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THE English feem early in their history to have made pretty free with the defects and failings of their Sovereigns. M. de Noailles, in his "Embaf
fades," tells us, that when Mary gave out that she was pregnant, the following paper was stuck up at her palace-gate:
Serons nous fi bêtes, O nobles Anglois, " que de croyre notre Reyne enceinte, & de quoi "le feroit elle, finon d'un Marmot ou d'un Dogue?"
Mary, till her marriage with that cold and inhuman tyrant Philip the Second, appears to have been merciful and humane; for Hollinfhead tells us, that when fhe appointed Sir Richard Morgan Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, she told him, "that notwithstanding the old error, which did "not admit any witness to speak, or any other "matter to be heard, (Her Majefty being party,) "her pleasure was, that whatfoever could be brought in favour of the fubject should be ad"mitted to be heard; and moreover, that the
Juftices fhould not perfuade themselves to put "in judgment otherwife for Her Highness than "for her fubject."
The turn of the English nation for humorous Political Prints firft fhewed itself in this reign. An engraving was published, representing this Queen extremely thin with many Spaniards hanging to her and fucking her to the bone.
LADY JANE GREY.
ROGER ASCHAM, who was Queen Elizabeth's schoolmaster, thus defcribes this pattern of every female excellence, in a letter of his to a friend.
"Ariftotle's praise of women is perfected in "her. She poffeffes good-manners, prudence, "and a love of labour: fhe poffeffes every talent " without the least weakness of her fex: fhe speaks "French and Italian as well as she does English: "fhe writes readily and with propriety: fhe has "more than once, if you will believe me, spoken "Greek to me."
Her proficiency in learning is again mentioned by the fame writer, in his Schoolmaster.
"And one example, whether love or feare "doth worke more in a childe for vertue and learninge, I will gladlie report; which maie be "heard with fome pleasure, and folowed with "more profit. Before I went into Germanie, "I came to Brodegate, in Leicestershire, to take << my
"my leave of that noble Lady Jane Grey, to whom I was exceeding much beholdinge. Her parentes, the Duke and the Duches, with "all the houshould, gentlemen and gentle"women, were hunting in the parke. I found " her in her chamber readinge Phædon Platonis " in Greeke, and that with as much delite as "fome jentlemen would reade a merie tale in "Bocafe. After falutation and dewtie done, "with fome other taulke, I asked her why the "would leefe fuch paftime in the parke. Smil"ing, fhe answered me, I wiffe all their sport in "the parke is but a fhadoe to that pleasure that "I find in Plato. Alas, good folke, they never "felt what trewe pleasure ment. And howe "came you, Madame, quoth I, to this deepe "knowledge of pleasure? and what did chieflic
allure you unto it, feeinge not many women, "but verie fewe men have attained thereunto. "I will tell you, quoth the, and tell you a "truth, which perchance you will marvell at. "One of the greatest benefites that ever God gave me is, that he fent me fo fharpe and "fevere parentes, and fo jentle a scholemaster: for when in prefence eyther of father or mother, whether I fpeak, kepe filence, fit, "fand, or go, eate, drinke, be merrie or fad, be fowying, playing, dauncing, or doing anie
thing else, I muft do it, as it were, in fuch
« weight, measure, and number, even fo perfitelie as God made the world, or elfe I am fo fharplie taunted, fo cruellie threatened, yea "prefentlie, fometimes with pinches, hippes, and bobbes, and other waies, which I will not name for the honour I bear them, fo "without measure miforder'd, that I thincke "myfelfe in hell, till time come that I must go "to Mr. Elmer, who teacheth me fo jèntlie, fo "pleafantlie, with fuch fair allurementes to learninge, that I thinke all the time nothinge whiles I am with him; and when I am called " from him, I fall on weeping, because whatfol "ever I do els but learning is full of grief,
trouble, feare, and whole mifliking unto mee. "And thus my booke hath been fo much my "pleafure, and bringeth dayly to me more plea "fure and more, that in respect of it all other pleafures in very deede be but trifles and trou stbles unto me.
"I remember this taulke gladly, both because "it is fo worthie of memorie, and because also it "was the laft taulke that ever I had, and the last tyme that ever I faw that noble and worthie "ladie."
Lady Jane Grey, on paffing the Altar of a Roman Catholic Chapel one day with Lady Wharton, and obferving her to make a low courtesy to it, asked her whether the Lady Mary
were there, or not. "No," replied Lady Wharton, "but I made a courtesy to Him who made "us all."-"How can He be there," faid Lady Jane Grey, "who made us all, and the Baker "made him?" This anfwer coming to the Lady Mary's (afterwards Queen of England) ears, fhe did never love her after.
When the Lieutenant of the Tower was leading her to the scaffold, he requested her to give him fome little thing which he might keep as a present. She gave him her Table-book, where she had juft written three fentences on seeing her hufband's headless body carried back to the Tower; one in Greek, one in Latin, and another in English.
"The Greek," fays Heylin,
"" was to this
"effect: That if her husband's executed body
"fhould give teftimony against her before men,
"his most bleffed foul fhould give an eternal teftimony of her innocence in the prefence of God. "The Latin added, that human juftice was against "his body, but the Divine Mercy fhould be for "his foul; and then concluded thus in English: "that if her fault deferved punishment, her youth "at least and her imprudence were worthy of ex"cufe, and that God and pofterity would fhew "her favour."
"She had before," adds Heylin," received "the offer of the Crown with as even a temper