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we obey. Without law, we know that no man can possess his own in peace. By law we proceed against all offenders. We touch none that law spareth : we spare none that law toucheth. Hinc illæ lachrymæ. We allow not of the Papists their treacherous subtleties and hypocrisies. We allow not of the Family of Love,* an egg of the same nest. We allow not of the Anabaptists, nor of their community. We allow not of Browne, the overthrower of Church and Commonwealth. We abhor all these-No —we punish all these.
" " We beg leave to advertise your lordships," continue the remonstrants," how the adversaryfhas very cunningly christened us with an odious name, neither rightly applied, nor, surely, rightly understood. It is the name of Puritanism. We detest both the name and heresy. It is a term compounded of all other heresies aforesaid. The Papist is pure and immaculate : he hath store of goodness for himself, and plenty for others. The Family cannot sin : they be so pure that God is homnified in them, and they deified in God. But, we, thanks be to God, do cry, peccavimus cum patribus nostris. We groan under the burden of our sins. We confess that there be none worse before God: and yet before the world we labour to keep ourselves and our profession unblameable: this is our puritanism.”
It can never be said of Burghley, that the confidence, so long and so uniformly reposed in him by his royal mistress, proceeded from any other source, than a feeling that she was doing best for the country, in retaining him in her service. The praise, then, which has been so pleasantly awarded to her, by the poet Waller, is certainly nothing more than her due ; for it argued no mean proficiency in wisdom in Elizabeth, to chose wise men for her councillors. Much, at the same time, of that influence which he possessed over her mind, is to be attributed to his skill in the science of human nature; and the real secret of his prolonged power, was, that, by adroitly watching the inclinations of the queen, he seemed to the world to lead her. We find Cecil always cordially entering into the various negotiations, which were set on foot, from time to time, for the marriage of the queen. In a letter to Walsingham, when mentioning the proposal of marriage, which came on the part of the King of France's brother, Lord Burghley observes, that “ he saw no continuance of the queen's quietness without a marriage.” Whether or not the writer alluded to the state of her Majesty's mind at the time, or to any dangers which threatened the stability of her crown, it is difficult to say ; but it appears to have been the anxious desire of Cecil, to close with any arrangement, which gave a hope of preserving the succession to the throne, from the various obnoxious parties, who were then likely to contend for it. It is a curious, but, in whatever light we regard it, a humiliating fact, that Cecil contrived to obtain the assistance of contemporary
* A sect so called. It was one of the numerous births of the Reformation, and survived no longer than the middle of the succeeding century. Colchester was the head-quarters of the Familists.
astrologers, for the purpose of encouraging the queen, to encounter the uncertain adventures of wedlock. He took the pains of consulting the star-gazing soothsayers; and a paper was left, containing, in his own handwriting, the copy of a calculation, furnished to him by a distinguished astrologer, in which the queen, if she wedded, was assured, that there will be born to her, besides a daughter, a son, who, when he should arrive at man's estate, would prove a paragon of manly strength, and would lead a life of happiness and glory.* We can collect from a number of incidental circumstances in which Burghley was concerned, how nearly he had at heart the marriage of the queen. The commissioners, who were deputed by France, to negotiate the settlement of the affair with the ministers of this country, were received with unusual ceremony by Burghley, who invited them to an entertainment at his gorgeons mansion, which, from its magnificence, forms an era in the gastronomic annals of this country. A curious inventory of the articles which were served up on this occasion, has been preserved amongst the papers of Lord Burghley. We select a few of the items, with the prices appended to them.
"". Two stags, 40s. ; two bucks, 20s. ; six kids, 24s.; six pigs, 10s. ; six shins of beef, 24s.; four gammons of bacon, 16s. : one swan, 10s.; three cranes, 20s. ; twenty-four curlews, 24s. ; one rest shank, 10d.; fifteen pheasants, 30s.; fifty-four herons, 81. 158.; eight partridges, 8s.; besides vast quantities of beef, veal, mutton, pork, and other solid substantial feeding In the list of fish are enumerated sturgeon, congers, salmon, trout, lampreys, lobsters, prawns, gurnuds, and oysters; whilst there are set down for herbs and salads 36s.; cream, 27s.; besides which were purchased for this entertainment, 360 lbs. of butter ; 3300 eggs; 42 lbs. of spices, and three gallons of rose-water, for which 3s. were charged."
