« PreviousContinue »
tented eye: of the constancy of her favours, which / putteth on a resolution not only to use the means of maketh service as a journey by land, whereas the those countries, but to spend and consume all his service of other princes is like an embarking ly sea. other means, the treasure of his Indies, and the forces For her royal wisdom and policy of government, he of his ill-compacted dominions there and upon them. that shall note and observe the prudent temper she | The Carles that rebelled in the North, before the useth in admitting access; of the one side maintain- duke of Norfolk's plot, which, indeed, was the ing the majesty of her degree, and on the other side strength and seal of that commotion, was fully ripe, not prejudicing herself by looking to her estate brake forth, and prevented their time. The king through too few windows: her exquisite judgment Sebastian of Portugal, whom the king of Spain in choosing and finding good servants, a point be- would fain have persuaded that it was a devouter yond the former : her profound discretion in assign- enterprise to purge christendom, than to enlarge it, ing and appropriating every of them to their aptest though I know some think that he did artificially employment : her penetrating sight in discovering nourish him in that voyage, is cut a-pieces with his every man's ends and drifts : her wonderful art in army in Africa : then hath the king of Spain work keeping servants in satisfaction, and yet in appetite: cut out to make all things in readiness during the her inventing wit in contriving plots and overturns : old cardinal's time for the conquest of Portugal ; her exact caution in censuring the propositions of whereby his desire of invading of England was slackothers for her service: her foreseeing events: her ened and put off some years, and by that means was usage of occasions : he that shall consider of these, put in execution at a time for some respects much and other things that may not well be touched, as more to his disadvantage. And the same invasion, he shall never cease to wonder at such a queen, so like and as if it had been attempted before, it had he shall wonder the less, that in so dangerous times, the time much more proper and favourable ; so likewhen wits are so cunning, humours extravagant, wise had it in true discourse a better season afterpassions so violent, the corruptions so great, the wards : for, if it had been dissolved till time that the dissimulations so deep, factions so many; she hath League had been better confirmed in France ; which notwithstanding done such great things, and reigned no doubt would have been, if the duke of Guise, in felicity.
who was the only man of worth on that side, had To speak of her fortune, that which lived; and the French king durst never have laid A fortuna.
I did reserve for a garland of her hand upon him, had he not been animated by the honour; and that is, that she liveth a virgin,,and English victory against the Spaniards precedent. hath no children: so it is that which maketh all her And then, if some maritime town had been gotten other virtues and acts more sacred, more august, into the hands of the League, it had been a great more divine. Let them leave children that leave surety and strength to the enterprise. The popes, no other memory in their times: “ Brutorum æter- to consider of them whose course and policy it had nitas, soboles.” Revolve in histories the memories been, knowing her Majesty's natural clemency, to of happy men, and you shall not find any of rare have temporized and dispensed with the papists felicity but either he died childless, or his line spent coming to church, that through the ask of their soon after his death ; or else was unfortunate in his hypocrisy they might have been brought into places children. Should a man have them to be slain by of government in the state and in the country: these, his vassals, as the posthumus of Alexander the Great contrariwise, by the instigation of some fugitive was? or to call them his imposthumes, as Augustus scholars that advised him, not that was best for the Cæsar called his ? Peruse the catalogue : Cornelius see of Rome, but what agreed best with their eager Sylla, Julius Cæsar, Flavius Vespasianus, Severus, humours and desperate states; discover and declare Constantinus the Great, and many more. “ Gene-themselves so far by sending most seminaries, and rare et liberi, humana: creare et operari, divina." taking of reconcilements, as there is now severity of And therefore, this objection removed, let us proceed laws introduced for the repressing of that sort, and to take a view of her felicity.
men of that religion are become the suspect. What A mate of fortune she never took : should I speak of so many conspiracies miraculously A felicitate.
