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deceitfully.” A sore word for them that are negligent in discharging their office, or have done it fraudulently, for that is the thing that maketh the people ill.
But now for the fault of unpreaching prelates, methinks I could
guess what might be said for excusing of them. They are so troubled with lordly living, they be so placed in palaces, couched in courts, ruffling in their rents, dancing in their dominions, burdened with ambassages, like a monk that maketh his jubilee ; munching in their mangers, and moiling in their gay manors and mansions, and so troubled with loitering in their lordships, that they cannot attend it. They are otherwise occupied, some in the king's matters, some are ambassadors, some of the privy council, some to furnish the court, some are lords of the parliament, some are presidents, and some comptrollers of mints.
Well, I would all men would look to their duty, as God hath called them, and then we should have a flourishing Christian commonwealth.
And now I would ask a strange question : who is the most diligentest bishop and prelate in all England that passeth all the rest in doing his office ? I can tell, for I know him who it is ; I know him well. But now I think I see you listening and hearkening that I should name him. There is one that passeth all the others, and is the most diligent prelate and preacher in all England. And will ye know who it is? I will tell you ; it is the devil. He is the most diligent preacher of all other; he is never out of his diocess ; he is never from his cure ; ye shall never find him unoccupied ; he is ever in his parish; he keepeth residence at all times; ye shall never find him out of the way ; call for him when you will, he is ever at home; the diligentest preacher in all the realm ; he is ever at his plough ; no lording, nor loitering can hinder him, he is ever applying his business, ye shall never find him idle I warrant you. And his office is to hinder religion, to maintain superstition, to set up idolatry, to teach all kinds of Popery. He is ready as can be wished for to set forth his plough, to devise as many ways as can be to deface and obscure God's glory. When the devil is resident, and hath his plough going, there away with books and up with candles ; away with bibles and up with beads ; away with the light of the gospel and up with the light of candles, yea at noon-days. Where the devil is
resident, that he may prevail, up with all superstition and idolatry ; censing, painting of images, candles, palms, ashes, holy water, and new service of men's inventing : as though man could invent a better way to honour God with, than God himself hath appointed. Down with Christ's cross, up with purgatory pick-purse, up with him, the popish purgatory, I mean. Away with clothing the naked, the poor and impotent ; up with decking of images, and gay garnishing of stocks and stones; up with man's traditions and his laws, down with God's traditions and his most holy word. Down with the old honour due to God, and up with the new god's honour. Let all things be done in Latin : there must be nothing but Latin. God's word may in no wise be translated into English.
Oh, that our prelates would be as diligent to sow the corn of good doctrine, as Satan is to sow cockle and darnel !
LORD Bacon, 1561-1626. The youth of whom we are now to speak was such a mercurial as the like hath seldom been known, and could make his own part, if at any time he chanced to be out. Wherefore, this being one of the strangest examples of a personation that ever was in elder or later times, it deserveth to be discovered and related at the full ; although King Henry VII.'s manner of showing things by pieces, and by dark lights, hath so muffled it, that it hath been left almost as a mystery to this day.
The Lady Margaret, sister of King Edward IV. and Duchess of Burgundy, whom the king's friends called Juno, because she was to him as Juno was to Æneas, stirring both heaven and hell to do him mischief, for a foundation of her particular practices against him, did continually by all means possible, nourish, maintain, and divulge the flying opinion that Richard Duke of York, second son to Edward the Fourth, was not murdered in the Tower, as was given out, but saved alive. For that those who were employed in that barbarous fact, having destroyed the elder brother, were stricken with remorse and compassion towards the younger, and set him privily at liberty to seek his fortune.
After some time Perkin Warbeck, being grown a comely youth, was brought by some of the espials of the Lady Margaret into her presence. Who, viewing him well, and seeing that he had a face and personage that would bear a noble fortune, and finding him otherwise of a fine spirit and winning behaviour, thought she had now found a curious piece of marble to carve out an image of a Duke of York. She kept him by her a great while, but with extreme secrecy. First in princely behaviour and gesture, teaching him how he should keep state, and yet with a modest sense of his misfortunes. Then she informed him of all the circumstances and particulars that concerned the person of Richard, Duke of York, which he was to act; describing unto him the personages, lineaments, and features of the king and queen, his pretended parents ; and of his brother and sisters and divers others, that were nearest him in his childhood ; together with all passages, some secret, some common, that were fit for a child's memory, until the death of King Edward. Then she added the particulars of the time from the king's death, until he and his brother were committed to the Tower, as well during the time he was abroad as while he was in sanctuary. Lastly, she raised his thoughts with some present rewards, and further promises, setting before him chiefly the glory and fortune of a crown if things went well, and a sure refuge to her court if the worst should fall. After such time as she thought he was perfect in his lesson, she began to cast with herself from what coast this blazing star should first appear,
and at what time it must be upon the horizon of Ireland, for there had the like meteor had strong influence before. The time of the apparition to be when the king should be engaged in a war with France.
