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The captains and soldiers grew negligent for want of pay, the great men envying one another through private covetousness, and many insolencies, being suffered, cause there also, to be nourished, many misdemeanors, to the ruin of that government.
These things, being thus handled, administer occasion to the papists to hope for some alteration and change. And that, as a body that is violent consumeth itself, without some special cause to maintain it, so these occurrences will be the cause of their own destruction. At this time, there was a leaguer in Denmark, and, shortly after, another in the Low Countries; but, to what end their beginnings were intended, is yet unknown.
The rising of the Earl of Somerset; his favour and greatness with the
King, and his parentage, and discontent.
AMONG other accidents that happened about these times, the rising of one Mr. Carr was most remarkable; a man born of mean parentage, inhabitant in a village near Edinburgh, in Scotland, and there, through the favour of friends, was preferred to his Majesty' to be one of his pages, for he kept twelve, according to the custom of the French, and so continued it as long as he was in Scotland; afterwards, coming into England, the council thought it more honourable to have so many footmen to run with his Majesty, as the Queen had before; these youths had clothes put to their backs, according to their places, and fifty pounds a-piece in their purses, and so were dismissed the court.
This youth, amongst the rest, having thas lost his fortunes, to repair them again, makes haste into France, and there continued, until he had spent all his means and money: So that now, being bare in a strange country, without friends, or hope to obtain his expectation, he returns back for England, bringing nothing with him but the language, and a few French fashions; nevertheless, by the help of some of his countrymen, and ancient acquaintance, he was preferred unto the Lord Hays, a Scotchman, and favourite of the King's, to wait upon him as his page. Not long after, that lord, amongst many others, was appointed to perform a tilting, who, bearing an affection to this young man, as well in respect he was his countryman, as that he found him to be of a bold disposition, comely visaged, and of proportionable personage, commixed with a courtly presence, prefers him to carry his device to the King, according to the custom in those pastimes used: Now when he should come to light from off his horse, to perform his office, his horse starts, throws him down, and breaks his leg: This accident, bem ing no less strange than sudden, in such a place, causes the king to demand who he was; answer was made, his name was Carr. He, taking notice of his name, and calling to remembrance, that such a one was his page, causes him to be had into the court, and there provided for him, until such time as he was recovered of his hurt: After, in process of time, the young man is called for, and made one of the bed-chamber to his Majesty; he had not long continued in his place, before (by his good endeavours, and diligent service in his office) the King shewed extraordinary favour unto him, doubling the favour of every action in estimation, so that many are obscured, that he may be graced and dignified.
Thus the hand of the diligent maketh rich, and the dutiful servant cometh to honour; he, of all others, either without fraud to obtain, or desert to continue it, is made the King's favourite; no suit, no petition, no grant, nu letter, but Mr. Carr must have a hand in it; so that great rewards are bestowed upon him by suitors, and large sums of money by his Majesty ; by which means his wealth increased with his favour, and with both, honours: For virtue and riches dignify their owners; being, from a page, raised to the dignity of knighthood. After his favour increasing with his honours, there was no demand but he had it, no suit but he obtained it, whether it were crown-lands, lands forfeited or confiscated; nothing so dear, but the King bestowed upon bim, whereby his revenues were enlarged, and his glory so resplendent, that he drowned the dignity of the best of the nobility, and the eminency of such as were much more excellent. By which means, envy (the common companion of greatness) procures him much discontent, but yet, passing through all disadventures, continues his favour; and men, being drawn to applaud that which is either strange or new, began to sue him, and most to purchase him, to be their friend and assistant in court; so great and eminent was his favour.
