Jump to content


Your Stories Await Telling

Where one finds quiet and a lack of courtiers | Early afternoon 16th {CD}

Recommended Posts



Located in the Lower Ward, St. George's Chapel was the main place of worship for Windsor Castle. It falls directly under the jurisdiction of the monarch, as Head of the Church, and is also the chapel of the Order of the Garter. The Chapel was built from the 15th to 16th centuries in the Perpendicular Gothic style as an expansion and rededication of the 13th century Chapel of St Edward the Confessor. The Chapel suffered a great deal of destruction and looting during the English Civil War, but saw extensive repairs with the Restoration of King Charles II. The Chapel is governed by the Dean and Canons of Windsor, while the day to day running is the responsibility of the religious College of St George.


The Chapel is composed of two parts, the Nave and the Quire. As you ascend the shallow stone steps to the entrance, you are greeted by the sight of the great West Window, composed of seventy-five separate lights, or panels, and said to be third largest stained glass in England. Passing through the wooden double doors, you enter the Nave, its pale stone floors and walls dappled with a myriad of colors from dozens of additional stained glass windows in the clerestory. High above soars the ornate, fan vaulted ceiling, which echoes with the heavenly sound of the Chapel Choir, in existence since 1348. The long aisle leading to the Quire doors is lined with dozens of pews, each sporting a floral wreath hung in anticipation of the more splendid décor that will be installed for the Royal Wedding. The Organ Loft stands above the Quire doors, and is elaborately carved in the Gothic style from dark wood. There are also two chantries, one of each side of the Nave, which offer a more private location for prayers and small services.


Within the Quire, the Gothic woodwork of the Organ Loft is continued and multiplied in the fifty stalls installed for the Knights and Canons. When the Monarch bestows the Order of the Garter, a stall is provided for the Knight for the duration their life. A bronze Stall Plate, illustrating their Arms and titles, is fixed to the back of the stall and remains in place after their death. The heraldic banners of the Knights are also hung above the stalls. There is a separate Sovereign’s stall located just to the right of the entrance to the Quire. At the front stands a gold gilt altar and painted altar screen, and a stone in the middle of the aisle marks the vault where King Henry VIII and King Charles I are buried.



After his meeting with Arlington, Francis needed some quiet. He could not stand the idea of being surrounded by courtiers who were probably thinking horrid things about him if not talking about him outright. The only place for such a thing would have been his yacht on the water, where there was his small crew to contend with, or the chapel. He did not even have rooms to return to for solace as he shared those with Buckingham. He was not in the mood for pep talks from the impervious Duke. 


Courtiers tended to not be the most religious bunch and especially not in the middle of the day, so the chapel it was for his destination. 


Perhaps he would go back to Windsor town later...maybe see Sophia. He had not checked in on her since returning from Scotland. The next day he would be on display all day for whatever His Majesty wished, as the King never simply stayed inside, and he wouldn't be able to escape it then, but for now he could. 


He walked through the myriad of colors cast from the stained glass, probably bathing his blond locks in a gem-colored rainbow, and down the aisle. He knew where Buckingham's stall was located as a Knight of the Garter, and he lingered outside that for a moment, looking at the family arms. Even with being honestly and legally - with church law considered - his true father's son, legitimately, there was a piece of him that felt...different. Maybe he wouldn't if the broadsheets had never cried upstart. However, now, for the first time in his life, he felt like perhaps he might actually be one. Like he might actually be aiming for something he wasn't worthy to receive. At least, many others would feel that way even if a marriage was satisfied between his parents.


But now, even still, Francis Kirke would not have been worthy of the Earldom of Kingston. Not with such a 'father' as Charles Kirke. Could he truly blame the nobles who felt that way? Sure the man had been a villain, that could be overlooked in the nobility as plenty were villainous, but he had been little more than a landed country gentleman beyond that. He stirred issues of Kirke, and he harked back to bad feelings about the upstart rise of the 1st Duke of Buckingham. He knew it should not bother him, these fucking broadsheets, but they greatly did. Even though rare at court these days, his honor was important to him, and it was being dragged through the gutter. 


