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has failed of an heir; and so, even unto this day, the head of that ancient house
still weareth his hat or helm before the king’s majesty, without let or hindrance,
and this none other may do.*(9) Invoking this precedent in aid of my prayer, I
beseech the king to grant to me but this one grace and privilege-to my more
than sufficient reward and none other, to wit: that I and my heirs, forever, may
sit in the presence of the majesty of England!’ ‘Rise, Sir Miles Hendon, knight,’
said the king, gravely-giving the accolade with Hendon’s sword-‘rise, and seat
thyself. Thy petition is granted. While England remains, and the crown
continues, the privilege shall not lapse.’ His majesty walked apart, musing, and
Hendon dropped into a chair at table, observing to himself, ‘’Twas a brave
thought, and hath wrought me a mighty deliverance; my legs are grievously
wearied. An I had not thought of that, I must have had to stand for weeks, till
my poor lad’s wits are cured.’ After a little he went on, ‘And so I am become a
knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows! A most odd and strange
position, truly, for one so matter-of-fact as I. I will not laugh-no, God forbid, for
this thing which is so substanceless to me is real to him. And to me, also, in one
way, it is not a falsity, for it reflects with truth the sweet and generous spirit that
is in him.’ After a pause: ‘Ah, what if he should call me by my fine title before
folk!- there’d be a merry contrast betwixt my glory and my raiment! But no
matter; let him call me what he will, so it please him; I shall be content.’
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