Speech to the Troops at Tilbury 1
1My loving people,
2We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit 3our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to 4distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear, I have always so behaved myself that, 5under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will 6of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my 7recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die 8amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and 9my blood, even in the dust. I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have 10the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma 11or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which 12rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your 13general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, for your 14forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and We do assure you in the word of a 15prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean time, my lieutenant general2 shall be in my 16stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but 17by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we 18shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my 19people.
1. Delivered by Elizabeth to the land forces assembled at Tilbury (Essex) to repel the anticipated invasion of the Spanish Armada, 1588. 2. Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester; he was the queen's favorite, once rumored to be her lover.
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