CHAPTER 4. MASTER JACQUES COPPENOLE.
While the pensioner of Ghent and his eminence were
exchanging very low bows and a few words in voices still
lower, a man of lofty stature, with a large face and broad
shoulders, presented himself, in order to enter abreast with
Guillaume Rym; one would have pronounced him a bull-dog
by the side of a fox. His felt doublet and leather jerkin
made a spot on the velvet and silk which surrounded him.
Presuming that he was some groom who had stolen in, the
usher stopped him.
"Hold, my friend, you cannot pass!"
The man in the leather jerkin shouldered him aside.
"What does this knave want with me?" said he, in stentorian
tones, which rendered the entire hall attentive to this
strange colloquy. "Don't you see that I am one of them?"
"Your name?" demanded the usher.
"Hosier at the sign of the 'Three Little Chains,' of Ghent."
The usher recoiled. One might bring one's self to announce
aldermen and burgomasters, but a hosier was too much. The
cardinal was on thorns. All the people were staring and
listening. For two days his eminence had been exerting his
utmost efforts to lick these Flemish bears into shape, and to
render them a little more presentable to the public, and this
freak was startling. But Guillaume Rym, with his polished
smile, approached the usher.
"Announce Master Jacques Coppenole, clerk of the aldermen
of the city of Ghent," he whispered, very low.
"Usher," interposed the cardinal, aloud, "announce Master
Jacques Coppenole, clerk of the aldermen of the illustrious
city of Ghent."
This was a mistake. Guillaume Rym alone might have
conjured away the difficulty, but Coppenole had heard the