Chapter 19772288

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter NumberXVIII COURTNEY
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19772288
Full Date1877-03-10
Page Number9
Corrections0
Word Count4674
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.*

CHAPTER XVIII. COURTNEY.

BY WILLIAM HEPWORTH DIXON.

EDWARD COURTNEY, the White Rose of York, was born to a captive's fate. From the age of twelve, when he was first removed from his father's house, to .the. Tower, until he died in

Padua at the age bf twenty-nine,' he had only twenty months of freedom. • •'. '? Courtney's fetter, Henry, Earl of Devon and ' Marquis of Exeter, was torn too near the purple for his peace ; being a son of Princess Catharine, daughter of Edward the Fourth. These Courtneyß had' been a splendid race; robbers, crusaders, paladins; bearing the arms of_ Boulogne, and iraeing their lineage to the blood royal of France. Some members of thjs great house had been Count* of Edessa, Kings of Jerusalem, Emperors of the Bast. One had married into the house of 'Cc{fet, another into that of Plantagenet; but the Courtneys had never yet made a royal and im perial match without bringing down the skies upon their house. They dated their decline in France from the day when they gave one of their daughters to a son of Louis the Fat. Peter iof Courtney's union with- Yolande of Cbostanti .nopie, thpugh it brought the purple to" three princes of the house, put an end to thfcir great .nessin the East When William Courtney, eighteenth Earl of Devon, took the Princess Catharine to wife, he provided for. all Who were to follow him a, dark inheritanoe—the Tower, tti» headsman's axe, and the poisoned bowl. William had passed sevep years of his married life a prisoner in the Tower. Henry, Princess Catharine's son, had been executed, along with his oousin, Lord Montagu, for his share in the plot of Cardinal Pole. Edward, his boy, then twelve years old, was left a prisoner in the' Tower.1 ? '; . ... When the great party, of York, which had been stunned, but not killed, at Bosworth, began- to raise its- head once more, it had found in Henry Courtney, Earl of Devon, Marquis of Enter* grandson of Edward the Fourth, young, j dashing, handsome, one of those men who cannot help being made a rallying sign. Exeter was a Catholic, a friend of Reginald Pole. In secret he was. sailed the White Rose of York; nay, it is probable—as Henry the Eighth alleged—that' heTbatl dreamt of one day wearing a royal crown, hisolaimi were strong; for he stood next in order of succession to the King and his sisters ; and thus he > had come to be regarded as a natural chief by all those partisans of the ancient church who could not travel so fast and fair as the new primate and the new queen. These partisans were neither few in number nor obscure in rank. A majority of the people we»e unlettered peasants, ana a majority of the .great barons were known to be on the Catholic side. The burghers and scholars, with a majority of' the freeholders, were on the Reformer*' side. In any trial by battle; the issue of a conflict between the- two opinions might have been, donbtful,1 and the presence of such ohiefs as Hefiry Odurtney and Reginald Pdle had made a . resort to arms seem' easy, and almost lawful, in , the eyes of turbulent men! Such a,kinsman oould only be left in* peace, bj'sueh a Ming) as Henry the Eighth, on' fane engagement* «nd that engagement Exeter'either . would not or could not take. He must have kept aloof tfrom public affairs. But, far from hiding his Ught in Ms own house/ Exeter had assumed in London- the bearing of a prince, while in his! own* cdunties of Devon and Cornwall he had set himself nigh above the law. Henry grew angry, nqt without oause; and on the eve of a movement which threatened to become a jgeneral rising in the west, Exeter and 'his son Edward, a boy of twelve, had been seized and thrown into the Tower,; whence a short trial and a shorter shrift had conducted the luckless son of Princess Catharine to the block, 1 ., The boy was spared. Shorn ol his honors and estates, Courtney underwent .the fate which, in those rude times, was- known as-being forgotten in the Tower, : . ? ? • s • For'fifteen years the grandson of Prinoeas Catherine remained a captive. While he: was still a, boy, he ran about the garden and the Lieutenant's house. As he grew in years, in beauty, and intelligence,' his high blood was put into tho scale, against him ; his freedom was abridged; and the pale pretender' to the name of White Rose was lodged for safety in tbe Btrpng room of the. Belfry; where his chief amtisement was to watch the gunners fire thepr . pieces, to cbunt the ships going up and down the Thames, to pace the stones on Prisoners' wait •??'.?. ;,.' He was treated ai a man of .po high, mackj having only A common servant at 6s. a-week to . wait on him; being dieted and lodged at. 26b. Bd. a-week ; while young men of his quality, such as Guilford and Ambrose Dudley, were dieted at 535. 4d. a-week, and allowed two servants each. Not until the two reforming kiugs, Heury and Edward, had passed away, and bis .Catholic kinswoman, Princess Mary, succeeded to the throne,' was Courtney freed from his confinement in the strong reom. The twenty months of freedom which he was now to enjoy were months of very high favor and very warm hope. It seemed likely that the child on whose early life fortune hud shed her darkest clouds would be called to wear a matri monial crown. On the new Queen riding down to the Tower, in front of a proud cavalcade of riobles and prelates, she found at the postern of her'citadel a row of kneeling figures. Halting the pro cession, she got down from her palfrey, and clasped them in her arms. For among theeo ' kneeling figure?, who had beeu suffered to come forth from' their cells, many were dfcar to her' * Tho right of xepubliahing " Her Majerty'a Tower " baa been purchawd by the proprietonot Tkt Queeutlandti.

