Englands Mour∣ning Garment.
Worne by plaine Shepheardes, for the death of that most excellent Empresse Elizabeth, Queene of Vertue, while she liued; and Theame of Sorrow being dead.
Page [unnumbered]With that, Collin in discontent, brake his pipe, and in that passion, as if his heart had beene like his pipe, parted each peece from the other, hee fell without sense on the earth, not then insensible of his sorrowe; for it yeelded, wept, and groand at once, with his fall, his weepings and his sighs. Poore Th. showted for help; at whose call came some Nymphs full of sorrow for their Soueraigne; and no whit amazed to see him lie as dead, their hearts were so dead, with thinking of that which had astonied his. But yet, as gathering of companies draw more & more to wonder, so prooued it among the Shepheards, that left none but their curres to attend their flockes, themselues flocking a∣bout Thenot & Collin, who now recouered from his trance, and all asking the reason of his griefe, with teares aboun∣ding in his eyes, that likewise drew more aboundantly from theirs, he distractedly answered,
And therewithall making a signe for the Shepheards and Nymphs to sit downe, he told them, they had lost that sacred Nymph, that carefull Shepheardesse ELIZA, but if it pleased them to lend attention, he would repeate som∣thing of her, worth memorie, that should liue in despite of death: whereupon a still silence seizd them all, sauing only now and then, by sighing they exprest their hearts sorrow: and Collin thus began.
Seeing Honor onely followeth mortals, and the works of the vertuous die not with their deaths, and yet those workes neuerthelesse with the honours and rites due to the departed, might be much blemished, if there were no gra∣titude in their successors: let vs poore Rurals (though no other wayes able to erect Statues for our late dread Soue∣raigne Page [unnumbered] worthy all memory) among our selues repeate part of her excellent Graces, and our benefite obtained by her Gouernment: for, to reckon all, were Opus infinitum, ala∣bour without end.
She was the vndoubted issue of two royall Princes, Hen∣ry of Lancaster, and Elizabeth of Yorke. In whose vnion the quiet of vs poore Swaines began: for till that blessed ma∣riage, England was a shambles of slaughtred men: so vio∣lent was the blood of ambition, so potent the factions, and so implacable their heads; whose eyes were neuer cleard till they were washt in blood, euen in the deare blood of their Obiects hearts. This King, Grandfather to our late Queene, was the first Brittish King, that manie a hundred yeeres before wore the Emperiall Diademe of England, France, & Ireland: in him began the name of Tewther, des∣cended from the ancient Brittish King, to florish; the issue male of royal Plantagenet ending in his beginning: his wife Grandmother to our late Elizabeth, being the last Planta∣genet, whose Temples were heere circled with a sphere of gold. Which King and Queene liued and loued, and now lie intoombed in that most famous Chappell, built at his Kingly charge in the Abbey of Westminster: King Henry dying in a good age, left England, rich, beautifull, and full of peace; and so blest with his issue, after royally matcht to Scotland & France, besides his vndoubted heire King Henry of famous memory the eight; that no Kingdome in the earth more flourished.
His sonne, the Father of our Elizabeth, was to his Ene∣mies dreadfull, to his friends gracious, vnder whose En∣signe the Emperour himselfe serued: so potent a Prince he was: besides, so liberall and bounteous, that he seemed like the Sunne in his Meridian, to showre downe gold round about the Horizon: But hee died too, and left vs three Page [unnumbered] Princely hopes; all which haue seuerally succeeded other, royallie maintaining the right of England, and resisted with power all forraine wrong.
For King Edward our late Soueraignes Brother, though he died young in yeeres, left instance hee was no Infant in vertues; his learning, towardnes, and zeale, was thought fitter for the societie of Angels than men, with whom no doubt his spirit liues eternally.
Such assurance haue wee of the happines of that royall, gracious and worthy Ladie Mary his eldest sister: who in her death exprest the care of her Kingdomes, so much la∣menting one Townes losse, that she told her attendant La∣dies, if they would rip her heart when shee was dead, they should finde Callice written in it. O Thenot, with all you o∣ther Nymphs and Swaines (setting by her affection to Pa∣pall religion, wherein shee was borne and liued) learne by this worthy Queene, the care of Soueraignes, how heart∣sick they are for their subiects losse; and think what felicity wee poore wormes liue in, that haue such royall Patrons, who cark for our peace, that we may quietly eate the bread of our owne labour, and tend our flocks in safetie, asking of vs nothing but feare and duty, which humanity allowes, and heauen commaunds.
With this Thenot interrupted Collin, telling him, there were a number of true shepheards misliked that Princes life, and ioyed greatly at her death: withall, beginning to shew some reasons, but Collin quickly interrupted him in these words.
