For two months there had been no crowned King of England; there was a Queen, but until a week ago she had been missing somewhere, and anyway dowager queens were stale fish on the market.
Certainly the boys who threw stones at the old witch on the street were not thinking of politics, and their chant of Cundrie, Cundrie, pass me by! Loathly Damsel, prophesy! referred to nothing found on the Parliament Rolls.
Charges of witchcraft and sorcery were mixed in with all the political oustings that went before Parliament in this era. (See the Duke of Clarence, for example. Elizabeth Woodville and Rivers's mother (p277) were also accused of witchcraft at various times.)
In the medieval story of Sir Parzival, Cundrie was a sorceress who served, or guarded, or was an avatar of, the Holy Grail. "Loathly Damsel" describes her -- "loathly" both in the senses of "ugly" and "fearsome."
The Loathly Damsel theme appears in many medieval legends. Often (though not in Parzival's tale), if the hero is able to ignore the lady's hideousness, or treats her honorably, she reveals herself as young and beautiful. (Which will occur in this scene; see p315.)
And then the warts and wrinkles came away in a handful of charcoal and lard. "Tell the Duchess... I'm afraid I've lost her loan to me, and more besides. May I please come in?"
The loan was Cecily's silver owl pendant; see p193. She left the pendant behind when she fled the soldiers in Wales, because she had removed it (and everything else but her gown) for Hywel's transport spell (p258).
"[...] Now, don't argue. Do you think I'd have sent my youngest girl to her tournaments without armor? Well, then."
At the Bloody Tower, the door was opened by a doddering man in a pop-seamed, thread-picked surcoat, carrying a partizan which seemed an impossible load, let alone a useful weapon.
Giles again. A partizan (or partisan) is a heavy pole-arm, like a spear with an elaborate pronged head.
The guardsman thought a moment. "Why, yes, I know of them. But they aren't here. They've gone to Wales."
"Wales...?" she said [...]
Buckingham has maneuvered Richard into sending him to Wales; he mentioned it in the edited message that he prepared (p309). Richard knows that Buckingham is heading there, bringing Morton as a prisoner (p307). He thinks Dimi and Gregory are with them; he does not, of course, know that they are in a Tower prison cell.
You can't sleep now. One wink now and you never will wake.
Wizards sent things in moonlight, she remembered, and sometimes died in the sendings.
Cynthia was, of course, injured near Mary's cottage (see p257). She has crawled up the last stretch of road with a bullet in her leg, and avoided Buckingham's men as she did it. It does not occur to her what of the miracle is her own.
We do not know whether simple unconsciousness would hide Hywel from Mary's perception, or whether a wizard would have to be present, or whether it could merely be a magical device such as the soldiers carried (p260).
"[...] Someday we will be only spirit, and all one; but here on earth we're made of earth and sometimes flesh must touch."
"When I first knew Hywel, he had two eyes, you know; and they were of different colors. He had made the one. I don't know how he lost the eye he was born with, or if he never had one there. But this eye troubled him. What it saw was... different from what his natural eye could see."
"You see, sister," Mary said, sweet analgesia in her voice, "why I could not have restored your leg entire. Hywel does not know he taught me this, but he taught it me with the eye from his own head. How could I not love him?"
Apparently, while Mary's talents are not inherently parasitical (like Morton's, or Hywel's -- see p253, p254), she is still subject to limits. An organ wholly rebuilt by magic is in some way unnatural; not necessarily inferior to the natural body, but alienating. Mary chooses not to take such measures.
Genovese, she thought. Thank Minerva, a free state.
She did not suppose at all that the flush in his cheeks was from the cold.
"Per ché, Dottore...?"
Italian: "Why, Doctor?" And uccellina is "little bird."
And there was the chance that he would give her the disease, but it was small in a single feeding. One in eleven, she recalled. She started to catalogue every article on hematophagic anaemia she had ever read, [...]
"Hematophagic anaemia" is just Greek, in the manner that diseases are often named, for "consuming blood, lacking blood." (The spelling is inconsistent, though. British spelling would be "haematophagic anaemia," whereas American would be "hematophagic anemia.")
[Argentine] brought his face to within inches of hers, bit his lip. Thin blood welled. Contaminated blood; certain inoculation if it entered her system.
She grasped the jade handle of Cecily's cane, squeezed the ferrule. The handle and a six-inch stiletto blade parted from the wood with no sound at all.
