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of a remarkable honesty; gentle in his behaviour, upright in his conduct, and chivalrous in his disposition : yet was he a thorough courtier, as will anon be made manifest to the reader.
He was young; that is to say, of some thirty years or so; and being of a handsome figure and countenance, his apparel, though it lacked the splendour of Sir Walter Raleigh's, was evidently worn to set them off to the best advantage.
“ Odds pittikins, Sir Walter," exclaimed he, laughingly, as he recovered himself from the shock, " dost take me for a Spanish galleon, that thou runnest me down in this pitiless fashion ?”
“ Thy pardon, my good lord,” replied Sir Walter, as he held out his hand, which the other shook with all the fervour of old friendship, “Lord Henry Howard hath so proved himself the queen's good soldier, as to make it impossible for any one to take him for a Spaniard."
“ Nay, thou flatterest me there,” said the Lord Howard, with an appearance of considerable modesty, “I did but follow the example of that worthy and approved good knight, Sir Walter Raleigh,-and but at a humble distance, as all must who would tread in his valiant footsteps. But, confess--confess thee, man! wert thou not dreaming of another armada, and wert intent on boarding the biggest ship of them all, when thou didst bear down upon me with thy whole broadside so courageously ?"
“ Indeed, my lord, I was thinking of a different matter," replied his companion.
“ I doubt thee hugely,” responded the other, shaking his head, “for 'tis so much in thyfashion. Then wert thou busying thymost fruitful imagination in search of new discoveries, and, instead of steering into some delectable bay, full of all enticing prospects, thou of a sudden didst drop thy anchor upon my new doublet :-was it not so ?”
“ Thou art again in the wrong, my lord,” replied Sir Walter, smiling ; “I was on no such voyage. I am bound to her majesty, where my attendance is required. If nothing better await thy pleasure, will it please thee walk with me, my lord ?”
“ I am infinitely gratified by thy courtesy,” said Lord Henry, with a most courtier-like inclination of his head, as he proceeded alongside of his companion, “and will do myself that honour. The queen is expected in the presence chamber, on her return from the council; and I was but making a stroll in the mean while, when thou didst me the especial favour of nearly running me down. But what a superlative taste thou hast in thy appointments," suddenly exclaimed he, as he noticed the splendid attire of Sir Walter ; “'tis most exquisitely fashioned, and of a very dainty conceit.
“Dost like it, my lord ?” enquired Raleigh, carelessly.
“ On mine honour, I admire it hugely,” responded his lordship, with a vast shew of admiration. • I marvel not thou shouldst be the
very model of dress amongst us, for thou art truly delicate in the choice of thy fabrics, and infinitely curious in the manner in which they are to be worn. I do know certain lord who would give his ears, had he thy apprehension of these things."
"Be his ears so long then, that he would get rid of them for so
trifling a result ?” asked his companion, with some affectation of seriousness.
“In truth thou hast hit it,” exclaimed the Lord Howard, with a hearty laugh. “ Between ourselves, he is marvellously apt to play Midas to thy Apollo.”
“By what name goeth he ?” enquired Sir Walter; “ for as far as my penetration susliceth, I know of none such." “ Dost not know the Earl of Essex ?” whispered the other.
Most assuredly do I, for a gentleman of many noble qualities,” replied Raleigh.
"I tell thee, out of friendship, he doth affect thee not at all,” said his lordship, in the same low voice.
“ Then hath some villain slandered me to him," observed his companion, quickly; "for, although he hath his faults-as who hath not ? I do believe him to be of a right honourable nature.”
“I have ofttimes heard him speak slightingly of thee, Sir Walter -by this hand have I,” continued his lordship, with increased emphasis, yet still in a subdued tone.
"Thou must have mistaken his meaning, surely,” responded the other, “I have done him no offence. But he may speak slightingly of me without disparagement, my good lord, for possibly I may not have done sufficient to deserve his eulogy."
“I tell thee, in friendship and in secresy, noble Raleigh-for it be dangerous to say anything against one so high in favour—that he hath disparaged thee villanously, ever since thy quarrel with that ruflianly follower of his, Sir Roger Williams.”
“Ha!” exclaimed Sir Walter, turning round quickly, and looking his companion full in the face.
