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even in nature, the sight of his mind was like some sights of eyes; rather strong at hand, than to carry afar off. For his wit increased upon the occasion: and so much the more, if the occasion were sharpened by danger. Again, whether it were the shortness of his foresight, or the strength of his will, or the dazzling of his suspicions, or what it was; certain it is, that the perpetual troubles of his fortunes, there being no more matter out of which they grew, could not have been without some great defects and main errors in his nature, customs, and proceedings, which he had enough to do to save and help with a thousand little industries and watches. But those do best appear in the story itself. Yet take him with all his defects, if a man should compare him with the Kings his concurrents in France, and Spain, he shall find him more politie than Lewis the twelfth of France, and more entire and sincere than Ferdinando of Spain. But if you shall change Lewis the twelfth for Lewis the eleventh, who lived a little before, then the consort is more perfect. For that Lewis the eleventh, Ferdinando, and Henry, may be esteemed for the tres magi of kings of those ages. To conclude, if this King did no greater matters, it was long of himself: for what he minded he compassed.

He was a comely personage, a little above just stature, well and straight limbed, but slender. His countenance was reverend, and a little like a churchman: and as it was not strange or dark, so neither was it winning or pleasing, but as the face of one well disposed. But it was to the disadvantage of the painter, for it was best when he spake.

His worth may bear a tale or two, that may put upon him somewhat that may seem divine. When the lady Margaret his mother had divers great suitors for marriage, she dreamed one night, that one in the likeness of a bishop in pontifical habit did tender her Edmund earl of Richmond, the King's father, for her husband, neither had she ever any child but the King, though she had three husbands. One day when King Henry the sixth, whose innocency gave him holiness, was washing

his hands at a great feast, and cast his eye upon King Henry, then a young youth, he said; "This is the lad that shall possess quietly that, that we now strive for." But that, that was truly divine in him, was that he had the fortune of a true Christian, as well as of a great King, in living exercised, and dying repentant: So as he had an happy warfare in both conflicts, both of sin, and the cross.

He was born at Pembroke castle, and lieth buried at Westminster, in one of the stateliest and daintiest monuments of Europe, both for the chapel, and for the sepulchre. So that he dwelleth more richly dead, in the monument of his tomb, than he did alive in Richmond, or any of his palaces. I could wish he did the like in this monument of his fame.

THE

HISTORY OF THE REIGN

or

KING HENRY THE EIGHTH.

AFTER the decease of that wise and fortunate King, Henry the seventh, who died in the height of his pros perity, there followed, as useth to do, when the sun setteth so exceeding clear, one of the fairest mornings of a kingdom that hath been known in this land, or any where else. A young King, about eighteen years of age, for stature, strength, making, and beauty, one of the goodliest persons of his time. And though he were given to pleasure, yet he was likewise desirous of glory; so that there was a passage open in his mind, by glory, for virtue. Neither was he unadorned with learning, though. therein he came short of his brother Arthur. He had. never any the least pique, difference, or jealousy with the King his father, which might give any occasion of altering court or council upon the change; but all things passed in a still. He was the first heir of the white and red rose; so that there was no discontented party now left in the kingdom, but all men's hearts turned towards him: and not only their hearts, but their eyes also; for he was the only son of the kingdom. He had no brother; which though it be a comfortable thing for Kings to have, yet it draweth the subjects eyes a little aside. And yet being a married man in those young years, it promised hope of speedy issue to succeed in the crown. Neither was there any Queen mother, who might share any way in the government, or clash with his counsellors for authority, while the King intended his pleasure. No such thing as any great and mighty subject, who might any way eclipse or overshade the imperial power. And for the people and state in general, they were in such lowness of obedience, as subjects were like to yield, who

had lived almost four and twenty years under so politic a King as his father; being also one who came partly in by the sword; and had so high a courage in all points of regality; and was ever victorious in rebellions and seditions of the people. The crown extremely rich and full of treasure, and the kingdom like to be so in a short time. For there was no war, no dearth, no stop of trade, or commerce; it was only the crown which had sucked too hard, and now being full, and upon the head of a young King, was like to draw less. Lastly, he was inheritor of his father's reputation, which was great throughout the world. He had strait alliance with the two neighbour states, an ancient enemy in former times, and an ancient friend, Scotland and Burgundy. He had peace and amity with France, under the assurance, not only of treaty and league, but of necessity and inability in the French to do him hurt, in respect that the French King's designs were wholly bent upon Italy; so that it may be truly said, there had scarcely been seen, or known, in many ages, such a rare concurrence of signs and promises, and of a happy and flourishing reign to ensue, as were now met in this young King, called after his father's name, Henry the eighth.

VOL. V.

THE

BEGINNING

OF THE

HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN.

By the decease of Elizabeth, Queen of England, the issues of King Henry the eighth failed, being spent in one generation, and three successions. For that King, though he were one of the goodliest persons of his time, yet he left only by his six wives three children; who reigning successively, and dying childless, made place to the line of Margaret, his eldest sister, married to Jamesthe fourth King of Scotland. There succeeded therefore to the kingdom of England, James the sixth, then King of Scotland, descended of the same Margaret both by father and mother: so that by a rare event in the pedigrees of Kings, it seemed as if the divine providence, to extinguish and take away all envy and note of a stranger, had doubled upon his person, within the circle of one age, the royal blood of England, by both parents. This succession drew towards it the eyes of all men, being one of the most memorable accidents that had happened a long time in the Christian world. For the kingdom of France having been reunited in the age before in all the provinces thereof formerly dismembred: and the kingdom of Spain being, of more fresh memory, united and made entire, by the annexing of Portugal in the person of Philip the second; there remained but this third and last union, for the counterpoising of the power of these three great monarchies; and the disposing of the affairs of Europe thereby to a more assured and universal peace and concord. And this event did hold mens observations and discourses the more, because the island of Great Britain, divided from the rest of the world, was never before united in itself under one King, notwithstanding the people be of one language, and not separate by moun

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