. After labouring hard for a
couple of hours, he attained a sufficient depth for his purpose, and
taking the torch, ascended to the small chamber. Lifting the skeleton
frame in his arms, he returned to the vault. In placing the torch on the
ground it upset, and rolling into the grave was extinguished, leaving
him in profound darkness. His first impulse was to throw down the body,
but having, in his agitation, placed the hands, which were clasped
together, over his neck, he found it impossible to free himself from it.
His terror was so great that he uttered a loud cry, and would have fled,
but his feet were rooted to the spot. He sank at last on his knees, and
the corpse dropped upon him, its face coming into contact with his own.
Grown desperate, at length, he disengaged himself from the horrible
embrace, and threw the body into the grave. Relieved by this step from
much of his fear, he felt about for the spade, and having found it,
began to shovel in the mould.


While thus employed, he underwent a fresh alarm. In trampling down the
mould, a hollow groan issued from the grave, trembling in every limb, he
desisted from his task. His hair stood erect, and a thick damp gathered
on his brow. Shaking off his terrors, he renewed his exertions, and in a
short time his task was completed.

He then groped his way out of the vault, and having become by long usage
familiarized with its labyrinths, soon reached the entrance, where
he struck a light, and having found a lantern, set fire to the candle
within it. This done, he returned to the vault, where, to his great
horror, he perceived that the face of the corpse was uncovered. Averting
his gaze from it, he heaped the earth over it, and then flattened the
mass with repeated blows of the spade. All trace of his victim being
thus removed, and the vault restored to its original appearance, he took
back the implements he had used, and struck into a passage leading in
another direction.

Pursuing it for some time, he came to a strong door; unlocked it; and,
ascending a flight of stone steps, reached another arched passage,
which he swiftly traversed. After threading other passages with equal
celerity, he came to a wider avenue, contrived under the eastern
ramparts, and tracked it till it brought him to a flight of steps
leading to a large octangular chamber, surrounded by eight deep
recesses, and forming the basement story of the Salt Tower, at that
time, and for upwards of a century afterwards, used as one of the
prison lodgings of the fortress. In a chamber in the upper story of
this fortification, now occupied as a drawing-room, is a curious sphere,
carved a few years later than the date of this chronicle, by Hugh
Draper, an astrologer, who was committed to the Tower on suspicion of


Quitting this chamber, Nightgall ascended a winding stone staircase
which brought him to an arched door, leading to the room just described.
Taking a key from the bunch at his girdle, he unlocked it, and entered
the room. A female was seated in one corner with her face buried in her
hands. Raising her head at his approach, she disclosed the features of
Cicely. Her eyes were red with weeping—and her figure attenuated by
long suffering. Conceiving from the savage expression of the jailor s
countenance that he meditated some further act of cruelty, she uttered a
loud shriek, and tried to avoid him.


“Peace!” cried Nightgall, “I will do you no harm. Your retreat has been
discovered. You must go with me to the tower leading to the Iron Gate.”

“I will never go thither of my accord,” replied Cicely. “Release me,
villain. I will die sooner than become your bride.”

“We shall see that,” growled the jailer. “Another month’s captivity
will make you alter your tone. You shall never be set free, unless you
consent to be mine.”

“Then I shall die a prisoner like your other victims,” cried Cicely.

“Who told you I had other victims?” cried Nightgall, moodily.

“No matter who told me. I have heard Cuthbert Cholmondeley, whom I love
as much as I hate you, speak of one—Alexia, I think she was named.”

“No more of this,” cried Nightgall, fiercely, “come along, or—”

“Never!” shrieked Cicely—“I will not go. You will murder me,”—And she
filled the chamber with her screams.

“Confusion!” cried Nightgall, “we shall be heard. Come along, I say.”

In struggling to free herself from him, Cicely fell upon the ground,
regardless of this, Nightgall dragged her by main, force through the
doorway, and so down the secret staircase. She continued her screams,
until her head striking against the stones, she was stunned by the blow,
and became insensible. He then raised her in his arms, and descending
another short flight of steps, traversed a narrow passage, and came to a
dark chamber beneath the Tower leading to the Iron Gate.





As soon as it was known that the Princess Elizabeth and Courtenay were
placed under arrest, the greatest consternation prevailed throughout the
Tower. While some few rejoiced in the favourite’s downfall, the
majority deplored it; and it was only the idea that when Mary’s jealous
indignation subsided, he would be restored to his former position, that
prevented open expression being given to their sentiments. On being made
acquainted with what had occurred, Gardiner instantly sought an audience
of the Queen, and without attempting to defend Courtenay’s conduct,
he besought her earnestly to pause before she proceeded to
extremities,—representing the yet unsettled state of her government,
and how eagerly advantage would be taken of the circumstances to stir
up dissension and rebellion. Mary replied that her feelings had been so
greatly outraged that she was resolved upon vengeance, and that nothing
but the Earl’s life would satisfy her.

“If this is your determination, madam,” returned Gardiner,

“I predict that the crown will not remain upon your head a month. Though
the Earl of Devonshire has grievously offended your highness, his crime
is not treason. And if you put him to death for this offence, you will
alienate the hearts of all your subjects.”

“Be it so,” replied Mary, sternly. “No personal consideration shall
deter me from my just revenge.”

“And what of the Princess Elizabeth?” asked the Bishop.

“She shall share his fate,” answered the Queen.

“This must not be, my gracious mistress,” cried Gardiner, throwing
himself at her feet. “Hero I will remain till I have driven these dark
and vindictive feelings from your breast. Banish the Earl—take his life,
if nothing else will content you,—but do not raise your hand against
your sister.”

“Bishop of Winchester,” replied the Queen, “how many hours have you
knelt before my father, Henry the Eighth, and have yet failed to turn
him from his purpose! I am by nature as jealous—as firm—as obstinate, if
you will—as he was. Arise.”

“No, madam,” replied Gardiner, “I will not rise till I have convinced
you of your error. Your august father was a prince of high and noble
qualities, but the defects that clouded his royal nature would show
to double disadvantage in one of your sex. Dismiss all thought of this
faithless Earl from your heart,—banish him from your presence, from your
kingdom,—nay, keep him in durance if you will, but use no harsh measures
against the Princess Elizabeth. Every step taken against her will be
fearfully resented by the Protestant party, of which, I need not remind
you, she is the representative.”

“And what matter if it be, my lord?” rejoined Mary. “I am strong enough
to maintain my own authority, and shall be right glad of some plea
to put down heresy and schism by fire and sword. You are not wont to
advocate this cause.”

“Nor do I advocate it now, madam,” returned Gardiner. “All I counsel
is prudence. You are not yet strong enough to throw off the mask of
toleration which you have hitherto worn. Your first parliament has
not yet met. The statutes establishing the Reformed religion are yet
unrepealed,—nay, though I shame to speak it, the marriage of your
illustrious parents has not yet been confirmed.”

“You should shame to speak it, my lord,” rejoined Mary, fiercely; “for
it is mainly by your machinations that the divorce was obtained.”

“I own it to my sorrow,” replied Gardiner, “but I then owed the same
obedience to your illustrious sire that I now owe to your highness. I
did your injured mother great wrong, but if I live I will repair it.
This, however, is foreign to the subject. Your majesty may believe me
when I tell you, your worst enemies could not desire you to take a more
injudicious step, or one more fraught with danger to yourself, than to
strain your prerogative against Courtenay and Elizabeth.”

“Were I to assent to your request and set them free,” replied

Mary, after a moment’s reflection, “the first act of the princess would
be to unite herself to this perfidious villain.”

“I do not think it,” replied Gardiner. “But what if she were to do so?”

“What!” exclaimed Mary, furiously. “The thought revives all my
indignation. Am I so tame of spirit that I can bear to see him whom I
have loved united to a rival I hate? No, my lord, I am not. This is no
doubtful case. I have heard his treachery with my own ears—seen it with
my own eyes—and I will terribly avenge myself. Courtenay never again
shall behold Elizabeth. He has breathed his last false sigh—uttered his
last perjured profession of love—exchanged his last look, unless they
meet upon the scaffold. You know not what an injured woman feels. I have
the power of avenging myself, and, by my father’s head, I will use it!”

“And when you have gratified this fell passion, madam,” returned
Gardiner, “remorse will succeed, and you will bitterly regret what you
have done. Since nothing better may be,—and if you will not nobly, and
like yourself, pardon the offenders,—at least reflect before you act. If
you persist in your present intention, it will be the duty of all your
faithful subjects to prepare for a rebellion, for such will certainly

“Make what preparations you deem fitting, my lord,” replied Mary. “In
my father’s time the people did not dare to resist his decrees, however

“The people are no longer what they were, madam, nor are you—for I must
make bold to say so—in the position, or backed by the power of your
dread father. What he did is no rule for you. I am no advocate for
Courtenay—nor for the princess Elizabeth. Could you avenge yourself upon
them with safety, though I should lament it, I would not oppose you. But
you cannot do so. Others must bleed at the same time. Remember the Lady
Jane Gray and her husband yet live. You will revive their faction—and
must of necessity doom them to death to prevent another rebellion. Once
begun, there will be no end to bloodshed.”

“These are cogent reasons, my lord,” returned Mary, after a moment’s
reflection,—“supposing them well-founded.”

“And trust me, they are well-founded, gracious madam,” replied the
Bishop. “Do not sacrifice your kingdom—do not sacrifice the holy
Catholic church which looks to you for support—to an insane thirst of

“Gardiner,” replied Mary, taking his hand and looking at him earnestly,
“you know not how I have loved this man. Put yourself in my position.
How would you act?”

“As I am assured your highness would, if you were not under the dominion
of passion,” replied the bishop—“forgive him.”

“I would do so,” rejoined Mary, “but oh! if he were to wed Elizabeth, I
should die. I would rather yield them my crown,—my life,—than consent to
their espousals. But I will not think for myself. Arise, my lord. Give
me your counsel, and what you recommend I will follow.”

“Spoken like yourself, gracious madam,” replied the bishop.

“I was sure your noble nature could soon triumph over unworthy thoughts.
Since your highness thinks it possible Courtenay may wed Elizabeth, I
would advise you to detain him for the present a captive in the Tower.
But instantly liberate the princess—dismiss her from your court—and let
her retire to Ashbridge.”

“I like your advice well, my lord,” replied the Queen, “and will act
upon it. The princess shall set out to-day.”

“I cannot too highly applaud your highness’s determination,” replied
Gardiner; “but as you have spoken thus frankly, may I venture to ask
whether the earl’s case is utterly hopeless?—whether, after he has
sufficiently felt the weight of your displeasure you will not restore
him to your favour—to your affections?”

“Never,” replied Mary, firmly, “never. And could you counsel it?”

“He is inexperienced, madam,” urged the bishop; “and after this salutary

“No more, my lord,” interrupted the Queen, a shade passing over her
features, “it is too late.”

“Too late!” echoed Gardiner. “Am I to understand your highness has made
another engagement?”

“You are to understand nothing more than you are told, my lord,” replied
Mary, angrily. “In due season you shall know all.”

As Gardiner bowed in acquiescence, he perceived the miniature of Philip
of Spain lying on the table, and a sudden apprehension of the truth
crossed him.

“There is one person upon whom I should chiefly desire your highness’s
choice not to fall,1’ he said.

“And that is—?” interrupted Mary.

“Philip of Spain,” answered Gardiner.

“What objections have you to him, my lord?” demanded the queen,

“My objections are threefold,” rejoined Gardiner. “First, I dislike the
tyrannical character of the prince, which would be ill-suited to render
your highness’s union a happy one. Secondly, I am assured that the match
would be disagreeable to your subjects—the English nation not being
able to brook a foreign yoke; and of all dominations none being so
intolerable as that of Spain. Thirdly, the alliance would plunge us in
endless wars with France—a country that would never tamely submit to
such a formidable extension of power, as this would prove, on the part
of its old enemy, Charles the Fifth.”

“If not Philip of Spain, whom would you recommend me?” asked Mary, who
was anxious to mislead him.

“One of your own nobles,” replied Gardiner; “by which means your
authority would be unabridged. Whereas, if you wed a prince, odious for
his tyranny in the eyes of all Europe”———

“No more of this, my lord,” interrupted Mary, hastily.

“Madam,” said Gardiner, “however I may risk displeasing you, I should
be wanting in duty, in loyalty, and in sincerity, were I not strongly to
warn you against a match with Philip of Spain. It will be fatal to your
own happiness—fatal to the welfare of your people.”

“I have already said it is too late,” sighed Mary.

“Your Majesty has not affianced yourself to him,” cried Gardiner,

“Question me no further,” rejoined Mary. “What is done is done.”

“Alas! madam,” cried Gardiner, “I understand your words too well. You
have taken a perilous step, at the instigation of evil counsellors, and
under the influence of evil passions. God grant good may come of it!”

“These are mere surmises on your part, my lord,” returned Mary. “I have
not told you I have taken any step.”

“But your majesty leads me to infer it,” answered the bishop. “For
your own sake, and for the sake of your kingdom, I trust my fears are

As he spoke, an usher approached, and informed the queen that the
imperial ambassador, Simon Renard, desired an audience.

“Admit him,” said Mary. “Farewell, my lord,” she added, turning to
Gardiner; “I will weigh what you have said.”

“Act upon it, gracious madam, if you can,” rejoined the bishop. “But if
you are so far committed as to be unable to retreat, count upon my best
services to aid you in the difficulty.” At this moment, Simon Renard
entered the audience-chamber, and the expression of his countenance was
so exulting, that Gardiner was convinced his conjectures were not far
wide of the truth. His first object, on quitting the royal presence, was
to seek out Feckenham, from whom he succeeded in eliciting the fact
of the betrothment in Saint John’s chapel; and with a breast full
of trouble he returned to his own apartments. On the way thither, he
encountered De Noailles.

“Well met, my lord,” cried the ambassador. “I was about to seek you.
So, it seems all our projects are ruined. Courtenay is disgraced and

“His folly has destroyed the fairest chance that ever man possessed,”
observed the bishop. “He is now irretrievably lost.”

“Not irretrievably, I trust, my good lord,” replied Do Noailles. “A
woman’s mind is proverbially changeful. And when this jealous storm
is blown over, I doubt not he will, again bask in the full sunshine of
royal favour.”

“Your excellency is in the wrong,” rejoined Gardiner. “The queen will
never forgive him, or, what is equally to be lamented, will never unite
herself to him.”

“You speak confidently, my lord,” returned Do Noailles gravely. “I trust
nothing has occurred to warrant what you say.”

“M. De Noailles,” said the bishop significantly, “look to yourself. The
party of France is on the decline. That of Spain is on the ascendant.”

“What mean you, my lord?” cried the ambassador, eagerly. “Renard has not
succeeded in his aim? Mary has not affianced herself to the Prince of

“I know nothing positively,” replied Gardiner evasively. “I merely throw
out the hint. It is for you to follow it up.”

“This were a blow, indeed!” cried De Noailles. “But subtle as Renard is,
and with all the advantage he has gained, I will yet countermine him.”

“You shall not want my aid,” returned Gardiner, “provided you hatch no
treason against the queen. And that you may the better know how to act,
learn that her majesty is affianced to Philip of Spain.”

“Curses on the crafty Spaniard!” exclaimed De Noailles, furiously. “But
I will yet defeat him.”

“The princess Elizabeth will be liberated to-day, and sent with a
strong guard to Ashbridge,” remarked Gardiner. “Courtenay will be kept a
prisoner in the Tower.”

“We must find means to liberate him,” rejoined the ambassador.

“In this you must proceed without my aid,” said the bishop. “If it be
possible to reinstate the earl in Mary’s favour, it shall be done. But I
can take no part in aiding his flight.”

“Leave it to me, my lord,” rejoined De Noailles. “All I require is your
voice with the queen.”

“That you may rely on,” answered the bishop.

With this, they separated; Gardiner proceeding to his own apartments,
and De Noailles bending his steps towards the green, debating with
himself, as he wended thither, what course it would be best to pursue in
the emergency. Nothing occurred to him but expedients so hazardous that
he instantly dismissed them. While resolving these matters, as he walked
to and fro beneath the avenue, he was accosted by Xit, who, doffing his
cap, and making a profound bow, inquired whether the rumour was correct
that the Earl of Devonshire had incurred the queen’s displeasure and was

“Ay, marry is it,” replied De Noailles.

“I am truly concerned to hear it,” replied the mannikin; “and I make no
doubt his lordship’s disgrace is owing to the machinations of his mortal
foe, Simon Renard.”

“Thou art in the right,” replied De Noailles. “And let it be known
throughout the Tower that this is the case.”

“I will not fail to spread it among my fellows,” replied Xit. “But
none can lament it more than myself. I would lay down my life for his

“Indeed!” exclaimed De Noailles. “This knave may be useful,” he
muttered. “Harkee, sirrah! Canst thou devise some safe plan by which
a letter may be conveyed to the earl, who is imprisoned in the
lieutenant’s lodgings?”

“Your excellency could not have chanced upon one more able or willing to
serve you,” replied Xit. “Give me the letter, and I will engage it shall
reach its destination.”

“Come to my lodgings this evening,” said De Noailles, “and it shall be
ready for thee. As yet, my plan is not matured.”

“Your excellency may depend upon me,” replied the dwarf.

“But I conclude, if I perform my task to your satisfaction, I shall be

“Amply,” replied De Noailles. “Take this purse in earnest of what is to

“I do not desire gold,” returned the dwarf, restoring the purse. “What
I aspire to is rank. I am tired of being attendant to three gluttonous
giants. If the Earl of Devonshire is restored by my means to liberty and
to the position he has lost with the queen, I trust the service will not
be unremembered, but that I may be promoted to some vacant post.”

“Doubt it not,” replied De Noailles, who could scarcely help laughing at
the dwarfs overweening vanity. “I will answer for it, if thou performest
thy part well, thou shalt be knighted ere a month be past. But I will
put thy skill further to the test. The princess Elizabeth will be
removed from the Tower to-day. Thou must find some means of delivering a
letter to her, unperceived by her attendants.”

“I will do it,” replied Xit, unhesitatingly. “Knighted, did your
excellency say?”

“Ay, knighted,” returned De Noailles,—“within a month. Follow me. I will
prepare the letter.”

It being the ambassador’s wish to carry on a secret correspondence with
the princess, he pondered upon the safest means of accomplishing his
object; and chancing to notice a guitar, which had been lent him by
Elizabeth, it occurred to him that it would form an excellent medium
of communication. Accordingly, he set to work; and being well versed in
various state ciphers, speedily traced a key to the system beneath
the strings of the instrument. He then despatched it by a page to the
princess, who, immediately comprehending that some mystery must
be attached to it, laid it aside to take with her to Ashbridge. Do
Noailles, meanwhile, wrote a few hasty lines on a piece of paper,
explaining his motive in sending the guitar, and delivering it to
Xit, charged him, as he valued his life, not to attempt to give it the
princess, unless he could do so unobserved.

About noon, Elizabeth, escorted by Sir Edward Hastings, and a large
guard, left the palace. She was on horseback, and as she rode through
the gateway of the By-ward Tower, Xit, who had stationed himself on Og’s
shoulder, took off his bonnet, and let it fall as if by accident, on
her steed’s head. Startled by the blow, the animal reared, and in
the confusion that ensued, the dwarf contrived to slip the billet
unperceived into her hand. As soon as the cavalcade had passed on, and
the dwarf had undergone a severe rebuke from Og and the other warders
for his supposed carelessness, he hastened to the ambassador’s room,
to relate the successful issue of his undertaking. De Noailles was
overjoyed by the intelligence; complimented him on his skill; promised
him still higher dignities in case of success; and bade him return in
the evening for further orders.

The remainder of the day was consumed by the ambassador in revolving his
project. The more he reflected upon the matter, the more convinced he
became, that in the present critical state of affairs, nothing could
be done without some daring conspiracy; and after a long debate, he
conceived a scheme which would either overthrow Mary’s government
altogether, and place Elizabeth on the throne, or reduce the former
to such an abject state that he could dictate his own terms to her. On
consideration, thinking it better not to write to the Earl for fear of
mischance, he entrusted Xit with a message to him, earnestly impressing
upon the dwarf the necessity of caution.

The subject of all this plotting, it has been stated, was confined
in the lieutenant’s lodgings. Every consideration due to his rank
and peculiar position was shown him by Sir Henry Bedingfeld. He was
permitted to occupy the large chamber on the second floor, since noted
as the scene of the examinations of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators.
He was, however, strictly guarded. No one was allowed to hold any
communication with him, either personally or by letter, except through
the medium of the lieutenant. And every article either of attire or
furniture that was brought him was carefully inspected before it was
delivered to him.

Xit, who, as a privileged person, went and came where he pleased, found
little difficulty in obtaining admittance to the lieutenant’s lodgings.
But all his cunning could not procure him a sight of the prisoner, and
after wasting several hours in fruitless attempts, being fearful of
exciting suspicion, he was compelled for that night to relinquish the
design. The next day, he was equally unsuccessful, and he was almost
driven to his wits’ end with perplexity, when as he was passing beneath
a tree at the southern extremity of the green, he chanced to cast his
eye upwards, and saw a cat spring from one of the topmost branches on to
the roof of the Bloody Tower.

“Wherever a cat can go, I can,” thought Xit; “That roof reached, I could
pass along the summits of the ramparts and fortifications connecting it
with the lieutenant’s lodgings; and on arriving there, it were easy to
descend the chimney, and get into the earl’s chamber. Bravo! That will

The plan so enchanted him, that he was in a fever to put it in
execution. This, however, could not take place till night, and retiring
to a little distance to survey the premises, he satisfied himself, after
some consideration, that he had discovered the chimney communicating
with the earl’s room. When the proper time arrived, he cautiously
approached the tree, and looking round to make sure no one observed him,
he clambered up it with the agility of a squirrel. Notwithstanding his
caution, a serious accident had nearly befallen him. Just as he was
about to spring upon the wall, the bough on which he stood broke.
Luckily he caught hold of a projection of the building, and saved
himself. But he was some minutes before he recovered from the fright.
The noise, too, had nearly betrayed him to the sentinels, who approached
within a few paces of him. But the darkness was so profound, that he
escaped observation. When they returned to their posts he proceeded
along the ridge of the battlements, and dropping upon the ballium wall,
proceeded with the utmost caution to the edge of the ramparts. He then
passed on tip-toe close to the guard, and hastening forward, reached
the tiled roof of the lieutenant’s house, up which he clambered, as
noiselessly and actively as the animal he emulated.

On gaining the chimney he was in search of, he untied a cord with which
he had provided himself, and securing it to the brickwork, let one end
drop down the aperture. He then descended, and soon came to a level with
the chamber, and perceiving a light within it, resolved to reconnoitre
before he ventured further. Courtenay was asleep on a couch in the
corner, while two attendants were likewise slumbering upon seats near
the door. At a loss how to act, as he could scarcely awaken the earl
without disturbing the guards, Nit got out of the chimney, and crept
cautiously towards the couch. He would fain have extinguished the lamp,
but it was out of his reach. Planting himself on the further side of
the couch, so as to conceal himself from the attendants, he ventured at
length slightly to shake the sleeper. Courtenay started, and uttered an
exclamation which immediately aroused his guards.

“Who touched me?” he demanded angrily.

“No one, my lord,” replied the foremost of the men, glancing at the door
and round the chamber. “Your lordship must have been dreaming.”

“I suppose it must be so,” replied the carl, looking round, and
perceiving nothing. “And yet—”

At this moment a slight pressure on the hand warned him to be silent.

“If your lordship wishes it, we will search the room,” observed the
second soldier.

“No, no, it is needless,” replied Courtenay. “I have no doubt it was a

In a few minutes, the soldiers were again snoring, and Xit popping his
head from beneath the coverlet, in a low tone delivered his message.
The earl expressed his satisfaction, and proceeded to make inquiries
respecting the Princess Elizabeth. On learning that she had quitted the
Tower the day before, he had much ado to restrain his joy. And when he
ascertained by what means the dwarf had obtained access to the chamber,
he was desirous to attempt an escape by the same way, but was dissuaded
by Xit, who represented to him the risk he would incur, adding that even
if he escaped from his present prison, he would be unable to quit the

The dwarf then departed as he came. Climbing up the chimney, he drew
the rope after him, retraced his course over the fortifications; and on
reaching the Bloody Tower, contrived, with much exertion, and no little
risk, to lay hold of a branch of the tree, down which he clambered. The
next day, he related the successful issue of his trip to his employer.

De Noailles did not remain idle. He had already mentioned his project
to the Duke of Suffolk, Lord Thomas Grey, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, Sir
James Croft, Sir Peter Carew, and Sir Thomas Wyat, all of whom eagerly
joined in it. With most of these, but especially with Wyat,—afterwards
the leader of the rebellion against Mary,—the main inducement to
conspire was aversion to the Queen’s meditated alliance with the Prince
of Spain. With the Duke of Suffolk and his ambitious brother, Lord
Thomas Grey, it was, (as De Noailles had foreseen,) the hope that in
the tumult the Lady Jane Grey might be restored, that purchased their
compliance. The conspirators had frequent secret meetings in the
apartments of the French ambassador, where they conferred upon their
plans. Suffolk, though pardoned for his late treason by Mary, was yet
detained a prisoner on parole within the Tower. His brother had not
taken a sufficiently prominent part to bring him into trouble. The
bravest of their number was Wyat, of whom it may be necessary to say a
few words.

Inheriting the wit and valour of his father, the refined and courtly
poet of the same name, Sir Thomas Wyat of Allingham Castle in Kent, had
already earned for himself the highest character as a military leader.
His father’s friend, the chivalrous and poetical Earl of Surrey, in one
of his despatches to Henry the Eighth, thus describes his conduct at the
siege of Boulogne:—“I assure your Majesty, you have framed him to such
towardness and knowledge in the war, that (none other dispraised)
your Majesty hath not many like him within your realm, for hardiness,
painfulness, circumspection, and natural disposition for the war.” Wyat
was in the very flower of his age. But his long service,—for from his
earliest youth, he had embraced the profession of arms,—had given him an
older look than his years warranted. He was of middle-size, strongly but
symmetrically proportioned, with handsome boldly-carved features, of
a somewhat stern expression. His deportment partook of his frank
soldier-like character. In swordsmanship, horsemanship, and all
matters connected with the business of war, he was, as may be supposed,
eminently skilful.

After much deliberation, it was agreed among the conspirators to have
all in readiness for a general insurrection, but to defer their project
until the meeting of parliament, when the Queen’s intentions respecting
her alliance with Spain would be declared, and if what they anticipated
should prove true, the whole nation would favour their undertaking.


While the great outbreak was thus deferred, it was deemed expedient to
liberate Courtenay as soon as possible. Such were the precautions taken
by the vigilant Sir Henry Bedingfeld, that this was not so easy of
accomplishment as it appeared on the onset. At length, however, all was
arranged, and Xit was despatched to the earl to tell him the attempt
might be made on the following night, when unluckily, just as the
mannikin had entered the chimney, one of the guards awakened, and
hearing a noise, flew to see what occasioned it. Exerting his utmost
agility, the dwarf was soon out of reach, and the attendant could not
distinguish his person, but he instantly gave the alarm.

Flying for his life, Xit got out of the chimney, hurried along the tops
of the ramparts, and jumping at the hazard of his neck, into the tree,
reached the ground just as the alarm was given to the sentinels. It
was past midnight. But Sir Henry Bedingfeld, aroused from his couch,
instantly repaired to the chamber of his prisoner. Nothing could be
found but the rope by which Xit had descended, and which in his hasty
retreat he had not been able to remove. Courtenay refused to answer any
interrogations respecting his visiter, and after a long and fruitless
search, the lieutenant departed.

The next day, the occurrence was made known to the queen, and at her
request Simon Renard visited the prisoner. Not thinking his place of
confinement secure enough, Renard suggested that he should be removed to
the Bell Tower,—a fortification flanking the lieutenant’s habitation on
the west, and deriving its name, as has already been mentioned, from the
alarm-bell of the fortress, which was placed in a small wooden belfry
on its roof. This tower is still in existence, and devoted to the
same purpose as of old,—though its chambers, instead of being used as
prison-lodgings, form the domestic offices of the governor. In shape it
is circular, like all the other towers, with walls of great thickness
pierced by narrow loopholes, admitting light to the interior. Courtenay
was confined in a small room on the basement floor, having a vaulted
roof supported by pointed arches of curious construction, with deep
recesses in the intervals. From this strong and gloomy cell it seemed
impossible he could escape; and having seen him placed within it, Renard
departed fully satisfied.


When the intelligence of the earl’s removal was brought to De Noailles,
he was greatly disheartened; but Xit bade him be of good cheer, as he
still felt certain of effecting his deliverance. Some time, however,
elapsed before any new scheme could be devised; when one night Xit
appeared with a smiling countenance, and said he had found means of
communicating with the prisoner. On being questioned as to how he had
contrived this, he replied that he had crept up to a loophole opening
into the earl’s chamber, and filed away one of the iron bars; and though
the aperture was not large enough to allow a full-grown man to pass
through it, he had done so without inconvenience, and under cover of
night without being perceived. He then proceeded to detail a somewhat
hazardous plan of flight, which Courtenay had determined to risk,
provided his friends would second the attempt. All the earl required
was, that a well-manned boat should be in waiting for him near the
Tower-wharf, to put off the instant he reached it.

After some consideration, this plan was held feasible, and Sir Thomas
Wyat undertook the command of the boat. A dark night being indispensable
for the enterprise, the third from that time, when there would be no
moon, was chosen; and this arrangement was communicated by the dwarf
to Courtenay. Measures were then concerted between the earl and his
assistant, and all being settled, it was agreed, to avoid heedless risk,
that the latter should not return again till the appointed night.

On its arrival, Xit, as soon as it grew dark, crept through the
loophole, and found the earl impatiently expecting him. He was alone,
for since his removal to so strong a prison it was deemed needless to
have an attendant constantly with him. Xit brought him a rapier and
dagger, and a long coil of rope, and when he had armed himself with the
weapons, they proceeded to the execution of their project. Knocking at
the door, the earl summoned the warder who was stationed outside. The
man immediately obeyed the call, and as he opened the door Xit crept
behind it, and while Courtenay engaged the warder’s attention, he
slipped out, and concealed himself behind a projection in the winding
stairs. The earl having made a demand which he knew would compel the
warder to proceed to Sir Henry Bedingfeld, dismissed him.

Quitting the cell, the warder, who had no suspicions, locked the door,
leaving the key,—as had been foreseen,—within it. He then ascended the
stairs, and passed close to Xit without perceiving him. As soon as he
was gone, the dwarf unlocked the door, and made good his own retreat
through the loophole; it being necessary he should give the signal to
the party on the river.

Courtenay then hurried up the winding steps. On reaching the upper
chamber, he perceived it was vacant—but the open door showed him that
the warder had just passed through it. Hastily shutting it, and barring
it withinside, he mounted a short flight of steps leading to the roof,
where he knew a sentinel who had charge of the alarm-bell was stationed.
Before the man, who was leaning upon his partizan, could utter an
exclamation, Courtenay snatched the weapon from him, and dealt him a
blow that stretched him senseless at his feet. He then quickly fastened
the rope to one of the stout wooden supporters of the belfry, and
flinging the coil over the battlements, prepared to descend by it.

Possessed of great strength and activity, and materially aided by the
roughened surface of the old walls, and other irregularities in the
structure, against which he placed his feet, the earl reached the ground
in safety. He was now in the outer ward, near the By-ward Tower. It was
so dark that his descent had not been noticed, but he perceived several
soldiers passing at a little distance from him, from whose remarks he
gathered that they were about to convey the keys of the fortress to the

As soon as they had passed him, he rushed across the ward in the
direction of the arched passage leading to the drawbridge. Here he
encountered Og, who was on guard at the time. The gigantic warder
immediately challenged him, and presented his huge halbert at his
breast. But the earl, without making any reply, stooped down, and
before he could be prevented, darted through his legs. Og, in a voice
of thunder, gave the alarm, and was instantly answered by a party of
halberdiers, who rushed out of the adjoining guard-room. They were all
armed, some with pikes, some with arquebusses, and snatching a torch
from the soldier nearest him, Og darted after the fugitive.

By this time, the earl’s flight from the Bell Tower had been discovered.
On his return, finding the door barred withinside, the warder suspected
something wrong, and gave the alarm. A few seconds sufficed to the
men-at-arms to break down the door with their bills, and they then found
what had occurred. The alarm-bell was instantly rung, and word passed
to the sentinels on the By-ward Tower, and on the other fortifications,
that the Earl of Devonshire had escaped. In an instant, all was in
motion. Torches gleamed along the whole line of ramparts; shouts were
heard in every direction; and soldiers hastened to each point whence it
was conceived likely he would attempt to break forth.

Before relating the result of the attempt, it may be proper to advert to
what had been done in furtherance of it by Xit. Having got through the
loophole as before related, the dwarf pursued the course subsequently
taken by Courtenay, made a hasty excuse to Og, and crossed the
drawbridge just before it was raised. Approaching the side of the river,
he drew a petronel, and flashing it, the signal was immediately answered
by the sound of muffled oars; and Xit, whose gaze was steadfastly bent
upon the stream, could just detect a boat approaching the strand. The
next moment, Sir Thomas Wyat sprang ashore, and as Xit was explaining
to him in a whisper what had occurred, the alarm was given as above

It was a moment of intense interest to all concerned in the enterprise,
and Wyat held himself in readiness for action. On reaching the
drawbridge and finding it raised, Courtenay without hesitation bounded
over the rails, and plunging into the moat, struck out towards the
opposite bank.


At this juncture, Og and his companions arrived at the outlet. The giant
held his torch over the moat, and perceived the earl swimming across it.
A soldier beside him levelled his arquebuss at the fugitive, and would
have fired, but Og checked him, crying, “Beware how you harm the queen’s
favourite. It is the Earl of Devonshire. Seize him, but injure him
not—or dread her majesty’s displeasure.”

The caution, however, was unheeded by those on the summit of the By-ward
Tower. Shots were fired from it, and the balls speckled the surface of
the water, but without doing any damage. One of Wyat’s crew hastened to
the edge of the moat, and throwing a short line into the water, assisted
the earl to land.

While this was passing, the drawbridge was lowered, and Og and his
companions rushed across it—too late, however, to secure the fugitive.
As soon as Courtenay had gained a footing on the wharf, Sir Thomas
Wyat seized his hand, and hurried him towards the boat, into which they
leaped. The oars were then plunged into the water, and before their
pursuers gained the bank, the skiff had shot to some distance from it.
Another boat was instantly manned and gave chase, but without effect.
The obscurity favoured the fugitives. Wyat directed his men to pull
towards London Bridge, and they soon disappeared beneath its narrow


Courtenay’s escape from the Tower created almost as much sensation as
his imprisonment had done; and while his partisans were cheered by it,
his enemies were proportionately discouraged. Several bands of soldiers,
headed by trusty leaders, were sent in pursuit of him in different
directions; but no trace could be discovered of the course he had taken;
nor could all the vigilance of Sir Henry Bedingfeld detect who had
assisted him in his flight. After some time, as no tidings were heard of
him, it was concluded he had embarked for France. Inspired by jealousy,
Mary immediately sent an order to Ashbridge to double the guard over her
sister; and she secretly instructed Sir Edward Hastings, in case of any
attempt to set her free, to convey her instantly to the Tower. Elizabeth
either was severely indisposed, or feigned to be so, and it was bruited
abroad that poison had been given her. This rumour, which obtained
general credence, as well as others to the effect that her life had been
attempted by different means, at length reached the queen’s ears, and
occasioned her great distress and annoyance. To remove the suspicion,
she commanded Elizabeth’s appearance at court. And though the princess
would fain have refused, she was compelled to obey.

Some weeks had now elapsed since Courtenay’s flight, and during that
time the queen’s anger had so much abated, that Gardiner thought he
might venture to solicit his pardon, he-presenting to her, that she had
already punished him sufficiently by the disgrace she had inflicted upon
him, and that it was desirable to give no pretext for tumult during
the momentous discussions which would take place on the meeting of
parliament,—then immediately about to be assembled,—he urged his suit so
warmly, that in the end Mary consented to pardon the carl, provided he
appeared at court within three days.

Intelligence of the queen’s change of feeling was soon conveyed to
Courtenay, who had been concealed in an obscure lodging in London, and
on the second day he presented himself before her. Mary received him
graciously but coldly, and in such a manner as to convince him and his
friends, if they still indulged any such hopes, that a restoration to
the place he had once held in her affections was out of the question.

“If you are disposed to travel, my lord,” she said, sarcastically, “I
will take care you have such appointments to foreign courts as will best
suit your age and inclination.”

“Your Majesty has perchance some delicate mission at the Court
of Madrid, which you desire me to execute,” replied the earl,

“Had I any mission to that court,” replied the Queen, repressing her
emotion, “it is not to your hands I should entrust it. You have offended
me once, Courtenay. Beware how you do so a second time. Abandon all
hopes of Elizabeth. She never can be—never shall be yours.”

“That remains to be seen,” muttered Courtenay as he quitted the

The interview over, Courtenay was joined by De Noailles, and, from
that moment, he surrendered himself unresistingly to the designs of the
artful ambassador.

Mary had now removed her court to Whitehall. But she frequently visited
the Tower, and appeared to prefer its gloomy chambers to the gorgeous
halls in her other palaces. One night, an order was received by Hairun,
the bearward, who had charge of the wild animals, that, on the following
day, the Queen would visit the menagerie. Preparations were accordingly
made for her reception; and the animals were deprived of their supper,
that they might exhibit an unusual degree of ferocity. But though Hairun
starved the wild beasts, he did not act in like manner towards himself.
On the contrary, he deemed it a fitting occasion to feast his-friends,
and accordingly invited Magog, his dame, the two other giants, Xit,
Ribald, and the pantler and his spouse, to take their evening meal with
him. The invitation was gladly accepted; and about the hour of a modern
dinner, the guests repaired to the bearward’s lodgings, which were
situated in the basement chamber of the Lions’ Tower. Of this structure,
nothing but an arched embrasure, once overlooking the lesser moat, and
another subterranean room, likewise boasting four deep arched recesses,
but constantly flooded with water, now remain. A modern dwelling-house,
tenanted by the former keeper of the menagerie in the fortress, occupies
the site of the ancient fabric.

Aware of the appetites of his friends, and being no despicable
trencherman himself, Hairun had provided accordingly. The principal dish
was a wild boar, a present to the bearward from Sir Henry Bedingfeld,
which having been previously soaked for a fortnight, in a mixture of
vinegar, salt, bruised garlic, and juniper-berries, was roasted whole
under the personal superintendence of Peter Trusbut, who predicted it
would prove delicious eating—and the result proved him no false prophet.
On the appearance of this magnificent dish, which succeeded the first
course of buttered stock-fish, and mutton pottage, a murmur of delight
pervaded the company. The eyes of the giants glistened, their mouths
watered, and they grasped their knives and forks like men preparing for
a combat to the utterance. Magog had seated himself as far from his wife
as possible. But she was too much engrossed by the assiduous attention,
of Ribald, to take any particular notice of him.

Peter Trusbut, as usual, officiated as carver. And the manner in which
he distributed slices of the savoury and juicy meat, which owing to the
preparation it had undergone, had a tenderness and mellowness wholly
indescribable, with modicums of the delicate fat, elicited the host’s
warmest approbation. The giants spoke not a word; and even the ladies
could only express their delight by interjections. Reserving certain
delicate morsels for himself, Peter Trusbut, with a zeal worthy of
the cause in which he was engaged, continued to ply his knife so
unremittingly, that no one’s plate was for a moment empty, and yet with
all this employment, he did not entirely forget himself. Hairun was in
ecstacies; and while the giants were still actively engaged, he placed
before them enormous goblets filled with bragget, a drink composed of
strong ale sweetened with honey, spiced and flavoured with herbs. At
the first pause, the gigantic brethren drained their cups; and they
were promptly replenished by the hospitable bearward. By this time, the
greater part of the boar had disappeared. Its well-flavoured back and
fattened flanks were gone, and the hams and head alone remained. Seeing
that the other guests were satisfied, the pantler, with some little
labour, hewed off the two legs, and giving one to each of the unmarried
giants, assigned the head to Magog.

“Mauger himself never did his office with greater dexterity than you
have displayed in decapitating that wild boar, master pantler,” observed
Magog, smiling as he received the welcome gift.

“You are not going to eat all that, you insatiable cormorant,” cried his
dame, from the other end of the table.

“Indeed, but I am, sweetheart,” replied Magog, commencing operations on
the cheek; “wherefore not?”

“Wherefore not,” screamed Dame Placida, “because you’ll die of an
apoplexy, and I shall be a second time a widow.”

“No matter,” replied the giant, “I’m weary of life, and cannot end it
more comfortably.—I’ll eat in spite of her,” he added, half aloud.

This last remark, in spite of Ribald’s interference, might have called
forth some practical rejoinder on the part of his wife, had not her
attention and that of the rest of the company been drawn, at the moment,
towards Xit. Amongst other animals allowed to range about the bearward’s
house, was a small mischievous ape. This creature had seated itself
behind Xit’s chair, where it made the most grotesque grimaces in
imitation of the mannikin. The guests were at first too much occupied to
take any notice of its proceedings, and Xit, wholly unconscious of
its presence, pursued his repast in tranquillity. The more substantial
viands disposed of, he helped himself to some roasted chesnuts, and
was greedily munching them, when the monkey stretched its arm over his
shoulder, and snatched a handful.

Astonished and alarmed at the occurrence, Xit turned to regard the
intruder. But when he perceived the ape’s grinning face close to his
own, and heard the shouts and laughter of the assemblage, his fear
changed to anger, and he immediately attempted to regain what had been
pilfered from him. But the monkey was not inclined to part with his
spoil, and a struggle of a very comical kind ensued. Xit seized the
monkey’s paws, and tried to get back the chesnuts, while the latter,
gibbering and grinning horribly, laid hold of the mannikin’s shock head
of hair, and after lugging him tremendously, tore up a large lock by the
roots. Enraged by the pain, Xit tried to draw his sword, but finding
it impossible, he grasped the beast by both ears, and despite its
struggling, squealing, and attempts to bite, succeeded in keeping it at

What might have been the result of the conflict it is impossible to say.
But just as Xit’s strength was failing, Hairun flew to his assistance,
and partly by threats, partly by the application of a switch to its
back, drove the monkey into a corner. Xit was highly complimented for
his courage, and though he occasionally rubbed his head, these encomiums
entirely reconciled him to the loss of his hair. Magog, who cherished
some little resentment for his former tricks, laughed immoderately at
the incident, and said, “My beard is already grown again, but it will be
a long time before thy rough poll regains its accustomed appearance. Ha!

In this way, the meal was concluded, and it was followed by a plentiful
supply of ale, hydromel, bragget, and wine. Nor did Peter Trusbut
forget to slip the stone bottle of distilled water into Magog’s
hand, recommending him on no account to let Xit taste it—a suggestion
scrupulously observed by the giant. His guests having passed a
merry hour over their cups, Hairun proposed to conduct them over the
menagerie, that they might see what condition the animals were in.

The proposal was eagerly accepted, and providing torches, the bearward
led them into a small court, communicating by a low arched door with the
menagerie. It was then as now, (for the modern erection, which is still
standing though wholly unused, followed the arrangement of the ancient
structure, and indeed retains some of the old stone arches), a wide
semicircular fabric, in which were contrived, at distances of a few feet
apart, a number of arched cages, divided into two or more compartments,
and secured by strong iron bars.


A high embattled wall of the same form as the inner structure faced on
the west a small moat, now filled up, which flowed round these outworks
from the base of the Middle Tower to a fortification, now also removed,
called, from its situation, the Lions’ Gate, where it joined the larger

Opposite the dens stood a wide semicircular gallery, defended by a low
stone parapet, and approached by a flight of steps from the back. It was
appropriated exclusively to the royal use.