For, saith he, the faults of Rulers (if any be faultie) are to be reprehended by them that can amend them, and seeing none is superiour to a King but God, to him alone referre Page [unnumbered] their actions. And where thou termest them true shep∣heards that so enuied that Ladies gouernment, thou art deceiued: for the true shepheards indeede, that suffered in her time by the malice of Romish Prelates, prayed hartily for her euen in the fire, and taught the people to obey her gouernment: but such as rayld at her, are still as they then were, proud phanatike spirited counterfaites, expert in nothing but ignorance, such as hate all rule, for who re∣sisteth correction more than fooles, though they deserue it most? Beleeue mee Thenot, and all you well affected Swaines, there is no greater marke for a true shepheard to be knowne by, than Humilitie, which, God hee knowes, these mad men most want: too much experience haue wee of their threed-bare pride, who bite the dead, as liuing Curres may Lyons: not contented with their scandals of that Royal Lady, our late Soueraignes Sister, but they haue troubled the cleare springs of our Mistresse Elizabeths bles∣sed gouernment: nay, my selfe haue seene and heard with glowing eares some of them, euen in the fields of Calydon, when his Excellence, that is now our Emperiall shep∣heard, was onely Lord of their foldes, speake of his Maie∣stie more audaciouslie & malapertly, than any of vs would doe of the meanest officer. For as I said euen now, if Ru∣lers chance to slip: it is most vnsufferable, that euery impu∣dent rayler should with the breath of his mouth stirre the chaffie multitude, whose eares itch for nouelties, whose mindes are as their numbers, diuers: not able to iudge themselues, much lesse their Soueraignes. But they ought, if they be true Pastors, to follow the great Pan the Father of all good shepheards Christ, who teacheth euery of his Swaines to tell his brother priuatly of his fault, and againe, and againe: by that glorious number, three, including numbers numberlesse, before it be tolde the Church. If Page [unnumbered] then they must, being true shepheards, deale so with their brethren, how much more ought their followers doe to their Soueraignes, being Kings and Queenes? And not in the place where sacred and morall manners should be taught, contrarily to teach the rude, to be more vnman∣nerly, instructing euery Punie to compare with the most reuerend Prelate, and that by that example to haue euerie Cobler account himselfe a King.
Oh said Thenot, Collin, there are some would ill thinke of you, should they heare you thus talke, for they reproue all out of zeale, and must spare none.
Peace to thy thoughts Thenot, answered Collin, I know thou knowest there is a zeale, that is not with knowledge acquainted, but let them and their mad zeale passe, let vs forget their raylings against Princes: And beginne with her beginning, after her Royall Sisters ending, who de∣parting from this earthly Kingdome the seuenteenth of Nouember, in the yeere of our Lord 1558. immediatlie thereupon, Elizabeth the hand-maide to the Lord of Hea∣uen, and Empresse of all Maides, Mothers, Youth, and men, then liuing in this English Earth, was proclaimed Queene with generall applause; being much pittied, for that busie slander and respectlesse enuie had not long be∣fore brought her into the disfauour of her Royall Sister Mary, whom wee last remembred: In the continuance of whose displeasure, stil stil made greater by some great E∣nemies: how she scap't, needes no repeating, being so wel knowne. Preserued shee was from the violence of death, her blood was precious in the sight of GOD, as is the blood of all his Saints: it was too deere to be poured out like water on the greedy earth; she liued, and wee haue li∣ued vnder her fortie and odde yeeres so wonderfully blest, that all Nations haue wondred at their owne afflictions Page [unnumbered] and our prosperity: and shee died as she liued with vs, still careful of our peace; finishing euen then the greatest won∣der of all (our deserts considered) by appointing the King∣dome to so iust and lawfull a Ruler to succeede her: whom all true English knew for their vndoubted Lord, immedi∣atly after her death. But least wee end ere we begin, I wil returne to her: who being seated in the Throne of Maie∣stie, adorned with all the vertues diuine and morall, appea∣red to vs like a goodly Pallace where the Graces kept their seuerall Mansions.
First, faith aboundantly shone in her then young, & lost not her brightnes in her age, for shee beleeued in her Re∣deemer, her trust was in the King of Kings, who preserued her as the Apple of his eye, from all treacherous attempts, as many being made against her life, as against any Prin∣cesse that euer liued: yet she was stil confident in her Saui∣our, whose name shee glorified in all her actions, confes∣sing her victories; preseruings, dignities, to be all his, as ap∣peared by many luculent examples, this one seruing for the rest, that after the dissipation of the Spanish Armatho accounted inuincible, shee came in person to Paules crosse, and there, among the meanest of her people, confessed, Non nobis Domine, non nobis; sed nomini tuo Gloria. And as she was euer constant in cherishing that faith wherein shee was from her infancie nourisht, so was shee faithfull of her word, with her people, and with forraine Nations. And al∣beit I know some (too humorously affected to the Romane gouernment) make a question in this place, whether her highnesse first brake not the truce with the King of Spaine: to that I could answer, were it pertinent to me in this place; or for a poore shepheard to talk of state, with vnreprooue∣able truths, that her highnes suffered many wrongs before fhe left off the league.
Page [unnumbered]O saith Thenst, in some of those wrongs resolue vs, and thinke it no vnfitting thing, for thee hast heard the songs of that warlike Poet Philisides, good Meliboee, and smooth tongued Melicert; tell vs what thou hast obserued in their sawes, seene in thy owne experience, and heard of vndoub∣ted truthes touching those accidents: for that they adde, I doubt not, to the glory of our Eliza.
To this entreatie Collin condiscended, and thus spake. It is not vnknowne the Spaniard a mighty Nation, aboun∣ding with treasure, being warres sinewes, torne from the bowels of Mines, fetcht from the sands of Indian Riuers, by the miserable captiued Natiues, haue purposed to be Lords of Europe. France they haue attempted and failed in, Nauarre they haue greatly distrest, Lumbardy the gar∣den of the world, they are possessed of: Naples and Sicilie, Sardinia, Corsica, are forced to obey their lawes, and that they reckoned England should be theirs, with such small case, euen in a manner with threatning: their songs taught little Infants from Andolozia to Galizia are witnes. The dice were cast: her Maiesties subiects craftily put into the Inquisition vpon euery smal colour: if they scaped, which seldome sorted out so wel, aliue, they could of their goods haue no restitution. Their King gaue pensions to our Queenes Rebellious fugitiue subiects, & not only to such, that in regard of their Religion fled the land, but vnto such as had attempted to resist her in actiue rebellion: and yet not staying there, out of his treasurie proposed rewards for sundry to attempt the murder of her sacred person: of which perfidious gilt she ueuer was tainted: let any Spani∣ard, or Spanish affected English, proue where she euer hi∣red, abetted, or procured any such against their Kings Ma∣iestie, and I wil yeeld to be esteemed as false as falshood it selfe: nay, they cannot deny, but that euen with the Rebels Page [unnumbered] of her Realme of Ireland, stird vp to barbarous and inhu∣mane outrages by the Spanish policie, shee hath no way dealt but by by faire and laudable warre.
