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earnestly to the business of pleasure, as they were to return to Upton Lea at four o'clock.
Four o'clock arrived, and found our hero, Thomas Stokes, still untired of stuffing and staring. He had eaten more cakes, oranges, and gingerbread, than the gentlest reader would deem credible, and he had seen well nigh all the sights of the fair : the tall man, and the short woman, and the calf with two heads; had attended the indoor horsemanship and the out-door play; the dancing dogs and two raree-shows; and lastly, had visited and admired the wonders of the menagerie, scraped acquaintance with a whole legion of parrots and monkeys, poked up a boa-constrictor, patted a lioness, and had the honour of presenting his blunderbuss to the elephant, although he was not much inclined to boast of this exploit, having been so frightened at his own temerity, as to run away out of the booth before the sagacious but deliberate quadruped had found time to fire.
Not a whit tired was Tom. He could have wished the fair to last a week. Nevertheless, he obeyed his brother's summons, and the little party set out on their return, the two elder ones again linked arm in arm, and apparently forgetting that the world contained any human being except their own two selves. Poor Tom trudged after, beginning to feel, in the absence of other excitement, a severe relapse of his undefined curiosity respecting Fanny's fairings. On tripped William and Fanny, and after trudged Tom, until a string of unruly horses passing rapidly by, threw the whole group into confu
sion. No one was hurt, but the pretty Londoner was so much alarmed as to afford her companion ample employment in placing her on a bank, soothing her fears, and railing at the misconduct of the horse-people. As the cavalcade disappeared, the fair damsel recovered her spirits, and began to inquire for her basket, which she had dropped in her terror, and for Tom, who was also missing. They were not far to seek. Perched in the opposite hedge sat Master Tom, in the very act of satisfying his curiosity by examining her basket, smiling, and “Ho! ho !”-ing with all his might. Parcel after parcel did he extract and unfold-first a roll of white satin riband—“Ho! ho!"—then a pair of white cambric gloves—"Ho! ho!” again—then a rich-looking, dark-coloured, small plum cake, nicely frosted with white sugar—“Ho! ho! Miss Fanny !"
- last of all a plain gold ring, wrapped in three papers, silver, white, and brown-"Ho! ho !" once more shouted the boy, twirling the wedding-ring on his own red finger, the fourth of the left hand“So these are Fanny's fairings ! Ho! ho !-ho! hol"
SIR ROLAND AND SIR LEOLINE.
ALAS! they had been friends in youth;
His further meditations were interrupted by a shout of applause from the multitude, so tremendously vociferous that the country echoed for miles round. The guards, thickly stationed upon the road by which the Queen was to advance, caught up the acclamations which ran like wildfire to the castle, and announced to all within, that Queen Elizabeth had entered the royal chase of Kenilworth. The whole music of the castle sounded at once, and a round of artillery, with a salvo of small arms, was discharged from the battlements; but the noise of drums and trumpets, and even of the cannon themselves, was but faintly heard, amidst the roaring and reiterated welcomes of the multitude. As the noise began to abate, a broad glare of light was seen to appear from the gate of the park, and broadening and brightening as it came nearer, advanced along the open and fair avenue that led towards the gallery-tower;2 and which, as we have already noticed, was lined on either hand by the retainers of the Earl of Leicester. The word was passed along the line, "The Queen ! The Queen! Silence, and stand fast!” Onward came the cavalcade, illuminated by two hundred thick waxen torches, in the hands of as many horsemen, which cast a light like that of broad day all around the procession, but especially on the principal group, of which the Queen herself, arrayed in the most splendid manner, and blazing with jewels, formed the central figure. She was mounted on a milk-white horse, which she reined with peculiar grace and dignity; and in the whole of her stately and noble carriage, you saw the daughter of an hundred kings.
The ladies of the court, who rode beside Her Majesty, had taken especial care that their own external appearance should not be more glorious than their rank and the occasion altogether demanded, so that no inferior luminary might appear to approach the orbit of royalty. But their personal charms, and the magnificence by which, under every prudential restraint, they were necessarily distinguished, exhibited them, as the very flower of a realm so far-famed for splendour and beauty. The magnificence of the courtiers, free from such restraints as prudence imposed on the ladies, was yet more unbounded.
Leicester, who glittered like a golden image with jewels and cloth of gold, rode on Her Majesty's right hand, as well in quality of her host, as of her Master of the Horse. The black steed which he mounted had not a single white hair on his body, and was one of the most renowned chargers in Europe, having been purchased by the Earl at large expense for this royal occasion. As the noble animal chafed at the slow pace of the procession, and, arching his stately neck, champed on the silver bits which restrained him, the foam flew from