The idea of maintaining a menagerie within the Tower, as an appendage
to their state, was, in all probability derived by our monarchs, as
has been previously intimated, from the circumstance of the Emperor
Frederick having presented Henry the Third with three leopards, in
allusion to his coat of arms, which animals were afterwards carefully
kept within the fortress. Two orders from this sovereign to the sheriffs
of London, in reference to a white bear, which formed part of his live
stock, are preserved; the first, dated 1253, directing that fourpence a
day (a considerable sum for the period) be allowed for its sustenance;
and tho second, issued in the following year, commanding “that for the
keeper of our white bear, lately sent us from Norway, and which is in
our Tower of London, ye cause to be had one muzzle and one iron chain,
to hold that bear without the water; and one long and strong cord to
hold the same bear when fishing in the river of Thames.” Other mandates
relating to an elephant appear in the same reign, in one of which it is
directed—“that ye cause without delay to be built at our Tower of London
one house of forty feet long, and twenty feet deep, for our elephant;
providing that it be so made and so strong, that when need be, it may be
fit and necessary for other uses. And the cost shall be computed at the
Exchequer.” A fourth order appoints that the animal and his keeper shall
be found with such necessaries “as they shall reasonably require.” The
royal menagerie was greatly increased by Edward the Third, who added to
it, amongst other animals, a lion and lioness, a leopard, and two wild
cats; and in the reign of Henry the Sixth the following provisions
was made for the keeper:—“We of our special grace have granted to our
beloved servant, Robert Mansfield, esquire, marshall of our hall, the
office of keeper of the lions, with a certain place which hath been
appointed anciently within our said Tower for them; to have and to
occupy the same, by himself or by his sufficient deputy, for the term of
his life, with the wages of sixpence per day for himself, and with the
wages of sixpence per day for the maintenance of every lion or leopard
now being in his custody, or that shall be in his custody hereafter.”
From this it will appear that no slight importance was attached to the
office, which was continued until recent times, when the removal of the
menagerie rendered it wholly unnecessary.

Dazzled by the lights, and infuriated with hunger, the savage denizens
of the cages set up a most terrific roaring as the party entered the
flagged space in front of them. Hairun, who was armed with a stout
staff, laid about him in right earnest, and soon produced comparative
tranquillity. Still, the din was almost deafening. The animals were
numerous, and fine specimens of their kind. There were lions in all
postures,—couchant, dormant, passant, and guardant; tigers, leopards,
hyaenas, jackals, lynxes, and bears. Among the latter, an old brown
bear, presented to Henry the Eighth by the Emperor Maximilian, and
known by the name of the imperial donor, particularly attracted their
attention, from its curious tricks. At last, after much solicitation
from Dames Placida and Potentia, the bearward opened the door of the
cage, and old Max issued forth. At first, he was all gentleness, sat
upon his hind legs, and received the apples and biscuits given him like
a lap-dog, when all at once, his master having stepped aside to quell
a sudden disturbance which had arisen in one of the adjoining cages, he
made a dart at Dame Placida, who was standing near him, and devouring
the fruit and cakes she held in her hand at a mouthful, would have given
her a formidable hug, if she had not saved herself by running into his
cage, the door of which stood open. Here she would certainly have been
caught, if her husband had not rushed to the entrance. Max warily eyed
his new opponent, and uttered a menacing growl, but seemed to decline
the attack. Dame Placida filled the cage with her shrieks, and alarmed
by the cries, all the wild animals renewed their howling. Hairun would
have flown to Magog’s assistance, but the latter called to him in a
voice of thunder to desist.

“I will have no interference,” he roared, “old Max and I understand each
other perfectly.”

As if he comprehended what was said, the bear replied by a hoarse growl,
and displayed his enormous fangs in a formidable manner. Dame Placida
renewed her cries, and besought Ribald to come to her assistance.

“Stay where you are,” thundered Magog, “I will settle this matter in my
own way.”

“Help! for mercy’s sake, help!” shrieked Dame Placida,—“never mind
him!—help! good Hairun—dear Ribald—help! or I shall be torn in pieces.”

Thus exhorted, Ribald and Hairun would have obeyed. But they were
prevented by Og and Gog, who began to sec through their brother’s

“Leave him alone,” they cried, laughing loudly. “He is about to give his
dame a lesson.”

“Is that all?” replied Hairun. “Then he shall have no interruption from

“Barbarian!” cried Dame Placida, appealing to her husband. “Do you mean
that I should be devoured! Oh! if ever I do get out, you shall bitterly
repent your cruel conduct.”

“You never shall get out, unless you promise to amend your own conduct,”
rejoined Magog.

“I will die sooner than make any such promise,” replied Placida.

“Very well, then,” rejoined Magog, “I shall give free passage to Max.”

And he slightly moved his person, while the animal uttered another
growl. The giants laughed loudly, and encouraged their brother to

“Make her promise, or let Max take his course,” they shouted.

“Fear it not,” answered Magog.

“Monster!” shrieked Dame Placida, “you cannot mean this—help! help!”

But no one stirred. And above the roaring of the animals and the angry
growling of Max, which Magog had provoked with a sly kick or two, was
heard the loud laughter of the gigantic brethren.

“I give you two minutes to consider,” said Magog. “If you do not resolve
to amend in that time, I leave you to your fate.’”

And he again goaded Max into a further exhibition of fury. Dame Placida
became seriously alarmed, and her proud spirit began to give way.

“I promise,” she uttered faintly.

“Speak up!” bellowed Magog. “I can’t hear you for the noise.”

“I promise,” replied Placida, in a loud and peevish voice. “That won’t
do,” rejoined her husband. “Speak as you used to do before I married
you, and let the others hear you.”

“Yes—yes,” cried Og, drawing near with the rest, “we must all hear it,
that we may be witnesses hereafter. You promise to amend your conduct,
and let our brother live peaceably?”

“I do—I do,” replied Placida, in a penitential tone.

“Enough,” replied Magog. And putting out his arm behind to his wife he
covered her retreat, and then suddenly turning upon Max, kicked him into
the cage, and fastened the door.

Much laughter among the male portion of the company ensued. But Dame
Potentia looked rather grave, and privately intimated to her husband her
desire, or rather command, that he should go home. As Peter Trusbut took
his departure, he whispered to Hairun, “If ever you think of marrying, I
advise you to take good care of old Max. I wish I could borrow him for a
day or two.”

“You shall have him, and welcome,” returned the bearward, laughing.

“Thank you—thank you,” answered the pantler, dejectedly. “Mine is a
hopeless case.”

Dame Placida appeared so much subdued, that at last Magog took
compassion upon her, and led her away, observing to the bearward, “For
my sake bestow a plentiful supper on Max. He has done me a good turn,
and I would fain requite it.”

The rest of the party speedily followed their example, and as Xit took
his leave, he remarked to his host, “Nothing but Magog’s desire to
terrify his dame prevented me from attacking Max. I am certain I could
master him.”

“Say you so?” replied Hairun; “then you may have an opportunity of
displaying your prowess before the queen tomorrow.”

“I will certainly avail myself of it,” replied Xit. “Give him a good
supper, and he will be in better condition for the fight.”

Early on the following day, Mary arrived at the Tower. She came by
water, and was received at the landing-place by Sir Henry Bedingfeld,
who conducted her with much ceremony to the palace, where a sumptuous
banquet was prepared, at which the knight assisted as chief sewer,
presenting each dish to the queen on his bended knee, and placing a
silver ewer filled with rosewater, and a napkin, before her between
the courses. Mary looked grave and thoughtful, nor could the liveliest
sallies of De Noailles, who was one of the guests, call a smile to her
lips. Renard, also, was present, and looked more gloomy than usual. The
banquet ended, Sir Henry Bedingfeld approached, and laid a parchment
before the queen.

“What is this, sir?” she demanded.

“The warrant for the burning of Edward Underhill, the miscreant who
attempted your highness’s life,” replied Bedingfeld.

“How!—burned! and I had pardoned him,” exclaimed Mary.

“He has been delivered over by the council to the ecclesiastical
authorities, and such is the sentence pronounced against him,” returned
the knight.

Mary sighed, and attached her signature to the scroll.

“The hour of execution, and the place?” demanded Bedingfeld.

“To-morrow at midnight, on the Tower-green,” replied Mary.

Soon after this, it being intimated to the queen that all was in
readiness at the Lion’s Tower, she arose and proceeded thither,
attended by a large retinue of nobles and dames. On the way a momentary
interruption occurred, and Simon Renard, who walked a few paces behind
her, stepped forward, and whispered in her ear, “I beseech your highness
to remain to-night in the Tower. I have somewhat of importance to
communicate to you, which can be more safely revealed here than

Mary bowed assent, and the train set forward. A large assemblage was
collected within the area in front of the Lions’ Tower, but a passage
was kept dear for the royal party by two lines of halberdiers drawn
up on either side. Og and Magog were stationed at the entrance,
and reverentially doffed their caps as she passed. Mary graciously
acknowledged the salute, and inquired from the elder giant what had
become of his diminutive companion.

“He is within, an’ please your majesty,” replied Og, “waiting to
signalize himself by a combat with a bear.”

“Indeed!” rejoined Mary smiling. “It is a hardy enterprise for so small
a champion. However, large souls oft inhabit little bodies.”

“Your highness says rightly,” observed Og. “But your illustrious father,
to whom I have the honour to be indirectly related,” and he inclined his
person, “was wont to observe that he had rather have a large frame and
small wit, than much wit and a puny person.”

“My father loved to look upon a man,” replied Mary, “and better
specimens of the race than thee and thy brethren he could not well meet

“We are much beholden to your highness,” replied Og; “and equally, if
not more so, to your royal father. Whatever we can boast of strength and
size is derived from him. Our mother—”

“Some other time,” interrupted Mary, hastily passing on.

“Have I said aught to offend her highness?” asked Og of his brother, as
soon as they wero alone.

“I know not,” returned Magog. “But you fetched the colour to her

On reaching the steps, Mary tendered her hand to Sir Henry Bcdingfeld,
and he assisted her to ascend. A temporary covering had been placed over
the gallery, and the stone parapet was covered with the richest brocade,
and velvet edged with gold fringe. The queen’s chair was placed in
the centre of the semicircle, and as soon as she was seated, Sir Henry
Bcdingfeld stationed himself at her left hand, and waved his staff. The
signal was immediately answered by a flourish of trumpets; and a stout,
square-built man, with large features, an enormous bushy beard, a short
bull throat, having a flat cap on his head, and a stout staff in his
hand, issued from a side-door and made a profound obeisance. It was
Hairun. His homage rendered, the bearward proceeded to unfasten the door
of the central cage, in which a lion of the largest size was confined;
and uttering a tremendous roar that shook the whole building, the kingly
brute leaped forth. As soon as he had reached the ground, he glared
furiously at his keeper, and seemed to meditate a spring. But the
latter, who had never removed his eye from him, struck him a severe blow
on the nose with his pole, and he instantly turned tail like a beaten
hound, and fled howling to the further extremity of the area. Quickly
pursuing him, Hairun seized him by the mane, and, in spite of his
resistance, compelled him to arise, and bestriding him, rode him
backwards and forwards for some time; until the lion, wearying of the
performance, suddenly dislodged his rider, and sprang back to his den.
This courageous action elicited great applause from the beholders, and
the queen loudly expressed her approbation. It was followed by other
feats equally daring, in which the bearward proved that he had attained
as complete a mastery over the savage tribe as any lion-tamer of modern
times. Possessed of prodigious personal strength, he was able to cope
with any animal, while his knowledge of the habits of the beast rendered
him perfectly fearless as to the result. He unloosed a couple of
leopards, goaded them to the utmost pitch of fury, and then defended
himself from their combined attack. A tiger proved a more serious
opponent. Springing against him, he threw the bearward to the ground,
and for a moment it appeared as if his destruction was inevitable. But
the brute’s advantage was only momentary. In this unfavourable position,
Hairun seized him by the throat, and nearly strangling him with his
gripe, pulled him down, and they rolled over each other. During the
struggle, Hainin dealt his antagonist a few blows with his fist, which
deprived him of his wind, and glad to retreat, he left the bearward
master of the field.

Hairun immediately arose, and bowed to the queen, and, excepting a few
scratches in the arms, and a gash in the cheek, from which the blood
trickled down his beard, appeared none the worse for the contest. So
little, indeed, did he care for it, that without tarrying to recover
breath, he opened another cage and brought out a large hyæna, over whom
he obtained an easy conquest. At last, having finished his performance
to the queen’s entire satisfaction, he stepped to a side-door,
and introduced Gog and Xit. The latter was arrayed in his gayest
habiliments, and strutting into the centre of the area with a mincing
step, made a bow to the gallery that drew a smile to the royal lips, and
addressing Hairun, called in a loud voice, “Bring forth Maximilian, the
imperial bear, that I may combat with him before the queen.”

The bearward proceeded to the cage, and unfastening it, cried, “Come
forth, old Max.” And the bear obeyed.

Xit, meanwhile, flung his cap on the ground, and drawing his sword, put
himself in a posture of defence.

“Shall I stand by thee?” asked Gog.

“On no account,” replied Xit, in an offended tone, “I want-no
assistance. I can vanquish him alone.”

“Spare thy adversary’s life,” observed Hairun, laughingly.

“Fear nothing,” replied Xit, “the brave are ever merciful.”

“True,” laughed Hairun, “I must give a like caution to Max.” And
feigning to whisper in the bear’s ear, who was sitting on its hind
legs, lolling out its tongue, and looking round in expectation of some
eatables, he laughingly withdrew.

Seeing that Max paid no attention to him, Xit drew nearer, and stamping
his foot furiously on the ground several times, made a lunge at him,
screaming—“Sa-ha! sa-ha! sirrah,—to the combat!—to the combat.”

Still, Max did not notice him, but kept his small red eyes fixed on the
gallery, expecting that something would be thrown to him. Enraged at
this contemptuous treatment of his defiance, Xit snatched up his
cap, flung it in the bear’s face, and finding even this insult prove
ineffectual, began to prick him with the point of his sword, crying,
“Rouse thee, craven beast! Defend thy life, or I will slay thee

Thus provoked, Max at length condescended to regard his opponent. He
uttered a fierce growl, but would not perhaps have retaliated, if Xit
had not persevered in his annoyances. Gesticulating and vociferating
fiercely, the dwarf made a number of rapid passes, some of which took
effect in his antagonist’s hide. All at once, Max made a spring so
suddenly, that Xit could not avoid it, struck down the sword, and
catching the dwarf in his arms, hugged him to his bosom. All Xit’s
courage vanished in a breath. He screamed loudly for help, and kicked
and struggled to free himself from the terrible grasp in which he was
caught. But Max was not disposed to let him off so cheaply, and the poor
dwarfs terror was excessive when he beheld those formidable jaws, and
that terrible array of teeth ready to tear him in pieces. It had been
all over with him, if Gog, who stood at a little distance, and narrowly
watched the fray, thinking he had suffered enough, had not run to his


Grasping the bear’s throat with his right hand, the giant forced back
his head so as to prevent him from using his teeth, while planting his
knee against the animal’s side, he tore asunder its gripe with the other
hand. Hairun, who was likewise flying to the rescue, seeing how matters
stood, halted, and burst into a loud laugh. The next moment, Gog gave
Max a buffet on the ears that laid him sprawling on his back, and Xit
escaped from his clutches. As soon as the bear regained his legs, he
uttered a low angry growl, and scrambled off to his cage. For a few
seconds, Xit looked completely crest-fallen. By degrees, however,
he recovered his confidence, and bowing to the gallery, said,—“I can
scarcely with propriety lay claim to the victory, as if it had been for
my friend Gog—”

“Nay, thou art welcome to my share of it,” interrupted the giant.

“If so,” rejoined Xit, “I must be pronounced the conqueror, for Max has
acknowledged himself vanquished by beating a retreat.” As he spoke,
the bear growled fiercely, and putting his head out of his cage, seemed
disposed to renew the fight—a challenge so alarming to Xit, that he flew
to Gog for protection, amid the laughter of the assemblage. Mary
then arose, and giving a purse of gold to Sir Henry Bedingfeld, to be
bestowed upon the bearward, took her departure for the palace.

As Xit was conversing with his friends, maintaining that he should have
vanquished the bear, if Hairun had not most unfairly instructed the
beast what to do, and offering to renew the combat on an early occasion,
Lawrence Nightgall, accompanied by two halberdiers, entered the court,
and approaching him, directed his companions to attach his person. Xit
drew his sword, and called upon Gog to defend him.

“What is the meaning of this, master jailor?” demanded the giant,

“He is arrested by order of the council. There is the warrant,” replied

“Arrested!” exclaimed Xit. “For what?”

“For conspiring against the queen,” replied Nightgall.

“I am innocent of the charge,” replied Xit.

“That remains to be proved,” replied Nightgall.

“I have no fears,” rejoined Xit, recovering his composure,—“but if
I must lose my head, like his grace of Northumberland, I will make a
better figure on the scaffold. I shall be the first dwarf that ever
perished by the axe. Farewell, Gog. Comfort thyself, I am innocent. Lead
me away, thou caitiff jailor.”

So saying, he folded his arms upon his breast, and preceded by
Nightgall, marched at a slow and dignified pace between his guards.


It was the policy of the Romish priesthood, at the commencement of
Mary’s reign, to win, by whatever means, as many converts as possible to
their church. With this view, Gardiner, by the queen’s desire, offered a
free pardon to the Hot-Gospeller, provided he would publicly abjure his
errors, and embrace the Catholic faith; well knowing, that as general
attention had been drawn to his crime, and strong sympathy was excited
on account of his doctrines, notwithstanding the heinous nature of his
offence, among the Protestant party, that his recantation would be far
more available to their cause than his execution. But the enthusiast
rejected the offer with disdain. Worn down by suffering, crippled with
torture, his spirit still burnt fiercely as ever. And the only answer
that could be wrung from him by his tormentors was, that he lamented his
design had failed, and rejoiced he should seal his faith with his blood.

On one occasion, he was visited in his cell by Bonner, who desired that
the heavy irons with which he was loaded should be removed, and a cup of
wine given him. Underhill refused to taste the beverage, but Nightgall
and Wolfytt, who were present, forced him to swallow it. A brief
conference then took place between the bishop and the prisoner, wherein
the former strove earnestly to persuade him to recant. But Underhill was
so firm in his purpose, and so violent in his denunciations against his
interrogator, that Bonner lost all patience, and cried, “If my words do
not affright thee, thou vile traitor and pestilent heretic, yet shall
the fire to which I will deliver thee.”

“There thou art mistaken, thou false teacher of a false doctrine,”
rejoined Underhill sternly. “The fire may consume my body, but it hath
no power over my mind, which shall remain as unscathed as the three
children of Israel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, when they stood in
the midst of the fiery furnace. For as the apostle saith—‘The fire shall
try every man’s work what it is. If any man’s work, that he hath builded
upon, abide, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work burn, he shall
suffer loss. But he shall be saved himself, nevertheless, yet as it were
through fire.’ Even so shall I, despite my manifold transgressions,
be saved: while ye, idolatrous priests and prophets of Baal, shall be
consumed in everlasting flames.”

“Go to,—go to, thou foolish boaster,” retorted Bonner angrily; “a season
will come when thou wilt bitterly lament thou hast turned aside the
merciful intentions of thy judges.”

“I have already said that the fire has no terrors for me,” replied
Underhill. “When the spirit has once asserted its superiority over the
flesh, the body can feel no pain. Upon the rack—in that dreadful engine,
which fixes the frame in such a posture that no limb or joint can move—I
was at ease. And to prove that I have no sense of suffering, I will
myself administer the torture.”

So saying, and raising with some difficulty his stiffened arm, he held
his hand over the flame of a lamp that stood upon the table before him,
until the veins shrunk and burst, and the sinews cracked. During this
dreadful trial, his countenance underwent no change. And if Bonner had
not withdrawn the lamp, he would have allowed the limb to be entirely

“Peradventure, thou wilt believe me now,” he cried triumphantly; “and
wilt understand that the Lord will so strengthen me with his holy spirit
that I may be ‘one of the number of those blessed, which, enduring to
the end, shall reap a heavenly inheritance.’”

“Take him away,” replied Bonner. “His blood be upon his own head. He is
so blinded and besotted, that he does not perceive that his death will
lead to damnation.”

“No, verily,” rejoined Underhill, exultingly; “for as Saint Paul saith,
There is no damnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, which walk not
after the flesh, but after the spirit. Death, where is thy sting? Hell,
where is thy victory?”

“Hence with the blasphemer,” roared Bonner; “and spare him no torments,
for he deserves the severest ye can inflict.”

Upon this, Underhill was removed, and the bishop’s injunctions in
respect to the torture literally fulfilled.

Brought to trial for the attempt upon the queen’s life, he was found
guilty, and received the royal pardon. Nothing could be elicited as
to his having any associates or instigators to his crime. And the only
matter that implicated another was the prayer for the restoration of
Jane, written in a leaf of the bible found upon his person at the time
of his seizure. But though he was pardoned by Mary, he did not
escape. He was claimed as a heretic by Bonner; examined before the
ecclesiastical commissioners; and adjudged to the stake. The warrant for
his execution was signed, as above related, by the queen.

On the night before this terrible sentence was carried into effect,
he was robed in a loose dress of flame-coloured taffeta, and conveyed
through the secret passages to Saint John’s Chapel in the White Tower,
which was brilliantly illuminated, and filled with a large assemblage.
As he entered the sacred structure, a priest advanced with holy water,
but he turned aside with a scornful look. Another, more officious,
placed a consecrated wafer to his lips, but he spat it out; while a
third forced a couple of tapers into his hands, which he was compelled
to carry, in this way, he was led along the aisle by his guard, through
the crowd of spectators who divided as he moved towards the altar,
before which, as on the occasion of the Duke of Northumberland’s
reconciliation, Gardiner was seated upon the faldstool, with the mitre
on his head. Priests and choristers were arranged on either side in
their full habits. The aspect of the chancellor-bishop was stern and
menacing, but the miserable enthusiast did not quail before it. On the
contrary, he seemed inspired with new strength; and though he had with
difficulty dragged his crippled limbs along the dark passages, he now
stood firm and erect. His limbs were wasted, his cheeks hollow, his
eyes deep sunken in their sockets, but flashing with vivid lustre. At a
gesture from Gardiner, Nightgall and Wolfytt, who attended him, forced
him upon his knees.

Edward Underhill, demanded the bishop, in a stern voice, “for the
last time, I ask thee dost thou persist in thy impious and damnable

“I persist in my adherence to the Protestant faith, by which alone I can
be saved,” replied Underhill, firmly. “I deserve and desire death for
having raised my hand against the queens life. But as her highness has
been graciously pleased to extend her mercy towards me, if I suffer
death it will be in the cause of the gospel. And I take all here present
to witness that I am right willing to do so, certain that I shall obtain
by such means the crown of everlasting life. I would suffer a
thousand deaths—yea all the rackings, torments, crucifyings, and other
persecutions endured by the martyrs of old, rather than deny Christ and
his gospel, or defile my faith and conscience with the false worship of
the Romish religion.”

“Then perish in thy sins, unbeliever,” replied Gardiner sternly.

And he arose, and taking off his mitre, the whole assemblage knelt down,
while the terrible denunciation of the Catholic church against a heretic
was solemnly pronounced. This done, mass was performed, hymns were
chanted, and the prisoner was conducted to his cell.

The brief remainder of his life was passed by Underhill in deep but
silent devotion; for his jailors, who never left him, would not suffer
him to pray aloud, or even to kneel; and strove, though vainly, to
distract him, by singing ribald songs, plucking his beard and garments,
and offering other interruptions.

The place appointed as the scene of his last earthly suffering was a
square patch of ground, marked by a border of white flint stones, then,
and even now, totally destitute of herbage, in front of Saint Peter’s
Chapel on the Green, where the scaffold for those executed within the
Tower was ordinarily erected, and where Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard
were beheaded.

On this spot a strong stake was driven deeply into the ground, and at a
little distance from it was piled a large stack of fagots. An iron ring
was fixed to the centre of the stake, and to the ring was attached a
broad iron girdle, destined to encircle the body of the victim.

As night set in, a large band of halberdiers marched into the green, and
stationed themselves round the stake. Long before this, sombre groups
had gathered together at various points, and eyed the proceedings in
moody silence. None of the curiosity—none of the excitement ordinarily
manifested upon such occasions—was now exhibited. Underhills crime had
checked the strong tide of sympathy which would otherwise have run
in his favour. Still, as he had been pardoned by the queen, and was
condemned for his religious opinions only, deep commiseration was felt
for him. It was not, however, for him that the assemblage looked grave,
but for themselves. Most of them were of the Reformed faith, and they
argued—and with reason,—that this was only the commencement of a season
of trouble; and that the next victim might be one of their own family.
With such sentiments, it is not to be wondered at, that they looked on
sternly and suspiciously, and with the strongest disposition—though
it was not manifested, otherwise than by looks—to interrupt the
proceedings. As it grew dark, and faces could no longer be discerned,
loud murmurings arose, and it was deemed expedient to double the guard,
and to place in custody some of the most clamorous. By this means,
all disposition to tumult was checked, and profound silence ensued.
Meanwhile, numbers continued to flock thither, until, long before the
appointed hour arrived, the whole area from the lieutenant’s lodgings to
Saint Peters Chapel was densely thronged.


As the bell ceased tolling the hour of midnight, a lugubrious procession
slowly issued from beneath the gloomy archway of the Coalharbour Gate.
First came four yeomen of the guard walking two and two, and bearing
banners of black silk, displaying large white crosses. Then twelve
deacons in the same order, in robes of black silk and flat caps, each
carrying a long lighted wax taper. Then a priest’s assistant, in a white
surplice, with a red cross in front, bareheaded, and swinging a large
bell heavily to and fro. Then two young priests, likewise bareheaded,
and in white surplices, each holding a lighted taper in a massive silver
candlestick. Then an old priest with the mitre. Then two chantry-priests
in their robes singing the Miserere. Then four Carmelite monks, each
with a large rosary hanging from his wrist, supporting a richly gilt
square canopy, decorated at each corner with a sculptured cross, beneath
which walked Bonner, in his scarlet chimere and white rochet. Then
came Feckenham and other prelates, followed by two more chantry-priests
singing the same doleful hymn as their predecessors. Then came a long
train of halberdiers. Then the prisoner, clothed in sackcloth and
bare-footed, walking between two friars of the lowly order of Saint
Francis, who besought him, in piteous tones, to repent ere it was too
late. And lastly, the rear was brought up by a company of archers of the
queen’s body guard.

As soon as the procession had formed in the order it arrived round the
place of execution, the prisoner was brought forward by the two friars,
who for the last time earnestly exhorted him to recant, and save his
soul alive. But he pushed them from him, saying, “Get hence ye popish
wolves! ye raveners of Christ’s faithful flock! Back to the idolatrous
Antichrist of Rome who sent ye hither. I will have none of your
detestable doctrines. Get hence, I say, and trouble me no more.”

When the friars drew back, he would have addressed the assemblage. But
a halberdier, by Bonner’s command, thrust a pike into his mouth and
silenced him. A wild and uncouth figure, with strong but clumsily-formed
limbs, coarse repulsive features, lighted up by a savage smile, now
stepped forward. It was Wolfytt, the sworn tormentor. He was attired in
a jerkin and hose of tawny leather. His arms and chest were bare, and
covered with a thick pile of red hair. His ragged locks and beard,
of the same disgusting colour, added to his hideous and revolting
appearance. He was armed with a long iron pitchfork, and had a large
hammer and a pair of pincers stuck in his girdle. Behind him came Mauger
and Nightgall.

A deep and awful silence now prevailed throughout the concourse. Not a
breath was drawn, and every eye was bent upon the victim. He was seized
and stripped by Mauger and Wolfytt, the latter of whom dragged him to
the stake, which the poor zealot reverently kissed as he reached it,
placed the iron girdle round his waist, and riveted it to the post. In
this position, Underhill cried with a loud voice, “God preserve Queen
Jane! and speedily restore her to the throne, that she may deliver this
unhappy realm from the popish idolaters who would utterly subvert it.”

Several voices cried “Amen!” and Wolfytt, who was nailing the girdle
at the time, commanded him to keep silence, and enforced the order by
striking him a severe blow on the temples with the hammer.

“You might have spared me that, friend,” observed Underhill, meekly. And
he then added, in a lower tone, “Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am
weak! O Lord heal me, for all my bones are vexed!”

While the fagots were heaped around him by Mauger and Nightgall, he
continued to pray fervently; and when all was made ready, he cried,
“Dear Father, I beseech thee to give once more to this realm the
blessing of thy word, with godly peace. Purge and purify me by this
fire in Christ’s death and passion through thy spirit, that I may be an
acceptable burnt-offering in thy sight. Farewell, dear friends. Pray for
me, and pray with me.”

As he spoke, Nightgall seized a torch and applied it to the fagots. His
example was imitated by Mauger and Wolfytt, and the pile was speedily
kindled. The dry wood crackled, and the smoke rose in thick volumes.
the flames then burst forth, and burning fast and fiercely, cast a lurid
light upon the countenances of the spectators, upon the windows of Saint
Peter’s chapel, and upon the grey walls of the White Tower. As yet,
the fire had not reached the victim; the wind blowing strongly from
the west, carried it aside. But in a few seconds it gained sufficient
ascendancy, and his sufferings commenced. For a short space, he endured
them without a groan. But as the flames mounted, notwithstanding all his
efforts, the sharpness of the torment overcame him. Placing his hands
behind his neck, he made desperate attempts to draw himself further
up the stake, out of the reach of the devouring element. But the iron
girdle effectually restrained him. He then lost all command of himself;
and his eyes starting from their sockets—his convulsed features—his
erected hair, and writhing frame—proclaimed the extremity of his agony.
He sought relief by adding to his own torture. Crossing his hands upon
his breast, and grasping either shoulder, he plunged his nails deeply
into the flesh. It was a horrible sight, and a shuddering groan burst
from the assemblage. Fresh fagots were added by Nightgall and his
companions, who moved around the pyre like fiends engaged in some
impious rite. The flames again arose brightly and fiercely. By this
time, the lower limbs were entirely consumed; and throwing back his
head, and uttering a loud and lamentable yell which was heard all over
the fortress, the wretched victim gave up the ghost. A deep and mournful
silence succeeded this fearful cry. It found an heco in every breast.




More than three months had now been passed by Jane in solitary
confinement in the Brick Tower. Long as was the interval, it appeared
brief to her—her whole time being devoted to intense mental application,
or to prayer. She lived only in her books; and addressed herself
with such ardour to her studies, that her thoughts were completely

Sometimes, indeed, in spite of all her efforts, recollections of the
past would obtrude themselves upon her—visions of earlier days and of
the events and scenes connected with them would rise before her. She
thought of Bradgate and its green retreats,—of her beloved preceptor,
Roger Ascham,—of the delight with which she had become acquainted,
through him, with the poetry, the philosophy, the drama of the ancient
world. She recalled their long conversations, in which he had painted to
her the vanities and vexations of the world, and the incomparable charms
of a life of retirement and meditation, and she now felt the truth
of his assertions. Had it been permitted her to pass her quiet and
blameless career in that tranquil place, how happy would she have
been! And yet she did not repine at her lot, but rather rejoiced at it.
“Whatever my own sufferings may be,” she murmured—“however severely I
may be chastened, I yet feel I shall not endure in vain, but that others
will profit by my example. If heaven will vouchsafe me grace and power,
not one action of my life but shall redound to the honour of the faith I

One thought she ever checked, feeling that the emotions it excited,
threatened to shake her constancy. This was the idea of her husband; and
whenever it arose she soothed the pang it occasioned by earnest prayer.
The reflection that he was now as firm an adherent to the tenets of the
gospel as herself, and that by her own resolution she had wrought
this beneficial change in him, cheered and animated her, and almost
reconciled her to her separation.

So fully prepared did she now feel for the worst shock of fate, that the
only thing she regretted was that she was not speedily brought to trial.
But she repressed even this desire as inconsistent with her duty, and
unworthy of her high and holy calling. “My part is submission,” she
murmured, “and whether my term of life is long or short, it becomes
me to feel and act in like manner. Whenever I am called upon, I am
ready,—certain, if I live devoutly, to attain everlasting happiness, and
rejoin my husband where he will never be taken from me.”

In this way, she thoroughly reconciled herself to her situation. And
though in her dreams old scenes and faces would often revisit her—though
her husband’s image constantly haunted her—and on waking her pillow was
bedewed with her tears—still, she maintained her cheerfulness, and by
never allowing one moment to pass unemployed, drove away all distressing

Not so her husband. Immured in the Beauchamp Tower, he bore his
confinement with great external fortitude; but his bosom was a prey
to vain regrets and ambitious hopes. Inheriting, as has before been
observed, the soaring aspirations of his father, but without his genius
or daring, his mind was continually dwelling upon the glittering bauble
he had lost, and upon the means of regaining it. Far from being warned
by the duke’s fate,—far from considering the fearful jeopardy in which
he himself stood—he was ever looking forward to the possibility of
escape, and to the chance of reinstating himself in his lost position.

Sincerely attached to Jane, he desired to be restored to her rather from
the feeling which had led him to seek her hand—namely, a desire to use
her as a means of aggrandizement,—than from any deep regret at the loss
of her society. Not that misfortune had lessened his attachment, but
that his ruling passion was ambition, which no reverse could quench, no
change subdue. “He who has once nearly grasped a sceptre can never lose
all thoughts of it,” he exclaimed to himself. “I may perish—but while I
live I shall indulge the hope of being king of England. And if I should
ever obtain my liberty, I will never rest till I have won back the
crown. Jane’s name shall be my watchword—the Protestant cause my
battle-cry; and if the victory is mine, she shall share my throne, but
not, as heretofore, occupy it alone. Had I been king, this would never
have happened. But my father’s ambition ruined all. He aimed at the
throne himself, and used me as his stepping-stone. Well, he has paid the
penalty of his rashness, and I may perchance share his fate. Yet what
if I do? Better die on the scaffold, than linger out a long inglorious
life. Oh! that I could make one effort more! If I failed I would lay my
head upon the block without a murmur.”

The long delay that occurred before his trial encouraged his hopes, and
a secret communication made to him by the Duke of Suffolk, who had
leave to visit him, that a plot was in agitation to restore Jane to
the throne, so raised his expectations, that he began to feel little
apprehension for the future, confident that ere long the opportunity he
sighed for would present itself.

Ever since Jane’s conference with Gardiner, Dudley had resisted all
overtures from the Romish priesthood to win him over to their religion,
and if his own feelings had not prompted him to this course, policy
would have now dictated it. Slight as was the information he was able
to obtain, he yet gathered that Mary’s determination to restore the
Catholic religion was making her many enemies, and giving new spirits to
her opponents. And when he found, from the communication of De Noailles,
that a plot, having for its basis the preservation of the Reformed
religion, now menaced by the proposed alliance with Spain, was being
formed, he became confirmed in his opinions.

It was not deemed prudent by the conspirators to attempt any
communication with Jane. They doubted much whether she could be
prevailed upon to join them;—whether she might not even consider it her
duty to reveal it;—and they thought there would be ample time to make
it known to her when the season for outbreak arrived. Jane’s partisans
consisted only of her father, her uncle, and ostensibly Do Noailles,
who craftily held out hopes to Suffolk and his brother to secure their
zealous co-operation. In reality, the wily Frenchman favoured Courtenay
and Elizabeth, But he scarcely cared which side obtained the mastery,
provided he thwarted his adversary, Simon Renard.

During the early part of her imprisonment, Jane’s solitude was disturbed
by Feckenham, who, not content with his own discomfiture and that of his
superiors, Gardiner and Bonner, returned again and again to the charge,
but with no better success than before. Worsted in every encounter,
he became, at length, convinced of the futility of the attempt, and
abandoned it in despair. At first, Jane regarded his visits as a species
of persecution, and a waste of the few precious hours allowed her, which
might be far more profitably employed than in controversy. But when they
ceased altogether, she almost regretted their discontinuance, as the
discussions had led her to examine her own creed more closely than she
otherwise might have done; and the success she invariably met with,
inspired her with new ardour and zeal.

Thus time glided on. Her spirits were always equable; her looks serene;
and her health, so far from being affected by her captivity, appeared
improved. One change requires to be noticed. It was remarked by her
jailor that when first brought to the Brick Tower, she looked younger
than her age, which was scarcely seventeen; but that ere a month had
elapsed, she seemed like a matured woman. A striking alteration had,
indeed, taken place in her appearance. Her countenance was grave, but
so benignant, that its gravity had no displeasing effect. Her complexion
was pale but clear,—so clear that the course of every azure vein could
be traced through the wax-like skin. But that which imparted the almost
angelic character to her features, was their expression of perfect
purity, unalloyed by any taint of earth. What with her devotional
observances, and her intellectual employments, the mind had completely
asserted its dominion over the body; and her seraphic looks and beauty
almost realized the Catholic notion of a saint.

She had so won upon her jailor by her extraordinary piety, and by her
gentleness and resignation, that he could scarcely offer her sufficient
attention. He procured her such books as she desired—her sole request;
and never approached her but with the profoundest reverence. From
him she learned the fate of Edward Underhill, and during the dreadful
sufferings of the miserable enthusiast, when the flames that were
consuming him lighted up her prison-chamber, and his last wild shriek
rang in her ears, her lips were employed in pouring forth the most
earnest supplications for his release.

It was a terrible moment to Jane; and the wretched sufferer at the stake
scarcely endured more anguish. Like many others, she saw in his fate
a prelude of the storm that was to follow; and passed the whole of the
night in prayer, that the danger might be averted. She prayed also,
earnestly and sincerely, that a like death might be hers, if it would
prove beneficial to her faith, and prevent further persecution.

One day, shortly after this event, the jailor made his appearance at an
unwonted hour, and throwing himself at her feet, informed her that after
a severe struggle with himself, he was determined to liberate her; and
that he would not only throw open her prison-door that night, but would
find means to set her free from the Tower. When he concluded, Jane, who
had listened to his proposal with extreme surprise, at once, though with
the utmost thankfulness, declined it. “You would break your trust, and
I mine,” she observed, “were I to accept your offer. But it would be
useless. Whither should I fly—what should I do were I at large? No,
friend, I cannot for a moment indulge the thought. If that door should
be opened to me, I would proceed to the queen’s presence, and beseech
her highness to bring me to speedy trial. That is all the favour I
deserve, or desire.”

“Well, madam,” replied the jailor, in accents of deep disappointment,
“since I may not have my wish and set you free, I will at once resign my

“Nay, do not so, I beseech you, good friend,” returned Jane, “that were
to do me an unkindness, which I am sure you would willingly avoid, by
exposing me to the harsh treatment of some one less friendly-disposed
towards me than yourself, from whom I have always experienced compassion
and attention.”

“Foul befal me if I did not show you such, sweet lady!” cried the

“Your nature is kindly, sir,” pursued Jane; “and as I must needs
continue a captive, so I pray you show your regard by continuing my
jailor. It gladdens me to think I have a friend so near.”

“As you will, madam,” rejoined the man, sorrowfully. “Yet I beseech you,
pause ere you reject my offer. An opportunity of escape now presents
itself, which may never occur again. If you will consent to fly, I will
attend you, and act as your faithful follower.”

“Think me not insensible to your devotion, good friend, if I once more
decline it,” returned Jane, in a tone that showed that her resolution
was taken. “I cannot fly—I have ties that bind me more securely than
those strong walls and grated windows. Were the queen to give me the
range of the fortress—nay, of the city without it, I should consider
myself equally her captive. No, worthy friend, we must remain as we

Seeing remonstrance was in vain, the man, ashamed of the emotion he
could neither control nor conceal, silently withdrew. The subject was
never renewed, and though he acted with every consideration towards his
illustrious captive, he did not relax in any of his duties.

Full three months having elapsed since Jane’s confinement commenced, on
the first of November her jailor informed her that her trial would take
place in Guildhall on the day but one following. To his inquiry whether
she desired to make any preparations, she answered in the negative.

“The offence I have committed,” she said, “is known to all. I shall not
seek to palliate it. Justice will take its course. Will my husband be
tried with me?”

“Undoubtedly, madam,” replied the jailor.

“May I be permitted to confer with him beforehand?” she asked.

“I grieve to say, madam, that the queen’s orders are to the contrary.”
returned the jailor. “You will not meet him till you are placed at the
bar before your judges.”

“Since it may not be, I must resign myself contentedly to her majesty’s
decrees. Leave me, sir. Thoughts press upon me so painfully that I would
fain be alone.”

“The queen’s confessor is without, madam. He bade me say he would speak
with you.”

“He uses strange ceremony, methinks,” replied Jane. “He would formerly
enter my prison without saying, By your leave: but since he allows me
a choice in the matter, I shall not hesitate to decline his visit. If
I may not confer with my husband, there is none other whom I desire to

“But he is the bearer of a message from her majesty,” urged the jailor.

“If he is resolved to see me, I cannot prevent it,” replied Jane. “But
if I have the power to hinder his coming, he shall not do so.”

“I will communicate your wish to him, madam,” replied the jailor,

Accordingly, he told Feckenham that his charge was in no mood to listen
to him, and the confessor departed.

The third of November, the day appointed for Jane’s trial, as well as
for that of her husband, and of Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, was
characterized by unusual gloom, even for the season. A dense fog arose
from the river and spread itself over the ramparts, the summits of which
could scarcely be discerned by those beneath them. The sentinels pacing
to and fro looked like phantoms, and the whole fortress was speedily
enveloped in a tawny-coloured vapour. Jane had arrayed herself betimes,
and sat in expectation of the summons with a book before her, but it
became so dark that she was compelled to lay it aside. The tramp of
armed men in front of the building in which she was lodged, and other
sounds that reached her, convinced her that some of the prisoners were
being led forth; but she had to wait long before her own turn came. She
thought more—much more—of beholding her husband, than of the result of
the trial, and her heart throbbed as any chance footstep reached her
ear, from the idea that it might be his.

An hour after this, the door of her chamber was unbarred, and two
officers of the guard in corslets and steel caps appeared and commanded
her to follow them. Without a moment’s hesitation she arose, and was
about to pass through the door when the jailor prostrated himself before
her, and pressing the hand she kindly extended to him to his lips,
expressed, in faltering tones, a hope that she might not be brought back
to his custody. Jane shook her head, smiled faintly, and passed on.

Issuing from the structure, she found a large band of halberdiers drawn
out to escort her. One stern figure arrested her attention, and recalled
the mysterious terrors she had formerly experienced. This was
Nightgall, who by Renard’s influence had been raised to the post of
gentleman-jailor. He carried the fatal axe,—its handle supported by a
leathern pouch passed over his shoulders. The edge was turned from her,
as was the custom on proceeding to trial. A shudder passed over her
frame as her eye fell on the implement of death, connected as it was
with her former alarms; but she gave no further sign of trepidation, and
took the place assigned her by the officers. The train was then put in
motion, and proceeded at a slow pace past the White Towner, down the
descent leading to the Bloody Tower. Nightgall marched a few paces
before her, and Jane, though she strove to reason herself out of her
fears, could not repress a certain misgiving at his propinquity.


The gateway of the Bloody Tower, through which the advanced guard was
now passing, is perhaps one of the most striking remnants of ancient
architecture to be met with in the fortress. Its dark and gloomy
archway, bristling with the iron teeth of the portcullis, and resembling
some huge ravenous monster, with jaws wide-opened to devour its prey,
well accords with its ill-omened name, derived, as before stated, from
the structure above it being the supposed scene of the murder of the
youthful princes.

