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VII. Of divers particular untruths and abuses dispersed through the libel.
The order which this man keepeth in his libel, is such, as it may appear, that he meant but to empty some note-book of the matters of England, to bring in, whatsoever came of it, a number of idle jests, which he thought might fly abroad; and intended nothing less than to clear the matters he handled by the light of order and distinct writing. Having therefore in the principal points, namely, the second, third, and fourth articles, ranged his scattering and wandering discourse into some order, such as may help the judgment of the reader, I am now content to gather up some of his by-matters and straggling untruths, and very briefly to censure them.
Pag. 9. he saith, that his lordship could neither by the greatness of his beads, creeping to the cross, nor exterior show of devotion before the high altar, find his entrance into high dignity in queen Mary's time. All which is a mere fiction at pleasure; for queen Mary bare that respect unto him, in regard of his constant standing for her title, as she desired to continue his service; the refusal thereof growing from his own part: he enjoyed nevertheless all other liberties and favours of the time; save only that it was put into the queen's head that it was dangerous to permit him to go beyond the sea, because he had a great wit of action, and had served in so principal a place; which nevertheless after, with cardinal Pool, he was suffered to do.
Pag. eadem he saith, Sir Nicholas Bacon, that was lord keeper, was a man of exceeding crafty wit j which showeth that this fellow in his slanders is no good marksman, but throweth out his words of defaming without all level. For all the world noted Sir Nicholas Bacon to be a man plain, direct, and constant, without all finesse and doubleness; and one that was of the mind that a man in his private proceedings and estate, and in the proceedings of state, should rest upon the soundness and strength of his own courses, and not upon practice to circumvent others; according to the sentence of Solomon, " Vir prudens advertit ad gressus suos, stultus autem divertit ad dolos:" insomuch that the bishop of Ross, a subtle and observing man, said of him, that he could fasten no words upon him, and that it was impossible to come within him, because he offered no play: and the queen-mother of France, a very politic princess, said of him, that he should have been of the council of Spain, because he despised the occurrents, and rested upon the first plot; so that if he were crafty, it is hard to say who is wise.
Pag. 10. he saith, That the lord Burleigh, in the establishment of religion, in the beginning of the queen's time, prescribed a composition of his own invention; whereas the same form, not fully six years before, had been received in this realm in king Edward's time: so as his lordship being a christian politic counsellor, thought it better to follow a precedent, than to innovate; and chose the precedent rather at home than abroad.
Pag. 41. he saith, That catholics never attempted to murder any principal person of her Majesty's
court, as did Burchew, whom he calleth a puritan, in wounding of a gentleman instead of Sir Christopher Hatton; but by their great virtue, modesty, and patience, do manifest in themselves a far different spirit from the other sort. For Burchew, it is certain he was mad; as appeareth not only by his mad mistaking, but by the violence that he offered afterwards to his keeper, and most evidenlly by his behaviour at his execution; but of catholics, I mean the traitorous sort of them, a man may say as Cato said sometimes of Csesar, " eum ad evertendam rempublicam sobrium accessisse;" they came sober and well advised to their treasons and conspiracies; and commonly they look not so low as the counsellors, but have bent their murderous attempts immediately against her Majesty's sacred person, which God have in his precious custody! as may appear by the conspiracy of Sommervile, Parry, Savage, the six, and others; nay, they have defended it in thesi to be a lawful act.
Pag. 43. he saith, That his lordship, whom he calleth the arch-politic, hath fraudulently provided, that when any priest is arraigned, the indictment is enforced with many odious matters; wherein he showeth great ignorance, if it be not malice; for the law permitteth not the ancient forms of indictments to be altered; like as, in an action of trespass, although a man take away another's goods in the peaceablest manner in the world, yet the writ hath " quare vi et armis;" and if a man enter upon another's ground and do no more, the plaintiff mentioneth "quod herbam suam, ibidem crescentem, cum equis, bobus, porcis, et bidentibus, depastus sit, conculcavit et consumpsit." Neither is this any absurdity, for in the practice of all law the formularies have been few and certain; and not varied according to every particular case. And in indictments also of treason, it is not so far-fetched as in that of trespass; for the law ever presumeth in treason an intention of subverting the state, and impeaching the majesty royal.
