« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
at his return from Bath, as my lord vice-chamberlain, my lord Clifford, and myfelf his fon, and fon-inlaw, and many more can witnefs: but that, the day before, he swooned on the way, and was taken out of his litter, and laid into his coach, was a truth, out of which that falfehood, concerning the manner of his death, had its derivation, though nothing to the purpose, or to the prejudice of his worth.
SIR Francis Vere was of that antient, and of the most noble extract of the earls of Oxford; and it may be a question whether the nobility of his house, or the honour of his achievments, might most commend him, but that we have an authentick rule:
Nam genus & proavos & quæ nos non fecimus ipfi,
For though he was an honourable flip of that antient tree of nobility, which was no difadvantage to his virtue, yet he brought more glory to the name of Vere, than he took of blood from the family.
He was, amongst all the queen's fwordfmen, inferior to none, but fuperior to many; of whom it may be faid, to speak much of him were the way to leave out fomewhat that might add to his praise, and to forget more than would make to his honour.
I find not that he came much to the court, for he lived almost perpetually in the camp; but, when he died, no man had more of the queen's favour, and none lefs envied, for he feldom troubled it with the noise and alarms of fupplications; his way was another fort of undermining.
They report that the queen, as fhe loved martial men, would court this gentleman, as foon as he appeared in her prefence; and furely he was a foldier of great worth and command, thirty years in the fervice of the States, and twenty years over the English in chief, as the queen's general: and he, that had seen the battle of Newport, might there best have taken him and his noble brother *, the lord of Tilbury, to the life.
MY lord of Worcester I have here put laft, but not least in the queen's favour; he was of the antient and noble blood of the Beauforts, and of her† grandfather's kin by the mother, which the queen could never forget, especially where there was an incurrence of old blood with fidelity, a mixture which ever forted with the queen's nature; and though there might hap fomewhat in this house, which might invert her grace, though not to speak
of my lord himself but in due reverence and honour, I mean contrariety or fufpicion in religion; yet the queen ever respected his house, and principally his noble blood, whom the first made master of her horfe, and then admitted him of her council of state.
In his youth, part whereof he spent before he came to refide at court, he was a very fine gentleman, and the best horseman and tilter of the times, which were then the manlike and noble recreations of the court, and fuch as took up the applause of men, as well as the praise and commendation of ladies; and when years had abated those exercises of honour, he grew then to be a faithful and profound counsellor; and as I have placed him last, so was he the last liver of all her fervants of her favour, and had the honour to fee his renowned mistress, and all of them, laid in the places of their rests; and for himself, after a life of very noble and remarkable reputation, and in a peaceable old age, a fate that I make the last, and none of my flightest obfervations, which befel not many of the rest, for they expired like unto a light blown out with the snuff stinking, not commendably extinguished, and with an offence to the ftanders-by. And thus I have delivered up my poor effay, or little draught of this great princefs and her times, with the fervants of her state and favour. I cannot fay I have finished it, for I know how defective and imperfect it is, as limbed only in the original nature, not without the
active bleffings, and so left it as a task fitter for remoter times, and the fallies of fome bolder pencil to correct that which is amifs, and draw the reft up to life, than for me to have endeavoured it. I took it in confideration, how I might have dashed into it much of the stain of pollution, and thereby have defaced that little which is done; for I profess I have taken care to master my pen, that I might not err animo*, or of fet purpose discolour each or any of the parts thereof, otherwise than in concealment. Haply there are some who will not approve of this modesty, but will censure it for pufillanimity, and, with the cunning artift, attempt to draw their line further out at length, and upon this of mine, which way (with fomewhat more ease) it may be effected; for that the frame is ready made to their hands, and then haply I could draw one in the midst of theirs, but that modesty in me forbids the defacements in men departed, their posterity yet remaining, enjoying the merit of their virtues, and do ftill live in their honour. And I had rather incur the cenfure of abruption, than to be confcious and taken in the manner, finning by eruption, or trampling on the graves of perfons at reft, which living we durft not look in the face, nor make our addreffes unto them, otherwise than with due regard to their honours, and reverence to their virtues.