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.-':'-\ COQUETRY OF QUEEN…

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COQUETRY OF QUEEN EUZ iBKTII. The following account whuh is given in Sir James Melvil's Memoirs of his nnbassv from Mary Queen of Scots, Jo Queen Elizabeth, con- veys an amusing description of female vnuity and Cov.vt artifice, and illustrate show far a rivalry of personal charms and accomplishments entered it1 to the spirit with "I,iz-,ilieth persecuted the Scottish Princess :—' The Queen, my mistress, had instructed me to leave matters ol gravity 'sometimes, and cast in merry purposes. Jest otherwise I should be wearied, she being well in. formed of lhat Queen's natural temper. There- fore, in discharging mv observations of the cus- toms of Dutchlamt, Poland, and Italy, the bus- kins of the women was not forgot,^ and what country Weed I thought most, becoming gentle- women. The Queen said she had clothes of every sort, whichneryday thereafter, so tong as I was there, she changed. One day she had the English weed, another the French, another the Italian, and so forth. She asked me which of them became her best ? I answered, the Ita- lian, which answer I found pleased her well, for she delighted to show her golden-coloured hair, wearing a caul and bonnet as they do in Italy. Her hair which was more reddish than yellow, curled; in appearance uaturally. She desirtd tojknow of me what colour of hair was reputed best, and whether my Queen's or her's was best, aiid wliieli of them too was fairest. I answered, the fair- ness tyf fheih both was^iiot the worst faults.— But she was earnest with Ate lo declare which of them "t judged fitit-est'! I said she was the fairest Queen in England, and mine the fairest Queen in Scotland. Vet she appeared earnest. I answered they were both the, fairest Queens in their coun- tries, that her Majesty was whiter, but my Quean was very lovely. She inquired which of them "Wits of highest ,rlatut,e ? 1 said, my Queen. Then, said she, she is too high, for 1 myself am neither two high nor too low. Then she asked me What kind of exercise she used ? 1 answered, that when I received hiy dispatch, the Queen was lately cottie frolii the Highland-hunting. That when her niore serioifs nffai rs permitted, she was takeftiip with reading of histories.. That some- times she recreated herself in playing upon the lute and virginals. She asked if site played well ? I said reasonably for a Queen. The same day after id Hirer my Lord drew me up to a quiet gallery, that I might hear some music, but he durst not avow it. where I might hear the Quiten upon "fhe Vlrgltials, After I had hearkened à- while, I took by tbe-tapestry that huilg before the (tbor (if the chaiiiber, aiid seeing her biick was towards the dobr, I entered within the clnini- bêl;, ahd stood at a pretty space hearing her play excellently well, but she left off immediately, as w soon as she turned her about and saw me. She appeared to be surprised to sec ine, and came for- ward, ^eeVning to strike the with her hand, alleg- ing she ifsed not to play before men but when solitary, to shun melancholy. She asked how I came there? I answered, as I was Walkibg with my Lord of Hnbsdean, hs we passed by the chamber-tloor, I hyard such melody as rayished me, wherby I was dravynin ere I knew how, ex- b cusing my fault of homeliness as being bfought up in the Court of France, where such freedom was allowed, declaring myself willing to endure What kind of punishment her Majesty shwild be pleased to iollict upon ine for so great an offence. Then stre sate down ,low upon a cushion, and I 5 u upon my knees by her, but with her own ;hJthas she gave ine a cushion to lay under my knee, which at first I refused, but she compelled me to take it. She then called for my Lady Stafford out of the next chamber, for the Queen was alone. She inquired of me whether she 'or my Oit,gon played best? In that I found myself obliged to give her the praise. She said my French was good, and asked if I could speak Italian, which she spoke reasonably well. I tOld her Majesty l had no time to learn the language perfectly, not having been above two fn oiltilp, ill Italy. Then she spake to me ih Dutch, which was not good, ami would know what kind of books I most delighted in, whether theology, history, or love matters? 1 said I liked well all the sorts. Here l took occasion to press earnest- ly my dispatch she said t was weary sooner of her company Ihan she was of mine. I told her Majesty that though I had no reason of being I weary, I knew my mistress her affairs called me home, yet I was stayed two days longer, till I would see her dance, as I was afterwards in-j formed. Which being over, she inquired whe- ther she or my Queen danced best? I anwered, the Queen danced not. so high and disposedly as she did. Then again she wished she might see the Qneen at some convenient place of meeting. I offered to convey her secretly to Scotland by post, clothed like n page that under this disguise she might see the Queen, as James the Fifth had gone to France, with his own Ambassador, to see the Duke of Vendoin's sister, who should have been his wife telling her that her chamber might be kept in her absence, though shfe were sick that none needed to be privy thereto except my Lally Stafford and one of the Grooms of her chamber, i^he appeared to l&e tlwit kind of language, only 4nswered it with sigh, saytrig, 'alas! if I might do it thus.' The following opinfr»|t which Melvil gnre th« Qiieen of Scots upon Ui^ return, of Queen Eliza- beth's real feelings, sliows the sagacity or the Envoy She inqitired-, whether I thought that Queen meant truly toward her inwardly in her heart, as she appeared to do outwardly in her speech ?" I answered freely, that in my judgment there was neither plain dealing nor upright meaning, but great dissimulation, emulation and fear, lest her Princely qualities should oversoon chace her from the kingdom, as having already hindred her marriage with the Archduke Charles of Austria. It appeared likewise to ine, by her offering unto her with great appearing earnest- ness. my Lord of Leicester, whom 1 knew at that time she could not want.-

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