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UEEN ELIZABETH was walking to and fro in a violent agitation, which she seemed to scorn to conceal, while two or three of her most sage and confidential counselors exchanged anxious looks with each other, but delayed speaking till her wrath had abated. Before the empty chair of state in which she had been seated, and which was half pushed aside by the violence with which she had started from it, knelt Dudley, Earl of Leicester, his arms crossed, and his brows bent on the ground, still and motionless as the effigies on a sepulcher. Beside him stood the Lord Shrewsbury, then Earl Marshal of England, holding his baton of office-the earl's sword was unbuckled, and lay before him on the floor. At this moment Tressilian knocked, and was instantly admitted.

2. "Ho, sir," said the queen, coming close up to Tressilian, and stamping on the floor with the action and manner of Henry himself; "you knew of this fair workyou are an accomplice in this deception which has been. practiced on us—you have been a main cause of our doing injustice!"

3. Tressilian dropped on his knee before the queen, his good sense showing him the risk of attempting any defense at that moment of irritation. "Art dumb, sirrah!" she continued; "thou know'st of this affair-dost thou not?" 4. "Not, gracious madam, that this poor lady was Countess of Leicester."

5. "Nor shall any one know her as such," said Elizabeth. "Death of my life! Countess of Leicester!-I say Dame Amy Dudley-and well if she have not cause to write herself widow of the traitor Robert Dudley."

6. "Madam," said Leicester, "do with me what it may be your will to do, but work no injury on this gentleman; he hath in no way deserved it."

7. "And will he be the better for thy intercession," said the queen, leaving Tressilian, who slowly arose, and rushing to Leicester, who continued kneeling,-"the better for thy intercession, thou doubly false-thou doubly forsworn? -for thy intercession, whose villany hath made me ridiculous to my subjects, and odious to myself? I could tear out mine eyes for their blindness!"

8. Burleigh here ventured to interpose. "Madam,” he said, "remember that you are a queen-Queen of England -mother of your people. Give not way to this wild storm of passion."

9. Elizabeth turned round to him, while a tear actually twinkled in her proud and angry eye. "Burleigh," she said, "thou art a statesman; thou dost not, thou canst not, comprehend half the scorn, half the misery, that man has poured on me!”

10. With the utmost caution, with the deepest reverence, Burleigh took her hand at the moment he saw her heart was full, and led her aside to an oriel window apart from the others.

11. "Madam," he said, "I am a statesman, but I am also a man—a man already grown old in your councils, who have not and cannot have a wish on earth but your glory and happiness. I pray you to be composed."

12. "Ah, Burleigh," said Elizabeth, "thou little knowest" -here her tears fell over her cheeks in despite of her.

13. "I do, I do know, my honored sovereign. O beware that you lead not others to guess that which they know not!"

14. "Ha!" said Elizabeth, pausing as if a new train of thought had suddenly shot across her brain. "Burleigh, thou art right-thou art right-anything but disgraceanything but a confession of weakness-anything rather than seem the cheated, slighted-'Sdeath! to think on it is distraction!"

15. "Be but yourself, my queen," said Burleigh; "and soar far above a weakness which no Englishman will ever

believe his Elizabeth could have entertained, unless the violence of her disappointment carries a sad conviction to his bosom."

16. "What weakness, my lord?" said Elizabeth haughtily. "Would you, too, insinuate that the favor in which I held yonder proud traitor derived its source from aught-" But here she could no longer sustain the proud tone which she had assumed, and again softened as she said, “But why should I strive to deceive even thee, my good and wise servant?"

17. Burleigh stooped to kiss her hand with affection, and-rare in the annals of courts-a tear of true sympathy dropped from the eye of the minister on the hand of his sovereign.

18. It is probable that the consciousness of possessing this sympathy aided Elizabeth in supporting her mortification, and suppressing her extreme resentment; but she was still more moved by fear that her passion should betray to the public the affront and the disappointment which, alike as a woman and a queen, she was so anxious to conceal. She turned from Burleigh, and sternly paced the hall till her features had recovered their usual dignity, and her mien its wonted stateliness of regular motion.

19. She then approached Leicester, and said, with calmness, "My Lord of Leicester, rise and take up your sword. We will now hear the progress of this affair." Then seating herself in her chair, she extorted, by successive questions, the whole history of his first acquaintance with Amy Robsart-their marriage-his jealousy-the causes on which it was founded, and many particulars besides.

20. Leicester's confession, for such it might be called, was wrenched from him piece-meal, yet was upon the whole, accurate. At length, however, the haughty lord, like a deer that turns at bay, gave intimation that his patience was failing. "Madam," he said, taking care to be heard only by herself, "I have been much to blame-more than even your just resentment has expressed. Yet, madam,

let me say, that my guilt, if it be unpardonable, was not unprovoked; and that if beauty and condescending dignity could seduce the frail heart of a human being, I might plead both as the causes of my concealing this secret from your majesty."

21. The queen fixed her eyes on him while she replied, Now, by heaven, my lord, thy effrontery passes the bounds of belief, as well as patience! But it shall avail thee nothing. What ho! my lords, come all and hear the news! My Lord of Leicester's stolen marriage has cost me a husband, and England a king. His lordship is patriarchal in his tastes-one wife at a time was insufficient, and he designed us the honor of his left hand. Now, is not this too insolent, that I could not grace him with a few marks of court favor, but he must presume to think my hand and crown at his disposal? You, however, think better of me; and I can pity this man, as I could a child, whose bubble of soap has burst between his hands. We go to the presence-chamber. My Lord of Leicester, we command your close attendance on us."




ORATIO. Hail to your lordship!

Hamlet. I am glad to see you well:

Horatio,—or I do forget myself.

Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.


Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you.

And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?

Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord.

Ham. I would not hear your enemy say so;

Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
To make it truster of your own report
Against yourself. I know you are no truant.
But what is your affair in Elsinore?

We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.

Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's funeral. Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student; I think it was to see my mother's wedding.

Hor. Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.

Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio; the funeral baked meats Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven,

Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio!

My father, methinks I see my father-
Hor. O, where, my lord?

In my mind's eye,


Hor. I saw him once; he was a goodly king.
Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.

Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Ham. Saw! who?

Hor. My lord, the king, your father.

Ham. The king, my father!

Hor. Season your admiration for a while, With an attent ear; till I may deliver

This marvel to you.

Ham. For heaven's love let me hear.

Hor. Two nights together had those gentlemen,
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead waist and middle of the night,
Been thus encountered: a figure, like your father,
Armed at point exactly, cap-à-pié,

Appears before them, and, with solemn march,
Goes slow and stately by them thrice he walked
By their oppressed and fear-surprised eyes,

Within his truncheon's length; whilst they, distilled
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,

Stand dumb, and speak not to him. This to me,

In dreadful secrecy, impart they did;

And I with them, the third night, kept the watch:

Where, as they had delivered, both in time,

Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
The apparition comes. I knew your father;

These hands are not more like.

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Hor. My lord, upon the platform where we watched.

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