R. I. P.
As the sad, shining company of the marquis went from the gates,
running at full speed to overtake the rear ere it should have passed
through, came Caspar, and mounting a horse led for him, rode near
As they left the brick gate, a horseman joined the procession from
outside. Pale and worn, with bent head and sad face, sir Rowland
Scudamore fell into the ranks amongst his friends of the garrison,
and with them rode in silence.
Many a look did Dorothy cast around her as she rode, but only once,
on the crest of a grassy hill that rose abrupt from the highway a
few miles from Raglan, did she catch sight of Richard mounted on
Lady. All her life after, as often as trouble came, that figure rose
against the sky of her inner world, and was to her a type of the
sleepless watch of the universe.
Soon, from flank and rear, in this direction and that, each to some
haven or home, servants and soldiers began to drop away. Before they
reached the forest of Dean, the cortege had greatly dwindled, for
many belonged to villages, small towns, and farms on the way, and
their orders had been to go home and wait better times. When he
reached London, except the chief officers of his household, one of
his own pages, and some of his daughters' gentlewomen and menials,
the marquis had few attendants left beyond Caspar and Shafto.
It was a long and weary journey for him, occupying a whole week. One
evening he was so tired and unwell that they were forced to put up
with what quarters they could find in a very poor little town. Early
in the morning, however, they were up and away. When they had gone
some ten miles--lord Charles was riding beside the coach and
chatting with his sisters--a remark was made not complimentary to
their accommodation of the previous night.
'True,' said lord Charles; 'it was a very scurvy inn, but we must
not forget that the reckoning was cheap.'
While he spoke, one of the household had approached the marquis, who
sat on the other side of the carriage, and said something in a low
'Say'st thou so!' returned his lordship. '--Hear'st thou, my lord
Charles? Thou talkest of a cheap reckoning! I never paid so dear for
a lodging in my life. Here is master Wharton hath just told me that
they have left a thousand pound under a bench in the chamber we
broke our fast in. Truly they are overpaid for what we had!'
'We have sent back after it, my lord,' said Mr. Wharton.
'You will never see the money again,' said lord Charles.
'Oh, peace!' said the marquis. 'If they will not be known of the
money, you shall see it in a brave inn in a short time.'
Nothing more was said on the matter, and the marquis seemed to have
forgotten it. Late at night, at their next halting-place, the
messenger rejoined them, having met a drawer, mounted on a sorry
horse, riding after them with the bag, but little prospect of
overtaking them before they reached London.
'I thought our hostess seemed an honest woman!' said lady Anne.
'It is a poor town, indeed, lord Charles, but you see it is an
honest one nevertheless!' said Dr. Bayly.
'It may be the town never saw so much money before,' said the
marquis, 'and knew not what to make of it.'
'Your lordship is severe,' said the doctor.
'Only with my tongue, good doctor, only with my tongue,' said the
When they reached London, lord Worcester found himself, to his
surprise, in custody of the Black Rod, who, as now for some three
years Worcester House in the Strand had been used for a state-paper
office, conducted him to a house in Covent Garden, where he lodged
him in tolerable comfort and mild imprisonment. Parliament was still
jealous of Glamorgan and his Irish doings--as indeed well they might
But his confinement was by no means so great a trial to him as his
indignant friends supposed; for, long willing to depart, he had at
length grown a little tired of life, feeling more and more the
oppression of growing years, of gout varied with asthma, and, worst
of all to the once active man, of his still increasing corpulence,
which last indeed, by his own confession, he found it hard to endure
with patience. The journey had been too much for him, and he began
to lead the life of an invalid.
There being no sufficient accommodation in the house for his family,
they were forced to content themselves with lodging as near him as
they could, and in these circumstances Dorothy, notwithstanding lady
Glamorgan's entreaties, would have returned home. But the marquis
was very unwilling she should leave him, and for his sake she
concluded to remain.
'I am not long for this world, Dorothy,' he said. 'Stay with me and
see the last of the old man. The wind of death has got inside my
tent, and will soon blow it out of sight.'
