Sixty living men, the best and fiercest one alone excepted! which Albyn can send down from her mountains, all athirst for each other's blood, while a king and his nobles, and shouting thousands besides, attend, as at a theatre, to encourage their demoniac fury!
The governorship of Hesdin having become vacant, Egmont, backed by Orange and other nobles, had demanded it for the Count de Roeulx, a gentleman of the Croy family, who, as well as his father, had rendered many important services to the crown.
Of these nobles, each with his court and feudal dominion, there were in what we may call China Proper some unascertainable number between thirteen and a hundred and fifty: mostly small and insignificant, but mostly, too, full of schemes and ambitions. But it was the Lords Marchers that counted.
Alva began by seizing prominent nobles, and he would have arrested the Prince of Orange, but he escaped into Germany. A court was set up which condemned many persons to death, including the greatest nobles of the land. The people nicknamed it the Council of Blood.
But such doctrines were in those days new and somewhat doubtful, not supported in any degree by the Church and quite outside the sympathy of nobles and people, and Lanfranc had easily eluded the Bishop of Durham's claims. Anselm himself had accepted a number of points disputed now by Thomas.
As for Appius, he cried out to his lictors that they should lay hands on Icilius, and when the crowd suffered not the lictors to approach, would himself have made a way to him, by the help of the young nobles that stood by him. But now the crowd had leaders, themselves also nobles, Valerius and Horatius.
He was welcomed by many of the discontented nobles, amongst others by Lord Erskine afterwards Earl of Mar, Lord Lorne and his father the Earl of Argyll, Maitland Lord of Lethington, the Earl of Glencairn, and Lord James Stuart prior of St. Andrew's, who as Earl of Moray was soon to betray his sister, Mary Queen of Scots.
Loud shouts of laughter rose as the young soldiers worked at their unaccustomed tasks, superintended by the officers, who, having all made several campaigns, were able to instruct them as to their duties. From a culinary point of view the meal could not be pronounced a success, and was, indeed, a contrast to the food to which the young nobles were accustomed.
Her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, an able and ambitious man, counted on her rise to set him at the head of the council-board; the brilliant group of young courtiers to which her brother belonged saw in her success their own elevation; and the Duke of Suffolk with the bulk of the nobles hoped through her means to bring about the ruin of the statesman before whom they trembled.
He had received the adieus of the nobles and had taken leave of the clergy. At two o'clock he expected the emperor, who was to accompany him as far as Mariabrunn. It was now eleven, and he had, therefore, three hours of leisure. He rang for his valet and bade him send a messenger to Prince Kaunitz, apprising him that in half an hour the pope would visit him.