Sunday, June 8, 2014

At the Elizabethan Court

The splendor of Elizabeth I. From History and Other Thoughts:
Next came the Queen, in the sixty-fifth year of her age, as we were told, very majestic; her face oblong, fair, but wrinkled; her eyes small, yet black and pleasant; her nose a little hooked; her lips narrow, and her teeth black; (a defect the English seem subject to, from their too great use of sugar) she had in her ears two pearls, with very rich drops; she wore false hair and that red; upon her head she had a small crown, reported to be made of some of the gold of the celebrated Lunebourg table: her bosom was uncovered, as all the English ladies have it, till they marry; and she had on a necklace of exceeding fine jewels: her hands were small, her fingers long, and her stature neither tall nor low; her air was stately, her manner of speaking mild and obliging.

That day she was dressed in white silk, bordered with pearls of the size of beans, and over it a mantle of black silk, shot with silver threads; her train was very long, the end of it born by a marchioness; instead of a chain, she had an oblong collar of gold and jewels. As she went along in all this state and magnificence, she spoke very graciously, first to one, then to another, whether foreign ministers, or those who attended for different reasons, in English, French and Italian; for besides being well skilled in Greek, Latin, and the languages I have mentioned, she is mistress of Spanish, Scotch, and Dutch: Whoever speaks to her, it is kneeling; now and then she raises some with her hand. While we Were there, William Slawata, a Bohemian Baron, had letters to present to her; and she after pulling off her glove, gave him her right hand to kiss, sparkling with rings and jewels, a mark of particular favour: Wherever she turned her face as she was going along, every body fell down on their knees.

The Ladies of the Court followed next to her, very handsome and will shaped, and for the most part dressed in white; she was guarded on each side by the Gentlemen Pensioners, fifty in number, with gilt battle-axes; in the anti-chapel next the hall where we were petitions were presented to her, and she received them most graciously, which occasioned the acclamation of, GOD Save The Queen Elisabeth! she answered it with, "Thank You My Good People!" (Read more.)

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