to her last
1601-11-30The 30 of November 1601, her Majeſtie being ſet under State in the Councell Chamber at Whitehall, the Speaker, accompanied with Privy Councellours, beſides Knights and Burgeſſes of the lower Houſe to the number of eight-ſcoore, preſenting themſelves at her Majeſties feet, for that ſo graciouſly and ſpeedily ſhee had heard and yeelded to her Sub jects deſires, and proclaimed the ſame in their hearing as followeth.
Wee perceive your comming is to preſent thankes unto Us, Know I accept them with no leſſe joy then your loves can have deſire to offer ſuch a Preſent, and doe more eſteeme it then any Treaſure or Riches, for thoſe Wee know how to prize, but Loyaltie, Love, and Thankes, I account them invaluable; and though God hath rayſed Mee high, yet this I account the glorie of my Crowne, that I have reigned with your Loves. This makes that I doe not ſo much rejoyce that God hath made Mee to bee a A2 Queene 6 A2v Queene, as to bee a Queene over ſo thankefull a People, and to bee the meane under God to conſerve you in ſafety, and preſerve you from danger, yea to bee the Inſtrument to deliver you from diſhonour, from ſhame, and from infamie; to keepe you from out of ſervitude, and from ſlaverie under our Enemies, and cruell tyranny, and vilde oppreſſion intended againſt Us: for the better withſtanding wherof, Wee take very acceptably your intended helpes, and chiefely in that it manifeſteth your loves and largeneſſe of heart to your Soveraigne. Of my ſelfe I muſt ſay this, I never was any greedy ſcraping graſper, nor a ſtrict faſt-holding Prince, nor yet a waſter, My heart was never ſet upon any worldly goods, but onely for my Subjects good. What you doe beſtow on Me, I will not hoard up, but receive it to beſtow on you againe; yea Mine owne Properties I account yours to bee expended for your good, and your eyes ſhall ſee the beſtowing of it for your wellfare.
Mr. Speaker, I would wiſh you and the reſt to ſtand up, for I feare I ſhall yet trouble you with longer ſpeech.
Mr. Speaker, you give me thankes, but I am to thanke you, and I charge you, thanke them of the Lower-Houſe from Me, for had I not received knowledge from you, I might a fallen into lapſe of an Error, onely for want of true information.
Since I was Queene yet did I never put My Pen 7 A3r Pen to any Grant but upon pretext and ſemblance made Me, that it was for the good an d availe of my Subjects generally, though a private profit to ſome of my ancient Servants who have deſerved well: But that my Grants ſhall bee made Grievances to my People, and Oppreſſions, to bee priviledged under colour of Our Pattents, Our Princely Dignitie ſhall not ſuffer it.
When I heard it, I could give no reſt unto my thoughts untill I had reformed it, ; thoſe Varlets, lewd perſons, abuſers of my bountie, ſhall know I wil not ſuffer it. And Mr. Speaker, tell the Houſe from mee, I take it exceeding gratefull, that the knowledge of theſe things are come unto me from them. And though amongſt them the principall Members are ſuch as are not touched in private, and therefore need not ſpeake from any feeling of the griefe, yet We have heard that other Gentlemen alſo of the Houſe, who ſtand as free, have ſpoken as freely in it; which gives Us to know that no reſpects or intreſts have moved them other then the mindes they beare to ſuffer no diminution of our Honour, and our Subjects love unto Us. The zeale of which affection tending to eaſe my People, ;knit their hearts unto us, I embrace with a Princely care farre above all earthly Treaſures. I eſteeme my Peoples love, more then which I deſire not to merit: And God that gave me here to fit, and placed mee over you, knowes that I never reſpectedA3 ſpected 8 A3v ſpected my ſelfe, but as your good was conſerved in mee; yet what dangers, what practiſes, and what perills I have paſſed, ſome, if not all of you know: but none of theſe things doe moove mee, or ever made mee feare, but it is God that hath delivered me.
And in my governing this Land, I have ever ſet the laſt Judgement day before mine eyes, and ſo to rule, as I ſhall be Judged and anſwer before a higher Judge, to whose Judgement Seat I doe appeale in that never thought was cheriſhed in my heart that tended not to my Peoples good.
And if my Princely bountie have beene abuſed, and my Grants turned to the hurt of my People contrary to my will and meaning, or if any in Authoritie under mee have neglected, or converted what I have committed unto them, I hope God will not lay their culps to my charge.
To be a King, and weare a Crown, is a thing more glorious to them that ſee it, then it is pleaſant to them that beare it: for my ſelfe, I never was ſo much inticed with the glorious name of a King, or the royall authoritie of a Queene, as delighted that God hath made me His Inſtrument to maintaine His Truth and Glorie, and to defend this Kingdome from diſhonour, dammage, tyrannie, and oppreſſion. But ſhould I aſcribe any of theſe things unto my ſelfe, or my ſexly weakneſſe, I were not worthy to live, and of all moſt unworthy of 9 A4r of the mercies I have received at Gods hands but to God onely and wholly all is given and aſcribed.
The cares and trouble of a Crowne I cannot more fitly reſemble then to the Drugges of a learned Phyſitian, perfumed with ſome Aromaticall favour, or to bitter Pils guilded over, by which they are made more exceptable or leſſe offenſive, which indeed are bitter and unpleaſant to take; and for my owne part, were it not for Conſcience ſake to diſcharge the dutie that God hath layd upon me, and to maintaine his glorie, and keepe you in ſafetie, in mine owne diſpoſition I should be willing to reſigne the place I hold to any other, and glad to be freed of the Glory with the Labors, for it is not my deſire to live nor to reign longer then my life and reigne ſhall bee for your good. And though you have had and may have many mightier and wiſer Princesſitting in this Seat, yet you never had nor ſhall have any that will love you better.
Thus Mr.Speaker, I commend mee to your loyall Loves, and yours to my beſt care and your further Councels, ; I pray you Mr. Controller, ; Mr. Secretary, and you of my Councell, that before theſe Gentlemen depart into their Countreys you bring them all to kiſſe my Hand.