only some adversity she passed at the detected ? the records show the treasons: but it is first, to give her a quicker sense of the prosperity yet hidden in many of them how they came to light. that should follow, and to make her more reposed in What should I speak of the opportune death of her the Divine Providence. Well, she cometh to the enemies, and the wicked instruments towards her crown: it was no small fortune to find at her entrance estate? Don Juan died not amiss : Darleigh, duke some such servants and counsellors as she then of Lenox, who was used as an instrument to divorce found. The French king, who at this time, by Scotland from the amity of England, died in no ill reason of the peace concluded with Spain, and of the season: a man withdrawn indeed at that time to interest he had in Scotland, might have proved a France; but not without great help. I may not dangerous neighbour : by how strange an accident mention the death of some that occur to mind : but was he taken away! The king of Spain, who, if still methinks, they live that should live, and they he would have inclined to reduce the Low Countries die that should die. I would not have the king of by lenity, considering the goodly revenues which he Spain die yet; he is seges gloriæ : but when he drew from those countries, the great commodity to groweth dangerous, or any other besides him, I am annoy her state from thence, might have made persuaded they will die. What should I speak of mighty and perilous matches against her repose ; | the fortunes of her armies, which, notwithstanding
the inward peace of this nation, were never more re- home with scorn and dishonour much greater, than nowned? What should I recount Leith, and New- the terror and expectation of their setting forth. haven for the honourable skirmishes and services ? These virtues and perfections, with so great felithey are no blemish at all to the militia of England. city, have made her the honour of her times, the
In the Low Countries; the Lammas day, the admiration of the world, the suit and aspiring of retreat of Ghent, the day of Zutphen, and the pros- greatest kings and princes, who yet durst never perous progress of this summer: the bravado in have aspired unto her, but as their minds were Portugal, and the honourable exploits in the aid of raised by love. the French king, besides the memorable voyages in But why do I forget that words do extenuate and the Indies; and lastly the good entertainment of the embase matters of so great weight? Time is her invincible navy, which was chased till the chasers best commender, which never brought forth such a were weary, after infinite loss, without taking a prince, whose imperial virtues contend with the cock-boat, without firing a sheep-cot, sailed on the excellency of her person: both virtues contend with mercies of the wind, and the discretion of their her fortune : and both virtue and fortune contend adventures, making a perambulation or pilgrimage with her fame. about the northern seas, and ignobling many shores
“Orbis amor, famæ carmen, cælique pupilla : and points of land by shipwreck: and so returned
Tu decus omue tuis, tu decus ipsa tibi !"
CERTAIN OBSERVATIONS UPON A LIBEL
PUBLISHED THIS PRESENT YEAR, 1592,
A DECLARATION OF THE TRUE CAUSES OF THE GREAT TROUBLES, PRESUPPOSED TO BE
INTENDED AGAINST THE REALM OF ENGLAND.
It were just and honourable for princes being in thought therein to please his humour, he hath wars together, that howsoever they prosecute their showed himself, contrariwise, utterly distasted therequarrels and debates by arms and acts of hostility ; with, and been ready to contest for the honour of an yea, though the wars be such, as they pretend the enemy. utter ruin and overthrow of the forces and states one According to which noble and magnanimous kind of another, yet they so limit their passions as they of proceeding, it will be found, that in the whole preserve two things sacred and inviolable ; that is, course of her Majesty's proceeding with the king of the life and good name each of other. For the Spain, since the amity interrupted, there was never wars are no massacres and confusions; but they are any project by her Majesty, or any of her ministers, the highest trials of right; when princes and states, either moved or assented unto, for the taking away that acknowledge no superior upon earth, shall put of the life of the said king: neither hath there been themselves upon the justice of God for the deciding any declaration or writing of estate, no nor book of their controversies by such success, as it shall allowed, wherein his honour hath been touched or please him to give on either side. And as in the taxed, otherwise than for his ambition ; a point process of particular pleas between private men, all which is necessarily interlaced with her Majesty's things ought to be ordered by the rules of civil own justification. So that no man needeth to doubt laws ; so in the proceedings of the war, nothing but that those wars are grounded, upon her Majesty's ought to be done against the law of nations, or the