Ribald â€” help ! or I shall be torn in isieces."
Thus exhorted. Ribald and Hairun would have obeyed
But they were prevented by Og and Gog, who began to
see through their brother's design.
" Leave him alone," they cried, laughing loudly. " He
is about to give his dame a lesson."
" Is that all ? " replied Hairun. " Then he shall have
no interruption from me."
"Barbarian!" cried Dame Placida, appealing to her
husband. "Do you mean that I should be devoured!
Oh ! if ever I do get out, you shall bitterly repent your
" You never shall get out, unless you promise to amend
your own conduct," rejoined Magog,
" I will die sooner than make any such promise," replied
" Very well, then," rejoined Magog, " I shall give free
passage to Max."
And he slightly moved his person, while the animal
uttered another growl. The giants laughed loudly, and
encouraged their brother to proceed.
Â« Make her promise, or let Max take his course," they
" Fear it not," answered Magog.
Â« Monster I " shrieked Dame Placida, " you cannot mean
thisâ€” help! help!"
But no one stirred. And above the roaring of the
animals and the angry growling of Max, which Magog haa
provoked with a sly kick or two, was heard the loua
laughter of the gigantic brethren.
"I give you two minutes to consider," said Magog.
" If you do not resolve to amend in that time, I leave you
to your fate."
And he again goaded Max into a further exhibition ol
340 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
fury. Dame Placida became seriously alarmed, and hef
proud spirit began to give way.
" I promise," she uttered faintly.
" Speak up ! " bellowed Magog. " I can't hear you for
Â« I promise," replied Placida, in a loud and peevish voice.
" That won't do," rejoined her husband. " Speak as
you used to do before I married you, and let the others
"Yes â€” yes," cried Og, drawing near with the rest.
Â« We must all hear it, that we may be witnesses hereafter.
You promise to amend your conduct, and let our brother
live peaceably ? "
" I do â€” I do," replied Placida, in a penitential tone.
" Enough," replied MagOg. And putting out his arm
behind to his wife he covered her retreat, and then sud-
denly turning upon Max, kicked him into the cage, and
fastened the door.
Much laughter among the male portion of the company
ensued. But Dame Potentia looked rather grave, and
privately intimated to her husband her desire, or rather
command, that he should go home. As Peter Trusbut
took his departure, he whispered to Ilairun, Â« If ever you
think of marrying, I advise you to take good care of old
Max. I wish I could borrow him for a day or two."
"You shall have him, and welcome," returned the
"Thank you â€” thank you," answered the pantler de-
jectedly. " Mine is a hopeless case."
Dame Placida appeared so much subdued, that at last
Magog took compassion upon her, and led her away, ob-
serving to the bearward, " For my sake bestow a plentiful
supper on Max. He has done me a good turn, and I
would fain requite it."
The rest of the party speedily followed their example,
and as Xit took his leave, he remarked to his host, " Noth-
ing but Magog's desire to terrify his dame prevented me
from attacking Max. I am certain I could master him."
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 34I
" Say you so ? " replied Hairun ; " then you may have
an opportunity of displaying your prowess before the
"I will certainly avail myself of it," replied Xit.
Â« Give him a good supper, and he will be in better con-
dition for the fight."
Early on the following day Mary arrived at the Tower.
She came by water, and was received at the landing-place
by Sir Henry Bedingfeld, who conducted her with much
ceremony to the palace, where a sumptuous banquet was
prepared, at which the knight assisted as chief sewer, pre-
senting each dish to the Queen on his bended knee, and
placing a silver ewer filled with rose-water, and a napkin,
before her between the courses. Mary looked grave and
thoughtful, nor could the liveliest sallies of De Noailles,
who was one of the guests, call a smile to her lips. Ren-
ard also was present, and looked more gloomy than usual.
The banquet ended. Sir Henry Bedingfeld approached,
and laid a parchment before the Queen.
" What is this, sir ? " she demanded.
Â« The warrant for the burning of Edward Underhill,
the miscreant who attempted your Highness's life," replied
" How ! â€” burned ! and I had pardoned him," exclaimed
" He has been delivered over by the Council to the eccle-
siastical authorities, and such is the sentence pronounced
against him," returned the knight.
