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received, entertained with masks, shewes, fireworks, &c.—to see two kings fight in single combat, as Porus and Alexander, Canutus and Edmond Ironside, Scanderbeg and Ferat Bassa the Turke, when not honour alone but life it self is at stake, (as the poet of Hector,
nec enim pro tergore tauri,
Hectoris ); to behold a battle fought, like that of Crescy, or Agencourt, or Poictiers, quâ nescio (saith Froissard) an vetustas ullam proferre possit clariorem ; – to see one of Cæsars triumphs in old Rome revived, or the like ;—to bee present at an interview, as that famous of Henry the 8th, and Francis the first, so much renowned all over Europe ; ubi tanto apparatu (saith Hubertus Vellius) tamque triumphali pompå ambo reges cum eorum conjugibus coière, ut nulla unquam ætas tam celebria festa viderit aut audierit, no age ever saw the like. So infinitely pleasant are such shews, to the sight of which often times they will come hundreths of miles, give any mony for a place, and remember many years after with singular delight. Bodine, when he was embassador in England, said he saw the noblemen go in their robes to the parliament house, summâ cum jucunditate vidimus; he was much affected with the sight of it. Pomponius Columna, saith Jovius in his life, saw 13 Frenchmen, and so many Italians, once fight for a whole army : quod jucundissimum spectaculum in vità dicit sud, the pleasantest sight that ever he saw in his life. Who would not have been affected with such a spectacle? Or that single combat of Breaute the Frenchman, and Anthony Schets a Dutchman, before the walls of Sylvaducis in Brabant, anno 1600. They were 22 horse on the one side, as many on the other, which, like Livies Horatii, Torquati, and Corvini, fought for their own glory and countries honour, in the sight and view of their whole city and arıy. When Julius Cæsar warred about the bankes of Rhene, there came a barbarian prince to see him and the Roman army; and when he had beheld Cæsar a good while, I see the gods now, (saith he) which before I heard of, nec feliciorem ullam vitæ meæ aut optavi aut sensi diem : it was the happiest day that ever he had in his life. Such a sight alone
able of it self to drive away melancholy; if not for ever, yet it must needs expell it for a time. Radzivilius was much taken with the bassas palace in Cairo ; and, amongst many other
objects which that place afforded, with that solemnity of cutting the bankes of Nilus, by Imbram Bassa, when it overflowed, besides two or three hundred guilded gallies on the water, he saw two millions of men gathered together on the land, with turbants as white as snow; and twas a goodly sight. The very reading of feasts, triumphs, interviews, nuptials, tilts, turnaments, combats, and monomachies, is most acceptable and pleasant. Franciscus Modius hath made a large collection of such solemnities in two great tomes, which who so will may peruse. The inspection alone of those curious iconographies of temples and palaces, as that of the Lateran church in Albertus Durer, that of the temple of Jerusalem in Josephus, Adricomius, and Villalpandus : that of the Escuriall in Guadas, of Diana at Ephesus in Pliny, Neros goldon palace in Rome, Justinians in Constantinople, that Peruvian Ingos in Cusco, ut non ab hominibus, sed a dæmoniis, constructum videatur; S. Marks in Venice by Ignatius, with many such : priscorum artificum opera (saith that interpreter of Pausanias) the rare workmanship of those ancient Greeks, in theaters, obelisks, temples, statues, gold, silver, ivory, marble images, non minore ferme, quum leguntur, quam quum cernuntur, animum delectatione complent, affect one as much by reading almost, as by sight.
The country hath his recreations, the city his severall gymnicks and exercises, may-games, feasts, wakes, and merry meetings, to solace themselves. The very being in the country, that life it self, is a sufficient recreation to some men, to enjoy such pleasures, as those old patriarks did. Dioclesian the emperour was so much affected with it, that he gave over his scepter, and turned gardiner. Constantine wrote 20 books of husbandry. Lysander, when embassadours came to see him, bragged of nothing more, than of his orchard : hi sunt ordines mei. What shall I say of Cincinnatus, Cato, Tully, and many such ? how have they been pleased with it, to prune, plant, inoculate, and graft, to shew so many severall kindes of pears, apples, plums, peaches, &c.
Nunc captare feras laqueo, nunc fallere visco,
et nidos avium scrutari, &c.