part, upon just and honourable causes, which have law of honour ; which laws have ever pronounced so just and honourable a prosecution ; considering it these two sorts of men, the one, conspirators against as a much harder matter when a prince is entered the persons of princes; the other, libellers against into wars to hold respect then, and not to be transtheir good fame; to be such enemies of common ported with passion, than to make moderate and just society as are not to be cherished, no not by ene. resolutions in the beginnings. mies. For in the examples of times which were But now if a man look on the other part, it will less corrupted, we find that when in the greatest appear that, rather, as it is to be thought, by the heats and extremities of wars, there have been made solicitation of traitorous subjects, which is the only offers of murderous and traitorous attempts against poison and corruption of all honourable war between the person of a prince to the enemy, they have been foreigners, or by the presumption of his agents and not only ejected, but also revealed; and in like man- ministers, than by the proper inclination of that ner, when dishonourable mention hath been made of a king, there hath been, if not plotted and practised, prince before an enemy prince, by some that have yet at the least comforted, conspiracies against her Majesty's sacred person ; which nevertheless God's cipal servants and counsellors; thinking, belike, that goodness hath used and turned, to show by such as the immediate invectives against her Majesty do miraculous discoveries into how near and precious best satisfy the malice of the foreigner, so the slancare and custody it hath pleased him to receive her der and calumniation of her principal counsellors Majesty's life and preservation. But in the other agreed best with the humours of some malecontents point it is strange what a number of libellous and within the realm ; imagining also, that it was like defamatory books and writings, and in what variety, they should be more scattered here, and freelier diswith what art and cunning handled, have been persed; and also should be less odious to those allowed to pass through the world in all languages foreigners which were not merely partial and pasagainst her Majesty and her government; sometimes sionate, who have for the most part in detestation pretending the gravity and authority of church the traitorous libellings of subjects directly against stories to move belief; sometimes formed into re- their natural prince. monstrances and advertisements of estate to move Amongst the rest in this kind, there hath been regard; sometimes presented as it were in tragedies published this present year of 1592, a libel that of the persecutions of catholics to move pity ; some- that giveth place to none of the rest in malice and times contrived into pleasant pasquils and satires to untruths ; though inferior to most of them in penmove sport: so as there is no shape whereinto these ning and style; the author having chosen the vein fellows have not transformed themselves; nor no of a Lucianist, and yet being a counterfeit even in humour nor affection in the mind of man to which that kind. This libel is entitled, “ A declaration of they have not applied themselves; thereby to in the true causes of the great troubles presupposed to sinuate their untruths and abuses to the world. And be intended against the realm of England ;” and indeed let a man look into them, and he shall find hath a semblance as if it were bent against the dothem the only triumphant lies that ever were con- ings of her Majesty's ancient and worthy counsellor futed by circumstances of time and place ; confuted the lord Burleigh ; whose carefulness and pains her by contrariety in themselves, confuted by the witness Majesty hath used in her counsels and actions of of infinite persons that live yet and have had par- this realm for these thirty-four years space, in all ticular knowledge of the matters ; but yet avouched dangerous times, and amidst many and mighty pracwith such asseveration, as if either they were fallen tices; and with such success, as our enemies are put into that strange disease of the mind, which a still to their paper-shot of such libels as these; the wise writer describeth in these words, “ fingunt si- memory of whom will remain in this land, when all mul creduntque;" or as if they had received it as these libels shall be extinct and forgotten ; according a principal precept and ordinance of their seminaries, to the Scripture, “ Memoria justi cum laudibus, at " audacter calumniari, semper aliquid hæret;” or impiorum nomen putrescet.” But it is more than as if they were of the race which in old time were evident, by the parts of the same book, that the wont to help themselves with miraculous lies. But author's malice was to her Majesty and her governwhen the cause of this is entered into, namely, that ment, as may especially appear in this, that he there passeth over out of this realm a number of charged not his lordship with any particular actions eager and unquiet