Erected in the reign of Edward the Third, this gateway is upwards of
thirty feet in length, and fifteen in width. It has a vaulted roof,
supported by groined arches, and embellished with moulded tracery of
great beauty. At the period of this chronicle, it was defended at either
extremity by a massive oak portal, strengthened by plates of iron and
broad-headed nails, and a huge portcullis. Of these defences those at
the south are still left. On the eastern side, concealed by the leaf of
the gate when opened, is an arched doorway, communicating with a flight
of spiral stone steps leading to the chambers above, in which is a
machine for working the portcullis.

By this time, Jane had reached the centre of the arch, when the gate
was suddenly pushed aside, and Feckenham stepped from behind it. On his
appearance, word was given by the two captains, who marched with their
drawn swords in hand on either side of the prisoner, to the train to
halt. The command was instantly obeyed. Nightgall paused a few feet in
advance of Jane, and grasping his fatal weapon, threw a stealthy glance
over his left shoulder to ascertain the cause of the interruption.

“What would you, reverend sir?” said Jane, halting with the others, and
addressing Feckenham, who advanced towards her, holding in his hand a
piece of parchment to which a large seal was attached.

“I would save you, daughter,” replied the confessor. “I here bring you
the queen’s pardon.”

“Is it unconditional, reverend sir?” demanded Jane, coldly.

“The sole condition annexed to it is your reconciliation with the church
of Rome,” replied Feckenham.

“Then I at once reject it,” rejoined Jane, firmly. “I have already
told you I should prefer death a thousand-fold to any violation of my
conscience; and neither persuasion nor force shall compel me to embrace
a religion opposed to the gospel of our Saviour, and which, in common
with all his true disciples, I hold in utter abhorrence. I take all here
to witness that such are my sentiments—that I am an earnest and zealous,
though unworthy member of the Protestant church—and that I am fully
prepared to seal my faith with my blood.”

A slight murmur of approbation arose from the guard, which, however, was
instantly checked by the officers.

“And I likewise take all here to witness,” rejoined Feckenham, in a
loud voice, “that a full and free pardon is offered you by our gracious
queen, whom you have so grievously offended, that no one except a
princess of her tender and compassionate nature would have overlooked
it; coupled only with a condition which it is her assured belief will
conduce as much to your eternal welfare as to your temporal. It has
been made a reproach to our church by its enemies, that it seeks to win
converts by severity and restraint. That the charge is unfounded her
highness’s present merciful conduct proves. We seek to save the souls
of our opponents, however endangered by heresy, alive; and our first
attempts are ever gentle. If these fail, and we are compelled to have
recourse to harsher measures, is it our fault, or the fault of those who
resist us? Thus, in your own case, madam—here, on the way to a trial the
issue of which all can foresee, the arm of mercy is stretched out to you
and to your husband, on a condition which, if you were not benighted in
error, you would recognize as an additional grace,—and yet you turn it

“The sum of her majesty’s mercy is this,” replied Jane; “she would kill
my soul to preserve my body. I care not for the latter, but I regard
the former. Were I to embrace your faith, I should renounce all hopes of
heaven. Are you answered, sir?”

“I am,” replied Feckenham. “But oh! madam,” he added, falling at her
feet; “believe not that I urge you to compliance from any unworthy
motive. My zeal for your salvation is hearty and sincere.”

“I doubt it not, sir,” rejoined Jane. “And I thank you for your

“Anger not the queen by a refusal,” proceeded Feckenham:—“anger not
heaven, whose minister I am, by a blind and obstinate rejection of the
truth, but secure the favour of both your earthly and your celestial
judge by compliance.”

“I should indeed anger heaven were I to listen to you further,” replied
Jane. “Gentlemen,” she added, turning to the officers, “I pray you
proceed. The tribunal to which you are about to conduct me waits for

Feckenham arose, and would have given utterance to the denunciation that
rose to his lips, had not Jane’s gentle look prevented him. Bowing his
head upon his breast, he withdrew, while the procession proceeded on its
course, in the same order as before.

On reaching the bulwark gate, Jane was placed in a litter, stationed
there for her reception, and conveyed through vast crowds of spectators,
who, however, were unable to obtain even a glimpse of her, to Guildhall,
where she was immediately brought before her judges. The sight of her
husband standing at the bar, guarded by two halberdiers, well nigh
overpowered her; but she was immediately re-assured by his calm,
collected, and even haughty demeanour. He cast a single glance of the
deepest affection at her, and then fixed his gaze upon the Marquis of
Winchester, high treasurer of the realm, who officiated as chief judge.

On the left of Lord Guilford Dudley, on a lower platform, stood his
faithful esquire, Cuthbert Cholmondeley, charged with abetting him in
his treasonable practices. A vacant place on this side of her husband
was allotted to Jane. Cranmer, having already been tried and attainted,
was removed. The proceedings were soon ended, for the arraigned parties
confessed their indictments, and judgment was pronounced upon them.
Before they were removed, Lord Guilford turned to his consort, and
said in a low voice—“Be of good cheer, Jane. No ill will befal you. Our
judges will speedily take our places.”

Jane looked at him for a moment, as if she did not comprehend his
meaning, and then replied in the same tone—“I only required to see you
so resigned to your fate, my dear lord, to make me wholly indifferent to
mine. May we mount the scaffold together with as much firmness!”

“We shall mount the throne together—not the scaffold, Jane,” rejoined
Dudley, significantly.

“Ha!” exclaimed Jane, perceiving from his speech that he meditated some
new project.

Further discourse was not, however, allowed her, for at this moment she
was separated from her husband by the halberdiers, who led her to the
litter in which she was carried back to the Tower.

Left to herself within her prison-chamber, she revolved Dudley’s
mysterious words; and though she could not divine their precise import,
she felt satisfied that he cherished some hope of replacing her on the
throne. So far from this conjecture affording her comfort, it deeply
distressed her—and for the first time for a long period her constancy
was shaken. When her jailor visited her, he found her in the deepest

“Alas! madam,” he observed, in a tone of great commiseration, “I
have heard the result of your trial, but the queen may yet show you

“It is not for myself I lament,” returned Jane, raising her head, and
drying her tears, “but for my husband.”

“Her majesty’s clemency may be extended towards him likewise,” remarked
the jailor.

“Not so,” returned Jane, “we have both offended her too deeply for
forgiveness, and justice requires that we should expiate our offence
with our lives. But you mistake me, friend. It is not because my husband
is condemned as a traitor, that I grieve; but because he still nourishes
vain and aspiring thoughts. I will trust you, knowing that you are
worthy of confidence. If you can find means of communicating with Lord
Guilford Dudley for one moment, tell him I entreat him to abandon all
hopes of escape, or of restoration to his fallen state, and earnestly
implore him to think only of that everlasting kingdom which we shall
soon inherit together. Will you do this?”

“Assuredly, madam, if I can accomplish it with safety,” replied the

“Add also,” pursued Jane, “that if Mary would resign her throne to me, I
would not ascend it.”

“I will not fail, madam,” rejoined the jailor.

Just as he was about to depart, steps were heard on the staircase, and
Sir Henry Bedingfeld, attended by a couple of halberdiers, entered the
chamber. He held a scroll of parchment in his hand.

“You are the bearer of my death-warrant, I perceive, sir,” said Jane,
rising at his approach, but without displaying any emotion.

“On the contrary, madam,” returned Sir Henry, kindly, “it rejoices me to
say that I am a bearer of her majesty’s pardon.”

“Clogged by the condition of my becoming a Catholic, I presume?”
rejoined Jane, disdainfully.

“Clogged by no condition,” replied Bedingfeld, “except that of your
living in retirement.”

Jane could scarcely credit her senses, and she looked so bewildered that
the knight repeated what he had said.

“And my husband?” demanded Jane, eagerly.

“He too is free,” replied Bedingfeld; “and on the same terms as
yourself. You are both at liberty to quit the Tower as soon as you think
proper. Lord Guilford Dudley has already been apprised of her highness’s
clemency, and will join you here in a few’ minutes.”

Jane heard no more. The sudden revulsion of feeling produced by this
joyful intelligence, was too much for her; and uttering a faint cry, she
sank senseless into the arms of the old knight.


That night Lord Guilford Dudley and Jane, attended by Cholmondeley, who
was included in the pardon, left the Tower, and repaired to Sion House.
On finding herself once more restored to freedom, and an inmate of the
house she loved so well, Jane was completely prostrated. Joy was more
difficult to bear than affliction; and the firmness that had sustained
her throughout her severest trials now altogether forsook her. But a
few days brought back her calmness, and she poured forth her heartfelt
thanks to that beneficent Being, who had restored her to so much
felicity. Measureless content seemed hers, and as she traversed the long
galleries and halls of the ancient mansion—as she wandered through its
garden walks,—or by the river’s side—she felt that even in her proudest
moment she had never known a tithe of the happiness she now experienced.

Day after day flew rapidly by, and pursuing nearly the same course she
had adopted in prison, she never allowed an hour to pass that was not
profitably employed. But she observed with concern that her husband did
not share her happiness. He grew moody and discontented, and became far
more reserved than she had heretofore known him. Shunning her society,
he secluded himself in his chamber, to which he admitted no one but

This conduct Jane attributed in some degree to the effect produced upon
his spirits by the reverse of fortune he had sustained, and by his long
imprisonment. But she could not help fearing, though he did not confide
the secrets of his bosom to her, that he still cherished the project he
had darkly hinted at. She was confirmed in this opinion by the frequent
visits of her father, who like her husband, had an anxious look, and by
other guests who arrived at nightfall, and departed as secretly as they

As soon as this conviction seized her, she determined, at the hazard of
incurring his displeasure, to speak to her husband on the subject; and
accordingly, one day, when he entered her room with a moodier brow than
usual, she remarked, “I have observed with much uneasiness, dear Dudley,
that ever since our release from imprisonment, a gradually-increasing
gloom has taken possession of you. You shun my regards, and avoid my
society,—nay, you do not even converse with me, unless I wring a few
reluctant answers from you. To what must I attribute this change?”

“To anything but want of affection for you, dear Jane,” replied Dudley,
with a melancholy smile, while he fondly pressed her hand. “You had once
secrets from me, it is my turn to retaliate, and be mysterious towards

“You will not suppose me influenced by idle curiosity if I entreat to
be admitted to your confidence, my dear lord,” replied Jane. “Seeing
you thus oppressed with care, and knowing how much relief is afforded
by sharing the burthen with another, I urge you, for your own sake, to
impart the cause of your anxiety to me. If I cannot give you counsel, I
can sympathy.”

Dudley shook his head, and made a slight effort to change the

“I will not be turned from my purpose,” persisted Jane; “I am the truest
friend you have on earth, and deserve to be trusted.”

“I would trust you, Jane, if I dared,” replied Dudley.

“Dared!” she echoed. “What is there that a husband dares not confide to
his wife?”

“In this instance much,” answered Dudley; “nor can I tell you what
occasions the gloom you have noticed, until I have your plighted word
that you will not reveal aught I may say to you. And further, that you
will act according to my wishes.”

“Dudley,” returned Jane gravely, “your demand convinces me that my
suspicions are correct. What need of binding me to secrecy, and exacting
my obedience, unless you are acting wrongfully, and desire me to do so
likewise? Shall I tell why you fear I should divulge your secret—why
you are apprehensive I should hesitate to obey your commands? You are
plotting against the queen, and dread I should interfere with you.”

“I have no such fears,” replied Dudley, sternly.

“Then you own that I am right?” cried Jane, anxiously.

“You are so far right,” replied Dudley, “that I am resolved to depose
Mary, and restore you to the throne, of which she has unjustly deprived

“Not unjustly, Dudley, for she is the rightful queen, and I was an
usurper,” replied Jane. “But oh! my dear, dear lord, can you have the
ingratitude—for I will use no harsher term, to requite her clemency
thus?” *

“I owe her no thanks,” replied Dudley, fiercely. “I have solicited no
grace from her, and if she has pardoned me, it was of her own free will.
It is part of her present policy to affect the merciful. But she showed
no mercy towards my father.”

“And does not your present conduct, dear Dudley, prove how necessary it
is for princes, who would preserve their government undisturbed, to
shut their hearts to compassion?” returned Jane. “You will fail in this
enterprise if you proceed in it. And even I, who love you most, and am
most earnest for your happiness and honour, do not desire it to
succeed. It is based upon injustice, and will have no support from the

“Tush!” cried Dudley, impatiently. “I well knew you would oppose my
project, and therefore I would not reveal it to you. You shall be queen
in spite of yourself.”

“Never again,” rejoined Jane, mournfully;—“never again shall my brow
be pressed by that fatal circlet. Oh! if it is for me you are about
to engage in this wild and desperate scheme, learn that even if it
succeeded, it will be futile. Nothing should ever induce me to mount
the throne again; nor, if I am permitted to occupy it, to quit this calm
retreat. Be persuaded by me, dear Dudley. Abandon your project. If you
persist in it, I shall scarcely feel justified in withholding it from
the queen.”

“How, madam,” exclaimed Dudley, sternly; “would you destroy your

“I would save him,” replied Jane.

“A plague upon your zeal!” cried Dudley, fiercely. “If I thought you
capable of such treachery, I would ensure your silence.”

“And if I thought you capable, dear Dudley, of such black treason to
a sovereign to whom you owe not merely loyalty and devotion, but life
itself, no consideration of affection, still less intimidation, should
prevent me from disclosing it, so that I might spare you the commission
of so foul a crime.”

“Do so, then,” replied Dudley, in a taunting tone. “Seek Mary’s
presence. Tell her that your husband and his brothers are engaged in
a plot to place you on the throne. Tell her that your two uncles, the
Lords John and Thomas Grey, are conspiring with them—that your father,
the Duke of Suffolk, is the promoter, the leader, of the design.”

“My father!” exclaimed Jane, with a look of inexpressible anguish.

“Add that the Earl of Devon, Sir Thomas Wyat, Throckmorton, Sir Peter
Carew, and a hundred others, are leagued together to prevent the spread
of popery in this country—to cast off the Spanish yoke, with which the
people are threatened, and to place a Protestant monarch on the throne.
Tell her this, and bring your husband—your father—your whole race—to
the block. Tell her this, and you, the pretended champion of the gospel,
will prove yourself its worst foe. Tell her this—enable her to crush the
rising rebellion, and England is delivered to the domination of Spain—to
the inquisition—to the rule of the pope—to idolatrous oppression. Now,
go and tell her this.”

“Dudley, Dudley,” exclaimed Jane, in a troubled tone, “you put evil
thoughts into my head—you tempt me sorely.”

“I tempt you only to stand between your religion and the danger with
which it is menaced,” returned her husband. “Since the meeting of
parliament, Mary’s designs are no longer doubtful; and her meditated
union with Philip of Spain has stricken terror into the hearts of all
good Protestants. A bloody and terrible season for our church is at
hand, if it be not averted. And it can only be averted by the removal of
the bigoted queen who now fills the throne.”

“There is much truth in what you say, Dudley,” replied Jane, bursting
into tears. “Christ’s faithful flock are indeed in fearful peril; but
bloodshed and rebellion will not set them right. Mary is our liege
mistress, and if we rise against her we commit a grievous sin against
heaven, and a crime against the state.”

“Crime or not,” replied Dudley, “the English nation will never endure a
Spanish yoke nor submit to the supremacy of the see of Rome. Jane, I
now tell you that this plot may be revealed—may be defeated; but another
will be instantly hatched, for the minds of all true Englishmen are
discontented, and Mary will never maintain her sovereignty while she
professes this hateful faith, and holds to her resolution of wedding a
foreign prince.”

“If this be so, still I have no title to the throne,” rejoined Jane.
“The Princess Elizabeth is next in succession, and a Protestant.”

“I need scarcely remind you,” replied Dudley, “that the act just passed,
annulling the divorce of Henry the Eighth from Catherine of Arragon, has
annihilated Elizabeth’s claims, by rendering her illegitimate. Besides,
she has, of late, shown a disposition to embrace her sister’s creed.”

“It may be so given out—nay, she may encourage the notion herself,”
replied Jane; “but I know Elizabeth too well to believe for a moment she
could abandon her faith.”

“It is enough for me she has feigned to do so,” replied Dudley, “and
by this means alienated her party. On you, Jane, the people’s hopes are
fixed. Do not disappoint them.”

“Cease to importune me further, my dear lord. I cannot govern
myself—still less, a great nation.”

“You shall occupy the throne, and entrust the reins of government to
me,” observed Dudley.

“There your ambitious designs peep forth, my lord,” rejoined Jane. “It
is for yourself, not for me you are plotting. You would be king!”

“I would,” returned Dudley. “There is no need to mask my wishes now.”

“Sooner than this shall be,” rejoined Jane, severely, “I will hasten to
Whitehall, and warn Mary of her danger.”

“Do so,” replied Dudley, “and take your last farewell of me. You
are aware of the nature of the plot—of the names and object of those
concerned in it. Reveal all—make your own terms with the queen. But
think not you can check it. We have gone too far to retreat. When the
royal guards come hither to convey me to the Tower, they will not
find their prey, but they will soon hear of me. You will precipitate
measures, but you will not prevent them. Go, madam.”

“Dudley,” replied Jane, falling at his feet—“by your love or me—by
your allegiance to your sovereign—by your duty to your Maker—by every
consideration that weighs with you—I implore you to relinquish your

“I have already told you my fixed determination, madam,” he returned,
repulsing her. “Act as you think proper.”

Jane arose and walked slowly towards the door. Dudley laid his hand upon
his sword, half drew it, and then thrusting it back into the scabbard,
muttered between his ground teeth, “No, no—let her go. She dares not
betray me.”

As Jane reached the door, her strength failed her, and she caught
against the hangings for support. “Dudley,” she murmured, “help me—I

In an instant, he was by her side.

“You cannot betray your husband he said, catching her in his arms.

“I cannot—I cannot,” she murmured, as her head fell upon his bosom.

Jane kept her husband’s secret. But her own peace of mind was utterly
gone. Her walks—her studies—her occupations had no longer any charms for
her. Even devotion had lost its solace. She could no longer examine her
breast as heretofore—no longer believe herself reproachless! She felt
she was an accessary to the great crime about to be committed; and with
a sad presentiment of the result, she became a prey to grief,—almost to


Persuading himself that his capture was matter of jest, Xit kept up his
braggadocio air and gait, until he found himself within a few paces of
the Constable Tower,—a fortification situated on the east of the White
Tower, and resembling in its style of architecture, though somewhat
smaller in size, the corresponding structure on the west, the Beauchamp
Tower. As Nightgall pointed to this building, and told him with a
malicious grin that it was destined to be his lodging, the dwarf’s
countenance fell. All his heroism forsook him; and casting a half-angry,
half-fearful look at his guards, who were laughing loudly at his
terrors, he darted suddenly backwards, and made towards a door in the
north-east turret of the White Tower.

Nightgall and the guards, not contemplating any such attempt, were
taken completely by surprise, but immediately started after him. Darting
between the legs of the sentinel stationed at the entrance of the
turret, who laughingly presented his partizan at him, Xit hurried up the
circular staircase leading to the roof. His pursuers were quickly after
him, shouting to him to stop, and threatening to punish him severely
when they caught him. But the louder they shouted, the swifter the dwarf
fled; and, being endowed with extraordinary agility, arrived, in a few
seconds, at the doorway leading to the roof. Here half-a-dozen soldiers,
summoned by the cries, were assembled to stop the fugitive. On seeing
Xit, with whose person they were well acquainted—never supposing he
could be the runaway,—they inquired what was the matter.

“The prisoner! the prisoner!” shouted Xit, instantly perceiving their
mistake, and pushing through them, “Where is he? What have you done with

“No one has passed us,” replied the soldiers. “Who is it?”

“Lawrence Nightgall,” replied Xit, keeping as clear of them as he
could. “He has been arrested by an order from the privy-council, and has

At this moment, Nightgall made his appearance, and was instantly seized
by the soldiers. An explanation quickly ensued, but, in the meantime,
Xit had flown across the roof, and reaching the opposite turret at the
south-east angle, sprang upon the platform, and clambering up the side
of the building at the hazard of his neck, contrived to squeeze himself
through a loophole.

“We have him safe enough,” cried one of the soldiers, as he witnessed
Xit’s manoeuvre. “Here is the key of the door opening into that turret,
and he cannot get below.”

So saying, he unlocked the door and admitted the whole party into a
small square chamber, in one corner of which was the arched entrance to
a flight of stone steps. Up these they mounted, and as they gained
the room above, they perceived the agile mannikin creeping through the

“Have a care!” roared Nightgall, who beheld this proceeding with
astonishment; “You will fall into the court below and be dashed to

Xit replied by a loud laugh, and disappeared. When Nightgall gained the
outlet, he could see nothing of him, and after calling to him for some
time and receiving no answer, the party adjourned to the leads, where
they found he had gained the cupola of the turret, and having clambered
up the vane, had seated himself in the crown by which it was surmounted.
In this elevated, and as he fancied, secure position, he derided
his pursuers, and snapping off a piece of the iron-work, threw it at
Nightgall, and with so good an aim that it struck him in the face.

A council of war was now held, and it was resolved to summon the
fugitive to surrender; when, if he refused to comply, means must be
taken to dislodge him. Meanwhile, the object of this consultation had
been discovered from below. His screams and antics had attracted the
attention of a large crowd, among whom were his friends the giants.
Alarmed at his arrest, they had followed to see what became of him,
and were passing the foot of the turret at the very moment when he had
reached its summit. Xit immediately recognized them, and hailed them at
the top of his voice. At first, they were unable to make out whence the
noise proceeded; but at length, Gog chancing to look up, perceived the
dwarf, and pointed him out to his companions.

Xit endeavoured to explain his situation, and to induce the giants to
rescue him; but they could not hear what he said, and only laughed
at his gestures and vociferations. Nightgall now called to him in a
peremptory tone to come down. Xit refused, and pointing to the crown in
which he was seated, screamed, “I have won it, and am determined not to
resign it. I am now in the loftiest position in the Tower. Let him bring
me down who can.”

“I will be no longer trifled with,” roared Nightgall. “Lend me your
arquebuss, Winwike. If there is no other way of dislodging that
mischievous imp, I will shoot him as I would a jackdaw.”

Seeing he was in earnest, Xit thought fit to capitulate. A rope was
thrown him which he fastened to the vane, and after bowing to the
assemblage, waving his cap to the giants, and performing a few other
antics, he slided down to the leads in safety. He was then seized
by Nightgall, and though he promised, to march as before between his
guards, and make no further attempt to escape, he was carried, much
to his discomfiture,—for even in his worst scrapes he had an eye to
effect,—to the Constable Tower, and locked up in the lower chamber.

“So, it has come to this,” he cried, as the door was barred outside by
Nightgall. “I am now a state prisoner in the Tower. Well, I only share
the fate of all court favourites and great men—of the Dudleys, the
Rochfords, the Howards, the Nevills, the Courtenays, and many others
whose names do not occur to me. I ought rather to rejoice than be cast
down that I am thus distinguished. But what will be the result of it?
Perhaps, I shall be condemned to the block. If I am, what matter? I
always understood from Mauger that decapitation was an easy death—and
then what a crowd there will be to witness my execution—Xit’s
execution—the execution of the famous dwarf of the Tower! The Duke of
Northumberland’s will be nothing to it. With what an air I shall ascend
the steps—how I shall bow to the assemblage—how I shall raise up Mauger
when he bends his lame leg to ask my forgiveness—how I shall pray with
the priest—address the assemblage—take off my ruff and doublet,
and adjust my head on the block! One blow and all is over. One
blow—sometimes, it takes two or three—but Mauger understands his
business, and my neck will be easily divided. That’s one advantage,
among others, of being a dwarf. But to return to my execution. It will
be a glorious death, and one worthy of me. I have half a mind to con
over what I shall say to the assembled multitude. Let me see. Hold! it
occurs to me that I shall not be seen for the railing. I must beg Mauger
to allow me to stand on the block. I make no doubt he will indulge me—if
not, I will not forgive him. I have witnessed several executions, but I
never yet beheld what I should call a really good death. I must try
to realize my own notions. But I am getting on a little too fast. I am
neither examined, nor sentenced yet. Examined! that reminds me of the
rack. I hope they won’t torture me. To be beheaded is one thing—to be
tortured another. I could bear anything in public, where there are so
many people to look at me, and applaud me—but in private it is quite
another affair. The very sight of the rack would throw me into fits. And
then suppose I should be sentenced to be burnt like Edward Underhill—no,
I won’t suppose that for a moment. It makes me quite hot to think of it.
Fool that I was, to be seduced by the hope of rank and dignity held out
to me by the French ambassador, to embark in plots which place me in
such jeopardy as this! However, I will reveal nothing. I will be true to
my employer.”

Communing thus with himself, Xit paced to and fro within his prison,
which was a tolerably spacious apartment, semi-circular in form, and
having deep recesses in the walls, which were of great thickness.


As he glanced around, an Idea occurred to him. “Every prisoner of
consequence confined within the Tower carves his name on the walls,” he
said. “I must carve mine, to serve as a memorial of my imprisonment.”

The only implement left him was his dagger, and using it instead of
a chisel, he carved, in a few hours, the following inscription in
characters nearly as large as himself:—

X I T.


By the time he had finished his work, he was reminded by a clamorous
monitor within him, that he had had no supper, and he recalled with
agonizing distinctness the many glorious meals he had consumed with his
friends the giants. He had not even the common prisoners fare, a loaf
and a cup of water, to cheer him.

“Surely they cannot intend to starve me,” he thought. “I will knock at
the door and try whether any one is without.” But though he thumped
with all his might against it, no answer was returned. Indignant at this
treatment, he began to rail against the giants, as if they had been the
cause of his misfortunes.

“Why do they not come to deliver me?” he cried, in a peevish voice. “The
least they could do would be to bring me some provisions. But, I warrant
me, they have forgotten their poor famishing dwarf, while they are
satisfying their own inordinate appetites. What would I give for a slice
of Hairun’s wild boar now! The bare idea of it makes my mouth water. But
the recollection of a feast is a poor stay for a hungry stomach. Cruel
Og! barbarous Gog! inhuman Magog! where are ye now? Insensible that ye
are to the situation of your friend, who would have been the first to
look after you had ye been similarly circumstanced! Where are ye, I
say—supping with Peter Trusbut, or Ribald, or at our lodging in the
By-ward Tower? Wherever ye are, I make no doubt you have plenty to eat,
whereas I, your best friend, who would have been your patron, if I had
been raised to the dignity promised by De Noailles—am all but starving.
It cannot be—hilloah! hilloah! help!” And he kicked against the door as
if his puny efforts would burst it open. “The queen cannot be aware of
my situation. She shall hear of it—but how?”

Perplexing himself how to accomplish this, he flung himself on a straw
mattress in one corner, which, together with a bench and a small table
constituted the sole furniture of the room, and in a short time fell
asleep. He was disturbed by the loud jarring of a door, and, starting to
his feet, perceived that two men had entered the room, one of whom
bore a lantern, which he hold towards him. In this person Xit at once
recognised Nightgall; and in the other, as he drew nearer, Wolfytt the
sworn tormentor. The grim looks of the latter so terrified Xit, that
he fell back on the mattress in an ecstacy of apprehension. His fright
seemed to afford great amusement to the cause of it, for he burst into
a coarse loud laugh that made the roof ring again. His merriment rather
restored the dwarf, who ventured to inquire, in a piteous accent,
whether they had brought him any supper.

“Ay, ay!” rejoined Wolfytt, with a grin. “Follow us, and you shall have
a meal that shall serve you for some days to come.”

“Readily,” replied Xit. “I am excessively hungry, and began to think I
was quite forgotten.”

“We have been employed in making all ready for you,” rejoined Wolfytt.
“We were taken a little by surprise. It is not often we have such a
prisoner as you.”

“I should think not,” returned Xit, whose vanity was tickled by the
remark. “I was determined to let posterity know that one dwarf had
been confined within the Tower. Bring your lantern this way, Master
Nightgall, and you will perceive I have already carved my name on the

“So I see,” growled Nightgall, holding the light to the inscription.
“Bring him along, Wolfytt.”

“He will not need, sir,” returned Xit, with dignity. “I am ready to
attend you.”

“Good!” exclaimed Wolfytt. “Supper awaits us, he! he!” They then passed
through the door, Xit strutting between the pair. Descending a short
flight of stone steps, they came to another strong door, which Nightgall
opened. It admitted them to a dark narrow passage, which, so far as it
could be discerned, was of considerable extent. After pursuing a direct
course for some time, they came to an opening on the left, into which
they struck. This latter passage was so narrow that they were obliged to
walk singly. The roof was crusted with nitrous drops, and the floor was
slippery with moisture.

“We are going into the worst part of the Tower,” observed Xit, who began
to feel his terrors revive. “I have been here once before. I recollect
it leads to the Torture Chamber, the Little-Ease, and the Pit. I hope
you are not taking me to one of those horrible places?”

“Poh! poh!” rejoined Wolfytt, gruffly. “You are going to Master
Nightgall’s bower.”

“His bower!” exclaimed Xit, surprised by the term—“what! where he keeps

At the mention of this name, Nightgall, who had hitherto maintained
a profound silence, uttered an exclamation of anger, and regarded the
dwarf with a withering look.

“I can keep a secret if need be,” continued Xit, in a deprecatory tone,
alarmed at his own indiscretion. “Neither Cuthbert Cholmondeley, nor
Dame Potentia, nor any one else, shall hear of her from me, if you
desire it, good Master Nightgall.”

“Peace!” thundered the jailor.

“You will get an extra turn of the rack for your folly, you
crack-brained jackanapes,” laughed Wolfytt.

Luckily the remark did not reach Xit’s ears. He was too much frightened
by Nightgall’s savage look to attend to anything else.

They had now reached a third door, which Nightgall unlocked and fastened
as soon as the others had passed through it. The passage they entered
was even darker and damper than the one they had quitted. It contained
a number of cells, some of which, as was evident from the groans that
issued from them, were tenanted.

“Is Alexia here?” inquired Xit, whose blood froze in his veins as he
listened to the dreadful sounds.

“Alexia!” vociferated Nightgall, in a terrible voice. “What do you know
of her?”

“Oh, nothing, nothing,” replied Xit. “But I have heard Cuthbert
Cholmondeley speak of her.”

“She is dead,” replied Nightgall, in a sombre voice; “and I will bury
you in the same grave with her, if her name ever passes your lips

“It shall not, worthy sir,” returned Xit,—“it shall not. Curse on my
unlucky tongue, which is for ever betraying me into danger!”

They had now arrived at an arched doorway in the wall, which being
opened by Nightgall, discovered a flight of steps leading to some
chamber beneath. Nightgall descended, but Xit refused to follow him.

“I know where you are taking me,” he cried. “This is the way to the

Wolfytt burst into a loud laugh, and pushed him forward.

“I won’t go,” screamed Xit, struggling with all his force against the
tormentor. “You have no authority to treat me thus. Help! kind Og! good
Gog! dear Magog!—help! or I shall be lamed for life. I shall never more
be able to amuse you with my gambols, or the tricks that so much divert
you. Help! help! I say.”

“Your cries are in vain,” cried Wolfytt, kicking him down the steps; “no
one can save you now.”

Precipitated violently downwards, Xit came in contact with Nightgall,
whom he upset, and they both rolled into the chamber beneath, where the
latter arose, and would have resented the affront upon his comrade, or,
at all events, upon the dwarf, if he had not been in the presence of
one of whom he stood in the greatest awe. This was Simon Renard, who
was writing at a table. Disturbed by the noise, the ambassador glanced
round, and on perceiving the cause immediately resumed his occupation.
Near him stood the thin erect figure of Sorrocold,—his attenuated limbs
appearing yet more meagre from the tight-fitting black hose in which
they were enveloped, The chirurgcon wore a short cloak of sad-coloured
cloth, and a doublet of the same material. His head was covered by
a flat black cap, and a pointed beard terminated his hatchet-shaped,
cadaverous face. His hands rested on a long staff, and his dull heavy
eyes were fixed upon the ground.

At a short distance from Sorrocold, stood Mauger, bare-headed, and
stripped to his leathern doublet, his arms folded upon his bosom,
and his gaze bent upon Renard, whose commands he awaited. Nightgall’s
accident called a smile to his grim countenance, but it instantly faded
away, and gave place to his habitual sinister expression.

Such were the formidable personages in whoso presence Xit found himself.
Nor was the chamber less calculated to strike terror into his breast
than its inmates. It was not the torture-room visited by Cholmondeley,
when he explored the subterranean passages of the fortress, but another
and larger chamber contiguous to the former, yet separated from it by a
wall of such thickness that no sound could penetrate through it. It
was square-shaped, with a deep round-arched recess on the right of the
entrance, at the further end of which was a small cell, surmounted with
a pointed arch. On the side where Renard sat, the wall was decorated
with thumb-screws, gauntlets, bracelets, collars, pincers, saws, chains
and other nameless implements of torture. To the ceiling was affixed a
stout pulley with a rope, terminated by an iron hook, and two leathern
shoulder-straps. Opposite the door-way stood a brasier, filled with
blazing coals, in which a huge pair of pincers were thrust; and beyond
it was the wooden frame of the rack, already described, with its ropes
and levers in readiness. Reared against the side of the deep dark
recess, previously mentioned, was a ponderous wheel, as broad in the
felly as that of a waggon, and twice the circumference. This antiquated
instrument of torture was placed there to strike terror into the breasts
of those who beheld it—but it was rarely used. Next to it was a heavy
bar of iron employed to break the limbs of the sufferers tied to its

Perceiving in whose presence he stood, and what preparations were made
for him, Xit gave himself up for lost, and would have screamed aloud,
had not his utterance failed him. His knees smote one another; his hair,
if possible, grew more erect than ever; a thick damp burst upon his
brow; and his tongue, ordinarily so restless, clove to the roof of his

“Bring forward the prisoner,” cried Renard, with a stern voice, but
without turning his head.

Upon this, Nightgall seized Xit by the hand, and dragged him towards
the table. A quarter of an hour elapsed, during which Renard continued
writing as if no one were present; and Xit, who at first was half dead
with fright, began to recover his spirits.

“Your excellency sent for me.” he ventured, at length.

“Ha!” ejaculated Renard, pausing and looking at him, “I had forgotten

“A proof that my case is not very dangerous,” thought Xit. “I must let
this proud Spaniard see I am not so unimportant as he seems to imagine.
Your excellency I presume, desires to interrogate me on some point,” he
continued aloud. “I pray you proceed without further delay.”

“Is it your excellency’s pleasure that we place him on the rack?”
interposed Nightgall.

“Or shall we begin with the thumb-screws,” observed Mauger, pointing
to a pair upon the table; “I dare say they will extort all he knows. It
would be a pity to stretch him out.”

“I would not be an inch taller for the world,” rejoined Xit, raising
himself on his tiptoes.

“I have a suit of irons that will exactly fit him,” observed Wolfytt,
going to the wall, and taking down an engine that looked like an
exaggerated pair of sugar-tongs. “These were made as a model, and have
never been used before, except on a monkey belonging to Hairun the
bearward. We will wed you to the ‘Scavenger’s Daughter,’ my little man.”


Xit knew too well the meaning of the term to take any part in the
merriment that followed this sally.

“The embraces of the spouse you offer me are generally fatal,” he
observed. “I would rather decline the union, if his excellency will
permit me.1’ *

“What is your pleasure?” asked Nightgall, appealing to Renard.

“Place him in the irons,” returned the latter. “If these fail, we can
have recourse to sharper means.”

Xit would have flung himself at the ambassador’s feet, to ask for mercy,
but he was prevented by Wolfytt, who slipping a gag into his mouth,
carried him into the dark recess, and, by the help of Mauger, forced him
into the engine. Diminished to half his size, and bent into the form of
a hoop, the dwarf was then set on the ground, and the gag taken out of
his mouth.

“How do you like your bride?” demanded Wolfytt, with a brutal laugh.

“So little,” answered Xit, “that I care not how soon I am divorced from
her. After all,” he added, “uncomfortable as I am, I would not change
places with Magog.”

This remark was received with half-suppressed laughter by the group
around him, and Wolfytt was so softened that he whispered in his ear,
that if he was obliged to put him on the rack, he would use him as
tenderly as he could. “Let me advise you as a friend,” added the
tormentor, “to conceal nothing.”

“Rely upon it,” replied Xit, in the same tone. “I’ll tell all I know—and

“That’s the safest plan,” rejoined Wolfytt, drily.

By this time, Renard having finished his despatch, and delivered it to
Nightgall, he ordered Xit to be brought before him. Lifting him by the
nape of his neck, as he would have carried a lap-dog, Wolfytt placed him
on the edge of the rack, opposite the ambassador’s seat. He then walked
back to Manger, who was leaning against the wall near the door, and laid
his hand on his shoulder, while Nightgall seated himself on the steps.
All three looked on with curiosity, anticipating much diversion.
Sorrocold, who had never altered his posture, only testified his
consciousness of what was going forward by raising his lacklustre eyes
from the ground, and fixing them on the dwarf.

Wheeling round on the stool, and throwing one leg indolently over the
other, Renard regarded the mannikin with apparent sternness, but secret
entertainment. The expression of Xit’s countenance, as he underwent this
scrutiny, was so ludicrous, that it brought a smile to every face except
that of the chirurgeon.

After gazing at the dwarf for a few minutes in silence, Renard thus
commenced—“You conveyed messages to the Earl of Devonshire when he was
confined in the Bell Tower?”

“Several,” replied Xit.

“And from whom?” demanded Renard.

“Your excellency desires me speak the truth, I conclude?” rejoined Xit.

“If you attempt to prevaricate, I will have you questioned by that
engine,” returned Renard, pointing to the rack. “I again ask you by whom
you were employed to convey these messages?”

“Your excellency and your attendants will keep the secret if I tell
you?” replied Xit. “I was sworn not to reveal my employer’s name.”

“No further trifling, knave,” cried Renard, “or I shall deliver you to
the tormentors. Who was it?”

“The Queen,” replied Xit.

“Impossible!” exclaimed Renard, in surprise.

“Nothing is impossible to a woman in love,” replied Xit; “and her
highness, though a queen, is still a woman.”

“Beware how you trifle with me, sirrah,” rejoined Renard. “It was M. De
Noailles who employed you.”

“He employed me on the part of her majesty, I assure your excellency,”
returned Xit.

“He deceived you if he told you so,” replied Renard. “But now, repeat to
me the sum of your conversations with the earl.”

“Our conversations all related to his escape,” replied Xit.

“Hum!” exclaimed Renard. “Now mark me, and answer me truly as you value
a whole skin. Was nothing said of the princess Elizabeth, and of a plot
to place her on the throne, and wed her to Courtenay?”

“Nothing that I remember,” answered Xit.

“Think again!” cried Renard.

“I do recollect that upon one occasion his lordship alluded to the
princess,” answered Xit, after a moment’s pretended reflection.

“Well, what did he say?” demanded Renard.

“That he was sorry he had ever made love to her,” replied Xit.

“And well he might be,” observed Renard. “But was that all?”

“Every syllable,” replied Xit.

“I must assist your memory, then,” said Renard. “What ho! tormentors.”

“Hold!” cried the dwarf; “I will hide nothing from you.”

“Proceed, then,” rejoined Renard, “or I give the order.”

“Well, then,” returned Xit, “since I must needs confess the whole truth,
the reason why the Earl of Devonshire was sorry he had made love to the
princess was this. Her majesty sent him a letter through me, promising
to forgive him, and restore him to her affections.”

“You have been either strangely imposed upon, or you are seeking to
impose upon me, knave,” cried Renard. “But I suspect the latter.”

“I carried the billet myself, and saw it opened,” returned Xit, “and the
earl was so transported with its contents, that he promised to knight me
on the day of his espousals.”

“A safe promise, if he ever made it,” rejoined Renard; “but the whole
story is a fabrication. If her majesty desired to release the earl, why
did she not issue her orders to that effect to Sir Henry Bedingfeld?”

“Because—but before I proceed, I must beg your excellency to desire your
attendants to withdraw. You will perceive my motives, and approve them,
when I offer you my explanation.”

Renard waved his hand, and the others withdrew, Wolfytt observing to
Mauger, “I should like to hear what further lies the little varlet will
invent. He hath a ready wit.”

“Now, speak out—we are alone,” commanded Renard.

“The reason why her majesty did not choose to liberate the Earl of
Devonshire was the fear of offending your excellency,” replied Xit.

“How?” exclaimed Renard, bending his brows.

“In a moment of pique she had affianced herself to Prince Philip of
Spain,” continued Xit. “But in her calmer moments she repented her
precipitancy, and feeling a return of affection for the earl, she
employed M. Do Noailles to make up the matter with him. But the whole
affair was to be kept a profound secret from you.”

“Can this be true?” cried Renard. “But no—no—it is absurd. You are
abusing my patience.”

“If your excellency will condescend to make further inquiries you will
find I have spoken the truth,” rejoined the dwarf.

“But I pray you not to implicate me with the queen. Her majesty, like
many of her sex, has changed her mind, that is all. And she may change
it again for aught I know.”

“It is a strange and improbable story,” muttered Renard; “yet I am
puzzled what to think of it.”

“It was no paltry hope of gain that induced me to act in the matter,”
pursued Xit; “but, as I have before intimated, a promise of being

“If I find, on inquiry, you have spoken the truth,” rejoined Renard,
“and you will serve me faithfully on any secret service on which I may
employ you, I will answer for it you shall attain the dignity you aspire

“I will do whatever your excellency desires,” returned Xit, eagerly. “I
shall be knighted by somebody, after all.”

“But if you have deceived me,” continued Renard, sternly, “every bone
in your body shall be broken upon that wheel. Your examination is at an
end.” With this, he clapped his hands together, and at the signal the
attendants returned.

“Am I to remain in these irons longer?” inquired Xit.

“No,” replied Renard. “Release him, and take him hence. I shall
interrogate him at the same hour to-morrow night.”

“I pray your excellency to desire these officials to treat me with the
respect due to a person of my anticipated dignity,” cried Xit, as he
was unceremoniously seized and thrown on his back by Wolfytt; “and above
all, command them to furnish me with provisions. I have tasted nothing

Renard signified a wish that the latter request should be complied with,
and the dwarf’s irons being by this time removed, he was led back, by
the road he came, to his chamber in the Constable Towrer, where some
provisions and a flask of wine were placed before him, and he was left


While satisfying his appetite, Xit could not help reflecting upon the
probable consequences of the ridiculous statement he had made to Renard,
and the idea of the anger of the ambassador when he discovered the
deception practised upon him, occasioned him much internal trepidation.
It did not, however, prevent him from doing full justice to the viands
before him, nor from draining to the last drop the contents of the
flask. Inspired by the potent liquid, he laughed at his former fears,
sprang upon the bench, and committed a hundred other antics and
extravagancies. But as the fumes of the wine evaporated, his valour
declined; until, like Acres’s, it fairly “oozed out at his fingers’

He then began to consider whether it might not be possible to escape.
With this view, he examined the embrazures, but they were grated, and
defied his efforts to pass through. He next tried the door, and to his
great surprise found it unfastened; having, most probably, been left
open intentionally by Wolfytt. As may be supposed, Xit did not hesitate
to avail himself of the chance thus unexpectedly offered him. Issuing
forth, he hurried up a small spiral stone staircase, which brought him
to the entrance of the upper chamber. The door was ajar, and peeping
cautiously through it, he perceived Nightgall and Wolfytt, both asleep;
the former reclining with his face on the table, which was covered with
fragments of meat and bread, goblets, and a large pot of wine; and the
latter, extended at full length, on the floor. It was evident, from
their heavy breathing and disordered attire, they had been drinking


Stepping cautiously into the chamber, which in size and form exactly
corresponded with that below, Xit approached the sleepers. A bunch
of keys hung at Nightgall’s girdle—the very bunch he had taken once
before,—and the temptation to possess himself of them was irresistible.
Creeping up to the jailor, and drawing the poignard suspended at his
right side from out its sheath, he began to sever his girdle. While
he was thus occupied, the keys slightly jingled, and Nightgall,
half-awakened by the sound, put his hand to his belt. Finding all safe,
as he imagined, he disposed himself to slumber again, while Xit who
had darted under the table at the first alarm, as soon as he thought
it prudent, recommenced his task, and the keys were once more in his

As he divided the girdle, a piece of paper fell from it; and glancing at
it, he perceived it was an order from the council to let the bearer pass
at any hour whithersoever he would, through the fortress. Thrusting
it into his jerkin, and carrying the keys as carefully as he could to
prevent their clanking, he quitted the room, and mounted another short
staircase, which brought him to the roof.