Pag. 45. and in other places, speaking of the persecuting of the catholics, he still mentioneth bowellings and consuming men's entrails by fire; as if this were a torture newly devised: wherein he doth cautelously and maliciously suppress, that the law and custom of this land from all antiquity hath ordained that punishment in case of treason, and permitteth no other. And a punishment surely it is, though of great terror, yet by reason of the quick despatching, of less torment far than either the wheel or forcipation, yea than simple burning.
Pag. 48. he saith, England is confederate with the great Turk: wherein if he mean it becanse the merchants have an agent in Constantinople, howwill he answer for nil the kings of France since Francis the first, which were good catholics? For the emperor? For the king of Spain himself? For the senate of Venice, and other states, that have had long time ambassadors liegers in that court? If he mean it because the Turk hath done some special honour to our ambassador, if he be so to be termed, we are beholden to the king of Spain for that: for that the honour we have won upon him by opposition, hath given us reputation through the world: if he mean it because the Turk seemeth to affect us for the abolishing of images; let him consider then what a scandal the matter of images hath been in the church, as having been one of the principal branches whereby Mahometism entered.
Pag. 65. he saith, Cardinal Allen was of late very near to have been elected pope. Whereby he would put the catholics here in some hope, that once within five or six years, for a pope commonly sitteth no longer, he may obtain that which he missed narrowly. This is a direct abuse, for it is certain in all the conclaves since Sixtus Quintus, who gave him his hat, he was never in possibility; nay, the king of Spain, that hath patronized the church of Rome so long, as he is become a right patron of it, in that he seeketh to present to that see whom he Iiketh, yet never durst strain his credit to so desperate a point, as once to make a canvass for him: no, he never nominated him in his inclusive narration. And those that know any thing of the respects of conclaves, know that he is not papable: first, because he is an ultramontane, of which sort there hath been none these fifty years. Next, because he is a cardinal of alms of Spain, and wholly at the devotion of that king. Thirdly, because he is like to employ the treasure and favours of the popedom upon the enterprises of England, and the relief and advancement of the English fugitives, his necessitous countrymen. So has he presumed much upon the simplicity of the reader in this point, as in many more.
Pag. 55. and again p. 70. he saith, His lordship, meaning the lord Burleigh, intendeth to match his grandchild Mr. William Cecil with the lady Arabella. Which being a mere imagination, without any circumstance at all to induce it, more than that they are both unmarried, and that their years agree well, needeth no answer. It is true that his lordship, being no stoical unnatural man, but loving towards his children, for " charitas reipuhlicn? incipit a familia," hath been glad to match them into honourable and good blood: and yet not so, but that a private gentleman of Northamptonshire, that lived altogether in the country, was able to bestow his daughters higher than his lordship hath done. But yet it is not seen by any thing past, that his lordship ever thought or affected to match his children in the blood royal. His lordship's wisdom, which hath been so long of gathering, teacheth him to leave to his posterity rather surety than danger. And I marvel where be the combinations which have been with great men; and the popular and plausible courses, which ever accompany such designs, as the libeller speaketh of: and therefore this match is but like unto that which the same fellow concluded between the same lady Arabella and the earl of Leicester's son, when he was but a twelvemonth old.
Pag. 70. he saith, He laboureth incessantly with the queen to make his eldest son deputy of Ireland; as if that were such a catch, considering all the deputies since her Majesty's time, except the earl of Sussex and the lord Grey, have been persons of meaner degree than Sir Thomas Cecil is; and the
most that is gotten by that place, is but the saving and putting up of a man's own revenues, during those years that he serveth there; and this perhaps to be saved with some displeasure at his return.
