Page images
PDF
EPUB

daughters and two sons, Christianus and Ulricus, the eldest of five years of age.

The chiefest about him, Nicolas Cose his chancellor, in whose counsel he doth much repose.

He hath always 800 horse about his court, to whom he giveth ten dollars the month.

His father deceased in the year 1559, after which he had wars ten years space with the Swede, which gave him occasion to arm by sea. His navy is six great ships of* 1500 ton, and fifteen smaller, ten galleys which sail to pass the Straits.

His revenues grow chiefly in customs, and such living as were in the hands of the abbeys, and bishops, whereby he is greatly enriched: his chief haven is Copenhagen, where always his navy lieth.

His brother John, duke of Hoist in Jutland, married to the daughter of the duke of Inferior Saxony.

Magnus, his other brother, bishop of Courland, married the daughter of the Muscovite's brother.

The chiefest wars that the king of Denmark hath is with Sweden, with whom now he hath peace. The duke of Hoist is uncle to the king now reigning; they make often alliances with Scotland.

John, kine of Sweden, son of Gustavus.

This Gustavus had four sons, Erick, John, Magnus, Charles.

Erick married a soldier's daughter, by whom he had divers children, and died in prison.

John, now king, married the sister of Sigismond late king of Poland.

Magnus bestraught of his wits.

Charles married a daughter of the Palsgrave.

Five daughters of Gustavus.

Katherine married to the earl of East-Friseland.

Anne to one of the Palsgraves.

Cicilia to the marquis of Baden.

Sophia to the duke of Inferior Saxony.

Elizabeth to the duke of Mecleburg.

This prince is of no great force nor wealth, but of late hath increased his navigation by reason of the wars between him and the Dane, the which, the wars ceasing, they hardly maintain.

The Muscovite emperor of Russia, Muscow John Basil, of threescore years of age, in league and amity with no prince j always at wars with the Tartarians, and now with the Pollake.

He is advised by no council, but governeth altogether like a tyrant. He hath one son of thirty years of age. Not long sithence this prince deposed himself, and set in his place a Tartar, whom he removed again. Of late sent an ambassador to Rome, giving some hope to submit himself to that see. Their religion is nearest the Greek church, full of superstition and idolatry.

MR. BACONS DISCOURSE

IH THF

PRAISE OF HIS SOVEREIGN.

No praise of magnanimity, nor of love, nor of knowledge, can intercept her praise, that planteth and nourisheth magnanimity by her example, love by her person, and knowledge by the peace and serenity of her times. And if these rich pieces be so fair unset, what are they set, and set in all perfection? Magnanimity no doubt consisteth in contempt of peril, in contempt of profit, and in meriting of the times wherein one liveth. For contempt of peril, see a lady that cometh to a crown after the experience of some adverse fortune, which for the most part extenuateth the mind, and maketh it apprehensive of fears. No sooner she taketh the sceptre into her sacred hands, but she putteth on a resolution to make the greatest, the most important, the most dangerous that can be in a state, the alteration of religion. This she doth, not after a sovereignty established and continued by sundry years, when custom might have bred in her people a more absolute obedience; when trial of her servants might have made her more assured whom to employ j when the reputation of her policy and virtue might have made her government rcdpubted:

