Sir Hugh felt a great pity for the man who stood so anxiously before him, but he hardened his heart and said, "I think that the Earl will not delay his purpose: he is swift to do his will." A great cloud of sadness came down on the Lord Bigod's face, and he said very low, "That is a good way, the way of a great warrior so be it then, sir," and he softly withdrew, asking Hugh to wait for him.
Whether it chanced that the climate was more kindly in old times, or the skill of those who tended the fields was greater, I do not know, but this at the least is true, that the hillside beneath which the house nestles, and which once was the bank of an arm of the sea or of a great broad, was a vineyard in Earl Bigod's days.
But his growing influence was seen in the appointment of his supporter, Hugh Despenser, as Justiciar in Bigod's place, while his strength was doubled by the accession of the King's son Edward to his side. In the moment of the revolution Edward had vehemently supported the party of the foreigners.
Then he came down himself; and saw beside his horse a smaller horse richly caparisoned; then in a moment, very swiftly, came the Lady Mary down the stairs, with the Lord Bigod and her brothers; she kissed her brothers, who looked smilingly at her; and then her father, hanging for a moment on his neck, and whispering a word into his ear; and Hugh could see the Lord Bigod's face working, as he restrained his tears, in anguish of heart.
Shift the line of division a little, so that instead of separating borrowers and lenders, it separates those who pay their debts from those who do not pay them, and then Dickens the elder may succeed to something of Bigod's kingship. He was of the great race of debtors, possessing especially that ideal quality of mind on which Lamb laid such stress. Imagination played the very mischief with him.
Whether true or false, the statement removed the scruples of the archbishop and secured his consent to Stephen's accession. With this declaration of Hugh Bigod's, however, was coupled another matter more of the nature of a positive inducement to the Church.