But before I enter into her Maiesties lenitie in that Irish warre, against sundry knowne Rebels, and punishing some of her subiects, that vpon zealc to her, or perchance, to get themselues a glorie, aduentured their owne liues by trea∣cherie to cut off the liues of some great Leaders of the Re∣bels, I will a little digresse, least I should be thought, after her death, to maintain the fire of hate, which I euer in heart desired might honorably be quencht, betweene these po∣tent kingdomes of England and Spaine.
I wish all that reade this, to bury old wrongs, & to pray that it would please God of his inestimable mercie, to roote out all malice from Christian Nations: and as our Royall Soueraigne now raigning, hath conserued league and peace with all Princes, so, for the weale of Christen∣dome, it may more and more increase, that the open e∣nemies of Christ may the better be repelled from those wealthy Kingdomes in the East, where they haue manie hundred yeeres most barbarously tyrannized: for no man doubts, but the blood shed within these thirtie yeeres, as well of English, as Scottish, Spanish, Dutch, and Portu∣gall, in the quarrell of Religion, might, if GOD had so beene pleased, beene able, to haue driuen the heathen Mo∣narch from his neerest holde in Hungaria, to the fall of Danubia in the Euxine Sea, especiallie with the assistaunce of the French that haue cruelly falne, either vpon others swords.
But I trust God hath suffered this offence, to adde more glory to our mighty King, that hee should be the most fa∣mous of all his predecessours: as indeede hee is the most mighty, and hath beene raised to this Realme as a Sauiour, Page [unnumbered] to deliuer England, & make it more abundant in blessings, when many lookt it should haue had all her glory swallo∣wed vp of spoile.
The highnesse of his Emperiall place, greatnesse of his blood, mightinesse of his alliance, but most, his constancie in the true profession of Religion, euen amid my sor∣rowes, Thenot, fill me with ioyes: when I consider how a number that gaped for our destruction, haue their mouths shut close, yet emptie where they thought to eate the sweetes of our painefull sweate: but God be praised, as I saide before, her Highnesse that ruled vs many yeeres in peace, left vs, in her death, more secure, by committing vs to our lawfull Prince, matcht to a royal fruitfull Lady, that hath borne him such hopefull issue, that the dayes we lately feared, I trust are as farre off, as this instant is, from the end of all earthly times: who shal not only with their royall Fa∣ther, maintaine these his Kingdomes in happy peace, but subiect more vnder him, and spread the banners of Christ in the face of misbeleeuers.
In this hope I heere breake off, and returne to our late Soueraignes care of keeping Faith, euen toward her Rebell subiects, which I wil manifest in some two or three exam∣ples of the Irish.
When the Oneale, in the time of that memorable Gen∣tleman Sir Henry Sidney his Deputie-ship of Ireland, was mightily strengthned in his Country, and so potent, that the Deputie had many dangerous skirmishes against him; A seruant of her Maiesties, one Smith, thinking to doe a worthy peece of seruice, by poysoning the Oneale, prepared a little bottle, parted in the middest; one side containing good wine, the other with tempered poyson of the same co∣lour, and that he carries to the Oneale, vnder colour of gra∣tification Page [unnumbered] for that his armie lay farre from the Sea, or Mar∣chantable Townes, and hee thought Wine was vnto him very dainty: which the Oneale accepted kindly, for that the said Smith was borne in the Oneales Countrey: and such the Irish doe especially, and before others, trust, to bring messages euen from their greatest enemies, vnder whom they serue. But the deceit being quickly spide, Smith was by the Oneale sent bound to the Deputie, to whose plot he would faine haue imputed the same practise: but contrari∣lie, the Deputie publikely punished the said Smith, and her Maiestie refus'd him for her seruant; saying, shee would keepe none neere her that would deale treacherouslie, no though it were against traytors.
The like example was showne on an other, that would haue attempted the poysoning of Rory Og, a bloody and dangerous Rebell.
To which may be added, that her Highnesse among other trespasses, obiected by her Atturney against a conuicted Deputie: was, that hee went about by poy∣son to haue tooke away the life of Feff Mac Hue, a Re∣bell more immane and barbarous than any of the o∣ther two: the Lord chiefe Iustice of the Common Pleas (yet liuing) opening at the same time, how iust a spirit her Maiestie was possessed with, that she hated treason, euen to traytors: much more then to annointed Kings, whose ho∣nours and reputations, shee so maintained, that shee not long since punished by fine and imprisonment, a wealthie rayler, for vnreuerent words spoken against the person of King Philip, her open and professed enemie: So faithfull, so iust, so gracious was she.
