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readily, “it was not in battles their greatness has been gained, but in courts." The captain looked exceeding disdainfully. “They have been great politicians, and in wonderful repute throughout these kingdoms for wisdom in all matters of state. First, there is he who is now in talk with her Highness, who is looked upon almost as her shadow. See how stately he holds himself, yet how reverently he listens! That is Sir William Cecil. The two that are close beside him are somewhat his seniors, and are famously esteemed for their learning and wisdom; truly, they look as though they could see as far into a millstone as the man that made it, their looks are of such infinite sagacity. These are no other than Sir Nicholas Throgmorton and Sir Nathaniel Bacon. But he that is a little apart from them, scanning the faces of his neighbours so monstrous curiously, is Sir Ralph Sadler; one of such subtlety, he is thought not to have his match any where. Then, he in the sand-coloured beard - but you heed not, master captain.” Nor in truth had he heeded a word more, when he discovered the persons considered to be of such greatness, had won it in other manner than at the point of the sword. His eyes were glancing over the crowd in search of the notablest commanders, whom he was not slow in recognising, and then in his turn, he told of their history, and that, too, at some length. Nor did he find his companion in the least unwilling to listen to his narrative, but, instead, devouring up his every word with an earnestness that would allow of no part escaping. In the midst, however, of this interesting discourse, the old commander was forced to a sudden silence. The Speaker of the House of Commons had delivered himself, with great solemnity and no lack of eloquence, of the message of the Parliament, to which her Highness seemed to listen with an attentiveness, that to all around gave hope of a favourable result. At the conclusion there was such perfect silence throughout the gallery, that a whisper might have been heard from one end to the other. It was then, with an air of exceeding majesty, and a graveness of look that well became her speech, in a clear and not unpleasing voice, she thus replied —

“ From my years of understanding, knowing myself a servitor of Almighty God, I chose this kind of life, in which I do yet live, as a life most acceptable to him, wherein I thought I could best serve him, and with most quietness do my duty unto him. From which my choice, if either ambition of high estate offered unto me by marriages (whereof I have records in this presence), the displeasure of the prince, the eschewing the danger of mine enemies, or the avoiding the peril of death (whose messenger, the prince's indignation, was no little time continually present before mine eyes, by whose means, if I knew, or do justly suspect, I will not now utter them; or, if the whole cause were my sister herself, I will not now charge the dead), could have drawn or dissuaded


I had not now remained in this virgin's estate wherein you see me. But so constant have I always continued in this my determination, that although my words and youth may seem to some hardly to agree together, yet it is true, that to this day I stand free from any other meaning, that either I have had in time past, or have at this present. In which state and trade of living wherewith I am so thoroughly acquainted God hath so hitherto preserved me, and hath so watchful an eye upon me, and so hath guided me and led me by the hand, as my full trust is, he will not suffer me to go

alone." These sentiments were listened to by her anxious subjects with a disappointment it is scarce possible for me to describe, and she continued in a vein still less to any one's contentation-sounding like a reproof to her Parliament, for going out of the proper path of their duties to interfere with so delicate a matter, and concluding a speech of a famous length by saying, “ And for me it shall be sufficient, that a marble stone declare that a queen having reigned such a time, lived and died a virgin.

Of all that stately company, there was not one who left the great gallery that day, but in an especial marvelling of the Queen's dislike of a husband. They knew not what those fine-sounding sentences concealed. The Lord Admiral and the handsome Courtenay had gone

clean out of date.



By WILLIAM ANDERSON, Esq., Author of " Landscape

Lyrics," 8c.

In the reign of James the First, the pedant monarch of these realms,--who, had he been compelled by any cause to descend from his throne, would doubtless have become a schoolmaster, like Dionysius the Tyrant--the “Three Tuns," in Newgate-market, was a noted resort of the citizens of London, and particularly of the gallants and revellers of Holborn and the neighbourhood. In those days, even more than now, a tavern was the usual and daily haunt of men of all classes; so much so, indeed, as to be somewhat quaintly described by Earle, one of the writers of that age, as the common consumption of the afternoon, and the murderer or maker-away of a rainy day; the busy man's recreation, the idle man's business, the melancholy man's sanctuary, the stranger's welcome, the inns-of-court man's entertainment, the scholar's kindness, and the citizen's courtesy. It is the study of sparkling wits, and a cup of canary their book.” This popular habit of visiting the tavern continued during the early part of the reign of Charles the First, and until the civil wars broke out, which destroyed the confidence of parties in each other, and, for the time, put an end to social enjoyment every where.

