Being thus in readinesse to set sayle, we bethought ourselues that it would doe well to bring certaine men and women of the countrey into France, to the ende that if this voyage should be taken in hand againe they might declare vnto their Kings the greatnesse of our King, the excellencie of our Princes, the goodnesse of our Countrey, and the maner of liuing of the Frenchmen: and that they might also learne our language, to serue our turnes thereby in time to come.
Of these, such wer Pelopida, and Epaminonda, Tullus Hostillius, Phillip of Macedony father of Alexander, Cirus kyng of the Percians, Graccus a Romaine: they all were driven first to make their armies good, and after to faighte with them: they all coulde doe it, as well throughe their prudence, as also for havynge subjectes whome thei might in like exercises instruct: nor it shuld never have ben otherwise possible, that anie of theim, though they had ben never so good and ful of al excellencie, should have been able in a straunge countrey, full of men corrupted, not used to anie honest obedience, to have brought to passe anie laudable worke.
This chance was lamentable, namelie to the English people, which by the ouertimelie death of their king, in whome appeared manie euident tokens of great excellencie, lost the hope which they had conceiued of great wealth to increase by his prudent and most princelie gouernement. His bodie was buried at Glastenburie where Dunstane was then abbat.
And while we were talking thus together, little by little wee came to her house, and behold the gates of the same were very beautifully set with pillars quadrangle wise, on the top wherof were placed carved statues and images, but principally the Goddesse of Victory was so lively and with such excellencie portrayed and set forth, that you would have verily have thought that she had flyed, and hovered with her wings hither and thither.
But me thinkes that Caesar above all doth singularly deserve to be studied, not onely for the understanding of the historie as of himselfe; so much perfection and excellencie is there in him more than in others, although Salust be reckoned one of the number. I love those Historians that are either very simple or most excellent.
As for other arts and sciences; he saith Alexander honoured them, and commended their excellencie and comlinesse; but for any pleasure he tooke in them, his affection could not easily be drawne to exercise them.
This matter in conscience did greatly moue me to regard their estates: yet considering the excellencie of the business if it might be attained, the great hope of certaintie by the last yeeres discouery, and that there was yet a third way not put in practice, I thought it would growe to my great disgrace if this action by my negligence should grow into discredite: whereupon seeking helpe from God, the fountaine of all mercies, it pleased his diuine maiestie to moue my heart to prosecute that which I hope shall be to his glory, and to the contentation of euery Christian minde.
His stile of Excellencie was my guift; Money, the strength and fortune of the war, The help of England and the aide of Fraance, I only can call mine: and shall I then, Now in the sun-set of my daie of honour, When I should passe with glory to my rest And raise my Monument from my Cuntries praises, Sitt downe and with a boorish patience suffer The harvest that I labourd for to be Anothers spoile? the peoples thancks and praises, Which should make faire way for me to my grave, To have another object? the choice fruites Of my deepe projects grace anothers Banquet?
MS. they. MS. Potents. The part was taken by "G. Lowen." "Jo: Rice" took the part. All's Well, II. 3. A corruption of Dutch brui. The meaning is "A plague on his Excellencie!" In the MS. follow two and a half lines, spoken by Vandort, and a speech of Barnavelt's, twenty-four lines long. These were cancelled on revision.
In good truth, we see at this day that there is nothing lovelier to behold than the young children of France; but for the most part, they deceive the hope which was fore-apprehended of them: for when they once become men, there is no excellencie at all in them.