Of the breach that happened between the Earl of Essex and his Courtess;
her hatred towards him; his lenity; her lightness ; his constancy. NOW, the cares of the vulgar being filled with the fortunes of this gentleman, it ministered occasion to pass to their opinions, concerning his worth and desert; some extol and laud his virtues, others the proportion of his personage, many his outward courtship, and most, as they stood affected, either praised or dispraised him, insomuch that, amongst the rest, the Countess of Essex (a woman at this time not greatly affecting her husband) and withal, being of a lustful appetite, prodigal of expence, covetous of applause, ambitious of honour, and light of behaviour, having taken notice of this young gentleman's prosperity, and great favour that was shewed towards him above others, in hope to make some profit of him, most advances him to every one, commending his worth, spirit, audacity, and agility of body, so that her ancient, lawful, and accustomed love towards her lord begins to be obscured, and ibose embraces, that seemed heretofore pleasing, are turned into frowns, and harsh unseemly words usher her discontents unto her husband's ears.
The good Earl carrying an extraordinary affection towards her, and being a man of a mild and courteous condition, with all honest and religious care, ready, rather, to suffer than correct these outrages, patiently admonisheth her to a better course of life, and to remember, that now all her fortune dependeth upon his prosperity, and therefore she offered more injury to herself, than hurt unto him; yet, nevertheless, she persisted, and, from bare words, returned to actions, thereby giving people occasion to pass their censure of this disagreement; some attributing it to the inconstancy and looseness of the countess, others to the earl's travels, and that in his absence she continued most unconstant, of a loose lise, suffering her body to be abused; and others, to make a shipwreck of her modesty, and to abrogate the rights of marriage; but most, because she could not have wherewith to satisfy her insatiate appetite and ambition, her husband living a private life.
For these causes, I say, she run at random, and played her pranks as the toy took her in the head, sometimes publickly, sometimes privately, whereby she disparaged her reputation, and brought herself into the contempt of the world; yet, notwithstanding, the Earl retained her with him, allowed her honourable attendance, gave her means according to her place, and shewed an extraordinary affection, endeavouring rather by friendly and fair persuasions to win her, than to become rigid over her.
But these things little avail, where affections are carried to another scope, and those things, that, to the judgment of the wise, become fit to be used, are of others contemned and despised, so that almost all men speak of the looseness of her carriage, and wonder that the earl will suffer her in those courses ; whereupon he modestly tells her of it, giving her a check for her inordinate courses, shewing how much it both dishonoured him, and disparaged her, in persisting, in the eye of the world, after so loose and unseemly a sort; desiring her to be more civil at home, and not so often abroad ; and thus they parted.
Of my Lord Treasurer's death. Of Mr. Overbury's coming out of France;
his entertainment; he grows into favour.
MY Lord Treasurer Cecil growing into years, having been a good statesman, the only supporter of the protestant faction, discloser of treasons, and the only Mercury of our time, having been well acquainted with the affairs of this commonwealth, falls into a dangerous sickness, and, in process of time, through the extremity of the malady, dies; not without suspicion of poison, according to the opinion of some others say of a secret disease, some naturally, and many not without the privity of Sir Robert Carr; and the reason of their opinion was, because the King, upon a time, having given Sir Robert the sum of twenty thousand pounds, to be paid by my Lord Treasurer, Sir Robert Carr was denied it, upon which denial, there grew some difference between them; the King was privy to it after this manner: My Lord, having told out five thousand pounds, laid it in a passage gallery; the king demands, Whose' money that was ? answer was made by my Lord Treasurer, That it was but the fourth part of that which his Majesty had given to Sir Robert Carr; whereupon the King retired from his former grant, and wished Sir Robert to satisfy himself with that, holding it to be a great gift: He, being thus crossed in his expectation, harboured
in his heart the hope of revenge, which after happened, as was suspected; but it is not certain, therefore I omit it.
Upon the death of this gentleman, Mr. Overbury (sometime a student of the law in the Middle-Temple) was newly arrived out of France, who having obtained some favour in court beforetimes, because of some discontents, got licence to travel, and now, at his return, was entertained into the favour of Sir Robert Carr; whether it proceeded of any love towards him, or to the intent to make use of him, is not certain; yet, nevertheless, he puts him in trust with his most secret employments; in which he behaves himself honestly and discreetly, purchasing, by his wise carriage in that place, the good affection and favour not only of Sir Robert, but of others also. In process of time, this favour procures profit, profit treasure, treasure honour, honour larger employments, and, iu time, better execution: For, where diligence and humility are associated in great affairs, there favour is accompanied with both; so that many courtiers, perceiving his great hopes, grew into familiarity with him; the knight's expectations are performed, and his business accomplished, rather more than less, according to his wishes; so that, taking notice of his diligence to outward appearance, he gives him an extraordinary countenance, uniting him into friendship with himself, insomuch that, to the shew of the world, his bond was indissolvible, neither could there be more friendship used, since there was nothing so secret, nor any matter so private, but the knight imparted it to Mr. Overbury
Of Mistress Turner's life, how the Countess and she came acquainted.
