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tesies, than by churlish benefits. Yet I advise thee not to affect, or neglect, popularity too much. Seek not to be Essex, shun to be Ralegh.
* IX. Trust not any man with thy life, credit, or estate. For it is mere folly for a man so to enthral himself to his friend, as though occasion being offered, he should not dare to become thine enemy.
« X. Be not scurrilous in conversation, nor satirical in thy jests. The one will make thee unwelcome to all company; the other pull on quarrels, and get thee hated of thy best friends. For suspicious jests, when any of them savour of truth, leave a bitterness in the minds of those which are touched. And, albeit I have already pointed at this inclusively, yet I think it necessary to leave it to thee as a special caution ; because I have seen so many prone to quip and gird, as they would rather lose their friend than their jest. And, if perchance their boiling brain yield a quaint scoff, they will travail to be delivered of it as a woman with child. These nimble fancies are but the froth of wit.'
The following is his Commentary on the character of Wolsey, addressed to Queen Elizabeth :
IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY, • Full of assurance that my unfeigned zeal for your Majesty's interest and service will be evident in what I humbly presume to remonstrate to your Majesty, I shall venture to speak my mind with a freedom worthy the noble end and aim of my design. When any man, that is as ambitious as myself of engaging your Majesty's good opinion of my actions, and your favour on my endeavours, shall attempt to plead against any particulars engrossing your royal ear, he
cannot well be suspected of directing his discourse and solicitations on that head to any private interest and advantage. Since by advancing the contrary position, he might hope perhaps in time and in his turn, by the force of industry and application, to enjoy the benefit of it.
Secure therefore in my zeal for the welfare of my prince and my country, I shall venture to appeal to your Majesty's knowledge of history, whether it afford any one instance of that nature, which has not been, or was very likely to be, of fatal consequence to the prince, or the people, or both. I will not insist on Sejanus, or any other of the Roman minions, to whose ambition or avarice when the nobility had fallen in numbers, and the people felt the rage of their exorbitant passions, unsatisfied with what they possessed, they have aimed at the life and throne of the prince that raised them. The reason of which is plain; because having only themselves and their own private advantage in view, they make use of the prince only as the means of their own grandeur, without any regard to his real service or the public good, against which it is impossible to do the prince any.
• A king, by his royal office, is the father of his country, whose eye ought to watch over the good of all and every one of his subjects, in the just execution of the laws and the impartial dispensation of prerogative; in redressing of grievances, rewarding virtue, punishing vice, encouraging industry, and the like. But .princes, though the vicegerents of heaven, being not endued with omniscience, can only know these grievances, virtues, vices, industry, &c., of the people, and their several exigencies, by the eyes and information of others; nor can this be done by trusting to any one particular favourite, who having no more nor larger qualifications than his prince, can have no other means of informing him aright, than what his prince has without him. Nay, it may very well be said, that he has not any means so sure and infallible: for the prince, if he consult his great.councils, and only adhere to their public decisions, cannot miss of knowing all, that is necessary to be known for his own glory and his people's good, which are inseparable; but the favourite, having private designs to carry on, receives his information from those who must represent things to him as he would have them, by that means to make their court, and secure that success to their wishes for which they daily pay the adoration of so much flattery. But if, by the wonderful perspicacity and application of the favourites, he should attain a true knowledge of the state of things, of the inclinations and desires of the people; it is forty to one, that these clashing with his private aims, he gives them another face to the prince, a túrn more agreeable to his separate interest, though equally destructive of his master's and country's good.
• The only way therefore for a prince to govern, with satisfaction to his own conscience, is to be the common father of all his country, to hear the advice of all his counsellors, and have an open ear to all the grievances and necessities of all his people : which can never be done, while any one man has the luck to possess the royal favour, so far as to make his advice an over-balance to the whole nation. They gain by that means a power, which they extremely seldom, if ever, use for the people's or prince's advantage, but most commonly (if not always) to the destruction of both. There are examples enow of this, to alarm any wise and politic prince. The Mayors of the Palace in France at last possessed the throne. And domestic instances might be given of those, who by their excessive power have, if not themselves possessed, yet deprived and set whom they pleased on the throne.
But omitting what your Majesty knows extremely well, I shall only give you a view of a great favourite in the reign of your royal father; a true prospect of whose practices and ambition may warn your Majesty against all those, who would engross not only your Majesty's ear, but all the gifts and places your Majesty can bestow; so to be, if not in name, yet in effect, kings of your people. I mean Cardinal Wolsey, whose fame has been pretended to be vindicated by a domestic of his,* in the days of the late Queen. And though I shall not deny his admirable qualifications and parts, or his justice in many particulars; yet I shall show, that the ills he did were much more prejudicial to the King and people, than the good he did beneficial to them.
• Whatever he did as Chancellor, allowing his decrees all equitable and just, will not be sufficient to destroy my assertion : since that only reached some particulars, who had causes depending before him; but the many exorbitances of his administration spread to the whole people, as will appear from those few instances which I shall give, by which he will put the King on such illegal attempts to replenish that exchequer, which his ambition and pride, more than any profusion or expenses of the King, had exhausted.
* Cavendish. But see a late Tract, Who wrote Cavendish's Life of Wolsey ?!
• The reason of this assertion will be plain, if your Majesty will reflect on the more-than-royal retinue, which, though a subject of the lowest and most plebeian rise, he maintained. For not to waste your Majesty's important hours with a long catalogue of the particulars, he had in his family one earl, nine barons, knights, gentlemen, and inferior officers about one thousand : for the maintenance of whom he was at once possessed of the Almonership, the Bishoprics of Tournay, Lincoln, and York, and Durham, St, Alban's in commendam, the Bishopric of Winchester (in exchange for that of Durham) the revenues of those of Bath, Worcester, and Hereford, was Lord Chancellor of England, and had the disposal of all places of trust and profit, and singly and alone despatched all public negotiations.
• But the maintenance of so numerous a dependence was not, perhaps, the moiety of his expenses. He had long entertained an ambition to be Pope, and he was too wise to attempt any thing in the conclave or court of Rome, by means of which he could have no hopes of success. Money has always been the only argument, which has prevailed in the papal elections, or in the particular interests, that the princes in obedience to that see form for themselves or favourites. The Cardinal must, therefore, be at an expense proportionable to the vehemence of his desires; which having no bounds, his largesses to obtain that end could be bounded by nothing but the abilities of the King and kingdom, the treasure of which was wholly at his command.
• This was the reason, that prevailed with him to engage the King his master to lend sums of money to the Emperor, whose poverty was so well known,