Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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I                               A QUEEN'S DIVERSIONS                              5
the walls shook and the roof tottered, but one glance from her eyes had steadied the turret for ever. He went on to call her virtue immortal and herself the Miracle of Time, Nature's Glory, Fortune's Empress, and the World's Wonder. Eliza­beth, when he had made an end, took the key from him and embraced Lady Montagu and her daughter, the Lady Dormir; whereupon " the mistress of the house (as it were wreeping in the bosome) said, ' O happie time ! O joyfull daie !' "
These preliminaries over, the fun began. At breakfast next morning three oxen and a hundred and forty geese were devoured. On Monday, August 17th, Elizabeth rode to her bower in the park, took a crossbow from a nymph who sang a sweet song, and with it shot "three or four" deer, carefully brought within range. After dinner, standing on one of the turrets she watched sixteen bucks " pulled down with grey­hounds " in a lawn. On Tuesday, the Queen was approached by a pilgrim, who first called her " Fairest of all creatures," and expressed the wish that the world might end with her life and then led her to an oak whereon were hanging escutcheons of her Majesty and all the neighbouring noblemen and gentle­men. As she looked, a " wilde man " clad all in ivy appeared and delivered an address on the importance of loyalty. On Wednesday, the Queen was taken to a goodlie fish-pond (now a meadow) where was an angler. After some words from him a band of fishermen approached, drawing their nets after them; whereupon the angler, turning to her Majesty, remarked that'her virtue made envy blush and stand amazed. Having thus spoken, the net was drawn and found to be full of fish, which were laid at Elizabeth's feet. The entry for this day ends with the sentence, "That evening she hunted." On Thursday the lords and ladies dined at a table forty-eight yards long, and there was a country dance with tabor and pipe, which drew from her Majesty " gentle applause." On Friday, the Queen knighted six gentlemen and passed on to Chichester.
A year later the first Lord Montagu died. He was sue-
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