of the prisoner. His view was circumscribed by the dense
John Heywood did not look round at all; he remained in the same attitude, gazing up steadily at the sky. He had very readily recognized the voice of him who had addressed him; he knew very well that he who stood near him was no other than the bold sorcerer whom he was just then cursing at the bottom of his heart; no other than Thomas Seymour, Earl of Sudley.
"Say, John, is it really an epigram?" asked Thomas Seymour again. "An epigram on the hypocritical, lustful, and sanctimonious priestly rabble, that with blasphemous hypocrisy fawn about the king, and are ever watchful how they can set a trap for one of us honorable and brave men? Is that what Heaven is now revealing to you?"
"No, my lord, I am only looking at a hawk which hovers about there in the clouds. I saw him mount, earl, and only think of the wonder-- he had in each talon a dove! Two doves for one hawk. Is not that too much--wholly contrary to law and nature?"
The earl cast on him a penetrating and distrustful look. But John Heywood, remaining perfectly calm and unembarrassed, continued looking at the clouds.
"How stupid such a brute is, and how much to his disadvantage will his very greediness be! For since he holds a dove in each claw, he will not be able to enjoy either of them; because he has no claw at liberty with which to tear them. Soon as he wishes to enjoy the one, the other will escape; when he grabs after that, the other flies away; and so at last he will have nothing at all, because he was too rapacious and wanted more than he could use."
"And you are looking after this hawk in the skies? But you are perhaps mistaken, and he whom you seek is not above there at all, but here below, and perchance quite close to you?" asked Thomas Seymour significantly.
But John Heywood would not understand him.
"Nay," said he," he still flies, but it will not last long. For verily I saw the owner of the dovecot from which the hawk has stolen the two doves. He had a weapon; and he, be ye sure of it--he will kill this hawk, because he has robbed him of his pet doves."
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