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religion, and the observance thereof, I know no better argument than this, That although she found the Romish religion confirmed in her sister's days by act of parliament, and established by all strong and potent means that could be devised, and to have taken deep root in this kingdom; and that all those which had any authority, or bear any office in the state, had subscribed to it; yet for that she saw it was not agreeable to the word of God, nor to the primitive purity, nor to her own conscience, she did, with a great deal of courage, and with the assistance of a very few persons, quite expel and abolish it. Neither did she this by precipitate and heady courses, but timing it wisely and soberly. And this may well be conjectured, as from the thing itself, so also by an answer of her's which she made upon occasion. For within a very few days of her coming to the crown, when many prisoners were released out of prison, as the custom is at the inauguration of a prince, there came to her one day, as she was going to chapel, a certain courtier that had the liberty of a buffoon, and either out of his own motion, or by the instigation of a wiser man, presented her with a petition: and before a great number of courtiers, said to her with a loud voice, “ That “ there were yet four or five prisoners unjustly “ detained in prison; he came to be a suitor to have “ them set at liberty; those were the four Evan

gelists, and the Apostle Saint Paul, who had been

long shut up in an unknown tongue, as it were in “prison, so as they could not converse with the


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common people.” The queen answered very gravely, “ That it was best first to inquire of them, whether they would be set at liberty or no.” Thus she silenced an unseasonable motion with a doubtful answer, as reserving the matter wholly in her own power.

Neither did she bring in this alteration timorously, or by pieces, but in a grave and mature manner, after a conference betwixt both sides, and the calling and conclusion of a parliament. And thus within the compass of one year she did so establish and settle all matters belonging to the church, as she departed not one hair's breadth from them to the end of her life : nay, and her usual custom was, in the beginning of every parliament, to forewarn the houses not to question or innovate any thing already established in the discipline or rites of the church. And thus much of her religion.

Now if there be any severer nature that shall tax her for that she suffered herself, and was very willing to be courted, wooed, and to have sonnets made in her commendation; and that she continued this longer than was decent for her years : notwithstanding, if you

will take this matter at the best it is not without singular admiration, being much like unto that which we find in fabulous narrations, of a certain queen in the Fortunate Islands, and of her court and fashions, where fair-purpose and love-making was allowed, but lasciviousness banished. But if you will take it at the worst, even so it amounteth to a more high admiration, considering that these courtships did not much eclipse her fame, and not at all

her majesty; neither did they make her less apt for government, or chock with the affairs and businesses of the public, for such passages as these do often entertain the time even with the greatest princes. But to make an end of this discourse, certainly this princess was good and moral, and such she would be acknowledged; she detested vice, and desired to purchase fame only by honourable courses. And indeed whilst I mention her moral parts, there comes a certain passage into my mind which I will insert. Once giving order to write to her ambassador about certain instructions to be delivered apart to the queen-mother of the house of Valois, and that her secretary had inserted a certain clause that the ambassador should say, as it were to endear her to the queen-mother, “ That they two were the only

pair of female princes, from whom, for experience “ and arts of government, there was no less expected " than from the greatest kings.” She utterly disliked the comparison, and commanded it to be put out, saying, “ That she practised other principles “ and arts of government than the queen-mother “ did.” Besides, she was not a little pleased, if any one should fortune to tell her, that suppose she had lived in a private fortune, yet she could not have escaped without some note of excellency and singularity in her sex. So little did she desire to borrow or be beholding to her fortune for her praise. But if I should wade further into this queen's praises, moral or politic, either I must slide into certain common places, and heads of virtue, which were not

worthy of so great a princess : or if I should desire to give her virtues the true grace and lustre, I must fall into a history of her life, which requireth both better leisure and a better pen than mine is. Thus much in brief according to my ability : but to say the truth, the only commender of this lady's virtues is time; which for as many ages as it hath run, hath not yet shewed us one of the female sex equal to her in the administration of a kingdom.







Julius CÆSAR was partaker at first of an exercised fortune; which turned to his benefit: for it abated the haughtiness of his spirit, and whetted his industry. He had a mind, turbulent in his desires and affections; but in his judgment and understanding very serene and placid : and this appears by his easy deliverances of himself, both in his transactions and in his speech. For no man ever resolved more swiftly, or spake more perspicuously and plainly. There was nothing forced or difficult in his expressions. But in his will and appetite, he was of that condition, that he never rested in those things he had gotten; but still thirsted and pursued after new; yet so, that he would not rush into new affairs rashly, but settle and make an end of the former, before he attempted fresh actions. So that he would put a seasonable period to all his undertakings. And therefore, though he won many battles in Spain, and weakened their forces by degrees; yet he would not give over, nor despise the relics of the civil war there, till he had seen all things composed : but then

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