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loved the jest well, but not the loss of his friend, and that though he knew that verus quisque suæ fortunæ faber, was a true and a good principle, yet the most in number were those that numbered themselves, but I will never forgive that man that looseth himself to be rid
of his jests.
“ He was Father to that refined wit which since hath acted a disasterous part on the publique stage, and of late sate in his father's room, as Lord Chancellor : those that lived in his age, and from whence I have taken this little modell of him, give him a lively character, and they decipher him to be another Solon, and the Synon of those times, such a one as Edipus was in resolving of riddles ; doubtless he was an able instrument, and it was his commendation that his head was the mallet, for it was a very great one, and therein kept a wedge, that entred all knotty pieces that came to the table.”
There is a striking full-length portrait of Sir John Perrot, supposed to be a son of Henry VIII. the whole of which we must transcribe.
“ Sir John Perrot was a goodly gentleman, and of the sword, and he was of a very ancient discent, as an heire to many
abstracts of gentry, especially from Guy De Bryan, of Lawhern, so was he of a vast estate, and came not to court for want; and to these adjuncts, he had the endowments of courage, and height of spirit, had it alighted on the allay and temper of discretion; the defect whereof, with a native freedome and bouldnesse of speech drew him on to a clowded setting, and layd him open to the spleene and advantage of his enemies, of whom Sir Christopher Hatton was professed: he was yet a wise man, and a brave courtier ; but rough and participating more of active, than sedentary motions, as being in his constellation destined for armes. There is a quære of some denotations, how he came to receive his foyle, and that in the catastrophe, for he was strengthened with honourable alliances, and the privy friendships of the Court, my Lord of Leicester, and Burleigh were both his contemporaries, and familiars, but that there might be (as the adage hath it) falsitie in friendship; and we may rest satisfied, that there is no disputing against fate. They quote him for a person that loved to stand too much alone on his legs, of too often regress and discontinuance from the Queene's presence, a fault which is incompatible with the waies of Court favor. He was sent Lord Deputy into Ireland, as it was then apprehended, for a kind of hautinesse, and repugnancie in counsells, or as others have thought, the fittest person then to bridle the insolencies of the Irish, and probable it is, that, both, considering the sway that he would have at the board and head in the Queene's favor, concurred, and did alike conspire his remove and ruine: but into Ireland he went, where he did the Queene very great and many services, if the surplusage of the measure did not abate the value of the merit, as aftertimes found that to be no paradox; for to save the Queene's purse, (which both herselfe and my Lord Treasurer Burleigh, ever took for good service,) he imposed on the Irish the charge of bearing their own armes, which both gave them the possession, and taught them the use of weapons,
which proved in the end a most fatall worke, both in the profusion of blood and treasure.
“ But at his returne, and upon some account sent home before, touching the estate of that kingdome, the Queene powred out assidu. ous testimonies of her grace towards him, till by his retreate to his castle of Cary, where he was then building, and out of a desire to be in command at home, as he had beene abroad, together with the hatred and practise of Hatton, then in high favour, whom he had not long before bitterly taunted for his dancing, he was accused of high treason, and for high wordes, and a forged letter, condemned; though the Queene on the newes of his condemnation, swore by her wonted oath, that the jury were all knaves, and they deliver it with assurance, that on his returne to the tower, after his triall, he said with oathes, and with fury, to the Lieutenant, Sir Owen Hopton, What, will the Queene suffer her brother to be offered up as a sacrifice to the envy of my flattering adversaries? which being made knowne to the Queene, and somewhat enforced, she refused to signe it, and swore he should not die, for he was an honest and faithfull man: and surely, though not altogether to set our rest and faith upon tradition, and old reports, as that Sir Thomas Perrot, his father was a gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and in the Court married to a lady of great honour, which are presumptions of some implication, but if we goe a little further, and compare his pictures, his qualities, gesture, and voyce, with that of the King, which memory retaines yet amongst us, they will plead strongly, that he was a surreptitious child of the blood royall.
