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and loving demonstrations that were possible. counsel of his father-in-law Ferdinando; a prince
nando in state as it was before : the rather, in re- | vernment of Castilia, as administrator during the gard of the infirmity of Joan his daughter, who, minority of his son-in-law; as if there should have loving her husband, by whom she had many child- been a competition of three for that government; ren, dearly well, and no less beloved of him, Ferdinando, grandfather on the mother's side; howsoever her father, to make Philip ill-beloved Maximilian, grandfather on the father's side; and of the people of Spain, gave out that Philip used King Henry, father-in-law to the young prince. her not well, was unable in strength of mind to certainly it is not unlike, but the king's governbear the grief of his decease, and fell distracted of ment, carrying the young prince with him, would her wits. Of which malady her father was thought have been perhaps more welcome to the Spaniards noways to endeavour the cure, the better to hold than that of the other two. For the nobility of Cashis regal power in Castile. So that as the felicity tilia, that so lately put out the king of Arragon of Charles the Eighth was said to be a dream; in favour of King Philip, and had discovered so the adversity of Ferdinando was said likewise themselves so far, could not be but in a secret to be a dream, it passed over so soon.
distrust and distaste of that king. And as for About this time the king was desirous to bring Maximilian, upon twenty respects he could not into the house of Lancaster celestial honour, and have been the man. But this purpose of the became suitor to Pope Julius, to canonize King king's seemeth to me, considering the king's safe Henry the Sixth for a saint, the rather, in respect courses, never found to be enterprising or advenof that his famous prediction of the king's own turous, not greatly probable, except he should assumption to the crown. Julius referred the have had a desire to breathe warmer, because he matter, as the manner is, to certain cardinals, to had ill lungs. This marriage with Margaret was take the verification of his holy acts and miracles: protracted from time to time, in respect of the infirbut it died under the reference. The general mity of the king, who now in the two-and-twentieth opinion was, that Pope Julius was too dear, and of his reign began to be troubled with the gout: that the king would not come to his rates. But it but the defluxion taking also into his breast, is more probable, that the pope, who was extremely wasted his lungs, so that thrice in a year, in a jealous of the dignity of the see of Rome, and of kind of return, and especially in the spring, he the acts thereof, knowing that King Henry the had great fits and labour of the phthisic: nevertheSixth was reputed in the world abroad but for a less, he continued to intend business with as great simple man, was afraid it would but diminish the diligence as before in his health: yet so, as upon estimation of that kind of honour, if there were this warning he did likewise now more serinot a distance kept between innocents and saints. ously think of the world to come, and of making
The same year likewise there proceeded a himself a saint, as well as King Henry the Sixth, treaty of marriage between the king and the Lady by treasure better employed, than to be given to Margaret, Duchess-dowager of Savoy, only daugh- Pope Julius; for this year he gave greater alms ter to Maximilian, and sister to the King of Cas- than accustomed, and discharged all prisoners tile; a lady wise, and of great good fame. This about the city, that lay for fees or debts under matter had been in speech between the two kings forty shillings. He did also make haste with at their meeting, but was soon after resumed; and religious foundations; and in the year following,
; therein was employed for his first piece the king's which was the three-and-twentieth, finished that then chaplain, and after the great prelate, Thomas of the Savoy. And hearing also of the bitter cries Wolsey. It was in the end concluded, with great of his people against the oppression of Dudley and ample conditions for the king, but with promise and Empson, and their complices: partly by dede futuro only. It may be the king was the rather vout persons about him, and partly by public serinduced unto it, for that he had heard more and mons, the preachers doing their duty therein, he more of the marriage to go on between his great was touched with great remorse for the same. friend and ally Ferdinando of Arragon, and Ma- Nevertheless Empson and Dudley, though they dame de Fois, whereby that king began to piece could not but hear of these scruples in the king's with the French king, from whom he had been conscience; yet, as if the king's soul and his always before severed. So fatal a thing it is, for money were in several offices, that the one was not the greatest and straitest amities of kings at one to intermeddle with the other, went on with as great time or other, to have a little of the wheel ; nay, rage as ever. For the same three-and-twentieth there is a farther tradition in Spain, though not year was there a sharp prosecution against Sir with us, that the King of Arragon, after he knew William Capel, now the second time: and this that the marriage between Charles, Prince of was for matters of misgovernment in his mayor. Castile, and Mary, the king's second daughter, alty: the great matter being, that in some paywent roundly on, (which though it was first moved ments he had taken knowledge of false moneys, by the King of Arragon, yet it was afterwards and did not his diligence to examine and beat it wholly advanced and brought to perfection by out who were the offenders. For this and some Maximilian, and the friends on that side,) entered other things laid to his charge, he was condemned into a jealousy that the king did aspire to the go-to pay two thousand pounds; and being a man
