« PreviousContinue »
MOST ILLUSTRIOUS AND MOST EXCELLENT PRINCE
PRINCE OF WALES, DUKE OF CORNWALL, EARL OF CHESTER,
It may please your Highness,
In part of my acknowledgment to your Highness, I have endeavoured to do honour to the memory of the last King of England that was ancestor to the King your father and yourself; and was that King to whom both Unions may in a sort refer: that of the Roses being in him consummate, and that of the Kingdoms by him begun. Besides, his times deserve it. For he was a wise man, and an excellent King; and yet the times were rough, and full of mutations and rare accidents. And it is with times as it is with ways. Some are more up-hill and downhill, and some are more flat and plain ; and the one is better for the liver, and the other for the writer. I have not flattered him, but took him to life as well as I could, sitting so far off, and having no better light. It is true, your Highness hath a living pattern, incomparable, of the King your father. But it is not amiss for you also to see one of these ancient pieces. God preserve your Highness.
Your Highness's most humble
FRANCIS ST. ALBAN.
HISTORY OF THE REIGN
KING HENRY THE SEVENTH.
AFTER that Richard, the third of that name, king in fact only, but tyrant both in title and regiment, and so commonly termed and reputed in all times since, was by the Divine Revenge, favouring the design of an exiled man, overthrown and slain at Bosworth Field ;' there succeeded in the kingdom the Earl of Richmond, thenceforth styled Henry the Seventh. The King immediately after the victory, as one that had been bred under a devout mother, and was in his nature a great observer of religious forms, caused Te deum laudamus to be solemnly sung in the presence of the whole army upon the place, and was himself with general applause and great cries of joy, in a kind of militar? election or recognition, saluted King. Mean while the body of Richard after many indignities and reproaches (the dirigies and obsequies of the common
1 August 22nd, 1485. 2 Militar is the reading of the original edition: and is the form of the word which Bacon always, I believe, employed. He sometimes spells it militare, sometimes militar, but I think never militarie.