My Lord of Essex device

On November 22, 1595, Rowland White reports to Sir Robert Sidney about the Accession Day device of the earl of Essex:

My Lord of Essexs Deuise is much comended in these late Triumphes, some pretty While before he came in him self to the Tilt, he sent his Page with some Speech to the Queen, who returned with her Majesties Gloue. And when he came himself, he was mett with an old Hermitt, a Secretary of State, a braue Soldier, and an Esquier. The first presented him with a Booke of Meditations; the second with pollitical Discourses; the third with Oracions of braue fought Battles; the fourth was but his own Follower, to whom thother three imparted much of their Purpose, before his Coming in. Another devised with hm, persuading him to this and that Course of Liffe, according to their Inclinations. Comes into the Tilt Yard vnthought vpon, thordinary Post Boy of London, a ragged Villain all bemired, vpon a poor leane Jade, galloping and blowing for Liff, and deliuered the Secretary a Packet of Lettres, which he presently offred my Lord of Essex; and with this dumb Shew our Eyes were fed for that Time. In thafter Supper, before the Queen, they first deliuered a well pend Speach to moue this worthy Knight, to leaue his vaine following of Loue, and to betake him to hevenly Meditacion; the Secretaries all tending to haue him follow Matters of State, the Soldiers persuading him to the Warr; but the Esquier answeed them all; and concluded with an excellent, but to plaine English, that this Knight wold neuer forsake his Mistresses Love, whose Vertue made all his Thoughts Deuine, whose Wisodm tought him all true Pollicy, whose Beauty and Worth, were at all Times able to make him fitt to comand Armies. He shewed all the Defects and Imperfections of all ther Times, and theirfore thought his Course of Liffe to be best in seruing his Mistres. Thold Man was he, that in Cambridg plaied Giraldy, Morley plaied the Secretary, and he that plaied Pedantiq, was the Soldior, and Toby Matthew acted the Squires Part. The World makes many vntrue Constructions of these Speaches, comparing the Hermitt and the Secretary, to two of the Lords, and the Soldier to Sir Roger Williams; but the Queen said, that if she had thought their had bene so moch said of her, she wold not haue bene their that Night, and soe went to Bed.

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