Imatges de pàgina

there be at such times in Mervyn's Bower, right as it were over our heads, till the matter of two quarts of distilled waters has not been enough to keep my lads and me together. »

« Pshaw, man! » replied Lambourne, on whom his last draught, joined to repeated visitation of the pitcher upon former occasions, began to make some innovation, « thou speak’st thou know'st not what about spirits. No one knows justly what to say about them; and, in short, least said may in that matter be soonest amended. Some men believe in one thing, some in another-it is all matter of fancy. I have known them of all sorts, my dear Lawrence Lock-the-Door, and sensible men too. There's a great lord we'll pass his name, Lawrence-he believes in the stars and the moon, the planets and their courses, and so forth, and that they twinkle exclusively for his benefit; when in sober, or rather in drunken truth, Lawrence, they are only shining to keep honest fellows like me out of the kennel. Well, sir, let his humour pass, he is great enough to indulge it. — Then look ye, there is another - a very learned man, I promise you, and can vent Greek and Hebrew as I can Thieves'-latinhe has an humour of sympathies and antipathies-of changing lead into gold and the like--why, via, let that pass too, and let him pay those in transmigrated coin , who are fools enough to let it be current with them. Then here comest thou thyself, another great man, though neithêr learned nor noble , yet full six feet high, and thou, like a purblind mole, must needs believe in ghosts and goblins, and such like. — Now, there is, besides, a great man--that is, a great little man, or a little great man, my dear Lawrence - and his name begins with V. and what believes he? Why nothing , honest Lawrence — nothing in earth, heaven, or hell; and for my part, if I believe there is a devil, it is only because I think there must be some one to catch our friend by the back « when soul and body sever, » as the ballad says—for your antecedent will have a consequent-raro antecedentem, as Doctor Bricham was wont to say—But this is Greek to you now, honest Lawrence, and in sooth learning is dry work - Hand me the pitcher once more. » 12; «In faith, if you drink more, Michael , » said the Warder, you will be in sorry case, either to play Arion or to wait on your master on such a solemn night; and I expect each moment to hear the great bell toll for the muster at Mortimer's Tower, to receive the Queen.»

- While Staples remonstrated , Lambourne drank; and then setting down the pitcher, which was nearly emptied, with a deep sigh, he said, in an under tone, which soon rose to a high one as his speech proceeded , « Never mind, Lawrence - if I be drunk, I know that shall make Varney uphold me sober. But, as I said, never mind, I can carry my drink discreetly. Moreover, I am to go on the water as Orion, and shall take cold unless I take something comfortable before-hand. Not play Orion! Let us see the best roarer that ever strained his lungs for twelve pence outmouth me. What if they see me a little disguised ? —Wherefore should any man be sober to-night? answer me that—It is matter of loyalty to be merry-and I tell thee, there are those in the castle, who if they are not merry when drunk, have little chance to be merry when sober-I name no names, Lawrence. But your pottle of sack is a fine shoeing-horn to pull on a loyal humour, and a merry one. Huzza for Queen Elizabeth! -- for the noble Leicester! for the worshipful Master Varney!--and for Michael Lambourne, that can turn them all round his finger ! »

So saying, he walked down stairs, and across the inner court. : The Warder looked after him, shook his head, and, while he drew close and locked a wicket, which, crossing the stair-case, rendered it impossible for any one to ascend higher than the storey immediately beneath Mervyn's Bower, as Tressilian's chamber was named, he thus soliloquized with himself — « It's a good thing to be a favourite—I well nigh lost mine office, because one frosty morning Master Varney thought I smelled of aquavitæ; and this fellow can appear before him drunk as a wine-skin, and yet meet no rebuke. But then he is a pestilent clever fellow withal, and no one can understand above one half of what he says. »


Now bid the steeple rock-she comes , she comes ! —
Speak for us, bells - speak for us, shrill-tongued tuckets.
Stand to thy linstock, gunner; let thy cannon
Play such a peal, as if a paynim foe
Came stretch'd in turban'd ranks to storm the ramparts.
We will have pageants too--but that craves wit,
And I'm a rough-hewn soldier.

The Virgin Queen-a Tragi-Comedy.

TRESSILIAN, when Wayland had left him, as mentioned in the last chapter, remained uncertain what he ought next to do, when Raleigh and Blountcameup to him arm in arm, yet, according to their wont, very eagerly disputing together. Tressilian had no great desire for their society in the present state of his feelings, but there was no possibility of avoiding them; and indeed he felt that, bound by his promise not to approach Amy, or take any step in her behalf, it would be his best course at once to mix with general society, and to exhibit on his brow as little as he could of the anguish and uncertainty which sat heavy at his heart. He therefore made a virtue of necessity, and hailed his comrades with, « All mirth to you, gentlemen.Whence come ye?»

« From Warwick , to be sure, » said Blount; « we must needs home to change our habits, like poor players, who are fain to multiply their per

sons to outward appearance by change of suits; and you had better do the like, Tressilian.»

« Blount is right, » said Raleigh; « the Queen loves such marks of deference, and notices, as wanting in respect, those who, not arriving in her immediate attendance, may appear in their soiled and ruffled riding dress. But look at Blount himself, Tressilian, for the love of laughter, and see how his villainous tailor hath apparelled him - in blue, green, and crimson, with carnation ribbons, and yellow roses in his shoes! »

«Why, what would'st thou have?» said Blount. « I told the cross-legged thief to do his best, and spare no cost; and methinks these things are gay enough — gayer than thine own- I'll be judged by Tressilian.»

« I agree - I agree, » said Walter Raleigh. « Judge betwixt us, Tressilian, for the love of heaven ! »

Tressilian, thus appealed to , looked at them both, and was immediately sensible at a single glance, that honest Blount had taken upon the tailor's warrant the pied garments which he had chosen to make, and was as much embarrassed by the quantity of points and ribands which garnished his dress , as a clown is in a holiday suit; while the dress of Raleigh was a well-fancied and rich suit, which the wearer bore as a garb too well adapted to his elegant person to attract particular attention. Tressilian said, therefore, « That Blount's dress was finest, but Raleigh's the best fancied.»

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