Mary sighed, and attached her signature to the scroll,
" The hour of execution, and the place ? " demanded
Â« To-morrow at midnight, on the Tower Green," replied
Soon after this, it being intimated to the Queen that
all was in readiness at the Lions' Tower, she arose and
proceeded thither, attended by a large retinue of nobles
and dames. On the way a momentary interruption oc-
curred, and Simon Renard, who walked a few paces
342 THE TOWER OF LONDOK
behind her, stepped forward, and whispered in her ear,
"I beseech your Highness to remain to-night in the
Tower, I have somewhat of importance to communicate
to you, which can be more safely revealed here than
Mary bowed assent, and the train set forward. A large
assemblage was collected within the area in front of the
Lions' Tower, but a passage was kept clear for the royal
party by two lines of halberdiers drawn up on either
side. Og and Magog were stationed at the entrance,
and reverentially doffed their caps as she passed. Mary
graciously acknowledged the salute, and inquired from
the elder giant what had become of his diminutive com-
" He is within, an' please your Majesty," replied Og,
" waiting to signalize himself by a combat with a bear."
" Indeed ! " rejoined Mary, smiling. " It is a hardy
enterprise for so small a champion. However, large souls
oft inhabit little bodies."
" Your Highness says rightly," observed Og. " But
your illustrious father, to whom I have the honor to be
indirectly related," and he inclined his person, " was wont
to observe that he had rather have a large frame and small
wit, than much wit, and a puny person."
" My father loved to look upon a mem," replied Mary,
"and better specimens of the race than thee and thy
brethren he could not well meet with."
" We are much beholden to your Highness," replied
Og ; " and equally, if not more so, to your royal father.
Whatever we can boast of strength and size is derived
from him. Our mother "
" Some other time," interrupted Mary, hastily passing
" Have I said aught to offend her Highness ? " asked Og
of his brother, as soon as they were alone.
" I know not," returned Magog. " But you fetched the
color to her cheeks."
On reaching the steps, Mary tendered her hand to Sir
THE TOWER OF LONDON, 343
Henry Bedingfeld, and he assisted her to ascend. A tem-
porary covering had been placed over the gallery, and the
stone parapet was covered with the richest brocade, and
velvet edged with gold fringe. The Queen's chair was
placed in the centre of the semicircle, and as soon as she
was seated, Sir Henry Bedingfeld stationed himself at her
left hand, and waved his staff. The signal was immediately
answered by a flourish of trumpets ; and a stout, square-
built man, with large features, an enormous bushy beard, a
short bull throat, having a flat cap on his head and a stout
staff in his hand. Issued from a side-door and made a
profound obeisance. It was Hairun. His homage ren-
dered, the bearward proceeded to unfasten the door of the
central cage, in which a lion of the largest size was con-
fined ; and uttering a tremendous roar that shook the
whole building, the kingly brute leaped forth. As soon
as he had reached the ground he glared furiously at his
keeper, and seemed to meditate a spring. But the latter,
who had never removed his eye from him, struck him
a severe blow on the nose with his pole, and he instantly
turned tail like a beaten hound, and fled howling to the
farther extremity of the area. Quickly pursuing him,
Hairun seized him by the mane, and, in spite of his re-
sistance, compelled him to arise, and bestriding him,
rode him backwards and forwards for some time, until
the lion, wearying of the performance, suddenly dislodged
his rider, and sprang back to his den. This courageous
action elicited great applause from the beholders, and the
Queen loudly expressed her approbation. It was followed
by other feats equally daring, in which the bearward
proved that he had attained as complete a mastery over
the savage tribe as any lion-tamer of modern times. Pos-
sessed of prodigious personal strength, he was able to
cope with any animal, while his knowledge of the habits
of the beast rendered him perfectly fearless as to the
result. He unloosed a couple of leopards, goaded them to
the utmost pitch of fury, and then defended himself from
their combined attack. A tiger proved a more serious
344 THE TOWER OF LONDON. ^
opponent. Springing against him, he threw the bearward
to the ground, and for a moment it appeared as if his
destruction was inevitable. But the brute's advantage
was only momentary. In this unfavorable position,
Hairun seized him by the throat, and nearly strangling
him with his gripe, pulled him down, and they rolled
over each other. During the struggle Plairun dealt his
antagonist a few blows with his fist, which deprived him
of his wind, and glad to retreat, he left the bearward
master of the field.
