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Abp. G. Abbot. EYE-Witness PORTRAIT OF BUCKINGHAM. 347
in the world, and will adventure as far for his true good, as any one whatsoever.
But I am loath to plunge myself, so over head and ears, in these difficulties, that I can neither live with quietness of conscience, nor depart out of the world with good fame and estimation. And, perhaps, my Sovereign (if, hereafter, he looked well into this paradox) would, of all the world hate me! because one of my profession, age, and calling, would deceive him; and, with base flattery, swerve from the truth. The hearts of Kings are in the hands of GOD, and He can turn them as rivers of water.
DRAW to a conclusion. Only repute it not amiss, because so much falleth in here, to observe a few words of the Duke of BUCKINGHAM-not as now he is, but as he was in his rising.
I say nothing of his being in France, because I was not present; and divers others there be, that remember it well: but I take him at his first repair to Court [in 1614].
King JAMES, for many insolencies, grew weary of SOMERSET: and the Kingdom groaning under the Triumvirate of NORTHAMPTON, SUFFOLK, and SOMERSET (though NORTHAMPTON Soon after died [in June, 1614]) was glad to be rid of him.
We could have no way so good to effectuate that which was the common desire, as to bring in another in his room. "One nail," as the proverb is, "being to be driven out by another."
It was now observed that the King began to cast his eye upon GEORGE VILLIERS, who was then Cup-bearer, and seemed a modest and courteous youth. But King JAMES had a fashion, that he would never admit any to nearness about himself, but such a one as the Queen should commend unto him, and make some suit on his behalf: that if the Queen, afterwards, being ill intreated, should complain of this "Dear One!"; he might make his answer, "It is 'long of yourself! for you were the party that commended him unto me!" Our old Master took delight strangely, in things of this nature.
That noble Queen, who now resteth in heaven, knew her
348 THE ABP. HELps the Duke's ADVANCEMENT,Abp. Abbot.
husband well; and having been bitten with Favourites, both in England and Scotland, was very shy to adventure upon this request.
King JAMES, in the meantime, more and more loathed SOMERSET; and did not much conceal it, that his affection increased towards the other.
But the Queen would not come to it; albeit divers Lords (whereof some are dead; and some, yet living) did earnestly solicit Her Majesty thereunto.
When it would not do; I was very much moved [i.e., desired by others] to put to, my helping hand: they knowing that Queen ANNE was graciously pleased to give me more credit than ordinary; which, all her attendants knew, she continued to the time of her death.
I laboured much, but could not prevail. The Queen oft said to me, "My Lord! you and the rest of your friends know not what you do! I know your Master better than you all! For if this young man be once brought in, the first persons that he will plague, must be you that labour for him! Yea, I shall have my part also! The King will teach him to despise and hardly intreat us all; that he [BUCKINGHAM] may seem to beholden to none but himself."
Noble Queen! how like a Prophetess or Oracle did you speak!
Notwithstanding this, we were still instant, telling Her Majesty that "the change would be for the better! for GEORGE was of a good nature, which the other was not; and if he should degenerate, yet it would be a long time before he were able to attain to that height of evil, which the other had."
In the end, upon importunity, Queen ANNE condescended [agreed to it]; and so pressed it with the King, that he assented thereunto: which was so stricken, while the iron was hot, that, in the Queen's Bedchamber, the King knighted him with a rapier which the Prince [CHARLES] did wear. And when the King gave order to swear him of the Bedchamber, SOMERSET (who was near) importuned the King with a message that he might be only sworn a Groom. But myself and others, that were at the door, sent to Her Majesty that "She would perfect her work, and cause him to be sworn a Gentleman of her Chamber!"
Abp. G. Abbot.
AND GIVES HIM THREE WORTHY COUNSELS. 349
There is a Lord, or two, living that had a hand in this achievement. I diminish nothing of their praise for so happy a work: but I know my own part best; and, in the word of an honest man, I have reported nothing but truth.
GEORGE went in with the King; but no sooner he got loose, but he came forth unto me, in the Privy Gallery, and there embraced me. He professed that "He was so infinitely bound unto me that, all his life long, he must honour me as his father." And now, he did beseech me, that I would give him some Lessons how he should carry himself.
When he had earnestly followed this chase, I told him, I would give him three short lessons, if he would learn them. The First was, That, daily, upon his knees, he should pray to GOD to bless the King his Master, and to give him (GEORGE) grace studiously to serve and please him.
The Second was, That he should do all good offices between the King and the Queen; and between the King and the Prince.
The Third was, That he should fill his Master's ears with nothing but truth.
I made him repeat these three things unto me: and then I would have him, to acquaint the King with them! and so tell me, when I met him again, what the King said unto him.
He promised he would. And the morrow after, Master THOMAS MURRAY (the Prince's Tutor) and I standing together, in the gallery at Whitehall, Sir GEORGE VILLIERS coming forth, and drawing to us, he told Master MURRAY how much he was beholden unto me, and that I had given him certain instructions: which I prayed him to rehearse; as, indifferently well he did, before us. Yea, and that he had acquainted the King with them; who said, "They were instructions worthy of an Archbishop, to give to a young man."
His countenance of thankfulness continued for a few days, but not long! either to me or any others, his well wishers. The Roman historian, TACITUS, hath somewhere a note that "Benefits, while they may be requited, seem courtesies; but when they are so high, that they cannot be repaid, they prove matters of hatred."
350 THE GOOD ARCHBP.'S CONCLUDING PRAYER. [AP.G. Abbot
Hus, to lie by me, to quicken my remembrance, I have laid down the Cause and the Proceedings of my sending [being sent] into Kent; where I remain at the writing of this Treatise. Praying GOD, to bless and guide our King aright! to continue the prosperity and welfare of this Kingdom, which, at this time, is shrewdly shaken! to send good and worthy men to be Governors [i.e., Bishops] of our Church! to prosper my mind and body, that I may do nothing that may give a wound to my conscience! and then, to send me patience quietly to endure whatsoever His Divine Majesty shall be pleased to lay upon me! Da quod jubes, et jube quod vis! and, in the end, to give me such a happy deliverance, either in life or death, as may be most for His glory; and for the wholesome example of others! who look much on the actions and passions of Men of my Place.