He had parts,
of stomach, and hardened by his former troubles, And thus this Solomon of England, for Solomon refused to pay a mite; and belike used some un- also was too heavy upon his people in exactions, toward speeches of the proceedings, for which he having lived two-and-fifty years, and thereof was sent to the Tower, and there remained till the reigned three-and-twenty years, and eight months, king's death. Knesworth likewise, that had been being in perfect memory, and in a most blessed lately Mayor of London, and both his sheriffs, mind, in a great calm of a consuming sickness, were for abuses in their offices questioned, and im- passed to a better world, the two-and-twentieth of prisoned, and delivered upon one thousand four April, 1508, at his palace of Richmond, which he hundred pounds paid. Hawis, an alderman of himself had built. London, was put in trouble, and died with thought This king, to speak of him in terms equal to and anguish before his business came to an end. his deserving, was one of the best sort of wonSir Lawrence Ailmer, who had likewise been ders; a wonder for wise men. Mayor of London, and his two sheriffs, were put both in his virtues and his fortune, not so fit for a to the fine of one thousand pounds. And Sir commonplace, as for observation. Certainly he Lawrence, for refusing to make payment, was was religious, both in his affection and obsercommitted to prison, where he stayed till Empson vance. But as he could see clear, for those times, himself was committed in his place.
through superstition, so he would be blinded, now It is no marvel, if the faults were so light, and and then, by human policy. He advanced churchthe rates so heavy, that the king's treasure of store, men: he was tender in the privilege of sanctuathat he left at his death, most of it in secret ries, though they wrought him much mischief. places, under his own key and keeping, at Rich. He built and endowed many religious founda-r mond, amounted, as by tradition it is reported to tions, besides his memorable hospital of the have done, unto the sum of near eighteen hundred Savoy: and yet was he a great alms-giver in sethousand pounds sterling; a huge mass of money cret; which showed, that his works in public even for those times.
were dedicated rather to God's glory than his The last act of state that concluded this king's own. He professed always to love and seek temporal felicity, was the conclusion of a glorious peace; and it was his usual preface in his treaties, match between his daughter Mary, and Charles, that when Christ came into the world peace was Prince of Castile, afterwards the great emperor, sung; and when he went out of the world peace both being of tender years : which treaty was per- was bequeathed. And this virtue could not profected by Bishop Fox, and other his commission- ceed out of fear or softness : for he was valiant ers at Calais, the year before the king's death. and active, and therefore, no doubt, it was truly In which alliance, it seemeth, he himself took so Christian and moral. Yet he knew the way to high contentment, as in a letter which he wrote peace was not to seem to be desirous to avoid thereupon to the city of London, commanding all wars; therefore would he make offers and fames possible demonstrations of joy to be made for the of wars, till he had mended the conditions of same, he expressed himself, as if he thought he peace. It was also much, that one that was so had built a wall of brass about his kingdom : great a lover of peace, should be so happy in war. when he had for his sons-in-law, a king of Scot- For his arms, either in foreign or civil wars, were Jand, and a prince of Castile and Burgundy. So never unfortunate; neither did he know what a as now there was nothing to be added to this disaster meant. The war of his coming in, and great king's felicity, being at the top of all'world- the rebellions of the Earl of Lincoln, and the ly bliss, in regard of the high marriages of his Lord Audley, were ended by victory. The wars children, his great renown throughout Europe, and of France and Scotland, by peaces sought at his his scarce credible riches, and the perpetual con- hands. That of Britain, by accident of the stancy of his prosperous successes, but an oppor- duke's death. The insurrection of the Lord tune death, to withdraw him from any future Lovel, and that of Perkin at Exeter, and in Kent, blow of fortune ; which certainly (in regard of by flight of the rebels before they came to blows. the great hatred of his people, and the title of his So that his fortune of arms was still inviolate; son, being then come to eighteen years of age, the rather sure, for that in the quenching of the and being a bold prince and liberal, and that gained commotions of his subjects, he ever went in perupon the people, by his very aspect and presence) son: sometimes reserving himself to back and had not been impossible to have come upon him. second his lieutenants, but ever in action; and
To crown also the last year of his reign, as well yet that was not merely forwardness, but partly as his first, he did an act of piety, rare, and worthy distrust of others. to be taken into imitation. For he granted forth He did much maintain and countenance his a general pardon: as expecting a second corona- laws; which, nevertheless, was no impediment tion in a better kingdom. He did also declare in to him to work his will: for it was so handled, his will, that his mind was, that restitution should that neither prerogative nor profit went to dimibe made of those sums which had been unjustly nution. And yet as he would sometimes strain taken by his officers.