“ Certaine it is, that he lived not long in the Tower, and that after his decease, Sir Thomas Perrot, his sonne, then of no meane esteeme with the Queene, having before married my Lord of Essex his sister, since Countesse of Northumberland, bad restitution of his land, though after his death also (which immediately followed) the Crowne resumed the estate, and tooke advantage of the former attainder; and to say the truth, the priest's forged letter was at his arraignement thought but as a fiction of envy, and was soone after exploded by the priest's owne confession, but that which most exasperated the Queene, and gave advantage to his enemies, was, as Sir Walter Rawleigh takes into observation, words of disdaine, for the Queene by sharpe and reprehensive letters had netled him, and thereupon sending others of approbation, commending his service, and intimating an invasion from Spaine, which was no sooner proposed, but he sayd publiquely in the great Chamber, at Dublin : Loe now, she is ready to
for feare of the Spaniards, I am againe one of her white boyes ; words which are subject to a various construction, and tended to some disreputation of his Soveraigne, and such as may serve for instruction to persons in place of honour and command, to beware of the violences of nature, and especially the exorbitance of the tongue. And so I conclude him with this double observation, the one of the innocency of his intentions exempt and cleare from the guilt of treason and disloyaltie, the other of the greatnesse of his heart, for at his arraignement he was so little dejected with what might be
alledged, that rather he grew troubled with choller and in a kind of exasperation, he despised his jury, though of the order of knighthood, and of the speciall gentry, clayming the priviledge of tryall, by the Peers and Barronage of the realme, so prevalent was that of his native genious, and hautinesse of spirit, which accompanied him to his last, untill without any diminution of courage therein, it brake in peices the cords of his magnanimitie, for he died suddainely in the Tower, when it was thought the Queene did intend his enlargement, with the restitution of his possessions, which were then very great, and comparable to most of the nobilitie."
There are four short characteristic sketches of Sir Christopher Hatton, Sir John Packington, Lord Hunsdowne, and Sir Fülke Greville, which we shall group together.
“ Sir Christopher Hatton came to the court as his opposit: Sir John Perrot was wont to say by the galliard, for he came thither as a private gentleman of the inns of court in a mask; and for his activity and person, which was tall and proportionable, taken into her favor : he was first made vice Chamberlain, and, shortly after, advanced to the place of Lord Chancellor; a gentleman, that besides the graces of his person, and dancing, had also the endowment of a strong and subtle capacity, and that could soon learn the discipline and garb, both of the times and court, and the truth is, he had a large proportion of gifts and endowments, but too much of the season of envy, and he was a mere vegetable of the court, that sprung up at night, and sunk again at noon.”
Sir John Packington.
“ Sir John Packington was a gentleman of no mean family, and of form and feature no ways despisable, for he was a brave gentleman, and a very fine courtier, and for the time which he stayed there, which was not lasting, very high in her grace, but he came in, and went out and through disassiduity, drew the curtain between himself and the light of her grace, and then death overwhelmed the remnant, and utterly deprived him of recovery, and they say of him, that had he brought less to her court than he did, he might have carried away more than he brought, for he had a time on it, but an ill husband of opportunity."
“My Lord of Hunsdowne was of the queen's nearest kindred, and on the decease of Sussex, both he and his son successively took the place of Lord Chamberlain; he was a fast man to his prince, and firm to his friend and servants, and though he might speak big, and therein would be borne out, yet was he not the more dreadful, but less harmful, and far from the practise of the Lord of Leicester's instructions, for he was down-right, and I have heard those that both knew him well and had interest in him, say merely of him, that his Latin and dissimulation were alike, and that his custom of swearing and obscenity in speaking, made him seem a worse Christian than he was, and a better knight of the carpet than he should be: as he lived in a roughling time, so he loved sword and buckler men, and such as our
fathers were wont to call men of their hands, of which sort he had many brave gentlemen that followed him, yet not taken for a popular and dangerous person; and this is one that stood amongst the Togati, of an honest stout heart, and such a one that upon occasion would have fought for his prince and country, for he had the charge of the queen's person, both in the court and in the camp at Tilbury."
Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke.
“Sir Foulke Greville, since Lord Brook, had no mean place in her favor, neither did he hold it for any short time or term, for if I be not deceived, he had the longest lease, the smoothest time, without rubs, of any of her favorites; he came to the court in his youth and prime, as that is the time, or never; he was a brave gentleman, and hopefully descended from Willoughby, Lord Brook, and admiral to Henry VII. ; neither illiterate, for he was, as he would often profess, a friend to Sir Philip Sidney, and thereof is now extant some fragments of his pen, and of the times, which do interest him in the muses, and which shew the queen's election had ever a noble conduct, and its motions more of virtue and judgement, than of fancy.
