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in the Nuge Antiquæ.' has thus curiously delineated the character and disposition of our Maiden Queen.
“ I maryell to thynk what strange humors do conspire to patch up the natures of some myndes. The elements do seem to strive which shall conquer and rise above the other. In good soothe, our late Queene did enfolde them all together. I blesse her memorye, for all hir goodnesse to me and my familie; and now wyll I shewe you what strange temperament she did sometyme put forthe. Hir mynde was oftime like the gentle aire that comethe from the westerly pointe in a summer's morn: 'twas sweete and refreshinge to all arounde hir.
“ Her speech did winne all affections, and hir subjectes did trye to shewe all love to hir commandes; for she woude saye, ‘hir state did require her to commande, what she knew hir people woude willingely do from their owne love to hir. Herein did she shewe hir wysdome fullie: for who did chuse to lose her confidence; or who woude wythholde a shewe of love and obedience, when their Sovereign said it was their own choice, and not hir compulsion ? Surely she did plaie well her tables to gain obedience thus wythout constraint: again, she coude put forthe such alteracions, when obedience was lackinge, as lefte no doubtynges whose daughter she was.
I saie thys was plain on the Lorde Deputy's cominge home, when I did come into her presence: she chaffed muche, walkede fastly to and fro, looked with discomposure in her visage; and, I remember, she catched my girdle when I kneelede to hir, and swore, ‘By God's Son I am no Queen; that man is above me. Who gave him commande to come here so soon? I did sende hym on other busynesse.' It was longe before more gracious discourse did fall to my hearynge; but I was then put oute of my trouble, and bid 'Go
home. I did not stay to be bidden twise; if all the Iyrshe rebels had been at my heels, I shoude not have had better speede, for I did now flee from one whom I both lovede and fearede too.
“Hir Highnesse was wont to soothe hir rufflede temper wyth readinge every mornynge, when she had been stirred to passion at the council, or other matters had overthrown hir gracious disposition. She did much admire Seneca's wholesome advisings, when the soul's quiet was flown awaie; and I saw much of hir translating thereof.-By art and nature together so blended, it was difficulte to fynde hir right humour at any tyme. Hir wisest men and beste counsellors were oft sore troublede to knowe her wyll in matters of state: so covertly did she pass hir judgemente, as seemed to leave all to their discreet management; and, when the busynesse did turn to better advantage, she did moste cunningly commit the good issue to hir own honour and understandinge; but, when ought fell oute contrarie to hir wyll and intente, the council were in great straite to defende their owne actinge, and not blemyshe the Queen's goode judgemente. Herein hir wyse men did oft lacke more wysdome; and the Lorde Treasurer, (Burleigh,] woude ofte shed a plenty of tears on any miscarriage, well knowynge the difficulte parte was, not so muche to mende the matter itself, as his mistresse's humour: and yet he did most share hir favour and good wyll; and to his opinion she woude oft-tyme submit hir owne pleasure in great matters. She did keepe him till late at nyghte, in discoursinge alone, and then call oute another at his departure, and try the depthe of all arounde hir sometyme. Walsingham had his turn, and each displaied their witte in pryvate.
“On the morrowe, everye one did come forthe in hir presence and discourse at large; and, if any had dissembled
withe hir, or stood not well to his advysinges before, she did not let it go unheeded, and sometymes, not unpunished. Sir Christopher Hatton was wont to saye, The Queen did fishe for men's souls, and had so sweete a baite, that no one coude escape hir net-work.' In truthe, I am sure hir speeche was such, as none coude refuse to take delyghte in, when frowardness did not stand in the
I have seen hir smile, soothe with great semblance of good likinge to all arounde, and cause everie one to open his moste inwarde thought to hir; when, on a sudden, she woud ponder in pryvate on what had passed, write down all their opinions, draw them out as occasion required, and sometyme disprove to their faces what had been delivered a month before. Hence she knew every one's parte, and by thus fishinge, as Hatton sayed, she caught many poor fish, who little knew what snare was laid for them.
“I will now tell you more of hir Majesty's discretion and wonder-working to those about her, touchynge their myndes and opinions. She did oft aske the ladies around hir chamber, if they lovede to thinke of marriage? And the wise ones did conceal well their liking hereto; as knowing the Queene's judgment in this matter. Sir Matthew Arundel's fair cosin, not knowing so deeply as hir fellowes, was asked one day hereof, and siinply said she had thought muche about marriage, if her father did consent to the man she lovede.' You seem honeste, l'faithe,' said the Queen; ' I will sue for you to your father.' The damsel was not displeased hereat; and, when Sir Roberte Arundel came to cowrte, the Queene askede him hereon, and pressede his consentinge, if the match was discreet. Sir Roberte, muche astonied at this news, said, he never heard his daughter had liking to any man, and wantede to gain knowledge of hir affection ; but woude give free consente to what was moste pleasinge to hir Highnesse wyll
and advyse.'—* Then I will do the reste,' saith the Queene. The ladie was called in, and the Queené tould her father had given his free consente. • Then,' replied the ladie, I shall be happie, and please your grace.' So thou shalte; but not to be a foole and marrye. I have his consente given to me, and I vow thou shalte never get it into thy possession : 80, go to thy busynesse. I see thou art a bolde one, to owne thy foolishnesse so readilye.'
“ I coude relate manye pleasante tales of hir Majestie's outwittinge the wittiest ones; for few knew how to aim their shaft against hir cunninge. We did all love hir, for she said she loved us, and muche wysdome she shewed in thys matter. She did well temper herself towards all at home, and put at variance all abroad; by which means she had more quiet than hir neighbours. I need not praise her frugality; but I wyll tell a storie that fell oute when I was a boye. She did love riche cloathing, but often chid those that bought more finery than became their state. It happenede that Ladie M. Howarde was possesede of a rich border, powderd wyth golde and pearle, and a velvet suite belonginge thereto, which moved manie to envye ; nor did it please the Queene, who thoughte it exceeded hir owne. One daye the Queene did sende privately, and got the ladie's rich vesture, which she put on herself, and came forthe the chamber amonge the ladies; the kirtle and border was far too shorte for her Majestie's heigth; and she askede every one, “How they liked her new-fancied suit?' At lengthe, she askede the owner herself, if it was not made too short, and ill-becoming?? which the poor ladie did presentlie consente to. "Why then, if it become not me, as being too short, I am minded it shall never become thee, as being too fine; so it fitteth neither well.' This sharp rebuke abashed the ladie, and she never
adorned her therewith any more. I believe the vestment was laid up till after the Queene's death.
“ As I did bear so much love towarde hir Majestie, I know not well how to stop my tales of hir virtues, and sometimes hir faults, for nemo nascitur sine ~», saith the poet; but even her errors did seem great marks of surprizing endowments.—When she smiled, it was a pure sunshine, that every one did chuse to baske in, if they could ; but anon came a storm from a sudden gathering of clouds, and the thunder fell in wondrous manner on all alike. I never did fynde greater show of understandinge and lerninge, than she was bleste wyth; and whoever liveth longer than I can, will look backe and become laudator temporis acti.”
In the early part of Elizabeth's reign, an Epitome, under the title of a “ Bref Abstract, or Short Sume,” of several books of the Bible, was printed at London, with the ensuing verses in the title page, from which it appears that foreign compositors were at that period, employed in this city.
66 Such faltes as you
That was then our intent.
“ The prynters were outlandish men,
The faltes they be the more,
But hereof are no store.”