He was only worthy of anything as Francis Villiers...and even once he was that there would be talk...different talk...but talk nonetheless. 


He wasn't a coward either and it was all a minor pain to give his true father a well-deserved legacy. If Francis the First could get hacked to bits and then mutilated literally with blades, Francis the Second could hardly balk from getting hacked to bits and then mutilated figuratively with quills.


He pat his hand absently on the wood and then moved away from Buckingham's stall, looking around for a moment before sitting in the nearest pew with an exasperated and weighty sigh. 


He needed to pull himself together. 


On a ship when things turned dire, God was there, and while Francis was not the most pious man, and enjoyed his entertainments and hedonism, he had always taken comfort in that. Every sailor did. He could try and take comfort in it now, in this ridiculous social squall with which he found himself beset.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A figure exited a semi-concealed chamber to the left of where the troubled Francis Kirke sat.  He was clad in clerical robes (though not those of Sunday service); over volumeous white sleeves the man wore a black open fronted jacket, with a flat hat atop his head. Were it religious or vanity the figure had many rings glittering at fingers where he grasped a satchel of documents. 

The figure turned, and there was a moment of recognition.  The Bishop of London gave Kingston a nod, and halting his progress turned to utter. "Good noon to you milord Kingston." 

Such was the location that an quiet approach was not out of place, should the visitor have some desire or need of sober or thoughtful discussion.  Crompton here offered Francis an opportunity to speak a little, or more, if he so wished.   


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Francis turned his head at the sound to his left, blond ringlets moving over his shoulder and dangling there in the sunlight and candlelight against the fabric of his pale lavender and silver justacorps. He offered a smile to the bishop and stood politely. In all honesty, he was uncertain whether he now outranked a bishop or not...he knew an archbishop outranked him as an earl...but there were so many rules of precedence and he had not yet acclimated to his new station. He figured being overly deferential was better than being beyond himself. 


He knew regardless a bishop was like a lord, so there was that.


"Good afternoon, my lord bishop. I hope you are well," he said with a dip of his head.


He looked briefly to the peaceful surroundings and said, "I find myself appreciating the quiet and solace here. At least if I receive some judgement, it is bound to be just, and that cannot be said for the rest of court." Francis was not naïve enough to think that anyone was ignorant of the gossip and broadsheets about him, even a clergyman.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Our Heavenly Father is in the business of forgiveness."  Henry replied with some little understanding that Francis had much on his plate currently. 

He moved closer, taking Francis manner as an invitation to do so, and settled to the seat alongside.  "While there are many that, in the excitement of the moment, get caught up.  But we are no longer in the time of Moses, need we remind them of the Lord Jesus words 'He that is without sin amongst you, let him be the first one to throw a stone'  But yes, you must always count Our Fathers house as a sanctuary. Whatever the storm." 

Whatever the Storm, became a prompt that Francis might unburden himself if he wished. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As the bishop joined him, he sat back down.


Francis felt a deep burn in his chest. Forgiveness. He truly hoped nobody expected him to forgive whomever was behind this slander. He much preferred the eye for an eye mantra in that situation. He was not feeling very forgiving.


For himself, he said, "Despite what broadsheets or current rumor states, I do not think I have done anything which makes me in need of forgiveness. God's or otherwise, my lord." 


Could the bishop be tempted to believe that he was a rapist like Charles Kirke and simply better at hiding it? Or that he fucked men? Or that he was blackmailing both His Majesty and His Grace? Or that he was a Papist spy and a Dutch spy somehow simultaneously? Or that he was a bastard? Or an escaped Janissary, an oath-breaker? If one could be an oath-breaker to Heathens...


"I was not even allowed a moment of gratitude for His Majesty's gifts let alone excitement," Francis said quietly. "Is it wrong that it offends my honor to be so dragged through the mud...not even mud but excrement. To be made to be so horrible a person: a rapist, a Ganymede, a blackmailer, a bastard, an over-reaching upstart who offends the order of things. To know people stare and talk about me behind their hands and fans?" He sighed, "Lord Arlington just suggested my presence offends His Majesty's honor and that I should not be here." He paused. "Not that I have the least intention of abandoning my duties and leaving, but he is correct that my royal master would not send me away for this when it was his gifts, that I didn't ask for, that started everything, even if it includes his person in the whispers by allowing me to stay."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Judgment, forgiveness, they are two sides of the same coin." Henry reminded Francis that it was himself that had brought those thoughts into play.  This was in referance to the way court so quickly judged, while the christian way was not.  

