Chapter 19761732

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Chapter NumberVOL II XX-(Continued)
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19761732
Full Date1877-09-22
Page Number9
Corrections0
Word Count4492
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleHer Majesty's Tower
article text

LITERATURE

The Storyteller.

Her Majesty's Tower.*

VOL. II. CHAPTER XX— (Continued).

BY WILLIAM HEPWORTH DIXON.

ON St. Valentine's eve Garnet was marched through a crowd of people to the Council chamber of Whitehall, where Cecil and Northampton received him with the treacherous

courtesy that had already thrown him off his guard. When he knelt, they bade him stand up. When he began by protesting his innocence of Catesby's plot, "I wish," said Cecil mildly, " you would not protest so earnestly, since we have certain proof." With smiling courtesy Cecil enquired his opinion about equivocation, about the doctrine of excommunication, and about tha Pope's dispensing power. " You see, Mr. Garnet," he insinuated, "we deal not with you in matters of religion, as of your priesthood, or of the real presence." He only asked a question about the oath. Garnet was pleased, as he wrote to Ann Yaux, "to be accounted a traitor without, and not within, the plot." But he was cautious in what he said. To Cecil's question, whether it was held by Catholics to be lawful to take up arms against the King? he answered, that no one could rise against his prince unless that prince were excommunicated by the Pope. He thought King James was not excommunicate; and even if he were so, he declared that no one could proceed against him without the Pope's express command. A Catholio could only rise against heretics. Being pressed to say whether the English were not held to be heretics, he answered, "The religion is heretical —of the persons I cannot judge." Cecil put the question: "May the Pope excommunicate our King ?" Garnet replied by the evasion : " The Pope is successor to St Peter, to whom Christ said, Pence ova meat, and so he may excommu nicate Kings." Cecil urged him to say "Our King;" but he refused to do so, as he alleged, " out of reverence." " Could the Pope release subjects from their obedience?" "There is a canon, l\'ot $anctorum, wherein is such a rule, which lies beyond my power to abridge." The questioning by Cecil and Northampton lasted two hours, after which Coke attacked him for one hour more. Garnet refused to name bis partners in the mission, and even to admit the names by wbioh he was known to his penitents. Next day, 8t Valentine's day, he was oom mitted to the Tower; to a "horrible dungeon," probably the Keep; but after Buffering two bad night* in his miserable den, he was removed, for a reason which he could not guess, into Leslie's old chamber, on the lower tier of the Bloody tower. " I am allowed every meal," he wrote to Ann Vaux, who had followed him to London, "a good draught of excellent claret wine; and lam liberal with myself and neighbors for good respects, to allow also of my purse some sack: ana this is the greatest charge I shall be at" Contrary to their nature, Coke and Waad, both acting on a hint from court, were civil to the prisoner. Even Popham's awful brow unbent when Garnet came into the Powder Plot Room. During one of his examinations, Garnet said he did not fear to die, for he should die innocently, and death would be welcome. "That were a pity," said Coke, " for you are a man to serve your king and country." One day, when Coke was talking of the time at Hendlip, Garnet said, "If I had a Calendar I could tell, for I think it was St Sebastian's day." " You have saint* for every day?" "We have for the most part," answered Garnet "Well," quoth Coke, "you shall have no place in the Calendar." "I am not worthy of a place in the Calendar," said Garnet, " but I hope to have a place in heaven." Once, indeed, Garnet was drawn by these treacherous pleasantries into making what he thought a serious offer to the King. Waad was saying, what he knew to be in Cecil's mind, " The Jesuits' Order shall be dissolved upon this as the Templars' was ;" to which the Prefect answered, " Private faults do not prejudice the whole." "The Jesuits shall now all out of England," added Sir William. Garnet then made his offer : "If the King would grant free liberty to other Papists, I will presently send away all Jesuits." Popham started. " That is more than you can do?" he urged. "I will try," said the Prefect, making to his judge a most dangerous confession of his power over that band of outlaws. Well lodged, well fed, with plenty of sack and claret, with civil judges, and obsequious keepers, Garnet was highly pleased with what was going on. If he could have his " morning delight," he wrote to tell Ann Vaux, he should be happy. What that "morning delight" was, we can only guess ; the lady knew, no doubt An obliging keeper carried his letter to Ann ; and in less than a week after it was sent, Ann Vaux was herself a prisoner in the Tower.

