Page images
PDF
EPUB

wounded.

stroke and fel vnder the table, or els his hed had ben clefte

to the tethe: for as shortely as he shranke, yet The lord Standley ranne the blood aboute hys eares. Then were

they al quickly bestowed in diuerse chambres, 5 except the lorde Chamberlen, whom the protectour bade

spede and shryue hym apace, for by saynt Poule (quod he) I wil not to dinner til I se thy hed of. It boted him not to aske why, but heuely he toke a priest at aduenture, and

made a short shrift, for a longer would not be suffered, the 10 protectour made so much hast to dyner; which he might

not go to til this wer done for sauing of his othe. So was he brought forth into the grene beside the chappel within the Tower, and his head laid down vpon a long log of

timbre, and there striken of, and afterward his body with 15

the hed entred at Windsore beside the body of kinge Edward, whose both soules our Lord pardon.

A merueilouse case is it to here, either the warninges of that he shoulde haue voided, or the tokens of that he

could not voide. For the self night next before his death, 20 the lord Standley sent a trustie secret messenger vnto him

at midnight in al the hast, requiring hym to rise and ryde away with hym, for he was disposed ytterly no lenger to

bide; he had so fereful a dreme, in which him Stanley's thoughte that a bore with his tuskes so raced 25

them both bi the heddes, that the blood ranne aboute both their shoulders. And forasmuch as the protector gaue the bore for his cognisaunce, this dreme made so fereful an impression in his hart, that he was throughly

determined no lenger to tary, but had his horse redy, if the 30 lord Hastinges wold go

with him to ride so far yet the same night, that thei shold be out of danger ere dai. Ey, good lord, quod the lord Hastinges to this messenger, leneth mi lord thi master so much to such trifles, and hath such faith in

The Lorde

dreame.

dremes, which either his own fere fantasieth or do rise in the nightes rest by reson of his daye thoughtes ? Tel him it is plaine witchraft to beleue in suche dremes; which if they wer tokens of thinges to come, why thinketh he not that we might be as likely to make them true by our going if we 5 were caught and brought back (as frendes fayle fleers), for then had the bore a cause likely to race vs with his tuskes, as folke that fled for some falshed, wherfore either is there no peryl; nor none there is in dede; or if any be, it is rather in going then biding. And if we should, nedes cost, 10 fall in perill one way or other; yet had I leuer that men should se it wer by other mens falshed, then thinke it were either our owne faulte or faint hart. And therfore go to thy master, man, and commende me to him, and pray him be mery and haue no fere: for I ensure hym I am as sure of 15 the man that he woteth of, as I am of my own hand. God sende grace, sir, quod the messenger, and went his way.

Certain is it also, that in the riding toward the Tower, the same morning in which he was behedded, his hors twise or thrice stumbled with him almost to the falling; which 20 thing albeit eche man wote wel daily happeneth to them to whom no such mischaunce is toward, yet hath it ben, of an olde rite and custome, obserued as a token often times notably foregoing some great misfortune. Now this that foloweth was no warning, but an enemiouse scorne. same morning ere he were vp, came a knight unto him, as it were of curtesy to accompany hym to the counsaile, but of trouth sent by the protector to hast him thitherward, wyth whom he was of secret confederacy in that purpose, a meanę man at that time, and now of gret auctorite. This knight 30 when it happed the lord Chamberlen by the way to stay his horse, and comen a while with a priest whome he met in the Tower strete, brake his tale and said merely to him:

4

The 25

RICH.

What, my lord, I pray you come on, whereto talke you so long with that priest, you haue no nede of a pri[e]st yet; and therwith be laughed vpon him, as though he would say, ye shal haue sone.

But so litle wist that tother what he ment, and 5 so little mistrusted, that he was neuer merier nor neuer so

full of good hope in his life; which self thing is often sene a signe of chaunge. But I shall rather let anye thinge passe me, then the vain sureti of mans mind o nere his deth.