Lady Glamorgan's intention from the first had been to go to Ireland
to her husband as soon as she could get leave. This however she did
not obtain until the first of October--five weeks after her arrival
in London. She would gladly have carried Dorothy with her, but she
would not leave the marquis, who was now failing visibly. As her
ladyship's pass included thirty of her servants, Dorothy felt at
ease about her personal comforts, and her husband would soon supply
The ladies Elizabeth and Mary were in the same house with their
father; lady Anne and lord Charles were in the house of a relative
at no great distance, and visited him every day. Sir Toby Mathews
also, and Dr. Bayly, had found shelter in the neighbourhood, so that
his lordship never lacked company. But he was going to have other
Gently he sank towards the grave, and as he sank his soul seemed to
retire farther within, vanishing on the way to the deeper life. They
thought he lost interest in life: it was but that the brightness
drew him from the glimmer. Every now and then, however, he would
come forth from his inner chamber, and standing in his open door
look out upon his friends, and tell them what he had seen.
The winter drew on. But first November came, with its 'saint
Martin's summer, halcyon days' and the old man revived a little. He
stood one morning and looked from his window on the garden behind
the house, all glittering with molten hoar-frost. A few leaves,
golden with death, hung here and there on a naked bough. A kind of
sigh was in the air. The very light had in it as much of resignation
as hope. He had forgotten that Dorothy was in the room.
There was Celtic blood in the marquis, and at times his thoughts
took shapes that hardly belonged to the Teuton.
'Cometh my youth hither again?' he murmured. 'As a stranger he
cometh whom yet I know so well! Or is it but the face of my old age
lighted with a parting smile? Either way, change cometh, and change
will be good. Domine, in manus tuas.'
He turned and saw Dorothy.
'Child!' he exclaimed, 'good sooth, I had forgotten thee. Yet I
spake no treason. Dorothy, I hold not with them who say that from
dust we came and to dust we return. Neither my blessed countess,
whom thou knewest not, nor my darling Molly, whom thou knewest so
well, were born of the dust. From some better where they came--for,
say, can dust beget love? Whither they have gone I follow, in the
hope that their prayers have smoothed for me the way. Lord, lay not
my sins to my charge. Mary, mother, hear my wife who prayeth for me.
Hear my little Molly: she was ever dainty and good.'
Again he had forgotten Dorothy, and was with his dead.
But St. Martin's summer is only the lightening of the year that
comes before its death; and November, although it brought not then
such evil fogs as it now afflicts London withal, yet brought with it
November weather--one of God's hounds, with which he hunts us out of
the hollows of our own moods, and teaches us to sit on the arch of
the cellar. But though the marquis fought hard and kept it out of
his mind, it got into his troubled body. The gout left his feet; he
coughed distressingly, breathed with difficulty, and at length
betook himself to bed.
For some time his interest in politics, save in so much as affected
the king's person, had been gradually ceasing.
'I trust I have done my part,' he said once to the two clergymen, as
they sat by his bedside. 'Yet I know not. I fear me I clove too fast
to my money. Yet would I have parted with all, even to my shirt, to
make my lord the king a good catholic. But it may be, sir Toby, we
make more of such matters down here than they do in the high
countries; and in that case, good doctor, ye are to blame who broke
away from your mother, even were she not perfect.'
He crossed himself and murmured a prayer, in fear lest he had been
guilty of laxity of judgment. But neither clergyman said a word.
'But tell me, gentlemen, ye who understand sacred things,' he
resumed, 'can a man be far out of the way so long as, with full
heart and no withholding, he saith, Fiat voluntas tua--and that
after no private interpretation, but Sicut in caelo?'
'That, my lord, I also strive to say with all my heart,' said Dr.
'Mayhap, doctor,' returned the marquis, 'when thou art as old as I,
and hast learned to see how good it is, how all-good, thou wilt be
able to say it without any striving. There was a time in my life
when I too had to strive, for the thought that he was a hard master
would come, and come again. But now that I have learned a little
more of what he meaneth with me, what he would have of me and do for
me, how he would make me pure of sin, clean from the very bottom of
my heart to the crest of my soul, from spur to plume a stainless
knight, verily I am no more content to SUBMIT to his will: I cry in
the night time, "Thy will be done: Lord, let it be done, I entreat
thee;" and in the daytime I cry, "Thy kingdom come: Lord, let it
come, I pray thee."'
