Page images
PDF
EPUB

Owners.

and blind-man's-buffalso, to their hearts' con- It was now unanimously agreed that the ad- loud knock came to the door, breaking in upon his tent.

ditional guests—honest Andrew being included in reflections, and startling him considerably. So this plan was agreed upon ; and Mr. and Mrs. the invitation-should take their places at the “What a fool I am,” he thought. “ I dare say Sellers departed, quite delighted with such a plea- Christmas-dinner, without previous notice to the only Sam Jones, coming in to beg a light. I'll sant contrast to their other visit.

Misses Sellers ; and, all being satisfactorily ar- teach him to knock, if he hammers in that way, Poor Mary! if we could but have found her ranged, the happy pair departed ; Mr. and Mrs. Sel- the Come in,” he shouted rudely. out,” sighed Mrs. Sellers. “It is of no use apply- lers arriving at home just in time to make themselves The door was fiung wide open, and in marcheding to a Directory. I looked among the D's the comfortable before dinner.

not Sam Jones, as he expected—but two men, bearother day, and the name of Drummond was not

ing between them a hamper of very considerable among them. They must be in lodgings some

CHAPTER V.

dimensions, and equally weighty with its size; if where."

Christmas-eve arrived, presenting itself in very one might judge by the evident muscular exertion Just then, the noise of a window opening above different aspects to the rich merchant and the poor of its bearers, as they set it down on the mud floor. his head, caused him to look up. A female head artisan ; the thrifty, and the drunken, and dissi- “All right,” said one of them. " This 'ere be protruded itself through the open sash, and he pated; the charitable, and those whose bowels of Mister John Marvel's, ain't it?": stood as if struck dumb and senseless ; for this head, compassion” had long been closed to the cry of

Yes,” said Jack, shortly. in braids and cap, was that of his long-lost daugh- their needy brethren. Around some hearths shone The men departed; and the little girls, who had ter.

the cheering light of fire-glow and heart-warmth, ceased their play to gaze at them, ran towards their It was, indeed, Mary. She had opened the win- rejoicing in surrounding comforts, and the power of father. dow to admit a little air, foggy and impure as it distributing them to those who were less happily « Father, faiher, big box! Come, look, father!” necessarily was, in that unhealthy locality; and, situated. Others were jocund with song and laugh

Jack hesitated for in the mood in which he upon beholding her father in the street below, stand-ter; but no remembrance of the poor and suffering then was he would have scorned to testify any curiing transfixed and gazing upon her, she uttered a was there to moderate the laughter, and impart a osity, however natural--but the importunities of suppressed shriek, and fell back into her husband's deeper tone of feeling to the song; and so both the children at length prevailed upon liim to examine arms, who had just returned from giving a music sounded harsh and cold, and shallow as their the hamper. It was well corded ; and directed in lesson; the first since his long illness.

Some were gilded with the lunar rays of a clear, decided feminine hand, which gave him no At the sound of that shriek, Mr. Sellers recovered gratitude, reflecting in their softened lustre the clue to the sender, as he was totally unacquainted from the amazement into which his daughter's sud- ardent bear's of the sun of beauty that had called with the handwriting. den appearance had thrown him ; and rushing to them into e. istence. On others, again, brooded a “Father, be quick and open it. Do, pray, fathe lodging-house door, without giving any expla- thick gloom of physical cold and darkness, and that ther." nation to Martha, he knocked at it in a style so dif- bitterness of the spirit, which is still worse to bear

“Leave me room, then lasses,” said Jack, beginferent from his usually gentle, collected manner, than these outward evidences of selfishness, on the ning to relax in his ill-humour at the touch of their that had she not before divined what had happened, one hand, and improvidence, on the other.

importunate caresses; for, reckless and desperate she might have feared that he had taken leave of Jack Martèll's dead had been decently interred. as the wretched man had become, he had ever been his senses.

