part of host, and- he acquitted himself to admiration.
Ever and anon, rising in his chair, with a goblet of wine
in his hand, he would pledge some guest, or call out to
Peter Trusbut to fill some empty plate.
He had a jest
for every one; — abundance of well-turned compliments
for the ladies ; and the tenderest glances and whispers
for his dame, who looked more lovesick and devoted than
ever. By the time the cloth was removed, and the dishes
replaced by flagons and pots of hydromel and wine. Sir
Narcissus was in the height of his glory. Tlie wine had
got a little into his head, but not more than added to his
exhilaration, and he listened with rapturous delight to
the speech made by Og, who in good set terms proposed
his health and that of his bride. The pledge was drunk
with the utmost enthusiasm ; and in the heat of his ex-
citement, Sir Narcissus mounted on the table, and bowing
all round, returned thanks in the choicest phrases he
could summon. His speech received several interruptions
from the applauses of his guests ; and Hairun, who was
bent upon mischief, thought this a favorable opportunity
for practising it. During the banquet, he had kept the
monkey in the background, but he now placed him on
the table behind Sir Narcissus, whose gestures and
posture the animal began to mimic. Its grimaces were
so absurd and extraordinary, that the company roared
with laughter, to the infinite astonishment of the speaker,
who at the moment was indulging in a pathetic regret at
the necessity he should be under of quitting his old
haunts in consequence of his new dignities and duties ;
but his surprise was changed to anger, as he felt his
sword suddenly twitched from the sheath, and beheld
the grinning countenance of the ape close behind him.
Uttering an exclamation of fury, he turned with the in-
tention of sacrificing the cause of his annoyance on the
spot; but the animal was too quick for him, and spring-
ing on his shoulders, plucked off his cap, and twisted its
558 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
fingers in his well-curled hair, lugging him tremendously.
Screaming with pain and rage, Sir Narcissus ran round
the table, upsetting all in his course, but unable to free
himself from his tormentor, who, keeping fast hold of his
head, grinned and chattered as if in mockery of his
Lady le Grand had not noticed the monkey's first pro-
ceedings, her attention being diverted by Ribald, who
pressed her, with many compliments upon her charms, to
take a goblet of malmsey which he had poured out for her.
But she no sooner perceived what was going forward,
than she flew to the rescue, beat off the monkey, and hug-
ging her little lord to her bosom, almost smothered him
with kisses and caresses. Nor were Dames Placida and
Potentia less attentive to him. At first they had treated
the matter as a joke, but seeing the diminutive knight was
really alarmed, they rubbed his head, patted him on the
back, embraced him as tenderly as Lady le Grand would
permit, and loudly upbraided Hairun for his misconduct.
Scarcely able to conceal his laughter, the offender pre-
tended the utmost regret, and instantly sent off the
monkey by one of the attendants to the Lions' Tower.
It was some time before Sir Narcissus could be fully
appeased ; and it required all the blandishments of the
dames, and the humblest apologies from Hairun, to prevent
him from quitting the party in high dudgeon. At length,
however, he was persuaded by Magog to wash down his
resentment in a bottle of sack, brewed by the pantler, and
the generous drink restored him to instant good-humor.
Called upon by the company to conclude his speech, he
once more ventured upon the table, and declaiming bitterly
against the interruption he had experienced, finished his
oration amid the loudest cheers. He then bowed round
in his most graceful manner, and returned to his chair.
It had already been stated that Mauger, Sorrocold, and
Wolfytt were among the guests. The latter had pretty
nearly recovered from the wound inflicted by Nightgall,
which proved, on examination, by no means dangerous ;
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 559
and, regardless of the consequences, he ate, drank, laughed,
and shouted as lustily as the rest. The other two being
of a more grave and saturnine character, seldom smiled
at what was going forward ; and though they did not
neglect to fill their goblets, took no share in the general
conversation, but sat apart in a corner near the chimney
with Winwike, discussing the terrible scenes they had
witnessed in their different capacities, with the true gusto
" And so Lady Jane Grey and her husband will pos-
itively be executed to-morrow ? " observed Winwike.
" There is no chance of further reprieve, I suppose ? "
" None whatever," replied Mauger. " Father Fecken-
ham, I understand, offered her two days more if she
would prolong her disputation with him, but she refused
No — no. There will be no further respite. She will
suffer on the Green — her husband on Tower Hill."
