Elizabeth I (1533-1603) became queen of England at a very young age and was not expected to prosper. Her father, Henry VIII, although a miserable character in most respects, nonetheless seemed to have been genuinely fond of his children and Elizabeth was well educated and cared for until her father died. She was fond of saying,
"Although I may not be a lioness, I am a lion's cub, and inherit many of his qualities."
A skillful politician, she successfully reigned for 45 years.
Shortly after Elizabeth's ascension, a gentlemen, who had behaved badly toward her while she lived in obscurity during the reign of her half-sister Mary, came before her and earnestly begged pardon.
The queen indicated that he should rise, then dismissed him curtly with the words,
"Do you not know that we are descended of the lion, whose nature is not to prey upon the mouse or any other such small vermin?"