The historical portion of this tale has been partially narrated in one of my previous volumes, “In All Time of our Tribulation,” in which the Despenser story is begun, and its end told from another point of view. That volume left Isabelle of France at the height of her ambition, in the place to reach which she had been plotting so long and so unscrupulously. Here we see the Nemesis come upon her and the chief partner of her guilt; the proof that there is a God that judgeth in the earth. It is surely one of the saddest stories of history—sad as all stories are which tell of men and women whom God has endowed richly with gifts, and who, casting from them the Divine hand which would fain lift them up into the light of the Golden City, deliberately choose the pathway of death, and the blackness of darkness for ever.
that hath been. But I do ill to speak thus, seeing the holy Father is infallible, and acts in such matters but by the leading of God's Spirit, as saith the Church. Good lack, but there be queer things in this world! I saw once Father Philip screw up his mouth when one said the same in his hearing, and saith he--
"The Lord Pope is infallible when he speaketh ex cathedra, but so only."
"But how," saith he that spake, "shall we know when he is sat in his chair and when he is out of it?"
An odd look came into Father Philip's eyes.
"Master," saith he, "when I was a little lad, my mother told me divers times that it was not seemly to ask curious questions."
But I guess what the good Friar thought, though it be not always discreet to speak out man's thoughts. Ah me! will the time ever come when man may say what he will, with no worse thereafter than a sneer or a sharp rebuke from his neighbour? If so were, I would I had been born in those merry days--but I should want Jac