Two Penniless Princesses by J. M. Synge
Chapter 5. The Meek Usurper
'Henry, thou of holy birth, Thou to whom thy Windsor gave Nativity and name and grave! Heavily upon his head Ancestral crimes were visited.'--SOUTHEY.
It suits not with the main thread of our story to tell of the happy and peaceful meetings between the Lady of Glenuskie and her old friend, who had given up almost princely rank and honour to become the servant of the poor and suffering strangers at the wharves of London. To Dame Lilias, Mother Clare's quiet cell at St. Katharine's was a blessed haven of rest, peace, and charity, such as was neither the guest-chamber nor the Prioress's parlour at St. Helen's, with all the distractions of the princesses' visitors and invitations, and with the Lady Joanna continually pulling against the authority that the Cardinal, her uncle, was exerting over his nieces.
His object evidently was to keep them back, firstly, from the York party, and secondly, from the King, under pretext of their mourning for their mother; and in this he might have succeeded but for the interest in them that had been aroused in Henry by his companion, namesake, and almost brother, the King of Wight. The King came or sent each day to St. Helen's to arrange about the requiem at Westminster, and when their late travelling companions invited the young ladies to dinner or to supper expressly to meet the King and the Cardinal--not in state, but at what would be now called a family party--Beaufort had no excuse for a refusal, such as he could not give without dire offence. And, indeed, he was even then obliged to yield to the general voice, and, recalling his own nephew from Normandy, send the Duke of York to defend the remnant of the English conquests.
He could only insist that the requiem should be the first occasion of the young ladies going out of the convent; but they had so many visitors there that they had not much cause for murmuring, and the French instructions of Sister Beata did not amount to much, even with Eleanor, while Jean loudly protested that she was not going to school.
The great day of the requiem came at last. The Cardinal had, through Sir Patrick Drummond and the Lady, provided handsome robes of black and purple for his nieces, and likewise palfreys for their conveyance to Westminster; and made it understood that unless Lady Joanna submitted to be completely veiled he should send a closed litter.
'The doited auld carle!' she cried, as she unwillingly hooded and veiled herself. 'One would think we were basilisks to slay the good folk of London with our eyes.'
The Drummond following, with fresh thyme sprays, beginning to turn brown, were drawn up in the outer court, all with black scarves across the breast--George Douglas among them, of course--and they presently united with the long train of clerks who belonged to the household of the Cardinal of Winchester. Jean managed her veil so as to get more than one peep at the throng in the streets through which they passed, so as to see and to be seen; and she was disappointed that no acclamations greeted the fair face thus displayed by fits. She did not understand English politics enough to know that a Beaufort face and Beaufort train were the last things the London crowd was likely to applaud. They had not forgotten the penance of the popular Duke Humfrey's wife, which, justly or unjustly, was imputed to the Cardinal and his nephews of Somerset.
But the King, in robes of purple and black, came to assist her from her palfrey before the beautiful entry of the Abbey Church, and led her up the nave to the desks prepared around what was then termed 'a herce,' but which would now be called a catafalque, an erection supposed to contain the body, and adorned with the lozenges of the arms of Scotland and Beaufort, and of the Stewart, in honour of the Black Knight of Lorn.
The Cardinal was present, but the Abbot of Westminster celebrated. All was exceedingly solemn and beautiful, in a far different style from the maimed rites that had been bestowed upon poor Queen Joanna in Scotland. The young King's face was more angelic than ever, and as psalm and supplication, dirge and hymn arose, chanted by the full choir, speaking of eternal peace, Eleanor bowed her head under her veil, as her bosom swelled with a strange yearning longing, not exactly grief, and large tears dropped from her eyes as she thought less of her mother than of her noble-hearted father; and the words came back to her in which Father Malcolm Stewart, in his own bitter grief, had told the desolate children to remember that their father was waiting for them in Paradise. Even Jean was so touched by the music and carried out of herself that she forgot the spectators, forgot the effect she was to produce, forgot her struggle with her uncle, and sobbed and wept with all her heart, perhaps with the more abandon because she, like all the rest, was fasting.
