“Why have you sent for me, Sir?” she demanded.
“I have sent for you, Aveline Calveley, to remind you of the promise made by you to your dying father,” he rejoined.
“Ah!” she exclaimed; “then my forebodings of ill are realized.”
“I know you consider that promise binding,” pursued Sir Giles; “and it is only necessary for me to announce to you that, in a week from this time, your hand will be claimed in marriage.”
“Alas! alas!” she cried, in accents of despair. “But who will claim it?—and how can the claim be substantiated?” she added, recovering herself in some degree.
“You will learn at the time I have appointed,” replied Sir Giles. “And now, having given you notice to prepare for the fulfilment of an engagement solemnly contracted by your father, and as solemnly agreed to by yourself, I will no longer detain you.”
Aveline gazed at him with wonder and terror, and would have sought for some further explanation; but perceiving from the inflexible expression of his countenance that any appeal would be useless, she quitted the room with her companion.
“I would give half I possess to make that maiden mine,” cried Sir Francis, intoxicated with admiration of her beauty.
“Humph!” exclaimed Sir Giles. “More difficult matters have been accomplished. Half your possessions, say you? She is not worth so much. Assign to me your share of the Mounchensey estates and she shall be yours.”
“I will do it, Sir Giles—I will do it,” cried the old usurer, eagerly; “but you must prove to me first that you can make good your words.”
“Pshaw! Have I ever deceived you, man? But rest easy. You shall be fully satisfied.”
“Then call in Lupo Vulp, and let him prepare the assignment at once,” cried Sir Francis. “I shall have a rare prize; and shall effectually revenge myself on this detested Mounchensey.”
Of the Wager between the Conde de Gondomar and the Marquis of Buckingham.
At a banquet given at Whitehall, attended by all the principal lords and ladies of the court, a wager was laid between the Conde de Gondomar and the Marquis of Buckingham, the decision of which was referred to the King.
The circumstance occurred in this way. The discourse happened to turn upon jousting, and the magnificent favourite, who was held unrivalled in all martial exercises and chivalrous sports, and who, confident in his own skill, vauntingly declared that he had never met his match in the tilt-yard; whereupon the Spanish Ambassador, willing to lower his pride, immediately rejoined, that he could, upon the instant, produce a better man-at-arms than he; and so certain was he of being able to make good his words, that he was willing to stake a thousand doubloons to a hundred on the issue of a trial.