|• Main||• Contacts|
"You asked why I do not change the cut of my garments," went on
d'Aguilar, without noticing the interruption. "Excellency, to be frank,
because of my own business. I have failings like other men. For
instance, wealth is that substance of which you spoke, rule is the
shadow; he who has the wealth has the real rule. Again, bright eyes may
draw me, or a hate may seek its slaking, and these things do not suit
robes, black or red."
"Yet many such things have been done by those who wore them," replied
the ambassador with meaning.
"Aye, Excellency, to the discredit of Holy Church, as you, a priest,
know better than most men. Let the earth be evil as it must; but let the
Church be like heaven above it, pure, unstained, the vault of prayer,
the house of mercy and of righteous judgment, wherein walks no sinner
such as I," and again he crossed himself.
There was a ring of earnestness in the speaker's voice that caused de
Ayala, who knew something of his private reputation, to look at him
"A true fanatic, and therefore to us a useful man," he thought to
himself, "though one who knows how to make the best of two worlds as
well as most of them;" but aloud he said, "No wonder that our Church
rejoices in such a son, and that her enemies tremble when he lifts her
sword. But, Senor, you have not told me what you think of all this
ceremony and people."
"The people I know well, Excellency, for I dwelt among them in past
years and speak their language; and that is why I have left Granada to
look after itself for a while, and am here to-day, to watch and make
report----" He checked himself, then added, "As for the ceremony, were I
a king I would have it otherwise. Why, in that house just now those
vulgar Commons--for so they call them, do they not?--almost threatened
their royal master when he humbly craved a tithe of the country's wealth
to fight the country's war. Yes, and I saw him turn pale and tremble at
the rough voices, as though their echoes shook his throne. I tell you,
Excellency, that the time will come in this land when those Commons will
be king. Look now at that fellow whom his Grace holds by the hand,
calling him 'sir' and 'master,' and yet whom he knows to be, as I do, a
heretic, a Jew in disguise, whose sins, if he had his rights, should be
purged by fire. Why, to my knowledge last night, that Israelite said
things against the Church----"
"Whereof the Church, or its servant, doubtless made notes to be used
Page 3 from 10: Back 1 2  4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Forward