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"Is he dead then?" asked Peter.
"Worse, I think," she answered--"a living death, the 'Punishment of the
"Poor wretch!" said Peter, with a shudder.
"Yes," remarked Inez reflectively, "few doctors like their own
"I say, Inez," said Peter, nodding his head towards Betty, "that marquis
isn't coming here, is he?"
"In the spirit, perhaps, Don Peter, not otherwise."
"So he is really dead? What killed him?"
"Laughter, I think, or, rather, being laughed at. He got quite well of
the hurts you gave him, and then, of course, he had to keep the queen's
gage, and take the most noble lady yonder, late Betty, as his
marchioness. He couldn't do less, after she beat you off him with your
own sword and nursed him back to life. But he never heard the last of
it. They made songs about him in the streets, and would ask him how his
godmother, Isabella, was, because she had promised and vowed on his
behalf; also, whether the marchioness had broken any lances for his sake
lately, and so forth."
"Poor man!" said Peter again, in tones of the deepest sympathy. "A cruel
fate; I should have done better to kill him."
"Much; but don't say so to the noble Betty, who thinks that he had a
very happy married life under her protecting care. Really, he ate his
heart out till even I, who hated him, was sorry. Think of it! One of the
proudest men in Spain, and the most gallant, a nephew of the king, a
pillar of the Church, his sovereigns' plenipotentiary to the Moors, and
on secret matters--the common mock of the vulgar, yes, and of the
"The great! Which of them?"
"Nearly all, for the queen set the fashion--I wonder why she hated him
so?" Inez added, looking shrewdly at Peter; then without waiting for an
answer, went on: "She did it very cleverly, by always making the most of
the most honourable Betty in public, calling her near to her, talking
with her, admiring her English beauty, and so forth, and what her
Majesty did, everybody else did, until my exalted mistress nearly went
off her head, so full was she of pride and glory. As for the marquis, he
fell ill, and after the taking of Granada went to live there quietly.
Betty went with him, for she was a good wife, and saved lots of money.
She buried him a year ago, for he died slow, and gave him one of the
finest tombs in Spain--it isn't finished yet. That is all the story. Now
she has brought her boy, the young marquis, to England for a year or
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