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muche adoe in her trauaile, and that hee came into the worlde with the feete forwarde, as menne bee borne outwards, and (as the fame runneth) also not vntothed, whither menne of hatred reporte aboue the trouthe, or 5 elles that nature chaunged her course in hys beginninge, whiche in the course of his lyfe many thinges vnnaturallye committed. None euill captaine was hee in the warre, as to whiche his disposicion was more metely then for peace. Sundrye victories hadde hee, and sommetime ouerthrowes,
io but neuer in defaulte, as for his owne parsone, either of hardinesse or poly tike order; free was hee called of dyspence, and sommewhat aboue hys power liberall, with large giftes hee get him vnstedfaste frendeshippe, for whiche hee was fain to pil and spoyle in other places, and get him stedfast
i$ hatred. He was close and secrete, a deepe dissimuler, lowlye of counteynaunce, arrogant of heart, outwardly coumpinable where he inwardely hated, not letting to kisse whome hee thoughte to kyll; dispitious and cruell, not for euill will alway, but ofter for ambicion, and either for the
2o suretie or encrease of his estate. Frende and foo was
muche what indifferent, where his aduauntage grew, he
spared no mans deathe, whose life withstoode his purpose.
He slewe with his owne handes king Henry
The death of , . . . , _ °'
king Henry the sixt, being prisoner in the Tower, as menne , constantly saye, and that without commaunde
mente or knoweledge of the king, whiche woulde vndoubtedly, yf he had entended that thinge, haue appointed that boocherly office, to some other then his owne borne brother. Somme wise menne also weene, that his drifte couertly ,0 conuayde, lacked not in helping furth his brother Clarence to his death: whiche hee resisted openly, howbeit somwhat (as menne demed) more faintly then he that wer hartely minded to his welth. And they that thus deme, think that he long time in king Edwardes life forethought to be king in case that the king his brother (whose life hee looked that euil dyete shoulde shorten) shoulde happen to decease (as in dede he did) while his children wer yonge. And thei deme, that for thys intente he was gladde of his brothers 5 death the Duke of Clarence, whose life must needes haue hindered hym so entendynge, whither the same Duke of Clarence hadde kepte him true to his nephew the yonge king, or enterprised to be kyng himselfe. But of al this pointe is there no certaintie, and whoso diuineth vppon 10 conjectures maye as wel shote to farre as to short. Howbeit this haue I by credible informacion learned, that the selfe nighte in whiche kynge Edwarde died, one Mystlebrooke longe ere mornynge came in greate haste to the house of one Pottyer dwellyng in Reddecrosse strete without 15 Crepulgate; and when he was with hastye rappyng quickly letten in, hee shewed vnto Pottyer that kynge Edwarde was departed. By my trouthe, manne, quod Pottier, then wyll my mayster the Duke of Gloucester bee kynge. What cause hee hadde soo to thynke harde it is to saye, 20 whyther hee, being toward him, anye thynge knewe that hee suche thynge purposed, or otherwyse had anye inkelynge thereof: for hee was not likelye to speake it of noughte.
But nowe to returne to the course of this hystorye, were 25 it that the duke of Gloucester hadde of olde foreminded this conclusion, or was nowe at erste thereunto moued, and putte in hope by the occasion of the tender age of the younge Princes his Nephues (as opportunitye and lykelyhoode of spede putteth a manne in courage of that hee 30 neuer emended) certayn is it that hee contriued theyr destruccion, with the vsurpacion of the regal dignitye vppon hymselfe. And for as muche as hee well wiste and holpe
to mayntayn a long continued grudge and hearte brennynge betwene the Quenes kinred and the kinges blood, eyther partye enuying others authoritye, he nowe thought
'that their deuision shoulde bee (as it was in dede) a for5 therlye begynnynge to the pursuite of his intente, and a sure ground for the foundacion of al his building yf he might firste, vnder the pretext of reuengynge of olde displeasure, abuse the anger and ygnoraunce of the tone partie, to the destruccion of the tother: and then wynne to
10 his purpose as manye as he coulde: and those that collide not bee wonne, myght be loste ere they looked therefore. For of one thynge was hee certayne, that if his entente were perceiued, he shold soone haue made peace beetwene the bothe parties, with his owne bloude.
15 Kynge Edwarde in his life, albeit that this discencion beetwene hys frendes sommewhat yrked hym, yet in his good health he sommewhat the lesse regarded it, because hee thought whatsoeuer business shoulde falle betwene them, hymselfe should alwaye bee hable to rule bothe the partyes.
