Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/283

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225
INDOOR AMUSEMENTS

amusing illustrations of the Queen's inordinate vanity.

"The same day after dinner," says the Scotch ambassador, "my Lord Hunsdon drew me up to a quiet gallery that I might hear some music (but he said he durst not avow it), where I might hear the queen play upon the virginals. After I had hearkened a while I took by the tapestry that hung by the door of the chamber, and seeing her back was towards the door, I entered within the chamber, and stood a pretty space, hearing her play excellently well; but she left off immediately so soon as she turned her about and saw me. She appeared to be surprised to see me, and came forward, seeming to strike me with her hand, alleging she was not used to play before men, but when she was solitary, to shun melancholy. She asked how I came there? I answered, as I was walking with my Lord Hunsdon as we passed by the chamber door, I heard such a melody as ravished me, whereby I was drawn in ere I knew how; excusing my fault of homeliness as being brought up in the court of France where such freedom was allowed; declaring myself willing to endure what kind of punishment her majesty should be pleased to inflict upon me for so great offence. Then she sank down low upon a cushion, and I upon my knees by her; but with her own hands