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The purpose of these gallants qui pascuntur scelere [who feed upon crime] was to feast their eyes with the sight of our dead carcasses. For since they were no doves, but ravens, the lesse wonder that they did sequi cadavera [pursue corpses]. But now by Gods Providence it comes to passe that their lims feed the foules of the aire, unlesse the curse of God, the putrification of sinne, and horror of the fact, moove all the creatures of God to loath and abhoore to looke upon them.
The same slie serpent that seduced Eve (by the deceitfull bait of understanding good and evill) to transgresse, induced some of these (I doubt not) to undertake more gallantly upon hope to be reputed holy angels in this life (in case their enterprise succeeded happily), or martyrs in the next, if it fell out otherwise. But by evident confession it appears that the very night wherein the powder should have wrought the desperate effect, either the light of reason, the horror of vexation, or the power of revelation presented to Robert Winter in a dreame the faces of his chiefe friends, and the highest traitors that should have acted execution upon the bloody stage in such a gastly and ougly figure, more like to that malus genius which appeared unto Brutus the night before his death, or the face of Hector that appeared unto Andromache, or the countenance which they themselves held afterward upon the pinacles of the Parliament, then to that figure of beatitude by which their owne phantasticall conceits and illuding apprehensions were too much flattered. For it is not only true that God, as Job sayes, terret per somnia, affrights by dreames, et per visiones horrorem concutit, and by visions shakes the minde with horror, but beside, this ground out of the Booke of Wisdome can never faile, as I said before, that cum timida sit nequitia dat testimonium condemnationis, wickednesse gives evidence of condemnation because it is timorous, et semper praesumit saeva perturbata conscientia [and a troubled conscience always anticipates savage things].
While the wisest in this wicked packe (upon the discovery made by that worthy Lord of whom I spake before) began to lay their heads together, and in a staggering with great uncertainty what course to take stood with the King of Babylon, as the Prophet sayes, in bivio quaerentes divinationem [in perplexity, seeking for inspiration], some doubting, some securing, some hoping, some despairing, and all setting the cause in such a course, as in the case of Percy their explorator [scout] (that was let out like a raven, and sent as a spy to discry by the best inducement hee could finde, whether the State tooke hold of their discoveries or not) brought backe ill newes, a ship might bee prepared on the sudden for the transport of this packe, God dazelled their eyes with so darke a miste of errour and perplexitie as they could not finde the right way to get out of the wood. And their prophet Percy by securing doubts at his returne, inspired new life into dead hopes that the project for speedy rigging of a ship was carelessly cast off, and error left to make full satisfaction by suffering. For God that caused the first vessell to be built by Noah for the saving of those eight faithfull, pure and selected soules that should with time renew that world, which sinne had drowned in the deepes of despaire, would not permit that any other of that mould or fabricke should preserve these eight unfaithful, unpure, and detested soules whose end was to destroy this microcosmos of our English orbe, which hath bene so strongly, so often, and so powerfully protected under the wings of His tendernesse.
As Joab killed Abner when he gave him the stabbe, Jesabel proclaimed a fast when shee cutte Nabothes throate, and Judas kissed our Saviour when his end was only to betray Him to the Pharises, so Percie, the right limbe of Lucifer, pretended with a colour of devotion to kisse time image of the Blessed Virgin after he had plighted faith and promise to his complices, by blowing up the bodie of the State to destroy the King, who is indeede the sacred image of the eternall Sonne. But God, Whose wholy purpose was to publish to the world how farre His blessed Mother is from countenancing and protecting traitors, that by opposing to His deputie revolt from Him, branded this act of hypocrisie with so palpable a mark for an admonition everlasting to well meaning souls, that are often times surprised in their weakenesse by false seeming shewes of pietie when the practises are foule, as on that very Feast of the Blessed Virgin (whose picture Percie did so embrace) which shall set forth to the worlds end the memory of Christs incarnation, whom the traitors would have wounded through the side of his lieutenant in the seate of majestie, an Act did passe in Parliament for the blowing up of these monsters and their hopes, that by an act which never had the voice of any member of the Parliament would have blowen up both Houses.
To your owne drift and purpose, Master Garnet, in recommending that ancient hymne used on the Day of All Saints,
Gentem auferte perfidam
Credentium de finibus
for a speedie dispatch of many innocents, that God, Which converts both the labours and the prayers of the wicked into sinne, and reflecteth execrations of infidelity upon the heads of those that execrate and curse without just ground, gave satisfaction, though in a contrary element, purging the present State of Catesby, Percie, and their complices, which may truely bee reckoned and reputed above all men that ever were gens perfidissima [a most treacherous race], transcending all proportions either of precedent or future immanitie [monstrousness]. As for your fervencie in swearing and forswearing manifest untruethes, and such as you were forced afterwardes to confesse with a blushing countenance, it proceeded, as I think, from a reverent regard to shadow great faults, which breaking out of Chaos into light, might cast scandale, as you thought, upon your whole societie. And this, I gather, evidently aswell out of your owne speeches as out of your request that the censure of your weakenesse might determine personally, within the compasse of your fault. But we receive a farther benefit thereby in distinguishing betweene the protestations of plaine dealers and of those that are taught to aequivocate, to make those that pronounce verbally when they renounce mentally, and those that in point of facte are not ranged unto the rules of faith, and the civill lawes have resolved, both justly and judicially, that construction ought ever to bee made against the partie that comes masked to the barre and speakes ambiguously upon advauntage, when he should speake plainely for satisfaction.
