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soliloquy, for the instruction of the “auditorium at large, that the cry of Talbot serves him for a sword ; "for I have loaden me with many spoils, using no other weapon but his name.” Such a hero it is highly natural in the Countess of Auvergne to desire to see.

Of course she has formed an idea of his person. A warrior so doughty must needs be of stalwart frame-a man of towering stature and imposing presence. My lady has pictured Talbot to herself as a very Hercules, a Hector at the least, or some equally Muscular Pagan:

Great is the rumour of this dreadful knight,
And his achievements of no less account:
Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears,
To give their censure of these rare reports,

The opportunity of doing so occurs soon. Talbot receives a message from “the virtuous lady, Countess of Auvergne," with modesty admiring his renown, in which she entreats him to vouchsafe to visit her poor castle, that she may boast she hath beheld the man whose glory fills the world with high report. At once the Lord Talbot complies.

There is plot and counterplot in the encounter, but with that we are not here concerned. It is with the contrast between the lady's ideal of Talbot, and the physique of the real man himself, that we have to do. Her messenger returns, bringing Talbot with him, and together they enter the court of the castle, where the Countess is already waiting. And then ensues a shock of more than what Wordsworth calls mild surprise :

Enter MESSENGER and TALBOT.
Mess. Madam,
According as your ladyship desired,
My message craved, so is Lord Talbot come.

Countess. And he is welcome. What ! is this the man?
Mess. Madam, it is.

Countess. Is this the scourge of France ?
Is this the Talbot so much feared abroad,
That with his name the mothers still their babes ?
I see report is fabulous and false :
I thought I should have seen some Hercules,
A second Hector, for his grim aspect,
And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
Alas! this is a child, a silly dwarf :
It cannot be this weak and writhled shrimp
Should strike such terror to his enemies."

But even her ladyship, before the interview was over, came to think this little shrimp of a fellow very like a whale.

a

Agesilaus, the great King of Sparta, was small of size; and when Tachos, King of Egypt, on forming an alliance with him, had his first sight of his petty person, the sum total of the Spartan hero's inches was so absurdly inferior to Egypt's expectations, that Tachos had the ill manners to vent his disappointment in a reference to the mountain which brought forth a mouse. "Ωδινεν όρος, Ζευς δ'έφοa .

, βείτο, το δ' έτεκεν μύν. The mountain was in labour, and Zeus himself was all alarm,—but what

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RECREATIONS OF A RECLUSE.

LITTLE TALBOT THE GREAT.

The very name of Talbot was a terror in France, and served to still fractious babes, as well as to rout his foes in a panic of dismay, when the Countess of Auvergne longed so to see this redoubtable Englishman, and plotted to take him with guile. In one of the scenes on the battlements before Orleans, in the First Part of King Henry the Sixth, where numbers of the French are gathered together, and the Dauphin and even La Pucelle are amongst them, we have an English soldier suddenly rushing in, with the cry of “ A Talbot ! A Talbot !” and incontinently there is an exeunt omnes, leaving their clothes behind them : a coup de théâtre eminently adapted to tickle the patriotism of British spectators when Elizabeth was queen. The one soldier who has thus put to flight almost an army of the aliens, is an old hand at the trick, which, by his own account, has answered more than once. He makes bold to take their leavings, and informs himself in VOL. II.

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soliloquy, for the instruction of the “auditorium ” at large, that the cry of Talbot serves him for a sword; “ for I have loaden me with many spoils, using no other weapon but his name.” Such a hero it is highly natural in the Countess of Auvergne to desire to see.

Of course she has formed an idea of his person. A warrior so doughty must needs be of stalwart frame-a man of towering stature and imposing presence. My lady has pictured Talbot to herself as a very Hercules, a Hector at the least, or some equally Muscular Pagan:

Great is the rumour of this dreadful knight,
And his achievements of no less account:
Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears,
To give their censure of these rare reports.

The opportunity of doing so occurs soon. Talbot receives a message from “the virtuous lady, Countess of Auvergne,” with modesty admiring his renown, in which she entreats him to vouchsafe to visit her poor castle, that she may boast she hath beheld the man whose glory fills the world with high report. At once the Lord Talbot complies.

There is plot and counterplot in the encounter, but with that we are not here concerned. It is with the contrast between the lady's ideal of Talbot, and the physique of the real man himself, that we have to do. Her messenger returns, bringing Talbot with him, and together they enter the court of the castle, where the Countess is already waiting. And

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