Chapter XXI. KSD OF THE ENGLISH JESUITS. The whole group of English Jesuits were now in charge of Sir William Waad. Father Fisher was in the Keep, on the walls of which he inscribed his name. Garnet and Oldcorne, after passing some fifty hours in a dark hole, had been placed in adjoining rooms under Raleigh's lodgings in the Bloody Tower. George and Little John were thrown into sepa rate dungeons, dismal and far apart Abington alone was in the Fleet. But where was Father Robarts all this while ? This Father, the companion of Fawkes in Vinegar House, was taken, as it were, in the fact. His guilt was evident No jury could have doubted for a moment that he knew of the mine being laid. Near him, in his room, a quantity of Popish books and papers had been seized. These papers were of moment, and in the first hours of their seizure they had been freely used by Coke.

*Th« rifht of npabluhinf "Her M^jerty'i Tower" bMU«apaiohaMibjtiMpropri«tofßo( Th*<fruauUmdtr.

Yet from the night of Fawkes' arrest, the Father and his papers disappear from view. RobarU was afterwards Been at large ; but what became of him during those five months in which Cecil and Northampton were routing and destroying the Jesuit conspirators, uo soul can tell. This sudden disappearance of a man who had come direct from Rome to stand by the side of Fawkes is one of the darkest mysteries of that mysterious time. One day, a keeper, of whom Garnet thought he had made a friend by giving him a little sack and a little coin, told the Prefect as a secret that his comrade, Father Oldcorne, lay in the adjoining room. Garnet listened to his words, and then the man, encouraged to go on, pointed to a slide in the wall, and told him that on pushing it back he might converse with his friend. But the thing must be done with care, as keepers might be about who were unfriendly to him, and then the panel would be nailed up. Garnet tried the panel, and found his keeper right Oldcorne was there; and the two Jesuits, after a short prayer in Latin, made confessions to each other ; beating their hands the while upon their heartß. Two spies, named Forsett and Locherson, had been so placed by Waad, that they could hear the two priests ; and the main part of their con versation was taken down by these spies. " I had a note from Rokewood," they heard Garnet say (Thomas Rokewood was a brother of Am brose), " and he telleth me Greenway is gone.. . I had another from Gerard, that he meaneth to go over to Father Persons.... I think Mrs. Ann is in the town ; if she be, I have writ a note, that my keeper may repair to her, and convey me anything unto her, who will let us hear from all our friends. I gave him an angel yester day . . and he took it very well, with great thanks; and now and then at meals I make very much of him, and give him a cup of sack, and send his wife another, and that he taketh very kindly . . . You should do well now and then to give him a shilling, and sometimes send his wife somewhat... He did see me write to Mr. Roke wood." The talk was long and curious ; for the two Jesuits had not seen each other since they arrived in town. "I must needs confess White Webbs," said Garnet, who had at first denied being there; " but I will answer it thus—that I was there, but knew nothing of the matter." Oldcorne spoke in a lower tone, and the spies could not always catch his words. " Mr. Attor ney," Garnet went on to say, "told me very friendly, that he would make the best con struction of my examination to the King, and do me good. If I can satisfy the King, it will be well; but I think it not convenient to deny that we were at White Webbs.... They pressed me to be there in October hut, which I will by no means confess ; but I will tell them I was not there since Bartholomew's tide; neither will I toll them of my knowledge of any of the servant* there, for they may examine and perhaps torture some of them, and nuke them yield to some confession ... I am persuaded I shall wind myself out of this matter." Poor fellow! A noise was now heard in the passage, for the spiea had learnt enough for the day ; and Garnet was heard to say in a whisper to Old corne, " Hark you—hark you—Mr. Lieutenant ? Make a hawking and spitting while I shut the door." Two days later, the keeper to whom Garnet had given his money and his wine, made a motion that the coast was clear; on which Garnet slid back the panel, and held a second conn dential chat with Oldoome. " They charge me," said Garnet. " with some advice in the Queen's time for blowing up the Parliament House with powder ... I told them at that time it was lawful, but wished them to save as many as they could that were innocent" Here was the evi dence that Cecil and Northampton needed for his condemnation. " They pressed me," Garnet added, " what noblemen I knew that have written any letters to Rome . . . Well, I see they will justify my Lord Monteagle of all this matter." What he said next was doubtful; for a cock in the Lieutenant's garden under his window gave a lusty crow. The spies reported that he men tioned the names of Lord Northumberland, Lord Rutland, and one other, though in what con nection he referred to these noblemen they could not tolL The two Jesuit* held a long debate as to how they should shape their confessions, not to differ in the main. Garnet complained that Oldcorne was rather lax, not standing to the bargain they had made while hiding at Hendlip. "They went away last time unsatisfied," said Garnet, speaking of Northampton and the other com missioners, " and therefore we may expect the rack . . . Mr. Attorney was about to write, but when he had written these lines he gave it over, and seemed to be angry, saying, 'I had lost my credit, for he had undertaken for me to the King.'" The spies reported that Garnet spoke much of a gentlewoman, and said that if he were charged with her, he would excuse her coming with him ; but how he was to do it, they could not plainly hear him say. They made a noise, as if some one were coming, on which Garnet atked Oldcorne to take a shovel and rattle the coals while he closed the dividing door. These secret conferences, overheard by spies, continued for a week. In one of his brief confessions to his fellow-priest, Garnet admitted having drunk so much that he had twice been obliged to be put to bed. Oldcorne mentioned that he had heard from seme one that their servants were being questioned; when Garnet replied that his own man, Little John, would never confess to anything against him. While he was using these words, this faithful servant, broken by his fear of the rack, was dying in another cell. Up to the previous day Little John's strength had not been tried. Being asked in the ordinary way how he came to Hendlip, he refused to say; he knew neither Garnet nor Oldcorne; and though he had known Chambers for some years, he could not tell them whether he was Old corne's man or not. But on his thumbs being tied together, and his body being raised by a beam, he instantly gave up his master's name. This clever architect could not bear'the torture, and while his limbs were ntretched he answered every question they chose to put He had served Father Garnet from the date of the Essex rising. He had been with him often at White Webbs. He went with him down to Coughtoo,

