The Sea-Hawk HTML version
In the estuary of the River Fal a spendid ship, on the building of which the most cunning
engineers had been employed and no money spared, rode proudly at anchor just off
Smithick under the very shadow of the heights crowned by the fine house of Arwenack.
She was fitting out for a distant vovage and for days the work of bringing stores and
munitions aboard had been in progress, so that there was an unwonted bustle about the
little forge and the huddle of cottages that went to make up the fishing village, as if in
earnest of the great traffic that in future days was to be seen about that spot. For Sir John
Killigrew seemed at last to be on the eve of prevailing and of laying there the foundations
of the fine port of his dreams.
To this state of things his friendship with Master Lionel Tressilian had contributed not a
little. The opposition made to his project by Sir Oliver--and supported, largely at Sir
Oliver's suggestion, by Truro and Helston--had been entirely withdrawn by Lionel; more,
indeed Lionel had actually gone so far in the opposite direction as to support Sir John in
his representations to Parliament and the Queen. It followed naturally enough that just as
Sir Oliver's opposition of that cherished project had been the seed of the hostility between
Arwenack and Penarrow, so Lionel's support of it became the root of the staunch
friendship that sprang up between himself and Sir John.
What Lionel lacked of his brother's keen intelligence he made up for in cunning. He
realized that although at some future time it was possible that Helston and Truro and the
Tressilian property there might come to suffer as a consequence of the development of a
port so much more advantageously situated, yet that could not be in his own lifetime; and
meanwhile he must earn in return Sir John's support for his suit of Rosamund Godolphin
and thus find the Godolphin estates merged with his own. This certain immediate gain
was to Master Lionel well worth the other future possible loss.
It must not, however, be supposed that Lionel's courtship had thenceforward run a
smooth and easy course. The mistress of Godolphin Court showed him no favour and it
was mainly that she might abstract herself from the importunities of his suit that she had
sought and obtained Sir John Killigrew's permission to accompany the latter's sister to
France when she went there with her husband, who was appointed English ambassador to
the Louvre. Sir John's authority as her guardian had come into force with the decease of
Master Lionel moped awhile in her absence; but cheered by Sir John's assurance that in
the end he should prevail, he quitted Cornwall in his turn and went forth to see the world.
He spent some time in London about the Court, where, however, he seems to have
prospered little, and then he crossed to France to pay his devoirs to the lady of his
His constancy, the humility with which he made his suit, the obvious intensity of his
devotion, began at last to wear away that gentlewoman's opposition, as dripping water
wears away a stone. Yet she could not bring herself to forget that he was Sir Oliver's