Hairun immediately arose and bowed to the Queen,
and, excepting a few scratches in the arms, and a gash in
the cheek, from which the blood trickled down his beard,
appeared none the worse for the contest. So little, in-
deed, did he care for it, that without tarrying to recover
breath, he opened another cage and brought out a large
hysena, over whom he obtained an easy conquest. At
last, having finished his performance to the Queen's en-
tire satisfaction, he stepped to a side-door, and introduced
Gog and Xit. The latter was arrayed in his gayest habili-
ments, and strutting into the centre of the area with a
mincing step, made a bow to the gallery that drew a
smile to the royal lips, and addressing Hairun, called in
a loud voice, " Bring forth Maximilian, the imperial bear,
that I may combat with him before the Queen."
The bearward proceeded to the cage, and unfastening
it, cried, " Come forth, old Max." And the bear obeyed.
Xit, meanwhile, flung his cap on the ground, and draw-
ing his sword, put himself in a posture of defence.
*â€¢ Shall I stand by thee ? " asked Gog.
" On no account," replied Xit in an offended tone. " I
want no assistance. I can vanquish him alone."
" Spare thy adversary's life," observed Hairun laugh-
" Fear nothing," replied Xit ; the brave are ever
" True," laughed Hairun, " I must give a like caution
to Max." And feigning to whisper in the bear's ear,
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 34^
who was sitting on its hind-legs, lolling out its tongue,
and looking round in expectation of some eatables, he
Seeing that Max paid no attention to him, Xit drew
nearer, and stamping his foot furiously on the ground
several times, made a lunge at him, screaming â€” " Sa-ha !
sa-ha! sirrah! â€” to the combat! to the combat."
Still Max did not notice him, but kept his small red
eyes fixed on the gallery, expecting that something would
be thrown to him. Enraged at this contemptuous treat-
ment of his defiance, Xit snatched up his cap, flung it in
the bear's face, and finding even this insult prove inef-
fectual, began to prick^im with the point of his sword,
crying, " Rouse thee, craven beast ! Defend thy life, or
I will slay thee forthwith."
Thus provoked, Max at length condescended to regard
his opponent. He uttered a fierce growl, but would not
perhaps have retaliated, if Xit had not persevered in his
annoyances. Gesticulating and vociferating fiercely, the
dwarf made a number of rapid passes, some of which took
effect in his antagonist's hide. All at once. Max made a
spring so suddenly, that Xit could not avoid it, struck
down the sword, and catching the dwarf in his arms,
hugged him to his bosom. All Xit's courage vanished in
a breath. He screamed loudly for help, and kicked and
struggled to free himself from the terrible grasp in which
he was caught. But Max was not disposed to let him off
so cheaply, and the poor dwarf's terror was excessive
when he beheld those formidable jaws, and that terrible
array of teeth ready to tear him in pieces. It had been
all over with him, if Gog, who stood at a little distance,
and narrowly watched the fray, thinking he had suffered
enough, had not run to his assistance. Grasping the
bear's throat with his right hand, the giant forced back
his head so as to prevent him from using his teeth, while
planting his knee against the animal's side, he tore asun-
der its gripe with the other hand. Hairun, who was
likewise flying to the rescue, seeing how matters stood,
34:6 THE TOWER OF LONDON. i
halted, and burst into a loud laugh. The next moment
Gog gave Max a buffet on the ears that laid him sprawl-
ing on his back, and Xit escaped from his clutches. As
soon as the bear regained his legs, he uttered a low angry
growl, and scrambled off to his cage. For a few seconds
Xit looked completely crestfallen. By degrees, however,
he recovered his confidence, and bowing to the gallery,
said, "I can scarcely with propriety lay claim to the
victory, as, if it had not been for my friend Gog "
" Nay, thou art welcome to my share of it," interrupted
" If so," rejoined Xit, " I must be pronounced the con-
queror, for Max has acknowledged himself vanquished by
beating a retreat." As he spoke the bear growled fiercely,
and putting his head out of his cage, seemed disposed to
renew the fight â€” a challenge so alarming to Xit, that he
flew to Gog for protection, amid the laughter of the as-
semblage. Mary then arose, and giving a purse of gold
to Sir Henry Bedingfeld, to be bestowed upon the bear-
ward, took her departure for the palace.
As Xit was conversing with his friends, maintaining
that he should have vanquished the bear if Hairun had not
most unfairly instructed the beast what to do, and offer-
ing to renew the combat on an early occasion, Lawrence
Nightgall, accompanied by two halberdiers, entered the
court, and approaching him, directed his companions to
attach his person. Xit drew his sword, and called upon
Gog to defend him.