where he heard him say mass before the insur rection broke out; and afterwards to Hendlip Hall, where Garnet and Oldcorne dined and supped with Mr. and Mrs. Abington every day until the Bearch began. These where the con fessions of which Oldcorne had heard some hints; but Waad, who thought he could tell much more, told the lay Jesuit that bin next examination should be taken on the rack. The threat sufficed. Next day Little John complained.of sickness, when his keeper lent him a chair to Bit on and a knife to cut his meat. The broth for Ihb dinner, he said, was cold ; and feeling very faint, he begged the keeper to put it for a moment on the fire in an adjacent room. So soon as the man was gone he ripped himself open with his knife, and, gathering up the straw about his knees, sat still and bled until the keeper came. Seeing his prisoner covered with straw and dabbled with blood, the man ran off to the Lieutenant, whom he found at table with his gueata, and gave the alarm ; on which Waad and the gentlemen who were dining with him rußhed to the Buicide's cell. The Jesuit was gone past hope, and the only speech they could draw from him waa that he had killed him self in fear of the rack, lest in his weakness and bis agony be might be tempted to betray the lives of men who had always been his friends. A brave man, worthy of a nobler fate i Ann Vaux was no less brave. In following Garnet to London and taking lodgings near the Tower, she knew the dangers into which she ran. About the time of her arrival, her house at White Webbs was searched, and her servant, James, was seized. Tied on the rack, this servant told the story of her life in Enfield Chase —her false names—her priestly guests—her dangerous visitors ; yet for two or three weeks the Council allowed her to remain at large, and to correspond with her confessor in the Bloody tower. She Bent in parcels of linen and boxes of marmalade. Garnet asked her for money to pay his fees, and he told her she must come to his keeper's mother for instructions how to act. If she came to the Lieutenant's garden, near his window, she could see him, though she must not try to speak. He told her to get some of the Society's money if she could, as he wanted to buy beds "for James, John, and Harry, who have been tortured." This note—and much that followed it—was sent by a private hand; but the Lieutenant seems to have seen it before it passed the gate. Ann Vaux, arrested and committed to the Tower, was sharply questioned as to her residence at White Webbs, and the gathering of con spirators beneath her roof. She answered boldly; confessing that Catesby, Winter, and Treshman had been her guests, and frequently at her table: that she had gone with Lady Digby to St. Winifred's Well; that she was at Cough ton on the first of November last But not one word oould be drawn from her against the Jesuits. She would not say what priest* were at the Well. She had heard no prayer, no mass, at Coughton. Told that Garnet had confessed the plot, she expressed her sorrow and surprise ; as he had made to her many protests to the contrary. When they found her useless as a witness, they remembered her noble birth and set her free. Nine days later Ann sent to the Tower a pair of spectacles, wrapped in a bit of paper, on which were written, in plain black ink, these harmless words, "I pray you prove whether these spectacles do fit your sight;" but when this piece of paper was held before a fire, the text of a letter, written, in orange-juice, came out. She told the prisoner that Coke, at supper-time on Saturday night, had spoken of him. He had said, that Garnet, feigning to be sick, had gone to his chamber, where his keeper saw him take a letter from a box of marmalade, just then come in, and burn it. He had also said that Garnet had confessed to his knowledge of the powder, though he still denied any practice in it She told him that the box and paper were from her hands. She was glad they reached him. The spectacles and scrap were from her ; and if they came to him safely, then other of his Mends would write, and stops could be taken to supply his room. She added, "For myself, lam forced to seek new friends, my old are wearied of me. I beseech you, for God's sake, advise me what course to take. My hope is you will continue your care of me, and commit me to some that will for your sake help me. To live without you is not life, but death. Now I see my loss, lam and ever will be yours; and so I humbly beseech you to account me. 0 that I might Bee you!" On this letter being read by Coke, the writer was again arrested, and her house examined, when a heap of relics, altar stuff, and priestly trappings, were discovered. She said they belonged to her sister and herself. She con fessed that Father Garnet had lived with her at White Webbs ; that her couain, Frank Tresham, had often come to see them ; but she declared that the Jesuit had always counselled him to be patient in his griefs. The notes of this second examination were sent by Coke to Cecil. As nothing could be learned from Ann Vaux, the Government were forced to make use of the conversations which had been overheard by their spies in the Bloody tower. Oldcorne was carried into the Powder Plot Room, and charged by the Commissioners with having held a clandestine conversation with Garnet in the Bloody tower. Startled by the announcement, Oldcorne confessed that he had spoken with his friend through the door ; and, being pressed by Coke, admitted details which were fatal to his comrade and himself. He was often at White Webbs, where he had met with Garnet, Gerard, and many more; but Garnet had told him in the Tower that he would never confess to being at White Webbs. Garnet had also told him in the Tower, that he had taken the lead in those prayers at Coughton, which in public he had strenuously denied. Garnet was now brought in and questioned. Secret conference with Oldcorne ! Never. He had not seen his fellow-prisoner ; had never exchanged a word with him. When shown the paper signed by Oldcorne, he said it was all a lie ; that Oldcorne might accuse him, but he would never accuse himself. On being threatened with the rack, however, he confessed to the main facts; tad then ha was sent to trial