heart «nd servants to her oause; the aged-Duke of Norfolk,, r hePrima.yS.Qardinei^ the Duchess of Somerset, the young Lord Courtney. Mary stooped to these applicants for her grace, and kissed .them one by one.- "These are my prisoners," she exclaimed, as Bhe carried them from the outer gates into the royal gallery! The scene was a stage devioe; but the' effect on the , popwUur mind was gneai. Courtney; for. example* had been free for months; yet he had come down to the gates that day to receive the' royal kiss, and to play his part in a striking act., '' A very wild dream now filled the young man's; soul with hope. He was popular In the city and. in the court, not only-on acoount of his royal1 blood and his personal beauty*, but more, on; account of the tenderness felt for a youth who had done no wrong, and suffered much pain.. . The world had been very hard to him j and a generous people wished to make amends for the bitterness of his early life. Pale with long vigils, his beauty had that soft and melancholy cast which takes captive the eyes of women. When he came out of the Belfry, at the age of twenty six, he found himself high in favor. He was, in fact, the man whom nearly all true lovers of their country wished to see married to their Queen. ? ? •? • • ?•• : • .. Mary herself, though she was nearly old enough to have, been his- mother, was not blind to her cousin's claims, and she more than once thought seriously of the proposal ere she fixed her mind for good' and evil on the Prince of Bpain. .During her day of doubt she poured favors enough on Courtney to turn hut head. .She made him Earl of Devon, Parliament restored the Marquisate of Exeter to his house, and in dress, habit, and hospitality, he was encouraged to,adopt a etyle beyond that of a private person. He gave himself the airs of a prince. ;He smiled oh the Yorkist barons, and allowed his flatterers to call him the true White Rose. Even after Mary had engaged herself to Philip, he fa.ncie4 the foreign project of alliance would pass away, and that the Queen would accept no husband but himself. To the amusement of men knowing better, he talked of his approaching nuptials, and ordered a magnificent suit of bridal clothes, His fortunes fell when Mary get a promise from Renard that she should wed the Spanish, Prince. She was asked by Renard to make many sacrifices ; one of which was the pale and fooljah youth who had lived so many years in the Belfry. Mary, left to herself, would have done tjhe- boy no harm; but Renard told her that when Courtney ceased to be her lover he could not help becoming her1 rival. He stood too near. At firsts the Queen .obuld *cc ao peril to her throne in the pretentious of such a youth ; but Renard, who knew better than Mary what men were saying in the Chefepside taverns'and St. Paul's Churchyard, began to whisrier in her ear that after her marriage with Philip the yougg Lord 'Courtney would be a dangerous man, v not on his own account, yet on account of her, sister,' for whom there was a powerful party in her realm. He spoke' the truth. So soon as ; Mary* contract with the Prince of Spain was made known in London, people began to busy their minds about a second union. They married Courtney to Elisabeth. Mary, they said, would have no son *, at thirty-nine she was too old; the crown must come to her younger sister; and since Courtney was set up by many as the White Rose, it would'be well to end all feuds and heal all sores between White and Red by wedding the Lancastrian princess to the Yorkist peer.' ; "" ? • • ' ' "\ •". ' '".' ";' All this tattle was repeated day by day to the Queen. Mary felt that her people'were avenging her Spanish match; by proposing to themselves,' an English ntoteh. , It was hardly necessary.for Renturd to hint Chat • marriam of Elisabeth and Courtney would be dangerous to her throne. Yet he urged-it in, tor ear from day to day. Nothing; he told Mary,' could make; hor mistress of her kingdom, and sipoare to her the'lover she ? had chosen, but the ruin of these two pretenders , to her crown and state. :' ' • ' Unlike her Spanish councillor, 'Mary had touches of human pity. If she feared to act against her sister, then a young girl of twenty, bright with her first beauty, witty and debonair, she still more disliked to crush with her strong hand the poor boy whom she had loved and kissed. The youth soon helped her to decide. Fancying- himself neglected by the Queen, he fell into bad ways; carousing in City taverns, keeping loose company,1 running after strange faces, hanging on the skirts of men known to be eh gagfed in plots. The austere lady grew angry and ashamed. ' Courtney repented, and was half for given. It is not clear whether, in some of, his pranks, ho was not acting a part.' Some think he became one of Ronard's spice. When Wyat marched on Charing Cross, his conduct was sus picious, if it were nothing worse; and his arrest, along with the crowd of rioters, may have- been a blind on Renard's part to conceal' the deeper infamy of his course. Chapter XIX. NO CBOBS, NO OBOWS. On the day of her triumph, as she sat brooding i in her closet, listening fitfully to Renard, Mary • consented to give up her oouain, if not her sister, to the minister of Charles the Fifth. Jane had been sentenced by the court and reprieved by time. Seven months had passed since her nine days' reign was over; tbe author of her offence had paid the penalties of his crime ; and in the recent fltir no man had even breathed her name. Her youth, her innocence, her beauty, had won all hearts to her; even those of Father Feckenham, the Queen's confessor, and Sir John Brydges, the Queen's lieutenant. But Renard called for blood ; and Mary was little more than a scribe in Renard'b hands. That day, on the eve of which Queen Mary sit in her closet with her Spanish counoillor, was Ash Wednesday ; and Mary, on consenting that her cousin should not live forty hours longer, called to her presence Father Feckenham, whom she had just made Dean of St. Paul's and Abbot .of Westminster; und bade him go to, the deputy's house in the Tower, with news that Lady Jane must die, and see what could be done to save her soul. Father Feckenham, though a coarse man, wan not a bad man. As a divine, he was learned and ingenious ; one in whose power of dealing with backsliders the Queen had a boundless faith. That he failed with Lady Jane, that he got angry, with her, that his

