What Others Say
Soldiers, Courtiers, Friends
Essex, full of high spirits and hot youthly blood, bore the enemy back, and pursued them to the gates with such slaughter, that their loss in numbers and quality tripled that of the English.
Before leaving Lisbon, Essex thrust his pike into the gate of the town, demanding aloud if any Spaniard mewed therein dares adventure forth in favour of his mistress, Queen Elizabeth, to break a lance.
Essex is the most perplexed and afflicted man that I did ever know, and hath taken such an impression of her Majesty's disgrace and the loss of his brother, that he will hardly recover it. And if this dishonor should happen to him, to be called untimely home, he will never be able to endure it ; for the very conceit thereof, and chiefly of her Majesty's indignation, have already wrought the strangest alteration in his body and mind that ever I knew in any in so short a time.
The arrival of the Queen’s last letter put his honor in such an extreme agony and passion that he sounded often and did so swell that, casting himself upon his bed, all his buttons of his doublet broke away as though they had been cut with a knife.
Full fourteen days, his Lordship kept in. Her Majesty, as I heard, resolved to break him of his will, and to pull down his great heart.
My Lord of Essex once again doth keep his Chamber, and says he will go into Wales. Truly, my Lord, he leads here a very unquiet life... so indisposed with Melancholy.
'Tis much wondered at here, that he went so boldly to her Majesty's Presence, she not being ready, and he so full of dirt and mire, that his very face was full of it… As God help me, it is a very dangerous time here, for the heads of both factions being here, a man cannot tell how to govern himself towards them.
Your Lordship peradventure, may hear from others, of my Lord of Essex's weakness. Upon Wednesday it was said he was dead, the Bell tolled for him. He was prayed for in London Churches. Divines watch with him, and in their Pulpits pray for him.
Many Ministers that make public Prayers for him in their Churches, are commanded to Silence ; some, indeed, foolishly for getting themselves, their doubtful speeches tending to sedition.
My Lord of Essex hath been somewhat crazy this week.
I hear it was a most pitiful and lamentable sight, to see him that was the Minion of Fortune, now unworthy of the least Honor, he had of many that were present burst out in tears at his fall to such misery.
Sir John Harington
My Lord of Essex shifts from sorrow and repentance to rage and rebellion so suddenly it well proves him devoid of good reason or right mind. He uttered such strange designs that made me hasten for the door, and leave his absence; thank heaven I am safe at home, and if I go in such troubles again, I deserve the gallows for a meddling fool: His speeches of the Queen becomes no man who has mens sana in corpore sano. He has ill advisors, and much evil has sprung from this source. The Queen well knows how to humble the haughty spirit, the haughty spirit knows not how to yield, and the man’s soul seems tossed to and fro, like the waves of a troubled sea.