scholars, whom their own turbulent of his private life, such power had truth, whereas and humorous nature presseth out to seek their the libels made against other counsellors have prinadventures abroad; and that, on the other side, they cipally insisted upon that part : but hath only are nourished rather in listening after news and in wrested and detorted such actions of state, as in telligences, and in whisperings, than in any com- times of his service have been managed ; and demendable learning; and after a time, when either praving them, hath ascribed and imputed to him the their necessitous estate or their ambitious appetites effects that have followed ; indeed to the good of importune them, they fall on devising how to do the realm, and the honour of her Majesty, though some acceptable service to that side which main sometimes to the provoking of the malice, but abridgtaineth them; so as ever when their credit waxeth | ing of the power and means of desperate and incorcold with foreign princes, or that their pensions are rigible subjects. ill paid, or some preferment is in sight at which All which slanders, as his lordship might justly they level, straightways out cometh a libel, pretend- despise, both for their manifest untruths, and for ing thereby to keep in life the party, which within the baseness and obscurity of the author; so neverthe realm is contrary to the state, wherein they are theless, according to the moderation which his lordas wise as he that thinketh to kindle a fire by blow- ship useth in all things, never claiming the priviing the dead ashes; when, I say, a man looketh lege of his authority, when it is question of satisfyinto the cause and ground of this plentiful yield of ing the world, he hath been content that they be libels, he will cease to marvel, considering the con- not passed over altogether in silence ; whereupon I currence which is, as well in the nature of the seed have, in particular duty to his lordship, amongst as in the travail of tilling and dressing; yea, and in others that do honour and love his lordship, and the fitness of the season for the bringing up of those that have diligently observed his actions, and in zeal infectious weeds.
of truth, collected, upon the reading of the said libel, But to verify the saying of our Saviour, " non est certain observations, not in form of a just answer, discipulus super magistrum ;” as they have sought lest I should fall into the error whereof Solomon to deprave her Majesty's government in herself, so speaketh thus, “ Answer not a fool in his own kind have they not forgotten to do the same in her prin- lest thou also be like him;" but only to discover the
for an essay:
malice, and to reprove and convict the untruths subjects of England believe of great preparations thereof.
abroad, and in great readiness to be put in act, and The points that I have observed upon the reading so to deceive on both sides : and this I take to be his of this libel, are these following:
principal drift. So again, it is an extravagant and
incredible conceit, to imagine that all the conclusions I. Of the scope or drift of the libeller.
and actions of estate which have passed during her II. Of the present estate of this realm of England, Majesty's reign, should be ascribed to one counsellor whether it may be truly avouched to be prosperous alone; and to such an one as was never noted for or afflicted.
an imperious or over-ruling man; and to say, that III. Of the proceedings against the pretended though he carried them not by violence, yet he comcatholics, whether they have been violent or moder- passed them by device, there is no man of judgment ate, and necessary.
that looketh into the nature of these times, but will IV. Of the disturbance of the quiet of chris- easily descry that the wits of these days are too tendom, and to what causes it may be justly imputed. much refined for any man to walk invisible, or to
V. Of the cunning of the libeller, in palliation of make all the world his instruments; and therefore, his malicious invective against her Majesty and the no not in this point assuredly, the libeller spake as state, with pretence of taxing only the actions of the he thought; but this he foresaw, that the imputalord Burleigh.
tion of cunning doth breed suspicion, and the impuVI. Certain true general notes upon the actions tation of greatness and sway doth breed envy; and of the lord Burleigh.
therefore finding where he was most wrong, and by VII. Of divers particular untruths and abuses whose policy and experience their plots were most dispersed through the libel.
crossed, the mark he shot at was to see whether he VIII. Of the height of impudency that these could heave at his lordship's authority, by making men are grown unto, in publishing and avouching him suspected to the queen, or generally odious to untruths ; with a particular recital of some of them the realm; knowing well enough for the one point,
that there are not only jealousies, but certain rerolu.
tions in princes' minds : so that it is a rare virtue in 1. Of the scope or drift of the libeller.
