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vanity. These festivities were contrived by her subjects, not ordered by herself; and she was, in politeness, obliged to listen to the eulogiums of her people, even though the subject were in praise of herself."
"That is true," replied Mr. Wilmot; "but I think you will alter your opinion, when you have the account of the entertainments that were conducted by the queen, in honour of the proposals of marriage made to her by the duke of Anjou,
"She caused to be erected, on the southwest side of the palace of Whitehall, a vast hanqueting-house, made of timber, covered with canvass, and painted on the outside with a work called rustic, resembling stone. It was lighted with two hundred and ninety-two windows; whilst, from festoons of ivy and holly, hung pendants of flowers, mixed with fruits of various kinds; amongst which, pomegranates, oranges, pompions, cucumbers, grapes, and carrots are named. The whole was spangled with gold; whilst, between the festoons, appeared the ceiling, painted with a sky, sun, sunbeams, and stars, intermingled with scutcheons of the royal arms. Three hundred and seventy workmen were employed in its construction, and one
thousand seven hundred and forty-four pounds expended upon it.
"In this artificial palace the French ambassadors were received, and most 'royally banqueted and feasted' by the maiden queen; whilst her ministers were employed in drawing up, by her command, the marriage articles.
"Meanwhile, several of the gentlemen and nobles, anxious to participate m the gay illusion and courtly pleasures of the day, agreed amongst themselves, to prepare a triumph; 'the sumptuous service of which, and the valiant manner of performing it, redounding,' according to Holinshed,'to their endless fame and honour.' The plan was as follows:
"The young earl of Arundel, lord Windsor, Philip Sidney, and Fulke Greville, called themselves the four foster-children of Desire; and to that end of the tilt-yard where the queen was seated, their refined homage gave the name of the Fortress of Perfect Beauty. This castle her majesty was summoned to surrender, in an adulatory message, conveyed by a boy, dressed in red and white, the colours of Desire; and it is not the least part of this singular entertainment, that the first message was delivered to her on a Sunday, as she returned from chapel.
"On her refusal, a day was fixed for the celebration of the pageant; and on that morning, a mount, placed upon wheels, was rolled into the tilt-yard, and the four cavaliers, in superb armour and accoutrements, and each at the head of a splendid troop, rode into the yard. When they had passed, in military order, before the queen, the boy who had given her the former defiance, addressed her again, in a strain so quaint and fulsome, that it would neither tend to your improvement nor pleasure, were I to repeat it.
"When this harangue was finished, (during the recital of which, music was heard within the mount, and the mount itself rose up in height,) the device was moved close to the queen, the music sounded, and one of the boys, accompanied by cornets, sung a fresh summons to the fortress; and when that was ended, another boy, turning to the foster-children and their retinue, sung an alarm, 'with a pleasant voice .and a seemly countenance: which ended, the cannons were shot off, the one with sweet powder, and the other with sweet water, very odoriferous and pleasant; and the noise of the shooting was very excellent concent of melody within the mount. And after that, was store of pretty scaling-ladders, and the footmen threw flowers, and such fancies, against the walls, with all such devices as might seem fit shot for Desire: all which did continue till the time the defendants came in.'
"These were about twenty in number, and each accompanied by his servants. Amongst them was Sir Henry Leigh, who came running in as unknown; and, after breaking six lances, went out again. Of this gentleman I shall have occasion to speak hereafter. Trumpeters and pages attended, and speeches were severally delivered to the queen, on the part of these knights, several of whom assumed fantastic characters; and surely none more so than Sir Thomas Perrot and Anthony Cook, who thought proper to personate Adam and Eve; being begirt with apples and fruit, and the latter having hair hung all down his helmet. These knights 'were accompanied by an angel.'
"The messengers, on the part of Sir Thomas Ratcliff, described their master 'as a forlorn knight, whom despair of achieving the fate of his peerless and sunlike mistress, had driven out of the haunts of men, into a cave of the desert, where moss was his bed, moss his ceiling, moss his candle, and moss, watered with salt tears, his food.' Even here, the report of this assault on the fortress of Peerless Beauty, reached his ears, and roused him from his solitude—from bondage to a living death; and, in token of his devoted loyalty and inviolable fidelity to his excellent and divine lady, he had sent her his shield, hewn out of the hard cliff", only enriched with moss; which he begged her to accept, as the ensign of her fame, and the instrument of his glory; prostrating himself at her feet, as ready to undertake any adventures, in hopes of her gracious favour.
"On the part of the four sons of Sir Thomas Knolles, Mereury appeared, and described them as the legitimate sons of Despair, brethren to hard mishap, suckled with sighs, and swathed up in sorrow, weaned in woe, and drynursed by Desire; long time fostered with favourable countenance, and fed with sweet fancies; but now, of late, alas! wholly given over by grief and disgrace, with despair, &c
"The speeches being ended, probably to the relief of the hearers, the tilting commenced, and continued till night, with some fresh circumstances of magnificence, and a few more harangues. At length the challengers presented to their sovereign an olive bough, in token of their humble submission; and both