With much reverence for her emotion, the King, when the service was over, led her out of the church to the adjoining palace, where the Queen of Wight and the Countess of Suffolk, a kinswoman through the mother of the Beauforts, conducted the ladies to unveil themselves before they were to join the noontide refection with the King.
There was no great state about it, spread, as it was, not in the great hall, but in the richly-tapestried room called Paradise. The King's manner was most gently and sweetly courteous to both sisters. His three little orphan half-brothers, the Tudors, were at table; and his kind care to send them dainties, and the look with which he repressed an unseasonable attempt of Jasper's to play with the dogs, and Edmund's roughness with little Owen, reminded the sisters of Mary with 'her weans,' and they began to speak of them when the meal was over, while he showed them his chief treasures, his books. There was St. Augustine's City of God, exquisitely copied; there was the History of St. Louis, by the bon Sire deJoinville; there were Sir John Froissart's Chronicles, the same that the good Canon had presented to King Richard of Bordeaux.
Jean cast a careless glance at the illuminations, and exclaimed at Queen Isabel's high headgear and her becloaked greyhound. Eleanor looked and longed, and sighed that she could not read the French, and only a very little of the Latin.
'This you can read,' said Henry, producing the Canterbury Tales; 'the fair minstrelsy of my Lady of Suffolk's grandsire.'
Eleanor was enchanted. Here were the lines the King of Wight had repeated to her, and she was soon eagerly listening as Henry read to her the story of 'Patient Grisell.'
'Ah! but is it well thus tamely to submit?' she asked.
'Patience is the armour and conquest of the godly,' said Henry, quoting a saying that was to serve 'the meek usurper' well in after-times.
'May not patience go too far?' said Eleanor.
'In this world, mayhap,' said he; 'scarcely so in that which is to come.'
'I would not be the King's bride to hear him say so,' laughed the Lady of Suffolk. 'Shall I tell her, my lord, that this is your Grace's ladder to carry her to heaven?'
Henry blushed like a girl, and said that he trusted never to be so lacking in courtesy as the knight; and the King of Wight, wishing to change the subject, mentioned that the Lady Eleanor had sung or said certain choice ballads, and Henry eagerly entreated for one. It was the pathetic 'Wife of Usher's Well' that Eleanor chose, with the three sons whose hats were wreathen with the birk that
'Neither grew in dyke nor ditch, Nor yet in any shaugh, But at the gates of Paradise That birk grew fair eneugh.'
Henry was greatly delighted with the verse, and entreated her, if it were not tedious, to repeat it over again.
In return he promised to lend her some of the translations from the Latin of Lydgate, the Monk of Bury, and sent them, wrapped in a silken neckerchief, by the hands of one of his servants to the convent.
'Was that a token?' anxiously asked young Douglas, riding up to David Drummond, as they got into order to ride back to Winchester House, after escorting the ladies to St. Helen's.
'Token, no; 'tis a book for Lady Elleen. Never fash yourself, man; the King, so far as I might judge, is far more taken with Elleen than ever he is with Jean. He seems but a bookish sort of bodie of Malcolm's sort.'
'My certie, an' that be sae, we may look to winning back Roxburgh and Berwick!' returned the Douglas, his eye flashing. 'He's welcome to Lady Elleen! But that ane should look at her in presence of her sister! He maun be mair of a monk than a man!'
Such was, in truth, Jean's own opinion when she flounced into her chamber at the Priory and turned upon her sister.
'Weel, Elleen, and I hope ye've had your will, and are a bit shamed, taking up his Grace so that none by yersell could get in a word wi' him.'
'Deed, Jeanie, I could not help it; if he would ask me about our ballants and buiks, that ye would never lay your mind to--'
'Ballants and buiks! Bonnie gear for a king that should be thinking of spears and jacks, lances and honours. Ye're welcome to him, Elleen, sin ye choose to busk your cockernnonny at ane that's as good as wedded! I'll never have the man who's wanting the strick of carle hemp in the making of him!'
