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Full text of "The Spanish match : or, Charles Stuart at Madrid"

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THE ^ 

SPANISH MATCH 



CHARLES STUART AT MADRID. 



A^aLLIAM HAEKISON AINSWORTH. 



Carlos Estuardo soy, 

Que, siendo amor mi guia, 
Al cielo de Espana voy 

Per ver my estrella Maria. 

Lope de Vega. 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. I. 



LONDON : 

CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193, PICCADILLY. 

1865. 

\Tlie right of Translation is reserved^] 



LOXDOX: 
PRINTED EY C. WHITING, BEAUFORT HOUSE, STKAND. 



^^ 



INSCRIBED 

TO 

JAMES BEAZLEY, Esq., 

OF 

LIVERPOOL, 

BY HIS MUCH OBLIGED TEIEyD, 

THE AUTHOR. 



CONTENTS OF VOL. I. 



BOOK I. 

THE JOURNEY OF JACK AXD TOM SMITH TO 
MADRID. 

I. PAGE 

By whom the JorB^-zr to Madrid was projected ; 

AND HOW IT WAS PROPOSED TO THE KlXG . . 3 

n. 

Showing who were chosen as Jack and Ton S^iith's 
Attendants on the JorRN'EY . . . .31 

III. 
How Toil AND Jack set on on their Journ-ey ; and 

HOW THEY GOT TO THE FeRRY NEAR TlLBURY FoRT 4S 
IV. 

How Jack and Toil were taken eor Highwaymen 
ON Gad's Hill 62 



VI CONTENTS. 

V. PAGE 

How Jack and Tom were pursued by the Ofeicers 
PROM Grayesend 76 

VI. 
How Jack and Tom were visited by Master 
Launcelot Stodmarsh, Mayor of Canterbury . 84 

VII. 

How Jack and Tom were lodged for the Night in 
Dover Castle 96 

VIIT. 

How Jack and Tom crossed the Channel, and 
rode post from Boulogne to Paris. . .113 

IX. 

How Jack and Tom were graciously received by 
THE Due de Montbazon 127 

X. 

How Jack and Tom drove about Paris, and what 
they saw during the Drive .... 135 

XI. 

How Jack and Tom dined at the Luxembourg ; and 

HOW THEY WERE PRESENTED TO QuEEN MaRIE DE 

Medicis 146 



CONTENTS. Vll 

XII. PAGE 

How Jack and Tom witnessed a grand Ballet at 

IHE LOUTEE ; AND HOW Toil DANCED A SaRABAND 

WITH Anne of ArsTRiA, and Jack danced the 
Pavane with the Princess Henriette Marie . 169 

XIII. 

How Toil FELL DESPERATELY IN LoVE . . . 1S6 

XIY. 

In what iiANNER Jack and Tom left Paris, and of 

THE ADyE:STURE THEY ilET WITH IN THE FORESI 

OF Orleans 19S 

XY. 
How Jack and Tom rode to Bordeaux, and how 

THEY RECEIVED A YlSII FROM THE DuC d'EpER- 

NON . 22S 

XYI. 

Yv'hat happened to the Travellers, and what 

IHEY BEHELD, AS THEY CROSSED THE GrEAT 
Landes 244; 

xYn. 

How THE Travellers were brought before the 
Governor of Bayonne 254 



Vlll CONTENTS. 

XVIIL PAGE 

Jack and Tom cross the Bidassoa and enter Spain . 259 

XIX. 
The Gorge of Pancorbo 267 

XX. 

How Sir Richard Graham met with an Adventure 
IN the Cathedral of Burgos .... 279 



C|e $pm\ ^uk\. 



BOOK I. 



THE JOURXEY OF JACK AND TOM SMITH 
TO MADEID. 



VOL. I. 



BY -WHOM THE JOUKNEY TO MADRID WAS PEOJECTED ; AND 
HO"W IT TTAS PROPOSED TO THE KING. 

On Monday, the 17tli of February, in the year 
1623, King James I. was alone in his private 
cabinet in the palace of Whitehall, engaged in 
perusing a despatch, which he had just received 
from the Earl of Bristol, then ambassador-extra- 
ordinary to the court of Madrid. 

With the appearance of the monarch the reader 
must be familiar, so it is scarcely necessary to de- 
scribe him, but we may mention, that on this oc- 
casion, as on most others, he was cased in a black 
silk doublet, so thickly padded as to be proof 
b2 



4 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

against stroke of sword or dagger. This bolstered 
doublet gave him an air of excessive and unnatural 
corpulency, though in reality his frame was very 
meagre, as was shown by his legs, while his huge 
bombasted trunk-hose greatly impeded his move- 
ments and increased the natural ungainliness of his 
figure. There were more marks of age and de- 
crepitude about James than were warranted by his 
years — lie was then only fifty-seven — his cheeks 
were hollow, his eyes blear, his limbs shrunken, 
and he tottered in his gait like a feeble old man. 
His whole appearance, indeed, betokened that he 
was well-nigh worn out, and such was the opinion 
entertained of him by the courtiers, who, feeling 
assured he could not last long, had already begun 
to pay their devotions to the rising sun. 

The intelligence conveyed to the king was evi- 
dently far from agreeable to him. Not only did 
he manifest considerable irritation, as by the aid of 
a powerful pair of glasses he got through the 
despatch, but at last he threw it down with an oath 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 

— the British Solomon, as is well known, swore 
lustily when angered — and exclaimed, " By my 
saul ! I will no longer be trifled with. The King 
of Spain is playing me false. I will break off the 
marriage-treaty at once, and recal Bristol." He 
then seized a pen, and adjusting his spectacles, 
began to indite a letter to the ambassador, in which 
he gave full vent to his displeasure, by no means 
mincing his phrases, but setting down whatever 
came uppermost. 

While he was thus occupied, the door was 
opened, and two persons entered the cabinet. As 
they were unannounced by the gentleman-usher, 
James, among whose many infirmities deafness was 
numbered, did not hear them come in, and his back 
being towards the door, he did not remark their 
presence. So he continued his task, under the im- 
pression that he was alone, concocting his sentences 
aloud, and thus acquainting those near him with 
the secrets of his despatch, as well as diverting 
them by the coarse energy of his expressions. The 



b THE SPANISH MATCH. 

foremost of the two would have interrupted him, 
but was checked by his companion^ who whis- 
pered in his ear, "Let him alone. He will never 
send off that despatch." 

The individual to whom these words were ad- 
dressedj was a young man about two-and-twenty, 
whose noble lineaments and dignified deportment 
proclaimed him of the highest rank. In fact, he 
looked infinitely more like a king than the old 
monarch near whom he stood. His features were 
characterised by a gravity far beyond his years, and 
a shade of melancholy sat upon his brow, heighten- 
ing the interest inspired by his handsome and 
thoughtful countenance. His eyes were large and 
black, his forehead lofty and capacious, denoting 
the possession of a powerful intellect, while his 
looks breathed taste and refinement. Moustaches 
and a pointed beard harmonised well with his some- 
what lengthy visage, and his dark locks, divided 
above the temples, fell down in ringlets upon the 
starched lace ruff encircling his throat, and which 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 7 

served as a frame to his comely head — sl head, once 
seen, never to be forgotten. His complexion was 
pale, inclining to swarthiness — a hue of skin sup- 
posed to belong to one of saturnine temperament. 
He was about the middle height, but held himself 
so erect that he seemed taller than he was in reahty. 
His figure was slender, but perfectly proportioned, 
and his demeanour, as we have intimated, full of 
grace and majesty. His habihments were of white 
velvet, and became him well, the doublet and hose 
being puffed with azure silk, and the mantle lined 
with the same stuff. His sole ornament was the 
diamond star upon his cloak. 

In this striking-looking personage there will be 
little dif&culty, we apprehend, in recognising 
Charles Prince of Wales. 

The prince's companion was likewise very hand- 
some — handsomer, indeed, than the prince — but he 
lacked the dignity of manner and singularly high- 
bred look that distinguished Charles. He was in 
the prime of manhood, being the prince's senior by 



8 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

about eight or nine years, and possessed a figure 
of unequalled symmetry. Well-favoured, however, 
as he was in form and feature, his haughty manner 
marred the effect of his good looks. His mag- 
nificent person needed no embellishment, yet his 
attire was splendid, his pink satin doublet and hose 
being covered with gems, while chains of large 
orient pearls hung from his neck down to his very 
girdle, which was likewise encrusted with precious 
stones. To the extraordinary personal advantages 
we have described, George Villiers, Marquis of 
Buckingham — for he it was — added great accom- 
plishments, mental as well as bodily. Clear-sighted, 
keen-witted, eloquent, and if not learned or pro- 
found, he had art enough to hide his deficiencies. 
He was expert in all manly exercises; rode better 
than any one at court, won all the prizes at the 
tilt-yard, and danced more gracefully than Sir 
Walter Raleigh. 

Seven years ago, on his first appearance at court, 
where he was introduced as a rival to the then 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 9 

reigning favourite, Carr, Earl of Somerset, young 
Villiers's remarkable graces of person and capti- 
vatino^ manner at once attracted tlie kino^'s notice, 
and his rise was incredibly rapid. Favours were 
lavished upon him by the infatuated monarch; he 
was ennobled, and eventually raised to the highest 
posts in the state. To enumerate all the important 
offices with which he had been gratified by his 
doting master would be tedious, but it may be 
mentioned, in order to give an idea of his power 
and greatness at the period in question, that he 
was Lord High Admiral of England, Lord War- 
den of the Cinque Ports, Constable of the Castle 
of Dover and of the royal Castle of Windsor, 
Lord President of the Council of War, Knight of 
the Garter, and first minister. Besides all these and 
many other posts and honours, he had a dukedom 
in expectancy. 

Since his aggrandisement, however, Bucking- 
ham's character had materially changed. Affiible 
at first to all, he had become excessively haughty 



10 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

and domineering, being insolent even to his royal 
master. Boundlessly profuse in expenditure, and 
insatiate, lie well-nigh drained James's coffers. His 
entertainments were superb, surpassing in splendour 
those of the king. His retinue was that of a 
prince; his carriage was drawn by six horses, and 
if he rode forth a large escort attended him. No 
wonder that his insufferable arrogance and im- 
perious deportment alienated his partisans and in- 
creased the number of his enemies — no wonder 
that his overthrow was frequently attempted. In 
vain. Buckingham proved too strong for his 
enemies. Favourite alike of father and son, of the 
king and the heir to the throne, he derided all 
opposition. 

That Buckingham should have succeeded in in- 
gratiating himself with a prince so grave and re- 
served in manner as Charles, whose character was 
so opposite to his own, and who was so likely to be 
distrustful of his advances, shows wonderful adroit- 
ness on his part, and proves incontestably that he 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 11 

possessed in the highest degree the art of pleasing. 
In order, however, to confirm his influence with 
the prince, he conceived a bold and singular pro- 
ject, to explain which a brief retrospect will be 
necessary. 

James had long cherished the design of forming 
a matrimonial alliance for his son with Spain, ^ and 
had made a formal proposition to Philip HI. for 
the hand of his second daughter, the Infanta 
Maria; but though the offer was graciously re- 
ceived, and negotiations entered into, innumerable 
delays occurred, and his patience being at length 
exhausted by the dilatory Spanish cabinet, James 
put an end to the treaty. But though baffled, and 
offended by the duplicity which he supposed had 
been practised towards him, James had not alto- 
gether abandoned his design, and other circum- 
stances occurring at a later period to render an 
alliance with Spain more than ever desirable in liis 
eyes, he determined to renew his offer to Philip IV., 
who had just succeeded his father. In this matri- 



12 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

monial scheme, Charles, the principal person con- 
cerned in it, entirely acquiesced. Though he had 
never beheld the Infanta, the ravishing description 
he had received of her charms inflamed his breast 
with the strongest passion. 

Accordingly, John Digby, Earl of Bristol, a 
diplomatist of approved ability, and who stood 
deservedly high in James's favour, was despatched 
as ambassador-extraordinary to Madrid to propose 
the match to Philip IV. The young king seemed 
far more favourably inclined to the alliance than 
his father had been, and declared that if the re- 
ligious difficulties in the way of the union could 
be adjusted, all other points might be easily settled. 
But these difficulties were not easily removed. 
Months flew by — and the negotiation made Httle 
progress. As a preliminary measure, a dispensa- 
tion had to be obtained from the Pope, Gregory 
XV., but this was refused unless the King of 
England engaged to mitigate the severe laws then 
in force against his Eoman CathoHc subjects. To 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 13 

tliis demand James assented, and began at once to 
carry his promise into effect. His ready com- 
pliance, however, induced the Pope to make 
further demands, and James was compelled to 
make additional concessions. Still the dispensa- 
tion was delayed. 

Things were in this state when the Gonde de 
Gondomar, for many years ambassador to England, 
but who had recently returned to his own court, in 
order, if possible, to expedite the negotiation, wrote 
privately to Buckingham that he did not believe 
the match would ever take place, unless the prince 
came to IMadrid to fetch his bride. " Bring him 
here," concluded Gondomar, "and the affair will 
be speedily settled." 

The hint was not lost upon Buckingham. Per- 
suaded that success would attend the proposed ex- 
pedition, in which case the entire credit of accom- 
plishing the union would attach to himself instead 
of to the Earl of Bristol, whom he hated as a rival, 
while the prince must needs feel grateful to him for 



14 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

procuring liim a consort, Buckingham proposed the 
journey to Charles, assuring him that it was the 
only means of accomplishing the object he had in 
view, and offered to accompany him. 

Fired by the romantic nature of the project, 
which exactly suited his character, Charles at once 
agreed to the proposition, thanked Buckingham for 
his zeal, and manifested the utmost impatience to 
set forth upon the journey. 

The grand difficulty was to obtain the king's 
consent. His majesty was sure to raise numerous 
objections to the expedition, but these Buckingham 
undertook to remove. The prince's impatience 
would not brook delay, so, after arranging a plan 
of action, they entered the cabinet as described on 
the morning in question, resolved to carry their 
point. 

They came at the very nick of time, since James, 
in his present mood, might have broken the mar- 
riage-treaty, and so have effectually frustrated their 
design. 



THE SPANISH MATCH* 15 

For a few minutes after tlieir entrance, the king 
continued his despatch, reciting aloud what he was 
setting down. He then paused, and while he was 
reflecting, Charles, advancing towards his chair, 
made a reverence, and said, "When your majesty 
is at leisure I crave a word with you.'' 

" Bide awee, Babie Charlie — bide awee ! " ex- 
claimed the Mng. " I'm engaged on yer ain busi- 
ness — that confounded alliance with Spain, which 
has given me more trouble than aught I ever under- 
took. But I'll make an end of it now. Ha! is that 
you, Steenie?" he added, noticing the favourite. 
^^ Saul o' my body, lads, I canna say that ye are 
either of you welcome to yer auld dad at tliis 
moment, for he has been sairly put out by a 
despatch just received from Bristol — fresh delays — 
new demands — enough to drive one stark mad. 
You maun gie up all thoughts of the Infanta, 
Babie Charlie, for she never can be yours. I am 
about to break off the match." 

" Not so, sire — not so I " cried his son. 



16 - THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" But I say ^ yea/ " vociferated James, testily. 
*^ Hear wliat I liae written to Bristol, and then ye'll 
understand whether I'm in earnest or no." 

"Your majesty need not trouble yourself to read 
the despatch/' remarked Buckingham. " We know 
what it contains. But in spite of all that has hap- 
pened — in spite of the dissimulation and perfidy of 
Olivarez — in spite of Bristol's mismanagement — in 
spite of the Pope — the match will take place.'" 

" Ye are wrang, Steenie — ye are wrang/' cried 
James. " I tell ye, man, I am about to break it 
off." 

"Would you undo your own work, just when it 
is on the eve of accomplishment?" said Bucking- 
ham. " You are far too sagacious for that." 

"Uds death! man, there's nae help for it/' re- 
turned James. "I will mak nae mair concessions 
to please the Pope or the great Dule himsel, wha 
eggs him on. I hae made ower mony already." 

"I should be the last to counsel your majesty 
to truckle to Rome/' said Buckingham. "But 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 17 

you may dispense with the dispensation. I will 
stake my head that the match shall take place — 
ay, and before the end of April." 

"Ye are a bauld man, Steenie — a verra bauld 
man," said James, laughing, " and can do maist 
things weel, but ye canna perform impossibilities." 

"I can do what Bristol has failed to do, at all 
events," rejoined Buckingham. "And this is no 
idle boast, as your majesty will find, if you put me 
to the test." 

" Ye say that safely, for ye ken fu' weel that I 
am not likely sae to try ye," observed James. 
"But let me make an end of my despatch." 

At a sis^n from Buckincrham, Charles then drew 
nearer to his father, and said, in an earnest voice, 
" I have a matter of importance to lay before your 
majesty, on which I desire to have your advice. 
But, before proceeding, I must have your royal 
word that you will not divulge the secret I am 
about to impart to any one — not even to your 
council. Otherwise, my lips will remain sealed." 

VOL. I. C 



18 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

^^I liae nae secrets, as ye ken, frae Steenie," 
replied James, whose curiosity was aroused. " But 
sin' he is present, and will hear the secret — if he be 
not acquainted wi' it already, as I shrewdly suspect 
— there is na need to make an exception in his 
favour. Speak without fear, my bairn. I solemnly 
pledge you my royal word that I will keep your 
secret as close as I ought to keep my purse." 

" Since I am thus encouraged," said Charles, 
"I can no longer hesitate to prefer my request. 
Gracious sovereign and father," he continued, 
prostrating himself before him, "grant me, I be- 
seech you, permission to travel to Madrid to fetch 
the Infanta, whom you have chosen for my consort, 
but who, I feel assured, never will be mine unless 
I can thus obtain her. Instead of quenching the 
passion I have conceived for this adorable princess, 
the difficulties which have occurred during the 
long-protracted negotiation for her hand, have in- 
creased it. I shall never be happy without her, 
and indeed have vowed to take no other wife, so 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 19 

that, unless I win her, I shall be condemned to a 
life of celibacy, and your royal line will not be 
continued." 

" Saints forfend ! " cried James, uneasily. 

" In proceeding in person to fetch my bride," 
pursued Charles, "I shall imitate the example of 
my chivalrous ancestor, James V. of Scotland, who, 
journeying into France in quest of a consort, was 
rewarded by the hand of the Princess Madeleine, 
sole daughter of Francois I. Moreover, I shall 
copy, as I am bound to do, my wise and honoured 
father, whose ardent nature prompted him to sail 
to Denmark to gain the princess on whom he had 
set his affections. As James V. succeeded, and as 
you succeeded, sire, so shall I." 

'^ Ahem ! " exclaimed James, coughing dryly. 
" Dinna be guided by bonnie Jamie, Babie Charlie 
— dinna be guided by me. The wisest of men 
sometimes err, and I gave nae great proof of saga- 
city in taking that step." 

C2 



20 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" You gave unquestionable proof of spirit and 
of devotion to the queen my mother, sire," re- 
turned Charles. "Whatever the motive that in- 
fluenced you, I honour you for it. But vouchsafe 
an answer to my request. Have I your permis- 
sion to travel to Madrid ? " 

"Ye hae ta'en me so much by surprise that I 
can make nae direct response," returned James, 
cautiously. " The matter requires great considera- 
tion. When do you desire to set out?" 

" Without delay — to-morrow," replied Charles. 

" To-morrow ! " ejaculated the king. " By my 
halidame! ye must be daft to think of it. Why, 
it will tak a month to fit out a fleet to convey ye 
to Spain! Ask Steenie, who is Lord High Ad- 
miral, and he will explain to you the time it will 
take to get all ready." 

" I need not ask the question, sire, since it is not 
my intention to go to Spain in that princely fashion. 
I design to travel by post, in disguise, as a simple 
gentleman, accompanied only by Buckingham, who 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 21 

has consented to go with me, and two or three 
attendants." 

"Wha the deil has put this mad scheme into 
your head ? " cried James, aghast. " Ride by post 
frae London to Madrid, hke a courier! Is it be- 
fitting the heir to the throne of England to travel 
sae? Answer me that, Babie Charlie? Answer 
me that?" 

"I shall travel incognito, sire, and shall not 
discover myself till I reach Madrid." 

" Ye'll never reach Madrid if ye travel in that 
way, my puir bairn," said the king. ^^Hae ye 
reflectit on the perils of the journey? Grantin' 
ye get safely through France, whilk I mich mis- 
doubt, ye will hae to cross great barren plains 
and steep mountains infested by robbers, and may 
be set upon in some spot where there is nae chance 
of succour, and barbarously murthered, and then I 
shall lose my twa darling boys, Babie Charles and 
Steenie. Say nae mair aboot it — spare your breath 
— nae arguments will move me." 



22 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I shall not arise till you grant my request, 
sire," returned Charles, maintaining his position. 
^^ I go like a paladin of old to win the sovereign 
mistress of my heart, and were the expedition un- 
attended by danger, I would not undertake it." 

" Why, ye are as moonstruck as Don Quixote 
himself!" cried James. "But dinna suppose yer 
auld dad will suffer ye to commit such folly. He 
loves his bairn too dearly. What say you, Steenie?" 
he added to Buckingham. " Surely ye canna be 
party to this hair-brained scheme?" 

"If the prince travels to Madrid as he desires 
to do, I shall accompany him," returned Bucking- 
ham. " Your paternal anxiety magnifies the dan- 
gers of the journey. I warrant me you will laugh 
heartily at our adventures when we come back." 

"If ye ever do come back, dear lads, I promise 
ye I shall laugh, and that right heartily," said 
James. "But something tells me if ye gang to 
Spain in this way, I shall never set eyes on ye 
mair. Why not tarry for the fleet? Besides, I 



THE SPANISH IklATCH. 23 

darena consent without consulting the council, and 
they may prohibit my son's departure." 

" Very likely they would, sire," observed Charles. 
" But you have pledged me your royal word not to 
mention the matter to any one without my con- 
sent ; and I hold you strictly to the promise." 

" Idiot that I was to bind myself sae ! " cried 
the king. " But ye will gain naething by the 
stratagem — naething. I refuse my consent." 

" Then the prince's death will lie at your door," 
rejoined Buckingham. " It will break his heart if 
he loses the Infanta — as he infallibly will, unless 
this expedient be adopted. Do I exaggerate, 
prince? — Speak!" 

"Not in the least," replied Charles. "If I am 
thwarted, and robbed of my prize, I shall never 
survive the bitter disappointment." 

" Was ever king sae sair beset ? " groaned James. 
" I see plain eneuch that ye are baith in a plot 
against me, but ye shallna prevail. I am firm in 
my refusal." 



24 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

^' Hear me before you decide, sire," said Charles. 
"As Heaven shall judge me, if I am denied the 
Infanta, I will take no other wife. Your majesty 
professes to desire the marriage " 

" Professes to desire it ! " interrupted James. " I 
desire nae thing on earth sae mich. I wad gie half 
my kingdom to accomplish it." 

" Then let me go, and it is done," said Charles. 
" Hear me yet further, sire. Not only will my 
presence at Madrid bring the negotiation to an im- 
mediate and satisfactory issue, but it will ensure 
the restitution of his hereditary dominions to my 
brother-in-law, the Count Palatine. Philip IV. 
cannot refuse his aid to the Elector when I ask 
it." 

"That wad, indeed, be a triumph gained, and 
wad gladden my heart, which is sair troubled in 
regard to my daughter EHzabeth," observed James. 
" I ought not to yield, for I hae mony misgivings 
as to the result of the expedition ; but since ye are 
bent upon it, I will not hinder ye." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 25 

His point being thus gained, Charles sprang 
joyfully to his feet, and threw himself into his 
father's arms, who tenderly embraced him, exclaim- 
ing, " Heaven bless ye, my bonnie bairn, and grant 
ye a prosperous journey ! " 

"Your majesty's decision has been wisely made, 
and you will never rue it," observed Buckingham. 
" And now, since the affair is settled, it may be 
well to discuss the arrangements of the journey. 
We would defer to your majesty's opinion in the 
choice of our attendants. Whom do you recom- 
mend?" 

" I need not search far to find one," returned 
James. "There is your secretary. Sir Francis 
Cottington, Babie Charlie, whom we have just 
elevated to a baronetcy. He has been attached to 
our embassy at Madrid, and knows the court in- 
timately. You canna do better than take him. Sir 
Francis is a trusty and discreet man, in whom I 
have every confidence." 

"Your confidence is well bestowed, sire," re- 



2(y THE SPANISH MATCH. 

turned the prince. " I had fixed upon Cottington 
as one of my attendants, provided my project met 
with your sanction. He is without, in the ante- 
chamber; but he knows nothing of the enterprise, 
for neither Buckingham nor myself have breathed 
a word of it to any one save your majesty." 

" I will talk to him anon," observed the king. 
^^ Then there is your groom of the chamber, Endy- 
mion Porter, who has just returned frae Madrid. 
He speaks the language like a Spaniard, kens the 
people weel, and will be verra useful to you. Take 
him." 

"Willingly — right willingly," returned Charles. 
"I had also thought of Endymion Porter. His 
perfect knowledge of the language, and familiarity 
with the manners of the people, will be a great 
help to us. As your majesty is aware, I speak 
Spanish indifferently well myself." 

" And I very indifferently," remarked Bucking- 
ham. " But I make no doubt we shall get on well 
enough. Your majesty having assigned Cottington 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 27 

and Endymion Porter to tlie prince, I will crave 
permission to take as my own attendant my master 
of the horse, Sir Richard Graham." 

" I approve your choice, Steenie/' replied James. 
"Dick Grseme is as handsome as Adonis, and his 
bra' looks and gallant bearing will charm the 
Spanish senoras. Like Babie CharHe, he may 
chance to find a wife in Madrid. But hauld! 
there is one point which must not be forgotten. 
Does Dick speak Spanish?" 

"Better than I do myself," returned Bucking- 
ham. 

" That's na sayin' mich," laughed the king. 
"And now, lads, under what names do you mean 
to travel?" 

" We have not thought of that," replied the 
prince. " Give us our designations, sire." 

^^ The Palmerin de Inglaterra and Amadis de 
Gaula would suit ye best," said James, laughing; 
" but since these renowned names might prove in- 
convenient, I wad counsel you to adopt humbler 



25 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

appellations, and style yourselves the twa Smiths 
— Jock and Tarn." 

" Excellent ! " cried^ Buckingham. " Your ma- 
jesty has a rare humour. The prince shall be 
Jack Smith, and I will be Tom." 

" I am quite content," remarked Charles. " As 
the Brothers Smith we will travel to Madrid." 

" Will ye not send on a courier before you ? " 
observed the king, pleased with their ready assent 
to his whim. 

^^That were to proclaim our secret to all the 
world," returned Charles. " None save our at- 
tendants must be made acquainted with our in- 
tended journey. There must be no avant courier 
to Paris or Madrid, or the project will be blown 
abroad and defeated. We must take Philip and 
Olivarez by surprise. On our arrival at Madrid, 
we will proceed at once to the English embassy." 

"The hotel in which Bristol resides, and where 
you will find him, has an odd name," remarked 
James. " It is called La Casa de las siete 



THE SPANISH :match. 29 

Chimeneas, or, in plain English, ^ The House of 
Seven Chimneys.' Though so scantily supplied 
with chimneys, I believe it is a large mansion, 
sae ye will be weel accommodated ; and I trust ye 
will gar every chimney reek while ye stay there." 

" AVe will take good care of ourselves, never 
fear, sire," said Buckingham. " I like the name 
of the house. Seven is a lucky number. There 
are the Seven Sages of Greece — the Seven Cham- 
pions — the Seven Stars — why not the Seven 
Chimneys?" 

"One of the Pleiades has vanished," remarked 
James. " Count the chimneys when ye get to 
Madrid, and let me know that all are standing, 
for if ane be wanting, I shall think that your 
errand will prove unsuccessful. Ye said just now 
that Sir Francis Cottington is in the ante-chamber. 
Bid him come in. As he is to attend you, I may 
talk the matter over with him, I suppose?" 

"Most assuredly, sire," replied Charles. "I 
should wish you to do so." 



30 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"Call him in, Steenie — call him in," said the 
king; "and if Endymion Porter and Dick Gr^me 
chance to be in the ante-chamber, let them come 
in at the same time." 

"All three were there when his highness and 
myself passed through," returned Buckingham. 
" Cottington will oppose the expedition," he 
added, in a whisper, to Charles. 

'^ He will not dare to do so when he finds I 
am bent upon it," rejoined the prince, in the same 
tone. 

"We shall see," observed Buckingham, as he 
stepped towards the door to execute the king's 
order. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 



n. 

SHOWES'G TVHO TTEKE CHOSEN AS JACK AND lOil SAIITH's 
ATTENDANTS ON THE JOrENEY. 

Finding that the three persons he sought were 
still in the ante-chamber, Buckingham directed the 
gentleman-usher in attendance to summon them, 
and, this being done, in another minute they were 
brought into the presence. 

Sir Francis Cottington, who was first to enter, 
was of middle age, being born in 1576. Of a 
good Somersetshire family, after serving as secre- 
tary to Sir PhiHp Straflford during the reign of 
EHzabeth, he became attached to the embassy to 



32 THE SPANISH MATCH, 

Spain, and his long residence at Madrid had 
given him the look of a Spaniard, which was 
heightened by his olive complexion, dark eyes, 
and jet-black moustache and beard. His habili- 
ments were of murrey-coloured velvet, and a long 
Toledo hung from his side. As previously inti- 
mated, Sir Francis Cottington was now secretary 
to Prince Charles, and was, moreover, much in 
the king's confidence, who constantly consulted 
him about Spanish affairs, and was generally 
guided by his advice. 

Endymion Porter came next. He was some- 
what younger than Cottington, but though not so 
polished in manner or intelHgent-looking as the 
prince's secretary, he had a pleasant countenance, 
and a goodly person. 

The last to pay reverence to the king was an 
exceedingly handsome young man. Selected on 
account of his good looks and agreeable manner 
to the post of master of the horse, which he filled 
in Buckingham's princely household, Sir Kichard 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 33 

Graham, by the elegance of his attire and personal 
graces, excited almost as much admiration as his 
magnificent patron. He was as tall as Bucking- 
ham, who was upwards of six feet high, but more 
powerfully built than the marquis. Graham's 
features were regular, and of classical mould, his 
complexion bright and fresh, his eyes dark blue, 
his locks brown and curled liked those of Anti- 
nous, his beard and moustaches of the same hue, 
and his teeth superb. Sir Richard was a few 
months younger than Prince Charles, and had 
recently been knighted by the king at Bucking- 
ham's instance. 

