"I am not to be lodged there!" the King said, with a shudder, that had something in it ominous.
       "No," replied the grey-headed seneschal, who attended upon him unbonneted.— "God forbid!—Your Majesty's apartments are prepared in these lower buildings which are hard by, and in which King John slept two nights before the battle of Poicters."
       "Hum—that is no lucky omen neither"—muttered the King; "but what of the Tower, my old friend? and why should you desire of Heaven that I may not be there lodged?"
       "Nay, my gracious liege," said the seneschal, "I know no evil of the Tower at all—only that the sentinels say lights are seen, and strange noises heard in it, at night; and there are reasons why that may be the case, for anciently it was used as a state prison, and there are many tales of deeds which have been done in it."
       [King] Louis asked no farther questions; for no man was more bound than he to respect the secrets of a prison-house. At the door of the apartments destined for his use, which, though of later date than the Tower, were still both ancient and gloomy, stood a small party of the Scottish Guard, which the Duke, although he declined to concede the point to Louis, had ordered to be introduced, so as to be near the person of their master. The faithful Lord Crawford was at their head.
       "Crawford—my honest and faithful Crawford," said the King, "where hast thou been to-day?—Are the Lords of Burgundy so inhospitable as to neglect one of the bravest and most noble gentlemen that ever trode a court?—I saw you not at the banquet."
       "I declined it, my liege," said Crawford—"times are changed with me. The day has been that I could have ventured a carouse with the best man in Burgundy, and that in the juice of his own grape; but a matter of four pints now flusters men, and I think it concerns your Majesty's service to set in this an example to my callants."
       "Thou art ever prudent," said the King; "but surely your toil is less when you have so few men to command?—and a time of festivity requires not so severe self-denial on your part as a time of danger."
       "If I have few men to command," said Crawford, "I have the more need to keep the knaves in fitting condition; and whether this business be like to end in feasting or fighting, God and your Majesty know better than old John of Crawford."
"You surely do not apprehend any danger?" said the King hastily, yet in a whisper.
       "Not I," answered Crawford; "I wish I did; for, as old Earl Tineman used to say, apprehended dangers may be always defended dangers.—The word for the night, if your Majesty pleases?"
"Let it be Burgundy, in honour of our host and of a liquor that you love, Crawford."
       "I will quarrel with neither Duke nor drink, so called," said Crawford, "provided always that both be sound. A good night to your Majesty!"
       "A good night, my trusty Scot," said the King, and passed on to his apartments.

This text is linked to:
Lecture Notes no. 24