Francis went on to voice his hurt and petulance at the timeing of it all although the young man had also worked out that the timing of was also the cue and clue.   The older man listened, before inhaling and ex, a slow steady breath. "Our Lord Arlington is clever in many things, but the wise man takes the council of many before setting his course.  I believe you are in a position where you might garner advise from rank and also file. You have gained other persepctives?"    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I am sorry...of course it is," Francis replied. "You find me in a shadowed mood, I'm afraid. I try to be honorable, but I'm made into something beastly nevertheless."


He listened to the breath of the bishop, in and out, and then listened to his words.


"I have, yes, surely," he replied. "Many advises more worthy than Lord Arlington's. And my own. I will stay the course. I am not frightened easily or cowed simply. I have seen worse storms in places where the sea and nothingness would have swallowed me without a trace. Even though I could not find this quiet outside me in those moments, I found this quiet inside me then."


Sighing again he said, "I need both now..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"As is understandable, only a foolish man would be blithe in such a situation." he returned, while noting that now Francis had has his vent, he was able to see clearer again.  

"Now I am not a man to give advise unsolicited, but that you are here, and have expressed what you have has me think that your permission is given?" Compton asked while on the topic of taking council from many before doing anything drastic. 

With a small smile he added, "while I shall certainly petion Our Heavently Father upon your behalf, his is the peace within and without, the solice that every troubled spirit needs." 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

"You may give me advice, my lord, and your thoughts and words in general," Francis replied, with a small smile. "I am not such a man that I would take offense in it or refuse it. You may have my leave in perpetuity. Speak freely, and I will listen." 


That the Princess Dorothea held him in such high regard was endorsement enough for Francis, and the Bishop of London had always been fair and kind to him. He repaid such things with his own kindness. One was supposed to take advice from clergy, weren't they.


"I thank you for your kind endorsement to the Almighty, for any aide in ending this loathsome situation is welcome. There could be no one better on one's side."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With a nod accepting permission, the Bishop drew a breath to begin.

“Well the Apostle Matthew provides specific advice for what to do when a victim of another’s ill deed.  As written in Chapter 18 “If thy brother trespasses against thee, go tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.   But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

“Thus the advice is to hunt out the initiator, you need to learn the identity of the one slandering against you. That may be the most difficult part, but essential if you are to nip it in the bud start to undo the damage.  In my experiance, you need to act early to find the originator. You shall need to think creatively to find their trail, but the Good Lord shall assist the honest man, so persist, and you shall prevail.” 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Francis listened carefully and respectfully. 


"Very good advise, my lord. I have taken some action to find out who has done this, and I am sure His Grace my cousin is doing so as well. His advise was to ignore it or to make a joke of it, that bothering to answer it would just lend credence to the outlandishness. Rise above and let my character speak for itself, and my friends to speak against it. There are many, though, who know nothing of me and will believe it in the interim." He sighed, "And I have friends who are ladies whose reputation I could do harm if they are seen in my presence, and I do not wish that. It would be dishonorable of me to ignore the risk even if they would wish to take it."


As to the perpetrator, he found himself being honest with his thoughts.


"If I found who did this to me, I doubt it would be so simple as to see him alone and have things rectified. At court such actions generally allow someone to cover it up or find some way to explain it away and deflect blame. Then where would I be?" He paused and said, "It is inadvisable to skip right to the Heathen part, my lord?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He huffed a smile at Francis question. "I can understand the appeal of such a swift resolution, ah but if all our problems could be resolved with such ease.  No, but life is more complex than that. Adversity is the challenge where our true mettle is tested, so how you deal with this great trouble before you shall define the sort of man you are Lord Kingston. And if I know you truly, for I know you some more than you might even know, I would say that sense is the greater control of your deeds. 