" What is the meaning of this, master jailer ? " de-
manded the giant sternly.
" He is arrested by order of the Council. There is the
warrant," replied Nightgall.
" Arrested ! " exclaimed Xit. " For what ? "
" For conspiring against the Queen," replied Nightgall.
" I am innocent of the charge," replied Xit.
" That remains to be proved," replied Nightgall.
" I have no fears," rejoined Xit, recovering his com-
posure, â€” " but if 1 must lose my head, like his Grace of
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 347
Northumberland, I will make a better figure on the
scaffold. I shall be the first dwarf that ever perished by
the axe Farewell, Gog. Comfort thyself, I am innocent.
Lead me away, thou caitiff jailer."
So saying, he folded his arms upon his breast, and pre-
ceded by Nightgall, marched at a slow and dignified pace
between his guards.
HOW EDWARD UNDERBILL WAS BURNT ON TOWER GREEN.
It was the policy of the Romish priesthood, at the com^
mencement of Mary's reign, to win, by whatever means,
as many converts as possible to their Church. With this
view, Gardiner, by the Queen's desire, offered a free par-
don to the Hot-Gospeller, provided he would publicly
abjure his errors, and embrace the Catholic faith ; well
knowing, that as general attention had been drawn to his
crimes, and strong sympathy was excited on account of
his doctrines, notwithstanding the heinous nature of his
offence, among the Protestant party, his recantation would
be far more available to their cause than his execution.
But the enthusiast rejected the offer with disdain. Worn
down by suffering, crippled with torture, his spirit still
burned fiercely as ever. And the only answer that could
be wrung from him by his tormentors was, that he
lamented his design had failed, and rejoiced he should
seal his faith with his blood.
On one occasion he was visited in his cell by Bonner,
who desired that the heavy irons with which he was
loaded should be removed, and a cup of wine given him.
TJnderhill refused to taste the beverage, but Nightgall and
Wolfytt, who were present forced him to swallow it. A
brief conference then took place between the Bishop and
the prisoner, wherein the former strove earnestly to per-
suade him to recant. But Underbill was so firm in his
348 ^HE TOWER OF LONDON.
purpose, and so violent in his denunciations against his
interrogator, that Bonner lost all patience, and cried, ** If
my words do not affright thee, thou vile traitor and pesti-
lent heretic, yet shall the fire to which I will deliver thee."
" There thou art mistaken, thou false teacher of a false
doctrine," rejoined Underhill sternly. " The fire may
consume my body, but it hath no power over my mind,
which shall remain as unscathed as the three children of
Israel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, when they
stood in the midst of the fiery furnace. For as the Apostle
saith, ' The fire shall try every man's work what it is. If
any man's work, that he hath builded upon, abide, he shall
receive a reward. If any man's work burn, he shall suffer
loss. But he shall be saved himself, nevertheless, yet as it
were through fire.' Even so shall I, despite my manifold
transgressions, be saved, while ye, idolatrous priests and
prophets of Baal, shall be consumed in everlasting flames."
" Go to, â€” go to, thou foolish boaster," retorted Bonner
angrily ; " a season will come when thou wilt bitterly
lament thou hast turned aside the merciful intentions of
" I have already said that the fire has no terrors for me,"
replied Underhill. "When the spirit has once asserted
its superiority over the flesh, the body can feel no pain.
Upon the rack â€” in that dreadful engme, which fixes the
frame in such a posture that no limb or joint can move â€”
I was at ease. And to prove that I have no sense of suf-
fering, I will myself administer the torture."
So saying, and raising with some difficulty his stiffened
arm, he held his hand over the flame of a lamp that stood
upon the table before him, until the veins shrunk and
burst, and the sinews cracked. During this dreadful trial,
his countenance underwent no change. And if Bonner
had not withdrawn the lamp, he would have allowed the
limb to be entirely consumed.
" Peradventure thou wilt believe me now," he cried
triumphantly ; " and wilt understand that the Lord will
so strengthen me with Ilis Holy Spirit, that I may be
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 349
* one of the number of those blessed, which, enduring to
the end, shall reap a heavenly inheritance.' "
"Take him away," replied Bonner. "His blood be
upon his own head. He is so blinded and besotted, that
he does not perceive that his death will lead to damna-
" No, verily," rejoined Underbill exultingly ; " for as
St. Paul saith, ' There is no damnation to them that are in
Christ Jesus, which walk not after the flesh, but after the
spirit. Death, where is thy sting ? Hell, where is thy
victory ? ' "
" Hence with the blasphemer," roared Bonner ; " and
spare him no torments, for he deserves the severest ye
Upon this Underbill was removed, and the Bishop's
injunctions in respect to the torture literally fulfilled.