I dare undertake, it was certainely conceived by you, Master Garnet, and by Master Hall your fellow prisoner both in profession and bands, that if by any accident you might conferre but halfe an houre after you had passed the file of their examinations, that had both you and your cause in hand, the lippes of scandale would have bin sealed and shut up so close as nothing might evaporate to emblemish oaths, since the Lords of the Commission, forbearing torture, dealt so tenderly. And thereupon you found a secret vent of whispering betweene two doores, but with no better proofe by this adventure then by the rest. For your former reservednesse, being now encouraged and urged by the spurre of opportunitie, became so confident in running beyond it selfe through the chiefe points whereof the State was most eager and desirous to take certaine notice at that time, as they that could not reape might gleane, and many shifts and subtill traverses were overwrought by this occasion, which could not bee extracted out of your brest either by intreaty or industry.
By writing to the Pope in a Christian and humble maner for the tempering and cooling of hotte humors of some giddie headed Catholikes by his Apostolike authoritie, lest they might cause distemper in the State, caried in appearance a great likelyhood of that obedience and patience which the Word of God enjoynes, and was accordingly divulged both by you, Master Garnet, and many others of your suite for the satisfaction of their conceits that were suspitious of your plaine faith. But many grewe to feare by the forewarnings which Watson left before his death, that this was but a visard of invention to dazell trust. And most grew suspitious of a mischiefe imminent, though they knew not what it was. The world heard rumors of a feate to bee wrought for the Catholiks in Parliament, though they could not understande the meane, and experience hath taught the ground of his submissive letter to the Pope, after the bestowing of all the barrells among the piles of wood, to have onely proceeded out of feare that such another hot alarme as arose in Wales might awake those eyes of Argos that were brought into so sweet a slumber by the pipe of Mercurie, and put all vises and devises out of frame that were to worke with leisure, silence, and repose in the great hellish enterprise.
Thus God. entending mercifully the prosperous and happy defeate of Achitophels devise, was content that the first contrivers should put it to the highest proofe, that upon discovery the practise might bee more cleare, the State more secure, and the fault more inexcusable. For homo inimicus, the envious man, sowes his tares so sliely and secretly at the first, as the eye of observation cannot reach to the depth of fraude, but like bastard slippes, the higher they grow, the more evidently they discover the true parents impietie.
Grenewell. desiring more the good success of this invention then the planting of the Romane faith, enjoyned Bates in the secret of Confession to reveale the purpose to no priest, so jelous and suspitious he was (in respect of the mayne) both of weakenesse and error in his owne consort, and you, Master Garnet, no lesse provident in those things which concerned your owne safetie or reputation, or as is said by one spitefull alike with you,
forbade Greenewell to give the least inckling to Catesby of your privitie to the proceeding, though you were made acquainted with the matter in generalitie. And more, when you were assured of a likelyhood of good successe by Catesbies own encouragement (so much wiser are the children of this world that doe rather sapere quae sunt carnis [smack of the carnal] then sentire quae sunt spiritus [perceive that of the spirit], as Paul forewarnes, then the children of light, but this onely in their owne generation), you were so carefull out of feare to be surprised with a lie (as the wicked judges were by Daniel upon the question sub qua arbore, under what tree), and that your confessions might be consonant, that the quintessence of with sublimed to the highest poynt could not worke more precisely and more punctually for prevention of discovery by orderly digestion of all occasions or directions then you did by this preparative. But against the stroke of providence all counter-practises are vaine, for dies die eructat verbum, et nox nocti indicat scientiam [day casts forth word to day, and night gives knowledge to night], as may appeare by that nubes testium, that cloud of witnesses, which turning into a Scottish myste hath not onely wette both your selfe and your fellowes to the skinne, but beside made all their shamefull parts so manifest (even to vulgar eyes that were to acte upon the bloody stage), as the priests themselves appeaching one another and falling out to bee suorum flagitiorum proditores [betrayers of their own misdeeds], were as much deceived in the theoricke of trust as the lay disciples were in the practike of conspiracie. For it is no lesse strange then true that the powerfull God (which by His Word assureth us that the birds of heaven shall bring those projects and inventions to light that are contrived in the secret thought or privy cabinet of any wicked and false hearted subject against the King) hath so fitted and prepared instruments of overture as the mysteries which passed in Confession betweene the priests themselves (reveiled by themselves), come this day and this renowmed place to be scanned and censured.