speeches to her made htm* hateful in the eyes of ' men, ware more hia misfortunes than they were his faults. A good deal must bet allowed to a man who honestly thinks be has power to bind and to loose, in his dealing with those who in his opinion are trifling with the fate of immortal souls. . Beekenham, who brought down bis message of death to the Tower, w*» startled to see tttat girl receive his news with a sad and welcome smile. It seemed to him out of nature, almost out of grace. He spoke to her of her soul; of the sins of men ; of the need for repentance ; but he found her calm and happy, at peace with the world, and at one with God. He talked to ' her first of faith, of liberty, of holiness; then of the sacraments, the Scriptures, and the universal Church. She knew all these things better than . Himself 5 and Bhe held a language about them far beyond his reach. With a sweet patience, she put an end to the debate by saying that since she had only a few hours, now to lire she needed them all for prayer. The Dean was moved, a* men of his order are seldom moved. Convert this girl in a day! Worn as he was in church affairs, he knew that no skill of his would be able, in one winter day, to ,avail him against, one who combined a scholar's learning with, a woman's wit. If her soul was to be Bayed—and the Father was anxious to save her soul -that order for her execution on Friday morning must be stayed. With the sweet voice pulsing in his ear, be rowed back to Whitehall; and told the vindictive Queen, with the bold energy of a priest, that her orders for that exer cution on Friday must be withdrawn. With tdu'ch ado, the Queen gave way; but she feared the anger of Feckenham even more than, that of Regard; and the puzzled Father went back to the Tower to resume his task. Jane was kind bat cold. She had no use for him and his preoepts in her final hour on earth. His going to court about her sentence gave her pain. She did not want to die ; at seventeen no one wants to die; but she did not like the Queen to add one day to her life, under the hope that she would act as Dudley and Warwick hod done, in giving up their faith. That was a sacrifice Bhe could never make. When Feckenham told her the warrants for Friday were recalled, she merely said she was willing to die, if the Queen, her cousin, was minded to put the law in force against her. For the rest, she only wanted to be left alone. " You are not to die to-morrow," he persisted. " Tou are much deceived," said Jane, " if you think I have any desire of longer life." When Feckenham returned to the Queen with a report of hia second interview,' Mary became • wild with rage. She bade her secretaries draw up warrants for her death. She sent for Grey, who was a prisoner in the country. There were ways of adding bitterness to death) and Mary studied and employed them all. She' could, separate the husband from his wife in their last h.urs on earth; she could march Guildford under. Lany Jane's window, as he went by to execution; she could drive the cart with his dead body past her door; she'oould prepare a soaflbld on the open green, under Lady. Jane's eyes; she could bring up Grey to see his daughter slain ; she could . refuse to let her have a minister of her own faith - to pray with her; Bhe could send her Jesuits and confessors to disturb the solemnity of her final ' night on earth. All these things she could do, and Bhe did; and all these things must have been of Mary's will. . . Ronard required that Jane should be put! away; that sacrifice was wanting to confirm the conquest made by Spain; but Rehard could" ' have no motive for adding to the bitterness* of ; her death. . ' The priest* Bent down by Mary to the Tower ' went Lady Jane's worst tormentors. They would not be denied ; they pushed past -her women j' and when they got into her obamber, they would not go away. The long reports which have been printed of their contention with her may not be exact; r but they bane that rough kind of likeness to the truth which a common rumor bears to actual fact ,Whon Feckenham was tired out with argu ment, he -is said to have exclaimed, " Madam, I am sorry for you ; I am assured we shall not meet again." To which : Jane is said to have answered, "It is most true, sir; we shall never meet again, unless God should turn your heart;" not a word of which " happy retort," we may be sure, ever passed the lips of Lady Jane, ?.-.•? • The tussle qn the. Bread and Wine was no doubt' sharp, foil that was the dogma most in dispute. < "Do you deny .that Christ is present - in the bread and wine ?" " The' broken beead," said Jane, "reminds me of the. Saviour broken for my sins, the wine reminds me' of the blood' shed, on the .cr.psp.!' She meant to say that Christ was ministerially, but not bodily, present in the bread and wine. " But did He not say," ' put in the Father,, "Take, eat, this is my body?" "Yes,." she answered, "just as He said, I am the vine,". It was a figure, not a fact. •• Feckenham at length retired, and Jane with drew into the upper (chamber, to compose her mind ; to. write a farewell to her father, and to wait on God in prayer. dhe was not aware that her father had been arrested, still less that he was on1 his way to the Tower. The tender note which' she addressed to him ended in these words : "Thus, good father, I have opened unto you the Btate wherein I stand: my death at band ; to you, perhaps, it may seem woeful; yet to me there ie nothing can be more welcome than from this rule of misery to aspire to that heavenly throne with Christ my Saviour, in whose stead fast faith (if it may be lawful for the daughter so to write to the father) the Lord continue to ' keep you, so at the last we may meet in heaven." When it was known in the Tower that warrants were out, and that Jane would die on Monday morning, everyone became eager to get some token from her; to catch a last word from her lips, a final glance from her eye. To Thomas Brydgefl, the deputy, in whose house she had lived nearly eight months, she gave a small book of devotions, bound in vollum, containing two scraps of her writing, and n few words by Lord Guilford; one of her notes being addressed to Brydgeß himself, in words which muat have gone to his soul: " Call upon Qod to incline your heart to hib laws, to quicken you in bis way, and not to take the word of truth utterly out of your mouth." ? •