After visiting Ireland and France, Perkin took his way again into Flanders, unto the Duchess of Burgundy; pretending that, having been variously tossed by fortune, he directed his course thither as to a safe harbour, noways taking knowledge that he had ever been there before, but as if that had been his first address. The duchess, on the other part, made it as new strange to see him, pretending, at the first, that she was taught and made wise, by the example of Lambert Simnell, how she did admit of any counterfeit stuff ; though, even in that, she said she was not fully satisfied. She pretended at the first, and that was ever in the presence of others, to pose him and sift him, thereby to try whether he were indeed the very Duke of York or no. But seeming to receive full satisfaction by his answers, she then feigned herself to be transported, with a kind of astonishment, mixt of joy and wonder, at his miraculous deliverance, receiving him as if he were risen from death to life, and inferring that God, who had in such wonderful manner preserved him from death, did likewise reserve him for some great and prosperous fortune. Neither was Perkin, for his part, wanting to himself, either in gracious or princely behaviour, or in ready and apposite answers, or in contenting and caressing those that did apply themselves unto him, or in petty scorn and disdain to those that seemed to doubt of him ; but in all things did notably acquit himself, insomuch as it was generally believed, as well amongst great persons as amongst the vulgar, that he was indeed Duke Richard. Nay, himself, with long and continued counterfeiting, and with oft telling a lie, was turned by habit almost into the thing he seemed to be, and from a liar to a believer. The duchess, therefore, as in a case out of doubt, did him all princely honour, calling him always by the name of her nephew, and giving the delicate title of the white rose of England, and appointed him a guard of thirty persons, halberdiers, to attend his person. Her court, like wise, and generally the Dutch and strangers, in their usage towards him expressed no less respect.
The news hereof came blazing and thundering over into England, that the Duke of York was sure alive. As for the name of Perkin Warbeck, it was not at that time come to light, but all the news ran upon the Duke of York ; that he had been entertained in Ireland, bought and sold in France, and was now plainly avowed and in great honour in Flanders. These fames took hold of divers ; in some upon discontent, in some upon ambition, in some upon levity and desire of change, and in some few upon conscience and belief, but in most upon simplicity, and in divers out of dependence upon some of the better sort, who did in secret favour and nourish these bruits. And it was not long ere these rumours of novelty had begotten others of scandal and murmur against the king and his government, taxing him for a great taxer of his people and discountenancer of his nobility. The loss of Britain and the peace with France were not forgotten. But chiefly they fell upon the wrong that he did his queen in that he did not reign in her right. Wherefore, they said that God had now brought to light a masculine branch of the House of York,
that would not be at his courtesy, howsoever he did depress his poor lady. And yet as it fareth with things which are current with the multitude, and which they affect, these fames grew so general, as the authors were lost in the generality of the speakers ; they being like running weeds that have no certain root, or like footings up and down, impossible to be traced.
The king, on his part, was not asleep; but to arm or levy forces yet, he thought would but show fear and do this idol too much worship. Nevertheless the ports he did shut up, or at least kept a watch on them, that none should pass to or fro that was suspected : but for the rest he chose to work by countermines. His purposes were two: the one to lay open the abuse, the other to break the knot of the conspirators. To detect the abuse, there were but two ways: the first, to make it manifest to the world that the Duke of York was indeed murdered ; the other to prove, that, were he dead or alive, yet Perkin was a counterfeit.
When Perkin heard the news of the Cornwall insurrection, he began to take heart again, and advised upon it with his council. These told him that he must rely wholly upon people ; and therefore advised him sail over with all possible speed into Cornwall; which accordingly he did, having in his company four small barks, with some six-score or seven-score fighting men. He arrived in September at Whitsand Bay, and forthwith came to Bodmin, the blacksmith's town, where there assembled unto him to the number of three thousand men of the rude people. There he set forth a new proclamation, stroking the people with fair promises, and humouring them with invectives against the king and his government. And as it fareth with smoke, that never loseth itself till it be at the highest, he did now before his end raise his style, entitling himself no more Richard Duke of York, but Richard the Fourth, King of England. His council advised him by all means to make himself master of some good walled town; as well to make his men find the sweetness of rich spoils, and to allure to him all loose and lost people by like hopes of booty ; as to be a sure retreat to his forces, in case they should have
any ill day or unlucky chance of the field. Wherefore they took heart to them, and went on, and besieged the city of Exeter, the principal town for strength and wealth in those parts.
But now Perkin, hearing the thunder of arms and preparations against him from so many parts, raised his siege and marched to