20 But in his laste sickenesse, when hee perceiued his naturall strengthe soo sore enfebled, that hee dyspayred all recouerye, then hee consyderynge the youthe of his chyldren, albeit hee nothynge lesse mistrusted then that that happened, yet well foreseynge that manye harmes myghte growe by theyr de
25 bate, whyle the youth of hys children shoulde lacke discrecion of themself and good counsayle of their frendes, of whiche either party shold counsayle for their owne commodity and rather by pleasaunte aduyse too wynne themselfe fauour, then by profitable aduertisemente to do the children good,
30 he called some of them before him that were at variaunce, and in especyall the Lorde Marques Dorsette, the Quenes sonne by her fyrste housebande, and Richarde the Lorde Hastynges, a noble man, than lorde chaumberlayne, agayne whome the Quene specially grudged, for the great fauoure the kyng bare hym, and also for that shee thoughte hym secretelye familyer with the kynge in wanton coumpanye. Her kynred also bare hym sore, as well for that the kynge hadde made hym captayne of Calyce (whiche office the 5 Lorde Ryuers, brother to the Quene, claimed of the kinges former promyse) as for diuerse other greate giftes whiche hee receyued, that they loked for. When these lordes with diuerse other of bothe the parties were comme in presence, the kynge liftinge vppe himselfe and vndersette 10 with pillowes, as it is reported on this wyse sayd vnto them. My Lordes, my dere kinsmenne and alies,
. The oracion of
in what phghte I lye you see, and I feele. By the kynge in
... , , , , T' , . , his death bed.
whiche the lesse whyle I look to lyue with you, the more depelye am I moued to care in what case I 15 leaue you, for such as I leaue you, suche bee my children lyke to fynde you. Whiche if they shoulde (that Godde forbydde) fynde you at varyaunce, myght happe to fall themselfe at warre ere their discrecion woulde serue to sette you at peace. Ye se their youthe, of whiche I recken the onely suretie to 20 reste in youre concord. For it suffiseth not that al you loue them, yf eche of you hate, other. If they wer menne, your faithfulnesse happelye woulde suffise. But childehood must bee maintained by mens authoritye, and slipper youth vnderpropped with elder counsayle, which neither they can 25 haue, but ye geue it, nor ye geue it, yf ye gree not. For wher eche laboureth to breake that the other maketh and, for hatred of ech of others parson, impugneth eche others counsayle, there must it nedes bee long ere anye good conclusion goe forwarde. And also while either partye 30 laboureth to bee chiefe, flattery shall haue more place then plaine and faithfull aduyse, of whyche muste needes ensue the euyll bringing vppe of the Prynce, whose mynd, in
A Kinge of suche gouernaunce and behauioure in time of peace (for in war eche parte muste needes bee others eneThe loue of the mye) that there was neuer anye Prince of this people.
lande, attaynynge the Crowne by battayle, so 5 heartely beloued with the substaunce of the people; nor
he hymselfe so speciallye in anye parte of his life, as at the time of his death. Whiche fauour and affeccion yet after his decease, by the crueltie, mischiefe, and trouble of
the tempestious worlde that folowed, highelye towarde hym 10 more increased. At suche time as he died, the displeasure
of those that bare him grudge, for kinge Henries sake the sixte, whome he deposed, was well asswaged, and in effecte quenched, in that that manye of them were dead in more
then twentie yeares of his raigne, a great parte of a longe 15 lyfe. And many of them in the meane season growen into
his fauoure, of whiche he was neuer straunge. Descripcion of
He was a goodly parsonage, and very Princely
to behold, of hearte couragious, politique in counsaile, in aduersitie nothynge abashed, in prosperitie 20 rather joyfull then prowde, in peace juste and mercifull,
in warre sharpe and fyerce, in the fielde bolde and hardye, and nathelesse no farther then wysedome woulde aduenturouse: Whose warres who so well consyder, hee shall
no lesse commende hys wysedome where hee voyded, than 25 hys mannehoode where he vainquisshed. He was of visage
louelye, of bodye myghtie, stronge, and cleane made: howe bee it in his latter dayes, wyth ouer liberall dyet, sommewhat corpulente and boorelye, and nathelesse not vncomelye; hee
was of youthe greatlye geuen to fleshlye wantonnesse, from 30 whiche healthe of bodye, in greate prosperitye and fortune,
wythoute a specyall grace hardelye refrayneth. Thys faute not greatlye gryeued the people : for neyther could any one mans pleasure stretch and extende to the dyspleasure of
Edwarde the fourth.