It was just getting light as Xit gained the battlements, and he was
immediately challenged by the sentinel. On producing the order, however,
he was allowed to pass, and crossing the roof towards the south, he
descended another short spiral staircase, and emerged from an open door
on the ballium wall, along which he proceeded.

On the way, he encountered three more sentinels, all of whom allowed
him to pass on sight of the order. Passing through an arched door-way
he mounted a flight of steps, and reached the roof of the Broad Arrow


Here he paused to consider what course he should pursue. The point
upon which he stood commanded a magnificent view on every side of the
ramparts and towers of the fortress. Immediately before him was the
Wardrobe Tower—now removed, but then connected by an irregular pile of
buildings with the Broad Arrow Tower,—while beyond it frowned the grey
walls of the White Tower.

On the left was the large court where the masque had been given by the
Earl of Devonshire, at which he had played so distinguished a part,
surrounded on the west and the south by the walls of the palace. On the
right, the view comprehended the chain of fortifications as far as the
Flint Tower, with the range of store-houses and other buildings in front
of them. At the back ran the outer line of ramparts, leading northward
to the large circular bastion, still existing, and known as the Brass
Mount; and southward to the structure denominated the Tower leading to
the Iron Gate, and now termed the Devil’s Battery. Further on, was to
be seen London Bridge with its pile of houses, and the tower of Saint
Saviour’s Church formed a prominent object in the picture..

But Xit’s attention was not attracted to the view. He only thought how
he could make good his escape, and where he could hide himself in case
of pursuit. After debating with himself for some time, he determined to
descend to the lowest chamber of the fortification on which he stood and
see whether it had any communication with the subterranean passages of
which he possessed the keys.

Accordingly, he retraced the steps he had just mounted, and continued
to descend till he reached an arched door. Unlocking it with one of the
keys from his bunch, he entered a dark passage, along which he proceeded
at a swift pace. His course was speedily checked by another door, but
succeeding in unfastening it, he ran on as fast as his legs could carry
him, till he tumbled headlong down a steep flight of steps. Picking
himself up he proceeded more cautiously, and arrived, after some time,
without further obstacle, at a lofty, and as he judged from the sound,
vaulted chamber.

To his great dismay, though he searched carefully round it, he could
find no exit from this chamber, and he was about to retrace his course,
when he discovered a short ladder laid against the side of the wall. It
immediately occurred to him that this might be used as a communication
with some secret door, and rearing it against the wall, he mounted, and
feeling about, to his great joy encountered a bolt.

Drawing it aside, a stone door slowly revolved on its hinges, and
disclosed a small cell in which a female was seated before a table with
a lamp burning upon it. She raised her head at the sound, and revealed
the features of Cicely.

Xit uttered an exclamation of astonishment, and rushing towards her,
expressed his joy at seeing her. Cicely was equally delighted at the
sight of the dwarf, and explained to him that she had been thus long
forcibly detained a prisoner by Nightgall.

“Your captivity is at an end,” said Xit, as her relation was concluded.
“I am come to deliver you, and restore you to your lover. I am afraid
he won’t think your beauty improved—but I am sure he won’t like you the
worse for that. Come along. Lean on me. I will support you.”

They were just emerging from the cell, when hasty footsteps were heard
approaching, and a man entered the vaulted chamber, bearing a torch. It
was Nightgall. His looks were wild and furious, and on seeing the
dwarf and his companion, he uttered an exclamation of rage, and hurried
towards them. Cicely ran screaming to the cell, while Xit, brandishing
Night-gall’s own poniard, threatened to stab him if he dared to mount
the ladder.


On the 2nd of January, 1554, a solemn embassy from the emperor Charles
the Fifth, consisting of four of his most distinguished nobles, the
Count D’Egmont, the Count Lalaing, the Seigneur De Courrieres, and the
Sieur De Nigry, chancellor of the order of the Toison D’Or, arrived in
London to sign the marriage-treaty between Philip and Mary which had
been previously agreed upon by the courts of England and Spain.

Gardiner, who as long as he found it possible to do so, had strenuously
opposed the match, and had recommended Mary to unite herself to
Courtenay, or at least to some English nobleman, finding her resolutely
bent upon it, consented to negociate the terms of marriage with Renard,
and took especial care that they were favourable to his royal mistress.

They were as follows:—The queen was to have for her jointure thirty
thousand ducats a year, with all the Low Countries of Flanders,—her
issue was to be heir as well to the kingdom of Spain as to the Low
Countries,—her government was to continue in all things as before,—and
no stranger was to be member of the council, nor have custody of any
forts of castles, nor bear any rule or office in the queen’s household,
or elsewhere in all England.

To these terms Renard, on behalf of his sovereign, readily assented, and
the subject was brought before the Parliament where it met with violent
opposition from all parties. In spite of this, Mary asserted her
privilege to wed whom she pleased, and after a long and stormy
discussion the measure, chiefly through the management of Arundel, Paget
and Rochester, was carried.

During the agitation of the question, Mary deemed it prudent to feign
indisposition to avoid receiving an address intended to be presented to
her from the Commons imploring her to marry one of her own countrymen.
But when at length she could no longer decline giving them an audience,
she dismissed them with these words:—

“I hold my crown from God, and I beseech him to enlighten me as to the
conduct I ought to pursue in a matter so important as my marriage. I
have not yet determined to wed, but since you say in your address that
it is for the welfare of the state that I should choose a husband, I
will think of it—nothing doubting I shall make a choice as advantageous
as any you may propose to me, having as strong an interest in the matter
as yourselves.”

While this was going forward, De Noailles and his party had not been
idle. Many schemes were devised, but some were abandoned from the
irresolution and vacillation of Courtenay; others were discovered and
thwarted by Renard. Still, the chief conspirators, though suspected,
escaped detection, or rather their designs could not be brought home
to them, and they continued to form their plans as the danger grew more
imminent with greater zeal than ever.

At one time, it was determined to murder Arundel, Paget, Rochester, and
the chief supporters of the Spanish match, to seize the person of
the queen and compel her to marry Courtenay, or depose her and place
Elizabeth on the throne. This plan not suiting the views of Lord
Guilford Dudley and Suffolk, was opposed by them; and owing to the
conflicting interests of the different parties that unity of purpose
indispensable to success could not be obtained.

Elizabeth, as has before been intimated, had dissembled her religious
opinions, and though she formed some excuse for not being present at the
performance of mass, she requested to have an instructor in the tenets
of the Catholic faith, and even went so far as to write to the emperor
to send a cross, a chalice, and other ornaments for the celebration of
the religious rites of Rome, to decorate her chapel.

As to Courtenay, he appeared to have become sensible of the perilous
position in which he stood, and was only prevented from withdrawing from
the struggle by his unabated passion for Elizabeth. Lord Guilford Dudley
still cherished his ambitious views, and Jane still mourned in secret.

Matters were in this state at the commencement of the new year, when as
above related, the ambassadors arrived from the court of Spain.
Shortly after their arrival, they had an audience of the queen in the
council-chamber of the White Tower; and when they had declared in due
form that the Prince of Spain demanded her in marriage, she replied with
great dignity, but some little prudery:—


“It does not become one of my sex to speak of her marriage, nor to treat
of it herself. I have therefore charged my council to confer with you on
the matter, and, by the strictest conditions, to assure all rights
and advantages to my kingdom, which I shall ever regard as my first

As she pronounced the last words she glanced at the ring placed on her
finger by Gardiner on the day of her coronation.

On the following day, the four ambassadors held a conference with
Gardiner, Arundel, and Paget. The terms were entirely settled; and on
the 12th of January, the treaty was signed, and delivered on both sides.



Three days after the marriage-treaty was signed,—namely, on the 15th of
January, 1554, the lords of the council, the lord mayor, the aldermen,
and forty of the head commoners of the city, were summoned to the
Tower, where they were received in the presence-chamber of the palace by
Gardiner and Renard; the former of whom, in his capacity of chancellor,
made them a long oration, informing them that an alliance was
definitively concluded between the queen and Philip of Spain; and
adding, “that they were bound to thank God that so noble, worthy, and
famous a prince would so humble himself in his union with her highness,
as to take upon him rather the character of a subject, than of a monarch
of equal power.”

The terms of the treaty were next read, and the chancellor expatiated
upon the many important concessions made by the imperial ambassadors;
endeavouring to demonstrate that England was by far the greatest gainer
by the alliance, and stating, “that it was her highness’s pleasure and
request, that like good subjects they would, for her sake, most lovingly
receive her illustrious consort with reverence, joy, and honour.”

No plaudits followed this announcement, nor was the slightest
expression of joy manifested, except by the lords Arundel, Paget, and
Rochester,—the main supporters of the match, as has been previously
stated, when it was brought before Parliament. Gardiner glanced at the
council—at the civic authorities—as if in expectation of a reply, but
none was attempted, unless their very silence could be so construed.
Whatever his real sentiments might be, the chancellor assumed an air of
deep displeasure, and turning to Renard, who, with arms folded on his
breast, scanned the assemblage with a cold scrutinizing gaze, asked in
an under tone, whether he should dismiss them?

“On no account,” replied the ambassador. “Compel them to give utterance
to their thoughts. We shall the better know how to deal with them.
My project once carried, and Philip united to Mary,” he muttered to
himself, “we will speedily cudgel these stubborn English bull-dogs into

“Renard does not appear to relish the reception which the announcement
of her majesty’s proposed alliance has met with,” observed De Noailles,
who stood in one corner of the chamber with Courtenay. “It will give him
a foretaste of what is to follow. Had your lordship been proposed to the
assembly, their manner would have been widely different.”

“Perhaps so,” returned Courtenay, with a gratified smile; “and yet I
know not.”

“It may be shortly put to the proof,” answered De Noailles. “Never,”
replied Courtenay; “I will never wed Mary.”

“But Elizabeth?” cried the ambassador.

“Ay, Elizabeth,” echoed the earl passionately, “with, or without a
throne, she would be equally dear to me.”

“You shall have her and the crown as well,” replied De Noailles.

“I care not for the latter, provided I can obtain the former,” returned
the earl.

“One is dependent upon the other,” rejoined De Noailles. “While Mary
reigns, you must give up all hopes of Elizabeth.”

“It is that conviction alone that induces me to take part in the
conspiracy,” sighed Courtenay. “I am neither ambitious to rule this
kingdom, nor to supplant Philip of Spain. But I would risk fortune,
title, life itself, for Elizabeth.”

“I know it,” ejaculated De Noailles to himself, “and therefore I hold
her out as a lure to you, weak, wavering fool! I will use you as far as
I find necessary, but no further. Rash and harebrained as he is, Lord
Guilford Dudley would make the better leader, and is the more likely to
succeed. Jane’s party is hourly gaining strength. Well, well, I care
not who wins the day, provided I foil Renard, and that I will do at any

“A thousand marks that I read your excellency’s thoughts!” cried a
martial-looking personage, approaching them. He was attired in a coat
of mail, with quilted sleeves, a velvet cassock, cuisses, and buff boots
drawn up above the knee; and carried in his hand a black velvet cap,
ornamented with broad bone-work lace. His arms were rapier and dagger,
both of the largest size. “Is the wager accepted?” he added, taking the
ambassador’s arm within his own, and drawing him aside.

“My thoughts are easily guessed, Sir Thomas Wyat,” replied De Noailles,
“I am thinking how prosperously all goes for us.”

“Right,” rejoined Wyat; “out of that large assemblage three only are
favourable to the imperialists. If you approve it, I will myself—though
not a member of the council—answer Gardiner’s speech, and tell him we
will not suffer this hateful alliance to take place.”

“That were unwise,” rejoined De Noailles, “do not meddle in the matter.
It will only attract suspicion towards us.”

“I care not if it does,” replied Wyat; “we are all ready and sure of
support. I will go further, if need be, and add, if the queen weds not
Courtenay, a general insurrection will follow.”

“Courtenay will never wed the queen,” observed the earl, who had
followed them, and overheard the remark.

“How?” exclaimed Wyat, in surprise.

“No more at present,” interposed De Noailles, hastily. “Renard’s eyes
are upon us.”;

“What if they are?” cried Wyat, glancing fiercely in the direction of
the imperial ambassador. “His looks—basilisk though they be—have no
power to strike us dead. Oh that I had an opportunity of measuring
swords with him! He should soon perceive the love I bear his prince and

“I share in your hatred towards him,” observed Courtenay. “The favour
Mary shows him proves the ascendancy he has obtained over her.”

“If he retains his power, farewell to the liberty of Englishmen,”
rejoined Wyat; “we shall become as abject as the Flemings. But I, for
one, will never submit to the yoke of Spain.”

“Not so loud!” cried De Noailles, checking him. “You will effectually
destroy our scheme. Renard only seeks some plea to attack us. Have a
moment’s patience, and some one not connected with the plot will take
the responsibility upon himself.”

The prudence of the ambassador’s counsel was speedily exemplified. While
the conversation above related occurred, a few words passed between
the principal members of the council, and the heads of the civic
authorities, and, at their instance, the Earl of Pembroke stepped

“We are aware, my lord,” he said, addressing Gardiner, “that we ought on
the present occasion, to signify our approval of the queen’s choice—to
offer her our heartfelt congratulations—our prayers for her happiness.
But we shall not seek to disguise our sentiments. We do not approve this
match; and we have heard your lordship’s communication with pain—with
sorrow—with displeasure—displeasure, that designing counsellors should
have prevailed upon her highness to take a step fatal to her own
happiness, and to the welfare of her kingdom. Our solicitations are,
therefore—and we earnestly entreat your lordship to represent them to
her majesty, that she will break off this engagement, and espouse some
English nobleman. And we further implore of her to dismiss from
her councils the imperial ambassador, M. Simon Renard, by whose
instrumentality this match has been contrived, and whose influence we
conceive to be prejudicial to the interests of our country.”

“You do me wrong, Lord Pembroke,” replied Renard; “and I appeal to the
lord chancellor, whether, in negotiating this treaty, I have made any
demands on the part of my sovereign calculated to detract from the power
or authority of yours.”

“On the contrary,” replied Gardiner, “your excellency has conceded more
than we had any right to expect.”

“And more than my brother-ambassadors deemed fitting,” rejoined Renard.
“But I do not repent what I have done,—well knowing how anxious the
emperor Charles the Fifth is to unite his son to so wise, so excellent,
and so religious a princess as the queen of this realm, and that no
sacrifice could be too great to insure him her hand.”

“I am bound to add that your excellency has advanced nothing but the
truth,” acquiesced Gardiner; “and though, at first, as is well known to
Lord Pembroke and others of the council, I was as averse to the match
as he or they could be, I am now its warmest advocate. But I will not
prolong the discussion. Her highness’s word is passed to the prince—the
contract signed—the treaty concluded. Your remonstrances, therefore, are
too late. And if you will suffer me to point out to you the only course
that can with propriety be pursued, I would urge you to offer her
majesty your loyal congratulations on her choice—to prepare to receive
her consort in the manner she has directed—and to watch over the
interests of your country so carefully, that the evils you dread may
never arise.”

“If my solemn assurance will satisfy the Earl of Pembroke and the other
honourable persons here present,” remarked Renard, “I will declare, in
the prince my master’s name, that he has not the remotest intention of
interfering with the government of this country—of engaging it in any
war—or of placing his followers in any office or post of authority.”

“Whatever may be the prince’s intentions,” rejoined Gardiner, “he is
precluded by the treaty from acting upon them. At the same time, it is
but right to add, that these terms were not wrung from his ambassador,
but voluntarily proposed by him.”

“They will never be adhered to,” cried Sir Thomas Wyat, stepping
forward, and facing Renard, whom he regarded with a look of defiance.

“Do you dare to question my word, sir?” exclaimed Renard.

“I do,” replied Wyat, sternly. “And let no Englishman put faith in one
of your nation, or he will repent his folly. I am a loyal subject of the
queen, and would shed my heart’s blood in her defence. But I am also a
lover of my country, and will never surrender her to the domination of

“Sir Thomas Wyat,” rejoined Gardiner, “you are well known as one of the
queen’s bravest soldiers; and it is well you are so, or your temerity
would place you in peril.”

“I care not what the consequences are to myself, my lord,” replied
Wyat, “if the queen will listen to my warning. It is useless to proceed
further with this match. The nation will never suffer it to take place;
nor will the prince be allowed to set foot upon our shores.”

“These are bold words, Sir Thomas,” observed Gardiner, suspiciously.
“Whence do you draw your conclusions?”

“From sure premises, my lord,” answered Wyat, “the very loyalty
entertained by her subjects towards the queen makes them resolute not
to permit her to sacrifice herself. They have not forgotten the harsh
treatment experienced by Philip’s first wife, Maria of Portugal. Hear
me, my lord chancellor, and report what I say to her highness. If this
match is persisted in, a general insurrection will follow.”

“This is a mere pretext for some rebellious design, Sir Thomas,”
replied Gardiner, sternly. “Sedition ever masks itself under the garb of
loyalty. Take heed, sir. Your actions shall be strictly watched, and
if aught occurs to confirm my suspicions, I shall deem it my duty to
recommend her majesty to place you in arrest.”

“Wyat’s rashness will destroy us,” whispered De Noailles to Courtenay.

“Before we separate, my lords,” observed Renard, “I think it right to
make known to you that the emperor, deeming it inconsistent with the
dignity of so mighty a queen as your sovereign to wed beneath her own
rank, is about to resign the crown of Naples and the dukedom of Milan to
his son, prior to the auspicious event.”

A slight murmur of applause arose from the council at this announcement.

“You hear that,” cried the Earl of Arundel. “Can you longer hesitate to
congratulate the queen on her union?”

The earl was warmly seconded by Paget and Rochester, but no other voice
joined them.

“The sense of the assembly is against it,” observed the Earl of

“I am amazed at your conduct, my lords,” cried Gardiner, angrily. “You
deny your sovereign the right freely accorded to the meanest of her
subjects—the right to choose for herself a husband. For shame!—for
shame! Your sense of justice, if not your loyalty, should prompt you to
act differently. The prince of Spain has been termed a stranger to this
country, whereas his august sire is not merely the queen’s cousin,
but the oldest ally of the crown. So far from the alliance being
disadvantageous, it is highly profitable, ensuring, as it does, the
emperor’s aid against our constant enemies the Scots and the French. Of
the truth of this you may judge by the opposition it has met with,
overt and secret, from the ambassador of the King of France. But without
enlarging upon the advantages of the union, which must be sufficiently
apparent to you all, I shall content myself with stating that it is not
your province to dictate to the queen whom she shall marry, or whom she
shall not marry, but humbly to acquiesce in her choice. Her majesty,
in her exceeding goodness, has thought fit to lay before you—a step
altogether needless—the conditions of her union. It pains me to say you
have received her condescension in a most unbecoming manner. I trust,
however, a better feeling has arisen among you, and that you will now
enable me to report you, as I desire, to her highness.”

The only assenting voices were those of three lords constituting the
imperial party in the council.

Having waited for a short time, Gardiner bowed gravely, and dismissed
the assemblage.

As he was about to quit the presence-chamber, he perceived Courtenay
standing in a pensive attitude in the embrasure of a window. Apparently,
the room was entirely deserted, except by the two ushers, who, with
white wands in their hands, were stationed on either side of the
door. It suddenly occurred to Gardiner that this would be a favourable
opportunity to question the Earl respecting the schemes in which he more
than suspected he was a party, and he accordingly advanced towards him.

“You have heard the reception which the announcement of her majesty’s
marriage has met with,” he said. “I will frankly own to you it would
have been far more agreeable to me to have named your lordship to them.
And you have to thank yourself that such has not been the case.”

“True,” replied Courtenay, raising his eyes, and fixing them upon the
speaker. “But I have found love more powerful than ambition.”

“And do you yet love Elizabeth?” demanded Gardiner, with a slight sneer.
“Is it possible that an attachment can endure with your lordship longer
than a month?”

“I never loved till I loved her,” sighed Courtenay.

“Be that as it may, you must abandon her,” returned the chancellor. “The
queen will not consent to your union.”

“Your lordship has just observed, in your address to the council,”
rejoined Courtenay, “that it is the privilege of all—even of the
meanest—to choose in marriage whom they will. Since her highness would
exert this right in her own favour, why deny it to her sister?”

“Because her sister has robbed her of her lover,” replied Gardiner.
“Strong-minded as she is, Mary is not without some of the weaknesses of
her sex. She could not bear to witness the happiness of a rival.”

Courtenay smiled.

“I understand your meaning, my lord,” pursued Gardiner sternly; “but if
you disobey the queen’s injunctions in this particular, you will lose
your head, and so will the princess.”

“The queen’s own situation is fraught with more peril than mine,”
replied Courtenay. “If she persists in her match with the prince of
Spain, she will lose her crown, and then who shall prevent my wedding

Gardiner looked at him as he said this so fixedly, that the earl
involuntarily cast down his eyes.

“Your words and manner, my lord,” observed the chancellor, after a
pause, “convince me that you are implicated in a conspiracy, known to be
forming against the queen.”

“My lord!” cried Courtenay.

“Do not interrupt me,” continued Gardiner,—“the conduct of the council
to-day, the menaces of Sir Thomas Wyat, your own words, convince me that
decided measures must be taken. I shall therefore place you in arrest.
And this time, rest assured, care shall be taken that you do not

Courtenay laid his hand upon his sword, and looked uneasily at the door.

“Resistance will be in vain, my lord,” pursued Gardiner; “I have but to
raise my voice, and the guard will immediately appear.”

“You do not mean to execute your threats, my lord?” rejoined Courtenay.

“I have no alternative,” returned Gardiner, “unless by revealing to me
all you know respecting this conspiracy, you will enable me to crush
it. Not to keep you longer in the dark, I will tell you that proofs
are already before us of your connection with the plot. The dwarf Xit,
employed by M. de Noailles to convey messages to you, and who assisted
in your escape, has, under threat of torture, made a full confession.
From him we have learnt that a guitar, containing a key to the cipher
to be used in a secret correspondence, was sent to Elizabeth by the
ambassador. The instrument has been found in the princess’s possession
at Ashbridge, and has furnished a clue to several of your own letters to
her, which we have intercepted. Moreover some of the French ambassador’s
agents, under the disguise of Huguenot preachers, have been arrested,
and have revealed his treasonable designs. Having thus fairly told you
the nature and extent of the evidence against you, I would recommend you
to plead guilty, and throw yourself upon the queen’s mercy.”

“If you are satisfied with the information you have obtained, my lord,”
returned Courtenay, “you can require nothing further from me.”

“Yes!—the names of your associates,” rejoined Gardiner.

“The rack should not induce me to betray them,” replied Courtenay.

“But a more persuasive engine may,” rejoined the chancellor. “What if
I offer you Elizabeth’s hand provided you will give up all concerned in
this plot?”

“I reject it,” replied the earl, struggling between his sense of duty
and passion.

“Then I must call the guard,” returned the chancellor.

“Hold!” cried Courtenay, “I would barter my soul to the enemy of mankind
to possess Elizabeth. Swear to me she shall be mine, and I will reveal

Gardiner gave the required pledge.

“Yet if I confess, I shall sign my own condemnation, and that of the
princess,” hesitated Courtenay.

“Not so,” rejoined the chancellor. “In the last session of parliament
it was enacted, that those only should suffer death for treason, who had
assisted at its commission, either by taking arms themselves, or aiding
directly and personally those who had taken them. Such as have simply
known or approved the crime are excepted—and your case is among the
latter class. But do not let us tarry here. Come with me to my cabinet,
and I will resolve all your scruples.”

“And you will ensure me the hand of the princess?” said Courtenay.

“Undoubtedly,” answered Gardiner. “Have I not sworn it?”

And they quitted the presence-chamber.

No sooner were they gone, than two persons stepped from behind the arras
where they had remained concealed during the foregoing conversation.
They were De Noailles and Sir Thomas Wyat.

“Perfidious villain!” cried the latter, “I breathe more freely since he
is gone. I had great difficulty in preventing myself from stabbing him
on the spot.”

“It would have been a useless waste of blood,” replied De Noailles. “It
was fortunate that I induced you to listen to their conversation. We
must instantly provide for our own safety, and that of our friends. The
insurrection must no longer be delayed.”

“It shall not be delayed an hour,” replied Wyat. “I have six thousand
followers in Kent, who only require to see my banner displayed to flock
round it. Captain Bret and his company of London trainbands are eagerly
expecting our rising. Throckmorton will watch over the proceedings in
the city. Vice-Admiral Winter, with his squadron of seven sail, now in
the river, under orders to escort Philip of Spain, will furnish us
with ordnance and ammunition; and, if need be, with the crews under his

“Nothing can be better,” replied De Noailles. “We must get the Duke of
Suffolk out of the Tower, and hasten to Lord Guilford Dudley, with
whom some plan must be instantly concerted. Sir Peter Carew must start
forthwith for Devonshire,—Sir James Croft for Wales. Your destination is
Kent. If Courtenay had not proved a traitor, we would have placed him
on the throne. As it is, my advice is, that neither Elizabeth nor Jane
should be proclaimed, but Mary Stuart.”

“There the policy of France peeps out,” replied Wyat. “But I will
proclaim none of them. We will compel the queen to give up this match,
and drive the Spaniard from our shores.”

“As you will,” replied De Noailles, hastily. “Do not let us remain
longer here, or it maybe impossible to quit the fortress.”

With this, they left the palace, and seeking the Duke of Suffolk,
contrived to mix him up among their attendants, and so to elude the
vigilance of the warders. As soon as they were out of the Tower, Sir
Thomas Wyat embarked in a wherry, manned by four rowers, and took the
direction of Gravesend. De Noailles and the Duke of Suffolk hastened to
Sion House, where they found Lord Guilford Dudley seated with Jane
and Cholmondeley. On their appearance, Dudley started to his feet, and
exclaimed, “We are betrayed!”

“We are,” replied De Noailles. “Courtenay has played the traitor. But
this is of no moment, as his assistance would have been of little avail,
and his pretensions to the crown might have interfered with the rights
of your consort. Sir Thomas Wyat has set out for Kent. We must collect
all the force we can, and retire to some place of concealment till his
messengers arrive with intelligence that he is marching towards London.
We mean to besiege the Tower, and secure the queen’s person.”

“Dudley,” cried Jane, “if you have one spark of honour, gratitude, or
loyalty left, you will take no part in this insurrection.”

“Mary is no longer queen,” replied her husband, bending the knee before
her. “To you, Jane, belongs that title; and it will be for you to decide
whether she shall live or not.”

“The battle is not yet won,” observed the Duke of Suffolk. “Let us
obtain the crown before we pass sentence on those who have usurped it.”

“The lady Jane must accompany us,” whispered De Noailles to Dudley. “If
she falls into the hands of our enemies, she may be used as a formidable
weapon against us.”

“My lord,” cried Jane, kneeling to the Duke of Suffolk; “if my
supplications fail to move my husband, do not you turn a deaf car to
them. Believe me, this plot will totally fail, and conduct us all to the

“The duke cannot retreat if he would, madam,” interposed Do Noailles.
“Courtenay has betrayed us all to Gardiner, and ere now I doubt not
officers are despatched to arrest us.”

“Jane, you must come with us,” cried Dudley.

“Never,” she replied, rising. “I will not stir from this spot. I implore
you and my father to remain here likewise, and submit yourselves to the
mercy of the queen.”

“And do you think such conduct befitting the son of the great Duke of
Northumberland?” replied Dudley. “No, madam, the die is cast. My course
is taken. You must come with us. There is no time for preparation. M. De
Noailles, I place myself entirely in your hands. Let horses be brought
round instantly,” he added, turning to his esquire.

“They shall be at the gate almost before you can reach it, my lord,”
returned Cholmondeley. “There are several ready-saddled within the

“It is well,” replied Dudley.

And the esquire departed.

“Father, dear father,” cried Jane, “you will not go. You will not leave

But the duke averted his gaze from her, and rushed out of the room.

De Noailles made a significant gesture to Dudley, and followed him.

“Jane,” cried Dudley, taking her hand, “I entreat—nay command you—to
accompany me.”

“Dudley,” she replied, “I cannot—will not—obey you in this. If I
could, I would detain you. But as I cannot, I will take no part in your
criminal designs.”

“Farewell for ever, then,” rejoined Dudley, breaking from her. “Since
you abandon me in this extremity, and throw off my authority, I shall no
longer consider myself bound to you by any ties.”

“Stay!” replied Jane. “You overturn all my good resolutions. I am no
longer what I was. I cannot part thus.”

“I knew it,” replied Dudley, straining her to his bosom. “You will go
with me.”

“I will,” replied Jane, “since you will have it so.”

“Come, then,” cried Dudley, taking her hand, and leading her towards the
door—“to the throne!”

“No,” replied Jane, sadly—“to the scaffold!”


The party had not quitted Sion House more than an hour, when a band of
soldiers, headed by Sir Edward Hastings, master of the horse, and one
of the privy council, arrived to arrest them. But no traces of their
retreat could be discovered; and after an unsuccessful search, Hastings
was compelled to return to Gardiner with the tidings that their prey
had escaped. Not one of the conspirators charged by Courtenay could be
found, and it was evident they had received timely warning, though from
what quarter the chancellor could not divine. At first, his suspicions
fell upon the Earl of Devonshire, but the utter impossibility of this
being the case speedily made him reject the idea.

A council was immediately held; at which several resolutions, founded
upon the information obtained from Courtenay, were passed. Fresh troops
were ordered into the Tower, and active preparations made for its
defence, in case of a siege. The chancellor himself deemed it prudent
to wear a coat of mail beneath his robes; and quitting his palace, old
Winchester House, situated on the Surrey side of the river, a little to
the west of Saint Saviour’s, he took up his abode within the fortress.
Mary was also advised to remove thither from Whitehall, and, at the
instance of Renard, she reluctantly complied.

On the day after her return to the Tower, the imperial ambassadors,
D’Egmont, Lalaing, De Courrieres, and De Nigry, were conducted by the
Earl of Arundel to Saint John’s Chapel, where they found the whole of
the council assembled, and the queen kneeling before the altar. The
sacrament was administered by Gardiner, and high mass performed; after
which Mary, kneeling with her face to the assemblage, said: “I take God
to witness that I have not consented to wed the prince of Spain from any
desire of aggrandizement, or carnal affection; but solely for the
honour and profit of my kingdom, and the repose and tranquillity of my
subjects. Nor shall my marriage prevent me from keeping inviolably the
oath I have made to the crown, on the day of my coronation.” Uttered
with great earnestness and dignity, these words produced a strong effect
upon the hearers. Ratifications of the treaty were then exchanged, and
the customary oaths taken on both sides.

This ceremony over, the queen arose, and glancing at the council,
observed: “I have heard, my lords, that most of you highly disapprove my
match with the prince of Spain; but I feel confident, when you have well
considered the matter, you will see cause to alter your opinion. However
this may be, I am well assured that your loyalty will remain unchanged,
and that I may fully calculate upon your services for the defence
and protection of my person, in case the rebellion with which I am
threatened should take place.”

“Your highness may rely upon us all,” replied the Duke of Norfolk.

And the assurance was reiterated by the whole assemblage.

At this moment, an attendant stepped forward, and informed the queen
that a messenger who had ridden for his life, was arrived from Kent,
bringing intelligence of an insurrection in that county.

“Let him approach,” replied Mary. “You shall hear, my lords, what danger
we have to apprehend. Well, fellow,” she continued, as the man was
ushered into her presence, “thy news?”

“I am the bearer of ill tidings, your majesty,” replied the messenger,
bending the knee before her. “Sir Thomas Wyat yesterday, by sound of
trumpet published, in the market-place at Maidstone a proclamation
against your highness’s marriage; exhorting all Englishmen wishing well
to their country to join with him and others, to defend the realm from
the threatened thraldom of Spain.”

“Ah! traitor!” exclaimed the queen. “And how was the proclamation
received?—Speak out—and fear not.”

“With universal acclamations,” replied the messenger, “and shouts of ‘A
Wyat! A Wyat! No Spanish match—no inquisition! I and such treasonable
vociferations. Sir Thomas had fifteen hundred men in arms with him, but
before he quitted Maidstone, above five hundred more joined him, and
multitudes were flocking to his standard when I left the place.”

Scarcely had the messenger concluded his recital, when another was

“What further news hast thou, good fellow?1’ demanded the queen.

“I am come to inform your highness,” replied the man, “that Sir Thomas
Wyat and his followers have taken possession of the castle of Rochester,
and fortified it as well as the town. Moreover, they have broken down
the bridge across the Medway, and stop all passengers, by land or water,
taking from them their arms.”

“Now by our lady!” exclaimed the queen, “this Wyat is a hardy traitor.
But he shall meet with the punishment due to his offences. Your grace,”
she added, turning to the Duke of Norfolk, “shall march instantly
against him with a sufficient force to dislodge him from his hold. And
for your better defence, you shall take with you the trained bands of
our good city of London, under the command of Captain Bret.”

With this, she quitted the chapel, and returned to the palace.

As soon as he could collect his forces, amounting to about a thousand
men, the Duke of Norfolk, accompanied by Bret and the trained bands, set
out on his expedition, and arrived at Stroud the same night, where he
made preparations to besiege Rochester castle at daybreak.

Meantime, the utmost anxiety prevailed within the Tower, and tidings of
the issue of the expedition were eagerly looked for. Towards the close
of the day after Norfolk’s departure, a messenger arrived, bringing
the alarming intelligence that Bret and his band had revolted to Wyat,
shouting, “We are all Englishmen!—we are all Englishmen!—We will not
fight against our countrymen.” It was added, that the duke, who had just
planted his cannon against the castle, seeing how matters stood, and
being uncertain of the fidelity of the troops remaining with him, had
made a hasty retreat, leaving his ammunition and horses in the hands of
the enemy.

This intelligence struck terror into the hearts of all who heard it, and
it was the general impression that the insurgents would be victorious—an
opinion considerably strengthened, a few hours afterwards, by the
arrival of other messengers, who stated that Wyat had besieged and taken
Cowling castle, the residence of Lord Cobham, and was marching towards
London. It was also affirmed that he had been joined by Lord Guilford
Dudley, the Duke of Suffolk, Lord Thomas Grey, and others, with a
considerable force, and that their object was to depose Mary, and
replace Jane upon the throne. Humours of insurrections in other parts of
the country as well as in London were added; but these could not be so
well authenticated.

On the following day, it being ascertained that the rebels had reached
Dartford, Sir Edward Hastings and Sir Thomas Cornwallis were sent to
hold a parley with the rebels. The army of the insurgents was stationed
at the west of the town, before which their ordnance was planted.
Dismounting, the two knights sent forward a herald to Wyat, who was
standing with Dudley, Suffolk, and Bret, near the outworks; and on
learning their business, he immediately advanced to meet them. After a
haughty salutation on both sides, Sir Edward Hastings spoke.

“Sir Thomas Wyat,” he said, “the queen desires to know why you, who
style yourself, in your proclamations, her true subject, act the part of
a traitor in gathering together her liege subjects in arms against her?”

“I am no more a traitor than yourself, Sir Edward Hastings,” replied
Wyat, “and the reason why I have gathered together the people, is to
prevent the realm from being overrun by strangers, which must happen, if
her highness’s marriage with Philip of Spain takes place.”

“No strangers are yet arrived,” replied Hastings, “and the mischief you
apprehend is yet far off. But if this is your only grievance, are you
content to confer on the matter with the council?”

“I am,” replied Wyat; “but I will be trusted rather than trust. I will
treat with whomsoever the queen desires; but in surety of her good
faith, I must have delivered to me the custody of the Tower of London,
and of her highness’s person. Furthermore, I require the head of Simon
Renard, the originator of this tumult.”.

“Insolent!” cried Hastings. “Rather than your traitorous demands shall
be complied with, you and all your rabble rout shall be put to the

With these words, he sprang upon his steed, and accompanied by
Cornwallis and his attendants, rode back to the Tower, to declare the
ill success of his mission to Mary.

Wyat’s successes created the greatest consternation among the queen’s
party. Though the Tower was filled with armed men, its inmates did not
feel secure, being in constant apprehension of a rising in London. The
imperial ambassadors were not less alarmed, as it was generally thought
they would be sacrificed to the popular fury. Gardiner counselled them
to make good their retreat to Brussels; and they all, with the exception
of Simon Renard, who declared he would remain upon his post, decided
upon following the advice.

They would not, however, depart without taking leave of Mary, who
desired them to recommend her to the emperor, and to assure him she was
under no alarm for her personal safety. Costly presents were offered
them; but, under the circumstances, they were declined. The ambassadors
quitted the Tower at dead of night, embarking at Traitor’s Gate, and
were compelled to leave their horses, attendants, and baggage, behind

In spite of the secrecy of their departure, it was discovered, and
an attempt was made to capture them by some watermen, who in all
probability would have succeeded, if they had not been driven off by the
batteries of the fortress. Fortunately, the fugitives found a fleet of
merchantmen, armed with a few guns, ready to sail for Antwerp; in one
of which they embarked, and under cover of night, got safely down the

On the following morning, news was brought that Wyat was within a few
miles of London; and it was added that his appearance before the walls
of the fortress would be the signal for the rising of the citizens,—that
the gates of the city would be thrown open to him, and perhaps those
of the Tower itself. Every possible precaution was taken by Sir Henry
Bedingfeld. He visited the whole line of ramparts and fortifications,
and ascertained that all the men were at their posts, and in readiness,
in case of a sudden attack. By his directions, the drawbridges on London
Bridge were broken down—the craft moored on the Middlesex side of the
river—the ferry-boats staved and sunk—and the bridges for fifteen miles
up the river destroyed. While this was going on, Gardiner, seriously
alarmed by the aspect of things, sought the queen’s presence, and
endeavoured to persuade her to fly to France. But Mary, who, it has been
more than once observed, inherited all the lion spirit of her father,
and whose courage rose in proportion to the danger by which she was
surrounded, at once, and disdainfully, rejected the proposal.

“My people may abandon me,” she said, “but I will never abandon them. I
have no fear of the result of this struggle, being well assured I have
plenty of loyal English hearts to serve and defend me. If need be, I
will take up arms myself, and try the truth of this quarrel; for I would
rather die with those who will stand by me, than yield one jot to such a
traitor as Wyat.”

“Your majesty is in the right,” replied Renard, who was present on the
occasion, “if you fly, all is lost. My counsel to you is to resort to
the severest measures. Since Lady Jane Grey has disappeared, and you
cannot avenge yourself upon her, let the Princess Elizabeth be brought
from Ashbridge to the fortress, and on the appearance of Wyat, have a
scaffold erected on the summit of Traitor’s Tower, and if the arch-rebel
will not withdraw his forces, put her and Courtenay to death in his

“I like not your proposal, sir,” replied the queen, “I have no thirst
for Courtenay’s blood. Nay, the love I once bore him would prevent my
taking his life—and it should only be at the last extremity that I would
deal severely with Elizabeth. Neither do I think your counsel politic.
Such a course might answer in Spain, but not in England. It would only
inflame still more the minds of the seditious, and excite them to a
state of ungovernable fury.”

“You judge wisely, madam,” replied Gardiner. “Besides, I have made
myself answerable for the safety of the Earl of Devonshire. The blow
that falls upon his head, must strike mine also. Since your majesty,
with a resolution worthy of the daughter of your great sire, decides
on maintaining your ground against these rebels, I nothing fear for the
result. Let the worst come to the worst, we can but die; and we will die
fighting in your cause.”

“My lord,” rejoined the queen, after a moment’s reflection, “bid Sir
Henry Bedingfeld, and the whole of the officers and men not required
on duty on the ramparts, attend high mass within Saint John’s chapel
an hour hence. You yourself will officiate with all the prelates and
priesthood in the fortress. The service over, I shall repair to the
council-chamber, where it is my purpose to address them.”

Gardiner bowed and retired to execute her commands, and the queen
enjoining Renard’s attendance at the chapel, retired to her closet with
her dames of honour.


At the appointed time, Saint John’s chapel was thronged with armed men;
and as the royal train passed along the upper gallery, and glanced down
upon them, Mary was inexpressibly struck by the scene. Banners waved
from the arched openings of the gallery, and the aisles and nave gleamed
with polished steel. For fear of a sudden surprise, the soldiers were
ordered to carry their weapons, and this circumstance added materially
to the effect of the picture. Around the columns of the southern aisle
were grouped the arquebussiers with their guns upon their shoulders;
around those of the north stood the pike-men, in their steel caps and
corslets; while the whole body of the nave was filled with archers, with
their bows at their backs. Immediately in front of the altar stood the
Duke of Norfolk, the Earls of Arundel and Pembroke, the lords Paget and
Rochester; Sir Henry Bedingfeld; Sir Henry Jerningham, master of the
horse; Sir Edward Bray, master of the ordnance, all in full armour. On
the queen’s appearance all these personages bent the knee before her;
and Bedingfeld, in virtue of his office, advancing a step before the
others, drew his sword, and vowed he would never yield up the
fortress but with life. He then turned to the troops, and repeated his
determination to them. And the walls of the sacred structure rang with
the shouts of the soldiers.

“You have yet loyal followers enow who will shed their last drop of
blood in your defence,” he added to Mary.

“I nothing doubt it, dear Sir Henry,” she replied, in a voice of deep
emotion. “I will share your danger, and, I trust, your triumph.”

Solemn mass was then performed by Gardiner, who was attended by Bonner,
Tunstal, Feckenham, and other prelates and priests in their full robes.
On its conclusion, the queen gave her hand to Sir Henry Bedingfeld, and
followed by the whole assemblage, proceeded to the council-chamber, and
took her seat beneath the state canopy.

As soon as the whole party was assembled, silence was commanded, and
Mary spoke as follows: “I need not acquaint you that a number of Kentish
rebels have seditiously and traitorously gathered together against us
and you. Their pretence, as they at first asserted, was to resist
a marriage between us and the prince of Spain. To this pretended
grievance, and to the rest of their evil-contrived complaints, you have
been made privy. Since then, we have caused certain of our privy council
to confer with the rebels, and to demand the cause of their continuance
in their seditious enterprise; and by their own avowal it appears that
our marriage is the least part of their quarrel. For they now, swerving
from their first statement, have betrayed the inward treason of their
hearts, arrogantly demanding the possession of our person, the keeping
of our Tower of London, and not only the placing and displacing of our
council, but also the head of one who is an ambassador at our court, and
protected by his office from injury.”

Here a murmur of indignation arose among the assemblage.

“Now, loving subjects,” continued Mary, “what I am you right well know.
I am your queen, to whom, at my coronation, when I was wedded to the
realm, and to the laws of the realm, (the spousal ring whereof I hold on
my finger, never as yet left off, nor hereafter to be so), you promised
your allegiance and obedience. And that I am the right and true
inheritor of the crown of England, I not only take all Christendom to
witness, but also your own acts of parliament confirming my title.
My father, as you all know, possessed the regal estate by right of
inheritance; and by the same right it descended to me. To him you always
showed yourselves faithful subjects, and obeyed and served him as
your liege lord and king. And, therefore, I doubt not you will show
yourselves equally loyal to me, his daughter.”

