The Bright Pavilions - Hugh Walpole - ebook

The Bright Pavilions ebook

Hugh Walpole

0,0

Opis

Bright pavilions – the fifth book of a series of six volumes of The Chronicles of Harris. As a historical background, the stormy Elizabethan England, including her enemy Queen of Scots. The story tells how one family shared fidelity and frustrated love. If you like to plunge into history, then this book is for you.

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS
czytnikach certyfikowanych
przez Legimi
czytnikach Kindle™
(dla wybranych pakietów)
Windows
10
Windows
Phone

Liczba stron: 870

Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS



Contents

PART I

THE BROTHERS

An Enemy

The Bright Pavilions

Sylvia Masked

The Miners

In a House of Light and Danger

Bartholomew

Satan in Watendlath

Robin Herries loquitur: he loses his Lady

PART II

Journey to the Dark Tower

The Child into the Woman

The Fight by Hawkshead

The Three Priests

Peril in Essex

The Sin

London Glory

The Martyr

PART III

Young Rosamund

The Burning

Nicholas encounters the Devil and defeats him

Chartley: the Queen enslaves him

Tixall Trap

The Christening

The Inn at Fotheringhay: the Staircase

The Last Days on Earth

The Crucifix

PART IV

Ashes of Letters

There shall be no Pain there

Nicholas in Armour

Flight from a Phantom

End in Storm

The Summer Wedding

The Queen was in her Parlour

PART I

THE BROTHERS

AN ENEMY

On the grey afternoon of December 22nd, 1569, Nicholas Herries sat his lovely mare Juno on the moor inland from Silloth in Cumberland, every nerve alert because of the event that any instant might bring.

Nicholas, at this critical moment of his history, was twenty-five years of age, the son of Sir Michael Herries of Court Mallory, near Lewes in Sussex. He was a large young man, six foot four inches in height, of vast breadth of shoulder, a mighty chest, great thighs and a round, rosy-cheeked, merry-eyed head and a thick neck. He was not as yet fat, although later he might be. He was an exceedingly cheerful young gentleman.

Save for his attendant servant, Jack Oates, who sat his horse, obediently, at a distance, there was no other human body to be seen in all the visible world.

Nicholas wore a hat of green leather that sat firm and close on his head, round his thick neck a falling band, a green doublet close to his body, his boots black, long and close to the leg and the boothose some two inches higher than his boots and tied with points. The hilt of his sword was handsomely gilded. His mare and himself seemed like one. Not an inch of him stirred, and his servant, a little man with a cynical eye, was as still as he.

The scene was, at first glance, peaceful enough. A thin line of sea like a long attenuated skein of smoke was barely to be distinguished from the grey of the monotonous sky. The Scottish hills were like vapours of breath. In the bend of the moor close at hand could be seen the roofs of some hamlet. To the right like a mark of astonishment was a peel-tower raised many years ago against the Scots marauders.

Otherwise not a sound, not a sign, save a hawk quivering above them, then suddenly plunging to its prey. But Nicholas, who was no fool for so big a young man, knew that there was more in the scene than met the eye. He was doubly engaged, for while he was so passionately alert for what was happening at his side, his mind was also introspectively moving around his own private personal world. Although he did not know it he was pursuing two opposite activities at one and the same time.

He was thinking first and foremost of his young brother, Robin, whom he was that night to meet in the little town of Keswick. His young brother was his great duty to the world. Ever since that day when at the age of five he had been shown the white, thin face of that helpless infant in its froth of lace and silk, he had sworn that no harm should come to it. The contrast between his own five-year sturdy ruddiness and that fragility had struck deep to his heart. “Robin shall know no harm.’ That was his faith, and equal with it was his worship of his Queen. For a man so young he had already a clear view of her as she was–whimsical in personal fancy, parsimonious, often cruel, often coquetting from vanity, often jealous, often absurd in her love of flattery–but always with a passion for her country’s greatness which, however it might be confused with a passion for herself, was nevertheless a grand inspiration to all young men who sought to do great deeds even as Nicholas did.

To these two faiths he added a third, and that was for his own immediate family. The small junior branch of Herries to which he belonged, although allied to the great family of Howard and, on another side, to the Herries of Lowland Scotland, was the subject of his simple and even spiritual worship. He would not be a Duke of Norfolk or Northumberland or Earl of Leicester. He would not be my Lord Herries although he followed what he could hear of that bold Earl’s doings with interest–but only Nicholas Herries, elder son of Sir Michael Herries of Court Mallory, and faithful member of that little group: his father’s brother, Sir Martin Herries, whom now he was going to visit; the Herries of Temple Guard near Salisbury; and a stray or two like his old cousin Penelope Herries of Dover; old Daniel Herries, a squire in Herefordshire; and his numerous cousinhood.

Here were his three faiths and they were all that he had, save only, the greatest of all, his faith in himself.

Now, at this present instant, all four faiths were concerned, for during the last few weeks there had been stirring deeds in Northern England.