Eleanor burst into tears and pleaded that she was incapable of any such intentions towards a man who was truly as good as married. She declared that she had only replied as courtesy required, and that she would not have her harp taken to Warwick House the next day, as she had been requested to do.
Dame Lilias here interposed. With a certain conviction that Jean's dislike to the King was chiefly because the grapes were sour, she declared that Lady Elleen had by no means gone beyond the demeanour of a douce maiden, and that the King had only shown due attention to guests of his own rank, and who were nearly of his own age. In fact, she said, it might be his caution and loyalty to his espoused lady that made him avoid distinguishing the fairest.
It was not complimentary to Eleanor, but Jean's superior beauty was as much an established fact as her age, and she was pacified in some degree, agreeing with the Lady of Glenuskie that Eleanor was bound to take her harp the next day.
Warwick House was a really magnificent place, its courts, gardens, and offices covering much of the ground that still bears the name in the City, and though the establishment was not quite as extensive as it became a few years later, when Richard Nevil had succeeded his brother-in-law, it was already on a magnificent scale.
All the party who had travelled together from Fotheringay were present, besides the King, young Edmund and Jasper Tudor, and the Earl and Countess of Suffolk; and the banquet, though not a state one, nor encumbered with pageants and subtilties, was even more refined and elegant than that at Westminster, showing, as all agreed, the hand of a mistress of the household. The King's taste had been consulted, for in the gallery were the children of St. Paul's choir and of the chapel of the household, who sang hymns with sweet trained voices. Afterwards, on the beautiful October afternoon, there was walking in the garden, where Edmund and Jasper played with little Lady Anne Beauchamp, and again King Henry sought out Eleanor, and they had an enjoyable discussion of the Tale of Troie, which he had lent her, as they walked along the garden paths. Then she showed him her cousin Malcolm, and told of Bishop Kennedy and the schemes for St. Andrews, and he in return described Winchester College, and spoke of his wish to have such another foundation as Wykeham's under his own eye near Windsor, to train up the godly clergy, whom he saw to be the great need and lack of the Church at that day.
By and by, on going in from the garden, the King and Eleanor found that a tall, gray-haired gentleman, richly but darkly clad, had entered the hall. He had been welcomed by the young King and Queen of Wight, who had introduced Jean to him. 'My uncle of Gloucester,' said the King, aside. 'It is the first time he has come among us since the unhappy affair of bis wife. Let me present you to him.'
Going forward, as the Duke rose to meet him, Henry bent his knee and asked his fatherly blessing, then introduced the Lady Eleanor of Scotland--'who knows all lays and songs, and loves letters, as you told me her blessed father did, my fair uncle,' he said, with sparkling eyes.
Duke Humfrey looked well pleased as he greeted her. 'Ever the scholar, Nevoy Hal,' he said, as if marvelling at the preference above the beauty, 'but each man knows his own mind. So best.' Eleanor's heart began to beat high! What did this bode? Was this King fully pledged? She had to fulfil her promise of singing and playing to the King, which she did very sweetly, some of the pathetic airs of her country, which reach back much farther than the songs with which they have in later times been associated. The King thoroughly enjoyed the music, and the Duke of York came and paid her several compliments, begging for the song she had once begun at Fotheringay. Eleanor began--not perhaps so willingly as before. Strangely, as she sang--
'Owre muckle blinking blindeth the ee, lass, Owre muckle thinking changeth the mind,'--
her face and voice altered. Something of the same mist of tears and blood seemed to rise before her eyes as before--enfolding all around. Such a winding-sheet which had before enwrapt the King of Wight, she saw it again--nay, on the Duke of Gloucester there was such another, mounting--mounting to his neck. The face of Henry himself grew dim and ghastly white, like that of a marble saint. She kept herself from screaming, but her voice broke down, and she gave a choking sob.
