|Chapter Number||VOL III I-(Continued)|
|Newspaper Title||The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)|
|Trove Title||Her Majesty's Tower|
Her Majesty's Tower.
VOL. III. CHAPTER I.— (Continued).
BY WILLIAM HEPWORTH DIXON.
SIR Thomas Compton was a younger brother of that Lord Compton of Compton who had married the greatest fortune of those times. A "little man," a "drunkard," and a "fool," Sir
Thomas was the butt of his county and the make-sport of his village-green. But what were such things to a Parent, with her four small children to feed and clothe ? She knew that he was rich, and that was enough for her. The match was most unhappy for Sir Thomas, who had every reason to be jealous of his wife. With men Sir Thomas might be egged into display of spirit One Captain Bird, a roaring fellow, put such shame on him that everyone told him—as a joke—that he must call the Captain out "What!" cried the pigmy, "fight him ?" " Even so," his neighbors said, each eager for a piece of fun ; "a ( man could only die onoe, and it was better to fall in a good cause, sword in hand, than to be spurned and flouted like a dog." It was like asking Master Stephen to send a cartel of defiance to Captain Bobadil. But nervous terror often makes men bold. A note was sent, and Bird, amused by such a cartel, answered that since the choice of ground and weapons lay with him, he would fight in a saw-pit, and with swords, in order that the cuckold should not ran away! The two men stripped te fight, and dropt into the-pit Bird waved his. sword above his head in mockery, crying, " Now, Compton, thou shalt not escape me ; come, let's see what thou canst do!" on which the pigmy, seeing his adversary's point in the air, rushed in below bis guard, and ran him through the ribs. Bird instantly fell dead. But he had no such courage with his wife. This lovely creature dealt in charmß and spells, and mortal daring failed against her demoniac arts. She kept a " devil," in the shape of Doctor Lamb ; a darling of fine ladies and their foolish lords, whose money be embezzled end whose honor he betrayed. This wretch, astrologer, enchanter, secret poisoner, became her " father " in the science; teaching her magic and the seven arts ; mixing powders and potions to in toxicate her lord, and helping her to physio and to form her sons. She meant these lads to rise as she had risen. She brought them up for marriage. Never at school herself, she had a poor conceit of learning, as the "beggar's portion" in a court; but she was quick to see the charms of dress, of easy manner, and of fluent grace in speech. A year of France Would help her darlings more than twenty years at Oxford; and in this belief she decked her stupid John and handsome George in lace and sword, and sent them with a servant into France. When George came back, the gloze and sheen of Paris on his handsome face, he had to find his bread, assisted by the tipsy pigmy, by the hand some and licentious woman who had married three men for money, and by the dissolute char latan, Doctor Lamb. His fortune had been quickly found, and day by day the King grew fonder of him. " All that sat in the council," James profanely mumbled, " looking on him, saw his face, as it had been the face of an angel;" and because the lad was fair, he gave him the name of Stephen—as he called it, " Steenie"—from the saint One week before the comedy, Villiers had been met on the racecourse in a faded suit of black, the doublet teamed and "Wre ;~a few days later he was a knight, a gentleman of the bedchamber, and a pensioner with a thousand pounds a-year. The enemies of Carr became his friends. Lady Bed ford gave him money; Lake procured him place. Pembroke and Arundel took him up; Archbishop Abbott called bim son; and Bacon gave him sage advice. A word was sent to him from Raleigh's celL All those who feared Northampton and his patron Carr, combined in bis support. The Parent, strong in her belief in sorcery, consulted Doctor Lamb. The Somersets had the help of Forman ; she would meet their devilish arts with darker and more potent spells. She brought the sorcerer to her son, as one who could rule his planets and confound his foes. Lamb Boon became familiar in his house, and the young actor learned to bend over magic crystals, and to see his future in a puff of smoke. Queen Anne was much against him: that neglected Queen being sick of lads with scented locks and mincing gait, who seemed in hor honest eyes neither men nor women ; but the good Archbishop, her prudent counsellor, brought Queen Anne to take his side The youth was dubbed Sir George in the Queen's own bedroom at her personal request. From that hour he was not so much a favorite as an idol of tho court:—
* The right of republishing "Her Majesty's Tower" has been purchased by the proprietors of The Quesmlandtr.
the visible spirit of its gaiety, its pleasure, and its youth. v No week had passed since he was dubbed, s knight that had not seen bim graced by royal gift—a chace, a lodge, a manor, a monopoly, a star, a badge, a title or a place; and only four years from the day when he was met on Cam bridge racecourse in a worn-out coat, this lucky youth was Baron, Viscount, Earl, and Marquis. Never, save in Eastern fable, where the jester rises from his shawl a pasha, had comedian won. such honors in so short a time.