Glancing round at the trio, James said, ^' I hae 
sent for ye, sirs, on a maist important matter, but, 
before confiding it to ye, I charge ye on your 
allegiance that ye keep it a profound secret. Mark 
weel what I say — a profound secret." 

"Your majesty may rely upon us," returned the 
persons addressed. 

" Weel, then," continued the king, " I will tell 

YOL. I. D 



34 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

ye wliat it is without mair ado. Babie Charles 
and Steenie hae resolved to travel post to Madrid, 
to fetch the Infanta. Never stare, sirs — never 
stare ! as if ye thought I were jesting — it's the 
truth. They mean to travel post, I tell ye, in- 
cognito, and with only three attendants, and have 
made choice of you." 

This unexpected intelligence produced a marked 
effect on the hearers. All three were surprised 
by it, and Cottington trembled so violently, that 
he could scarcely support himself. 

^^What ails ye, Sir Francis?" cried James. 
"Dinna ye like the expedition?" 

" Of a truth, my liege, I do not," repHed Cot- 
tington; "and I would fain dissuade his highness 
from so hazardous an undertaking. I know the 
Spaniards well, and am therefore sensible of the 
risk he will incur." 

"Ye hear that, Babie Charles?" cried James. 
" Sir Francis is an honest man, and speaks truth, 



THE SPANISH ^lATCH. 35 

however distasteful it may be, without fear. He 
is of our ain opinion." 

"I have already told your majesty that I am 
determined to go, be the danger what it may/' said 
Charles, glancing sternly at his secretary as he 
spoke. " I should be loth to take Sir Francis 
with me against his will." 

" Let him stay behind," cried Buckingham. 
"How say you, sirs?" he added to the two others. 
" Are you content to go with us ? '' 

" I shall be proud and happy to attend his 
highness and your grace," rejoined Endymion 
Porter ; " and I see no risk whatever in the ex- 
pedition. The prince will be heartily welcomed 
by his Spanish majesty — of that I am well as- 
sured." 

"For my part, I shall account it a great dis- 
tinction to share, however humbly, in an enter- 
prise so heroic," observed Sir Richard Graham. 
" The proposed expedition is, in all respects, suited 
D 2 



36 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

to a prince so chivalrous as his highness, and I 
marvel not that he desires to undertake it. 
Danger enhances the glory of any great achieve- 
ment, and, should peril occur, we shall know how 
to encounter it." 

" Well spoken, Dick," cried Buckingham. " It 
is only Cottington who fears danger." 

"It is my devotion to the prince that fills me 
with apprehension, and prompts me to dissuade 
him from the journey," returned Cottington. "If 
his highness will not heed my warning, I am 
ready to go with him, to guide him, and strive 
to protect him from peril, but I cannot reconcile 
it to myself to hold my tongue when advice may 
be useful." 

"No more of this, sir," cried Charles, angrily. 

" Nay, chide him not, Babie Charlie, he means 
weel," interposed James. "What hae ye to say. 
Sir Francis? Speak out, man — speak out — I com- 
mand ye ! " 

" Since your majesty lays your Injunctions upon 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 3? 

me, I must obey," replied Cottington. " Not only 
do I feel that the expedition will be attended 
with many risks, but so far from promoting the 
match, I am confident it will put an end to it. 
Should the prince be so rash as to place himself 
in the hands of the Spaniards, they will make fresh 
demands, and detain him till their exactions are 
complied with. Assured of this, I deem it in- 
cumbent upon me to warn his highness before he 
runs headlong into the trap. The grand aim of 
the Spanish cabinet is to advance the Eomish faith 
in England, and this they will be enabled to do, 
if the prince delivers himself into their hands." 

" Ye are right, Sir Francis — ye are right," cried 
James. " I see it a' now. The step would be 
fatal, but. Heaven be praised, it is not yet ta'en ! 
If the Spaniards ance get possession of ye, Babie 
Charlie, the Pope will be able to dictate his ain 
terms, and will make the restitution of his spee- 
ritual power and the restoration of the Romish 
faith the price of your release." 



38 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" This is idle, sire," remarked Charles. " I 
have too much faith in Spanish honour to doubt 
for a moment the treatment I shall experience 
from Philip IV. Spain is the most chivalrous 
country in Europe." 

" But the most perfidious/' cried the king. " I 
will not trust my bairn to traitors. I willna let 
you go." 

"If you violate your promise, sire, you must 
take the consequences," rejoined Charles, sternly. 
" I swear to you I will never marry." 

^^ But, my ain bairn " 

" I swear it," repeated Charles, emphatically. 
" If your majesty breaks a promise thus solemnly 
made," said Buckingham, contemptuously, " no 
credit will in future be attached to aught you 
may assert. Your word is passed, and cannot be 
recalled." 

" Hear me, Steenie — hear me, Babie Charlie I 
I implore you baith to listen to me!" cried the 
king. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 39 

"Nothing you can say will move me, sire/' re- 
joined Buckingham, haughtily. " Such vacillation 
is unworthy of you. As to you, Cottington/' he 
added, in a menacing tone, " you will repent your 
mischievous interference." 

" Even if I should be unlucky enough to forfeit 
his highness's favour as well as yours, my lord, I 
shall never repent what I have done," replied 
Cottington. "As a faithful servant of the prince, 
I am bound to endeavour to deter him from a 
step which I feel may be fraught with fatal con- 
sequences. Having discharged my duty, I have 
nothing more to say. It is for liis majesty to 
decide." 

" Release me frae my promise, Babie Charlie ! 
— release me, Steenie!" cried James, in almost 
piteous accents. 

But both looked at him coldly and contemptu- 
ously, and neither made reply. 

At this moment a head, covered with a fool's 
cap, surmounted by a coxcomb, was thrust from 



40 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

out the tapestry opposite the king, and a mocking 
voice exclaimed, " Ye seem perplexed, gossip. 
Will ye take a fool's advice?" 

" What, hast thou been playing the spy upon 
uSj Archie?" exclaimed the king, by no means 
displeased at the interruption. " Come forth in- 
stanter, sirrah ! " 

Thus exhorted, a fantastic little personage, clad 
in motley, holding a bauble, and having a droll, 
though somewhat malicious expression of counte- 
nance, stepped forth from his place of concealment. 
It was the court jester, Archie Armstrong. 

" Hast thou been there all the time, knave?" 
demanded James. 

" Ay, gossip," returned Archie, " and I have 
not lost a word of the discourse. I approve of 
Babie Charlie's visit to Spain, but he must take 
my cap with him, and if Philip allows him to 
come back, he may leave it as a parting gift to 
his majesty." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 41 

"Tell me what I shall do, Archie?" cried the 
king. " I am well-nigh at my wits' end." 

"Then are you close to folly, gossip," returned 
Archie. " But since you ask me, I will tell you 
what you must not do. Break not your word, or 
you will never more be trusted." 

" Right, fool," said Buckingham, approvingly. 

" Balk not the prince your son's humour," pur- 
sued Archie, " or you will never have a daughter- 
in-law." 

"Excellent counsel," said Charles. "Wisdom 
proceeds from the lips of fools." 

" Make up your mind to what cannot be helped, 
gossip," said Archie to the king. " Babie Charlie 
and Steenie will go to ]Madrid, and there is no 
use in saying them nay; you had best yield with a 
good grace." 

James seemed to be of this opinion, for, after a 
brief pause, he exclaimed: 

" Aweel, my bairns, I can hauld out nae longer. 



42 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

E'en gang your gait; and may gude come of tlie 
journey." 

" Folly, you see, has carried the day," said 
Archie to Cottington. 

Having thus regained their ground, the prince 
and Buckingham overwhelmed the old monarch 
with thanks, terming him the most indulgent of 
fathers and the best of kings. These demonstra- 
tions brought tears to James's eyes — tears of 
dotage, Buckingham thought them. 

" Buss me, Babie Charlie, buss me," cried James, 
tenderly embracing his son. " Ah ! ye little heed, 
my bonnie bairn, what pangs ye are about to 
inflict on your auld dad. But why not delay 
your departure for a few days? I hae mich to 
think of — my mind is sair distraught the noo — 
mich advice to gie you." 

" There is far more danger in delay than in the 
journey itself," observed Charles, well knowing 
that a few hours might cause a change in his 
father's disposition. "We shall start at an early 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 43 

hour to-morrow morning. Meantime, with your 
gracious permission, we will send Cottington and 
Endymion Porter to Dover, to hire a vessel to 
transport us to Boulogne." 

" Weel, weel, it shall be sae," groaned James 
— "but what a tempting of Providence to trust 
the hope of the kingdom to a frail shallop ! If ill 
betide, I shall have meikle to answer for." 

"Cottington will provide us with a stout ship, 
and the wind will favour us, sire," said Charles, " so 
you need be under no apprehension for our safety." 

" I see 'tis in vain to reason wi' ye," returned 
his father. " Gang to Dover as fast as ye can. 
Sir Francis," he added to Cottington, "and tak 
Endymion Porter wi' ye. Hire a good ship for 
the voyage." 

" Set out with all despatch, I pray you, Cot- 
tington," said Charles. " You will obtain funds 
for the journey from my comptroller. Have all 

ready for our embarkation on Wednesday morn- 

* 

ing. We trust to be at Dover to-morrow night." 



44 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"All shall be ready for your highness," replied 
Cottington. " I now take leave of your majesty." 

"Fare ye weel, my faithful Cottington," said 
James, giving him his hand to kiss. "Ye will 
hae a precious charge. I needna bid ye tak care 
of my bairns." 

Cottington said nothing, but bowing profoundly 
to his majesty, quitted the cabinet with Endymion 
Porter. 

Scarcely was he gone than James cried out 
hastily, "Stop them! — stop them! I hae some- 
thing more to say." 

"Impossible, sire," rejoined Buckingham, who 
justly dreaded lest the king should veer back to 
the old quarter. "If you have any further direc- 
tions to give, we will attend to them. But let 
me pray your majesty to regard our project more 
cheerfully. You will have us back with the In- 
fanta before Whitsuntide, and then I warrant me 
you will commend us for the exploit." 

"Ye are more" sanguine than I am, Steenie," 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 45 

groaned the king. " I never look to see either of 
ye again, and that makes me sae sad." 

"Think of the bonnie princess, with her rich 
dowry, gossip," said Archie. "I guess you will 
be glad to see her. Think of your son-in-law, 
the Count Palatine, and how rejoiced he will be 
at the restitution of his dominions." 

" I beheve thou art in the plot against me, 
sirrah," said the king, cheering up a little. "And 
now, my bairns," he continued, " though ye ^vinna 
let me send aught of ore ye to Madrid, or procure 
ye a safe-conduct through France frae our am- 
bassador, Sir Edward Herbert, I shall not fail to 
send after ye a' ye may need to grace ye at the 
court of Madrid, as braw apparel, jewels, horses, 
and the Hke. I dinna doubt but half my court 
will follow ye." 

"Prithee, gossip, let me go with the prince's 
train," entreated Archie. 

"Nay, I shall need thee to divert my melan- 
choly," returned James. 



46 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I sliall add to your dulness, an you detain me, 
gossip," rejoined Arcliie. " All my mirtli will 
vanish." 

"Then have thy will, and gae," rejoined James. 
Then turning to his son and Buckingham, he 
added, "Be not afeared that ony tidings of your 
departure will reach France for some days, for on 
Wednesday I will stop all couriers, and lay an 
embargo on all vessels bound to ony French port. 
And now once more adieu, my bonnie bairns. 
Sair I am to lose you, but greeting will not mend 
the matter.^' So saying, he tenderly embraced 
them both, and bestowed his blessing upon them. 

On quitting his father, Charles manifested con- 
siderable emotion, but Buckingham took leave of 
his royal master with apparent unconcern. 

As Sir Richard Graham made a reverence to 
the king before following them, James said to 
him, "I hae a question to ask ye, Dick, and I 
require a straightforward answer. Are ye wholly 
unfettered, man — eh?" 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 47 

i 

"I do not exactly understand your majesty," 
returned the young man. 

" Then ye are duller than I thought. Hae ye 
breathed vows to ony fair dame or damsel at our 
court? Hae ye tied love-knots? Ye are of an 
amorous complexion, and like eneuch to hae a 
sweetheart. Hae ye ony engagement?" 

" No, sire," replied Graham. " In that respect 
I am as free as air." 

"Then tak my advice, man, and bring back a 
rich Spanish wife wi' ye," said James. 

" I will endeavour to obey your majesty," replied 
Graham. 

And with a fresh reverence he followed the 
prince and Buckingham out of the cabinet, leaving 
the king alone with Archie. 



48 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



III. 



HOW TOM AND JACK SET OUT ON THEIR JOURNEY ; AND HOW 
THEY GOT TO THE FERRY NEAR TILBURY FORT. 

Later in the day, in pursuance of the plan 
arranged between him and the prince, Buckingham 
quitted York Housej and, attended by Sir Kichard 
Graham, repaired to New Hall, in Essex — a noble 
mansion, which he had purchased only two years 
previously from the Earl of Sussex, to whose 
brother it had been granted by Queen Elizabeth. 

Situated between Chelmsford and Waltham 
Abbey, and surrounded by an extensive park, 
well stocked with deer, and boasting much fine 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 49 

timber, Xew-Hall had been a favourite liunting- 
seat of Henry VIII., who termed it, from the 
beauty of the site, BeauUeu. It was a vast struc- 
ture, consisting of two large quadrangles, and pos- 
sessed, among other stately chambers, a grand 
banqueting-hall, nearly a hundred feet in length, 
and proportionately wide and lofty, in which blujST 
King Hal had often feasted on the venison killed 
in the park, and which was still adorned with his 
arms sculptured in stone. James I. dehghted in 
New-Hall, and counselled his favourite to buy the 
mansion, probably providing the funds for the 
purchase, and here he often visited Buckingham, 
chasing the deer in the park, and carousing in the 
great hall. 

While Buckingham proceeded to his country- 
seat, Charles started for Theobalds, where he re- 
mained till evening, when he rode with but slight 
attendance to New-Hall. On arriving at his des- 
tination he sent back his attendants, telling them 
he should remain in privacy with his lordship of 

VOL. I. E 



50 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Buckingham for two or three days, and giving 
one of them a letter to be conveyed next morning 
to the king. The singularity of this step excited 
some surprise among the prince's attendants, and 
they hazarded many guesses at the motive of this 
sudden visit to New-Hall. All these conjectures, 
however, were wide of the truth. Charles was 
very unceremoniously welcomed by Buckingham. 
They supped together in the great hall, but with- 
out state, and were only attended by Sir Richard 
Graham — the serving-men standing out of earshot 
— and almost immediately after the meal, the mar- 
quis and his royal guest retired to rest. All 
needful preparations for the journey were en- 
trusted to Graham, who delightedly undertook the 
task. 

Long before daylight next morning, the two 
adventurous companions were called by Graham, 
who assisted the prince to attire himself in a 
riding-dress of far plainer stuflf than he had ever 
worn before, and this office performed, the young 



THE SPAKISH IMATCH. 51 

knight went to render the same service to his 
patron, but found it needless, Buckingham being 
already fully equipped in a suit exactly resembling 
that of the prince. 

A few minutes later, when Charles and his 
favourite met in a chamber where a collation had 
been laid overnight, they surveyed each other for 
a moment in silence, and then burst into laughter 
at the change wrought in their appearance, as well 
by their apparel as by the false beards with which 
they had disguised their features. Sir Richard 
Graham, who was standing by, shared in their 
merriment. He was similarly habited, and his 
riding-dress, which was of dark green cloth, with 
boots drawn up above the knee, became him ex- 
tremely well, but he had not deemed it necessary 
to mask his handsome countenance as the others 
had done. 

"Will it please your highness to taste this 
capon?" he said, as Charles sat down at table. 

"Help me — but give me no title, Dick/' re- 
e2 . 

0. OF lU- Lid. 



52 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

plied the prince. "Till I reach Madrid, I have 
laid aside my rank, and am now plain Jack 
Smith." 

" And I am his brother Tom — forget not that, 
Dick," added Buckingham. 

"Furthermore, thou art licensed to sit in our 
presence," pursued Charles. " During the journey 
we are equals." 

Notwithstanding this gracious permission, Sir 
Richard hesitated to avail himself of it, but 
Buckingham enforcing the order, he took a seat, 
and all ceremony being now laid aside, he pro- 
ceeded to lay in a good stock of the viands spread 
out before him. 

"I would I had as good an appetite as thou 
hast, Dick," cried the prince, admiring his prowess. 
"I have vainly tried to get through this capon's 
wing, while thou hast made tremendous havoc 
with the pasty." 

"I have not half done yet, your highness — I 
mean Master Jack Smith, pardon the involuntary 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 53 

slip of the tongue — the fact is, I have slept little, 
and find myself frightfully hungry." 

"Then satisfy thyself, but use despatch, for ^ve 
must away presently," remarked Buckingham. 
" Thou may'st eat both for my brother Jack and 
myself, for I have as sorry an appetite as he. 
Take a cup of sack. Jack, to the success of our 
expedition." 

" With all my heart," replied Charles, fiUing a 
goblet, while Graham followed their example. 
" The wine has done me good," pursued the 
prince. " Hast thou finished, thou insatiable 
glutton?" 

"Another moment," responded Graham, hastily 
disposing of a slice of ham, and swallowing another 
cup of sack. " There, now I am quite ready. I 
will go fetch the valises, which are all carefully 
packed." 

So saying he disappeared, but almost instantly 
returned with the baggage, while the prince and 
Buckingham, being already booted and spurred, 



54 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

took up their broad-leaved hats, cloaks, and horse- 
whips, and, moving as noiselessly as they could, 
proceeded to a private staircase which conducted 
them to a postern-door. This door being unlocked 
by Buckingham, the party found themselves in 
the garden, but marching quickly, under the 
guidance of Graham, they threaded a long yew- 
tree alley, .and soon reached an outlet into the 
park. On issuing forth, notwithstanding the ob- 
scurity, for it was not yet light, they could dis- 
tinguish three mounted grooms, each of whom 
held a horse by the bridle. 

Without a word, Charles vaulted into the saddle 
of the steed nearest him, Buckingham followed 
his example, while Graham, consigning the valises 
to the groom, was instantly on the back of the 
third horse. 

Just as they started, a clock placed in an inner 
court of the hall struck five. 

In another moment the trio, attended by the 
grooms, were galloping down a sweeping glade. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 55- 

skirted by lordly trees, then of course bereft of 
half their beauty, from want of foliage. 

While they were thus speeding along, Bucking- 
ham remarked that the prince's looks were fixed on 
the heavens, and he asked what he was sazincr at? 

' DO 

" At yon star/' replied Charles. " 'Tis hers ! " 

"It heralds you on to Madrid," said the mar- 
quis. 

"Perchance it is shining upon her at this mo- 
ment," cried Charles, with all a lover's rapture. 

"Like enough, if her casement be open," re- 
joined Buckingham. 

Charles did not hear the remark, but exclaimed, 
aloud : 

" Mistress of my heart ! life of my life ! I am 
about to seek thee in a foreign land, and will not 
return till I can bring thee back with me." 

Bhssful visions rose before him, and he fell into 
a reverie, which lasted till they were out of the 
park. 

A narrow lane broudit them to the hioh road 



56 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

to Chelmsford. Pursuing this till they got within 
a short distance of the town, they struck into a 
by-road on the left, and, fording the Chelmer at 
Moulsham, shaped their course through a series of 
lanes, passing by Badow, Sandon, and Hanning- 
field, until at last they mounted the hill on which 
Bellericay is perched. 

Though still wanting an hour to sunrise, it had 
become sufficiently light to enable them, from the 
eminence they had gained, plainly to discern the 
broad river they designed to cross, and the Kentish 
hills on the opposite bank. Turning their gaze in 
this direction, they fancied they could even dis- 
tinguish Gravesend. Before entering Bellericay 
they dismounted, and, consigning their horses to 
the grooms, dismissed the men, with strict in- 
junctions of silence. 

" An ye breathe a word of what has occurred, 
your tongues shall be cut out," said Buckingham; 
" but if ye are discreet, ye shall be w^ell re- 
warded." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 57 

As the grooms rode off, Charles and Bucking- 
ham proceeded towards the Crown Inn, where 
post-horses were to be had, followed by Graham, 
carrying the baggage. 

At the door of the hostel stood a waggon with 
a long team of horses, and several persons were 
collected around to witness the departure of the 
vehicle for London. 

Seeing this, the prince and Buckingham halted, 
leaving Graham to go on and order the horses. 
As the young man approached the house, he was 
addressed by a sharp -looking little personage, 
who proved to be Master Ephraim Cogswell, the 
host. 

" Good morrow, fair sir," said Cogswell, doffing 
his cap. "Are you going by the waggon? If 
so, you are just in time." 

"No, friend," replied Graham. "Myself and 
my masters are not bound for London, but for 
Rochester, and we want post-horses to take us to 
Tilbury Fort, whence we propose to cross the 



58 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Thames to Gravesend. We shall need a postboy 
to attend us, and carry the baggage." 

"How many are ye, master? Ha! I see," he 
added, noticing Charles and Buckingham in the 
distance. And, after giving the necessary orders 
to an ostler, bidding him use despatch, he added, 
" May I make so bold as to ask how your masters 
are named, sir? They cannot be of this neigh- 
bourhood, for I remember them not, though I 
think I have seen your face before." 

"Like enough," returned Graham. "It is not 
the first time I have been at Bellericay. My 
masters are the two Smiths." 

At this moment the landlord was called by a 
passenger in the waggon, and shortly afterwards 
the veliicle was set in motion, and proceeded on 
its way. The host then returned to the charge. 

" You said that your masters are named Smith, 
sir," he remarked to Graham. " Are they of this 
county ? " 

"You are inquisitive, mine host," returned 



THE SPANISH lilATCH. 59 

Graham. "They are the brothers Smith, of 
Saffron Walden, and are tanners by trade. I am 
their man." 

"They don't look much Jike tanners, friend," 
observed Cogswell, " nor you like a tanner's man. 
Ho^Yever, it's no business of mine. But here 
come the hackneys." 

And, as he spoke, the horses were brought out 
of the stable, ready saddled and bridled. Seeing 
which, Charles and Buckingham came forward. 

"No more tanners than I am a tanner," mur- 
mured Cogswell, eyeing them narrowly as they 
approached. "I will consent to have my own 
hide curried if they be not noblemen. Give your 
lordships good day," he added, bowing respectfully 
to them. 

"Lordships! What means the fellow?" cried 
Buckingham. " Hast thou been jesting with him, 
Dick?" he added to Graham. 

"Ay, that he has," returned Cogswell. "He 
avouched that your lordships bore the common 



60 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

name of Smith, and were nothing better than 
tanners. But that won't pass with me. Ephraim 
Cogswell can tell a nobleman when he sees him. 
And, but for your lordship's black beard, I would 
venture to affirm that I am standing in the pre- 
sence of the Marquis of Buckingham himself." 

"You are mistaken, friend," returned the mar- 
quis, "and I counsel you not to repeat that 
pleasantry, as if it chance to reach the ears of my 
lord of Buckingham, he is likely to resent the 
liberty taken with his name." 

"Nay, I meant no offence," replied Cogswell, 
bowing. " I know how to hold my tongue." 

Somewhat annoyed by this occurrence, Charles 
and Buckingham mounted their horses and rode 
off, and were followed hy Graham and a postboy, 
with the baggage. 

Passing through the town, the party kept on 
the ridge of the hill for some distance, and then 
descended to Little Bursted. In less than an hour 
from quitting Bellericay, after crossing Langdon 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 61 

Hill, and passing over Horndon Hill, they reached 
Tilbury Fort, where quitting their horses, and 
paying the postboy, they instantly embarked on 
board the ferry-boat, and ordered the two men 
in charge of it to convey them with all despatch 
to Gravesend. 



Q2 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



IV. 

how jack and tom were taken for highwaymen on 
gad's hill. 

The morning was clear but cold, and a strong 
north-easterly wind ruffled the water, and sent the 
ferry-boat quickly along. The passage across the 
river was not without interest to Jack and Tom. 
Wrapping their cloaks around them to screen 
them from the blast, they amused themselves, in 
the first instance, by examining Tilbury Fort, 
which seemed to menace them with its guns. 
They next gazed admiringly down the wide and 
long reach called '^ the Hope," skirted on one 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 63 

side by the white cliffs of Kent, and on the 
other by the woody hills of Essex; then noted 
the appearance and manoeuvres of some passing 
vessels; and lastly, as they neared Gravesend, 
turned their attention to the blockhouse, battery, 
and wharf, and commented upon the ships, some 
of considerable burden, lying off" the port. 

While his leaders were thus occupied, Graham, 
in order to pass the time, entered into conversa- 
tion with the master ferryman, a weather-beaten 
old fellow named Randal Fowler, and praised the 
quickness of his boat. 

" Ay, ay, she is a gallant little craft, sure 
enough," replied the ferryman. " She has done 
wonders in her day, and, moreover, has had some 
great folks aboard of her/"' 

"Indeed, what great personages have you had 
the luck to carry ? " 

"Marry, the greatest was the Lord High Ad- 
miral," returned Randal. 

"Nonsense, man, you don't mean to say that the 



64 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Lord Higli Admiral has used your boat?" cried 
Graham, glancing at Buckingham. 

" Yes I do, master," replied the ferryman, 
proudly. 

" I don't recollect the circumstance, fellow," 
remarked Buckingham; "that is," he added, cor- 
recting himself, " I never heard that the Lord 
High Admiral had crossed the river by this 
ferry." 

" It wasn't here, but in the Medway, that his 
lordship used my boat," rejoined Eandal. "I 
took him and the Earl of Rutland to see the 
ships lying at Sheerness. I shan't forget it, for 
I got a piece of gold for the job. May I make 
so bold as to ask whither you are bound, mas- 
ters?" 

" For France," replied Buckingham, in a tone 
calculated to put an end to further inquiries. 

But old Randal was not to be checked, and he 
was about to ask further questions, when Graham 
observed to him, in a low tone : 



THE SPA^'ISH ]MATCH. 65 

" Don't trouble tlie gentlemen further. They are 
going across the water to fight a duel." 

" Can't they cut each other's throats, if they are 
so minded, in this country?" observed Randal. 
" It seems a waste of time and money to go so 
far on such an errand. However, that's no con- 
cern of mine." 

With this he proceeded to let down the sail, 
calling to his man to look out, and in a few 
minutes more they were close to the landing- 
place. When Graham took out his purse to pay 
the fare, he could find no silver w^ithin it, and 
his companions were unable to assist him. They 
had all plenty of gold, but no small change. 
Old Randal had only a few pence in his greasy 
leather pouch, and as to changing a jacobus, that 
was out of the question. 

" Give him a couple of gold pieces," cried Buck- 
ingham. "We can't be detained a moment in 
landing." 

As Graham obeyed the order, and placed the 

TOL. I. F 



QQ THE SPANISH MATCH. 

glittering coin in Randal's horny hands, the old 
ferryman exclaimed^ in tones that bespoke his 
gratitude, "I heartily thank your honours. You 
are generous as princes — far more generous than 
the Lord High Admiral. This is the best fare I 
ever got, and if I could only earn as much every 
time I cross the Thames, I should soon be rich. 
Take an old man's advice, and make up your 
quarrel. You are goodly gentlemen both, and it 
would be a thousand pities if either of you were 
harmed." 

" Hold thy peace, friend,'* said Graham, stopping 
him. " Thou hast got more than thy deserts. Be 
content." 

"I am content — more than content," persisted 
Randal; "but I would fain prevent bloodshed. 
Beseech ye, good sirs, to listen to me." 

But he spoke to deaf ears, for no sooner did the 
boat touch the strand than the prince and Bucking- 
ham leaped ashore, and ran up the steps, passing 
as quickly as they could through the crowd of 



THE SPAI^ISH MATCH. 67 

seafaring men and others collected on tlie wharf. 
They were speedily followed by Graham, charged 
with the baggage, for he resolutely refused the 
offer of Eandal to carry it for him, not wishing 
to be troubled further with the old man. The 
party at once proceeded to the Falcon, where 
post-horses were kept. 

As soon as his passengers were gone, old Randal 
took out the two jacobuses he had received, and, 
while feasting his eyes upon them, he thought it 
would be a lasting reproach to him if he allowed 
the duel to take place; and coming to the con- 
clusion that the kindest and most Christian thing 
he could do was to have the gentlemen arrested, 
and bound over to keep the peace towards each 
other, he left his boat, and went to inform the 
portreve, as the chief officer of the town was de- 
signated, of the matter that had come to his know- 
ledge. 

The portreve, fully believing his story, at once 
despatched two officers to the Falcon to arrest the 
F 2 - 



68 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

intending combatants, and bring them before him; 
butj on arriving at the post-house, the officers found 
that the persons of whom they were in quest had 
started full a quarter of an hour before. However, 
as the portreve's orders were peremptory, they 
ordered post-horses, and set off after the travellers, 
and being well mounted, made sure of overtaking 
them before they could reach Rochester. 

Meanwhile, the three companions, attended as 
before by a postboy carrying their baggage, had 
passed through the rich gardens surrounding the 
town, mounted the windmill-crowned heights, 
whence such an extensive and beautiful prospect 
is obtained, had ridden on through Chalk-street 
and past the thick woods of Maplesden, and did 
not slacken their pace till they reached the foot 
of Gad's Hill. 

"Here we are at Gad's Hill — the scene of one 
of Falstaff's exploits," quoth Tom to Jack, as they 
were slowly ascending the eminence. " Here- 
abouts, the fat knight, with Bardolph and Peto, 



THE SPANISH 3IATCH. 69 

robbed tlie travellers of the gold they were con- 
veying to the king's exchequer, and here the 
rogues, in their turn, were stripped of their booty 
and soundly belaboured by the madcap Prince 
Hal, and Poins. But even in our own day," 
added Tom, " Gad's Hill has an ill repute, and 
these thickets are still haunted by knights of the 
post and minions of the moon, who sally forth to 
bid the traveller stand and deliver, on peril of his 
life. Heaven grant we meet with no such caitiffs ! 
Were they to ease us of the twenty-five thousand 
pounds we carry with us in bills of exchange on 
Paris and Madrid, besides our gold, they would 
obtain a rich spoil, and might hinder our 
journey." 

" Prithee, not so loud, Tom," said Jack, glancing 
around suspiciously — " you may be overheard ; and 
though I delight in adventures, I have no fancy 
for an encounter with highwaymen." 
~ " Let us push on, then, Jack," rejoined Tom. 
" As I have just told you, this is a dangerous spot." 



