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By What Authority? By Robert Hugh Benson Characters: 34104

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

The development of a nation is strangely paralleled by the development of an individual. There comes in both a period of adolescence, of the stirring of new powers, of an increase of strength, of the dawn of new ideals, of the awaking of self-consciousness; contours become defined and abrupt, awkward and hasty movements succeed to the grace of childhood; and there is a curious mingling of refinement and brutality, stupidity and tenderness; the will is subject to whims; it is easily roused and not so easily quieted. Yet in spite of the attendant discomforts the whole period is undeniably one of growth.

The reign of Elizabeth coincided with this stage in the development of England. The young vigour was beginning to stir-and Hawkins and Drake taught the world that it was so, and that when England stretched herself catastrophe abroad must follow. She loved finery and feathers and velvet, and to see herself on the dramatic stage and to sing her love-songs there, as a growing maid dresses up and leans on her hand and looks into her own eyes in the mirror-and Marlowe and Greene and Shakespeare are witnesses to it. Yet she loved to hang over the arena too and watch the bear-baiting and see the blood and foam and listen to the snarl of the hounds, as a lad loves sport and things that minister death. Her policy, too, under Elizabeth as her genius, was awkward and ill-considered and capricious, and yet strong and successful in the end, as a growing lad, while he is clumsier, yet manages to leap higher than a year ago.

And once more, to carry the parallel still further, during the middle period of the reign, while the balance of parties and powers remained much the same, principles and tendencies began to assert themselves more definitely, just as muscles and sinews begin to appear through the round contour of the limbs of a growing child.

Thus, from 1571 to 1577, while there was no startling reversal of elements in the affairs of England, the entire situation became more defined. The various parties, though they scarcely changed in their mutual relations, yet continued to develop swiftly along their respective lines, growing more pronounced and less inclined to compromise; foreign enmities and expectations became more acute; plots against the Queen's life more frequent and serious, and the countermining of them under Walsingham more patient and skilful; competition and enterprise in trade more strenuous; Scottish affairs more complicated; movements of revolt and repression in Ireland more violent.

What was true of politics was also true of religious matters, for the two were inextricably mingled. The Puritans daily became more clamorous and intolerant; their "Exercises" more turbulent, and their demands more unreasonable and one-sided. The Papists became at once more numerous and more strict; and the Government measures more stern in consequence. The act of '71 made it no less a crime than High Treason to reconcile or be reconciled to the Church of Rome, to give effect to a Papal Bull, to be in possession of any muniments of superstition, or to declare the Queen a heretic or schismatic. The Church of England, too, under the wise guidance of Parker, had begun to shape her course more and more resolutely along the lines of inclusiveness and moderation; to realise herself as representing the religious voice of a nation that was widely divided on matters of faith; and to attempt to include within her fold every individual that was not an absolute fanatic in the Papist or Puritan direction.

Thus, in every department, in home and foreign politics, in art and literature, and in religious independence, England was rising and shaking herself free; the last threads that bound her to the Continent were snapped by the Reformation, and she was standing with her soul, as she thought, awake and free at last, conscious of her beauty and her strength, ready to step out at last before the world, as a dominant and imperious power.

Anthony Norris had been arrested, like so many others, by the vision of this young country of his, his mother and mistress, who stood there, waiting to be served. He had left Cambridge in '73, and for three years had led a somewhat aimless life; for his guardian allowed him a generous income out of his father's fortune. He had stayed with Hubert in the north, had yawned and stretched himself at Great Keynes, had gone to and fro among friends' houses, and had at last come to the conclusion, to which he was aided by a chorus of advisers, that he was wasting his time.