A tawdry girl speedily appeared in The horror laad been reaioved from under the ragged a fond, affectionate father. Leave me a bit of answer to the knock; but he thrust her aside with- tablecloth on the moal table ; the house fumigated ; room. You, Emma, take hold of this knot. Now, out ceremony, and, ascending the stairs three at a and the little ones supplied for once with as much Mary, help to lift the end of the hamper--there, time, as if he feared his daughter would be spirited bread as they could cat. A cheerful fire burned in there's beauties—while I pull the rope from unaway from him, appeared before the sitting-room- the rusiy grate, and Jack himself was attired in an der. Now, we have only got to unfasten it, and door just as Mary opened it.

old black suit which had once belonged to Mr. Sel- look in." We leave the reader to imagine the hugging, and lers, and in which he looked more respectable than And a glorious sight rewarded their exertions. crying, and all the usual accompaniments of such a he had done before for many a long day. All this First came three large bundles of clothing, containmeeting ; only stopping to relate how Martha was had been effected by the rich man's kindness; and ing shirts, stockings, drawers, and so forth, for detained outside by the tawdry servant, who firmly one would have expected to have found Jack's heart Jack; and everything needful to clothe the little believed that a couple of thieves were taking the warmed and cheered, as were the still bare walls girls from top to toe. Then followed a packet of house by storm; and how Henry Drummond had to of his miserable dwelling. Yet, as the haggard- tea, another of sugar, a huge side of bacon, a large go down to bring her in, and vouch for her respect- looking man sat brooding over the fire-light, while meat-pie, a piece of cold roast-beef, and, last, not ability.

his little ones played about the floor, there was no least, a glorious Christmas pudding. “ Isabella has been before-hand with us, Mary genial glow on his features, to correspond with the “ Father,” cried the little girl, as Jack extracted tells me,” said Mr. Sellers, when, the first excite- improved aspect of things around him. In fact, as from the midst of these something nearly square, ment o ver, they were able to discuss matters quietly is common with poverty that has not left behind it wrapped up in paper-“father, what is that?" together.

the dross of pride in the furnace of affliction, Jack It was a New Testament, out of which dropped a “ Indeed!" said Martha. “I trust you will par- was wavering between an angry dislike, on the one letter for Jack, superscribed by the same hand which don her disobedience. What a matter of pleasant hand, to receive these comforts from a man whom had written the direction on the card. This letter surprise will this reconciliation be to her. There is he had sworn to himself to hate and despise, and, was from Martha, as our readers will have already scarcely anything in the world so delightful as ex- on the other, a species of jealous dissatisfaction that anticipated, begging, in a few words, that he would periencing an unlooked-for pleasure.”

more had not been done for himself and his accept the hamper and its contents, as a Christmas Except the creating of it,” said a deep voice at children.

offering of peace and good-will from Mr. Sellers, the door. All turned; and Andrew Fairlegh, for it “While he was about it,” thought the discon- who would do himself the pleasure of calling upon was he, stalked forward into the middle of the tented man, “ he might as well have got me back his cousin in the course of a few days.

· Do not my bed, and that proud young madam, his wife, refuse us,” it concluded, “ the happiness of being The Sellers and he were soon intimate ; for they who scarcely deigned to speak two words when she of service to you and your little girls, at a season speedily recognised a brother spirit, and he was was here, might have sent a bundle of her cast-off when all old grudges ought to be forgotten, or only already well acquainted with them, from Isabella's clothing, to make the children warm and decent. serve as incentives to the exercise of Christian forreport : who, the reader must be apprised, en pas- It is gall and poison to receive anything from the giveness.” sant, had been visiting Mary every from the rich, but”-here Jack swore a fearful oath—“while The children began to dance with delight around bride's arrival. Singularly enough, at each of these I was doing the thing, I'd take care I did it hand- the old chest where all these good things were visits she had encountered Andrew; who, for some somely."

spread out, occasionally stopping to smell at the reason or another, was seldom away from the house. He had just arrived at this conclusion, when a pudding, and extract a raisin or a bit of candied

room.

1

[ocr errors]

peel from its ample sides ; and Jack, bolting the it suits you so well, my little queen. And that anticipated the possibility of a mutual liking bedoor to prevent the intrusion of any neighbour, sat wreath upon your smooth hair, is it real ivy and tween Andrew and Isabella ; and, desirous at any down again before the fire, with Martha's letter in holly-berries, love ?"

rate of promoting the understanding between two his hand, and, placing a foot upon each hob, fell “As real, darling, as the decorations of the walls such congenial characters, and knowing how much into a totally new train of reflections suggested and windows. But, hark ! none of your daugh-the outer may be considered the type of the inner, thereby

had herself directed the choice It was Christmas-eve also

of Isabella's attire for the ocwith the Drummonds and their

casion. It was to be of the friend Andrew; and there, in

simplest white lute-string, deed, the hearts danced to the

without fluttering ribbons or orflickering of the cheerful blaze,

nament of any kind. A broad and reflected its warmth in

dark-green sash alone restheir own glow of happiness.

