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his Brutuses and Coriolanuses,) do not materially differ from his English clowns. But here we find ourselves at once among a set of people, to all whose habits of life, and ways of thinking, we are strangers; and yet we scarcely read two pages about them, when we become quite familiar with them, sit down at the same board with them, get jolly with them over their six-hooped stoups, and enter into all their wildest jokes, and troll with them their catches and " morsels of melody." This great power is, perhaps, no where better shown, than in the two or three first chapters of this work, in which the scene is laid in a village Inn near Oxford, with all the accompaniments of the jolly landlord Giles Gosling, Master Goldthred the silk mercer from Abingdon, and the bravo, Mike Lambourne, newly arrived from the wars, and ready to cut throats for good pay at home. In the language of these personages, we do not, indeed, perhaps find the same evident truth of expression so immediately felt in the Scotch characters of this author. They are rather pictures of a picture, than of an original; but there is such vivacity in the colouring, that in a very short time it has the effect of nature upon our eye, and even the overdoing has some influence in concentrating our attention, and forcing our sympathy.
We cannot attempt to give any complete sketch of this story-a skeleton of that sort is always tedious, both to the writer and the readersuffice it to say, that from the tavern at Cumnor, and the rude and boisterous mirth of its inmates, we rise through a very beautiful gradation of subject and of interest, first into the presence of a most enchanting female, the secreted inhabitant of an old manorhouse in the neighbourhood, the wife, in truth, of the great Lord Leicester, Queen Elizabeth's favourite, though quite unknown to the world in that character-then into the familiar acquaintance of that eminent courtier, and others his associates and rivalsand lastly, into the daily intercourse with Majesty itself, amidst the pomp of royal festivities, and the agitations of royal passions. The grand figure in the picture is the Queen, yet there is a deep interest attached to the story of her humble rival,-quite a new character in fictitious history-most womanish and passionate in love
most fascinating in her girlish gaiety and rusticity-but clear and open as truth itself, and with a power and elevation of spirit, which it only required great occasions to call forth. The tragic interest likewise of this story, heart-rending throughout, and ending at last in the most appalling horror, completely counterbalances the historical splendour which encircles Elizabeth and her courtiers, and we pass from the private to the public scenes, and back again, without feeling any diminution of interest in either, or without any incongruity of sentiment. The character of Amy's virtues and beauty is fully a match for all the glories of royalty, and when we weep or shudder over her death, we should find it a profanation to cast a backward eye upon the festivities of Kenilworth. There is none of our readers, to whom the whole of this tale will not soon be familiar; we shall at present, we are sure, gratify them, rather by some selections of quotation, than by any farther remark or explanation.
The following is the picture of the beautiful lady, and the gilded cage in which she was inclosed, conceived. and given almost in the fairy style of oriental colouring. There were four, apartments splendidly fitted up for her in an old ruinous mansion, but we mnst be satisfied with the description of the sleeping chamber.
"The sleeping chamber belonging to this splendid suite of apartments, was decorated in a taste less showy, but not less rich, than had been displayed in the others. Two silver lamps, fed with perfumed oil, diffused at once a delicious odour and a trembling twilight-seeming shimmer through the quiet apartment. It was carpeted so thick, that the heaviest step couldnot have been heard, and the bed, richly heaped with down, was spread with an ample coverlet of silk and gold; from underwhich peeped forth cambric sheets, and blankets as white as the lambs which yielded the fleece that made them. The curtains were of blue velvet, lined with crimson silk, deeply festooned with gold, and embroidered with the loves of Cupid and netian mirror, in a frame of silver fillagree, Psyche. On the toilet was a beautiful Veand beside it stood a gold posset-dish to contain the night-draught. A pair of pistols and a dagger, mounted with gold, were displayed near the head of the bed, being the arms for the night, which were presented to honoured guests, rather, it may be supposed, in the way of ceremony, than
recollected that all she gazed upon was one continued proof of his ardent and devoted affection. How beautiful are these hangings!-How natural these paintings, which seem to contend with life!-How richly wrought is that plate, which looks. as if all the galleons of Spain had been intercepted on the broad seas to furnish it. forth!-And oh, Janet!' she exclaimed repeatedly to the daughter of Anthony Foster, the close attendant, who, with equal curiosity, but somewhat less ecstatic joy, followed on her mistress's footsteps
from any apprehension of danger. We must not omit to mention, what was more to the credit of the manners of the time, that in a small recess, illuminated by a taper, were disposed two hassocks of velvet and gold, corresponding with the bed furniture, before a desk of carved ebony. This recess had formerly been the private oratory of the Abbot, but the crucifix was removed, and instead, there were placed on the desk two Books of Common Prayer, richly bound, and embossed with silver. With this enviable sleeping apartment, which was so far removed from every O, Janet! how much more delightful sound save that of the wind sighing among the oaks of the park, that Morpheus might have coveted it for his own proper repose, corresponded two wardrobes, or dressingrooms as they are now termed, suitably furnished, and in a style of the same magnificence which we have already described. It ought to be added, that a part of the building in the adjoining wing was occupied by the kitchen and its offices, and served to accommodate the personal attendants of the great and wealthy nobleman, for whose use these magnificent preparations had been made.