The combination of the Earl's death.
THE Countess of Essex, having harboured in her heart elivy
towards her husband even until this time, makes her repair unto Mistress Tur. ner, a gentlewoman that, from her youth, had been given over to a loose kind of life, being of a low stature, fair visage, for outward behavi. our comely, but in prodigality and excess most riotous; by which course of life she had consumed the greatest part of her husband's means, and her own; so that now, wanting wherewith to fulfil her expectations and extreme pride, she falls into evil courses, as to the prostitution of her body to common lust, to practise sorcery and inchantments, and to many, little less than a fiat bawd; her husband, dying, left her in a desperate state, because of her wants ; by which means she is apt to enter into any evil accord, and to entertain
evil motion, be it never so facinorous. A doctor's wife, who was, during his life, her physician, and in that time she having been entertained into her company, his said wife by that means procured further acquaintance, being near of the said disposition and temperature, as pares cum paribus facile congregantur; from thence it happened, that she was suspected, even by her means and procurement before this, to have lived a loose life, for who can touch pitch and not be defiled ? I say, having some familiarity with this woman, and now taking some discontent at
her husband more than heretofore, by reason of her falling out with him, and his sharp answers, as she conceives, to her, repairs to her house, and there, amongst other discourses, disgorges herself against her husband, whereby the cause of her grief might easily be perceived. Mistress Turner, as feeling part of her pain, pities her, and in hope of profit, being now in necessity and want, is easily drawn to effect any thing that she requires; whereupon, by the report of some, it was concluded at this time between them to administer poison to the earl; but, not taking effect according to their expectation, the countess writes unto her to this
purpose: • Sweet Turner, as thou hast been hitherto, so art thou all my hopes of good in this world : My lord is as lusty as ever he was, and hath complained to my brother Howard, that he hath not lain with me, nor used me as his wife. This makes me mad, since of all men I loath him, because he is the only obstacle and hinderance, that I shall never enjoy him whom I love.'
The earl having overpassed this evil, and continued still in his pristine estate, procured not any affection, but more hatred and loathsomeness, so that it burst forth daily to my lord's great discontent, and draws her headlong into her own destruction.
Sir Robert Carr made Viscount Rochester, the acquaintance between my Lord of Northampton and him, and the new affection of the Countess.
THE King taking great liking to this young gentleman, to the intent that he might be no less eminent in honour, than he was powerful in wealth and substance, adorns him with the title of Viscount Rochester, and bestows the secretariship of state upon him, so that his honour and his wealth make him famous to foreign nations. These things coming to my Lord of Northampton's ears, having been a long time favourite in court, and now grown into years, and, by reason thereof, knowing the favour of the king to depend upon many uncertainties; and, although at this time he was the greater actor in státe affairs, yet, if this young man continued his height of glory, all his dignity would either be abated, or overshadowed, and that he had not that free access to the King's ears, which he had wont to have; endeavoureth as much as in him lieth to make this courtier either to be wholly his, or dependent upon his favour, that so, having relation to him, he might make use of his greatness. And for this purpose he begins to applaud the wisdom and government of the Viscount, his virtues, outward courtship, and comely carriage, and, to conclude, holds him a man of no less worth and desert, than any about the King; neither were these things spoken to private or particular persons alone, but even in the ears of the King, to the intent to confirm the King's favour towards him.
These things coming to this gentleman's ears, he takes it as a great favour from so great a personage, and therefore so much the more admires his own worth, raising his carriage above his wonted course, and in hope of better things, applauding every action performed by the earl ;