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to dinner till I see thy head off. It booted him not to ask why; but heavily he took a priest at adventure, and made a short shrift; for a longer would not be suffered, the protector made so much haste to dinner, which he might not go to till this were done, for saving of his oath. So was he brought-forth into the green, beside the chapel within the Tower, and his head laid down upon a long log of timber, and there striken off; and afterward his body with the head interred at Windsor, beside the body of King Edward; whose both souls our Lord pardon!
A marvellous case is it to hear, either the warnings of that he should have avoided, or the tokens of that he could not avoid. For the self night next before his death, the Lord Stanley sent a trusty secret messenger unto him at midnight in all haste, requiring him to rise and ride away with him, for he was disposed utterly no longer to abide; he had so fearful a dream, in which him thought, that a boar with his tusks so razed them both by the heads, that the blood ran about both their shoulders. And forasmuch as the protector gave the boar for his cognizance, this dream made so fearful an impression in his heart, that he was thoroughly determined no longer to tarry ; but had his horse ready, if the Lord Hastings would go with him, to ride so far yet that same night, that they should be out of danger ere day.
«Ey good lord,' quoth the Lord Hastings to this messenger, “ leaneth my lord thy master so much to such trifles, and hath such faith in dreams, which either his own fear fantasieth, or do rise in the night's rest by reason of his day thoughts. Tell him it is plain witchcraft to believe in such dreams. Which if they were tokens of things to come, why thinketh he not, that we might be as likely to make them true by our going, if we were caught and brought back (as friends fail fliers), for then had the boar a cause likely to raze us with his tusks, as folk who fled for some falsehood? Wherefore either is there no peril, nor none there is indeed; or if any be, it is rather in going than abiding. And if we should needs-cost fall in peril one way or other, yet had I lever, that men should see it were by other men's falsehood, than think it were either our own fault or faint heart. And therefore go to thy master, man, and commend me to him, and pray him be merry and have no fear; for I insure him, I am as sure of the man that he woteth of, as I am of my own hand.'
God send grace, sir, quoth the messenger, and went his way.
Certain is it also, that in the riding toward the Tower, the same morning on which he was beheaded, his horse twice or thrice stumbled with him almost to the falling. Which thing, albeit each man wot well daily happeneth to them to whom no such mischance is toward, yet hath it been, of an old rite and custom, observed as a token, oftentimes notably foregoing some great misfortune.
Now this that followeth was no warning, but an enemous scorn. The same morning, ere he were up, came a. knight unto him, as it were of courtesy to accompany him to the council, but of truth sent by the protector to haste him thitherward, with whom he was of secret confederacy in that purpose; a mean man at that time, and now of great authority. This knight, when it happened the lord-chamberlain by the way, to stay his horse and commune a while. with a priest, whom he met in the Tower-street, brake his tale and said merrily to him, what my lord, I pray you comeon, whereto talk you so long with that priest, you have no need of a priest yet; and therewith he laughed upon him, as though he would say, you shall have, soon. But so little wist the other what he meant, and so little mistrusted, that he was never merrier, nor never so full of good hope in his life. Which self thing is often seen a sign of change.
But I shall rather let any thing pass me, than the vain surety of man's mind so near his death. Upon the very Tower-wharf, so near the place where his head was off so soon after, there met he with one Hastings, a pursuivant, of his own name. And on their meeting in that place, he was put in remembrance of another time, in which it had happened them before to meet in like manner together in the same place. At which other time the lord-chamberlain had been accused unto King Edward, by the Lord Rivers, the queen's brother, in suchwise, that he was for the while (but it lasted not long) far fallen into the king's indignation, and stood in great fear of himself. And forasmuch as he now met this pursuivant in the same place, that jeopardy so well passed, it gave him great pleasure to talk with him thereof, with whom he had before talked thereof in the same place while he was therein. And therefore he said, ah Hastings, art thou remembered when I met thee here once with an heavy heart? Yea my lord, quoth he, that remember
I well; and, thanked be God! they gat no good, nor you none harm thereby. Thou wouldest say so, quoth he, if thou knewest as much as I know, which few know else as yet and more shall shortly. That meant he by the lords of the queen's kindred, who were taken before and should that day be beheaded at Pomfret ; which he well wist, but nothing aware that the axe hung over his own head. In faith, man, quoth he, I was never so sorry, nor never stood in so great dread in my life, as I did when thou and I met here. And lo how the world is turned ; now stand mine enemies in the danger (as thou mayest hap to hear more hereafter) and I never in my life so merry, nor never in so great surety.
O! good God, the blindness of our mortal nature! When he most feared, he was in good surety; when he reckoned himself surest, he lost his life, and that within two hours after. Thus ended this honourable man, a good knight and a gentle, of great authority with his prince, of living somewhat dissolute, plain and open to his enemy, and secret to his friend; easy to beguile, as he who of good heart and courage forestudied no perils. A loving man and passing well beloved ; very faithful and trusty enough ; trusting too much.
Now flew the fame of this lord's death swiftly througlı the city, and so forth farther about, like a wind in every man's ear. But the protector, immediately after dinner, intending to set some colour upon the matter, sent in all haste for many substantial men out of the city into the Tower. And at their coming, himself with the duke of Buckingham, stood harnessed in old ill-faring briganders, such as no man should ween that they would vouchsafe to have put upon their backs, except that some sudden necessity had constrained them. And then the protector shewed them, that the lord-chamberlain, and others of his conspiracy, had contrived to have suddenly destroyed him and the duke, there, that same day, in the council. And what they intended farther was as yet not well known. Of which their treason he never had knowledge before ten of the clock the same forenoon; which sudden fear, drave them to put-on, for their defence, such harness as came next to hand; and so had God holpen them, that the mischief turned upon them who would have done it. And this he required them to report.
Every man answered him fair, as though no man mistrusted the matter, which of truth no man believed. Yet for the farther appeasing of the people's mind, he sent immediately after dinner in all haste, one herald of arms, with a proclamation, to be made through the city in the king's name, containing, that the Lord Hastings, with divers others of his traitorous purpose, had before conspired, that same day to have slain the lord protector and the duke of Buck