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charges; yet he counted the alteration of the hand as much as the principal debt. And besides, it was left somewhat indefinitely when it should determine or expire; which made the English esteem it as a tribute carried under fair terms. And the truth is, it was paid both to the King and to his son King Henry the eighth, longer than it could continue upon any computation of charges. There was also assigned by the French King, unto all the King's principal counsellors, great pensions, besides rich gifts for the present. Which whether the King did permit, to save his own purse from rewards, or to communicate the envy of a business, that was displeasing to his people, was diversly interpreted. For certainly the King had no great fancy to own this peace. And therefore a little before it was concluded, he had under-hand procured some of his best captains and men of war to advise him to a peace, under their hands, in an earnest manner, in the nature of a supplication. But the truth is, this peace was welcome to both Kings. To Charles, for that it assured unto him the possession of Britain, and freed the enterprise of Naples. To Henry, for that it filled his coffers; and that he foresaw at that time a storm of inward troubles coming upon him, which presently after brake forth. But it gave no less discontent to the nobility and principal persons of the army, who had many of them sold or engaged their estates upon the hopes of the war. They stuck not to say, "That the King cared not to plume his nobility and people, to feather himself." And some made themselves merry with that the King had said in parliament; "That after the war was "once begun, he doubted not but to make it pay it"self;" saying, he had kept promise.
Having risen from Boloign, he went to Calais, where he stayed some time. From whence also he wrote letters, which was a courtesy that he sometimes used, to the mayor of London, and the aldermen his brethren; half bragging what great sums he had obtained for the peace; knowing well that full coffers of the King is ever good news to London. And better news it would
have been, if their benevolence had been but a loan. And upon the seventeenth of December following he returned to Westminster, where he kept his Christmas.
Soon after the King's return, he sent the order of the garter to Alphonso duke of Calabria, eldest son to Ferdinando King of Naples. An honour sought by that Prince to hold him up in the eyes of the Italians; who expecting the arms of Charles, made great account of the amity of England for a bridle to France. It was received by Alphonso with all the ceremony and pomp that could be devised, as things use to be carried that are intended for opinion. It was sent by Urswick; upon whom the King bestowed this ambassage to help him after many dry employments.
At this time the King began again to be haunted with spirits, by the magic and curious arts of the lady Margaret; who raised up the ghost of Richard duke of York, second son to King Edward the fourth, to walk and vex the King. This was a finer counterfeit stone than Lambert Simnel; better done, and worn upon greater hands; being graced after with the wearing of a King of France, and a King of Scotland, not of a duchess of Burgundy only. And for Simnel, there was not much in him, more than that he was a handsome boy, and did not shame his robes. But this youth, of whom we are now to speak, was such a mercurial, as the like hath seldom been known; and could make his own part, if at any time he chanced to be out. Wherefore this being one of the strangest examples of a personation, that ever was in elder or later times; it deserveth to be discovered, and related at the full. Although the King's manner of shewing things by pieces, and by dark lights, hath so muffled it, that it hath left it almost as a mystery to this day.
The lady Margaret, whom the King's friends called Juno, because she was to him as Juno was to Eneas, stirring both heaven and hell to do him mischief, for a foundation of her particular practices against him, did continually, by all means possible, nourish, maintain, and divulge the flying opinion, that Richard duke of York, second son to Edward the fourth, was not mur
dered in the Tower, as was given out, but saved alive. For that those who were employed in that barbarous fact, having destroyed the elder brother, were stricken with remorse and compassion towards the younger, and set him privily at liberty to seek his fortune. This lure she cast abroad, thinking that this fame and belief, together with the fresh example of Lambert Simnel, would draw at one time or other some birds to strike upon it. She used likewise a farther diligence, not committing all to chance: for she had some secret espials, like to the Turks commissioners for children of tribute, to look abroad for handsome and graceful youths, to make Plantagenets, and dukes of York. At the last she did light on one, in whom all things met, as one would wish, to serve her turn for a counterfeit of Richard duke of York.
