« PreviousContinue »
Scotland, might have proved a dangerous neighbour: by how strange an accident was he taken away? The king of Spain, who, if he would have inclined to reduce the Low Countries by lenity, considering the goodly revenues which he drew from those countries, the great commodity to annoy her state from thence, might have made mighty and perilous matches against her repose ; putteth on a resolution not only to use the means of those countries, but to spend and consume all his other means, the treasure of his Indies, and the forces of his illcompacted dominions there and upon them. The Carles that rebelled in the North, before the Duke of Norfolk’s plot, which, indeed, was the strength and seal of that commotion, was fully ripe, brake forth, and prevented their time. The king Sebastian of Portugal, whom the king of Spain would fain have persuaded that it was a devouter enterprise to purge Christendom, than to enlarge it, though I know some think that he did artificially nourish him in that voyage, is cut a-pieces with his army in Africa: then hath the king of Spain work cut out to make all things in readiness during the old cardinal's time for the conquest of Portugal ; whereby his desire of invading of England was slackened and put off some years, and by that means was put in execution at a time for some respects much more to his disadvantage. And the same invasion, like and as if it had been attempted before, it had the time much more proper and favourable ; so likewise had it in true discourse a better season afterwards : for, if it had been dissolved till time that the League had been better confirmed in France; which no doubt would have been, if the duke of Guise, who was the only man of worth on that side, had lived; and the French king durst never have laid hand upon him, had he not been animated by the English victory against the Spaniards precedent. And then, if some maritime town had been gotten into the hands of the League, it had been a great surety and strength to the enterprise. The popes, to consider of them whose course and policy it had been, knowing her majesty's natural clemency, to have temporized and dispensed with the Papists coming to church, that through the mask of their hypocrisy they might have been brought into places of government in the state and in the country: these, contrariwise, by the instigation of some fugitive scholars that advised him, not that was best for the see of Rome, but what agreed best with their eager humours and desperate states; discover and declare themselves so far by sending most seminaries, and taking of reconcilements, as there is now severity of laws introduced for the repressing of that sort, and men of that religion are become the suspect. What should I speak of so many conspiracies miraculously detected ? the records shew the treasons : but it is yet hidden in many of them how they came to light. What should I speak of the opportune death of her enemies, and the wicked instruments towards her estate? Don Juan died not amiss : Darleigh, duke of Lenox, who was used as an instrument to divorce Scot
land from the amity of England, died in no ill season: a man withdrawn indeed at that time to France; but not without great help. I may not mention the death of some that occur to mind : but still methinks, they live that should live, and they die that should die. I would not have the king of Spain die yet; he is “
he is “ seges gloriæ :" but when he groweth dangerous, or any other besides him ; I am persuaded they will die. What should I speak of the fortunes of her armies, which, notwithstanding the inward
peace of this nation, were never more renowned ? What should I recount Leith and Newhaven for the honourable skirmishes and services ? they are no blemish at all to the militia of England.
In the Low Countries; the Lammas day, the retreat of Ghent, the day of Zutphen, and the prosperous progress of this summer : the bravado in Portugal, and the honourable exploits in the aid of the French king, besides the memorable voyages in the Indies; and lastly, the good entertainment of the invincible navy, which was chased till the chasers were weary, after infinite loss, without taking a cock-boat, without firing a sheep-cot, sailed on the mercies of the wind, and the discretion of their adventures, making a perambulation or pilgrimage about the northern seas, and ignobling many shores and points of land by shipwreck : and so returned home with scorn and dishonour much greater, than the terror and expectation of their setting forth.
These virtues and perfections, with so great feli
172 A DISCOURSE IN PRAISE OF QUEEN ELIZABETH.
city, have made her the honour of her times, the admiration of the world, the suit and aspiring of greatest kings and princes, who yet durst never have aspired unto her, but as their minds were raised by love.
But why do I forget that words do extenuate and embase matters of so great weight ? Time is her best commander, which never brought forth such a prince, whose imperial virtues contend with the excellency of her person : both virtues contend with her fortune : and both virtue and fortune contend with her fame.
“ Orbis amor, famæ carmen, coelique pupilla :
Tu decus omne tuis, tu decus ipsa tibi !"
HAVING great cause, at this time, to be moved with diversity of affections, we do in first place condole with all our loving subjects of England, for the loss of their so virtuous and excellent queen; being a prince that we always found a dear sister, yea a mother to ourself in many her actions and advices. A prince, whom we hold and behold as an excellent pattern and example to imitate in many her royal virtues and parts of government; and a prince whose days we could have wished to have been prolonged ; we reporting ourselves not only to the testimony of our royal heart, but to the judgment of all the world, whether there ever appeared in us any ambitious or impatient desire to prevent God's appointed time. Neither are we so partial to our own honour, but that we do in great part ascribe this our most peaceable and quiet entrance and coming to these our crowns, next under the blessing of Almighty God, and our undoubted right, to the fruit of her majesty's peaceable and quiet government, accustoming the people to all loyalty and obedience. As for that which concerneth ourselves, we would have all our loving subjects know, that we do not take so much glad