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and gentlemen were assembled for to
bid us good-night After he had lift-
ed me on the saddle, he threw his arm
round the horse's neck as if for to de-
tain him, and addressing me very
fondly, caUed me his own love, his
sole comfort, his best treasure, with
many other endearing expressions.

Then I, loth to kave him alone
amidst false fnends and secret ene-
mies, felt tenderness overcome me,
and I gave him in return some very
tender and passionate assurances of
affection ; upon which he kissed mine
hands over and over again, and our
hearts, overcharged with various emo-
tionsy found relief in this interchange
of loving looks and words. But, alas f
this bri^ interview had an unthought

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CkmHanee Sherwood.

of witness more than good Ladj
Tregonj, who said once or twice,
«Ck)me, children, be^ir yourselves,"
or « Tut, tut, we should be off;'* but
still lingered herself for to pleasure
us. I (£anced to look up, whilst Ba-
sil was fastening mj horse's bit, and
by the light of a lamp projecting from
the wall, I saw Hubert at an open
window right over above our heads.
I doubt not but that he had seen the
manner of our parting, and heard the
significant expressions therein used;
for a livid hue, and the old terrible
look which I had noticed in him be-
fore, disfigured his countenance. I
am of opinion that until that time
he had not believed with certainty
that my natural, unbiassed inclination
did prompt me to marry Basil, or that
I loved him with other than a conven-
ient and moderate regard, which, if
circumstances reversed their positions,
should not be a hindrance to his own
suit. Basil having finished his man-
agement with my bridle stepped back
with a smile and last good-night, all
unconscious of that menacing visage
which my terrified eyes were now
averted from, but which I still seemed
pursued by. It made me weep to^
think that these two brothers should
lie in the same chamber that coming
night ; th« one so confiding and guile-
less of heart, the other so fuU of
envy and enmity.

I was so tired when I reached home
that I fell heavily asleep for some
hours. But, awaking between five
and six of the clock,' and not able to
rest in my chamber, dressed myself
and went into the garden. Not far
from the house there was an arbor,
with a seat in it Passing alongside
of it, I perceived, with no small terror,
a man lying asleep on this bench.
And then, with increased afiright, but
not believing mine own eyes, but
rather thinking it to be a vision, saw
Basil, as it seemed to me, in the same
dress he wore the day before, but with
his face much paler. A cry burst from
me, for methought perhaps he should
be dead. But he awoke at my scream,

looked somewhat wildly about him for
a minute, rubbed his eyes, and then
with a kind of smile, albeit an exceed-
ing sad one, said,

** Is it you, my good angel ?'*

" O Basil,*' I cried, sitting down by
his side, and taking hold of his chilli
hand, " what hath happened ? Why
are you here P*

He covered his face with his hands.
Methinks he was praying. Then he
raised his pale, noble visage and

^^ About one hour after your depart*
lure, supper being just ended, I was
talking with Sir Walter Ealeigh and
some other gentlemen, when a mes-
sage was brought unto me from Lord
Burleigh, who had retired to his
chamber, desiring for to speak with
me. I thought it should be somewhat
anent the queen's pleasure for the or-
dering of the next day, and waited at
once on his lordship. When I came
in, he looked at me with a very severe
and harsh countenance. < Sir,' he said
in an abrupt manner, ' I am informed
that you are exconununicated for
papistry. How durst you then at-
tempt the royal presence, and to kiss
her majesty's hand ? You — unfit to
company with any Christian person —
you are fitter for a pair of stocks, and
are forthwith commanded not to ap-
pear again in her sight, but to hold
yourself ready to attend her council's
pleasure.* Constance, God onlj
knoweth what I felt ; and oh, may he
forgive me that for one moment I did
yield to a burning reseo^ent, and
forgot the prayers I have so often put
up, that when persecution fell on me
I might meet it, as the early Chris-
tians did, with blessings, not with
curses. But look you, love, a judi-
cial sentence, torture, death methinks,
should be easier to bear than this in-
sulting, crushing, brutal tone, which is
now used toward Catholics. Yet if
Christ was for us struck by a slave
and bore it, we should also be able for
to endure their insolent scorn. Bitter
words escaped me, I think, albeit I
know not very well what I said ; bat

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his lordship turned his back on the
man he had insulted, and left the
iXMQi without listening to me. I be
glad of it now. What doth it avail to
remonstrate against injuries done un-
der pretence of law, or bandy words
with a judge which can compel jou to
silence 7"

" Basil,'' I cried, ** you may forgive
that man ; I cannot''

" Yea, but if you love me, you shall
forgive him," he cried. " God defend
mine injuries should work in thee an
unchristian resentment! Nay, nay,
love, weep not ; think for what cause
I am ill-used, and thou wilt presently
rejoice thereat rather than grieve."