“God save your highness!” cried the whole assemblage. “Long live Queen

“If you are what I believe you,” pursued Mary, energetically; “you
will not suffer any rebel to usurp the governance of our person, nor to
occupy our estate, especially so presumptuous a traitor as this Wyat,
who having abused our subjects to be adherents to his traitorous
quarrel, intends, under some plea, to subdue the laws to his will, and
to give scope to the rascal and forlorn persons composing his army to
make general havoc and spoil of our good city of London.

“Down with Wyat!” cried several voices. “Down with the rebels!”

“Never having been a mother,” continued Mary, “I cannot tell how
naturally a parent loves her children: but certainly a queen may as
naturally and as tenderly love her subjects as a mother her child.
Assure yourselves, therefore, that I, your sovereign lady, do as
tenderly love and favour you; and thus loving you, I cannot but think
that you as heartily and faithfully love me again. And so, joined
together in a knot of love and of concord, I doubt not we shall be able
to give these rebels a short and speedy overthrow.”

Here she was again interrupted by the most enthusiastic expressions of
loyalty and devotion.

“On the word of a queen I promise you,” concluded Mary, “if it shall
not appear to the nobility and commons in parliament assembled, that my
intended marriage is for the benefit of the whole realm, I will not
only abstain from it, but from any other alliance. Pluck up your hearts,
then, and like true men stand fast with your lawful queen against these
rebels, both my enemies and yours, and fear them not, for I fear them
nothing at all.”

Thundering plaudits followed Mary’s oration, which, it was evident, had
produced the desired effect upon the assemblage; and if any one entered
the council-chamber wavering in his loyalty, he returned confirmed in
his attachment to the throne. Mary’s intrepid demeanour was sufficient
to inspire courage in the most faint-hearted; and her spirit imparted
an expression of beauty to her countenance which awakened the warmest
admiration among all the beholders.

“You have proved yourself a worthy daughter of your august sire, madam,”
observed Bedingfeld.

“I will prove myself so before I have done, Sir Henry,” rejoined Mary,
smiling. “I trust myself wholly to you.”

“Your majesty may depend upon me,” replied the old knight. “And now,
with your permission, I will withdraw my forces, and visit the ramparts.
After your address no one will forsake his post.”

So saying, he departed with the troops, and, after making his rounds,
returned to his lodgings.


Mary then appointed Lord William Howard, in conjunction with the Lord
Mayor, Sir Thomas White, to the government of the city, and the Earl
of Pembroke to the command of the army. These arrangements made, she
continued for some time in conference with Gardiner and Renard. Just as
she was about to retire, Sir Henry Bedingfeld came to apprise her that
Wyat’s army had reached Southwark, and had taken up a position at the
foot of London Bridge. After mature deliberation, it was resolved that
the rebel-leader should be invited to an interview with the queen; and
Bedingfeld was intrusted with the mission.

Proceeding to Traitor’s Gate, the old knight embarked in a wherry with
four soldiers and a herald, and was rowed towards the hostile party. As
he drew near the Surrey side of the water, Wyat’s sentinels presented
their calivers at him; but as soon as they perceived he was attended by
a herald, they allowed him to approach. On learning his errand, Wyat,
contrary to the advice of the Duke of Suffolk and Lord Guilford Dudley,
determined to accompany him.

“You will fall into some snare,” observed Dudley, “and lose the day when
you have all but gained it.”

“Have no fears,” replied Wyat. “We shall conquer without striking a
blow. Mary would not have made this proposal to me had she not felt
certain of defeat.”

“But dare you trust her?” demanded Suffolk.

“Sir Henry Bedingfeld has pledged his word for my safe return, and I
know him too well to doubt it. Farewell, my lords. We shall meet again
in an hour.”

“I much doubt if we shall meet again at all,” observed Dudley to the
duke, as Wyat stepped into Bedingfeld’s wherry, which was rowed swiftly
across the river, and presently disappeared beneath the gloomy arch of
Traitor’s Gate.

Ushered into the council-chamber, Wyat found Mary seated on a chair of
state placed at the head of a row of chairs near a partition dividing
the vast apartment, and covered with arras representing various naval
engagements. The wooden pillars supporting the roof were decorated
with panoplies; and through an opening on the right of the queen, Wyat
perceived a band of armed men, with their leader at their head, cased in
steel, and holding a drawn sword in his hand. Noticing these formidable
preparations with some uneasiness, he glanced inquiringly at Bedingfeld.

“Fear nothing,” observed the old knight. “My head shall answer for

Thus re-assured, Wyat advanced more confidently towards the queen, and
when within a few paces of her, paused and drew himself up to his full
height. Bedingfeld took up a station on the right of the royal chair,
and supported himself on his huge two-handed sword. On the left stood
Gardiner and Renard.

“I have sent for you, traitor and rebel that you are,” commenced Mary,
“to know why you have thus incited my subjects to take up arms against

“I am neither traitor nor rebel, madam,” replied Wyat, “as I have
already declared to one of your council, and I but represent the mass of
your subjects, who being averse to your union with the prince of Spain,
since you refuse to listen to their prayers, are determined to make
themselves heard.”

“Ha! God’s death! sir,” cried Mary, furiously, “do you, or do any of my
subjects think they can dispose of me in marriage as they think proper?
But this is an idle pretext. Your real object is the subversion of
my government, and my dethronement. You desire to place the princess
Elizabeth on the throne—and in default of her, the Lady Jane Grey.”

“I desire to uphold your majesty’s authority,” replied Wyat, “provided
you will comply with my demands.”


“Demands!” cried Mary, stamping her foot, while her eyes flashed fire.
“It is the first time such a term has been used to me, and it shall be
the last. In God’s name, what are your demands? Speak, man.”

“These, madam,” replied Wyat, firmly. “I demand the custody of the
Tower,—the care of your royal person,—the dismissal of your council,—and
the head of your false counsellor, Simon Renard.”

“Will nothing less content you?” inquired Mary, sarcastically.

“Nothing,” returned Wyat.

“I pray your majesty to allow me to punish the insolence of this daring
traitor,” cried Renard, in extremity of fury.

“Peace, sir,” rejoined Mary, majestically. “Now hear me in turn, thou
traitor Wyat. No man ever dictated terms to my father, and, by his
memory! none shall do so to me. At once, and peremptorily, I reject your
conditions; and had not Sir Henry Bedingfeld pledged his word for your
safety, my guards should have led you from hence to the scaffold. Quit
my presence, and as I would rather be merciful than severe, and spare
the lives of my subjects than destroy them, if you disperse your
host, and submit yourself to my mercy, I will grant you a free pardon.
Otherwise, nothing shall save you.”

“When we next meet your majesty may alter your tone,” rejoined Wyat; “I
take my leave of your highness.”

So saying, he bowed and retired with Sir Henry Bedingfeld.

“Your majesty will not let him escape?” cried Renard.

“In sooth but I shall sir,” replied Mary; “my word must be kept even
with a traitor.”

“You are over-scrupulous, madam,” rejoined Renard; “there is no faith to
be kept with such a villain. Beseech you, let me follow him. His head,
displayed to his companions, will disperse them more speedily than your
whole army.”

“I have already said it must not be,” replied Mary.

“Nay then,” rejoined Renard, “I will take the responsibility of the act
upon myself.”

“Disobeyed!” exclaimed Mary, authoritatively. “I command you not to
leave the presence.”

“Your majesty will repent this mistaken clemency,” cried Renard, chafing
with fury.

“I shall never repent adhering to my word,” returned Mary. “And see here
comes our lieutenant. How now, Sir Henry? Is the traitor gone?”

“He is, your highness,” replied Bedingfeld; “and it required all my
authority to prevent the infuriated guard from falling upon him, and
cutting him in pieces.”

“I am glad you were with him,” replied Mary; “I would not for the best
jewel in my crown that any harm had happened to him. Give me your hand,
Sir Henry. I will myself visit the ramparts, and cheer the soldiers with
my presence.”

“Your majesty will expose yourself,” returned Bedingfeld.

“To whom?” replied Mary,—“only to my subjects. They will not dare to
assail their queen. The daughter of your old master, Henry the Eighth,
should have no fear.”


On Wyat’s return, it was resolved that, under cover of darkness,
the Duke of Suffolk and Lord Guilford Dudley should march with two
detachments of men to Deptford, where a squadron of seven sail commanded
by Admiral Winter, together with a number of lesser craft, awaited them.
Dudley and his party were then to cross the river in Winter’s boats, and
proceed to East Smithfield; while Suffolk was to embark his men in the
larger vessels, and to sail up the river with the tide. Wyat determined
to attempt a passage across London Bridge, and if this could not be
accomplished, to abide the arrival of Winter’s squadron.

It was then arranged that the attack should take place two hours before
dawn. The fortress was to be assailed simultaneously at three different
points, so as to distract the attention of its defenders. To Lord
Guilford Dudley was assigned the Brass Mount, and the north-east
angle of the ramparts; to the Duke of Suffolk Traitor’s Tower, and the
southern fortifications; and to Wyat the Middle Tower, and the By-ward
Tower,—two of the strongest defences of the fortress. If the attack
proved successful, the three leaders were to concentrate their forces
before the gateway of the Bloody Tower.

When it was sufficiently dark, Suffolk and Dudley placed themselves at
the head of their detachments and set out. Though they moved along with
the utmost caution, they were heard by the soldiers on the ramparts,
who reported their suspicions to Bedingfeld, and precautions were taken
accordingly, though it was the opinion of many that the rebels had beat
a retreat.

At midnight, Wyat prepared to cross London Bridge. Aware that the
drawbridges were cut away—that it was barricaded, and strongly
defended—he provided himself with planks and ropes, and issuing
instructions to his men, set forward. They were allowed to proceed
without molestation to the first drawbridge, but here a sharp fire was
opened upon them. In spite of this, Wyat succeeded in laying down a
plank, and, at the head of a dozen men, crossed it. Dislodging their
opponents, several other planks were laid down, and the passage being
rendered secure, the whole party crossed, and carried over their
ammunition in safety.

The report of the attack soon reached the city-guard. Drums were beaten,
trumpets sounded, and shouts heard in every direction. While this was
passing, a well-contested fight took place at the barricades in the
centre of the bridge, between their defenders and the insurgents. Having
broken down these obstacles, Wyat drove all before him. Still, another
and wider chasm lay between him and the Middlesex shore. In front of
it, the assailed party made a desperate stand; but their resistance was
unavailing. Many were precipitated into the yawning gulf, and drowned;
while others threw down their arms, and besought mercy.

On the further side of the chasm, a formidable array of soldiery opposed
the progress of the rebel-army, and a piece of ordnance did terrible
execution amongst them. Two planks were hewn asunder as soon as they
were thrust across the abyss; but the moment the third was laid down,
Wyat dashed across it, and drove back two men with hatchets in their
hands who were about to sever it. He was followed by half-a-dozen
soldiers. In this instance, his fiery courage had well nigh proved fatal
to him for no sooner had the small band crossed it, than the plank
was hurled into the chasm, and Wyat left, with his trifling party, to
contend against the whole host of his foes. His destruction appeared
inevitable, but his self-possession stood him in good stead.

“Fellow-countrymen,” he shouted, “I am your friend, not your enemy. I
would deliver you from thraldom and oppression. You ought rather to aid
than oppose me. You are upholding Spain—and the inquisition—while I am
fighting for England and liberty.”

These few words, vociferated while he made a desperate stand against
his opponents, turned the tide of affairs. In vain the royalist leaders
shouted “Down with the rebels! the queen!—the queen!” They were answered
by deafening cries of “A Wyat! a Wyat! No Philip of Spain—no Popish
supremacy—no inquisition!”

Amid this tumult, the insurgents, who had witnessed with dismay the
perilous position of their leader, redoubled their exertions; and
placing several planks across the gulf, crossed them, and flew to his
assistance. Following up the advantage he had gained, Wyat, without
difficulty, routed his opponents. He then paused to cover the passage
of the remainder of his troops and artillery across the chasm, which was
safely accomplished.

At the foot of Fish-street-hill, they were checked by a company of horse
under the command of the Earl of Pembroke, and a skirmish took place,
in which the royalists were worsted with severe loss, and many prisoners
taken, as well as arms and horses. Pembroke however, escaped and
retreated to the Tower, bringing the news of his own defeat and of the
successes of the rebels.

The citizens showed little disposition to take part in the struggle.
All they were uneasy about was the security of their property; but
Wyat, having prohibited his men from plunder or riot, and Captain Bret
proclaiming that no mischief should be done, they remained tranquil.
In this way, the insurgents marched, without further interruption, to
Cornhill, where Wyat marshalled his forces, distributed rations of meat
and liquors among them, and awaited the appointed time for his attack
upon the Tower.

Within the fortress all was consternation. The extraordinary success
which had hitherto attended Wyat, well nigh paralysed the queen’s party.
The council again urged Mary to escape privately, but she peremptorily
refused, and forbade the subject to be mentioned again, on pain of her
severest displeasure. Some of the more timid then ventured to advise
that she should assent to Wyat’s terms—that Renard should be given up,
and the match with the Prince of Spain abandoned. “I will sooner abandon
my crown,” rejoined Mary. Her courage never for one instant forsook
her, and her spirit and resolution sustained the wavering minds of her

Long before this, Suffolk and Dudley had reached Dartford. As agreed,
the duke and his detachment embarked on board Winter’s squadron, while
the others were transported across the river in smaller boats. At
Poplar, Dudley ordered his men to nail together a number of stout
boards, to serve as rafts. These were fastened with ropes to such horses
as they could procure, and on reaching East Smithfield were unharnessed
and held in readiness, until the signal of attack should be given.
Besides the rafts, two or three wherries had been brought up from the
river, and several long scaling-ladders provided.

Dudley’s detachment consisted of about a thousand men, archers and
arquebussiers, all of whom were well armed and eager for the attack.
As yet, all was involved in profound darkness, and so far as they could
judge, no suspicion of their presence was entertained by those within
the fortress.

Scouts were despatched towards the postern gate,—a fortification
terminating the city wall, and situated, as has before been stated, at
the north side of the moat,—and from one of them, who had contrived
to scramble along the edge of the fosse, it was ascertained that a
detachment of Sir Thomas Wyat’s party was creeping stealthily along,
with the intention of surprising the postern gate.

It had been Cholmondeley’s intention to search for the entrance to the
secret communication through which he had passed beneath the moat, but
the almost certainty that it would be stopped, induced him to abandon
the idea.

All at once, a blaze of light was seen at the south of the fortress, in
the direction of the river. It was followed bv the roar of artillery,
and the sharper discharge of fire-arms, accompanied by the beating of
drums, the loud braying of trumpets, the clashing of swords, and other
martial sounds.



On hearing this, Dudley gave the signal of assault. Dashing down the
sides of the moat, his men launched their rafts on the water, and pushed
them across with long poles. The noise they made betrayed them to the
sentinels. The alarm was instantly given, and a tremendous fire opened
upon them from the batteries and casemate of the Brass Mount, as well as
from the eastern and western line of ramparts.

The Brass Mount has already been described as the largest bastion of the
Tower, standing at the north-east angle of the fortress, and its walls
were, and still are, of such immense thickness, and it was so well
fortified, that it was regarded as impregnable. Notwithstanding this
impression, it formed the main object of the present attack. Amid a
slaughterous fire from the besieged, Dudley embarked with Cholmondeloy,
who carried his standard, in a small skiff, and waving his sword above
his head, pointed to the Brass Mount, and urged his men to the assault.
They wanted no encouragement; but in some degree protected by the
showers of arrows discharged by the archers stationed on the sides
of the moat, and the constant fire of the arquebussiers, succeeded
in placing two ladders against that part of the eastern ramparts
immediately adjoining the bastion.

These were instantly covered with men, who mounted sword in hand, but
were attacked and hurled backwards by the besieged. Another ladder was
soon planted against the Brass Mount, while two more were reared against
the northern ramparts opposite the postern gate, which had been stormed
and taken by Wyat’s party, several of whom were descending the banks
of the moat, and firing upon the fortress, assisted by three culverins
placed in a temporary battery composed of large baskets filled with

All this had not been executed without severe loss on the part of the
insurgents. Several of the rafts were swamped, and their occupants,
embarrassed by the weight of their arms, drowned. One of the ladders
planted against the northern battlements was hurled backwards with its
living load; and such was the vigour and determination of the besieged,
that none of the assailants could set a foot on the ramparts.

Considerable execution, however, was done by the showers of arrows from
archers, as well as by the discharges of the arquebussiers. But success
did not, as yet, declare itself for either side. Constantly repulsed,
the insurgents still resolutely returned to the charge; and though
numbers fell from the ladders, others were instantly found to take their

Seeing how matters stood, and aware that some desperate effort must be
made, Dudley, who had hitherto watched the progress of the fight from
the moat, exposing himself to the full fire of the batteries, resolved
to ascend the ladder placed against the Brass Mount. Cholmondeley agreed
to follow him; and amid the cheers of the assailants and the unrelaxing
fire of the besieged, the boat was run in to the side of the bastion.

At this juncture, a loud explosion, succeeded by a tremendous shout,
was heard at the south side of the fortress. For a brief space, both
royalists and insurgents ceased fighting; and taking advantage of the
pause, Dudley swiftly mounted the ladder, and reaching the summit,
shouted “God save Queen Jane!”

“God save Queen Jane!” echoed Cholmondeley, who was close behind him.
“God save Queen Jane!” he repeated, waving the banner.

The cry was reiterated from below, and the firing recommenced more
furiously than ever.

It was rumoured among Dudley’s men, and the report stimulated their
ardour, that the Duke of Suffolk had taken Saint Thomas’s Tower. This,
however, was not the case. After the embarkation of the troops as before
related, the squadron under the command of Admiral Winter, accompanied
by a number of galleys, and wherries, made its way slowly to the Tower.
Owing to the necessary delay, the tide had turned, and the larger
vessels had to be towed up the river by the smaller craft.


On their arrival they were immediately perceived by the sentinels, who
opened a fire upon them, which was instantly returned. This was the
commencement of the siege, and served as the signal to Dudley, and
likewise to Wyat, of whose movements it will be necessary to speak

Before the squadron came up, the Duke of Suffolk embarked in a small
galley, and accompanied by several wherries filled with soldiers,
contrived, by keeping close under the wall of the wharf, to effect a
landing, unperceived, at the stairs. Taken by surprise, the guard fell
an easy prey to their assailants, who seizing the cannon placed there,
turned them against the fortress.

While this was passing, several boats landed their crews at the eastern
end of the wharf, and many others speeded towards it from all quarters.
In a short time, it was crowded by the insurgents; and notwithstanding
the tremendous fire kept up against them from the whole line of
battlements—from Traitor’s Tower—and from all the fortifications within
shot, they resolutely maintained their ground.

Directing the attack in person, and exposing himself to every danger,
the Duke of Suffolk displayed the utmost coolness and courage. The fight
raged furiously on both sides. Several boats, and one of the larger
vessels, were sunk by the guns of the batteries, and the ranks of
the insurgents were greatly thinned. Still there was no symptom of
irresolution exhibited; nor did they relax for a moment in their

Scaling-ladders were placed against the walls of Traitor’s Tower, and
crowded with climbers, while a gun-boat entered the dark arch beneath
it, and its crew commenced battering with axes, halberds, and poles,
against the portcullis and water-gate. Another party had taken
possession of the buildings opposite the By-ward Tower, and were trying
to reach the drawbridge, which, it is almost needless to say, was
raised. Added to these, a strong body of Essex men, having congregated
at Limehouse, approached the fortress by Saint Catherine’s, and the lane
leading to the Flemish church, and were striving to force the Iron Gate
and the eastern outlet of the wharf.

At this juncture, an occurrence took place, which, while it disheartened
the besieged, tended greatly to animate the assailing party. At
the south-west corner of the wharf stood a row of small habitations
separating it from Petty Wales. One of these was presently observed
to be on fire, and the flames rapidly spread to the others. Shortly
afterwards, a tremendous explosion took place. A building was blown up,
and the fiery fragments tossed into the river and moat; while across the
blazing ruins, with loud shouts, rushed a party of men from the troops
under Sir Thomas Wyat.

This was the explosion that reached the ears of Dudley and his band.
Rushing to the assistance of their friends, the new-comers seemed
determined to carry all before them, and such was the effect of their
sudden appearance, that the besieged for a moment gave way, and a small
body of the insurgents gained a footing on the roof of Traitor’s Tower.
But the next moment, the royalists rallied, drove off their assailants,
and the fight continued as obstinately as before.

It was a sublime but terrific spectacle, and one not easily effaced from
the remembrance of those who beheld it. The ruddy light cast upon the
water by the burning houses, and serving to reveal the tall vessels—the
armed boats—the sinking craft and struggling figures with which it was
covered—the towers and battlements of the fortress pouring forth fire
and smoke—the massive pile of the ancient citadel, which added its
thunder to the general din,—the throng of warlike figures engaged in
active strife on the wharf, or against Traitor’s Tower—constituted
a scene of intense, though fearful interest—nor did the roar of the
cannon, the clash of arms, the shouts and cheers of the combatants and
the groans of the wounded, detract from its effect.

There was yet another scene, which though unwitnessed, except by those
actually concerned in it equalled, if not surpassed it, in gloomy power.
This was a conflict under Saint Thomas’s Tower. It has been already
mentioned that a party, manning a gun-boat, had penetrated beneath
the arch leading to Traitor’s Tower, where they endeavoured, with such
weapons as they possessed, to effect an entrance. While they were thus
employed, the portcullis was suddenly raised, and the Watergate opened;
and the men supposing their own party had gained possession of the
fortification above them, dashed forward.

They were speedily undeceived. Before they reached the steps, a
number of armed figures, some of whom bore torches, appeared, while a
thundering splash behind told that the portcullis had been let down, so
as to cutoff their retreat. Nothing remained but to sell their lives as
dearly as they could. Quarter was neither asked nor granted. Some leaped
overboard, and tried, sword in hand, to force a way up the steps; others
prepared to follow them; and the gunner discharged a falconet planted at
the prow of the boat, occasioning fearful havoc among their opponents.

But this availed nothing. They were driven back, and their assailants
pursuing them into the recesses of the arch, put them to death. The
light of the few torches that illumined the scene, fell upon figures
fearfully struggling, while the arches rang with the reports of
musquetry, groans, and curses. In a short time, all was still and dark
as heretofore. But when the watersgate was afterwards opened, fourteen
mangled corpses floated out to the Thames.

While the siege was thus vigorously carried on, on the north and
south, the western side of the fortress was not neglected. Remaining at
Cornhill for some hours, Wyat divided his forces into two detachments,
and committed one to Captain Bret, whom he directed to proceed to the
upper part of Tower Hill, along Lombard-street, Fenchurch-street, and
Tower-street, and to place his men within the churchyard of All-Hallows
Barking, and at the rear of the scaffold on Tower Hill; while with the
other he himself marched down Gracechurch-street, along Thames-street,
taking up a position before the Bulwark Gate.

As soon as he had reached this point, and arranged his men, he rode off
to Bret, and ordered a party, commanded by Captain Cobliam, to attack
the postern-gate, as before related. Bret was to hold himself in
readiness to march down to the Bulwark Gate, or to attack the Leg Mount,
a bastion at the north-west angle of the fortress, corresponding (though
of somewhat smaller size,) with the Brass Mount, as he should receive

Having issued these directions, Wyat rode back to his troops—he was now
mounted, as were several of his officers, on the steeds captured in the
recent skirmish with the Earl of Pembroke—and commanded them to remain
perfectly quiet till Admiral Winter’s squadron should arrive off the
Tower. His injunctions were strictly obeyed, and such perfect silence
was observed, that though his men were drawn up within a few yards of
the fortress, they were not discovered by the sentinels.

On the arrival of the squadron, Wyat immediately commenced an attack
upon the Bulwark Gate—one of the weakest outworks of the fortress,—and
while directing his engines against it, some half-dozen wooden houses
adjoining it on the side of the moat, were fired by his men; and the
flames quickly extending to the buildings immediately contiguous to the
Bulwark Gate, that defence was at once surrendered.

The first point gained, Wyat despatched a messenger to Bret ordering him
to join him instantly; and while a handful of his men, rushing round the
semicircular wall, heretofore described as protecting the lesser moat,
attacked the embattled gateway fronting the Lion’s Tower, with the
intention of joining Suffolk’s party on the wharf, he directed his main
force against the Lion’s Gate. This fortification was stoutly defended,
and the insurgents were twice repulsed before they could bring their
engines to bear against it.

Bret and his party having arrived, such an irresistible attack was made
upon the gate, that in a short time it was carried. With loud shouts,
the insurgents drove the royalists before them along the narrow bridge
facing the Lion’s Tower, and leading to the Middle Tower, putting some
to the sword, and throwing others over the walls into the moat.


The movement was so expeditious, and the rout so unexpected, that the
portcullis of the Middle Tower, which was kept up to allow the flying
men to pass through it, could not be lowered, and hastily directing
those around him to prop it up with a piece of timber, Wyat continued
the pursuit to the By-ward. Tower.


Hitherto, complete success had attended his efforts; and if he had
passed the fortification he was approaching, in all probability he would
have been master of the Tower. Nothing doubting this, he urged his men
onwards. On his left rode Bret, and behind them, at a short distance,
came Captain Knevet, and two other leaders, likewise on horseback.

As they arrived within a few paces of the By-ward Tower, three
tremendous personages issued from it, and opposed their further
progress. They were equipped in corslets of polished steel and morions;
and two of them were armed with bucklers and enormous maces, while the
third wielded a partizan of equal size. These, it is almost needless to
state, were the three giants. The bearer of the partizan was Gog.
Behind them came their diminutive attendant, who, it appeared, had been
released from his thraldom, particulars of which, and of his adventures
subsequent to his meeting with Cicely in the cell beneath the Salt
Tower, will be related at a more convenient opportunity.

Like his gigantic companions, Xit was fully armed, in a steel corslet,
cuisses, and gauntlets. His head was sheltered by a helmet, shaded by an
immense plume of feathers, which, being considerably too large for him,
almost eclipsed his features. He was furthermore provided with a sword
almost as long as himself, and a buckler.

Taking care to keep under the shelter of the giants, Xit strutted
about, and brandishing his sword in a valiant manner, shouted, or rather

“Upon them Og!—attack them Gog!—why do you stand still, Magog? Let
me pass, and I will show you how you should demean yourselves in the

At the sight of the giants, the flying royalists rallied, and a fierce
but ineffectual struggle took place. During it, Bret was dismounted
and thrown into the moat. Urged by their leader, the insurgents pressed
furiously forward. But the giants presented an impassable barrier. Og
plied his mace with as much zeal as he did the clubs when he enacted
the part of the Tower at Courtenay’s masque, and with far more terrible
effect. All avoided the sweep of his arm.

Not content with dealing blows, he dashed among the retreating foe, and
hurled some dozen of them into the moat. His prowess excited universal
terror and astonishment. Nor was Gog much behind him. Wherever his
partizan descended, a foe fell beneath its weight; and as he was
incessantly whirling it over his head, and bringing it down, a space was
speedily cleared before him.

Seeing the havoc occasioned by the gigantic brethren, and finding that
they completely checked his further advance, Wyat struck spurs into his
charger, and dashing upon Magog, tried to hew him down. If the married
giant had not caught the blow aimed at him upon his shield, Dame Placida
had been made a widow for the second time. Again plunging the spurs
rowel-deep into his horse’s flanks, Wyat would have ridden over his
gigantic antagonist, if the latter, perceiving his intention, had not
raised his mace, and with one tremendous blow smashed the skull of the
noble animal.

“Yield you, Sir Thomas Wyat,” cried Magog, rushing up to the knight,
who was borne to the ground with his slaughtered charger—“you are my

“Back, caitiff!” cried Wyat, disengaging himself and attacking the
giant; “I will never yield with life.”

Wyat, however, would have been speedily captured by the giant, if
Knevet, seeing his perilous situation, had not pressed forward with
several others to his assistance, and rescued him. This accident,
however, enabled the retreating party to pass beneath the archway of the
By-ward Tower, the portcullis of which was instantly lowered.

Meanwhile, a body of the insurgents having taken possession of the
Middle Tower, had planted themselves at the various loop-holes, and on
the roof, and kept up a constant fire on the soldiers stationed on the
summit of the By-Ward Tower.

Among those who contrived to distinguish themselves in the action was
Xit. Finding his position one of more danger than he had anticipated, he
scrambled upon the wall on the right of the By-ward Tower, where, being
out of the rush, he could defy at his ease those who were swimming in
the moat.

While he was in this situation, Bret, who, it has been mentioned, was
thrown into the moat, swam to the wall, and endeavoured to ascend it.
Xit immediately attacked him, and adopting the language of Magog to
Wyat, threatened to throw him back again if he did not yield.

“I do yield,’” replied Bret.

“Your name and rank?” demanded the dwarf, in an authoritative tone.

“Alexander Bret, captain of the London Trained Bands, second in command
to Sir Thomas Wyat,” replied the other.

“Here, Magog—Gog—Og—help!” shouted Xit—“I have taken a prisoner. It is
Captain Bret, one of the rebel leaders—help him out of the moat, and
let us carry him before the queen! I am certain to be knighted for my
valour. Mind, I have taken him. He has yielded to me. No one else has
had a hand in his capture.”

Thus exhorted, Magog pulled Bret out of the moat. As soon as he
ascertained who he was, he bore him in his arms towards the By-Ward
Tower—Xit keeping near them all the time, screaming, “he is my prisoner.
You have nothing to do with it. I shall certainly be knighted.”

At Magog’s command, the portcullis was partially raised, and Xit
and Bret thrust under it, while the two other giants repelled the




Throughout the whole of the siege, the queen maintained her accustomed
firmness; and to her indomitable courage, and the effect produced by it
upon her followers, the successful issue of the conflict to the royalist
party is mainly to be attributed. Startled from her slumbers by the roar
of the artillery, Mary arose, and hastily arraying herself, quitted the
palace with Gardiner, Renard, and a few other attendants, who had
flown to her on the first rumour of the attack, and repaired to the
lieutenant’s lodgings, where she found Sir Henry Bedingfeld in
the entrance hall, surrounded by armed men, busied in giving them
instructions, and despatching messages to the officers in command of the
different fortifications.

At the queen’s appearance, the old knight would have flung himself at
her feet, but she motioned him not to heed her, and contented herself
with saying, as each messenger departed:—“Tell my soldiers, that I will
share their danger. I will visit every fortification in turn, and I
doubt not I shall find its defenders at their posts. No courageous
action shall pass unrequited: and as I will severely punish these
rebels, so I will reward those who signalise themselves in their defeat.
Bid them fight for their queen—for the daughter of the Eighth Henry,
whose august spirit is abroad to watch over and direct them. He who
brings me Wyat’s head, shall receive knighthood at my hands, together
with the traitor’s forfeited estates. Let this be proclaimed. And now
fight—and valiantly—for you fight for the truth.”

Charged with animating addresses like these, the soldiers hurried to
their various leaders. The consequence may be easily imagined.
Aware that they were under the immediate eye of their sovereign, and
anticipating her coming each moment, the men, eager to distinguish
themselves, fought with the utmost ardour; and such was the loyalty
awakened by Mary’s energy and spirit, that even those secretly inclined
towards the opposite party, of whom there were not a few, did not dare
to avow their real sentiments.

While Mary remained in the lieutenant’s lodgings, word was brought that
the fortress was attacked on all sides, and the thunder of the ordnance
now resounding from the whole line of ramparts, and answered by the guns
of the besiegers, confirmed the statement. As she heard these tidings,
and listened to the fearful tumult without, her whole countenance
underwent a change; and those who remembered her kingly sire, recognised
his most terrible expression, and felt the same awe they had formerly
experienced in his presence.

“Oh! that I had been born a man!” she cried, “that with my own hand
I might punish these traitors. But they shall find though they have a
woman to deal with, they have no feeble and faint-hearted antagonist.
I cannot wield a sword; but I will stand by those who can. Sir Henry
Bedingfeld, take these orders from me, and they are final. Let the siege
go how it may, I will make no terms with the rebels, nor hold further
parley with them. Show them no quarter—exterminate them utterly. I no
longer regard them as subjects—children; but as aliens—foes. Deal with
them as such. And look you yield not this fortress—for by God’s grace! I
never will yield it. Where is your own post, Sir Henry?”

“At the By-ward Tower, your highness,” replied Bedingfeld. “The traitor
Wyat directs the attack in that quarter; and he is most to be feared of
all our opponents. I will not quit the fortification with my life. But
who shall succeed me, if I fall?”

“The queen,” replied Mary. “But you will not fall, good Bedingfeld. You
are appointed by Heaven to be my preserver. Go to your post; and keep
it, in my name. Go, and fight for your royal mistress, and for the holy
Catholic faith which we both of us profess, and which these rebels—these
heretics, would overthrow. Go, and the Virgin prosper you, and
strengthen your arm.”.

“I obey your majesty,” replied Bedingfeld; “and yet I cannot but feel
that my place is by your side.”

“Ah! do you loiter, sir?” cried Mary fiercely. “You have tarried here
too long already. Do you not hear yon loud-voiced cannon summon you
hence? Are you deaf to those cries? To your post, sir—and quit it not
for your head. Stay!” she added, as the knight was about to obey her. “I
meant not this. I have been over-hasty. But you will bear with me. Go. I
have no fears—and have much to do. Success be with you. We meet again as
victors, or we meet no more.”

“We shall meet ere day-break,” replied the knight. And quitting the
presence, he hurried to the By-ward Tower.

“In case fate declares itself against your highness, and the insurgents
win the fortress,” observed Renard, “I can convey you beyond their
reach. I am acquainted with a subterranean passage communicating with
the further side of the moat, and have stationed a trusty guard at its

“In the event your excellency anticipates,” returned Mary, sternly, “but
which I am assured will never occur, I will not fly. While one stone
of that citadel stands upon another it shall never be surrendered: and
while life remains to her, Mary of England will never desert it. In your
next despatch to the prince your master, tell him his proposed consort
proved herself worthy—in resolution, at least—of the alliance.”

“I will report your intrepid conduct to the prince,” replied Renard.
“But I would, for his sake, if not for your own, gracious madam, that
you would not further expose yourself.”

“To the ramparts!” cried Mary, disregarding him. “Let those follow me,
who are not afraid to face these traitors.”

Quitting the entrance-hall, she mounted a broad staircase of carved oak,
and traversing a long gallery, entered a passage leading to the Bell
Tower—a fortification already described as standing on the west of the
lieutenant’s lodgings, and connected with them. The room to which the
passage brought her, situated on the upper story, and now used as part
of the domestic offices of the governor, was crowded with soldiers,
busily employed in active defensive preparations. Some were discharging
their calivers through the loopholes at the besiegers, while others were
carrying ammunition to the roof of the building..

Addressing a few words of encouragement to them, and, crossing the room,
Mary commanded an officer to conduct her to the walls. Seeing from her
manner that remonstrance would be useless, the officer obeyed. As she
emerged from the low arched doorway opening upon the ballimn wall,
the range of wooden houses on the opposite side of the moat burst into
flames, and the light of the conflagration, while it revealed the
number of her enemies and their plan of attack, rendered her situation
infinitely more perilous, inasmuch as it betrayed her to general
observation. Directed by the shouts, the besiegers speedily discovered
the occasion of the clamour; and though Sir Thomas Wyat, who was engaged
at the moment in personally directing the assault on the Bulwark Gate,
commanded his men to cease firing in that quarter, his injunctions were
wholly disregarded, and several shots struck the battlements close
to the queen. Seriously alarmed, Gardiner earnestly entreated her to
retire, but she peremptorily refused, and continued her course as slowly
as if no danger beset her—ever and anon pausing to watch the movements
of the besiegers, or to encourage and direct her own-men. Before she
reached the Beauchamp Tower, the Bulwark Gate was carried, and the
triumphant shouts of the insurgents drew from her an exclamation of
bitter anger.

“It is but a small advantage gained, your highness,” remarked the
officer; “they will be speedily repulsed.”

“Small as it is, sir,” rejoined the queen, “I would rather have-lost the
richest jewel from my crown than they had gained so much. Look! they are
gathering together before the Lion’s Gate. They are thundering against
it with sledge-hammers, battering-rams, and other engines. I can hear
the din of their blows above all this tumult. And see! other troops are
advancing to their aid. By their banners and white coats, I know they
are the London trained-bands, headed by Bret. Heaven confound the
traitor! He who will bring him to me dead or alive, shall have whatever
he asks. Ah, God’s death! they have forced the Lion’s Gate—they drive
all before them. Recreants! why do you not dispute it inch by inch, and
you may regain what you have lost? Confusion! Wyat and his rebel band
press onward, and the others fly. They pass through the Middle Tower.
Ah! that shout, those fearful cries! They put my faithful subjects to
the sword. They are in possession of the Middle Tower, and direct its
guns on the By-ward Tower. Wyat and his band are on the bridge. They
press forward, the others retreat. Retreat! ah, caitiffs, cowards that
you are, you must fight now, if you have a spark of loyalty left. They
fly. They have neither loyalty nor valour. Where is Bedingfeld?—where is
my lieutenant? why does he not sally forth upon them? If I were there, I
would myself lead the attack.”

“Your majesty’s desires are fulfilled,” remarked the officer; “a sally
is made by a party from the gate—the rebels are checked.”

“I see it!” exclaimed the queen, joyfully—“but what valiant men are
they who thus turn the tide? Ah! I know them now, they are my famous
giants—my loyal warders. Look how the rebel ranks are cleared by the
sweep of their mighty arms. Brave yeomen! you have fought as no belted
knights have hitherto fought, and have proved the truth of your royal
descent. Ah! Wyat is down. Slay him! spare him not, brave giant! his
lands, his title are yours. Heaven’s curse upon him, the traitor
has escaped! I can bear this no longer.” she added, turning to her
conductor. “Lead on: I would see what they are doing elsewhere.” The
command was obeyed, but the officer had not proceeded many yards when a
shot struck him, and he fell mortally wounded at the queen’s feet.

“I fear you are hurt, sir,” said Mary, anxiously.

“To death, madam,” gasped the officer. “I should not care to die, had
I lived to see you victorious. When all others were clamouring for the
usurper Jane, my voice was raised for you, my rightful queen; and now my
last shout shall be for you.”

“Your name?” demanded Mary, bending over him.

“Gilbert,” replied the officer—“I am the grandson of Gunora Braose.”

“Live, Gilbert,” rejoined Mary—“live for my sake!”

Raising himself upon one arm, with a dying effort, Gilbert waved his
sword over his head, and cried, “God save Queen Mary, and confusion to
her enemies!” And with these words, he fell backwards, and instantly
expired. The queen gazed for a moment wistfully at the body.

“How is it,” she mused, as she suffered herself to be led onward by
Renard, “that, when hundreds of my subjects are perishing around me,
this man’s death should affect me so strongly?—I know not. Yet, so it

Her attention, however, was speedily attracted to other matters. Passing
through the Beauchamp Tower, she proceeded to the next fortification.

The main attacks of the besiegers, as has been previously stated, were
directed against the Brass Mount, Saint Thomas’s Tower, and the By-ward
Tower;—the western and north-western ramparts, including the Leg Mount,
a large bastion corresponding with the Brass Mount, being comparatively
unmolested, faking up a position on the roof of the Devilin Tower, which
flanked the north-west angle of the ballium wall, Mary commanded two
sides of the fortress, and the view on either hand was terrific
and sublime. On the left, the blazing habitations, which being of
highly-combustible material were now, in a great measure, consumed,
cast a red and lurid glare on the moat, lighting up the ramparts, the
fortifications behind them, and those on the bridge,—two of which, she
was aware, were in the possession of the besiegers. In this quarter the
firing had ceased; and it seemed that both parties had by mutual consent
suspended hostilities, to renew them in a short time with greater
animosity than ever. On the right, however, the assault continued with
unabated fury. A constant fire was kept up from the temporary batteries
placed before the postern gate; clouds of arrows whizzed through the
air, shot by the archers stationed on the banks of the moat; and another
ladder having been placed against the ramparts, several of the scaling
party had obtained a footing, and were engaged hand to hand with the
besieged. Ever and anon, amid this tumultuous roar was heard a loud
splash, proclaiming that some miserable wretch had been hurled into the

After contemplating the spectacle for some time in silence, Mary
proceeded to the Flint Tower—a fortification about ninety feet nearer
the scene of strife. Here the alarming intelligence was brought her
that Lord Guilford Dudley was in possession of the Brass Mount, and that
other advantages had been gained by the insurgents in that quarter.
The fight raged so fiercely, it was added, that it would be tempting
Providence in her majesty to proceed further. Yielding, at length, to
the solicitations of her attendants, Mary descended from the walls, and
shaped her course towards the White Tower; while Renard, by her command,
hastened to the Martin Tower (now the Jewel Tower) to ascertain how
matters stood. His first step was to ascend the roof of this structure,
which, standing immediately behind the Brass Mount, completely
overlooked it.

It must be borne in mind that the Tower is surrounded by a double line
of defences, and that the ballium wall and its fortifications are much
loftier than the outer ramparts. Renard found the roof of the Martin
Tower thronged with soldiers, who were bringing their guns to bear upon
the present possessors of the Brass Mount. They were assisted in their
efforts to dislodge them by the occupants of the Brick Tower and
the Constable Tower; and notwithstanding the advantage gained by the
insurgents, they sustained severe loss from the constant fire directed
against them. Bernard’s glance sought out Lord Guilford Dudley; and
after a few moments’ search, guided by the shouts, he perceived him
with Cholmondeley driving a party of royalists before him down the steps
leading to the eastern ramparts. Here he was concealed from view, and
protected by the roofs of a range of habitations from the guns on the
ballium wall.

A few moments afterwards, intelligence was conveyed by the soldiers on
the Broad Arrow Tower to those on the Constable Tower, and thence from
fortification to fortification, that Dudley having broken into one of
the houses covering the ramparts, was descending with his forces into
the eastern ward.

Renard saw that not a moment was to be lost. Ordering the soldiers not
to relax their fire for an instant, he put himself at the head of a body
of men, and hurrying down a spiral stone-staircase, which brought him
to a subterranean chamber, unlocked a door in it, and traversing with
lightning swiftness a long narrow passage, speedily reached another
vaulted room. At first no outlet was perceptible; but snatching a torch
from one of his band, Renard touched a knob of iron in the wall, and
a stone dropping from its place discovered a flight of steps, up which
they mounted. These brought them to a wider passage, terminated by a
strong door clamped with iron, and forming a small sally-port opening
upon the eastern ward, a little lower down than Lord Guilford Dudley and
his party had gained admittance to it. Commanding his men to obey his
injunctions implicitly, Renard flung open the sally-port, and dashed
through it at their head.

Dudley was pressing forward in the direction of the Iron Gate when
Renard appeared. Both parties were pretty equally matched in point of
number, though neither leader could boast more than twenty followers.
Still, multitudes were hastening to them from every quarter. A
detachment of royalists were issuing from a portal near the Salt Tower;
while a host of insurgents were breaking through the house lately
forced by Lord Guilford Dudley, and hurrying to his assistance. In a few
seconds, the opposing parties met. By the light of the torches, Dudley
recognized Renard; and, uttering a shout of exultation, advanced to the

As soon as it was known to the insurgents that the abhorred Spanish
ambassador was before them, with one accord they turned their weapons
against him, and if their leader had not interposed, would have
inevitably slain him.

“Leave him to me,” cried Dudley, “and I will deliver my country from
this detested traitor. Fellow soldiers,” he added, addressing Renard’s
companions, “will you fight for Spain, for the Inquisition, for the
idolatries of Rome, when swords are drawn for your country—and for the
Reformed religion? We are come to free you from the yoke under which
you labour. Join us, and fight for your liberties, your laws,—for the
gospel, and for Queen Jane.”