This was Perkin Warbeck, whose adventures we shall now describe. For first, the years agreed well. Secondly, he was a youth of fine favour and shape. But more than that, he had such a crafty and bewitching fashion, both to move pity, and to induce belief, as was like a kind of fascination and inchantment to those that saw him or heard him. Thirdly, he had been from his childhood such a wanderer, or, as the King called him, such a land-loper, as it was extreme hard to hunt out his nest and parents. Neither again could any man, by company or conversing with him, be able to say or detect well what he was, he did so flit from place to place. Lastly, there was a circumstance, which is mentioned by one that wrote in the “same time, that is very likely to have made somewhat to the matter: which is, that King Edward the fourth was his godfather. Which, as it is somewhat suspicious for a wanton prince to become gossip in so mean va house, and might make a man think, that he might indeed have in him some base blood of the house of York; so at the least, though that were not, it might give the occasion to the boy, in being called King Ed. ward's godson, or perhaps in sport King Edward's son, to entertain such thoughts into his head. For tutor he *had none, for ought that appears, as Lambert Simnel
had, until he came unto the lady Margaret who instructed him.
Thus therefore it came to pass: There was a townsman of Tournay, that had born office in that town, whose name was John Osbeck, a convert Jew, married to Catherine de Faro, whose business drew him to live for a time with his wife at London in King Edward the fourth's days. During which time he had a son by her, and being known in court, the King either out of a religious nobleness, because he was a convert, or upon some private acquaintance, did him the honour to be godfather to his child, and named him Peter. But afterwards, proving a dainty and effeminate youth, he was commonly called by the diminutive of his name, Peterkin, or Perkin. For as for the name of Warbeck, it was given him when they did but guess at it, before examinations had been taken. But yet he had been so much talked on by that name, as it stuck by him after his true name of Osbeck was known. While he was a young child, his parents returned with him to Tournay. Then was he placed in a house of a kinsman of his, called John Stenbeck, at Antwerp, and so roved up and down between Antwerp and Tournay, and other towns of Flanders, for a good time; living much in English company, and having the English tongue perfect. In which time, being grown a comely youth, he was brought by some of the espials of the lady Margaret into her presence. Who viewing him well, and seeing that he had a face and personage that would bear a noble fortune; and finding him otherwise of a fine spirit and winning behaviour; thought she had now found a curious piece of marble to carve out an image of a duke of York. She kept him by her a great while, but with extreme secrecy. The while she instructed him by many cabinet conferences. First, in princely behaviour and gesture; teaching him how he should keep state, and yet with a modest sense of his misfortunes. Then she informed him of all the circumstances and particulars that concerned the person of Richard duke of York, which he was to act; describing unto him the personages, lineaments, and features of the King and Queen his pretended parents; and of his
brother, and sisters, and divers others, that were nearest him in his childhood; together with all passages, some secret, some common, that were fit for a child's memory, until the death of King Edward. Then she added the particulars of the time from the King's death, until he and his brother were committed to the Tower, as well during the time he was abroad, as while he was in sanctuary. As for the times while he was in the Tower, and the manner of his brother's death, and his own escape; she knew they were things that a very few could controul. And therefore she taught him only to tell a smooth and likely tale of those matters; warning him not to vary from it. It was agreed likewise between them, what account he should give of his peregrination abroad, intermixing many things which were true, and such as they knew others could testify, for the credit of the rest; but still making them to hang together with the part he was to play. She taught him likewise how to avoid sundry captious and tempting questions, which were like to be asked of him. But in this she found him of himself so nimble and shifting, as she trusted much to his own wit and readiness; and therefore laboured the less in it. Lastly, she raised his thoughts with some present rewards, and farther promises; setting before him chiefly the glory and fortune of a crown, if things went well, and a sure refuge to her court, if the worst should fall. After such time as she thought he was perfect in his lesson, she began to cast with herself from what coast this blazing star should first appear, and at what time it must be upon the horizon of Ireland; for there had the like meteor strong influence before. The time of the apparition to be, when the King should be engaged into a war with France. But well she knew, that whatsoever should come from her, would be held suspected. And therefore, if he should go out of Flanders immediately into Ireland, she might be thought to have some hand in it. And besides, the time was not yet ripe; for that the two Kings were then upon terms of peace. Therefore she wheeled about; and to put all suspicion afar off, and loth to keep him any longer by her, for that she knew secrets are not long-lived, she sent him unknown into