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from one royal residence to another, all the carts and horses in the neighbourhood, with their drivers, were impressed for the transfer of her baggage, whatever time of the year it happened to be, and this was considered a grievance, under any circumstances; but, one day, a carter was ordered to come with his cart to Windsor, on summons of remove, to convey a part of the royal wardrobe. When he came, her majesty had altered the day, and he had to come a second time in vain; but when, on a third summons, he attended, and, after waiting a considerable time, was told, "the remove did not hold," he clapped his hand on his thigh, and said, "Now I see that the queen is a woman, as well as my wife!" which words being overheard by her majesty, as she stood by an open window, she said, "What villain is this?" and so sent him three angels to stop his mouth,' or rather, we should suppose, to satisfy him for his loss of time, and the inconvenience her uncertainty of purpose had occasioned.
Elizabeth was very delicate in her olfactory nerves, and affected to be still more sensitive on that point than she really was. One day, that valiant Welsh commander, sir Roger Williams, knelt to prefer a petition which her majesty was determined not to grant, and did not like to be compelled to refuse, observing that his boots were made of rough, untanned leather, instead of answering him, she turned away with a gesture of disgust, exclaiming, "Pho, Williams, how your boots stink!" "Tut, madam," replied the sturdy Welshman, who understood her meaning, "it is my suit that stinks, not my boots.""
2 Thoms' Traditions.
SECOND QUEEN REGNANT OF ENGLAND & IRELAND.
Return of Essex to court-Hollow reconciliation of the queen appoints him lord-deputy of Ireland-His despairing letter and melancholy verses-He goes to Ireland-False reports of Elizabeth's deathHer soliloquy-Continued displeasure with Essex-His unauthorized return Surprises Elizabeth in her bedchamber-Her apparent reconciliation with him-She alters her manner, and constitutes him a prisoner -Her increasing anger-Proceedings against Essex-Intercession of the French court-Her conversation with the French ambassador-Essex's dangerous illness-Temporary relentings of the queen-She sends her physician to visit him-Renewal of her anger-Her irritation touching Hayward's History of Henry IV. of England-Wishes to have him racked— Bacon's sage remonstrance-Elizabeth fancies herself identified with Richard II. Her conversation with Lambarde—Essex's penitential letters -Sends a new year's gift to Elizabeth-His mother tries to see the queen -Sends presents-Conversations between her majesty and Bacon-Essex brought before the council-Elizabeth's assumed gaiety-Passes her time in hunting and sports-Her inward trouble-Her visit to sir Robert SidneyEssex's injurious speeches of the queen-His rash conduct-Endeavours to excite a tumult-Fails-Surrenders himself prisoner-His trial and execution-Elizabeth's manner of receiving the news-Scene between her and sir T. Brown-She goes to Dover-Letters and messages between her and Henry IV. She tries to induce him to visit her-He sends Sully-Interview between Sully and Elizabeth-Biron's embassy-Queen receives him at Basing-Returns to London-Shews Biron the heads on the Tower-They discuss Essex-Elizabeth opens her last parliament-Her popular declaration to the Commons-Her festivities-Declares herself weary of life-Her regrets for the death of Essex-Melancholy state of her mind-Declining health-Treatment of Cecil's miniature-His secret correspondence with the king of Scots-Instances of Elizabeth's superstition-Removes to Richmond Palace-Death-bed confession of lady Nottingham-Elizabeth's anger-Last scenes of her life-Report of her apparition before death-Last offices of devotion-Her death-Funeral— Description of her portrait in the frontispiece-Harrington's testimonial of her great qualities-Her monument.
THE courtiers had predicted, that the proud spirit of Essex would never bow to the humiliation of suing to the
queen for pardon. He had taken up the high tone of an injured person, and he intimated that he expected satisfaction for the blow he had received, regardless of the gallant Spanish proverb, "Blancos manos no offendite,"—"white hands never offend." The queen demanded an apology for his insolent demeanour, as well she might. He, whose duty it was, as earl-marshal, to defend her from all personal injury, and to commit to the prison, over which his office gave him jurisdiction, any one who raised brawls in the court, or violated, in any manner, the solemn etiquettes which guard the approaches to the royal person-he had conducted himself in a manner which would have ensured any one else a lodging in the Marshalsea, if not in the Tower, with a heavy Star-Chamber fine; and yet the queen had only punished him with a box on the ear, to which he had responded in a manner that might have brought another man to the block. At length, however, some compromise was effected, and in November he was again received at court, and as if nothing had happened to occasion a five months' absence.