But if Elizabeth was indebted to Lord Burghley, she certainly went considerable lengths in order to repay the obligation. Almost immediately on her accession, she created him Master of the Wards; and, in ten years afterwards, raised him to the peerage. The gift of the dignity itself was scarcely more honourable to Burghley, than the manner in which it was conferred; for in the patent which was made out for the occasion, it was recited, that the title was granted to Cecil,“ as well for his long services in the time of our progenitors, kings of England, as also for the faithful and acceptable duty and observance, which he hath constantly performed from the beginning of our reign, and ceaseth not daily to perform many ways, not only in the great and weighty affairs of the council, but generally, also, in all other concerns of the realm ; and also for his circumspection, valour, wisdom, dexterity, integrity of life, providence, care, and faithfulness.”
* The oracular words are-“ Verum Venus est in domo propria conju ncta Mercurio, domino filiorum. Et idcirco spes maxima detur de filio uno robusto, claro, et felici in ætate sua matura. Luna in Tauro unam filiam designat."
Burghley, as a peer, remained exactly the same character, as when he ranked in the humbler station of a knight. He appreciated the honour at its real value ; and therefore saw no reason in his new capacity, to feel prouder or greater than he felt before. Amongst his friends, he was known to refer with great indifference to his preferment; and to a correspondent, who appears to have been on familiar terms with him, he once wrote my style is lord of Burghley, if you mean to know it for your writing, and if you list to write truly, the poorest Lord in England. Yours, not changed in friendship, though in name, William Burghley.” The conclusion of a letter to another friend, is in the following terms,
your assured, as I was wont, William Cecil, and as I am now ordered to write, William Burghley.” This nobleman continued, to the hour of his death, which took place in 1598, to receive from his royal mistress continued tokens of her veneration and regard. The honour of the Garter, and the splendid office of Lord High Treasurer, were given to him in succession ; and it is no small proof of the admiration in which bis memory was held, that amongst his immediate descendants, two noble houses, still subsisting, were founded.
"“ His death,” says a faithful domestic of his, was not sudden, nor his pain in sickness great; for he continued languishing two or three months, yet went abroad to take air in his coach all that time, retiring himself from the Court, sometimes to his house at Theobald's, and sometimes at London; his greatest infirmity appearing to be the weakness of his stomach. It was also thought his mind was troubled that he could not
K A PEACE FOR HIS COUNTRY, which he earnesly laboured and desired of anything, seeking to leave it as he had long kept it. For there was no other worldly thing to give him cause for grief: he had the favour of his prince, the love of his people, great offices, honours, livings, good children, and all blessings the world could afford him; yet he contemned the world, and desired nothing but death, either because he had lived long enough, and desired to be in heaven, or else because he could not live to do that good for his country he would—or rather, as is most likely, both; for he had seen and tasted so much, both of the sweet and sour of the world, as made him weary to live ; and knew so much of the joys of his salvation, wherein was his onely comfort, as gave him cause to desire death, when it was God's good pleasure, as be often said: but how or whatsover it was, the signe was infallibly good. He contemned this life, and expected the next; for there was no earthly thing wherein he took comfort, but in contemplation, reading or hearing the Scriptures, Psalms, and Praieres. About ten or twelve days before he died, he grew weak, and so dryvenne to kepe his bed, complayning onely of a pain in his breast, which was thought to be the humour of the goute (wherewith he was so long possessed) falling to that place, without any ague, fever, or sign of distemper or danger, and that paine not great or continuall, but by fits, and so con tinued till within one night before his death. At six o'clock at night, the phisitions finding no distemper in his pulse or bodie, but assuring his life, affirming it was impossible he should be hartsicke that had so good temper, and so perfect pulse and sense; yet at seven of the clock following, he
fell into a convulsion like to the shaking of an ague. Now, quoth he, the Lord be praised, the tyme is come. And, calling his children, blessed them and took his leave, commanding them to love and feare God, and love one another. He also praid for the queen, that she might live longe and die in peace. Then he called for Thomas Bellot, his steward, one of his executors, and delivered him his will, saieing, I have ever found thee true to me, and I nowe trust thee with all. Who, like a godlie honest man, praid his Lordship, as he had lived religiously, so now to remember his Savioure Christ, by whose blood he was to have forgiveness of his sins; with manie the like speeches used by his Chaplaines, to whom he answered it was done already, for he was assured God had forgiven him his sins, and would save his soul.”
