|Chapter Number||VOL III SPANIOLIZING X|
|Newspaper Title||The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)|
|Trove Title||Her Majesty's Tower|
Her Majesty's Tower.
BY WILLIAM HEPWORTH DIXON.
THE court was Spaniolizing ; and the darling of that court, as great with Charles as he had always been with James, was riding in the van. Pimps, pensioners,quacks—all "things of Spain"
—were now in fashion, and were with him m his house and in the Park. Williams and Laud were friends of Spain, each hoping to procure from Rome, through her, a Cardinal's hat. Apartments in York House were given to Doctor Lamb, who was employed to toil for him in secret, to bewitch fair women, to enhance his charms, to cast his fortuues, and to rule his star. Tho house in which the Novum Organum had been lately uuished lent shelter to this quack. George Calvert, Lake's successor, warned by Lake's luisfortuuesj-hasteued to join the stronger party. Calvert, a Yorkshire lad, with empty pockets and a silent tongue, had spent his man hood iv Cecil's office, keeping secrets, checking files, and copying letters, till his master, finding his old friends, grown fat with spoil of power, were falling from him, raised this prudent drudge into a Councillor of State, and left him, when he died, a chief executor of his will. Calvert wrote a good haud, and James, now minded to be secretary himself, set Calvert at his former desk. In six or seven years the lad became Sir George, and was in fact, if not in name, a Secretary of State. He clung to every man who rose at Court —to Carr, to Bacon, and to Villiers ; but he only clung to them while they were rising men, and quitted them the instant they began to fall. His Yorkshire wit had warned him not to rise too fast, since rising slowly meant rising safely ; and his rule of life was never to provoke ill-will by sudden airs, to run on easily with the tide, and get his keel on high safe ground before the ebb. For years he had denied himself the luxury of opinions, Baying he was too poor to keep a soul of his own ; but when he had to give his yea and nay he was compelled to look about him and to choose a Bide. Which side ? He never dreamt of asking which was right. He only asked him self which side would win. No man knew better than Calvert what was passing in the closets of White Hall. The poor old King was but a king in name. The Howards were again at court, and Gondomar was daily at the side of Charles. All Catholics were looking up. His patron Buckingham, like his colleague Wentwortn, was at work upon the Spanish match. A dozen years might pass, and then that Spanish girl of pea-green face would be the English queen. A goodly party was of Calvert's mind, and many of the greatest people were preparing for a change of creed by hearing mass, receiving priests at midnight, and submitting to the Church of Rome. The Queen secreted priests in an upper room. The Favorite's wife threw off her mask. The Parent listened to that Father Fisher who had been concerned in the Powder Plot. One-half the Council was accused, on no light grounds, of floating with the tide; and Calvert, not to be the last and least, threw in his lot with Gondomar and the rising cauße. He called a priest, and reconciled his soul with Rome. When he had taken this bold step, his prudence told bim he must cling for very life to Spain. The service he could do was great. A Protestant colony had been planted in Virginia ; he could plant a Catholic colony by its side. A Huguenot power was rising at La Rochelle, which people were beginning to call a second Holland ; he might hinder James from going to the help of bis natural friends. A Puritan feeling reigned in the royal fleet; and he could fill the ships with creatures of his own. An English princess, driven from her throne by the Catholic League, was at the Hague ; he might contrive to keep her there an exile all her life. Would not these services be worth their price ? Gondomar knew what Calvert cost; and while the Spaniard ruled at court the Secretary of State was sure to be a prosperous man. " The Spanish ambassador directs affairs," a courtier wrote ; " and no ambassador ever had such power." The power which Gondomar had won was used by him to two great ends—one near and one remote. His foremost purpose was to hold back England from her natural place in front of the reforming states ; his second, to seduce her into making such concessions to the Catholics as would wound her people, drive them into factions, and prepare for her absorption in the Universal Church. The first was hiß more pressing care; for Spain was jußt then making, with her allies of the Catholic League, her final efforts to regain what Rome had loßt. The twelve years' truce was ready to expire ; the League was ready to advance. Spinola, master of the Lower Rhine, could march at once upon the United Provinces; while Tilly, master of Bohemia, could hurry, through a country too divided in opinion to resist his army, towards the Upper Rhine. If England could be held in check while one by one the Protestant states were overrun, Gondomar's presence in London would be worth an army and a fleet to Spain. At times his task was hard ; for every man not paid in money or misled by priests was clamoring for a war against the Beast. The King was wavering in his mood ; for, while he snatched most eagerly at a Spanish bride for Charles, he could not utterly forget his daughter's cry for help. Elizabeth, the young and lovely girl who had been Bent abroad as England's pledge to the * The right of republishing ' Her Majesty's Tower ' baa been purchased by the proprietors of The Quttntlander.
