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Picture of Queen Elizabeth on her throne. The Illustrious and most Renowned Princeſse Elizabeth late Queene of England

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The
History
of the

Moſt Renowned and Victorious
Princess
Elizabeth
,
Late Queen of England;

Containing
All the moſt Important and Remarkable Paſſages of
State, both at Home and Abroad (ſo far as they
were linked with Engliſh Affairs) during her
Long and Proſperous Reign.

Written by William Camden,
Clarenceux King at Arms.

The Fourth Edition,
Reviſed and compared with the Original, whereby many
groſs Faults are amended, ſeveral Periods before omitted are added
in their due places, and the Engliſh Phraſe much altered,
more conſonant to the Mind of the Authour.
With a new Alphabetical Index of all the Principal things contained
in the History.

London,
Printed by M. Fleſher, for R. Bentley at the Poſt-Office
in Covent-Garden. 16881688.

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The Eſtates exhort the Queen to Marriage. When the Aſſembly of Parliament was now to be diſſolved, they all thought good that the Third Eſtate, or Lower Houſe, ſhould adviſe the Queen to marry betimes: yet would not the Temporal Lords joyn with them, leſt any of them might ſeem to propound it in hope to prefer himſelf. Thomas Gargrave therefore, Speaker of the Lower Houſe, with ſome few ſelected men, after leave obtained, came unto the Queen, and making his excuſe by his Office, the Queen’s Courteſie, and the Weightineſs of the matter, went forward to this purpoſe: There is nothing which with more ardent affection we beg of God in our daily prayers, than that our Happineſs hitherto 26 E4v 26 hitherto received by your moſt gratious Government may be perpetuated to the Engliſh Nation unto all eternity, Whilſtin our mind and cogitation we caſt many ways how this may be effected, we can find none at all, unleſs your Majeſty ſhould either reign for ever, (which to hope for is not lawfull;) or elſe by Marriage bring forth Children, Heirs both of their Mother’s Vertue and Empire, (which God Almighty grant.) This is the ſingle, the onely, the all-comprehending Prayer of all Engliſh-men. All other men, of what place and degree ſoever, but eſpecially Princes, muſt have a care, that though themſelves be mortal, yet the Commonwealth may continue immortal. This immortality may your Majeſty give to the Engliſh, if (as your humane nature, Age, Beauty and Fortune do require,) you will take ſome man to your Husband, who may be a Comfort and Help unto you, and a Conſort in Proſperity and Adverſity. For (queſtionleſs) more availeth the Help of one onely Husband for the effecting of matters, than the joynt Induſtry of many men. Nothing can be more contrary to the publick Reſpects, than that ſuch a Princeſs, in whoſe Marriage is comprehended the Safety and Peace of the Commonwealth, ſhould live unmarried, and as it were a Veſtal Virgin. A Kingdom received from Anceſtours is to be left to Children, who will be both an Ornament and Strength to the Realm. The Kings of England have never been more carefull of any thing, than that the Royal Family might not fail of Iſſue. Hence it was, that within our freſh memory Henry the VII. your Grandfather, provided his Sons Arthur and Henry of Marriage even in their tender years. Hence it was that your Father ſought to procure Mary Queen of Scots to be a Wife for his young Son Prince Edward, then ſcarce eight years old: and very lately your Siſter, Queen Mary, being well in years, married Philip of Spain. If lack of Children uſe to be inflicted by God as a great Puniſhment as well upon Royal as private Families; what and how great a Sin may it be, if the Prince voluntarily pluck it upon himſelf, whereby an infinite heap of Miſeries muſt needs overwhelm the Commonwealth with all Calamities which the mind even dreadeth to remember? Which that it may not come to paſs, not onely we few that are here preſent, but even all England, yea all Engliſh men, do proſtrate our ſelves at your feet, and with humble voice and frequent Sighs do from the bottom of our hearts moſt ſubmiſſively pray and beſeech you. Theſe things ſpake he eloquently and more amply.

Her anſwer. She anſwered briefly: In a matter moſt unpleaſing, moſt pleaſing to me is the apparent Good will of you and my People, as proceeding from a very good mind towards me and the Commonwealth. Concerning Marriage, which ye ſo earneſtly move me to, I have been long ſince perſwaded, that I was ſent into this world by God to think and doe thoſe things chiefly which may tend to his Glory. Hereupon have I choſen that kind of life which is moſt 27 F1r 27 moſt free from the troubleſome Cares of this world, that I might attend the Service of God alone. From which if either the tendred Marriages of moſt Potent Princes, or the danger of Death intended againſt me, could have removed me, I had long agone enjoyed the honour of an Husband. And theſe things have I thought upon when I was a private perſon. But now that the publick Care of governing the Kingdom is laid upon me, to draw upon me alſo the Cares of Marriage may ſeem a point of inconſiderate Folly. Yea, to ſatisfie you, I have already joyned my ſelf in Marriage to an Husband, namely, the Kingdom of England. And behold (ſaid ſhe, which I marvell ye have forgotten,) the Pledge of this my Wedlock and Marriage with my Kingdom. (And therewith ſhe drew the Ring from her Finger, and ſhewed it, wherewith at her Coronation ſhe had in a ſet form of words ſolemnly given her ſelf in Marriage to her Kingdom.) Here having made a pauſe, And do not (ſaith ſhe) upbraid me with miſerable lack of Children: for every one of you, and as many as are Engliſhmen, are Children and Kinſmen to me; of whom if God deprive me not, (which God forbid) I cannot without injury be accounted Barren. But I commend you that ye have not appointed me an Husband, for that were moſt unworthy the Majeſty of an abſolute Princeſs, and unbeſeeming your Wiſedom, which are Subjects born. Nevertheleſs if it pleaſe God that I enter into another courſe of life, I promiſe you I will doe nothing which may be prejudicial to the Commonwealth, but will take ſuch a Huſband, as near as may be, as will have as great a Care of the Commonwealth as my ſelf. But if I continue in this kind of life I have begun, I doubt not but God will ſo direct mine own and your Counſels, that ye ſhall not need to doubt of a Succeſſour which may be more beneficial to the Commonwealth than he which may be born of me, conſidering that the Iſſue of the beſt Princes many times degenerateth. And to me it ſhall be a full ſatisfaction, both for the memorial of my Name, and for my Glory alſo, if when I ſhall let my laſt breath, it be ingraven upon my Marble Tomb, Here lieth Elizabeth, which Reigned a Virgin, and died a Virgin.

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