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HOW PETER MET THE SPANIARD
JOHN CASTELL
PETER GATHERS VIOLETS
LOVERS DEAR
CASTELL'S SECRET
FAREWELL
NEWS FROM SPAIN
D'AGUILAR SPEAKS
THE SNARE
THE CHASE
THE MEETING ON THE SEA
FATHER HENRIQUES
THE ADVENTURE OF THE INN
INEZ AND HER GARDEN
PETER PLAYS A PART
BETTY SHOWS HER TEETH
THE PLOT
THE HOLY HERMANDAD
BETTY PAYS HER DEBTS
ISABELLA OF SPAIN
BETTY STATES HER CASE
THE DOOM OF JOHN CASTELL
FATHER HENRIQUES AND THE BAKER'S OVEN
THE FALCON STOOPS
HOW THE _MARGARET_ WON OUT TO SEA
ENVOI

FAIR MARGARET

 

 

By H. RIDER HAGGARD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER I. 

 

HOW PETER MET THE SPANIARD

 

 

It was a spring afternoon in the sixth year of the reign of King Henry 

VII. of England. There had been a great show in London, for that day his 

Grace opened the newly convened Parliament, and announced to his 

faithful people--who received the news with much cheering, since war is 

ever popular at first--his intention of invading France, and of leading 

the English armies in person. In Parliament itself, it is true, the 

general enthusiasm was somewhat dashed when allusion was made to the 

finding of the needful funds; but the crowds without, formed for the 

most part of persons who would not be called upon to pay the money, did 

not suffer that side of the question to trouble them. So when their 

gracious liege appeared, surrounded by his glittering escort of nobles 

and men-at-arms, they threw their caps into the air, and shouted 

themselves hoarse. 

 

The king himself, although he was still young in years, already a weary- 

looking man with a fine, pinched face, smiled a little sarcastically at 

their clamour; but, remembering how glad he should be to hear it who 

still sat upon a somewhat doubtful throne, said a few soft words, and 

sending for two or three of the leaders of the people, gave them his 

royal hand, and suffered certain children to touch his robe that they 

might be cured of the Evil. Then, having paused a while to receive 

petitions from poor folk, which he handed to one of his officers to be 

read, amidst renewed shouting he passed on to the great feast that was 

made ready in his palace of Westminster. 

 

Among those who rode near to him was the ambassador, de Ayala, 

accredited to the English Court by the Spanish sovereigns, Ferdinand and 

Isabella, and his following of splendidly attired lords and secretaries. 

That Spain was much in favour there was evident from his place in the 

procession. How could it be otherwise, indeed, seeing that already, four 

years or more before, at the age of twelve months, Prince Arthur, the 

eldest son of the king, had been formally affianced to the Infanta 

Catherine, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, aged one year and nine 

months? For in those days it was thought well that the affections of 

princes and princesses should be directed early into such paths as their 

royal parents and governors considered likely to prove most profitable 

to themselves. 

 

At the ambassador's left hand, mounted on a fine black horse, and 


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