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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 406 pages of information about The Knight of the Golden Melice.
better detect our weakness and confound our plans.  I cannot harbor these latter notions.  There is that about the knight which gives the lie to suspicion.  Who can look upon his noble countenance and listen to the tones of his sincere voice, and not be satisfied of his truth?  Did he not, on his arrival, communicate to me his views, which, however romantic, are consistent both with the training of his previous life and the change which hath been effected in his feelings?  And doubtful myself, lest the gracious impression he made upon me might pervert my judgment, did I not set a watch upon his motions, and find them all to harmonize with his frank and gallant bearing?  I see no cause to alter my conduct or withdraw my confidence.  Yet will I be guarded in our intercourse.  If I err, it shall be on the side of prudence; but this matter whereunto he hath called my attention, shall forthwith be searched.  It were shame if the cruelty whereof he complains has been practised.  Ah me, the eye of the ruler cannot be everywhere!  There be those who already term our justice tyranny, and who would be glad to be furnished with another occasion of complaint.  Nor can I conceal from myself that the sentence of the soldier is harsh.  It was against both my feeling and my judgment.  How often am I compelled to practise a severity over which my softer, and perhaps weaker nature, mourns!”

CHAPTER III.

  “I am sorry one so learned and so wise,
  As you, Lord Angelo, have still appeared,
  Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood
  And lack of tempered judgment afterward.”

  MEASURE FOR MEASURE.

Early in the afternoon of the same day, a man whom we recognize as the servant we saw at the Governor’s house, entered a building which stood not far from the margin of the bay.  It belonged to the Assistant Spikeman, and it was he whom the man sought.  The Assistant was found sitting before his ledger, whose pages were open, and surrounded by the articles of his traffic, for he was a merchant, largely engaged in the purchase and sale of the products of the country, from which he had drawn substantial gains.  Quintals of dried fish were piled up in one part of the store-room, in another, bundles of furs procured from the Indians, in a third, casks and barrels containing spirituous liquors, and elsewhere were stored cloths of various descriptions, and hardware, and staves and hoops, and, in short, almost everything necessary to prosecute a trade between the old country and the new.

The Assistant raised his head at the noise made by the entrance of the man, and passing his fingers through the short, thick red hair that garnished his head, demanded, “What new thing bringest thou, Ephraim?”

“There has been,” answered the man, “him whom they call the Knight of the Golden Melice, though I know not what it means, with the Governor this morning, and according to your wishes, I have come to acquaint you therewith.”

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