70 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Putting their horses in motion, they soon reached 
the brow of the hill. Here, on the left of the 
road, stood a small hostel, called the Leather 
Bottle, and as Jack, who was charmed with the 
beauty of the scene, halted for a moment, the 
postboy found time to drain a horn of humming 
ale. Presently the travellers resumed their journey, 
and were descending the hill, which on this side, 
as on the other, was covered by wood, when they 
descried a large coach drawn by four horses coming 
towards them. Near this carriage, and apparently 
conversing with some one inside it, rode a richly- 
attired gentleman, attended by three or four 
mounted lacqueys. 

"By Heaven! Jack, that is one of the royal 
carriages ! " exclaimed Tom, calling on the other 
to halt. " And do you not perceive that the person 
who is riding beside it is no other than Sir Lewis 
Lewkner? Plague take him! What can he be 
doing here? This is the last place where one 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 71 

would expect to meet the master of tlie cere- 
monies." 

"'Tis an unlucky chance that has brought him 
here," cried Jack. " He is certain to recognise us. 
We must turn back." 

" No ; let us put a bold front upon it, and dash 
rapidly past the coach. We shall escape notice," 
cried Tom. 

" Impossible ! " returned Jack. " It is the Comte 
de Tillieres who is in the carriage. I caught a 
glimpse of his features just this moment." 

" You are right," observed Tom. " It is the 
French ambassador. I saw him myself quite 
plainly. Look ! he is now thrusting his head 
through the window." 

" And see ! they have stopped the carriage, 
and are consulting together," cried Jack. "They 
evidently take us for highwaymen, and are pre- 
paring to resist our attack." 

" Shall we attack them. Jack? " said Tom, gaily. 



72 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"To rob the French ambassador and the master 
of the ceremonies would be an exploit worthy of 
Prince Hal himself, and would be ^argument for 
a week, laughter for a month, and a good jest for 
ever.' " 

" The matter is too serious for jesting," replied 
Jack, gravely. " Here comes Sir Lewis Lewkner. 
Shall we confront him, or beat a retreat?" 

As he spoke, the master of the ceremonies rode 
towards them, with the evident intention of de- 
manding their business. But they did not wait 
for his approach. Finding it impossible to avoid 
the encounter, which must have resulted in a dis- 
covery. Jack struck spurs into his horse, and 
leaping a low hedge on the right, plunged into 
the wood. Tom dashed after him, and Graham 
ordered the postboy to follow, but as the lad 
hesitated, he seized his horse, and, by a vigorous 
application of the whip, forced the animal to clear 
the hedge. 

Just as this was accomplished, Sir Lewis Lewk- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 73 

ner came up with the lacqueys, and called out, 
" Stand ! if you are an honest man, and give an 
account of yourself!" Then, looking at the other 
more narrowly, he added, " Either my eyes de- 
ceive me, or it is Sir Kichard Graham? But 
why this garb? Whom have you with you, Sir 
Richard?" 

" Those are my friends. Jack and Tom Smith," 
roared Graham. And without another word, he 
jumped the hedge and disappeared in the thicket, 
leaving the master of the ceremonies completely 
bewildered. On recovering from his surprise, Sir 
Lewis returned to the coach, and told the am- 
bassador what had occurred. 

" A strange notion has come into my head," he 
added. "I feel confident that it was Sir Richard 
Graham whom I beheld, and I am almost equally 
certain that the persons with him, whom he called 
Jack and Tom Smith, were no other than the 
Prince of Wales and the Marquis of Bucking- 
ham." 



74 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" You amaze me," cried the Comte de Tillieres. 
" The prince and Buckingham ! in disguise, travel- 
ling under feigned names, and without attendants ! 
This is the road to Dover. Parbleu ! can they be 
going to France?" 

"That is highly improbable, your excellency," 
returned Sir Lewis, who began to feel that he 
had said too much. 

Nothing more passed till they reached the 
summit of the hill, when they perceived two men 
galloping towards them. These were the officers, 
who halted as they came up, and one of them, 
respectfully saluting Sir Lewis, inquired whether 
three gentlemen had passed them on the road; 
adding, that he had an order from the portreve of 
Gravesend for their arrest, as they were about to 
cross over to France to fight a duel. 

" Aha ! this proves they could not be the persons 
I suspected," observed Sir Lewis to the ambas- 
sador, who did not, however, appear entirely 
satisfied. " The gentlemen you are in pursuit 



THE SPANISH MATCH. . 75 

of," added Lewkner to the officer, " avoided us, 
and took refuge in yonder wood. Possibly, they 
may have returned to the high road/'' 

" Not a doubt of it," rephed the officer. 

"I should like to know the result of this ad- 
venture," observed the Comte de Tillieres. " Go 
with these officers, Martin," he added to one of his 
mounted attendants, "and bring me word what 
happens. Thou wilt find me at Gravesend." 

Adding a few words in a lower tone, he placed 
a purse in Martin's hands, and dismissed him. 

As Martin galloped off with the officers, the 
coach was again put in motion, and the ambas- 
sador and Lewkner pursued their way towards 
Gravesend. 



76 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



HOW JACK AKD TOM WEEE PUESUED BY THE OFFICERS 
FROM GEAVESEND. 

As had been conjectured, the travellers left the 
covert in which they had sought shelter and re- 
turned to the high, road, speeding along it till they 
came to Strood Hill, from the summit of which 
they obtained a charming view of Rochester, with 
its ancient castle, its cathedral, and other pic- 
turesque structures, as well as of the adjacent 
town of Chatham, and the district watered by the 
winding Medway. 

While they were pausing to examine this noble 



THE SPAITISH MATCH. 77 

prospect, the postboy warned them that they were 
pursued, and pointed out the two officers and 
Martin, who were scouring along the valley about 
a mile off. At this sight the travellers immediately 
started again, and, dashing down the hill, speedily 
reached Strood. Next crossing the old wooden 
bridge at Rochester, and entering that fair city 
— then, as now, one of the most picturesque and 
beautiful in England — they rode along the High- 
street, till they reached Chatham. 

Their horses were in such good condition, that 
it was evident they could hold out for another 
stage, so, quitting Chatham, they mounted another 
lovely hill, from the summit of which a delightful 
and extensive view greeted them, comprehending 
almost the whole of the meandering jMedway, with 
Standgate Creek, Sheerness, the Nore, and the 
distant coast of Essex. 

Nearer at hand the prospect was yet more en- 
chanting, being composed of hill and dale, vil- 
lages, churches, and homesteads, hop -grounds, 



78 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

apple-orchards, cherry-orcliards, and all that can 
contribute to the embellishment of an English 
landscape. Of course, at this season of the year, 
when the hop-grounds lacked their garniture, 
when the orchards had no ripe produce, when 
the fields were bare of crops, and the woods leaf- 
less, the picture was deprived of much of its 
charm. Still, even with these disadvantages, it 
was so beautiful, that Charles, as he gazed at it 
with a raptured eye, exclaimed : 

"Drayton speaks truth when he says, in his 
^ Polyolbion,' 

famous Kent ! 
What county hath this Isle that may compare with thee ! 

Fairer scene than this cannot be imagined. Yon 
broad and winding river, hastening on to mingle 
its waters with those of the Thames before they 
both are lost in the sea — those charming hills — 
those pompous woods — those ancient mansions — 
those reverend fabrics — those towns and hamlets^. 



THE SP-A^TISIi MATCH. 79 

all bespeaking peace and plenteousness. Can any 
picture be more lovely?" 

"None, none," replied Buckingham, who either 
felt or feigned a like enthusiasm. ^* It is only in 
England — perhaps only in this county — that such 
a prospect can be seen. We shall find nothing 
like it in Spain, you may depend. Jack. You 
must bring the Infanta to behold it." 

" I shall not fail," replied Charles. 

At this moment, Graham, who had been lin- 
gering behind, called out: 

"Those rascally officers are coming quickly after 
us. They have not stopped at Rochester, as we 
expected, but have passed through Chatham, and 
are even now scaling this hill." 

" Plague take the knaves ! " cried Tom, im- 
patiently. "Why should we concern ourselves 
about them ? " 

"'They will cause us delay, and every hour — 
every minute — is of importance," returned Jack. 



80 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" Let us on. We shall reach Sittingbourne before 
them, and it is not likely they will proceed beyond 
that place." 

" On, then, to Sittingbourne," cried Tom. 

And the whole party rapidly descended the hill. 

At the foot of the eminence, on a common, 
where a road branched off to Maidstone, stood a 
large triangular gibbet, from which dangled the 
grisly skeletons of three robbers who once haunted 
the neighbouring thickets, and had been the terror 
of all travellers on that way. With a glance of 
disgust at these loathly objects. Jack and his com- 
panions rode on through Hambley woods, past 
Rainham, through the old town of Ne wing ton, on 
the farther side of which they mounted Keycall 
Hill, descending upon Key-street, after which they 
came in sight of Milton, an ancient town famous 
for its oysters, and once possessing a palace built 
by Alfred, but subsequently destroyed by Earl 
Godwin in the reign of Edward the Confessor. 

Farther on, they passed the remains of Castle 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 81 

Rough, another fortress built by Alfred, and then 
entering Sittingbourne, rode at once to the Red 
Lion, and called for post-horses. 

These were brought out with so much expedi- 
tion, that the travellers were mounted and off full 
five minutes before their pursuers came up. Great 
disappointment was expressed by the latter on their 
arrival, and the officers would have relinquished 
the chase, but they were induced to go on by 
Martin, who paid for their post-horses, and pro- 
mised to reward them liberally. 

Jack and Tom were now three or four miles 
ahead, and had already passed Hempstead and 
Radfield, had cleared the little village of Green 
street, and were making their way, at a rapid pace, 
along Watling-street (the ancient Roman road), by 
Norton Ash, Stone, and Raven Hill^ towards 
Ospringe. 

While mounting Ospringe Hill, on which a 
beacon then stood, they cast a look towards Fever- 
sham, Davington, and the marshy tract adjoining 

VOL. I. G 



82 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

tlie Swale, bringing the Bay of Whitstable within 
their ken. 

From Ospringe, about twenty minutes' hard 
riding brought them to Boughton Hill, from the 
summit of which they obtained a magnificent view 
over the woody district known as the Forest of 
Blean. From this point they first descried the 
lofty tower of Canterbury Cathedral rising above 
the woods. 

In Blean Forest, which then extended for many 
miles in the direction of the sea, the wild-boar 
was still hunted, and in times more remote bears 
had been found within its recesses. After a brief 
survey of this grand woodland prospect, "they once 
more got into motion, and were soon buried amid 
dusky groves. 

On emerging from the forest at Harbledown, 
they beheld the ancient city of Canterbury, with 
its ramparts, towers, gates, churches, and other 
edifices, overtopped by the noble cathedral, about 
a mile distant. This space being soon cleared, 



THE SPANISH ]\IATCH. 83 

they crossed a bridge over a branch of the river 
Stour, and passing through the West-gate, a strong 
and stately structure flanked by two round towers, 
and defended by a portcullis, entered a long street 
bordered on either side by old and picturesque 
habitations. 



g2 



84 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



VI. 



HOW JACK AND TOM T7ERE VISITED BY MASTER LAUNCELOT 
STODMAESH, MAYOR OF CANTERBURY. 

It was now not far from noon, and the travellers, 
having ridden upwards of fifty miles, began to feel 
that they stood in need of some rest and refresh- 
ment. Accordingly, they alighted at an inn bear- 
ing as its sign a grotesque portrait of King James, 
which made both Jack and Tom smile as they 
regarded it, and, being shown into a chamber by 
the obsequious host, Christopher Chislet, inquired 
what eatables he had in the house. 

" I can give your honours some rare trout from 



THE SPANISH MATCH. So 

Fordwicli," returned Ghislet. " Our Fordwich 
trout are accounted the finest in England, and such 
as come not even to the king's table, Heaven bless 
him ! Then you can have a famous shield of 
brawn, a quarter of a kid, and a chine of beef ; 
and, Avhile you are discussing these, I will prepare 
you a dish of wild-fowl, or plovers — our plovers are 
dainty birds, and more toothsome than snipe or 
woodcock." 

" The trout, the chine, and the plovers will 
suffice," said Tom. ^'And now, what wines hast 
thou in thy cellar?" 

" Good store, and of the best, an please your 
honour," responded Chislet. " I have Rhenish and 
Gascoigne, white wine of Gaillac, and red wine of 
Bordeaux. Or shall I brew you a pottle of sack, 
or bring you a flagon of our old Kentish ale? The 
ale is wondrous strong and bright. I warrant you 
you shall taste the hops in it." 

" I will take thy word for it, mine host," re- 
turned Tom; "but we care not for ale, however 



SQ THE SPANISH MATCH. 

strong and well hopped. Give us a flask or two 
of Gaillac, if it be good, and brew a pottle of 



"Your honour shall be well contented/' said 
the host. 

While the repast was being prepared. Jack and 
Tom strolled forth to view the cathedral. Being 
familiar with its internal beauties, they contented 
themselves with a survey of the exterior, and re- 
turned just at the moment that the Fordwich trout 
were placed upon the table by the host. The re- 
past was thoroughly enjoyed by the travellers, 
whose long ride had wonderfully sharpened their 
appetites. 

" I never fared better than I have done to- 
day," observed Jack. "But we must not loiter; 
so call for the reckoning, Dick, and order the 
post-horses." 

On this, Graham arose and was about to summon 
the host, when the latter suddenly entered, and. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 87 

with a look of consternation depicted on Ins 
features, cried out: 

" His worship the mayor, Master Launcelot 
Stodmarsh, desires to speak with you, gentle- 
men." 

At the words, a large portly-looking man, with 
a very red face, strutted into the room. The 
mayor was followed by two functionaries bearing 
halberds, who placed themselves one on either 
side of the door, and was accompanied by Martin 
and the two officers from Gravesend. 

On the entrance of the mayor. Jack and Tom 
thought it necessary to rise and salute him, and 
they did so with so much dignity, that the wor- 
shipful gentleman began to feel that he was in the 
presence of persons of importance. 

" To what cause are we to attribute the honour 
of this visit, Mr. Mayor? " demanded Tom. " We 
are strangers here, and have merely halted in your 
city on our way to Dover." 



88 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" That I understand," replied Stodmarsli, essay- 
ing to look dignified in Ms turn. " But you must 
excuse me, gentlemen, if I say tliat I cannot permit 
your departure till you have given a satisfactory 
account of yourselves." 

" On what plea do you venture to detain us, 
sir?" inquired Jack, in an authoritative tone, and 
with a sternness that took the mayor completely 
aback. 

As soon as he had recovered himself, he said, 
with some respect, 

"These officers have a warrant for your arrest 
from the portreve of Gravesend, Master Nicholas 
Holbeach. It is understood that you are about to 
cross over to France for an unlawful purpose — to 
fight a duel — a mortal duel — and it is our business 
to prevent it." 

" Tut ! tut ! this is idle, sir," cried Tom. " The 
portreve has been wholly misinformed. We have 
no such design. We are peaceable travellers, as 
you may perceive by our deportment. This is my 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 89 

brother, Jack Smith, and I am not hkely to fight 
him." 

"I must have proof of that assertion, sir," re- 
joined the mayor, "as well as of your pacific in- 
tentions, before I can allow you to proceed on 
your journey. Have you no document about you 
to prove the correctness of your statement?" 

" If I had any such document, I should decline 
to produce it," replied Tom, haughtily. 

" Then you cannot blame me if I doubt your 
explanation," rejoined the mayor. "These officers 
must take you back to Gravesend, to be dealt with 
as my brother magistrate, the portreve, shall deem 
meet." 

"Hold! Mr. Mayor," cried Tom, imperiously. 
" Listen to me, before you commit yourself — ■ — " 

" I commit myself! " exclaimed Stodmarsh, 
greatly offended. " I can allow no such improper 
language to be used to me. I look upon you as 
suspicious characters, and authorise your imme- 
diate arrest. Do your duty, oflScers." 



90 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

As the men were about to advance, Graham 
placed himself before them, and said, " Mr. Mayor, 
allow me to give you a word of advice." 

"Advice, sir — advice!" cried the mayor, swell- 
ing with indignation. " I would have you to know 
that Launcelot Stodmarsh never takes advice." 

" So I should imagine, sir," replied Graham, 
coolly. "Nevertheless, let me beg, before any- 
thing is done which you may have cause to regret, 
that you will grant us a word in private." 

" The request is extremely irregular, sir," re- 
joined Stodmarsh, calming down. "But I shall 
not refuse it. If you have any explanation to 
give, I am ready to hear it." 

And he motioned the landlord and the others 
to withdraw, telling his own officers to guard the 
door outside. 

The order was obeyed by all except Martin, 
who contrived to slip behind a piece of furniture 
without being perceived. 

" And now, sirs," said Stodmarsh, taking a seat, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 91 

but allowing the others to remain standing, " what 
have you to impart to me?" 

^'Mr. Mayor," said Graham, approaching him, 
and assuming a tone and manner that could not be 
mistaken, and that quite confounded the person he 
addressed, "it is necessary that you should be made 
aware that you are in the presence of two of the 
most important persons in the kingdom — his High- 
ness the Prince of Wales and the Lord Marquis 
of Buckingham." 

Thunderstruck by the information, the mayor 
sprang to his feet, upsetting the chair on which 

he had been sitting, but perceiving that he still 

looked incredulous, the prince and Buckingham 

removed their false beards; whereupon, unable to 

doubt longer, Stodmarsh threw himself at the feet 

of Charles, and said, " Pardon, your highness, 

pardon ! I ought to have recognised you and the 

noble marquis even when disguised." 

" There is nothing to forgive, Mr. Mayor,' 

replied Charles, raising him graciously. "It is 



92 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

no reproach to you that you did not recognise us. 
I owe you an explanation, and you shall have it. 
All I require from you, on your loyalty to the 
king my august father, is, that you keep secret 
what may be disclosed to you." 

^'"Your highness may entirely rely on my dis- 
cretion," rejoined Stodmarsh. 

" The fact is, Mr. Mayor, since you must know 
the truth," interposed Buckingham, " that in my 
capacity of Lord High Admiral, I am proceeding 
to Dover to examine into the condition and dis- 
cipline of the fleet in the narrow seas, and his 
highness the prince has deigned to accompany me 
in the visit. Secresy being essential to the plan, 
we are only attended by my equerry. Sir Richard 
Graham, and are travelling by post, as you per- 
ceive. Now you know all. Send back those 
officers who have come on a fool's errand from 
Gravesend, and facilitate our departure Do this, 
and we shall be perfectly content." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 93 

" It shall be done instanter, my gracious lord," 
replied StodmarsL, hastening towards the door. 

" Hold a moment, while we put on our beards," 
said Buckingham, as he and the prince resumed 
their disguises. 

This done, the mayor opened the door, and called 
out, " Ho, there ! ho ! landlord, I say ! Bring out 
horses without delay for these gentlemen. They 
have perfectly satisfied me. You constables from 
Gravesend," he added to the two officers, " can 
return as you came. Tell the portreve he has been 
misinformed. Post-horses forthwith for Dover, I 
say, landlord." 

"And the reckoning, let us have that, mine 
host," added Graham. 

As soon as the room was cleared, Martin came 
out of his hiding-place. 

"A pretty discovery I have made," he men- 
tally ejaculated. "The prince and Buckingham! 
Who would have thought it? This shall to my 



94 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

And, taking out his tablets, he traced a few 
lines, tore out the leaf, and folded it up. 

He then went forth, and found the travellers 
mounting their horses. Jack was bidding adieu 
to the mayor, who was respectfully holding his 
stirrup, much to the host's astonishment. In an- 
other moment the party rode out of the court- 
yard, followed by a postboy with the baggage. 

As soon as they were gone, the host observed 
to the mayor, " Will your worship acquaint me 
with the names of my guests ? " 

" Not now — not now. Master Chislet," replied 
Stodmarsh, mysteriously. " I am not at liberty to 
speak, but this I may say to you, your house has 
been highly honoured — most highly honoured." 

" I judged as much," returned the host. 

Meanwhile, Martin had taken aside one of the 
officers from Gravesend, and giving him the note 
he had prepared, desired him to deliver it on his 
return to the French ambassador. 

" His excellency will reward you liberally — most 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 95 

liberally," he added ; " but here is an earnest," 
slipping a piece of gold into the constable's hands. 
" Tell him I am going to Dover, and will report 
further." 

With this he ordered a post-horse, and rode after 
the travellers. 



96 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



vir. 



HOW JACK AND TOM WERE LODGED FOR THE NIGHT IN 
DOVER CASTLE. 

Nothing particular happened to Jack and Tom 
till they reached Barham Downs, when they left 
the road to examine a Roman camp, and while 
Tom was scrambling down the outer fosse of the 
earthwork, his horse slipped and threw him. Tom 
rose next moment without assistance, and none the 
worse for the fall, but the horse had sprained his 
shoulder, and could only limp along. Owing to 
this accident, the progress of the party became 
necessarily slow, and before they regained the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 97 

highway, they observed another traveller speeding 
along in the direction of Dover. They shouted 
out to him to stop, but though he evidently heard 
the callj as he looked towards them, he paid no 
heed to the summons, but rather appeared to ac- 
celerate his pace. 

" That is one of the men who followed us from 
Gad's Hill," observed Graham. "I saw him in 
the court-yard of the inn when we left Canterbury. 
Why is he riding so fast to Dover? Can he have 
obtained any information of our project? Shall I 
ride after him ? " 

"To what end?" rejoined Jack. "Even if you 
could overtake him, which is unlikely, you could 
not stay him. But I feel no sort of uneasiness. 
It is impossible he can have made any discovery." 

"I hope not," returned Graham; "but it looks 
like it." 

The prince now quitted his companions for a 
short time, and took a solitary gallop over the 
downs, pausing ever and anon to look around. 

VOL. I. H 



98 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Little did he dream that some two years later, on 
the wild waste over which he was careering, a 
tent would be pitched, wherein his bride {not the 
bride of whom he was in quest, but Henrietta 
Maria of France) would first receive her court 
ladies. 

After tracking a long valley, hemmed in on 
either side by lofty chalk ridges, between which 
ran the little river Dour, the travellers at last came 
in* sight of Dover, with its proud castle crowning 
the hill on the left. 

At this juncture they perceived two horsemen 
riding towards them, who proved to be Sir Francis 
Cottington and Endymion Porter. 

" Heaven save your highness, and you, my 
good lord," said Cottington, as he came up with 
Endymion Porter. "You have made good speed. 
We thought to meet you on Barham Downs." 

" We lamed a horse, or we should have been 
here an hour ago," returned Charles. " But pray 
be covered, gentlemen. No ceremony now. Re- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 99 

member that I am only to be addressed as Master 
Jack Smith, and that this," pointing to Buck- 
ingham, "is my brother Tom. But let us hear 
what you have done." 

" I have carried out all the instructions given 
me," replied Cottington. "I have hired a swift- 
sailing schooner, the Fair Maid of Kent^ which, 
if I be not deceived in her, will convey you 
speedily to Boulogne; but though she is ready to 
sail at once, I advise you to delay your departure 
for a few hours. A strong wind is blowing, and 
there is a rough sea, but the captain of the 
schooner. Master Pynchen, feels sure the weather 
will improve, and he counsels us to wait till 
morning." 

Though he was all impatience to cross, Charles 
assented to the delay. 

On entering the town, the prince and his com- 
panions proceeded to an inn, where chambers had 
been engaged. He did not, however, remain long 
H 2 



100 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

in-doors, but repaired witli his attendants to the 
harbour, in order to look at the Httle vessel des- 
tined to convey him to the opposite shores. As 
Cottington had stated, it was blowing hard, and 
there was evidently a strong sea outside, but the 
Fair Maid of Kent was lying snugly within the 
port, and her appearance perfectly satisfied both 
Jack and Tom as to her sea-going qualifications. 

While they were examining the little vessel, 
and debating whether they should go on board 
her, a party of mounted carabiniers issued from a 
side-street, and rode towards them across the wharf. 
At the head of this troop was an officer, whom the 
prince and his companions immediately recognised 
as Sir Harry Main waring, lieutenant of Dover 
Castle. They also noted that with Sir Harry was 
the person who had followed them from Gad's 
Hill to Canterbury, and had passed them on Bar- 
ham Downs. 

On nearing the party. Sir Harry Mainwaring, a 
stout, handsome man of military deportment, with 



THE SPAXISH MATCH. 101 

a grey beard and moustaclies, contrasting strongly 
with his bronzed visage, ordered his men to halt, 
and then dismounting, left his steed in charge of 
an equerry. Before advancing towards the party, 
he ordered two of the troopers to keep off all 
bystanders, and having seen this done, he marched 
towards Charles and Buckingham, saluted them, 
and was about to speak, when Buckingham in- 
terposed. 

" Sir Harry Mainwaring," said the marquis, " it 
would be useless in the prince and myself to 
attempt disguise with you, but it is his highness's 
desire, and, indeed, command, that you do not 
allow any look or action to betray your knowledge 
of his person." 

" I obey," replied the lieutenant, " but I fear 
that his highness's incognito, and your own, my 
lord, cannot be preserved, since you are both 
known to the emissary of the French ambassador, 
who has ridden on to apprise me of your visit. 
He has contrived to distance you by an hour." 



102 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"How came tlie man to penetrate our secret?" 
demanded Charles, bending his brow. 

" He was present, though unobserved, during 
your interview with the Mayor of Canterbury," 
replied Mainwaring. " On the man's arrival at 
Dover, he rode up at once to the castle, and gave 
information to me. I did not entirely credit his 
statement, but immediately came down to satisfy 
myself, and I now find he spoke truth. Still, I 
can scarcely believe that the motive he* assigned 
for your visit is correct." 

" I know not what he has told you, Sir Harry," 
returned Charles, "but you shall learn the exact 
truth. I am proceeding to Madrid, attended by 
the Marquis of Buckingham and these three gen- 
tlemen." 

" How ? to Madrid with only these attendants ! " 
exclaimed Mainwaring, astounded. " Your high- 
ness will forgive me if I cannot repress my as- 
tonishment." 

" It is even as I have said. Sir Harry," rejoined 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 103 

Charles. " I am going to IMadrid on a special 
errand — nay, there sliall be no mystery with you 
— I am going to fetch the Infanta. I desire to 
preserve the strictest incognito, and it is of the 
last importance tliat no message be sent over to 
France, as I would not be known during my 
journey through that kingdom. To-night I pur- 
pose to remain at Dover, and I shall sail for Bou- 
logne at an early hour to-morrow, in yon little 
schooner.'' I count upon your aid, good Sir 
Harry." 

" I am sorry your highness has confided the 
project to me," returned Mainwaring, with some 
hesitation. "I fear it is inconsistent with my duty 
to allow your departure from the kingdom. In- 
deed, I dare not permit it." 

"'Sdeath! sir, is this language to hold to your 
prince?" cried Buckingham, in a fury. "You 
will stay us at your peril, sir. You forget that 
I am Constable of Dover Castle, and that you are 
my subordinate officer." 



104 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" No, I do not forget it, my lord/' replied Main- 
waring, respectfully. "I am ready to obey all 
your lawful commands. But I have a duty to 
perform to my sovereign and the state, which is 
paramount to all other considerations. I will 
despatch a messenger to Whitehall to ascertain his 
majesty's pleasure, but, till the man's return, I dare 
not permit his highness's departure." 

"Is it not enough that the prince has vouch- 
safed to inform you of his intentions?" demanded 
Buckingham. 

" No, my lord," replied Mainwaring, firmly. 
" For aught I know, the prince may be leaving 
without his royal father's sanction — nay, contrary 
to his injunctions." 

"By Heaven, this passes all endurance!" cried 
Buckingham. " But it is idle to reason with one 
so obstinate and dull-witted. We will go in spite 
of you." 

"No vessel shall quit this harbour till I have 
the king's warrant for its departure. I will take 



THE SPAlsHSH MATCH. 105 

thus mucli upon myself, be the consequences "what 
they may/' rejoined Mainwaring, in a determined 
tone. 

"Nay, Sir Harry is in the right," observed 
Charles. " You shall not need to send to White- 
hall for my royal father's warrant, sir," he added 
to the Keutenant. " I have it with me, and will 
show it you." • 

"Enough," replied Mainwaring. "With that 
assurance I am perfectly content, and am ready to 
obey your behests. Will it please your highness, 
and you, my good lord, together with those with 
you, to lodge within the castle to-night? You 
will be accommodated more suitably than at an 
inn, and will be secure from all chance of further 
interruption." 

To this proposition Charles readily agreed, 
whereupon Sir Harry besought him to mount his 
steed and ride to the castle ; but the prince declined 
the offer, preferring to proceed thither on foot. 
Mainwaring then despatched a couple of troopers 



106 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

to the inn for tlie travellers' baggage, and calling 
his equerry to him, bade him take back Martin to 
the castle. 

'^ I will give further orders concerning him when 
I arrive there," added the lieutenant, "but, mean- 
time, do not allow him to hold communication 
with any one. These gentlemen," he added, " will 
be my guests for the night. Set that lodgings are 
prepared for them in the Constable's Tower and in 
Peverell's Tower." 

The equerry bowed, and, in obedience to the 
order he had received, rode off with the troop, 
taking Martin with him, who thus found himself 
a prisoner. 

Shortly afterwards, Charles and all those with 
him quitted the quay, and took the road leading 
to the Castle Hill. 

Arrived at the foot of the eminence, they com- 
menced the ascent by tracking a zig-zag path, 
which conducted them to a steep flight of steps. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 107 

and scaling these, they found themselves within a 
short distance of the outer gate of the fortress. 

At this point, the grand old pile, aptly enough 
described by Matthew Paris as " the key and lock 
of the realm/' reared itself majestically before them; 
its hoary walls studded with watch-towers girding 
the entire circumference of the hill, while its mas- 
sive keep rose proudly amidst them. Charles had 
visited the fortress on one or two previous occasions, 
when he had been received with all the honours 
due to his exalted rank; when the royal banner 
had floated above the donjon-tower; when trumpets 
had sounded and drums had been beaten to herald 
his approach; when the whole garrison was drawn 
up in the outer court, and the road lined with the 
inhabitants of Dover; but never at such times had 
he gazed at the ancient fabric, replete with so many 
historical recollections, with feehngs deep as those 
that impressed him now. Sentinels in steel cap and 
corslet, with pike on shoulder, were pacing to and 



108 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

fro on the ramparts; other men-at-arms were sta- 
tioned on the watch-towers and near the gate, but 
these were the only inmates of the stronghold he 
beheld. The castle wore its ordinary aspect, and, 
thus beheld, gained infinitely in grandeur and 
majesty. 

