A Letter to Sir Amyas Paulet

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A Letter to Sir Amayas Paulet
by Elizabeth I of England

Paulet was the keeper of Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1586 a number of her supporters, led by Anthony Babington, plotted to murder Elizabeth and place Mary on the throne. The plot was discovered, and the plotters were executed in September. Mary, who had been complicit with them, was placed under stricter confinement, and then tried for treason.

Amyas, my most careful and faithful servant,
    God reward thee treblefold in the double for thy most troublesome charge so well discharged. If you knew, my Amyas, how kindly, besides dutifully, my careful heart accepts your double labors and faithful actions, your wise orders and safe regards performed in so dangerous and crafty a charge, to would ease your troubles travail and rejoice your heart. In which I charge you to carry this most nighest thought: that I cannot balance in any weight of my judgment the value that I prize you at. And suppose no treasure to countervail such a faith, and condemn me in that behalf which I never committed if I reward not such deserts. Yea, let me lack when I have most need if I acknowledge not such a merit with a reward non omnibus datum.
    But let your wicked mistress know how, with hearty sorrow, her vile deserts compels these orders; and bid her, from me, ask God forgiveness for her treacherous dealing toward the saver of her life many years, to the intolerable peril of her own. And yet not content with so many forgivenesses, must fall again so horribly, far passing a woman's thought, much more a princess, instead of excusing, whereof not one can serve, it being so plainly confessed by the actors of my guiltless death. Let repentance take place; and let not the fiend possess her so as her best part be lost,which I pray with hands lifted up to Him that may both save and spill, with my loving adieu and prayer for thy long life.

Your most assured and loving sovereign in heart,
by good desert induced, Elizabeth Regina.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.