King Henry's arm was the first to support her, though she shuddered as he touched her, calling for essences, and lamenting that they had asked too much of her in begging her to sing what so reminded her of her home and parents.
'She hath been thus before. It was that song,' said Jean, and the Lady of Glenuskie coming up at the same time confirmed the idea, and declined all help except to take her back to the Priory. The litter that had brought the Countess of Salisbury was at the door, and Henry would not be denied the leading her to it. She was recovering herself, and could see the extreme sweetness and solicitude of his face, and feel that she had never before leant on so kind and tender a supporting arm, since she had sat on her father's knee. 'Ah! sir, you mind me of my blessed father,' she said.
'Your father was a holy man, and died well-nigh a martyr's death,' said Henry. ''Tis an honour I thank you for to even me to him--such as I am.'
'Oh, sir! the saints guard you from such a fate,' she said, trembling.
'Was it so sad a fate--to die for the good he could not work in his life?' said Henry.
They had reached the arch into the court. A crowd was round them, and no more could be said. Henry kissed Eleanor's hand, as he assisted her into the litter, and she was shut in between the curtains, alone, for it only held one person. There was a strange tumult of feeling. She seemed lifted into a higher region, as if she had been in contact with an angel of purity, and yet there was that strange sense of awful fate all round, as if Henry were nearer being the martyr than the angel. And was she to share that fate? The generous young soul seemed to spring forward with the thought that, come what might, it would be hallowed and sweetened with such as he! Yet withal there was a sense of longing to protect and shield him.
As usual, she had soon quite recovered, but Jean pronounced it 'one of Elleen's megrims--as if she were a Hielander to have second sight.'
'But,' said the young lady, 'it takes no second sight to spae ill to yonder King. He is not one whose hand will keep his head, and there are those who say that he had best look to his crown, for he hath no more right thereto than I have to be Queen of France!'
'Fie, Jean, that's treason.'
'I'm none of his, nor ever will be! I have too much spirit for a gudeman who cares for nothing but singing his psalter like a friar.'
Jean was even more of that opinion when, the next day, at York House, only Edmund and Jasper Tudor appeared with their brother's excuses. He had been obliged to give audience to a messenger from the Emperor. 'Moreover,' added Edmund disconsolately, 'to-morrow he is going to St. Albans for a week's penitence. Harry is always doing penance, I cannot think what for. He never eats marchpane in church--nor rolls balls there.'
'I know,' said Jasper sagely. 'I heard the Lord Cardinal rating him for being false to his betrothed--that's the Lady Margaret, you know.'
'Ha!' said the Duke of York, before whom the two little boys were standing. 'How was that, my little man?'
'Hush, Jasper,' said Edmund; 'you do not know.'
'But I do, Edmund; I was in the window all the time. Harry said he did not know it, he only meant all courtesy; and then the Lord Cardinal asked him if he called it loyalty to his betrothed to be playing the fool with the Scottish wench. And then Harry stared--like thee, Ned, when thy bolt had hit the Lady of Suffolk: and my Lord went on to say that it was perilous to play the fool with a king's sister, and his own niece. Then, for all that Harry is a king and a man grown, he wept like Owen, only not loud, and he went down on his knees, and he cried, "Mea peccata, mea peccata, mea infirmitas," just as he taught me to do at confession. And then he said he would do whatever the Lord Cardinal thought fit, and go and do penance at St. Albans, if he pleased, and not see the lady that sings any more.'
'And I say,' exclaimed Edmund, 'what's the good of being a king and a man, if one is to be rated like a babe?'
'So say I, my little man,' returned the Duke, patting him on the head, then adding to his own two boys, 'Take your cousins and play ball with them, or spin tops, or whatever may please them.'
'There is the king we have,' quoth Richard Nevil 'to be at the beck of any misproud priest, and bewail with tears a moment's following of his own will, like other men.'
