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The King's Achievement   By: (1871-1914)

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THE KING'S ACHIEVEMENT

By Robert Hugh Benson

Author of "By What Authority?" "The Light Invisible," "A Book of the Love of Jesus," etc.

Non minus principi turpia sunt multa supplicia, quam medico multa funera.

(Sen. de clem. 1, 24, 1.)

I must express my gratitude once more to the Rev. Dom Bede Camm, O.S.B., as well as to the Very Rev. Mgr. Barnes, who have done me great service in revising proofs and making suggestions; to the Rev. E. Conybeare, who very kindly provided the coins for the cover design of the book; to my mother and sister, to Eustace Virgo, Esq., to Dr. Ross Todd, and to others, who have been extremely kind in various ways during the writing of this book in the summer and autumn of 1904.

I must also express my great indebtedness to the Right Rev. Abbot Gasquet, O.S.B., both on account of his invaluable books, which I have used freely, and for his personal kindness in answering my questions.

ROBERT HUGH BENSON

The Catholic Rectory, Cambridge, July 14, 1905.

CONTENTS

BOOK I. THE KING'S WILL.

CHAPTER

I. A DECISION II. A FORETASTE OF PEACE III. THE ARRIVAL AT LEWES IV. A COMMISSION V. MASTER MORE VI. RALPH'S INTERCESSION VII. A MERRY PRISONER VIII. A HIGHER STEP IX. LIFE AT LEWES X. THE ARENA XI. A CLOSING IN XII. A RECOVERY XIII. PRISONER AND PRINCE XIV. THE SACRED PURPLE XV. THE KING'S FRIEND

BOOK II. THE KING'S TRIUMPH.

PART I. THE SMALLER HOUSES.

I. AN ACT OF FAITH II. THE BEGINNING OF THE VISITATION III. A HOUSE OF LADIES IV. AN UNEXPECTED MEETING V. FATHER AND SON VI. A NUN'S DEFIANCE VII. ST. PANCRAS PRIORY VIII. RALPH'S RETURN IX. RALPH'S WELCOME

PART II THE FALL OF LEWES.

I. INTERNAL DISSENSION II. SACERDOS IN AETERNUM III. THE NORTHERN RISING IV. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SEAL V. THE SINKING SHIP VI. THE LAST STAND VII. AXES AND HAMMERS

BOOK III.

THE KING'S GRATITUDE.

I. A SCHEME II. A DUEL III. A PEACE MAKER IV. THE ELDER SON V. THE MUMMERS VI. A CATASTROPHE VII. A QUESTION OF LOYALTY VIII. TO CHARING IX. A RELIEF PARTY X. PLACENTIA XI. THE KING'S HIGHNESS XII. THE TIDINGS AT THE TOWER XIII. THE RELEASE

BENEFICO IGNOTO HVNC LIBRVM D.

THE KING'S ACHIEVEMENT

CHAPTER I

A DECISION

Overfield Court lay basking in warm June sunshine. The western side of the great house with its new timber and plaster faced the evening sun across the square lawns and high terrace; and the woods a couple of hundred yards away cast long shadows over the gardens that lay beyond the moat. The lawns, in their broad plateaux on the eastern side descended by steps, in cool shadow to the lake that formed a quarter circle below the south eastern angle of the house; and the mirrored trees and reeds on the other side were broken, circle after circle, by the great trout that were rising for their evening meal. The tall front of the house on the north, formed by the hall in the centre with the kitchen at its eastern end and the master's chamber on the western, was faced by a square towered gatehouse through which the straight drive leading into the main road approached the house under a lime avenue; and on the south side the ground fell away again rapidly below the chapel and the morning room, in copse and garden and wild meadow bright with buttercups and ox eye daisies, down to the lake again and the moat that ran out of it round the entire domain.

The cobbled courtyard in the centre of the house, where the tall leaded pump stood, was full of movement. Half a dozen trunks lay there that had just been carried in from the luggage horses that were now being led away with patient hanging heads towards the stables that stood outside the gatehouse on the right, and three or four dusty men in livery were talking to the house servants who had come out of their quarters on the left. From the kitchen corner came a clamour of tongues and dishes, and smoke was rising steadily from the huge outside chimney that rose beyond the roofs... Continue reading book >>




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