Now bid the steeple
rock—she comes, she comes!—
Speak for us, bells—speak for us, shrill-tongued tuckets.
Stand to thy linstock, gunner; let thy cannon
Play such a peal, as if a paynim foe
Came stretch’d in turban’d ranks to storm the ramparts.
We will have pageants too—but that craves wit,
And I’m a rough-hewn soldier.—The virgin Queen—A tragi-comedy.
Tressilian, when Wayland had left him, as mentioned in the last chapter, remained uncertain what he ought next to do, when Raleigh and Blount came up to him arm in arm, yet, according to their wont, very eagerly disputing together. Tressilian had no great desire for their society in the present state of his feelings, but there was no possibility of avoiding them; and indeed he felt that, bound by his promise not to approach Amy, or take any step in her behalf, it would be his best course at once to mix with general society, and to exhibit on his brow as little as he could of the anguish and uncertainty which sat heavy at his heart. He therefore made a virtue of necessity, and hailed his comrades with, “All mirth to you, gentlemen! Whence come ye?”
“From Warwick, to be sure,” said Blount; “we must needs home to change our habits, like poor players, who are fain to multiply their persons to outward appearance by change of suits; and you had better do the like, Tressilian.”
“Blount is right,” said Raleigh; “the Queen loves such marks of deference, and notices, as wanting in respect, those who, not arriving in her immediate attendance, may appear in their soiled and ruffled riding-dress. But look at Blount himself, Tressilian, for the love of laughter, and see how his villainous tailor hath apparelled him—in blue, green, and crimson, with carnation ribbons, and yellow roses in his shoes!”
“Why, what wouldst thou have?” said Blount. “I told the cross-legged thief to do his best, and spare no cost; and methinks these things are gay enough—gayer than thine own. I’ll be judged by Tressilian.”
“I agree—I agree,” said Walter Raleigh. “Judge betwixt us, Tressilian, for the love of heaven!”
Tressilian, thus appealed to, looked at them both, and was immediately sensible at a single glance that honest Blount had taken upon the tailor’s warrant the pied garments which he had chosen to make, and was as much embarrassed by the quantity of points and ribbons which garnished his dress, as a clown is in his holiday clothes; while the dress of Raleigh was a well-fancied and rich suit, which the wearer bore as a garb too well adapted to his elegant person to attract particular attention. Tressilian said, therefore, “That Blount’s dress was finest, but Raleigh’s the best fancied.”
Blount was satisfied with his decision. “I knew mine was finest,” he said; “if that knave Doublestitch had brought me home such a simple doublet as that of Raleigh’s, I would have beat his brains out with his own pressing-iron. Nay, if we must be fools, ever let us be fools of the first head, say I.”