Chatter 11. a favorite's friend. Eliot was twenty-eight years old when Raleigh fell; and through the favor of his friends at court he had been dubbed Sir John. These friends had youth, healthy animal spirits, love of Bport in common, and the accidents of life had thrown them for a time together in their early years. They had the foils and differences which make young friend^r* charming. George was light and John was grave. George was keen and hasty; John was stern and patient George was quick to quarrel, to forgive, and to forget; while John was slow to take offence, but having taken it was slower to forgive and to forget They loved the prisoner in the Tower. Villiers had been able to do that prisoner good ; not only by refusing to accept of Sherborne Castle, but by speaking for him to the King when everyone else had failed, and gaining a re luctant leave for him to sail on his voyage to the Mine of Gold. If Eliot had less power to serve, he nursed a sterner anger in his heart towards Raleigh's foes. A man of the western country, born near Plymouth Sound, accustomed from his birth to boats and waves, he looked to a stormy and ad venturous life. By nature quick and hardy, he had much of the vice, and most of the virtue, of a buccaneer; as buooaneers had lived and rioted from the days of Admiral Drake to those of Captain Ward. His youth had been some what wild ; and he was said to have spent his coin as heedlessly as he was willing to spill his blood. Before he had passed his fifteenth year, he startled the western gentry by bis reckless deeds; and on his neighbor, John Moyle> a Sentleman of position in the county, speaking-to is father on the subject, he had drawn Ins sword, and thrust the blade into that neighbor's side. Here was a spirit for the Spanish Main I A stout walker, a sure bowler, a good shot, he loved to spend his time afield, and found his chief delight in What are called manly sports. Though sent to Oxford for the usual terms, he left his college without having taken a degree in arts. On passing from Exeter College to the Inns of Court, he only glsnoed at law; and then pro* cured a license to travel into foreign part&j In France he met George Villiers, then a boy of seventeen summers, with bis fortunes all to seek; and there this grave, fierce youth had spent some tint* in travel with that frolicsome boy. At first, the profit of their friendship was on Villiers' side; for Eliot was the elder and richer lad; and John, although he could not boast of so fine a face as George, could certainly claim to have far the stronger head. How fast their fates were knit and bound, no sorcerer could then foretell. They met; and they were not to part For good and evil days their fate was one; a clasp of love succeeded by a hug of hate, till death itself divided them; on this side by a gaoler's bolt, on that side by a murderer's knife. When Eliot came from France, he found bit father dead, Port Eliot all his own. After 1 making his peace with Moyle, he gave his love to Rhadagund Gedies, a neighbor's only child; and was elected to a seat in the House of Commons for St. Germans ; but his passion was the sea, in preference to either oourtly or domestic life; His countrymen were sailors. Raleigh, Gilbert, Drake, were western born ; and Eliot, as he thought of these men, turned his eyes to the fleets in Plymouth Sound. Sitting in the House a silent member, no one dreamed that under that calm outside there lay such depths and furies of volcanic fire. Judged as men saw him in those early days, John Eliot seemed more likely to brave the ocean than to lead debates ; to find his foemen in some desperate Don Le« pantos, not in petulant Villierses and sickly Wentworths ; and to fall in headlong fight, 'his foot upon a Spanish deck, not waste his strength and yield his life with saint-like patience in the Bloody tower. The prize on which he fixed his heart was the flag of Vice-Admiral in his native seas. A Vice- Admiral, holding his powers from the Lord' Ad miral, not from the Sovereign, had to keep tbe ports in order and the channels free; to watch for pirates, to impress the sailors, and to guard the flag. A Commodore, a Secretary, and a Judge in one, he had to board suspicious craft, to draw up rules of seizure, and to settle what was lawful prize. A Vice-Admiral of Devon was a great man in the west This post had been held in recent years by Sir Arthur Champernoon (Raleigh's uncle), by Sir Richard Hawkins, by Sir Christopher Harris: and was then held, under Charles, the great Earl of Nottingham, by Sir Lewis Stukeley, Raleigh's infamous cousin, captain, and betrayer. This base fellow, after stealing his patron's money, and helping to swear away that patron's lfe, had fallen under such a weight of public scorn, that James, with every wish to stand his friend, could not support him against the storm of public wrath. As men walked home from Palace' Yard, they spoke of Stukeley as the Jrdas of our race. The wretch had Bold his master ; sold him for a royal beck and a bag of gold. " Sir Judas Stukeley" was a phrase on every lip, and not a lip in London dropt that name without a curse. Sir Judas went to court, and no man spake to him. He waited on great people, and the servants of great people told him to begone. On every side he heard a hiss of " perjurer and " villain." Then, as odium grow around him, he repaired to James, for whom he had lost his soul, and offered to be Bworn on the sacred bread and wine, that what he had said against the murdered man was true. " Why, then," replied the King, " the more malicious he to utter these speeches at his death." A Master of the Hounds, who was standing by and heard him, cried with honest heat, " Let the King take off Stukeley's head, as he hath done the other's ; and let him at his death take the sacrament, and his oath upon it, and I'U believe it; otherwise, I shall