Most of the company felt such misplaced penitence and submission, as they deemed it, beneath contempt; but while Eleanor had pride enough to hold up her head so that no one might suppose her to be disappointed, she felt a strange awe of the conscientiousness that repented when others would only have felt resentment--relief, perhaps, at not again coming into contact with one so unlike other men as almost to alarm her.
Jean tossed up her head, and declared that her brother knew better than to let any bishop put him into leading-strings. By and by there was a great outcry among the children, and Edmund Tudor and Edward of York were fighting like a pair of mastiff- puppies because Edward had laughed at King Harry for minding what an old shaveling said. Edward, though the younger, was much the stronger, and was decidedly getting the best of it, when he was dragged off and sent into seclusion with his tutor for misbehaviour to his guest.
No one was amazed when the next day the Cardinal arrived, and told his grand-nieces and the Lady of Glenuskie that he had arranged that they should go forward under the escort of the Earl and Countess of Suffolk, who were to start immediately for Nanci, there to espouse and bring home the King's bride, the Lady Margaret. There was reason to think that the French Royal Family would be present on the occasion, as the Queen of France was sister to King Rene of Sicily and Jerusalem, and thus the opportunity of joining their sister was not to be missed by the two Scottish maidens. The Cardinal added that he had undertaken, and made Sir Patrick Drummond understand, that he would be at all charges for his nieces, and further said that merchants with women's gear would presently be sent in, when they were to fit themselves out as befitted their rank for appearance at the wedding. At a sign from him a large bag, jingling heavily, was laid on the table by a clerk in attendance. There was nothing to be done but to make a low reverence and return thanks.
Jean had it in her to break out with ironical hopes that they would see something beyond the walls of a priory abroad, and not be ordered off the moment any one cast eyes on them; but my Lord of Winchester was not the man to be impertinent to, especially when bringing gifts as a kindly uncle, and when, moreover, King Henry had the bad taste to be more occupied with her sister than with herself.
It was Eleanor who chiefly felt a sort of repugnance to being thus, as it were, bought off or compensated for being sent out of reach. She could have found it in her heart to be offended at being thought likely to wish to steal the King's heart, and yet flattered by being, for the first time, considered as dangerous, even while her awe, alike of Henry's holiness and of those strange visions that had haunted her, made her feel it a relief that her lot was not to be cast with him.
The Cardinal did not seem to wish to prolong the interview with his grand-nieces, having perhaps a certain consciousness of injury towards them; and, after assuring brilliant marriages for them, and graciously blessing them, he bade them farewell, saying that the Lady of Suffolk would come and arrange with them for the journey. No doubt, though he might have been glad to place a niece on the throne, it would have been fatal to the peace he so much desired for Henry to break his pledges to so near a kinswoman of the King of France. And when the bag was opened, and the rouleaux of gold and silver crowns displayed, his liberality contradicted the current stories of his avarice.
And by and by arrived a succession of merchants bringing horned hoods, transparent veils, like wings, supported on wire projections, long trained dresses of silk and sendal, costly stomachers, bands of velvet, buckles set with precious stones, chains of gold and silver--all the fashions, in fact, enough to turn the head of any young lady, and in which the staid Lady Prioress seemed to take quite as much interest as if she had been to wear them herself--indeed, she asked leave to send Sister Mabel to fetch a selection of the older nuns given to needlework and embroidery to enjoy the exhibition, though it was to be carefully kept out of sight of the younger ones, and especially of the novices.
The excitement was enough to put the Cardinal's offences out of mind, while the delightful fitting and trying on occupied the maidens, who looked at themselves in the little hand-mirrors held up to them by the admiring nuns, and demanded every one's opinion. Jean insisted that Annis should have her share, and Eleanor joined in urging it, when Dame Lilias shook her head, and said that was not the use the Lord Cardinal intended for his gold.
'He gave it to us to do as we would with it,' argued Eleanor.
'And she is our maiden, and it befits us not that she should look like ane scrub,' added Jean, in the words used by her brother's descendant, a century later.
'I thank you, noble cousins,' replied Annis, with a little haughtiness, 'but Davie would never thole to see me pranking it out of English gold.'