And to make it more plaine, that Spaine intended England the first wrong, long time before it was mutte∣red; but after that memorable battaile of Lepanto, where∣in Page [unnumbered]Don Iohn of Austria obtained the tryumphant Christian victorie against the Turkes; to reward him, England was the Kingdome set downe, being then in her Maiesties possession: but hee had it, when they could giue him it that promised the same, which was at latter Lammas. And I trust his Neece shal haue as good successe, with her pretended title. For if God strengthened her Maiestie so, that against her, being a woman, they could not preuaile, we trust his Almigh∣tinesse will be as carefull of our King, being alreadie Lord of three such people as haue seldome beene e∣qualled in battel, except they haue vnnaturally conten∣ded among themselues: the sight of which day, deere shepheards, let vs pray neuer againe to see. Besides, to expresse her farther intent: to preserue faith and league, notwithstanding infinite of open wrongs: and certaine knowledge that a Nauie for inuasion of this Realme had been preparing more than fifteene yeere; yet did she beare, vntill against all law of Nations, the Ambassador liedger of Spaine, honoured with many fauours, did notwithstanding plot and confeder with natiue traitors of this land; and the matter being ap∣parantly proued; hee was by her milde sufferance ad∣mitted to depart the Realme, without any violence: to his perpetuall reproch, and her neuer-dying glo∣rie. Well, I will heere conclude touching this ver∣tue of faith both toward God and man: shee was as firme in the one as mortalitie could be; and in the o∣ther approued glorious among all the Princes of her time.
For Hope, the second diuine vertue, shee rather therein abounded, than was any way wanting; for her Hope was no way wandring: shee beleeued, and it Page [unnumbered] came to passe; her enemies arise, but before their ari∣sing, shee was certaine to see them fall; shee hauing by example of things past, nothing doubted of things to come. And she was not deceiued till the houre of her death. For euer her expectation was fulfilled; she kept peace within, chased the spoyler without; and euen as it is sung of Epaminondas that valiant Theban Captaine, in his last victorious battaile, wherein yet death of him got victorie, he thus gloried: Herein am I comforted, that I dye a conquerour. For euen when death laide his last siege to her yet vnvanqui∣shed life, Tyrone, the long disturber of her State, be∣sought by agents mercie at her feete. O Nymphs and Shepheards, doubt not she was full of diuine Hope, whose heart obtained euer the thing it faithfully desi∣red; and that her desires were all of faith, I could adde infinite examples to these alreadie alleadged: but that it is needelesse to cast water in the Sea, or to make question of that all men knowe, and will confesse, except some whose hearts are straungers from Truth, and the professed Receptacles of false∣hood.
Her Charitie the third and principall diuine Grace to the eye of mortals: (for that Faith and Hope bend principally their seruice to Heauen, and Charities effects are manifested on earth) hath beene extended ouer all her Realmes, and stretched to the comfort of her oppressed neighbours. The multitudes of poore daily releeued from her purse, the numbers of sicke persons yeerely visited, and by her owne hand their corrupt sores toucht, the washing of poore womens feete, and releeuing their wants, was a signe that shee was humble, as well as charitable: for Humilitie is Page [unnumbered] Charities sister; they are two twins born at one time, and as they are borne together in any soule whateuer, so do they liue and die together: the humble spirit be∣ing euer charitable, and the charitable euer humble: for it is as impossible to haue a proud man charitable, as to reconcile fire and water; or to make accord be∣tweene any contraries. As she was in these particulars, exceeding all Ladies of her time, giuen to this helpfull vertue, so had she generall impositions through all her kingdome, for her well able subiects to followe her example: and so much did her example preuaile, that besides the ordinarie and weekely almes distributed through the Realme, there haue beene more particu∣lar Almes-houses builded for the reliefe of the aged, then in anie sixe Princes Raignes before. And as all parts of England haue in this imitation bin very for∣ward, so hath the Citie of London exceeded all; wherein diuers priuate men haue builded sundrie houses for the poore, and allowed them pensions: but the Corporations haue beene most bountiful, as most able: and among all, the right Worshipfull the Mer∣chant-Tailors haue exceeded the rest: all haue done well that haue done anie thing, but they best of any o∣ther, as I will one day in a song of liberall Shepheards thankfully expresse: though for my selfe I knowe him not in the least gift to whom I am in that sort boundē, but I ken not Thenot, how I may, for there is none li∣uing but may lack. As the City, so many knights, Gen∣tlemen, honorable and deuout persons haue followed her example: aboue the rest, an honorable, carefull, re∣uer end and learned watchman, as full of mildnesse & pietie, as he is of yeares and griefes for his good and royall Mistresse losse; at Croiden hath builded a wor∣thy Page [unnumbered] Receptacle to the like charitable end.
As for the poore and decrepit with age, her Royall Maiestie had this charitable care▪ so for souldiers, and suters, she was very prouident. The last being opprest in any part of her Realmes by men of much wealth and little conscience, shee allowd them counsell and proceedings in Forma pauperis, and maintenance weekely in the Termes, for some part of their succour: if any were delayd and abused, it was vtterly against her will. For souldiers, and men of seruice, her de∣crees of prouision are extant: besides, it is most cleare, no Prince in the world, to land, or Sea-men, was more bountifull, or at least willing, than her Highnesse: out of her Coffers it went; but there is an olde Prouerbe Thenot, carriage is deere: and I haue heard, but I will stand to nothing; base Ministers, and vnder-officers, curtall the liberalities of great and potent Maisters. Some haue in her time beene taken with the manner, and, besides bodily punishment and fines, displaced: as I will remember, and cannot omit amid my griefe to tell, though somewhat from this subiect it dissent, being of a fellow too meane, how her Highnesse in one of her Progresses, walking in the Garden of a house where she was receiued, being somewhat neere the highway, heard on a suddaine▪ a market woman crie: and from an Arbour behelde one of her owne seruants, a Taker vp of prouision, vse the woman vn∣ciuillie: whereupon the cause being examined, and the poore woman found by the same fellowe to be wrongd, as well afore as then, her Highnesse causd him presently to be dischargd of her seruice and puni∣shed: yet the fault being but slight, the Taker was countenanced to make sute to be restord: and some Page [unnumbered] halfe yeere after, fell downe before her Maiestie desi∣ring mercie, and restoring: her Highnesse pittying his distresse, commaunded him to be prouided for in some place, where he could not wrong her poore sub∣iects, but in any case not to make him a Taker. Ma∣nie such false ones she hath punished with death, and those that haue by power, friends, or fauour scapd, let then Zacheus restore, least their ends be worse than their beginnings. I could in this as all the rest, rec∣kon multitudes of examples, but I will end with her Excellence in this Act of Charitie extended to her neighbours: whom shee hath by her bountie deliue∣red from the tyrannie of oppression, and ayded the right of others against rebellious subiects: others assi∣sted to recouer their Kingdomes, not sparing milli∣ons to sustaine the quarrell of the righteous. The re∣ward of which mercy and charitie she now findes, be∣ing done for his cause: that leaueth no deed of mercy vnrecompenced.
