“And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, birds, cattle, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm upon the earth, and every man; everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.” – The Flood of Noah
John Dee drew closer. “And could you see into the princess’s heart?” he asked gently. “Could you tell if she was sincere in her oath for keeping the true faith? Do you believe she will be a Catholic queen?”
“I don’t know,” I said simply. “I shall pray for guidance on the way home.”
Robert would have said something but John Dee put a hand on his arm. “Hannah will say the right thing to the queen,” he said. “She knows that it is not one queen or another that matters, it is not one name of God or another, what matters most is to bring peace to this country so that a man or woman in danger of cruelty or persecution can come here and be certain of a fair hearing.” He paused, and I thought of my father and I, coming to this England and hoping for a safe haven.
“What matters is that a man or woman can believe what they wish, and worship how they wish, to a God whom they name as they wish. What matters is that we make a strong country here which can be a force for good in the world, where men and women can question and learn freely. This country’s destiny is to be a place where men and woman can know that they are free.”
– Philippa Gregory, The Queen’s Fool
It makes me want to laugh. It makes me think of the freedom that never was, the freedom that will never be. Not in this company, nor this country, nor this world. It appears that the only thing that can help us all start over is the next Great Flood — and I pray there will be a next.