"May I pause at this point to add gratitude upon behalf of one particular lady you might be concerned of the reputation of, I shall pass on your sentiment to her, that she too understands your current caution in the keeping of company. While I am sure that she shall be one who looks forward to a swift resolution of ... all this.   I would guess her prayers shall also be sent for you."

"Ah, but where were we. Yes. Then perhaps, I am willing if it your wish, to join you for the confrontation when it comes to that. With some manner of proof perhaps?"

"I wonder if there might be a trail to follow through the broadsheets... ah, I recall that there is a certain Duchess whom shares a name, who is rumoured to have a close relationship with broadsheets herself? Perhaps she is in a position to lodge discreet inquiries." 

 While there had been little in recent years, the London Gazette used to run regular articles that were rumoured to be written by La  Belle.  She surely still had printing connections. At least that was a thought the Bishop had. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Adversity had tested Francis many times over. The years he had lived without adversity were exceedingly few out of his nearly thirty years of life. He had lived it as a child in exile. He had lived it as a youth at sea at war. He had lived it captaining ships at sea as a merchant. He had lived it losing half his ships privateering in the 2nd war with the Dutch. He had lived it when Kirke's reputation had gripped him when his first came to court. 


Adversity had defined him already. He had already shown what sort of a man he was to be, and he was simply tired of being shaped by squalls and bashing waves. 


He was tired of Kirke following him. 


"I am not a man untested by adversity, my lord bishop," he replied, quietly. "I have lived with more intimately than most all of court, and I do have greater control of my deeds, true, but these people do not know the real consequences of life. I do." 


He had watched people drown where he was powerless. He had stared death in the face in kill-or-be-killed scenarios. He had baked under sun with no wind for weeks. And it went on and on. 


"How so, that you know more of me than I might know?" he asked. 


Of course, when the bishop spoke of Dorothea, he knew who the man meant. "They can call me an upstart all they wish, but the truth is that I do not wish to do her any harm. Not in any way." Not in damaging her reputation by keeping her company outside of his duties. Neither by seeking something which was not his to have. "I would not wish her to think my distance is a reflection of her or my esteem for her when it is but respect and a care for her future. I shall keep my promise to go to any of the Bible readings she hosts with Her Majesty, and I will see her in the course of my duties, but otherwise I shall keep my distance."

And it was not that he had a particular liking for Bible readings, for he didn't particularly, but he did like intellectual discussions and had given his word. He did not take that lightly and did not think anyone could make a 'thing' out of attending one of the Queen's events; half the time the King wished him to go to such things so that His Majesty's support of the Queen could be seen, even if the King had no desire to sit through more biblical doings of any kind.


"It may be advisable to do so, but we will see when the time comes what I am able to uncover," he replied about Compton accompanying him. Perhaps even if the man accompanied him in secret so that he could hear what was said as an unimpeachable witness. 


"The Dowager Duchess of Richmond? She likely has used the same publishers as the Duke, which he is already investigating." He knew Mall published writings just as much as His Grace. He was not as familiar with La Belle's publishings. They had never spoken about that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Not by spies nor informants my lord,” he dropped his voice very quietly now, "I know more of you, from the gentle confession of a young lady who has spoken of you, and has sought council to redirect her heart.”

It was only logical that the very pious Dorothea had shared details of many conversations with the Bishop, whom she spoke to regularly, and valued his advice. There had been a time when she feared that really, she should stop the regular games of Latrones, for the bond that grew, that she knew was impossible. The Bishop had perhaps been lax to not agree with her, but after hearing the topics they discussed he’d been assured of Francis.  So that he had advised there no harm for the games to continue. And it was in the middle of the Queens apartments after all.  

Although that had been before this scandal - As it currently was Francis would not be diverting the afternoon away with the young princess.  Which he fully appreciated.

"Aha.” He nodded upon hearing the Duke was already making inquiries with publishing houses. “I’m pleased to hear that, that would be a lead most physical.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After talking to the Duke of Cumberland, Francis had found himself rather...sad...that he would need to keep his distance from the princess. Even if he had been told not to disappear entirely. He had enjoyed their public chats and games of Latrones. He had known she was far above him in station and had always been careful. In his mind she was too sensible to develop affections for him. Too much a fine lady, princess, even for her age. And they both had known their place.