“ I find that he neither sought for, nor obtained any great place or preferment in court, during all his time of attendance, neither did he need it, for he came thither backed with a plentiful fortune, which as himself was wont to say, was then better held together by a single life, wherein he lived and died a constant courtier of the ladies."
Of Sir Walter Raleigh, he observes :
“ He had in the outward man a good presence, in a handsome and well compacted person, a strong natural wit, and a better judgement, with a bold and plausible tongue, whereby he could set out his parts to the best advantage, and these he had by the adjuncts of some general learning, which by diligence he enforced to a great augmentation and perfection, for he was an indefatigable reader, whether by sea or land, and one of the best observors both of men and of the times, and I am somewhat confident, that among the second causes of his growth, that variance between him and my Lord General Gray, in his second descent into Ireland, was principal; for it drew them both over to the counsel table, there to plead their own causes, where what advantage he had in the case in controversie, I know not, but he had much the better in the manner of telling his tale, insomuch as the queene and the lords took no slight mark of the man and his parts, for from thence he came to be known, and to have access to the lords, and then we are not to doubt how such a man would comply to progression; and whether or no my Lord of Leicester had then cast a good word for him to the queen, which would have done him no harm, I do not determine, but true it is, he had gotten the queen's ear in a trice, and she began to be taken with his elocution, and loved to hear his reasons to her demands, and the truth is, she took him for a kind of oracle, which nettled them all, yea those that he relied on began to take this his soddain favor for an alarum, and to be sensible of their own supplantation, and to project his, which made him shortly after sing, 'Fortune, my foe, why dost thou frown;"
so that finding his favour declining, and falling into a recess, he undertook a new perigrination to leave that terra infirma of the court for that of the wars, and by declining himself and by absence, to expel his and the passion of his enemies, which in court was a strange devise of recovery, but that he then knew there was some ill office done bim; yet he durst not attempt to amend it, otherwise than by going aside, thereby to teach envy a new way of forgetfulness, and not so much as think of him: howsoever he had it always in mind never to forget himself, and his devise took so well, that in his return he came in as rams do, by going backward, with the greater strength, and so continued to the last great in her favor, and captain of her guard, where I must leave him, but with this observation, though he gained much at the court, he took it not out of the Exchequer, or merely out of the queen's purse, but by his wit and by the help of the prerogative; for the queen was never profuse in delivering out of her treasure, but paid most and many of her servants part in money, and the rest with grace, which, as the case stood, was then taken for good payment, leaving the arrears of recompence due for their merit, to her great successor, who paid them all with advantage."
We cannot persuade ourselves to abridge the portraiture of Buckhurst Lord Sackville :
“My Lord of Buckhurst was of the noble house of Sackvile, and of the Queen's consanguinity, or as the people then called him Fillsacks, by reason of his great wealth, and the vast patrimony left to his son, whereof in his youth he spent the best part, until the queen, by her frequent admonitions, diverted the torrent of his profusion; he was a very fine gentleman, of good person and endowments, both of art and nature, but without measure magnificent; till, on the turn of his humour, and the allay that his years and good counsels had wrought upon those immoderate courses of his youth, and that height of spirit inherent to his house; and then did the queen, as a most judicious, indulgent prince, when she saw the nian grown settled and staid, give him an assistance, and advanced him to the treasurer-ship, where he made amends to his house for his mis-spent time, both in the increasement of his estate and honour, which the queen conferred upor him, together with the opportunity to re-make himself, and thereby to shew that this was a child that should have a share in her grace.
They much commend his elocution, but more the excellency of his pen; for he was a scholar, and a person of quick dispatch, faculties that yet run in the blood; and they say of him that his secretaries did little for him by the way of inditement, wherein they seldom could please him, he was so facete and choice in his phrases and style ; and for his dispatches, and for the content he gave to suitors, he had a decorum seldom put in practice, for he had of his attendants that took into a roll the names of all suitors, with the date of their first addresses, so that a fresh man could not leap over his head that was of a more ancient edition, excepting the urgent affairs of the state.
" I find not that he was any way insnared in the factions of the