“Ay, fight for Jane, and the gospel!” shouted Cholmondeley. “Down with
Renard and the See of Rome. No Spanish match! no Inquisition!”

“Who are you fighting for? Who is your leader?” continued Dudley;—“a
base Spanish traitor. Who are you fighting against?—Englishmen, your
friends, your countrymen, your brothers—members of the same faith, of
the same family.”

This last appeal proved effectual. Most of the royalists went over to
the insurgents, shouting, “No Spanish match! no Inquisition! Down with

“Ay, down with Renard!” cried Dudley. “I will no longer oppose your
just vengeance. Slay him, and we will fix his head upon a spear. It will
serve to strike terror into our enemies.”

Even in this extremity, Renard’s constitutional bravery did not desert
him; and, quickly retreating, he placed his back against the wall. The
few faithful followers who stood by him, endeavoured to defend him, but
they were soon slain, and he could only oppose his single sword against
the array of partizans and pikes raised against him. His destruction
appeared inevitable, and he had already given himself up for lost, when
a rescue arrived.

The detachment of soldiers, headed by Sir Thomas Brydges, already
described as issuing from the gate near the Salt Tower, seeing a
skirmish taking place, hurried forward, and reached the scene of strife
just in time to save the ambassador, whose assailants were compelled
to quit him to wield their weapons in their own defence. Thus set free,
Renard sprang like a tiger upon his foes, and, aided by the new-comers,
occasioned fearful havoc among them. But his deadliest fury was directed
against those who had deserted him, and he spared none of them whom he
could reach with his sword.

Lord Guilford Dudley and his esquire performed prodigies of valour. The
former made many efforts to reach Renard, but, such was the confusion
around him, that he was constantly foiled in his purpose. At length,
seeing it was in vain to contend against such superior force, and that
his men would be speedily cut in pieces, and himself captured, he gave
the word to retreat, and fled towards the north-east angle of the ward.
The royalists started after them; but such was the speed at which the
fugitives ran, that they could not overtake them. A few stragglers
ineffectually attempted to check their progress, and the soldiers on the
walls above did not dare to fire upon them, for fear of injuring
their own party. In this way, they passed the Martin Tower, and were
approaching the Brick Tower, when a large detachment of soldiers were
seen advancing towards them.

“Long live Queen Jane!” shouted Dudley and his companions, vainly hoping
they were friends.

“Long live Queen Mary, and death to the rebels!” responded the others.

At the cry, Dudley and his little band halted. They were hemmed in on
all sides, without the possibility of escape; and the royalists on the
fortifications above being now able to mark them, opened a devastating
fire upon them. By this time, Renard and his party had turned the angle
of the wall, and the voice of the ambassador was heard crying—“Cut them
in pieces! Spare no one but their leader. Take him alive.”

Hearing the shout, Dudley observed to Cholmondeley—“You have ever been
my faithful esquire, and I claim one last service from you. If I am in
danger of being taken, slay me. I will not survive defeat.”

“Nay, my lord, live,” cried Cholmondeley. “Wyat or the Duke of Suffolk
may be victorious, and deliver you.”

“No,” replied Dudley, “I will not run the risk of being placed again in
Mary’s power. Obey my last injunctions. Should you escape, fly to Jane.
You know where to find her. Bid her embark instantly for France, and say
her husband with his last breath blessed her.”

At this moment, he was interrupted by Cholmondeley, who pointed out an
open door in the ramparts opposite them. Eagerly availing himself of the
chance, Dudley called to his men to follow him, and dashed through it,
uncertain whither it led, but determined to sell his life dearly. The
doorway admitted them into a low vaulted chamber, in which were two or
three soldiers and a stand of arms and ammunition. The men fled at their
approach along a dark, narrow passage, and endeavoured to fasten an
inner door, but the others were too close upon them to permit it. As
Dudley and his band advanced, they found themselves at the foot of a
short flight of steps, and rushing up them, entered a semi-circular
passage, about six feet wide, with a vaulted roof, and deep embrazures
in the walls, in which cannon were planted. It was, in fact, the
casemate of the Brass Mount. By the side of the cannon stood the
gunners, and the passage was filled with smoke. Alarmed by the cries of
their companions, and the shouts of Dudley and his band, these men, who
were in utter ignorance of what had passed, except that they had been
made aware that the summit of the bastion was carried, threw down their
arms, and sued for quarter.

“You shall have it, friends,” cried Dudley, “provided you will fight for
Queen Jane.”

“Agreed!” replied the gunners. “Long live Queen Jane.”

“Stand by me,” returned Dudley, “and these stout walls shall either
prove our safeguard, or our tomb.”

The gunners then saw how matters stood, but they could not retract; and
they awaited a favourable opportunity to turn against their new masters.

Perceiving the course taken by Dudley and his companions, Henard felt
certain of their capture, and repeated his injunctions to the soldiers
to take him alive if possible, but on no account to suffer him to

Dudley, meanwhile, endeavoured with Cholmondeley to drag one of the
large pieces of ordnance out of the embrasure in which it was placed,
with the view of pointing it against their foes. But before this could
be accomplished, the attack commenced. Darting to the head of the steps,
Dudley valiantly defended the pass for some time; and the royalist
soldiers, obedient to the injunctions of Renard, forbore to strike him,
and sought only his capture. The arched roof rang with the clash of
weapons, with the reports of shot, and with the groans of the wounded
and dying. The floor beneath them soon became slippery with blood.
Still, Dudley kept his ground. All at once, he staggered, and fell.
A blow had been dealt him from behind by one of the gunners, who had
contrived to approach him unawares.

“It is over,” he groaned to his esquire, “finish me, and fly, if you
can, to Jane.”

Cholmondeley raised his sword to comply with his lord’s injunctions, but
the blow was arrested by the strong arm of Renard, who bestriding his
prey, cried, in a voice of exultation, “He is mine! Bear him to the
Queen before he expires.”

Cholmondelcy heard no more, but darting backwards, sprang into the
embrazure whence he had endeavoured to drag the cannon, and forcing
himself through the aperture, dropped from the dizzy height into the

While this was passing, Mary proceeded to Saint John’s-Chapel in the
White Tower. It was brilliantly illuminated, and high mass was being
performed by Bonner and the whole of the priesthood assembled within the
fortress. The transition from the roar and tumult without to this calm
and sacred scene was singularly striking, and calculated to produce a
strong effect on the feelings. There, all was strife and clamour; the
air filled with smoke was almost stifling; and such places as were not
lighted up by the blaze of the conflagration or the flashing of the
ordnance and musquetry, were buried in profound gloom. Here, all was
light, odour, serenity, sanctity. Without, fierce bands were engaged in
deathly fight—nothing was heard but the clash of arms, the thunder of
cannon, the shouts of the victorious, the groans of the dying. Within,
holy men were celebrating their religious rites, undisturbed by the
terrible struggle around them, and apparently unconscious of it; tapers
shone from every pillar; the atmosphere was heavy with incense; and the
choral, hymn mingled with the scarce-heard roar of cannon. Mary was so
affected by the scene, that for the first time she appeared moved. Her
bosom heaved, and a tear started to her eye.

“How peaceful is the holy place,” she observed to Gardiner, “and what a
contrast it presents to the scene we have just quitted! I could almost
wish that Heaven had destined me to the cloister instead of the throne,
that I might pass my days in the exercise of my religion.”

“Heaven has destined you to be the restorer and defender of our
religion, madam,” replied Gardiner. “Had you not been called to the high
station you occupy, the Catholic worship, so long discontinued in
these holy walls, would not now be celebrated. To you we owe its
restoration;—to you we must owe its continuance.”

As Mary advanced to the altar, the anthem ceased, and silence prevailed
throughout the sacred structure. Prostrating herself, she prayed for
a few moments fervently, and in an audible voice. She then arose, and
observed to Gardiner, “I feel so much comforted, that I am assured
Heaven will support me and our holy religion.”

As she spoke, solemn music resounded through the chapel, the anthem was
again chanted, and the priests resumed their holy rites. With a heart
strengthened and elated, Mary ascended the staircase behind the altar,
and passing through the gallery proceeded to the council-chamber, where
she was informed that Xit, having captured a prisoner of importance,
waited without to ascertain her pleasure concerning him. Mary ordered
the dwarf to be brought into her presence with his captive, and in a
few moments he was introduced with Bret, who was guarded by a couple of

On no previous occasion had Xit exhibited so much consequence as the
present, and his accoutrements and fantastically-plumed casque added to
his ludicrous appearance. He advanced slowly and majestically towards
the chair of state in which Mary was seated, ever and anon turning his
head to see that Bret was close behind him, and when within a short
distance of the royal person, he made a profound salutation. Unluckily,
in doing so, his helmet fell from his head, and rolled to the queen’s
feet. Slightly discomposed by the accident, and still more by Mary’s
frowns, he picked up his helmet, and stammered forth,—

“I am come to inform your highness that I have taken a prisoner—taken
him with my own hands——”

“Who is it?” interrupted Mary, glancing sternly at the captive, who
remained with his arms folded upon his breast, and his eyes cast upon
the floor. “Who is it?” she asked, in an imperious tone.

“The arch-traitor Bret,” answered Xit,—“the captain of the London
Trained Bands, who revolted from the Duke of Norfolk, and joined the
rebels at Rochester.”

“Bret!” ejaculated Mary, in a tone that made Xit recoil several steps
with fright, while the prisoner himself looked up. “Aha! is the traitor
then within our power? Take him without, and let the headsman deal with

“Your highness!” cried Bret, prostrating himself.

“Away with him!” interrupted Mary. “Do you, my lord,” she added,
to Gardiner, “see that my commands are obeyed.” The prisoner was
accordingly removed, and Xit, who was completely awed by the queen’s
furious looks, was about to slink off, when she commanded him to remain.

“Stay!” she cried. “I have promised on my queenly word, that whoso
brought this traitor Bret to me, should have whatever he demanded. Art
thou in good truth his captor? Take heed thou triflest not with me. I am
in no mood for jesting.”

“So I perceive, gracious madam,” replied Xit. “But I swear to you, I
took him with my own hand, in fair and open combat. My companion Magog,
if he survives the fray, will vouch for the truth of my statement—nay,
Bret himself will not gainsay it.

“Bret will gainsay little more,” rejoined Mary sternly; “his brain will
contrive no further treason against us, nor his tongue give utterance
to it. But I believe thee—the rather that I am persuaded thou darest not
deceive me. Make thy request—it is granted.”.

“If I dared to raise my hopes so high,” said Xit, bashfully “What means
the knave?” cried Mary. “I have said the request shall be granted.”

“Whatever I ask?” inquired Xit.

“Whatever thou mayest ask in reason, sirrah!” returned Mary, somewhat

“Well, then,” replied Xit, “I should have claimed a dukedom. But as
your highness might possibly think the demand unreasonable, I will limit
myself to knighthood.”

In spite of herself, Mary could not repress a smile at the dwarf’s
extravagant request, and the terms in which it was couched.

“I have made many efforts to obtain this distinction,” pursued Xit,—“and
for a while unsuccessfully. But fortune, or rather my bravery, has at
length favoured me. I desire knighthood at your Majesty’s hands.”

“Thou shalt have it,” replied Mary; “and it will be a lesson to me to
make no rash promises in future. Hereafter, when affairs are settled,
thou wilt not fail to remind me of my promise.”

“Your highness may depend upon it, I will not fail to do so,” replied
Xit, bowing and retiring. “Huzza!” he cried, as soon as he gained the
antechamber. “Huzza!” he repeated, skipping in the air, and cutting as
many capers as his armour would allow him, “at length, I have reached
the height of my ambition. I shall be knighted. The queen has promised
it. Aha! my three noble giants, I am now a taller man than any of you.
My lofty title will make up for my want of stature. Sir Xit!—that does
not sound well. I must change my name for one more euphonious, or at
least find out my surname. Who am I? It is strange I never thought of
tracing out my history before. I feel I am of illustrious origin. I must
clear up this point before I am knighted. Stand aside, base grooms,” he
continued to the grinning and jeering attendants, “and let me pass.”

While pushing through them, a sudden bustle was heard behind, and he
was very unceremoniously thrust back by Simon Renard, who was conducting
Dudley to the queen’s presence.

“Another prisoner!” exclaimed Xit. “I wonder what Renard will get for
his pains. If I could but take Wyat, my fortune were indeed made. First,
I will go and see what has become of Bret; and then, if I can do so
without much risk, I will venture outside the portcullis of the By-ward
Tower. Who knows but I may come in for another good thing!”

Thus communing with himself, Xit went in search of the unfortunate
captain of the Trained Bands, while Renard entered the council-chamber
with Dudley. The latter, though faint from loss of blood, on finding
himself in the queen’s presence, exerted all his strength, and stood
erect and unsupported.

“So far your highness is victorious,” said Renard; “one of the
rebel-leaders is in your power, and ere long all will be so: Will it
please you to question him—or shall I bid Mauger take off his head at

“Let me reflect a moment,” replied Mary, thoughtfully, “He shall die,”
she added, after a pause; “but not yet.”

“It were better to behead him now,” rejoined Renard.

“I do not think so,” replied Mary. “Let him be removed to some place of
safe confinement—the dungeon beneath Saint John’s Chapel.”

“The only grace I ask from your highness is speedy death,” said Dudley.

“Therefore I will not grant it,” replied Mary. “No, traitor! you shall
perish with your wife.”

“Ah!” exclaimed Dudley, “I have destroyed her.”

And as the words were pronounced, he reeled backwards, and would have
fallen, if the attendants had not caught him.

“Your Majesty has spared Mauger a labour,” observed Renard,

“He is not dead,” replied Mary; “and if he were so, it would not grieve
me. Remove him; and do with him as I have commanded.”

Her injunctions were obeyed, and the inanimate body of Dudley was
carried away.

Renard was proceeding to inform the queen that the insurgents had been
driven from the Brass Mount, when a messenger arrived, with tidings that
another success had been gained—Sir Henry Jerningham having encountered
the detachment under the Duke of Suffolk, and driven them back to
their vessels, was about to assist the Earl of Pembroke and Sir Henry
Bedingfeld in a sally upon Sir Thomas Wyat’s party. This news so
enchanted Mary, that she took a valuable ring from her finger and
presented it to the messenger, saying—“I will double thy fee, good
fellow, if thou wilt bring me word that Wyat is slain, and his
traitorous band utterly routed.”

Scarcely had the messenger departed, when another appeared. He brought
word that several vessels had arrived off the Tower, and attacked the
squadron under the command of Admiral Winter; that all the vessels,
with the exception of one, on board which the Duke of Suffolk had taken
refuge, had struck; and that her majesty might now feel assured of a
speedy conquest. At this news, Mary immediately fell on her knees, and
cried—“I thank thee, O Lord! not that thou hast vouchsafed me a victory
over my enemies, but that thou hast enabled me to triumph over thine.”

“The next tidings your highness receives will be that the siege
is raised,” observed Renard, as the queen arose; “and, with your
permission, I will be the messenger to bring it.”

“Be it so,” replied Mary. “I would now gladly be alone.”

As Renard issued from the principal entrance of the White

Tower, and was about to cross the Green, he perceived a small group
collected before Saint Peter’s Chapel, and at once guessing its meaning,
he hastened towards it. It was just beginning to grow light, and objects
could be imperfectly distinguished. As Renard drew nigh, he perceived a
circle formed round a soldier whose breast-plate, doublet, and ruff had
been removed, and who was kneeling with his arms crossed upon his breast
beside a billet of wood. Near him, on the left, stood Manger, with his
axe upon his shoulder, and on the right, Gardiner holding a crucifix
towards him, and earnestly entreating him to die in the faith of Rome;
promising him, in case of compliance, a complete remission of his sins.
Bret, for he it was, made no answer, but appeared, from the convulsive
movement of his lips, to be muttering a prayer. Out of patience, at
length Gardiner gave the signal to Mauger, and the latter motioned the
rebel captain to lay his head upon the piece of timber. The practised
executioner performed his task with so much celerity that a minute had
not elapsed before the head was stricken from the body, and placed
on the point of a spear. While the apparatus of death and the
blood-streaming trunk were removed, Xit, who was one of the spectators,
seized the spear with its grisly burden, and, bending beneath the load,
bore it towards the By-ward Tower. A man-at-arms preceded him, shouting
in a loud voice, “Thus perish all traitors.”

Having seen this punishment inflicted, Renard hastened towards the
By-ward Tower, and avoiding the concourse that flocked round Xit and his
sanguinary trophy, took a shorter cut, and arrived there before them.
He found Pembroke and Bedingfeld, as the messenger had stated, prepared
with a large force to make a sally upon the insurgents. The signal was
given by renewed firing from the roof and loopholes of the Middle Tower.
Wyat, who had retired under the gateway of that fortification, and had
drawn up his men in the open space behind it, now advanced at their head
to the attack. At this moment, the portcullis of the By-ward Tower was
again raised, and the royalists issued from it. Foremost among them were
the giants. The meeting of the two hosts took place in the centre of
the bridge, and the shock was tremendous. For a short time, the
result appeared doubtful. But the superior numbers, better arms, and
discipline, of the queen’s party, soon made it evident on which side
victory would incline.

If conquest could have been obtained by personal bravery, Wyat would
have been triumphant. Wherever the battle raged most fiercely he was to
be found. He sought out Bedingfeld, and failing in reaching him, cut his
way to the Earl of Pembroke, whom he engaged and would have slain, if
Og had not driven him off with his exterminating mace. The tremendous
prowess of the gigantic brethren, indeed, contributed in no slight
degree to the speedy termination of the fight. Their blows were
resistless, and struck such terror into their opponents, that a retreat
was soon begun, which Wyat found it impossible to check. Gnashing his
teeth with anger, and uttering ejaculations of rage, he was compelled to
follow his flying forces. His anger was vented against Gog. He aimed
a terrible blow at him, and cut through his partizan, but his sword
shivered against his morion. A momentary rally was attempted in the
court between the Lion’s Gate and the Bulwark Gate; but the insurgents
were speedily, driven out. On reaching Tower Hill, Wyat succeeded in
checking them; and though he could not compel them to maintain their
ground; he endeavoured, with a faithful band, to cover the retreat of
the main body to London Bridge. Perceiving his aim, Pembroke sent off
a detachment under Bedingfeld, by Tower-street, to intercept the front
ranks while he attacked the rear. But Wyat beat off his assailants, made
a rapid retreat down Thames-street, and after a skirmish with Bedingfeld
at the entrance of the bridge, in which he gained a decided advantage,
contrived to get his troops safely across it, with much less loss than
might have been anticipated. Nor was this all. He destroyed the planks
which had afforded him passage, and took his measures so well and so
expeditiously on the Southwark side, that Pembroke hesitated to cross
the bridge and attack him. >

The Tower, however, was delivered from its assailants. The three giants
pursued the flying foe to the Bulwark Gate, and then returned to the
Middle Tower, which was yet occupied by a number of Wyat’s party, and
summoned them to surrender! The command was refused, unless accompanied
by a pardon. The giants said nothing more, but glanced significantly at
each other. Magog seized a ram, which had been left by the assailants,
and dashed it against the door on the left of the gateway. A few
tremendous blows sufficed to burst it open. Finding no one within the
lower chamber, they ascended the winding stone staircase, their progress
up which was opposed, but ineffectually, by the insurgents. Magog pushed
forward like a huge bull, driving his foes from step to step till they
reached the roof, where a short but furious encounter took place. The
gigantic brethren fought back to back, and committed such devastation
among their foes, that those who were left alive threw down their arms,
and begged for quarter. Disregarding their entreaties, the giants hurled
them over the battlements. Some were drowned in the moat, while others
wore dashed to pieces in the court below. “It is thus,” observed Magog
with a grim smile to his brethren, as the work of destruction was ended,
“that the sons of the Tower avenge the insults offered to their parent.”

On descending, they found Xit stationed in the centre of the bridge,
carrying the spear with Bret’s head upon it. The dwarf eagerly inquired
whether they had taken Wyat; and being answered in the negative,
expressed his satisfaction.

“The achievement is reserved for me,” he cried; “no more laughter, my
masters,—no more familiarity. I am about to receive knighthood from the
queen.” This announcement, however, so far from checking the merriment
of the giants, increased it to such a degree, that the irascible
mannikin dashed the gory head in their faces, and would have attacked
them with the spear, if they had not disarmed him.

By this time, Sir Henry Bedingfeld had returned from the pursuit of the
rebels. Many prisoners had been taken, and conveyed, by his directions,
to a secure part of the fortress. Exerting-himself to the utmost, and
employing a large body of men in the work, the damages done to the
different defences of the fortress were speedily repaired, the bodies of
the slain thrown into the river, and all rendered as secure as before.
The crews on board Winter’s squadron had surrendered; but their
commander, together with the Duke of Suffolk, had escaped, having
been put ashore in a small boat. Conceiving all lost, and completely
panic-stricken, the Duke obtained horses for himself and a few
companions, and riding to Shene, where he had appointed a meeting with
his brother, Lord Thomas Grey, set off with him, at full speed, for
Coventry, the inhabitants of which city he imagined were devoted to
him. But he soon found out his error. Abandoned by his adherents, and
betrayed into the hands of the Earl of Huntingdon, who had been sent
after him, he was shortly afterwards brought a prisoner to the Tower.

Not to anticipate events, such was the expedition used, that in less
than an hour, Bedingfeld conveyed to the queen the intelligence that all
damage done by the besiegers was repaired, and that her loss had been
trifling compared with that of her enemies. He found her surrounded by
her nobles; and on his appearance she arose, and advanced a few steps to
meet him.

“You have discharged your office right well, Sir Henry,” she said; “and
if we deprive you of it for a while, it is because we mean to intrust
you with a post of yet greater importance.”

“Whatever office your majesty may intrust me with, I will gladly accept
it,” replied Bedingfeld.

“It is our pleasure, then, that you set out instantly with the Earl
of Sussex to Ashbridge,” returned Mary, “and attach the person of the
Princess Elizabeth. Here is your warrant. Bring her alive or dead.” #

“Alas!” exclaimed Bedingfeld, “is this the task your highness has
reserved for me?”

“It is,” replied Mary; and she added in a lower tone, “you are the only
man to whom I could confide it.”

“I must perforce obey, since your majesty wills it—but—”

“You must set out at once,” interrupted Mary—“Sir Thomas Brydges shall
be lieutenant of the Tower in your stead. We reserve you for greater

Bedingfeld would have remonstrated, but seeing the queen was immoveable,
he signified his compliance, and having received further instructions,
quitted the presence to make preparations for his departure.

The last efforts of the insurgents must be briefly told. After allowing
his men a few hours’ rest, Wyat made a forced march to Kingston, and
hastily repairing the bridge, which had been broken down, with planks,
ladders, and beams tied together, passed over it with his ordnance and
troops in safety, and proceeded towards London. In consequence of a
delay that occurred on the road, his plan was discovered, and the Earl
of Pembroke, having by this time collected a considerable army, drew up
his forces in Saint James’s fields to give him battle.

A desperate skirmish took place, in which the insurgents, disheartened
by their previous defeat, were speedily worsted. Another detachment,
under the command of Knevet, were met and dispersed at Charing Cross,
by Sir Henry Jerningham, and would have been utterly destroyed, but
that they could not be distinguished from the royalists, except by their
muddy apparel, which occasioned the cry among the victors of “Down with
the draggle-tails.”

Wyat himself, who was bent upon entering the city, where he expected to
meet with great aid from Throckmorton, dashed through all opposition,
and rode as far as the Belle Sauvage (even then a noted hostel), near
Ludgate. Finding the gate shut, and strongly defended, he rode back
as quickly as he came to Temple Bar, where he was encountered by Sir
Maurice Berkeley, who summoned him to surrender, and seeing it was
useless to struggle further, for all his companions had deserted him, he
complied. His captor carried him to the Earl of Pembroke; and as soon
as it was known that the rebel-leader was taken, the army was disbanded,
and every man ordered to return to his home. Proclamation was next made
that no one, on pain of death, should harbour any of Wyat’s faction, but
should instantly deliver them up to the authorities.

That same night Wyat, together with Knevet, Cobham, and ethers of his
captains, were taken to the Tower by water. As Wyat, who was the last to
disembark, ascended the steps of Traitor’s Gate, Sir Henry Brydges, the
new lieutenant, seized him by the collar, crying, “Oh! thou base and
unhappy traitor! how could’st thou find in thy heart to work such
detestable treason against the queen’s majesty? Were it not that the law
must pass upon thee, I would stab thee with my dagger.”

Holding his arms to his side, and looking at him, as the old chroniclers
report, “grievously, with a grim look,” Wyat answered, “It is no mastery
now.” Upon which, he was conveyed with the others to the Beauchamp


Towards the close of the day following that on which the rebels were
defeated, a boat, rowed by a single waterman, shot London Bridge, and
swiftly approached the Tower wharf. It contained two persons, one of
whom, apparently a female, was so closely muffled in a cloak that
her features could not be discerned; while her companion, a youthful
soldier, equipped in his full accoutrements, whose noble features were
clouded with sorrow, made no attempt at concealment. As they drew near
the stairs, evidently intending to disembark, the sentinels presented
their arquebusses at them, and ordered them to keep off; but the young
man immediately arose, and said that having been concerned in the late
insurrection, they were come to submit themselves to the queen’s mercy.
This declaration excited some surprise among the soldiers, who were
inclined to discredit it, and would not have suffered them to land,
if an officer of the guard, attracted by what was passing, had not
interfered, and granted the request. By his command, they were taken
across the draw-bridge opposite the stairs, and placed within the
guard-room near the By-ward Tower. Here the officer who had accompanied
them demanded their names and condition, in order to report them to the

“I am called Cuthbert Cholmondeley,” replied the young man, “somewhile
esquire to Lord Guilford Dudley.”

“You bore that rebel lord’s standard in the attack on the Brass
Mount—did you not?” demanded the officer, sternly.

“I did,” replied Cholmondeley.

“Then you have delivered yourself to certain death, young man,” rejoined
the officer. “What madness has brought you hither? The queen will show
you no mercy, and blood enough will-flow upon the scaffold without yours
being added to the stream.”

“I desire only to die with my master,” replied Cholmondeley.

“Where is Lord Guilford Dudley?” demanded the muffled’ female, in a tone
of the deepest emotion.

“Confined in one of the secret dungeons—but I may not answer you
further, madam,” replied the officer.

“Are his wounds dangerous?” she continued, in a tone of the deepest

“They are not mortal, madam,” he answered. “He will live long enough to
expiate his offences on the scaffold.”

“Ah!” she exclaimed with difficulty, repressing a scream.

“No more of this—if you are a man,” cried Cholmondeley, fiercely. “You
know not whom you address.” *

“I partly guess.” replied the officer, with a compassionate look. “I
respect your sorrows, noble lady—but oh! why—why are you here? I would
willingly serve you—nay, save you—but it is out of my power.”

“My presence here must show you, sir, that I have no wish to avoid the
punishment I have incurred,” she replied. “I am come to submit myself
to the queen. But if you would serve me—serve me without danger to
yourself, or departure from your duty—you will convey this letter
without delay to her highness’s own hand.”

“It may be matter of difficulty,” rejoined the officer, “for her majesty
is at this moment engaged in a secret conference in the Hall Tower,
with the chancellor and the Spanish ambassador. Nay, though I would
not further wound your feelings, madam, she is about to sign the
death-warrants of the rebels.”

“The more reason, then,” she replied, in accents of supplicating
eagerness, “that it should be delivered instantly. Will you take it?”

The officer replied in the affirmative.

“Heaven’s blessing upon you!” she fervently ejaculated. Committing the
captives to the guard, and desiring that every attention, consistent
with their situation, should be shown them, the officer departed. Half
an hour elapsed before his return, and during the interval but few words
were exchanged between Cholmondeley and his companion. When the officer
reappeared, she rushed towards him, and inquired what answer he brought.

“Your request is granted, madam,” he replied. “I am commanded to bring
you to the queen’s presence; and may your suit to her highness prove as
successful as your letter! You are to be delivered to the chief jailor,
sir,” he added to Chol-mondeley, “and placed in close custody.”

As he spoke, Nightgall entered the guard-room. At the sight of his hated
rival, an angry flush rose to the esquire’s countenance—nor was his
wrath diminished by the other’s exulting looks.

“You will not have much further power over me,” he observed, in answer
to the jailor’s taunts. “Cicely, like Alexia, is out of the reach of
your malice. And I shall speedily join them.”

“You are mistaken,” retorted Nightgall, bitterly. “Cicely yet lives; and
I will wed her on the day of your execution. Bring him away,” he
added, to his assistants. “I shall take him, in the first place, to
the torture-chamber, and thence to the subterranean dungeons. I have an
order to rack him.”

“Farewell, madam,” said the esquire, turning from him, and prostrating
himself before his companion, who appeared in the deepest anguish; “we
shall meet no more on earth.”

“I have destroyed you,” she cried. “But for your devotion to me, you
might be now in safety.”

“Think not of me, madam—I have nothing to live for,” replied the
esquire, pressing her hand to his lips. “Heaven support you in this
your last, and greatest, and—as I can bear witness—most unmerited trial.
Farewell, for ever!”

“Ay, for ever!” repeated the lady. And she followed the officer; while
Cholmondeley was conveyed by Nightgall and his assistants to the secret
entrance of the subterranean dungeons near the Devilin Tower.

Accompanied by his charge, who was guarded by two halberdiers, the
officer proceeded along the southern ward, in the direction of the Hall
Tower—a vast circular structure, standing on the east of Bloody Tower.


This fabric, (sometimes called the Wakefield Tower from the prisoners
confined within it, after the battle of that name in 1460, and more
recently the Record Tower, from the use to which it has been put,) is
one of the oldest in the fortress, and though not coeval with the White
Tower, dates back as far as the reign of William Rufus, by whom it was
erected. It contains two large octagonal chambers,—that on the upper
story being extremely lofty, with eight deep and high embrazures,
surmounted by pointed arches, and separated by thin columns, springing
from the groined arches formerly supporting the ceiling, which though
unfortunately destroyed, corresponded, no doubt, with the massive and
majestic character of the apartment. In this room tradition asserts that

—the aspiring blood of Lancaster

Sank in the ground:—

—it being the supposed scene of the murder of Henry the Sixth by the
ruthless Gloster. And whatever doubts may be entertained as to the truth
of that dark legend, it cannot be denied that the chamber itself seems
stamped with the gloomy character of the occurrence. In recent times, it
has been devoted to a more peaceful purpose, and is now fitted up with
presses containing the most ancient records of the kingdom. The room on
the basement floor is of smaller dimensions, and much less lofty. The
recesses, however, are equally deep, though not so high, and are headed
by semicircular arches. At high tides it is flooded, and a contrivance
for the escape of the water has been made in the floor.

Passing through an arched doorway on the east of this structure, where
the entrance to the Record Office now stands, the officer conducted
his prisoner up a spiral stone staircase, and left her in a small
antechamber, while he announced her arrival. The unhappy lady still kept
herself closely muffled. But though her features and figure were hidden,
it was evident she trembled violently. In another moment, the officer
reappeared, and motioning her to follow him, led the way along a narrow
passage, at the end of which hangings were drawn aside by two ushers,
and she found herself in the presence of the queen.

Mary was seated at a table, near which stood Gardiner and Renard, and at
the new-comer’s appearance she instantly arose.

The interview about to be related took place in the large octangular
chamber previously described. It was sumptuously furnished: the walls
were hung with arras from the looms of Flanders, and the deep recesses
occupied with couches, or sideboards loaded with costly cups and

Hastily advancing towards the queen, the lady prostrated herself at her
feet, and, throwing aside her disguise, revealed the features of Jane.
She extended her hands supplicatingly towards Mary, and fixed her
streaming eyes upon her, but was for some moments unable to speak.


“I am come to submit myself to your highness’s mercy,” she said, as soon
as she could find utterance.

“Mercy!” exclaimed Mary, scornfully. “You shall receive justice, but no

“I neither deserve, nor desire it,” replied Jane. “I have deeply, but
not wilfully—Heaven is my witness!—offended your majesty, and I will
willingly pay the penalty of my fault.”

“What would you with me?” demanded Mary. “I have acceded to this
interview in consideration of your voluntary submission. But be brief. I
have important business before me, and my heart is steeled to tears and

“Say not so, gracious madam,” rejoined Jane. “A woman’s heart can never
be closed to the pleadings of the unfortunate of her own sex, still less
the heart of one so compassionate as your highness. I do not sue for

“For whom, then?” demanded the queen.

“For my husband,” replied Jane.

“I am about to sign his death-warrant,1’ replied Mary, in a freezing

“I will not attempt to exculpate him, madam,” returned Jane, restraining
her emotion by a powerful effort, “for his offence cannot be extenuated.
Nay, I deplore his rashness as much as your highness can condemn it.
But I am well assured that vindictiveness is no part of your royal
nature—that you disdain to crush a fallen foe—and that, when the
purposes of justice are answered, no sentiments but those of clemency
will sway your bosom. I myself, contrary to my own wishes, have been
the pretext for the late insurrection, and it is right I should suffer,
because while my life remains, your highness may not feel secure. But my
husband has no claims, pretended or otherwise, to the throne, and when
I am removed, all fear of him will be at an end. Let what I have done
speak my sincerity. I could have escaped to France, if I had chosen. But
I did not choose to accept safety on such terms. Well knowing with whom
I had to deal—knowing also that my life is of more importance than my
husband’s, I have come to offer myself for him. If your highness has any
pity for me, extend it to him, and heap his faults on my head.”

“Jane,” said Mary, much moved—“you love your husband devotedly.”

“I need not say I love him better than my life, madam,” replied Jane,
“for my present conduct will prove that I do so. But I love him so well,
that even his treason to your highness, to whom he already owes his
life, cannot shake it. Oh, madam! as you hope to be happy in your union
with the Prince of Spain—as you trust to be blessed with a progeny which
shall continue on the throne of this kingdom—spare my husband—spare him
for my sake.”

“For your sake, Jane, I would spare him,” replied Mary, in a tone of
great emotion, “but I cannot.”

“Cannot, madam!” cried Jane—“you are an absolute queen, and who shall
say you nay? Not your council—not your nobles—not your people—not
your own heart. Your majesty can and will pardon him. Nay, I read your
gracious purpose in your looks. You will pardon him, and your clemency
shall do more to strengthen your authority than the utmost severity
could do.”

“By Saint Paul!” whispered Renard to Gardiner, who had listened with
great interest to the conference, and now saw with apprehension
the effect produced on Mary, “she will gain her point, if we do not

“Leave it to me,” replied Gardiner. “Your majesty will do well to accede
to the Lady Jane’s request,” he remarked aloud to the queen, “provided
she will comply with your former proposition, and embrace the faith of

“Ay,” replied Mary, her features suddenly lighting up, “on these terms I
will spare him. But your reconciliation with our holy church,” she added
to Jane, “must be public.”

“Your highness will not impose these fatal conditions upon me,” cried
Jane, distractedly.

“On no other will I accede,” replied Mary, peremptorily. “Nay, I have
gone too far already. But my strong sympathy for you as a wife, and
my zeal for my religion, are my inducements. Embrace our faith, and I
pardon your husband.”

“I cannot,” replied Jane, in accents of despair; “I will die for him,
but I cannot destroy my soul alive.”

“Then you shall perish together,” replied Mary, fiercely. “What ho!
guards. Let the Lady Grey be conveyed to the Brick Tower, and kept a
close prisoner during our pleasure.” And, waving her hand, Jane was
removed by the attendants, while Mary seated herself at the table, and
took up some of the papers with which it was strewn, to conceal her

“You struck the right key, my lord,—bigotry,” observed Renard, in an
under tone to Gardiner.


Charged with the painful and highly-responsible commission imposed
upon him by the queen, Sir Henry Bedingfeld, accompanied by the Earl
of Sussex and three others of the council, Sir Richard Southwell, Sir
Edward Hastings, and Sir Thomas Cornwallis, with a large retinue, and
a troop of two hundred and fifty horse, set out for Ashbridge, where
Elizabeth had shut herself up previously to the outbreak of Wyat’s
insurrection. On their arrival, they found her confined to her room with
real or feigned indisposition, and she refused to appear; but as their
mission did not admit of delay, they were compelled to force their way
to her chamber. The haughty princess, whose indignation was roused to
the highest pitch by the freedom, received them in such manner as to
leave no doubt how she would sway the reins of government, if they
should ever come within her grasp.

“I am guiltless of all design against my sister,” she said, “and I shall
easily convince her of my innocence. And then look well, sirs—you that
have abused her authority—that I requite not your scandalous treatment.”

“I would have willingly declined the office,” replied Bedingfeld; “but
the queen was peremptory. It will rejoice me to find you can clear
yourself with her highness, and I am right well assured, when you think
calmly of the matter, you will acquit me and my companions of blame.”

And he formed no erroneous estimate of Elizabeth’s character. With all
her proneness to anger, she had the strongest sense of justice. Soon
after her accession, she visited the old knight at his seat, Oxburgh
Hall, in Norfolk;—still in the possession of his lineal descendant, the
present Sir Henry Bedingfeld, and one of the noblest mansions in
the county,—and, notwithstanding his adherence to the ancient faith,
manifested the utmost regard for him, playfully terming him “her

Early the next morning, Elizabeth was placed in a litter, with her
female attendants; and whether from the violence of her passion, or that
she had not exaggerated her condition, she swooned, and on her recovery
appeared so weak that they were obliged to proceed slowly. During the
whole of the journey, which occupied five days, though it might have
been easily accomplished in one, she was strictly guarded;—the greatest
apprehension being entertained of an attempt at rescue by some of her
party. On the last day, she robed herself in white, in token of her
innocence; and on her way to Whitehall, where the queen was staying,
she drew aside the curtains of her litter, and displayed a countenance,
described in Renard’s despatches to the Emperor, as “proud, lofty,
and superbly disdainful,—an expression assumed to disguise her
mortification.” On her arrival at the palace, she earnestly entreated an
audience of her majesty, but the request was refused.

That night Elizabeth underwent a rigorous examination by Gardiner and
nineteen of the council, touching her privity to the conspiracy of
De Noailles, and her suspected correspondence with Wyat. She admitted
having received letters from the French ambassador on behalf of
Courtenay, for whom, notwithstanding his unworthy conduct, she
still owned she entertained the warmest affection, but denied any
participation in his treasonable practices, and expressed the utmost
abhorrence of Wyat’s proceedings. Her assertions, though stoutly
delivered, did not convince her interrogators, and Gardiner told her
that Wyat had confessed on the rack that he had written to her, and
received an answer.

“Ah! says the traitor so?” cried Elizabeth. “Confront me with him, and
if he will affirm as much to my face, I will own myself guilty.”

“The Earl of Devonshire has likewise confessed, and has offered to
resign all pretensions to your hand, and to go into exile, provided the
queen will spare his life,” rejoined Gardiner.

“Courtenay faithless!” exclaimed the princess, all her haughtiness
vanishing, and her head, declining upon her bosom, “then it is time I
went to the Tower. You may spare yourselves the trouble of questioning
me further, my lords, for by my faith I will not answer you another
word—-no, not even if you employ the rack.”

Upon this, the council departed. Strict watch was kept over her during
the night. Above a hundred of the guard were stationed within the
palace-gardens, and a great fire was lighted in the hall, before which
Sir Henry Bedingfeld and the Earl of Sussex, with a large band of armed
men, remained till day-breaks At nine o’clock, word was brought to the
princess that the tide suited for her conveyance to the Tower. It was
raining heavily, and Elizabeth refused to stir forth on the score of
her indisposition. But Bedingfeld told her the queen’s commands were
peremptory, and besought her not to compel him to use force. Seeing
resistance was in vain, she consented with an ill grace, and as she
passed through the garden to the water-side, she cast her eyes
towards the windows of the palace, in the hope of seeing Mary, but was

The rain continued during the whole of her passage, and the appearance
of every thing on the river was as dismal and depressing as her own
thoughts. But Elizabeth was not of a nature to be easily subdued.
Rousing all her latent energy, she bore up firmly against her distress.
An accident had well nigh occurred as they shot London Bridge. She had
delayed her departure so long that the fall was considerable, and the
prow of the boat struck upon the ground with such force as almost to
upset it, and it was some time before it righted. Elizabeth was wholly
unmoved by their perilous situation, and only remarked that “She would
that the torrent had sunk them.” Terrible as the stern old fortress
appeared to those who approached it under similar circumstances, to
Elizabeth it assumed its most appalling aspect. Gloomy at all times,
it looked gloomier than usual now, with the rain driving against it
in heavy scuds, and the wind, whistling round its ramparts and
fortifications, making the flag-staff and the vanes on the White Tower
creak, and chilling the sentinels exposed to its fury to the bone. The
storm agitated the river, and the waves more than once washed over the
sides of the boat.

“You are not making for Traitors Gate,” cried Elizabeth, seeing that the
skiff was steered in that direction; “it is not fit that the daughter of
Henry the Eighth should land at those steps.”

“Such are the queen’s commands,” replied Bedingfeld, sorrowfully. “I
dare not for my head disobey.”

“I will leap overboard sooner,” rejoined Elizabeth.

“I pray your highness to have patience,” returned Bedingfeld,
restraining her. “It would be unworthy of you—of your great father, to
take so desperate a step.”

Elizabeth compressed her lips and looked sternly at the old knight, who
made a sign to the rowers to use their utmost despatch; and, in another
moment, they shot beneath the gloomy gateway. The awful effect of
passing under this dreadful arch has already been described, and
Elizabeth, though she concealed her emotion, experienced its full
horrors. The Water-gate revolved on its massive hinges, and the boat
struck against the foot of the steps. Sussex and Bedingfeld, and the
rest of the guard and her attendants, then landed, while Sir Thomas
Brydges, the new lieutenant, with several warders, advanced to the
top of the steps to receive her. But she would not move, but continued
obstinately in the boat, saying, “I am no traitor, and do not choose to
land here.”

“You shall not choose, madam,’” replied Bedingfeld, authoritatively.
“The queen’s orders must, and shall be obeyed. Disembark, I pray you,
without more ado, or it will go hardly with you.”

“This from von, Bedingfeld,” rejoined Elizabeth, reproachfully, “and at
such a time, too?”

“I have no alternative,’” replied the knight.

“Well then, I will not put you to further shame,” replied the princess,

“Will it please you to take my cloak as a protection against the rain?”
said Bedingfeld, offering it to her. But she pushed it aside “with a
good dash,” as old Fox relates; and springing on the steps, cried in a
loud voice, “Here lands as true a subject, being prisoner, as ever set
foot on these stairs. And before thee, O God, I speak it, having no
other friend but thee.” *

“Your highness is unjust,” replied Bedingfeld, who stood bare-headed
beside her; “you have many friends, and amongst them none more zealous
than myself. And if I counsel you to place some restraint upon your
conduct, it is because I am afraid it may be disadvantageous reported to
the queen.”

“Say what you please of me, sir,” replied Elizabeth; “I will not be told
how I am to act by you, or any one.”

“At least move forward, madam,” implored Bedingfeld; “you will be
drenched to the skin if you tarry here longer, and will fearfully
increase your fever.”

“What matters it if I do?” replied Elizabeth, seating herself on the
damp step, while the shower descended in torrents upon her. “I will move
forward at my own pleasure—not at your bidding. And let us see whether
you will dare to use force towards me.”

“Nay, madam, if you forget yourself, I will not forget what is due to
your father’s daughter,” replied Bedingfeld, “you shall have ample time
for reflection.”

The deeply-commiserating and almost paternal tone in which this reproof
was delivered touched the princess sensibly; and glancing round, she was
further moved by the mournful looks of her attendants, many of whom
were deeply affected, and wept audibly. As soon as her better feelings
conquered, she immediately yielded to them; and, presenting her hand to
the old knight, said, “You are right, and I am wrong, Bedingfeld. Take
me to my dungeon.”