"The divinity, for whose sake this temple had been decorated, was well worthy the cost and pains which had been bestowed. She was seated in the withdrawing-room which we have described, surveying with the pleased eye of natural and innocent vanity, the splendour which had been so suddenly created, as it were in her honour. For, as her own residence at Cumnor-Place formed the cause of the mystery observed in all the preparations for opening these apartments, it was sedulously arranged, that until she took possession of them, she should have no means of knowing what was going forward in that part of the ancient building, or of exposing herself to be seen by the workmen engaged in the decorations. She had been, therefore, introduced upon that evening to a part of the mansion which she had never yet seen, so different from all the rest, that it appeared, in comparison, like an enchanted palace. And when she first examined and occupied these splendid rooms, it was with the wild and unrestrained joy of a rustic beauty, who finds herself sud. denly invested with a splendour which her most extravagant wishes had never shaped for her, and at the same time with the keen feeling of an affectionate heart, which knows that all the enchantment which surrounds her, is the work of the great magician Love.
"The Countess Amy, therefore,-for to that rank she was exalted by her private but solemn union with England's proudest Earl, had for a time flitted hastily from room to room, admiring each new proof of ber lover and her bridegroom's taste, and feeling that admiration enhanced, as she
to think, that all these fair things have been assembled by his love, for the love of me! and that this evening this very evening, which wears darker and darker every instant, I shall thank him more for the love that has created such an unimaginable paradise, than for all the wonders it contains.'
"The Lord is to be thanked first,'
said the pretty puritan, who gave thee, lady, the kind and courteous husband, whose love has done so much for thee. 1, too, have done my poor share. But if you thus run wildly from room to room, the toil of my crisping and my curling pins will vanish like the frost-work on the window when the sun is high.'
"Thou sayest true, Janet,' said the young and beautiful Countess, stopping suddenly from her tripping race of enraptured delight, and looking at herself frour head to foot in a large mirror, such as she had never before seen, and which, indeed, had few to match it even in the Queen's palace Thou sayest true, Janet,' she answered, as she saw, with pardonable self-applause, the noble mirror reflect such charms as were seldom presented to its fair. and polished surface; have more of the milk-maid than the countess, with these cheeks flushed with haste, and all these brown curls, which you laboured to bring to order straying as wild as the tendrils of an unpruned vine-My falling ruff is chafed too, and shews the neck and bosom more than is modest and seemly-Come, Janet-we will practise state-we will go to the withdrawing-room, my good girl, and thou shalt put these rebel locks in order, and imprison within lace and cambric the bosom that beats too high.'
"They went to the withdrawing apartment accordingly, where the Countess playfully stretched her upon the pile of Moorish cushions, half sitting, half reclining, half wrapt in her own thoughts, half listening to the prattle of her attendant.
