« PreviousContinue »
of ebony tipped with silver. Two nymphs attended on her, dressed in the same antique and mystical guise.
The pageant was so well managed, that this Lady of the Floating Island, having performed her voyage with much picturesque effect, landed at Mortimer's Tower with her two attendants, just as Elizabeth presented herself before that out-work. The stranger then, in a well-penned speech, announced herself as that famous Lady of the Lake, renowned in the stories of King Arthur, who had nursed the youth of the redoubted Sir Launcelot, and whose beauty had proved too powerful both for the wisdom and the spells of the mighty Merlin. Since that early period she had remained possessed of her crystal dominions, she said, despite the various men of fame and might by whom Kenilworth had been successively tenanted. The Saxons, the Danes, the Normans, the Saintlowes, the Clintons, the Mountforts, the Mortimers, the Plantagenets,” great though they were in arms and magnificence, had never, she said, caused her to raise her head from the waters which hid her crystal palace. But a greater than all these great names had now appeared, and she came in homage and duty to welcome the peerless Elizabeth to all sport which the Castle and its environs, which lake or land, could afford.
The queen received this address also with great courtesy, and made answer in raillery,“We thought this lake had belonged to our own dominions, fair dame; but since so famed a lady claims it for hers, we will be glad at some other time to have further communing with you touching our joint interests."
With this gracious answer the Lady of the Lake vanished, and Arion, who was amongst the maritime deities, appeared upon his dolphin. But Lambourne, who had taken upon him the part in the absence of Wayland, being chilled with remaining immersed in an element to which he was not friendly, having never got his speech by heart, and not having, like the porter, the advantage of a prompter, paid it off with impudence, tearing off his vizard, and swearing, “Cogs bones! he was none of Arions or Orion either, but honest Mike Lambourne, that had been drinking Her Majesty's health from morning till midnight, and was come to bid her heartily welcome to Kenilworth Castle."
This unpremeditated buffoonery answered the purpose probably better than the set speech would have done. The queen laughed heartily, and swore (in her turn) that he had made the best speech she had heard that day. Lambourne, who instantly saw his jest had saved his bones, jumped on shore, gave his dolphin a kick, and declared he would never meddle with fish again except at dinner.
At the same time that the queen was about to enter the castle, that memorable discharge of fireworks by water and land took place, which Master Laneham, formerly introduced to the reader, has strained all his eloquence to describe.
“Such," says the Clerk of the Council-chamber door," was the blaze of burning darts, the gleams of stars coruscant, the streams and hail of fiery sparks, lightenings of wildfire, and flight-shot of thunderbolts, with continuance, terror, and vehemency, that the heavens thundered, the water surged, and the earth shook; and, for my part, hardy as I am, it made me very vengeably afraid."
Sir W. Scott.
O'DONOGHUE came to the hermit's1 cell,
WV. M. Praed,
“WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S
FROM my infancy 1 I was passionately fond of reading, and all the money that came into my hands was laid out in the purchasing of books.
I was very fond of voyages. My first acquisition was Bunyan's works in separate little volumes. I afterwards sold them to enable me to buy R. Burton's Historical Collections: they were small chapmen's 2 books, and cheap. Forty volumes in all. My father's little library consisted chiefly of books in polemic : divinity, most of which I read. I have often regretted that at a time when I had such a thirst for knowledge, more proper books had not fallen in my way, since it was resolved I should not be bred to divinity. There was among them Plutarch's Lives, which I read abundantly; and I still think that time spent to great advantage. There was also a book of Defoe's called "An Essay on Projects," and another of Dr. Mather's called “An Essay to do Good;" which perhaps gave me a turn for thinking, that had an influence on some of the principal future events of my life.
This bookish inclination at length determined my father to make me a printer, though he had already one son (James) of that profession. In 1717, my brother James returned from England with a press and letters to set up his business in Boston. I liked it much better than that of my father, but still had a hankering for the sea. To prevent the apprehended effect of such an inclination, my father was impatient to have me bound to my brother. I stood out some time; but at last was persuaded, and signed the indenture,4 when I was yet but twelve years old. I was to serve an apprenticeship till I was twenty-one years of age, only I was to be allowed journeyman's wages during the last year. In a little time I had made a great progress in the business, and became a useful hand to my brother. I now had access to better books. An acquaintance with the apprentices of booksellers enabled me sometimes to borrow a small one, which I was careful to return soon and clean. Often I sat up in my chamber,
I reading the greatest part of the night when the book was borrowed in the evening and to be returned in the morning lest it should be found missing. After some time a merchant, an ingenious sensible man, Mr. Matthew Adams, who had a pretty collection of books, frequented our printing office, took notice of me, and invited me to see his library, and very kindly proposed to lend me such books, as I chose to read. I now took a strong inclination for poetry, and wrote some little pieces. My brother, supposing it might turn to account, encouraged me, and induced me to compose two occasional ballads. One was called "The Lighthouse Tragedy," and contained an account of the shipwreck of Captain Worthilake and his two