Pag. eadem he saith, He hath brought in his second son Sir Robert Cecil to be of the council, who hath neither wit nor experience; which speech is as notorious an untruth as is in all the libel: for it is confessed by all men that know the gentleman, that he hath one of the rarest and most excellent wits of England, with a singular delivery and application of the same; whether it be to use a continued speech, or to negotiate, or to couch in writing, or to make report, or discreetly to consider of the circumstances, and aptly to draw things to a point; and all this joined with a very good nature and a great respect to all men, as is daily more and more revealed. And for his experience, it is easy to think that his training and helps hath made it already such, as many, that have served long prentishood for it, have not attained the like: so as if that be true "qui beneficium digno dat, omnes obligat," not his father only, but the state is bound unto her Majesty, for the choice and employment of so sufficient and worthy a gentleman.
There be many other follies and absurdities in the book; which, if an eloquent scholar had it in hand, he would take advantage thereof, and justly make the author not only odious, but ridiculous and contemptible to the world: but I pass them over, and even this which hath been said hath been vouchsafed to the value and worth of the matter, and not the worth of the writer, who hath handled a theme above his compass.
VIII. Of the height of impudency that these men are grown unto in publishing and avouching untruths, with a particular recital of some of them for an assay.
These men are grown to a singular spirit and faculty in lying and abusing the world; such as, it seemeth, although they are to purchase a particular dispensation for all other sins, yet they have a dispensation dormant to lie for the catholic cause; which moveth me lo give the reader a taste of their untruths, such as are written, and are not merely gross and palpable; desiring him out of their own writings, when any shall fall into his hands, to increase the roll at least in his own memory.
We retain in our calendars no other holidays but such as have their memorials in the Scriptures; and therefore in the honour of the blessed Virgin, we only receive the feasts of the annunciation and the purification; omitting the other of the conception and the nativity; which nativity was used to be celebrated upon the eighth of September, the vigil whereof happened to be the nativity of our queen: which though we keep not holy, yet we use therein certain civil customs of joy and gratulation, as ringing of bells, bonfires, and such like: and likewise make a memorial of the same day in our calendar: whereupon they have published, that we have expunged the nativity of the blessed Virgin, and put instead thereof the nativity of our queen: and farther, that we sing certain hymns unto her, used to be sung unto our Lady.
It happened that, upon some bloodshed in the church of Paul's, according to the canon law, yet with us in force, the said church was interdicted, and so the gates shut up for some few days; whereupon they published, that, because the same church is a place where people use to meet to walk and confer, the queen's Majesty, after the manner of the ancient tyrants, had forbidden all assemblies and meetings of people together, and for that reason, upon extreme jealousy, did cause Paul's gates to be shut up.
The gate of London called Ludgnte, being in decay, was pulled down, and built anew; and on the one side was set up the image of king Lud and his two sons; who, according to the name, was thought to be the first founder of that gate; and on the other side, the image of her Majesty, in whose time it was re-edified; whereupon they published that her Majesty, after all the images of the saints were long beaten down, had now at last set up her own image upon the principal gate of London, to be adored, and that all men were forced to do reverence to it as they passed by, and a watch there placed for that purpose.
Mr. Jewel, the bishop of Salisbury, who according to his life died most godly and patiently, at the point of death used the versicle of the hymn "Te Deum," "0 Lord, in thee have I trusted, let me never be confounded;" whereupon, suppressing the rest, they published, that the principal champion of the heretics in his very last words cried he was confounded.
In the act of recognition of primo, whereby the right of the crown is acknowledged by parliament to be in her Majesty, the like whereof was used in queen Mary's time, the words of limitation are, " in the queen's majesty, and the natural heirs of her body, and her lawful successors." Upon which word, natural, they do maliciously, and indeed villanously gloss, that it was the intention of the parliament, in a cloud to convey the crown to any issue of her Majesty's that were illegitimate; whereas the word heir doth with us so necessarily and pregnantly import lawfulness, as it had been indecorum, and uncivil speaking of the issues of a prince, to have expressed it.
