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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 314



lector's purpose ; truth, if they caused her to deliver her son into the hands of one who was his enemy. On hearing these words, the Queen stood for a time in deep thought, and at last, taking her son by the hand, said, " My lord and all my lords, I am neither so unwise as to mistrust your wits, nor so suspicious as to mistrust your truths, for lo, here is this gentleman whom I believe I could here keep safe if I would, whatsoever any man may say ; and I doubt not but there be some abroad such deadly enemies to my blood, that if they wist where any of it lay in their own body, they would let it out ; we have also experienced that the desire of a kingdom knoweth no kindred. The brother hath been the brother's bane, and may the nephews be sure of the uncle ? Each of these children is the other's defence whilst they be asunder, and each of their lives lieth in the other's body; keep one safe and both are sure, and nothing for them both is more periluus than to be both in one place ; for what wise merchant adventureth all his goods in one ship ? All this notwithstanding, I here deliver him and his brother's life with him into your hands, and I charge you before God and the world, to shield them from harm. Faithful ye be wot I will, if ye list ye have power to keep them safe, and I beseech you for the trust their father put in you, and for the trust that I put in you now, that if I fear too much, you be well aware that you fear not as for too little." Then addressing the Prince, she said, " Farewell, mine own sweet child, God send you good keeping ; let me kiss you yet once ere you go, for God knoweth when we shall kiss again ;" and therewith she kissed him and blessed him, turned her back and wept, and went her way, leaving the child weeping as fast. When the Archbishop and the other lords with him had received the Prince, they conducted him to the Star-chamber, where the Protector took him in his arms and kissed him, saying, "Now welcome my lord, even with all my heart." They then carried him with great state to the Bishop's palace at St. Paul's, and from thence through the city honourably to the young King in the Tower, out of which they never again came. Having thus secured the person of Edward the Fifth and his brother, the Protector next spread a report of their illegitimacy, and by pretended obstacles put off the day of the young King's coronation. Lord Stanley, the first to penetrate the Protector's ill designs, communicated his suspicions to the King's fast friend, Lord Hastings. Perhaps this lord's wishes that such a project might not be true, influenced his judgment, and confirmed him in his security. Soon, however, Catcsby, a vile creature of the Protector's, was sent to try whether he could be prevailed upon to side with the projected usurpation ; but as his adherence to the King and Elizabeth was immoveable, his death was resolved upon. With this view the Protector called a council in the Tower, on the thirteenth of June, under pretence of expediting the coronation. He came thither himself at nine in the morning, with a cheerful countenance, saluting the members with unusual good humour and affability ; then, on going out for a short time, he desired his absence might not interrupt the debates. An hour afterwards, he returned quite altered, knitting his brow, biting his lips, and shewing, by his manner, great inward perturbation. A dreadful silence ensued, and the lords looked upon each other in momentary expectation of some horrible catastrophe. At length, laying his hands upon the table, he said, " My lords,what punishment do they deserve who have conspired against my life ?" " That of a traitor," answered Lord Hastings, after a length ened pause ; upon which the Protector, with a stern countenance, baring his withered arm, which all the lords knew had been long so, cried out : " See what the sorceress, Dame Grey, and that wretch, Shore's wife, have done, by their witchcrafts I their spells have reduced my arm to this condition, and my whole body would have suffered the same calamity but for a timely detection." This terrible accusation increased the amazement of the council, and Lord Hastings


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