''But what happened when that
lord had left you ?" I asked, not yet
able to speak composedly.

Then he : '^ I stood stock-still for a
while in a kind of bewilderment, hear-
ing loud laughter in the hall below,
and seeing, as it did happen, a man
the worse for liquor staggering about
the court To my heated brain it did
seem as if hell had been turned loose
in my house, where some hours be-
fore — ^ Then he stopped, and again
sinking bis head on liis hands, paused
a little, and then continued without
looking up: "Well, I came down
the stairs and walked straight out at
the front door. As I passed the hall
I heard sotne one ask, ^ Which is the
master of this huge house P and an-
other, whom by his voice I knew to be
Topclifie, answered, ' Rookwood, a
papist, newly crept out of his ward-
ship. As to his house, 'tis modt fit for.
the blackguard, but not for her gra-
cious majesty to lodge in. But I hope
she will serve God with great and
comfortable examples, and have all
such notorious papists presently com-
mitted to prison/ This man's speech
seemed to restore me to myself, and a
firmer spirit came over me. I resolv-
ed not to sleep under mine own roof,
where, in the queen's name, such ig-
nominious treatment had been award-
ed me,' and went out of my house, re-
citing those vers'es of the Psalms, '
God, save m^in thy name, and in thy

strength judge me. Because strangers
have risen up against me, and the
strong have sought my souL' I came
here almost unwittingly, and nbt
choosing to disturb any one in the
midst of the night, lay down in this
place, and, I thank God, soon fell

** You did not see Hubert ?" I timid-
ly inquired*

" No," he said, « neither before nor
after my interview with Lord Bur-
leigh. I hope no one hath accused
him of papistry, and so this time ho
may escape."

"And who did accuse you?" I

" I know not," he answered ; " we
are never safe for one hour. A dis-
contented groom or covetous neighbor
may ruin us when they list"

" But are you not in danger of be-
ing called before the council ?" I said.

"Yea, more than in danger," he
answered. "But I should hope a
heavy fine shall this time satisfy the
judges ; which, albeit we can ill afford
it, may yet be endured."

Then I drew him into the house,
and we continued to converse till good
Lady Tregony joined us. When I
briefly related to her what Basil had
told me, the color rose in her pale,
aged cheek ; but she only dasped her
hands and said,

" God's holy will be done."

" Constance," Basil exclaimed,
whilst he was eating some breakfast
we had set before him, " prithee get
me paper and ink for to write to Hu-

I looked at him inquiringly as I
gave him what he asked for.

"I am banished from mine own
house," he sai J ; " but as long as it is
mine the queen should not lack any-
thing I can supply for her comfort
She is my guest, albeit I am deemed
unworthy to come into her presence ;
I must needs chai'ge Hubert to act the
host in my place, and see to all hos-
pitable duties."

My heart swelled at this speech.
Methought, though I dared not uttei

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Otmtkmee Sherwood.

my thinking for more reasons than
on«, that Hubert had most like not
waited for his brother's licence to as-
sume the mastership of his house.
The messenger was despatched, and
then a long silence ensued, Basil
walking to and fro before the house,
and I embroidering, with mine eyes
often raised from my work to look to-
ward him. When nine o'clock struck
I joined him, and we strolled outside
the gate, and without forecasting to do
so walked along the well-4nown path
leading to Euston. When we reached
a turn of the road whence the house is
to be seen, we stopped and sat down
on a bank under a sycamore tree. We
could discern from thence persons go-
ing in and out of the doors, and the
country-folk crowding about the win-
dows for to catch a glimpse of the
queen, the guard ever and anon push-
ing them back with their halberds.
The numbers of them continually in-
creased, and deputations began to ar-
rive with processions and flags. It
was passing strange for to be sitting
there gazing as strangers on this tur-
moil, and folks crowding about that
house the master of which was ban-
ished from it At last we noticed an
increased agitation amongst the people
which seemed to presage the queen's
coming out Sounds of shouting pro-
ceeded from inside the building, and
then a number of men issued from the
front door, and pushing back the
crowd advanced to the centre of the
green plot in front and made a circle
there with ropes.

