Queen Elizabeth's Army at Tilbury Fort, 1588

by the English History

My loving people! we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourself to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but, I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear: I have always so behaved myself, that, under God, I have placed my chief strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects. And, therefore, I am come among you at this time, not for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die among you all, and to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my blood—even in the dust. I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a King, and the heart of a King of England, too! and think foul scorn, that Parma, or Spain, or any Prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms; to which, rather than dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms—I myself will be your general, your judge, and the rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, by your forwardness, that you have deserved rewards and crowns; and we do assure you, on the word of a Prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the meantime, my Lieutenant-General shall be in my stead, than whom never Prince commanded more noble and worthy subject; nor do I doubt, by your obedience to my General, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over the enemies of my God, my kingdom, and my people.

English History.

Queen Elizabeth's Address to Her Army at Tilbury Fort, in 1588.