trained its smooth folds; and For Mary, pleasant little Mary,

around the pale gulden tresses looked so serenely content in

was bound a wreath of the the anticipation of the morrow's

delicate wild ivy, uninterdelight, that her youthful fresh

mingled with anything brighter ness had all come back again,

or more showy. restoring the dimples that

The first arrivals were Mr. fatigue, anxiety, and sorrow

and Mrs. Tom Sellers, with had well-nigh changed into

their retinue of children; the wrinkles. Her altered aspect

five youngest of whom were communicated its gladness to

sent for the present along with her husband and their visitor.

the servant, who had come to In short, the Yule-log was

carry the twins ; to play in a upon the fire, and they were

large cheerful room prepared determined to enjoy their

for their reception; where a Christmas-eve in fitting style.

nice girl, the eldest of Carry's “ Dear me,' said Andrew,

Sunday-school class, was in suddenly rising, and pushing

waiting to keep them in order, back his chair, “I had almost

Mrs. Tom was rather timid and forgotten. Mrs. Drummond,

fluttered at first; for, being a can you mull port ?"

plain master-builder's daughter, Mary answered in the affirm

she considered Tom's relations ative ; and forth issued from the

very grand people indeed; but prolific pocket of the shaggy

the sweet, frank manners of great coat an ounce of nut

our bride soon placed her quite megs and a bottle of Oporto's

at ease, and when the Misses best bee's-wing.

Sellers at length made their We may imagine what were

appearance, she bore her inthe toasts drunk and the senti

troduction to them with great ents expressed over the mode

composure. rate bumpers of Mary's ex

“ Isabella,” said Martha, cellent mulled port.

drawing her aside, "where is your ivy wreath? Why

have you on that bright pink CHAPTER VI.

sash? And what has detained Brightly shone the holly

you so long ?" berries, and cheerily waved the

“I am almost ashamed to laurel, ivy, and bay, and other

tell you, Martha. When I evergreens that decked the

was quite ready, I went to help walls, the windows, and every

my sisters, who had not yet available corner in the hand

begun to dress; they said it some drawing-room at Beech

was so unfashionable an hour House. Mr. Sellers and

for a dinner-party, and such Martha were already there to

queer people were coming. receive their guests, and were

They even doubted whether already anticipating the plea

they should dress at all; and sant denouement of their

teased me so unmercifully about little mystery.

what they called my classical “I trust," said Martha, “ that

attire, ascribing it all to your Mary and her husband will ar

singular notions, that I turned rive just at the right time,

coward, partly for your sake, neither too soon nor too late. I think our direc- | ters are down yet. Isabella is not wont to be so and made a little alteration in one or two particu tions were plain nough." long in dressing."

lars." “Oh, I have no fear,” replied her husband. Now, we must let our readers into a little secret, "And, if you wish to gratify me, dearest Isabella, “Let me look at you, dearest. One would get and inform them, that, with the true divination of at this my house-warming, you will alter back again tired of black satin upon any one else, but really a woman of her perceptive powers, the bride had to the wreath and the green sash, and take off that

[graphic]

(THE GENDARMES' MARKET, BERLIN.]

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

fine brooch. I have a particular reason for this, of quizzing the guests. “The little boudoir has “Hush, children,” said buxom Mrs. Tom. which I will tell you half a year hence."

been kept locked all day. I tried to get in when Just then, a dull, dread tramp, as of a number of Isabella fixed her blue eyes on her friend's coun- they were there this morning, but Isabella came to people marching up the carriage-drive, sounded from tenance, with a look of mild inquiry, but nothing the door, and told me I should know all about it the garden outside. was to be seen but a kind of suppressed archness. this evening. Look! Mrs. Sellers has taken the “Oh! sir,” said one of the servants, coming However, the young girl hastened to obey, and key from her pocket, and now Isabella is going in breathlessly from the window, where she had been while she was still up-stairs, another rat-tat-tat with a light. She was too quick for us to see any- looking out, “such a number of people on the lawn ! sounded at the hall-door. The bride glanced un- thing through the door, though.”

