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lest by mischance some heedless hand might shiver it. Give thy misgivings
easement, good my lord. This is the very prince, I know him well-and soon will
be thy king; it may advantage thee to bear this in mind and more dwell upon it
than the other.’ After some further talk, in which the Lord St. John covered up
his mistake as well as he could by repeated protests that his faith was
thoroughly grounded now, and could not be assailed by doubts again, the Lord
Hertford relieved his fellowkeeper, and sat down to keep watch and ward alone.
He was soon deep in meditation. And evidently the longer he thought, the more
he was bothered. By and by he began to pace the floor and mutter.
‘Tush, he must be the prince! Will any he in all the land maintain there can be
two, not of one blood and birth, so marvelously twinned? And even were it so,
‘twere yet a stranger miracle that chance should cast the one into the other’s
place. Nay, ‘tis folly, folly, folly!’ Presently he said: ‘Now were he impostor and
called himself prince, look you that would be natural; that would be reasonable.
But lived ever an impostor yet, who, being called prince by the king, prince by
the court, prince by all, denied his dignity and pleaded against his exaltation?
No! By the soul of St. Swithin, no! This is the true prince, gone mad!’