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that he would never reste untill he were in the field against him: at which answeare of the Kinge, the Persians did much rejoyce, for there was an ould proverb in Persia, that there should come a Christian from farr into their countrey, by whose advise they should gaine all their right from the greate Turke, which the Persians in former times had lost; yet after all this was concluded upon, the Kinge was verie loth to part from Sir Anthony, and offered him to be lieutenant-generall of all his forces against the Turke; which offer Sir Anthony did highly imbrace, yet in regard he was a man of greater note than his brother was, did make choyce to goe of this embasseye, and to returne againe with as much speede as he possible could; but (mala fortuna) did happen on him by the waye. Then Sir Anthony did request the kinge to send a Persian alonge with him, some man of account, to witness with him how much the kinge did imbrace the love of the Christiane princes; the kinge did verie well like of his motion, and made choice of one which had followed him longe whose name was Seane Olibege;* the kinge created him a lord, and allowed him sixteen men to attend on him ; moreover, the kinge promised Sir Anthony that he would send presents to everie prince of a greate vallue. Well, after all these matters were concluded on, there came to us a Franciscan frier to Ispahane, and tould Sir Anthony in regard he was a Christian he was the more boulder to come to him, and tould him moreover that there was another frier cominge, a Dominican frier, who was bishop of Antioch, a Portingall born, and he was goinge of greate busines to the Kinge of Spaine : his request was this, that Sir Anthony would gett him that favore from the kinge that he might goe aparelled in his owne weed or habit, which favore Sir Anthony did obtaine of the kinge, and the next day Sir Anthony did goe and meete him four miles forth of Ispahane, with one hundred horse to attend him, and soe he brought him into the cittie and lodged him in his owne house: the next day after he brought him to the kinge, who received him for Sir Anthony's sake verie royally, and the kinge gave him a crucifix of gould sette with diamonds, turkes, and rubies, which crucifix was sent the kinge from Presbiter Jhan, as the kinge himselfe did shewe unto us. The kinge asked the frier where he had travelled -the frier answeared, that he was sent from the Pope, as his deputie, into those parts amongst the Christians : the Pope! saide the king, what is he? allthough he did knowe verie well what he was, yett did he make as though he had never heard of him; the frier made answeare that the Pope was Christ's vicar upon earth to pardon and forgive sinnes : then, quothe the kinge, he must needs be a verie ould man if he have beene here on earth ever since Christ was crucified by the Jewes : nay, said the frier, there hath beene manie popes since that time, for when one dieth another cometh into his place : what, said the kinge, are they earthly men born in Italie or in Rome? yes, saide the frier; but have they att anie time talked with Christ or God the father, sayed the kinge; no, quothe the frier: then the kinge made
* Cuchin Allibi.-Sherley.
this answeare ;-I doe not believe that anie man on earth can pardon or forgive sines but God the father; and for Christe, said the kinge, I doe hould him to be a greate prophete, yea, the greatest that ever was, and I doe thinke verily that if anie man could forgive sins it was hee ; for I have read that he did great miracles when he was upon the earth; he was born of a woman, but as I have read the angel of God came to her and breathed on her, and soe was he conceived. I have read, likewise, of his crucifyng by the Jewes, which doth make me hate them, for to this houre there is none suffered to live in my countrey. The frier was stricken mute, and we all did wonder to heare the kinge reason soe exceeding well, in regard he was a heathen; but he tould Sir Anthony he was allmost a Christian in heart since his cominge unto him. Soe after we had stayed there two weekes longer the kinge's letters were readie to all the Christiane princes, which Sir Anthony received from the kinge; soe we tooke our leaves of Ispahane, and the kinge brought us two dayes journey, and did take his leave of Sir Anthony verie sorrowfull; and did take his brother Mr. Robert Sherley by the hand, whom we left behind us, and the kinge saide to Sir Anthony that he would use him as his owne sone, and that he should never want soe longe as he was kinge of Persia. Then he gave Sir Anthony a seale of gould, and saide, Brother, whatsoever thou dost seale unto, be it to the worth of my kingdome and I will see it paide: soe the kinge kissed Sir Anthony three or four times, and kissed us all, and saide that if we did returne againe we should receive greate honore. Soe we departed from the kinge accompanied by the false frier, who in the end, as you shall hear hereafter, would have betrayed us with his villanie; but Seane Olibeg, that was to come along with us, stayed behind for the presents, because theye were not ready, and he was to come to us at [
] where we were to take shippinge; and soe much for that part.”
Here Manwaring's narrative breaks off, and we can discover no traces of his having afterwards resumed it. Sir Anthony Sherley's relation, also, concludes at the same period. We regret exceedingly that we are unable to give any farther account of the particular circumstances attending this unexampled mission, unless any reliance can be placed on the play to which the romantic adventures of the three brothers gave birth, entitled, The three English Brothers--Sir Thomas, Sir Anthony, and Mr. Robert Shirley; London, 1607; written by John Day, William Rowley, and George Wilkins. The authors, indeed, in the prologue, profess to have adhered to the facts
Clothing our truth within an argument,
It is manifest, however, that they have, for the sake of the drama, mixed a considerable degree of fiction with actual fact. In some particulars, however, the play is probably more accurate. It represents Sir Anthony as having arrived at the court of Russia, and being imprisoned through the machinations of his colleague, and afterwards released, and the latter disgraced; that he next went to Rome, and was well received by the Pope, and thence proceeded to Venice, but, in every place, was thwarted and impeded by Cuchin-Allibi. The failure of the embassage is attributed, by Sherley, to this person; and he also obscurely hints at the injury done him by the ungrateful friar, mentioned in the text.