It can't be the Chartists, sure.” easily at her husband, but her half-formed fears In about the space of ten minutes, Isabella re

“ Martha,” said Mr. Sellers, “postpone the prowere quickly dispelled by the announcement of Mr. turned, leaving the mysterious portal open behind ceedings a moment. I will go and see what it M'Farlane.

her. Mr. Sellers gave his arm to Mrs. Tom, who means." And now Isabella came down in all her classic nervously accepted the honour, and desired the rest A few moments of suspense ensued, and some of loveliness, and dinner was on the point of being an- to follow. All, impelled by curiosity, immediately the ladies and children began to look half-frightened. nonnced. But there was a delay unaccountable to obeyed; and the little apartment was speedily filled Mrs. Tom pressed closer to her husband, and Mary the majority of the company. Conversation flag- to overflowing. Their eyes turned in surprise to hastened across the room to Henry's side. ged, and a kind of pause of expectation prevailed. the centre of the boudoir ; for there, beneath a “ It is only,” said Mr. Sellers, returning, " a parMr. and Mrs. Sellers, too, appeared fidgetty, and canopy of holly and mistletoe, stood a fine Christ- cel of people who fancy that my little Martha here cast uneasy glances towards the door. At length, mas-tree.

has done them good service this hard frost. They there was another summons upon the knocker, a “How beautiful !" exclaimed some of the com- insist upon seeing her at one of the windows, that slight bustle on the stairs. Jane and Caroline look

pany. " What is it?" “What does it mean?'' they may cheer her." ed at each other with surprised inquiry; the rest asked others, who had never heard of this beautiful The green damask curtains were thrown back, of the guests turned their heads eagerly, to see who and pleasing German custom. The little children the shutters of the principal window opened, and by the new arrivals might be; and the bride and her danced and clapped their hands; the twins held out the blaze of light in the room behind, Martha's husband moved hastily towards the door.

their arms, and crowed; and the servants, who had figure was plainly seen by those on the lawn below. Again, we must call upon the reader's imagina- been ordered to assemble in the drawing-room, Then arose a shout from men, women and children. tion to fill the place which we resign, in humble crowded around the door, to see what was going Andrew Farleigh stepped out on the balcony, and confession of our inadequacy to describe the sensa- forwards.

taking off his hat, notwithstanding the cold of the tion caused by the entrance of Mr. and Mrs. Drum- “ This is a Christmas-tree," said Mr. Sellers, night, signed to them to be quiet. mond. The tearful delight of Isabella, albeit restrain- first invented by our neighbours, the Garmans. “ Listen to me, my friends," he said, “this is ed by the presence of so many strange witnesses; The proper time for its exhibition is Christmas-eve, Christman time, as you well know. Your benefacthe bewildered astonishment of Carry and Jane; but we took the liberty of postponing it to this day, tress is yet a bride. Lift up, then, your hands and the agitation of poor little Mary; and the sympathy to celebrate the happy occasion of welcoming back hats, and your honest hearts along with them, and of our benevolent Martha, with the extreme delight a much-loved daughter and her esteemed husband; join with me and our friends within, in three times of her husband, whose heart's portals, once expand- and of renewing our acquaintance with many kind three for the Christmas Bride.ed, seemed in no danger of ever closing again-all friends, too long neglected. And now, Mrs. Sellers And those without and those within heartily formed a scene never to be forgotten by the parties will perform her part of the evening's solemni- responded to the cheer; while Martha, her meek concerned. ties."

head drooping, and her dark eyes filled with tears, “But where is Mr. Fairlegh ?" asked the bride, For the benefit of those of our readers who are would willingly have retreated from the public when they had time to think of any one out of the not acquainted with the beautiful descriptions of homage thus offered to private and most Christian immediate family circle.

the Chritmas-tree in Mary Howitt's and other worth. For what had she done, but carry into Isabella starteå, and then pretended not to listen modern works and translations, we will just say, practice, as much as in her lay, the golden rule for for the reply; which, however, she heard dis- that the one in question was a young fir-tree, placed human morality through all time—"Whatsoever ye tinctly.

in a large tub, gaily painted for the occasion. Its would that men should do to you, do ye even so to “He begged me to present his kindest regards, branches were hung with tiny tapers, cut paper, them.” It would certainly cost us some trouble, and said that unavoidable business prevented him oranges, apples, bunches of raisins, figs, bonbons, some ridicule, possibly loss of worldly friends, and from accepting your invitation to dinner, but that he and other showy and delicate trifles, besides more distribution of worldly goods, but what large-heartwould be with you shortly afterwards."

solid ornaments, in the shape of pretty and suitable ed man or woman, looking at the present in the Martha looked towards Isabella, and their eyes presents for the children, young people, and ser- light of the future, would not wish to go and do met. There was an archness in the glance of the vants.

