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19. Of Empire (continued)
For their wives; there are cruel examples of them. Livia is infamed, for the poisoning of her husband; Roxalana, Solyman's wife, was the destruction of that renowned prince, Sultan Mustapha, and otherwise troubled his house and succession; Edward the Second of England, his queen, had the principal hand in the deposing and murder of her husband. This kind of danger, is then to be feared chiefly, when the wives have plots, for the raising of their own children; or else that they be advoutresses.
For their children; the tragedies likewise of dangers from them, have been many. And generally, the entering of fathers into suspicion of their children, hath been ever unfortunate. The destruction of Mustapha (that we named before) was so fatal to Solyman's line, as the succession of the Turks, from Solyman until this day, is suspected to be untrue, and of strange blood; for that Selymus the Second, was thought to be suppositious. The destruction of Crispus, a young prince of rare towardness, by Constantinus the Great, his father, was in like manner fatal to his house; for both Constantinus and Constance, his sons, died violent deaths; and Constantius, his other son, did little better; who died indeed of sickness, but after that Julianus had taken arms against him. The destruction of Demetrius, son to Philip the Second of Macedon, turned upon the father, who died of repentance. And many like examples there are; but few or none, where the fathers had good by such distrust; except it were, where the sons were up in open arms against them; as was Selymus the First against Bajazet; and the three sons of Henry the Second, King of England.
For their prelates; when they are proud and great, there is also danger from them; as it was in the times of Anselmus, and Thomas Becket, Archbishops of Canterbury; who, with their croziers, did almost try it with the king's sword; and yet they had to deal with stout and haughty kings, William Rufus, Henry the First, and Henry the Second. The danger is not from that state, but where it hath a dependence of foreign authority; or where the churchmen come in and are elected, not by the collation of the king, or particular patrons, but by the people.
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