He had begun then to look round him for some occupation, and in the final choice of it his early religious training had formed a large element. It had kept alive in him a certain sense of the supernatural, that his exuberance of physical life might otherwise have crushed; and now as he looked about to see how he could serve his country, he became aware that her ecclesiastical character had a certain attraction for him; he had had indeed an idea of taking Orders; but he had relinquished this by now, though he still desired if he might to serve the National Church in some other capacity. There was much in the Church of England to appeal to her sons; if there was a lack of unity in her faith and policy, yet that was largely out of sight, and her bearing was gallant and impressive. She had great wealth, great power and great dignity. The ancient buildings and revenues were hers; the civil power was at her disposal, and the Queen was eager to further her influence, and to protect her bishops from the encroaching power of Parliament, claiming only for the crown the right to be the point of union for both the secular and ecclesiastical sections of the nation, and to stamp by her royal approval or annul by her veto the acts of Parliament and Convocation alike. It seemed then to Anthony's eyes that the Church of England had a tremendous destiny before her, as the religious voice of the nation that was beginning to make itself so dominant in the council of the world, and that there was no limit to the influence she might exercise by disciplining the exuberant strength of England, and counteracting by her soberness and self-restraint the passionate fanaticism of the Latin nations. So little by little in place of the shadowy individualism that was all that he knew of religion, there rose before him the vision of a living church, who came forth terrible as an army with banners, surrounded by all the loyalty that nationalism could give her, with the Queen herself as her guardian, and great princes and prelates as her supporters, while at the wheels of her splendid car walked her hot-blooded chivalrous sons, who served her and spread her glories by land and sea, not perhaps chiefly for the sake of her spiritual claims, but because she was bone of their bone; and was no less zealous than themselves for the name and character of England.

When, therefore, towards the end of '76, Anthony received the offer of a position in the household of the Archbishop of Canterbury, through the recommendation of the father of one of his Cambridge friends, he accepted it with real gratitude and enthusiasm.

The post to which he was appointed was that of Gentleman of the Horse. His actual duties were not very arduous owing to the special circumstances of Archbishop Grindal; and he had a good deal of time to himself. Briefly, they were as follows-He had to superintend the Yeoman of the Horse, and see that he kept full accounts of all the horses in stable or at pasture, and of all the carriages and harness and the like. Every morning he had to present himself to the Archbishop and receive stable-orders for the day, and to receive from the yeoman accounts of the stables. Every month he examined the books of the yeoman before passing them on to the steward. His permission too was necessary before any guest's or stranger's horse might be cared for in the Lambeth stables.

He was responsible also for all the men and boys connected with the stable; to engage them, watch their morals and even the performance of their religious duties, and if necessary report them for dismissal to the steward of the household. In Archbishop Parker's time this had been a busy post, as the state observed at Lambeth and Croydon was very considerable; but Grindal was of a more retiring nature, disliking as was said, "lordliness"; and although still the household was an immense affair, in its elaborateness and splendour beyond almost any but royal households of the present day, still Anthony's duties were far from heavy. The Archbishop indeed at first dispensed with this office altogether, and concentrated all the supervision of the stable on the yeoman, and Anthony was the first and only Gentleman of the Horse that Archbishop Grindal employed. The disgrace and punishment under which the Archbishop fell so early in his archiepiscopate made this particular post easier than it would even otherwise have been; as fewer equipages were required when the Archbishop was confined to his house, and the establishment was yet further reduced.

Ordinarily then his duties were over by eleven o'clock, except when special arrangements were to be made. He rose early, waited upon the Archbishop by eight o'clock, and received his orders for the day; then interviewed the yeoman; sometimes visited the stables to receive complaints, and was ready by half-past ten to go to the chapel for the morning prayers with the rest of the household. At eleven he dined at the Steward's table in the great hall, with the other principal officers of the household, the chaplain, the secretaries, and the gentlemen ushers, with guests of lesser degree. This great hall with its two entrances at the lower end near the gateway, its magnificent hammer-beam roof, its da?s, its stained glass, was a worthy place of entertainment, and had been the scene of many great feasts and royal visits in the times of previous archbishops in favour with the sovereign, and of a splendid banquet at the beginning of Grindal's occupancy of the see. Now, however, things were changed. There were seldom many distinguished persons to dine with the disgraced prelate; and he himself preferred too to entertain those who could not repay him again, after the precept of the gospel; and besides the provision for the numerous less important guests who dined daily at Lambeth, a great tub was set at the lower end of the hall as it had been in Parker's time, and every day after dinner under the steward's direction was filled with food from the tables, which was afterwards distributed at the gate to poor people of the neighbourhood.