but at the very entrance of her reign, when she was green in authority, her servants scant known unto her, the adverse part not weakened, her own part not confirmed. Neither doth she reduce or reunite her realm to the religion of the states about her, that the evil inclination of the subject might be countervailed by the good correspondence in foreign parts: but contrariwise, she introduceth n religion exterminated and persecuted both at home and abroad. Her proceeding herein is not by degrees and by stealth, but absolute and at once. Was she encouraged thereto by the strength she found in leagues and alliances with great and potent confederates? No, but she found her realm in wars with her nearest and mightiest neighbours. She stood single and alone, and in league only with one, that after the people of her nation had made his wars, left her to make her own peace: one that could never be by any solicitation moved to renew the treaties; and one that since hath proceeded from doubtful terms of amity to the highest acts of hostility. Yet. notwithstanding the opposition so great, the support so weak, the season so improper; yet, I say, because it was a religion wherein she was nourished and brought up; a religion that freed her subjects from pretence of foreign powers, and indeed the true religion j she brought to pass this great work with success worthy so noble a resolution. See a queen that, when a deep and secret conspiracy was plotted against her sacred person, practised by subtile instruments, embraced by violent and desperate humours, strengthened and bound by vows and sacraments, and the same was revealed unto her, (and yet the nature of the affairs required farther ripening before the apprehension of any of the parties,) was content to put herself into the guard of the Divine Providence, and her own prudence, to have some of the conspirators in her eyes, to suffer them to approach to her person, to take a petition of the hand that was conjured for her death; and that with such majesty of countenance, such mildness and serenity of gesture, such art and impression of words, as had been sufficient to have represt and bound the hand of a conspirator, if he had not been discovered- Lastly, see a queen, that when her realm was to have been invaded by an army, the preparation whereof was like the travel of an elephant, the provisions were infinite, the setting forth whereof was the terror and wonder of Europe; it was not seen that her chear, her fashion, her ordinary manner was any thing altered: not a cloud of that storm did appear in that countenance wherein peace doth ever shine; but with excellent assurance, and advised security, she inspired her council, animated her nobility, redoubled the courage of her people, still having this noble apprehension, not only that she would communicate her fortune with them, but that it was she that would protect them, and not they her: which she testified by no less demonstration than her presence in camp. Therefore, that magnanimity that neither feareth greatness of alteration, nor the views of conspirators, nor the power of enemy, is more than heroical.

For contempt of profit, consider her offers, consider her purchases. She hath reigned in a most populous and wealthy peace, her people greatly multiplied, wealthily appointed, and singularly devoted. She wanted not the example of the power of her arms in the memorable voyages and invasions prosperously made and achieved by sundry her noble progenitors. She had not wanted pretences, as well of claim and right, as of quarrel and revenge. ■She hath reigned during the minority of some of her neighbour princes, and during the factions and divisions of their people upon deep and irreconcilable quarrels, and during the embracing greatness of some one that hath made himself so weak through too much burthen, as others are through decay of strength; and yet see her sitting as it were within 'he compass of her sands. Scotland, that doth as it were eclipse her island; the United Provinces of the Low Countries, which for wealth, commodity of traffic, affection to our nation, were most meet to be annexed to this crown; she left the possessions of the one, and refused the sovereignty of the other: so that notwithstanding the greatness of her means, the justness of her pretences, and the rareness of her opportunity; she hath continued her first mind,

she hath made the possessions which she received the limits of her dominions, and the world the limits of her name, by a peace that hath stained all victories.

For her merits, who doth not acknowledge, that she hath been as a star of most fortunate influence upon the age wherein she hath shined? Shall we speak of merit of clemency? or merit of beneficence? Where shall a man take the most proper and natural trial of her royal clemency? Will it best appear in the injuries that were done unto her before she attained the crown? or after she is seated in her throne? or that the commonwealth is incorporated in her person? Then clemency is drawn in question, as a dangerous encounter of justice and policy. And therefore, who did'ever note that she did relent after that she was established in her kingdom, of the wrongs done unto her former estate? Who doth not remember how she did revenge the rigour and rudeness of her jailer by a word, and that no bitter but salt, and such as showed rather the excellency of her wit than any impression of her wrong? Yea, and farther, is it not so manifest, that since her reign, notwithstanding the principle that princes should not neglect, " That the commonwealth's wrong is included in themselves;" yet when it is question of drawing the sword, there is ever a conflict between the justice of her place, joined with the necessity of her state and her royal clemency, which as a sovereign and precious balm, continually distilleth from her fair hands, and falleth into the wounds of many that have incurred the offence of her law.

