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sufferings. A shy man is of all others the best calculated for married life. He will love with more than ordinary fervour the only woman in whose presence he feels perfectly at ease; and that fire-side, where he may enjoy conversation without company, will be dearer to him than any other place in the world. There are also minor advantages of married life to which I am far from insensible. When I did go into society, I should have a companion who would enter a room before me, receive the first broad flash of observation,—the first salutations. How comfortably should I walk about with my wife on my arm, and gain part of the credit of her lively chat and easy address! When paying morning visits, too, how often should I bless myself for being a husband! My wife would make the movement for departure, take that most difficult step on which I have often meditated for half an hour without success, have sat and sat till I was asked to stay dinner, and then risen precipitately, and made an awkward retreat. But, alas ! the old proverb about" a faint heart” will I fear be exemplified by my fate. Deep and desperate indeed must be the love which can change me into «
a suitor bold.” All nature cannot produce an instance of so complete a transformation. The little creeping caterpillar, shrouding itself among the dust of the earth, is not so dissimilar from the gay butterfly that delights to sport among flowers and sunshine, as a bold gallant lover, proud of his affection, urgent in his suit, triumphing under observation, is unlike the unfortunate bashful bachelor who now addresses you. I remain, Mr. Editor, your very obedient humble servant,
Translated from Cardinal BemBO.
Love, when with me you linger'd in the shade,
Viewing in secret her I hold so dear,
But you, deceiver, fill'd my heart with fear.
mark'd the bending flowers her steps had press’d,
Where wandering stray'd as one in reasoning mood,
Then paused, and wrapt in thoughtful silence stood.
Thou too wouldst marvel at her charms and grace.
SIR GUY EVELING'S DREAM.
Extracted from an old Manuscript. (This MS, which is without a Title-page, or other means of ascertaining its date, appears to have been an Essay upon Sleep. The transcriber, besides modernizing the spelling throughout, and supplying one or two words which he could not decypher, has omitted some passages which descended into a tedious or indelicate minuteness.)
“ Now that we be upon this subject of dreams and apparitions, I may nohow forbear to mention that full strange and terrible one of Sir Guy Eveling, and the consequences tragical issuing therefrom, which do I the more willingly pen, forasmuch as the dismal tale was hushed and smothered up at the time by the great families with whom he was consanguined, people of worshipful regard and jeopardous power, whereby folks only whispered of the story in corners, and peradventure bruited about many things which were but fond imaginings. How I learned the real sooth and verity of that awesome event, and came to be consulted thereupon, ye shall presently see, when I unfold to you that the Lady Rivers, the favourite sister of Sir Guy, then dwelt in the close of Westminster Abbey, in the next house to mine own, which abutteth upon the great cloisters; who first being only a near neighbour, becaine at last a fast friend, and claimed my advisement in all that touched herself and that most unhappy gentleman her brother. Albeit my lips were vowed to a locked secrecy while she lived, yet can they now divulge what they have so long concealed; for that right worthy lady (whom God absolve!) having withdrawn to the Rookery, by Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, did there erewhile give up the ghost in all godliness of faith and abundancy of hope.
“ Now wot ye well that Sir Guy had received a good and clerkly schooling at Oxenforde, and was well learned in all that doth beseem a gentleman, yet, maugre this his knowledge, he was of a haute and orgulous stomach that would not agnize the wisdom of beadsmen, nor even brook the tender counsellings of friends and kinsmen, whereby he waxed wild, and readily fell to mischief and riot, giving up his mornings to dicers, racqueters, and scatterlings, and casting away the night with ribalds, wasselers, and swinge-bucklers, when he was not worse bestowed (though better to his liking) with giglots and goldwasting wantons, upon whom he lavished his substance, and then betook himself to the dice to repair his fortune-for ever one wickedness begetteth another. In this evil wise did he live, reckless of reproof and deaf to fond entreatment, to the sore discomfort and aggrieving of