The affairs of Ireland had, meantime, assumed a more gloomy aspect than they had yet done; the whole country was in a state of that disaffection, which is the offspring of misrule and misery, and the province of Ulster was in open rebellion under the earl of Tyrone. The choice of a new lord-deputy was still a matter of debate; the queen considered Charles Blount, lord Mountjoye, was a suitable person to undertake that difficult office. Essex again ventured to dissent from the royal opinion, and raised objections not only to that young nobleman, but to every one else who was proposed, till at last the queen, finding no one would satisfy him, insisted on his taking the appointment himself. This post was bestowed in anger rather than love, his rivals and foes rejoiced in the prospect of being rid of his presence in the court; and that there was a combination among them to render it a snare to accomplish his ruin, no one who reads the hints given by Markham to his friend Harrington, who was sent out by the queen as a spy on Essex, can for a moment doubt.
"If," says he, "the lord-deputy Essex perform in the field what he hath promised in the council, all will be well; but though the queen hath granted forgiveness for his late
demeanour in her presence, we know not what to think thereof. She hath, in all outward semblance, placed confidence in the man who so lately sought other treatment at her hands; we do sometime think one way and sometime another. What betideth the lord-deputy, is known to Him only, who knoweth all; but when a man hath so many shewing friends and so many unshewing enemies, who learneth his end here below? I say, do you not meddle in any sort, nor give your jesting too freely among those you know not." The solemn warnings, which Markham addresses to Harrington, are sufficiently portentous of the approaching fall of Essex, which is as shrewdly predicted in this remarkable letter, as if it had been settled and foreknown. "Two or three of Essex's sworn foes and political rivals, Mountjoye's kinsmen," he says, "are sent out in your army. They are to report all your conduct to us at home. As you love yourself, the queen, and me, discover not these matters; if I had not loved you they had never been told. High concerns deserve high attention; you are to take account of all that passes in this expedition, and keep journal thereof unknown to any in the company-this will be expected of you.”
Essex appears to have received some hint that his appointment was the work of his enemies, and he endeavoured to back out of the snare, but in vain, and, in the bitterness of his heart, he addressed the following sad and passionate letter to Elizabeth :
THE EARL OF ESSEX TO THE QUEEN.
"From a mind delighting in sorrow; from spirits wasted with passion; from a heart torn in pieces with care, grief, and travail; from a man that hateth himself, and all things else that keep him alive; what service can your majesty expect, since any service past deserves no more than banishment and proscription to the cursedest of all islands? It is your rebel's pride and succession that must give me leave to ransome myself out of this hateful prison, out of my loathed body, which, if it happened so, your majesty shall have no cause to mistake the fashion of my death, since the course of my life could never please you.
"Happy could he finish forth his fate,
In some unhaunted desert most obscure,
Of worldly folk; then should he sleep secure.
Content with hips, and haws, and bramble berry,
And change of holy thoughts to make him merry;
And when he dies his tomb may be a bush,
The queen was, perhaps, touched with the profound melancholy of this letter, for she betrayed some emotion when he kissed her hand at parting, and she bade him a tender farewell. The people crowded to witness his departure, and followed him for more than four miles out of London, with blessings and acclamations. It was on the 29th of March, 1599, that he set forth on this ill-omened expedition. When he left London, the day was calm and fair; but scarcely had he reached Iselden, when a black cloud from the north-east overshadowed the horizon, and a great storm of thunder and lightning, with hail and rain, was regarded, by the superstition of the times, as a portent of impending woe."
The policy pursued by Essex was of a pacific character. He loved the excitement of battle when in the cause of freedom, or when the proud Spaniard threatened England with invasion; but, as the governor of Ireland, his noble nature inclined him to the blessed work of mercy and conciliation. He ventured to disobey the bloody orders he had received from the short-sighted politicians, who were for enforcing the same measures which had converted that fair isle into a howling wilderness, and goaded her despairing people into becoming brigands and rabid wolves. If the generous and chivalric Essex had been allowed to work out his own plans, he would probably have healed all wounds, and proved the regenerator of Ireland; but, surrounded as he was by spies, thwarted by his deadly foes in the cabinet, and, finally, rendered an object of suspicion to the most jealous of sovereigns, he only accelerated his own doom, without ameliorating the evils he would fain have cured.
The events of the Irish campaign belong to general history; suffice it to say, that Elizabeth was greatly offended with Essex for three things. He had appointed his friend, Southampton, general of the horse, against her majesty's express orders, who had not yet forgiven that
Contemporary document in Nichols.
* See Camden. Leland. Rapin. Lingard.