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thy poor troubled head upon thy father’s heart, and be at peace. Thou’lt soon be
well; ‘tis but a passing fantasy. Fear thou not; thou’lt soon be well.’ Then he
turned toward the company; his gentle manner changed, and baleful lightnings
began to play from his eyes. He said: ‘List ye all! This my son is mad; but it is
not permanent. Overstudy hath done this, and somewhat too much of
confinement. Away with his books and teachers! see ye to it. Pleasure him with
sports, beguile him in wholesome ways, so that his health come again.’ He raised
himself higher still and went on with energy. ‘He is mad; but he is my son, and
England’s heir; and, mad or sane, still shall he reign! And hear ye further, and
proclaim it; whoso speaketh of this his distemper worketh against the peace and
order of these realms, and shall to the gallows!...

Give me to drink-I burn: This sorrow sappeth my strength.... There, take away
the cup.... Support me. There, that is well. Mad, is he? Were he a thousand times
mad, yet is he Prince of Wales, and I the king will confirm it. This very morrow
shall he be installed in his princely dignity in due and ancient form. Take instant
order for it, my Lord Hertford.’ One of the nobles knelt at the royal couch, and
said: ‘The king’s majesty knoweth that the Hereditary Great Marshal of England
lieth attainted in the Tower. It were not meet that one attainted-’ ‘Peace! Insult
not mine ears with his hated name. Is this man to live forever? Am I to be balked
of my will? Is the prince to tarry uninstalled, because, forsooth, the realm lacketh
an earl marshal free of treasonable taint to invest him with his honors? No, by
the splendor of God! Warn my parliament to bring me Norfolk’s doom before
the sun rise again, else shall they answer for it grievously!*(3) Lord Hertford
said: ‘The king’s will is law’; and, rising, returned to his former place.
Gradually the wrath faded out of the old king’s face, and he said: ‘Kiss me, my
prince. There... what fearest thou? Am I not thy loving father?’ ‘Thou art good to
me that am unworthy, O mighty and gracious lord; that in truth I know. But-
but-it grieveth me to think of him that is to die, and-’ ‘Ah, ‘tis like thee, ‘tis like
thee! I know thy heart is still the same, even though thy mind hath suffered hurt,
for thou wert ever of a gentle spirit. But this duke standeth between thee and
thine honors: I will have another in his stead that shall bring no taint to his great
office. Comfort thee, my prince: trouble not thy poor head with this matter.’ ‘But
is it not I that speed him hence, my liege? How long might he not live, but for
me?’ ‘Take no thought of him, my prince: he is not worthy. Kiss me once again,
and go to thy trifles and amusements; for my malady distresseth me. I am
aweary, and would rest. Go with thine uncle Hertford and thy people, and come
again when my body is refreshed.’

Tom, heavy-hearted, was conducted from the presence, for this last sentence was
a death-blow to the hope he had cherished that now he would be set free.

Once more he heard the buzz of low voices exclaiming, ‘The prince, the prince
comes!’ His spirits sank lower and lower as he moved between the glittering
files of bowing courtiers; for he recognized that he was indeed a captive now,
and might remain forever shut up in this gilded cage, a forlorn and friendless
prince, except God in his mercy take pity on him and set him free.
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