As shee was richly stored with diuine graces, so in morall vertues, no Princesse euer-liuing in the earth can be remembred to exceede her. Her wisedome was without question in her life by any vnequalled, shee was sententious, yet gracious in speech; So ex∣pert in Languages, that she answered most Embassa∣dors in their Natiue tongues: her capacitie was there∣with so apprehensiue, and inuention so quicke, that if anie of them had gone beyond their bounds, with gracious maiestie she would haue limitted them with∣in the verge of their duties, as shee did royallie, wise∣lie, and learnedlie, the last strutting Poland Messen∣ger, that thought with stalking lookes, and swelling words to daunt her vndaunted Excellence. But as Page [unnumbered] he came proud, he returned not without repentance; hauing no other wrong heere but the shame of his owne sausinesse.
Manie such examples I could set downe, but I will satisfie you with one more. When the Spani∣ards hauing their Armatho readie, temporisde with her Highnesse Commissioners in the low Countries, thinking to find her vnprouided: at last, when they accounted all sure, they sent her their Kings choise either of peace, or warre, wittilie included in foure Latine verses: portending, that if she would cease to defend the Lowe Countries, restore the goods taken by reprisall from the Spaniards; build vp the Reli∣gious houses diuerted in her Fathers time, and let the Romane Religion bee receiued through her land; why then she might haue peace: if not, it was too late to expect any. Which proud commaunding Embassie, with royall magnanimitie, gratious wise∣dome, and fluent wit, she answered instantly in one knowne prouerbiall line, which she sodainly made in∣to a Verse.
O Thenot, did not assurance of our kingly Poets loue to the Muses, somewhat comfort me, I should vt∣terly dispaire euer to heare Pastorall song againe, fild with anie conceit; seeing her Excellence, whose braine was the Hellican of all our best and quaint in∣uentions, is dried vp by the ineuitable heate of death.
Her owne iustice was such, as neuer any could tru∣ly complaine of her; neither did shee pardon faultes vnpardonable, as murder, rape, Sodomie, that sin al∣most not to be namd: neither was there in her (with her knowlege) extremitie of iustice showne to Page [unnumbered] other malefactors: if any such did fall, it was either by falshood or malice of the euidence, practise of cor∣rupt men or some other secret wherwith poore Shep∣heards are vnacquainted: only this we are taught: that God sometime punisheth the sins of parents on their children to many generations.
But for her selfe, she was alwaies so enclined to e∣quity, that if she left Iustice in any part, it was in shew∣ing pittie: as in one generall punishment for murder it appeared: whereas before time there was extraor∣dinary torture, as hanging wilfull muderers aliue in chaines; shee hauing compassion like a true Shep∣heardnesse of their soules, though they were of her er∣ring and vtterly infected flocke; said their death satis∣fied for death: aud life for life, was all could bee de∣māded: affirming more, that much torture distracted a dying man: in particular, she saued many. Among some vnworthy of her mercy, that proud fellow, who vniustly named himselfe Doctor Parry, and an other as I remember called Patrick an Irish man: the first ha∣uing offended in burglary, against a lawier able & wil∣ling to take away his life, therto vrged by many misde∣meanours: and for that Parry doubted his attempt to kill & act of fellony was without compasse of pardon, considering the place where it was done, and against whom; thought a lease of his life safest, which of her benigne mercy he obtained for 21. yeares; but ere 3. of thē were past, he did vnnaturally attempt her death that had giuē him life; for which traiterous ingratitude he worthily was cut off: the Irish man likewise being pardoned for a man slaughter, proued vnthankfull, and ended as he liued shamefully. Besides, she was so inclinable to mercy, that her iust and seuere Iudges Page [unnumbered] told her, how some desperate malefactors building on friends, and hopes of pardon, cared not for offending, but euen scoffed at authority; wherof when she heard, she tooke speciall care, considering it was as great in∣iustice to pity some, as spare others, taking order to signe no pardon, except the Iudges hand were at it first, which truly knew the cause why the party was condemned: by which meanes murderers, and pre∣sumptuous offenders were cut off from all hope.