• “ He had, says the same authority, a little mule, upon which he rode up and down the walks (at Theobald's): sometimes he would look on those who were shooting with arrows, or playing with bows; but, as for himself, he never took any diversion, taking that word in its usual sense. He had two or three friends, who were constantly at his table, because he liked their company; but in all his life, he never had any favourite, or suffered any body to get an ascendant over him. His equipage, his great housekeeping, his numerous dependence, were the effects of his sense, and not at all of his passions ; for he delighted little in any
of them ;
and whenever he had any time to spare, he fled, as his expression was, to Theobald's, and buried himself in privacy.”
Some of the precepts which Burghley left to his children are, for the beauty and force of the language, as well as for the deep knowledge of the world which they display, well worthy the greatest attention. But we confess that, in not a few of these precepts, do we discover the feelings of one who considered self as the first object of every man's care. The effect, therefore, of his recommendations must have been, to contract the springs of generosity in the minds of his children-to deaden their best sympathies--and to fill them with suspicion of their fellow creatures. The following are the most striking of these precepts.
• “ When it shall please God to bring thee to man's estate, use great providence and circumspection in the chusing thy wife; for from thence will spring all thy future good or evil. And it is an action of thy life, like unto a stratagem of war; wherein a man can err but once. If thy estate be good, match near home, and at leisure ; if weak, far off and quickly. Enquire diligently of her disposition, and how her parents have been inclined in their youth. Let her not be poor, how generous soever; for a man can buy nothing in the market with gentility. Nor chuse a base and uncomely creature altogether for wealth; for it will cause contempt and loathing in them. Neither make choice of a dwarf or a fool; for by the one thou shalt beget a race of pigmies, the other will be thy continual disgrace, and it will yirke thee to hear her talk. For thou shalt find it to thy great grief, that there is nothing more fulsome than a she-fool.
Bring thy children up in learning and obedience, yet without outward austerity. Praise them openly, reprehend them secretly. Give them good countenance, and convenient maintenance, according to thy ability; other
wise thy life will seem their bondage, and what portion thou shalt leave them at thy death, they will thank Death for it, not thee. And I am persuaded, that the foolish cockering-up of some parents, and the over stern carriage of others, causeth more men and women to take to ill courses, than their own vicious inclinations. Marry thy daughters in time, lest they marry themselves. Suffer not thy sons to pass the Alps, for they shall learn nothing there but pride, blasphemy, and atheism. Neither, by my consent, shalt thou train them up in wars, for he that sets up his rest to live by that profession, can hardly be an honest man, or a good christian: besides, it is a science no longer in request than in use ; for soldiers in peace are like chimneys in summer.
1" And tonching the guiding of thy house, let thy hospitality be moderate, and according to the means of thy estate, rather plentiful than sparing, but not costly; for I never knew any man grow poor by keeping an orderly table; but some consume themselves through secret vices, and their hospitality bears the blame : but banish swinish drunkards out of thine house, which is a vice impairing health, cousuming much, and makes no show. I never heard praise ascribed to the drunkard, but for the wellbearing of bis drink, which is a better recommendation for a brewer's horse, or a drayman, than for either a gentleman or a serving-man. Beware thou spend not above three of four parts of thy revenues ; nor above a third part of that in thy house; for the other two parts will do no more than defray thy extraordinaries, which always surmount the ordinary by much. Otherwise thou shalt live like a rich beggar, in continual want, and the needy man can never live happily or contentedly; for any disaster makes him ready to mortgage or sell; and that gentleman who sells an acre of land, sells an ounce of credit--for gentility is nothing else but ancient riches. So that if the foundation shall at any time sink, the building must need follow.
• “ Live not in the country without corn and cattle about thee: for he that putteth his hand in his purse for every expense of household, is like him that keepeth water in a sieve.
6“Be not served with kinsmen or friends, or men entreated to stay: for they expect much, and do little.
1“ Let thy kindred and allies be welcome to thy home and table : grace them with thy countenance, and farther them in all honest actions : for by this means thou shalt so double the bond of nature, as thou shalt find them so many advocates to plead an apology for thee behind thy back.
"“ Beware of suretyship for thy best friends: he that payeth another man's debts, seeketh his own decay.”
The character of Burghley still remains a problem, notwithstanding the three quartos of the Regius Professor of History at Oxford. The circumstances of the times in which he lived were, undoubtedly, favourable to his particular genius for public business; for it is by no means probable, that had he to act as a minister in the present day, he would have been able to maintain a footing for a single hour, seeing how opposed our existing institutions are in their nature, to those which were so aptly suited to the dissembling and intriguing policy of Burghley. Lightly, however, as we think of his probity, and convinced as we are of his zeal in the cause of the