all bis honourable house : howbeit that few now took busy concernment about him except the Lady Rivers, who did often, with all the compassment of wit and loving-kindness of heart, beseech him to abandon the crafty mermaids and chamberers with whom he consorted, and choose some chaste and discreet mate, so to establish himself in such a goodly household as became his ancestry. Verily, Alice, (would he say) if ye any thing earthly regard, I do entreat ye forbear this manner of speech, which nought availeth thee to utter and irketh me to hear, for I will not quit my ronyons and bonarobas till it pleaseth me of my own free will; and for a wife, never have I yet seen the eyes that could bribe me to put the neck of my liberty into the collar of a wedding ring. And therewithal he again plunged into his riotous and deboshed
“ It chanced once, that returning home from a wild revel as the sun was dawning and the apprentices afoot, he betook himself to his lodging at the Flower-de-luce, next to the French Embassador's, on the outside of Temple Bar, where, being heavy with his carouse, he cast himself upon his bed, in his cassock as he was, and forthwith fell asleep, as it is surmised, and had a troublous and astounding dream; though he himself ever stoutly did maintain that being right well awake, and having just then heard the Temple clock strike eight of the morning, he looked to his bed-foot, and lo! there stood before him a strange lady of stately presence and surpassingly beauteous. More especially was he astonied at her large, round, glistering dark eyes, with two goodly arcs of black thereover spreading, the which seemed to him a more noble and majestical vision withal than he had ever encountered upon earth. Her cheer was not the less fraught with dignity than comeliness, albeit that her visage was passing wan, and of somewhat melancholic and tristful ostent; and so she gazed earnestly upon him, who in like wise did glue his looks upon her, much marvelling what this might mean. But incontinent after, sith she neither moved nor spake, he being ever of a right courageous heart, and deeming morcover that it might be some prank of his irregulous and profane companions, did raise himself up on the bed, and drawing nigh unto the figure, so to convince himself by touch of hand whether it might be real flesh and blood, in this wise said unto it :- Most sweetly fair and wondrously delectable lady! whom I more admire and love than may my tongue upon so short a summons worthily confess, suffer that I doff from thy throat that ungainly ruff wherein thy beauty is muffled, sith it is an unseemly fashion that I did ever marvellously mislike.'— Whom when she saw approaching as if to untie the ruff, a sudden great terror and change of countenance fell upon her, so that she clasped both her hands round her throat as if to hold it fast, and, uttering a piteous soul-piercing shriek, the spectre or apparition, for such in good sooth might it seem, straight vanished away!
“Now Sir Guy was of that stubborn and misbelieving spirit that holdeth not faith in ghostly things, so he arose and cautelously searched throughout the chamber and in the cupboards thereof; but nothing might he discover, the windows being double-latched, and the door locked even as he had left it. So anon he heard a knocking thereat, and opening he found his servant, who came in fear that some mishap might have befallen, sith he had also heard the shrieking of the vision, whereby his master was right well assured that it was not a dream. Nathless he was in no wise amort or forlorn in mind, but entertaining the misadventure with a merry and regardless mockery, as was in all things his wont, he betook himself to the Lady Rivers, whom he thus greeted in laughing guise — Ods Pitikins ! sister mine, happy man be my dole, for I have seen the eyes that shall bribe me to thy wishes, and thou shalt presently dance at my spousal, if thou wilt find me the queen of the bright crystals that did draw my curtains this morn, but would not tarry my embracing. Whereupon he recounteth what he had seen, concluding with a Styx-sworn oath, that none other would he marry but she whom once seemg he would never forget nor forbear to love. Now God and good provision forbid !' quoth his sister ; ' for yet ye wot not what manner of vision this may be, nor whether, if a mortal woman, she be not a harlot and a Jesabel.' Of that I reck not,' said Sir Guy; be she of chaste and holy approof, be she besmirched with sin, I tell thee in all sooth none other will I wed ;' and to this his unmastered resolve did he conjure himself by many irreverent and profane protests which it were not seemly that I should repeat.