From the castle, Charles turned to look at the 
town and harbour, and was well pleased to find 
that the works undertaken by his royal father for 
the improvement of the pier, which, though strongly 
built by Henry VIII., had become ruinous through 
neglect, were making good progress. 

Could he have foreseen the stupendous bulwark 
which an after age was destined to produce ; could 
he have anticipated that the rude and unserviceable 
pier then constructing would be supplanted, some 
two hundred and forty years later, by a granite 
wall projecting far into the sea, and capable of 
withstanding the utmost fury of the waves; he 
might have blushed at the insignificance and 
almost inutility of the work then going on. But, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 109 

possessing no such foresight, he was well enough 
content, and deemed it an important achievement. 

Rousing himself from the reverie into which he 
had fallen, he proceeded, with Mainwaring and 
Buckingham, who were standing near him, towards 
the gateway of the castle. Little aware of the 
importance of the personages who were entering 
the fortress, the guard stationed at the gate con- 
tented themselves with saluting the lieutenant, and 
bestowed a mere glance of curiosity at the others. 
Still, there was something in the look and de- 
portment of the prince and Buckingham that ex- 
cited the curiosity of these men. 

The party had now entered the outer ballium, 
and as it was still light enough for an inspection 
of the fortress, Charles strolled for some time about 
the courts, examining the various towers on the 
walls — pausing before the old Roman pharos and 
the time-hallowed church, supposed to have been 
founded by King Lucius — after which he directed 
his course to the keep. 



110 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Entering it, and leaving Buckingham and the 
others in the state apartments on the third story, 
Charles, accompanied only by Main waring, mounted 
to the summit of a lofty turret, whence an extra- 
ordinarily fine view was commanded. It "was now 
growing dusk, but even thus imperfectly beheld, 
the prospect was very striking. Across the 
Channel, the grey outline of the coast of France 
was distinguishable; the position of Calais being 
fixed by its lighthouse, while another pharos 
gleamed from Cape Grisnez, near Boulogne. Im- 
mediately below was the town, revealed by its 
twinkling lights, and the harbour with its ship- 
ping. Charles tried to make out the Fair Maid 
of Kent J but could not succeed in distinguishing 
her. 

Undisturbed by the whistling wind, Charles 
remained for nearly a quarter of an hour on this 
lofty place of observation. He then descended with 
the heutenant, and on repairing to the chamber 
where the others had been left, they were informed 



THE SPANISH MATCH. Ill 

by an attendant that the evening repast was served. 
At this welcome intelligence, the whole party ad- 
journed to the Constable's Tower, in a lower 
chamber of which a substantial repast was laid out. 
In compliance with the prince's injunctions, no 
ceremonv whatever was observed during^ the meal. 
The whole party sat down together, and the con- 
versation was carried on without restraint. Shortly 
after supper, Charles and Buckingham, who were 
somewhat fatigued by their lengthened journey, 
withdrew to the chambers allotted them, and both 
slept soundly till they were roused, an hour at 
least before it was light, by wakeful Graham. The 
rest of the party were already up, and prepared 
for departure, and as soon as the prince and Buck- 
ingham had partaken of a hasty breakfast, they 
quitted the castle under the escort of the lieutenant, 
and followed by four stalwart troopers carrying the 
baggage. 

As they descended the Castle Hill on the way 
to the harbour, Mainwaring informed Charles that 



112 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

late at night, long after his highness had retired 
to rest, a messenger had brought a despatch from 
the king, ordering him to prohibit the departure of 
all vessels bound for the coast of France. " This 
order," he added, " I shall carry out as soon as your 
highness is safely off." 

Captain Pynchen was anxiously awaiting his 
passengers, the wind being now fair, and promising 
a quick passage. The embarkation was speedily 
accomplished. Mainwaring saw the prince and 
Buckingham safely on board, and then wishing 
them a prosperous voyage, took his leave. 

As the Fair Maid of Kent weighed anchor, and 
spread her sails to the favouring breeze, which 
promised soon to waft her and her precious freight 
to the shores of France, the morning gun was 
fired from Dover Castle. 



THE SPAITISH MATCH. 113 



VIII. 

HOW JACK A^"D T0:M CEOSSED the CHA^'^'EL, A^'D EODZ 
POST FROM BOrLOG>'E TO PAEIS. 

For some time Charles remained standing on 
the deck of the schooner, with his gaze fixed upon 
the shores from which he was rapidly receding. 
After running his eye along the line of lofty and 
precipitous chalk cliffs, extending on the right to 
the South Foreland, and on the left to Sandwich, 
he turned his regards to the old castle, nowhere 
beheld to such advantage as from the sea. Precisely 
at that moment the first beams of the sun began to 
gild the lofty keep, and ere long the grey walls 

VOL. I. I 



114 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

encircling the hill, with the numerous watch- 
towers, the antique church, and the pharos, were 
lit up, until the entire fortress, which had hitherto 
looked cold and stern, assumed a bright and smiling 
aspect, which Charles was willing to construe into 
a favourable omen to his expedition. Not till 
castle and cliffs began to grow dim in the dis- 
tance, did he bid a mental adieu to England. 

No incident worthy of being chronicled occurred 
during the passage. When in mid-channel, those 
in the schooner caught sight of several men-of- 
war belonging to the fleet which Buckingham had 
professed he was about to inspect, but in other 
respects the voyage was monotonous, and appeared 
long and tedious to the travellers, all of whom were 
impatient to get across the Channel. We must 
not omit to mention that, immediately after their 
embarkation, Jack and Tom, deeming disguise no 
longer necessary, had laid aside their false beards. 

Just at the hour of two in the afternoon they 
entered the harbour of Boulogne, and, after some 



THE SPANISH lyiATCH. 115 

little delay, were permitted by the officers of the 
port to disembark, and Charles, for the first time, 
set foot in France. 

Cottington having concluded all arrangements 
with -Captain Pynchen before landing, Jack and 
Tom underwent no detention on that score, but, 
followed by a couple of sailors carrying their bag- 
gage, proceeded to the Ecu d'Or, in the Grande 
Rue, where they were welcomed by a very civil 
landlord, who told them they were too late for the 
table d'hote, but considerately added that he could 
speedily set an excellent dinner before them. This 
was agreed to, but the dinner was not served so 
promptly as promised, and being copious, took 
some time to discuss, consequently it was hard 
upon four o'clock before the travellers were in the 
saddle. Attended by two gaily-dressed postilions, 
wearing enormous jack-boots, and v;ho made the 
quay echo with the clangour of their horns, they 
rode out of Boulogne, and, crossing a wooden 
bridge over the Liane, took the road to Montreuil, 
l2 



116 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

where they proposed to pass the night, and where 
they arrived, without accident or interruption, 
about seven o'clock, and took up their quarters at 
the Tete de Boeuf, renowned for its pates de be- 
cassines. 

Rising betimes next morning, they were all on 
horseback soon after seven, and on the way to 
Amiens, which they determined to make the limit 
of that day's journey. 

All the party were in high spirits. To Charles 
the novelty of travelling in a foreign land was 
exciting, and though the country through which 
he rode was uninteresting in a picturesque point of 
view, in his present frame of mind it became in- 
vested with charms such as many a really beautiful 
landscape had not revealed to him. Fortunately 
the weather was fine, and the state of the roads 
good, so that the travellers got on without an- 
noyance. 

A joyous company they were— as joyous and 
light-hearted as any that had preceded them on the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 117 

same route. Whether it was change of clime and 
scene, or the excitement they had previously under- 
gone, that occasioned this gaiety, none cared to 
inquire, being perfectly satisfied with the result. 
Even Sir Francis Cottington, who had been so 
strongly averse to the expedition, yielded to the 
enlivening influences, and began to view the pro- 
ject with a hopeful eye. 

Though maintaining his habitual gravity of look, 
Charles at heart was as gleeful as his companions. 
Never had he been more entirely free from the 
melancholy which usually o'ershadowed him — never 
was the present more void of gloom — never did 
the future look brighter. Sometimes, in order to 
indulge in a fit of pleasant musing — to dwell upon 
the charms of his mistress — to conjure up the idea 
of their first interview, and his transports on be- 
holding her — he would ride apart from the others 
— but he soon returned to join in their lively 
chat. 

In this manner they advanced on their journey, 



118 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

scarcely aware how much they had accomplished. 
After skirting the forest of Cregy, close to which 
the famous battle was won by Edward III., the 
thought of which roused the warlike spirit of 
Charles, and made him burn for the military re- 
nown of the Black Prince, they descended into 
the vale of the Somme, and traversed it till they 
reached Abbeville. 

Here they alighted at the Hotel de la Poste, 
situated near the Cathedral of St. Wolfram. At 
the doorway of the inn several travellers were 
congregated, who naturally regarded the new 
comers with curiosity, and speculated upon their 
quality. There was nothing, as we know, in the 
attire of any of the party to indicate their rank, 
and yet those who beheld them could not fail to 
be struck by the stately looks and deportment of 
Charles and Buckingham. 

It chanced that among the observers on the oc- 
casion there were two gentlemen from St. Valery, 
who had lately been in England, and they both 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 119 

recoDfnised the illustrious travellers — thousfh almost 
doubting the evidence of their eyes. All the party 
had gone into the house with the exception of 
Graham, who stayed behind to pay the postilion, 
when one of these gentlemen, M. Marcellin, making 
a very polite bow, thus addressed the young- 
equerry : 

" Pray excuse me, monsieur, but I and my friend 
M. de Nouvion have recently been in England, and 
during our stay visited your famous race-course at 
Newmarket. While there, we had the singular 
satisfaction of beholding his Highness the Prince 
of Wales and the Lord INIarquis of Buokingham. 
We saw them, monsieur — or perhaps I ought to 
say milord — sufficiently long to enable us to study 
their features carefully, and fix them upon our 
memory. You will not be surprised then, mon- 
sieur, when we declare that in two of your party, 
who have just gone in with the landlord, we con- 
ceive that we recognise Prince Charles and the 
lord marquis." 



120 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I take what you say as a great compliment to 
my friends, messieurs," returned Graham, without 
the slightest embarrassment; "but you are mis- 
taken. The gentlemen to whom you refer are 
very humble individuals — two brothers, the Mes- 
sieurs Smith. They certainly bear some resem- 
blance to the illustrious personages you have men- 
tioned — enough, perhaps, to deceive a stranger." 

"The resemblance is too striking in both in- 
stances to admit of doubt upon the point," observed 
M. de Nouvion. " Of course it is not for us to 
make a remark if the Prince of Wales and the 
lord marquis choose to travel incognito." 

"I will speedily convince you of your error, 
messieurs," interrupted Graham. And stepping 
within the doorway, he shouted, " Hola ! Jack 
and Tom. Come hither for a moment, I pray of 
you." 

At this summons, Jack and Tom immediately 
came out of the salle a manger into which they 
had been ushered by the host, and Jack said, as 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 121 

if addressing an equal, " What do you want with 
us, Dick?" 

" These gentlemen will have it that you are the 
Prince of Wales and my Lord of Buckingham," 
replied Graham. "Pray undeceive them, for they 
will not credit my denial." 

" You do us too much honour, messieurs — far 
too much," observed Jack. "It is not, however, 
the first time that my brother Tom and myself 
have been taken for the important personages in 
question." 

" I should think not," said M. Marcellin. 

" The resemblance is rather unlucky for us," re- 
marked Tom. " It has more than once got us 
into difficulties." 

" I can easily imagine it," rejoined De Nouvion, 
sceptically. " It must be unpleasant also for the 
prince and the lord marquis to be mistaken, as 
they might be accidentally, for you and your 
brother M. Jack Smith. Of course you have 
seen my lord of Buckingham, monsieur?" he 
added. 



122 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" Oh yes, I have seen him," returned Tom. 
"We have seen both him and the prince, eh, 
Jack?" 

"Frequently," returned Jack. 

"Then you may possibly have remarked, as I 
did," returned M. de Nouvion, "that the marquis 
wears a ring on the first finger of the right hand 
— precisely such a ring as yours, M. Tom Smith — 
while the prince has a brooch, the counterpart of 
which fastens the cloak of your brother Jack ? " 

" Confound the rascal ! how closely he must have 
observed us," whispered Tom to Jack. " Eh bien, 
messieurs," he added to the others, "if you persist 
in your belief, there is no more to be said. It 
would be unreasonable in my brother Jack and 
myself to be angry with you for so flattering an 
error, and, though neither of us is likely to become 
a marquis or a prince of the blood, we must accept 
the titles for the moment, since you are determined 
to invest us with them." 

So saying, he bowed, as did Jack, and both, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 123 

laughing heartily, returned to the salle a manger, 
followed by Graham, and leaving M. de Nouvion 
and his friend in some perplexity. 

It soon became apparent, from the extraordinary 
deference paid to Jack and Tom, that Messieurs de 
Nouvion and Marcellin had communicated their 
opinion as to the real rank of his guests to the 
hotelier. With a thousand apologies, the host be- 
sought his distinguished guests to remove to a 
private room; but this they declined, saying they 
did not desire better accommodation than ordinary 
travellers. 

^^You are extremely obliging, my good host," 
remarked Tom, "but we know the cause of your 
civility, and it is proper we should set you right. 
Two gentlemen, with whom we have just been 
conversing, are under the delusion that we are 
grand seigneurs travelling incognito. The notion 
is absurd. We have not the sHghtest pretension 
to high rank, and are simply what we seem." 

"That is quite possible, milord," replied the 



124^ THE SPANISH MATCH. 

hotelier, bowing, "because to me you seem to be 
princes." 

" 'Sdeatli ! take us for what you will," cried 
Tom. "All we ask is, not to be charged like 
princes. Put nothing down for rank in your 
reckoning." 

The host declared he would not, but failed to 
keep his word. The best the house could produce 
was set before his guests; but they had to pay 
handsomely for their entertainment. Their in- 
difference to the heavy charge which he had not 
scrupled to make, confirmed the shrewd host in his 
opinion of their rank. On the departure of the 
travellers, the whole house assembled in the court- 
yard to see them mount, and bows and curtseys 
were made them on all sides, which they very 
graciously returned. 

At Amiens, where they arrived before dusk, 
they put up at the Hotel de France, and visited 
the cathedral during the solemnisation of evening 
mass — Charles being lost in admiration of the ex- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 125 

traordinary architectural beauty of the interior of 
this noble Gothic pile. 

Next morning they started at an early hour for 
Paris, and did not loiter on their journey. With 
no little satisfaction they found themselves at Saint 
Denis, where they changed horses for the last time. 
A short stage brought them to the faubourgs of 
Paris, and they entered the city by the Porte 
Saint Denis — not the existing triumphal arch, but 
an older portal, built by Charles IX. 

On passing through the gateway, Charles ex- 
perienced that emotion which every stranger must 
feel on first beholding a city of which he has heard 
much and longed to visit. All was new to him — 
habitations, people, costumes — and he gazed around 
with insatiable curiosity. His course led him 
through the Rue Saint Denis, and its old and 
picturesque houses delighted him, but it was on 
reaching the quays on the banks of the Seine, and 
while crossing the Pont-Neuf, that Paris was dis- 
played to him in all its marvellous beauty. Notre- 



126 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Dame, the Chatelet, the Louvre, the Tuileries, and 
a multitude of less important structures, then burst 
upon his gaze, filling him with admiration. But 
he had no time to dwell on the picture. Passing 
the College de Quatre Nations, and along the Quai 
des Theatins, the party soon reached the Rue de 
Bourbon, and alighted at the Hotel des Etrangers. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 127 



IX. 



HOW JACK AND T03I TVEEE GKACIOUSLy EECEIVEB BY THE 
DUC DE ilOyiBAZON. 

In the course of the evening Graham brought 
word that some brilHant fetes were just tlien taking 
place at court, whereupon Jack expressed a strong 
desire to be present at one of them on the follow- 
ing day. Tom declared he saw no difficulty in the 
matter, and undertook to obtain admission to the 
Louvre. However, as they were unprovided with 
fitting attire, a messenger was at once despatched to 
M. ^Marolles, the court tailor, who presently repaired 
to the hotel, and received an order for three mag- 



128 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

nificent suits. MaroUes not only undertook to 
furnish these habiliments at an early hour on the 
morrow, but to provide the three gentlemen with 
all else they might require to make a befitting 
appearance at the royal fete. Moreover, he pro- 
mised to bring M. Gaston, the court perruquier, 
with a good choice of periwigs li la mode de la 
cour. This important matter arranged. Jack and 
Tom retired to recruit themselves after the fatigues 
of the day, and prepare for the festivities of the 
morrow. 

When they arose next morning, they found 
Marches and Gaston in attendance. Their dresses 
became them to admiration — at least, Marolles de- 
clared so — and Gaston was quite satisfied with the 
sit of their perukes — the latter, it may be men- 
tioned in passing, had been ordered in some degree 
to disguise their features. 

At a later hour in the morning, arrayed in their 
splendid habiliments, and wearing their flowing- 
perukes, Jack and Tom, attended by Graham, who 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 129 

was equally richly attired, drove in a coach to the 
Louvre, and were set down in the great court. 

On entering the palace, their distinguished ap- 
pearance satisfied the ushers that they were persons 
of importance, and they were at once admitted to 
the cabinet of the Due de Montbazon, grand 
chamberlain to the queen, by whom the royal fetes 
were superintended. The duke, who was a very 
formal personage, received them with ceremonious 
politeness. They were presented to him as the 
Messieurs Smith, three Englishmen who were 
passing through Paris to Madrid, and they noticed 
that the duke smiled slightly when this announce- 
ment was made. 

" We are quite aware, M. le Due," said Tom, 
" that we ought to have been presented to you by 
our ambassador, but as time presses, and we have 
only a single day in Paris, we have ventured to 
come direct to you, being inflamed with a most 
ardent desire to witness the royal fete, which we 
are told is to be given this evening." 

YOL. I. K 



1 30 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I will do all in my power to oblige you, mes- 
sieurs," returned Montbazon, in the most gracious 
manner possible. " To-day, as you may possibly 
be aware, a grand banquet is given by the queen- 
mother, Marie de Medicis, to his majesty and the 
principal persons of the court. The banquet will 
be followed by a superb allegorical ballet, which 
will take place in the grand salle de danse; and 
in this ballet, besides the fairest of the court dames, 
the Princess Henriette Marie and my gracious 
mistress, our lovely young queen, will dance." 

" It is chiefly to behold your young queen, Anne 
of Austria, of whose beauty we have heard such 
ravishing descriptions, that we desire to witness 
this ballet, M. le Due," remarked Jack. 

" I need scarcely tell you, messieurs," said Mont- 
bazon, " that, as conductor of the royal fetes, I have 
been compelled to refuse a vast number of applica- 
tions from members — some of them distinguished 
members — of the court to be present at this ballet, 
but I am disposed to make an exception in your 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 131 

favour. As strangers, the king will feel that you 
have a greater claim upon his hospitality than his 
own subjects possess. In his majesty's name, there- 
fore, I invite you, messieurs, to the banquet, and 
to the ballet." 

'^ You overwhelm us with obligation, M. le 
Due," replied Jack. " Gratified as we are by the 
invitation, we can scarcely accept it, as we feel 
that you are straining courtesy too far." 

"Nay, do not stand on ceremony, messieurs," 
replied Montbazon. " I should be very sorry that 
you missed these fetes, and as your stay in Paris is 
limited to a single day, you cannot have another 
opportunity. I myself will see you well placed." 

" We have no rank to entitle us to any but the 
lowest place," observed Tom. " Indeed, we ought 
not to sit down among the court nobiHty." 

A singular smile played upon the duke's coun- 
tenance, and he said, with some significance, " Be 
assured I will assign you proper places, messieurs." 

Just then an usher entered, and informed the 
k2 



132 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

grand chamberlain that the English ambassador 
was without, and craved an audience. 

^^ This is lucky ! " exclaimed Montbazon. " It 
will spare you the necessity of waiting upon Sir 
Edward Herbert." 

" One word, M. le Due," said Jack. " I must 
pray you not to admit him." 

" Not admit him ! " cried the duke, feigning 
surprise. " Wherefore not?" 

"You shall know as soon as we are alone," re- 
joined the other. 

" Entreat his excellency to excuse me for a 
moment," said Montbazon to the usher. " I shall 
soon be disengaged." 

"It is right, M. le Due," said Charles, as soon 
as they were alone, "that you should know who 
we are; but in making the disclosure, I must 
throw myself upon your generosity to keep the 
matter secret." 

" It is perfectly safe in my hands, prince," replied 
Montbazon, rising and bowing profoundly " I 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 133 

knew you and my lord of Buckingham the mo- 
ment you entered. Marolles informed me you had 
sent for him, and I was, therefore, prepared for this 
visit. You look surprised, but I received infor- 
mation of your arrival in Paris last night from the 
lieutenant-general of police, to whom it was com- 
municated." 

"Is the king aware of my arrival?" inquired 
Charles. 

" Not as yet," replied the duke. " I intended 
to apprise him, but if it is really your highnesses 
desire to pass through Paris without a public ap- 
pearance at court, I will not mention the matter to 
his majesty till after your departure." 

" You will do me an immense favour, for which 
I shall ever feel grateful, M. le Due," rejoined 
Charles. "' If presented to his majesty, I must 
tarry here for some days, and I am bound on an 
expedition of the utmost urgency " 

" To Spain," remarked Montbazon, with a smile. 
" I understand. Your highness may rest easy, I 



134 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

will not til wart your project, but will facilitate 
your departure. Your ambassador is in tlie ante- 
chamber, and will be sure to see you as you go out. 
Let me beg of you, therefore, to pass forth this 
way." 

So saying, he opened a side-door communicating 
with a private staircase, through which Charles and 
his companions, with a renewed expression of their 
gratitude, made an exit. 



THE SPANISH ilATCH. 135 



X. 



HOW JACK a2;d To:yr dkote about paeis, and whai they 

SAW DUKIN'G THE DEITE. 

Determined to make the most of their time, 
Charles and his companions spent several hours in 
driving about Paris, noting every object of in- 
terest that came under their observation, — palaces, 
hotels of the nobility, ancient habitations, theatres, 
churches, fortresses, prisons, hospitals, colleges, 
bridges, and public edifices of all kinds. They 
tracked the Rue Saint Honore and the Rue Saint 
Antoine from end to end, visited a multitude of 
churches and convents by the way, strolled about 



136 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

the Place Royale, and spent some time in contem- 
plating the Bastille. Surrounded by a deep moat, 
approached only by a drawbridge, bristling with 
ordnance, and flanked by towers, this terrible state 
prison and fortress seemed almost a counterpart of 
the Tower of London, though it wanted the ma- 
jesty of the latter structure. 

" 'Tis a stern and sullen pile, the Bastille," 
observed Charles, " and the heart aches when one 
thinks of the multitude of captives confined within 
it." 

"Louis XIIL would say the same thing of the 
Tower, if he chanced to behold it," rejoined Buck- 
ingham. 

" Possibly he might," remarked Charles, gloomily. 
" And yet the Tower never affected me so pro- 
foundly." 

" And no doubt his most Christian Majesty 
makes light of the Bastille," said Buckingham, 
" and thinks it the finest building in his fair city 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 137 

of Parisj as it certainly is the most useful. Where 
else could he safely lodge so many state oflfenders, 
and prevent them from uttering a complaint? 
Would to Heaven it were as easy for our dear 
dad and gossip to send a traitor to the Tower as 
it is for Louis to incarcerate one in the Bastille! 
The lettre de cachet is an admirable invention. No 
accusation — no trial — secret arrest and secret im- 
prisonment. With the lettre de cachet and the 
Bastille, a monarch or his minister may play the 
despot with impunity. The time may come when 
your highness may enjoy the truly regal privilege 
of the lettre de cachet." 

"Any attempt to exercise such arbitrary power 
in England would cause a revolution," observed 
Charles. " But you ever jest with the most serious 
subjects, Tom. Let us leave this moody pile. The 
sight of it makes me melancholy." 

" Whither shall we go ? " cried Buckingham. 
" Yonder is the Porte Saint Antoine. Suppose 



138 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

we pass through it, and drive outside the walls to 
the Porte Saint Martin? Your highness will then 
have seen all Paris." 

^^Not quite all, Tom," returned Charles, "but 
enough to convince me that it is a wondrously 
beautiful city, far more picturesque than London, 
and yet, T own, I like London best." 

" 'Twould be strange if you did not," remarked 
Buckingham. "But we must embellish London, 
and make it surpass Paris in beauty." 

" London, in my opinion, needs no embellish- 
ment," said Graham. " The Thames is a far finer 
river than the Seine; London Bridge is hand- 
somer than the Pont Neuf; Whitehall is a nobler 
palace than the Louvre; Saint Paul's surpasses 
Notre-Dame in grandeur; and we are all agreed 
that the Tower is infinitely more majestic than the 
Bastille." 

"You are right, Dick," observed Charles. "And 
yet, as a whole, Paris is a finer city than Lon- 
don." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 139 

" I am lotli to admit so much," said Graham. 
" But your highness is a better judge than I am, 
and I must needs defer to your opinion. Un- 
questionably, the habitations here are loftier than 
^yith us." 

"And more picturesque," said Charles. "We 
have no street like the Rue Saint Antoine, which 
we have just traversed." 

"None so long, I own," rejoined Graham. "But 
give me the Strand, or Fleet-street." 

" What say you to the Samaritaine on the Pont 
Neuf ? " demanded Buckingham. 

"A mere mechanical toy," replied Graham; 
"quaint and pretty enough, but Saint Dunstan's 
clock is better worth seeing." 

"Have you no admiration for the Tuileries?" 
said Buckingham. 

"The palace is not entirely to my taste," re- 
turned Graham. " I like Saint James's better." 

" You are as void of taste as you are obstinate, 
Dick," observed Charles, laughing. "But what- 



140 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

ever I may think of the beauties of this city — and 
manifold they are — rest assured I would not ex- 
change London for it." 

While this conversation took place, they passed 
through the Porte Saint Antoine, and pursuing a 
broad road laid out on the top of the counterscarp, 
skirted the old walls until they came to the Porte 
Saint Martin, when they again entered the city, 
and drove direct to their hotel in the Rue de 
Bourbon. 

While the prince and his companions were thus 
employing their time, Sir Francis Cottington and 
Endymion Porter were fully occupied in prepara- 
tions for the journey to be undertaken next day. 
Their first business was to despatch a courier to 
King James, with a letter apprising his majesty 
of the safe arrival of the prince and Buckingham 
in Paris. This done, they proceeded to a banker 
in the Rue des Lombards, where they obtained 
gold for some of the bills of exchange with which 
they were furnished; and being thus amply pro- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 141 

vided with funds, as well for the journey as for 
immediate requirement, they procured, in pur- 
suance of the orders they had received, two hand- 
some riding-suits for the prince and Buckingham. 
Moreover, having suffered grievously from the 
neglect of due provision in this respect during 
their ride from Boulogne to Paris, they purchased 
well-padded saddles for the whole party, and took 
care that the holsters were furnished with pistols. 
Pistols also were provided for the belt, and mus- 
quetoons for the shoulder, so that henceforth the 
travellers would be armed to the teeth, and able, 
it was thought, to resist any attack by robbers that 
might be made on them during the journey. 

"You have made due provision for our comfort 
as well as for our security, gentlemen," observed 
Charles, as he examined these articles, which were 
laid out for his inspection. ^^I am particularly 
glad to see these easy saddles. We could scarce 
have got to Madrid without them." 

" And these laced riding-habits, broad-leaved 



142 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

grey hats, and funnel-topped boots, will transform 
us into French cavaliers in a trice," cried Buck- 
ingham. " We have only to don these habili- 
ments, and "wear our moustaches en croc, and the 
metamorphosis will be complete." 

" These riding-dresses are the counterpart of 
those worn by his majesty Louis XIII. while 
hunting, my good lord," replied Cottington. 

"They are handsome enough for any monarch 
in Christendom," cried Buckingham. " But, thus 
attired, we shall be compelled to change our desig- 
nation. We can be Smiths no longer." 

" That must not be," returned Charles. " As 
John Smith I have started on the expedition, and 
John Smith I will continue till I reach Madrid." 

"And I of course shall remain brother Tom," 
said Buckingham. "After all, one English name 
is as good as another in France, and it signifies 
little what we are called." 

At this juncture, a servant entered to say that a 
messenger from the Due de Montbazon was with- 



THE SPAXISH MATCH. 143 

out, and shortly afterwards a well-dressed personage 
was shown into the room. He announced himself 
as M. Chevilly, confidential valet to the duke, and 
thus declared his mission: 

"Highness," he said, making a profound obei- 
sance to the prince, " I have been sent by the Due 
de Montbazon to attend upon you, and upon the 
noble marquis, if you will deign to employ me. 
My master deeply regrets that he is unable per- 
sonally to attend upon your highness, but he has 
given me ample instructions. He has charged me 
to say that he will send his own carriage to convey 
you to the Luxembourg, where the banquet given 
by her majesty the queen-mother takes place. If 
permitted, I shall have the supreme honour of 
attending your highness to the palace, and after 
the banquet will conduct you to the Louvre, where 
you will witness the grand ballet." 

"The duke is, indeed, most considerate," said 
Charles. "I fear I may put hira to some incon- 



144 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"My master is anxious to anticipate your wishes," 
returned Chevilly. " If I understand aright, your 
highness designs to start at an early hour to-morrow 
morning for Spain. May I venture to ask whether 
any of your gentlemen have taken the trouble to 
order post-horses?" 

" Not as yet," returned Cottington. " We await 
his highness's orders. But there can be no diffi- 
culty about the matter." 

" Pardon me, monseigneur," said Chevilly. 
" There is great difficulty, as you would have 
found, had you made application. Without my 
master's intervention you would have had no post- 
horses." 

"The deuce!" exclaimed Buckingham. "That 
would have been awkward. But why should we 
be refused?" 

^ " Because the lieutenant-general of police had 
interdicted your departure till his majesty's pleasure 
respecting you should be ascertained, my lord," 
rejoined Chevilly. " My master, however, has 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 145 

made it liis business to remove the obstacle, and, 
I rejoice to say, has succeeded. Here is an order 
for the horses, countersigned by the head of the 
pohce," he added, delivering it to Cottington. 
*' You can start at any hour you deem proper." 

"Another great obligation I am under to the 
duke," observed Charles. 

