The Tower Of London by W. Harrison Ainsworth

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

“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 affections.”

“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 yourselves.”

“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 salutation.

“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!”

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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.

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