the rarest princes to continue constant to the end in It is good advice, in dealing with cautelous and their favours and employments. And knowing for malicious persons, whose speech is ever at distance the other point, that envy ever accompanieth greatwith their meanings, “non quid dixerint, sed quo ness, though never so well deserved; and that his spectarint, videndum :" a man is not to regard what lordship hath always marched a round and a real they affirm, or what they hold; but what they would course in service; and as he hath not moved envy by convey under their pretended discovery, and what pomp and ostentation, so hath he never extinguished turn they would serve. It soundeth strangely in the it by any popular or insinuative carriage of himself: ears of an Englishman, that the miseries of the pre- and this no doubt was his second drift. sent state of England exceed them of former times A third drift was, to assay if he could supplant whatsoever. One would straightway think with and weaken, by this violent kind of libelling, and himself, doth this man believe what he saith? Or, turning the whole imputation upon his lordship, his not believing it, doth he think it possible to make resolution and courage ; and to make him proceed us believe it ? Surely, in my conceit, neither of both; more cautelously, and not so throughly and strongly but his end, no doubt, was to round the pope and against them; knowing his lordship to be a politic the king of Spain in the ear, by seeming to tell a man, and one that hath a great stake to lose. tale to the people of England. For such books are Lastly, lest, while I discover the cunning and art ever wont to be translated into divers languages; of this fellow, I should make him wiser than he was, and, no doubt, the man was not so simple as to I think a great part of this book was passion ; think he could persuade the people of England the “ difficile est tacere, cum doleas." The humours of contrary of what they taste and feel. But he thought these men being of themselves eager and fierce, he might better abuse the states abroad, if he direct. have, by the abort and blasting of their hopes, been ed his speech to them who could best convict him, blinded and enraged. And surely this book is, of and disprove him if he said untrue ; so that as Livy all that sort that have been written, of the meanest saith in the like case, “ Ætolos magis, coram quibus workmanship; being fraughted with sundry base verba facerent, quam ad quos, pensi habere ;" that scoffs, and cold amplifications, and other characters the Ætolians, in their tale, did more respect those of despite ; but void of all judgment or ornament. who did overhear them, than those to whom they directed their speech : so in this matter this fellow
II. Of the present estate of this realm of England, cared not to be counted a liar by all English upon
whether it may be truly avouched to be prosperprice of deceiving of Spain and Italy; for it must be
ous or afflicted. understood, that it hath been the general practice of The benefits of Almighty God upon this land, this kind of men many years, of the one side, to since the time that in his singular providence he led abuse the foreign estates, by making them believe as it were by the hand, and placed in the kingdom, that all is out of joint and ruinous here in England, his servant our queen Elizabeth, are such, as not in and that there is great part ready to join with the boasting, or in confidence of ourselves, but in praise invader; and on the other side, to make the evil of his holy name, are worthy to be both considered
and confessed, yea, and registered in perpetual that worthy king to have advanced in such forwardmemory: notwithstanding, I mean not after the ness the conquest of that nation. And for king manner of a panegyric to extol the present time: it Edward III. his reign was visited with much sickshall suffice only that those men, that through the ness and mortality ; so as they reckoned in his days gall and bitterness of their own heart have lost their three several mortalities; one in the 22nd year, taste and judgment, and would deprive God of his another in the 35th year, and the last in the 43rd glory, and us of our senses, in affirming our con- year of his reign; and being otherwise victorious dition to be miserable, and full of tokens of the and in prosperity, was by that only cross more wrath and indignation of God, be reproved.
