‘Wilt thou not teach me then to be good like thee, Dorothy?’
’Thou must teach thyself to be good like the Rowland thou knowest in thy better heart, when it is soft and lowly.’
’Wouldst thou then love me a little, Dorothy, if I vowed to be thy scholar, and study to be good? Give me some hope to help me in the hard task.’
‘He that is good is good for goodness’ sake, Rowland. Yet who can fail to love that which is good in king or knave?’
’Ah! but do not mock me, Dorothy: such is not the love I would have of thee.’
’It is all thou ever canst have of me, and methinks it is not like thou wilt ever have it, for verily thou art of nature so light that any wind may blow thee into the Dead Sea.’
From a saint it was enough to anger any sinner.
‘I see!’ cried Scudamore. ’For all thy fine reproof, thou too canst spurn a heart at thy feet. I will lay my life thou lovest the round-head, and art but a traitress for all thy goodness.’
’I am indeed traitress enough to love any roundhead gentleman better than a royalist knave,’ said Dorothy; and turning from him she sought the grand staircase.
The winter passed, with much running to and fro, in foul weather and fair; and still the sounds of war came no nearer to Raglan, which lay like a great lion in a desert that the hunter dared not arouse. The whole of Wales, except a castle or two, remained subject to the king; and this he owed in great measure to the influence and devotion of the Somersets, his obligation to whom he seemed more and more bent on acknowledging.
One day in early summer lady Margaret was sitting in her parlour, busy with her embroidery, and Dorothy was by her side assisting her, when lord Herbert, who had been absent for many days, walked in.
‘How does my lady Glamorgan?’ he said gaily.
‘What mean you, my Herbert?’ returned his wife, looking in his eyes somewhat eagerly.
’Thy Herbert am I no more; neither plume I myself any more in the spare feathers of my father. Thou art, my dove, as thou deservest to be, countess of Glamorgan, in the right of thine own husband, first earl of the same; for such being the will of his majesty, I doubt not thou wilt give thy consent thereto, and play the countess graciously. Come, Dorothy, art not proud to be cousin to an earl?’
‘I am proud that you should call me cousin, my lord,’ answered Dorothy; ’but truly to me it is all one whether you be called Herbert or Glamorgan. So thou remain thou, cousin, and my friend, the king may call thee what he will, and if thou art pleased, so am I.’
It was the first time she had ever thou’d him, and she turned pale at her own daring.
‘St. George! but thou hast well spoken, cousin!’ cried the earl. ‘Hath she not, wife?’