162 THE BLACK PRINCE'S RUBY.
to show him some of her most precious belongings. She first opened a
lettroun (cabinet) where he beheld a number of little pictures wrapped
up in paper, with its name on each one written by her own royal hand.
The first one was thus labelled: "My Lord's Picture." It was
Leicester's portrait, and Melville holding the candle begged to see it,
but Elizabeth made difficulties about it; then the envoy pressed her to
let him carry it back with him to show to his own queen, thinking
apparently that the sight of the handsome face would move her to the
marriage more than, all political considerations. Elizabeth declared
that she could not give it up as she had but that one, upon which
Melville retorted that she had the original. " She shewed me a fair
ruby, great like a racket-ball. I desired she would either send it to
my queen or the Earl of Leicester's picture. She replied ' If Queen
Mary would follow her counsels she would get them both in time and all
she had, but she would send a diamond as a token by me.'" It