" So I heard," replied Sorrocold — " Poor soul ! she is
very young — not seventeen, I am told."
" Poh — poh ! " cried Mauger gruffly — " there's nothing
in that. Life is as sweet at seventy as seventeen. How-
ever, I'll do my work as quickly as I can. If you wish
to see a head cleanly taken off, get as near the scaffold as
"I shall not fail to do so," returned Sorrocold. "I
would not miss it for the world."
" As soon as the clock strikes twelve, and the Sabbath
is ended," continued Mauger, " my assistants will begin to
put up the scaffold. You know the spot before St. Peter's
Chapel. They say the grass won't grow there. But
that's an old woman's tale — ho ! ho ! "
" Old woman's tale, or not," rejoined Winwike gravely
— "it's true. I've often examined the spot, and never
could find a blade of herbage there."
" Well, well," rejoined Mauger, " I won't dispute the
point. Believe it, and welcome. I could tell other
strange tales concerning that place. It's a great privilege
to be beheaded there, and only granted to illustrious
560 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
personages. The last two who fell there were Queen
Catherme Howard, and her confidante, the Countess of
Rochford. Lady Jane Grey would be beheaded on Tower
Hill, with her husband, but they are afraid of the mob,
who might compassionate the youthful pair, and occasion
a riot. It's better to be on the safe side— ho ! ho ! "
" You said you had some other strange tales to tell
concerning that place," observed Sorrocold. " What are
they ? "
"I don't much like talking about them," rejoined
Mauger reluctantly, " but since I've dropped a hint on the
subject, I may as well speak out. You must know, then,
that the night before the execution of the old Countess of
Salisbury, who would not lay her head upon the block,
and whom I was obliged to chase round the scaffold and
bring down how I could — the night before she fell — and
a bright moonlight night it was — I was standing on the
scaffold putting it in order for the morrow, when all at
once there issued from the church porch a female figure,
shrouded from head to foot in white."
" Well ! " exclaimed Sorrocold breathlessly.
" Well," returned the headsman, " though filled with
alarm, I never took my eyes from it, but watched it glide
slowly round the scaffold, and finally return to the porch,
where it disappeared."
" Did you address it ? " asked Winwike.
" Not I," replied Mauger. " My tongue clove to the roof
of my mouth. I could not have spoken to save my life."
" Strange ! " exclaimed Sorrocold. " Did you ever see
it again ? "
" Yes, on the night before Catherine Howard's execu-
tion," replied Mauger ; " and I have no doubt it will
" Do you think so ? " cried Sorrocold. " I will watch
" I shall visit the scaffold myself an hour after mid-
night," returned Mauger — " you can accompany me if you
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 561
« Agreed ! " exclaimed the ehirurgeon.
They were here interrupted by a boisterous roar of
merriment from the other guests. While their sombre
talk was going on, Ribald, who had made considerable
progress in the good graces of Lady le Grand, had related
a merry tale, and at its close, which was attended with
shouts of laughter, Sir Narcissus ordered a fresh supply
of wine, and the vast measures were promptly replenished
by the pantler. Several pleasant hours were thus con-
sumed, until at last Sir Narcissus arose, or rather at-
temjjted to rise, for his limbs refused their office, and his
gaze was rather unsteady, and addressed his friends as
follows : " Farewell, my merry gossips," he hiccuped^
" farewell ! As I am now a married man, I must keep
go-o-o-d hours." (At this moment the clock struck
twelve.) " I have already trespassed too much on Lady
le Grand's good nature. She is getting sleepy. So, to
speak truth, am I. I shall often visit you again — as often,
at least, as my dignities and duties will permit. Do not
stand in awe of my presence. I shall always unbend
with you — always. The truly great are never proud — at
least to their inferiors. With their superiors it is a dif-
ferent matter. This alone would convince you of my
"True," cried Gog, "no one would suspect you of being
the son of a groom of the pantry, for instance."
" No one," repeated Xit fiercely, and making an in-
effectual attempt to draw his sword, "or if he <?tc? suspect
it, he should never live to repeat it."
« Well, well," replied Gog meekly. " I don't suspect
« None of us suspect it," laughed Og.
" I am qu-quite sa-sa-satisfied," replied Sir Narcissusl
« More wine, old Trusbut. Fill the pots, pantler. I'll
give you a r-r-r-rousing pledge."