"Thou hast done too much to please him, noble Raleigh : thy gallant actions are ever before his eyes—thy well deserved praises are continually ringing in his ears. He must make comparisons; and whenever he doth compare himself with thee, either in appearance, in wisdom, or in honourable deeds, he findeth himself at a disadvantage; and that doth fret him hugely. Thou knowest he is proud-and that proud men are vain-and that vain men are apt to undervalue the qualities they do not themselves possess. Marvel not, therefore, that he doth not appreciate thee according to thy exceeding merits. I tell thee this, out of my infinite love for thee, wishing to put thee on thy guard.”
"I am much beholden to thee for thy consideration," replied Sir Walter, as if musing upon what he had heard ; "and yet he hath always been, to all appearance, most friendly disposed towards me."
“ To all appearance, I grant,” added his lordship, dwelling in a marked manner upon the words; “ but thou mayest rely upon what I have stated. Use it as it pleaseth thee, noble Raleigh ; but well convinced am I, that what I have said out of affection, thou wilt employ after such a fashion as may not be likely to do me an injury.”
“Depend on it, thy interests shall be well cared for,” responded Sir Walter.
The preceding conversation continued whilst the parties proceeded along sundry passages and through various suites of rooms magnificently furnished, and crowded with courtiers and others strolling about or discoursing of the news one with another. They at last advanced into a room adjoining the presence chamber-a noble apartment hung round with costly tapestry, and strewed with fresh rushes, into which came thronging the archbishops and bishops, ambassadors, nobles, counsellors of state, and others of the mighty of the land. Presently it was whispered that the queen was a-coming, and thereupon way was made for her majesty, just as the gentlemen pensioners with their gilt battle-axes and richly embroidered vests were observed approaching. After these went certain noblemen of the queen's household, knights of the garter, and the officers of her council walking in their costly robes bare-headed—among whom was the chancellor bearing the seals in a red silk purse—having on one side of him an officer of state carrying the royal sceptre, and on the other another of the like rank bearing the sword of state with the point upwards, in a scabbard of crimson velvet plentifully studded with golden fleurs-de-lis.
Next came our sovereign lady Queen Elizabeth, very majestic in her deportment, and although getting into the decline of life, still very pleasant to look upon; for her face if it was a little wrinkled was fair ; her eyes small and lively; her nose somewhat aquiline; and her lips though thin were continually adorned with a gracious smile. She wore much false hair of a red hue-a colour she greatly affected, and upon her head a small crown of a very precious gold richly worked. In her ears were rare pearls with pendants of exceeding value ; and on her bosom, which, in consequence of her dress being worn low, was much exposed, was a necklace of jewels of an excellent fine water, with an oblong collar of gold and precious stones above ; she was attired in white silk daintily bordered with pearls remarkable for their size and beauty, over which was a mantle of black silk shot with silver threads ; having a train of marvellous length and of a corresponding costly material borne by divers of the ladies of her court. As she advanced every head was uncovered, and those nearest to her did kneel on one knee, some of whom who had letters to deliver she raised and spoke to graciously, and as a mark of particular favour to one Bohemian baron, who had come to present certain credentials, she did pull off her glove and gave him her right hand to kiss, all sparkling with jewelled rings.
Thus she proceeded in all this beautiful magnificence, winning the hearts of her dutiful subjects by her very gracious condescension, and speaking to many foreigners with the same notable courtesy in French, Italian, Spanish, or Dutch, as it might happen, to their infinite wonder and delight; followed by a beautiful throng of the ladies of her court, each handsomely attired, though mostly in white, with the addition of some display of jewellery: and a guard of gentlemen pensioners like that which preceded them, till she entered the presence chamber to give audience to those ambassadors and ministers who had come on pressing business.
But if in living colours and right hue
Thyself thou covet to see pictured,
Than that sweet verse with nectar sprinkled ;
In which a gracious servant pictured
That with his melting sweetness ravished,
I marle what pleasure or selicity they have in taking this roguish tobacco. Its good for nothing but to choke a man, and fill him full of smoke and embers; there were four died out of one house last week with taking of it, and two more the bell went for yesternight; one of them they say will never scape it, he voided a bushel of soot yesterday upward and downward.