under a special commission, consisting of Bir Leonard Halliday, Lord Mayor, the four Catholic Earls to whom Cecil had read Monteagle's letter (Nottingham, Northampton, Suffolk, and Wor cester), Sir John Popham, and some others. The trial took place in Westminster Hall; the King was present behind a curtain, and the Lady Arabella looked on the scene from a privfcte box. ; Oldoorne had been already tried, oondemed, and executed. Garnet's trial (March, 1606) was a form only, for he had been already tried in secret and oon demned to die. The trial lasted some hours; Garnet defended himself with subtilty and spirit; and Northampton made a long and scurrilous attack on the Jesuits in a speech, which he after* wards printed in London and explained away in Rome. From the Tower gates, the Jesuit was carried to Ludgate Hill, in front of St Paul's Cathedral, where a gallows had been built for him. A multitude of people oame to see him Buffer, and, like many a worse man than himself, he made a devout end. The injury which he had done to Ann Vaux was on his mind to the last, and he spoke some words on the scaffold to dear her fame._ "There is an honorable gentlewoman," he said, not aloud to the people, Dut in a low, sad voice, to those about him, " who hath been much wronged by report, for it is suspected and said, that I should be married to her, or worse. I protest the contrary. She is a virtuous gentle woman ; and for me a perfect virgin." He prayed for the King and Queen. He said ho had held out in denial, because he thought the Council had no proof against him. He now confessed his fault; and hoped that the Catholics would fare no worse for his sake. As he was saying his prayer, " Maria Mater gratis^ Maria Mater misericordia," the cart was drawn from beneath his feet

