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on, and embarked in her barge without saying a word.
“ Come along, Sir Coxcomb,” said Walter's companion, Blount; “your gay mantle will need the brush to-day, I fancy.”
“ This cloak,” said the youth, taking it up
and folding it, “shall never be brushed while in my possession.”
“And that will not be long, if you have not a little more economy,” muttered Blount.
Their conversation was here interrupted by one of the royal attendants. “I was sent,” said he, after looking at Blount and Walter attentively, “ to a gentleman who hath no cloak or a muddy one. You, sir, I think,” addressing the younger cavalier, “are the man: you will please follow me."
The young cavalier was then guided to the water side by the attendant, who showed him marked respect. He ushered Raleigh into one of the skiffs that lay ready to attend the Queen's barge, which was already proceeding up the river.
The two rowers used their oars with such skill that they very soon brought their little skiff under the stern of the Queen's barge. Here Elizabeth sat beneath an awning, attended by two or three ladies and the nobles of her household. She looked more than once at the boat in which the young adventurer was seated, spoke to those around her, and seemed to laugh.
At length one of the attendants, by the Queen's order apparently, made a sign for the young man to step from his own skiff into the royal barge. This he did with graceful agility at the fore part of the boat, and was brought aft to the Queen's presence.
. Raleigh underwent the gaze of majesty, not the less gracefully that his self-possession was mingled with embarrassment. The muddied cloak still hung upon his arm, and formed the natural topic with which the Queen introduced the conversation.
“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 somewhat bold.”
“In a sovereign's need,” answered Walter, “it is each liegeman's duty to be bold.”
“That was well spoken, my lord,” said the Queen, turning to a grave person who sat beside her. “Well, young man, your gallantry shall not pass 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.”
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 "
“Thou wouldst have gold, I warrant me,” said the Queen, interrupting him. “ Fie, young man! Yet thou mayest be poor,” she added, “or thy parents may be. It shall be gold, if thou wilt.'
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.
“How, boy,” said the Queen, “neither gold nor
VIII. - 6
What is it thou wouldst have of me, then ?”
Only permission, madam, to wear the cloak which did you this trifling service.”
“ Permission to wear thine own cloak, thou silly boy!” said the Queen.
“ 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.'
The Queen again blushed, and sought to cover by laughing a slight degree of not unpleasant surprise and confusion.
“ Heard you ever the like, my lords? The youth's head is turned with reading romances.
I must know something of him, that I may send him safe to his friends. - What is thy name and birth ?”
“Raleigh is my name, most gracious Queen; the youngest son of a large but honorable family of Devonshire.”
“ Raleigh ?” said Elizabeth, after a moment's thought : “ have we
“have we not heard of your service in Ireland ?"
“ I have been so fortunate as to do some service there, madam,” replied Raleigh ; “scarce, however, of importance enough to reach your Grace's ears.”
“ They hear farther than you think of, and have heard of a youth who defended a ford in Shannon against a whole band of rebels, until the stream ran purple with their bloc d and his own.”
“Some blood I ma y have lost," said the youth, looking down ; “ but i' s was where my best is due, and that is in your Majesty's service.”
The Queen paused, and then said hastily, “ You are very young to har re fought so well and to speak so well. So hark ye , Master Raleigh, see thou fail not to wear thy mu ddy cloak, till our pleasure be further known. Ani l here,” she added, giving him a jewel of gold, “I give thee this to wear at the collar.”
Raleigh, to whom nature had taught these courtly arts which many so arcely acquire from long experience, knelt, and, as ' he took from her hand the jewel, kissed the fingers w hich gave it.
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
From “ Kenilworth."
MARNER AND EPPIE
In the early ye: urs of this century a linen weaver, named Silas Marn er, worked at his vocation in a stone cottage nea r the village of Raveloe, not far from the edge of a deserted stone pit.
The years rolle d on without producing any change in the life of Sila s Marner and his neighbors. There