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Notwithstanding the secret negotiations with the enemy, which Leicester and Walsingham suspected, and which will be more fully examined in a subsequent chapter, they held a language on that subject, which in the Secretary's mouth at least was sincere. "Whatsoever speeches be blown abroad of parleys of peace," they said, "all will be but smoke, yea fire will follow."

"Then away with them this minute to Beaumont Park," said the woman; "for here's Madam Beaumont's man, Martin, called in a flustrum while you was away, to say madam must have the nicest of our fish, whatsomever it might be, and a john-doree, if it could be had for love or money, for Tuesday." Here the woman, perceiving Miss Walsingham, dropped a curtsy.

Elizabeth was not above coquetry, it is true; but after toying with Leicester and Raleigh, never, though, to the serious injury of her reputation as a woman, she would retire to the cabinet of her ministers and yield to the sage suggestions of Burleigh and Walsingham.

My excellent friend, Captain Walsingham, told me, some years ago, that this was the fault of my character, and he charged me to watch over myself; and so I have; but not so strictly, I fear, as if he had watched along with me. Well, ma'am, you were going to give me some advice; I am all attention."

On the other hand, it seemed indispensable for him to go to the court, because if the Queen should hear of his arrival before he had presented himself, she was likely to be more angry than ever. So, the same afternoon, Davison waited upon Walsingham, and found him in a state of despondency.

Whatever of truth there may have been in the bitter remark, it is certainly strange that a man so gifted as Sidney of whom his father-in-law Walsingham had declared, that "although he had influence in all countries, and a hand upon all affairs, his Philip did far overshoot him with his own bow" should have passed so much of his life in retirement, or in comparatively insignificant employments.

There was one Poley, a trusted servant of Lady Sidney, then living in the house of her father Walsingham, during Sir Philip's absence, who was in close communication with Lord Montjoy's brother, Blount, then high in favour of Queen Elizabeth "whose grandmother she might be for his age and hers" and with another brother Christopher Blount, at that moment in confidential attendance upon Lord Leicester in Holland.

It would be difficult to show that there was anything very calumnious in these charges, which, no doubt, Paul was in the habit of making. As to the economical tendencies of her Majesty, sufficient evidence has been given already from Leicester's private letters. "Rather than spend one hundred pounds," said Walsingham, "she can be content to be deceived of five thousand."

Yet even the amiable might hesitate to take part in erecting a monument to the honour of Falkland, if it was at the same time to be a monument to the dishonour, of Luther, Gustavus, Walsingham, Sir John Eliot, Pym, Hampden, Cromwell, Vane, and Milton.

And not only had that diplomatist and his wiser colleagues been hoodwinked, but Elizabeth and Burghley, and, for a moment, even Walsingham, were in the, dark, while Henry III. had been his passive victim, and the magnificent Balafre a blind instrument in his hands. Nothing could equal Alexander's fidelity, but his perfidy. Nothing could surpass his ability to command but his obedience.