likewise ? bride that made the latter blush, in spite of herself; “ Isabella,” said Mr. Sellers, as the distribution So we join the happy campany in the drawingbut she thought, "My new mamma is no witch, of the presents began. But Isabella was not forth- room at Beech House, and humbly begging fo: a after all; what can she know ?" So, when the coming.

moment's audience, add from our inmost souls, huge original made his appearance, just as the des- “I saw her a moment ago,” said Jane, “talking “One cheer more for the Christmas Bride." sert was set upon the table—for what with the to Mr. Fairlegh under the lamp." youngsters who were lost in astonishment at the “ And here she is still,” said honest Andrew,

SONNET, handsome set-out, and the zest with which their bravely handing Isabella out of the corner which

CAMPBELL. elders enjoyed the occasion, the dinner lasted to had attracted the couple to its snug recess. · Here quite an unusual period—the only thing observable she is, ready to dance Sir Roger De Coverley, or

THE Night, and Darkness with it, like a brido

That steals in lampless beauty to her bed : in Isabella's manner was a kind of friendly em- anything else that may be required of her."

The Night, and wintry Coldness, that hath shed pressement, which completed her beauty, by adding “Oh! a dance by all means," vociferated John A sheet of snow-dris on the mountain's side ; to it animation. M'Farlanea dance under the mistletoe. I can

The Night, and Sickness with it, that doth glido

With throbbing pulses and an aching head; It was now getting dark, and as soon as a move-cut a fignre in that dance myself,” and the little man

The Night and I, Darkness and Suffering, spread ment had been effected into the drawing-room, hopped about on one leg, until every one was glad In chill folds all about me, crushing pride Martha and Isabella spoke low together, and the to get out of his way.

Of life beneath their weight ! Now do I steal latter left the room for several minutes.

Be sober, man,” said Mr. Sellers. “My bride

To shut the Old Year out-a sorry guest !

Now, dull and sad, enter the mist that floats “What can this mystery be between Mrs. Sel- has a meerschaum for you, which she begs you to

About the New Year-nursing in my breast lers and Isabella ?" whispered Jane to Caroline, as accept, Cor her sweet sake.”

A shadowy terror-such as all men feel they sat apart employed in the amiable occupation

“ And a doll for me!"_" And a drum for me!" Who lonelily have battled with stern thoughts !

BY

CALDER

[ocr errors]

3

LIVES OF THE

night before her departure, she was seated in her “No-no!" I cannot !" simpered Elizabeth ; QUEENS OF ENGLAND. withdrawing-room--still known by the name of the “ my shamefacedness would betray me! Do not

“King's Lodging "-with Cecil--the latter wearing ask it !”
BY J. F. SMITH, ESQ.,
his robes as Chancellor of the University.

So many distinguished and noble personages at Author of “ Stanfield Hall," ," "* Minnie Grey," etc.

“I think it will do, Master Cecil!” said the last joined in the request that her majesty was ELIZABETII, QUEEN REGNANT OF ENGLAND.

queen, glancing at an open paper which she held in fain to yield, and made a long-set oration in excel.

her hand. “God's wot! but we shall have some lent Latin. The commencement and conclusion of (Continued from page 336.)

trouble in committing it to memory-albeit, we have her speech we translate for our readers, in order to The reign of Elizabeth, more than any other, was

a familiar knowledge of the Latin tongue!” give them an idea of the sincerity of royal speakers marked by royal progresses or visitations. The one The paper to which the speaker alluded, was the in those days; but perhaps, after all, they are not to Cambridge—with the exception of her visit to famous Latin oration which Cecil had secretly got much different at the present. The first paragraph Leicester, at Kenilworth Castle—was the most mag- written for her, and which her majesty, after great of the speech commenced thus : nificent she ever made, and certainly has been the entreaty, was to be persuaded to speak on the fol- “Although womanly shamefacedness, most celebest described. A description of the dress in which lowing day, when she promised to attend a second brated university, might well determine me from she entered the town, w trust will prove accepta- disputation in the Church of St. Mary's.

delivering this my unlaboured oration before so ble to our female readers.