Now, for her beneficence, what kind of persons have breathed during her most happy reign, but have had the benefit of her virtues conveyed unto them? Take a view, and consider, whether they have not extended to subjects, to neighbours, to remote strangers, yea, to her greatest enemies. For her subjects, where shall we begin in such a maze of benefits as presenteth itself to remembrance? Shall we speak of the purging away of the dross of religion, the heavenly treasure; or that of money, the earthly treasure? The greater was touched before, and the latter deserveth not to be forgotten. For who believeth not, that knoweth any thing in matter of estate, of the great absurdities and frauds that arise of divorcing the legal estimation of moneys from the general, and, as I may term it, natural estimation of metals, and again of the uncertainty and wavering values of coins, a very labyrinth of cozenages and abuse, yet such as great princes have made their profit of towards their own people. Pass on from the mint to the revenue and receipts: there shall you find, no raising of rents, notwithstanding the alteration of prices and the usage of times; but the over value, besides a reasonable fine left for the relief of tenants and reward of servants; no raising of customs, notwithstanding her continual charges of setting to the sea; no extremity taken of forfeiture and penal laws, means used by some kings for the gathering of great treasures. A few forfeitures, indeed, not taken to her own purse, but set over to some others for the trial only, whether gain could bring those laws to be well executed, which the ministers of justice did neglect. But after it was found, that only compassions were used, and Ihe law never the nearer the execution, the course was straight suppressed and discontinued. Yea, there have been made laws more than one in her time for the restraint of the vexations of informers and promoters: nay, a course taken by her own direction for the repealing of all heavy and snared laws, if it had not been crossed by those to whom the benefit should have redounded. There shall you find no new taxes, impositions, nor devices; but the benevolence of the subject freely offered by assent of parliament, according to the ancient rates, and with great moderation in assessment; and not so only, but some new forms of contribution offered likewise by the subject in parliament; and the demonstration of their devotion only accepted, but the tiling never put in ure. There shall you find loans, but honourably answered and paid, as it were the contract of a private man. To conclude, there shall you find monies levied upon failts of land, alienation, though not of the ancient patrimony, yet of the rich and commodious purchases and perquisites of the crown only, because she will not be grievous and burdensome to the people. This treasure, so innocently levied, so honourably gathered and raised, with such tenderness to the subject, without any baseness or dryness at all; how hath it been expended and employed? Where be the wasteful buildings, and the exorbitant and prodigal donatives, the sumptuous dissipations in pleasures, and vain ostentations, which we find have exhausted the coffers of so many kings? It is the honour of her house, the royal remunerating of her servants, the preservation of her people and state, the protection of her suppliants and allies, the encounter, breaking, and defeating the enemies of her realm, that hath been the only pores and pipes "whereby the treasure hath issued. Hath it been the sinews of a blessed and prosperous peace? Hath she bought her peace? Hath she lent the king of Spain money upon some cavillation not to be repeated, and so bought his favour? And hath she given large pensions to corrupt his council? No, but she hath used the most honourable diversion of troubles that can be in the world. She hath kept the fire from her own walls by seeking to quench it in her neighbours. That poor brand of the state of Burgundy, and that other of the crown of France that rcmaineth, had been in ashes but for the ready fountain of her continual benignity. For the honour of her house it is well known, that almost the universal manners of the times doth incline to a certain parsimony and dryness in that kind of expense; yet she retaineth the ancient magnificence, the allowance as full, the charge greater than in time of her father, or any king before: the books appear, the computation will not flatter. And for the remunerating and rewarding of her servants, and the attendance of the court, let a man cast and sum up all the books of gifts, fee-farms, leases, and custodies that have passed her bountiful hands. Let him consider again what a number of commodious and gainful offices heretofore bestowed upon men of other education and profession, have been withdrawn and conferred upon her court. Let him remember, what

a number of other gifts disguised by other names, but in effect as good as money given out of her coffers, have been granted by her; and he will conclude, that her royal mind is far above her means. The other benefits of her politic, clement, and gracious government towards the subjects are without number; the state of justice good, notwithstanding the great subtilty and humorous affections of these times; the security of peace greater than can be described by that verse:

"Tutus bos etonim rura pcrambulat;
Nutrit rura Coics, almaque Famtitas."