afflicted, than he was by the other prosperities comIf then it be true, that “nemo est miser, aut felix, forted. Besides, he entered hardly ; and again, nisi comparatus ;” whether we shall, keeping our according to the verse “ cedebant ultima primis,” selves within the compass of our own island, look his latter times were not so prosperous. And for into the memories of times past, or at this present king Henry V. as his success was wonderful, so he time take a view of other states abroad in Europe, wanted continuance; being extinguished after ten we shall find that we need not give place to the years' reign in the prime of his fortunes. happiness either of ancestors or neighbours. For if Now for her Majesty, we will first
1. Continuance. a man weigh well all the parts of state and religion, speak of the blessing of continuance, as laws, administration of justice, policy of government, that which wanted in the happiest of these kings ; manners, civility, learning and liberal sciences, in- and is not only a great favour of God unto the prince, dustry and manual arts, arms and provisions of wars, but also a singular benefit unto the people; for that for sea and land, treasure, traffic, improvement of the sentence of the Scripture, “ misera natio cum multi soil, population, honour, and reputation, it will appear sunt principes ejus," is interpreted not only to extend that, taking one part with another, the state of this to divisions and distractions in government, but also nation was never more flourishing.
to frequent changes in succession : considering, that It is easy to call to remembrance, out of histories, the change of a prince bringeth in many charges, the kings of England which have in more ancient which are harsh and unpleasant to a great part of times enjoyed greatest happiness ; besides her Mas the subjects. It appeareth then, that of the line of jesty's father and grandfather, that reigned in rare five hundred and fourscore years, and more, containfelicity, as is fresh in memory. They have been ing the number of twenty-two kings, God hath alking Henry I. king Henry II, king Henry III. king ready prolonged her Majesty's reign to exceed sixEdward I. king Edward III. king Henry V. All teen of the said two and twenty ; and by the end of which have been princes of royal virtue, great feli- this present year, which God prosper, she shall city, and famous memory. But it may be truly attain to be equal with two more: during which affirmed, without derogation to any of these worthy time there have deceased four emperors, as many princes, that whatsoever we find in libels, there is French kings, twice so many bishops of Rome. not to be found in the English chronicles, a king Yea, every state in christendom, except Spain, have that hath, in all respects laid together, reigned with received sundry successions. And for the king of such felicity as her Majesty hath done. For as for Spain, he is waxed so infirm, and thereby so retired, the first three Henries, the first came in too soon as the report of his death serveth for every year's after a conquest; the second too soon after an usur- news: whereas her Majesty, thanks be given to God, pation; and the third too soon after a league, or being nothing decayed in vigour of health and barons' war, to reign with security and contentation. strength, was never more able to supply and sustain King Henry I. also had unnatural wars with his the weight of her affairs, and is, as far as standeth brother Robert, wherein much nobility was consum- with the dignity of her Majesty's royal state, coned: he had therewithal tedious wars in Wales; and tinually to be seen, to the great comfort and heartwas not without some other seditions and troubles ; ease of her people. as namely, the great contestation of his prelates. Secondly, we will mention the blessKing Henry II. his happiness was much deformed | ing of health : I mean generally of the by the revolt of his son Henry, after he had associ- people, which was wanting in the reign of another ated him, and of his other sons. King Henry III. of these kings; which else deserved to have the besides his continual wars in Wales, was after forty- second place in happiness, which is one of the great four years' reign unquieted with intricate commotions favours of God towards any nation. For as there of his barons; as may appear by the mad parliament be three scourges of God, war, famine, and pestiheld at Oxford, and the acts thereupon ensuing. lence; so are there three benedictions, peace, plenty, His son Edward I. had a more flourishing time than and health. Whereas, therefore, this realm hath any of the other ; came to his kingdom at ripe years been visited in times past with sundry kinds of morand with great reputation, after his voyage into the talities, as pestilences, sweats, and other contagious Holy Land, and was much loved and obeyed, con- diseases, it is so, that in her Majesty's times, being trived his wars with great judgment: first having of the continuance aforesaid, there was only, towards reclaimed Wales to a settled allegiance, and being the beginning of her reign, some sickness, between upon the point of uniting Scotland. But yet I sup. June and February, in the city; but not dispersed pose it was more honour for her Majesty to have so into any other part of the realm, as was noted ; important a piece of Scotland in her hand, and the which we call yet the great plague; because that same with such justice to render up, than it was for though it was nothing so grievous and so sweeping