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He lived in thofe times, wherein the queen had most need and use of men of weight; and, amongst many able ones, this was chief, as having taken his fufficiency from his inftruction who begat him, the tutorship of the times and court, which were then academies of Art and Cunning. For fuch was the queen's condition, from the tenth, or twelfth of her reign, that she had the happiness to stand up, whereof there is a former intimation, environed with many and more enemies, and assaulted with more dangerous practices, than any prince of her times, and of many ages before: where we must not, in this her prefervation, attribute it to human power, for that, in his own omnipotent providence, God ordained those secondary means, as inftruments of the work, by an evident manifestation of the fame work, which she acted; and it was a well-pleasing work of his own, out of a peculiar care he had decreed the protection of the work-miftrefs, and, thereunto, added his abundant bleffing upon all and whatsoever she undertook which is an obfervation of fatisfaction. to myself, that fhe was in the right; though, to others now breathing under the fame form and frame of her government, it may not seem an animadverfion of their worth: but I leave them to the peril of their own folly, and fo come again to this great minister of State and the staff of the queen's declining age; who, though his little, crooked perfon could not promise any great supportation, yet it carried thereon a head, and a head-piece, of a vast content; and therein, it seems, Nature was fo dili
gent to compleat one and the best part about him, as the perfection of his memory and intellectuals: she took care also of his fenfes, and to put him in lynceos oculos, or, to pleasure him the more, borrowed of Argos, fo to give unto him a prospective sight; and, for the rest of his fenfitive virtues, his predeceffor, Walfingham, had left him a receipt to smell out what was done in the conclave.
And his good old father was fo well seen in mathematicks, that he could tell you, throughout Spain, every part, every port, every fhip, with its burden; whither bound, what preparations, what impediments for diversion of enterprises, counsel, and refolution; and, that we may fee, as in a little map, how docible this little man was, I will prefent a taste of his abilities.
My lord of Devonshire, upon certainty that the Spaniards would invade Ireland with a strong army, had written very earnestly to the queen, and to the council, for fuch fupplies to be timely fent over, that might enable him both to march up to the Spaniard, if he did land, and follow on his profecution without diverting his intentions against the rebels. Sir Robert Cecill, befides the general difpatch of the council (as he often did) writ thus in private, for these two then began to love dearly:
My lord, out of the abundance of my affection, and the care I have of your well-doing, I must in
private put you out of doubt or fear, for I know you cannot be sensible, otherwise than in the way
of honour, that the Spaniards will not come unto you this year; for I have it from my own, what his preparations are in all his parts, and what he can do ; for, be confident, he beareth up a reputation, by seeming to embrace more than he can gripe; but, the next year, be assured, he will cast over to you some forlorn troops, which, how they may be reinforced beyond his present ability, and his first intention, I cannot, as yet, make any certain judgement; but I believe, out of my intelligence, that you may expect the landing in Munster, and, the more to distract you, in several places, as, at Kinsale, Beerhaven, and Baltimore ; where, you may be sure, coming from sea, they will first fortify, and learn the strength of the rebels, before they dare take the field. Howsoever, as I know you will not lessen your care, neither your defences, whatsoever lies in my power to do you and the public service, rest thereof assured."
And to this I could add much more, but it
may (as it is) suffice to present much of his abilities in the pen, that he was his crafts-master in foreign intelligence, and for domestick affairs. As he was one of those that sat at the helm to the last of the queen, fo was he none of the least in skill, and in the true use of the compass; and so I shall only vindicate the scandal of his death, and conclude him ; for he departed at St. Margaret's, near Marlborough,