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MONTHLY PACKET

OP

EVENING READINGS

FOR

Members of the English Church.

EDITED BY CHARLOTTE M. YONGE,

AUTHOR OF THE HEIB OF REDCLIFFE.'

THIRD SERIES.

VOLUME XX.

PARTS CXV. TO CXX. JULY-DECEMBER, 1890.

LONDON:

WALTER SMITH AND INNES

(LATE MOZLEY),
31 & 32, BEDFORD STREET, STRAND, W.C.

1890.

LONDON :

PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,

STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS

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The Monthly pachet .

JULY, 1890.

TWO PENNILESS PRINCESSES.

CHAPTER VII.

THE MINSTREL KING'S COURT.

Where throngs of knights and barons bold
In weeds of peace high triumph hold,
With store of ladies whose bright eyes
Rain influence and judge the prize
Of wit or arms, while all contend

To win her grace whom all commend.'—L’Allegro. The whole of the two Courts had to be received in the capital of Lorraine in full state under the beautiful old gateway, but as mediæval pageants are wearisome matters this may be passed over, though it was exceptionally beautiful and poetic, owing to the influence of King René's taste, and it perfectly dazzled the two Scottish Princesses—though, to tell the truth, they were somewhat disappointed in the personal appearance of their entertainers, who did not come up to their notion of royalty. Their father had been a stately and magnificent man; their mother a beautiful woman. Henry VI. was a tall, well-made, handsome man, with Plantagenet fairness and regularity of feature and a sweetness all his own; but both these kings were, like all the house of Valois, small men with insignificant features and sallow complexions. René, indeed, had something vivid about him that compensated for want of beauty, and Charles had a good-natured, easy, indolent look and gracious smile that gave him an undefinable air of royalty. René's daughters were both very lovely, but their beauty came from the other side of the house, with the blood of Charles the Great, through their mother, the heiress of Lorraine.

There was a curious contrast between the brothers-in-law, when, dismounting at the castle gate, Charles, not disguising his weariness and relief that it was over, and René, eager and anxious, desirous of making all his bewildering multitude of guests as happy as possible, VOL. 20.

1

PART 115.

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