“ You will perceive, madam," said the minister, great an assembly of the learned, yet the intercesShe was attired in a large gown of black velvet, “that the orator merely alludes to a royal founda- sion of my nobles, and my own good will towards pinked or cut according to the fashion of the day: tion in Cambridge—nothing definite."

the university, impel me to say somewhat.” the sleeves made monstrously large at the top, and

Elizabeth smiled. She perfectly approved of the The “this my unlaboured oration" is most exslashed, to show the lining of cloth of silver, passe- prudent foresight of her adviser. It cost nothing quisite, and says no less for the nerve of the royal mentures, and puffings. Her majesty wore a cowl beyond a few words to raise the hopes of the Uni- actress, than the control over the risible muscles of upon her head, set with pearls and precious stones, versity-but it would take money to gratify them : their countenances exercised by the auditors, and over that a high-crowned hat, spangled with and money was one of those things which the amongst whom, in all probability, was the poor gold, and a huge plume of different-colored feathers. queen liked least to part with.

scholar who had written and prepared it; neither Only imagine a queen of England at the present “Good, Cecil-good !” she replied ; "our great is the concluding sentence less amusing : day appearing in public in such a costume! The grandam's benefaction hath surely been sufficient ! “ It is time, then, that your ears, which have been people would take her for a mad woman or a rope- but we will consider of the matter, and bide our so detained by this barbarous sort of an oration, dancer ; but in the reign of Elizabeth it was con- time.” With this, Elizabeth dismissed him ; and, should now be released from the pain of it.” sidered, no doubt, both as becoming and proper. during the two following hours, remained seated at At the conclusion of the speech, there was a mar

During her stay, the queen resided at King's the lamp, conning her oration for the following day. vellous shout of applause, and loud cries of " Virat College ; and, on the Sunday following her arrival, At an early hour, the Church of St. Mary was Regina!" attended Divine service in great state, sour doctors filled with the heads of colleges, doctors of divinity, “ Taceat Regina !” replied the queen, with a of divinity bearing the canopy over her head. wearing their scarlet hoods, masters of art, and modest look; moreover, adding her heartfelt wish

We fear that we shall very much shock many of bachelors, impatiently awaiting the arrival of the that all who had heard her poor and unskilled the orthodox admirers of the great Protestant queen, to commence the disputation, which lasted, attempt might drink of the waters of Lethe. queen, when we inform them that, during her visit to like the former one, several hours—to the great

On the 10th of the month of August, Elizabeth Cambridge, Elizabeth commanded a species of thea- delight of the assistants : the long theological dis- left Cambridge, and progressed by another route tre to be erected in the magnificent chapel of King's putes which, for three preceding reigns, had towards London. College, where, on the evening of the Sabbath, the divided the kingdom, having created a taste for such Aulularia of Plautus was enacted before her. displays.

CHAPTER XXXVII. A Pagan play-and that not the most decent At the conclusion, Elizabeth rose from her scat, There is a tide in the affairs of men, which has been handed down to us—in a Christian and was about to quit the Church, when the Duke Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. church; the stage lighted by the torches held in of Norfolk and her favourite, Lord Dudley, threw

SMAKSPEARE. the hands of the guards, who were drawn up on themselves at her feet; and, having previously ELI

'LIZABETH had not long returned to London, either side of the platform!

rehearsed their parts, entreated her majesty to before her pride and jealousy were alarmed Dr Caius, the founder of the college of that address the assembly in Latin.

by the discovery that the Archduke Charles--one name, immortalised by Shakspeare, had the honour “For shame, my lords !” exclaimed her majesty, of the most accomplished princes and generals in of disputing before her majesty, in St. Mary's with well-acted surprise and confusion ; “how Europe, who had formerly been a suitor for her Church. The subject was, whether monarchy or should I, who am a woman, and altogether an hand |- was about to conclude a treaty of marriage a republic were best. Elizabeth, who took great unlearned person, take on me to speak before so with the widowed Queen of Scots. Had Mary—the pleasure in such discussions, repeatedly called out many scholars and divines, in one of the ancient still innocent and unsuspecting Mary-been perto the disputants, “ Loquimini altius !” and even tongues? If I may speak my mind in English,”mitted to conclude this alliance, supported by such left her seat under the canopy of state, the better she added, “ I would not stick"—her own expression a husband—a man whom she could at once have to hear them.

_" at the matter

esteemed and loved-how different would have been That same evening, she heard a second play, “Madam,” said the Chancellor Cecil, bowing low, her fate; but her evil genius, in the form of her called Dido, acted in the church. The young stu- "nothing may be said openly in English before the cousin, again interfered to mar her happiness. dent who represented the heroine, so pleased Eliza- University."