They set forth in the year a book with tables and pictures of the persecutions against catholics, wherein they have not only stories of fifty years old to supply their pages, but also taken all the persecutions of the primitive church, under the heathen, and translated them to the practice of England; as that of worrying priests under the skins of bears, by dogs, and the like.
I conclude then, that I know not what to make of this excess in avouching untruths, save this, that they may truly chant in their quires; "Linguam nostram magnificabimus, labia nostra nobis sunt:"
* From the original in the Lambeth Library.
T From the original in the Lambeth Library.
X Who died April 6, 1590. After his death the business of secretary of state appears to be chiefly done by Mr. Robert t-ecil, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth at Theobald's, about the beginning of June, 1591, and in August following
and that they who have long ago forsaken the truth of God, which is the touchstone, must now hold by the whetstone ; and that their ancient pillar of lying wonders being decayed, they must now hold by lying slanders, and make their libels successors to their legend.
The first copy of my discourse touching the safety of the Queen's person*
These be the principal remedies I could think of, for extirpating the principal cause of those conspiracies, by the breaking the nest of those fugitive traitors, and the filling them full of terror, despair, jealousy, and revolt. And it is true, I thought of some other remedies, which, because in mine own conceit I did not so well allow, I therefore do forbear to express. And so likewise I have thought, and thought again, of the means to stop and divert as well the attempts 6f violence, as poison, in the performance and execution. But not knowing how my travail may be accepted, being the unwarranted wishes of a private man, I leave: humbly praying her Majesty's pardon, if in the zeal of my simplicity I have roved at things above my aim.
The first fragments of a discourse, touching intelligence, and the safety of the Queen's person, t
The first remedy, in my poor opinion, is that against which, as I conceive, least exception can be taken, as a thing, without controversy, honourable and politic; and that is reputation of good intelligence. I say not only good intelligence, but the reputation and /ame thereof. For I see, that where booths are set for watching thievish places, there is no more robbing: and though no doubt the watchmen many times are asleep, or away; yet that is more than the thief knoweth; so as the empty booth is strength and safeguard enough. So likewise, if there be sown an opinion abroad, that her Majesty hath much secret intelligence, and that all is full of spies and false brethren; the fugitives will grow into such a mutual jealousy and suspicion one of another, as they will not have the confidence to conspire together, not knowing whom to trust; and thinking all practice bootless, as that which is assured to be discovered. And to this purpose, to speak reverently, as becometh me, as I do not doubt but those honourable counsellors, to whom it doth appertain, do carefully and sufficiently provide and take order that her Majesty receive good intelligence; so yet, under correction, methinks it is not done with that glory and note to the world, which was in Mr. Secretary Walsingham's J time: and in this case, as was said, " opinio veritate major."
The second remedy I deliver with less assurance, as that which is more removed from the compass of mine understanding: and that is, to treat and negotiate with the king of Spain, or archduke Ernest^ who resides in the place where these conspiracies are
sworn of the privy-counsel; but not actually appointed secretary of state till July 5, 1596. Birch.
b Ernest, archduke of Austria, son of the emperor Maximilian II. and governor of the Low Countries, upon which government he entered in June, 1591; but held it only a short time, dying February AJ. following. It was probably in purmost forged, upon the point of the law of nations, upon which kind of points princes' enemies may with honour negotiate, viz. that, contrary to the same law of nations, and the sacred dignity of kings, and the honour of arms, certain of her Majesty's
subjects, if it be not thought meet to impeach any of his ministers, refuged in his dominions, have conspired and practised assassination against her Majesty's person.
A TRUE REPORT
THE DETESTABLE TREASON,
DOCTOR RODERIGO LOPEZ,
A PHYSICIAN ATTENDING UPON THE PERSON OF THE QUEEN S MAJESTY,
WHOM HE, FOR A SIM OF MONBY, PROMISED TO BE PAID HIM BY THE KING OF SPAIN, DID UNDERTAKE TO HAVB DESTROYED BY POISON; WITH CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES BOTH OF THE PLOTTING AND DETECTING OF THE SAID TREASON.