“On the evening of the day next following, as he went homeward, he was overtaken of a sudden by a perilous and rageful storm, wherein the whole welkin did seem to vomit forth fire and water, while men did stop up their ears because of the splitting roar of the thunder. This was that self tempest which there be many now living may remember, sith it followed hard upon the Proclamation of our late King Edward, and even then was the tower of St. Mary Woolnoth Church split by the lightning, as to this day it remaineth. Sir Guy, I say, running with much speed to evitate this hurricane, passed so fleetly into the porch of his dwelling, that he might hardly be aware of a female standing thereon, having her head sheathed in a wimple; but as she drew somewhat on one side so to let him pass, he glimpsed beneath her hood, and lo! there were the twain large black eyes, above all measure lustrous, and that visage of fair sorrow, more beautiful than beauty, which had stood before him in his chamber. Judge you if he were not fixed like a statue, while she with a modest courtesy besought him that she might there abide the return of her servant, whom, being surprised by the foul weather, she had sent within the Bar for a carriage, nothing mistrusting that he would speedily appear therewith. There was no lack of earnest and passionate entreatment from Sir Guy that she would take shelter in his parlour upstairs ; but it booted not, for ever with sweet but grave denial she thanked him for his proffer, still resolving there to tarry till her laggard servant should come back. Howbeit, while they were discoursing, the storm blowing into the passage where they stood, wrested open the door at the other end, where was a small garden, in such wise that the wind rushed in from the street side, and much rain therewith ; whereupon the lady, already somewhat bemoiled, consented to withdraw upstairs from that rude blustering of the weather. Whom, when she was seated, Sir Guy did courteously invite to doff her wimple, which done he might mark the self ruff that misliked him in his dream, and again making show to remove it, her visage waxed wroth and fearful, she clasped her throat with her hands, and Sir Guy might hear a faint shriek, as at a distance, which he bethought on such a noisome night might peradventure be of some passenger in the streets smitten by the then thickly falling tiles. Nathless he mused much why she should thus cautelously enwrap her throat.
“ So fell they forthwith into pleasant discourse, and if he admired much her facete entertainment and argute compassment of wit, much more was he astonied at her honey-sweet voice, which to his enchanted ears did seem more tuneably melodious than ever was the dulcimer of Miriam or Orpheus his lute. With every look from those majestical eyes, and every sound from her music-breathing mouth, love gained a greater empery over his soul; and forasmuch as he well wist that opportunity and likelihood of sphere were not to be lost, he straightway
confessed his passion, and did woo her with many oaths and much amorous entreatment. Whereat, by blushing, she confessed at once her shamefacedness and somewhat angry surprise, rebuking him gravely, but sweetly withal ; alway protesting she was of discreet virtuous bearing and goodly parentage, which warranted not any light or immodest encountering. Whereat he forbore furthermore to press her: whereas her servant came not, neither the carriage, he dispread before her a small supper of picked pullets, applejohns, marchpane, comfits and other dainty cates, and therewith a beaker of charneco wine, and a sherris sack-posset, whereof she frugally did partake.
“Sith my varlet, who, in sooth, is but a dullard,' quoth the lady, cometh not, and the storm seemeth to be in good measure abated, and beside it waxeth late, I will bid you good night, and seak my dwelling a-foot, much thanking you for your hospitable bearing.' But Sir Guy, nowise willing so to part, led her to the window, inviting her to mark the pitchy darkness of the welkin : incontinent whereupon the black caverns of the sky opened, and the live lightning leaped forth like a flaming sword, by whose flash they saw through the Temple-bar up into Fleet-street, which was like a river of raging water clinquant with light ;- and, anon, all was again shrouded in inky blackness, and the deafening thunder bellowed as if it would fain burst asunder the solid earth. So, seeing there was no safe mean of then seeking her abode, and Sir Guy tendering to her use a small bed-room above his own, with pledge of safe and worthy dealing, she, much lamenting the chance of so forced intrusion upon a stranger, albeit thankful of his right courteous bearing, did there consent to pass the night. Straight whereupon Sir Guy, with unwilling steps, yet not without hope of more prosperous stead thereafter, ushered her to her chamber, and with a lover's benison, committing her to the sleepful god, did sorrowing take his leave.
“In his own room scarce had he tarried five minutes, much pondering upon this occurment and the so strange mystery of the ruff, when he bethought him that he had left with his fair guest no lamp, whereof in a house unknown, and a night so fitful, she might well have special need. Wherewith he took one from the mantel, and ascending the stairs went into the lady's room, whom he found already in part unapparelled ; her muffler and tirevolant being laid aside from her head, which as she moved, the black locks did bridle
and down upon her white shoulders, like a company of ravens newly alighted upon the
But, above all, what did rivet his eyes was to see that her ruff was doffed, and about her throat was there a full broad roundure of black velvet, thickly broidered with pearls and jacinths, close clasped to the skin, which (being moved thereunto by a not-to-be-subdued curiosity) he did again approach with offer to unlock, whereat her visage was again overshadowed with affrightment, she upraised her hands to her neck, and a distant shriek sounded through the air as aforetime. Nathless, so passing beauteous and bewitching sweet did she appear in that disordered gear, which seemed to celestify her charms, that Sir Guy, more than ever overcome with love, fell upon his knee, and with divers oaths and protestations, not sparing tears withal, did call all the saints to witness that he gave himself up to her with plight of hand, and took her for his betrothed wife, movingly beseeching her to com