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about his heart, and at some times broken his sleeps, in the midst of all his felicity. And to set all men's hearts on fire, he did by all possible means let it appear, that those that
should now do him service to make an end of these troubles, 5 should be no less accepted of him, than he that came upon
the eleventh hour, and had the whole wages of the day. Therefore now, like the end of a play, a great number came upon the stage at once. He sent the lord chamberlain, and
the lord Brook, and Sir Rice ap Thomas, with expedite 10 forces to speed to Exeter, to the rescue of the town, and to
spread the fame of his own following in person with a royal army. The earl of Devonshire, and his son, with the Carews, and the Fulfords, and other principal persons of
Devonshire, uncalled from the court, but hearing that the 15 King's heart was so much bent upon this service, made
haste with troops that they had raised, to be the first that should succour the city of Exeter, and prevent the King's succours. The duke of Buckingham likewise, with many
brave gentlemen, put themselves in arms, not staying either 20 the King's or the lord chamberlain's coming on, but making
a body of forces of themselves, the more to endear their merit; signifying to the King their readiness, and desiring to know his pleasure. So that according to the proverb, in
the coming down, every saint did help. 25
Perkin, hearing this thunder of arms, and preparations against him from so many parts, raised his siege, and marched to Taunton ; beginning already to squint one eye upon the crown, and another
sanctuary : though the Cornish men were become like metal often fired and 30 quenched, churlish, and that would sooner break than bow;
swearing and vowing not to leave him, till the uttermost dr of their blood were spilt. He was at his rising from Exeter between six and seven thousand strong, many having come unto him after he was set before Exeter, upon fame of so great an enterprise, and to partake of the spoil; though upon the raising of the siege some did slip away. When he was come near Taunton, he dissembled all fear, and seemed all the day to use diligence in preparing all things ready to 5 fight. But about midnight, he fled with threescore horse to Bewdly in the New Forest, where he and divers of his company registered themselves sanctuary men, leaving his Cornish men to the four winds; but yet thereby easing them of their vow, and using his wonted compassion, not to be 10 by when his subjects' blood should be spilt. The King as soon as he heard of Perkin's flight, sent presently five hundred horse to pursue and apprehend him, before he should get either to the sea, or to that same little island, called a sanctuary. But they came too late for the latter of these.
15 Therefore all they could do, was to beset the sanctuary, and to maintain a strong watch about it, till the King's pleasure were farther known. As for the rest of the rebels, they, being destitute of their head, without stroke stricken, submitted themselves unto the King's mercy. And the King, 20 who commonly drew blood, as physicians do, rather to save life than to spill it, and was never cruel when he was secure; now he saw the danger was past, pardoned them all in the end, except some few desperate persons, which he reserved to be executed, the better to set off his mercy towards the 25 rest. There were also sent with all speed some horse to Saint Michael's mount in Cornwall, where the lady Catharine Gordon was left by her husband, whom in all fortunes she entirely loved; adding the virtues of a wife to the virtues of her sex. The King sent in the greater diligence, not know- 30 ing whether she might be with child, whereby the business would not have ended in Perkin's person. When she was brought to the King, it was commonly said, that the King
received her not only with compassion, but with affection; pity giving more impression to her excellent beauty. Wherefore comforting her, to serve as well his eye as his fame, he
sent her to his Queen, to remain with her; giving her very 5 honourable allowance for the support of her estate, which
she enjoyed both during the King's life, and many years after. The name of the White Rose, which had been given to her husband's false title, was continued in common speech to her true beauty.
The King went forwards on his journey, and made a joyful entrance into Exeter, where he gave the citizens great commendations and thanks; and taking the sword he wore from his side, he gave it to the mayor, and commanded it
should be ever after carried before him. There also he 15 caused to be executed some of the ringleaders of the Cor
nish men, in sacrifice to the citizens whom they had put in fear and trouble. At Exeter the King consulted with his council, whether he should offer life to Perkin if he would
quit the sanctuary, and voluntarily submit himself. The 20 council were divided in opinion : some advised the King to
take him out of sanctuary perforce, and to put him to death, as in a case of necessity, which in itself dispenseth with consecrated places and things : wherein they doubted not also
but the King should find the Pope tractable, to ratify his 25 deed, either by declaration, or, at least, by indulgence.
Others were of opinion, since all was now safe, and no farther hurt could be done, that it was not worth the exposing of the King to new scandal and envy. A third sort fell
upon the opinion, that it was not possible for the King ever, 30 either to satisfy the world well touching the imposture, or to
learn out the bottom of the conspiracy, except by promise of life and pardon, and other fair means, he should get Perkin into his hands. But they did all in their preambles much bemoan the King's case, with a kind of indignation at his fortune; that a Prince of his high wisdom and virtue, should have been so long and so oft exercised and vexed with idols. But the King said, that it was the vexation of God Almighty himself to be vexed with idols, and therefore 5 that that was not to trouble any of his friends: and that for himself, he always despised them; but was grieved that they had put his people to such trouble and misery. But in conclusion, he leaned to the third opinion, and so sent some to deal with Perkin: who seeing himself prisoner, and destitute 10 of all hopes, having tried princes and people, great and small, and found all either false, faint, or unfortunate, did gladly accept of the condition. The King did also, while he was at Exeter, appoint the lord Darcy, and others commissioners, for the fining of all such as were of any value, 15 and had any hand or partaking in the aid or comfort of Perkin, or the Cornish men, either in the field or in the flight.
These commissioners proceeded with such strictness and severity, as did much obscure the King's mercy in 20 sparing of blood, with the bleeding of so much treasure. Perkin was brought into the King's court, but not to the King's presence; though the King, to satisfy his curiosity, saw him sometimes out of a window, or in passage. He was in shew at liberty, but guarded with all care and watch 25 that was possible, and willed to follow the King to London. But from his first appearance upon the stage, in his new person of a sycophant, or juggler, instead of his former person of a prince, all men may think how he was exposed to the derision, not only of the courtiers, but also of the com- 30 mon people, who flocked about him as he went along; that one might know afar off where the owl was, by the flight of birds : some mocking, some wondering, some cursing, some
prying and picking matter out of his countenance and gesture to talk of: so that the false honour and respects which he had so long enjoyed, was plentifully repaid in scorn and
contempt. As soon as he was come to London, the King 5 gave also the city the solace of this may-game : for he was
conveyed leisurely on horseback, but not in any ignominious fashion, through Cheapside and Cornhill, to the Tower ; and from thence back again to Westminster with the churm'
of a thousand taunts and reproaches. But to amend the 10 show, there followed a little distance off Perkin, an inward
counsellor of his, one that had been serjeant-farrier to the King. This fellow, when Perkin took sanctuary, chose rather to take an holy habit than an holy place, and clad
himself like an hermit, and in that weed wandered about 15 the country, till he was discovered and taken. But this
man was bound hand and foot upon the horse, and came not back with Perkin, but was left at the Tower, and within few days after executed. Soon after, now that Perkin could
tell better what himself was, he was diligently examined; 20 and after his confession taken, an extract was made of such
parts of them, as were thought fit to be divulged, which was printed and dispersed abroad: wherein the King did himself no right: for as there was a laboured tale of particulars, of
Perkin's father and mother, and grandsire and grandmother, 25 and uncles and cousins, by names and surnames, and from
what places he travelled up and down; so there was little or nothing to purpose of anything concerning his designs, or any practices that had been held with him ; nor the
duchess of Burgundy herself, that all the world did take 30 knowledge of, as the person that had put life and being into
the whole business, so much as named or pointed at. So that men missing of that they looked for, looked about for
i Cum choro.