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take them that counselled me to it. The life (as you will remember) is too long that loathsomely lasteth. A true saying, Madam. Believe him that hath proved it. The great wisdom I find in your letters, with your Country counsels are very notable, but the last word is worth the Bible. Truth, truth, truth. Ever may it dwell in you. I will ever deserve it. My spirit and soul (feel) agreeth with my body and life, that to serve you is a heaven, but to lack you is more than hell's torment unto them. My heart is full of woe. Pardon (for God's sake) my tedious writing. It doth much diminish (for the time) my great griefs. I will wash away the faults of these letters with the drops from your poor Lydds and so inclose them. Would God I were with you but for one hour. My wits are overwrought with thoughts. I find myself amazed. Bear with me, my most dear sweet Lady. Passion overcometh me. I can write no more. Love me; for I love you. God I beseech thee witness the same on the behalf of thy poor servant. Live for ever. Shall I utter this familiar term (farewell)? yea, ten thousand thousand farewells. He speaketh it that most dearly loveth you. I hold you too long. Once again I crave pardon, and so bid your own poor Lidds farewell. "Your bondman everlastingly tied,
He wrote her a long letter on his arrival at Antwerp, in which he says,
"This is the twelfth day since I saw the brightness of that Sun that giveth light unto my sense and soul. I wax an amazed creature. [JUNE 17.] Give me leave, Madam, to remove myself out of this irksome shadow, so far as my imagination with these good means may lead me towards you, and let me thus salute you: Live for ever, most excellent creature; and love some man, to show yourself thankful for God's high labour in you. I am too far off to hear your answer to this salutation; I know it would be full of virtue and great wisdom, but I fear for some part thereof I would have but small thanks. Pardon me Pardon me; I will leave these matters, because I think you mislike them. But, Madam, forget. not your Lydds that are so often bathed with tears for your sake. A more wise man may seek you, but a more faithful and worthy can never have you. Pardon me, my most dear sweet Lady, I will no more write of these matters. I wish you like welfare your presence might give me; it is, I assure you, the best farewell that ever was given you."*
From Spa his letters are equally amorous.
In one he says,
"It might glad you (Ispeak without presumption), that you live so dearly loved with all sincerity of heart and singleness of choice. I love yourself. I cannot lack you. I am taught to prove it by the wish and desire I find to be with you. Believe it, most gracious Lady, there is no illud mitius, you are the true felicity that in this
* Autograph in the State Paper Office. No address or superscription,
world I know or find. God bless you for ever. Pardon me, most humbly on my knees I beseech you. The abundance of my heart carrieth me I know not to what purpose; but guess you (as the common proverb is), and I will grant. I guess by my servant you should not be well, which troubleth me greatly. I humbly pray you that I may know it, for then will I presently come, whatever befal me. Humbly on the knees of my soul, I pray God bless you for ever. Your slave and EveR* your own,
Hatton returned to England in the autumn of the same year, when Elizabeth was so much alarmed by the attempt made upon his life by Burchet, the fanatical Puritan, that she could hardly be prevented from issuing a commission for executing the offender by martial law.
Oxford was now discarded, and she continued steadily attached to Hatton for some years. In the following summer she accomplished her visit to Bristol accompanied by him, and she issued a mandate to the Bishop of Ely to alienate to him the greatest part of the ground in Holborn belonging to that see. The Bishop at first promising to do so, and then pleading scruples of conscience, she sent him this reprimand:
"Proud Prelate! I understand you are backward in complying with your agreement, but I would have you know, that I who made you what you are, can unmake you; and if you do not forthwith fulfil your engagement, by God I will immediately unfrock you.
Yours, as you demean yourself,
This menace had the desired effect, and where grew the famous strawberries so much praised by Richard III. now stands Hatton Garden."
Notwithstanding these grants, the favourite, from his habitual extravagance, being still embarrassed, we find, soon after, a royal mandate to Burghley, requiring him "to apply 507 as he might think most fit for her to part with to the use of Hatton, for that she is content to bestow so much on him presently towards the payment of his debts."‡
Now he received his appointment of Vice-chamberlain, and being sworn of the Privy Council, he became what [Nov. 1577.] we should call a Cabinet Minister. The existing distinction, between the "Household" and the " Cabinet," which
* The E and R are capitals, and are so written by him in subsequent letters, ev« idently in allusion to the Queen's initials,-Elizabetha Regina.
† Autograph in the State Paper Office.
12 Dec. 1574. Lansdowne MSS. 18. art 96.
even requires that the Lord Chamberlain, the Lord Steward, and the Master of the Horse shall withdraw when the Queen's speech is to be read in Council for her approval, was then unknown; and all privy councillors were summoned to deliberate on important affairs of state in the presence of the sovereign.
