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Leicester's first use of the familiarity to which the Queen had so publicly restored him was to ask her commands concerning Varney's offence. Although,” he said, “the fellow deserves nothing from me but displeasure, yet might I presume to intercede—"

“In truth, we had forgotten his matter," said the Queen ; “and it was ill done of us, who owe justice to our meanest, as well as to our highest subject. We are pleased, my lord, that you were the first to recall the matter to our memory. Where is Tressilian, the accuser !-- let him come before us,”

Tressilian appeared, and made a low and beseeming reverence. His person, as we have elsewhere observed, had an air of grace and even of nobleness, which did not escape Queen Elizabeth's critical observation. She looked at him with attention as he stood before her unabashed, but with an air of the deepest dejection.

"I cannot but grieve for this gentleman,” she said to Leicester. "I have inquired concerning him, and his presence confirms what I heard, that he is a scholar and a soldier, well accomplished both in arts and arms. We women, my lord, are fanciful in our choice-I had said now, to judge by the eye, there was no comparison to be held betwixt your follower and this gentleman, But Varney is a well-spoken fellow, and to say truth, that goes far with us of the weaker sex. Master Tressilian, a bolt lost is not a bow broken. Your true affection, as I will hold it to be, hath been, it seems, but ill requited; but you have scholarship, and you know there have been false Cressidas to be found, from the Trojan war downwards. Forget, good sir, this Lady Light o' Love-teach your affection to see with a wiser eye. Think of what that arch-knave Shakspere says-stay, how goes it?

Cressid was yours, tied with the bonds of heaven;
These bonds of heaven are slipt, dissolved, and loosed,
And with another knot five fingers tied,

The fragments of her faith are bound to Diomed. You smile, my Lord of Southampton-perchance I make your player's verse halt through my bad memory—but let it sutlice -let there be no more of this mad matter.”

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you, sirs,

And as Tressilian kept the posture of one who would willingly be heard, though, at the same time, expressive of the deepest reverence, the Queen added with some impatience—"What would the man have? The wench cannot wed both of you ! She has made her election—not a wise one, perchance—but she is Varney's wedded wife.”

“My suit should sleep there, most gracious Sovereign,” said Tressilian, “and with my suit my revenge.

But I hold this Varney's word no good warrant for the truth."

“Had that doubt been elsewhere urged,” answered Varney, “my sword_"

"Thy sword!" interrupted Tressilian scornfully; "with her Grace's leave, my sword shall show_"

Peace, you knaves, both !” said the Queen; “know you where you are? This comes of your feuds, my lords,” she added, looking towards Leicester and Sussex ; "your followers catch your own humour, and must bandy and brawl in my court, and in my very presence, like so many Matamoros. Look he that speaks of drawing swords in any other quarrel than mine or England's, by mine honour, I'll bracelet him with iron both on wrist and ankle! I must do justice betwixt the bold and mutinous knaves notwithstanding. My Lord of Leicester, will you warrant with your honour—that is, to the best of your belief—that your servant speaks truth in saying he hath married this Amy Robsart ?”

This was a home-thrust, and had nearly staggered Leicester. But he had now gone too far to recede, and answered, after a moment's hesitation, “To the best of my belief—indeed on my certain knowledge-she is a wedded wife."

"Gracious madam," said Tressilian, "may I yet request to know, when and under what circumstances this alleged marriage-"

“Out, sirrah," answered the Queen; "alleged marriage ! Have you not the word of this illustrious Earl to warrant the truth of what his servant says ? But thou art a loserthink'st thyself such at least-and thou shall have indulgence -We will look into the matter ourself more at leisure. My Lord of Leicester, I trust you remember we mean to taste the good cheer of your Castle of Kenilworth on this week ensuing

- we will pray you to bid our good and valued friend the Earl of Sussex to hold company with us there.”

“If the noble Earl of Sussex," said Leicester, "bowing to his rival with the easiest and with the most graceful courtesy, “ will so far honour my poor house, I will hold it an additional proof of the amicable regard it is your Grace's desire we should entertain towards each other."

Sussex was more embarrassed—"I should,” said he, "madam, be but a clog on your gayer hours, since my late severe illness.”

