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common people.” The queen answered very gravely, “ That it was best first to inquire of them, “ whether they would be set at liberty or no." Thus she silenced an unseasonable motion with a doubtful answer, as reserving the matter wholly in her own power.
Neither did she bring in this alteration timorously, or by pieces, but in a grave and mature manner, after a conference betwixt both sides, and the calling and conclusion of a parliament. And thus within the compass of one year she did so establish and settle all matters belonging to the church, as she departed not one hair's breadth from them to the end of her life: nay, and her usual custom was, in the beginning of every parliament, to forewarn the houses not to question or innovate any thing already established in the discipline or rites of the church. And thus much of her religion.
Now if there be any severer nature that shall tax her for that she suffered herself, and was very willing to be courted, wooed, and to have sonnets made in her commendation; and that she continued this longer than was decent for her years : notwithstanding, if you will take this matter at the best it is not without singular admiration, being much like unto that which we find in fabulous narrations, of a certain queen in the Fortunate Islands, and of her court and fashions, where fair-purpose and love-making was allowed, but lasciviousness banished. But if you
. will take it at the worst, even so it amounteth to a more high admiration, considering that these courtships did not much eclipse her fame, and not at all
her majesty; neither did they make her less apt for government, or chock with the affairs and businesses of the public, for such passages as these do often entertain the time even with the greatest princes. But to make an end of this discourse, certainly this princess was good and moral, and such she would be acknowledged; she detested vice, and desired to purchase fame only by honourable courses. And indeed whilst I mention her moral parts, there comes a certain passage into my mind which I will insert. Once giving order to write to her ambassador about certain instructions to be delivered apart to the queen-mother of the house of Valois, and that her secretary had inserted a certain clause that the ambassador should say, as it were to endear her to the queen-mother, “ That they two were the only
« “ pair of female princes, from whom, for experience “ and arts of government, there was no less expected “ than from the greatest kings.” She utterly disliked the comparison, and commanded it to be put out, saying, “ That she practised other principles “ and arts of government than the queen-mother “ did.” Besides, she was not a little pleased, if any one should fortune to tell her, that suppose she had lived in a private fortune, yet she could not have escaped without some note of excellency and singularity in her sex. So little did she desire to borrow or be beholding to her fortune for her praise. But if I should wade further into this queen's praises, moral or politic, either I must slide into certain common places, and heads of virtue, which were not
worthy of so great a princess : or if I should desire to give her virtues the true grace and lustre, I must fall into a history of her life, which requireth both better leisure and a better pen than mine is. Thus much in brief according to my ability : but to say the truth, the only commender of this lady's virtues is time; which for as many ages as it hath run, hath not yet shewed us one of the female sex equal to her in the administration of a kingdom.
WRIITEN BY HIS LORDSHIP IN LATIN, AND ENGLISHED BY
Julius CÆSAR was partaker at first of an exercised fortune; which turned to his benefit: for it abated the haughtiness of his spirit, and whetted his industry. He had a mind, turbulent in his desires and affections; but in his judgment and understanding very serene and placid : and this appears by his easy deliverances of himself, both in his transactions and in his speech. For no man ever resolved more swiftly, or spake more perspicuously and plainly. There was nothing forced or difficult in his expressions. But in his will and appetite, he was of that condition, that he never rested in those things he had gotten; but still thirsted and pursued after new; yet so, that he would not rush into new affairs rashly, but settle and make an end of the former, before he attempted fresh actions. So that he would put a seasonable period to all his undertakings. And therefore, though he won many battles in Spain, and weakened their forces by degrees; yet he would not give over, nor despise the relics of the civil war there, till he had seen all things composed : but then as soon as that was done, and the state settled, instantly he advanced in his expedition against the Parthians.
He was, no doubt, of a very noble mind; but yet such as aimed more at his particular advancement, than at any merits for the common good. For he referred all things to himself; and was the true and perfect centre of all his actions. By which means, being so fast tied to his ends, he was still prosperous, and prevailed in his purposes; insomuch, that neither country, nor religion, nor good turns done him, nor kindred, nor friendship diverted his appetite, nor bridled him from pursuing his own ends. Neither was he much inclined to works of perpetuity; for he established nothing for the future; he founded no sumptuous buildings; he procured to be enacted no wholesome laws, but still minded himself: and so his thoughts were confined within the circle of his own life. He sought indeed after fame and reputation, because he thought they might be profitable to his designs : otherwise, in his inward thoughts, he propounded to himself rather absoluteness of power, than honour and fame. For as for honour and fame, he pursued not after them for themselves; but because they were the instruments of power and greatness. And therefore he was carried on through a natural inclination, not by any rules that he had learned to affect the sole regiment; and rather to enjoy the same, than to seem worthy of it. And by this means he won much