'She is right, Jeanie,' cried Eleanor. 'We will make her braw with what we bought at York with gude Scottish gold.'
'All the more just,' added Jean, 'that she helped us in our need with her ain.'
'And we are sib--near cousins after a',' added Eleanor; 'so we may well give and take.'
So it was settled, and all was amicable, except that there was a slight contest between the sisters whether they should dress alike, as Eleanor wished, while Jean had eyes and instinct enough to see that the colours and forms that set her fair complexion and flaxen tresses off to perfection were damaging to Elleen's freckles and general auburn colouring. Hitherto the sisters had worn only what they could get, happy if they could call it ornamental, and the power of choice was a novelty to them. At last the decision fell to the one who cared most about it, namely Jean. Elleen left her to settle for both, being, after the first dazzling display, only eager to get back again to Saint Marie Maudelin before the King should reclaim it.
There was something in the legend, wild and apocryphal as it is, together with what she had seen of the King, that left a deep impression upon her.
'And by these things ye understand maun The three best things which this Mary chose, As outward penance and inward contemplation, And upward bliss that never shall cease, Of which God said withouten bees That the best part to her chose Mary, Which ever shall endure and never decrease, But with her abideth eternally.'
Stiff, quaint, and awkward sounds old Bokenham's translation of the 'Golden Legend,' but to Eleanor it had much power. The whole history was new to her, after her life in Scotland, where information had been slow to reach her, and books had been few. The gewgaws spread out before Jean were to her like the gloves, jewels, and braiding of hair with which Martha reproached her sister in the days of her vanity, and the cloister with its calm services might well seem to her like the better part. These nuns indeed did not strike her as models of devotion, and there was something in the Prioress's easy way of declaring that being safe there might prevent any need of special heed, which rung false on her ear; and then she thought of King Henry, whose rapt countenance had so much struck her, turning aside from enjoyment to seclude himself at the first hint that his pleasure might be a temptation. She recollected too what Lady Drummond had told her of Father Malcolm and Mother Clare, and how each had renounced the world, which had so much to offer them, and chosen the better part! She remembered Father Malcolm's sweet smile and kind words, and Mother Clare's face had impressed her deeply with its lofty peace and sweetness. How much better than all these agitations about princely bridegrooms! and broken lances and queens of beauty seemed to fade into insignificance, or to be only incidents in the tumult of secular life and worldly struggle, and her spirit quailed at the anticipation of the journey she had once desired, the gay court with its follies, empty show, temptations, coarsenesses and cruelties, and the strange land with its new language. The alternative seemed to her from Maudelin in her worldly days to Maudelin at the Saviour's feet, and had Mother Margaret Stafford been one whit more the ideal nun, perhaps every one would have been perplexed by a vehement request to seclude herself at once in the cloister of St. Helen's.
Looking up, she saw a figure slowly pacing the turf walk. It was the Mother Clare, who had come to see the Lady of Glenuskie, but finding all so deeply engaged, had gone out to await her in the garden.
Much indeed had Dame Lilias longed to join her friend, and make the most of these precious hours, but as purse-bearer and adviser to her Lady Joanna, it was impossible to leave her till the arrangements with the merchants were over. And the nuns of St. Helen's did not, as has already been seen, think much of an uncloistered sister. In her twenty years' toils among the poor it had been pretty well forgotten that Mother Clare was Esclairmonde de Luxembourg, almost of princely rank, so that no one took the trouble to entertain her, and she had slipped out almost unperceived to the quiet garden with its grass walks. And there Eleanor came up to her, and with glistening tears, on a sudden impulse exclaimed, 'Oh, holy Mother, keep me with you, tell me to choose the better part.'
'You, lady? What is this?'
'Not lady, daughter--help me! I kenned it not before--but all is vanity, turmoil, false show, except the sitting at the Lord's feet.'
'Most true, my child. Ah! have I not felt the same? But we must wait His time.'