Sir Anthony's subsequent movements are enveloped in considerable obscurity; but there is reason to believe, that, feeling acutely the unfortunate result of his embassy, he never ventured to return to Persia. It appears, from Wadsworth's English and Spanish Pilgrim, that, amongst the English resident at the court of Spain, about the year 1625, “ the first and foremost is Sir Anthony Sherley, who stiles himselfe Earle of the sacred Roman Empire,* and hath, from his Catholic majesty, a pension of 2000 duckets per annum, all which, in respect of his prodigality, is as much as nothing. This Sir Anthony Sherley is a great plotter and projector in matters of state, and undertakes, by sea-stratagems, to invade and ruinate his native country, a just treatise of whose passages would take up a whole volume.”+ The King of Spain, also, made him admiral of the Levant.
The honors thus showered upon a subject excited the displeasure or jealousy of James the 1st, who ordered him to return to England, a mandate which Sherley did not think fit to obey. According to Grainger, he died in Spain, in the year 1630.
* There is some difficulty in ascertaining whether Sir Anthony or Robert Sherley, or both, were created Counts of the Roman Empire. Baker states, that Sir Robert Sherley was made an Earl of the Empire by Rodolphus, the Roman emperor. Wadsworth, although of less authority than Baker, was himself, in 1623, at Madrid, where he lived for two years; and he asserts, that Sir Anthony assumed this title. Baker, on the other hand, would hardly state a fact of this kind without some foundation; and that he meant Sir Robert, is evident from what follows.—Baker's Chronicles, 412. The late Lord Orford meant to have cleared up these mistakes respecting the two brothers, and had made many notes on the subject.-Aikin's Biog. Dict. Art. Sherley.
† Wadsworth's English and Spanish Pilgrim, Lond. 1630.
These are all the particulars we have been able to collect of the life of this heroic gentleman, Sir Anthony Sherley, whose adventures have more the air of an Arabian story or oriental fiction, than that of real life. Born at a period when the spirit of chivalry yet lingered in the land, he united daring enterprize with political knowledge and statesman-like acquirements. He belonged to that glorious race of men, who seem to have been raised up but to dazzle the world with their brightness for a few years, and to make it regret that they have left no descendants.
Sir Anthony was of a grave and imposing exterior, and of a dignified and commanding deportment. Elevated in sentiment, noble in heart, and undaunted in resolution, he had a singular power of attracting the attention, and securing the affections of men. He was bold in the conception, and prompt in the execution, of what he undertook; and whatever was connected with it—whatever was likely to contribute to its success, he seized with eagerness, and improved with diligence and caution. As a traveller, he did not, like some of a different sort, exercise his judgment on the superficial appearances of things, and tell of the wonders which he saw; but he looked into the perfections and defects of governments, and investigated the forms of states.
We have only space to say a few words of his two brothers. When Sir Anthony was about to depart from Persia, the king requested, in a very complimentary style, that his brother, Robert, might stay behind. The wish of Shah-Abbas was no sooner expressed, than Robert, with great frankness and alacrity, acceded to it, and he accordingly remained at the Persian court with five of his companions. Two years having elapsed, and no tidings received of this important embassy, the king began to regard Robert more unfavourably than he had hitherto done, but he soon found means to regain the royal favour. He obtained freedom of conscience throughout the Persian dominions for all Christians; and the king, as a still greater token of his affection, bestowed his niece* upon him in marriage. Three successive Persian ambassadors were afterwards despatched to the princes of Christendom; and lastly, Robert Sherley himself, who came as ambassador to James the First in 1612, with the offer of a free commerce with Persia. He was accompanied by his wife, Teresia, who, during her residence in England, brought him a son, to whom the queen stood godmother, and Prince Henry godfather. He left his child in England, and set out with his lady on his return to Persia, and
* Carte says, she was sister to one of the king's sultanas.
Fuller says, died on the voyage.* Sir Anthony draws a fine character of his brother, Robert, which we should have introduced, but for the reason before-mentioned.
Sir Thomas Sherley was knighted in 1589, and, “ heing ashamed,” says Fuller, " to see the trophies and achievements of his two younger brothers worn like flowers in the breasts of princes, whilst he himself withered upon the stalk he grew on, left his aged father, and, as it is said, a fair inheritance in Sussex, and forthwith undertook several voyages into foreign parts, to the great honor of his nation, but small enrichment of him
Although this article has extended to an unusual length, we close it with reluctance, obliged, as we are, to omit, for want of room, many things which might have assisted the reader in estimating the true motives of the enterprize above related, as well as the character of this illustrious fraternity.
[Our readers will observe that the following communication is not in the usual form of our articles. We have, however, determined to admit it into our pages, as well from a regard to the value of its contents, as that we think it may stand in the place of a pattern, as it were, for similar papers. On receiving the following letter, it occurred to us that there might be many possessors of remarkable books, who, unwilling to undertake a formal memoir, still would not hesitate to compose a slight notice of them, containing some extracts and a few necessary observations, Such is the nature of this paper, which we trust will excite the less industrious, or the more engaged, lovers of old literature among our readers, to the composition of similar ones. Should this be the case, they will find a place in the last pages of each number.- Ed.] ART. XIII. Image of Gouvernance, by Sir Thomas Elyote. London, 410. 1541. Mr. Editor, Sir,
Your well-planned Review of old literature seems calculated to display the masculine powers of intellect possessed by our learned and industrious forefathers. The high toned sentiment and the condensed thought which so often pervades the writings of early authors deserves to be contrasted
* The Preacher's Travels, Lond. 1611–Baker's ChroniclesFuller's Worthies.