[rENNED DURING THE QUEEN'S LIFE.]
The king of Spain having found by the enterprise of 88, the difficulty of an invasion of England; and having also since that time embraced the matters of France, being a design of a more easy nature, and better prepared to his hand, hath of necessity for a time laid aside the prosecution of his attempts against this realm, by open forces, as knowing his means unable to wield both actions at once, as well that of England as that of France; and therefore, casting at the fairest, hath, in a manner, bent his whole strength upon France, making in the mean time only a defensive war upon the Low Countries. But rinding again, that the supports and aids which her Majesty hath continued to the French king, are a principal impediment and retardation to his prevailing there according to his ends, he hath, now of late, by all means, projected to trouble the waters here, and to cut us out some work at home; that by practice, without diverting and employing any great forces, he might nevertheless divert our succours from France.
According to which purpose, he first proved to move some innovation in Scotland, not so much in hope to alienate the king from the amity of her Majesty, as practising to make a party there against the king himself, whereby he should be compelled to use her Majesty's forces for his assistance. Then he solicited a subject within this realm, being a person of great nobility, to rise in arms and levy war against her Majesty; which practice was by the same nobleman loyally and prudently revealed.
suance pf the advice of Mr. Francis Bacon in this paper, that queen Elizabeth sent to the archduke in 1594, to complain of Inc designs which had been formed against her life by the Count ue Fuentes, and Don Diego de Ibarra, and other Spanish ministers concerned in governing the L(.w Countries after the death of Alexander duke of Parma in December,
And lastly, rather, as it is to be thought, by the instigation of our traitorous fugitives in foreign parts, and the corrupter sort of his counsellors and ministers, than of his own nature and inclination, either of himself, or his said counsellors and ministers using his name, have descended to a course against all honour, all society and humanity, odious to God and man, detested by the heathens themselves, which is, to take away the life of her Majesty, (which God have in his precious custody !) by violence or poison. A matter which might be proved to be not only against all Christianity and religion, but against nature, the law of nations, the honour of arms, the civil law, the rules of morality and policy; finally, to be the most condemned, barbarous, and ferine act that can be imagined; yea, supposing the quarrels and hostility between the princes to be never so declared and so mortal, yet were it not that it would be a very reproach unto the age, that the matter should be once disputed or called in question, it could never be defended. And therefore I leave it to the censure which Titus Livius giveth in the like case upon Perseus, the last king of the Macedons, afterwards overthrown, taken with his children, and led in triumph by the Romans; "Quem non justum bellum gerere rcgio animo, sed per omnia clandestina grassari scelera, latrociniorutn ac Veneficiorum, cernebant."
But to proceed: certain it is, that even about this present time there have been suborned and sent into this realm divers persons, sorrte English, some
1592, and by the English fugitives there; and to desire him to signify those facts to the king of Spain, in order that he might vindicate his own character, by punishing his ministers, and delivering up to her such fugitives as were parties in such designs.—Camdeni Annates Bits. Heginw, p. 625. Edit. Lugduni Bat. Wii>. Birch.
Irish, corrupted by money and promises, and resolved and conjured by priests in confession, to hnve executed that most wretched and horrible fact; of which number certain have been taken, and some have suffered, and some are spared because they have with great sorrow confessed these attempts, and detested their suborners. And if I should conjecture what the reason is why this cursed enterprise was at this time so hotly and with such diligence pursued, I take it to be chiefly because the matters of France were ripe, and the king of Spain made himself ready to unmask himself, and to reap that in France, which he had been long in sowing, in regard that, there being like to be a divulsion in the league by the reconciliation of some of the heads to the king, the more passionate sort, being destituted by their associates, were like to cast themselves wholly into the king of Spain's arms, and to dismember some important piece of that crown; though now upon this fresh accident of receiving the king into Paris, it is to be thought that both the worst affected of the league will submit themselves upon any tolerable conditions to their natural king, thus advanced in strength and reputation; and the king of Spain will take a second advice ere he embark himself too far in any new attempt against France. But taking the affairs as they then stood before this accident unexpected, especially of the council of Spain, during this his supposed harvest in France, his council had reason to wish that there were no disturbance from hence, where they make account that if her Majesty were removed, upon whose person God continue his extraordinary watch and providence! here would be nothing but confusion, which they do not doubt but with some no great treasure, and forces from without, may be nourished till they can more fully intend the ruin of this state, according to their ancient malice.