I will now shut up this audite of demonstrations by which we descry Gods anger (working almost miraculously in the transmutation of substances and change of properties for accomplishment of his owne just ends) with the highest object of your wicked ayme, which was the destruction of the most jus learned, bountifull, temperate and tender hearted King (I may speake it on my conscience without base flattery) that ever was rancked either in the English or the Scottish register. His right, his heart, his tongue hath wished happinesse and brought securitie to this State, which if you and your confederats disdaine or wilfully reject, his owne good wishes shall returne to himselfe, and the dust of those harmelesse feet, that never were veloces ad effudendum sanguinem, swift or hasty to shed blood, shall raise a cloud betweene you and that eternall Judge in the dreadfull day to plague your ingratitude. For what is the fault (in the name of God) that can offend the most precise and captious conceits (excepting conscience, for which he must neither account to Bruno or Ignatius, but to God alone), wherein the King may bee said to have cast dust in their eyes, that were most violent and diligent in preparing fuell, and making fire for the sacrificing of a lamb whose innocent blood, like that of Abel, would have cried for vengeance in the eare of God against the cursed crew of all the conspirators, if their successe had bin fortunate.
By the way, I cannot cease to wonder at the providence and piety of this thrise happy King, this pacator orbis [pacifier of the world] (the reall attribute of Constantine), who seeketh to establish the throne of his dominion in power, neither with the three feete of Apollos stoole at Delphos, which his owne interpreters have understood of nimblenesse, observation, and subtiltie, nor onely with the lyons and lyons whelps that garnished the six steps ascending to the chaire of Solomon, to stir up magnanimitie both in yong and old, but according the rules and ancient prescripts of our English government, with the three piles of conscience, honor, and the peoples love, and that so stedfastly as the sonnes of Belial have neither hope nor possibilitie of compassing their owne desires without cutting off these three, that is, bishops, Peere, and Commons at one blow, ut cespes unus et regem nostrum et rempublicam tegeret [that one turf might cover our King and commonwealth]. For to men of uncertaine witts and aymes, it happens often in experience that by the least swarving either of the eye of judgement or the hand of use, in stead of the white of ambition they hit point blancke the marke of execution. Therefore no man shalbe able to avow either in the present or the future time that they which sit as judges in this case of execrable treason wash their handes with Pilate in hypocisie, when you and your confederats that stand forth to be tried cannot wash your owne hands with the Prophet David inter innocentes, among those that are innocent.
Princes use not to taste offers without assayes. We cannot admit your obstinacy in refusing to pledge the health of this whole estate. And no man knowes better (Master Garnet) then your selfe by what writ true men are warranted in poculo quod nobis miscuistis miscere vobis duplum, to give you double measure of the draught which you had prepared for the States destruction, when your purpose was (if courses had suited to your wish) that it should begin from them. By this it appears that virtutis cursus [virtue’s course] (if that were in you which the world did imagine) was celerior quam aetatis [swifter than that of your life], that your life hath overrunne your loyalty.
It is hard for a man so many wayes engaged to a prince, and for so many favours as my selfe, to cut evenly between affection and trueth, or to provide so tenderly by preoccupation as no spider may sucke poyson out of a rose. But iacta est alea [the die is cast], and therefore since it is neither my delight to sowe soft pillowes under princes elbowes, nor the Kings desire that his trustie servants and true counsellors should with the glosing Prophets in the dayes of Miche utter placentia potius quam solida [compliant rather than solid], I would onely crave that libertie which is afforded in case of private persons to affections that are most indifferent, which is to present his picture to the eye of observation in true colours and proportions, without swarving too farre on either hand (because he must ever be iniquus diginitatis iudex, qui aut invidet aut nimium favet [a judge unworthy of his dignity, who is either invidious or favors overmuch]), and to wipe away the wrong with hath bin done to him (and hereafter may by false aspersions from the pensils of prejudicate conceite), awake my spirits in discharge of duetie, beside obligations of grace, to raise my compasse thus high at the least, and to lend my strongest armes and best endevors to the just defence of a most just and worthy King, furiously and unjustly set upon. What spirit moved you and yours (Master Garnet) to dissolve the quiet of a State that never conceived you in her wombe, with a purpose that (like the broode of vipers) you should make your issue into life by eating out the bowels of the damme that gave you both creation and nourishment? For it could not be but the common wealth in ipsa vindicata libertatis, as yours termed it, esset peritura [in the very vindication of liberty was destined to perish], when Catesby and his desperate rout meant not subigere nostram urbem [to make our city subject], as the Athenian orator saith of Philip, sed funditus evertere [but utterly to overthrow it], well knowing that those that escaped to be slaves neque voluerunt esse, neque potuerunt [neither wished to exist, nor were able to]. What ayled you to mine into the strongest fort of your deare countrey men, who living by the temper of the Kings affections under Libra, that is as much as under the golden line of justice, moderation, and grace, can hardly judge out of their owne affection whether the nights or the dayes passe over their heads more happily. For neither is it possible at this day for Virgo that barren signe to endanger us by orbitie [deprivation] or age, nor for Taurus the bull to goare our sides with anticipation, nor for Scorpio to sting us in the heart, nor for Sagittarius to wound us in the reines, nor Aries the Romane engine to butte with his offensive head at the walles of our high court of Parliament. Tempestas abiit, et ecce nova facta sunt omnia [The storm has departed and behold, everything has been made new].