"While she was in this attitude, and with a corresponding expression betwixt listlessness and expectation on her fine and expressive features, you might have searched sea and land without finding any thing half so expressive or half so lovely. The wreath of brilliants which mixed with her
dark brown hair, did not match in lustre the hazel eye which a light brown eye brow, pencilled with exquisite delicacy, and long eye-lashes of the same colour, reliev ed and shaded. The exercise she had just taken, her excited expectation and gratified vanity, spread a glow over her fine features, which had been sometimes censured for being rather too pale. The necklace of milk-white pearls which she wore, the same which she had just received as a true love token from her husband, were excelled in purity by her teeth, and by the colour of her skin, saving where the blush of pleasure and self-satisfaction had somewhat stained the neck with a shade of light crimson. Now have done with these busy fingers, Janet,' she said to her busy hand-maiden, who was still officiously emplayed in bringing her hair and her dress into order Have done, I say I must see your father ere my lord arrives, and also Master Richard Varney, whom my lant has highly in his esteem-but I could tell that of him would lose him favour."
which she safe, half reclined in the arms of her attendant- Know, that there are causes of trembling which have nothing to do with fear.-But, Janet,' she added, immediately relapsing into the good-natured and familiar tone which was natural to her, believe me I will do what credit I can to your father, and the rather that you, sweetheart, are his child.-Alas! alas !' she added, a sudden sadness passing over her fine features, and her eyes filling with tears, I ought the rather to hold sympathy with thy kind heart, that my own poor father is uncertain of my fate, and they say lies sick and sorrowful for my worthless sake-But I will soon cheer him-the news of my happiness and advancement will make him young again.--And that I may cheer him the sooner'-she wiped her eyes as she spoke- I must be cheerful myself-My lord must not find me insensible to his kindness, or sorrowful when he snatches a visit to his recluse, after so long an absence.-Be merry, Janet-the night wears on, and my lord must soon arrive. Call thy father hither, and call Varney al
"O do not do so, good my lady!" replied Janet; leave him to God, who pu-so- cherish resentment against neither; nishes the wicked in his own time; but do not you cross Varney's path, for so thoroughly hath he my lord's ear, that few have thriven who have thwarted his cour
And from whom had you this, my most righteous Janet?" said the Countess; or why should I keep terms with so mean a gentleman as Varney, being, as I am, wife to his master and patron ?”
Nay, madam,' replied Janet Foster, your ladyship knows better than F-But, I have heard my father say, he would rather cross a hungry wolf, than thwart Rich ard Varney in his projects-And he has oft charged me to have a care of holding commerce with him.*
Thy father said well, girl, for thee," replied the lady, and I dare swear meant well. It is a pity, though, his face and manner do little match his truc purposefor I think his purpose may be true.'
Doubt it not, my Indy,' answered Janet Doubt not that my father purposes well, though he is a plain man, and his blunt looks may belie his heart."
I will not doubt it, girl, were it only for thy sake; and yet he has one of those faces which men tremble when they look on-1 think even thy mother, Janet-ay; have done with that poking-iron-could hardly look upon him without quaking.'
If it were so, madam, answered Janet Foster, my mother had those who could keep her in honourable countenance. Why, even you, my lady, both trembled and blushed when Varney brought the let ter from my lord.'
You are bold, damsel,' said the Countess, rising from the cushions on
and though I may have some room to complain of both, it shall be their own fault if ever a complaint against them reaches the Earl through my means.-Call them hither, Janet." " Vol. I. pp. 121–131.
Lord Leicester soon after comes, but This Varney turns out the Iago of the we have no space for the love interview. story, and he and Foster conclude it, too, with murder. They are both welldrawn characters the one an utterly hardened atheistical villain-the other with religious notions which only render him an hypocrite, and speak peace to his conscience where there is no peace. world that Varney had been the seIt was supposed in the ducer of the lady, and that she lived with him in concubinage, instead of being the wife of Lord Leicester. This, in particular, was the idea of her father, Sir Hugh Robsart, and of an unfortunate gentleman, Tressilian, to whom the good knight had destined her in marriage. He went in search of her-discovered the place of her residence, though not the true state of the story-and returnwhose condition is most pathetical ed with the information to Sir Hugh, ly described, and affords a fine contrast to the high-placed love and splendour of his daughter. We wish we had room for it, but can only give one touching incident. The old knight was in a sort of lethargic state, from
which the appearance of Tressilian partly awoke him, and he was sudden ly relieved by a paroxysm of weeping. "I will ask thee no questions,' said the old Knight; no questions none, Ed mund-thou hast not found her, or so found her, that she were better lost.'