But howsoever that be, amongst the number of these execrable undertakers, there was none so much built and relied upon by the great ones of the other side, as was this physician Lopez; nor, indeed, none so dangerous: whether you consider the aptness of the instrument, or the subtlety and secrecy of those that practised with him, or the shift and evasion which he had provided for a colour of his doings, if they should happen to come into question. For first, whereas others were to find and encounter infinite difficulties, in the very obtaining of an opportunity to execute this horrible act; and, besides, cannot but see present and most assured death before their eyes, and therefore must be, as it were, damnable votaries if they undertake it: this man, in regard of his faculty, and of his private access to her Majesty, had both means to perpetrate, and means to conceal, whereby he might reap the fruit of his wicked treason without evident peril. And for his complices that practised with him, being Portuguese, and of the retinue of king Antonio, the king of Spain's mortal enemy, they were men thereby freed and discharged from suspicion, and might send letters and receive letters out of Spain without jealousy; as those which were thought to entertain intelligences there for the good of their master. And for the
evasion and mask that Lopez had prepared for this treason, if it had not been searched and sifted to the bottom, it was, that he did intend but to cozen the king of Spain, without ill meaning; somewhat in the nature of that stratagem which Parry, a most cunning and artificial traitor, had provided for himself.
Nevertheless this matter, by the great goodness of God falling into good hands, of those honourable and sufficient persons which dealt therein, was by their great and worthy industry so handled and followed, as this Proteus of a disguised and transformed treason did at last appear in his own likeness and colours, which were as foul and monstrous as have been known in the world. For some of her Majesty's council long since entered into consideration, that the retinue of king Antonio, I mean some of them, were not unlike to hatch these kinds of treasons, in regard they were needy strangers, entered into despair of their master's fortune, and like enough to aspire to make their peace at home, by some such wicked services as these; and therefore grew to have an extraordinary vigilant eye upon them: which prudent and discreet presumption, or conjecture, joined with some advertisements of espials abroad, and some other industry, was the first cause, next under the great benediction of God, which giveth unto princes zealous counsellors, and giveth to counsellors policy, and discerning thoughts of the revealing and discovering of these treasons, which were contrived in order and form, as hereafter is set down.
This Lopez, of nation a Portuguese, and suspected to be in sect secretly a Jew, though here he conformed himself to the rites of the christian religion, for a long time professed physic in this land, by occasion whereof, being withal a man very observant and officious, and of a pleasing and appliable behaviour; in that regard, rather than for any great learning in his faculty, he grew known and favoured in court, and was some years since sworn physician of her Majesty's household; and by her Majesty's bounty, of whom he had received divers gifts of good commodity, was grown to good estate of wealth.
This man had insinuated himself greatly, in regard he was of the same nation with the king Antonio, whose causes he pretended to solicit at the court: especially while he supposed there was any appearance of his fortune; of whom also he had obtained, as one that referred all his doings to gain, an assignation of 50,000 crowns to be levied in Portugal. But being a person wholly of a corrupt and mercenary nature, and finding his hopes cold from that part: he cast his eyes upon a more able paymaster, and secretly made offer long since of his service to the king of Spain: and accordingly gave sundry intelligences of that which passed here, and imported most for the king of Spain to know, having no small means, in regard of his continual attendance at court, nearness, and access, to learn many particulars of great weight: which intelligences he maintained witli Bernardine Mendoza, Antonio Vega, Roderigo Marquez, and divers others.