The Tower was now thronged with illustrious prisoners. All the principal
personages concerned in the late rebellion, with the exception of Sir
Peter Carew, who had escaped to France, were confined within its walls;
and the queen and her council wore unremittingly employed in their
examinations. The Duke of Suffolk had written and subscribed his
confession, throwing himself upon the royal mercy; Lord Guilford
Dudley, who was slowly recovering from his wound, refused to answer any
interrogatories; while Sir Thomas Wyat, whose constancy was shaken
by the severity of the torture to which he was exposed, admitted his
treasonable correspondence with Elizabeth and Courtenay, and charged De
Noailles with being the originator of the plot. The latter was likewise
a prisoner. But as it was not the policy of England, at that period,
to engage in a war with France, he was merely placed under personal
restraint until an answer could be received from Henry the Second, to
whom letters had been sent by Mary.

Well instructed as to the purport of these despatches, and confident of
his sovereigns protection, De Noailles felt little uneasiness as to
his situation, and did not even despair of righting himself by some
master-stroke. His grand object was to remove Renard; and as he could
not now accomplish this by fair means, he determined to have recourse
to foul; and to procure his assassination. Confined, with certain of his
suite, within the Flint Tower, he was allowed, at stated times, to take
exercise on the Green, and in other parts of the fortress, care
being taken to prevent him from holding communication with the other
prisoners, or, indeed, with any one except his attendants. De Noailles,
however, had a ready and unsuspected instrument at hand. This was his
jailor, Lawrence Nightgall, with whom he had frequent opportunities of
conversing, and whom he had already sounded on the subject. Thus,
while every dungeon in the fortress was filled with the victims of his
disastrous intrigues; while its subterranean chambers echoed with the
groans of the tortured; while some expired upon the rack, others were
secretly executed, and the public scaffold was prepared for sufferers of
the highest rank; while the axe and the block were destined to frequent
and fearful employment, and the ensanguined ground thirsted for the best
and purest blood in England; while such was the number of captives that
all the prisons in London were insufficient to contain them, and they
were bestowed within the churches; while twenty pairs of gallows were
erected in the public places of the city, and the offenders with whom
they were loaded left to rot upon them as a terrible example to the
disaffected; while universal dread and lamentation prevailed,—the
known author of all this calamity remained, from prudential reasons,
unpunished, and pursued his dark and dangerous machinations as before.

One night, when he was alone, Nightgall entered his chamber, and,
closing the door, observed, with a mysterious look,—“Your excellency has
thrown out certain dark hints to me of late. You can speak safely now,
and I pray you do so plainly. What do you desire me to do?”

Do Noailles looked scrutinizingly at him, as if he feared some
treachery. But at length, appearing satisfied, he said abruptly,
“I desire Renards assassination. His destruction is of the utmost
importance to my king.”

“It is a great crime,” observed Nightgall, musingly.

“The reward will be proportionate,” rejoined De Noailles.. “What does
your excellency offer?” asked Nightgall.

“A thousand angels of gold,” replied the ambassador, “and a post at the
court of France, if you will fly thither when the deed is done.”

“By my troth, a tempting offer,” rejoined Nightgall. “But I am under
great obligations to M. Simon Renard. He appointed me to my present
place. It would appear ungrateful to kill him.”

“Pshaw!” exclaimed De Noailles, contemptuously. “You are not the man
to let such idle scruples stand in the way of your fortune. Renard only
promoted you because you were useful to him. And he would sacrifice you
as readily, if it suited his purpose. He will serve you better dead than

“It is a bargain,” replied Nightgall. “I have the keys of the
subterranean passages, and can easily get out of the Tower when I have
despatched him. Your excellency can fly with me if you think proper.”

“On no account,” rejoined De Noailles. “I must not appear in the matter.
Come to me when the deed is done, and I will furnish you with means for
your flight, and with a letter to the king of France, which shall ensure
you your reward when you reach Paris. But it must be done quickly.”

“It shall be done to-morrow night,” replied Nightgall. “Fortunately, M.
Renard has chosen for his lodgings the chamber in the Bloody Tower in
which the two princes were murdered.”

“A fitting spot for his own slaughter,” remarked De Noailles, drily. “It
is so, in more ways than one,” replied Nightgall; “for I can approach
him unawares by a secret passage, through which, when all is over,
escape will be easy.”

“Good!” exclaimed De Noailles, rubbing his hands gleefully. “I should
like to be with you at the time. Mortdieu! how I hate that man. He has
thwarted all my schemes. But I shall now have my revenge. Take this
ring and this purse in earnest of what is to follow, and mind you strike

“Fear nothing,” replied Nightgall, smiling grimly, and playing his
dagger; “the blow shall not need to be repeated. Your excellency’s plan
chimes well with a project of my own. There is a maiden whom I have long
sought, but vainly, to make my bride. I will carry her off with me to

“She will impede your flight,” observed De Noailles, hastily. “On all
difficult occasions, women are sadly in the way.”

“I cannot leave her,” rejoined Nightgall.

“Take her, then, in the devil’s name,” rejoined De Noailles, peevishly;
“and if she brings you to the gallows, do not forget my warning.”

“My next visit shall be to tell you your enemy is no more,” returned
Nightgall. “Before midnight to-morrow, you may expect me.” And he
quitted the chamber.

While his destruction was planned in the manner above-related, Simon
Renard was employing all his art to crush by one fell stroke all the
heads of the Protestant party. But he met with opposition from quarters
where he did not anticipate it. Though the queen was convinced of
Elizabeth’s participation in the plot, as well from Wyat’s confession,
who owned that he had written to her during his march to London,
offering to proclaim her queen, and had received favourable answers from
her,—as from the declaration of a son of Lord Russell, to the effect,
that he had delivered the despatches into her own hand, and brought back
her replies;—notwithstanding this, Mary refused to pass sentence upon
her, and affected to believe her innocent. Neither would she deal
harshly with Courtenay, though equally satisfied of his guilt; and
Renard, unable to penetrate her motives, began to apprehend that she
still nourished a secret attachment to him. The truth was, the princess
and her lover had a secret friend in Gardiner, who counteracted the
sanguinary designs of the ambassador. Baffled in this manner, Renard
determined to lose no time with the others. Already, by his agency, the
Duke of Suffolk, Lord Thomas Grey, and Wyat, were condemned—Dudley and
Jane alone were wanting to the list.

Touched, by a strong feeling of compassion for their youth, and yet more
by the devotion Jane had exhibited to her husband, Mary hesitated to
sign their death-warrant. She listened to all Renard’s arguments with
attention, but they failed to move her. She could not bring herself to
put a period to the existence of one whom she knew to be so pure, so
lovely, so loving, so blameless, as Jane. But Renard was determined to
carry his point.

“I will destroy them all,” he said; “but I will begin with Dudley and
Jane, and end with Courtenay and Elizabeth.”

During the examination of the conspirators, the queen, though she had
moved her court to Whitehall, passed much of her time at the Tower,
occupied in reading the depositions of the prisoners, or in framing
interrogatories to put to them. She also wrote frequent despatches to
the emperor, whose counsel she asked in her present difficulties; and
while thus occupied, she was often closeted for hours with Renard.

Whether by accident, or that the gloomy legend connected with it,
harmonising with his own sombre thoughts, gave it an interest in his
eyes, Renard had selected for his present lodging in the Tower, as
intimated by Nightgall, the chamber in which the two youthful princes
were destroyed. It might be that its contiguity to the Hall Tower, where
Mary now for the most part held her conferences with her council,
and with which it was connected by a secret passage, occasioned this
selection—or he might have been influenced by other motives—suffice it
to say he there took up his abode; and was frequently visited within it
by Mary. Occupying the upper story of the Bloody Tower, this mysterious
chamber looks on the north upon the ascent leading to the Green, and on
the south upon Saint Thomas’s Tower. It is now divided into two rooms
by a screen—that to the south being occupied as a bed-chamber; and
tradition asserts, that in this part of the room the “piece of ruthless
butchery,” which stamps it with such fearful interest, was perpetrated.
On the same side, between the outer wall and the chamber, runs a narrow
passage, communicating on the west with the ballium wall, and thence
with the lieutenant’s lodgings, by which the murderers are said to have
approached; and in the inner partition is a window, through which they
gazed upon their sleeping victims. On the east, the passage communicates
with a circular staircase, descending to a small vaulted chamber at the
right of the gateway, where the bodies were interred. In later times,
this mysterious room has been used as a prison-lodging. It was occupied
by Lord Ferrers during his confinement in the Tower, and more recently
by the conspirators Watson and Thistlewood.


On the evening appointed by Nightgall for the assassination of Renard,
the proposed victim and the queen were alone within this chamber. The
former had renewed all his arguments, and with greater force than ever,
and seeing he had produced the desired impression, he placed before her
the warrant for the execution of Jane and her husband.

“Your majesty will never wear your crown easily till you sign that
paper,” he said.

“I shall never wear it easily afterwards,” sighed Mary. “Do you not
remember Jane’s words? She told me, I should be fortunate in my union,
and my race should continue upon the throne, if I spared her husband.
They seem to me prophetic. If I sign this warrant, I may destroy my own

“Your highness will be not turned from your purpose by such idle fears,”
rejoined Renard, in as sarcastic a tone as he dared assume. “Not only
your throne may be endangered, if you suffer them to live, but the
Catholic religion.”

“True,” replied Mary, “I will no longer hesitate.”

And she attached her signature to the warrant.

Renard watched her with a look of such fiendish exultation, that an
unseen person who gazed at the moment into the room, seeing a tall
dark figure, dilated by the gloom, for it was deepening twilight, and a
countenance from which everything human was banished, thought he beheld
a demon, and, fascinated by terror, could not withdraw his eyes. At the
same moment, too, the queen’s favourite dog, which was couched at her
feet, and for a short time previously had been uttering a low growl, now
broke into a fierce bark, and sprang towards the passage-window. Mary
turned to ascertain the cause of the animal’s disquietude, and perceived
that it had stiffened in every joint, while its barking changed to a
dismal howl. Not without misgiving, she glanced towards the window—and
there, at the very place whence she had often heard that the murderers
had gazed upon the slumbering innocents before the bloody deed was
done—there, between those bars, she beheld a hideous black mask, through
the holes of which glared a pair of flashing orbs.


Repressing a cry of alarm, she called Renard’s attention to the object,
when she was equally startled by his appearance. He seemed transfixed
with horror, with his right hand extended towards the mysterious object,
and clenched, while the left grasped his sword. Suddenly, he regained
his consciousness, and drawing his rapier, dashed to the door,—but ere
he could open it, the mask had disappeared. He hurried along the passage
in the direction of the lieutenant’s lodgings, when he encountered some
one who appeared to be advancing towards him. Seizing this person by the
throat and presenting his sword to his breast, he found from the voice
that it was Nightgall.





As Elizabeth passed beneath the portal of the Bloody Tower, on her way
to the lieutenant’s lodgings, whither she was conducted after quitting
Traitor’s Gate, by Bedingfeld and Sussex, she encountered the giants,
who doffed their caps at her approach, and fell upon their knees. All
three were greatly affected, especially Magog, whose soft and sensitive
nature was completely overcome. Big tears rolled down his cheeks, and
in attempting to utter a few words of consolation, his voice failed him.
Touched by his distress, Elizabeth halted for a moment, and laying her
hand on his broad shoulder, said in a tone, and with a look calculated
to enforce her words, “Bear up, good fellow, and like a man. If I shed
no tears for myself, those who love me need shed none. It is the duty of
my friends to comfort—not to dishearten me. My ease is not so hopeless
as you think. The queen will never condemn the innocent, and unheard.
Get up, I say, and put a bold face on the matter, or you are not your
father’s son.”

Roused by this address, Magog obeyed, and rearing his bulky frame to
its full height, so that his head almost touched the spikes of the
portcullis, cried in a voice of thunder, “Would your innocence might be
proved by the combat, madam, as in our—” and he hesitated,—“I mean your
royal father’s time! I would undertake to maintain your truth against
any odds. Nay, I and my brethren would bid defiance to the whole host of
your accusers.”

“Though I may not claim you as champions,” replied Elizabeth; “I will
fight my own battle, as stoutly as you could fight it for me.”

“And your grace’s courage will prevail,” rejoined Og.

“My innocence will,” returned Elizabeth.

“Right,” cried Gog. “Your grace, I am assured, would no more harbour
disloyalty against the queen than we should; seeing that—”

“Enough,” interrupted the princess, hastily. “Farewell, good friends,”
she continued, extending her hand to them, which they eagerly pressed to
their lips, “farewell! be of good cheer. No man shall have cause to weep
for me.”

“This is a proud, though a sad day,” observed Og, who was the last
honoured by the princess’s condescension, “and will never be obliterated
from my memory. By my father’s beard!” he added, gazing rapturously
at the long, taper fingers he was permitted to touch, “it is the most
beautiful hand I ever beheld, and whiter than the driven snow.”

Pleased by the compliment—for she was by no means insensible to
admiration,—Elizabeth forgave its unseasonableness for its evident
sincerity, and smilingly departed. But she had scarcely ascended the
steps leading to the Green, when she was chilled by the sight of Renard,
who was standing at the northern entrance of the Bloody Tower, wrapped
in his cloak, and apparently waiting to see her pass.

As she drew near, he stepped forward, and made her a profound, but
sarcastic salutation. His insolence, however, failed in its effect
upon Elizabeth. Eyeing him with the utmost disdain, she observed to
Bedingfeld, “Put that Spanish knave out of my path. And he who will
remove him from the queen’s councils will do both her and me a good

“Your grace has sufficient room to pass,” returned Renard, with bitter
irony, and laying his hand upon the hilt of his sword, as if determined
to resist any attempt to remove him. “Your prison within the Bell Tower
is prepared, and if my counsels have any weight with her majesty, you
will quit it only to take the same path, and ascend the same scaffold as
your mother, Anne Boleyn.”

“Another such taunt,” cried Sussex, fiercely, “and neither the sacred
character of your office, nor the protection of the queen, shall save
you from my sword.”

And he thrust him forcibly backwards.

Elizabeth moved on at a slow and stately pace, while the guard closing
round her and Sussex, opposed the points of their halberds to the
infuriated ambassador.

“Your highness has increased Renard’s enmity,” observed Bedingfeld, with
a troubled look.

“I fear him not,” replied Elizabeth, dauntlessly. “Let him do his worst.
English honesty will ever prove more than a match for Spanish guile.”

Entering the lieutenant’s lodgings, and traversing the long gallery
already described as running in a westerly direction, Elizabeth soon
reached the upper chamber of the Bell Tower, which, she was informed by
Sir Thomas Brydges, was appointed for her prison.


“It is a sorry lodging for a king’s daughter,” she observed, “and for
one who may be queen of this realm. But since my sister will have it so,
I must make shift with it. How many attendants are allowed me?”

“One female,” replied Brydges.

“Why not deprive me of all?” cried the princess, passionately. “This
chamber will barely accommodate me. I will be alone.”

“As your grace pleases,’” replied Brydges, “but I cannot exceed my

“Can I write to the queen?” demanded Elizabeth.

“You will be furnished with writing-materials, if it is your purpose
to prepare your confession,” returned the lieutenant. “But it must
be delivered to the council, who will exercise their discretion as to
transmitting it to her highness.”

“Ah!” exclaimed the princess, “am I at their mercy?”

“Alas! madam, you are so,” replied Bedingfeld; “but the chancellor is
your friend.”

“I am not sure of it,” returned Elizabeth. “Oh! that I could see the
queen, were it but for one minute. My mother perished because she could
not obtain a hearing of my royal sire, whose noble nature was abused in
respect to her; and the Duke of Somerset himself told me, that if his
brother the Admiral had been allowed speech of him, he would never have
consented to his death. But it is ever thus. The throne is surrounded
by a baneful circle, whose business is to prevent the approach of truth.
They keep me from my sister’s presence, well knowing that I could clear
myself at once, while they fill her ears with false reports. Bedingfeld,
you are her faithful servant, and, therefore, not my enemy. Tell her, if
she will grant me an audience alone, or before her councillors, I will
either approve my innocence, or consent to lose my head. Above all,
implore her to let me be confronted with Wyat, that the truth may be
extorted from him.”

“The interview would little benefit your grace,” remarked Brydges. “Wyat
confesses your privity to the rebellion.”

“He lies,” replied Elizabeth, fiercely. “The words have been put into
his mouth with the vain hope of pardon. But he will recant them if he
sees me. He dare not—will not look me in the face, and aver that I am a
partner in his foul practices. But I will not believe it of him. Despite
his monstrous treason, he is too brave, too noble-minded, to act so
recreant a part.”

“Wyat has undergone the question ordinary, and extraordinary, madam,”
replied Brydges; “and though he endured the first with surprising
constancy, his fortitude sank under the severity of the latter

“I forgive him,” rejoined Elizabeth, in a tone of deep commiseration.
“But it proves nothing. He avowed thus much to escape further torture.”

“It may be,” returned Brydges, “and for your grace’s sake I hope it is
so. But his confession, signed with his own hand, has been laid before
the queen.”

“Ah!” exclaimed Elizabeth, sinking into the only seat which the dungeon

“I beseech your highness to compose yourself,” cried Bedingfeld,
compassionately. “We will withdraw and leave you to the care of your

“I want no assistance,” replied Elizabeth, recovering herself. “Will you
entreat her majesty to grant me an audience on the terms I have named,
and in the presence of Wyat?”

“It must be speedy, then,” remarked Brydges, “for he is adjudged to die

“To-morrow!” echoed Elizabeth. “Nay, then, good Bedingfeld, seek the
queen without delay. Implore her by the love she once bore me—by the
love I am assured she bears me still—to interrogate me before this
traitor. If he perishes with this confession uncontradicted, I am lost.”

“Your words shall be repeated to her highness,” replied Bedingfeld, “and
I will not fail to add my entreaties to your own. But I cannot give a
hope that your request will be granted.”

“It is fortunate for your highness that the queen visits the Tower
to-day,” observed Brydges. “Her arrival is momently expected. As I
live!” he exclaimed, as the bell was rung overhead, and answered by the
beating of drums and the discharge of cannon from the batteries, “she is

“It is Heaven’s interposition in my behalf,” cried Elizabeth, “Go to her
at once, Bedingfeld. Let not the traitor, Renard, get the start of you.
I may live to requite the service. Go—go.” #

The old knight obeyed, and the others immediately afterwards retired,
closing the door upon the princess, and placing a guard outside.

Left alone, Elizabeth flew to the narrow, and strongly-grated loophole,
commanding the southern ward, through which the queen must necessarily
pass on her way to the palace, in the hope of catching a glimpse of her.
She had not to wait long. Loud fanfares of trumpets resounded from the
gate of the By-ward Tower. These martial flourishes were succeeded by
the trampling of steeds, and fresh discharges of ordnance, and the next
moment, a numerous retinue of horse and foot emerged from the gateway.
Just as the royal litter appeared, it was stopped by Sir Henry
Bedingfeld, and the curtains were drawn aside by Mary’s own hand. It
was a moment of intense interest to Elizabeth, and she watched the
countenance of the old knight, as if her life depended upon each word he
uttered. At first, she could not see the queen’s face, but as Bedingfeld
concluded, Mary leaned forward, and looked up at the Bell Tower.
Uncertain whether she could be seen, Elizabeth determined to make her
presence known, and thrusting her hand through the bars, waved her
kerchief. Mary instantly drew back. The curtains of the litter were
closed; Bedingfeld stepped aside; and the cavalcade moved on.

“She will not see me!” cried Elizabeth, sinking back in despair. “I
shall perish like my mother.”

The princess’s agitation did not subside for some time. Expecting
Bedingfeld to return with the tidings that Mary had refused her request,
she listened anxiously to every sound, in the hope that it might
announce his arrival. Hour after hour passed by and he came not, and
concluding that he did not like to be the bearer of ill news, or what
was yet more probable, that he was not allowed to visit her, she made
up her mind to the worst. Elizabeth had not the same resources as Jane
under similar circumstances. Though sincerely religious, she had not
the strong piety that belonged to the other, nor could she, like her,
divorce herself from the world, and devote herself wholly to God.
Possessing the greatest fortitude, she had no resignation, and while
capable of enduring any amount of physical suffering, could not controul
her impatience. Her thoughts were bitter and mortifying enough, but she
felt no humiliation; and the only regrets she indulged were at having
acted so unwise a part. Scalding tears bedewed her cheeks—tears that
would never have been shed, if any one had been present; and her mingled
emotions of rage and despair were so powerful, that she had much ado to
overcome them. Ungovernable fury against Mary took possession of her,
and she pondered upon a thousand acts of revenge. Then came the dreadful
sense of her present situation—of its hopelessness—its despair. She
looked at the stone walls by which she was inclosed, and invoked them
to fall upon her and crush her—and she rushed towards the massive and
iron-girded door, as if she would dash herself against it with impotent
fury. Her breast was ravaged by fierce and conflicting passions; and
when she again returned to her seat, she grasped it convulsively to
prevent herself from executing the desperate deeds that suggested
themselves to her. In after years, when the crown was placed upon her
head, and she grasped one of the most powerful sceptres ever swayed by
female hand—when illustrious captives were placed in that very dungeon
by her command, and one royal victim, near almost to her as a sister,
lingered out her days in hopeless captivity, only to end them on the
block—at such seasons, she often recalled her own imprisonment—often
in imagination endured its agonies, but never once with a softened or
relenting heart. The sole thought that now touched her, and subdued
her violence, was that of Courtenay. Neither his unworthiness nor
his inconstancy could shake her attachment. She loved him deeply and
devotedly—with all the strength and fervour of her character; and though
she had much difficulty in saving him from her contempt, this feeling
did not abate the force of her regard. The idea that he would perish
with her, in some degree reconciled her to her probable fate.

Thus meditating, alternately roused by the wildest resentment, and
softened by thoughts of love, Elizabeth passed the remainder of the
day without interruption. Worn out, at length, she was about to dispose
herself to slumber, when the door was opened, and Sir Thomas Brydges,
accompanied by two serving-men and a female attendant, entered the room.
Provisions were placed before her by the men, who instantly withdrew,
and Brydges was about to follow, leaving the female attendant behind,
when Elizabeth stopped him, and inquired what answer Sir Henry
Bedingfeld had brought from the queen.

“My orders are to hold no communication with your grace,” replied the

“At least, tell me when I am to be examined by the council?” rejoined
Elizabeth. “The meanest criminal has a right to be so informed!”

But Brydges shook his head, and quitting the chamber, closed the door,
and barred it outside.

Controlling her feelings, as she was now no longer alone, Elizabeth
commanded her attendant to awaken her in an hour, and threw herself upon
the couch. Her injunctions were strictly complied with, and she arose
greatly refreshed. A lamp had been left her, and taking up a book of
prayers, she addressed herself to her devotions, and while thus occupied
her mind gradually resumed its composure. About midnight, the door was
opened by the lieutenant, who entered the room attended by Nightgall,
and two other officials in sable robes, while a guard of halberdiers,
bearing torches, remained without.

“I must request your grace to follow me,” said Brydges.

“Whither?” demanded Elizabeth, rising. “To the queen’s presence?”

The lieutenant made no answer.

“To the council?” pursued the princess,—“or to execution? No matter. I
am ready.” And she motioned the lieutenant to lead on.

Sir Thomas Brydges obeyed, and followed by the princess, traversed the
gallery, descended the great staircase, and entered a spacious chamber
on the ground floor. Here he paused for a moment, while a sliding panel
in the wall was opened, through which he and his companion passed.

A short flight of stone steps brought them to a dark narrow passage, and
they proceeded silently and slowly along it, until their progress was
checked by a strong iron door, which was unfastened and closed behind
them by Nightgall. The jarring of the heavy bolts, as they were shot
into their sockets, resounded hollowly along the arched roof of the
passage, and smote forcibly upon Elizabeth’s heart, and she required all
her constitutional firmness to support her.

They were now in one of those subterranean galleries, often described
before, on either side of which were cells, and the clangour called
forth many a dismal response. Presently afterwards, they arrived at the
head of a staircase, which Elizabeth descended, and found herself, in
the torture-chamber. A dreadful spectacle met her gaze. At one side of
the room, which was lighted by a dull lamp from the roof, and furnished
as before with numberless hideous implements—each seeming to have been
recently employed—sat, or rather was supported, a wretched man upon whom
every refinement of torture had evidently been practised. A cloak was
thrown over his lower limbs, but his ghastly and writhen features proved
the extremity of suffering to which he had been subjected. Elizabeth
could scarcely believe that in this miserable object, whom it would
have been a mercy to despatch, she beheld the once bold and haughty Sir
Thomas Wyat.

Placed on the corner of a leathern couch, and supported by Wolfytt and
Sorrocold, the latter of whom bathed his temples with some restorative,
Wyat fixed his heavy eyes upon the princess. But her attention was
speedily diverted from him to another person, whose presence checked her
feelings. This was the queen, who stood on one side, with Gardiner
and Renard. Opposite them was Courtenay, with his arms folded upon his
breast. The latter looked up as Elizabeth entered the chamber; and after
gazing at her for a moment, turned his regards, with an irrepressible
shudder, to Wyat. Knowing that her safety depended upon her firmness,
though her heart bled for the tortured man, Elizabeth disguised all
appearance of compassion, and throwing herself at the queen’s feet,
cried, “Heaven bless your highness, for granting me this interview! I
can now prove my innocence.”

“In what way?” demanded Mary coldly. “It would indeed rejoice me to
find I have been deceived. But I cannot shut my ears to the truth. Yon
traitor,” she continued, pointing to Wyat, “who dared to rise in arms
against his sovereign, distinctly charges you with participation in his
rebellious designs. I have his confession, taken from his own lips, and
signed with his own hand, wherein he affirms, by his hopes of mercy from
the Supreme Judge before whom he will shortly appear to answer for his
offences, that you encouraged his plans for my dethronement, and sought
to win the crown for yourself, in order to bestow it with your hand upon
your lover, Courtenay.”

“It is false,” cried Elizabeth;—“false as the caitiff who invented
it—false as the mischievous councillor who stands beside you, and who
trusts to work my ruin,—but, by our father’s soul it shall go hard if
I do not requite him! Your majesty has not a more loyal subject than
myself, nor has any of your subjects a more loving sister. This wretched
Wyat, whose condition would move my pity were he not so heinous a
traitor, may have written to me, but, on my faith, I have never received
his letters.”

“Lord Russell’s son declares that he delivered them into your own
hands,” observed Mary.

“Another he, as false as the first,” replied Elizabeth. “It is a plot,
your highness—a contrivance of my enemy, Simon Renard. Where is Lord
Russell’s son? Why is he not here?”

“You shall see him anon, since you desire it,” replied Mary. “Like
yourself, he is a prisoner in the Tower. But these assertions do not
clear you.”

“Your highness says you have Wyat’s confession,” rejoined Elizabeth.
“What faith is to be attached to it? It has been wrung from him by the
severity of the torture to which he has been subjected. Look at his
shattered frame, and say whether it is not likely he would purchase
relief from such suffering as he must have endured at any cost.
The sworn tormentors are here. Let them declare how often they have
stretched him on the rack—how often applied the thumbscrew,—how often
delivered him to the deadly embraces of the scavenger’s daughter, before
this false charge was wrung from him. Speak, fellows! how often have you
racked him?”

But the tormentors did not dare to reply. A stifled groan broke from
Wyat, and a sharp convulsion passed over his frame.

“The question has only extorted the truth,” observed Mary.

“If the accusation so obtained be availing, the retraction must be
equally so,” replied Elizabeth. “Sir Thomas Wyat,” she exclaimed, in
aloud and authoritative tone, and stepping towards him, “if you would
not render your name for ever infamous, you will declare my innocence.”


The sufferer gazed at her, as if he did not clearly comprehend what was
said to him.

Elizabeth repeated the command, and in a more peremptory tone.

“What have I declared against you?” asked Wyat, faintly.

“You have accused me of countenancing your traitorous practices against
the queen’s highness, who now stands before you,” rejoined Elizabeth.
“You well know it is false. Do not die with such a stain upon your
knighthood and your honour. The worst is over. Further application of
the rack would be fatal, and it will not be resorted to, because you
would thus escape the scaffold. You can have, therefore, no object in
adhering to this vile fabrication of my enemies. Retract your words, I
command you, and declare my innocence.”

“I do,” replied Wyat, in a firm tone. “I have falsely accused you, and
was induced to do so in the hope of pardon. I unsay all I have said, and
will die proclaiming your innocence.”

“It is well,” replied Elizabeth, with a triumphant glance at the queen.

“Place me at the feet of the princess,” said Wyat to his supporters.
“Your pardon, madam,” he added, as the order was obeyed.

“You have it,” replied Elizabeth, scarcely able to repress her emotion.
“May God forgive you, as I do.”

“Then your former declaration was false, thou perjured traitor?” cried
Mary, in amazement.

“What I have said, I have said,” rejoined Wyat; “what I now say is
the truth.” And he motioned the attendants to raise him, the pain of
kneeling being too exquisite for endurance.

“And you will adhere to your declaration?” pursued Mary.

“To my last breath,” gasped Wyat.

“At whose instigation were you induced to charge the princess with
conspiring with you?” demanded Renard, stepping forward.

“At yours,” returned Wyat, with a look of intense hatred. “You, who have
deceived the queen—deceived me—and would deceive the devil your master,
if you could—you urged me to it—you—ha! ha!” And with a convulsive
attempt at laughter, which communicated a horrible expression to his
features, he sank into the arms of Wolfytt, and was conveyed to a cell
at the back of the chamber, the door of which was closed.

“My innocence is established,” said Elizabeth, turning to the queen.

“Not entirely,” answered Mary. “Wyat’s first charge was supported by
Lord Russell’s son.”

“Take me to him, or send for him hither,” rejoined Elizabeth. “He has
been suborned, like Wyat, by Renard. I will stake my life that he denies

“I will not refute the idle charge brought against me,” observed Renard,
who had been for a moment confounded by Wyat’s accusation. “Your majesty
will at once discern its utter groundlessness.”

“I ask no clemency for myself,” interposed Courtenay, speaking for the
first time; “but I beseech your highness not to let the words of that
false and crafty Spaniard weigh against your sister. From his perfidious
counsels all these disasters have originated.”

“You would screen the princess in the hope of obtaining her hand, my
lord,” replied Mary. “I see through your purpose, and will defeat it.”

“So far from it,” replied the Earl, “I here solemnly renounce all
pretensions to her.”

“Courtenay!” exclaimed Elizabeth, in a tone of anguish.

“Recent events have cured me of love and ambition,” pursued the Earl,
without regarding her. “All I desire is freedom.”

“And is it for one so unworthy that I have entertained this regard?”
cried Elizabeth. “But I am rightly punished.”

“You are so,” replied Mary, bitterly. “And you now taste some of the
pangs you inflicted upon me.”

“Hear me, gracious madam,” cried Courtenay, prostrating himself before
the queen. “I have avowed thus much, that you may attach due credit to
what I am about to declare concerning Renard. My heart was yours, and
yours only, till I allowed myself to be influenced by him. I knew not
then his design, but it has since been fully revealed. It was to disgust
you with me that he might accomplish the main object of his heart—the
match with the prince of Spain. He succeeded too well. Utterly
inexperienced, I readily yielded to the allurements he spread before
me. My indiscretions were reported to you. But, failing in alienating me
from your regard, he tried a deeper game, and chose out as his tool, the
princess Elizabeth.”

“Ha!” exclaimed Mary.

“He it was,” pursued Courtenay, “who first attracted my attention
towards her—who drew invidious comparisons between her youthful charms
and your Majesty’s more advanced age. He it was, who hinted at the
possibility of an alliance between us—who led me on step by step till I
was completely enmeshed. I will own it, I became desperately enamoured
of the princess. I thought no more of your highness—of the brilliant
prospects lost to me; and, blinded by my passion, became reckless of
the perilous position in which I placed myself. But now that I can look
calmly behind me, I see where, and why I fell—and I fully comprehend the
tempter’s motives.”

“What says your excellency to this?” demanded Mary, sternly.

“Much that the Earl of Devonshire has asserted is true,” replied
Renard. “But in rescuing your majesty, at any cost, from so unworthy
an alliance, I deserve your thanks, rather than your reprobation. And I
shall ever rejoice that I have succeeded.”

“You have succeeded at my expense, and at the expense of many of my
bravest and best subjects,” replied Mary, severely. “But the die is
cast, and cannot be recalled.”

“True,” replied Renard, with a smile of malignant satisfaction.

“Will your highness pursue your investigations further tonight?”
demanded Gardiner.

“No,” replied the queen, who appeared lost in thought. “Let the Princess
Elizabeth be taken back to the Bell Tower, and Courtenay to his prison
in the Bowyer Tower. I will consider upon their sentence. Wyat is
respited for the present. I shall interrogate him further.”

With this, she quitted the torture-chamber with her train, and the
prisoners were removed as she had directed.


Life is full of the saddest and the strongest contrasts. The laugh of
derision succeeds the groan of despair—the revel follows the funeral—the
moment that ushers the new-born babe into existence, is the last,
perchance, of its parent—without the prison walls, all is sunshine and
happiness—within, gloom and despair. But throughout the great city which
it commanded, search where you might, no stronger contrasts of rejoicing
and despair could be found, than were now to be met with in the Tower of
London. While, on the one hand, every dungeon was crowded, and scarcely
an hour passed that some miserable sufferer did not expire under the
hand of the secret tormentor, or the public executioner; on the other,
there was mirth, revelry, and all the customary celebrations of victory.
As upon Mary’s former triumph over her enemies, a vast fire was lighted
in the centre of the Tower Green, and four oxen, roasted whole at it,
were distributed, together with a proportionate supply of bread, and a
measure of ale or mead, in rations, to every soldier in the fortress;
and as may be supposed, the utmost joviality prevailed. To each warder
was allotted an angel of gold, and a dish from the royal table; while
to the three giants were given the residue of a grand banquet, a butt of
Gascoign wine, and, in consideration of their valiant conduct during
the siege, their yearly fee, by the queen’s command, was trebled. On
the night of these festivities, a magnificent display of fireworks took
place on the Green, and an extraordinary illumination was effected
by means of a row of barrels filled with pitch, ranged along the
battlements of the White Tower, which being suddenly lighted, cast forth
a glare that illumined the whole fortress, and was seen at upwards of
twenty miles’ distance.

Not unmindful of the queen’s promise, Xit, though unable to find a
favourable opportunity of claiming it, did not fail to assume all the
consequence of his anticipated honours. He treated those with whom
he associated with the utmost haughtiness; and though his arrogant
demeanour only excited the merriment of the giants, it drew many a sharp
retort, and not a few blows, from such as were not disposed to put up
with his insolence. The subject that perpetually occupied his thoughts,
was the title he ought to assume;—for he was thoroughly dissatisfied
with his present appellation. “Base and contemptible name!” he
exclaimed. “How I loathe it!—and how did I acquire it? It was bestowed
upon me, I suppose, in my infancy, by Og, to whose care I was
committed. A mystery hangs over my birth. I must unravel it. Let me
see:—Two-and-twenty years ago, (come Martinmas,) I was deposited at the
door of the Byward Tower in a piece of blanket!—unworthy swaddling-cloth
for so illustrious an infant—a circumstance which fully proves that
my noble parents were anxious for concealment. Stay! I have heard of
changelings—of elfin children left by fairies in the room of those they
steal. Can I be such a one? A shudder crosses my frame at the bare idea.
And yet my activity, my daring, my high mental qualities, my unequalled
symmetry of person, small though it be—all these seem to warrant the
supposition. Yes! I am a changeling. I am a fairy child. Yet hold!
this will not do. Though I may entertain these notions in secret of
my alliance with the invisible world, they will not be accepted by the
incredulous multitude. I must have some father, probable, or improbable.
Who could he have been? Or who might he have been? Let me see. Sir
Thomas More was imprisoned in the Tower about the time of my birth.
Could I not be his son? It is more than probable. So was the Bishop of
Rochester. But to claim descent from him would bring scandal, upon the
church. Besides, he was a Catholic prelate. No, it must be Sir Thomas
More. That will account for my wit. Then about the same time there were
the Lord Darcy; and Robert Salisbury, Abbot of Vale Crucis; the Prior
of Doncaster; Sir Thomas Percy; Sir Francis Bygate; and Sir John Bulmer.
All these were prisoners, so that I have plenty to choose from. I will
go and consult Og. I wonder whether he has kept the piece of blanket in
which I was wrapped. It will be a gross omission if he has not.”

The foregoing soliloquy occurred in one of the galleries of the palace,
where the vain-glorious mannikin was lingering in the hope of being
admitted to the royal presence. No sooner did the idea of consulting Og
on the subject of his birth occur to him, than he set off to the By-ward
Tower, where he found the two unmarried giants employed upon a huge
smoking dish of baked meat, and, notwithstanding his importunity,
neither of them appeared willing to attend to him. Thus baffled, and
his appetite sharpened by the savoury odour of the viands, Xit seized
a knife and fork, and began to ply them with great zeal. The meal over,
and two ponderous jugs that flanked the board emptied of their contents,
Og leaned his huge frame against the wall, and in a drowsy tone informed
the dwarf that he was ready to listen to him.

“No sleeping, then, my master,” cried Xit, springing upon his knee, and
tweaking his nose. “I have a matter of the utmost importance to consult
you about. You must be wide awake.”

“What is it? replied the good-humoured giant, yawning as if he would
have swallowed the teazing mannikin.

“It relates to my origin,” replied Xit. “Am I the son of a nobleman?”

“I should rather say you were the offspring of some ape escaped from the
menagerie,” answered Og, bursting into a roar of laughter, in which
he was joined by Gog, much to the discomfiture of the cause of their
merriment. “You have all the tricks-of the species.”

“Dare to repeat that insinuation, base Titan,” cried Xit, furiously,
and drawing his sword, “and I will be thy death. I am as illustriously
descended as thyself, and on both sides too, whereas thy mother was a
frowzy fish-wife. Know that I am the son of Sir Thomas More.”

“Sir Thomas More!” echoed both giants, laughing more immoderately than
ever. “What has put that notion into thy addle pate?”

“My better genius,” replied Xit, “and unless you can show me who was my
father, I shall claim descent from him.”

“You will only expose yourself to ridicule,” returned Og, patting the
mannikin’s shock head—a familiarity which he resented,—“and though I
and my brethren laugh at you, and make a jest of you, we do not desire
others to do so.”

“Once graced by knighthood, no man, be he of my stature or of yours, my
overgrown master, shall make a jest of me with impunity,” replied Xit,
proudly. “But since you think I am not the son of Sir Thomas More, from
whom can I safely claim descent?”

“I would willingly assist you to a father,” replied Og, smothering a
laugh, “but on my faith, I can think of none more probable than Hairun’s
pet monkey, or perhaps old Max.”

“Anger me not,” shrieked Xit, in extremity of fury, “or you will rue it.
What has become of the blanket in which I was wrapped?”

“The blanket!” exclaimed Og, “why, it was a strip scarcely bigger than
my hand.”

“Is it lost?” demanded Xit, eagerly.

“I fear so,” replied Og. “Stay! now I recollect, I patched an old pair
of hose with it.”

“Patched a pair of hose with it!” cried Xit. “You deserve to go in
tatters during the rest of your days. You have destroyed the sole clue
to my origin.”

“Nay, if that blanket will guide you, I have taken the best means of
preserving it,” rejoined Og;—“for I think I have the hose still.”

“Where are they?” inquired Xit. “Let me see them instantly.”

“If they still exist, they are in a large chest in the upper chamber,”
replied Og. “But be not too much elated, for I fear we shall be

“At all events, let us search without a moment’s delay,” rejoined Xit,
jumping down, and hurrying up the staircase.

He was followed somewhat more leisurely by the two giants, and the trunk
was found crammed under a heap of lumber into an embrasure. The key was
lost, but as Xit’s impatience would not allow him to wait to have it
unfastened by a smith, Og forced it open with the head of a halbert.
It contained a number of old buskins, cloaks of all hues and fashions,
doublets, pantoufles, caps, buff-boots and hose. Of the latter there
were several pair, and though many were threadbare enough, it did not
appear that any were patched.

Xit, who had plunged into the trunk to examine each article, was greatly

“I fear they are lost,” observed Og.

“It would seem so,” replied Xit, “for there are only a doublet and cloak
left. Oh! that a worshipful knight’s history should hang on so slight a

“Many a knight’s history has hung on less,” replied Gog. “But what have
we rolled up in that corner?”

“As I live, a pair of watchet-coloured hose,” cried Xit.

“The very pair we are in quest of,” rejoined Og. “Unfold them, and you
will find the piece of blanket in the seat.”

Xit obeyed, and mounting on the side of the box held out the huge
garments, and there, undoubtedly in the region intimated by Og, was a
piece of dirty flannel.

“And this, then, was my earliest covering,” apostrophised Xit. “In this
fragment of woollen cloth my tender limbs were swathed!”

“Truly were they,” replied Og, laughing. “And when I first beheld thee
it was ample covering. But what light does it throw upon thy origin?”

“That remains to be seen,” returned Xit. And unsheathing his dagger he
began to unrip the piece of flannel from the garment in which it was

The two giants watched his proceedings in silence, and glanced
significantly at each other. At length, Xit tore it away.

“It is a labour in vain,” observed Og.

“Not so,” replied Xit. “See you not that this corner is doubled over.
There is a name worked within it.”

“The imp is right,” cried Og. “How came I to overlook it.” And he would
have snatched the flannel from Xit, but the dwarf darted away, crying,
“No one shall have a hand in the discovery but myself. Stand off!”

Trembling with eagerness, he then cut open the corner, and found, worked
withinside, the words: NARCISSUS LE GRAND.

“Narcissus Le Grand!” exclaimed Xit, triumphantly. “That was my father’s
title. He must have been a nobleman.”

“If that was your father’s name,” returned Gog, “and I begin to think
you have stumbled upon the right person at last, he was a Frenchman, and
groom of the pantry to Queen Anne Boleyn.”

“He was a dwarf like yourself,” added Og, “and though the ugliest being
I ever beheld, had extraordinary personal vanity.”

“In which respect he mightily resembled his son,” laughed Gog; “and
since we have found out the father, I think I can give a shrewd guess at
the mother.”

“I hope she was a person of distinction?” cried Xit, whose countenance
had fallen at the knowledge he had acquired of his paternity.

“She was a scullion,” replied Gog,—“by name Mab Leather-barrow.”

“A scullion!” ejaculated Xit, indignantly. “I, the son of a
scullion,—and of one so basely-named as Leatherbarrow—impossible!”

“I am as sure of it as of my existence,” replied Og. “Your mother was
not a jot taller, or more well-favoured than your father; and they both,
I now remember, disappeared about the time you were found.”

“Which name will you adopt—Le Grand, or Leatherbarrow?” demanded Gog,

“This is an unlucky discovery,” thought Xit. “I had better have left my
parentage alone. The son of a groom of the pantry and a scullion. What a
degrading conjunction! However, I will make the most of it, and not let
them have the laugh against me. I shall assume my father’s name,” he
added aloud—“Sir Narcissus Le Grand—and a good, well-sounding title it
is, as need be desired.”

“It is to be hoped all will have forgotten the former bearer of it,”
laughed Og.

“I care not who remembers it,” replied Xit; “the name bespeaks noble
descent. Call me in future Narcissus Le Grand. The title fits me
exactly,—Narcissus expressing my personal accomplishments—Le Grand my
majesty. For the present, you may put ‘master’ to my name. You will
shortly have to use a more honourable style of address. Farewell, sirs.”

And thrusting the piece of flannel into his doublet, he strutted to the

“Farewell, sweet Master Narcissus,” cried Og.

“Farewell, Leatherbarrow,” added Gog.

