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stallion in the commonwealth could match his form, spirit or gait.
Apollo with his rosy footsteps lit up hill, meadow and lawn, and kissed away the sparkling dewdrops of bush and hedge, cheering us on our way through the towns of Thane, over the Chilton Hills, on to Great Marlow, Maidenhead and renowned Windsor, where forest and castle thrilled the beholder with admiration for the works of Nature and Art.
It was late in the afternoon when we entered the broad highway to Windsor, passing numerous yeomen and tradespeople on their way to and from the royal domain of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
In striding along, with hearts light and airy, we were suddenly startled by cries of frantic yells coming from the rear, and looking around beheld a wild, runaway horse, and an open wagon with two young girls screaming for help.
To see, think and act was always the way of William, and as the horse rushed by with wagon and girls, nearly clipping our legs off, the Bard made a leap for the tail board of the vehicle and landed in the midst of the frightened girls. He then, as if inspired with the impulse of a tiger, jumped on the back of the rushing animal, grabbed the trailing lines, and neck of the horse, and steered him into a huge box hedge row that skirted the castle walls of Windsor.
Every one went after the runaway to see the fate of the party; but strange to say, the horse was lodged high and dry in the hedge row, while William and the girls crawled out of the wreck with
out a scratch, soon recovering from the fear, trepidation and danger that but a moment before reigned supreme.
We put up for the night at the Red Lion Tavern, and you may be sure that William was the hero of the town.
Rose and Bess Montagle were the young ladies whose lives had been providentially saved, and their father was the head gamekeeper of Windsor.
William was invited for breakfast the next morning at the stone lodge to receive hearty thanks and reward for his heroic action in risking his life for the salvation of others; but the Bard excused himself, saying that he must start by daylight for his last stretch to London, and only asked from the young ladies a sprig of boxwood and lock of their golden hair.
At parting the father threw William a bag of gold, and the girls presented him with the tokens desired, in addition to impulsive bashful kisses.
We were off promptly by sunrise, and steering our course to Houndslow, Brentford, Kensington, and to the top of Primrose Hill, we first caught sight of the spires, domes, turrets, temples and palaces of multitudinous, universal London.
"London, the needy villain's general home,
LONDON. ITS GUILT AND GLORY.
"They say, best men are molded out of faults; And for the most, become much more the better For being a little bad."
It was on the 13th of September, 1586, that William and myself first feasted our eyes on the variegated wilderness of wood, mortar, stone and tile of wonderful London.
The evening was bright and clear, while a northwest wind blew away the smoky clouds that hovered over the city like a funeral pall, displaying to our view the silver sinuosities of old Father Thames, as he moved in sluggish grandeur by Westminster, Blackfriars Bridge, the Tower, and to Gravesend, on his way to the channel and the sea.
To get a grand view of the town, an old sexton advised us to climb the steeple steps of crumbling Saint Mary's, that once felt the tread of the Crusaders, and heard the chanting hymn of monks, nuns and friars five hundred years before.
Standing on a broken column of the old steeple, three hundred feet above Primrose Hill, William struck an attitude of theatrical fashion and uttered the following oratorical flight:
Glorious London! Leviathan of human greed;
Have swept over thee like winter storms;
Where the cry of the wolf, bat and bittern
Of Time, the tyrant and tomb builder
We quickly descended from the steeple, passed by Buckingham Palace, Regent Park, British Museum, through Chancery Lane into Fleet street, by Ludgate Hill, under the shadow of old battered Saint Paul's Church on to the Devil's Tavern, near Blackfriars Bridge, where we found gay and comfortable lodgings for the night, it being twelve o'clock when we shook hands with Meg Mullen, the rubicund landlady.
The Devil's Tavern was a resort for actors, authors, bohemians, lords and ladies, who did not retire early to their downy couches.
The night we arrived the tavern was crowded, as the Actors' Annual Ball was in progress, and many fair women and brave men belated by Bacchus could not find their way home, and were compelled to remain all night and be cared for by the host of the Devil.
I told "Meg" we were Stratford boys, come up to London to seek our fortune, and set the Thames afire with our genius.
Plucking the "rosy" dame aside, I informed her that William Shakspere was a poet, author, actor and philosopher; and, while he was posing over the counter, smiling at a blooming barmaid, he looked the picture of his own immortal Romeo. Meg told me in a quizzical tone that the town was