Tressilian was unable to reply, other wise than by putting his hands before his
It is enough-it is enough. But do not thou weep for her, Edmund. I have cause to weep, for she was my daughter, thou hast cause to rejoice, that she did not become thy wife. Great God! thou knowest best what is good for us-It was my nightly prayer that I should see Amy and Edmund wedded, had it been granted, it had now been gall added to bitterness.'
Be comforted, my friend,' said the Curate, addressing Sir Hugh, it cannot be that the daughter of all our hopes and affections is the vile creature you would bespeak her.'
O, no,' replied Sir Hugh, impatient ly, I were wrong to name broadly the base thing she is become there is some new court name for it, I warrant me. It is honour enough for the daughter of an old De'nshire clown to be the lemman of a gay courtier,-of Varney too,-of VarDey, whose grandsire was relieved by my father, when his fortune was broken, at the battle of the battle of where Richard was slain-out on my memory-and I warrant none of you will help me.'
The battle of Bosworth,' said Master Mumblazen, stricken between Richard Crookback and Henry Tudor, grandsire of the Queen that now is, Primo Henrici Septimi; and in the year one thousand four hundred and eighty five, post Christum na
Ay, even so,' said the good Knight, • every child knows it-But my poor head forgets all it should remember, and remembers only what it would most willingly forget. My brain has been at fault, Tressilian, almost ever since thou hast been away, and even yet it hunts counter.'
Your worship,' said the good clergyman, had better retire to your apartment, and try to sleep for a little space, the physician left a composing draught, and our Great Physician has commanded us to use earthly means, that we may be strength ened to sustain the trials he sends us.'
True, true, old friend,' said Sir Hugh, and we will bear our trials manfully -We have lost but a woman.-See, Tresalian, he drew from his bosom a long ringlet of fair hair, see this lock!-I. tell thee, Edmund, the very night she disappeared, when she bid me good even, as she was wont, she hung about my neck,, and fondled me more than usual; and I, like an old fool, held her by this lock, un
til she took her scissars, severed it, and left it in my hand, as all I was ever to see more of her!" pp. 298–301.
We must now give the first appear◄ ance of Elizabeth. A young man, afterwards Sir Walter Raleigh, an attendant of Lord Sussex the rival of Leicester at court, is a principal actor in this fine scene. Queen Elizabeth was about to embark in her royal barge at Greenwich at the moment that this youth came to her on an em bassage from Lord Sussex.
"At this moment the gates opened, and ushers began to issue forth in array, preceded and flanked by the band of Gentlemen Pensioners. After this, amid a crowd of lords and ladies, yet so disposed around her that she could see and be seen on all sides, came Elizabeth herself, then in the prime of womanhood, and in the full glow of what in a Sovereign was called beauty, and who would, in the lowest rank of life, have been truly judged a noble figure, joined to a striking and commanding phy siognomy, She leant on the arm of Lord Hunsdon, whose relation to her by her mother's side often procured him such dis tinguished marks of Elizabeth's intimacy.
The young cavalier we have so often mentioned had probably never yet ap. proached so near the person of his Sove. reign, and he pressed forward as far as the line of warders permitted, in order to avail himself of the present opportunity. His companion, on the contrary, cursing his imprudence, kept drawing him backwards, till Walter shook him off impatiently, and letting his rich cloak drop carelesssly from one shoulder; a natural action, which served, however, to display to the best advantage his well-proportioned person. Un. bonneting at the same time, he fixed his eager gaze on the Queen's approach, with a mixture of respectful curiosity, and mo dest yet ardent admiration, which suited so well with his fine features, that the warders, struck with his rich attire and noble countenance, suffered him to approach the ground over which the Queen was to pass, somewhat closer than was permitted to ordinary spectators. Thus the adventurous youth stood full in Elizabeth's eye, an eye never indifferent to the admiration which she deservedly excited among her subjects, or to the fair proportions of external form which chanced to distinguish any of her courtiers. Accord ingly, she fixed her keen glance on the youth, as she approached the place where he stood, with a look in which surprise at his boldness seemed to be unmingled with resentment, while a trifling accident happened which attracted her attention towards him more strongly. The night had been rainy, and just where the young gentle
man stood, a small quantity of mud interrupted the Queen's passage. As she hesitated to pass on, the gallant, throwing his cloak from his shoulders, laid it on the miry spot, so as to ensure her stepping over it dry-shod. Elizabeth looked at the young man, who accompanied this act of devoted courtesy with a profound reverence, and a blush that overspread his whole countenance. The Queen was confused, and blushed in her turn, nodded her head, hastily passed on, and embarked in her barge without saying a word.
