"Ho, Gaffer Fox!" he cried, as soon as he caught sight of the Earl of Mackworth, "what wind blows thee hither among us wild mallard drakes? I warrant it is not for love of us, but only to fill thine own larder after the manner of Sir Fox among the drakes. Whom hast thou with thee? Some gosling thou art about to pluck?"
A sudden hush fell upon the company, and all faces were turned towards the visitors.
The Earl bowed with a soft smile. "Your Highness," said he, smoothly, "is pleased to be pleasant. Sir, I bring you the young knight of whom I spoke to you some time since--Sir Myles Falworth. You may be pleased to bring to mind that you so condescended as to promise to take him into your train until the fitting time arrived for that certain matter of which we spoke."
"Sir Myles," said the Prince of Wales, with a frank, pleasant smile, "I have heard great reports of thy skill and prowess in France, both from Mackworth and from others. It will pleasure me greatly to have thee in my household; more especially," he added, "as it will get thee, callow as thou art, out of my Lord Fox's clutches. Our faction cannot do without the Earl of Mackworth's cunning wits, Sir Myles; ne'theless I would not like to put all my fate and fortune into his hands without bond. I hope that thou dost not rest thy fortunes entirely upon his aid and countenance."
All who were present felt the discomfort of the Prince's speech, It was evident that one of his mad, wild humors was upon him. In another case the hare-brained young courtiers around might have taken their cue from him, but the Earl of Mackworth was no subject for their gibes and witticisms. A constrained silence fell, in which the Earl alone maintained a perfect ease of manner.
Myles bowed to hide his own embarrassment. "Your Highness," said he, evasively, "I rest my fortune, first of all, upon God, His strength and justice."
"Thou wilt find safer dependence there than upon the Lord of Mackworth," said the Prince, dryly. "But come," he added, with a sudden change of voice and manner, "these be jests that border too closely upon bitter earnest for a merry breakfast. It is ill to idle with edged tools. Wilt thou not stay and break thy fast with us, my Lord?"
"Pardon me, your Highness," said the Earl, bowing, and smiling the same smooth smile his lips had worn from the first--such a smile as Myles had never thought to have seen upon his haughty face; "I crave your good leave to decline. I must return home presently, for even now, haply, your uncle, his Grace of Winchester, is awaiting my coming upon the business you wot of. Haply your Highness will find more joyance in a lusty young knight like Sir Myles than in an old fox like myself. So I leave him with you, in your good care."
all the inhabitants came down to the beach to see us pitch
eight thousand years the men of the Night’s Watch have
“Three of mine own ilk,” said Old Flint. “And he
a cruel jape when you made me lord commander. A lord commander
his fingers, right and left, and presently found slimy
led a fearsome host against the realm. It is the remnants