Or that other,

"Condit quisque diem collibus in suis."

The opulency of the peace such, as if you have respect, to take one sign for many, to the number of fair houses that have been built since her reign, as Augustus said, " that he had received the city of brick, and left it of marble;" so she may say, she received it a realm of cottages, and hath made it a realm of palaces: the state of traffic great and rich: the customs, notwithstanding these wars and interruptions, not fallen: many profitable trades, many honourable discoveries: and lastly, to make an end where no end is, the shipping of this realm so advanced and made so mighty and potent,as this island is become, as the natural site thereof deserved, the lady of the sea; a point of so high consequence, as it may be truly said, that the commandment of the sea is an abridgement or a quintessence of a universal monarchy.

This and much more hath she merited of her subjects: now to set forth the merit of her neighbours and the states about her. Itseemeth the things have made themselves purveyors of continual, new, and noble occasions for her to show them benignity, and that the fires of troubles abroad have been ordained to be as lights and tapers to make her virtue and magnanimity more apparent. For when that one, stranger born, the family of Guise, being as a hasty weed sprung up in a night, had spread itself to a greatness, not civil but seditious; a greatness, not of encounterof the ancient nobility, not of pre-eminency in the favour of kings, and not remiss of affairs from kings; but a greatness of innovation in state, of usurpations of authority, of affecting of crowns; and that accordingly, under colour of consanguinity and religion, they had brought French forces into Scotland, in the absence of their king and queen being within their usurped tutelc; and that the ancient nobility of this realm, seeing the imminent danger of reducing that kingdom under the tyranny of foreigners and their faction, had, according to the good intelligence betwixt the two crowns, prayed her neighbourly succours: she undertook the action, expelled the strangers, restored the nobility to their degree. And lest any man should think her intent was to unnestle ill neighbours, and not to aid good neighbours, or that she was readier to restore what was invaded by others than to render what was in her own hands; see if the time provided not a new occasion afterwards, when through their own divisions, without the intermise of strangers, her forces were again sought and required; she forsook them not, prevailed so far as to be possessed of the castle of Edinburgh, the principal strength of that kingdom, with peace, incontinently, without cunctations or cavillations, the preambles of a wavering faith, she rendered with all honour and security; and his person to safe and faithful hands; and so ever after during his minority continued his principal guardian and protector. In the time and between the two occasions of Scotland, when the same faction of Guise, covered still with pretence of religion, and strengthened by the desire of retaining government in the queen-mother of France, had raised and moved civil wars in that kingdom, only to extirpate the ancient nobility, by shocking them one against another, and to waste that realm as a candle which is lighted at both ends: and that those of the religion, being near of the blood-royal, and otherwise of the greatest house in France, and great officers of the crown opposed themselves only against their insolency, and to their supports called in her aid, giving unto them Newhaven for a place of security: see with what alacrity, in tender regard towards the fortune of that young king, whose name was used to the suppliants of his strength, she embraced the enterprise; and by their support and reputation the same parly suddenly made great proceedings, and in conclusion made their peace as they would themselves: and although they joined themselves against her, and performed the parts rather of good patriots than of good confederates, and that after great demonstration of valour in her subjects. For as the French will to this day report, specially by the great mortality by the hand of God, and the rather because it is known she did never much affect the holding of that town to her own use; it was left, and her forces withdrawn, yet did that nothing diminish her merit of the crown, and namely of that party who recovered by it such strength, as by that and no other thing they subsisted long after: and lest that any should sinisterly and maliciously interpret that she did nourish those divisions: who knoweth not what faithful advice, continual and earnest solicitation she used by her ambassadors and ministers to the French kings successively, and to their mother, to move them to keep their edicts of pacification, to retain their own authority and greatness by the union of her subjects? Which counsel, if it had been as happily followed, as it was prudently and sincerely given, France at this day had been a most flourishing kingdom, which now is a theatre of misery. And now at last, when the said house of Guise being one of the whips of God, whereof themselves are but the cords, and Spain the stock, had by their infinite aspiring practices wrought the miracles of states, to make a king in possession long established to play again for his crown, without any title of a competitor, without any invasion of a foreign enemy, yea, without any combination in substance of a blood-royal or nobility; but only by furring in audacious persons into sundry governments, and by making the populace of towns drunk with seditious preachers: and that king Henry the third, awaked

