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The Knight of the Golden Melice eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 406 pages of information about The Knight of the Golden Melice.

“Did not the right worshipful Governor remark the profane exclamation of the prisoner even in this presence?” inquired Spikeman.

“None, Master Spikeman,” answered Winthrop.  “I did indeed observe that the prisoner, in one instance, commenced what I supposed was the word ‘accursed,’ but checked himself in mid utterance as if sensible that it was unmeet to be spoken, which rather savors of respect than of the contrary.”

But the Assistant shook his head.  “I have seldom seen,” he said, “a more stiff-necked and perverse offender, and one more deserving of many stripes.”

Hereupon followed a discussion of some length, which terminated favorably to the opinions of the Deputy Governor and of the Assistant Spikeman, and it was finally agreed that Joy should be found guilty, generally, and condemned to be confined for the space of one month, in irons, to a fine of L5, and to banishment from the colony.  This result was not attained without strong resistance from Winthrop, who strove to mitigate the punishment to a fine, and from Endicott, who endeavored to obtain remission of the banishment; but in vain—­the vehemence of Dudley, and the insinuations of Spikeman, overbore all opposition.

Upon the conclusion being arrived at, Joy was placed again before the Governor, who, with a grieved look, pronounced sentence, and immediately dismissed the Court.

CHAPTER II.

  A gentle knight was pricking on the plaine.

  Spencer.

On the morning of a fine day, a fortnight after the occurrences above narrated, a horseman was riding over the neck, or narrow strip of marshy ground, which connects the peninsula on which Boston is situated with the main land.  The rider was a tall, handsome man, of apparently some thirty-five years of age, who sat on his steed and handled the reins with a practiced grace, as if the saddle and himself were familiar acquaintances.  Under a broad-brimmed, slouched hat, fell curls of dark hair, down the sides of an oval though rather thin face, embrowned by exposure to the weather.  The nose was curved like the beak of an eagle, the eyes bright and wild as those of the royal bird, and a close beard curled over the face, including the upper lip, the bold yet sweet expression of which it did not conceal.

The dress of the cavalier was in the fashion of the times, though sobered down, either for the purpose of attracting less attention, or out of deference to the customs of the people he was among.  A close fitting doublet or jerkin, of black velvet, over which was thrown a light cloak of the same color, but of different material, and a falling collar, shaped somewhat like those in Vandyke’s portraits, edged with a narrow peccadillo or fringe of lace, ornamented the upper part of his person; his hands and wrists were protected by long gloves or gauntlets, reaching half way up to the elbow, and opening wide at the top;

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