Essex to Etty's Nine Pictures

Essex (The earl of), a tragedy by Henry Jones (1745). Lord Burleigh and sir Walter Raleigh entertained a mortal hatred to the earl of Essex, and accused him to the queen of treason. Elizabeth disbelieved the charge; but at this juncture the earl left Ireland, whither the queen had sent him, and presented himself before her. Being very angry, she struck him, and Essex rushed into open rebellion, was taken, and condemned to death. The queen had given him a ring before the trial, telling him whatever petition he asked should be granted, if he sent to her this ring. When the time of execution drew nigh, the queen sent the countess of Nottingham to the Tower, to ask Essex if he had any plea to make, and the earl entreated her to present the ring to her majesty, and petition her to spare the life of his friend Southampton. The countess purposely neglected this charge, and Essex was executed. The queen, it is true, sent a reprieve, but lord Burleigh took care it should arrive too late. The poet says that Essex had recently married the countess of Rutland, that both the queen and the countess of Nottingham were jealous, and that this jealousy was the chief cause of the earl’s death.

The abbé Boyer, La Calprenède, and Corneille have tragedies on the same subject.

The general history and character of Essex was marvellously reproduced in Biron, the French conspirator in the reign of Henri IV.

Earl of Essex (1569–1601); due de Biron (1562–1602).

Essex (The earl of), lord high constable of England, introduced by sir W. Scott in his novel called Ivanhoe (time, Richard I.).

Estella, a haughty beauty, adopted by Miss Havisham. She was affianced by her wish to Pip, but married Bentley Drummle. She was the natural child of Magwitch the convict and Molly the housekeeper of Jaggers, Miss Havisham’s lawyer, who introduced the child at three years old to Miss Havisham.—Dickens: Great Expectations (1860).

Esther, housekeeper to Muhldenau, minister of Mariendorpt. She loves Hans, a servant to the minister, but Hans is shy, and Esther has to teach him how to woo and win her. Esther and Hans are similar to Helen and Modus, only in a lower social grade.—Knowles: The Maid of Mariendorpt (1838).

Esther (The book of), one of the historical books of the Old Testament, containing an account of queen Esther, who broke up a plot of Haman for the extirpation of the Jews in Persia.

The feast of Purim (i.e. lots) was established to commemorate this deliverance; and it was so called because the day of slaughter was fixed by “lots” (Ezra ix. 14).

Esther Hawdon, better known through the tale as Esther Summerson, natural daughter of captain Hawdon and lady Dedlock (before her marriage with sir Leicester Dedlock). Esther is a most lovable, gentle creature, called by those who know her and love her, “Dame Durden” or “Dame Trot.” She is the heroine of the tale, and a ward in Chancery. Eventually she marries Allan Woodcourt, a surgeon.—Dickens: Bleak House (1852).

Esther Lyon, daughter of Rufus Lyon, in George Eliot’s novel of Felix Holt. She eventually marries Felix (1866).

Estifania, an intriguing woman, servant of donna Margaritta the Spanish heiress. She palms herself off on don Michael Perez (the copper captain) as an heiress, and the mistress of Margaritta’s mansion. The captain marries her, and finds out that all her swans are only geese.—Fletcher: Rule a Wife and Have a Wife (1640).

Mrs. Pritchard was excellent in “The Queen” in Hamlet [Shakespeare], “Clarinda” [The Beau’s Duel, Centlivre], “Estifania,” “Doll Common” [The Alchemist, B. Jonson].—Dibdin.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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