Vpon the very Tower wharfe, so nere the place where his 10 hed was of so sone after, there met he with one Hastinges,

a purseuant of his own name. And of their meting in that place, he was put in remembraunce of an other time, in which it had happened them before to mete in like maner

togither in the same place. At which other tyme the lord 15 Chamberlein had been accused vnto king Edward, by the

lord Riuers the quenes brother, in such wise that he was for the while (but it lasted not long) farre fallen into the kinges indignacion, and stode in gret fere of himselfe. And for

asmuch as he nowe met this purseuant in the same place, 20 that jubardy so wel passed, it gaue him great pleasure to

talke with him thereof with whom he had before talked thereof in the same place while he was therin. And therfore he said : Ah Hastinges, art thou remembred when

I met thee here ones with an heuy hart? Yea, my lord, 25 (quod he) that remembre I wel : and thanked be God

they gate no good, nor ye none harme thereby. Thou wouldest say so, quod he, if thou knewest as much as I know, which few know els as yet and moe shall shortly.

That ment he by the lordes of the quenes kindred that were 30 taken before, and should that day be behedded at Pounfreit:

which he wel wyst, but nothing ware that the axe hang ouer his own hed. In faith, man, quod he, I was neuer so sory, nor neuer stode in so great dread in my life, as I did when

cion of the

thou and I met here. And lo, how the world is turned, now stand mine enemies in the daunger (as thou maist hap to here more hereafter) and I neuer in my life so mery nor neuer in so great suerty. O good God, the blindnes of our mortall nature, when he most feared, he was in good suerty: 5 when he rekened him self surest, he lost his life, and that within two howres after. Thus ended this hon

The descriporable man, a good knight and a gentle, of gret cordo aucthorite with his prince, of liuing somewhat Hastinges. dessolate, plaine and open to his enemy, and secret to his ro frend : eth to begile, as he that of good hart and corage forestudied no perilles. A louing man and passing wel beloued. Very faithful, and trusty ynough, trusting to much. Now flew the fame of this lordes death swiftly through the citie, and so forth farder about like a winde in euery mans 15 ere. But the protector immediatelye after diner, entending to set some colour vpon the matter, sent in al the hast for many sembstauncial men out of the city into the Tower. And at their comming, himself with the Duke of Bukingham, stode harnesed in old il-faring briginders, such as no man 20 shold wene that thei wold vouchsafe to haue put vpon their backes, except that some sodaine necessitie had constrained them. And then the protectour shewed them, that the lor[a] chamberlain, and other of his conspiracy, had contriued to haue sodeinly destroide him and the duke, ther that same 25 day in the counsel. And what thei intended further was as yet not well knowen. Of which their treson he neuer had knowlage before x. of the clock the same forenone. Whiche sodain fere draue them to put on for ther defence such harneis as came next to hande. And so had God holpen them, 30 that the mischief turned vpon them that wold haue done it. And this he required them to report. Eueri man answered him fair, as though no man mistrusted the mater which of

trouth no man beleued. Yet for the further appesing of the peoples mind, he sent immediatli after diner in al the hast, The protectors

one herode of armes, with a proclamacion to be proclamation. made through the city in the kinges name, con5 teyning that the lord Hastinges, with diuers other of his

traytorous purpose, had before conspired that same day to haue slaine the lord protector and the duke of Buckingham sitting in the counsel, and after to haue taken

vpon them to rule the king and the realm at their plea10 sure, and therbi to pil and spoil whom thei list vncon

troled. And much mater was ther in that proclamacion deuised, to the slaunder of the lord chamberlain, as that he was an euil counseller to the kinges father, intising him to

many thinges highlye redounding to the minishing of his 15 honor, and to the vniuersal hurt of his realm, by his euyl

company, sinister procuring, and vngracious ensample, as wel in many other thinges as in the vicious liuing both with many other, and also specialli with Shores wife; which was

one also of his most secret counsel of this heynous treson, 20 so that it was the lesse meruel, if vngracious liuyng brought

him to an vnhappy ending: which he was now put vnto, by the most drede commaundement of the kinges highnes and of his honorable and faithful counsel, bothe for his

demerites, being so openli taken in his falsli conceiued 25 treson, and also lest the delaying of his execucion might

haue encoraged other mischiuous parsons, partners of his conspiracy, to gether and assemble themself together in makyng some gret commocion for his deliueraunce, whose

hope now being by his wel deserued deth politikely re30 pressed, al the realm shold bi Gods grace rest in good

quiete and peace. Now was this proclamacion made within ii. houres after that he was beheded, and it was so curiously indited, and so fair writen in parchment in so wel

« PreviousContinue »