IT seemeth no wisedome to credit every light tale, blazed abroad in the mouthes of vulgars, for wee daily heare how with their blasphemous Trumpe they spread abroad innumerable Lyes, without either shame or honesty, which prima facie sheweth forth a visage of Truth, as though it were an absolute verity, though indeed nothing lesse; And amongst the better sort, those bablings are of no validity.
I have read the allegations of divers worthy Authours against such false ru∣mours and opinions of the common peo∣ple, who delight in nothing more, then to heare strange things, and to see new al∣terations of Authority, rejoycing some∣times Page [unnumbered] in such Novelties, which afterwards do produce Repentance. Thus may all men of understanding conceive the madness of the rude multitude, and not give too much credence to every sudden rumour, untill the truth be perfectly knowne by the re∣port of some approved and credible per∣sons, that commonly have the best Intelli∣gence.
I have heard, and also seen set forth in di∣vers printed Books, some untrue imagina∣tions, after the death of divers persons (who in their lives were in great estimation) in∣vented rather to bring their honest names in question then otherwise.
Now forasmuch as I intend to write here some speciall proceedings of Cardi∣nall Woolsey, the great Archbishop, his ascending unto honour and great promo∣tion, his continuance in it, and sudden fal∣ling from the same. A great part whereof shall be of mine owne knowledge, and some part from credible persons infor∣mations.
This Cardinall was my Lord and Ma∣ster, Page [unnumbered] whom in his life-time I served, and so remained with him in his fall continu∣ally, during the time of all his troubles, both in the South and North parts untill hee dyed. In all which time I punctu∣ally observed all his demeanours, as al∣so in his great Triumph and glorious estate.
And since his departure I have heard divers surmised and imagined Tales con∣cerning his proceedings, and dealings, which I my selfe have certainly knowne to bee most untrue, unto which I could have sufficiently answered according to truth; But conceiving it to be much better to be silent, then to reply against their un∣truths, whereby I might perhaps have ra∣ther kindled a great flame of displeasure, then have quenched one sparke of their untrue reports; Therefore I did referre the truth thereof to the Almighty, who knows the truth of all things.
Neverthelesse, whatsoever any man hath conceived of him in his life, or since his death; Thus much I dare say without of∣fence Page [unnumbered] to any, that in my judgement I never saw this Realme in better obedience, and quiet, then it was in the time of his Autho∣rity, nor Iustice better administred without partiality, as I could justly prove, if I should not be taxed with too much affection.
I will therefore here desist to speake any further by the way of Apologie, and pro∣ceed. Now to speake of his Originall, and ascending through Fortunes favour to high dignity and abundance of wealth.