So to hear that there were affections. That she had spoken to the bishop of redirecting her heart...


It made Francis' cheeks flush. 


And it made him think, perhaps for the first time in his life, that he might have affection for a lady. A particular sort of affection. He should not. He could never act on it. He knew there was a far better life out there for her. One far greater than Francis could provide. And it struck him that wanting that for her was - just maybe - evidence of his feeling. 


He suddenly felt every bit of Cumberland's words come crashing down on him. I can take comfort you understand protocols, expectations, honor and rank...You know she is a princess.  She is far above you in station.  Her brother will be arriving soon for a visit and may be taking her home with him.  You are no fool sir, so tell me what advice, if any, I should give you.


Now he understood the words all the better for knowing that he had inspired feelings toward himself in her, and he felt immensely guilty. He had overstepped the mark. 


"I see," he finally managed to say. He sighed. "It was for me to safeguard her from the possibility of that, and I'm...ashamed...that I did not. It was not purposeful. She is far above me in station, even with my recent elevation." It was probably evident in his body language, response, and words that he was coming to his own realization that his own heart might be involved. Where and when it should not be. "May I ask what advise you gave?"

"I am certain the Margrave would not have been happy to hear his sister spent any time at all with the gentleman in the broadsheets and gossip," he added, not knowing if the bishop had seen Dorothea since the arrival of her brother.


For the time being talk of printers just did not seem very significant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Henry Compton did not get where he was today without being a reader of people. 

But he said nothing of Francis reaction, the flush, the surprise, and possibly bashful embarassment even.  "I reminded her of the book of Romans, Chapter 22.  'Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that this which he alloweth.'     A passage that you might gain assurance from yourself.   The time spent seems as friends, more as a brother and sister, trust in your own innocence, and in that there was no sin. You may rest easy. 

"In this world we live within, where the focus is so often the comings and goings of men and women, it might easily happen that we consider ourselves in their light. But the dear lady is more saintly than most I know, and hardly to be chastised. So it was I did not wish to be the one to recomend an end to a frendship over cards and bible study.  Perhaps you see you are no more to blame Lord Kingston, than am I.  

"But for now, remember in Proverbs, where we are councilled 'Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.'  hepatted the young mans shoulder.   

While Francis deduced feelings of Dorotheas recently arrived brother. "She attended early mass with the Queen, so I did not speak to her personally." 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Francis rubbed his lips together as Compton declared that time spent together as friends, more as brother and sister, was not a sin. No matter that he did not understand his feelings and affections fully, he was fairly certain they were not brotherly. 


"...I certainly have no feeling or intention of pulling the lady toward anything sinful, that is true, but I cannot sit here and proclaim that what I feel is brotherly...I have felt brotherly about my former young ward who is now Lady Toledo. This is not that." His cheeks likely flushed again. Damn his inheritance of blushing!


"But...what doesn't offend the Lord...may certainly offend the fabric of the nobility, and in that we are both constrained. Perhaps wrongly. Yet, it doesn't change that."


He was not one to truly consider that if all went right and well in his world, with the Lord's help or not, that he wouldn't just be Buckingham's cousin newly-minted with an earldom but the heir to his duchy. Even then, even with the vastness of properties, even with being the first non-royal peer of the realm, nothing Buckingham had was sovereign. It was not like the dukes of the continent or the rulers of principalities who had sovereignty over them. Like Dorothea's father or brother. Not to mention Buckingham was not an old man. He was likely to live for some long time, and Francis did not wish differently. Dorothea could do better in rank and position, even if they got on very well, even if they had...affection. 


His mind did chance traveling to Lady Mountjoy and Lord Mountjoy. But even then the lady had been married previously, he knew, and Lord Mountjoy...well, he couldn't wholly think Lord Mountjoy had an older family than his own considering his true father. They were Norman, as all those with French-like surnames, and had been noble long before England had truly been England. Lord Mountjoy, though, had never had Francis' problems. 