It was terrible surgery, and she began to weep for the profanity of the act. But as the tears ran, she searched his body, and found a ring of keys.
Cynthia's execution of Doctor Argentine pains her, but it does not scar her as that of the vampire boy did (p77). She is clearly acting in self-defense, and Argentine is a malefactor; but the greater difference may be that she is weeping. In Florence, she killed the boy with an emotionally frozen clinicality.
The old porter was standing there, holding his partizan at an alarming angle.
Cynthia paused before him. He did not seem to see her. She took the iron key from the ring and held it out to him.
"Then... who is this?"
And Gregory is sleeping, she thought, and wondered that she could at once feel so revolted, and so sad.
Dimitrios said "And then I stuck a pin in his heart, and broke his neck, and cut the cord with half of one of his eyeglasses. Then, just before he went to sleep, Gregory made me promise to do the same to him, before he woke..."
The surgery was to ensure that Mancini did not revive as a vampire (see p77). Dimi has thus preserved the letter of Gregory's vow (p113-114); but Gregory must still feel that he has violated the standards of morality (and rationality) to which he has hitherto held himself.
Richard Gloucester, Protector of England, sat in the Council Chamber with his head on his folded hands. "The Duke of York is with the King," he said, supremely bitter. "The Protector, in his wisdom and power, succeeded in withdrawing the King's brother from sanctuary."
Dimi, Gregory, and Cynthia have now met with Richard, and so Buckingham's treachery (and all of the plans we have so far uncovered) are in the open. Unfortunately, the pawns -- or rather, the King and the pawn who could be promoted to replace him -- were both in Argentine's hands, and are now vampires.
"But in two days' time we're to crown King of England a boy who cannot possibly be accepted as king....
"And yet there has to be a king. When Hastings... died... there were nearly riots in the street, people thinking we were back to the successive wars again."
The meaning is unclear. (In our history, Tyrell was indeed married, to Anne Arundell in 1469.)
"[...] Hunt [Buckingham] down, Captain, and fetch him back. I know it isn't nearly enough, but it's what I can give you. As for the wizard, no obligations of nobility apply, but he's not worth losing anybody to his curse."
This places the TDW Richard in sharp contrast to the traditional Richard III, and the Shakespearean picture, of a brilliant schemer who plotted, seduced, and assassinated his way to the throne.
When they had gone, Richard said "And now..." He held up his left arm, felt the spot where he had been bled at York. "And now we begin breaking oaths."
In the center of the floor was a whitish circle with the sheen of metal, carved with two entwined dragons, one light and one dark.
"Home upon the quartered wind, round the earth and home again, lodestone of the heart is turning, open, way, and home by morning." He blew out the candle and ran for the mirror in the wall.
The symbology is different from the one Hywel set up (p258) -- a mirror and a blown-out candle, rather than a road made of candles. (Of course this may be because Buckingham is using a spell already laid.) On the other hand, Buckingham is wearing only a light gown, as Hywel and Cynthia were.
This scene confirms that Morton was the source of all of Buckingham's magical tricks. However, on p307, Morton denied being directly involved in the confusion spells (p282, p307). We have no reason to doubt that denial; so either Morton and Argentine allowed Buckingham to undertake those actions, or the removal of Rivers and Hastings was Buckingham's own twist.
"My master is not the King," Dimi said [...]
[...] "Of course he'll usurp the crown. What other choice did we give him?"
And that is Ford's answer to the question of Richard III -- the TDW Richard, at least. He never made a move towards the throne until this moment; but the Byzantine plot has put him in a position where he must.
"More light makes my eyes hurt, and besides, silver is white."
"No, it isn't."
"Is too. You don't know anything about heraldry. You didn't even know the doctor's name meant silver."
Being vampires, the boys are more sensitive to light now.
In heraldry, metallic colors were not distinguished from plain colors, since cheap metallic paint was not available. Thus, silver and white were considered the same (as were gold and yellow). And "Argentine" means "silver," of course.
The perfection, to feed on humankind alone. "Yes."
Gregory is recalling the term he once learned (see p300). And Argentine did promise that the royals would always have human blood (p305). However, the young duke is merely recognizing Gregory as a vampire; so that is what Argentine apparently meant by "Perfect."
In that she was right, he thought, as he made the second stroke, and the boy shuddered in his arms and was still. There was no hate in it. Perhaps that was actually the important thing, that there not be hate.
