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XLI. RALEIGH'S FIRST INTERVIEW WITH QUEEN ELIZABETH. PART II.
1. The two rowers used their oars with such expedition at the signal of the Gentleman Pensioner, that they very soon brought their little skiff under the stern of the queen's boat, where she sat beneath an awning, attended by two or three ladies and the nobles of her household. She looked more than once at the wherry in which the young adventurer was seated, spoke to those around her, and seemed to laugh.
2. At length one of the attendants, by the queen's order apparently, made a sign for the wherry to come alongside, and the young man was desired to step from his own skiff into the queen's barge, which he performed with graceful agility at the fore part of the boat, and was brought aft to the queen's presence. The youth underwent the gaze of Majesty, not the less gracefully that his self-possession was mingled with embarrassment. The muddied cloak still hung on his arm, and formed the natural topic with which the queen introduced the conversation.
3. "You have this day spoiled a gay mantle in our service, young man. We thank you for your service, though the manner of offering it was unusual, and something bold."
4. "In a sovereign's need," answered the youth, "it is each liegeman's duty to be bold."
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5. "By my word, that was well said, my lord," said the queen, turning to a grave person who sat by her, and answered with a grave inclination of the head, and something of a mumbled assent. Well, young man, your gallantry shall not go unrewarded. Go to the wardrobe-keeper, and he shall have orders to supply the suit which you have cast away in our service. Thou shalt have a suit, and that of the newest cut, I promise thee, on the word of a princess."
6. "May it please your grace," said Walter, hesitating, "it is not for so humble a servant of your Majesty to measure out your bounties; but if it became me to choose "
7. "Thou wouldst have gold, I warrant me," said the queen, interrupting him; "fie, young man! I take shame to say, that, in our capital, such and so various are the means of thriftless folly, that to give gold to youth is giving fuel to fire, and furnishing them with the means of self-destruction. If I live and reign, those means of unchristian excess shall be abridged. Yet thou may'st be poor," she added, "or thy parents may be. It shall be gold, if thou wilt, but thou shalt answer to me for the use on't."
8. Walter waited patiently until the queen had done, and then modestly assured her that gold was still less in his wish than the raiment Her Majesty had before offered.
9. "How, boy!" said the queen, "neither gold nor garment? What is it thou wouldst have of me, then?" 10. "Only permission, madam-if it is not asking too high an honour-permission to wear the cloak which did you this trifling service."
11. Permission to wear thine own cloak, thou silly boy!" said the queen.
12. "It is no longer mine," said Walter; "when your Majesty's foot touched it, it became a fit mantle for a prince, but far too rich a one for its former owner."
13. The queen again blushed, and endeavoured to cover, by laughing, a slight degree of not unpleasing surprise and confusion.
I must know
14. "Heard you ever the like, my lords? head is turned with reading romances. something of him, that I may send him safe to his friends. What art thou?"
15. "Raleigh is my name, most gracious queen, the youngest son of a large but honourable family of Devonshire."
16. "Raleigh?" said Elizabeth, after a moment's recollection; "have we not heard of your service in Ireland ?" 17. "I have been so fortunate as to do some service
there, madam," replied Raleigh, scarce, however, of consequence sufficient to reach your Grace's ears."
18. "They hear farther than you think of," said the queen, graciously, "and have heard of a youth who defended a ford in Shannon against a whole band of wild Irish rebels, until the stream ran purple with their blood and his own."
19. "Some blood I may have lost," said the youth, looking down, "but it was where my best is due, and that is in your Majesty's service."
20. The queen paused, and then said hastily, "You are very young to have fought so well, and to speak so well. Hark ye, Master Raleigh; wear thy muddy cloak till our pleasure be farther known. And here," she added, giving him a jewel of gold, in the form of a chess-man, "I give thee this to wear at the collar." 21. Raleigh, to whom Nature had taught intuitively, as
it were, those courtly arts which many scarce acquire from long experience, knelt, and, as he took from her hand the jewel, kissed the fingers which gave it. He knew, perhaps better than almost any of the courtiers. who surrounded her, how to mingle the devotion claimed by the queen with the gallantry due to her personal beauty; and in this, his first attempt to unite them, he succeeded so well, as at once to gratify Elizabeth's personal vanity and her love of power.-Sir Walter Scott.
SUMMARY.-Raleigh was quickly rowed to the royal barge, and ushered into the queen's presence. His cloak, which had been covered with mud to make a dry path for the queen, was still over his arm. Elizabeth thanked Raleigh for his services, and told him that a new suit would be supplied from the royal wardrobe. The queen mistook his hesitation in accepting the offer as a wish for gold, and, although afraid to give it lest it should be a source of temptation, declared that it would be granted if desired. Raleigh explained, however, that he had no wish for any favour unless to wear the mud-stained cloak. The queen remembered that Walter had already distinguished himself in Ireland, and then gave him a golden jewel to wear henceforth at his collar.
Awning, a cover of canvas to
Liege-man, one who owes allegiance.
In-tu-it-ive-ly, by immediate perception.
Mumbled, spoken with lips partly closed.
What request had Raleigh to make? Where had he already distinguished himself? How? What did the queen give him as a present?
How was Raleigh taken to the queen? How did she salute him? How did he reply? What did she promise? How did the queen misunderstand his reply? EXERCISES.-1. Parse and analyse-To give gold to youth is giving fuel to fire.
2. Nouns are formed from verbs by adding ation, ion, ition, ure, and ture, which mean "the act of;" as vex, vexation; inspect, inspection; add, addition; fail, failure; fix, fixture. Form other nouns in the same way from the following verbs-vex, dissect (seco, I cut), dispose, depart, impose. Make interrogative sentences to show the use of these words.
1. There came to the beach a poor exile of Erin,
The dew on his thin robe was heavy and chill;
2. "Sad is my fate!" said the heart-broken stranger;
Where my forefathers lived, shall I spend the sweet hours,
Or cover my harp with the wild-woven flowers,
And strike to the numbers of Erin-go-bragh!
3. "Erin, my country! though sad and forsaken, In dreams I revisit thy sea-beaten shore; But, alas! in a far foreign land I awaken,
And sigh for the friends who can meet me no more! O cruel fate! wilt thou never replace me
In a mansion of peace, where no perils can chase me? Never again shall my brothers embrace me!
They died to defend me, or lived to deplore!
4. "Where is my cabin-door, fast by the wild wood?