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yet I have played the part of a servant on an occasion which I think the
queen here will remember"--an allusion at which the audience, who knew
well enough to what it referred, laughed audibly, as did her Majesty.
"The marriage and rank are matters for proof," went on the king, "if
they are questioned; but is it alleged that this lady has committed any
crime which prevents her from pleading?"
"None," answered Betty quickly, "except that of being poor, and the
crime, if it is one, as it may be, of having married that man, the
Marquis of Morella," whereat the audience laughed again.
"Well, Madam, you do not seem to be poor now," remarked the king,
looking at her gorgeous and bejewelled apparel; "and here we are more
apt to think marriage a folly than a crime," a light saying at which the
queen frowned a little. "But," he added quickly, "set out your case,
Madam, and forgive me if, until you have done so, I do not call you
[Footnote 1: When travelling from Saragossa to Valladolid to be married
to Isabella, Ferdinand was obliged to pass himself off as a valet.
Prescott says: "The greatest circumspection, therefore, was necessary.
The party journeyed chiefly in the night; Ferdinand assumed the disguise
of a servant and, when they halted on the road, took care of the mules
and served his companions at table."]
"Here is my case, Sire," said Betty, producing the certificate of
marriage and handing it up for inspection.
The judges and their Majesties inspected it, the queen remarking that a
duplicate of this document had already been submitted to her and passed
on to the proper authorities.
"Is the priest who solemnised the marriage present?" asked the king;
whereon Bernaldez, Castell's agent, rose and said that he was, though he
neglected to add that his presence had been secured for no mean sum.
One of the judges ordered that he should be called, and presently the
foxy-faced Father Henriques, at whom the marquis glared angrily,
appeared bowing, and was sworn in the usual form, and, on being
questioned, stated that he had been priest at Motril, and chaplain to
the Marquis of Morella, but was now a secretary of the Holy Office at
Seville. In answer to further questions he said that, apparently by the
bridegroom's own wish, and with his full consent, on a certain date at
Granada, he had married the marquis to the lady who stood before them,
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