" What sport are they making ready
for ?" I said, turning to BasiL

" God knowedi," he answered in a
despondent tone. Then came others
carrpng a great armed-chair, which
they placed on one side of the circle
and other chairs beside it, and some
country people brought in their arms
loads of fagots, which they piled up in
the midst of the green space. A pain-
ful suspicion crossed my mind, and I
stole a glance at Basil for to see if the
same thought had come to him. He
was looking another way. I cast

about if it should be possible on i
pretence to draw him off from that
spot, whence it misgave me a sorrow-
ful sight sboold meet his eyes. But at
that monient both of us were aroused bj
loud cries of " God save the queen !"
^Long live Queen Elizabeth!" and
we beheld her issue from the bouse
bowing to the crowd, which fiUed the
air with their cries and vociferous
cheering. She seated herself in the
armed-chidr, her ladies and the chief
persons of her train on each side of
her. On the edge of this half-circle
I discerned Hubert The straining
of mine eyes was very painful;
they seemed to bum in their sockets.
Basil had been watching the forth-
coming of the queen, but bis sight was
not so quick as mine, and as yet
no fear such as I entertained had
struck him.

<< What be they about T he said to
me with a good-natured smile. Before
I could answer — ^"Good God!" he
exclaimed in an altered voice ;. ^' what
sound is that?" for suddenly yelk and
hooting noises arose, soch as a mob do
salute criminals with, and a kind of
procession issued from the front door.
"What, what is it?" cried Basil,
seizing my hand with a convulsive
grasp; "what do they carry? — not
Blessed Mary's image ?"

"Yea," I said, "I see Topdiffe
walking in front of them. They will
bum it There, th^re— they do lift it
in the air in mocKery. Oh, some peo-
ple do avoid and turn away; now
they lay it down and light the fagots."
Then I put my hand over his eyes for
that he should not see a sort of danoe
which was performed around the fire,
mixed with yells and insulting gestures,
and the queen sitting and looking on.
He forced my hand away ; and wb^i
I said, "Oh, prithee, Basil, stay not
here— come with me," he exclaimed-

" Let me go, Constance ! let me go I
Shall I stand aloof when at mine own
door the Blessed Mother of Grodis
outraged ? Am I a Jew or a heretic
that I should endure fhis sight and not
smite tliis queen of earthj^ which dareth

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Oonstance Sherwood.


to insalt the Qaeen of SaintB ? Tea,
if I should be torn to pieces, I will not
snfTer them to proceed."
' I cluiiS to him afinghted, and cried
oat, ^ Basil, 70a shall not go. Oar
Blessed Lady forbids it ; jour passion
doth blind you. You will offend Grod
and lose your soul if you do. Basil,
dearest Basil, 'tis human anger, not
godly soiTow only, moves you now.**
Then he cast himself down with his
fiioe on the ground and wept bitterly ;
which did comfort me, for his inflamed
countenance had been terrible, and
these tears came as a relief.

Meantime this disgusting scene end-
ed, and the queen withdrew; after
which the crowd slowly dispersed,
smooldering ashes akme remaining in
the midst of the bumt-up grass. Then
Basil rose, folded his arms, and gazed
on the scene in silence. At last he

^ Constance, this house shall no
longer be mine. God knoweth I have
loved it well since my infancy. More
dearly still since we forecast^ to-
gether to serve God in it. But this
scene would never pass away from
my mind. This outrage hath stained
the home of my fathers. This people,
whose yells do yet ring in mine ears,
can no longer be to me neighbors as
heretofore, or this queen my queen.
God forgive me if I do m in this. I
do not cnrse her. No, God defend it 1
I pray that on her sad deathbed — ^for
surely a sad one it.mustbe— she shall
cry for mercy and obtain it ; but her
subject I will not remain. I will com-
pound my estate for a sum of money,
and will go beyond seas, where God
is served in a Catholic manner and his
Holy Mother not dishonored. Wilt
thou follow me there, Constance ?'
f I leant my head on his shoulder,
weeping. ** O, Basil,** I cried, "I can
answer only in the words of Ruth :
* Whithersoever thou shalt go, I will go ;
and where thou shalt dwell, I also will
dwell Thy people shall be my peo-
ple, and thy God my God.'"

He drew my arm in his, and we
walked slowly away toward Faken-

ham. Wishing to prepare his mind
for a possible misfortune, I said:
**We be a thousand times happier
than those which shall possess thy

"What say you?" he quickly an-
swered ; ^ who shall possess them ?"

