CHAPTER I ON THE ROAD Mid-August in Vienna, the year 1567: when Shakespeare was still a little boy; twenty years before Philip II fitted out the Spanish Armada; forty years before the first English colony settled in America. The sun had just well risen, the gates of Vienna had been opened but a few hours. Through the great western gate, which cast its long shadow on the road to Augsburg, came a strange-looking boy. He lacked but a month or two of seventeen years, was some five feet two or three inches in height, had an oval face of remarkable beauty and liveliness, jet black hair, and eyes in which merriment dwelt as in its home. He was dressed as became a noble of the time, and in apparel of unusual splendor and costliness; plumed bonnet, slashed velvet doublet, tight silken hose, jeweled dagger at his girdle. But it was odd to see so brilliant a figure on foot in the dusty highway; still more odd that be carried a rough bundle slung on a staff over his and that, peasant fashion, he munched at a loaf of bread as he trudged the road. By no means stalwart-looking, still he swung along with an easy stride and a confident strength that many a stouter man might envy. He was bound for Augsburg, 400 miles to the west, and he set himself thirty miles a day as his rate of travel. He wore splendid clothes, because he was Stanislaus, the son of John Kostka, Lord of Kostkov, Senator, and Castellan of Zakroczym in the Duchy of Mazovia, Poland. He ate his rough breakfast, like a peasant, on the road, because he had just been to Mass and received Holy Communion at the Jesuit church in Vienna. He carried a bundle on his staff, because he laughed merrily at fine clothes and had in the bundle a coarse tunic and a stout pair of brogans, which he meant to put on as soon as he got well out of the city.