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casting a significant glance at Raleigh, observed, as if in reference to the effect of her majesty's fingers on the instrument, which was a sort of open spinnet, "When Jacks start up, then heads go down." Every one understood the bitter pun contained in this allusion. Raleigh received large sums from some of the gentlemen, who were implicated in Essex's insurrection, as the price of negotiating their pardons. He was on the scaffold when sir Christopher Blount, and sir Charles Danvers were beheaded, March 17th. Blount, was the third husband of queen Elizabeth's cousin Lettice, countess of Leicester. If this lady had incurred the ill-will of her royal kinswoman, as generally supposed, by rivalling her in the regard of Leicester, it must be acknowledged, that Elizabeth paid the long-delayed debt of vengeance, with dreadful interest, when she sent both son and husband to the block within one little month.3
Merrick and Cuffe were hanged, drawn, and quartered; but the queen graciously extended her mercy to the earl of Southampton, by commuting his death into an imprisonment, which lasted during the rest of her life.
Elizabeth caused a declaration of the treasons of Essex
1 Fragmenta Regalia, by sir Robert Naunton.
The unfortunate countess survived this two-fold tragedy three-andthirty years. Her beauty and connexion with the two great favourites of Elizabeth, Leicester and Essex, is thus noticed in the following lines of her epitaph, by Sir Gervas Clifton :
"There you may see that face, that hand,
to be published, and a sermon very defamatory to his memory to be preached at Paul's Cross, by Dr. Barlowe, but the people took both in evil part. It was observed withal, that her appearance in public was no longer greeted with tokens of popular applause. Her subjects could not forgive her the death of their idol. Fickle as the populace have proverbially been considered, their affection for the favourite had been of a more enduring nature than that of the sovereign.
The death of Essex left sir Robert Cecil without a rival in the court or cabinet, and he soon established himself as the all-powerful ruler of the realm. Essex had made full confession of his secret correspondence with the king of Scots, and also of the agent through whom it was carried on; and Cecil lost no time in following the same course, and through the same channel. As long as he had hopes of obtaining the hand of lady Arabella Stuart, he had secretly advanced her pretensions to the succession; but when it was known, that this high-born young lady had bestowed her heart on lord Beauchamp, the offspring of the calamitous marriage of the earl of Hertford and lady Catharine Gray, the unprincipled statesman, whose politics were as crooked as his person, did all he could to poison the mind of his jealous sovereign against the innocent girl. In one of the private letters, in his correspondence with James, the maligu hunchback speaks with all the bitterness of a despised and disappointed man, of her to whose hand he, the grandson of a tailor, had presumed to aspire, as "Shrewsbury's idol, who," continues he, "if she follow some men's council, will be made higher by as many steps as will lead her to the scaffold."
The first result of Cecil's secret understanding with the king of Scots, was an addition of two thousand pounds a year to the annual pension, which that monarch received from queen Elizabeth; and this was sorely against the will of the aged sovereign, who, at that very time had been compelled by the destitute state of her exchequer, to borrow money on her jewels. The flattery of Cecil, however, and the reverential deference with which he approached her, made him necessary to her comfort, now that she was in the sear and withered leaf of life, with no faithful or tender ties of love,
or friendship, to cheer and support her in her lonely passage to the tomb.
Sir William Brown, the deputy-governor of Flushing, who came over this summer to explain the state of affairs in the Low Countries, gives a very interesting narrative of his interview with her majesty in the month of August 1601. On Sunday morning, after prayers, he was introduced by Cecil to the queen, as she walked in the gardens, at Mr. William Clarke's.' "I had no sooner kissed her sacred hand,” says he, "but she presently made me stand up. She spoke somewhat loud, saying, Come hither, Brown,' and pronounced, that she held me for an old faithful servant of hers, and said, I must give content to Brown;' and then, the train following her, she said, Stand-stand back! Will you not let us speak, but you will be hearers?' She then walked a turn or two, protesting her gracious opinion of myself; Before God, Brown,' said she, they do me wrong, that will make so honest a servant jealous, lest I should mistrust him;' and though her words alone had been more than sufficient to content so mean a servant as myself, yet it pleased her to swear unto me, that she had as good affiance in my loyalty, as in any man's that served her."