« And so will I," cried his dame, who, like her lord, was
a little the worse for the wine she had swallowed — her
goblet being kept constantly filled by the assiduous Ri^
562 THE TOWER OP LONDON.
bald — " so will I, if you don't come home directly, you
" Lady le Gr-r-and," cried Sir Narcissus furiously, " I'll
divorce you. I'll behead you as Harry the Eighth did
« No chuck, you won't," replied the lady. " You will
think better of it to-morrow." So saying, she snatched
him up in her arms, and despite his resistance, carried
him off to his lodging in the palace, long before reaching
which he had fallen asleep, and when he awoke next
morning, he had but a very confused recollection of the
events of the preceding night.
And here, as it will be necessary to take leave of our
little friend, we will give a hasty glance at his subse-
quent history. Within a year of his union, a son was
born to him, who speedily eclipsed his sire in stature,
and in due season became a stalwart, well-proportioned
man, six feet in height, and bearing a remarkable resem-
blance to Ribald. Sir Narcissus was exceedingly fond of
him ; and it was rather a droll sight to see them together.
The dwarfish knight continued to rise in favor with the
Queen, and might have been constantly with the court
had he pleased, but as he preferred, from old habits and
associations, residing within the Tower, he was allowed
apartments in the palace, of which he was termed, in
derision, the grand seneschal. On Elizabeth's accession,
he was not removed, but retained his post till the mid-
dle of the reign of James the First, when he died full of
years and honors — active, vain, and consequential to the
last, and from his puny stature, always looking young.
He was interred in front of St. Peter's Chapel on the
Green, near his old friends the giants, who had preceded
him some years to the land of shadows and the stone
that marks his grave may still be seen.
As to the three gigantic warders, they retained their
posts, and played their parts at many a feast and high
solemnity during Elizabeth's golden rule, waxing in girth
and bulk as they advanced in years, until they becaniQ
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 563
somewhat gross and unwieldy. Og, who had been long
threatened with apoplexy, his head being almost buried
in his enormous shoulders, expired suddenly in his chair
after a feast ; and his two brethren took his loss so much
to heart, that they abstained altogether from the flask,
and followed him in less than six months, dying, it was
thought, of grief, but more probably of dropsy. Their
resting-place has been already indicated. In the same
spot, also, lie Lady le Grand, Dame Placida, and the
worthy pantler and his spouse. Magog was a widower
during the later part of his life, and, exliibited no anxiety
to enter a second time into the holy state of matrimony.
Og and Gog died unmarried.
OF THE VISION SEEN BT MAUGER AND SOREOCOLD ON THE
After the forcible abduction of Sir Narcissus by
his spouse, the party broke up — Og and Gog shaping
their course to the By-ward Tower, Magog and his spouse,
together with Ribald, who had taken up his quarters
with them, to their lodging on the hill leading to the
Green, Hairun to the Lions' Tower, Winwike and his
son to the Flint Tower, while Mauger, Wolfytt, and Sor-
rocold proceeded to the Cradle Tower. Unfastening his
door, the headsman struck a light, and setting fire to a
lamp, motioned the other to a bench, and placed a stone
jar of strong waters before them, of which Wolfytt took
a long deep pull, but the chirurgeon declined it.
" I have had enough," he said. " Besides, I want to
see the spirit."
" I care for no other spirit but this," rejoined Wolfytt,
again applying his mouth to the jar.
564 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
« Take care of yourselves, masters," observed Mauger.
« I must attend to business."
« Never mind us," laughed Wolfytt, observing the ex-
ecutioner take up an axe, and after examining its edge,
begin to sharpen it, " grind away."
" This is for Lord Guif ord Dudley," remarked Mauger,
as he turned the wheel with his foot. " I shall need two
"Sharp work," observed Wolfytt, with a detestable
" You would think so were I to try one on you," re-
torted Mauger. « Ay, now it will do," he added, laying
aside the implement, and takmg up another. « This is
my favorite axe. I can make sure work with it. I always
keep it for queens or dames of high degree— ho ! ho !
This notch, which I can never grind away, was made by
the old Countess of Salisbury, that I told you about. It
was a terrible sight to see her white hair dabbled with
blood. Poor Lady Jane won't give me so much trouble,
I'll be sworn. She'll die like a lamb."