up his laws to his prerogative, so would he also
let down his prerogative to his parliament. For nearest the truth, that fetch not their reasons so mint, and wars,
and martial discipline, things of far off: but rather impute it to nature, age, peace, absolute power, he would nevertheless bring to and a mind fixed upon no other ambition or purparliament. Justice was well administered in suit. Whereunto I should add, that having every his time, save where the king was party : save day occasion to take notice of the necessities and also, that the council-table intermeddled too much shifts for money of other great princes abroad, it with “meum” and “tuum.” For it was a very did the better, by comparison, set off to him the court of justice during his time, especially in the felicity of full coffers. As to his expending of beginning; but in that part both of justice and treasure, he never spared charge which his affairs policy, which is the durable part, and cut, as it required : and in his buildings was magnificent, were, in brass or marble, which is the making of but his rewards were very limited : so that his good laws, he did excel. And with his justice, liberality was rather upon his own state and he was also a merciful prince: as in whose time, memory, than upon the deserts of others. there were but three of the nobility that suffered ; He was of a high mind, and loved his own the Earl of Warwick, the lord chamberlain, and will, and his own way; as one that revered himthe Lord Audley: though the first two were self, and would reign indeed. Had he been a instead of numbers, in the dislike and obloquy private man, he would have been termed proud. of the people. But there were never so great But in a wise prince, it was but keeping of disrebellions, expiated with so little blood, drawn tance, which indeed he did towards all; not adby the hand of justice, as the two rebellions of mitting any near or full approach, either to his Blackheath and Exeter. As for the severity power, or to his secrets, for he was governed by used upon those which were taken in Kent, it none. His queen, notwithstanding she had prewas but upon a scum of people. His pardons sented him with divers children, and with a crown went ever both before and after his sword. But also, though he would not acknowledge it, could then he had withal a strange kind of interchang- do nothing with him. His mother he reverenced ing of large and unexpected pardons, with severe much, heard little. For any person agreeable to executions; which, his wisdom considered, could him for society, such as was Hastings to King not be imputed to any inconstancy or inequality; Edward the Fourth, or Charles Brandon after to but either to some reason which we do not now King Henry the Eighth, he had none : except we know, or to a principle he had set unto himself, should account for such persons, Fox, and Bray, that he would vary, and try both ways in turn. and Empson, because they were so much with But the less blood he drew, the more he took of him: but it was but as the instrument is much treasure. And, as some construed it, he was the with the workman. He had nothing in him of more sparing in the one, that he might be the vainglory, but yet kept state and majesty to the more pressing in the other; for both would have height; being sensible, that majesty maketh the been intolerable. Of nature assuredly he coveted people bow, but vainglory boweth to them. to accumulate treasure, and was a little poor in To his confederates abroad he was constant admiring riches. The people, into whom there is and just, but not open. But rather such was his infused, for the preservation of monarchies, a inquiry, and such his closeness, as they stood in natural desire to discharge their princes, though it the light towards him, and he stood in the dark be with the unjust charge of their counsellors and to them. Yet without strangeness, but with a ministers, did impute this unto Cardinal Morton semblance of mutual communication of affairs. and Sir Reginald Bray, who, as it after appeared, As for little envies, or emulations upon foreign as counsellors of ancient authority with him, did princes, which are frequent with many kings, he so second his humours, as nevertheless they did had never any: but went substantially to his own temper them. Whereas Empson and Dudley business. Certain it is, that though his reputathat followed, being persons that had no reputa- tion was great at home, yet it was greater abroad. tion with him, otherwise than by the servile fol- For foreigners that could not see the passages of lowing of his bent, did not give way only, as the affairs, but made their judgments upon the issues first did, but shape him way to tho extremities, of them, noted that he was ever in strife, and for which himself was touched with remorse at ever aloft. It grew also from the airs which the his death, and which his successor renounced, princes and states abroad received from their and sought to purge. This excess of his had ambassadors and agents here; which were atat that time many glosses and interpretations. tending the court in great number: whom he did Some thought the continual rebellions wherewith not only content with courtesy, reward, and prihe had been vexed, had made him grow to hate vateness: but, upon such conferences as passed his people: some thought it was done to pull with them, put them in admiration, to find his down their stomachs, and to keep them low: universal insight into the affairs of the world: some, for that he would leave his son a golden which though he did suck chiefly from themfleece: some suspected he had some high design selves, yet that which he had gathered from them apon foreign parts : but those perhaps shall come all, seemed admirable to every one. So that they
did write ever, to their superiors in high terms, prospered as they did. For war, Bedford, Oxconcerning his wisdom and art of rule; nay, ford, Surrey, D’Aubigny, Brooke, Poynings: for when they were returned, they did commonly other affairs, Morton, Fox, Bray, the Prior of maintain intelligence with him. Such a dex- Lanthony, Warham, Urswick, Hussey, Frowick, terity he had to impropriate to himself all foreign and others. Neither did he care how cunning instruments.