He lay silent. The clergymen left the room, and lord Charles came
in, and sat down by his bedside. The marquis looked at him, and said
'Ah, son Charles! art thou there?'
'I came to tell you, my lord, the rumour goeth that the king hath
consented to establish the presbyterian heresy in the land,' said
'Believe it not, my lord. A man ought not to believe ill of another
so long as there is space enough for a doubt to perch. Yet, alas!
what shall be hoped of him who will yield nothing to prayers, and
everything to compulsion? Had his majesty been a true prince, he had
ere now set his foot on the neck of his enemies, or else ascended to
heaven a blessed martyr. "Protestant," say'st thou? In good sooth, I
force not. What is he now but a football for the sectaries to kick
to and fro! But I shall pray for him whither I go, if indeed the
prayers of such as I may be heard in that country. God be with his
majesty. I can do no more. There are other realms than England, and
I go to another king. Yet will I pray for England, for she is dear
to my heart. God grant the evil time may pass, arid Englishmen yet
again grow humble and obedient!'
He closed his eyes, and his face grew so still that, notwithstanding
the labour of his breathing, he would have seemed asleep, but that
his lips moved a little now and then, giving a flutter of shape to
the eternal prayer within him.
Again he opened his eyes, and saw sir Toby, who had re-entered
silent as a ghost, and said, feebly holding out his hand, 'I am
dying, sir Toby: where will this swollen hulk of mine be hid?'
'That, my lord,' returned sir Toby, 'hath been already spoken of in
parliament, and it hath been wrung from them, heretics and fanatics
as they are, that your lordship's mortal remains shall lie in
Windsor castle, by the side of earl William, the first of the earls
'God bless us all!' cried the marquis, almost merrily, for he was
pleased, and with the pleasure the old humour came back for a
moment: 'they will give me a better castle when I am dead than they
took from me when I was alive!'
'Yet is it a small matter to him who inherits such a house as
awaiteth my lord--domum non manufactam, in caelis aeternam,' said
'I thank thee, sir Toby, for recalling me. Truly for a moment I was
uplifted somewhat. That I should still play the fool, and the old
fool, in the very face of Death! But, thank God, at thy word the
world hath again dwindled, and my heavenly house drawn the nearer.
Domine, nunc dimittis. Let me, so soon as you judge fit, sir Toby,
have the consolations of the dying.'
When the last rites, wherein the church yields all hold save that of
prayer, had been administered, and his daughters with Dorothy and
lord Charles stood around his bed,
'Now have I taken my staff to be gone,' he said cheerfully, 'like a
peasant who hath visited his friends, and will now return, and they
will see him as far upon the road as they may. I tremble a little,
but I bethink me of him that made me and died for me, and now
calleth me, and my heart revives within me.'
Then he seemed to fall half asleep, and his soul went wandering in
dreams that were not all of sleep--just as it had been with little
Molly when her end drew near.
'How sweet is the grass for me to lie in, and for thee to eat! Eat,
eat, old Ploughman.'
It was a favourite horse of which he dreamed--one which in old days
he had named after Piers Ploughman, the Vision concerning whom,
notwithstanding its severity on catholic abuses, he had at one time
After a pause he went on--
'Alack, they have shot off his head! What shall I do without my
Ploughman--my body groweth so large and heavy!--Hark, I hear Molly!
"Spout, horse," she crieth. See, it is his life-blood he spouteth! O
Lord, what shall I do, for I am heavy, and my body keepeth down my
soul. Hark! Who calleth me? It is Molly! No, no! it is the Master.
Lord, I cannot rise and come to thee. Here have I lain for ages, and
my spirit groaneth. Reach forth thy hand, Lord, and raise me.
Thanks, Lord, thanks!'
And with the word he was neither old man nor marquis any more.
The parliament, with wondrous liberality, voted five hundred pounds
for his funeral, and Dr. Bayly tells us that he laid him in his
grave with his own hands. But let us trust rather that Anne and
Molly received him into their arms, and soon made him forget all
about castles and chapels and dukedoms and ungrateful princes, in
the everlasting youth of the heavenly kingdom, whose life is the
presence of the Father, whose air to breathe is love, and whose corn
and wine are truth and graciousness.
There surely, and nowhere else as surely, can the prayer be for a
man fulfilled: Requiescat in Pace.