Elizabeth not only wrote to her to say that she conbeth-he being a handsome, ready-witted youth- “ Then do you speak for me? you are Chancel- sidered the alliance as every way unsuitable, but inthat she bestowed on him a purse of twenty pounds lor—and a Chancellor, as you well know, Sir Wil- structed Cecil to write to the Duke of Wurtemburg, per annum ; the only benefaction which marked liam, is a sovereign's mouth-piece!"

to hint to the emperor that his son might renew his her gratification at the reception she had received. “True, madam,” answered the statesman ; " but addresses for her own hand, with every prospect of

The last day of her progress in Cambridge she I am not your Chancellor, I am only that of the success. His imperial majesty, more clear-sighted received a pair of gloves from the master and fel- University !"

than Mary, was not, however, to be deceived. The lows of Christ's College, in memory of her great The Bishop of Ely, throwing himself upon his latter in an evil hour consented to break off the grandmother, Margaret, mother of Henry VII. knees, added his entreaties to those of the Duke of treaty rather than do anything to forfeit the affection

Elizabeth was, perhaps, the most consummate Norfolk and Lord Robert ; adding, " that three of her dear sister, whom she at the same time actress of her time. She had an admirable know- words from her august lips would be better than a requested to propose a match more agreeable to her ledge of stage effect-most of her points told. The studied oration from any other person in the world!" | view 8.

To the astonishment and indignation of both “ III jesting at such a moment, or on such a sub- upon a bell held between two enamelled figures countries, Elizabeth named her own favourite, the ject !'' replied Mistress Sands. “Had you not been in the centre of the table. It was one of those Earl of Leicester--who, with good reason, was sus. dazzled by the glittering prize, you must have seen toys which the skill of Benvenuto Cellini had renpected of being her lover, for the distinguished the triumph of the Cecils, the contentment of your dered so fashionable in the boudoirs of queens and honour of espousing the Queen Dowager of France, enemies, the confusion of your friends. The queen princes. The hangings were drawn aside, and the Queen Regnant of Scotland, and heiress of the has sent for you, my lord,” she added “ to try your Earl of Leicester-his face radiant with smiles, as English throne : a proposition which at once marks fidelity--the worth of your oft-repeated protesta- if he felt the happiness of being admitted into her the treachery and insincerity of her character- tions. Her love is alarmed-her jealousy excited. presence--knelt and kissed the hand which Elizasince her own attachment to that vain and heariless This very morning she demanded of her Chancellor beth extended to him. noble was too generally credited to lead any one to whether one of her nobles contracting, or attempt- “Welcome, my lord,” she said. “We are happy suppose that she was serious.

ing to contract, a marriage with a foreign sovereign, to see you wear a countenance so cheerful !" Dudley—the ambitious son of a yet more ambitious would not be constructed into an act of treason.” “ Could it be otherwise, madam," replied the father-nearly ruined himself by partially falling

" And his answer?"

noble, once more pressing the hand which he reinto the snare. Whilst the affair was upon the tapis, “Yes."

tained in his with well-acted passion to his lips, his pride and insolence were remarked by all the " The traitor!" muttered the favorito ; "why, he " it would be a traitor to my heart-for it would ill court-particularly by his enemies the Cecils, who hath spoken with me upon the subject a hundred express its feelings! Dew to the flowers, sunlight rejoiced at the opportunity of embroiling him with times !"

to the earth, is not more welcome than the sight of the queen, and probably of removing him from her “ But not officially."

his adored queen to the eyes of poor Robert presence for ever; for Elizabeth was not likely ever “The queen herself proposed it to the council.” Dudley !" to forgive the man who preferred the hand of her “But never intended it !" answered the bedcham- Flatterer !" replied Elizabeth, with secret rival to the uncertain tenure of her own capricious ber woman and confidant of Elizabeth. “Her ma- pleasure. “You will persuade me next that it favour.

jesty has never proposed the marriage with her own would break your heart to exchange this court for Leicester had been summoned to a private inter- lips to you ?"

that of Scotland-the friendship of your queen for view with his royal mistress, who for several days “Never," said the earl.

