26743. “I give you this charge, that you shall be of my Privy Council and content yourself to take pains for me and my realm. This judgement I have of you, that you will not be corrupted with any manner of gift and that you will be faithful to the State, and that without respect of my private will, you will give me that counsel that you think best: and, if you shall know anything necessary to be declared to me of secrecy, you shall show it to myself only and assure yourself I will not fail to keep taciturnity therein. And therefore herewith I charge you. Administering the oath of office to William Cecil as Secretary of State, November 20, 1558, as quoted in Elizabeth I: The Word of a Prince, A Life from Contemporary Documents, by Maria Perry, Chapter V, Section: To make a good account to Almighty God” ― Queen Elizabeth I
26732. “(Response to King Erik XIV of Sweden’s proposal of marriage:) “[W]hile we perceive … the zeal and love of your mind towards us is not diminished, yet in part we are grieved that we cannot gratify your Serene Highness with the same kind of affection. And that indeed does not happen because we doubt in any way of your love and honour, but, as often we have testified both in words and writing, that we have never yet conceived a feeling of that kind of affection towards anyone. We therefore beg your Serene Highness again and again that you be pleased to set a limit to your love, that it advance not beyond the laws of friendship for the present nor disregard them in the future. … We certainly think that if God ever direct our hearts to consideration of marriage we shall never accept or choose any absent husband how powerful and wealthy a Prince soever. But that we are not to give you an answer until we have seen your person is so far from the thing itself that we never even considered such a thing. I have always given both to your brother … and also to your ambassador likewise the same answer with scarcely any variation of the words, that we do not conceive in our heart to take a husband but highly commend this single life, and hope that your Serene Highness will no longer spend time in waiting for us.” ― Elizabeth I, Collected Works
26730. “[F]rom my years of understanding … I happily chose this kind of life in which I yet live [i.e., unmarried], which I assure you for my own part hath hitherto best contented myself and I trust hath been most acceptable to God. From the which if either ambition of high estate offered to me in marriage by the pleasure and appointment of my prince … or if the eschewing of the danger of my enemies or the avoiding of the peril of death … could have drawn or dissuaded me from this kind of life, I had not now remained in this estate wherein you see me. But so constant have I always continued in this determination … yet is it most true that at this day I stand free from any other meaning that either I have had in times past or have at this present.” ― Elizabeth I, Collected Works