Young Nicholas was no politician nor a religious man either. Anything his Queen might choose to do was right in his eyes. He was nevertheless young enough, full-blooded enough, adventurous enough, to be moved by the knowledge that Mary of Scotland was prisoner in England; lovely, helpless and, in spite of her forced resignation, a Queen. Some who had seen her said that she was not so lovely after all, others who knew her whispered that she was by no means so helpless–but there it was: she was a Queen and a prisoner. Nicholas cared nothing for the Roman Catholic religion nor very much for the Protestant either. This present world with its glories was sufficient for him. But there were others who thought differently, who had gone so far as to plan to marry the Duke of Norfolk to Mary of Scotland. The Duke of Northumberland with old Richard Norton and his seven sons and a number more hotheads with them had risen in the North, and on November 14th of this very year had entered Durham Cathedral, thrown down the Communion Table, torn up the Bible, raised two altars and restored the Mass. There were some thousand foot, ill-armed yokels for the most part, and fifteen hundred horse. For a brief while the North was in their hand. They marched towards Mary at Tutbury, and she, poor thing, was at once hurried away to Coventry. The rebels turned north again, took Hartlepool and Barnard Castle. By this time levies had been raised against them from all over England, the whole country standing loyal, they broke and fled, and on December 20th, only two days before this present, their leaders, riding for their lives, crossed the Border into Scotland.

Of this final issue Nicholas did not yet know. He had himself been staying for several weeks with Sir Timothy Curtis, a young man much of his own age, near Doncaster.

At the first news of the fighting his immediate impulse had been to go and have a cut at the rebels, for it was always his disposition to fight wherever fighting might be, but a certain sensible caution that was mixed oddly in his nature with his impetuous activity prompted him to remain where he was. Two days ago he had ridden to Carlisle to stay with a friend of his father’s and now he was on his way to join his brother and see, for the first time for ten years, his old uncle outside Keswick.

This had been, in a small fashion, a northern pilgrimage for him: he had never been north before. He had felt at once, riding through Penrith, towards Carlisle, the stir from the northern strain in his blood rise within him. This bare, smoke-grey country widely open to the sky, with the fresh, wildly running streams, the long horizons with only a lonely little tower here and there to break them, the strong smell of the turf, the sturdy ugly sheep, and, soon, the gently rising, unoccupied hills, all these things belonged to him and he to them.

He was always happy when he was not angry, and so he was happy now, singing something out of tune as he rode and calling on Jack Oates for a chorus. There had been no adventures save for his beating a drunken hostler and rescuing a rather blowzy servant-maid from rape in a country barn.

In Carlisle, however, all had at once been different. His father’s friend, Thomas Berwick, had a small manor-house in the suburb of the town, where, being now over seventy, he raised bees and a handsome garden. Berwick was a Protestant and a servant of his Queen, and had as deep a hatred of the Scottish Mary as it was possible for so gentle a nature to cherish. The obvious failure of the ill-judged insurrection rejoiced his heart, but already, although the rebellion was scarcely over, hangings and burnings were on the way, villages outside Carlisle were flaming and a number of young, self-important officers of the Queen were out to satisfy their own sadistic passions as a proof of their loyalty.

Nicholas was at once anxious for his brother, who was but twenty years of age and had travelled up by himself from Oxford. So, on the third day, he left old Thomas Berwick, who had been in perpetual astonishment at his size and vigour and appetite, and rode for Keswick.

Here he was, sitting his horse, motionless on the grey moor, listening for a certain sound to be repeated. His head was erect, his eyes searching, his hand on the hilt of his sword. Oates was as still as he, and Juno, the beautiful darling, as motionless as the little jet-black cloud that hung exactly above their heads.

The sound that he had heard was of a man frantically breathing. It seemed impossible in such a place, for nowhere at hand was there the smallest bush or tree. Nevertheless Nicholas said at length quietly:

“Come out and show yourself, whoever you are.’

There was no answer, but Nicholas, straining his gaze, saw come from the distant tower two figures and stand there. They were wearing armour which shone and glittered even in that dim light.

Nicholas said again:

“Come out and show yourself.’

There emerged then right from between Juno’s feet a head of tangled hair, naked shoulders, the lean ragged body of a man.

“Stand up,’ Nicholas said.

The man stood up and it was clear that he had come from a hole in the ground, a hole covered with twigs and fragments of dried bracken.

The man was indeed a wretched object. Hanging to one shoulder was a blood-stained torn shirt; his thin chest was covered with grey matted hair, dank with sweat, and his bony hands were about his middle, for he was naked there; long, stout hose still clung to his legs, but he had no shoes. His face with a week’s growth of beard had charm beneath the terror, and Nicholas studying it (for he was even at his present age an excellent judge of men) caught the bright blue eye, the well-modelled nostril, the high intelligent forehead, under the dank hanging hair.

“Where are you from, and from whom are you hiding?’

The man pointed with a shaking hand to the two distant figures in armour by the peel-tower.

“They’ll be moving. They’ll be coming this way.’

“Well–what if they are?’

A shiver shook his body.

“They have dogs with them.’

Nicholas spoke contemptuously.

“You needn’t fear.’

The man broke out passionately:

“By God I fear!’

“Where are you from?’ Nicholas asked again.

“I was in the sack at Durham. After, I escaped as far as Penrith. Since then they’ve been hunting me and several more.’

Nicholas moved Juno a pace.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.