Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

54. (19.) Queen Elizabeth was wont to say, upon the Commission of Sales; That the commissioners used her like strawberry wives, that laid two or three great strawberries at the mouth of their pot, and all the rest were little ones; so they made her two or three good prices of the first particulars, but fell straightways.

55. (20.) Queen Elizabeth was wont to say of her instructions to great officers; That they were like to garments, strait at the first putting on, but did by and by wear loose enough.

56. (46.) Mr. Marbury the preacher would say; that God was fain to do with wicked men, as men do with frisking jades in a pasture, that cannot take them up, till they get them at a gate. So wicked men will not be taken up till the hour of death.

†57. Thales, as he looked upon the stars, fell into the water; Whereupon it was after said; That if he had looked into the water he might have seen the stars; but looking up to the stars he could not see the water.

58. (22.) The book of deposing Richard' the second, and the coming in of Henry the fourth, supposed to be written by Dr. Hayward, who was committed to the Tower for it, had much incensed queen Elizabeth. And she asked Mr. Bacon, being then of her learned counsel; Whether there were no treason contained in it? Mr. Bacon intending to do him a pleasure, and to take off the Queen's bitterness with a jest2, answered; No, madam, for treason I cannot deliver opinion that there is any, but very much felony. The Queen, apprehending it gladly, asked; How, and wherein? Mr. Bacon answered; Because he had stolen many of his sentences and conceits out of Cornelius Tacitus.

59. (199.) Mr. Popham3, when he was Speaker, and the Lower House had sat long, and done in effect nothing; coming one day to Queen Elizabeth, she said to him; Now, Mr. Speaker, what hath passed in the Lower House 25 He answered, If it please your Majesty, seven weeks.

60. (47.) Pope Xystus the fifth, who was a poor man's son, and his father's house ill thatched, so that the sun came in in many places, would sport with his ignobility, and say; He was nato di casa illustre: son of an illustrious house.

61. (48.) When the King of Spain conquered Portugal, he

[blocks in formation]

gave special charge to his lieutenant that the soldiers should not spoil, lest he should alienate the hearts of the people. The army also suffered much scarcity of victual. Whereupon the Spanish soldiers would afterwards say; That they had won the King a kingdom, as the kingdom of heaven useth to be won; by fasting and abstaining from that that is another man's.

62. (108.) Cicero married his daughter to Dolabella, that held Cæsar's party: Pompey had married Julia, that was Cæsar's daughter. After, when Cæsar and Pompey took arms one against the other, and Pompey had passed the seas, and Cæsar possessed Italy, Cicero stayed somewhat long in Italy, but at last sailed over to join with Pompey; who when he came unto him, Pompey said; You are welcome; but where left you your son-in-law? Cicero answered; With your father-in-law.

63. (213.) Nero was wont to say of his master Seneca; That his stile was like mortar of sand without lime.

64. (240.) Sir Henry Wotton used to say, That critics are like brushers of noblemen's clothes.

65. (23.) Queen Elizabeth, being to resolve upon a great officer, and being by some, that canvassed for others, put in some doubt of that person whom she meant to advance, called for Mr. Bacon, and told him; She was like one with a lanthorn seeking a man; and seemed unsatisfied in the choice she had of men for that place. Mr Bacon answered her; That he had heard that in old time there was usually painted on the church walls the Day of Doom, and God sitting in judgement, and St. Michael by him with a pair of balance1; and the soul and the good deeds in the one balance, and the faults and the evil deeds in the other; and the soul's balance went up far too light: Then was our Lady painted with a great pair of beads, casting them into the light balance, to make up the weight: so (he said) place and authority, which were in her hands to give, were like our lady's beads, which though men, through divers imperfections, were too light before, yet when they were cast in, made weight competent. 66. (128.) Mr. Savill was asked by my lord of Essex his opinion touching poets; who answered my lord; He thought them the best writers, next to those that write prose.

3

4

†67. Mr. Mason of Trinity college sent his pupil to an

I balances. R.
9 Sir Henry Savill.
• That he thought.

R.

R.

2 and brought down the scale. R.

4 He. R.

• writ. R.

[ocr errors]

other of the fellows, to borrow a book of him; who told him; I am loth to lend my books out of my chamber; but if it please thy tutor to come and read upon it in my chamber, he shall as long as he will. It was winter; and some days after, the same fellow sent to Mr. Mason to borrow his bellows; but Mr. Mason said to his pupil; I am loth to lend my bellows out of my chamber; but if thy tutor would come and blow the fire in my chamber, he shall as long as he will.

68. (110.) Nero did cut a youth, as if he would have transformed him into a woman', and called him wife. There was a senator of Rome that said secretly to his friend; It was pity Nero's father had not such a wife.

69. (111.) Galba succeeded Nero, and his age being much despised, there was much licence and confusion in Rome. Whereupon a senator said in full senate, It were better live where nothing is lawful, than where all things are lawful.

† 70. In Flanders by accident a Flemish tiler fell from the top of a house upon a Spaniard, and killed him, though he escaped himself. The next of the blood prosecuted his death with great violence against the tiler. And when he was offered pecuniary recompence, nothing would serve him but lex talionis. Whereupon the judge said to him; That if he did urge that kind of sentence, it must be, that he should go up to the top of the house, and thence fall down upon the tiler.