the love of Mary ?” had been distracted with jealous doubts and mortifi- “ Then all may be repaired, and the fortunes of Leicester remained silent, with well-acted surcation. Fortunately, he had a friend far more clear. Robert Dudley rise higher than ever! Elizabeth prise. sighted than himself, who was continually near the expects you. It is her intention, I am sure, to “ W'hy do not you answer me?'' continued the presence of the queen : which friend was no other sound you on the subject; for she is tired of the speaker, with a slight tone of harshness in her than Mistress Sands, her bed-chamber woman--an heart-ache it has caused her. Should she go so voice. “I said that it would content you, my good avowed enemy of Mary Stuart-a sycophant and a far as to propose the hand of the young Queen of Lord of Leicester, to exchange this court for that heartless flatterer, but shrewd and quick at guessing Scots, positively reject it! Declare that you would of Scotland ?" at the humours of her mistress-whose restless air prefer death — kanislıment — anything — to the “ You did, madam!” and dissatisfied looks she had noticed whenever the thought of marrying one who is her enemy; of “And my favour for that of Mary's! We have subject of the earl's marriage with the widowed being banished from her presence. But why do I heard of some such project. You would not be the queen was alluded to. It was her duty to conduct prate thus ?" she added. - The Earl of Leicester first subject who has obtained a crown by marriage." the favourite by the private stairs to the closet of is a courtier, if not a lover, and knows better “For pity's sake, inform me, madam,” exclaimed the queen—and she resolved to avail herself of the than my poor skill can teach him, how to touch the the earl, throwing himself at her feet,“ how I have occasion, to warn him of the perilous position in chords which make music or discord in a woman's offended you, that you speak thus cruelly-thus which he stood.

heart! Follow me, my lord; the queen expects mockingly? If your council, for purposes of state, “So, my lord,” she said, with a satirical smile, as you !"

have debated such a subject, am I to blame for that ? Leicester made his appearance, “ I have to con

With a step far less haughty and assured than If you have permitted it, was it for me to question gratulate you at last upon a royal marriage-albeit when he had cntered the palace, the favorite fol. my sovereign's will ?” it is not the one we both once contemplated !” lowed the speaker to the ante-room conducting to “ You at least, my lord, should feel grateful!" Yes,” replied the earl, with a self-satisfied air, the royal closet.

No, madam, I do not feel grateful!” exclaimed “Our gracious sovereign has proposed that I should Elizabeth was scated at a table, which was in the earl, rising with affected anger; the members of marry her cousin the Queen of Scots. Her Majesty, cumbered, rather than spread, with a mass of cor- the council are my enemies, who would gladly conno doubt, feels it necessary to have some devoted respondence and state papers. She was in one of sent even to my marriage with the Queen of Scots, friend on whom she can rely to manage the affairs those soft yielding humors in which the woman to remove me from your presence! They cannot of that distracted kingdom: and who more fitting triumphed over the sovereign. The fancied defec- attack my loyalty, so they strive to wound my than the man whom she so long honoured with her tion of Leicester had wounded her pride~we might heart !" friendship and -

almost add her affection ; for there is little doubt * Your heart, Leicester ?" repeated the queen, in “ Love!” added the lady, concluding the sentence that, at this period of her life, she was warmly at- a softened tone. for him; “my lord ! my lord ! I blush for your tached to him.

“Ay, my heart !" repeated the noble; "it has credulity!"

“ A crown!" she murmured bitterly to herself. been presumptuous-mad! Sometimes, in my The haughty noble looked surprised and dis- " And I am to help him to it! I would sooner see frenzy, Elizabeth, I would uncrown you, to bring pleased.

him dead -- headless, like his father-than in the you nearer to my level, that I might love with hope ! “You, of all men,” continued the speaker--who arms of Mary! The very thought of such a union I deserve your anger-death-anything but banishknew the character and temper of Elizabeth—“to adds to the hate I bear her!"

ment from your presence: I have not deserved that!" have been so deceived! She hates her cousin, both There was a slight knock at the door of the “ The Queen of Scots "whispered the queen, as a sovereign and a woman. To pleasure her she apartment.

“ with her hand can confer a crown upon the man would not part with a dog she valued-much less The speaker rose from her seat, and, advancing she weds!' the man she loved. You are nearer to the tower to one of the mirrors set in frames of filagree silver “ But not the hand I loved !” said Leicester, than Holyrood-your head is more likely to become --a present from the Venetian republic-carefully raising Elizabeth's to bis lips ;“ what heed I of a title acquainted with the axe, my lord, than the crown arranged the jewels in her hair and person, and which would be a mockery to my heart? No, Elimatrimonial of Scotland !”

forced her features to wear a smile; we say forced, zabeth-no! Poor Robert Dudley, the creature of “ You jest!” exclaimed the nobleman, whose for it was no deeper than her lips.

your bounty, only asks to live and die next to the confidence, however, in his rising fortune was con- Satisfied that all traces of her recent emotion, idol of his dreams-he has no wish to wear a siderably shaken.

had disappeared, she re-seated herself, and struck crown!"

« PreviousContinue »