Adventures Among Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 217 pages of information about Adventures Among Books.
again?  It wants working out.  I have omitted, after all, a schoolboy historical romance, explaining why Queen Elizabeth was never married.  A Scottish paper offered a prize for a story of Queen Mary Stuart’s reign.  I did not get the prize—­perhaps did not deserve it, but my story ran thus:  You must know that Queen Elizabeth was singularly like Darnley in personal appearance.  What so natural as that, disguised as a page, her Majesty should come spying about the Court of Holyrood?  Darnley sees her walking out of Queen Mary’s room, he thinks her an hallucination, discovers that she is real, challenges her, and they fight at Faldonside, by the Tweed, Shakespeare holding Elizabeth’s horse.  Elizabeth is wounded, and is carried to the Kirk of Field, and laid in Darnley’s chamber, while Darnley goes out and makes love to my rural heroine, the lady of Fernilee, a Kerr.  That night Bothwell blows up the Kirk of Field, Elizabeth and all.  Darnley has only one resource.  Borrowing the riding habit of the rural heroine, the lady of Fernilee, he flees across the Border, and, for the rest of his life, personates Queen Elizabeth.  That is why Elizabeth, who was Darnley, hated Mary so bitterly (on account of the Kirk of Field affair), and that is why Queen Elizabeth was never married.  Side-lights on Shakespeare’s Sonnets were obviously cast.  The young man whom Shakespeare admired so, and urged to marry, was—­Darnley.  This romance did not get the prize (the anachronism about Shakespeare is worthy of Scott), but I am conceited enough to think it deserved an honourable mention.

Enough of my own cigarettes.  But there are others of a more fragrant weed.  Who will end for me the novel of which Byron only wrote a chapter; who, as Bulwer Lytton is dead?  A finer opening, one more mysteriously stirring, you can nowhere read.  And the novel in letters, which Scott began in 1819, who shall finish it, or tell us what he did with his fair Venetian courtezan, a character so much out of Sir Walter’s way?  He tossed it aside—­it was but an enchanted cigarette—­and gave us “The Fortunes of Nigel” in its place.  I want both.  We cannot call up those who “left half told” these stories.  In a happier world we shall listen to their endings, and all our dreams shall be coherent and concluded.  Meanwhile, without trouble, and expense, and disappointment, and reviews, we can all smoke our cigarettes of fairyland.  Would that many people were content to smoke them peacefully, and did not rush on pen, paper, and ink!

CHAPTER XIV:  STORIES AND STORY-TELLING (From STRATH NAVER)

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Adventures Among Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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