they were that he did employ: for he thought He was careful and liberal to obtain good in- himself to have the master-reach. And as he telligence from all parts abroad: wherein he did chose well, so he held them up well; for it is a not only use his interest in the liegers here, and strange thing, that though he were a dark prince, his pensioner, which he had both in the court of and infinitely suspicious, and his times full of Rome, and other the courts of Christendom; but secret conspiracies and troubles: yet in twentythe industry and vigilancy of his own ambassa- four years' reign, he never put down, or discomdors in foreign parts. For which purpose his posed counsellor, or near servant, save only Staninstructions were ever extreme, curious, and ley, the lord chamberlain. As for the disposition articulate: and in them more articles touching of his subjects in general towards him, it stood inquisition, than touching negotiation : requiring thus with him; that of the three affections, likewise from his ambassadors an answer, in which naturally tie the hearts of the subjects to particular distinct articles respectively to his their sovereigns, love, fear, and reverence; he questions.
had the last in height, the second in good measure, As for his secret spials, which he did employ and so little of the first, as he was beholden to the both at home and abroad, by them to discover other two. what practices and conspiracies were against He was a prince, sad, serious, and full of him, surely his case required it: he had such thoughts, and secret observations, and full of moles perpetually working and casting, to under- notes and memorials of his own hand, especially mine him. Neither can it be reprehended: for touching persons. As, whom to employ, whom if spials be lawful against lawful enemies, much to reward, whom to inquire of, whom to beware more against conspirators and traitors. But in- of, what were the dependencies, what were the deed to give them credence by oaths or curses, factions, and the like; keeping, as it were, a that cannot be well maintained: for those are too journal of his thoughts. There is to this day a holy vestments for a disguise. Yet surely there merry tale; that his monkey, set on as it is was this further good in his employing of these thought by one of his chamber, tore his principal flies and familiars; that as the use of them was note-book all to pieces, when by chance it lay cause that many conspiracies were revealed, so forth : whereat the court, which liked not those the fame and suspicion of them kept, no doubt, pensive accounts, was almost tickled with sport. many conspiracies from being attempted.
He was indeed full of apprehensions and susTowards his queen he was nothing uxorious, picions; but as he did easily take them, so he nor scarce indulgent: but companionable and did easily check them and master them; whereby respective, and without jealousy. Towards his they were not dangerous, but troubled himself children he was full of paternal affection, careful more than others. It is true, his thoughts were of their education, aspiring to their high advance- so many, as they could not well always stand ment, regular to see that they should not want of together; but that which did good one way, did any due honour and respect, but not greatly will hurt another. Neither did he at sometimes weigh ing to cast any popular lustre
them. them aright in their proportions. Certainly, that To his council he did refer much, and sat oft rumour which did hiin so much mischief, that the in person : knowing it to be the way to assist his Duke of York should be saved and alive, was, at power, and inform his judgment. In which re- the first, of his own nourishing; because he spect also he was fairly patient of liberty, both would have more reason not to reign in the right of advice, and of vote, till himself were declared. of his wife. He was affable, and both well and He kept a strait hand on his nobility, and chose fair-spoken; and would use strange sweetness rather to advance clergymen and lawyers, which and blandishments of words, where he desired to were more obsequious to him, but had less effect or persuade any thing that he took to heart. interest in the people; which made for his abso- He was rather studious than learned; reading luteness, but not for his safety. Insomuch as, I most books that were of any worth, in the French am persuaded, it was one of the causes of his tongue, yet he understood the Latin, as appeareth troublesome reign; for that his nobles, though in that Cardinal Hadrian and others, who could they were loyal and obedient, yet did not co- very well have written French, did use to write operate with him, but let every man go his own to him in Latin. way. He was not afraid of an able man, as For his pleasures, there is no news of them; Lewis the Eleventh was; but contrariwise, he and yet by his instructions to Marsin and Stile, was served by the ablest men that were to be touching the Queen of Naples, it seemeth he could found; without which his affairs could not have interrogate well touching beauty. He did by