about at the other apes. "Who will go with Zu-tag to fight
"And nevertheless, you came, queen."
"I reckoned on you, John Heywood. It was my duty to risk this passage, to save, perchance, the life of the poor enthusiastic girl. For it shall not be said that Catharine deserts her friends in misfortune, and that she shrinks back at danger. I am but a poor, weak woman, John, who cannot defend her friends with weapons, and, therefore, I must resort to other means. But see, John, here the path forks! Ah, my God! I know it only from the description that was given me, but no one said anything of this to me. John, which way must we now turn?"
"This way, queen; and here we are at the end of our journey. That path there leads to the torture-chamber, that is to say, to a small grated window, through which one can overlook that room. When King Henry was in special good-humor, he would resort with his friend to this grating to divert himself a little with the tortures of the damned and blasphemers. For you well know, queen, only such as have blasphemed God, or have not recognized King Henry as the pope of their Church, have the honor of the rack as their clue. But hush! here we are at the door, and here is the spring that opens it."
Catharine set her lamp on the ground and pressed the spring.
The door turned slowly and noiselessly on its hinges, and softly, like shades, the two entered.
They now found themselves in a small, circular apartment, which seemed to have been originally a niche formed in the wall of the Tower, rather than a room. Through a narrow grated opening in the wall only a little air and light penetrated into this dungeon, the bald, bare walls of which showed the stones of the masonry. There was no chair, no table in the whole space; only yonder in that corner on the earth they had heaped up some straw. On this straw lay a pale, tender creature; the sunken, thin cheeks, transparently white as alabaster; the brow so pure and clear; the entire countenance so peaceful; the bare, meagre arms thrown back over the head; the hands folded over the forehead, the head bent to one side in quiet, peaceful slumber; the delicate, tender form wrapped in a long black dress, gently stretched out, and on her lips a smile, such as only the happy know.
That was Anne Askew, the criminal, the condemned--Anne Askew, who was an atheist only for this, because she did not believe in the king's vast elevation and godlikeness, and would not subject her own free soul to that of the king.
"She sleeps," whispered Catharine, deeply mored, Wholly involuntarily she folded her hands as she stepped to the couch of the sufferer, and a low prayer trembled on her lips.
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