Hatton was chiefly relied upon for making any communication to the Queen of peculiar delicacy. Thus the Prime Minister writes to him, begging him to [APRIL, 1778.] suggest to her that the only cure for a tooth-ache, from which she then suffered, was to have the tooth extracted,-information which her physicians were afraid to communicate to her, chloroform being then unknown :
Mr. Vice-chamberlain, I heard of her Majesty's indisposition by some pain in her head; and then how can any of her poor members, having life by her as our head, be without pain? my coming thither might either diminish her pain, or be thought convenient, I would not be absent; although in grief I am present, and do most heartily beseech God to deliver her from all grief, praying you to let me know of her Majesty's amendment not doubting but you are careful by the physicians to provide the remedy, which is said to be only the withdrawing of some one tooth that is touched with some humourous cause, and, except that be removed, her Majesty's pain shall not be quit. And though her Highness doth not or will not so think, yet I assure you it is said that the physicians do of knowledge affirm it, howsoever they forbear to impart t to her. Besides my prayer I cannot tell what to yield for her Majesty's ease more than this information; praying you to examine the truth, and further truth to her Majesty's service, and to her ease in this point. 21st April,
The Earl of Leicester writes to him in a strain which shows that, though rivals, they were now friends. The Queen being on a visit at Wanstead, while the gallant host was kept at a distance by illness, he thus addresses the Vice-chamberlain, who was in waiting upon her:
I humbly thank God to hear of the increase of her Majesty's gocd health, and am most glad that she took that happy medicine that wrought so well with her, as I perceive by your letter it did. I trust it will help to prolong and perfect that which we all daily pray for. I hope now, ere long, to be with you, to enjoy that blessed sight which I have been so long kept from. A few of these days seem many years and I think I shall feel a worse grief ere I seek so far a remedy again."
Nay, Leicester soon after, having quarrelled with Elizabeth, employs Hatton to soothe the Queen, and to excuse [A. D. 1579.]
his absence from Court:
"I do most earnestly desire you to excuse me that I forbear to
come, being as I wrote to you this morning troubled and grieved both in heart and mind. I am not unwilling, God knows, to serve her Majesty, wherein I may, to the uttermost of my life, but most unfit at this time to make repair to that place where so many eyes are witnesses of my open and great disgraces delivered from her Majesty's mouth."
Hatton soon after incurred much discredit by taking a very active part in prosecuting what was called "a seditious libel," being a pamphlet showing the dangers which would arise to the state from the Queen's proposed marriage with the Duke of Anjou. Stubbes the author, and Paget the publisher, were condemned to lose their right hands, and to suffer perpetual imprisonment. Camden, who was present, says that "their rights hands were cut off with a cleaver, driven through the wrist with the force of a beetle.” Stubbes, in hopes of a remission of the rest of the sentence, soon wrote a letter to the Vice-chamberlain, in which he says, "The judgment-seat which gave sentence against my fault, will yet testify my humble and dutiful reverence throughout all my defence and answering for myself. The scaffold of execution can witness my loyal care to give all good example of meet obedience; insomuch as, notwithstanding the bitter pain and doleful loss of my hand immediately before chopped off, I was able, by God's mercy, to say with heart and tongue, before I left the block, these words, 'God save the Queen!"
Yet Hatton himself, on every account, highly disapproved of the French match, and actually took a prominent part in [A. D. 1581.] breaking it off. He is represented as having then assisted Elizabeth to answer the reproaches of her discarded suitor, by a speech which few would have ventured to make in her hearing; for he pointed out the desparity of age between them, and the improbability of her having issue if she were to marry. The Duke declared that "the women of England were as changeable and capricious as the waves which encircled their island." Yet Sir Christopher continued himself, now and long after, to address her as a lover.
"TO THE QUEEN'S MOST ROYAL MAJESTY.
"I most humbly with all dutiful reverence beseech your sacred Majesty to pardon my presumption in writing to your Highness. Your kingly benefits, together with your most rare regard of your simple and poor slave, hath put this passion into me to imagine that for so exceeding and infinite parts of unspeakable goodness I can use no other means of thankfulness than by bowing the knees
* Camden, 375.
of my own heart with all humility to look upon your singular graces with love and faith perdurable.
"I should sin, most gracious Sovereign, against a holy ghost most damnably, if towards your Highness I should be found unthankful. Afford me the favour, therefore, most dear Lady, that your clear and most fair eyes may read and register these my duties, which I beseech our God to requite you for.
"The poor wretch my sick servant receiveth again his life, being as in the physician's opinion more than half-death, through your most princely love of his poor Master, and holy charitable care, without respect of your own danger, of the poor wretch. We have right Christian devotion to pray for your Highness, which God for His mercy's sake kindle in us for ever to the end of our lives.
'I should not dissemble, my dear Sovereign, if I wrote how unpleasant and froward a countenance is grown in me through my absence from your most amiable and royal presence, but I dare not presume to trouble your Highness with my not estimable griefs, but in my country I dare avow this fashion will full evil become me. I hope your Highness will pardon my unsatisfied humour, that knoweth not how to end such complaints as are in my thoughts ever new to begin; but duty shall do me leave off to cumber your heavenlike eyes with my vains babblings. And, as most nobly your Highness preserveth and royally conserveth your own poor creature and vassal, so shall he live and die in pure and unspotted faith towards you for EveR. God bless your Highness with long life, and prosper you to the end in all your kingly affairs. Bedford, this Wednesday morning, September, 1580. Would God I were worthy to write
Your bounden slave,
Still more strange is the following letter, written in a time of epidemic sickness by him to the confidant of Elizabeth and himself, Sir Thomas Heneage, evidently intended to be shown to her. I hardly venture to copy it, and have not the courage to comment upon it: "My good Sir Thomas, I thank you much for your happy letters, assuring our dear Mistress her present health unto me; pray God continue it for EveR. I have one servant yet free of infection, which I trust I may use to deliver my care and duty, to my singular comfort and satisfaction. I have presumed to send him, that I may daily know either by my own or yours the true state of our Mistress, whom through choice I love no less than he that by the greatness of a kingly birth and fortune is most fit to have her. I am likewise bold to commend my most humble duty by this letter and ring, which hath the virtue to expel infectious airs, and is, as is telled to me, to be wearen betwixt the sweet dugs, the chaste nest of most pure constancy. I trust, Sir, when the virtue is known, it shall not be refused for the value."†
* Original in State Paper Office. † Original in Harleian MSS. 416, f. 200.