'It was I--it was I,' continued Eleanor, 'who set Jean upon this journey, leaving my brother and Mary and the bairns. And the farther we go, the more there is of vain show and plotting and scheming, and I am weary and heartsick and homesick of it all, and shall grow worse and worse. Oh! shelter me here, in your good and holy house, dear Reverend Mother, and maybe I could learn to do the holy work you do in my own country.'
How well Esclairmonde knew it all, and what aspirations had been hers! She took Elleen's hand kindly and said, 'Dear maid, I can only aid you by words! I could not keep you here. Your uncle the Cardinal would not suffer you to abide here, nor can I take sisters save by consent of the Queen--and now we have no Queen, of the King, and--'
'Oh no, I could not ask that,' said Eleanor, a deep blush mounting, as she remembered what construction might be put on her desire to remain in the King's neighbourhood. 'Ah! then must I go on--on--on farther from home to that Court which they say is full of sin and evil and vanity? What will become of me?'
'If the religious life be good for you, trust me, the way will open, however unlikely it may seem. If not, Heaven and the saints will show what your course should be.'
'But can there be such safety and holiness, save in that higher path?' demanded Eleanor.
'Nay, look at your own kinswoman, Dame Lilias--look at the Lady of Salisbury. Are not these godly, faithful women serving God through their duty to man--husband, children, all around? And are the longings and temptations to worldly thoughts and pleasures of the flesh so wholly put away in the cloister?'
'Not here,' began Eleanor, but Mother Clare hushed her.
'Verily, my child,' she added, 'you must go on with your sister on this journey, trusting to the care and guidance of so good a woman as my beloved old friend, Dame Lilias; and if you say your prayers with all your heart to be guarded from sin and temptation, and led into the path that is fittest for you, trust that our blessed Master and our Lady will lead you. Have you the Pater Noster in the vulgar tongue?' she added.
'We--we had it once ere my father's death. And Father Malcolm taught us; but we have since been so cast about that--that--I have forgotten.'
'Ah! Father Malcolm taught you,' and Esclairmonde took the girl's hand. 'You know how much I owe to Father Malcolm,' she softly added, as she led the maiden to a carved rood at the end of the cloister, and, before it, repeated the vernacular version of the Lord's Prayer till Eleanor knew it perfectly, and promised to follow up her 'Pater Nosters' with it.
And from that time there certainly was a different tone and spirit in Eleanor.
David, urged by his father, who still publicly ignored the young Douglas, persuaded him to write to his father now that there could be no longer any danger of pursuit, and the messenger Sir Patrick was sending to the King would afford the last opportunity. George growled and groaned a good deal, but perhaps Father Romuald pressed the duty on him in confession, for in his great relief at his lady's going off unplighted from London, he consented to indite, in the chamber Father Romuald shared with two of the Cardinal's chaplains, in a crooked and crabbed calligraphy and language much more resembling Anglo- Saxon than modern English, a letter to the most high and mighty, the Yerl of Angus, 'these presents.'
But when he was entreated to assume his right position in the troop, he refused. 'Na, na, Davie,' he said, 'gin my father chooses to send me gear and following, 'tis all very weel, but 'tisna for the credit of Scotland nor of Angus that the Master should be ganging about like a land-louper, with a single laddie after him--still less that he should be beholden to the Drummonds.'
'Ye would win to the speech of the lassie,' suggested David, 'gin that be what ye want!'
'Na kenning me, she willna look at me. Wait till I do that which may gar her look at me,' said the chivalrous youth.
He was not entirely without means, for the links of a gold chain which he had brought from home went a good way in exchange, and though he had spoken of being at his own charges, he had found himself compelled to live as one of the train of the princesses, who were treated as the guests first of the Duke of York, then of the Cardinal, who had given Sir Patrick a sum sufficient to defray all possible expenses as far as Bourges, besides having arranged for those of the journey with Suffolk whose rank had been raised to that of a Marquis, in honour of his activity as proxy for the King.