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tinued grudge and hearte brennynge betwene the quenes kinred and the kinges blood eyther partye enuying others authoritye, he nowe thought that their deuision shoulde bee (as it was in dede) a fortherlye begynnynge to the pursuite of his intente, and a sure ground for the foundacion of al his building yf he might firste vnder the pretext of reuengynge of olde displeasure, abuse the anger and ygnoraunce of the tone partie, to the destruccion of the tother: and then wynne to his purpose as manye as he coulde: and those that coulde not be wonne, might be loste ere they looked therefore. For of one thynge was hee certayne, that if his entente were perceiued, he shold soone haue made peace betwene the bothe parties, with his owne bloude.
Kynge Edwarde in his life, albeit that this discencion beetwene hys frendes sommewhat yrked hym: yet in his good health he sommewhat the lesse regarded it, because hee thought whatsoeuer busines shoulde falle betwene them, hymselfe should alwaye bee hable to rule bothe the parties.
But in his last sicknesse, when hee receiued his naturall strengthe soo sore enfebled, that hee dyspayred all recouerye, then hee consyderynge the youthe of his chyldren, albeit hee nothynge lesse mistrusted then that that happened, yet well forseynge that manye harmes myghte growe by theyr debate, whyle the youth of hys children shoulde lacke discrecion of themself and good counsayle of their frendes, of whiche either party shold counsayle for their owne commodity and rather by pleasaunte aduyse too wynne themselfe
fauour, than by profitable aduertisemente to do the children good, he called some of them before him that were at variaunce, and in especyall the lorde marques Dorsette the quenes sonne by her fyrst housebande, and Richarde the lorde Hastynges, a noble man, than lorde chaumberlayne agayne whome the quene specially grudged, for the great fauoure the kyng bare hym, and also for that shee thoughte hym secretely familyer with the kynge in wanton coumpanye.
Her kynred also bare hym syre, as well for that the kynge hadde made hym captayne of Calyce (whiche office the lorde Ryuers, brother to the quene, claimed of the kinges former promyse) as for diuerse other great giftes which hee receyued, that they loked for. When these lordes with diuerse other of bothe the parties were comme in presence, the kynge liftinge vppe himselfe and vndersette
, with pillowes, as it is reported on this wyse sayd vnto them, My lordes, my dere kinsmenne and alies, in what plighte I lye you see, and I feele. By whiche the lesse whyle I looke to lyue with you, the more depelye am I moued to care in what case I leaue you, for such as I leaue you, suche bee my children lyke to fynde you. Whiche if they shoulde (that Godde forbydde) fynde you at varyaunce, myght happe to fall themselfe at warre ere their discrecion woulde serue to sette you at peace.
Ye se their youthe, of whiche I recken the onely suretie to reste in youre concord. For it suffiseth not that al you loue them, yf eche of you hate other. If they wer menne, your
faithfulnesse happelye woulde suffise. But childehood must be main
tained by mens authoritye, and slipper youth vnderpropped with elder counsayle, which neither they can haue, but ye geue it, nor ye geue it, if ye gree not. For what eche laboureth to breake that the other maketh, and for hatred of ech of others parson, impugneth eche others counsayle, there must it nedes bee long ere anye good conclusion goe forwarde. And also while either partye laboureth to be chiefe, flattery shall haue more place then plaine and faithfull aduyse, of whyche muste needes ensue the euyll bringing vppe of the prynce, whose mynd in tender youth infect, shal redily fal to mischief and riot, and drawe down with this noble realme to ruine, but if grace turn him to wisdom: which if God send, then thei that by euill menes before pleased hym best, shal after fall farthest out of fauour, so that euer at length euill driftes dreue to nought, and good plain wayes prosper.
Great variaunce hath ther long bene betwene you, not alway for great causes. Sometime a thing right wel intended, our misconstruccion turneth ynto worse or a smal displeasure done vs, eyther our owne affeccion or euil tongues agreueth. But this wote I well ye neuer had so great cause of hatred, as ye haue of loue. That we be al men, that we be christen men, this shall I leaue for prechers to tel you and yet I wote nere whither any prechers wordes ought more to moue you, then his that is by and by gooying to the place that thei all preache of). But this shal I desire you to remember, that the one parte of you is of my bloode, the other of myne alies, and eche of yow with other,
eyther of kinred or affinitie, whiche spirytuall kynred of affynyty, if the sacramentes of Christes churche, beare that weyghte with vs that woulde Godde thei did, shoulde no lesse moue vs to charitye, then the respecte of fleshlye consanguinitye. Oure Lorde forbydde, that you loue together the worse, for the selfe cause that you ought to loue the better. And yet that happeneth. And no where fynde wee so deadlye debate, as amonge them, whyche by nature and lawe moste oughte to agree together.
Suche a pestilente serpente is ambicion and desyre of vaine glorye and soueraintye, whiche amonge states where he once entreth crepeth foorth so farre, tyll with deuision and variaunce hee turneth all to mischiefe. Firste longing to be nexte the best, afterwarde egall with the beste, and at laste chiefe and aboue the beste. Of which immoderate appetite of woorship, of thereby of debate and dissencion what losse, what sorowe, what trouble hathe within these fewe yeares growen in this realme, I praye Godde as wel forgeate as wee well remember.
Whiche thinges yf I coulde as well haue foresene, as I haue with my more payne then pleasure proued, by Goddes blessed Ladie (that was euer his othe) I woulde neuer haue won the courtesye of mennes knees, with the losse of soo many heades. But sithen thynges passed cannot be gaine called, muche oughte wee the more beware, by what occasion we haue taken soo greate hurte afore, that we efte soones fall not in that occasion agayne. Nowe be those griefes passed, and
all is (Godde be thanked) quiete, and likelie righte wel to prosper in wealthfull peace vnder youre coseyns my children, if Godde sende them life and you loue. Of whiche twoo thinges, the lesse losse wer they by whome thoughe Godde dydde hys pleasure, yet shoulde the realme alway finde kinges and paraduenture as good kinges. But yf you among youre selfe in a childes reygne fall at debate, many a good man shall perish and happely he to, and ye to, ere thys land finde peace again. Wherfore in these laste wordes that euer I looke to speak with you: I exhort you and require you al, for the loue that
haue euer borne to me, for the loue that I haue euer born to you, for the loue that our Lord beareth to vs all, from this time forwarde, all grieues forgotten, eche of you loue other. Whiche I verelye truste you will, if ye any thing earthly regard, either Godde or your king, affinitie or kinred, this realme, your owne countrey, or your owne surety. And therewithal the king no longer enduring to sitte vp, laide him down on his right side, his face towarde them: and none was there present that coulde refrain from weping. But the lordes recomforting him with as good wordes as they could, and answering for the time as thei thought to stand with his pleasure, there in his presence (as by their wordes appered) ech forgaue other, and ioyned their hands together, when (as it after appeared by their dedes) their hearts wer far a sonder. As sone as the king was departed, the noble prince his sonne drew toward London, which at the time of his decease, kept his houshold at Ludlow