How else explain that he still lived?
Gregory kills Edward with much the same passionlessness that Cynthia once killed a young vampire (p77). By refusing to undertake this, Cynthia has perhaps inflicted the same hurt on Gregory that she once suffered herself.
Gregory was not committed to preserving life, as Cynthia is; but he was just as committed to controlling his vampire nature. After he killed Mancini (p323), Gregory asked Dimi to end his life. We see that he still finds no convincing reason to survive.
(Note that Tyrell is one of the people who, in our history, is suspected of carrying out the murder of the princes. Shakespeare has him do it on Richard's orders. According to Thomas More, Tyrell confessed to the murder while imprisoned for treason in 1502. However, the story is not supported by other sources.)
Latin: "Master of evil-doers, John Morton..." (or "teacher of witches...")
Morton is arrested, as promised on p295. In fact, Prince Edward did develop a rash -- not directly from the strawberries, but related to them. A vampire, after all, appears to have red-flushed cheeks.
"I'll have blood oranges in a week or so. Sorry now I wasted the space. But it would have been a nice variation on the berry jars: cut one with a silver knife and instead of juice..."
...the orange bleeds. (See the jar on p304).
Morton has a curiously elegant sense of spellcraft, both in purpose and in presentation. (The jars and oranges are excellently suited for smuggling, being easy to access if you know the trick, but very hard to stumble across by accident.)
He reached into his armpit, produced a green orange, showed the same blemish on its side.
But before producing the second (or same) orange, Morton destroyed the original by unquestionably magical means. And that places him against Hywel, for whom the purpose of the trick would be to avoid both unnecessary magic and unnecessary hurt.
"I have a contract of marriage between King Edward the Fourth and Lady Eleanor Butler, antedating by some years the marriage of Edward and Lady Elizabeth Woodville. It's quite valid, witnessed and sealed by Stillington of Bath, and best of all, never annulled."
It has been claimed that Richard Stillington, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, testified to Parliament and gave evidence of the marriage. However, the records of the event have not survived.
Note that the logic of this marriage contract is reversed in TDW. In our world, Richard argued that the young Edward was illegitimate in order to secure the throne for himself. But in this scene, Morton is offering a way to remove young Edward from the succession, and from the public eye, without mentioning his disease.
"[...] No, it's Edward's duplicity you have to prove, and for that you need the paper."
Richard looked pensive. Then he said "I don't think so. It sounds... petty."
The third moment in this chapter which silhouettes this Richard against the one we know. (The earlier two are p325 and p328.) These lines are not particularly emphasized in TDW, but they make a dramatic contrast with our history. Richard fails to seize this proffered excuse to make himself King; he will not touch it even for a cause he desires (the removal of the vampire Edward from the succession). It simply isn't the way he chooses to live.
But it is difficult to believe these denials. Morton's aspect in this scene, from the blood oranges to the death of his garden (p335), has been constantly theatrical, emotional, symbolic, aesthetic. If he does not take pleasure in that performance, then surely he takes pleasure in its effect on his audience.
"[...] and if I sometimes sow the... strawberries of discord, then others willingly serve them at their tables."
"Not here. Please," Morton said, looking back at his vines and fruit trees, at the dome of deflected snow above. "Later, of course you must, but not here... I don't want to see it, when they all die."
Morton is, of course, being -- or acting -- most delicate, for a wizard who cut up a living man to assassinate a King. (See p257. Also p328, where Morton's workshop in the Pantheon smells of corpsemeat.) His request also undercuts his claim to be entirely practical (p334).
It is unclear whether any of his pose is sincere; perhaps unclear even to Morton.
(And this makes Morton the best fit for Gregory's earlier observation -- p303 -- for the conspirator "for whom loyalty was not the issue." Morton has not, in this scene, demonstrated any loyalty to any aim or ambition beyond his own whim.)
The Duke of Buckingham was attainted traitor on numinous (and, it was said, unspeakable) grounds, and then took a fall down Tower stairs that cheated the headsman of his neck.
"Numinous" may be a typo for "numerous."
Buckingham was loyal to Richard (as far as anybody knows) through the coronation in 1483. Afterwards, he traveled to his castle Brecon (or Brecknock) in Wales. He there fell into conspiracy with Morton, his prisoner there. Together they planned to throw their support to Henry Tydder. Richard got word of the plot, which fell apart, and Buckingham was arrested, tried, and executed in very short order. (See also p352.)
