"I am not to be lodged there!" the King said, with a
shudder, that had something in it ominous.
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"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
"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
"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
"A good night, my trusty Scot," said the King, and passed on
to his apartments.
Lecture Notes no. 24