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Chapter 16
Then call them to our presence. Face to face,
And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
The accuser and accused freely speak;--
High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire,
In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire. RICHARD II.
"I am ordered to attend court to-morrow," said Leicester, speaking to Varney, "to meet,
as they surmise, my Lord of Sussex. The Queen intends to take up matters betwixt us.
This comes of her visit to Sayes Court, of which you must needs speak so lightly."
"I maintain it was nothing," said Varney; "nay, I know from a sure intelligencer, who was
within earshot of much that was said, that Sussex has lost rather than gained by that
visit. The Queen said, when she stepped into the boat, that Sayes Court looked like a
guard-house, and smelt like an hospital. 'Like a cook's shop in Ram's Alley, rather,' said
the Countess of Rutland, who is ever your lordship's good friend. And then my Lord of
Lincoln must needs put in his holy oar, and say that my Lord of Sussex must be
excused for his rude and old-world housekeeping, since he had as yet no wife."
"And what said the Queen?" asked Leicester hastily.
"She took him up roundly," said Varney, "and asked what my Lord Sussex had to do
with a wife, or my Lord Bishop to speak on such a subject. 'If marriage is permitted,' she
said, 'I nowhere read that it is enjoined.'"
"She likes not marriages, or speech of marriage, among churchmen," said Leicester.
"Nor among courtiers neither," said Varney; but, observing that Leicester changed
countenance, he instantly added, "that all the ladies who were present had joined in
ridiculing Lord Sussex's housekeeping, and in contrasting it with the reception her
Grace would have assuredly received at my Lord of Leicester's."
"You have gathered much tidings," said Leicester, "but you have forgotten or omitted
the most important of all. She hath added another to those dangling satellites whom it is
her pleasure to keep revolving around her."
"Your lordship meaneth that Raleigh, the Devonshire youth," said Varney--"the Knight of
the Cloak, as they call him at court?"
"He may be Knight of the Garter one day, for aught I know," said Leicester, "for he
advances rapidly--she hath capped verses with him, and such fooleries. I would gladly
abandon, of my own free will, the part--I have in her fickle favour; but I will not be
elbowed out of it by the clown Sussex, or this new upstart. I hear Tressilian is with