** God knoweth," I replied, afraid to
speak further.

^ Good heavens !" he exclaimed :
" a dreadful thought cometh to me ;
where was Hubert this morning ?"

I remained silent

^ Speak, speak ! O Constance, God
defend he was there !"

His grief and horror were so great
I durst not reveal the truth, but made
some kind of evasive answer. To this
day methinks he is ignorant on that

The queen and the court departed
from Euston soon after two of the
dock; not before, as I since heard,
the church furniture and books had
been all destroyed, and a malicious
report set about that a piece of her
majesty's plate was missing, as an ex-
cuse for to misuse the poor servants
which had showed grief at the destruc-
tion carried on before their eyes.
When notice of their departure reach-
ed Banham Hall, whither we had re-
turned, Basil immediately went back
to Euston. I much lamented he
should be alone that evening, in the
midst of so many sad sights and
thoughts aa his house now should
afford him, little forecasting the event
which, by a greater mishap, surmount-
ed minor subjects of grief.

About six of the clock, Sir Francis
Walsingham, attended by an esquire
and two grooms, arrived at Lady Tre-
gon/s seat, and was received by her
with the courtesy she was wont to ob-
serve with every one. After some
brief discoursing with her on indiffer-
ent matters, he said his business was
with young Mistress Sherwood, and
he desired to see her alone. There-
upon I was fetched to him, and
straightway he began to speak ^f the
queen's good opinion of me, and that
her highness had been well contented

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(hnstanee Sherwood.

with mj behaTior when I had been
admitted • into her presence at his
house ; and that it should well please
her majesty I should marry a faithful
subject of her majesty's, whom she
had taken into her favor, and then she
would do us both good.

I looked in a doubtful manner at
Sir Francis, feigning to misapprehend
his meaning, albeit too clear did it ap-
pear to me. Seeing I did not speak,
he went on :

^ It is her majesty's gracious desire,.
Mistress Sherwood, that you should
marry young Rookwood, her newly
appointed servant, and from this time
possessor of Euston House, and all
lands appertaining unto it, which have
devolved upon him in virtue of his
brother's recusancy and his own recent

" Sir," I answered, " my troth is
plighted to his brother, a good man
and an honorable gentleman, up to this
time master of Euston and its lands ;
and whatever shall betide him or his
possessions, none but him shall be my
husband, if ten thousand queens as
great as this one should proffer me

** Madam," said Sir Francis, "be
not too rash In your pledges. I should
be loth to think one so well trained in
virtue and loyalty should persist in
maintaining a troth-plight with a con-
victed recusant, an exceeding malig-
nant papist, who is at this moment in
the hands of the pursuivants, and by
order of her majesty's council commit-
ted to Norwich gaol. If he should
(which is doubtful) escape such a sen-
tence as should ordain him to a last-
ing imprisonment or perpetual banish-
ment from this realm, his poverty must
needs constrain him to relinquish all
pretensions to your hand: for his
brother, a most learned, well-disposed,
commendable young gentleman, with
such good parts as fit him to aspire to
some high advancement in the state
and at court, having conformed some
days, ago to the established religion
and given many proofs of his zeal and
sincerity therein, his brother^a estates,

as is most just, have devolved on him,
and a more worthy and, I may add,
irom long and constant devotion and
fervent humble passion long since en-
tertained for yourself, more desirable
ci^ndidate for your hand could not
easily be found."

I looked fixedly at Sir Frauds, and
then said, subduing my voice as much
as possible, and restraining all ges-

"Sir, you have, I ween, a more
deep kjtiowledge of men's hearts and
a more piercing insight into their
thoughts than any other person in the
world. You are wiser than any other
statesman, and year wit and sagaci^
are spoken of aU over Christendom.
But methinketh, sir, there are two
things which, wise and learned as yon
are, you are yet ignorant of, and these
are a woman's heart and a Catholic's
faith. I would as soon wed the mean-
est clown which yelled this day at
Blessed Mary's image, as the future
possessor of Euston, the apostate Hu-
bert Rookwood. Now, sir, I pray you,
send for the pursuivants, and let me
bo committed to gaol for the same
crime as my betrothed husband, (xod
knoweth I will bless you for it."

"Madam," Sir Francis coldly an-
swered, "the law taketh no heed of
persons out of their senses. A frantic
passion and an immoderate fanaticism
have distracted your reason. Tune
and reflection will, I doubt not, recall
you to better and more comfortable
sentiments ; in which case I pray you
to have recourse to my good offices,
which shall ever be at your service."

