Chapter 4: Fair Recompense
Yorke House 1599
Lady Essex examines the copies of the letters
John has returned
Scene 1: The letters are exchanged
Lady Essex examines the copies of the letters.
Her Secretary stands at her shoulder, mirroring his employer's
She hands over money to John.
John is given £1,720
Scene 2: John is given his money
"One thousand seven hundred and twenty pounds."
"There were many interested parties at court who offered me far more."
"This was all my jewelry could raise."
John asks for some more security before he releases
Scene 3: All is not what it seems
The secretary has been examining the letters more closely.
"These are but copies, your Ladyship."
Lady Essex looks up at John.
"I require some security before I relinquish my investment."
Lady Essex protests that the letters are not
Scene 4: John demands more
Lady Essex makes to protest.
"A simple letter promising that I will not be troubled further by Lord Essex or yourself and that no action will be taken against us."
"And you will return the originals."
Scene 5: Lady Essex agrees
"With pleasure your Ladyship. All I seek is
"Very well, John. I’ll see that recompense is yours."
Jane, much happier now, returns the letters
to Lady Essex
Scene 6: The exchange is completed
So when my husband bid me return the original letters
- I did so with a lighter heart than I had known for many weeks.
Lady Essex refuses to speak to Jane
Scene 7: Jane is rebuffed
"Her Ladyship thanks you for the letters and
sends in return this letter for your husband as requested."
He gives the letter to Jane, who receives it awkwardly.
"I - thank the Countess for her kindness."
"If her honour permits may I humbly take my leave of her?"
Jane hurries away, hurt and humiliated
"Her Ladyship is indisposed."
"Dear man, I have been one of my Lady’s
closest companions these past ten years –"
"And as I said, her Ladyship is indisposed."
"If I cannot see her now, then when?"
Lady Essex stares at Jane from a window with
Scene 8: Jane leaves
Jane hurries away, hurt and humiliated. She turns to
look back at the house.
Standing at the window is Lady Essex, with the Secretary
as always, at her shoulder.
She stares back at Jane with contempt before turning
Jane writes at a table
Scene 9: Jane realises her mistake
How foolish I was to believe that my faithfulness
would ever be rewarded with the favour she had promised.
And I knew then that my duty lay forever with my