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one. Is it your wish, both of you, that you should be wed before the
single combat between the Marquis of Morella and Sir Peter Brome?
Remember, Dona Margaret, before you answer, that in this event you may
soon be made a widow, and that if you postpone the ceremony you may
never be a wife."
Now Margaret and Peter spoke a few words together, then the former
answered for them both.
"Should my lord fall," she said in her sweet voice that trembled as she
uttered the words, "in either case my heart will be widowed and broken.
Let me live out my days, therefore, bearing his name, that, knowing my
deathless grief, none may thenceforth trouble me with their love, who
desire to remain his bride in heaven."
"Well spoken," said the queen. "We decree that here in our cathedral of
Seville you twain shall be wed on the same day, but before the Marquis
of Morella and you, Sir Peter Brome, meet in single combat. Further,
lest harm should be attempted against either of you," and she looked
sideways at Morella, "you, Senora Margaret, shall be my guest until you
leave my care to become a bride, and you, Sir Peter, shall return to
lodge in the prison whence you came, but with liberty to see whom you
will, and to go when and where you will, but under our protection, lest
some attempt should be made on you."
She ceased, whereon suddenly the king began speaking in his sharp, thin
"Having settled these matters of chivalry and marriage," he said, "there
remains another, which I will not leave to the gentle lips of our
sovereign Lady, that has to do with something higher than either of
them--namely, the eternal welfare of men's souls, and of the Church of
Christ on earth. It has been declared to us that the man yonder, John
Castell, merchant of London, is that accursed thing, a Jew, who for the
sake of gain has all his life feigned to be a Christian, and, as such,
deceived a Christian woman into marriage; that he is, moreover, of our
subjects, having been born in Spain, and therefore amenable to the civil
and spiritual jurisdiction of this realm."
He paused, while Margaret and Peter stared at each other affrighted.
Only Castell stood silent and unmoved, though he guessed what must
follow better than either of them.
"We judge him not," went on the king, "who claim no authority in such
high matters, but we do what we must do--we commit him to the Holy
Inquisition, there to take his trial!"
Now Margaret cried aloud. Peter stared about him as though for help,
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