« AnteriorContinuar »
with a pillow. This had some ways come to the king's ear; who kept it till such time as the queen waxed great: then he called the count of Soissons to him, and said, laying his hand upon the queen's belly; come cousin, is this a pillow? The count of Soissons answered; yes, sir, it is a pillow for all France to sleep upon.
16. The said king Henry the fourth was moved by his parliament to war against the protestants : he answered, yes, I mean it; I will make every one of you captains: you shall have companies assigned you. The parliament observing whereunto his speech tended, gave over, and deserted the motion.
17. Queen Elizabeth was wont to say, upon the commission of sales, that the commissioners used her like strawberry-wives, that layed 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 prizes of the first particulars, but fell straightways.
18. Queen Elizabeth used to say of her instructions to great officers, that they were like to garments, straight at the first putting on, but did by and by, wear loose enough.
19. A great officer at court, when my lord of Essex was first in trouble ; and that he, and those that dealt for him, would talk much of my lord's
friends, and of his enemies, answered to one of them; I will tell you, I know but one friend and one enemy my lord hath ; and that one friend is the queen, and that one enemy is himself.
20. The book of deposing king Richard the second, and the coming in of Henry the fourth, supposed to be written by doctor Hayward, who was committed to the Tower for it, had much incensed queen Elizabeth ; and she asked Mr. Bacon, being then of her council learned, whether there were any treason contained in it? Who intending to do him a pleasure, and to take off the queen's bitterness with a merry conceit, 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
of his sentences and conceits out of Cornelius Tacitus.
21. Queen Elizabeth being to resolve upon a great officer, and being by some, that canvassed for others, put in some doubts of that
whom she meant to advance, called for Mr. Bacon; and told him, she was like one with a lanthorn seeking a man, and seeming unsatisfied in the choice she had of a man 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 judgment, and saint Michael by him, with a pair of balances; 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, who cast them into the light balance, and brought down the scale : so he said ; place and authority, which were in her ma. jesty's hands to give, were like our lady's beads, which though men, through any imperfections, were too light before, yet when they were cast in, made weight competent.
22. Queen Elizabeth was dilotary enough in suits, of her own nature; and the lord treasurer Burleigh being a wise man, and willing therein to feed her humour, would say to her; madam, you do well to let suiters stay; for I shall tell you,
bis dat, qui cito dat; if you grant them speedily, they will come again the sooner.
23. Sir Nicholas Bacon, who was keeper of the great seal of England, when queen Elizabeth, in her
progress, came to his house at Gorhambury, and said to him; my lord, what a little house have you gotten ? answered her, madam, my house is well, but it is you that have made me too great for
24. There was a conference in parliament, between the lords house, and the house of commons,
about a bill of accountants, which came down from the lords to the commons: which bill prayed, that the lands of accountants, whereof they were seized when they entered upon their office, might be liable to their arrears to the queen. But the commoners desired, that the bill might not look back to accountants that were already, but extend only to accountants hereafter. But the lord treasurer said ; why, I pray you, if you had lost your purse by the way, would you look forwards, or would
look back ? The queen hath lost her purse.
25. My lord of Leicester, favourite to queen Elizabeth, was making a large chace about Corn. bury park; meaning to enclose it with posts and rails; and one day was casting up his charge what it would come to. Mr. Goldingham, a free spoken man, stood by, and said to my lord; methinks your lordship goeth not the cheapest way to work. Why Goldingham, said my lord ? Marry, my lord, said Goldingham, count you but upon the posts, for the country will find you railing.
26. The lord-keeper, Sir Nicholas Bacon, was asked his opinion by queen Elizabeth, of one of these monopoly licences ? And he answered, madam, will you have me speak the truth ? Licentia omnes deteriores sumos : we are all the worse for licences.
27. My lord of Essex, at the succour of Roan, made twenty four knights, which at that time was a great number. Divers of those gentlemen were of weak and small means; which when Queen Elizabeth heard, she said ; my lord might have done well to have built his alms-house, before he made his knights.
28. The deputies of the reformed religion, after the massacre which was at Paris upon Saint Bartholomew's day, treated with the king and queenmother, and some other of the council, for a peace. Both sides were agreed upon the articles. The question was, upon the security, for the 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.
29. When peace was renewed with the French in England, divers of the great counsellors were presented from the French with jewels: the Lord Henry Howard, being then Earl of Northampton, and a counsellor, was omitted. Whereupon the king said to him, my lord, how happens it that you have not a jewel as well as the rest? My lord answered, according to the fable in Æsop; non sum gallus, itaque non reperi gemmam.
30. Sir Nicolas Bacon being appointed a judge for the northern circuit, and having brought his