CIAHUIKII. THX CATHOLIC LOBDS. Wmi Cecil «nd Northampton were employed in driving and wising the priestly member* of the Plot, they were not unmindful of the Catholic peers who, from their name and faith, could not help being the most acoeptable # Englishmen in the court of Spain. Such peer* as Montagu* Mordaunt, Stourton. and Nor thumberland, were counted in their several ways, by foreign princes, most of all by Philip the Third, as the living force of the Catholic cause ; the men by whom the country would b* drawn at some future time into what they called the ancient family union of the Church. These peers might be out of favor ; but men who had _ half the population of England at their back, could never be out of power. Cecil and Northampton had to show the Duk* de Lerma, that a foreign minister who oounted on these Catholic lords wag counting on a bundle •f broken reeds. The facto which came out in the earliest questioning of Fawkes and Winter in the Tower, enabled them to take defensive measures against these lords without appearing to go beyond the stern necessities of the case. Fawkes had lived in the household of Lord Montagu, Kay in that of Lord Mordaunt. Btourton, who lived pa. Clerkenwell, was married to Frances Tresham, a sister of " Cousin Frank." Catesby was known to have warned Stourton and Mordaunt against coming to the House of Lords. Percy was not only a kinsman and servant of Northumberland, but was known to have supped with him at Sion on Monday night Such facto, as they came out one by one, excited the public mind ; but Cecil, in giving orders to restrain the four great Catholio peers, took every opportunity of hinting that he meant them well. At first, they were confined to their several homes; then, some of them were removed to the houses of aldermen and justices of the peace; but in less than eight weeks after the arrest of Guy Fawkes they were all committed to ti» Tower. , [to bb comntuxD.]

Mb. Tboiaofi asserts that he does all Us writing before breakfast Mr. Tom Taylor Mid at a literary fund dinner at which Mr. Motley wm present, that all his literary work had been done before official hoon in the morning. H. J. Byron sayi he only writes two hours a day, but he takes credit for thinking a good deal. Mr. Hepworth Dixon literally writes from morn ing till night George Eliot is at her desk six or seven hours a day. Mrs. Henry Wood writes every day until dinner-time. Miss Braddon has been in the habit of writing from ten to sixteen hours every day, and only a couple of years ago her labor was so incessant that it turned her brain, and she had to lay down her pen, for many months, in the middle of a novel, which was finished by a friend. Thi following story from Truth may amuse those interested in the vagaries of fashion. At a dinner party given lately in Paris, one lady was remarked above all others for the elegance of her figure and the perfection of her toilette. During the mauvau quart cChture before dinner she was surrounded by a host of admirers, and one less bashful than the rest ventured to offer her the flower from his button-hole. It was accepted, but as the " princess robe " worn by the graceful creature was laced behind, it was necessary to fasten the flower to the front of her dress with a pin. The operation was success* fully performed, and the fair lady was led into dinner by the donor of the flower. They were hardly seated, when he heard a curious sound like the gentle sighing of the wind, and on turning toward his partner, he saw with horror that the lovely figure was getting "small by degrees and beautifully less." The rounded form had dis appeared before the soup was over, and long before the first entree, the once creaseleas garment hung in great folds about a scraggy framework! It seems that the newest dresses for "slight" ladies are made with air-tight linings, and inflated when on, till the required degree of embonpoint is attained. The un fortunate lady mentioned above had forgotten this little detail when she fastened the fatal flower to her bosom with a pin; hence the collapse!