A tavern has ever, in “merry England,” been considered as peculiarly the region of independence and freedom, and on this account it has always been the favourite retreat of our comfort-loying and ceremony. detesting countrymen. The lines are well-known :

To thee, fair freedom, I retire

From flattery, cards, and dice, and din;
Nor art thou found in marsions higher

Than the low cot or humble inn.


"Whoe'er has travelled life's dull round,

Where'er his stages may have been,
May sigh to think he still has found

The warmest welcome at an inn !”

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Tavern life, however, is not now what it was in former times; in the days of Shakspeare, for instance, or, later, of Pope and the wits of Button's. Even the great moralist, Dr. Samuel Johnson, did not disdain to unbend his ungainly dignity at his club in Ivy-lane, of which he was himself the founder;. and the supper entertainment which he induced the members to give to Mrs. Lenox, at the Devil Tavern, on the publication of her novel of “Harriet Stuart," when they “kept it up" till eight o'clock next morning, showed that the solemn Doctor enjoyed, in a high degree, the literary intercourse and exchange of sentiment which ought to be the distinguishing

feature of all such occasions. It may be true that ease and liberty may still be enjoyed to a greater degree, perhaps, in a tavern than any where else; but people have, of late years, become so mercantile in their views, and so unsocial in their manners, that the real “ feast of reason and flow of soul," which, in days when “the march of intellect" was as yet unheard of in this land, formed the usual recreation of the great minds of our literature, and

of them have fondly taken occasion to commemorate in some part or other of their writings, have passed away, we fear, for ever, with the illustrious names whose bearers seemed to have derived their best enjoyment from social converse with men of kindred spirit and genius. What a different aspect do the modern club-houses present to those glorious symposia of old. Compare the Mermaid with the Albion, the Kit-Kat with Crockford's ! Hyperion to a satyr!” Well might Beaumont exclaim

What things have we seen
Done at the Mermaid! Heard words that have been
So nimble, and so full of subtle flame,
As if that every one from whom they came

Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest." No less a man than Raleigh founded the Mermaid-his thoughts ever running on the sea,--and the more wild

which many



and wonderful the subject of them, the more attractive to his fancy-and the word, as the distinguishing name of a convivial meeting of poets and literary men, has become immortal with


of the members who composed it. And who were they? Foremost among

them was Shakspeare-a name for all time. And next to him were, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher (inseparable here, as in authorship), Carew, Selden, Donne, Ned Alleyne, the player, and some “lesser luminaries.” It was here where those “ keen encounters of their wit" passed between the great bard and “rare Ben,” which have been mentioned by Fuller, and may be found referred to occasionally in contemporaneous literature. Can we doubt that the wit, if not the victory, was always on the side of Shakspeare? Fuller, in his own expressive style, says, “Many were the wit combates between Shakspeare and Ben Jonson. I behold them like a Spanish great galleon and an English man of war. Master Jonson, like the former, was built far higher in learning--solid, but slow in his performances. Shakspeare, like the latter, lesser in bulk, but lighter in sailing, could turn with all tides, tack about, and take advantage of all winds, by the quickness of his wit and invention."

The contest, indeed, between these master-dramatists must have been, in almost every respect, strikingly great. Even in their productions this is apparent. The one was in his genius, as in his disposition and manners, all gentleness and goodness; the other, though in the main good-natured and hearty, was rough, rude, and by no means disposed to think the best of mankind. In nothing, perhaps, is the difference between them more remarkable than in the delineations of character which may be found in their works. Al Shakspeare's self-created personations are of an agreeable, amiable cast; while, in most of Jonson's plays, an attempt is made to throw, as it were, a slur on the better features of our nature. But to our tale.

One day in the month of September, in the year of grace 1628, towards the hour of the Threepenny Ordinary—that is, near the hour of noon--about a score of persons, consisting principally of the better sort of

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