After dinner Anthony's time was often his own, until the evening prayers at six, followed by supper again spread in the hall. It was necessary for him always to sleep in the house, unless leave was obtained from the steward. This gentleman, Mr. John Scot, an Esquire, took a fancy to Anthony, and was indulgent to him in many ways; and Anthony had, as a matter of fact, little difficulty in coming and going as he pleased so soon as his morning duties were done.

Lambeth House had been lately restored by Parker, and was now a very beautiful and well-kept place. Among other repairs and buildings he had re-roofed the great hall that stood just within Morton's gateway; he had built a long pier into the Thames where the barge could be entered easily even at low tide; he had rebuilt the famous summerhouse of Cranmer's in the garden, besides doing many sanitary alterations and repairs; and the house was well kept up in Grindal's time.

Anthony soon added a great affection and tenderness to the awe that he felt for the Archbishop, who was almost from the first a pathetic and touching figure. When Anthony first entered on his duties in November '76, he found the Archbishop in his last days of freedom and good favour with the Queen. Elizabeth, he soon learnt from the gossip of the household, was as determined to put down the Puritan "prophesyings" as the popish services; for both alike tended to injure the peace she was resolved to maintain. Rumours were flying to and fro; the Archbishop was continually going across the water to confer with his friends and the Lords of the Council, and messengers came and went all day; and it was soon evident that the Archbishop did not mean to yield. It was said that his Grace had sent a letter to her Majesty bidding her not to meddle with what did not concern her, telling her that she, too, would one day have to render account before Christ's tribunal, and warning her of God's anger if she persisted.

Her Majesty had sworn like a trooper, a royal page said one day as he lounged over the fire in the guard-room, and had declared that if she was like Ozeas and Ahab and the rest, as Grindal had said she was, she would take care that he, at least, should be like Micaiah the son of Imlah, before she had done with him. Then it began to leak out that Elizabeth was sending her commands to the bishops direct instead of through their Metropolitan; and, as the days went by, it became more and more evident that disgrace was beginning to shadow Lambeth. The barges that drew up at the watergate were fewer as summer went on, and the long tables in hall were more and more deserted; even the Archbishop himself seemed silent and cast down. Anthony used to watch him from his window going up and down the little walled garden that looked upon the river, with his hands clasped behind him and his black habit gathered up in them, and his chin on his breast. He would be longer than ever too in chapel after the morning prayer, and the company would wait and wonder in the anteroom till his Grace came in and gave the signal for dinner. And at last the blow fell.

On one day in June, Anthony, who had been on a visit to Isabel at Great Keynes, returned to Lambeth in time for morning prayer and dinner just before the gates were shut by the porter, having ridden up early with a couple of grooms. There seemed to him to be an air of constraint abroad as the guests and members of the household gathered for dinner. There were no guests of high dignity that day, and the Archbishop sat at his own table silent and apart. Anthony, from his place at the steward's table, noticed that he ate very sparingly, and that he appeared even more preoccupied and distressed than usual. His short-sighted eyes, kind and brown, surrounded by wrinkles from his habit of peering closely at everything, seemed full of sadness and perplexity, and his hand fumbled with his bread continually. Anthony did not like to ask anything of his neighbours, as there were one or two strangers dining at the steward's table that day; and the moment dinner was over, and grace had been said and the Archbishop retired with his little procession preceded by a white wand, an usher came running back to tell Master Norris that his Grace desired to see him at once in the inner cloister.