On Sunday, GuHford ,»ent to ask her lor a final mtcrvknrjjpttrlhiipfd oyfipg Bhe declined, as useless now/HMor stage heroes only, which they were not . She bade him be, of, good cheer; and seeing noW we&k he had beel), ft is ouly right to say that the poor .boy took his fate quietly^ like a man. Sunday morning; she spent in prayer and reading; her book, a copy of tho Greek Testament 1} in • which1 Hhb' observed a blank leaf at the end, and taking, up her pea, wrote some last words to her (darling sister.jLady Catharine Grey, sad heiress of .all her rights and miseries: ' ' . " I have sent you, good «ift«r Kate, a book of which, although it be not outwardly rimmed with gold, yet inwardly it ie; more.worth than precious atones. It ia the book, dear Bister, of the law of the Lord: hia testament and last will* which He bequeathed to us wretehefi, which shall lead you to eternal joy." . ? Closing the sacred book, she gave .it to Elizabeth Tylney, her gentlewoman, praying,her to carry it after she waa dead to Lady Catharine, as the last and best token of love: She tfcei composed herself to prayer. i?. . .: Emrly n«Vt day, before it was yet light, Urn carpenters we*« beard beneath, her window* fitting up the block on which she, was to die. When she, looked out upon the green, she saw the arohers and lancers drawn up, aud Quilted being led away from the .Lieutenant's door. She now sat.down and, waited her summens to depart. An hour went slowly by; and then bet quiok ear caught the rumble of a cart on the Btones. She knew that this cart contained poo* Guilford'a body, and she rose to greet the eorae, as it passed by. Her women, who were all in tears, endeavored to prevent her going to the window, from which she could not help seeing the block and headsman waiting for her turn j but she gently forced them aside, looked out on the cart, and made the dead youth- her. last adieu. ' ' - Brydgea and. Feokeaham now came lor her,* Her. two gentlewomen could hardly walk for weeping; but Lady J*ne, who ws» dressed ur a blaok gown, came forth, with a prayer-book in her hand, a heavenly smile on her face, a tender light in her grey eyes. She walked modestly across the green, passed through the files of troopers, mounted the scaffold, and then- turning to the crowd of spectators, softly ?sjti>r~ . • i >! " Good people, lam come hither to die. The fact against the Queen's highness was unlawful1: but touching theproourement and desire, tUateof by me, or on my behalf, I wash my hands thereof in innocency, before God, and in the laoe of yoo, good Christum people, this day." She paused, as if to put away from ncr ithe world, with which she had now done for ever, i Then she added :— "I pray you all, good Christian people, to' bear me witness that I die m true Christian* womau, and that I look to be saved by no othef > means, than the mercy of God, in the merits oi the blood of His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. And now,, good people* while 1 am alive, I pray you to assist me with your prayers." Kneeling down, she said to Feokenham, the only divine whom Mary would allow to oome near her, " Shall I say this psalm ?" The Abbot faltered " Yea." On which: she repeated, in a clear voice, the noble paalm: "Have mercy upon me, O God, after', Thy great goodness: according to the nn latitude of Thy mercies do away mine offences." When she had oome to the last line, she stood up on her feet, and took off her gloves and kerchief, which she' gave to Elizabeth Tylney.. The Book of Psabns shfe gave to Thomas BrydgM, the Lieiibeoatit's deputy; Then, she untiedjber , gown, and took off her bridal gear. The h^ada- , man offered to assist.her; but she put,hia handa . gently aside, and drew, a white kerchief rQU^nd ; her eyes. The veiled figure of the execuiioner t sank at her feet, »nd begged her forgiveness for, what he had' now to do; Sac whispered in hyi , ear a few soft Words of ptyy, and pardon; and, , then said to him openly, "I pray' you despatoh me auiokly." Kneeling before the block/ she felt for it blindly with her open fingers. One : who stood by her touched and guided her hand > to the place which it sought; when she laid down her noble head, arid saying, " Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit," passed, with the prayer on her lips, into her everlasting rest. [TO Bfc CONTINUED.]