"Ay, ay," muttered Sorrocold. "God send her a
speedy death ! "
" She's sure of it with me," returned Mauger, « so you
may rest easy on that score." And as he turned the
grindstone quickly round, drawing sparks from the steel,
he chanted, as hoarsely as a raven, the following ditty : —
" Tlie axe was sharp, and heavy as lead,
As it touched the neck, off went the head I
WJiir — whir — whir — whir ! "
And the screaming of the grindstone formed an appro-
priate accompaniment to the melody.
" Queen Anne laid her white throat upon the block,
Quietly waiting the fatal shock ;
The axe it severed it right in twain,
And so quick — so true—that she felt no pain I
Whir — whir — whir — whir ! "
And he again set the wheel in motion.
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 565
•'Salisbury's countess, she would not die
As a proud dame should — decorously.
Lifting my axe, I split her skull,
And the edge since then has been notched and dull.
Whir — wfdr — whir — whir J
*' Queen Catherine Howard gave me a fee—
A chain of gold — to die easily :
And her costly present she did not rue,
For I touched her head, and away it flew I
Whir — ivhir — whir — luhir ! "
« A brave song, and well sung," cried Wolfytt, approv-
ingly. Have you any more of it ? "
"No," replied Mauger significantly. «I shall make
another verse to-morrow. My axe is now as sharp as a
razor," he added, feeling its edge. " Suppose we go to
the scaffold ? It must be up by this time."
« With all my heart," replied Sorrocold, whose super-
stitious curiosity was fully awakened.
Shouldering the heavy block with the greatest ease,
Mauger directed Wolfytt to bring a bundle of straw
from a heap in the corner, and extinguishing the lamp,
set forth. It was a sharp, frosty night, and the hard
ground rang beneath their footsteps. There was no
moon, but the stars twinkled brightly down, revealing
every object with suflBcient distinctness. As they passed
St. Thomas's Tower, Wolfytt laughingly pomted out
Bret's head stuck upon a spike on the roof, and observed,
« That poor fellow made Xit a knight."
On reaching the Green, they found Mauger's conjecture
right — ^the scaffold was nearly finished. Two carpenters
were at work upon it, nailing the planks to the posts, and
the noise of their hammers resounded in sharp echoes
from the surrounding habitations. Hurrying forward,
Mauger ascended the steps, which were placed on the
north, opposite St. Peter's Chapel, and deposited his bur-
den on the platform. He was followed more leisurely by
Sorrocold ; and WoKytt, throwing the straw upon the
ground, scrambled after them as well as he could.
566 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
" If I had thought it was so cold, I would have taken
another pull at the stone bottle," he said, rubbing his
"Warm yourself by helping the carpenter," replied
Sorrocold gravely. " It will do you more good."
Wolfytt laughed, and dropping on his knees, grasped
the block with both hands, and placed his neck in the
" Shall I try whether I can take your head off ? " de-
manded Mauger, feigning to draw his dagger.
Apprehensive that the jest might be carried a little too
far, Wolfytt got up, and imitated, as well as his drunken
condition would allow, the actions of a person addressing
the multitude and preparing for execution. In bowing
to receive the blessing of the priest, he missed his footing
a second time, and rolled off the scaffold. He did not
attempt to ascend again, but supported himself against
one of the posts near the carpenters. Mauger and Sor-
rocold took no notice of him, but began to converse in an
undertone about the apparition. In spite of himself, the
executioner could not repress a feeling of dread, and the
chirurgeon half -repented his curiosity.
After a while, neither spoke, and Sorrocold's teeth
chattered, partly with cold, partly with terror. Nothiug
broke the deathlike silence around, except the noise of the
hammer, and ever and anon a sullen and ominous roar
proceeding from the direction of the Lions' Tower.
" Do you think .it will appear ? " inquired Sorrocold,
whose blood ran cold at the latter awful sounds.
" I know not," replied Mauger — " Ah ! there — there it
is." And he pointed towards the church porch, from which
a figure, robed in white, but unsubstantial almost as the
mist, suddenly issued. It glided noiselessly along, and
without turning its face towards the beholders. No one
saw it except Mauger and Sorrocold, who followed its
course with their eyes. The carpenters continued their
work, and Wolfytt stared at his companions in stupid
and inebriate wonderment. After making the complete
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 567
circuit of the scaffold, the figure entered the church
porch and disappeared.
« What think you of it? " demanded Mauger, as soon as
he could find utterance.