Anthony hastened round through the court between the hall and the river, and found the Archbishop walking up and down in his black habit with the round flapped cap, that, as a Puritan, he preferred to the square head-dress of the more ecclesiastically-minded clergy, still looking troubled and cast down, continually stroking his dark forked beard, and talking to one of his secretaries. Anthony stood at a little distance at the open side of the court near the river, cap in hand, waiting till the Archbishop should beckon him. The two went up and down in the shade in the open court outside the cloisters, where the pump stood, and where the pulpit had been erected for the Queen's famous visit to his predecessor; when she had sat in a gallery over the cloister and heard the chaplain's sermon. On the north rose up the roof of the chapel. The cloisters themselves were poor buildings-little more than passages with a continuous row of square windows running along them the height of a man's head.

After a few minutes the secretary left the Archbishop with an obeisance, and hastened into the house through the cloister, and presently the Archbishop, after a turn or two more with the same grave air, peered towards Anthony and then called him.

Anthony immediately came towards him and received orders that half a dozen horses with grooms should be ready as soon as possible, who were to receive orders from Mr. Richard Frampton, the secretary; and that three or four horses more were to be kept saddled till seven o'clock that evening in case further messages were wanted.

"And I desire you, Mr. Norris," said the Archbishop, "to let the men under your charge know that their master is in trouble with the Queen's Grace; and that they can serve him best by being prompt and obedient."

Anthony bowed to the Archbishop, and was going to withdraw, but the Archbishop went on:

"I will tell you," he said, "for your private ear only at present, that I have received an order this day from my Lords of the Council, bidding me to keep to my

house for six months; and telling me that I am sequestered by the Queen's desire. I know not how this will end, but the cause is that I will not do her Grace's will in the matter of the Exercises, as I wrote to tell her so; and I am determined, by God's grace, not to yield in this thing; but to govern the charge committed to me as He gives me light. That is all, Mr. Norris."

The whole household was cast into real sorrow by the blow that had fallen at last on the master; he was "loving and grateful to servants"; and was free and liberal in domestic matters, and it needed only a hint that he was in trouble, for his officers and servants to do their utmost for him.

Anthony's sympathy was further aroused by the knowledge that the Papists, too, hated the old man, and longed to injure him. There had been a great increase of Catholics this year; the Archbishop of York had reported that "a more stiff-necked, wilful, or obstinate people did he never hear of"; and from Hereford had come a lament that conformity itself was a mockery, as even the Papists that attended church were a distraction when they got there, and John Hareley was instanced as "reading so loud upon his Latin popish primer (that he understands not) that he troubles both minister and people." In November matters were so serious that the Archbishop felt himself obliged to take steps to chastise the recusants; and in December came the news of the execution of Cuthbert Maine at Launceston in Cornwall.

How much the Catholics resented this against the Archbishop was brought to Anthony's notice a day or two later. He was riding back for morning prayer after an errand in Battersea, one frosty day, and had just come in sight of Morton's Gateway, when he observed a man standing by it, who turned and ran, on hearing the horse's footsteps, past Lambeth Church and disappeared in the direction of the meadows behind Essex House. Anthony checked his horse, doubtful whether to follow or not, but decided to see what it was that the man had left pinned to the door. He rode up and detached it, and found it was a violent and scurrilous attack upon the Archbishop for his supposed share in the death of the two Papists. It denounced him as a "bloody pseudo-minister," compared him to Pilate, and bade him "look to his congregation of lewd and profane persons that he named the Church of England," for that God would avenge the blood of his saints speedily upon their murderers.

Anthony carried it into the hall, and after showing it to Mr. Scot, put it indignantly into the fire. The steward raised his eyebrows.

"Why so, Master Norris?" he asked.

"Why," said Anthony sharply, "you would not have me frame it, and show to my lord."

"I am not sure," said the other, "if you desire to injure the Papists. Such foul nonsense is their best condemnation. It is best to keep evidence against a traitor, not destroy it. Besides, we might have caught the knave, and now we cannot," he added, looking at the black shrivelling sheet half regretfully.