71. (24.) Queen Elizabeth was dilatory enough in suits, of her own nature; and the lord treasurer Burleigh, to feed her humour2, would say to her; Madam, you do well to let suitors stay; for I shall tell you, Bis dat, qui cito dat: If you grant them speedily, they will come again the sooner.

3

72. (49.) They feigned a tale of Sixtus Quintus', that after his death he went to hell; and the porter of hell said to him; You have some reason to offer yourself to this place; but yet I have order not to receive you: you have a place of your own, purgatory; you may go thither. So he went away, and sought purgatory a great while, and could find no such place. Upon that he took heart, and went to heaven, and knocked; and St. Peter asked; Who was there? He said, Sixtus Pope. Whereunto St. Peter said, Why do you knock? you have the

1 Nero loved a beautiful youth, whom he used viciously. R. 2 being a wise man, and willing therein to feed her humour. 3 So R. The original has "faigne."

because you were a wicked man. R.

R.

R.

4 whom they called Size-Ace. But yet, because you were a Pope. R.

keys. Sixtus answered, It is true; but it is so long since they were given, as I doubt the wards of the lock be altered.

73. (50.) Charles King of Swede, a great enemy of the Jesuits, when he took any of their colleges, he would hang the old Jesuits, and put the young to his mines, saying; That since they wrought so hard above ground, he would try how they could work under ground.

74. (51.) In Chancery, one time, when the counsel of the parties set forth the boundaries of the land in question, by the plot; And the counsel of one part said, We lie on this side, my lord; And the counsel of the other part said, We lie on this side: the Lord Chancellor Hatton stood up and said, If you lie on both sides, whom will you have me to believe.

75. (109.) Vespasian and Titus his eldest son were both absent from Rome when the empire was cast upon him.' Domitian his younger son was at Rome, who took upon him the affairs; and being of a turbulent spirit, made many changes, and displaced divers officers and governors of provinces, sending them successors. So when Vespasian came to Rome, and Domitian came into his presence, Vespasian said to him; Son, I looked when you would have sent me a successor.

2

76. (71.) Sir Amice Pawlet, when he saw too much haste made in any matter, was wont to say, Stay a while, that we may make an end the sooner.

3

77. (31.) The deputies of the reformed religion, after the massacre which was upon St. Bartholomew's day, treated with the King and Queen-Mother, and some other of the counsel, for a peace. Both sides were agreed upon the articles. The question was, upon the security of performance. After some particulars propounded and rejected, the Queen-Mother said; Why, is not the word of a King sufficient security? One of the deputies answered; No, by St. Bartholomew, Madam.

4

78. (12.) When the Archduke did raise his siege from Grave, the then secretary came to queen Elizabeth; and the Queen, having intelligence first, said to the secretary, Wot you what? The Archduke is risen from the Grave. He answered, What, without the trumpet of the Archangel? The Queen replied; Yes, without sound of trumpet.

1 Vespasian. R,

9 which was at Paris.

R.

having first intelligence thereof. R.

Amyas. R.

4 for the performance. R.

.

† 79. Francis the first used for his pleasure sometimes to go disguised. So walking one day in the company of the Cardinal of Bourbon near Paris, he met a peasant with a new pair of shoes upon his arm. So he called him to him and said; By our lady, these be good shoes, what did they cost thee? The peasant said; Guess. The King said; I think some five sols. Saith the peasant; You have lyed; but a carolois. What villain, (saith the Cardinal of Bourbon) thou art dead; it is the King. The peasant replied; The devil take him, of you and me, that knew so much.

80. (217.) There was a conspiracy against the Emperor Claudius by Scribonianus, examined in the senate; where Claudius sat in his chair, and one of his freed servants stood at the back of his chair. In the examination, that freed servant, who had much power with Claudius, very saucily had almost all the words: and amongst other things, he asked in scorn one of the examinates, who was likewise freed servant of Scribonianus; I pray, sir, if Scribonianus had been Emperor what would you have done? He answered; I would have stood behind his chair and held my peace.

81. (137.) Dionysius the tyrant, after he was deposed, and brought to Corinth, kept a school. Many used to visit him; and amongst others, one, when he came in, opened his mantle and shook his clothes; thinking to give Dionysius a gentle scorn; because it was the manner to do so for them that came in to him while he was tyrant. But Dionysius said to him; I pray thee do so rather when thou goest out, that we may see thou stealest nothing away.

82. (241.) Hannibal said of Fabius Maximus and of Marcellus (whereof the former waited upon him, that he could make no progress; and the latter had many sharp fights with him); that he feared Fabius like a tutor; and Marcellus like an enemy.

83. (138.) Diogenes, one terrible frosty morning, came into the market-place, and stood naked, quaking, to shew his tolerancy.' Many of the people came about him, pitying him. Plato passing by, and knowing he did it to be seen, said to the people, as he went by, If you pity him indeed, leave him alone. 84. (72.) Sackford, Master of the Requests to Queen Eliza

1 tolerance. R.

A Master of Requests. R. (omitting the name.)

« AnteriorContinuar »