One notable example of her iustice among many I wil here remember: Certaine condemned for Piracie, hauing made some end with them they wronged, lay for their liues at her mercy, and the Iudge of her Ad∣miraltie hauing signified fauourably of the qualitie of their offence, she was moued to pittie them, and had commanded their pardon to be drawne. In the meane time two of them, trained vp in the fashion of our cō∣mon Cutters, that I may tel thee (Thenot) swarm rather like deuils than men about the country, that sweare as if they had license to blaspheme, & stab men as if they had authority; nay, sometime themselues for very tri∣fles▪ two such I say, were in the company of these con∣demned Pyrates, hourely hoping for their liues: and brauing either other of their manhoode, saying, one durst more than the other: the eldest being Maister of their late ship, wherein they had sailed to that place of sorrow, slyces his owne flesh with a knife, asking the other if he durst doo as much: the Younker was very readie, and two or three times followed the olde foole, in that desperate wounding of himselfe. This brutish acte being committed in the prison belong∣ing to her Maiesties owne house, came quickly to her royall eare, and some fewe dayes after, their pardon Page [unnumbered] to be signed; who graciously gaue life to all the rest; but commanded them by expresse name to execution, say∣ing, they were vnworthy mercie, that of themselues had none: adding, it was very likely, that such as in a prison, and in their state, would be so cruell to shead their owne blood, would haue small compassion of o∣thers whom they ouercame at sea; and so leauing them to the lawe, they were worthily executed.
Of her mercie nothing can be saide more, but that it equalled, or rather as I said before, exceeded her iu∣stice. Among infinite numbers whom shee pardoned, that one especially being a cleare witnesse, who shot the Gunne off against Greenwich, euen into her Maie∣sties Barge, hurt the next man to her, at broade day∣light; almost impossible to be excused by negligence or ignorance; for that any man hauing his peece char∣ged, would rather vpon retyring home, haue dischar∣ged it among the Reedes, than toward the breadth of the Riuer, whose siluer brest continually bore vp a number of vessels, wherein men passed on sundrie af∣faires. How euer wilfull or vnwilfull the act was, done it was, and by a Iurie he was found guiltie, and adiud∣ged to die: toward execution he was ledde, with such clamour and iniuries of the multitude, as sildome any the like hath bene seene or heard; so hainous and odi∣ous his offence appeared vnto them, that being vpon the ladder readie to be cast off, the common people had no pitie of him: when euen iust in that moment of dispaire and death, her Maiestie sent a gracious pardon, which deliuered him to all mens wonder. I want but the Arcadian Shepheards inchaunting phrase of spea∣king, that was many times witnesse to her iust mercies, and mercifull iustice: yet rude as I am, I haue presumed Page [unnumbered] to handle this excellent Theame, in regard the Funerall hastens on, of that sometime most Serene Lady, and yet I see none, or at least past one or two that haue sung any thing since her departure worth the hearing; and of them, they that are bestable, scarce remember her Maiestie. I cannot now forget the excellent and cun∣ning Collin indeed, (for alas, I confesse my selfe too too rude,) complaining that a liberal Mecaenas long since dy∣ing, was immediatly forgotten, euen by those that li∣uing most laboured to aduance his fame: and these as I thinke close part of his songs:
Somewhat like him, or at least to that purpose of a per∣son more excellent, though in ruder verse I speake.
At this Thenot and the rest desired him to proceede in his discourse of her vertues; remembring where hee left, at Iustice, and though the matter pleafed them so Page [unnumbered] well that they could endure the hearing many dayes, yet seeing the Sunne began to dye the West Sea with vermilion tincture, the pallace of the morning being hidden in sable clouds, and that the care of their flockes must be respected, requested him to be as breefe, as the time limited him.
To which Collin answered; Thenot, I perceiue thou art as all or the most part of the world is, carefull onely of thine owne: and how euer frends fall, yet profit must be respected. Well, thou dost well; and in this I dubbly praise thee: to carke for sheepe and lambes that cannot tend themselues, & not to mourne as without hope our great Shepheardesse; who after long life and glory on earth, hath obtained a longer and more glorious life in heauen. But to proceede. As she was constant in faith, stedfast in hope, cheerfull in giuing, prudent in spea∣king, iust in punishing, but most mercifull in par∣doning: so for the third morrall Vertue Tempe∣rance, there was in no age before, a woman so exal∣ted to earthly honour euer read off; that so long, so grationsly, in outward & domestick affaires gouerned her kingdom, familie, & person, with like moderation.
First, for her kingdome, what can be deuised more neare the meane, than she hath in all things followed? For in religion as in other things, there hath beene an extreame erring from the truth, which like all vertues, (being indeede the head of all) keepeth place in the midst; so hath shee established the true Catholicke and Apostolicall Religion in this Land, neither ming∣led with multitudes of idle superstitions; nor yet wan∣ting true honour and reuerence for the Ministerie, in laudable and long receiued ceremonies.
But here I shall be carpt at, in that I call the Reli∣gion Page [unnumbered] profest in her time, true Catholike and Aposto∣licall: considering the Sea of Rome and such English onely as be her sworne Sonnes, thinke that seate all one to holde the Apostolicall faith: excluding her Maiestie, and all other Christian Princes with their subiectes, that haue not falne before that Chaire, as people woorthie to be cutte off from Christes con∣gregation: giuing them names of Protestants, Lu∣therans, and I know not what. And on another side, a selected company, that would needs be counted Saints and holy ones, when there is nothing but corruption in their hearts, they forsooth condemned her sacred go∣uernment for Antichristian: when to the amazement of superstitious Romanes, & selfe-praysing Sectuaries, God approued her faith by his loue towards her. And lest I should be taskd of ignorance, and termed a Nulli∣fidian in defending neither of these sides: and onely of the faith that the Colliar profest, which was euer one with the most. I say, I was borne and brought vp in the Religion profest by that most Christian Princesse Eli∣zabeth, who beleeued not that the spirite of God was bound or tyde to any one place, no more to Rome than Antioch, that the Candlesticke of any Church might be remooued, for neglecting their first loue, and teaching traditions of men, in steade of sacred veri∣tie: and no man can truly denie but the church of Rome hath so taught and standeth not in her first estate, but if it were in the Primitiue Church perfectly and fully established: then hath it receiued many traditi∣ons since, which our Elizabeth nor any of her faithfull subiects would obay, being no way by Gods worde thervnto warranted: besides, there is apparant proofes that the church of Rome hath many hundred yeares Page [unnumbered] persecuted with great crueltie: which is no badge of the true Apostolicall Church.