Jucundus, in his preface to Cato, Varro, Columella, &c. put out by him, confesseth of himself
, that he was mightily delighted with these husbandry studies, and took extraordinary pleasure in them. If the theorick or speculation can so much affect, what shall the place and exercise it self, the practick part, do ? The same confession I find in Herbastein, Porta, Camerarius, and many others, which have written of that subject. If my testimony were ought worth, I could say as much of myself; I am vere Saturninus; no man ever took more delight in springs, woods, groves, gardens, walks, fishponds, rivers, &c. But
Tantalus a labris sitiens fugientia captat
Flumina ; and so do I: velle licet; potiri non licet.
Anatomy of Melancholy.
LORD HERBERT OF CHERBURY.
CHARACTER OF HENRY VIII.
OUR King having long laboured under the burden of an extreme fat and unwieldly body, and together being afflicted with a sore leg, took (at the Palace of Westminster, in January, this yeer) his deathbed ; being for the rest not without sense of his present condition. For he both caused a Church of the Franciscans in London (lately supprest) to be opened again, and made a Parish Church, endowing it with 500 Marks per annum; and (March, 1546.) bestowed both the ground and buildings of the said Covent, as also the adjoyning hospital of St. Bartholomew, on the City, for the relief of the poor : where now is the fair Hospital called Christ-Church : suppress'd the Stews on the Bank-side, and made his last Will and Testament, the Originall whereof yet having not seen, I shall mention no otherwise.
As for Sanders affirmation, that he was not desirous to be reconciled to the Roman Church; and that his Courtiers (especially those who had profited themselves of Abbeys) did divert him; and that the Bishops rested doubtfull what to answer, lest they should be entrapped ; and how Winchester did cunningly evade the danger, I leave to his credit. Others affirming, that he desired to speak with Cranmer, who yet not coming sooner then that the King was speechlesse (though in good memory) the King extended his hand to him; and that thereupon Cranmer besought him to give some signe of his trust in God by Christ, and that the King should strain his hand. Howsoever, it may be collected, that he died (January 28. 1547.) religiously and penitently, when he had reigned seven and thirty yeers, nine months, and six days; and after he had lived five and fifty years and seven months ; and was carryed to Windsor, where he had begun a fair Monument, and founded a Colledge for thirteen poor Knights, and two Priests to pray for his soul.
And now if the Reader (according to my manner in other great Personages) do expect some Character of this Prince, I must affirm, (as in the beginning) that the course of his life being commonly held various and diverse from it self, he will hardly suffer any, and that his History will be his best Character and description. Howbeit, since others have so much defamed him, as will appear by the following Objections, I shall strive to rectifie their understandings who are impartiall lovers of truth; without either presuming audaciously to condemn a Prince, heretofore Soveraign of our Kingdom, or omitting the just freedom of an Historian.
And because his most bitter censures agree, that he had all manner of perfection either of nature or education ; and that he was (besides) of a most deep judgement in all Affairs to which he applyed himself; a Prince not onely liberall and indulgent to his Family, and Court, and even to strangers, whom he willingly saw; and one that made choice both of able and good men for the Clergy, and of wise and grave Counsellors for his State-Affairs; and above all, a Prince of a Royall courage : I shall not controvert these points, but come to my particular observations. According to which, I finde him to have been ever most zealous of his Honour and Dignity ; insomuch, that his most questioned passages were countenanced either with home or forraign Authority : so many Universities of Italy and France maintaining his repudiating of Queen Katherin of Spain; and his Parliament (for the rest) authorizing the Divorces and decapitations of his following Wives, the dissolutions of the Monasteries, and divers others of his most branded Actions : So that by his Parliaments in publick, and Juries in private Affairs, he at least wanted not colour and pretext to make them specious to the World ; which also he had reason to affect : Outward esteem and reputation being the same to great Persons which the skin is to the fruit, which though it be but a slight and delicate cover, yet without it the fruit will presently discolour and rot.
As for matter of State, I dare say, never Prince went upon a truer Maxime for this Kingdom ; which was, to make himself Arbiter of Christendom : and had it not cost him so much, none had ever proceeded more wisely. But as he would be an Actor (for the most part) where he needed onely be a Spectator,