Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/291

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231
THE LOVE OF SPECTACLES

Tilting was one of the popular amusements of the day, carried on in harmless sport far different from the dangerous joustings of mediæval times. The following is a condensation of Holinshed's description of a famous tilting before the Queen on Whitsun Monday and Tuesday, 1581:

"The chief challengers in these attempts were these: The Earl of Arundel, the Lord Windsor, Master Philip Sidney, and Master Fulke Grevile, who, calling themselves the Four Foster Children of Desire, made the invention of the aforesaid triumph, in this order and form following:

"The gallery or place at the end of the tilt-yard adjoining her majesty's house at Whitehall, whereat her person should be placed, was called, and not without cause, 'The Castle or Fortress of Perfect Beauty,' forasmuch as her highness should be there included, whereto the said foster children laid title and claim as their due by descent to belong to them. And upon denial, or any repulse from that their desired patrimony, they vowed to vanquish and conquer by force who should seem to withstand it. For the accomplishing whereof they sent their challenge, or first defiance, to the Queen's majesty, which was uttered by a boy on Sunday, the sixteenth of April last, as her majesty came from the chapel, who, being apparelled in red and white, as a martial messen-