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ter once inrolled, but either continued them, or, upon their discharge, gave them considerable and well-paid pensions. As for her guard, ushers, porters, and all attending below stayers, they were of a no lesse extraordinary size, then activity for shooting, throwing the barre, weight, wrastling, &c.' So that such as came hither from beyond the seas, upon embasy or curiosity (who calculate the strength, wisdome, and honour of a nation, by the apparitions they behold at court,) had no other cause but to report at their returne, that though a feminine constellation governed the fate of England, yet there remained little hope to any forraigne, malignity of operating with successe; because her designes were begotten under Mercury, and brought forth by the assistance of Mars in case of opposition : She owning souldiers no lesse able to act, then counsellours to advise; in whose choyce (for the most part) wisdome was solely looked upon, not putting by sufficiency, though ac
companied with a meane birth,' and crooked person, as it chanced in a father and sonne of the Cecills, both incomparable for prudence. It being sometimes necessary to make wise men noble, where noblemen are too lazy and addicted to pleasure to indeavour to be wise.
11. It is the highest step of advantage a prince can meet with, to have for a counsell about him, persons whose fortunes are of the same piece with his owne: The consideration of which may abate the wonder Queene Elizabeth prospered so well at the beginning, when incumbered both within and without by such difficulties, or how she came to out-reach (before scarce able to stand upon her owne leggs) so exact a master in king-craft as the Spaniard. I confesse her being a woman did render the delay of marriage more sutable to his
* The mean birth refers to that of Lord Burleigh, whose father, Richard Cecil, was master of the robes to Henry VIII. The deformed person was that of Robert, Earl of Salisbury, his second son, who was hump-backed.
tience and her honour, then otherwise it could have been ; but the dexterous management of this advantage must be at. tributed to the great wit of her juncto, amongst whom her greatest confidents were of the Augustan confession, and therefore unlikely to continue in favour, if in being, after such a conjunction as Philip the Second desired. Nor could distance of place, the deluder of eyes, hinder the inspection of that prince, who, having commanded in England some yeares under the right of Mary, could not but in probability heare all that was to be knowne. And if we may guesse at the queenes carriage in this, by her proceedings in the two treaties of marriage after with France, we may presume she did purchase this delay, (if not buy off the discovery of some infirmity) with the articles of her opinion contrary to those of Rome, and to which, as appears by an old letter, the catholick king was not at that time averse. Though, upon her deluding him, to avoid such a schisme in the Lower
Germany, as had happened in the Upper, he did indeavour to introduce the inquisition : Fortune having rendered him so indulgent from the beginning to the queenes preservation, that he sold the Low-Countryes, the only place able to purchase her peace, a bargaine (as I have heard from the Earl of Lecester, the last English man governour of Flushing) fomented by those that treated this match for her majesty ; which found, Pope Pius darted out the former mentioned excommunication, till then restrained through the mediation of Philip. I shall not determine whether it was godly zeale or worldly interest that prompted their judgments to these accurate counsells, since I finde both in some part gratified by future successe : though I see cause enough in the latter to imploy all the braines, both of the protestants and papists in power about her; the one owning their lives to her well being, and the other abby-lands to the continuance of it: for though Sir John Parsons told me he had seene a bull amongst Mr Sela dens Antiquities, by which the pope confirnied the lands of the church in the hands of their present possessours, provided they in other respects continued under his obedience; yet whether this might be safely trusted to,' I leave in suspence, and to their consideration, that may remember they were fifty yeares ago valued much below other titles and demeanes.
12. The cause,
may be thought interest as much as love in her privy counsell, that till Lecesters daies, none are found to have
* If ever such a bull was passed, there might be great reason to doubt how far it would have been adhered to, had England again become catholic. The point was much canvassed in James the Second's reign, when the English Benedictines actually executed a renunciation of the abbey lands belonging to their order before the Reformation : but the canon law declared, that even the pope could not ratify such alienation of the demesnes of the church, and the council of Trent had formerly anathematized all possessors of church lands. The protestants, therefore, viewed with terror, promises which might always be broken whenever the power of the catholic clergy was equal to compel resumption. See in the State Tracts, a piece entitled, “ Abbey Lands not assured to Catholics."