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MRS. E-- B-,


Apelles, prince of painters, did
All others in that art exceed:
But you surpass him, for he took
Some pains and time to draw a look;


tercourse of three months was not without its effect, and that the Queen felt strong emotions of regret for that denial, which she was perhaps under the necessity of giving, in order to satisfy her subjects. From a manuscript in the Ashmolean Museum the lines are transcribed ; whether they have previously appeared in print, I know not: I am willing to believe them original, from internal evidence, yet I cannot perfectly divest myself of suspicion. Unfortunately the most material word in the MS. is illegible; for after the signature of Eliza Regina, the following words, informing us of the subject on which the verses were written, occur : “ Upon Moun---s departure,” the word Moun--s being half obliterated. On my first inspection of them, I had conceived they might have been composed on Elizabeth's quarrel with Essex, who, of all her favourites, attracted most of her personal affection, perhaps on his departure for his command in Ireland: but upon looking over Stow's account of the Duke of Alençon's visit to England, I have had reason to alter my opinion; as I think I have discovered the real origin of the verses, and believe the obliterated word in the MS, to be Mounsieur.

Stow's account is as follows: “ These Lords (the Ambassadors from France), after divers secret conferences amongst themselves, and returne of sundry letters into France, signifying the Queenes declination from marriage, and the peoples unwillingness to match that way, held it most convenient that the Duke should come in proper person, whose presence they thought in such affaires might prevaile more than all their oratory: and thereupon, the first of November, the sayd Prince came over in person, very princely accompanied and attended, though not in such glorious manner, as were the above-named commissioners, whose entertainment, in all respects, was equivalent unto his


You, in a trice and moment's space,
Have pourtray'd in my heart your face.

J. Howell's Poems, Edit. 1664.

estate and dignity. By this time his picture, state, and titles were advanced in every stationer's shop, and many other publique places, by the name of Frauncis of Valois, Duke of Alanson, heire apparent of France, and brother to the French King: but he was better knowne by the name of Monsieur, unto all sorts of people, than by all his other titles. During his abode in England, be used all princely meanes to prefer his suite, and in his carriage demeaned himselfe like a true borne prince, and the heir of Fraunce: and when hee had well observed the Queene's full determination to continue a single life, hee pacified himselfe, admiring ber rare vertues and high perfections.

* **** **** * The Queene in all respects shewed as great kindness unto the Duke, and all his retinew, at their departure, as at any time before, and for period of her princely favours, in that bebalfe, shee, with great state, accompanied the Duke in person to Canterburie : where she feasted him and all his traine very royally, and then returned. The next day being the sixt of February, the Duke, with his French Lords and others, imbarked at Sandwich," &c. Annales, p. 690, Edit. 1631.

Their marriage articles were drawn up, as may be seen in Camden's Annals, p. 392, Hearne's edit. The same writer also mentions a very close intimacy as subsisting between them. “ Vis pudici amoris inter amatoria colloquia eò provexerit, ut annulum suo digito detractum Andini (Anjou, one of his titles) imposuerit, certis quibusdam legibus inter ipsos adhibitis.” p. 375. As dead queens rank but with meaner mortals, we may assert, without much fear of contradiction, that little else can now be gratified by the perusal of Elizabeth's poetry than mere curiosity. Her pretensions to notice on this head are pretty much on a par with her pretensions to beauty. Yet in both these subjects, slender as they were, the poets and the courtiers of her age found sources for panegyric the most inexhaustible.

Spenser concludes his Tears of the Muses with a compliment to her in her poetical character, where he calls her a peerless poetess. And in his Colin Clout he says of her,

Whose grace was great, and bounty most rewardful,

Besides her peerless skill in making well. Another poet of her age has hazarded a very singular compliment in the following lines :

She with the seed of Jove, the Muses nine,
So frequent was in her years youthful prime,
That she of them had learned power divine


Not stayed state, but feeble stay,
Not costly robes, but bare array;
Not passed wealth, but present want,
Not heaped store, but slender scant,
Not plenty's purse, but poor estate,
Not happy hap, but froward fate;
Not wish at will, but want of joy,
Not heart's good health, but heart's annoy:
Not freedom's use, but prisoners' thrall,;
Not costly seat, but lowest fall:
Not weal I mean, but wretched woe
Doth truly try the friend from foe:
And nought but froward fortune proves,
Who fawning feigns, or simply loves.

From the Paradise of Dainty Devyses,

Fol. 1, 3, signed M. Yloop.

To quell proud love, if love at any time
In her pure breast aloft began to clime.

England's Eliza, by R. Niccols, Edit. 1610. If we may credit an old sinner of antiquity on this subject, the poets are the very last teachers of abstinence; hear Ovid, who may be fairly supposed to have had some little experience in these matters :

Eloquar invitus : teneros ne tange Poetas,

Submoveo dotes impius ipse meas, Rem. Amor. 727.



Where is this love become in later age?
Alas! 'tis gone in endless pilgrimage
From hence, and never to return, I doubt,
Till revolution wheel those times about;
Chill breasts have starv'd her here, and she is driven
Away; and with Astræa fled to heaven.
Poor Charity, that naked babe, is gone,
Her honey's spent, and all her store is done;
Her wingless bees can find out ne'er a bloom,
And crooked Até doth usurp her

room; Nepenthe's dry, and Love can get no drink, And cursed Arden flows above the brink.

A Feast for Wormes, by F. Quarles,

Med. v.


O chastity, the flower of the soul,

How is thy perfect fairness turn'd to foul !
How are thy blossoms blasted all to dust,
By sudden lightning of untamed lust!

How hast thou thus defild thy iv'ry feet!
Thy sweetness that was once, how far from sweet!
Where are thy maiden smiles, thy blushing cheek?
Thy lamb-like countenance, so fair, so meek?
Where is that spotless flower that while-ere
Within thy lily-bosom thou didst wear?
Has wanton Cupid snatch'd it, hath bis dart
Sent courtly tokens to thy simple heart ?
Where dost thou bide? the country half disclaims thee,
The city wonders when a body names thee:
Or have the rural woods engross’ thee there,
And thus forestallid our empty markets here?
Sure thou art not, or kept where no man shows thee,
Or chang'd so much, scarce man or woman knows thee.

Hist. of Queen Ester, by F. Quarles.



What I shall leave thee none can tell,
But all shall say I wish thee well:
I wish thee Vin before all wealth,
Both bodily and ghostly health;
Nor too much wealth, nor wit come to thee,
So much of either may undo thee.
I wish thee learning, not for show,
Enough for to instruct, and know;
Not such as gentlemen require
To prate at table, or at fire.
I wish thee all thy mother's graces,
Thy father's fortunes, and his places.

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