It was a conundrum now. One he had to bear responsibility for no matter what shook out. He had been warned, and he had given his word. Only the king could supplant that, and Francis would still want Rupert to release him from his promise even if that happened. He would have to keep his silence about his private thoughts...except for what little he told Compton. 


What did not cross his mind was that if the Queen had noticed, if Rupert had noticed, it was not a secret from either the King nor Buckingham either. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It never ceased to surprise him (though it was totally a perk of the profession) when people confessed things they shouldn’t utter to anyone.  He knew not to act surprised though, but to keep a mild and neutral exterior, and instead the surprised developed into a rather pleasant sensation of knowing a secret.

It was that familiar sensation he felt again now.

As Francis corrected his impression with admission that his feelings were stronger for Dorothea.  The younger man flushed with his embarrassment of the confession even, and the Man of God understood that Francis knew it was a problem.

"You are correct that there is a great difference between thought and deed." he begun quietly, "though Our Lord knows our mind, and councils us to dwell upon true, honest just and pure thoughts*."  he drew a breath, "but to linger over something out of reach, calls to mind not a bible verse but the tortured Greek Tantalus."    

"I can only advise you, Lord Kingston, to shift your focus elsewhere.  That your heart has discovered this attachment indicates that there is an absence, a need, within that might be filled.  That need is god given, and you are of an age where you are ready to put away the distractions of childhood, and take a wife. 

"I would be a poor councillor to encourage your thoughts towards that particular lady, it would be a long and difficult path.  Though if your heart is already set. I would cite the Apostle Mark whom wrote 'All things are possible to him who believes.'"


Phil 4:8

Mark 10:27

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Francis blushed even more strongly when it seemed Compton jumped to the reverse impression. If not brother and sister, then...


"Oh, no, my lord. I do not have those thoughts either." At least not until that very moment where Compton mentioned dwelling upon pure thoughts. Of course that would call up the impure simply on impulse. He pushed that from his mind. "Simply that my...disposition...is different than brotherly. That there is an affection which is...different..."


The notion of Tantalus made him exhale a weighty huff. It was certainly the fruit out of reach. If her brother brought her back to Germany, it would be far out of reach. He might look but twenty-years-old, but he was older and was in greater command of himself than to commit any stupid foibles. 


"Anyway, it is not so great as what you think," he added. "I simply feel I cannot be dishonest whilst we sit here and allow you to believe myself brotherly in my regard."


Francis had never thought about marrying, let alone marrying Dorothea. She was far above him. Not that he would not wish her as a wife absent of all the obstacles and propriety that stood between such a thing. It was, as the Bishop said, greatly stacked against any such thing. He still did not feel himself ready to marry, not until he could give his wife his proper surname and be assured to not be making another Kirke in the world.


He reflected inward at the further words. That he had such an attachment discovered in himself...that it meant he was of an age to take a wife...and put away the distractions of childhood.




"My heart," he said, simply. "It is...I do not feel my heart in that way...I do not think. Not for anyone. Hearts bring nothing but pain." Or so he would tell himself and continue telling himself. It was what he had always told himself. Since his childhood. 


Perhaps whatever attachment he would admit to was all the greater by that admission, for they were not the words of some recalcitrant boy attempting to escape an unwanted betrothal made by his father, but the words of a world-experienced man. 


"If the Lord knows my heart, perhaps he would illuminate it for me," Francis said, with a bit of a chuckle. "My mind is a far simpler matter. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Francis hastened to explain.

“It may not seem like it now, but it is fortunate if your heart is not yet set, and that you have not dwelt of that… possibility.” He did not want to repeat the poor odds, though nor did he know some details that improved them marginally.  That the younger man had not let wild imaginings grow was to his credit, even as it seemed that Francis had no actual descriptor for his greater interest in Dorothea. 

“Through your studies in Greek.” Which was something he assumed upon account of Francis recent recognition, “will have you familiar with the terms Agape, Eros and Philos, used in the Bible, these are types of love. This which you feel might be akin to the foremost Agape.  A selfless and sacrificial love.  Since you are a man who is no stranger to study, I would set for you a task if I might; that is to investigate and gain insight into this word Agape, with reflection upon yourself.  Though such self-reflection you might gain answers to the questioning tone I hear in your voice.”

