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away; some sunk, some broken, some on the sands, and some burnt by the Spaniards themselves."
Misfortune clung to them ; storm and tempest on the sea, and inhospitable and cruel treatment when they were forced on shore so reduced them, that of this magnificent Armada only sixty shattered vessels found their home; and their humbled commander, the Duke de Medina Sidonia, was led to understand that his presence was not desired at court, and that a private country residence would be the most suitable.
It was on this occasion, when the instant danger was past but by no means entirely done away, as for some time it was supposed that the Armada, after recruiting in some northern station, would return, that Elizabeth with a general's truncheon in her hand rode through the ranks of her army at Tilbury, and addressed them in a style which caused them to break out into deafening and tumultuous shouts and cries of love, and honour, and obedience to death. Thus magnificently the English heroine spoke:
"My loving People,—We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed Multitudes; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving People. Let Tyrants fear; I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal Hearts and Goodwill of my Subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see at this time, not for my Recreation and Disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the Battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my Gon, and for my kingdom, and for my People, my Honour, and my Blood, even in the dust. I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble Woman, but I have the Heart and Stomach of a King, and of a King of England too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any Prince of Europe should dare to invade the Borders of my Realm; to which, rather than any Dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up Arms, I myself will be your General, Judge, and Rewarder of every one of your Virtues in the Field; I know already, for your forwardness, you have deserved Rewards and Crowns; and we do assure you, in the word of a Prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean time my Lieutenant-general shall be in my stead, than whom never Prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but, by your obedience to my General, by your Concord in the camp, and your Valour in the Field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those Enemies of my God, of my Kingdoms, and of my People."
The tapestry, the magnificent memorial of this great event, was lost irreparably in the devastating fire of 1834. Some fragments, it is said, were preserved, but we have not been able to ascertain this fact. One portion still exists at Plymouth, though shorn of its pristine brilliancy, as some of the silver threads were drawn out by the economists of the time of the Commonwealth. This piece was cut out to make way for a gallery at the time of the trial of Queen Caroline, was secreted by a German servant of the Lord Chamberlain, and sold by him to a broker who offered it to Government for 500/.
Some inquiry was made into the circumstances, which, however, do not seem to have excited very great interest, since the relic was ultimately bought by the Bishop of Landaff (Van Mildert) for 20/. By him it was presented to the corporation of Plymouth, who still possess it.
CHAPTER XX. ON STITCHERY,
uHere have I cause in men just blame to find,
Scarse do they spare to one, or two, or three,
*« Christine, whiche understode these thynges of Dame Reason, replyed upon that in this manere. Madame Ise wel y' ye myght fynde ynowe & of grete nombre of women praysed in scyences and in crafte; but knowe ye ony that by ye vertue of their felynge & of subtylte of wytte haue founde of themselfe ony newe craftes and scyences necessary, good, & couenable that were neuer founde before nor knowne ? for it is not so grete maystry to folowe and to lerne after ony other scyence founde and comune before, as it is to fynde of theymselfe some newe thynge not accustomed before.
"Answere.—Ne doubte ye not ye contrary my dere frende but many craftes and scyences ryght notable hathe ben founde by the wytte and subtylte of women, as moche by speculacyon of understandynge,-the whiche sheweth them by wrytynge, as in craftes, yl sheweth theym in werkynge ofhandes & oflaboure."
The Boke of the Cyte of Lad yes.
Again we must lament that the paucity of historical record lays us under the necessity of concluding, by inference, what we would fain have displayed by direct testimony. The respectable authority quoted above affirms that " many craftes and scyences ryght notable hathe ben founde by the wytte and subtylte of women," and it specifies particularly " werkynge of handes," by which we suppose the "talented" author means needlework. That the necessity for this pretty art was first created by woman, no one, we think, will disallow; and that it was first practised, as it has been subsequently perfected, by her, is a fact of which we feel the most perfect conviction.
This conviction has been forced upon us by a train of reasoning which will so readily suggest itself to the mind of all our readers, that we content ourselves with naming the result, assured that it is unnecessary to trouble them with the intervening steps. One only link in the chain of " circumstantial evidence" will we adduce, and that is afforded by the ancient engraving to which we have before alluded in our remarks upon Eve's needle and thread. There whilst our "general mother" is stitching away at the fig-leaves in the most edifying manner possible, our " first father," far from trying to "put in a stitch for himself," is gazing upon her in the most utter amazement. And while she plies her busy task as if she had been born to stitchery, his eyes, not his fingers,
"Follow the nimble fingers of the fair,"
with every indication of superlative wonder and admiration.
In fact, it is no slight argument in favour of the original invention of sewing by women, that men very rarely have wit enough to learn it, even when