A bit of de Winter family banter, and a bit that follows the 'it is a woman's hand, my lord' joke...
“Ah, I see. So what is at stake, dear brother, is a figurehead for your religion. Not a woman, flesh and blood, soul and spirit. A cipher.”
George de Winter frowns. “I have served Mary for years. You have arrived here in the last day, and already you are advising me on how best to handle her?”
“Yes, George, I am. Keep her as your candidate for the throne, but remember that she is a woman, a person.”
“Well, Caroline, I cannot say you have failed to live up to my memory of you. But I thank you for your wisdom. Perhaps I will serve her the better for it.”
“Perhaps.” She considers, just for a moment. “I would have been willing to serve her sister.”
“Elizabeth? She lacks any manner of principle. You were lucky to escape.”
“I do not agree.”
“Do not be ungracious. Elizabeth would not be a better mistress.”
Strelley laughs. “I am no military man.”
“I do not care for your opinion on the subject, Master Strelley. There are others whom I trust more. You will help me defend this city.”
“Suffice it to say, Master Strelley, that the country folk of Devon are agitating.”
“That is not new. That priest was killed last year.”
“You know of that? But that was in Cornwall. His name was Body and he was a fool. He deserved what happened to him.”
“For trying to impose the king’s will?”
“For ignoring the people’s wishes.”
Strelley watches Blackaller carefully as he speaks. “So you,” Strelley says, slowly and tentatively, “would not ignore the people’s wishes?”
“Master Strelley, the people will have what they wish in their Church service.”
“You do not like the new Book?” Strelley smiles, knowing that Blackaller will not be aware of his involvement in the Book of Common Prayer.
“I do not dislike the Book. But I do not thoroughly agree with the sentiment.”
“You would have the Mass?”
“I would have a clear conscience, Master Strelley. And my old bones were shaped by the liturgy I knew as a boy. One cannot accept being told that ones conscience is wrong.”
“The Book is coming. Whether you would have it or not.”
He really was called Blackaller, incidentally. Hence the absolute imperative to include a relevant joke in that scene. I may see if I can engineer the 'wild stab in the dark' line into it as well...
Leave a Reply.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought