Mr. Vaughan came to see him again and again, and with the concurrence of Dr. Spott, prescribed for him. As the spring approached he grew able to leave his room. The ladies of the family had him to their parlours to pet and feed, but he was not now so easily to be injured by kindness as when he believed in his own merits.
January of 1646, according to the division of the year, arrived, and with it the heaviest cloud that had yet overshadowed Raglan.
One day, about the middle of the month. Dorothy, entering lady Glamorgan’s parlour, found it deserted. A moan came to her ears from the adjoining chamber, and there she found her mistress on her face on the bed.
‘Madam,’ said Dorothy in terror, ’what is it? Let me be with you. May I not know it?’
‘My lord is in prison,’ gasped lady Glamorgan, and bursting into fresh tears, she sobbed and moaned.
’Has my lord been taken in the field, madam, or by cunning of his enemies?’
‘Would to God it were either,’ sighed lady Glamorgan. ’Then were it a small thing to bear.’
‘What can it be, madam? You terrify me,’ said Dorothy.
No words of reply, only a fresh outburst of agonised—could it also be angry?—weeping followed.
’Since you will tell me nothing, madam, I must take comfort that of myself I know one thing.’
‘Prithee, what knowest thou?’ asked the countess, but as if careless of being answered, so listless was her tone, so nearly inarticulate her words.
‘That is but what bringeth him fresh honour, my lady,’ answered Dorothy.
The countess started up, threw her arms about her, drew her down on the bed, kissed her, and held her fast, sobbing worse than ever.
‘Madam! madam!’ murmured Dorothy from her bosom.
‘I thank thee, Dorothy,’ she sighed out at length: ’for thy words and thy thoughts have ever been of a piece.’
’Sure, my lady, no one did ever yet dare think otherwise of my lord,’ returned Dorothy, amazed.
’But many will now, Dorothy. My God! they will have it that he is a traitor. Wouldst thou believe it, child—he is a prisoner in the castle of Dublin!’
‘But is not Dublin in the hands of the king, my lady?’
’Ay! there lies the sting of it! What treacherous friends are these heretics! But how should they be anything else? Having denied their Saviour they may well malign their better brother! My lord marquis of Ormond says frightful things of him.’
‘One thing more I know, my lady,’ said Dorothy, ’—that as long as his wife believes him the true man he is, he will laugh to scorn all that false lips may utter against him.’
’Thou art a good girl, Dorothy, but thou knowest little of an evil world. It is one thing to know thyself innocent, and another to carry thy head high.’