Cecil sat bolt upright when he came to Lord Oxford’s eulogy for the Queen.
I am greatly grieved in remembering the mistress we have lost, under whose care you and I from our greenest years were in a manner brought up – and although it has pleased God after an earthly kingdom to take her up into a more permanent and heavenly state (wherein I do not doubt that she is crowned with glory) and to give us a Prince that is wise, learned, and enriched with all virtues – yet considering the long time which we spent in her service, we cannot look for so much left of our days as to bestow so much upon another. Neither (as denied by the infirmity of age and common course of reason) are we ever to expect from another Prince the long acquaintance and kind familiarities wherewith she did use us.
In this common shipwreck, mine is above all the rest, who, least regarded (though often comforted) of all her followers, she has left to try my fortune among the alterations of time and chance – without either sail whereby to take the advantage of any prosperous gale, or anchor to ride till the storm be overpast. Therefore, there is nothing left to comfort me but the excellent virtues and deep wisdom wherewith God has endowed our new master and sovereign lord – who does not come among us as a stranger but as a natural Prince, succeeding by right of blood and inheritance, not as a conqueror, but as a true shepherd of Christ’s flock to cherish and comfort them.
Wherefore, I most earnestly desire of you this favor, as I have written before, that I may be informed from you concerning those points I earlier mentioned, as to time and place. And thus recommending myself to you, I take my leave, your assured friend and unfortunate brother-in-law,
Grudgingly admitting that Oxford’s words had moved him, Cecil looked up and saw the Queen’s documents and other belongings filling half of his cellar, awaiting his perusal.
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