" A mere trifle," said Chevilly. " In an hour 
the carriage will be here to convey you to the 
Luxembourg. I will await your highness's further 
orders without." 

And with a profound bow he withdrew. 

Shortly afterwards, Charles, with Buckingham 
and Graham, retired to their respective chambers, 
and proceeded to make their toilettes with great 
care. 



YOL. I. 



146 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



XL 

HOW JACK AND TOM DINED AT THE LUXEMBOURG ; AND HOW 
THEY WEEE PRESENTED TO QUEEN MARIE DE MEDICIS. 

Punctually at the time appolntecl, the mag- 
nificent equipage belonging to the Due de Mont- 
bazon entered the court-yard of the hotel, and 
Charles, with Buckingham and Graham, being 
ceremoniously conducted to it by Chevilly, were 
driven to the Luxembourg. Chevilly went with 
them, posted on the marche-pied. 

The palace of the Luxembourg — still one of the 
chief ornaments of the French capital — was at* this 
time in all its freshness and splendour, having 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 147 

only been completed a few years previously by 
Marie de Medicis, who spent an enormous sum 
upon its construction, and in its internal embellish- 
ment. Modelled upon the Palazzo Pitti at Flo- 
rence, it possessed charming gardens laid out in 
the Italian style, and ornamented with marble 
fountains and statues. 

On arriving at the palace, the carriage contain- 
ing Charles and liis companions passed through 
the gateway into the grand court, which was filled 
at the time with splendid equipages. On alight- 
ing, our travellers entered a spacious vestibule, 
thronged with gentlemen ushers, pages, valets, and 
musketeers of the royal guard. Here they were 
met by Chevilly, who preceded them up a noble 
staircase, and led them along a magnificent cor- 
ridor, adorned with antique statues and paintings 
by the first Italian masters. 

Eventually, the party were ushered into a large 
and gorgeously furnished room, in which were 
assembled the guests. The company, as may be 
l2 



148 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

supposed, consisted of the elite of the French 
nobility, and they were all as much distinguished 
by aristocratic deportment and refinement of man- 
ner as by splendour of apparel. 

Montbazon had taken care to make it known 
that three Englishmen had been invited to the 
banquet, and when Charles and his companions 
made their appearance, it was at once understood 
they must be the persons referred to by the duke. 
But who were they? This was a question that no 
one could answer, and Montbazon not being pre- 
sent at the moment, the general curiosity re- 
mained unsatisfied. That they were persons of 
high rank none doubted, but no one — not even 
the ushers — had heard their titles. 

Meanwhile, Charles and his companions, not 
unconscious of the curiosity they excited, and 
secretly amused by it, had halted, and remained 
standing at some little distance from the rest of 
the company. The remarkable dignity of the 
prince's deportment, and the noble character of 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 149 

his features, drew all eyes towards him, while 
Buckingham's stately figure and haughty manner 
made him also a mark for sreneral observation. 

o 

There were some fair observers, however, who 
thought Sir Richard Graham the handsomest of 
the three. 

Charles seemed perfectly indifferent to the effect 
which he produced upon the assemblage, and 
though he did not assume any air of superiority, it 
was impossible that he could disguise his habitual 
majesty of deportment. Buckingham, accustomed 
to outshine all the members of his own court by 
the splendour of his apparel and the magnificence 
of his ornaments, was mortified to find himself 
eclipsed by several of the nobles on the present 
occasion, and lamented the want of his diamond 
girdle and ropes of pearls. He looked around 
proudly, as was his wont at Whitehall, and offended 
some of the high-spirited young nobles by his 
supercilious air. 

His haughty glance was still ranging over the 



150 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

courtly throng, when large folding-doors at the 
upper end of the room were thrown open, and 
a gentleman usher, attended by a number of pages 
dressed in white satin, announced their majesties 
the king and queen. 

Preceded by the Due de] Montbazon, bearing 
his wand of office, and walking backwards, the 
young monarch then came forth, leading the 
queen-mother by the hand. Louis XIII. was of 
slight figure, but well proportioned, with hand- 
some features and fine eyes. His pourpoint and 
mantle were of crimson damask, embroidered with 
gold and enriched with precious stones, and round 
his neck he wore a chain with the order of the 
Toison d'Or. His majesty seemed out of health. 
He walked feebly, and his countenance bore traces 
of suffering. 

Marie de Medicis, who still retained much of 
her beauty, had set off her noble person to the 
utmost advantage. The stomacher of her dark 
satin dress blazed with diamonds and rubies. A 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 151 

carcanet of pearls encircled her still snowy throat, 
and wreaths of pearls adorned her tresses, which 
had lost none of their raven hue. Her eyes were 
lustrous, her brow smooth as marble, and her car- 
riage majestic and imperious. 

On the appearance of the royal party, the com- 
pany immediately drew aside to allow them pas- 
sage, and profound reverences were made on all 
sides. These were very graciously acknowledged 
by the queen-mother, and somewhat coldly by 
her royal son, who scarcely deigned to look 
around. 

Charles and his companions escaped the king's 
notice, but not that of Marie de Medicis, who 
appeared much struck by their appearance, and 
vouchsafed them a gracious smile. Little did 
Louis XIII. deem that within a few paces of 
him stood the heir to the throne of a kingdom 
powerful as his own — a prince with whom he was 
destined to be allied — or he might have bestowed 
something more than a heedless glance upon him. 



152 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

However, thougli botli were objects of interest 
to him, it was neither with the king nor the 
queen-mother that Charles was now occupied. His 
attention was engrossed by the lovely young queen 
who followed them. Anne of Austria was then 
about twenty-four, and consequently in the full 
eclat of her beauty. Her figure was exquisite, and 
her movements combined Castilian dignity with 
Andalusian grace. In stature she was somewhat 
below the ordinary female standard, but this cir- 
cumstance detracted nothing from the effect she 
produced. Her feet and hands were the smallest 
and most beautiful imaginable, and her waist 
taper, yet admirably rounded. Her features, lovely 
in expression as in form, were lighted up by large 
dark eyes beaming with mingled fire and tender- 
ness. Her nose was small, and, judged by classic 
rule, might have been termed too flat, but it was 
charming nevertheless, as was her little mouth, the 
under lip of which protruded beyond its roseate 
partner, proclaiming her a true daughter of the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 153 

house of Austria. Her rich brown locks were 
wreathed with diamonds, and gathered in crisp 
little curlsj as was then the mode, upon her white 
open brow. Her dress was of yellow damask, the 
body being covered with twisted fringes of dia- 
monds and precious stones. In her right hand 
she carried a Spanish fan, and her left hand was 
accorded to Cardinal Richelieu, who had the 
honour of conducting her to the banquet. 

The wondrous beauty of the young queen 
transcended any ideas that Charles and Bucking- 
ham had formed of it, and the latter was perfectly 
dazzled, her charms kindling an instantaneous 
flame in his breast. 

On her part, Anne of Austria had remarked 
both Buckingham and the prince, and she was not 
unconscious of the ardent glance of admiration 
which the former had dared to fix upon her. But 
for this glance, which called the blood to her cheek, 
she might have drawn Richelieu's attention to the 
strangers, and inquired their names. 



154 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" How lovely the queen is," whispered Charles 
to his favourite. 

" She is perfection," rejoined Buckingham; " and 
if the Infanta Maria is only equally lovely, as I 
doubt not she must be, your highness will be the 
happiest of men." 

"Fair as the queen is, they say Louis is in- 
sensible to her charms, and neglects her for Ma- 
dame de Chevreuse," remarked Charles. "Look- 
ing on her, I cannot believe the scandal." 

"If she be so neglected," rejoined Buckingham, 
breathing hard, " his majesty merits the fate of a 
careless husband. But see ! who comes next ? One 
need not be told that it is the Princess Henriette 
Marie. Her beauty pales beside that of Anne of 
Austria." 

" Hum ! I am not sure of that," rejoined Charles. 
" They are different in style, but both are beau- 
tiful." 

The fair young princess, who was now led past 
them by the Due de Guise, was not yet fifteen, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 155 

and consequently her personal charms could not be 
fully developed. But there was the promise of 
extraordinary beauty about her; and her magni- 
ficent black eyes, luxuriant black tresses, dark 
glowing cheeks, coral lips, and pearly teeth, 
showed what her charms would be when arrived 
at maturity. Henriette Marie inherited all her 
mother's beauty, and, indeed, was so like her 
mother, that, at Florence, she might have passed 
for a daughter of the house of Medicis. 

As the princess moved gracefully along under 
the conduct, as we have said, of the Due de 
Guise, her eyes encountered those of Charles, 
which were fixed upon her. There was nothing 
to alarm her, as there had been in Buckingham's 
bold gaze at the queen, but there was something 
in the look that vibrated to her heart, and 
awakened an emotion such as she had never pre- 
viously experienced. A kind of fascination was 
exercised over her, and she could not withdraw 
her gaze from the dark handsome countenance 



156 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

that enthralled it. A strange presentiment crossed 
her, and seemed to announce that her future fate 
was in some way connected with the person she 
beheld. 

"That gentleman must be a stranger," she re- 
marked, in a low voice, to the Due de Guise. "I 
do not remember to have seen him before." 

" I know not who he is," replied the duke, re- 
garding Charles with surprise. "But I will in- 
quire anon, and inform you." 

Charles's eyes followed the princess as she glided 
gracefully along, and it would almost seem that 
she felt their influence, for she turned her head 
slightly, and bestowed a second glance upon 
him. 

" A merveille !" exclaimed Buckingham. " You 
have evidently created an interest in the bosom of 
the fair Henriette Marie, and if a corresponding 
impression has been produced upon your high- 
ness, we had better stay where we are, instead 
of prosecuting our journey to Madrid." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 157 

" Pshaw ! " exclaimed Charles. " The princess 
is very beautiful, I admit — very captivating — but 
I cannot swerve from my allegiance to the In- 
fanta. I begin to think we have run great hazard 
of [discovery in attending this banquet. Many 
inquiring looks have been fixed upon us." 

" Amongst others, those of the princess," replied 
Buckingham. " She has evidently been trying to 
ascertain who your highness may be, but I hope 
she will not learn the truth till we have left Paris, 
or there will be considerable risk of our detention. 
J£ she is as clever as she is beautiful, she will not 
let such a prize escape her. Heaven grant she 
display not too much interest in you to the Due 
de Montbazon, or he may counter-order the post- 
horses." 

" We were unwise to come here," observed 
Charles, gravely. 

" That I feel," replied Buckingham. " Having 
lost my heart to the lovely queen, I shall be tor- 
mented evermore with a hopeless passion. But 



158 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

being here, we must go through with it. Retreat 
is now impossible." 

Meanwhile the guests marched on. Next after 
the Princess Henriette Marie came her younger 
brother, Gaston de France, Due d'Orleans, con- 
ducting Mademoiselle de Montpensier, whom he 
subsequently espoused.. 

Monsieur, as the Due d'Orleans was styled, was 
presumptive heir to the throne, the king being as 
yet without issue by his union with Anne of 
Austria. Of an ambitious nature, and indisposed 
to wait the due course of events, Gaston was ever 
conspiring against his royal brother, but his de- 
signs were invariably baffled by the vigilance of 
Richelieu, who surrounded him with spies, and 
received intelligence of all his machinations. 

The Due d'Orleans was a prince of very noble 
presence, and looked more robust than the king, 
though his features were not so handsome as those 
of Louis XIII. He was his mother's favourite son, 
and as she would gladly have seen him on the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 159 

throne, slie secretly supported his schemes, and 
by so doing excited the suspicion of RicheUeu and 
the king. Into these intrigues, however, we need 
not enter, as they have no relation to our story. 
On the present occasion Gaston was splendidly 
attired, and made a very magnificent appearance. 
Aware that he secretly aspired to the throne, 
Charles and Buckingham regarded him with cu- 
riosity; but they sought in vain to read his cha- 
racter in his looks. He was a profound dissem- 
bler, and his visage was a mask to hide his 
thoughts. The Due d'Orleans and Mademoiselle 
de Montpensier were succeeded by a long train, 
comprising, as we have said, the most distin- 
guished personages of the court, but it was not 
till the whole of these had passed by that Charles 
and his companions fell into the line. A host of 
pages and valets, amongst whom came Chevilly, 
brought up the rear. 

"This flagrant violation of etiquette in your 
highness's case would drive Sir John Finett dis- 



160 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

tracted, if he were to hear of it. And the Due de 
Montbazon must be equally annoyed," remarked 
Graham to the prince. 

"It gives me not the slightest concern," rejoined 
Charles. " In reality, there is no violation of eti- 
quette whatever, since I am only known as Jack 
Smith." 

Passing through an ante-roora lined with at- 
tendants in rich liveries, the guests were ushered 
into the banqueting-hall — a noble apartment, 
with a ceiling painted with frescoes, and walls 
hung with tapestry, not of sombre hue and de- 
sign, but light and pleasing to the eye, represent- 
ing pastoral scenes and flowers. A flourish of 
trumpets was sounded as the royal party entered 
the banqueting- chamber. 

At the upper end of the table there was a dais, 
at which the queen-mother sat beneath a canopy 
of state, with the royal party on either side of 
her. These august personages were served only 
by nobles, who esteemed it a proud distinction to 
be so employed. 



THE SPANISH l^IATCH. 161 

In all respects the banquet was regal. The 
plate was superb, the meats of the choicest kind, 
the wines varied and exquisite. Officers were 
stationed at short intervals, and numberless at- 
tendants did their duty most efficiently. Though 
placed among the inferior guests, and at the lower 
end of the board, Charles and his companions were 
well satisfied with their position, inasmuch as they 
were free from observation themselves, and had a 
full view of the royal party at the upper table. 

Buckingham ate little, though tempted by many 
delicacies, but feasted his eyes on the charms of 
the queen, and Charles's gaze took the same direc- 
tion, though, sooth to say, he looked quite as 
much at the Princess Henriette IMarie as at Anne 
of Austria. Graham was by no means indifferent 
to the splendour of the scene, and looked frequently 
towards the dais, but he did not allow his curiosity 
to interfere with his enjoyment of the dainties set 
before him. 

Our three travellers sat together, with the prince 

VOL. I. H 



162 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

in the midst, and their haughty reserve and taci- 
turnity effectually isolated them from their neigh- 
bours, who regarded them with the dislike which 
Englishmen at all times have contrived to inspire 
among their Gallic neighbours. They were sedu- 
lously attended upon by Chevilly, who stood be- 
hind them during the repast. 

Though splendid and profuse, the banquet did 
not occupy much more than an hour. It was 
terminated by a marshal, who proclaimed in a 
loud voice from the dais that her majesty the 
queen-mother drank to her guests, whereupon all 
the company arose and bowed towards the upper 
table in acknowledgment of the honour done them. 
After this, the royal party retired — the ceremonies 
observed at their departure being similar to those 
which had marked their entrance. The guests 
followed in the same order as before, and returned 
to the grand saloon. 

On entering this room, Charles and Buckingham 
looked in vain for Anne of Austria and the young 



. THE SPANISH MATCH. 163 

princess. They had already set out for the Louvre 
to prepare for the ballet, and the king and the rest 
of the royal party speedily followed them. 

Marie de Medicis, however, felt constrained to 
stay with her guests, and it was at this juncture 
that the Due de Montbazon, who had not hitherto 
found an opportunity of addressing the prince 
and his companions, approached them, and stated, 
with a significant smile, that her majesty the 
queen-mother had commanded him to present them 
to her. 

" Her majesty has remarked [your presence, 
prince," he added, in a low voice, " and has made 
particular inquiries about your highness and my 
Lord of Buckingham. I told her you were the 
Messieurs Smith, but she would not be satisfied 
with that description — neither would the queen 
nor the Princess Henriette Marie. So I was com- 
pelled to avow the truth to them, and disclose your 
real rank." 

"How, M. le Due?" exclaimed Charles, with 
M 2 



164 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

a look of displeasure. " You promised to preserve 
my secret." 

" It is perfectly safe with these royal ladies, 
prince," rejoined Montbazon. " In fact, no option 
was left me. Had I not confessed, discovery must 
infallibly have ensued. Now you are safe. It is 
not strange that you have escaped the king's 
notice, for his majesty rarely troubles himself about 
strangers, but it is lucky that Cardinal Richelieu 
did not remark you." 

"Under these circumstances, M. le Due, will it 
be prudent to proceed to the Louvre?" said 
Charles. 

"I see no danger whatever, your highness," re- 
turned Montbazon ; " and I may be permitted to 
add, that the queen and the Princess Henriette 
Marie will be greatly disappointed if you are not 
present at the ballet. I told them of the ardent 
desire you had evinced to behold it." 

" It would be inconsistent with your highness's 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 165 

chivalrous character to retire now," observed Buck- 
ingham. 

"After what the Due de Montbazon has just 
said, I should never dream of retiring," rejoined 
Charles. 

" I^ am dehghted to hear it," said Montbazon. 
"Chevilly shall place masks in the carriage, and 
you can wear them in the ball-room, so there will 
be small chance of discovery. But now allow me 
to conduct you to her majesty." 

Marie de Medicis was seated on a fauteuil, 
surrounded by a number of lords and ladies, but 
as Montbazon approached, she motioned her en- 
tourage to withdraw, and most graciously received 
the prince and his companions on their presenta- 
tion. 

"I was little aware whom I had the honour 
of entertaining, prince," she observed to Charles; 
" but I need not say how much indebted I am to 
the Due de Montbazon for enabling me to exercise 



166 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

some slight hospitality towards your highness and 
the Marquis of Buckingham. I am sorry your stay 
in Paris is so short, but I presume there is more 
attraction in Madrid, whither I understand you are 
going." 

" I have found Paris so charming, that I greatly 
regret leaving it, madame," replied Charles. " And 
my regrets will not be diminished by the glimpse 
I have been permitted to enjoy of your brilliant 
court.'* 

"It is your own fault, prince, that you are re- 
stricted to a mere glimpse," rejoined Marie de 
Medicis. " Can I not offer you sufficient tempta- 
tion to remain here? — if but for a week. Will 
you not delay your journey to Madrid for that 
time?" 

" Impossible, madame," replied Charles. " Feel- 
ing I can place confidence in your majesty, I will 
at once own that secresy and despatch are indis- 
pensable to the success of the expedition I have 
undertaken. I ought not to be here this evening, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 167 

but I could not resist the desire to behold your 
court, and the Due de Montbazon kindly consented 
to gratify me." 

"Montbazon did well," rejoined Marie de Me- 
dicis. " Since you are resolved to go, prince, I 
shall not press you further. Doubtless you are en- 
gaged on some romantic enterprise," she added, 
with a smile; "and I would not, on any account, 
interfere with it. You are said to be the most 
chivalrous prince in Europe, and the hazardous 
journey you have undertaken proves you deserve 
the title. What shall I say of you, my Lord of 
Buckingham, except that you are a worthy com- 
panion of the prince ? " 

"I am afraid your majesty will look upon us 
as two crazy knight-errants," rejoined Bucking- 
ham. " Since I have had the honour to be your 
guest, I have been so enchanted with what I have 
seen, that I begin to view our expedition in a dif- 
ferent light, and should not be sorry if you could 
induce his highness to forego it." 



168 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"I fear the attempt would be fruitless," said 
Marie de Medicis; "but perhaps the prince may 
change his mind before the end of the evening. 
I am now going to the Louvre, and shall expect to 
see you there at the ballet. Au revoir." 

On this, Charles and his companions retired, and 
the queen-mother arising, with a gracious saluta- 
tion to those around her quitted the apartment, 
attended by her ladies of honour and by the Due 
de Montbazon, and entered her carriage. 

Her guests followed her example, and in less 
than an hour the whole of the company were trans- 
ferred from the palace of the Luxembourg to that 
of the Louvre. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 169 



XII. 

HOW JACK AND TOM WITNESSED A GRAND BALLET AT THE 
LOUVRE ; AND HOW TOM DANCED A SARABAND WITH ANNE 
OF AUSTRIA, AND JACK DANCED THE PAVANE WITH THE 
PRINCESS HENRIETTE MARIE. 

Accustomed as they were to pomp and splen- 
dour, and familiar with every possible display of 
regal magnificence, it was not without admiration 
almost amounting to wonder that Charles and his 
companions passed through the gorgeous halls of 
the Louvre, now brilliantly illuminated, and filled 
with richly-attired guests. 

On this occasion the superb suite of apartments, 
surpassing in size and splendour those of any other 



170 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

palace, were thrown open, and at no time had a 
more numerous or a more distinguished assemblage 
been collected within them. All that the court of 
France, then the most elegant and refined as well 
as the most aristocratic in Europe, could boast in 
the way of nobility and high birth, was present. 
The chief beauties and the most accomplished gal- 
lants belonging to a court maintained by a young 
king and a lovely queen were at the Louvre that 
night, and Charles and Buckingham were free to 
admit that they had never seen so many charming 
dames and noble-looking cavaliers as were now 
met together. Something of this effect might be 
owing to the gorgeous dresses, and Buckingham 
more than ever regretted the want of his own 
splendid habiliments and diamonds. 

Moving on with the glittering stream, Charles 
and his companions passed through many gorgeous 
rooms, until they reached a noble hall called the 
" Salle Neuve de la Keine." At the doors of this 
grand saloon, in which the ballet was about to 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 171 

take place, numerous gentlemen ushers and pages 
were stationed, and before entering it the prince 
and his companions put on their masks. 

Anne of Austria, like most of her country- 
women, was passionately fond of dancing, and 
excelled in the art, and the king, though caring 
little for the amusement, was willing to gratify her 
tastes. Balls and masquerades, therefore, were of 
frequent occurrence at the Louvre, greatly to the 
delight of the younger members of the court. 

The Salle Neuve de la Heine, in which these 
entertainments usually took place, was a spacious 
and lofty apartment, admirably adapted to the pur- 
pose, as it allowed ample space for the movements 
of a vast number of couples. The panels were 
covered with sky-blue satin, and the numerous 
mirrors were festooned with flowers. At one side 
there was an orchestra, filled by the best musicians 
from the Grand Opera. Viewed from the doors 
by which the company entered, this splendid 
saloon presented the most charming coup d'ceil 



172 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

imaginable. The atmospliere was loaded with 
perfumes, which almost intoxicated the senses. 
At the upper end of the room was a canopy, 
beneath which, on raised fauteuils, sat Marie de 
Medicis, Anne of Austria, and the Princess Hen- 
riette Marie, surrounded by a bevy of court 
dames, but neither the king nor Monsieur, nor 
any other grand seigneur, except the Due de 
Montbazon, stood near them. 

Just as Charles and his companions entered the 
saloon, the grand allegorical ballet was about to 
commence. A lively prelude was played by the 
orchestra, and, at its close, the side-doors com- 
municating with another apartment flew open, and 
a band of Olympian divinities, attended by min- 
strels clashing cymbals, and playing on the lyre 
and the lute, swept into the hall, and taking up a 
position in its centre, proceeded to execute a classic 
dance. Personated by some of the loveliest dames 
and damsels of the court, and robed in gauzy 
drapery that displayed their symmetry of limb to 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 173 

perfection, these goddesses ravished the hearts of 
the beholders, and Juno, Pallas, and Venus looked 
so lovely, that Buckingham declared he should be 
as much puzzled as Paris himself if called upon 
to decide which was the fairest. 

Besides the principal dancers, there was a nume- 
rous corps de ballet, composed of nymphs, shep- 
herds, and fauns, and this troop mingled with the 
dance at intervals, and heightened its effect. The 
grace and beauty of the performers in the ballet 
would have sufficed to ensure its success; but it 
was admirably contrived, and presented a series of 
exquisite classical pictures. The group with which 
the dance closed was charmingly conceived, and 
formed so enchanting a picture, thdt the spectators 
were transported with delight, and could scarcely 
repress their enthusiasm. As it was, a murmur of 
admiration pervaded the assemblage. 

When this charming picture was broken up, 
Juno, accompanied by the two other goddesses, 
stepped towards the seats occupied by Marie de 



174 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Medicis and Anne of Austria, and bending before 
their majesties, thus addressed them: 

Je ne suis plus cette Junon 
Pleine de gloire et de renom ; 
Pour deux grandes princesses 
Je perds ma royaute : 
L'une a fait le plus grand des rois ; 
L'autre le tient dessous ses lois ; 
Pour vous, grandes princesses, 
Je perds ma royaute. 

This complimentary address was most graciously 
received by both queens, and obtained a flattering 
response from Marie de Medicis. 

Venus then presented a golden apple to Hen- 
riette Marie, and Pallas laid her spear and shield 
at the princess's feet. This done, the Olympian 
troop retired, and shortly afterwards the three 
royal ladies arose and retired to an ante-chamber. 

Presently, the orchestra again struck up, and 
the ball commenced with a coranto, in which a 
vast number of couples took part. Then followed 
a bransle, and while this was going on, the Due 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 175 

de Montbazon made his way to Charles and his 
companions, and besought them to follow him. 

As soon as they were out of the crowd, Mont- 
bazon said to the prince, ^' The queen is about to 
dance a saraband with the Princess Henriette Marie, 
the Comtesse de la Torre, and the Comtesse Mon- 
teleone, and it is her majesty's desire that your 
highness and my lord of Buckingham take part in 
the dance." 

" I am fully sensible of the honour intended me, 
M. le Due," replied Charles, " but I must pray you 
to make my excuses to the queen." 

"I dare not deliver such an answer, prince," 
rejoined Montbazon. "Her majesty is not accus- 
tomed to refusal. I must entreat you to make 
your excuses in person. Do you, my lord," he 
added to Buckingham, "decline the proffered 
honour?" 

^' Decline it ! Heaven forbid ! " exclaimed Buck- 
ingham. " I am entirely at her majesty's disposal 
— in this as in all other matters." 



176 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Montbazon then conducted Charles and his com- 
panions to the ante-room, whither the two queens 
had retired. Here they found Marie de Medicis, 
with four ladies attired in magnificent Spanish 
dresses, each of different coloured silk, but all 
richly embroidered with fringes of gold, and orna- 
mented with knots of ribands. Though these 
ladies were masked, it was not difficult to distin- 
guish in two of them the queen and the princess. 

Anne of Austria wore a yellow satin basquina, 
which suited her exquisite figure to perfection, and 
Henriette Marie was attired in a blush-coloured 
dress of the same material and make, which be- 
came her equally well. The Comtesse de Torre 
and the Comtesse Monteleone were dressed respec- 
tively in white and blue. 

On entering the room, Montbazon advanced to 
the queen and said a few words to her, on hear- 
ing which she manifested her disappointment by 
a slight impatient gesture, but desired him to 
bring forward the prince and his companions. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 177 

This was done, and they were presented, but 
under what designations Charles did not hear. 

" The Due de Montbazon tells me, prince," 
said Anne of Austria, in a slight tone of pique, 
" that you are unwilling to dance with me." 

" Not unwilling, madame," replied Charles, 
" but unable. I do not dance the saraband." 

"It is the easiest dance imaginable," said the 
queen. " I wish you would try it." 

"I dare not, madame," returned Charles. "I 
should only be an embarrassment to your majesty, 
and incur the ridicule of the company." 

" Have courage and make the attempt, prince," 
cried Henriette Marie. "We will take care you 
shall make no mistake." 

" Even with this encouragement I will not 
venture," returned Charles. "I shall not rise in 
your opinion if I confess that I care little for lively 
figures, and confine myself to the pavane and paz- 
zameno." 

YOL. I. N 



178 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" The pavane is my favourite dance," cried the 
princess. 

" Were it given, I would ask to be your partner," 
said Charles, gallantly. 

"The princess will be charmed to dance with 
you," said Marie de Medicis, answering for her 
daughter. "After the saraband we will have a 
pavane." 

"The Due de Montbazon tells me you are 
going to Spain, prince," said Anne of Austria to 
Charles. "You ought, therefore, to learn our 
national dances." 

" I will practise them at Madrid," returned the 
prince. " But though I am unskilled in the sara- 
band, the Marquis of Buckingham is not. May I 
offer him as my substitute in the dance?" 

" I have heard that my Lord of Buckingham is 
the most graceful dancer in Europe," remarked the 
queen. " I am curious to know whether the report 
is correct." 

"I am sorry your majesty's expectations have 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 179 

been so highly raised, as I shall probably disappoint 
them," rejoined Buckingham. 

" I have a passion for dancing — and of all dances 
those of Spain delight me most. But I have never 
yet found a partner who could dance the saraband 
mth me." 

" Perhaps you will make the same complaint of 
me to-morrowj" returned the queen. 

" Impossible, madame," said Buckingham. 
" There is much more likelihood that I shall sink 
in your opinion." 

^' At all events, I promise to be lenient to your 
faults," 'rejoined Anne of Austria, smiling. 

At this moment two young Spanish noblemen 
entered the room, and, on beholding them, the 
queen exclaimed that the party was complete, and 
calling for castanets, which were handed to all those 
about to dance the saraband, bade the Due de 
Montbazon order the band to strike up. The order 
was promptly obeyed, and while inspiriting strains 
animated the ^vhole assemblage, the four couples 
n2 



180 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

issued from the ante-room into the grand saloon. ^ 
Graham had the distinguished honour of leading 
out the Princess Henriette Marie. All were masked, 
but as it was generally known that the queen and 
the princess were the chief dancers, great cu- 
riosity was excited. 

In another moment the dancers had taken up 
their position, and as they threw themselves into 
a graceful preliminary attitude, every eye was fixed 
upon them. Nothing could be more exquisite than 
the posture assumed by the queen; it was beau- 
tiful, disdainful, and full of witchery. In another 
moment the merry rattle of castanets was heard, 
and the dance began. 

Every movement of Anne of Austria was marked 
by the same grace that distinguished her in repose, 
and each turn of the dance served to reveal fresh 
beauties. Alternately she appeared to be excited 
by coquetry, agitated by gentle emotions of love, 
stirred by jealousy, and inflamed by rage. All 
these emotions were admirably portrayed, while the 



TBDE SPAKISH MATCH. 181 

most difficult steps were executed 'with consummate 
ease and grace, and with inconceivable rapidity. 

Buckingham well sustained his character as the 
best dancer of his day. So much grace and agility 
had never before been displayed in that hall by any 
devotee of Terpsichore. 

If the Princess Henriette Marie did not display 
the fire and passion exhibited by the queen, or 
possess in so high a degree as her majesty the 
poetry of motion, she acquitted herself charm- 
ingly, and delighted Charles, who watched her 
movements with admiration. 

