Billeder på siden

time to danger from the Inquisition. He had to invest Henry's bullying remonstrances with the graces of moderate diplomacy, and to keep terms with a bigotted court while he questioned the Pope's supremacy. In spite of those obstacles, the dignity and discernment of Wyatt gave him such weight in negotiation, that he succeeded in expelling from Spain his master's most dreaded enemy, Cardinal Pole, who was so ill received at Madrid that the haughty legate quitted it with indignation. The records of his different embassies bit not only personal activity in following the Emperor Charles to his most important interviews with Francis, but sagacity in foreseeing consequences, and in giving advice to his own sovereign. Neither the dark policy, nor the immoveable countenance of Charles, eluded his penetration. When the Emperor, on the death of Lady Jane Seymour, offered the King of England the Duchess of Milan in marriage, Henry's avidity caught at the offer of her Duchy, and Heynes and Bonner were sent out to Spain as special commissioners on the business; but it fell off, as Wyatt had predicted, from the Spanish monarch's insincerity.

Bonner, who had done no good to the English mission, and who had felt himself lowered at the Spanish court by the superior ascendancy of Wyatt, on his return home sought to indemnify himself for the mortification, by calumniating his late colleague. In order to answer those calumnies, Wyatt was obliged to obtain his recal from Spain; and Bonner's charges, on being investigated, fell to the ground. But the Emperor's journey through France having raised another crisis of expectation, Wyatt was sent out once more to watch the motions of Charles, and to fathom his designs. At Blois he had an interview with Francis, and another with the Emperor, whose friendship for the king of France he pronounced, from all that he observed, to be insincere. “ He is constrained (said the English ambassador) to come to a shew of friendship, meaning to make him a mockery when he has done.” When events are made familiar to us by history, we are perhaps disposed to undervalue the wisdom that foretold them; but thus much is clear, that if Charles's rival had been as wise as Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Emperor would not have made a mockery of Francis. Wyatt's advice to his own sovereign at this period, was to support the Duke of Cleves, and to ingratiate himself with the German protestant princes. His zeal was praised; but the advice, though sanctioned by Cromwell, was not followed by Henry. Warned probably, at last, of the approaching downfal of Cromwell, he obtained his final recal from Spain. On his return, Bonner had sufficient interest to get him committed to the Tower, where he was harshly treated and unfairly tried, but was nevertheless most honourably acquitted; and Henry, satisfied of his innocence, made him considerable donations of land. Leland informs us, that about this time he had the command of a ship of war. The sea service was not then, as it is now, a distinct profession.

Much of his time, however, after his return to England, must be supposed, from his writings, to have been spent at his paternal seat of Allington, in study and rural amusements. From that pleasant retreat he was summoned, in the autumn of 1542, by order of the king, to meet the Spanish ambassador, who had landed at Falmouth, and to conduct him from thence to London. In his zeal to perform this duty he accidentally overheated himself with riding, and was seized, at Sherborne, with a malignant fever, which carried him off, after a few days illness, in his thirty-ninth year.




My lute, adieu ! perform the last
Labour that thou and I shall waste,
And end that I have now begun;
For when this song is sung and past,
My lute be still, for I have done,

Aš to be heard where ear is none,
As lead to grave in marble stone,
My song may pierce her heart as soon:
Should we then sing, or sigh, or moan,
No, no, my lute! for I have done.

The rock doth not so cruelly
Repulse the waves continually,
As she my suít and affection;
So that I am past remedy;
Whereby my lute and I have done.

Proud of the spoil that thou hast got
Of simple hearts, thorough loves shot.
By whom, unkind, thou hast them won;
Think not he hath his vow forgot,
Although my lute and I have done.

Vengeance shall fall on thy disdain,
That mak'st but


of earnest payne. Trow not alone under the sun, Unquit the cause thy lovers plaine, Although my lute and I have done.

May chance thee lye withred and old,
In winter nights that are so cold,
Playning in vain unto the moon;
Thy wishes then dare not be told:
Care then who list! for I have done.

And then may chaunce thee to repent
The time that thou hast lost and spent,
To cause thy lovers sigh and swoon;
Then shalt thou know beauty but lent,
And wish and want, as I have done.

Now cease, my lute! this is the last
Labour that thou and I shall waste,
And ended is that I begun;
Now is this song both sung
My lute! be still, for I have done.

and past :




A face that should content me wondrous well,
Should not be fair, but lovely to behold
With gladsome cheer, all grief for to expell;
With sober looks so would I that it should
Speak without words, such words as none can tell;
The tress also should be of crisped gold.
With wit and these, might chance I might be tied,
And knit again the knot that should not slide.

« ForrigeFortsæt »