Then Renatus turned a little to the third; and he was more richly apparelled than the others; his hands were clasped in prayer; and by his knee there lay a splendid diadem, an Emperor's crown, with few jewels, but each the price of a kingdom.
And Renatus saw that he was very young, scarce older than himself; and that he had the most beautiful face he had ever seen, with large soft eyes, clear-cut features, and a mouth that looked both pure and strong; but in his face there was such a passion of holiness and surrender, that Renatus fell to wondering what it was that a man could so adore.
"Renatus Warne has been putting in a new strake and painting her. I shall have her down on the beach to-morrow." "Ah, so that's it? I cast my eye over the beach this afternoon and couldn't see her. You haven't been trying for the conger lately." "We'll have a try to-morrow evening if you'll come, Sir. I wish you would." The Vicar, though he seldom found time for the sport, was a famous fisherman.
Then he rose again to his feet; and now the moon was risen and made a very pure and tender radiance through one of the high windows; and Renatus, looking about him, was conscious of a thrill of fear that passed through him, as though there were some great presence near him in the gloom; then his eyes fell on a little door on his right, opposite to the door by which they had entered, which he knew led out into the castle court; but underneath the door, between it and the sill, there gleamed a line of very golden light, such as might come from a fire without.
So he ended by praying that God would empty him of all unworthy thoughts, and fill him full of that good and great thing, which, in the Gospel story, Martha went near to miss, but Mary certainly divined. That was a blessed hour, to the thought of which Renatus afterwards often turned in darker and more weary days.
Three years after his disappointment, Renatus Harris was tried at the Old Bailey for a political offence, the nature of which may be seen from the following entry in Narcissus Luttrell's Diary: "April, 1691.
It was arranged that he should wait there until the Prince's vigil was over, when he would go to attend him forth; and so the Prince was left by himself. For a time Renatus prayed, gathering up the strength of his mind to pray earnestly; but other thoughts kept creeping in, like children peeping and beckoning from a door.
The time flew fast; and presently Renatus heard the great bell ring the hour of midnight; so he knelt and prayed again, with all his might, that God would bless him and open his eyes.
The next evening I walked down to the Porth and launched my boat. A row of idlers watched me from the long bench under the life-boat house, and a small knot on the beach inspected my fishing-gear and lent a hand to push off. "Ben't goin' alone, be 'e?" asked Renatus Warne. "Yes," said I. "The conger'll have 'ee then, sure enough."
The Duke, after some discourse of other matters, made a pause; and then, saying that it was the last time that he should take the privilege of guardianship to offer advice unless it were sought said: "And now, Renatus, you know that I love you as a dear son; and I would have you remember that all these things are but shows, and that there sits behind them a grave and holy presence of duty; these pomps are but the signs that you are truly the Prince of this land; and you must use your power well, and to God's glory; for it is He that makes us to be what we are, and truly calls us thereto."