him, came simultaneously toward him from different directions,
Princess Elizabeth was jealous; she felt the first torturing motions of that horrible disease which she had inherited from her father, and in the feverish paroxysms of which the king had sent two of his wives to the scaffold.
She was jealous, but not of the queen; much more, she dreamed not that the queen might share and return Seymour's love. It never came into her mind to accuse the queen of an understanding with the earl. She was jealous only of the looks which he directed toward the queen; and because she was watching those looks, she could not at the same time read the eyes of her young stepmother also; she could not see the gentle flames which, kindled by the fire of his looks, glowed in hers.
Thomas Seymour had seen them, and had he now been alone with Catharine, he would have thrown himself at her feet and confided to her all the deep and dangerous secrets that he had so long harbored in his breast; he would have left to her the choice of bringing him to the block, or of accepting the love which he consecrated to her.
But there, behind them, were the spying, all-observing, all- surmising courtiers; there was the Princess Elizabeth, who, had he ventured to speak to the queen, would have conjectured from his manner the words which she could not understand; for love sees so clearly, and jealousy has such keen ears!
Catharine suspected nothing of the thoughts of her companions. She alone was happy; she alone gave herself up with full soul to the enjoyment of the moment. She drew in with intense delight the pure air; she drank in the odor of the meadow blossoms; she listened with thirsty ear to the murmuring song which the wind wafted to her from the boughs of the trees. Her wishes extended not beyond the hour; she rested in the full enjoyment of the presence of her beloved. He was there--what needed she more to make her happy?
Her wishes extended not beyond this hour. She was only conscious how delightful it was thus to be at her beloved's side, to breathe the same air, to see the same sun, the same flowers on which his eyes rested, and on which their glances at least might meet in kisses which were denied to their lips.
But as they thus rode along, silent and meditative, each occupied with his own thoughts, there came the assistance for which Thomas Seymour had prayed, fluttering along in the shape of a fly.
At first this fly sported and buzzed about the nose of the fiery, proud beast which the queen rode; and as no one noticed it, it was not disturbed by Hector's tossing of his mane, but crept securely and quietly to the top of the noble courser's head, pausing a little here and there, and sinking his sting into the horse's flesh, so that he reared and began loudly to neigh.
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