Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/49

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


29
THE ELIZABETHAN CHARACTER

"Above all things tell no untruth. No, not in trifles … for there cannot be a greater reproach to a gentleman, than to be accounted a liar."

Take the nation through and through, this feeling of honour and reverence pervaded it high and low. In July, 1626, an Englishman, a common sailor of Tavistock, was captured by the Spaniards. After a long series of marvellous adventures and miraculous escapes, he reached England. He published an account of his perils; this is how the narrative ends:—

"And thus endeth my Spanish pilgrimage. With thanks to my good GOD, that in this extraordinary manner preserved me amidst these desperate adventures.

"Oh my knees I thank Thee! with my tongue will I praise Thee! with my hands fight Thy quarrel! and all the days of my life serve Thee!

"Out of the red sea have I escaped; from the lion's den been delivered, aye rescued from death and snatched out of the jaws of destruction, only by Thee! O my GOD! Glory be to Thy Name for ever and ever! Amen."

This from a common mariner saved from the perils of the Inquisition!

Nor did these Elizabethans neglect the poor. An account tells us that during the great frost