At His Majesties first entrance he found us embroyled and greatly weakened by the deepely festered long running ulcer of a lasting warre. What was the cure? A beame of wisedome seasonably derived from the practise and experience of the wisest king that ever was, to conclude a peace cum omnibus nationibus in circuitu [with all the nations round about], that every faithfull subject might enjoy the shade of his owne fig tree and the fruit of his own vine from Dan to Beersheba. I doe easily beleeve, Master Garnet, that this course was nothing agreeable to your affections and endes, that sought a greater gaine by fishing in streames that were more troubled, and sitting on a bare bough like the raven with the lion and the leopard came forth to fight, began bravely to sound a poynt of warre, in hope that whether of both those had the worst, one should serve for a pray to him to feede upon. And, with the wicked crew in Lucan, your prayer was,
but were of another minde and hope to make you pine a good while longer at the calmes of our repose, before you put us into these distempers that have made your owne best friends and fairest fortunes absolutely desperate, to whom so farre as in modestie you could aske, I may say with Paterculus, quod tumultuando adipisci petiistis, quiete obtulisset respublica [what you seek to gain by creating turmoil, the republic could have acquire in peace]. Peace is the marke whereat the Holy Ghost would have all religious affections to ayme. It is the rasor that cuts the throat of crying sinnes. It is the good angel that drives horror out of the conscience of every Christian, when death threatens to arrest. It is the chiefest badge by which our Saviour would have His true disciples knowen from hypocrites. And it is both the richest and the last jewell which, departing hence to His Father, He left to his spouse the Church for a legacie. And therefore our prayer by opposition to your exorcisme must be thus,
But how long is it, I pray you Master Garnet, since the heart of every faithfull subject in this kingdome was ready to breake with a fearefull contemplation of those rockes upon which the vessels of all fortunes both publique and particular were likely to have runne, at what time soever Debora was to walke the wayes of all flesh, and to be layed up to rest in the grave of her ancestors, for want of a certainely designed successor upon whom Israel might onely fixe their eyes, both for satisfaction in conscience and infallible direction to loyaltie? In those dayes the State was charged by all your pennes and pamphlets with an uncivill, or rather an unchristian facilitie in flattering the present time, with perill to the time to come, in preferring humors personall before reall plagues, and in setling the whole weight of this State upon the staffe of age, with no lesse confidence then if it had bene a pole of eternitie. You could then insinuate for the kindling of unduetifull affections at home how deepely both the Queene should be charged in another day for setting the kingdoms rest upon the weake cards of her owne particular respects, and others for enclining so much out of awe to the predominance of time, as without the worke of Gods powerfull hand their feare might have bin the cause of the States overthrow. Nothing was then more rife in the mouthes of many Catholikes then the wrong that was done to the true and lawfull issue of that worthy Queene, who (in stead of digging up a turfe according to the manner) made her grave an entire in her sons behalfe to the title of these crownes, as if shee should have said with the Conqueror when he tooke a fall at his first landing, terram capio [I take this land]. By laying downe her life she tooke a formall livery and season [leagl possession] for her sonne, her life, I say, more precious then either my minde is able to apprehend, or my pen to deliver.
Give mee leave therefore to enquire of you, in the phrase of Paul, and rather with true zeale then detracting spleene, o insensati Galatae, quis vos suscitivat non obedire veritati?, o you sencelesse Galathians, who hath (since that) stirred up your passions against obedience to trueth, and mooved you in this maner to abhorre the most cordial receipts for cure of inveterate infirmities, as if they were compounded of coliquintida [quinine?], which in hatred of time past you onely sought, as your onely restoratives? For though every man that had in his head either halfe a dramme of discretion or the least scruple of commonsense knew very well what should be come of those which in the day of demonstration durst protest with Seba the sonne of Beleal by sound of trumpet, nullam sibi esse partem in David, neque haereditatem in filio Iesse, that since they had neither part in David nor inheritance on the sonne of Jesse, it were free to Israel to returne to their pavillions. Yet I must confesse that the wiser sort in omnem eventum [in every event] (to make the foundation more sure) would have purchased the publicke satisfaction in this degree at an excessive rate, which was suppressed by the strength of law, and overcast with a cloude of suspition. We are not ignorant of those dayes, Master Garnet, how many did expect, with Esau, diem luctus [a day of grieving] for opportunitie of revenge. Wee knewe both in what maner, and by what meanes, some heavie bodies and more heavie spirits were in hope to raise themselves like busterds in fallow fieldes vi turbinis, by the strength of whirlewinde, to that height which ambition (voyde of due consideration) did foolishly affect.