by those pressing dangers, was compelled to execute the duke of Guise without ceremony ; and yet nevertheless found the despair of so many persons embarked and engaged in that conspiracy, so violent, as the flame thereby was little assuaged; so that he was enforced to implore her aids and succours : consider how benign care and good correspondence she gave to the distressed requests of that king; and he soon after being, by the sacrilegious hand of a wretched Jacobin lifted up against the sacred person of his natural sovereign, taken away, not wherein the criminous blood of Guise, but the innocent blood which he hath often spilled by instigation of him and his house was revenged, and that this worthy gentleman who reigneth come to the crown; it will not be forgotten by so grateful a king, nor by so observing an age, how ready, how opportune and reasonable, how royal and sufficient her succours were, whereby she enlarged him at that time, and preferred him to his belter fortune: and ever since in those tedious wars, wherein he hath to do with a hydra, or a monster with many heads, she hath supported him with treasure, with forces, and with employment of one that she favoureth most. What shall 1 speak of the offering of Don Anthony to his fortune; a devoted catholic, only commended unto her by his oppressed state? What shall I say of the great storm of a mighty invasion, not of preparation, but in act, by the Turk upon the king of Poland, lately dissipated only by the beams of her reputation; which with the Grand Signor is greater than that of all the states of Europe put together? But let me rest upon the honourable and continual aid and relief she hath gotten to the distressed and desolate people of the Low Countries; a people recommended unto her by ancient confederacy and daily intercourse, by their cause so innocent, and their fortune so lamentable. And yet notwithstanding, to keep the conformity of her own proceeding never stained with the least note of ambition or malice, she refused the sovereignty of divers of those goodly provinces offered unto her with great instance, to have been accepted with great contentment both of her own people and others, and justly to be derived either in respect of the hostility of Spain, or in respect of the conditions, liberties, and privileges of those subjects, and without charge, danger, and offence to the king of Spain and his partisans. She hath taken upon her their defence and protection without any farther avail or profit unto herself, than the honour and merit of her benignity to the people that hath been pursued by their natural king only upon passion and wrath, in such sort that he doth consume his means upon revenge. And, having to verify that which I said, that her merits have extended to her greatest enemies; let it be remembered what hath passed in that matter between the king of Spain and her: how in the beginning of the troubles there, she gave and imparted to him faithful and friendly advice touching the course that was to be taken for quieting and appeasing of them. Then she interposed herself to most just and reasonable capitulations, wherein always should have been preserved unto him as ample interest, jurisdiction, and superiority in those countries as he in right could claim, or a prince well-minded would seek to have: and, which is the greatest point, she did by her advice, credit, and policy, and all good means, interrupt and appeach, that the same people by despair should not utterly alien and distract themselves from the obedience of the king of Spain, and cast themselves into the arms of a stranger: insomuch, that it is most true, that she did ever persuade the duke of Anjou from that action, notwithstanding the affection she bare to that duke, and the obstinacy which she saw daily growing in the king of Spain. Lastly, to touch the mighty general merit of this queen, bear in mind, that her benignity and beneficence hath been as large as the oppression and ambition of Spain. For to begin with the church of Rome, that pretended apostolic see is become but a donative cell of the king of Spain j the vicar of Christ is become the king of Spain's chaplain; he parteth the coming in of the new pope, for the treasure of the old: he was wont to exclude but Bome two or three cardinals, and to leave the election of the rest; but now he doth include, and present directly some small number, all incapable and incompatible with the conclave, put in only for colour, except one or two. The states of Italy, they be like li t tie quillets of freehold being intermixed in the midst of a great honour or lordship: France is turned upside down, the subject against the king, cut and mangled infinitely, a country of Rodamonts and Roytelets, farmers of the ways: Portugal usurped by no other title than strength and vicinity: the Low Countries warred upon, because he seeketh, not to possess them, for they were possessed by him before, but to plant there an absolute and martial government, and to suppress their liberties: the like at this day attempted upon Arragon: the poor Indies, whereas the christian religion generally brought enfranchisement of slaves in all places where it came, in a contrary course are brought from freemen to be slaves, and slaves of most miserable condition: sundry trains and practices of this king's ambition in Germany, Denmark, Scotland, the east towns, are not unknown. Then it is her government, and her government alone, that hath been the sconce and fort of all Europe, which hath lett this proud nation from overrunning all. If any state be yet free from his factions erected in the bowels thereof; if there be any state wherein this faction is erected, that is not yet fired with civil troubles; if there be any state under his protection upon whom he usurpeth not; if there be any subject to him that enjoyeth moderate liberty, upon whom he tyrannizeth not: let them all know, it is by the mercy of this renowned queen, that standeth between them and their misfortunes. These be some of the beams of noble and radiant magnanimity, in contempt of peril which so manifestly, in contempt of profit which so many admire, and in merit of the world which so many include in themselves; set forth in my simplicity of speech with much loss of lustre, but with near approach of truth; as the sun is seen in the water.