reforming states, was now a fugitive; the victim of her faith—expelled alike from Heidelberg and Prague. Though Gondomar was cunning, he could hardly keep the Prince of Wales from joining in the popular demand for war. His only refuge was the match ; and he assured the Prince of Wales that love would give him more than he could hope to gain by war : the restora tion of his aister's province, credit in the Kaiser's councils, and a family union with the King of Spain. Charles heard him with delight He loved his sister, and was eager to replace her on the Upper Rhine; but he was cold and vain, and caught too eagerly at offers which implied relief for her, yet cost no moral effort and no personal risk. Gondomar talked so much about this match, and heard so much from others of the good which it would bring to Spain, that he, the very minister of deception, fell into his own elaborate toils, and actually began to wish the marriage could be brought about Why should it not? If Charles could only be converted to the Roman Church, the treaty might go on in earnest, and his kingdom might become what Naples had become—a fortalice of Spain. Could Charles be reached? He fancied that if Charles were in Madrid he could be won; for Gondomar, a Spaniard, thought no human virtue could resist the arguments of a Jesuit doctor and the blan dishments of an imperial court He spoke to Charles. Why should the Prince of Wales not go and see his bride ? The King and Queen of Spain would greet him royally. Hidalgoes would be proud to swell his train, and lovely donas would be Buro to shower on him their radiant smiles. "Dismiss all state," the Condd whis pored ; " come alone. A friend, a servant, are enough companions for a knight going forth in search of his lady-love," The Prince sat listening to the tempter's voice, not dreaming of the rage and shame that such a plot would bring into every English cheek. " Could they go safely?" Charles enquired. "Go safely!" cried the Spaniard, in affected wonder. "Yes!" said Charles, "would no one try to stop him?" Gondomar could but smile. Bright eyes might take him captive ; loving lips might Bet him free. Was not the Minister himself going home to Spain ? If accidents should happen on the road, he, Gondomar, would be there to set things straight! By Suffolk's arts and Lady Salisbury's smiles the Favorite had been won to back this policy of a Spanish bride for Charles ; and, when the Spaniard called him into secret council on the Prince's journey, Villiers leaped to it at once. Yes, George would go with Charles to Spain. The thing was done. No word was said^ to James, for these young men and their adviser had begun to reign. Their secret must be kept The Parent must not know. When Gondomar said "Good-bye" to Bacon, and the fallen Chancellor wished him " a pleasant passover," in allusion to his Hebrew blood, no one suspected that he bore with him a secret promise that the Prince of Wales would follow in his wake to Spain. On two points Gondomar had been told to keep his watchful eyes—the Cinque Porte and the Narrow Seas; for, while the Dutch were strong at sea, his master must have steadfast friends in the English waters and the English ports. Two officers watched the Downs; a Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, an Admiral of the Narrow Seas. For many years Northampton had been Lord Warden, and the kings of Spain had paid him for his treacheries a thousand pounds a-year. For still more years Sir William Monson had been Admiral in the Narrow Seas, and all those years the kings of Spain had paid him for his treacheries three hundred and fifty pounds a-year. This money had been wisely spent. Northampton died; Zouch was made Lord Warden in his stead. Monson fell; but his command was given to Sir Francis Howard. Gondomar had still a servant in Dover Castle and in the Downs. Abroad, in the actual field of conflict, Gondo mar met with less success ; though even there he found some means of wasting and corrupting the English bands. A stream of English youth was flowing from the Thames into the Scheldt and Maas, from which it crept into the camps and cities of the Rhine. This stream he would not dam ; but he could set his spies to watch, defame, and hamper all the leading men. No soldier could unsheathe his sword, no orator could make a speech, in favor of the reforming states without provoking Gondomar's vindictive wrath. He satirised Sir Horace Vere, com manding at Heidelberg for the Queen of Hearts. He caused the arrest of Captain North, returning from the Spanish main, and caused him to be flung into the Tower. Phelips and Coke, his recent victims, lay in adjacent cells to North ; and no long time elapsed ere, on the same sug gestion, they were joined in their imprisonment by De Vere. (TO be continued.)
The Feeling Whkn Under Firb.—As a contribution toward explaining how one feels in going under fire for the first time, I may here record a personal experience at Kara, which, though I believe common enough under similar circumstances, is perhaps not familiar to non combatant readers. This was my first exposure to either musketry or cannon shot, and " I am free to confess" that, although in excellent health and well mounted and armed, as the moment of actual conflict approached I felt a growing sense of fear as much beyond the power of my will as the involuntary muscles, and which, as it culminated just before thefirat shot was fired, became positively physical in its in tensity. A complex counter-feeling of half shame, half pride, kept me, however, from attempting escape, even if thiß had been practi cable, through the serried battalions behind. But hardly half a dozen shots had been ex changed before this emotion of terror abated as involuntarily as it had arisen, and in less than a quarter of an hour it was replaced by an ex hilaration and senseof positive enjoyment which more than once during the day carried me through the thick of the meltfe with absolute unruffled nerve. Afterward before Sebastopol, a friend, who still carries glorious Bears of Alma and Inkermann, told me that at Sobraon, where he had received his own baptism of fire, he had passed through much the same process of sensa tion, and that he knew it to be, ad I have said,
common enough in the experience of others. Mere animal courage, therefore, after all, would seem to have leas to do with the moral of those who feel it than is generally supposed.— Prater'% Magazine. ,__^ mm