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attempt to search the long array of chambers and saloons that belong unto his
royal high-’ A groan from the king interrupted my lord at this point. After a
while his majesty said, with a deep sadness in his tone: ‘Trouble him no more,
poor child. The hand of God lieth heavy upon him, and my heart goeth out in
loving compassion for him, and sorrow that I may not bear his burden on mine
own old trouble-weighted shoulders, and so bring him peace.’ He closed his
eyes, fell to mumbling, and presently was silent. After a time he opened his eyes
again, and gazed vacantly around until his glance rested upon the kneeling Lord
Chancellor. Instantly his face flushed with wrath: ‘What, thou here yet! By the
glory of God, an thou gettest not about that traitor’s business, thy miter shall
have holiday the morrow for lack of a head to grace withal!’ The trembling
Chancellor answered: ‘Good your majesty, I cry you mercy! I but waited for the
Seal.’ ‘Man, hast lost thy wits? The small Seal which aforetime I was wont to take
with me abroad lieth in my treasury. And, since the Great Seal hath flown away,
shall not it suffice? Hast lost thy wits? Begone! And hark ye-come no more till
thou do bring his head.’ The poor Chancellor was not long in removing himself
from this dangerous vicinity; nor did the commission waste time in giving the
royal assent to the work of the slavish Parliament, and appointing the morrow
for the beheading of the premier peer of England, the luckless Duke of
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