" It is marvellous and incomprehensible, and if I had
not seen it with my own eyes, I could not have believed
it," replied the chirurgeon. « It must be the shade of
Anne Boleyn. She is buried in that chapel."
" You are right," replied the executioner. " It is her
spirit. There will be no further respite. Jane will die
OF THE UNION OF CHOLMONDELEY WITH ANGELA.
The near approach of death found Jane as unshaken
as before, or rather she rejoiced that her deliverance
was at hand. Compelled to her infinite regret to hold a
disputation with Feckenham, she exerted all her powers ;
and, as upon a former occasion, when opposed to a more
formidable antagonist, Gardiner, came off victorious. But
though defeated, the zealous confessor did not give up
his point, trusting he should be able to weary her out.
He accordingly passed the greater part of each day in her
prison, and brought with him, at different times, Gardiner,
Tunstal, Bonner, and other prelates, all of wHorn tried the
effect of their reasoning upon her, but with no avail.
Bonner, who was of a fierce and intolerant nature, was
so enraged, that on taking leave of her he said with much
acrimony, "Farewell, madam. I am sorry for you and
your obstinacy, and I am assured we shall never meet
" True, my lord," replied Jane ; " we never shall meet
again, unless it shall please God to turn your heart. And
I sincerely pray that He may send you His Holy Spirit,
that your eyes may be opened to His truth."
568 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
Nor had the others better success. Aware that what-
ever she said would be reported to the disadvantage of the
Protestant faith, if it could be so perverted, she determined
to give them no handle for misrepresentation, and fought
the good fight so gallantly that she lost not a single point,
and wrung even from her enemies a reluctant admission of
defeat. Those best skilled in all the subtleties of scholastic
argument could not perplex her. United to the most pro-
found learning, she possessed a clear logical understanding,
enabling her at once to unravel and expose the mysteries in
which they sought to perplex her, while the questions she
proposed in her turn were unanswerable. At first she
found Feckenham's visits irksome, but by degrees they be-
came almost agreeable to , her, because she felt she was
at once serving the cause of the Gospel, and taking from
her own thoughts. During all this time Angela never for a
moment quitted her, and though she took no part in the
conferences, she profited greatly by them.
Two days before she suffered, Jane said to Feckenham,
" You have often expressed a wish to serve me, reverend
sir. There is one favor you can confer upon me if you
« What is it, madam ? " he rejoined.
"Before I die," returned Jane, "I would fain see
Angela united to her lover, Cuthbert Cholmondeley. He
was ever a faithful follower of my unfortunate husband,
and he has exhibited a like devoted attachment to me. I
know not whether you can confer this favor upon me, or
whether you will do so if you can. But I venture, from
your professions of regard for me, to ask it. If you con-
sent, send, I pray you, to Master John Bradford, prebendary
of St. Paul's, and let him perform the ceremony in this
" Bradford ! " exclaimed Feckenham, frowning. " I
know the obstinate and heretical preacher well. If you
are willing that I should perform the ceremony, I will
undertake to obtain the Queen's permission for it. But
it must not be done by Bradford."
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 569
« Then I have nothing further to say," replied Jane.
« But how comes it that you, Angela," said Feckenham,
addressing her in a severe tone, " the daughter of Catholic
parents, both of whom suffered for their faith abandon
" A better light has been vouchsafed me," she replied,
« and I lament that they were not equally favored."
"Well, madam," observed Feckenham to Jane, "you
shall not say I am harsh with you. I desire to serve
Angela, for her parents' sake — both of whom were very
dear to me, I will make known your request to the Queen,
and I can almost promise it shall be granted on one con-
" On no condition affecting my opinions," said Jane.
"Nay, madam," returned the confessor, with a half-
smile, " I was about to propose nothing to which you can
object. My condition is, that if Bradford is admitted to
your prison, you exchange no word with him, excei)t in
reference to the object of his visit. That done, he must
depart at onee."
" I readily agree to it," replied Jane, " and I thank you
for your consideration."
After some further conference, Feckenham departed,
and Angela, as soon as they were alone, warmly thanked
Jane for her kindness, saying, " But why think of me at
such a time ? "
" Because it will be a satisfaction to me to know that
you are united to the object of your affections," replied
Jane. " And now leave me to my devotions, and prepare
yourself for what is to happen."
With this, she withdrew into the recess, and, occupied
in fervent prayer, soon abstracted herself from all else.