. Now to pass to the excellencies of

A persona. , . . „ . . „

her person: the view of them wholly and

not severally, do make so sweet a wonder, as I fear to divide them. Again, nobility extracted out of the royal and victorious line of the kings of England; yea, both roses, white and red, do as well flourish in her nobility as in her beauty, as health, such as was like she should have that was brought forth by two of the most goodly princes of the world, in the strength of their years, in the heat of their love; that hath been injured neither with an over-liberal nor over-curious diet, that hath not been sustained by an umbratile life still under the roof, but strengthened by the use of the pure and open air, that still retaineth flower and vigour of youth. For the beauty and many graces of her presence, what colours are fine enough for such a portraiture? let no light poet be used for such a description, but the chastest and the royalest:

Of her gait; Et vera incessu patuit Dea.

Of her voice; Nec vox homincm sonat.

Of her eye; Et loetos oculis afflavit honores.

Of her colour; Indum sanguineo veluti violaverit ostro

Si quis ebur.
Of her neck; Et rosea ccrvice refulsit
Of her breast; Veste sinus collects flucntes.
Of her hair; Ambrosiaeque comae divinuin vertice
odorem

Spiravere.

If this be presumption, let him bear the blame

that owneth the verses. What shall I speak of her

rare qualities of compliment; which as they be

excellent in the things themselves, so they have

always besides somewhat of a queen: and as queens

use shadows and veils with their rich apparel; rae

thinks in all her qualities there is somewhat that

flieth from ostentation, and yet inviteth the mind to

contemplate her more.

What should I speak of her excel- . , ., - , , . . A sermone.

lent gift of speech, being a character

of the greatness of her conceit, the height of her degree, and the sweetness of her nature? What life, what edge is there in those words and glances wherewith at pleasure she can give a man long to think; be it that she mean to daunt him, to encourage him, or to amaze him! How admirable is her discourse, whether it be in learning, state, or love! what varietv of knowledge; what rareness of conceit; what choice of words; what grace of utterance! Doth it not appear, that though her wit be as the adamant of excellencies, which draweth out of any book ancient or new, out of any writing or speech, the best; yet she refineth it, she enricheth it far above the value wherein it is received? And is her speech only that language which the child learneth with pleasure, and not those which the studious learn with industry? Hath she not attained, besides her rare eloquence in her own language, infinitely polished since her happy times, changes of her languages both learned and modern? so that she is able to negotiate with divers ambassadors in their own languages: and that with no disadvantage unto them, who I think cannot but have a great part of their wits distracted from their matters in hand to the contemplation and admiration of such perfections. What should I wander on to speak of the excellencies of her nature, which cannot endure to be looked on with a discon

« PreviousContinue »