While the saraband was proceeding, the king 
entered the saloon, and his attention being drawn 
to Buckingham, he inquired who he was, and not 
being able to obtain the information from those 
around him, sent for the Due de Montbazon. 

"Who is the queen's partner?" demanded Louis, 
as the duke came up. 

" An English nobleman, sire," rephed Mont- 
bazon, without hesitation. 



182 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"An Englisli nobleman!" exclaimed the king, 
surprised. " I concluded he was a Spaniard. He 
dances like a hidalgo. His name — and title?" 

"I find it impossible to pronounce his name, 
sire, so you must excuse my attempting it, but he 
is a person of high rank." 

" You are quite sure he is an Englishman, M. le 
Due? He has not the air of one." 

^•I am quite sure of it, sire. There are two 
other Englishmen of rank in the ball-room — one 
of whom is dancing with the Princess Henriette 
Marie. They are merely passing through Paris on 
their way to Madrid, so I have not presented them 
to your majesty." 

" Did I not deem it impossible, I should say 
that the person dancing with the queen must be 
the Marquis of Buckingham," observed the Comte 
d'Auvergne. 

" Perhaps it is Buckingham," cried the Due de 
Luynes. 

" Bah ! " exclaimed Louis. " The notion is ab- 



THE SPA^'ISH INIATCH. 183 

surd. You miojht as well assert the Prince of 
"Wales is in the room." 

"Just as well, sire, — one assertion is as likely as 
the other," said Montbazon. And anxious to avoid 
further explanation, he craved leave to withdraw. 

By this time the saraband had concluded, and 
the dancers returned to the ante-room. 

Anne of Austria seated herself on a fauteuil, 
but did not dismiss Buckingham, who remained 
standing near her. Charles also had re-entered 
the room and approached the Princess Henriette 
]\Iarie, who had taken a seat beside the queen- 
mother. 

^•You must be too much fatigued with your 
exertions to go through the pavane, princess," he 
observed. 

" Dancing never fatigues me," she replied. " It 
is the pleasantest exercise one can take. I prefer 
it to hawking and hunting." 

^'' I have ever preferred the tilt-yard to the ball- 
room" returned Charles; "but were I to remain 



184 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

long at this court my tastes would certainly undergo 
a change." 

"You flatter me by saying so, prince. But I 
do not entirely believe you." 

*^Nay, it is truth," said Charles, gallantly. 

"Here comes the Due de Montbazon to an- 
nounce that the pavane is about to begin," ob- 
served Marie de Medicis to her daughter, " Are 
you ready ? " 

" Quite," replied Henriette Marie. " I need no 
further repose." 

And rising at the same time, she gave her hand 
to Charles, who led her into the saloon. 

The appearance of the princess served as a signal 
to the orchestra, and the other couples being already 
placed, the dance at once commenced. 

The stately character of the pavane, all the 
movements of which were slow and dignified, 
displayed Charles's majestic deportment to the ut- 
most advantage, and he excited quite as much 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 185 

admiration as Buckingham had just done in the 
sparkling saraband. 

That two such stars, each so brilliant, though 
differing in splendour, should appear at the same 
time, was sufficient to cause excitement, and ge- 
neral inquiries began to be made as to who the 
distinguished strangers could be. But though many 
conjectures were hazarded, all were wide of the 
mark. 

In Henriette Marie the prince found a partner 
every way worthy of him. If she did not rival 
him in dignity, she equalled him in grace, and 
Charles himself, who had been struck by the viva- 
city exhibited by the princess in the previous dance, 
was surprised by the stateliness she now displayed. 



186 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



XIII. 

HOW TOM FELL DESPERATELY IN LOVE. 

Meantime, Buckingham remained in the ante- 
room, standing beside Anne of Austria, whose 
charms had already inspired him with a passion so 
violent, that he would have sacrificed the expedi- 
tion on which he was bent, and the prince whom 
he attended, to obtain one favouring smile from 
her. Such was his overweening vanity, such the 
confidence he felt in his own irresistible powers of 
fascination, that he persuaded himself that the 
queen was not insensible to his admiration. 

Careless of any consequences that might ensue 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 187 

should he be recognised, he had removed his mask. 
His looks breathed passion, and to every light 
word he uttered he sought to convey tender signi- 
ficance. Whether from coquetry, or that Buck- 
ingham's admiration was not disagreeable to her, 
certain it is that the queen did not reprove his 
audacity; and thus emboldened, he well-nigh for- 
got that many curious eyes were watching him, 
many ears listening to catch his words. 

" And so you depart to-morrow for Madrid, my 
lord?" said the queen. 

" Tlie prince has so arranged it, madame," re- 
turned Buckingham, "but at a word from you, I 
stay." 

"Nay, I cannot detain you," she rejoined. 
"Would I were going thither myself!" she added, 
with a sigh. " But I shall never more behold the 
city I love so well — never more set foot in the 
palace where the happiest hours of my life were 
spent." 

"You surprise me, madame," cried Bucking- 



188 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

ham. " Is it possible that, occupying your' present 
splendid position as sovereign mistress of this bril- 
liant court, you can have any regrets for the 
past?" 

'^Splendour of position is not everything, my 
lordj" returned Anne of Austria. " I was happier 
as the Infanta than I am as Queen of France." 
Then feeling she had said too much, she added, 
" To you, my lord, I will venture to utter what I 
would confide to few others. My heart is in Spain 
— I am still a stranger here, and shall ever continue 
so. When you see my sister, the Infanta Maria, 
repeat my words to her." 

"I will do whatever your majesty enjoins, 
though your regrets for Spain may make the In- 
fanta loth to quit her native land." 

" Ah ! but your prince will reconcile her to the 
step — I am sure of it. I can read loyalty and 
devotion in his noble features. Where Charles 
Stuart gives his hand he will give his whole 
heart." 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 189 

" You are an excellent physiognomist, madame," 
said Buckingham. "You have read the prince's 
character aright." 

" Then my sister will be truly fortunate if she 
wins him. You say I am a good physiognomist, 
my lord, but your opinion will alter, I fear, when 
I declare that I see inconstancy written in your 
features as plainly as fidelity is stamped on those 
of the Prince of Wales." 

" There your majesty is undoubtedly in error," 
returned Buckingham. " What you say may be 
true of the past, because till now my heart has 
never been touched. But the impression it has 
this night received is indelible as it is vivid." 

And he threw a passionate glance at the queen, 
who cast down her eyes. 

"Has not your majesty some slight token of 
regard that I may convey to the Infanta ?" he 
inquired. "It would make me more welcome to 
her." 

"I have nothing to send," replied the queen. 



190 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

^^ Had I known you were going to Madrid before- 
hand, I might have^been prepared. Stay, take 
this," she added, giving him a small, richly-chased 
vinaigrette, at which she had just breathed. 

Buckingham took it rapturously. 

"My sister will recollect it, and will know it 
comes from me," said Anne of Austria. 

"I may not keep it, then?" rejoined Bucking- 
ham, imploringly. "'Twill be hard to part with 
it." 

"I do not insist upon your delivering it," re- 
turned the queen. " But such a trifle is not worth 
keeping." 

Buckingham's looks showed that he thought far 
otherwise. 

Here it was well that this brief but dangerous 
interview was terminated by the return of Charles 
and Henriette Marie. 

It was not without a severe pang that Bucking- 
ham tore himself away from one who had gained 
such a sudden and complete ascendancy over him. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 191 

Fickle he had ever hitherto been in aflfairs of the 
heart, but he now submitted to the force of a 
great and overpowering passion. Nor could he 
liberate himself from it. Anne of Austria ever 
afterwards remained sovereign mistress of his 
heart, and his insane passion for her led him to 
commit acts of inconceivable folly. 

Charles, as we have said, had returned with his 
fair partner to the ante-chamber, and on seeing 
them the queen signed to Henriette Marie to take 
a seat beside her. The princess obeyed, and as 
she sat down it was easy to perceive from her 
looks that she had enjoyed the dance, and Anne 
was making a remark to that effect, when the Due 
de Montbazon came suddenly into the room, and 
made his way without ceremony to Charles, who 
was standing with Buckingham near the queen. 

"What is the matter, M. le Due?" cried Anne 
of Austria, seeing, from his manner, that something 
was wrong. 

"The prince and his attendants must quit the 



192 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Louvre immediately," returned Montbazon. " The 
king has been struck by their appearance, and has 
been making inquiries about them, but has failed 
in obtaining any precise information. Unluckily, 
my son, the Comte de Rochefort, who has been in 
England, has made a guess not far wide of the 
truth, and his majesty's suspicions having become 
aroused, he will not rest till they are satisfied. 
Under these circumstances," he added, turning to 
Charles, " your highness's wisest course will be to 
depart at once." 

^' Where is the king?" demanded Anne of 
Austria, uneasily. 

"Madame, he is in the ball-room at this mo- 
ment," replied Montbazon; "but he is certain to 
come hither before long, and if he finds the prince 
and my Lord of Buckingham with your majesty, it 
will be impossible to prevent a discovery; and 
then I much fear the meditated journey to Ma- 
drid will have to be postponed." 

" That must not be," cried the queen. " Fly, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 193 

prince," she added to Charles. ^^ Stand upon no 
ceremony, but begone. Adieu, my lord," she said 
to Buckingham ; " forget not my message to my 
sister." 

And as he bent before her she extended her 
hand to him, and he fervently pressed it to his 
lips. 

"Adieu, princess," said Charles to Henriette 
Marie; "I had hoped to dance the pazzameno 
with you, but that is now impossible." 

" So it seems," replied Henriette Marie. " I am 
almost selfish enough to desire you might be de- 
tained. But since you must go, I wish you a safe 
and pleasant journey to Madrid. Adieu, prince." 

Charles then made a profound obeisance to 
Marie de ^ledicis, as did Buckingham and Gra- 
ham, the latter having emerged from an embra- 
sure, where he had been chatting with the Cora- 
tesse de la Torre. All three then quitted the room, 
and one of them, as we are aware, left his heart 
behind him. By the advice of the Due de Mont- 

YOL. I. 



194 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

bazon, they kept on the right of the grand saloon, 
and so avoided the king, who was on the other side 
of the hall. 

Ever self-possessed, Charles manifested no undue 
haste, but moved majestically through the long 
suite of apartments which he had previously tra- 
versed. 

Among the pages and attendants collected in the 
grand corridor was Cheviliy, and on seeing the 
prince and his companions, and finding they desired 
to depart, he conducted them to the vestibule, 
where he left them while he summoned their car- 
riage. 

In a few minutes he reappeared, ushered them to 
the coach, and, posted on the marche-pied as before, 
attended them to their hotel. On dismissing him, 
the prince rewarded him with a dozen pistoles. 

It was fortunate for the success of Charles's pro- 
ject that he did not delay his departure. He had 
not quitted the ante-room many minutes when the 
king entered it. His majesty's countenance ap- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 195 

peared disturbed, and he glanced inquisitively 
round the room. 

"Where are those Englishmen?" he said ab- 
ruptly to the queen. " I was told they were here." 

" They are gone, sire/' replied Anne. " I am 
sorry for it. They dance remarkably well. Don't 
you think so, sire?" 

"I scarcely noticed their dancing," rejoined 
Louis, sharply. " But I want to know who they 
are." 

"You must apply to the Due de Montbazon 
then, sire," said the queen. " They are English 
noblemen, that is all I can tell you." 

" Their rank is undoubted, sire," remarked 
Marie de Medicis. " You may take my assurance 
for that." 

"You know them, madame?" cried Louis. 

"I do," she replied. "But I am not at liberty 
to disclose tlieir names to-nisjht. To-morrow I will 
tell you who they are. Suspend your curiosity till 
then." 

o2 



19^ THE SPANISH MATCH. 

With this the king was obHged to be content, 
and soon afterwards returned to the ball-room, but 
in no very good humour. 

Before retiring to rest, Charles wrote a long 
letter to his august father, describing his journey 
to Paris, and detailing all that had befallen him 
since his arrival in the French capital. Besides 
recording his impressions of the principal per- 
sonages he had seen at the Luxembourg and the 
Louvre, Charles spoke in rapturous terms of the 
beauty of Anne of Austria, but he did not praise 
the Princess Henriette Marie as highly as she 
deserved. To have said all he thought of her, 
might have appeared like disloyalty to the Infanta. 
Buckingham at the same time indited a humorous 
epistle to his dear dad and gossip. 

As soon as these despatches were completed 
they were consigned to a courier who was waiting 
for them, and who started, without a moment's 
delay, for Calais. 

"Henriette Marie is very charming," thought 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 197 

Charles, as he sought his couch. "I cannot get 
her out of my head." 

"Anne of Austria is the loveliest creature on 
earth," cried Buckingham, as he paced to and fro 
within his chamber, thinking over the events of 
the evening. " I am in despair at quitting Paris. 
Yet I must go." 



198 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



XIV. 

IN WHAT MANNEU JACK AND TOM LEFT PAllIS, AND OF THE 
ADVENTUKE THEY MET TTITH IN THE FOREST OF OR- 
LEANS. 

Next morning, at a very early hour, Charles 
was aroused from his slumbers by Cottmgtonj who 
entered the prince's chamber with a light. 

"Is it time to arise, Cottlngton?" demanded 
Charles, drowsily. 

" Your highness can rest as long as you please," 
replied the other. " Since midnight, an order has 
been sent by the king to all postmasters, prohibit- 
ing them to supply us with horses. It will be 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 199 

impossible, tlierefore, for your highness to leave 
Paris." 

"But I will not be stayed!" cried Charles, start- 
ing up in his couch. " I will buy horses if I can- 
not hire them. See to it, Cottington — see to it." 

"Permit me to observe to your highness that 
horses are not to be bought at this untimely hour, 
and, before we can procure them, in all probability 
a further order will be issued by the king inter- 
dicting your departure from Paris." 

"Call my lord of Buckingham, and bid him 
come to me instantly," cried Charles. 

But before the order could be obeyed, Graham 
burst into the chamber, exclaiming : " Good news ! 
good news ! your highness will be able to start for 
Madrid after all, jM. Chevilly is without, and says 
he can remove the new difficulty that has arisen." 

" That is good news indeed, Dick ! " cried 
Charles. " Let him come in. Good-morrow, 
Chevilly," he added, as the valet made his ap- 
pearance. "What can you do for us?" 



200 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I can help your highness to leave Paris," re- 
plied Chevilly. "The duke my master has sent 
you horses. They are the best in his stables, and 
will carry you twenty or thirty leagues with ease. 
A piqueur and two palefreniers will go with you 
to bring them back. If I may presume to do so, 
I w^ould respectfully counsel your highness to start 
as speedily as may be, for fear of further interrup- 
tion." 

" Your counsel is good, Chevilly, and shall not 
be neglected," returned Charles. " Let all prepare 
for immediate departure." 

On this the chamber was cleared, and Charles, 
springing from his couch, proceeded to attire him- 
self for the journey. 

Meantime, under the careful surveillance of 
Chevilly, the superb steeds, sent for the use of the 
prince and his attendants by the considerate Due 
de Montbazon, were saddled and bridled by the 
palefreniers, who next proceeded to secure the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 201 

pack-saddles, containing the baggage, on tlieir own 
hackneys. 

In less than half an hour all necessary prepara- 
tions were completed, and shortly afterwards 
Charles and Buckingham, accoutred in their new 
riding-dresses, boots, and broad-leaved hats, entered 
the salle a manger, where the rest of the party 
were assembled. Such was the prince's impatience 
to be gone, that he declined to partake of the 
breakfast that had been prepared for him, and 
thrusting a pair of pistols into his belt, and throw- 
ing a cartouche-belt over his shoulder, called out, 
" To horse, gentlemen, to horse ! " 

Marshalled by the host, whose account had 
already been discharged by Endymion Porter, the 
whole party repaired to the court-yard, where the 
steeds were impatiently pawing the ground. 
Charles selected a powerful black charger for his 
own use, and Buckingham made choice of a mag- 
nificent grey. 



202 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I trust the duke your master will not incur his 
majesty's displeasure by the service he has rendered 
me," said Charles to Chevilly, as the latter held 
his stirrup. 

" My master promised the queen that your high- 
ness's departure should not be prevented — and he 
has kept his word," replied the valet. 

" Fail not to make my best acknowledgments 
to him," said Charles, bestowing a handful of pis- 
toles on Clievilly as he vaulted into the saddle. 
"Farewell, friend." 

In another minute, the whole party being 
mounted, the gates of the hotel were thrown open, 
and the cavalcade issued forth into the Rue de 
Bourbon, preceded by the piqueur. 

But for this avant garde, w4io answered all ques- 
tions satisfactorily, they must have been stopped 
by the watch. Having traversed the Rue Jacob, 
the Rue Colombier, and several other sombre 
streets, they skirted the high walls surrounding 
the close of the great convent of Carthusians, and 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 203 

at last reached the Barrlere d'Enfer, where they 
were detained for a short time, as the gate was 
not yet opened, and the warder refused to let them 
pass, but on the production by the piqueur of an 
order from the Due de Montbazon, the obstacle 
was removed, and they were allowed to proceed on 
their journey. 

No sooner were they clear of the Faubourg 
Saint Jacques, than, setting spurs to their steeds, 
they galloped along the high road to Orleans, 
passing without halt, or slackening of pace, through 
Bourg la Reine, Sceaux, and Berny, and never 
pausing till they reached Longjumeau, where they 
pulled up for a few minutes at a cabaret to re- 
fresh their horses and drink a cup of wine. 

The arrival of the cavalcade in the little town 
at this early hour in the morning — it was then 
only seven o'clock — created quite a sensation, and 
many of the inhabitants flocked towards the ca- 
baret to look at them. All knew, from their 
horses and attendants, that they must be persons 



204 THE SPANISH IHATCH. 

of rank, but the piqueur, thougli questioned by 
the aubergiste and the gargons decurie, would give 
no information, except that they were English 
noblemen. 

Neither Charles nor Buckingham dismounted, 
and their distinguished appearance pointed them 
out as the chief personages of the troop. After 
they had drunk a flagon of Anjou wine, which 
was handed them by the hotelier, Charles ex- 
claimed, 

"What ails you, Tom? You have not uttered 
a word since we left Paris. I never knew you 
so silent before." 

" I have been thinking of that divine queen," 
responded Buckingham. "But you have been 
equally silent, Jack. I suspect, from your pensive 
air, that your thoughts have been occupied by the 
charming princess. Am I not right?" 

" Her image will recur to me, I own," rejoined 
Charles. " But henceforward I shall banish it, and 
think only of the Infanta. But we have stayed 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 205 

here long enougli. Allons, messieurs!" he cried 
to his attendants. 

At the words, Cottington and the two others, 
who were standing at the door of the cabaret 
talking to the host, instantly mounted their steeds, 
the palefreniers followed their example, and the 
piqueur, taking off his cap to Charles, rode on 
in advance. The whole party then set off at a 
gallop, and were soon out of sight. 

On, on they went, flying like the wind past the 
old chateau of Mont-Lhery, perched on its rocky 
heights, and traversing a pleasant country, erst 
dyed with Burgundian blood, clearing league after 
league without fatigue to themselves, and appa- 
rently without fatigue to their gallant coursers, 
until they reached Arpajan. 

After a brief halt they again set forward, speed- 
ing on swiftly as before, devouring the distance 
that lay between the pretty little town they had 
just quitted and Etrecy. 

By this time both Charles and Buckingham, 



206 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

having quite recovered their spirits, laughed and 
chatted merrily. Everything contributed to make 
their journey agreeable — a fine day, and a charm- 
ing country, presenting a succession of lovely land- 
scapes. 

How rapidly and easily we get on," cried Charles. 
" These admirable horses will spoil us for the rest 
of the journey. It is a pity we shall lose them at 
Etampes." 

^^I see no reason for that," rejoined Bucking- 
ham. "With an hour's rest they will carry us 
several leagues farther. If they should be harmed, 
which is not likely, we will replace them by 
horses from England." 

On arriving at Etampes, Charles consulted the 
piqueur, who said : 

" Monseigneur, with an hour's rest here, and 
another hour at Artenay, the horses will carry you 
very well to Orleans." 

"But that is more than the duke your master 
bargained for, my good friend," said Charles. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 207 

"Pardon, monseigneur. My master has placed 
the horses entirely at your disposal," rejoined the 
piqueur. " Do as you please with them." 

" Then you shall go on with us to Orleans," said 
Charles. " We will not part with the horses a 
league sooner than necessary." 

After the lapse of an hour, during which the 
horses had been well cared for, and their riders 
recruited by a plentiful repast and several flasks of 
excellent wine, the whole party got once more 
into the saddle, and were soon scouring across the 
broad and fertile plains of La Beauce, in the direc- 
tion of Montdesir. Acting on the piqueur's sug- 
gestions, Charles and his companions made another 
halt at Artenay, and then set forward again. 

Night was now rapidly approaching, and it soon 
became quite dark. Moreover, just as they entered 
the Forest of Orleans — a vast woody region of some 
leagues in extent, which lay between them and 
that city — a heavy thunderstorm came on, accom- 
panied by torrents of rain. No place of shelter 



208 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

being near, there was nothing for it but to brave 
the storm, so, wrapping their cloaks around them, 
they went on. Peal after peal of thunder rattled 
overhead, and the flashes of lightning were almost 
blinding. Still the piqueur rode gallantly on, and 
the cavalcade followed him. 

Despite the personal inconvenience he endured, 
the storm excited Charles's admiration. One mo- 
ment all was buried in obscurity; the next, the 
whole thicket seemed in a blaze. Thus shown by 
the vivid flashes, the trees looked so weird and 
fantastic, that it almost seemed to the prince as if 
he was riding through an enchanted forest. For 
some time the cavalcade, headed by the piqueur, 
went on without interruption, but at last the broken 
state of the ground compelled them to proceed with 
caution. 

Suddenly the piqueur came to a stop, and owned 
that he had missed his way. But he felt certain, 
he said, that he could soon regain it. A consulta- 
tion was then held as to the best course to be pur- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 209 

sued under the circumstances. Buckingham and 
some of the others were for turning back, but 
Charles, believing the piqueur could get them out 
of the difficulty, determined to go on. 

Accordingly, the cavalcade got once more into 
motion, but now proceeded at a foot's pace. The 
alley which they were threading was of consider- 
able length, but it brought them in the end to an 
open space, in the midst of which grew three or 
four trees of the largest size and great age, veri- 
table patriarchs of the grove. But here the diffi- 
culties of the travellers appeared to have increased, 
for though there were several outlets from the 
clearance they had gained, they could not tell 
which to select. 

While they were in this state of incertitude, it 
was with no slight satisfaction that they descried 
through the gloom a figure approaching them. 
As this person drew nearer, the lightning showed 
him to be a powerfully-built man, in the garb of 

VOL. I. P 



210 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

a peasant. Probably a woodcutter, as he carried 
a hatcbet on bis shoulder. 

"What ho, master!" cried the piqueur, calling 
out to him. "Wilt guide us to the high road 
to Orleans?" 

"Ay, marry will I," replied the woodcutter; 
^' but you have strayed far away from it, and are 
not likely to find it again without help. It is 
lucky for you that I came up, or you might have 
passed the night in the forest." 

"Is there no place where Ave can dry our wet 
apparel and obtain refreshment?" said Charles. 

"You cannot do better than come to my cot- 
tage, messieurs," replied the man. "My name is 
Jacques Leroux. I am a woodcutter, as my father 
was before me, and my grandfather before him, 
and as my sons Andre and Marcel will be after 
me; but I have saved some money, and live com- 
fortably enough, as you will see. Many a traveller 
who has missed his way in the forest, as you have 



THE SPANISH SIATCH. 211 

doTie to-night, has fared well — though I say it — 
and slept soundly at my cottage." 

"Perchance too soundly," remarked Bucking- 
ham, with a laugh. "Well, we will go to thy 
cottage, honest Jacques," he continued, "and 
when the storm is over thou shalt take us to the 
road to Orleans, and we will reward thee hand- 
somely." 

" The storm will be over in an hour," said 
Jacques Leroux, " and then the moon will have 
risen. Once on the highway, you will soon reach 
Orleans." 

" I am glad to hear it," cried Buckingham. 
"Canst give us aught for supper, honest Jacques?" 

"My larder is not badly supplied," replied the 
woodcutter, with a laugh, "and I have a few 
flasks of rare Beaugency in my cellar." 

" Nay, if thou hast a larder and cellar we shall 
not fare badly," said Buckingham. "Lead us to 
thy cottage, good Jacques." 
p2 



212 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" This way, messieurs," returned the wood- 
cutter, striking into an alley on the right, which 
proved so narrow and intricate that the horsemen 
were obliged to proceed along it singly. Jacques 
Leroux, however, being familiar with the path, 
tracked it without difficulty, and at a quick pace, 
but he ever and anon stopped to cheer on those 
behind him. 

"You appear to be taking us into the heart of 
the forest, friend," cried Charles, who was at the 
head of the column. 

"You are within a bow-shot of my dwelling, 
monsieur," replied the woodcutter. " You will see 
the lights in a moment. I will let my daughter 
know I am coming," he added, placing a whistle 
to his lips, and blowing a shrill and somewhat 
startling call. 

Immediately afterwards the troop emerged upon 
a patch of ground entirely free from timber. In 
the naidst of this area stood a cottage, with a 
stable and some other outbuildings attached to it. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 213 

Again Jacques Leroux blew his whistle, and 
no sooner had he done so than the cottage door 
was thrown open, allowing the radiance of a cheer- 
ful fire to stream forth. Just within the threshold 
might be seen a young woman, and a boy some 
ten or twelve years old, whom the woodcutter 
informed Charles were his youngest son Marcel, 
and his daughter Rose. 

" Our young foresters call her Rose des Bois," 
said Jacques, with a laugh, " and several of them 
are anxious to take her from me, but I don't de- 
sire to part with her just yet. Will it please you 
to alight, messieurs? You need have no anxiety 
about the horses. There is a stable large enough 
to hold them all, and Marcel will find them plenty 
of good fodder." 

" You seem well provided with everything, 
friend,'* observed Charles, as he alighted. 

"Heaven be praised, I want nothing, and am 
well contented with my lot," replied the wood- 
cutter. 



214 'I THE SPANISH MATCH. 

By this time the whole party had alighted, and 
Jacques called to his son to bring a lantern and 
help the palefreniers to take the horses to the 
stable. This order being promptly obeyed, the 
woodcutter ushered his guests into his dwelling, 
und on passing through the doorway Charles and 
ftis companions found themselves in a large com- 
fortable room, cheerfully illumined by a Avood 
fire, which was blazing on the hearthstone. 

Benches were set on either side of the wide- 
mouthed chimney, and in the middle of the room 
there was a large oak table, with several stools 
placed around it. A gammon of bacon, a goodly 
stock of hams, with other dried meats depending 
from the rafters, showed that the cottage did not 
lack the materials of good cheer, while an open 
cupboard displayed a large pasty, a cheese, eggs, 
butter, and an abundant supply of bread — far more 
than seemed to be required by the woodcutter and 
his family. 

Besides these unmistakable evidences of plenty. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 215 

wliicli were very satisfactory to the travellers, a 
large black iron pot, hanging from a hook over 
the fire, diffused an odour throughout the cham- 
ber that left no doubt as to the savoury nature 
of its contents. 

At the moment the party entered, the wood- 
cutter's daughter was placing fresh logs on the 
fire, and as she turned to salute them, they were 
all struck by her good looks, and Charles remarked 
to her father that she well deserved her appellation 
of Rose des Bois. 

The damsel, who might be about eighteen, had 
a rich dark complexion, bright black eyes, some- 
what too bold, perhaps, in expression, hair black as 
jet, and growing low down on the forehead, and 
strongly marked, handsome eyebrows. She wore 
large gold earrings, gold ornaments in her lace cap, 
and a gold cross above her bodice. The skirts of 
her scarlet petticoat were short enough to display 
her well-formed limbs, and her sabots were no dis- 
figurement to her trim ankles and small feet. The 



216 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

drawbacks to her beauty were the bold looks 
we have mentioned, and a somewhat masculine 
manner. 

She eyed the travellers with unrestrained cu- 
riosity, and though she could rarely have seen such 
visitors, did not appear at all abashed. Graham, 
however, chiefly attracted her attention, and she 
more than once regarded him fixedly. 

Throwing off their cloaks, the travellers seated 
themselves on the benches near the fire, to dry 
their wet apparel. While they were thus disposed, 
and active preparations for supper were being 
made by Jacques and his daughter, the latter of 
whom was spreading a snow-white cloth on the table, 
the two palefreniers entered with the saddle-bags 
which Endymion Porter had ordered to be brought 
into the cottage. On perceiving this arrangement, 
which he had evidently not anticipated, a cloud 
came over the woodcutter's brow, and he cast a 
significant look at his daughter. 

The look did not escape Graham, and from its 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 217 

peculiarity awakened his suspicions. He said no- 
thing, however, but, getting up from the bench, 
sat down near the table, and while chatting gaily 
with Rose, kept a watchful eye upon her father. 

Having placed a large pasty, with other cold 
provisions, on the table, Jacques Leroux told his 
daughter that he was going to fetch a few flasks of 
Beaugency, and quitted the chamber by a side- 
door. No sooner was he gone than Rose drew 
close to Graham, and said, in a low tone, 

*' What has brought you here ? " 

" We came by your father's invitation," replied 
the young man, in the same tone. 

"Jacques Leroux is not my father," replied Rose. 
" But no matter. What it concerns you to know 
is, that you are in danger of your life. You may 
have heard that the Forest of Orleans is infested 
by a band of robbers. Jacques Leroux is their cap- 
tain. He has contrived to ensnare you, and, be 
assured, he will not let you escape." 

"Bah! we are too numerous a party, and too 



218 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

well armed, to fear attack," rejoined Graham. 
" You want to frighten me away, my pretty Rose. 
But I will not go, unless you will consent to ac- 
company me." 

"You think I am jesting, but I am in earnest, 
as you will find. You heard Jacques whistle as 
he approached the cottage. That was a signal to 
a scout, who immediately started to collect the 
band. They will be here presently." 

"'Sdeath! this is more serious than I thought," 
said Graham, uneasily. " I must alarm my 
friends." 

" On no account," she replied, imposing silence 
upon him by a look. 

At this moment Jacques Leroux entered, carry- 
ing half a dozen flasks of wine, three of which he 
set upon the table, but he put the others aside. 

"Don't drink that wine — it is drugged," whis- 
pered Rose des Bois. 

"I am half inclined to blow out the rascal's 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 219 

brains," said Graham, laying his hand upon a 
pistol. 