Thb Latest Teueohaphio Woman,— The Bottdn Tixtveller, of July 18, says that ite readers have been made acquainted with 'the r wonderful invention of Professor Bell, by:which > musical and vocals'souhdß can be and bare been' ' sent over the electric wires ; but few, if any, are aware of the wonderful result* which an snip to ? follow these improvements in telegraphy,' A. ' few nights ago Prof essor Bell waa in oommuni< cation with a telegraphic operator in New York and commenced experimenting with one of his inventions pertaining to the transmission of "? musical sounds. He made use of hut phonetic, organ, and played* the tune of " America," and asked the operator in Few York what he heard* ? " I hear the tune of 'America,' " replied New* ' York ; "give us another." Profeasor Bell then j played "Auld Lang Syne." "\?bat do you hear now ?" " I hear the tune of ' Auld Lang Syne,' with full chorda, distinctly," replied New York. Thuß, the Astounding discovery has been made that a man can play upon musical instru ments in Now York, New Orleans, London or Paris, and be heard distinctly in Boston I If this can be done, why cannot distinguished per formers execute the most artistic and beautiful music in Paris, and an audience assemble in Music Hall, Boston, to listen i Professor Bell's other improvements, namely, the transmission of the human voice, has become so far perfected that parsons have convened over dne thousand miles of wire with perfeot ease, although os yet ' the vocal Bounds are not loud enough to be heard by more than one or two persons. But if the human voice can now.be sent over the wire, and ho distinctly that when, two or three known parties are telegraphing, the voices of each can be recognised, we may soon have distinguished men delivering apeecb.es in Washington, New York or London, and audiences assembled iv Music Hall or Faneuil Hall to listen !