Page 424

424 RICHARD THE THIRD. An. Dom. 1484.

King Richard attempteth the duke of Britaine to deliuer the earle of Richmond into his hands.

A great temptation with large offers.

expedient than once againe with price, praier, aad rewards, to attempt the duke of Britaine, in whose territorie the earle of Richmond then abode, to deliuer the said earle into his hands: by which onelie meanes he should be discharged of all feare and perill, and brought to rest and quietnesse both of bodie and mind. Wherefore incontinent he sent certeine ambassadors to the duke of Britaine, which tooke vpon them (beside the great and ample rewards that they brought with them into Britaine) that king Richard should yearelie paie and answer the duke of all the reuenues, rents, and profits of the seigniories, lands, and possessions, as well belonging and apperteining to the erle of Richmond, as to anie other noble or gentleman, which then were in the earles companie ; if he after that time would keepe them in continuall prison, and restraine them from libertie.

The ambassadors (furnished with these and other instructions) arriued in Britaine and came to the dukes house; where with him they could haue no maner of communication concerning their weightie affaires : by reason that he being faint and weakened by a long and dailie infirmitie, began a little to wax idle and weake in his wit and remembrance. For which cause Peter Landoise his cheefe treasuror, a man both of pregnant wit and great authoritie, ruled and adiudged all things at his pleasure and cammandement, for which cause (as men set in authoritie be not best beloued) he excited & prouoked against him the malice and euill will of the nobilitie of Britaine, which afterward (for diuerse great offenses by him during his authoritie perpetrate & committed) by their meanes was brought to death & confusion.

Peter Landoise is mooued by the ambassadors of king Richard in their sute.

Note what loue of lucre or greedie gaping after rewards dooth.

The English ambassadors mooued their message and request to Peter Landoise, and to him declared their maisters commandement, instantlie requiring and humblie desiring him (in whose power it laie to doo all things in Britaine) that he would freendlie assent to the request of king Richard: offering to him the same rewards and lands, that they should haue offered to the duke. This Peter (which was no lesse disdeined than hated almost of all the people of Britaine) thought that if he did assent & satisfie king Richards petition and desire, he should be of power and abilitie sufficient to withstand and refell the malicious attempts and disdeinfull inuentions of his enuious aduersaries. Wherefore he faithfullie promised to accomplish king Richards request & desire: so that he kept promise with him, that he might be able to withstand the cankered malice of his secret enimies.

Collingborne executed.

Meaning by the hog, the dreadfull wild boare, which was the king cognisance. But bicause the first line ended in dog, the metrician could not (obseruing the regiments of meeter) end the second verse in boare, but called the boare an hog. This poeticall schoolemaister, corrector of breefs and longs, caused Collingborne to be abbreuiated shorter by the head, and to be diuided into foure quarters.

See page 343.

Abr. Fl.

This act that he promised to doo, was not for anie grudge or malice that he bare vnto the erle of Richmond: for (as you haue heard before) he deliuered him from the perill of death at saint Malos, when he was in great doubt of life, and ieopardie. But as cause ariseth we euer offend, and that curssed hunger of gold, and execrable thirst of lucre, and inward feare of losse of authoritie, driueth the blind minds of couetous men, & ambitious persons to euils and mischeefs innumerable, not remembring losse of good name, obloquie of the people, nor in conclusion the punishment of God for their merits and deserts. [Which vengeance of God for such falshood was more to be feared, than the gaie offers of the king to be desired ; for the one was sure to fall, the other was likelie to faile. Wherefore it is wisedome to make choise of a freend, by the rule of the wiseman to be obserued in wine, which is drunke with pleasure when it is old. Neither dooth it stand with a mans safetie to trust a freend too farre : for occasions maie fall out wherby he shall become an enimie, as the poet saith:

Hostis erit forsan gut tuus hospes erat.]

Bishop Morton preuenteth & defuateth the practises of king Richard and Peter Landoise.

But fortune was so fauourable to the publike wealth of the realme of England, that this deadlie and dolorous compact tooke none effect or place. For while posts ran, and letters were sent to and fro for the finishing of this great enterprise betweene king Richard and Peter Landoise, Iohn Morton bishop of Elie (soiourning then in Flanders) was of all thin craftie conueiance certified by his secret and sure