It is evident that Ismael would have been Ishaks play-fellow, and every day more arguments were brought to light of a strong desire in many minds, that Eteocles and Polynices might make partition of their inheritance acuto ferro, with a sharpe cutting sword. But, as Paterculus reports of the securitie of the Romane Empire, otherwise then was expected, after the death of Augustus, we felt not so much as a quivering of that commonwealth, of whose ruine we stood in so great scare, tanta fuit unius viri maiestas, ut nec bonis neque contra malos opus armis foret, for so great was the majestie of one man that not so much as those that were duetifull needed weapons against those that were traiterous, for whatever he protected was safe, and whatsoever he rejected did onely perish.
And thankes be given to God, we are now so thoroughly secured from forren grones and pining feares by these sweete olive buds which environed the mercie-seat, as Dolman may in deed dolere, that by no kind of instrument he can dolare, that is, boarde or wimble into this glorious and gracefull stocke, wherein he would innoculate the griefes of his stinging grievances.
Againe it cannot be denied that the state of this strong iland, if it be considered by integritie and union of parts, was in a maner paraliticall (so long as Scotland was divided from this realme of England, as it were, in halfe) by privation aswell of motion as of sense. And by reason of obstructions in divided heads (that stop the free course and passage of the spirits through all and every part and member of the maine from preservation of health and strength), it was like to fall by the least distemper symptomaticall into a dead apoplexie. It was a worke of mercy in our Saviour to cure manum aridam [a withered hand], I meane aridam in respect of the small use to us, though active, strong and powerfull for it selfe. It was an acte of policie in Caesar to shut up the backe doore that let in the Germans to the disturbance and disquiet of those parts in Gaule. And great wisdome it was once in Severus to part those from us with a wall of hostility, whom since a more divine hand hath happily fastened to us in eternall fraternitie. For the Holy Ghost accounteth it a curse to stand alone, because he cannot be sure of his next neighbour to take him up. The branch beares fruit no longer then it continues in the naturall and proper vine, fed with the same sap, strengthened from the same roote, cut and pruined by the same vinctor. Thus England and Scotland are the twinnes of Hippocrates, that must ever laugh and weepe together. They are the Castor and Pollux that must ever rise and set together. They are the two handes of one body naturall and politicke, that ought both to wash one anothers spots, and supply weakenesses. To conclude, they are that cor et cerebrum, that heart and braine so fastened and knit together in harmony and correspondencies, that without a perfect union of both, it is not possible for the Ile of Britaine to move with power, to feele with tendernesse, or to breath in securitie.
Our ancestors desired to have seene this happy day (I will not say as Abraham desired the days of Christ, least the comparison might perhaps seeme over bold, but yet as they that live under the pole desire to see the sunne which is familiar) as may appeare by treaties betweene princes in the times of some of our wisest Kings, as the Third and Seventh Henries, and againe by the continuance of that earnest instance of the Eight for a match betweene the yong Queene Mary and Prince Edward his eldest sonne, upon easie conditions. The lets [obstructions] in former times proceeded in part from the practise of forraine potentates, envying the greatnesse of united crownes, and in part from the flawes of domestick factions within the bodies of both kingdomes, neglecting the benefit of opportunitie thus offered upon the light impressions of private feares. God Himselfe bestowed this union betweene the realmes of Israel and Juda (severed much after the same measure and proportion that ours have bene so long) as the strongest pledge of favour, and the richest blessing of eternall bounty that His loving kindeness could conferre upon both States, ut esset rex unus omnibus imperans, ut non essent ultra duae gentes, nec dividerentur amplius in duo regna, that there might be but one King to raigne indifferently over all, that they might no longer be reputed two nations, and with a further condition, that from that time forward they should be no more divided into two monarchies.
Many motives of encouragement have bene propounded, many satisfactions to jealousie have bene tendered, many instruments of excellent advantage have bene set on works in former times, but to small effect so long as wisdome rather debated then right determined, and besides, for that nondum tempus a somno surgere [time had not yet awakened from its sleep], but in our age that is plenitudo temporis, that full period of time wherein so many working causes and enducements draw to one conclusion of equality in happinesse in both estates, as unlesse we will embase what our ancestors with lesse advantage did improve, disable what they did admire, reject what they did recommend, and in sort repell the grace of God which knocketh at our doore, wee must acknowledge non fecisse Deum taliter omni nationi, that God hath not dealt thus with every nation. For our rex pacificus, or deliciae Britannae gentis [darling of the British nation], our leo rubens [red lion] (which, according to Merlines prediction, was to hold in one paw the battlements of new Troy, in an other sylvam Caledoniam [the Caledonian forest], which can levell in common sense at no other prince that welded the scepter of this State before) hath by Gods blessed providence aswell united the parts of England, Scotland and Ireland in one body of dominion, as the lines of Edgar, Fergus, the Conqueror, Mac Morragh, and Cadwalader in one center of conjunction, and thereby compounded out of many waters that margaritam pretiosam [precious pearl] for the compassing whereof, rather then it should escape our hands, we ought to purchase it at as high rate as the wise merchant did that other in S. Luke, qui inventa una pretiosa margarita abiit et vendidit omnia quae habuit ut emeret eam, having found one precious pearle among the rest, went and sold all that he possessed in the world beside, to purchase it.