The queen of England having retired from the presence chamber, sat in her withdrawing room on a well carved chair, having cushions covered with crimson velvet, whereon the royal arms were embroidered in gold; resting her feet upon a footstool of a like material --and around her were the select companions of her privacy. Instead of her crown, she now wore a piramidal head dress built of wire, lace, ribands, and jewels. The chamber was of handsome proportions, hung with costly tapestry, on which was very fairly depicted the principal events in the Iliad, and besides such necessary furniture, as chairs, tables, and cabinets elaborately chiselled into every kind of cunning device, the panels of the richiy decorated wainscot did contain full length portraits of the late king's highness of glorious memory, Henry the Eighth, with his illustrious consort Anna Boleyn, in dark ebony frames, and done to the life with all the limner's
The whole party seemed to be in an excellent good humour, es-pecially her majesty, who led the example by laughing loud and long, as she sat before two open glass doors that looked into a garden daintily laid out in long shady walks, while leaning upon the edge of the door almost outside of the room as it were, stood Sir Walter Raleigh, against whom, evidently all the mirth was directed; who, with a grave countenance continually disturbed by the merriment of his associates, in which he ever and anon joined right heartily, kept smoking a long pipe, and watching the fumes as he puffed them into the air.
“Ah, thou hast small cause to look after the fumes, for thou wilt be in a fine fume thyself presently," said her majesty, and the courtiers and the ladies thereat did laugh more than ever.
“Please your majesty,” replied Sir Walter, taking the pipe from his mouth, and laughing with the rest-"My fumes are perfumes; and if ever I exhibit any other fumes in your majesty's gracious presence, I should be deserving of banishment, which would make me in a fume indeed.”
“ Thou wilt lose thy wager, Sir Walter Raleigh-which will put thy pipe out, depend on't," added the queen-at which witty conceit the courtiers were again in raptures.
“My pipe will be out arton, please your majesty," responded Sir Walter in the same jocose spirit. " But I shall have the honour of winning a purse of gold of the most bountiful sovereign that subject ever had.”
“ Odds bodikins, man, thou art mad sure!" exclaimed the queen good humouredly. “How canst expect to win such a mad wagerunless peradventure thou seekest to amuse thyself by playing upon us some trick-which if thou dost, by our halidom, thou shalt smoke for it in right earnest.” Thereupon the laugh went round as before, and all in audible whispers did commend her majesty's wit most liberally.
“Nay, I should be unworthy to breathe in so estimable a presence were I to make so bold,” replied Raleigh gravely. “And for fear that your majesty should misunderstand my meaning, I will recal the terms of the wager-in the doing of which this noble company will correct me if I say anything in error. Your majesty out of your gracious condescension, hath wagered me a purse of gold against my Barbary courser, that from a certain quantity of this precious tobacco that I have before all these honourable persons weighed and put in my pipe to smoke, I shall not be able to tell the exact weight of the smoke that escapes.
Why, thou foolish gull, how canst tell the weight of anything that escapes ?" asked the queen with a merry malicious glance, and to the infinite amusement of her circle. "Canst catch the smoke after it hath mingled with the air, and press it into thy scales ! We did think that thou hadst more wit than to undertake such a thing, and when thou first spoke of it, fancying thou wert taking the traveller's privilege, we laid this wager with thee on purpose to have a laugh at thy expense. O’my faith thy Barbary courser is as good as lost; but though it be taking but a barbarous advantage of thee, we must e'en accept of it.”
“Please your majesty, perhaps he hath the wonderful seven league boots, and meaneth quickly to overtake his smoke,” observed a very Jovely young gentlewoman who stood by the side of the queen's chair.
“Nay, Lady Blanche Somerset,” replied her majesty, joining in the general laugh, “he must be a bird if he means to come up with it, for smoke hath the property to ascend—as thou seest."
“Methinks Sir Walter be nothing else but a bird,” said Mistress Alice, with an exceeding grave face.
“Why so, child ?” asked the queen.
“ Doth not your majesty perceive he hath a very owl-like look ?” added her attendant archly; to the manifest increase of the mirth of the company, the which Sir Walter regarded only as if he had more to laugh at than they,