“Le Grand,” corrected Xit, halting, with a dignified air; “Le Grand,
henceforth, is my name.” And he marched off with his head so erect
that, unfortunately missing his footing, he tumbled down the staircase.
Picking himself up before the giants, whose laughter enraged him, could
reach him, he darted off, and did not return till a late hour, when they
had retired to rest.

Two days after this discovery,—the queen being then at the Tower,—as
he was pacing the grand gallery of the palace, according to custom, an
usher tapped him on the shoulder, and desired him to follow him. With
a throbbing heart Xit obeyed, and, putting all the dignity he could
command into his deportment, entered the presence-chamber. On that very
morning, as good luck would have it, his tailor had brought him his
new habiliments; and arrayed in a purple velvet mantle lined with
carnation-coloured silk, a crimson doublet slashed with white,
orange-tawny hose, yellow buskins fringed with gold, and a green velvet
cap, decorated with a plume of ostrich feathers, and looped with a
diamond aigrette, he cut, in his own opinion, no despicable figure.

If the dwarf had entertained any doubts as to why he was summoned they
would have been dispersed at once, as he advanced, by observing that the
three giants stood at a little distance from the queen, and that she
was attended only by a few dames of honour, her female jester, and the
vice-chamberlain, Sir John Gage, who held a crimson velvet cushion, on
which was laid a richly-ornamented sword. A smile crossed the queen’s
countenance as Xit drew nigh, and an irrepressible titter spread among
the dames of honour. Arrived within a few yards of the throne, the
mannikin prostrated himself as gracefully as he could. But he was
destined to mishaps. And in this the most important moment of his life,
his sword, which was of extraordinary length, got between his legs, and
he was compelled to remove it before his knee would touch the ground.

“We have not forgotten our promise—rash though it was,” observed Mary,
“and have summoned thy comrades to be witness to the distinction we are
about to confer upon thee. In the heat of the siege, we promised that
whoso would bring us Bret, alive or dead, should have his request, be it
what it might. Thou wert his captor, and thou askest—”

“Knighthood at your majesty’s hands,” supplied Xit.

“How shall we name thee?” demanded Mary.

“Narcissus Le Grand,” replied the dwarf. “I am called familiarly
Xit. But it is a designation by which I do not desire to be longer

Mary took the sword from Sir John Gage, and placing it upon the dwarf’s
shoulder, said, “Arise, Sir Narcissus.”

The new-made knight immediately obeyed, and making a profound reverence
to the queen, was about to retire, when she checked him.

“Tarry a moment, Sir Narcissus,” she said. “I have a further favour to
bestow upon you.”

“Indeed!” cried the dwarf, out of his senses with delight. “I pray your
majesty to declare it.”

“You will need a dame,” returned the queen.

“Of a truth,” replied Sir Narcissus, tenderly ogling the bevy of
beauties behind the throne, “I need one sadly.”

“I will choose for you,” said the queen.

“Your highness’s condescension overwhelms me,” rejoined Sir Narcissus,
wondering which would fall to his share.

“This shall be your bride,” continued the queen, pointing to Jane the
Fool, “and I will give her a portion.”

Sir Narcissus had some ado to conceal his mortification. Receiving the
announcement with the best grace he could assume, he strutted up to
Jane, and taking her hand, said, “You hear her highness’s injunctions,
sweetheart. You are to be Lady Le Grand. I need not ask your consent, I

“You shall never have it,” replied Jane the Fool, with a coquettish toss
of the head, “if her highness did not command it.”

“I shall require to exert my authority early,” thought Sir Narcissus,
“or I shall share the fate of Magog.”

“I, myself, will fix the day for your espousals,” observed Mary.
“Meanwhile, you have my permission to woo your intended bride for a few
minutes in each day.”

“Only a few minutes!” cried Sir Narcissus, with affected disappointment.
“I could dispense with even that allowance,” he added to himself.

“I cannot reward your services as richly,” continued Mary, addressing
the gigantic brethren, “but I am not unmindful of them,—nor shall
they pass unrequited. Whenever you have a boon to ask, hesitate not to
address me.”

The three giants bowed their lofty heads.

“A purse of gold will be given to each of you,” continued the queen;
“and on the day of his marriage, I shall bestow a like gift upon Sir
Narcissus.” She then waved her hand, and the new-made knight and his
companions withdrew.


Cuthbert Cholmondeley, after upwards of a week’s solitary confinement,
underwent a rigorous examination by certain of the Council relative
to his own share in the conspiracy, and his knowledge of the different
parties connected with it. He at once admitted that he had taken a
prominent part in the siege, but refused to answer any other questions.
“I confess myself guilty of treason and rebellion against the queen’s
highness,” he said, “and I ask no further mercy than a speedy death.
But if the word of one standing in peril of his life may be taken, I
solemnly declare, and call upon you to attest my declaration,—that the
Lady Jane Grey is innocent of all share in the recent insurrection. For
a long time, she was kept in total ignorance of the project, and when
it came to her knowledge, she used every means, short of betraying
it,—tears, entreaties, menaces,—to induce her husband to abandon the

“This declaration will not save her,” replied Sir Edward Hastings, who
was one of the interrogators, sternly,—“By not revealing the conspiracy,
she acquiesced in it. Her first duty was to her sovereign.”

“I am aware of it, and so is the unfortunate lady herself,” replied
Cholmondeley. “But I earnestly entreat you, in pity for her misfortunes,
to report what I have said to the queen.”

“I will not fail to do so,” returned Hastings; “but I will not deceive
you. Her fate is sealed. And now, touching the Princess Elizabeth’s
share in this unhappy affair. Do you know aught concerning it?”

“Nothing whatever,” replied Cholmondeley; “and if I did, I would not
reveal it.”

“Take heed what you say, sir,” rejoined Sir Thomas Brydges, who was
likewise among the examiners, “or I shall order you to be more sharply

Nightgall heard this menace with savage exultation.

“The rack will wrest nothing from me,” said Cholmondeley, firmly.

Brydges immediately sat down at a table, and writing out a list of
questions to be put to the prisoner, added an order for the torture, and
delivered it to Nightgall.

Without giving Cholmondeley time to reflect upon his imprudence, the
jailor hurried him away, and he did not pause till he came to the head
of the stairs leading to the torture-chamber. On reaching the steps,
Nightgall descended first, but though he opened the door with great
caution, a glare of lurid light burst forth, and a dismal groan smote
the ears of the listener. It was followed by a creaking noise, the
meaning of which the esquire too well divined.

Some little time elapsed before the door was again opened, and the voice
of Nightgall was heard from below calling to his attendants to bring
down the prisoner. The first object that caught Cholmondeley’s gaze on
entering the fatal chamber, was a figure, covered from head to foot in
a blood-coloured cloth. The sufferer, whoever he was, had just been
released from the torture, as two assistants were supporting him, while
Wolfytt was arranging the ropes on the rack. Sorrocold, also, who held
a small cup filled with some pungent-smelling liquid, and a
sprinkling-brush in his hand, was directing the assistants.

Horror-stricken at the sight, and filled with the conviction from the
mystery observed, and the stature of the veiled person, that it was Lord
Guilford Dudley, Cholmondeley uttered his name in a tone of piercing
anguish. At the cry, the figure was greatly agitated—the arms
struggled—and it was evident that an effort was made to speak. But
only an inarticulate sound could be heard. The attendants looked
disconcerted, and Nightgall stamping his foot angrily, ordered them to
take their charge away. But Cholmondeley perceiving their intention,
broke from those about him, and throwing himself at the feet of him
whom he supposed to be Dudley, cried—“My dear, dear lord, it is I, your
faithful esquire, Cuthbert Cholmondeley. Make some sign, if I am right
in supposing it to be you.”

The figure struggled violently, and shaking off the officials, raised
the cloth, and disclosed the countenance of the unfortunate nobleman—but
oil! how changed since Cholmondeley had seen him last—how ghastly, how
distorted, how death-like, were his features!

“You here!” cried Dudley. “Where is Jane? Has she fled? Has she

“She has surrendered herself,” replied Cholmondeley, “in the hope of
obtaining your pardon.’”

“False hope!—delusive expectation!” exclaimed Dudley, in a tone of
the bitterest anguish. “She will share my fate. I could have died
happy—could have defied these engines, if she had escaped—but now!—”

“Away with him!” interposed Nightgall. “Throw the cloth over his head.”

“Oh God! I am her destroyer!” shrieked Dudley, as the order was obeyed,
and he was forced out of the chamber.

Cholmondeley was then seized by Wolfytt and the others, and thrown upon
his back on the floor. He made no resistance, well knowing it would be
useless; and he determined, even if he should expire under the torture,
to let no expression of anguish escape him. He had need of all his
fortitude; for the sharpness of the suffering to which he was subjected
by the remorseless Nightgall, was such as few could have withstood. But
not a groan burst from him, though his whole frame seemed rent asunder
by the dreadful tension.

“Go on,” cried Nightgall, finding that Wolfytt and the others paused.
“Turn the rollers round once more.”

“You will wrench his bones from their sockets,—he will expire if you
do,” observed Sorrocold.

“No matter,” replied Nightgall; “I have an order to question him
sharply, and I will do so, at all hazards.”

“Do so at your own responsibility, then,” replied Sorrocold, retiring.
“I tell you he will die if you strain him further.”

“Go on, I say,” thundered Nightgall. But as he spoke, the sufferer
fainted, and Wolfytt refused to comply with the jailor’s injunctions.

Cholmondeley was taken off the engine. Restoratives were applied by
Sorrocold, and the questions proposed by the lieutenant put to him by
Nightgall. But he returned no answer; and uttering an angry exclamation
at his obstinacy, the jailor ordered him to be taken back to his cell,
where he was thrown upon a heap of straw, and left without light or

For some time, Cholmondeley remained in a state of insensibility,
and when he recovered, it was to endure far greater agony than he had
experienced on the rack. His muscles were so strained that he was
unable to move, and every bone in his body appeared broken. The thought,
however, that Cicely was alive, and in the power of his hated rival,
tormented him more sharply than his bodily suffering. Supposing her
dead, though his heart was ever constant to her memory, and though he
was a prey to deep and severe grief, yet the whirl of events in which
he had been recently engaged had prevented him from dwelling altogether
upon her loss. But now, when he knew that she still lived, and was in
the power of Nightgall, all his passion—all his jealousy, returned with
tenfold fury. The most dreadful suspicions crossed him; and his mental
anguish was so great as to be almost intolerable. While thus tortured in
body and mind, the door of his cell was opened, and Nightgall
entered, dragging after him a female. The glare of the lamp so dazzled
Cholmondeley’s weakened vision, that he involuntarily closed his eyes.
But what was his surprise to hear his own name pronounced by well-known
accents, and, as soon as he could steady his gaze, to behold the
features of Cicely—but so pale, so emaciated, that he could scarcely
recognise them.

“There,” cried Nightgall, with a look of fiendish exultation, pointing
to Cholmondeley. “I told you you should sec your lover. Glut your eyes
with the sight. The arms that should have clasped you are nerveless—the
eyes that gazed so passionately upon you, dim—the limbs that won your
admiration, crippled. Look at him—and for the last time. And let him
gaze on you, and see whether in these death-pale features—in this wasted
form, there are any remains of the young and blooming maiden that won
his heart.”

“Cicely,” cried Cholmondeley, making an ineffectual attempt to rise, “do
I indeed behold you? I thought you dead.”

“Would I were so,” she cried, kneeling beside him, “rather than what I
am. And to see you thus—and without the power to relieve you.”

“You can relieve me of the worst pang I endure,” returned Cholmondeley.
“You have been long in the power of that miscreant—exposed to his
violence, his ill-usage, to the worst of villany. Has he dared to abuse
his power? Do not deceive me! Has he wronged you?—Are you his minion?
Speak! And the answer will either kill me at once, or render my death on
the scaffold happy. Speak! Speak!”

“I am yours, and yours only—in life or death, dear Cholmondeley,”
replied Cicely. “Neither entreaties nor force should make me his.”

“The time is come when I will show you no further consideration,”
observed Nightgall, moodily. “And if the question your lover has just
asked, is repeated, it shall be differently answered. You shall be mine
to-morrow, either by your own free consent, or by force. I have spared
you thus long, in the hope that you would relent, and not compel me to
have recourse to means I would willingly avoid. Now, hear me. I have
brought you hither to gratify my vengeance upon the miserable wretch,
writhing at my feet, who has robbed me of your affections, and whose
last moments I would embitter by the certainty that you are in my power.
But though it will be much to me to forego the promised gratification
of witnessing his execution, or knowing that he will be executed, yet
I will purchase your compliance even at this price. Swear to wed me
to-morrow, and to accompany me unresistingly whithersoever I may choose
to take you, and, in return, I swear to free him.”

“He made a like proposal once before, Cicely,” cried the esquire.
“Reject it. Let us die together.”

“It matters little to me how you decide,” cried Nightgall. “Mine you
shall be, come what will.”

“You hear what he says, Cholmondeley,” cried Cicely, distractedly. “I
cannot escape him. Oh, let me save you!”

“Never!” rejoined Cholmondeley, trying to stretch his hands towards her.
“Never! You torture me by this hesitation. Reject it, if you love me,

“Oh, Heaven direct me!” cried Cicely, falling upon her knees. “If I
refuse, I am your destroyer.”

“You will utterly destroy me, if you yield,” groaned Cholmondeley.

“Once wedded to me,” urged Nightgall, “you shall set him free yourself.”

“Oh, no, no, no!” cried Cicely. “Death were better than that. I cannot
consent. Cholmondelcy, you must die.”

“You bid me live,” returned the esquire.

“You have signed his death-warrant!” cried Nightgall, seizing her hand.
“Come along.”

“I will die here,” shrieked Cicely, struggling.

“Villain!” cried Cholmondeloy, “your cruelty will turn her brain, as it
did that of her mother Alexia.”

“How do you know Alexia was her mother?” demanded Nightgall, starting,
and relinquishing his grasp of Cicely.

“I am sure of it,” replied Cholmondeley. “And, what is more, I am
acquainted with the rightful name and title of your victim. She was
the wife of Sir Alberic Mountjoy, who was attainted of heresy and high
treason, in the reign of Henry the Eighth.”

“I will not deny it,” replied Nightgall. “She was so. But how did you
learn this?”

“Partly, from an inscription upon a small silver clasp, which I found
upon her hood when I discovered her body in the Devilin Tower,” replied
Cholmondeley; “and partly, from inquiries since made. I have ascertained
that the Lady Mountjoy was imprisoned with her husband in the Tower; and
that at the time of his execution she received a pardon. I would
learn from you why she was subsequently detained?—why she was called
Alexia?—and why her child was taken from her?”

“She lost her senses on the day of her husbands death,” replied
Nightgall. “I will tell you nothing more.”

“Alas!” cried Cicely, who had listened with breathless interest to what
was said, “hers was a tragical history.”

“Yours will be still more tragical, if you continue obstinate,” rejoined
Nightgall. “Come along.”

“Heaven preserve me from this monster!” she shrieked. “Help me,

“I am powerless as a crushed worm,” groaned the esquire, in a tone of

Nightgall laughed exultingly, and twining his arms around Cicely, held
his hand over her mouth to stifle her cries, and forced her from the

The sharpest pang he had recently endured was light to Cholmondeley,
compared with his present maddening sensations, and had not
insensibility relieved him, his reason would have given way. How long he
remained in this state he knew not, but, on reviving, he found himself
placed on a small pallet, and surrounded by three men, in sable dresses.
His attire had been removed, and two of these persons were chafing his
limbs with an ointment, which had a marvellous effect in subduing the
pain, and restoring pliancy to the sinews and joints; while the third,
who was no other than Sorrocold, bathed his temples with a pungent
liquid. In a short time, he felt himself greatly restored, and able to
move; and when he thought how valuable the strength he had thus suddenly
and mysteriously acquired would have been a short time ago, he groaned

“Give him a cup of wine,’” said an authoritative voice, which
Cholmondeley fancied he recognised, from the further end of the cell.
And glancing in the direction of the speaker, he beheld Renard.

“It may be dangerous, your excellency,” returned Sorrocold.

“Dangerous or not, he shall have it,” rejoined Renard.

And wine was accordingly poured out by one of the attendants, and
presented to the esquire, who eagerly drained it.

“Now leave us,” said Renard; “and return to the torture-chamber. I will
rejoin you there.”

Sorrocold and his companions bowed, and departed.

Renard then proceeded to interrogate Cholmondeley respecting his own
share in the rebellion; and also concerning Dudley and Lady Jane.
Failing in obtaining satisfactory answers, he turned his inquiries to
Elizabeth’s participation in the plot; and he shaped them so artfully,
that he contrived to elicit from the esquire, whose brain was a good
deal confused by the potent draught he had swallowed, some important
particulars relative to the princess’s correspondence with Wyat.

Satisfied with the result of the examination, the ambassador turned
to depart, when he beheld, close behind him, a masked figure, which he
immediately recognised as the same that had appeared at the window
of his lodgings in the Bloody Tower, on the evening when Jane’s
death-warrant was signed by the queen.

No sound had proclaimed the mask’s approach, and the door was shut. The
sight revived all Renard’s superstitious fears.

“Who, and what art thou?” he demanded.

“Your executioner,” replied a hollow voice. And suddenly drawing a
poniard, the mask aimed a terrible blow at Renard, which, if he had not
avoided it, must have proved fatal.

Thus assaulted, Renard tried to draw his sword, but he was prevented by
the mask, who grappled with him, and brought him to the ground. In the
struggle, however, the assassin’s vizard fell off, and disclosed the
features of Nightgall.

“Nightgall!” exclaimed Renard. “You, then, were the mysterious visitant
to my chamber in the Bloody Tower. I might have guessed as much when I
met you in the passage. But you persuaded me I had seen an apparition.”

“If your excellency took me for a ghost, I took you for something
worse,” replied Nightgall, keeping his knee upon the ambassador’s chest,
and searching for his dagger, which had dropped in the conflict.

“Release me, villain!” cried Renard. “Would you murder me?”

“I am paid to put your excellency to death,” rejoined Nightgall, with
the utmost coolness.

“I will give you twice the sum to spare me,” rejoined Renard, who saw
from Nightgall’s looks that he had no chance, unless he could work upon
his avarice.

“Hum!” exclaimed the jailor; who, not being able to reach his dagger,
which had rolled to some distance, had drawn his sword, and was now
shortening it, with intent to plunge it in the other’s throat—“I would
take your offer—but I have gone too far.”

“Fear nothing,” gasped Renard, giving himself up for lost. “I swear by
my patron, Saint Paul, that I will not harm a hair of your head. Against
your employer only will I direct my vengeance.”

“I will not trust you,” replied Nightgall, about to strike.

But just as he was about to deal the fatal blow—at the very moment that
the point of the blade pierced the ambassador’s skin, he was plucked
backwards by Cholmondeley, and hurled on the ground. Perceiving it was
his rival, who was more hateful to him even than Renard, Cholmondeley,
on the onset, had prepared to take some part in the struggle, and
noticing the poniard, had first of all possessed himself of it, and then
attacked Nightgall in the manner above related.

Throwing himself upon his foe, Cholmondeley tried to stab him; but it
appeared that he wore a stout buff jerkin, for the weapon glanced aside,
without doing him any injury. As Cholmondeley was about to repeat the
thrust, and in a part less defended, he was himself pushed aside by
Renard, who, by this time, had gained his feet, and was threatening
vengeance upon his intended assassin. But the esquire was unwilling
to abandon his prey; and in the struggle, Nightgall, exerting all his
strength, broke from them, and wresting the dagger from Cholmondeley,
succeeded in opening the door. Renard, foaming with rage, rushed after
him, utterly forgetful of Cholmondeley, who listened with breathless
anxiety, to their retreating footsteps. Scarcely knowing what to do,
but resolved not to throw away the chance of escape, the esquire hastily
attired himself, and taking up a lamp which Renard had left upon the
floor, quitted the cell.

“I will seek out Cicely,” he cried, “and set her free; and then,
perhaps, we may be able to escape together.”

But the hope that for a moment arose within his breast was checked by
the danger and difficulty of making the search. Determined, however to
hazard the attempt, he set out in a contrary direction to that taken
by Nightgall and Renard, and proceeding at a rapid pace soon reached
a flight of steps, up which he mounted. He was now within a second
passage, similar to the first, with cells on either side; but though
he was too well convinced, from the sounds issuing from them, that they
were occupied, he did not dare to open any of them. Still pursuing
his headlong course, he now took one turn—now another, until he was
completely bewildered and exhausted. While leaning against the wall to
recruit himself, he was startled by a light approaching at a distance
and, fearing to encounter the person who bore it, was about to hurry
away, when, to his inexpressible joy, he perceived it was Cicely. With a
wild cry, he started towards her, calling to her by name; but the young
damsel, mistaking him probably for her persecutor, let fall her lamp,
uttered a piercing scream, and fled. In vain, her lover strove to
overtake her—in vain, he shouted to her, and implored her to stop—his
cries were drowned in her shrieks, and only added to her terror.
Cholmondeley, however, though distanced, kept her for some time in view;
when all at once she disappeared.

On gaining the spot where she had vanished, he found an open trap-door,
and, certain she must have descended by it, took the same course. He
found himself in a narrow, vaulted passage, but could discover no traces
of her he sought. Hurrying forward, though almost ready to drop with
fatigue, he came to a large octagonal chamber. At one side, he perceived
a ladder, and at the head of it the arched entrance to a cell. In
an agony of hope and fear he hastened towards the recess, and as he
approached, his doubt was made certainty by a loud scream. Quick as
thought, he sprang into the cell, and found, crouched in the further
corner, the object of his search.

“Cicely,” he exclaimed. “It is I—your lover—Cholmondeley.”

“You!” she exclaimed, starting up, and gazing at him as if she could
scarcely trust the evidence of her senses; “and I have been flying from
you all this time, taking you for Nightgall.” And throwing herself into
his arms, she was strained passionately to his bosom.

After the first rapturous emotions had subsided, Cicely hastily
explained to her lover that after she had been borne away by Nightgall
she had fainted, and on reviving, found herself in her accustomed
prison. Filled with alarm by his dreadful threats, she had determined to
put an end to her existence rather than expose herself to his violence;
and had arisen with that resolution, when an impulse prompted her to try
the door. To her surprise it was unfastened—the bolt having shot wide
of the socket, and quitting the cell, she had wandered about along the
passages, until they had so mysteriously encountered each other. This
explanation given, and Cholmondeley having related what had befallen
him, the youthful pair, almost blinded to their perilous situation
by their joy at their unexpected reunion, set forth in the hope of
discovering the subterranean passage to the further side of the moat.

Too much engrossed by each other to heed whither they were going, they
wandered on;—Cicely detailing all the persecution she had experienced
from Nightgall, and her lover breathing vengeance against him. The only
person she had seen, she said, during her captivity was Xit. He had
found his way to her dungeon, but was discovered while endeavouring to
liberate her by Nightgall, who threatened to put him to death, if he did
not take a solemn oath, which he proposed, not to reveal to the place of
her captivity. And she concluded the dwarf had kept his vow, as she had
seen nothing of him since; nor had any one been led to her retreat.

To these details, as well as to her professions of love for him,
unshaken by time or circumstance, Cholmondeley listened with such
absorbing attention, that, lost to everything else, he tracked passage
after passage, unconscious where he was going. At last, he opened a door
which admitted them to a gloomy hall, terminated by a broad flight of
steps, down which several armed figures wore descending. Cholmondeley
would have retreated, but it was impossible. He had been perceived by
the soldiers, who rushed towards him, questioned him and Cicely, and not
being satisfied with their answers, conveyed them up the stairs to the
lower guard-room in the White Tower, which it appeared the wanderers had

Here, amongst other soldiers and warders, were the three giants, and
instantly addressing them, Cholmondeley delivered Cicely to their care.
He would have had them convey her to the Stone Kitchen, but this an
officer who was present would not permit, till inquiries had been made,
and, meanwhile, the esquire was placed in arrest.

Shortly after this, an extraordinary bustle was heard at the door, and
four soldiers entered carrying the body of a man upon a shutter. They
set it down in the midst of the room. Amongst those, who flocked round
to gaze upon it, was Cholmondeley. It was a frightful spectacle. But
in the mutilated, though still breathing mass, the esquire recognized
Nightgall. While he was gazing at the miserable wretch, and marvelling
how he came in this condition, a tall personage strode into the room,
and commanding the group to stand aside, approached the body. It was
Renard. After regarding the dying man for a few moments with savage
satisfaction, he turned to depart, when his eye fell upon Cholmondeley.

“I had forgotten you,” he said. “But it seems you have not neglected the
opportunity offered you of escape.”

“We caught him trying to get out of the subterranean passages, your
excellency,” remarked the officer.

“Let him remain here till further orders,” rejoined Renard. “You
have saved my life, and shall find I am not ungrateful,” he added to

“If your excellency would indeed requite me,” replied the esquire, “you
will give orders that this maiden, long and falsely, imprisoned by the
wretch before us, may be allowed to return to her friends.”

“I know her,” rejoined Renard, looking at Cicely; “and I know that what
you say is true. Release her,” he added to the officer. And giving a
last terrible look at Nightgall, he quitted the room.

“Is Cicely here? groaned the dying man.

“She is,” replied Cholmondeley. “Have you aught to say to her!”

“Ay, and to you, too,” replied Nightgall. “Let her approach, and bid the
others stand off; and I will confess all I have done. Give me a draught
of wine, for it is a long story, and I must have strength to tell it.”

Before relating Nightgall’s confession, it will be necessary to see what
dreadful accident had befallen him; and in order to do this, his course
must be traced, subsequently to his flight from Cholmondeley’s dungeon.

Acquainted with all the intricacies of the passages, and running with
great speed, Nightgall soon distanced his pursuer, who having lost trace
of him, was obliged to give up the chase. Determined, however, not to be
baulked of his prey, he retraced his steps to the torture-chamber, where
he found Wolfytt, Sorro-cold, and three other officials, to whom he
recounted the jailor’s atrocious attempt.

“I will engage to find him for your excellency,” said Wolfytt, who bore
no very kindly feeling to Nightgall, “if he is anywhere below the Tower.
I know every turn and hole in these passages better than the oldest rat
that haunts them.”

“Deliver him to my vengeance,” rejoined Renard, “and you shall hold his

“Says your excellency so!” cried Wolfytt; “then you may account him
already in your hands.”

With this, he snatched up a halberd and a torch, and bidding two of
the officials come with him, started off at a swift pace on the right.
Neither he nor his companions relaxed their pace, but tracked passage
after passage, and examined vault after vault—but still without success.

Renard’s impatience manifested itself in furious exclamations, and
Wolfytt appeared perplexed and disappointed.

“I have it!” he exclaimed, rubbing his shaggy head. “He must have
entered Saint John’s Chapel, in the White Tower, by the secret passage.”

The party were again in motion; and, taking the least circuitous road,
Wolfytt soon brought them to a narrow passage, at the end of which he
descried a dark crouching figure.

“We have him!” he cried, exultingly. “There he is!”

Creeping quickly along, for the roof was so low that he was compelled
to stoop, Wolfytt prepared for an encounter with Nightgall. The latter
grasped his dagger, and appeared ready to spring upon his assailant.
Knowing the strength and ferocity of the jailor, Wolfytt hesitated a
moment, but goaded on by Renard, who was close behind, and eager for
vengeance, he was about to commence the attack, when Nightgall, taking
advantage of the delay, touched a spring in the wall behind him, and a
stone dropping from its place, he dashed through the aperture. With
a yell of rage and disappointment, Wolfytt sprang after him, and was
instantly struck down by a blow from his opponent’s dagger. Renard
followed, and beheld the fugitive speeding across the nave of Saint
John’s Chapel, and, without regarding Wolfytt, who was lying on the
floor, bleeding profusely, he continued the pursuit.

Nightgall hurried up the steps behind the altar, and took his way along
one of the arched stone galleries opening upon the council-chamber. But,
swiftly as he fled, Renard, to whom fury had lent wings, rapidly gained
upon him.

It was more than an hour after day-break, but no one was astir in
this part of the citadel, and as the pursued and pursuer threaded the
gallery, and crossed the council-chamber, they did not meet even a
solitary attendant. Nightgall was now within the southern gallery of the
White Tower, and Renard shouted to him to stop; but he heeded not the
cry. In another moment, he reached a door, opening upon the north-east
turret. It was bolted, and the time lost in unfastening it, brought
Renard close upon him. Nightgall would have descended, but thinking he
heard voices below, he ran up the winding stairs.



Renard now felt secure of him, and uttered a shout of savage delight.
The fugitive would have gained the roof, if he had not been intercepted
by a party of men, who at the very moment he reached the doorway
communicating with the leads presented themselves at it. Hearing the
clamour raised by Renard and his followers below, these men commanded
Nightgall to surrender. Instead of complying, the miserable fugitive,
now at his wits’ end, rushed backwards, with the determination of
assailing Renard. He met the ambassador at a turn in the stairs a little
below, and aimed a desperate blow at him with his dagger. But Renard
easily warded it off, and pressing him backwards, drove him into one of
the deep embrasures at the side.

Driven to desperation, Nightgall at first thought of springing through
the loophole; but the involuntary glance that he cast below, made
him recoil. On seeing his terror, Renard was filled with delight, and
determined to prolong his enjoyment. In vain, Nightgall endeavoured to
escape from the dreadful snare in which he was caught. He was driven
remorselessly back. In vain, he implored mercy in the most abject terms.
None was shown him. Getting within the embrasure, which was about twelve
feet deep, Renard deliberately pricked the wretched man with the point
of his sword, and forced him slowly backwards.

Nightgall struggled desperately against the horrible fate that awaited
him, striking at Renard with his dagger, clutching convulsively against
the wall, and disputing the ground inch by inch. But all was unavailing.
Scarcely a foot’s space intervened between him and destruction,
when Renard sprang forward, and pushed him by main force through the
loophole. He uttered a fearful cry, and tried to grasp at the roughened
surface of the wall. Renard watched his descent. It was from a height of
near ninety feet.

He fell with a terrific smash upon the pavement of the court below.
Three or four halberdiers, who were passing at a little distance,
hearing the noise, ran towards him, but finding he was not dead, though
almost dashed in pieces, and scarcely retaining a vestige of humanity,
they brought a shutter, and conveyed him to the lower guard-room, as
already related.

“I have no hope of mercy,” gasped the dying man, as his request was
complied with, and Cicely, with averted eyes, stood beside him, “and I
deserve none. But I will make what atonement I can for my evil deeds.
Listen to me, Cicely, (or rather I should say Angela, for that is your
rightful name,) you are the daughter of Sir Alberic Mountjoy, and were
born while your parents were imprisoned in the Tower. Your mother, the
Lady Grace, lost her reason on the day of her husband’s execution, as I
have before stated. But she did not expire as I gave out. My motive for
setting on foot this story, and for keeping her existence secret, was
the hope of making her mine if she recovered her senses, as I had reason
to believe would be the case.”

“Wretch!” exclaimed Cholmondeley.

“You cannot upbraid me more than I now upbraid myself,” groaned
Nightgall; “but my purpose was thwarted. The ill-fated lady never
recovered, and disappointment, acting upon my evil nature, made me treat
her with such cruelty that her senses became more unsettled than ever.”

“Alas! alas!” cried Cicely, bursting into tears; “my poor mother! what a
fate was yours!”

“When all hope of her recovery was extinguished,” continued Nightgall,
“I thought, that if any change occurred in the sovereignty or religion
of the country, I might, by producing her, and relating a feigned story,
obtain a handsome reward for her preservation. But this expectation
also passed by. And I must confess that, at length, my only motive
for allowing her to exist was that she formed an object to exercise my
cruelty upon.”

“Heaven’s curse upon you!” cried Cholmondeley.

“Spare your maledictions,” rejoined Nightgall; “or heap them on my
lifeless clay. You will soon be sufficiently avenged. Give me another
draught of wine, for my lips are so dry I can scarcely speak, and
I would not willingly expire till I have made known the sum of my

The wine given him, he proceeded.

“I will not tell you all the devilish cruelties I practised upon the
wretched Alexia, (for so, as you are aware, I called her, to conceal her
real name,)—because from what you have seen you may guess the rest. But
I kept her a solitary captive in those secret dungeons, for a term of
nearly seventeen years—ever since your birth, in short,” he added, to
Cicely. “Sometimes, she would elude my vigilance, and run shrieking
along the passages. But when any of the jailors beheld her, they fled,
supposing her a supernatural being.”

“Her shrieks were indeed dreadful,” remarked Cholmondeley. “I shall
never forget their effect upon me. But you allowed her to perish from
famine at last?”

“Her death was accidental,” replied Nightgall, in a hollow voice,
“though it lies as heavy on my soul as if I had designed it. I had shut
her up for security in the cell in the Devilin Tower, where you found
her, meaning to visit her at night, as was my custom, with provisions.
But I was sent on special business by the queen to the palace at
Greenwich for three days; and on my return to the Tower, I found the
wretched captive dead.”

“She had escaped you, then,” said Cholmondeley, bitterly. “But you have
not spoken of her daughter?”

“First, let me tell you where I have hidden the body, that decent burial
may be given it,” groaned Nightgall. “It lies in the vault beneath the
Devilin Tower—in the centre of the chamber—not deep—not deep.”

“I shall not forget,” replied Cholmondeley, noticing with alarm that an
awful change had taken place in his countenance. “What of her child?”

“I must be brief,” replied Nightgall, faintly; “for I feel that my
end approaches. The little Angela was conveyed by me, to Dame Potentia
Trusbut. I said she was the offspring of a lady of rank,—but revealed no
name,—and what I told beside was a mere fable. The good dame, having no
child of her own, readily adopted her, and named her Cicely. She grew up
in years—in beauty; and as I beheld her dawning charms, the love I had
entertained for the mother was transferred to the child—nay, it was
ten times stronger. I endeavoured to gain her affections, and fancied I
should succeed, till you”—looking at Cholmondeley—“appeared. Then I saw
my suit was hopeless. Then evil feelings again took possession of me,
and I began a fresh career of crime. You know the rest.”

“I do,” replied Cholmondeley. “Have you aught further to disclose?”

“Only this,” rejoined Nightgall, who was evidently on the verge of
dissolution. “Cut open my doublet; and within its folds you will find
proofs of Angela’s birth, together with other papers referring to her
ill-fated parents. Lay them before the queen; and I make no doubt that
the estates of her father, who was a firm adherent to the Catholic
faith, and died for it, as well as a stanch supporter of Queen Catherine
of Arragon, will be restored to her.”

Cholmondeley lost not a moment in obeying the injunction. He cut open
the blood-stained jerkin of the dying man, and found, as he had stated,
a packet.

“That is it,” cried Nightgall, fixing his glazing eyes on Angela,—“that
will restore you to your wealth—your title. The priest by whom you were
baptised was the queen’s confessor, Feckenham. He will remember the
circumstance—he was the ghostly counsellor of both your parents. Take
the packet to him and he will plead your cause with the queen. Forget—
forgive me—”

His utterance was suddenly choked by a stream of blood that gushed from
his mouth, and with a hideous expression of pain he expired.

“Horrible!” cried Angela, placing her hands before her eyes.

“Think not of him,” said Cholmondeley, supporting her, and removing her
to a little distance,—“think of the misery you have escaped,—of the rank
to which you will assuredly be restored. When I first beheld those proud
and beautiful lineaments, I was certain they belonged to one of high
birth. And I was not mistaken.”

“What matters my newly-discovered birth—my title—my estates, if I obtain
them,—if you are lost to me!” cried Angela, despairingly. “I shall never
know happiness without you.”

As she spoke, an usher, who had entered the guard-room, marched up to
Cholmondeley, and said, “I am the bearer of the queen’s pardon to you.
Your life is spared, at the instance of the Spanish ambassador. But
you are to remain a prisoner on parole, within the fortress, during the
royal pleasure.”

“It is now my turn to support you,” said Angela, observing her lover
stagger, and turn deadly pale.

“So many events crowd upon my brain,” cried Cholmondeley, “that I begin
to fear for my reason—Air!—air!”

Led into the open court, he speedily recovered, and in a transport of
such joy as has seldom been experienced, he accompanied Angela to the
Stone Kitchen, where they were greeted with mingled tears and rejoicings
by Dame Potentia and her spouse.

In the course of the day, Cholmondeloy sought out Feckenham, and laid
the papers before him. The confessor confirmed all that Nightgall had
stated respecting the baptism of the infant daughter of Lady Mountjoy,
and the other documents satisfied him that the so-called Cicely was that
daughter. He undertook to lay the case at once before the queen, and was
as good as his word. Mary heard his statement with the deepest interest,
but made no remark; and at its conclusion desired that the damsel might
be brought before her.




The Martin Tower (or, as it is now termed, the Jewel Tower, from the
purpose to which it is appropriated), where Jane was confined by the
queen’s commands, lies at the north-eastern extremity of the ballium
wall, and corresponds in size and structure with the Develin, or
Devereux Tower, at the opposite angle. Circular in form, like the
last-mentioned building, and erected, in all probability, at the same
period—the latter end of the reign of John, or the commencement of that
of Henry the Third, it consists of two stories having walls of
immense thickness, and containing, as is the case with every other
fortification, deep recesses, terminated by narrow loop-holes. A
winding stone staircase, still in a tolerable state of preservation,
communicates with these stories, and with the roof, which was formerly
embattled, and defended on either side by two small square turrets.
Externally, on the west, the Martin Tower has lost its original
character; the walls being new-fronted and modernized, and a flight
of stops raised to the upper story, completely masking the ancient
door-way, which now forms the entrance to the jewel-room. On the cast,
however, it retains much of its ancient appearance, though in part
concealed by surrounding habitations; and when the building now in
progress, and intended for the reception of the regalia, is completed,
it will be still further hidden. * While digging the foundations of the
proposed structure, which were sunk much below the level of the ballium
wall, it became apparent that the ground had been artificially raised
to a considerable height by an embankment of gravel and sand; and
the prodigious solidity and strength of the wall were proved from the
difficulty experienced by the workmen in breaking through it, to effect
a communication with the new erection.

Within, on the basement floor, on the left of the passage, and generally
hidden by the massive portal, is a small cell constructed in the
thickness of the wall; and further on, the gloomy chamber used as
a depositary for the crown ornaments, and which requires to be
artificially lighted, is noticeable for its architecture, having a
vaulted and groined roof of great beauty. The upper story, part of
the residence of Mr. Swift, the keeper of the regalia, at present
comprehends two apartments, with a hall leading to them, while the
ceiling having been lowered, other rooms are gained. Here, besides the
ill-fated and illustrious lady whose history forms the subject of this
chronicle, was confined the lovely, and, perhaps guiltless, Anne Boleyn.
The latter fact has, however, been doubted, and the upper chamber in
the Beauchamp Tower assigned as the place of her imprisonment. But
this supposition, from many circumstances, appears improbable, and the
inscription bearing her name, and carved near the entrance of the hall,
is conclusive as to her having been confined in this tower.

Here, in 1641, the twelve bishops, impeached of high treason by the
revolutionary party in the House of Commons, for protesting against
the force used against them, and the acts done in their absence, were
imprisoned during their committal to the Tower:—at least, so runs the
legend, though it is difficult to conceive how so many persons could be
accommodated in so small a place. Here, also, Blood made his atrocious
attempt (a story still involved in obscurity—it has been conjectured,
with some show of probability, that he was prompted to the deed by
Charles himself), to steal the crown jewels; and in this very chamber,
the venerable Talbot Edwards made his gallant defence of the royal
ensigns, receiving for his bravery and his wounds, a paltry grant of
two hundred pounds, half of which, owing to vexatious delays, he only
received, while the baffled robber was rewarded with a post at court,
and a pension of five hundred pounds a-year in Ireland. Can it be
doubted after this which of the two was the offender, in the eyes of the

     * The view of this fabric, at page 321, was taken from the
     spot cleared out for the erection of the New Jewel Rooms;
     and as the latter structure is already in a state of
     forwardness, and will be probably finished before Christmas,
     this aspect of the old tower can scarcely be said to exist


It must not be omitted that the Jewel Tower enjoys, in common with its
corresponding fortification, the Devereux Tower, the reputation of being
haunted. Its ghostly visitant is a female figure robed in white—whether
the spirit of Anno Boleyn, or the ill-fated Jane, cannot be precisely

The Martin Tower acquired its present designation of the Jewel Tower, in
the reign of James the First, when the crown ornaments were removed
to it from a small building, where they had been hitherto kept, on the
south side of the White Tower.

The regalia were first exhibited to the public in the reign of Charles
the Second, when many of the perquisites of the ancient master of the
Jewel House were abolished, and its privileges annexed to the office of
the lord chamberlain.

Jane’s present prison was far more commodious than her former place of
confinement in the Brick Tower, and by Mary’s express injunctions, every
attention consistent with her situation was shown her. Strange as it
may seem, she felt easier, if not happier, than she had done during the
latter part of the period of her liberation. Then, she was dissatisfied
with herself, anxious for her husband, certain of the failure of his
enterprise, and almost desiring its failure,—now, the worst was past.
No longer agitated by the affairs of the world, she could suffer
with patience, and devote herself wholly to God. Alone within her
prison-chamber, she prayed with more fervour than she had been able to
do for months; and the soothing effect it produced, was such, that
she felt almost grateful for her chastening. “I am better able to bear
misfortune than prosperity,” she murmured, “and I cannot be too thankful
to Heaven, that I am placed in a situation to call forth my strength.
Oh! that Dudley may be able to endure his trial with equal fortitude!
But I fear his proud heart will rebel. Sustain him, Lord! I beseech
thee, and bring him to a true sense of his condition.”

Convinced that her days were now numbered, having no hope of pardon,
scarcely desiring it, and determined to reject it, if coupled with any
conditions affecting her faith, Jane made every preparation for her
end. No longer giving up a portion of her time to study, she entirely
occupied herself with her devotions. Influenced by the controversial
spirit of the times, she had before been as anxious to overcome her
opponents in argument, as they were to convince her of her errors. Now,
though feeling equally strong in her cause, she was more lowly-minded.
Reproaching herself bitterly with her departure from her duty, she
sought by incessant prayer, by nightly vigil, by earnest and heart-felt
supplication to wipe out the offence. “I have not sinned in ignorance,”
she thought, “but with my eyes open, and therefore my fault is far
greater than if no light had been vouchsafed me. By sincere contrition
alone can I hope to work out my salvation; and if sorrow, remorse, and
shame, combined with the most earnest desire of amendment, constitute
repentance, I am truly contrite. But I feel my own unworthiness, and
though I know the mercy of Heaven is infinite, yet I scarcely dare
to hope for forgiveness for my trespasses. I have trusted too much to
myself already—and find that I relied on a broken reed. I will now trust
only to God.”

And thus she passed her time, in the strictest self-examination, fixing
her thoughts above, and withdrawing them as much as possible from earth.
The effect was speedily manifest in her altered looks and demeanour.
When first brought to the Martin Tower, she was downcast and despairing.
Ere three days had passed, she became calm, and almost cheerful, and her
features resumed their wonted serene and seraphic expression. She could
not, it is true, deaden the pangs that ever and anon shook her, when she
thought of her husband and father. But she strove to console herself
by the hope that they would be purified, like herself, by the trial to
which they were subjected, and that their time of separation would be
brief. To the duke she addressed that touching letter preserved among
the few fragments of her writings, which after it had been submitted to
Gardiner, was allowed to be delivered to him. It concluded with these
words:—“And thus, good father, I have opened unto you the state wherein
I presently stand,—my death at hand. Although to you it may seem woful,
yet to me there is nothing that can be more welcome than to aspire from
this Vale of Misery to that heavenly throne of all joy and pleasure with
Christ, my Saviour. In whose steadfast faith (if it may be lawful for
the daughter so to write to the father), the Lord who hath hitherto
strengthened you