I resemble the rare object of the King our masters ayme (in seeking to unite and knit together all his subjects affections, scopes and endevours nodo indissolubili [with an indissoluble knot] to this end chiefely, that it may not rest hereafter in the power of flesh to seaver what hath been conjoyned by the hand of grace) rather margaretae then to any other jewel of great price, because her name was Margaret by whom his Majestie derives his lineall descent by just title of the Saxon kings. Her name was Margaret, that being eldest daughter to King Henry the Seventh, invested in the blood of our deere soveraigne King James the most absolutely and radically united interest of the two renowmed families of Yorke and Lancaster. Wherein we are to note ex abundante that at the point prefixed of one hundred yeeres, in which this worthie Princesse was conveied by a luckie match for this renowmed iland to her husband James the Fourth, her roiall offspring James the Sixt our matchles soveraigne made his happy entrance into the possession of all these crownes with a cheereful iubile. I would be glad for my private comfort, and in grateful duetie to the gratious bountie of this blessed line (if it be lawfull to intermingle corpus opacum [a dark body] with so many glorious aspects [celestial bodies]), in a light touch to record and view the revolutions and fortunes of my owne family. For as the Duke of Norfolke was a forward minister in attending this great Princesse (by the wise Kings direction) to the full accomplishing of the nuptial solemnity, so his heire in the third degree, by misconstruction of humble thoughts and wittie workmanship upon weake suspition, was drawen into the losse of both life and state, for gasing too much upon the gleames of this rising glory. And our royall soveraigne (the true and lawfull heire of that peereless Margaret on whom the service did attend), reserved by destinie to restore the honor of that fading house, which was overcast with a cloud of scorne, and is it were to lay new earth to the root of that saplesse tree whose leaves were fallen, and the fairest branches withered. Of my selfe on whom it hath pleased my most gratious master and deere soveraigne to cast more favour then either sub spe [in hope] I could merite, or in re [in fact] I can utter, this onely shalbe said in acknowledgement of favour and administration of grace,
Ultimus hic ego sum qui quam bene, quam male, nolo
Dicere. Qui me iudicet alter erit.
[I am the last to wish to say anything good or bad about myself. It will be another man who judges me.]
The name of the late olde Countesse of Lenox was also Margaret, by whom as daughter to the Queene of Scotland, by an Earle of Angus in a second match, the yonger branch of that princely line was thoroughly incorporate into the person of the King on his fathers side for a stronger union, if it were possible, both of blood and interest, and for a double ornament to his royall progenie. She was no Margaret, I confesse, but a worthy Marie that in the last descent covered fermentum acceptum, the leaven which she had received by descent into three kingdomes, as the discreete woman in the Gospel did her owne, into three lumpes of dough, till by her blessed issue, founder of our perpetuall quiet, they might bee all thoroughly and completely leavened.
Now to draw to the conclusion, which is the knot of these united endes, that is the worthy soveraigne, to whome,
that you and your disciples, Master Garnet, in reward of so great merite of this island were so hastie to blow up by your Powder-Plots into a higher region then that wherein his throne was by God established, together with those very walles, which, as I finde by ancient record, were first by the holy Confessor S. Edward raysed, of whose familie His Majestie descendes, that one King might be buried, and the chiefe of his race destroyed within the compasse of one monument. But howsoever Master Garnet was willing to forget that this place was once sanctified for a refuge and retrait to all sortes of persons in distresse by His owne Canons, yet God that would not destroy Juda for His servant Davids sake, His providence in like sort purposing to continue the pietie of that blessed King in this fairest branch of his descent, the justice of that divine majestie holding it an acte of atheisme to cast tot margaritas porcis, so many pearles to swine, or sanctum canibus, that which is holy to dogs, bounded the malice of these gracelesse impes within so narrow straights, as it rested not in their power by the murther of our King to staine the Confessors walles with his owne blood, or under the visard of S. Edwardes profession to extirpe the rootes of S. Edwards posteritie. For in the Proverbes wee are certainely assured that domus iustorum permanebit, the house or generation of the just shall continue. But it falles out in a better consequence that the skull of faithlesse Percie should stand sentinel where he was once captaine pioner, and Lambeth should now be Catesbyes horizon, that was his arsenall. And their giddie pates are left tanquam malus navis, like the mast of a ship, to use the Prophets phrase, to warne passengers by what just disaster these routing pyrates came to their unhappy end, especially for seeking the Golden Fleece, not by Jasons merit, but by Medaeas sorcery.