"It is a mystery to me," said Anthony, "how there can be Papists."

"Why, they hate England," said the steward, briefly, as the bell rang for morning prayer. As Anthony followed him along the gallery, he thought half guiltily of Sir Nicholas and his lady, and wondered whether that was true of them. But he had no doubt that it was true of Catholics as a class; they had ceased to be English; the cause of the Pope and the Queen were irreconcilable; and so the whole incident added more fuel to the hot flame of patriotism and loyalty that burnt so bright in the lad's soul.

But it was fanned yet higher by a glimpse he had of Court-life; and he owed it to Mary Corbet whom he had only seen momentarily in public once or twice, and never to speak to since her visit to Great Keynes over six years ago. He had blushed privately and bitten his lip a good many times in the interval, when he thought of his astonishing infatuation, and yet the glamour had never wholly faded; and his heart quickened perceptibly when he opened a note one day, brought by a royal groom, that asked him to come that very afternoon if he could, to Whitehall Palace, where Mistress Corbet would be delighted to see him and renew their acquaintance.

As he came, punctual to the moment, into the gallery overlooking the tilt-yard, the afternoon sun was pouring in through the oriel window, and the yard beyond seemed all a haze of golden light and dust. He heard an exclamation, as he paused, dazzled, and the servant closed the door behind him; and there came forward to him in the flood of glory, the same resplendent figure, all muslin and jewels, that he remembered so well, with the radiant face, looking scarcely older, with the same dancing eyes and scarlet lips. All the old charm seemed to envelop him in a moment as he saluted her with all the courtesy of which he was capable.

"Ah!" she cried, "how happy I am to see you again-those dear days at Great Keynes!" And she took both his hands with such ardour that poor Anthony was almost forced to think that he had never been out of her thoughts since.

"How can I serve you, Mistress Corbet?" he asked.

"Serve me? Why, by talking to me, and telling me of the country. What does the lad mean? Come and sit here," she said, and she drew him to the window seat.

Anthony looked out into the shining haze of the tilt-yard. Some one with a long pole was struggling violently on the back of a horse, jerking the reins and cursing audibly.

"Look at that fool," said Mary, "he thinks his horse as great a dolt as himself. Chris, Chris," she screamed through her hands-"you sodden ass; be quieter with the poor beast-soothe him, soothe him. He doesn't know what you want of him with your foul temper and your pole going like a windmill about his ears."

The cursing and jerking ceased, and a red furious face with thick black beard and hair looked up. But before the rider could speak, Mary went on again:

"There now, Chris, he is as quiet as a sheep again. Now take him at it."

"What does he want?" asked Anthony. "I can scarcely see for the dust."

"Why, he's practising at the quintain;-ah! ah!" she cried out again, as the quintain was missed and swung round with a hard buffet on the man's back as he tore past. "Going to market, Chris? You've got a sturdy shepherd behind you. Baa, baa, black sheep."

"Who's that?" asked Anthony, as the tall horseman, as if driven by the storm of contumely from the window, disappeared towards the stable.

"Why that's Chris Hatton-whom the Queen calls her sheep, and he's as silly as one, too, with his fool's face and his bleat and his great eyes. He trots about after her Grace, too, like a pet lamb. Bah! I'm sick of him. That's enough of the ass; tell me about Isabel."

Then they fell to talking about Isabel; and Mary eyed him as he answered her questions.

"Then she isn't a Papist, yet?" she asked.

Anthony's face showed such consternation that she burst out laughing.

"There, there, there!" she cried. "No harm's done. Then that tall lad, who was away last time I was there-well, I suppose he's not turned Protestant?"

Anthony's face was still more bewildered.

"Why, my dear lad," she said, "where are your eyes?"

"Mistress Corbet," he burst out at last, "I do not know what you mean. Hubert has been in Durham for years. There is no talk--" and he stopped.

Mary's face became sedate again.