Then bowing, he left me ; and when
he was gone, and the tumult of my
soul had subsided, I lamented my ve-
hemency, for metbought if I had been
more cunning in my speech, I could have
done Basil some good ; but now it was
too late, and verily, \£ agiun exposed
to the same temptation, I doubt if I
could have dissembled the ^indignant
feelings which Sir Francis's advocacy
of Hubert's suit worked in me.

Lady Tregony, pitying my unhappy
plight) proposed to travel with me to

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Coiutanee Sherwood*


London, wbere I was now desiroas to
return, for there I thought some steps
might be taken to procure Basil's re-
lease, with more hope of success than
if I tarried in the scene of our late
happiness. She did me also the good
to go with me in the first place to Nor-
wich, where, hj means of that same
governor to whom Sir Hammond I'Es-
trange had once written in my father's
behalf, we obtaiaed for to see Basil for
a few minutes. His brother's apos-
tasy, and the painful suspicion that it
was by his means the secret of Owen's
cell at Euston had been betrayed, gave
him infinite concern ; but his own im-
prisonment and losses he bore with
very great cheerfulness ; and we en-
tertained ourselves with the thought
of a small cottage beyond seas, which
henceforward became the theme of
such imaginings as lovers must needs
cherish to keep alive the fiame of hope.
Two days afterward I reached Lon-
don, having travelled very fast, and
only slept one night on the road.

It sometimes happens that certain
laisfortunes do overtake us which, had
we foreseen, we should well-nigh have
despaired, and misdoubted with what
strength we should meet them; but
God is very merciful, and fitteth the
back to the burthen. If at the time
that Basil left me at four of the clock
to return to Euston, without any doubt
on our minds to meet ihe next day, I
should have known how long a parting
was at hand, methinks all courage
would have failed me. But hope
worketh patience, and patience in re-
turn breedeth hope, and the while the
soul is learning lessons of resignation,
which at first would have seemed too
hard. At the outset of this trouble, I
expected he should have soon been
set at liberty on the payment of a fine ;
but I had forgot he was now a poor
man, well-nigh beggared by the loss of
Lis inheritance. Mr. Swithin Wells,
one of the best friends he and myself
had — ^for, alas ! good Mr. Roper had
died during my absence — ^told me that,
when Hubert heard of his brother's
arrest, he fell into a great anguish of

mind, and dealt earnestly with his
new patrons to procure his celease, but
with no effect. Then, in a letter
which he sent him, he offered to remit
unto him whatever moneys he desired
out of his estates ; but Basil steadfast-
ly reiused to receive from him so much
as one penny, and to this day has per-
sisted in this resolve. I luive since
seen the letter which he wrote to him
on this occasion, in which this resolu-
tion was expressed, but in no angry or
contumeHouR terms, freely yielding
him his entire forgiveness for his o^
fence against him, if indeed any did
exist, but such as was next to nothing
in comparison of the offence toward
God committed in the abandonment of
his faith ; and with all earnestness be-
seeching him to think seriously upon
his present state, and to consider if the
course he had taken, contrary to the
breeding and education he had receiv-
ed, should tend to his true honor, repu-
tation, contentment of mind, and eter-
nal salvation. This he said he did
plainly, for the discharge of his own
conscience, and the declaration of an
abiding love for him.

For the space of a year and two
months he remained in prison at Nor-
wich, Mr. Wells and Mr. Lacy fur-
nishing him with assistance, without
which he should have lacked the nec-
essaries of hfe; leastways such conven-
iences as made his sufferings toler-
able. At the end of that time, it may
be by Hubert's or some other friend's
efforts, a sentence of banishment was
passed upon him, and he went beyond
seas. I would fain have then joined
him, but it pleased not God it should
be at that time possible. Some
moneys which were owing to him by
a well-disposed debtor he looked for
to recover, but till that happened he
had not means for his own subsistence,
much less wherewith to support a
wife in howsoever humble a fashion.
Dr. Allen (now cardinal) invited him
to Rheims, and received him there
with open arms. My father, during
the last years of his life, found in him
a most dutiful and affectionate son,

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(Jonikmce SherufootL

who doaed his eyes with a trae filial
reverence. Our love waxed not for
this long separation less ardent or less
tender ; onlj more patient, more ex-
alted, more inwardly binding, now so

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