Brown notices, that he delivered sir Robert Sidney's letter, kneeling, to her majesty, on his first presentation, but that she did not read it, till he was gone; and, indeed, appeared perfectly familiar with the subject. "Having walked a turn or two," says he, "she called for a stool, which was set under a tree, and I began to kneel, but she would not suffer me; and, after two or three denials, when I made to kneel, she was pleased to say, 'that she would not speak with me, unless I stood up.' Whereupon, I stood up, and after having repeated her gracious opinion of me, she discoursed of many things, and particularly of the distaste she had of the States army returning. It seems that sir Francis Vere hath lain all the fault upon count Maurice. I said, 'that count Maurice did protest, that this journey was never of his plotting.'
"Tush, Brown!' saith she, I know more than thou dost. When I heard,' continued the queen, that they were at first with their army, as high as Nemigham, I knew no good would be done, but Maurice would serve his own turn, and would, in the end, turn to the Grave (Landgrave.)
Sidney Papers, vol. ii.
I looked that they should have come down nearer to Ostend, or Flanders-that might have startled the enemy, and that they promised me, or else I would not have let them have so many men, to the discontentment of my subjects, as I know, and which, but for the love they bear me, they would not so well digest; and now, forsooth, Maurice is come from his weapon to his spade, for at that he is one of the best in Christendom."1
Brown, though he had some things to urge in explanation of the line of policy adopted by the cautious Maurice, was too practised a courtier to oppose the royal orator, after this burst of lion-like disdain at what she deemed the selfishness of her ally. "It was not befitting for me to answer anything for him," says he, "when I saw her majesty so informed already. The truth must appear to her in time, and from a better hand than myself. Then she complained of the French king failing in his promise to support the enterprise of her army." Brown told her majesty," that it was considered that the French king rather had marvelled at their boldness in going so far, than offered any hope of co-operation with them."
"Tush, Brown!" interrupted the queen, who appeared better informed on this point than her foreign ministers suspected, "do I not know that Buceval was written to, again and again, to move the army to go that that way; and that he would not help them ?" "If that were so, said Brown, "your majesty may think it was but a French promise." Then, after discussing various subjects with the queen, he mentioned to her that the Zealanders put their sole hope in her majesty, trusting that her powerful influence would induce the States' General to render them the succour they required. "Alas, poor Zealanders !" exclaimed Elizabeth, "I know that they love me with all their hearts." Brown told her majesty "that they prayed for her." Elizabeth received this information with peculiar unction, and delivered a speech on the occasion, which, of course, was spoken that it might be duly reported to those pious Dutch patriots, to provoke them to further manifestations of their good will. "Yea, Brown," said she, "I know it well enough; and I will tell thee one thing. Faith, here is a church of that countrymen in London; I 1 Sidney Papers.
protest, next after the Divine Providence that governs all my well-doing, I attribute much of the happiness that befalls me to be given of God, by those men's effectual and zealous prayers, who, I know, pray for me with that fervency, as none of my servants can do more."
After a long talk, Mr. Secretary (sir Robert Cecil) came, and the discourse turned on military affairs. Cecil paid her majesty the homage of his knee, in the most deferential manner, while she was pleased to converse on this business; and she, turning to Brown, said to him, "Dost see that little fellow that kneels there? It hath been told you that he hath been an enemy to soldiers. On my faith, Brown, he is the best friend the soldiers have." Cecil replied with his usual tact, "that it was from her majesty alone all the soldiers' good flowed;" and with this compliment, sir William Brown closes his detail of this characteristic scene.
The same month queen Elizabeth, understanding that Henry IV. of France was at Calais, made a progress to Dover, in the hope of tempting him to cross the channel to pay his compliments to her in person. She had previously dispatched a letter to him by lord Edmonds, full of friendly expressions and offers of service; and when she reached Dover, she sent sir Robert Sidney with another, intreating the king to allow her the satisfaction of a personal interview, as she greatly desired to see him. Her pride would have been flattered by the visit of a king of France, and such a king as the hero of Navarre, and she omitted nothing that she imagined might induce him to come. Henry remembering, perhaps, that the queen of Sheba came to Solomon, not Solomon to her, forfeited his reputation for always yielding due homage to the ladies, by excusing himself, under the unanswerable plea of impossibility, from coming to Dover, and courteously invited his good sister to visit him in France. If Elizabeth had been nineteen instead of sixty-nine, he would probably have acted more gallantly.
Elizabeth, in reply, wrote a very courteous letter, explaining the obstacles that prevented her from coming to France, and lamented "the unhappiness of princes, who were slaves to forms and fettered by caution;" adding, in conclusion, "that her regret at not being able to see him was so much the greater, as she had something of the last importance to communicate to him, which she neither durst