Chowles and Judith, it has been mentioned, were descried by Leonard, just before the outbreak of the fire, stealing into Saint Faith's, and carrying a heavy chest between them. This chest contained some of the altar-plate, which they had pillaged from the Convocation House.

And there might be further perils in future, as there might be thunderstorms or floods. There was still the memory of the descent of the Commissioners a year or two after his birth; he had been brought up on the stories of riding and counter-riding, and the hiding away of altar-plate and beads and vestments.

The wealthy citizens parted freely with their gold and jewels, the Prior and friars of S. Maria delle Grazie melted down their sumptuous altar-plate, and the canons of the Duomo brought the duke those costly gifts which he had made them in his days of prosperity.

Certain things the gorgeous altar-plate and vestments of the chapel, with the priceless manuscripts of the Castello of Pavia, and most of the Sforza portraits were taken to Blois, others found their way to Venice or Mantua, and many fell into unworthy hands and vanished altogether.

"I can see it in the fellow's eye, and I feel it to be a compliment. They are so very 'cute that they delight in suspicions. I remember, when the altar-plate was stolen from Barchester Cathedral some years ago, a splendid idea occurred to one of the police, that the Bishop had taken it!" "Really?" asked Lizzie. "Oh, yes; really.

These included a sword and helmet, said to have belonged to Charlemagne, a silver casket containing the royal seals, besides a set of rich hangings and altar-plate, and a jewelled cross and reliquary on which Charles set great value, because it held a sacred thorn and piece of wood from the holy cross, a vest of our Lady, and a limb of St. Denis, which were objects of his especial devotion.