credit Sir Walter Raleigh's bare affirmative against a thousand of his oaths." Sir Judas called at tbe Earl of Nottingham's house to speak on business; but the Lord High Admiral passed his Vice without a nod. Abashed for a moment only, Judas strode to his illustrious chief, and tried to speak. The Earl was eighty, three years old ; a prince in rank, a gentleman in speech ; but when his eye fell on the wretch, he broke into a passionate rage. " What!" cried the noble sailor, " thou base fellow—thou! who art the scorn and contempt of men—how darest thou offer thyself in my presence ? Were it not in mine own house, I would cudgel thee with my staff." Then Judas crawled to the King. "What wouldst thou have me do?" asked James, when Stukeley told him what the Earl had done. " Wouldst have me hang him ? If I should hang all the men who speak ill of thee, all the trees in the country would not suffice." His son, "young Judas," and a French chemist, named Maneourie, had been closely bound up with him, and these luckless men had now to share his ill repute. But justice fell upon them, swift and sure. On New Tear's Eve, these rogues received the wages of their shame—the price ef blood—in minted gold ; and on the feast of Twelfth Night, Stukeley himself was taken in the aot of clipping this new coin. When flung into the Gatehouse, he ac cused Msnsourie and his son of sharing in his crime. Young Judas fled from justice; but the officers caught Maneourie in the west, and quickly thrust him behind the Marshalsea locks and bars.' Their game being now played out, this chemist turned on Stukeley, and a long, strange tale he had to telL Sir Judas was an old and seasoned rogue. A dozen years he had been employed in clipping and sweating coin. Msnsourie was a partner in his trade. A Vice- Admiral of Devon had to receive and pay a good deal of money, and on all this money they had used their profitable art From clipping coin, they had passed to perjury and treachery. But God had found them out The charges they had sworn were false ; the wages of then* shame had proved their ruin; in his prison cell, the chemist felt that what had fallen upon him was a judgment for his sins i When these confessions, signed with Man* sourie's hand, were laid before the King, Sir Judas fell at onoe. Striptof his Vice-Admiral's flag, he was conducted from the Gatehouse to the Tower. To make the judgment yet more striking, he was lodged in Raleigh's cell. Sir Judas knew so much about the oourt intrigues, that James would not allow him to be tried, even on so grave a charge as that of clipping coin. So base a creature would be sure to blab; and James, in mortal fear of fresh ex posures, sent the wretch s pardon, bade him leavo the Tower, and hide his face for ever from the eight of men. But where could Judas hide his face ? Down west, among his kith and kin, he found no peace. All gentlemen scowled, all burghers hissed and cursed, when he approached. He fled from town to country, and from country back to town. A curse was on his head. No man would shelter him. At length, he turned from the society of men ; took boat for the Isle of Lundy, then a lonely rock on which the passing pirate built his lair: and there, surrounded by the howling winds and whitening waves, he lived, went mad, and died. A new Vioe-Admiral was wanted. Notting ham, as a Howard, would have sought some friend of Spain ; but just as the flag fell vacant, James was making an arrangement with the Earl for putting his darling into higher plaoe. Already he had bought for him Lord Worcester's post ss Master of the Horse; and he was trying to procure for him the great Lord Admiral's post The Earl was not unwilling to retire—on terms. If Buckingham could be made Lord Admiral, there was every chance that Eliot would be named Vioe-Adnural in the western ports. Nottingham was persuaded to resign his offloe for a certain sum ; three thousand pounds paid down, a pension of a thousand pounds a-year for life. The King was happy. A comedian ruled his stables and his fleet; that youth, whose comely face and joyous spirit made the poor old dotard young again. The lad would fawn, a whelp, at James' feet, and kiss bis shoes, and call himself his dog. " Tom Badger," laughed the King ; for Tom was then his favorite FooL "No," whined the mimic, "only dog." He would be nothing but his Majesty's dog; and then the King was merry, and drank more wine, and seemed to forget his weight of care. Buckingham, now Lord Admiral, named Sir John Eliot his Vice-Admiral in the western ports—the first step on his journey to the Tower 1 [TO BE CONTINUED.]
The Year of Caxton's Press.—What was the year 1477 in England ? It was, as has been truly described, one of those tranquil periods which immediately succeed and immediately precede events of extraordinary moment The knell of the middle ages had already sounded. It was hardly more than twenty years since the last relic of the old Greco-Roman world— Byzantium—had passed away before the con quering Ottomans. It was only five years before that the last echo of the Crusades had passed away. It was but six years since the last of the Barons had fallen on the field of Barnet Old estates, old dominions, and old superstitions where then fast departing. And not only so, for with the exiles from Constantinople came into Europe a flood of Greek learning, and, at the same time that the Catholic warriors of Spain were driving the Ottomans from their country, Columbuß discovered a new world. Just ten years before came into existence the greatest of scholars, Erasmus, and just four years after was to be born Luther, the greatest of re formers. The day of the Reformation and the reorganisation of Western Christendom had come. The sun that came out of the mists on the morning of the battle of Barnet was but the type of the new dawn that burst upon England when the feudal system passed away.— The Caxton Comvicmoration Sermon, by Dean Stanley. An Apology.—"l apologise for saying you could not open your mouth without putting your foot in it," said the editor, " I solemnly assure you that when I said it I had po idea of the size of your foot"