‘So,’ said Philip, when the old knight had quitted the room, ’of course you cannot marry while Eustacie lives; but if—–’
‘Not another word, profane boy!’ angrily cried Berenger.
’I was only going to say, it is a pity of one so goodly not to bring her over to the true faith, and take her to England.’
‘Much would she be beholden to you!’ said Berenger. ‘So!’ he added, sighing, ’I had little hope but that it would be thus. I believe it is all a web of this old plotter’s weaving, and that the Queen-mother acts in it at his request. He wants only to buy me off with his daughter’s estates from asserting my claim to this castle and lands; and I trow he will never rise up here till—till-—’
‘Till when, Berry?’
’Till mayhap my grandfather can move the Queen to do something for us; or till Madame de Selinville sees a face she likes better than her brother’s carving; or, what can I tell? till malice is tired out, and Heaven’s will sets us free. May Eustacie only have reached home! But I’m sorry for you, my poor Phil.’
‘Never heed, brother,’ said Philip; ’what is prison to me, so that I can now and then see those lovely eyes?’
And the languishing air of the clumsy lad was so comical as to beguile Berenger into a laugh. Yet Berenger’s own feeling would go back to his first meeting with Diane; and as he thought of the eyes then fixed on him, he felt that he was under a trial that might become more severe.
CHAPTER XXXI. THE DARK POOL OF THE FUTURE
Triumph, triumph, only she That knit his bonds can set him free.—SOUTHEY
No change was made in the life of the captives of Nid de Merle after the answer from Paris, except that Pere Bonami, who had already once or twice dined at the Chevalier’s table, was requested to make formal exposition of the errors of the Reformers and of the tenets of his own Church to the Baron de Ribaumont.
Philip took such good care not to be deluded that, though he sat by to see fair play, yet it was always with his elbows on the table and his fingers in his ears, regardless of appearing to the priest in the character of the deaf adder. After all, he was not the object, and good Pere Bonami at first thought the day his own, when he found that almost all his arguments against Calvinism were equally impressed upon Berenger’s mind, but the differences soon revealed themselves; and the priest, though a good man, was not a very happily-chosen champion, for he was one of the old-fashioned, scantily-instructed country priests, who were more numerous before the Jesuit revival of learning, and knew nothing of controversy save that adapted to the doctrines of Calvin; so that in dealing with an Anglican of the school of Ridley and Hooker, it was like bow ad arrow against sword. And tin those days of change, controversial reading was one of the primary studies even of young laymen,