"Meanwhile, I thank you for your clarity.” He appreciated.

When he’d spoken of Francis with a proverbially applied ‘Childhood’, he’d spoken in that Priestly way that men of God could get away with (much like how they could call an entire congregation of folk ranking from new-born to death’s door as sons and daughters.)  There had been no condescension intent, but rather a fatherly viewpoint.

And so it touched his kind heart when Francis spoke of hearts as bringing only pain.  

“Our Fathers light constantly shines, it is more often that we are blind to greater understanding until we are ready to receive it.  You are a good man Lord Kingston, I shall pray that your obstacles shall clear swiftly with the Lords magnification of your efforts.  That these clouds that currently gloom over you shall disperse, lifting up and evaporating revealing clear skies ahead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Francis took in a slow breath through his nose as the bishop mentioned Agape. He was learned enough to know the basics. It was like God's love, a love that was more and different than emotions and physical being, selfless and with an absence of self. 


"I will do as you ask," he replied. He swallowed. It seemed strangely apropos and Francis did not believe in coincidence; strangely apropos because the Bible he had and was given to him by Buckingham was his father's Bible. A man who knew both love and sacrifice more than anyone else Francis had ever known (but never known directly).


"Well, perhaps one day I will be worthy and ready of receiving it, for my heart at its depth has been silent." He smiled resiliently, "As to the clouds that surround me, perhaps God will choose to smite the evildoers who spread such slanders and lies. One can hope. Until then, I do my best to ignore them but the knowledge that others will not ignore them trails after me like a dark mist."


He then added, "Might I ask a favor of you, my lord Bishop?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites


"Worthy." Francis use of the word called the Bishop to prompt, "And whom do you think might be the judge of when you, or any man, is worthy?"  


...for my heart at its depth has been silent...

"Poignantly eloquent." Henry uttered, while coming to think that he'd said as much as he might upon the subject. He was aware at that moment, of himself being an unmarried man of god.  I wonder if he might better confide and take advice from one that knew a depth of love that most did not? But before he continued on that note, the sad Francis asked for a favour. . 

Noding his head Henry replied "Please ask." 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I presumed the Lord decided, but if you would like to put in a good word for my illumination, my lord," he smiled, enriching the youthfulness of his face.


Francis dipped his head to the compliment. He was far better suited the being Chancellor of Cambridge than most understood, and he had inherited the Villiers gifts of wordsmanship. 


"If you have the opportunity to do so with discretion, might you share something with the Princess Dorothea for me if you see her here in the morning?" he asked, and then explained. "His Majesty has been apt to spend his afternoons with his Queen, and I am attending him on the morrow. Those times were much when we would spend time together in the Queen's Presence Chamber. I cannot and do not wish to avoid her entirely in the circumstances, but if I were to seem distant in my conversation or remain more formal than I've perhaps been wont to do, I should have her know that it does not reflect a change in my regard for her. A lady's sensibilities are very tender, and I would not wish her to think otherwise and be hurt on my account." He raised a hopeful eyebrow that the bishop would be willing to pass along the message.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Bishop gave a snort of amusement at Francis unexpected reply. 

"I had rather meant to check that you were not casting yourself in the role of judge, for the sincere are prone to critique themselves most harshly.  You might recall the core of our faith is not the attainment of perfection, from which we earn redemption etc. But rather that our fallible selves are blessed through though Jesus supreme sacrifice which atones for our imperfections - that we might be rewarded in Heaven, and even before then, here upon his Creation. 

"So I suggest that your worthiness is never that which is in question."

Francis then made his request, it was a wordy version as with nerves he went on in far more detail to who would be doing what and when, and other detail. 

"I would be happy to relay your message, but if you might abridge it that this ageing mind might easily recall and repeat it." Henry was optimistic hoping for perhaps half a dozen words.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I wish it were so simple that I could give my inner worries and feelings of responsibility over to that most basic idea that my worthiness is not in question." He smiled. "All of court seems to be questioning my worthiness and I cannot help but do so as well."