To conclude, we may learne of the wise man that there can be neither wisdome nor counsell against God. The ribbes of a crazed [cracked] vessell are too weake to bruse the rocke which they rush upon. Wee spurre asses to no purpose, when Gods angel is ad oppositum. Jacob, having shrunke a sinewe, halted all the dayes of his life after he wrestled so long and to so litle purpose with God Omnipotent. Men are sure to gaine no more then their owne smart, that kick against the thorne. In such attempts it is neither in him that willes, nor in him that runnes, but in God that shewes mercy to those that direct themselves according to discipline. For sortes mittuntur in sinum, the lots are cast into the lap, but it is God that disposeth the lottery. Though your purpose were all one with Achab and Jezabell in seeking to cut the throat of Naboth for his ground, though you gave out your himne before this holy acte, as they proclaimed a religious fast, though you made your selves sicke (as Achab did) with anguish and vexation because you could not have your wills, yet since you could neither occidere nor possidere [kill or possess], your lucke was worse then theirs. For by Gods powerfull and preventing grace, you were thrust aswell from all the meanes and advantages of killing whom you hated, as of possessing what you coveted. It were good therefore, that upon so many plaine experiments you would confesse with certaine wanderers in the Booke of Wisdome, lassatos esse vos, that you are wearied and over-laboured in these crooked wayes, and have bene ever since you leaped out of via regia, the Kings high way, which neither leads to dishonour, nor ends in misery. Nothing is more proper materiae, to matter, then to flow (say the philosophers) nisi a forma sistitur, unlesse it be stayed and fixed by the forme, nor any thing more proper to humanitie (according to the rule of trueth) then to erre, if grace direct it not. Mahomet confesseth in his Alchoran that the throne of Christ was raised by patience, his be revenge;l that by miracles, his by tyrannie. The modestie and pietie of Christians afflicted for the point of conscience in the time of Tertullian appeares by the reason which he gives of their abstinence a suffocato et sanguine [by smothering and blood], that is ne quo sanguine contaminarentur, vel intera viscera sepulto, that they might admit no pollution by blood, though it were buried within their bowels.
Pardon me, Master Garnet, thought I doubt whether in the point of conscience alone you would voluntarily and resolutely abide the saw of Esay, the bolts of Jeremy, the gibbet of Peter, the sword of James, or the stoning of S. Stephen, much lesse make a gathering among those of your profession toward the preparing of an humble sacrifice for the life of Nabuchadnezer (as you esteeme the King), that with the rage of a tyger fought for his life, and waxed thus impatient of that soft and easie hand which it pleased him in his gratious compassion and tendernesse, before the late intended tragedie, to hold over you, so that with Seneca you might justly say nihil faelicitati meae deerat nisi moderatio eius [nothing was wanting to my happiness, save its moderation]. Those golden comforts of the Prophets to contrite offenders ought at this time to bee of greater estimation and value in your thoughts then al the treasures of the Vatican. You cannot steere the ship of your crazed conscience more safely in this sharpe storme (which hath bene raised by your selves) then by the counsell of Lactantius, who doeth warrant that to minds truely penitent, optimus portus est mutatio consilii, change of resolution is the best haven and safest harbour. After an humble acknowledgement of a grievous sinne in fratres vestros, against you brethren, with the sonnes of Jacob, and withall that for this cause chiefly tribulation hath taken hold of your highest top, first, yeeld unfained thankes to Almighty God for preventing this destructive project, that would have cast so great a waight of Judgement upon your soule, and for turning your ill purpose to His honour. Then thanke your mercifull and tender hearted King, who seekes not to surprize you suddenly, as Levi did Sichem, quando dolor vulnerum erat gravissimus [when the pain of his wounds was greatest], as you would have dealt with him, and to assault you in the greatest horror and the sharpest torture of your crying sinne, but by imitation of that externall object Whose person he presents, Whose example he regards, agreeably to that record in the Booke of Wisdome, dat tempus et locum per quae potestis mutari a malitia, gives time and place by which you may bee changed from your malice. Crave pardon of the world for leaving such a president to future times of a possibilitie to achieve so desperat an act, which may perchance according to the dispositions and humors of men directly affected, aswell admonere as prohibere, that is, put the world in minde that such a matter may be, as forbid that it be not.
Remember the difference which Theodoret doeth discreetly put betweene suffering and the cause of suffering, betweene torture to force conscience and legal punishments to chastise faults. To conclude my last caution with your last occasion,
because haec vos sapere vel mori iubent [these things bid you be wise or die]. And withall (as Martiall did for Trajan) wish to the best of majestie, to whom you meant the worst of malice,
Then the Lord Chiefe Justice, making a pithy preamble of all the apparent proofes and presumptions of his guiltinesse, gave judgement that he should be drawne, hanged and quartered.
And my Lord of Salisbury demanded if Garnet would say anything else.
Garnet answred, No, my Lord. But I humbly desire your Lordships all to commend my life to the Kings majestie, saying that at his pleasure hee was ready either to die or live, and doe him service.
And so the court arose.
