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meaner men; yet, it may be true, that the ladies of her bed-chamber denied to her body the ceremony of searching and imbalming, due to dead monarchs: ' But that she had a son bred in the state of Venice, and a daughter, I know not where, nor when, with other strange tales that went on her, I neglect to insert, as fitter for a romance, then to mingle with so much truth
: *Queen Elizabeth, if we may believe Brantome, had heard of some such scandal as is here insinuated; and, to remove it, shewed the French ambassador her leg as high at least as the garter, that he might be satisfied it was only her affection for her people, and no personal consideration, which inclined her to a state of single. blessedness. The gallant Frenchman kissed the beauties thus magnanimously displayed, and protested, that, had his master's eyes been so enriched, the delights of paradise could not have given him equal rapture. There are also some strange insinuations in the trial of the unfortunate Lord High Admiral Seymour, brother of the Protector, not entirely to the honour of our virgin queen's discretion. Among other odd familiarities, Seymour sent her a message, desiring to know if her large buttocks were grown any less. After all, we may perhaps conclude with Count Hamilton,
- en fait de virginité, Ce fut une etrange pucelle. .
and integrity as I professe : In which, if I am in any thing mistaken, let it be laid on mine own want of knowledg, or their ignorance that misled me. This I may safely attest, that the smallest chip of that incomparable instrument of honour, peace, and safety to this now unhappy nation, would have been then valued by the people of England above the loftiest branch in the Calydonian grove. Who, as she was the choycest artist in king-craft that ever handled the scepter in this northern climate, so she went beyond all her ancestors in adapting to her service the most proper tooles, in whose fittest applications she was seldome mistaken ; the only cause can be given why she so rarely changed her secret counsell, especially those she made privy to any of her last results, which did not weakly contribute to her safety: such resembling keyes, that, once lost or misplaced, no future security remaines but in changing the lock. And though this hath already fallen under my consideration, yet I am forced to resume it
againe in the vindication of the choyce of some officers, about the middle of her raigne, accused since for weaknesse ; which, if not a mistake, made by envy, or for want of an exact understanding of the parties use ; some being placed, after the counsell grew numerous, only to tell tales, and ballance votes she disliked in publique, without the least understanding of what was thought necessary to succeed in private, a multitude of hands adding dignity to inland affaires, it being ordinary with the generality to esteeme wisdome according to measure, rather then weight. And amongst these few can be found out of her kindred, or such friends as her fathers honour, or her owne gratitude for kindnesse shewed during the life of her sister, kept her from excluding them the lists, though the stronger heads of others were wholy iinployd when her occasions called her to grapple with any difficulties. Nor was there more then the honour and profit of Lord High Admirall in
trusted with the Earl of Notingham,' but executed by a commission, selected out of the ablest seamen that age did afford; he being imployd for his fidelity, knowne to be impregnable in relation to corruption : Neither was there a goodlier man for person in Europe, as my eyes did witnesse, though they met not with him before he was turned towards the point of eighty, no youth being more celebrated for gallantry and good fortune then his. I confesse, that in his age, he married a young lady,' allied · to King James, which set his wisdome many degrees back in the repute of the world.
. ? This was the celebrated Charles Howard, Lord Effingham, and afterwards Earl of Nottingham, under whose conduct the invincible armada was defeated; and who had a principal share in the taking of Cadiz. He is characterized by Lloyd, as “a man of most approved fidelity and invincible courage, and governor of Callice; though a courtier betimes, yet seemed not to be in fayour before the queen made him High Admiral of England. For his extract, it inay suffice, that he was the son of a Howard, and of a Duke of Norfolk. As for - his person, he was as goodly a gentleman as the times
could afford; he was one whom the queen desired to honour, who, at his return from Cadiz, was created Earl of Nottingham. He was a good, honest, and a brave man, and a faithful servant to his mistress; and such a one as the queen, out of her own princely judgement, knew to be a fit instrument for the admiral's service, having a great opinion of his fidelity and conduct, And though his death was not honoured with much wealth, yet was it graced with the reputation of honesty." LLOYD's State Worthies, 1670, p. 735.
But, to discharge this cavill from any far. ther dispute, no prince then extant took an exacter estimate of her subjects abilities to serve her, or made a deeper inspection into their aptitude, nature, and humours; to which, with a rare dexterity, she fitted her favours and their imployments: as may be instanced in Francis Vere, a man nobly descended, Walter Rawly exactly qualified, with many others set a-part in her judgment for military services, whose titles she never raised above knighthood ; saying, when importuned to make General Vere
* This young lady was Margaret, daughter to James, Earl of Murray; who was, in right of his wife, co-heir to the celebrated regent, and allied consequently to James I. It was to obtain some provision for this lady that he resigned his office of High Admiral to the rising favourite Buckingham.