He was well aware of his own fallibility. Now he harbored the doubts of a son who had never known his father and even though Buckingham had never known his, there seemed to be nobody who understood how that made Francis feel about himself and his life. He wished to do well by his father but he did not know the how or the what. He stood in a limbo that was most uncomfortable.


"You are not so very old, my lord." The man was younger than Buckingham after all! 


"Just that...though my words and behavior might be more formal or distant, that my affection has not changed."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"This is not the first time, nor do I expect it to be the last, when I become inspired to write a sermon upon charity.  It seems to be challenging for so many.  Though I do not wish to think it may be human nature to hone in upon negative words, especially those said towards others, but rather I would think it the work of the devil to seduce minds away from all that is just and pure." 

He sighed and then with a distant glint in eye he recollected, "When I was a lad my mother had a friend and all said of her that 'she never spoke ill of anybody, it was even said she would not critique Satan, but of him said 'He is hard worker."

His tale was a mental breather really, for alas Windsor was largely populated by persons of a different type.

"If not my age, then humour me for the quantity of tasks I currently carry in my mind." It was a big season, there was a great deal of churchly planning going on. So he was grateful when Francis broke it down simpler. 

"I'll deliver your message tomorrow morning." the Bishop said, "feel assured that I understand your intent that I shall represent you clearly to her."    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Then there are surely devilish things afoot," Francis agreed. "Are you to conduct the sermon on Sunday, then? At least out of my situation there is something inspirational to come of it. I do not think I ever aspired to be a catalyst to a sermon." He chuckled at that.


He smiled at the recollection of the Bishop. There were some people who could think well or say something well of anyone. "Satan is a hard worker; one could give Lucifer that credit."


Another soft blush crossed Francis' cheeks. "Of course. I am sure you have many duties and responsibilities occupying your mind for the prince's Christening. I am sorry for adding to the burden, but I do appreciate it. Thank you."



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Henry had to chuckle at that, "Few would aspire for that, nor would cite it on their list of achievements." after such a sober conversation this thought seemed hilarious.

"I am giving the sermon on the following Sunday at the Christening, though I do not know if Charity fitting for a day that is Jubilant, but I shall see what I can do with it." 

Upon the other thing he suggested, “Perhaps find me again in the coming days, lest I have a reply to be relayed.”  He was clear conscience to do so, for neither of these young persons were at any fault, nor had been banned from families from communication. It was instead consideration in prevention of further poor public opinion that a discreet method was used.  


Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Quite the honor! No wonder your mind is so occupied with matters of import," Francis said. "You can use the charitable inspiration for another day even if you feel the inspiration to start penning it, my lord, for next Sunday should be a jubilant day and a celebration of our little prince. I need not cite a sermon on my list of achievements nor to share in such an august day in any way."


Francis nodded as he was told to check back in case the bishop had words to relay back to him. "I shall do so. I will be attending His Majesty Sunday and will be at liberty afterward, so will see if you are free and not cornered by courtiers. Might you do me the honor of introducing me to the Archbishop if you have the time after? I have never met His Grace and should like to. It is only proper as I may have cause to speak to him one day in my duties to His Majesty and your good opinion, if indeed you have one of me," he added with a boyish smile, "would be a good recommendation, perhaps even more so than His Grace my cousin in this one instance." He chuckled. Buckingham was difficult to supplant in the power of an introduction, but in cases of religion the Duke was not known for his vast piety nor the seriousness with which he approached the Almighty.


(OOC - Shall we begin wrapping this up?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I have a sermon from '75, an exegesis upon Charity already penned which I am thinking deserved of an updating and rewrite. But yes, the Christening shall be more of a Hallelujah cry." he added cheerily, "We have even ordered holy water from Jerusalem, which is surely only fitting. The Infant is not only Heir to the Kingdom of England, but Heir to the Church of England also." 

Standing now, with the sense that a moment of crisis had passed, and with hope that Francis had drawn comfort from his time here, ne nodded. "I would be happy to provide you with my introduction.  We shall gauge the right moment to do so."  

"God Bless." The Bishop gave a benediction to Francis before he departed, while his thoughts remained upon the younger man for some good while after.    


OOC: sounds good, and onwards we go! 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...