Just then the outer door of the cottage was 
opened, and a young man, in a woodcutter's garb 
like that of Leroux, came in, and respectfully 
saluted the strangers. 

" So you are returned from Courcelles, Andre," 
remarked Jacques, with a significant look at him. 
" Have you executed all my orders? " 

" All, father," replied Andre. 

"The band have arrived," whispered Rose des 
Bois. " But trust to me, and I will save you." 

^' By my faith, this is a devoted damsel," 
thought Graham. "But thougli I am willing to 
trust her, on the first movement made by these 
villains that looks like mischief I will shoot them, 
be the consequences what they may. The prince 
has been dying for an adventure — he has met with 
one at last. Hark'ee, my pretty Rose des Bois," 
he added, in an under tone to her. " There are far 



220 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

more valuable lives than mine at stake. None of 
my companions must be harmed." 

"Trust to me, and you shall all get away 
safely," she replied. 

As she spoke, the sound of horses was heard 
outside, and Andre, opening the door, exclaimed, 

^^ There are more travellers here, father. What 
shall we do with their horses ? The stable is full." 

" Put them in the shed," replied Jacques. And 
he went out with his son, closing the door after 
him. 

Scarcely were they gone, than Eose hastily re- 
moved the flasks which Jacques had set upon the 
table, and put the three others in their place. 

" You may drink this wine with safety," she said 
to Graham. 

Shortly afterwards, Jacques and Andre returned 
with half a dozen persons of very suspicious mien. 
As the new comers took off their cloaks and broad- 
leaved hats, it appeared they were all well armed 
with pistols and swords. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 221 

On their appearance, Charles and his companions 
moved from the fireside to the table. 

"I have so many guests here to-night, mes- 
sieurs/' said Jacques to the new comers, " that I 
shall not be able to offer you very good accommo- 
dation. But I will do my best." 

"That is all we require," said the foremost ol 
the party. ^' You can give us a flask of good wine 
— that we know from experience." 

"Ay, that I can — as good as you will get at 
Orleans," rejoined Jacques. " Pray be seated near 
the fire," he added, pointing to the benches vacated 
by Charles and his companions. "I will bring 
you the wine immediately, but I must first serve 
these gentlemen, who are waiting for supper." 

With this, he proceeded to uncork the flasks 
which had just been set on the table by Rose, and 
filled the goblets for Charles and his companions. 

" This is the Beaugency I spoke of, messieurs," 
he said. " It has a rare flavour. I will venture to 
say you never tasted wine equal to it." 



222 THE SPAmSH MATCH. 

" Then I propose a bumper all round," cried 
Graham, glancing at his companions. "Fill for 
yonder gentlemen, Maitre Jacques." 

"Ay, fill us bumper?, Jacques," shouted the 
guests at the fireplace. 

'^ This flask is empty. I will bring you another, 
messieurs," cried the woodcutter, taking up one of 
those which Rose had removed. 

While he was occupied in filling the flagons of 
the party near the fire, Rose whispered a word or 
two in Graham's ear. 

"Nay, you and your son must join us, my good 
friend," cried the latter to Jacques. 

" Doubt me not," replied the woodcutter, laugh- 
ing. " Bring two more flagons, Andre." 

The young man brought him the cups, which 
he instantly filled. 

" To your health, messieurs ! " cried Graham. 
"If you are the boon companions you seem, you 
will not leave a drop in the cup." 

With this he emptied his goblet, and turned it 



THE SPAiaSH MATCH. 223 

upside down. All those at the table did the 
same. 

" They are ours now," remarked Jacques, wink- 
ing at his associates. 

"You seem to hesitate, messieurs," cried Gra- 
ham. "We have set you a good example." 

" Hesitate — not we ! " responded the foremost of 
the brigands. " To your healths, messieurs ! May 
you always meet with honest men like us ! " 

And the whole party emptied their flagons, their 
example being followed by Jacques and Andre. 

"By my faith, friend Jacques, this Beaugency 
of yours is a most powerful wine," cried Graham. 
" It has already got into my head. I feel quite 
drowsy." 

" So do we," cried the others at the table. 

"Take another cup — it won't hurt you," re- 
sponded Jacques. 

" Fill for me, then," said Graham. 

As the woodcutter approached the table, he 
staggered and fell to the ground. Andre sprang 



224t THE SPANISH MATCH. 

to his father's assistance, but while trying to raise 
him, he also sank on the floor in a state of stupefac- 
tion. 

"What's the matter?" cried Graham, rising 
from his chair. " Have you and your son been 
taken suddenly ill, my good friend?" 

"We have drunk the wrong wine," cried 
Jacques to his comrades, trying in vain to rise. 

"Malediction!" exclaimed the foremost of the 
brigands, tumbling from the bench. 

So powerless had he and his comrades become, 
that not one of them could draw a pistol. In vain 
they struggled against the effects of the soporific 
potion they had swallowed. In another minute 
they were all buried in a profound stupor. 

" We have had a narrow escape," cried Graham. 
" We owe our lives, perhaps, to this damsel." 

" Let us quit the place immediately, and make 
the best of our way to Orleans," said Charles. 

" You must take me with you," said Rose des 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 225 

Bois. " If I am left here, when these men recover 
they will infallibly put me to death." 

" Do not imagine we are going to abandon you, 
after what you have done for us," replied Graham. 
" We will take you with us to Orleans, and, more- 
over, you shall be well rewarded." 

Leaving the senseless brigands, the party then 
went forth, and, guided by Rose, proceeded to- 
wards the stable. Close to the building they 
found Marcel, who tried to escape on seeing them, 
but, being caught by Graham, the lad gave up 
the key of the stable, in which he had contrived 
to lock up the piqueur and palefreniers, who were 
clamouring lustily to get out. Without loss of 
time the men were set free, and the horses brought 
out. The pack-saddles were then fetched from the 
cottage, and being secured as before, the whole 
party mounted their steeds. As Jacques Leroux 
had predicted, the storm had passed away. Still, 
though the moon was now shining brightly, and 
tipping the trees with silver, it was necessary to 

VOL. 1. Q 



226 THE SPAl^ISH MATCH. 

have a guide through the forest, so the travellers 
determined to take Marcel with them, and accord- 
ingly placed him in front of the piqueur, who had 
orders to shoot him if he misled them. The next 
point was how to convey Rose des Bois. This was 
settled by Graham, who took her on his saddle- 
bow. 

All these arrangements being made with great 
expedition, the party set oiF, and following Marcel's 
directions, eventually reached the high road to 
Orleans. 

Before this, however, the lad had contrived to 
loosen the belt by which he was bound to the 
piqueur, and, watching his opportunity, slipped oflf 
the horse; and, though the piqueur fired at hira, 
he escaped uninjured, and disappeared among -the 
trees. His flight, however, gave the party no con- 
cern. 

In half an hour more they had cleared the forest, 
and had gained the faubourg of the ancient city of 
Orleans. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 227 

On reaching these habitations, Rose des Bois 
said to Graham : 

"Here we must part. But whither are you 
going ? " 

^'I am going far hence, my pretty Rose," he 
replied. 

"But where?" she demanded, impatiently. 
" Tell me where." 

"To Madrid," he replied. "It is not likely we 
shall meet again." 

" Perhaps we may. Farewell ! " 

And, disengaging herself, she sprang lightly to 
the ground. 

Graham offered her his purse, but she refused 
it with an impatient gesture, and hurried away. 

Tlie party then rode on to the gates of Orleans, 
and not without some difficulty obtained admit- 
tance to the city. This being at last accomplished, 
they proceeded to the Hotel du Loiret, and entered 
it just as the bell of the cathedral tolled the hour 
of midnight. 

<l2 



228 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



XV. 

HOW JACK AND TOM KOBE TO BORDEAUX, AND HOW THEY 
EECEIVED A VISIT TROM THE DUG D'ePERNON. 

Next morning, at seven o'clock, our travellers 
started once more on their journey, mounted on 
post-horses, and attended by a couple of postilions. 

Before setting out, Charles liberally rewarded 
the plqueur and the palefreniers, who undertook 
that the ends of justice should not be neglected, 
and promised to obtain from the magistrates of 
.the city a force sufficient for the capture of the 
brigands. This, we may state, was effected the 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 229 

same day, and the whole band brought prisoners to 
Orleans. 

Our impatient travellers saw nothing of the an- 
cient city, which derives its chief interest from the 
heroic and ill-fated Jeanne d'Arc, save what was 
presented to them as, they traversed the streets to 
the Porte de Blois. 

Their road now lay on the right bank of the 
Loire, and throughout the day they kept near that 
enchanting river, which mirrors on its waves such 
lovely vine-clad slopes and hills, and such pictu- 
resque old towns and grand feudal chateaux. Blois 
and Amboise. with their regal castles, detained 
the travellers for a short time, and it was not until 
nightfall that they reached Tours. 

Off again next morning betimes, they approached 
Chatelleraut about noon, and traversing the antique 
bridge across the Vienne, garnished at either end 
with towers, they entered the town, and resting 
there for an hour, pursued their way to Poitiers, 



230 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

where they arrived sufficiently early to devote some 
time to the examination of a town replete with his- 
torical recollections, many of them of deep interest 
to Charles. 

Before retiring to rest they heard vespers in the 
cathedral, and after attending matins in the beau- 
tiful church of Sainte Radegonde, and visiting 
several other interesting structures, they started for 
Angouleme, arriving there, after a brief halt at 
Civray, early in the evening. 

Again early in the saddle, and descending the 
steep hill on which Angouleme is reared, they 
speeded merrily along the valley, the limit of their 
day's journey being Bordeaux. At Barbezieux 
they stopped to dine, and at La Graulle came upon 
a bare and desolate heath of vast extent, which 
gave them a foretaste of the Landes, which they 
expected shortly to traverse. 

At Cubsac, where in our own times there is a 
suspension-bridge of wondrous size and beauty, 
they crossed the broad estuary of the Dordogne in 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 231 

a ferry-boat, and had a somewhat perilous passage, 
the wind being high. However, they got over in 
safety, and pursued their journey through a fair 
and fertile region covered with vineyards, and gra- 
dually gained an eminence, from the summit of 
which the wide Garonne, with the proud city of 
Bordeaux throned on its opposite bank, burst upon 
their view. 

The prospect was magnificent, and held them 
for some time in admiration. At length they de- 
scended the vine-clad slopes of the hill, and track- 
ing a long avenue of fine trees, came to the ferry at 
La Bastide — there was no bridge then across the 
Garonne — and immediately embarked. 

During their passage across the broad and im- 
petuous river they enjoyed an admirable view of 
the city, with its old walls, towers, churches, and 
edifices, chief among which were the cathedral 
with its twin spires, the Eglise Sainte Croix, Saint 
Michel with its beautiful detached belfry. Saint 
Saurin, the old Eveche, and the Hotel de Ville. 



232 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

In the port were numerous vessels, for Bordeaux 
even then was a place of extensive commerce. The 
travellers landed near one of the ancient city gates, 
and caused their pack-saddles and horse furniture 
to be conveyed to an hotel. 

Next morning, instead of prosecuting their jour- 
ney, they spent several hours in inspecting the 
curiosities of the city, and had just returned from 
a visit to the port, when the hotelier entered, and 
throwing open the door of the salon with as much 
ceremoniousness as an usher, announced M. le Due 
d'Epernon. 

The person who entered the room on this an- 
nouncement was about seventy, but his tall figure 
was erect, and although his beard and moustaches 
were grey/ his features retained something of the 
remarkable comeliness Avhich had distinguished 
them in the days of Henri Trois. 

The Due d'Epernon was attired in a pourpoint 
and trunk hose of ly^own quilted satin, with a 
velvet mantle of the same colour, the latter being 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 233 

ornamented witli the order of the Saint Esprit. 
On his head he wore a black velvet toque, adorned 
with a red feather and a diamond brooch. Fun- 
nel-topped boots, provided with large spurs, com- 
pleted his costume, and he carried a cravache in 
his hand. 

Immediately on his entrance, Charles and Buck- 
ingham arose to meet him, and their appearance 
and dignity of manner evidently struck him with 
surprise. While gravely and courteously saluting 
them, he carefully scanned their features. 

"I have to apologise to you for this intrusion, 
messieurs," he said, with exquisite politeness, " but 
I will explain the motive of my visit, and then I 
trust you will excuse it." 

" Your visit requires no excuse, M. le Due," re- 
plied Charles, with princely grace. " That a noble- 
man of such distinction as yourself, one of the 
brightest ornaments of the courts of Henri Trois 
and Henri le Grand, should visit persons so obscure 
as myself and my brother, Tom Smith, is an 



234 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

honour we never could have anticipated, and we 
cannot fail, therefore, to be highly gratified by 
your condescension." 

" Corbleu ! monsieur," cried D'Epernon, bowing 
and smiling, "unless I am greatly mistaken, there- 
is little condescension on my part. Had I been 
aware of your rank, rest assured I should not have 
presented myself in this unceremonious manner, 
and I must again entreat you to excuse me." 

"And I must repeat," returned Charles, "that 
the honour is entirely on our side. Pray be seated, 
M. le Due." 

" I have lived too much in courts, monsieur, to 
be deceived," observed D'Epernon, taking the chair 
offered him by the prince. " It may please you 
and your brother to style yourselves the Mes- 
sieurs Smith, but I do not think I should be far 
wrong if I gave you the highest titles your country 
can boast. But to my errand. In me, messieurs, 
you behold the representative of an epoch, now 
passed away, when it was customary for the nobility 



THE SPAXISH MATCH. 235 

of France to exercise hospitality towards all stran- 
gers. I cannot change my old habits. I have a 
chateau in the neighbourhood of this city, and 
chancing to ride over this morning, I accidentally 
heard that some English travellers were staying 
in this hotel. I therefore came hither to pray you 
to be my guests for as long a period as it may 
please you to remain with me." 

" We would gladly accept your hospitality, M. le 
Due," repHed Charles, " but to-morrow we start for 
Bayonne and Spain." 

" Then I can only express my regret, messieurs," 
rephed D'Epemon, rising. " It would have grati- 
fied me to entertain you at my chateau, and to show 
you some of the beauties of this country, but I 
will not attempt to delay you." 

" Stay, M. le Due," said Buckingham. " With 
you there can be no necessity for disguise, and I 
will, therefore, inform you that the person whom 
you have had the honour of addressing is no other 
than Charles, Prince of Wales." 



236 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"I felt assured of it," replied D'Epernon, bowing 
to the ground. " And you, monseigneur, unless I 
am greatly mistaken, are the Marquis of Bucking- 
ham." 

"You are right, M. le Due," said Charles. 
"But I confide myself to your discretion. I am 
travelling strictly incognito." 

" Your highness may entirely rely on me," re- 
turned D'Epernon. " I guess the purpose of your 
journey to Spain. It is an enterprise worthy of a 
chivalrous prince like yourself. I trust you may 
meet with no interruption, and to prevent the 
chance of your detention at Bayonne, I will fur- 
nish you -with a letter to the governor of that 
city, my friend, the Comte de Grammont. I am 
banished from court, as your highness may possibly 
be aware, having had the misfortune to make Car- 
dinal Richelieu my enemy; but I have still in- 
fluence enough for this." 

So saying, he sat down at the table, on which 
writing materials were laid, and traced a few lines 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 237 

on a sheet of paper, "which he folded up and re- 
spectfully presented to Charles. 

" If I can be of any further service, your high- 
ness has only to command me," he said. 

" You can, indeed, serve me in an important 
particular, M. le Due," returned Charles. "I am 
desirous of sending a despatch to the king my 
father, and need a trusty courier." 

" Your highness need give yourself no further 
trouble. I will find the man you require. In an 
hour he shall be ready to start." 

" I have yet another favour to ask of you, M. 
le Due," said Charles. 

" It is granted before asked, prince," replied 
D'Epernon. 

"You may repent your rashness," rejoined 
Charles, smiling. " However, not to keep you in 
suspense, I will pray you, if you have no better 
engagement, to give me your company during the 
remainder of the day. On some future occasion I 
shall hope to be your guest." 



238 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" I would forego any other engagement to accept 
the invitation, prince/' replied D'Epernon, de- 
lighted. "I will but seek out the courier, and 
then place myself at your highness's disposal during 
the rest of the day." 

^' We must talk to you, M. le Due, of your peer- 
less queen, Anne of Austria, and the lovely prin- 
cess, Henriette Marie," said Buckingham. 

"Have you seen them?" asked D'Epernon, 
quickly. 

"Ay, and danced with them at the Louvre — 
and without his majesty's knowledge or permis- 
sion," rejoined Buckingham. 

" You surprise me," exclaimed D'Epernon. " I 
should not have conceived such an adventure pos- 
sible. But you must regale me with the particulars 
anon. As I told you, I am a banished man, and 
know little about the court. But I pity the queen 
from my heart." 

" So do I," sighed Buckingham. 

" What think you, prince, of the daughter of 



\ 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 239 

my old master, Henri Quatre?" remarked D'Eper- 
non to Charles. " I have not seen her of late, but 
she promised to be beautiful, and I hear she is 
so. 

" She is charming," replied Charles, empha- 
tically. 

" So charming, that our journey to Madrid had 
well-nigh come to an end, M. le Due," observed 
Buckingham, laughing. 

" On her account I would it had," rejoined 
D'Epernon, smiling. " But I fly to execute your 
highness's order." 

And, with a profound reverence, he quitted the 
room. 

Charles and Buckingham then sat down to pre- 
pare their despatches, and gave their "dear dad 
and gossip" an account of their journey from Paris 
to Bordeaux, omitting, however, all mention of 
their adventure in the Forest of Orleans, thinking, 
with reason, that it might cause his majesty alarm. 
By the time they had finished, D'Epernon returned, 



240 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

telling them the courier was ready to start, and 
the despatches were forthwith committed to him. 

This done, D'Epernon prayed the prince and his 
attendants to ride with him to view his chateau, 
stating that he had horses at their service, and the 
proposition being readily agreed to, the party went 
forth with the duke, and were not a little sur- 
prised to find a company of thirty gentlemen attired 
in the duke's splendid livery, and all well mounted, 
drawn up before the hotel. 

" Are you generally attended by so large an 
escort as this, M. le Due?" inquired Charles, 
smiling. 

" Ma foi ! prince, this is a very sorry attendance," 
replied the duke. " During the regency of the 
queen-mother, I used to go daily to the Louvre 
with an escort of eight hundred gentlemen." 

^^ So I have heard, M. le Due," observed Buck- 
ingham. " On my return, I will take as large an 
escort to Whitehall," he thought. 

At a sign from D'Epernon, several of his retinue 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 241 

immediately dismounted, and Charles and his com- 
panions being thus provided with horses, the party 
rode to the duke's chateau, a vast feudal-looking 
edifice, situated on an eminence on the left bank 
of the Garonne, about a couple of leagues from 
Bordeaux. The terrace commanded a superb view 
of the noble river that swept past it, as well as of 
the picturesque city in the distance. The finest 
wine in the district was grown on the duke's estate, 
and his guests having tasted it and greatly admired 
it, D'Epernon insisted upon sending a supply for 
their consumption at the hotel. 

After an hour spent in inspecting the chateau and 
its beautiful gardens, the party returned to Bor- 
deaux. An excellent dinner was then served, com- 
prehending most of the delicacies for which Bor- 
deaux is renowned, but its chief merit was the in- 
comparable wine furnished by D'Epernon. More 
than a dozen flasks were crushed. D'Epernon 
proved a very agreeable companion, and with par- 

VOL. I. R 



24:2 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

donable egotism recounted many of the incidents of 
Lis eventful life. 

^^It has been my fate," he said, "to witness the 
assassination of my two royal masters. I was near 
Henri Trois when the accursed Dominican, Jacques 
Clement, plunged a knife into his breast, and I was 
in the carriage with Henri le Grand when that 
good king was stabbed by the monster Ravaillac, 
No monarch was ever more beloved than Henri 
Quatre, and yet he perished thus. I counsel your 
highness to be ever on your guard. And you, too, 
my lord of Buckingham, I would have you take 
heed. If I am not misinformed, you have bitter 
enemies amongst the Puritans. Some of those 
frenzied zealots would deem it a pious act to take 
your life." 

"I have no fear of them," replied Buckingham, 
with a laugh. " But why do you gaze so hard at 
me, M. le Due? Do you read aught in my coun- 
tenance?" 

" You will attain the highest point of your am- 
bition, my lord, but " And he hesitated. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 243 

"Fear not to tell me what you think/' said 
Buckingham. 

" You have the same look as my two royal 
masters," replied D'Epernon. "Be ever on your 
guard." 

This remark produced an impression on Charles, 
but did not in the slightest degree disturb Buck- 
ingham's gaiety. Presently the discourse turned to 
other topics, and nothing more was thought of the 
warning. 

D'Epernon departed early, and, on taking leave, 
expressed a hope that he should soon hear of the 
prince's safe arrival at Madrid, and that all pro- 
ceeded according to his highness's desire. Accom- 
panied by his escort, the duke then returned to 
his chateau. 

"Those are two noble-looking personages, and 
seem to have a great career before them," he 
thought, as he rode along ; " but both will be cut 
off early " 



r2 



244 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



XVI. 

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TRAVELLERS, AND WHAT THEY 
BEHELD, AS THEY CROSSED THE GREAT LANDES. 

As usual, our travellers started at an early 
hour in the morning, attended as before by a 
couple of postilions. 

Shortly after quitting the beautiful neighbour- 
hood of Bordeaux, where the plains teemed with 
plenty, and the heights were covered with vines? 
they came upon those vast sandy plateaux known 
as the Great Landes. 

No heath they had ever traversed in England 
appeared so wild and desolate as the apparently 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 245 

interminable waste on which they had now entered. 
Far as the eye could stretch spread out a vast mono- 
tonous plain, flat as the ocean when its waves are 
still, composed of ash-coloured sand, occasionally 
rising into little hillocks, covered with heath, 
stunted broom, and gorse, but without any other 
slo^n of veo^etation, save that in the extreme distance 
there were dark lines indicating pine forests. The 
only discernible road over this dreary waste was the 
causeway, which the cavalcade was now tracking; 
and even this was at intervals obHterated by the 
drifting sand, and could only be recovered by an 
experienced eye. 

The most singular feature of the scene, and that 
which especially interested our travellers, was the 
fantastic appearance of the shepherds of the Landes, 
who looked like inhabitants of some other planet. 
Before the party had advanced far they noticed a 
sort of cabin, desif]:nated in the lanojuaf]re of the 
country a pare, and looking like an enormous 
mushroom, supported in the centre by the trunk 



246 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

of a tree. Sucli as it was, this cabin, open to all 
the winds of heaven, afforded sufficient shelter to 
the shepherds of the Landes, who lead a nomad 
life. Near it were three or four herdsmen tending a 
flock of lean sheep, and a few equally lean cattle, 
though it was a marvel as to how the animals 
could obtain sufficient subsistence in that wilder- 
ness. The peasants were mounted on stilts, called 
in their patois clianques, which raised them a 
couple of yards from the ground. Over their 
shoulders they wore sheepskin cloaks, and berets 
on their heads, and each was provided with a long- 
pole. 

On seeing the travellers, the herdsmen started 
towards them, moving with gigantic strides, and 
were soon by the side of the troop. They easily 
kept up with the horses, even though the latter 
were going at full speed. After accompanying the 
cavalcade for half a league, the peasants dropped 
off, and returned to their flocks. 

As our travellers proceeded, and approached the 



THE SPANISH jMATCH. 247 

tracts covered Tvitli pines, wliicli flourish vigorously 
in this sandy soil, and yield a plentiful supply of 
resin, they found that whatever else the inhos- 
pitable region might want, it was by no means 
destitute of game. Kabbits and hares abounded, a 
roebuck was now and then descried, and the tra- 
vellers, catchins: sifi-ht of a wild sow and her mar- 

7 CO 

cassins, were half tempted to pursue them. On 
the plains they saw bustards, in the lakes wild 
geese, and cranes amid the shallow pools. The 
marshes were frequented by bitterns, curlews, wild 
ducks, and coots, and from the pine forests arose 
clouds of wood-pigeons. 

That there were also formidable animals to be 
encountered, was proved as the party went on. 
They had just passed a pine forest, and crossed a 
rude bridge thrown across a stream, the waters of 
which were black as ink, when they heard loud 
outcries, and, looking in the direction whence the 
shouts proceeded, perceived that a flock of sheep 
had been attacked by a pack of wolves. Three 



248 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

or four shepherds, aided by powerful dogs, were 
engaged in an unequal conflict with their fierce 
aggressors; but the wolves were too numerous for 
thenij and had already caused great havoc among 
the flock. Fortunately, the shepherds were kept 
by their stilts out of reach of the savage beasts. 

Without a moment's hesitation the travellers 
dashed to the assistance of the shepherds, and, as 
soon as they were within pistol-shot, fired at the 
wolves, kilHng a couple of them, and wounding 
others. The rest of the pack, displaying their 
blood-stained fangs, turned fiercely on their as- 
sailants, but, ere they could come up, three more 
dropped by another discharge. Though their 
numbers were thus thinned, two of the largest and 
fiercest of the troop attacked Buckingham. From 
one of these he liberated himself with a stroke of 
his poniard, and the other was shot by Graham. 
Another was killed by Charles, and the rest took 
to flight, pursued by the shepherds and their 
hounds. This rout being accomplished in a very 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 249 

short space of time, our travellers turned to rejoin 
the postilions, who prudently awaited their return 
on the causeway. 

Graham, however, had singled out a large wolf, 
and after a hot pursuit of some two or three hun- 
dred yards, succeeded in shooting the ferocious 
beast. This feat achieved, he dashed across the 
plain to join the others, who had already regained 
the causeway. Perceiving the course he was 
taking, the postilions called out to him, but not 
understanding the meaning of their cries, and pur- 
suing his career, he was suddenly engulphed in one 
of those treacherous sand-pits peculiar to the Landes, 
called in that region mouvants. These dangerous 
quagmires, concealed by a covering of sand sup- 
ported by aquatic plants and dried on the surface, 
form traps from which escape is always difficult, and 
sometimes impossible. 

On touching the sandy crust by which the pool 
was hidden, Graham's horse immediately sank 
above the shoulder. Luckily the postilions per- 



250 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

ceived what had occurred, and shouting to him to 
keep still, hurried to the scene of the disaster, and 
as soon as they came up, they directed him to 
dismount cautiously, and then to remain motion- 
less for a few minutes, to allow the sand to settle. 
This he did; but he had scarcely complied with 
the injunction when the shepherds came to his 
assistance, and wading into the pool with their 
stilts, quickly extricated him from his perilous posi- 
tion. The horse was also dragged out of the quag- 
mire by the exertions of the shepherds, and the 
travellers were enabled to proceed on their way. 

For upwards of four hours they continued their 
journey through tlie Landes, changing horses at 
post-houses, which in several instances were only 
solitary inns, with large stables attached to them. 
Everywhere the aspect was the same; vast sandy 
plains, relieved only by black pine forests, marshes, 
swamps, pools, and lakes, all of which abounded, as 
we have mentioned, with wild-fowl of every de- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 251 

scriptlon. Cabins such as we have already de- 
scribed were frequently to be seen, but the hamlets 
and villages were composed of miserable habita- 
tions. Long before this the travellers had dis- 
cerned the jagged and snowy peaks of the Pyre- 
nees, and the horizon was now bounded by the 
long chain of these magnificent mountains. 

As the travellers approached a village, which 
was somewhat larger and better built than any 
they had as yet beheld in the Landes, they heard 
the sound of bagpipes, and presently afterwards 
perceived a band of youths and maidens in holiday 
attire, decorated with ribands, and carrying bou- 
quets in their hands. While moving along the 
troop executed a dance to the music of the pipes. 
Behind them came a large charette, drawn by oxen 
covered with white housings, and having their 
horns tied with ribands. In the charette was a 
pyramid formed of pieces of household furniture, 
on the top of which sat a middle-aged woman 



252 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

holding a distaff, while round the pile, and stand- 
ing on the ledges of the cart, were grouped a 
number of comely damsels. 

On inquiry, the travellers learnt that a marriage 
was about to take place on the following day, and 
that the bride's furniture was being conveyed in 
this manner to her future dwelling. The old 
woman with the distaff was the bride's mother. 

In the rear of the charette marched a little pro- 
cession, headed by the cure of the village and the 
young couple whom he was so soon about to Hnk 
together. A large concourse of villagers of both 
sexes, including many old people and children, 
made up the procession. All were dressed in their 
best, and decorated with ribands. 

As the travellers moved out of the way to let 
the jocund train pass by, they were greeted with 
merry shouts and laughter from the youths and 
maidens. 

No other incident worthy of note happened to 
the prince and his companions during their ride 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 253 

across the Landes. At Saint Vincent they left the 
sandy wastes behind them, and entered upon a fer- 
tile country. 

It was growing dusk as they gained the heights 
overlooking Bayonne, but sufficient hght was left 
to enable them to discern that strongly fortified 
town, situated near the junction of the Adour and 
the Nive. 

Descending the hill, they quitted their horses at 
the faubourg Saint Esprit, and were ferried across 
both rivers, but were detained at the gates of the 
town for some time. At last, however, they were 
permitted to enter, and at once proceeded to an 
hotellerie. 



254 THE SPANISH MATCH. 



XVII. 

HOW THE TEAVELLEES WEEE EEOUGHT BEFOEE THE 
GOVEENOE OF BAYONNE. 

The party had just supped, and, wearied with 
their long day's journey, were about to retire to 
rest, when an officer, attended by half a dozen 
arquebusiers, was shown into their presence, and 
informed them that he was sent by M. le Comte de 
Grammont, the governor of Bayonne, to bring 
them immediately before him. 

It being impossible to refuse compliance with 



THE SP.VXISH MATCH. 255 

the order, the whole party accompanied the officer, 
and were taken to the castle, which was situ- 
ated in the upper part of the town, at no great 
distance from the hotel. After a brief detention in 
the guard-chamber, they were led across the inner 
court to the governor's apartments. 

The Comte de Grammont was a haughty- 
looking personage, of middle age, and he glanced 
sternly at the travellers as they entered. 

"You are Englishmen, messieurs," he said, "on 
your way to Spain. Is it not so?" 

Charles replied in the affirmative, adding, "As 
we are pressed for time, monseigneur, we desire, 
with your permission, to start at an early hour to- 
morrow morning." 

" I cannot allow you to do so," replied Gram- 
mont, coldly. 

" You will perhaps condescend to inform us why 
we are detained, M. le Comte?" observed Buck- 
ingham, haughtily. 