"Well, well," she said, "I always was a tattler. It seems I am wrong again. Forgive me, Master Anthony."

Anthony was indeed astonished at her fantastic idea. Of course he knew that Hubert had once been fond of Isabel, but that was years ago, when they had been all children together. Why, he reflected, he too had been foolish once-and he blushed a little.

Then they went on to talk of Great Keynes, Sir Nicholas, and Mr. Stewart's arrest and death; and Mary asked Anthony to excuse her interest in such matters, but Papistry had always been her religion, and what could a poor girl do but believe what she was taught? Then they went on to speak of more recent affairs, and Mary made him describe to her his life at Lambeth, and everything he did from the moment he got up to the moment he went to bed again; and whether the Archbishop was a kind master, and how long they spent at prayers, and how many courses they had at dinner; and Anthony grew more and more animated and confidential-she was so friendly and interested and pretty, as she leaned towards him and questioned and listened, and the faint scent of violet from her dress awakened his old memories of her.

And then at last she approached the subject on which she had chiefly wished to see him-which was that he should speak to the steward at Lambeth on behalf of a young man who was to be dismissed, it seemed, from the Archbishop's service, because his sister had lately turned Papist and fled to a convent abroad. It was a small matter; and Anthony readily promised to do his best, and, if necessary, to approach the Archbishop himself: and Mistress Corbet was profusely grateful.

They had hardly done talking of the matter, when a trumpet blew suddenly somewhere away behind the building they were in. Mary held up a white finger and put her head on one side.

"That will be the Ambassador," she said.

Anthony looked at her interrogatively.

"Why, you country lad!" she said, "come and see."

She jumped up, and he followed her down the gallery, and along through interminable corridors and ante-chambers, and up and down the stairs of this enormous palace; and Anthony grew bewildered and astonished as he went at the doors on all sides, and the roofs that ranged themselves every way as he looked out. And at last Mary stopped at a window, and pointed out.

The courtyard beneath was alive with colour and movement. In front of the entrance opposite waited the great gilded state carriage, and another was just driving away. On one side a dozen ladies on grey horses were drawn up, to follow behind the Queen when she should come out; and a double row of liveried servants were standing bare-headed round the empty carriage. The rest of the court was filled with Spanish and English nobles, mounted, with their servants on foot; all alike in splendid costumes-the Spaniards with rich chains about their necks, and tall broad-brimmed hats decked with stones and pearls, and the Englishmen in feathered buckled caps and short cloaks thrown back. Two or three trumpeters stood on the steps of the porch. Anthony did not see much state at Lambeth, and the splendour and gaiety of this seething courtyard exhilarated him, and he stared down at it all, fascinated, while Mary Corbet poured out a caustic commentary:

"There is the fat fool Chris again, all red with his tilting. I would like to baa at him again, but I dare not with all these foreign folk. There is Leicester, that tall man with a bald forehead in the cap with the red feather, on the white horse behind the carriage-he always keeps close to the Queen. He is the enemy of your prelate, Master Anthony, you know.... That is Oxford, just behind him on the chestnut. Yes, look well at him. He is the prince of the tilt-yard; none can stand against him. You would say he was at his nine-pins, when he rides against them all.... And he can do more than tilt. These sweet-washed gloves"-and she flapped an embroidered pair before Anthony-"these he brought to England. God bless and reward him for it!" she added fervently.... "I do not see Burghley. Eh! but he is old and gouty these days; and loves a cushion and a chair and a bit of flannel better than to kneel before her Grace. You know, she allows him to sit when he confers with her. But then, she is ever prone to show mercy to bearded persons.... Ah! there is dear Sidney; that is a sweet soul. But what does he do here among the stones and mortar when he has the beeches of Penshurst to walk beneath. He is not so wise as I thought him.... But I must say I grow weary of his nymphs and his airs of Olympus. And for myself, I do not see that Flora and Ph?bus and Maia and the rest are a great gain, instead of Our Lady and Saint Christopher and the court of heaven. But then I am a Papist and not a heathen, and therefore blind and superstitious. Is that not so, Master Anthony?... And there is Maitland beside him, with the black velvet cap and the white feather, and his cross eyes and mouth. Now I wish he were at Penshurst, or Bath-or better still, at Jericho, for it is further off. I cannot bear that fellow.... Why, Sussex is going on the water, too, I see. Now what brings him here? I should have thought his affairs gave him enough to think of.... There he is, with his groom behind him, on the other chestnut. I am astonished at him. He is all for this French marriage, you know. So you may figure to yourself Mendoza's love for him! They will be like two cats together on the barge; spitting and snarling softly at one another. Her Grace loves to balance folk like that; first one stretches his claws, and then the other; then one arches his back and snarls, and the other scratches his face for him; and then when all is flying fur and blasphemy, off slips her Grace and does what she will."

