rowed of Argus, so to give unto him a prospective sight, and for the rest of his sensitive virtues, his predecessor Walsingham had left him a receipt to smell out what was done in the conclave; and his good old father was so well seen in the mathematics, as that he could tell you throughout all Spain, every part, every ship with their burdens, whither bound with preparation, what impediments for diversion, of enterprises, councils, and resolutions; and that we may see, as in a little map, how docible this little man was, * I will present a taste of his abilities. My Lord of Devonshire, † upon the certainty the Spaniard would invade

* Cecill, Earl of Salisbury, was hunch-backed and deformed. King James, in his childish jargon, used to call him his little beagle, from the acuteness with which he could run the scent of policy.

+i. e. Lord Mountjoy, whom Naunton here calls by his last and highest title, Earl of Devonshire. The letter from Cecill was probably dated in 1600; for in September 1601, according to his prediction, the Spaniards actually invaded Ireland, and garrisoned Kinsale, agreeable to the intelligence which Cecill had procured.

Ireland with a strong army, had written very earnestly to the Queen and the council, for such supplies to be timely sent over, that might enable him to march up to the Spaniard if he did land, and follow on his prosecution against the rebels. Sir Robert Cecill, besides the general dispatch of the council, as he often did, wrote this in private, for these two began then to love dearly.


My Lord, out of the abundance of my affection, and the care I have of your well doing, I must in private put you out of doubt, for of fear I know you cannot be otherwise than in the way of honour, that the Spaniard will not come unto you this year, for I have it from my own, what preparations are in all his parts, and what he can do; for be confident, he beareth up a reputation by seeming to embrace more than he can gripe: but the next year, be assured, he will cast over unto you some forlorn hopes, which how they may be reinforced beyond his present ability, and his

first intention, I cannot, as yet, make any certain judgment; but I believe out of my intelligence, that you may expect their landing in Munster, and the more to distract you in several places, as at King'ssail, Beer-haven, Baltimore, where you may be sure, coming from sea, they will first fortify and learn the strength of the rebels before they dare take the field; howsoever, as I know you will not, lessen not your care, neither your defences, and whatsoever lies within my power to do you and the public service, rest thereof assured."

And to this I would add much more ; but it may, as it is, suffice to present much, as his abilities in the pen, that he was his crafts master in foreign intelligence; and for domestic affairs, as he was one of those that sat at the stern to the last of the Queen, so was he none of the least in skill, and in the true use of the compass; and so I shall only vindicate the scandal of his death, and conclude him, for he departed at Saint Margarets, near

Marlborough, in his return from the bath, as my Lord Viscount Cranborn, my Lord Clifford, his son, and son-in-law, myself, and many more can witness; but that the day before he swooned in the way, was taken out of the litter, and laid into his coach, was a truth, out of which that falsehood, concerning the manner of his death, had its derivation, though nothing to the purpose, or to the prejudice of his worth.*

* Weldon, Osborne, and other scandalous authors, have averred, that the Earl of Salisbury died of the · morbus pediculosus, and expired in the open air on Salisbury plain. But in truth he died in Mr Daniel's house, near Marlborough. His chaplain, Dr Bowles, has left a minute account of his illness and death, printed in Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, Vol. I.


Sir Francis Vere was of the ancient and the most noble extract of the Earls of Oxford; and it may be a question, whether the nobility of his house, or the honour of his atchievements, might most commend him, but that we have an authentic rule to de'cide the doubt:

Nam genus et proavos, et quæ non fecimus ipsi,
Vix ea nostra voco.

For though he were an honourable slip of that ancient tree of nobility, which

* Sir Francis Vere, nephew of John Vere, fifteenth Earl of Oxford, was an English commander in service of the States of Holland; Elizabeth herself pitched upon him as the fittest person to be governor of Brill, when it was mortgaged to the Queen. He was greatly distinguished by his exploits in the Low-Country wars.

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