For the other sort: it is well knowne, they are for the most part, ignorant and mechanick people, ledde by some fewe hotte spirited fellowes, that would faine haue all alike. These tying themselues to a more strait course outwardly than other men, though they be vt∣terly obiect to the Romanists; yet haue they more he Saints and she Saints among them than are in the Ro∣mish Kalender: where none or at least very fewe are called Saints, but holy Virgins, Martyrs, and Confes∣sors; but all the brethren and sisters of the other side, are at the first receiuing into their communiō, Sainted, if it be but Kit Cobler, and Kate his wife; and both hee and shee presume they haue as sufficient spirites to teach and expound the Scriptures, as either Peter, or Iohn, or Paule, for so bluntly they terme the bles∣sed Apostles: but their vanitie and pride our Eliza∣beth hated, and therefore brideled their waies, and was not mooued with their hypocriticall fastes; be∣cause they fasted to strife and debate, as it is written by the Prophet Esay 58. and to smite with the fist of wickednes.
Her Highnes therefore taught all her people the vndoubted truth: faith in Christ alone, the waye, the doore, and the life: not turning either to the right hand, or to the left: and in this being the best meane, her Temperance chiefly appeared: this rule she taught her kingdome, her familie, her selfe: at least caused them to be taught by excellent Pastors, to whom humbly she gaue publike eare.
And in this, so for apparell, manners and diet, she made Lawes, and gaue example in her owne person: Page [unnumbered] to curbe the vanitie of pride in garments: by expresse Statutes, appointing all men and women to be apparel∣led in their degree and calling. To expresse the excesse of drinking, and hated sinne of drunkennesse, she hath commaunded no drinke in her Land to be brued aboue an easie price: & to auoyd gurmandize, she hath yearely commaunded the Lent and Fasting-daies to be kept, as in times before, not for superstition sake, but common policie, to haue Gods creatures receiued indifferently; and also to encrease Marriners for the strength of the Ile, whose numbers while fish is contemnd, by neglect of fishing mightily decay: fishers being indeed▪ pretty traind Marriners; by reason that they haue experience in most of the Hauens, Creekes, Shoales, Flats, & other profits and daungers neare the place they vsed. But what should I say; if they that will onely make the scrip∣ture their cloake, and yet respect not this part; Obey the Magistrate for conscience: their sinne fall vpon them∣selues. I trust the Prince is excusable, that would his sub∣iects would do wel; and so I am certaine was her Excel∣lence.
True said Thenot, but for all her Lawes, these courses were little set by, I haue seene vpstarts iette it gayer than Lords, numbers drinke till they haue seemde dead, and multitudes eate flesh euen vpon good Fryday. What remedie said Collin: they that will breake the Kings Lawe, make little account of Gods: such subiects are like falfe Ezecutors, that performe not the Legacies of the dead, her highnes was not the worse for that good Lawes were violated, they that dealt so with her, dealt worse with God: offending him double by brea∣king his Lawes and hers. But in her owne household and person she obserued all these rules: and though Page [unnumbered] many abroad by corruption were winkt at; yet sometime there were some taken and paid home.
But her excelling Selfe, though her Table were the aboundantliest furnisht of any Princes in the world, with all varietie: yet fedde shee oftenest of one dish, and that not of the daintiest. For quaffing as it was vnfitting her Sexe, so shee extreamely abhord it: hating super∣fluitie as hell: and so farre was shee from all nicenesse, that I haue heard it credibly reported, and knowe it by many instances to be true, that shee neuer could a∣bide to gaze in a mirrour or looking-glasse: no not to behold one, while her head was tyred and adorned, but simply trusted to her attendant Ladies for the comelinesse of her attire: and that this is true, Thenot I am the rather perswaded, for that when I was yong, al∣most thirtie yeares agoe, courting it now and then: I haue seene the Ladies make great shift to hide away their looking-glasses if her Maiestie had past by their lodgings.
O humble Lady, how meeke a spirite hadst thou? How farre from affecting beautie, or vaine pride: when thou desiredst not to see that face, which all thy subiects longed dayly to behold, and sundry Princes came from farre to wonder at.
As in these things shee kept truely the Meane, so like∣wise in her gifts: as I first nored touching her Charitie, which was still so tempered (notwithstanding her great charge in aiding her distressed neighbours:) that she was euer truely liberall, and no way prodigall: as I trust his Royall Maiestie shall, by the treasure, finde.
As shee was adorned with all these vertues, so was she indued with Fortitude and Princely courage, so plenti∣fully, that her displeasure shooke euen her stoutest ad∣uersaries: and those vnnaturall traytors, that came ar∣med Page [unnumbered] sundry times with bloodie resolution to lay violent hands on her sacred Maiestie, her very lookes would daunt, and their instruments prepared for her death, dropt from their trembling hands with terrour of their consciences, and amazement to behold her countenance; Nay, when she knew they came of purpose to kill her, she hath singled diuerse of them alone, and let some passe from her with milde caueats a farre off: whose lenitie, rather increasing then diminishing their malice, they haue followed destruction which too timely ouertooke them.