Brought to trial for the attempt upon the Queen's life,
he was found guilty, and received the royal pardon.
Nothing could be elicited as to his having any associates
or instigators to his crime. And the only matter that
implicated another was the prayer for the restoration of
Jane, written in a leaf of the Bible found upon his person
at the time of his seizure. But though he was pardoned
by Mary, he did not escape. He was claimed as a heretic
by Bonner, examined before the ecclesiastical commis-
sioners, and adjudged to the stake. The warrant for his
execution was signed, as above related, by the Queen.
On the night before this terrible sentence was carried
into effect, he was robed in a loose dress of flame-colored
taffeta, and conveyed through the secret passages to St.
John's Chapel in the White Tower, which was brilliantly
illuminated, and filled with a large assemblage. As he
entered the sacred structure, a priest advanced with holy
water, but he turned aside with a scornful look. An-
other, more oflBcious, placed a consecrated wafer to his
lips, but he spat it out ; while a third forced a couple of
tapers into his hands, which he was compelled to carry.
In this way he was led along the aisle by his guard,
350 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
through the crowd of spectators who divided as he moved
towards the altar, before which, as on the occasion of the
Duke of Northumberland's reconciliation, Gardiner was
seated upon the faldstool, with the mitre on his head.
Priests and choristers were arranged on either side in
their full habits. The aspect of the chancellor-bishop was
stern and menacing, but the miserable enthusiast did not
quail before it. On the contrary, he seemed inspired with
new strength ; and though he had with difficulty dragged
his crippled limbs along the dark passages, he now stood
firm and erect. His limbs were wasted, his cheeks hol-
low, his eyes deep sunken in their sockets, but flashing
with vivid lustre. At a gesture from Gardiner, Night-
gall and Wolfytt, who attended him, forced him upon
" Edward Underbill," demanded the Bishop, in a stern
voice, " for the last time, I ask thee dost thou persist in
thy impious and damnable heresies ? "
" I persist in my adherence to the Protestant faith, by
which alone I can be saved," replied Underbill firmly.
"I deserve and desire death for having raised my hand
against the Queen's life. But as her Highness has
been graciously pleased to extend her mercy towards me,
if I suffer death it will be in the cause of the gospel.
And I take all here present to witness that I am right
willing to do so, certain that I shall obtain by such means
the crown of everlasting life. I would sufi'er a thousand
deaths â€” yea, all the rackings, torments, crucifyings, and
other persecutions endured by the martyrs of old, rather
than deny Christ and His gospel, or defile my faith and
conscience with the false worship of the Romish religion."
" Then perish in thy sins, unbeliever," replied Gardiner
And he arose, and taking off his mitre, the whole
assemblage knelt down, while the terrible denunciation of
the Catholic Church against a heretic was solemnly pro-
nounced. This done, mass was performed, hymns were
chanted, and the prisoner was conducted to his cell.
THE TOWER OF LONDO^^. 35I
The brief remainder of his life was passed by Under-
hill ill deep but silent devotion; for his jailers, who never
left him, would not suffer him to pray aloud, or even to
kneel ; and strove, though vainly, to distract him, by
singing ribald songs, plucking his beard and garments,
and offering other interruptions.
The place appointed as the scene of his last earthly
suffering was a square patch of ground, marked by a border
of white flint stones, then, and even now, totally destitute
of herbage, in front of St. Peter's Chapel on the Green,
where the scaffold for those executed within the Tower
was ordinarily erected, and where Anne Boleyn and
Catherine Howard were beheaded. On this spot a strong
stake was driven deeply into the ground, and at a little
distance from it was piled a large stack of fagots. An
iron ring was fixed to the centre of the stake, and to the
ring was attached a broad ii-on girdle, destmed to encircle
the body of the victim.
As night set in, a large band of halberdiers marched
into the Green, and stationed themselves round the stake.
Long before this, sombre groups had gathered together at
various points, and eyed the proceedings in moody silence.
None of the curiosity â€” none of the excitement â€” ordin-
arily manifested upon such occasions was now exhibited.
Underhill's crime had checked the strong tide of sympathy
which would otherwise have run in his favor. Still, as