It was an astonishing experience for Anthony. He had stepped out from his workaday life among the grooms and officers and occasional glimpses of his lonely old master, into an enchanted region, where great personages whose very names were luminous with fame, now lived and breathed and looked cheerful or sullen before his very eyes; and one who knew them in their daily life stood by him and commented and interpreted them for him. He listened and stared, dazed with the strangeness of it all.

Mistress Corbet was proceeding to express her views upon the foreign element that formed half the pageant, when the shrill music broke out again in the palace, and the trumpeters on the steps took it up; and a stir and bustle began. Then out of the porch began to stream a procession, like a river of colour and jewels, pouring from the foot of the carved and windowed wall, and eddying in a tumbled pool about the great gilt carriage;-ushers and footmen and nobles and ladies and pages in bewildering succession. Anthony pressed his forehead to the glass as he watched, with little exclamations, and Mary watched him, amused and interested by his enthusiasm.

And last moved the great canopy bending and swaying under the doorway, and beneath it, like two gorgeous butterflies, at the sight of whom all the standing world fell on its knees, came the pale Elizabeth with her auburn hair, and the brown-faced Mendoza, side by side; and entered the carriage with the five plumes atop and the caparisoned horses that stamped and tossed their jingling heads. The yard was already emptying fast, en route for Chelsea Stairs; and as soon as the two were seated, the shrill trumpets blew again, and the halberdiers moved off with the carriage in the midst, the great nobles going before, and the ladies behind. The later comers mounted as quickly as possible, as their horses were brought in from the stable entrance, and clattered away, and in five minutes the yard was empty, except for a few sentries at their posts, and a servant or two lounging at the doorway; and as Anthony still stared at the empty pavement and the carpeted steps, far away from the direction of the Abbey came the clear call of the horns to tell the loyal folk that the Queen was coming.

It was a great inspiration for Anthony. He had seen world-powers incarnate below him in the glittering rustling figure of the Queen, and the dark-eyed courtly Ambassador in his orders and jewels at her side. There they had sat together in one carriage; the huge fiery realm of the south, whose very name was redolent with passion and adventure and boundless wealth; and the little self-contained northern kingdom, now beginning to stretch its hands, and quiver all along its tingling sinews and veins with fresh adolescent life. And Anthony knew that he was one of the cells of this young organism; and that in him as well as in Elizabeth and this sparkling creature at his side ran the fresh red blood of England. They were all one in the possession of a common life; and his heart burned as he thought of it.

After he had parted from Mary he rode back to Westminster, and crossed the river by the horse-ferry that plied there. And even as he landed and got his beast, with a deal of stamping and blowing, off the echoing boards on to the clean gravel again, there came down the reaches of the river the mellow sound of music across a mile of water, mingled with the deep rattle of oars, and sparkles of steel and colour glittered from the far-away royal barges in the autumn sunshine; and the lad thought with wonder how the two great powers so savagely at war upon the salt sea, were at peace here, sitting side by side on silken cushions and listening to the same trumpets of peace upon the flowing river.

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