XI. A TRUE RELATION OF ALL SUCH THINGS AS PASSED AT THE EXECUTION OF MASTER GARNET, THE THIRD OF MAY, ANNO 1606
N the third day of May, Garnet, according to his judgement, was executed upon a scaffold set up for that purpose at the west end of Paules Church. At his arise up the scaffold, he stood much amazed (feare and guiltinesse appearing in his face). The Deanes of Paules and Winchester being present, very gravely and Christianly exhorted him to a true and lively faith to God-ward, a free and plaine acknowledgement to the world of his offence, and, if any further treason lay in his knowledge, to unburthen his conscience and shew a sorrow and detestation of it. But Garnet, impatient of perswasions and ill pleased to be exhorted by them, desired them not to trouble him: hee came prepared and was resolved. Then the Recorder of London (who was by His Majestie appointed to be there) asked Garnet if he had any thing to say unto the people before he died. It was no time to dissemble, and now his treasons were too manifest to bee dissembled: therefore, if he would, the world should witnesse what at last he censured of himselfe, and of his fact. It should be free to him to speake what he listed. But Garnet, unwilling take the offer, said his voyce was low, his strength gone, the people could not heare him though he spake to them. But to those about him on the scaffold, he said the intention was wicked, and the fact would have bene cruell, and from his soule he should have abhorred it, had it effected. But he said he onely had a generall knowledge of it by Master Catesby, who in that he disclosed not, nor used meanes to prevent it, herein he had offended. What he knew in particulars was in Confession, as hee said. But the Recorder wished him to be remembred that the Kings majestie had under his hand-writing these foure points among others.
1. That Greenway told him of this, not as a fault, but as a thing which he had intelligence of, and told it him by way of consultation.
2. That Catesby and Greenway came together to him to bee resolved.
3. That Master Tesmond and he had conference of the particulars of the Powder-treason in Essex long after.
4. Greenway had asked him who should be the Protectour, but Garnet said that was to be referred till the blow was past.
These prove your privitie besides Confession, and these are extant under your hand. Garnet answered whatsoever was under his hand was true. And for that he disclosed not to His Majestie the things he knew, he confessed himselfe justly condemned, and for this did aske forgivenesse of His Majestie. Hereupon the Recorder led him to the scaffold to make his confession publique.
Then Garnet said, Good countreymen, I am come hither this blessed day of The Invention of the Holy Crosse to end all my crosses in this life. The cause of my suffering is not unknowen to you. I confesse I have offended the King, and am sory for it, so farre as I was guiltie. which was in concealing it, and for that I aske pardon of His Majestie. The treason intended against the King and State was bloody. My selfe should have detested it, had it taken effect. And I am heartily sorry that any Catholickes ever had so cruell a designe. Then turning himselfe from the people to them about him, he made an apologie for Mistresse Anne Vaux, saying, There is such an honourable gentlewoman who hath bene much wronged in report. For it is suspected and said that I should be married to her, or worse. But I protest the contrary. She is a vertuous gentlewoman, and for me a perfect pure virgin. For the Popes Breves, Sir Edmond Baynams going over seas, and the matter of the Powder-treason, he referred himselfe to his arraignment and his confessions, For whatsoever is under my hand in any of my confessions, said he, is true.
Then addressing himselfe to execution, he kneeled at the ladder foote, and asked if he might have time to pray, and how long. It was answered he should limit himselfe, none should interrupt him. It appeared he could not constantly or devoutly pray. feare of death, or hope of pardon, even then so distracted him. For oft in those prayers he would breake off, turne and looke about him, and answere to what he over-heard while he seemed to be praying. When he stood up, the Recorder finding in his behaviour, as it were, an expectation of pardon, wished him not to deceive himselfe, nor beguile his owne soule, he was come to die, and must die requiring him not to equivocate with his last breath: if he knew anything that might bee danger to the King or State, he should now utter it. Garnet said it is no time now to equivocate: how it was lawfull, and when, he had shewed his minde elsewhere. But sayth he, I doe not now equivocate, and more then I have confessed I doe not know. At his ascending up the ladder, he desired to have warning before he was turned off. But it was tolde him he must looke for no other turne but death. Being upon the gibbot, he used these words, I commend me to all good Catholickes, and I pray God to preserve His Majestie, the Queene, and all their posteritie, and my Lords of the Privie Counsell, to whom I remember my humble duetie, and I am sorie that I did dissemble with them. But I did not thinke they had such proofe against me, till it was shewed mee. But when that was proved, I held it more honour for me at that time to confesse, then before to have accused. And for my brother Greenway, I would the trueth were knowen. For the false reports that are make him more faulty then he is. I should not have charged him, but that I thought he had bin safe. I pray God the Catholicks may not fare the worse for my sake, and I exhort them all to take heede they enter not into any treasons, rebellions, or insurrections against the King, and with this, ended speaking and fell to praying. And crossing himselfe, he said In nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti, and prayed, Maria mater gratiae, Maria mater misericordiae, tu me a malo protege et hora mortis suscipe. Then, In manus tuas, domine, commendo spiritum. Then, Per crucis hoc signum (crosing himselfe) fugiat procul omne malignum. Infige crucem tuam in corde meo, domine. Let me alwayes remember the Crosse, and so returned againe to Maria mater gratiae, and then was turned off, and hung till he was dead.