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wealth, what said the wise king of my people?--that ofttimes riches make
themselves wings and fly away. Moreover, man, I have learned to love and
honour you, and sooner would I leave my only child in your hands than in
those of any lord in England."
"I know not what to say," broke in Peter.
"Then say nothing. It is your custom, and a good one--only listen. Just
now you spoke of your Essex lands in the fair Vale of Dedham as gone.
Well, they have come back, for last month I bought them all, and more,
at a price larger than I wished to give because others sought them, and
but this day I have paid in gold and taken delivery of the title. It is
made out in your name, Peter Brome, and whether you marry my daughter,
or whether you marry her not, yours they shall be when I am gone, since
I promised my dead wife to befriend you, and as a child she lived there
in your Hall."
Now moved out of his calm, the young man sprang from his seat, and,
after the pious fashion of the time, addressed his patron saint, on
whose feast-day he was born.
"Saint Peter, I thank thee--"
"I asked you to be silent," interrupted Castell, breaking him short.
"Moreover, after God, it is one John who should be thanked, not St.
Peter, who has no more to do with these lands than Father Abraham or the
patient Job. Well, thanks or no thanks, those estates are yours, though
I had not meant to tell you of them yet. But now I have something to
propose to you. Say, first, does Margaret think aught of that wooden
face and those shut lips of yours?"
"How can I know? I have never asked her; you forbade me."
"Pshaw! Living in one house as you do, at your age I would have known
all there was to know on such a matter, and yet kept my word. But there,
the blood is different, and you are somewhat over-honest for a lover.
Was she frightened for you, now, when that knave made at you with
Peter considered the question, then answered:
"I know not. I did not look to see; I looked at the Scotchman with his
sword, for if I had not, I should have been dead, not he. But she was
certainly frightened when the fellow caught hold of her, for then she
called for me loud enough."
"And what is that? What woman in London would not call for such a one as
Peter Brome in her trouble? Well, you must ask her, and that soon, if
you can find the words. Take a lesson from that Spanish don, and scrape
and bow and flatter and tell stories of the war and turn verses to her
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