To Have and To Hold
XXVII. In Which I Find An Advocate
SHE came slowly nearer the ring of now very quiet and attentive faces until she
stood beside me, but she neither looked at me nor spoke to me. She was thinner
and there were heavy shadows beneath her eyes, but she was beautiful.
"I stand before gentlemen to whom, perhaps, I am not utterly unknown," she
said. "Some here, perchance, have been to court, and have seen me there.
Master Sandys, once, before the Queen died, you came to Greenwich to kiss her
Majesty's hands; and while you waited in her antechamber you saw a young
maid of honor - scarce more than a child - curled in a window seat with a book.
You sat beside her, and told her wonderful tales of sunny lands and gods and
nymphs. I was that maid of honor. Master Clayborne, once, hawking near
Windsor, I dropped my glove. There were a many out of their saddles before it
touched the ground, but a gentleman, not of our party, who had drawn his horse
to one side to let us pass, was quicker than they all. Did you not think yourself
well paid, sir, when you kissed the hand to which you restored the glove? All
here, I think, may have heard my name. If any hath heard aught that ever I did in
all my life to tarnish it, I pray him to speak now and shame me before you all!"
Clayborne started up. "I remember that day at Windsor, lady!" he cried. "The man
of whom I afterward asked your name was a most libertine courtier, and he
raised his hat when he spoke of you, calling you a lily which the mire of the court
could not besmirch. I will believe all good, but no harm of you, lady!"
He sat down, and Master Sandys said gravely: "Men need not be courtiers to
have known of a lady of great wealth and high birth, a ward of the King's, and
both beautiful and pure. I nor no man else, I think, ever heard aught of the Lady
Jocelyn Leigh but what became a daughter of her line."
A murmur of assent went round the circle. The Governor, leaning forward from
his seat, his wife's hand in his, gravely bent his head. "All this is known, lady," he
She did not answer; her eyes were upon the King's favorite, and the circle waited
"It is known," said my lord.
She smiled proudly. "For so much grace, thanks, my lord," she said, then
addressed herself again to the Governor: "Your Honor, that is the past, the long
past, the long, long past, though not a year has gone by. Then I was a girl, proud
and careless; now, your Honor, I am a woman, and I stand here in the dignity of
suffering and peril. I fled from England" - She paused, drew herself up, and
turned upon my lord a face and form so still, and yet so expressive of noble
indignation, outraged womanhood, scorn, and withal a kind of angry pity, that
small wonder if he shrank as from a blow. "I left the only world I knew," she said.
"I took a way low and narrow and dark and set with thorns, but the only way that I
- alone and helpless and bewildered - could find, because that I, Jocelyn Leigh,
willed not to wed with you, my Lord Carnal. Why did you follow me, my lord? You
knew that I loved you not. You knew my mind, and that I was weak and