It has never been clear why Buckingham became disaffected with Richard. He may have been unsatisfied with his rewards for supporting Richard's usurpation, or he may have held Richard responsible for the deaths of young Edward V and Richard. In any case, the rebellion of 1483 wanted Tydder on the throne and married to Elizabeth of York, thus satisfying both Lancastrians and Yorkists. The rebellion's failure delayed that end for two years.
Richard asks Buckingham to dispose of the Princes in the Tower. Buckingham ripostes with a demand for the Earldom of Hereford, which Richard had promised him. Richard refuses, and Buckingham flees to Wales for fear of the King's temper. (Richard III, act 4, scene 2.) Buckingham then rebels, as in our history, is captured (act 4, scene 4), and is executed (act 5, scene 1).
And then there were the Princes. Aldermen and dungcarters, shoemakers and priests of aloof Thoth all wept when Earl Rivers told of their end. None of them had a wish to see the bodies of two dead of a confinement disease, [...]
Rumors appeared about Richard and the children's death as if they were being coined by a machine.
That, of course, matches our history, down to the present.
(TDW technology is once again a bit ahead of its time. Machines for pressing or striking coins did not appear in our history until the 1500s.)
[...] or Humphrey the last Protector's [death] if you were old enough to recall that and still brawl.
There were few other differences in the result.
And few differences from our history, no matter how alien the path that led to this moment.
"Ah, my. Like Ishtar I am come out of the pit. Maybe I will be a little wiser for it..."
Margaret of Anjou also compared herself to Ishtar (p165); and she was also a King's consort. But the lading of Jane Shore's statement is entirely the opposite of Margaret's. She looks backward at herself, optimistically; Margaret focussed on her enemies, and declaimed catastrophe to come.
"At first it was because of someone I killed," Rivers said. "Then it was worship, when I discovered those gods. But soon enough I discarded that, and it was done because it pleased me that it be done."
Ford returned to masochism as an aspect of the hero in The Last Hot Time.
[...] she had found no sign more certain than the withdrawal from, the fear of love, and not merely of physical occupation.
Indeed, it also applies to Dimi in the previous scene (p338; though not to Jane Shore). And, later, to Hywel (p376); and certainly to Gregory (p269). All our protagonists have been brought to that state by the impact of Byzantium on their lives; this passage casts that impact in terms of rape.
The device on the end of his gun, when ignited by a gunshot, would according to design create a roughly egg-shaped zone, two yards high and one across, for eight seconds at the temperature of boiling iron.
Roughly 5000 °F, or 2800 °C.
It is not really possibly to estimate the effect on a human (or vampire) body, from this description. It depends as much on the density and pressure of the deflagration as on its temperature. However, Gregory appears confident that it will end his life.
His door opened. A man was standing there, dressed in Tower livery and holding a spear: Giles, the feeble-minded porter. He held out a large key of black iron.
This is, notably, the first time Giles has taken any action of his own.
Hywel Peredur rested one eye and one dark socket on the people gathered in the cell.
"Oh, it's good to see you all," he said, in not much more than a whisper, "see you and know all your names again."
Note that Giles was first introduced on p295, well after Hywel was captured and Morton returned to London. It is possible that there was a real Giles, whom Morton killed and replaced; or perhaps Morton simply created an aura of familiarity, such that everyone in the Tower recalled having seen Giles around forever.
He shook his head. "That's a dangerous event."
In chapter one, Ptolemy said: "To free someone is the ultimate human act." (See p23.) Hywel did not escape; he forced Morton to free him. Morton, the parasite, never did anything but for himself; and so the contradiction broke him.
Cynthia felt a tingling in her hands, almost painful; then something was being sucked up from within her, like life itself draining.
"Siôn, dewin," Hywel shouted, "what's it for?"
Welsh: "John, wizard..."
Edward of Middleham died on April 9, 1484, at the age of ten. (Or possibly seven -- his birthdate is contested.) No cause of death is known.
Cynthia saw Gregory take his small gun from his belt; there was an object fixed to its muzzle. "I will attend to it," he said, and when she was almost out of hearing, she heard "Mehr Arbeit für den Todesmann."
German: "More work for the death-man."
Gregory is using the gun he prepared earlier (p341) to finish off Morton. His comment refers to his several connections to death: his vampirism, his deathly appearance (p288-289), and the task of killing Edward, which also fell to him (p330).