256 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" As governor of this city, I have no explana- 
tion to render, monsieur," said Grammont. "I 
shall detain you till I am satisfied on certain 
points." 

" Perhaps we may be able to satisfy you on those 
points now, monseigneur," remarked Cottington. 
" We are ready to answer any questions you may 
please to put to us." 

" What is the object of your journey to Spain?" 
demanded Grammont. 

" It cannot be publicly declared, and is not of a 
nature to interest you, monseigneur," replied 
Charles. 

" Pardieu ! I know not that," cried Grammont. 
"You may be engaged on a secret mission to 
Spain. You arrive here late in the evening, and 
propose to start at break of day. I suspect you, 
messieurs, and shall place you under arrest, and 
cause your luggage to be searched." 

" I protest against such treatment, monseigneur,'* 
said Charles, " and I am of opinion that you will 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 257 

exceed your authority if you adopt any such harsh 
proceeding." 

There was something in Charles's look and 
manner that made the governor hesitate in issuing 
the order. 

" I do not desire to deal harshly with you," he 
said, " but I must be satisfied. Have you no cre- 
dentials to exhibit?" 

"Only this letter, M. le Comte, from the Due 
d*Epernon/' replied Charles, producing it. 

" A letter from D'Epernon ! " exclaimed Gram- 
mont. 

A marked change came over his countenance as 
he glanced at it, and respect amounting to deference 
took the place of his previous haughty manner. 
He immediately arose, and said : 

" I am sorry this letter was not shown me before. 
All further inquiries are needless, and I have to 
express my profound regret that you should have 
been put to so much inconvenience." 

" The inconvenience is nothing," returned 
VOL. I. S 



258 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Charles. " We are free, I presume, to start on our 
journey to-morrow morning?" 

" At any liour you please," said Grammont. 
"But it would charm me," he added, "if you 
could be induced to rest a day at Bayonne. There 
is much in the town that merits inspection. How- 
ever, I will not press you further. Reconduct these 
gentlemen to their hotel," he added to the officer, 
"and give orders to the guard at the Porte d'Es- 
pagne that the whole party be allowed to pass forth 
when they please to-morrow morning." 

" It shall be done, monseigneur," replied the 
officer, respectfully. 

The Comte de Grammont would fain have ac- 
companied the party to the castle gate, but this 
Charles would not permit. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 259 



XVIII. 

JACK AND TOil CROSS THE EIDASSOA AND ENIEE SPAIN, 

Bright and beautiful was the morning, and the 
sky deep and cloudless, as Charles and his com- 
panions quitted Bayonne by the Porte d'Espagne, 
and passed through the strong fortifications on that 
side of the town. After riding about a league, the 
travellers gained a height which commanded a 
glorious view. On the left was a portion of the 
vast chain of the Pyrenees, their snowy peaks glit- 
tering in the early sunbeams. On the right lay 
the Bay of Biscay, with its picturesque headlands 
and bays stretching out as far as Fontarabia. Be- 
s2 



260 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

hind lay Bayonne, and, seen from this point, the 
city, with its two fine rivers, its ramparts, forts, 
castle, and churches, presented a very picturesque 
appearance. 

Spain being now in view, Charles's impatience 
would brook no delay, and, though he could have 
spent hours in the contemplation of the splendid 
prospect before him, he quickly gave the word to 
proceed, and the whole cavalcade was soon moving 
on at a rapid pace. 

Ere long they approached the shores of the sea, 
and at Bidart, with its charming little bay, entered 
the Basque country. They next mounted to Gue- 
tary, then descending again, kept close to the coast, 
charmed with the views it afforded, till they reached 
Saint Jean de Luz. Halting merely for a relay of 
horses at this place, they pursued their course to 
Urrugne. 

On ascending a hill which formed a spur of the 
"slower range of the Pyrenees, they beheld the 
Bidassoa, the stream dividing France and Spain. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 2G1 

The sight of this river again roused Charles's 
impatience, and he dashed down the hill to Beho- 
bie, a small town on the right bank of the Bi- 
dassoa, and the last in France. 

Here they were ferried across the river, which 
at this point boasts two little islands, on one of 
which the crafty Louis XI. held a conference with 
Henrique IV. of Castile, and on the other, only 
eight years prior to the date of our history, the 
ambassadors of France and Spain met to affiance 
Philip IV. of Spain to Isabella of France, and 
Louis XIII. to Anne of Austria. The latter isle, 
it is needless to say, had a special interest to Charles 
and Buckingham. 

" Heaven be praised, I am at last in Spain ! " 
exclaimed the prince, as he leaped ashore from the 
boat. " Though I am still far from the Infanta, I 
am in her own land, and amidst her own people^ 
and the space between us shall speedily be cleared." 

The horses and postilions were brought across in 
another ferry-boat, and as soon as they were landed, 



262 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

the whole party mounted, and galloped off on the 
left bank of the Bidassoa for Irun, which rose 
before them on a hill about half a league off. This 
distance was soon traversed, and Charles and Buck- 
ingham, for the first time, entered a Spanish 
town. 

Here all seemed changed, and it was manifest, 
from the costume and aspect of the inhabitants, 
and from the appearance of the habitations, with 
their large balconies and awnings, that the tra- 
vellers were in a very different country from that 
which they had left on the other side of the Bi- 
dassoa. 

The party rode up at once to a posada, and 
here they were obliged to change the horses the}'- 
had brought from Urrugne for a relay of mules. 
The postilions by whom they were attended were 
much more gaily attired than those of France, and, 
though small of stature, seemed full of life and 
activity. Before starting, excellent chocolate was 
served them by a dark-eyed doncella, whose jetty 



THE SPANISH INLiTCH. 263 

locks were gathered in a single thick tress behind 
her back. 

Once more they were on their way, and pro- 
ceeding at a good steady pace, for though the 
mules resolutely refused to gallop, they trotted 
faster than the horses. The travellers were now 
in a picturesque country. Before them, at the 
extremity of a vast alluvial plain, stood Fontarabia, 
cresting an eminence overlooking a bay, while in- 
land, on the mountain sides, were groves of mingled 
oak, chesnut, and walnut. 

The cavalcade had passed through Renteria, and 
were approaching Passage, with its large dock, 
when they beheld a horseman, whom they took 
to be a courier, accompanied by a postilion, gal- 
loping towards them. 

As the person came nearer, however, they per- 
ceived that it was young Walsingham Griesley, 
secretary to the Earl of Bristol, charged, no doubt, 
with despatches from his master to the King of 
England. 



264 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Griesley could scarcely believe his eyes when he 
beheld the prince and Buckingham, and they both 
laughed heartily at the astonishment depicted on 
his countenance. 

"You did not expect to meet us on the way 
to Madrid, Griesley," cried Charles. 

" In truth I did not, your highness," replied the 
secretary. "I am utterly astounded. But I can 
guess why you are going thither, and I heartily 
wish you success. Your highness, however, will 
find that matters are not so far advanced in regard 
to the match as you may have been led to expect. 
1 know the purport of the despatches I am con- 
veying to his majesty from my lord of Bristol, and 
they speak of fresh difficulties which have been 
thrown in the way by the Conde Olivarez." 

*^ Those difficulties will be easily overcome," 
cried Buckingham. " Your master allows himself 
to be duped, Griesley. Things will change when 
we appear at Madrid." 

" I trust they may, my lord," replied the secre- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 265 

tary, in a tone that showed he did not anticipate 
any such result. 

"You must ride back with us to Saint Sebas- 
tian, Griesley," said Charles. " My lord of Buck- 
ingham and myself will add to your despatches to 
the king. I will also charge you with some mes- 
sages to his majesty, which can be more easily con- 
veyed by word of mouth than by letter." 

"I shall be proud to convey them, my gracious 
lord," replied Griesley. "I esteem myself singu- 
larly fortunate in meeting your highness and my 
lord marquis, as his majesty cannot fail to be 
pleased with the good tidings I shall be able to give 
him of you." 

During the ride to Saint Sebastian, Charles and 
Buckingham had a long conversation with the 
secretary, and ascertained from him the nature of 
the difficulties that had arisen ; but these they were 
both disposed to treat very lightly. 

On arriving at Saint Sebastian, they put up at 
the Parador de Postas, and the despatches being 



2QQ THE SPANISH MATCH. 

prepared, Griesley started once more on his jour- 
ney. 

After an hour's rest, our travellers pursued their 
way through a beautiful and romantic country to 
Tolosa, where they passed the night. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 267 



XIX. 



THE . GORGE OF PAXCORBO. 



Next morning the unwearied party started 
again. Several days of hard travel were still be- 
fore them ere they could reach their destination, 
and their powers of endurance were likely to be 
tested to the utmost by rough roads and obsti- 
nate mules that threatened to dislocate their joints. 
However, they held on gallantly and unflinchingly. 
Through long valleys — by the side of rushing 
streams — up precipitous mountains — down steep 
and dangerous descents — across wide, dreary plains 
they went, frequently encountering bands of mule- 



268 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

teers armed with trabucos, and conducting strings 
of gaily-caparisoned mules laden with heavy pack- 
saddles, but though hearing much of robbers, and 
occasionally meeting suspicious-looking personages 
in the mountain passes, they had hitherto escaped 
attack. 

On the evening of the third day after quitting 
Bayonne they reached Miranda de Ebro, where 
they rested for the night, and proceeding next 
morning through the valley of the Oroncillo, they 
entered the Gorge of Pancorbo, a gloomy ravine 
hemmed in on either side by mountains, and en- 
closed by rugged rocks, between which rushes the 
Oroncillo. 

"While the travellers were threading this savage 
pass, and gazing at the tremendous precipices that 
threatened to topple on their heads, they were 
startled by the report of fire-arms, evidently pro- 
ceeding from the lower part of the gorge, which 
was concealed from view by a huge projecting 
rock. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 269 

"What mean those shots?" cried Graham, who 
was somewhat ahead of the party. 

" Ladrones, senor caballero ! " returned one of 
the postilions, crossing himself. " Saints preserve 
us, they are plundering some travellers, perhaps 
murdering them ! " 

Without a word more, Graham applied spurs to 
his mule, and rode on as fast as he could. 

On passing the roclc, which screened the lower 
part of the ravine from view, he beheld a spectacle 
that roused him to still greater exertion. About 
two hundred yards lower down, where the gorge 
was somewhat wider, though the rocks were still 
precipitous, the torrent was crossed by a picturesque 
wooden bridge, close beside which, on the opposite 
side of the stream, was a large traveUing-carriage, 
surrounded by banditti, who were now actively 
engaged in rifling it of its contents. 

The postilion and an old attendant had been 
shot, probably at the time when the report of fire- 
arras reached the ears of our travellers, and their 



270 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

bodies -were lying on the ground near the carriage. 
The traces had been cut, and the mules removed 
to a little distance from the vehicle. 

On the other side of the carriage, guarded by 
a couple of brigands, stood an old hidalgo, for such 
liis appearance and attire proclaimed him. He had 
been wounded in the attack, and was binding a 
handkerchief round his arm. Graham's attention, 
however, was diverted from the hidalgo by loud 
shrieks from the bridge. Two ladies, v/ho it ap- 
peared had escaped from the clutches of the bri- 
gands, and were flying across the bridge, had just 
been recaptured, and now made the rocks ring 
with their screams. One of them, who struggled 
violently with her captor, was young, beautiful, and 
richly dressed, and was, no doubt, the hidalgo's 
daughter. The other, who was much older, might 
be her duena. As Graham hurried on to the rescue 
of the affrighted ladies, both bandits discharged 
their pistols at him, but they were too much em- 
barrassed by their captives to take good aim. Gra- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 271 

ham replied with better effect. Both robbers were 
hit by his shots. One of them rolled into the 
torrent, and the other released his prey and fled. 
Thus liberated, the ladies flew towards their pre- 
server, and met him just as he reached the foot 
of the bridge. The younger of the two, who was 
half wild with terror, with her dishevelled locks 
hanging about her shoulders, called out piteously, 

"My father! .my dear father! save him, seuor! 
It is the Conde de Saldana." 

" Your father shall soon be set free, seuorita. 
My friends are at hand," said Graham, pointing to 
the advancing troop. 

" Calm yourself. Dona Casilda," cried the dueua; 
"calm yourself, my child. The saints on whom 
we called for aid have brought this noble caballero 
to deliver us from a fate worse than death." 

"Do not stay here, senorita," cried Graham. 
"You are exposed to danger. Take shelter be- 
hind yon rock. I will soon bring your father to 
you." 



272 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

" Thanks ! oh thanks, senor," exclaimed Dona 
Casilda, with a grateful glance at her preserver. 
And, accompanied by the duena, she flew to the 
place of refuge which had been pointed out to 
her. 

At the same moment the cavalcade came up. 

Meantime, the brigands, alarmed by the appear- 
ance of such a force as the travellers presented, 
had seized their firelocks, and, rushing towards the 
bridge, seemed determined to prevent the cavalcade 
from crossing it. Fearing that mischief might 
occur to the prince, Graham besought him to hold 
back, but Charles would not be stayed, and calling 
to the others to follow him, prepared at all hazards 
to drive the robbers from the bridge. 

Fortunately at this moment shouts were heard 
farther down in the gorge, and a small detachment 
of musketeers was seen hurrying to the scene of 
action. At this sight, finding they would soon be 
outnumbered, and would also be attacked in rear 
and front, the brigands turned and fled, quickly 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 273 

disappearing among the rocks. So precipitate was 
their flight, that they were unable to take any of 
the booty with them. 

Two of the band, however, aided by a black- 
visaged ruffian, who appeared from his air of com- 
mand to be the captain, endeavoured to carry off 
the Conde de Saldana, probably hoping to obtain 
a large sum for his ransom. Seizing the old hi- 
dalgo by the arms, they tried to drag him off, while 
the captain, holding a poniard to his breast, threa- 
tened, witli terrible oaths, to stab him to the heart 
if he resisted. 

In this manner they succeeded in dragging him 
among the rocks, and might have got clear off 
with their prey, if Graham had not come to his 
assistance. Firing at the robber chief, and wound- 
ing the villain, Graham sprang from his mule and 
bounded up the rocks. The robbers did not await 
his approach, but, releasing the Conde de Saldana, 
made good their retreat. Graham did not at- 
tempt to pursue them, neither did he bestow any 

YOL. I. T 



274 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

thought on their leader, who was lying on a shelf 
of rock, but assisted the old hidalgo to descend. 

By this time Charles and his companions had 
come up, and a few moments later the musketeers 
arrived on the spot, and after securing the wounded 
captain, and binding him hand and foot, they 
scrambled up the rocks in search of the rest of the 
band. 

It appeared that these musketeers had just arrived 
at the village of Pancorbo, w^iich lay at the end of 
the gorge, about a quarter of a- league off, when the 
sound of fire-arms had brought them to the scene 
of attack. 

As may well be supposed, the old hidalgo's first 
inquiries were for his daughter, and he was not 
kept long in suspense in regard to her safety. Im- 
pelled by curiosity, which was stronger than their 
fears, Doiia Casilda and her dueiia ventured from 
their place of refuge, and finding that the robbers 
had been driven off, they hurried across the bridge, 
and arrived at the spot where the carriage was left 



THE SPAXISH IMATCH. . 275 

at the precise moment that the Conde de Saldana 
was brought there by Graham. 

Uttering a cry of delight, Dona Casilda threw 
herself upon her father's neck, while the old hi- 
dalfi^o, in his delis^ht at beholdino^ her, foro^ot his 
wound and all that had befallen him. Not to 
interrupt their meeting, Charles and his attendants 
moved away to a short distance. 

" How have you been preserved, my child ? " 
cried the old hidalgo, as he recovered from his 
emotion. 

" Senora Engracia and myself were rescued by 
this gentleman," replied Dona Casilda, pointing to 
Graham. 

" He also was my deliverer," said the Conde 
de Saldana. " Senor," he added to Graham, " may 
I ask to whom we are thus greatly indebted." 

"I am Sir Richard Graham, an Enghsh gen- 
tleman, Senor Conde, and am on my way to Ma- 
drid," replied the young man. 

" You have done me an incalculable service. Sir 
t2 



276 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

Ricliard," said tlie old hidalgo. "I rejoice to learn 
tliat you are travelling to Madrid. You will find 
a home, if you please, at the Casa Saldana. I 
will also introduce you to the court of our young 
king, Felipe IV. My daughter and myself are on 
our way to Madrid, and were posting from Mi- 
randa to Burgos when this attack occurred. Hea- 
ven be praised it is no worse ! " 

" But you are wounded, father ! " cried Dona 
Casilda. 

" It is but a trifling hurt," replied the hidalgo. 
" I will get it dressed by the barber-chirurgeon at 
Pancorbo. These are your friends. Sir Richard ? " 
he added, as Charles and Buckingham approached. 

"Friends and compatriots," replied Graham. 

The old hidalgo courteously saluted them, and 
thanked them warmly for the assistance they had 
rendered him. Though evidently much struck by 
the distinguished appearance of the prince and 
Buckingham, he forbore to inquire their names. 
He afterwards, however, told his daughter that he 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 277 

was confident they were persons of the highest 
rank. 

The exertions of the whole party were now 
directed towards enablincr the Conde de Saldana 

o 

and his daughter to proceed on their journey. 
Luckily, the mules were uninjured, and they were 
speedily harnessed to the carriage by ropes. All 
the articles scattered about by the brigands were 
quickly collected together and replaced in the 
coffers, and everything being rearranged as well 
as circumstances permitted, the old hidalgo, with 
his daughter and the duena, once more took their 
seats in the carriage. Tlie place of the unlucky 
driver who had been shot by the brigands was 
supplied by one of the postilions in attendance 
upon our travellers, and all being settled at last, 
the whole party proceeded to Pancorbo — Charles 
and his companions forming an escort to the car- 
riage. 

At Pancorbo, the Conde de Saldana alighted to 
have his wound dressed, and here our travellers 



278 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

took leave of him and his daughter, and pursued 
their journey to Burgos. 

^^ We shall hope to see you on our arrival at 
Madrid, Don Ricardo," said Dona Casilda, as she 
bade adieu to Graham. 

" I shall not fail to present myself, senorita," he 
replied. " But perhaps you may have forgotten 
me by that time." 

*^I am not so ungrateful," she said, fixing her 
magnificent black eyes somewhat reproachfully 
upon him. " Hasta la vista, senor ! " 

" Adios, senorita ! " 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 279 



XX. 

HOW SIR rJCKUlD GEAHAit MET WITH AN ADVENTURE IN 
THE CATHEDKAL OF BTJEGOS. 

Just at sunset tlie travellers approached Burgos. 
On quitting Pancorbo tliey had made the best of 
their way across broad plains, over steep and barren 
raountainSj and through narrow valleys, obtaining 
fresh relays of mules at Brlviesca, Rodilla, and 
Quintanapalla. At eventide, as we have said, 
they drew near the old capital of Old Castile. 

From its associations with the renowned Cid 
Campeador, Burgos possessed strong interest for 
our romantic and chivalrous prince, and it was not 



280 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

without emotion that he first caught sight of the 
twin spires of its incomparable cathedral. 

Ere longj as he gained an eminence, the whole 
of the ancient and picturesque city rose before him 
— its old walls, its gates, its proud castle, its count- 
less towers and steeples brought out in black relief 
against the glowing sky. 

Above all these structures, like a giant amid a 
host of pigmies, domineered the gigantic cathedral. 
All the upper part of the fabric — the mighty roof, 
the noble central tower with its pinnacles, and the 
two exquisitely crocketed spires, of which we have 
just spoken, each springing to a height of three 
hundred feet — could now be clearly discerned. 

Between the travellers and Burgos lay the Vega, 
a fair and fertile plain, richly wooded in the part 
adjacent to the city, and watered by the river 
Arlanzon, now crimsoned by the setting sun. 
Crowning a hill about half a league from the emi- 
nence on which the prince had halted to survey 
the scene, stood the Cartuja de Miraflores, a mag- 



THE SPANISH ilATCH. 281 

nificent convent, built in the fifteenth century, in 
the purest Gothic style, and which had served as 
a mausoleum for the old monarchs of Castile. 

Charles remained rapt in contemplation of this 
beautiful prospect, until the shades of night, which 
came on too quickly, shrouded it from his view. 
Even in the gloom he could distinguish the giant 
mass of the cathedral, and the still shining Arlanzon 
flowinor throuojh the wooded Veoja. 

After traversing a bridge across the river, and 
passing through a lofty gateway, the cavalcade 
entered the city, and proceeded along several streets, 
the houses of which seemed of great antiquity, 
many of them being decorated with stone es- 
cutcheons, and curiously painted. 

These streets were only lighted by lanterns hung 
in front of the shops, or by candles burning before 
some holy image. But there were plenty of people 
abroad — dames and damsels draped in mantillas, 
caballeros muffled in black cloaks, monks, priests, 
alguacils, officers of the Inquisition, barbers, sol- 



282 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

diers, vagabond boys^ and beggars without number. 
In tlie aspect and deportment of these people — 
beggars and boys included — the proud Castilian 
character was displayed. All had a grave, haughty 
air, and marched like hidalgos. Pride and poverty 
went hand in hand. A ragged cloak seemed to be 
accounted no disgrace to its wearer — at least, he 
did not appear ashamed of it. In the balconies of 
many of the houses parties of young persons were 
assembled, and the tinkling of guitars was fre- 
quently heard. 

The streets being narrow, and, moreover, en- 
cumbered by vehicles of various kinds and strings 
of mules, the progress of the cavalcade was neces- 
sarily slow. At last they issued into a large plaza, 
on one side of which, hemmed in by inferior build- 
ings, stood the cathedral, and thither, as soon as 
they had secured rooms at the parador, where they 
alighted, Charles and Buckingham immediately 
repaired, fortunately arriving in time to witness 
the solemnisation of evening mass. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 283 

Prepared as they were for a wondrous spectacle, 
the grand coup d'oeil oJBfered by the interior of the 
cathedral far surpassed any expectations they had 
formed of it, and struck them with reverential 
awe. Emerging from one of the aisles into the 
mighty nave, they stood still for a short time to 
contemplate the sublime picture. A large portion 
of the fane was plunged in gloom, but this ob- 
scurity added to the effect of such parts as could 
be distinguished. The twinkling tapers attached 
to the long line of pillars on either side, though 
only serving to make darkness visible in the aisles, 
cast sufficient light on the nave to disclose the 
numerous figures kneeling on the pavement. These 
devotees were for the most part women, who, even 
while reciting their prayers, never ceased to agitate 
their fans. All, without exception, wore mantillas, 
and were attired in black. Scattered amongst them 
were a few men in varied and picturesque cos- 
tumes. 

The grand altar at which the priests were offi- 



284 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

dating was a blaze of light, and the splendour of 
this part of the scene was heightened by the sur- 
rounding gloom. The prince and Buckingham 
might have regretted that so many architectural 
beauties — so many exquisite sculptures and paint- 
ings — were hidden from their view ; that the glories 
of the gorgeous painted windows were not called 
forth by external light, and the charming perspec- 
tives formed by the triple rows of pillars in the 
aisles were only imperfectly revealed ; but, such as 
it was, the picture was perfect of its kind, and de- 
lighted them as much as if every detail had been 
fully revealed. 

Moving slowly down the nave, ever and anon 
glancing between the pillars of the aisles at some 
lovely but dimly-seen chapel, or pausing to gaze at 
a painting or statue that attracted their attention, 
the prince and his companion approached the 
choir, where the light afforded by the great altar- 
candles was sufficiently strong to enable them to 
discern the marvellous workmanship of the stalls, 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 285 

the superb retablo, with its spiral pillars and con- 
summately beautiful statues, and overhead the glo- 
rious dome, storied with the arms of kings and 
archbishops — a dome which Philip 11. pronounced 
to be so beautiful, "that it seemed the work of 
angels rather than the production of men." 

Having examined all these marvels, so far as was 
practicable under the circumstances — the sacred 
rites were then being performed at the high altar 
— the prince and Buckingham glided noiselessly 
away, and proceeded to the grand Gothic chapel, 
called the Capilla del Condestable — in itself a 
church — where they beheld a marvellous altar- 
screen and several tombs of extraordinary beauty 
— chief among the latter being the tomb of Don 
Pedro Hernandez de Velasco, constable of Castile, 
and founder of the chapel. They were next taken 
by a sacristan, who, seeing they were strangers, 
volunteered to act as their cicerone, to the chapter- 
house, where they saw, fastened against the wall, 
an old wooden coflfer of great size, and strengthened 



286 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

by bands of iron, described by their conductor as 
"the Chest of the Cid." 

The legend connected with this singular coffer 
was recounted to them by the sacristan, and was to 
the effect that the Cid, being in want of money, 
filled the chest with old armour, and then taking it 
to a wealthy Hebrew, represented to him that 
its contents were vessels of silver and gold, and 
demanded six hundred marks on the deposit, stipu- 
lating at the same time that the chest should not 
be opened till the loan was repaid. The Jew, who 
was either more credulous and confiding than the 
generality of his tribe, or had a profound respect 
for the Cid, accepted the conditions, and counted 
out the money. Whether the Cid performed his 
part of the engagement the sacristan could not tell, 
but he held the stratagem not only to be perfectly 
justifiable, but praiseworthy. He would have told 
them other stories of the renowned Gothic warrior, 
whose name is the boast of Burgos, but they had 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 287 

heard enough, and returned to the body of the 
cathedral. 

Vespers were just over, the great altar-candles 
were already extinguished, and the chanters and 
sub-chanters were closinof the maornificent orilt iron 

o o o 

gates of the choir. Still some light was afforded 
by the tapers, which were left burning before the 
shrines and as^ainst the ranches of columns on either 
side of the nave. A few devotees still lingered, as 
if resolved to remain to the latest moment. 

Reluctant to quit the sacred fabric, with the 
wondrous beauty of which they were quite smitten, 
Charles and Buckino^ham were standincj near the 
centre of the nave, gazing around, when they were 
joined by Graham. 

"You are late, Dick," said Buckingham, in a 
low tone to him. '' Mass is over." 

"' I know it. I have been here for some time — 
quite long enough to meet with an adventure," re- 
plied the other. 



2SS THE SPANISH MATCH. 

"An amorous adventure, of course," remarked 
Buckingham. 

" Your lordship shall hear. I was standing near 
the last pillar of yonder aisle, when a lady, while 
passing hastily by me, slipped a billet into my 
hands." 

" Bah ! she mistook you for her lover." 

"Very Hkely," replied Graham. "But, at all 
events, here is the commencement of an adventure, 
if I choose to pursue it. I ought to tell your lord- 
ship that I had previously seen the lady kneeling 
before a statue of the Virgin in the Capilla de 
Santa Ana, and though her features were partly 
concealed by her envious mantilla, I could make 
out that she had an adorable countenance, and 
superb black eyes." 

" Was she alone? " inquired Buckingham. 

" An elderly dame was with her, whom I took to 
be her duena," replied Graham. 

"How is the billet' addressed ? " asked Buckinor- 
ham. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 289 

" It bears no superscription, and I have not yet 
opened it," returned Graham. 

While this conversation took place, two tall cava- 
liers, wrapped in black cloaks, issued from the aisle 
on the left, and stationed themselves at a little dis- 
tance from the party, on whom they were evidently 
keeping watch. 

Their manner quickly attracted Buckingham's 
attention, and he said to Graham, 

"By my faith, Dick, your adventure is likely 
to have an awkward termination. I'll be sworn 
that one of those scowling cavaliers, who look as if 
they would willingly cut your throat, is the lover 
of the lady from whom you received the billet. 
Give it him, and explain how you got it." 

'• Not I — unless he asks for it civilly," replied 
Graham. 

" Well, do as you please. If you have to fight, 
I will stand by you. The prince is about to de- 
part. Keep near us." 

No part of the foregoing discourse had reached 

VOL. I. u 



290 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

the ear of Charles, neither had he remarked the 
two cavaliers, who now followed them like sha- 
dows. 

As the party passed out by a side portal, Buck- 
ingham observed to the prince, 

" I must pray your highness to return to the 
parador alone. Graham and I have a word to say 
to yonder cavaliers." 

"Who are they?" demanded Charles, noticing 
the two mysterious-looking personages for the first 
time. 

"I know no more than your highness; but they 
have had the impertinence to follow us." 

"Do not provoke a quarrel, Geordie," said the 
prince. 

" Rest easy," replied Buckingham. " I have no 
such design. We will rejoin your highness very 
shortly." 

Satisfied with this assurance, Charles quitted his 
attendants, and proceeded across the plaza towards 
the parador. 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 291 

No sooner was he gone than the two cavaliers, 
who were standinoj at a little distance watchinoj 
them, came up, and one of them, in accents of con- 
strained courtesy, said to Graham, 

'* You have received a billet from a lady, senor. 
I must beg you to give it me, or I shall be forced 
to take it from you." 

"Aha! you must be jesting, senor," rejoined 
Graham. "I value the billet too highly to sur- 
render it." 

" Voto a Dios ! I will have it ! " cried the 
other, no longer able to contain himself. " It was 
given to you by mistake, senor. It was intended 
for me." 

" So you tell me, senor," rejoined Graham. 

"I swear to you I speak the truth. I am a 
Castilian noble, senor, and my word has never yet 
been doubted." 

" And I am an English gentleman, senor, and 
never yet brooked an affront," rejoined Gra- 
ham. "I will not part with the letter unless you 



292 THE SPANISH MATCH. 

can make good your vaunt, and take it from 
me." 

"Basta, senor!" said the cavalier. "Be pleased 
to follow me to a more retired spot." 

"This is a very foolish affair, Dick," observed 
Buckingham, " and if any harm should come of it, 
the prince will blame me. I cannot allow it to 
proceed." 

"But I cannot now retreat with honour, my 
lord," rejoined Graham. 

" I am waiting for you, senor," cried the cavalier, 
in a taunting tone. 

"Before we consent to follow you, seiior, we 
must know whither you would take us," interposed 
Buckingham. 

"The place is close by, senor," returned the 
cavalier -^ho had not hitherto spoken. " A couple 
of minutes will suffice to bring you to it." 

" So far good," observed Buckingham. " We 
will give you ten minutes to adjust the affair." 

" Five will suffice," cried the first cavalier, im- 



THE SPANISH MATCH. 293 

patiently. " While we have been talking here the 
matter might have been settled." 

"Vamos, senores, vamos!" rejoined Bucking- 
ham, haughtily. 



END OF VOL. I. 



6/f 



TOL. 1. 



xoxdon: 
peikted et c, whiting, eeaufor.t house, stkand. 






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