“ And have you been indeed so very ill ?” said Elizabeth, looking on him with more attention than before ; "you are in faith strangely altered, and deeply am I grieved to see it. But be of good cheer—we will ourselves look after the health of so valued a servant, and to whom we owe so much. Masters shall order your diet; and that we ourselves may see that he is obeyed, you must attend us in this progress to Kenilworth,"

This was said so peremptorily, and at the same time with so much kindness, that Sussex, however unwilling to become the guest of his rival, had no resource but to bow low to the Queen in obedience to her commands, and to express to Leicester, with blunt courtesy, though mingled with embarrassment, his acceptance of his invitation. As the Earls exchanged compliments on the occasion, the Queen said to her High Treasurer, “Methinks, my lord, the countenances of these our two noble peers resemble that of the two famed classic streams, the one so dark and sad, the other so fair and noble. My old Master Ascham would have chid me for forgetting the author. It is Cæsar, as I think. See what majestic calmness sits on the brow of the noble Leicester, while Sussex seems to greet him as if he did our will indeed, but not willingly.”

“The doubt of your Majesty's favour,” answered the Lord Treasurer, "may perchance occasion the difference, which does not—as what does ?-e

-escape your “Such doubt were injurious to us, my lord,” replied the Queen. 66 We hold both to be near and dear to us, and will with impartiality employ both in honourable service for the

Grace's eye.

weal of our kingdom. But we will break their further conference at present. My Lords of Sussex and Leicester, we have a word more with you. Tressilian and Varney are near your persons-you will see that they attend you at Kenilworth. And as we shall then have both Paris and Menelaus within our call, so we will have the same fair Helen also, whose fickleness has caused this broil, Varney, thy wife must be at Kenilworth, and forthcoming at my order. My Lord of Leicester, we expect you will look to this.”

The Earl and his follower bowed low, and raised their heads, without daring to look at the Queen, or at each other; for both felt at the instant as if the nets and toils which their own falsehood had woven were in the act of closing around them. The Queen, however, observed not their confusion, but proceeded to say, "My Lords of Sussex and Leicester, we require your presence at the privy-council to be presently held, where matters of importance are to be debated. We will then take the water for our divertisement, and you, my lo:ds, will attend us. And that reminds us of a circumstance, Do you, Sir Squire of the Soiled Cassock” (distinguishing Raleigh by a smile), “ fail not to observe that you are to attend us on our progress. You shall be supplied with suitable means to reform your wardrobe.”

And so terminated this celebrated audience, in which, as throughout her life, Elizabeth united the occasional caprice of her sex with that sense and sound policy in which neither man nor woman ever excelled her.

The Ghost of Strafford. (From John Inglesant,by kind permission of Messrs.

MacMillan & Co., Ltd.) History can furnish few events so startling and remarkable as the trial and death of Lord Strafford-events which, the more they are studied the more wonderful they appear. It is not easy to find words to express the miserable weakness and want of statesmanship which led to, and made possible, such an event; and one is almost equally surprised at the com paratively few traces of the sensation and consternation that such an event must have produced. I am not speaking of the justice or the injustice of the sentence, nor of the crime or innocence of the accused,-) speak only of a great minister and servant of the Crown, in whose policy and support the whole of the royal power, the whole strength of the national establishment, was involved and pledged. That such a man, by the simple clamour of popular opinion, should have been arrested, tried, and executed in a few days, with no effort but the most degrading and puny one made on his behalf by his royal master and friend, certainly must have produced a terror and excitement, one would think, unequalled in history. That the King never recovered from it is not surprising ; one would have thought he would never have held up his head again. That the royal party was amazed and confounded is not wonderful ; one would have thought it would have been impossible ever to have formed a royal party after wards. That there was no power in the country able to protect either the Lords or the Monarch in the discharge of their conscience seems too strange to be believed.

It was two nights after the execution, The guard was set at Whitehall and the "all night” served up. The word for the night was given, and the whole palace was considered as under the sole command of Inglesant, as the esquire in waiting. He had been round to the several gates and seen that the courts and ante-rooms were quiet and clear of idlers, and then came up into the ante-room outside the privy chamber, and sat down alone before the fire, In the room beyond him were two gentlemen of the privy chamber, who slept in small beds drawn across the door opening into the royal bedchamber beyond. The King was in his room, in bed, but not asleep; Lord Abergavenny, the gentleman of the bedchamber in waiting, was reading Shakespeare to him before he slept. Inglesant took out a little volume of the classics, of the series printed in Holland, which it was the custom of the gentlemen of the Court, and those attached to great nobles, to carry with them to read in ante chambers while in waiting. The night was perfectly still, and the whole palace wrapped in a profound

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