How Herne Appeared To Henry In The Home Park





On that same night, at a late hour, a horseman, mounted on a powerful

steed, entered the eastern side of the home park, and stationed himself

beneath the trees. He had not been there long, when the castle clock

tolled forth the hour of midnight, and ere the deep strokes died away, a

second horseman was seen galloping across the moonlit glade towards him.



"Has all been done as I directed, Suffolk?" he demanded, as the newcomer

approached him.



"It has, my liege," replied the duke. "The queen is imprisoned within

her chamber, and will be removed, at early dawn, to the Tower."



"You had better start in an hour from this time," said the king. "It is

a long passage by water, and I am anxious to avoid all chance of attempt

at rescue."



"Your wishes shall be obeyed," replied the duke. "Poor soul! her grief

was most agonizing, and I had much ado to maintain my composure. She

implored, in the most passionate manner, to be allowed to see your

highness before her removal. I told her it was impossible; and that even

if you were at the castle, you would not listen to her supplications."



"You did right," rejoined Henry; "I will never see her more--not that

I fear being moved by her prayers, but that, knowing how deceitful and

faithless she is, I loathe to look upon her. What is expressed upon the

matter by the household? Speak frankly."



"Frankly then," replied the duke, "your highness's proceedings are

regarded as harsh and unjustifiable. The general opinion is, that you

only desire to remove Anne to make way for Mistress Jane Seymour."



"Ha! they talk thus, do they?" cried the king. "I will silence their

saucy prating ere long. Tell all who venture to speak to you on the

subject that I have long suspected the queen of a secret liking for

Norris, but that I determined to conceal my suspicions till I found I

had good warrant for them. That occurred, as you know, some weeks ago.

However, I awaited a pretext for proceeding against them, and it was

furnished by their own imprudence to-day. Convinced that something would

occur, I had made my preparations; nor was I deceived. You may add,

also, that not until my marriage is invalidated, Anne's offspring

illegitimatised, and herself beheaded, shall I consider the foul blot

upon my name removed."



"Has your majesty any further commands?" said Suffolk. "I saw Norris in

his prison before I rode forth to you."



"Let him be taken to the Tower, under a strong escort, at once," said

Henry. "Lord Rochford, I suppose, has already been removed there?"



"He has," replied the duke. "Shall I attend your majesty to your

followers?"



"It is needless," replied the king. "They are waiting for me, close at

hand, at the foot of Datchet Bridge. Fare well, my good brother; look

well to your prisoners. I shall feel more easy when Anne is safely

lodged within the Tower."



So saying he wheeled round, and striking spurs into his steed, dashed

through the trees, while the duke rode back to the castle.



Henry had not proceeded far, when a horseman, mounted on a sable steed,

emerged from the thicket, and galloped up to him. The wild attire and

antlered helm of this personage proclaimed the forest fiend.



"Ah! thou here, demon!" cried the king, his lion nature overmastered by

superstitious fear for a moment. "What wouldst thou?"



"You are on the eve of committing a great crime," replied Herne; "and I

told you that at such times I would always appear to you."



"To administer justice is not to commit crime," rejoined the king. "Anne

Boleyn deserves her fate."



"Think not to impose on me as you have imposed on Suffolk!" cried Herne,

with a derisive laugh. "I know your motives better; I know you have no

proof of her guilt, and that in your heart of hearts you believe her

innocent. But you destroy her because you would wed Jane Seymour! We

shall meet again ere long--ho! ho! ho!"



And giving the rein to his steed, he disappeared among the trees.





How Anne Boleyn Received Proof Of Henry's Passion For Jane Seymour How Herne The Hunter Appeared To Henry On The Terrace facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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