I could in this place name many particular men, as Parry and others: but I will content yee with one pri∣uate example ouerpassing the generall; when Appletree whom I remembred before, had hurt her water-man, be∣ing next to her in the Barge; the French Ambassador be∣ing amazed, and all crying Treason, Treason: yetshee with an vndaunted spirite, came to the open place of the Barge, and bade them neuer feare, for if the shotte were made at her, they durst not shoote againe: such maiestie had her presence, and such boldnesse her heart, that shee despised all feare; and was as all Princes are, or should be; so full of diuine fulnesse, that guiltie mortalitie durst not behold her but with dazeled eyes.
But I wonder saith Thenot, she in so many yeares built no goodly Aedifice wherein her memorie might liue.
So did shee answered Collin, the goodliest buildings in the earth, such as like fleeting Iles commanded the seas, whose outward wal's are dreadfull Engins of brasse, sen∣ding fearefull thunder among enemies. And the inha∣bitants of those wooden Iles, are worthy Seamen, such as dread to danger, but for her would haue runne euen into destructions mouth. I tell thee Thenot, I haue seene Page [unnumbered] in a fight some like nimble spirites hanging in the aire by little cords, some lading ordinance with deathfull pow∣der; some charging Muskets, and discharging ruine on their enemies; some at the foreship, others busie at helme, skipping here and there like Roes in lightnesse, and Li∣ons in courage; that it would haue powred spirite into a sicke man to see their resolutions. For such tenants made she many buildings, exceeding any Emperours Nauy in the earth: whose seruice I doubt not will be acceptable to her most worthy Successor, our dread Soueraigne Lord and King.
Other Pallaces shee had great store of, which shee maintained and yearely repaired, at least would haue done, if those that had care of her suruaying, would haue beene as carefull for hers as for their owne.
What should I say of her? the clowdie mantle of the night, couers the beautie of the heauen: and this eue∣ning lookes like those foure days that preceeded the mor∣ning of her death. The beasts the night that she ended her fate in earth, kept an vnwonted bellowing, so that I assure thee Thenot, being assured of her sickenesse, I was troubled (being awakened with their cries) with imagi∣nation of her death, that I pittied not my bleating flocke, who with their innocent notes kept time with my true teares, till the houre of her death was past, when immedi∣ately a heauy sleepe shut vp the windowes of mine eyes: at which time, (as I haue since heard) deaths eternal sleep vtterly benummed all her sences, whose soule (I doubt not) hath already entred endlesse rest, whither God will draw her glorified body in his great day. Sweete Vir∣gine, she was borne on the Eue of that blessed Virgines Natiuitie, holy Mary Christs mother: shee died on the Eue of the Annunciation of the same most holy Virgin; Page [unnumbered] ablessed note of her endlesse blessednesse, and her socie∣tie in heauen with those wise Virgines, that kept Oyle euer in their Lampes, to awayte the Bridegroome. Shee came vnto the Crowne after her Royall sisters death, like a fresh Spring euen in the beginning of Win∣ter, and brought vs comforte, as the cleare Sunne doeth to storme-dressed Marriners, shee left the Crowne like∣wise in the winter of her Age, and the beginning of our Spring: as if the Ruler of heauen had ordained her Coronation in our sharpest Winter, to bring vs happi∣nesse, and vncrowned her in our happiest Spring, to leaue vs in more felicitie by her Succeeder. O happy begin∣ning, and more happy end: which notwithstanding, as naturall sonnes and subiects, let her not goe vnwept for toher graue. This euening let vs be like the Euening, that drops dewy teares on the earth: and while our hindes shut vp▪ the sheepe in their folds, sing a Funerall song for the losse of diuine Elizabeth; inuocating absent Schollers to bewaile her, whom in sundry Schooles shee cherisht, and personally in either of their Vniuersities visited: let vs bid souldiers lament her, toward whom, besides many apparant signes of her exceeding loue, this is one most worth memorie; shee came amongest them mounted at Tilburie, being gathered into a royall Armie against the Spanish Inuasion; promising to share with them in all fortunes, if the enemie durst but shew his face aland. Let Citizens likewise shead teares for her losse, e∣specially those of London, to whome she was euer a kinde Soueraigne, and bountifull neighbour.
I neede not bidde the Courtiers weepe, for they can neuer forgette the countenance of their gracious Mi∣stresse, till they haue ingrauen in their hearts the fauour of their most Royall Maister. For vs poore Shepheards; Page [unnumbered] though we are not able to sute our selues in blacke, fine inough to adorne so Royall an Enterrement, yet Thenot quicken thy inuention, Dryope and Chloris shall beare parte; and let vs conclude our sorrow for Eliza in a Fu∣nerall Hymne; that shall haue power to draw from the swelling Clowdes, waters to assist our woe. The Springs, taught by the teares that breake from our eyes, already o∣uerflow their bounds: The Birds sit mute to heare our musicke, and our harmelesse flocke hearken to our moanes.
To this they all, as gladly as their griefe would suffer them, consented. Collin for his broken Pipe toooke Cud∣dyes, who could neither sing nor play, Hee was so full of passion and sighes.
The Funerall Song betweene Collin and Thenot; Dryope and Chloris, vp∣on the death of the sacred Virgine ELIZABETH.
Thus I beginne.
These Epitaphs ended, the Nymphs and Shepheards led by Collin and Thenot, who afore plaide heauy tunes on their oaten Pipes, gotte to their seuerall cottages, and spent their time till midnight, mourning for Eliza: But Sleepe, the equaller of Kings and captiues, banished their sorrowes. What humor they are in after rest, you shall in the morning heare: for commonly, as the day is, so are our affections disposed.