She soon, however, sent for the youth by one of the Band of Pension ers, and he followed the royal barge.
"The two rowers used their oars with such expedition at the signal of the Gentleman Pensioner, that they very soon brought their little skiff under the stern of the Queen's boat, where she sate beneath an awning, attended by two or three ladies, and the nobles of her household. She
looked more than once at the wherry in which the young adventurer was seated, spoke to those around her, and seemed to laugh. At length one of the attendants, by the Queen's order apparently, made a sign for the wherry to come along-side, and the young man was desired to step from his own skiff into the Queen's barge, which he performed with graceful agility at the fore part of the boat, and was brought aft to the Queen's presence, the wherry at the same time dropping into the rear. The youth underwent the gaze of majesty, not the less gracefully that his self-possession was mingled with embarrassment. The mudded cloak still hung upon his arm, and formed the natural topic with which the Queen introduced the conversation.
You have this day spoiled a gay mantle in our service, young man. thank you for your service, though the manner of offering it was unusual, and something bold.”
In a sovereign's need,' answered the youth, it is each liege-man's duty to
"God's pity! that was well said, my lord,' said the Queen, turning to a grave person who sate by her, and answered with a grave inclination of the head, and something of a mumbled assent. Well, young man, your gallantry shall not go unreward ed. Go to the wardrobe keeper, and he shall have orders to supply the suit which you have cast away in our service. Thou shalt have a suit, and that of the newest
cut, I promise thee, on the word of a prin
"May it please your grace,' said Walter, hesitating, it is not for so humble a servant of your majesty to measure out your bounties; but if it became me to
*Thou would'st have gold, I warrant
me,' said the Queen, interrupting him ;fic, young man! I take shame to say, that, in our capital, such and so various are the means of thriftless folly, that to give gold to youth is giving fuel to fire, and furnishing them with the means of self-destruction. If I live and reign, these means of unchristian excess shall be abridged. Yet thou may'st be poor,' she added, or thy parents may be-It shall be gold, if thou wilt, but thou shalt answer to me for the use on't.'
"Walter waited patiently until the Queen had done, and then modestly assured her, that gold was still less in his wish than the Taiment her majesty had before offered.
"How, boy!' said the Queen, “neither gold nor garment? What is it thou would'st have of me, then?
"Only permission, Madam-if it is not asking too high an honour-permission to wear the cloak which did you this trifling service."
"Permission to wear thine own cloak, thou silly boy!' said the Queen.
"It is no longer mine,' said Walter; 'when your Majesty's foot touched it, it became a fit mantle for a prince, but far
too rich a one for its former owner.
"The Queen again blushed; and endeavoured to cover, by laughing, a slight degree of not unpleasing surprise and confusion.
"Heard you ever the like, my lords? The youth's head is turned with reading romances-I must know something of him, that I may send him safe to his friends.What art thou?"
"A gentleman of the household of the Earl of Sussex, so please your grace, sent hither with his Master of Horse, upon a message to your Majesty.'
Vol. II. pp. 46-53.
Our room here fails us, and we have not yet introduced Lord Leicester, the hero of the scene-or the fes tivities of Kenilworth, so admirably painted-so much to the life-and as if the author had been present through the whole the contrast between the gaiety around them, and the passions that agitated the Queen, and still more the master of the mansion-the appearance of Amy in the midst of them-the sad dilemma into which Leicester was thrown-the profligate counsels of Varney, and the jealousy with which he inspired his master,trophe-all this must be left to a future finally, the dread, overwhelming catasNumber, when we shall, indeed, be quite behind hand with the story, but may have a few more remarks to offer, and some more most splendid quotations with which to enrich our pages.