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TO MR. SECRETARY CONWAY.
GOOD MR. SECRETARY,
WHEN you did me the honour and favour to visit me, you did not only in general terms express your love unto me, but, as a real friend, asked me whether I had any particular occasion, wherein I might make use of you? At that time I had none: now there is one fallen. It is, that Mr. Thomas Murray, provost of Eton, whom I love very well, is like to die. It were a pretty cell for my fortune. The college and school, I do not doubt, but I shall make to flourish. His Majesty, when I waited on him, took notice of my wants, and said to me, that as he was a king, he would have care of me. This is a thing somebody would have; and costs his Majesty nothing. I have written two or three words to his Majesty, which I would pray you to deliver. I have not expressed this particular to his Majesty, but referred it to your relation. My most noble friend, the marquis, is now absent. Next to him, I could not think of a better address than to yourself, as one likest to put on his affection. I rest
Your honour's very affectionate friend,
FR. ST. ALBAN. Gray's-Inn, the 25th of March, 1623.
SECRETARY CONWAY, TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.*
I DO So well remember the motives, why I presented you so with my humble service, and particular application of it to your particular use, as I neither forget nor repent the offer. And I must confess a greater quickening could not have been added to my resolution to serve you, than the challenge you lay to my duty, to follow, in his absence, the affection of your most noble and hearty friend the marquis.
I lost no time to deliver your letter, and to contribute the most advantageous arguments I could. It seems your motion had been more than enough, if a former engagement to Sir William Becher upon the marquis his score had not opposed it.
I will give you his Majesty's answer, which was; That he could not value you so little, or conceive you would have humbled your desires and your worth so low: That it had been a great deal of ease to him to have had such a scantling of your mind; to which he could never have laid so unequal a measure. His Majesty adding farther, that since your intentions moved that way, he would study your accommodation. And it is not out of hope, but that he may give some other contentment to Sir William Becher in due time, to accommodate your lordship,
me yesterday morning Sir Albertus Morton, Sir Dudley Carleton, and Sir [Robert] Aiton, our late queen's secretary. But in my opinion, though he named him last, his Majesty inclined to this Aiton most. It will rest wholly upon your lordship to name the man. It is somewhat necessary he be a
of whom, to your comfort, it is my duty to tell you, his Majesty declared a good opinion, and princely care and respect.
I will not fail to use time and opportunity to your advantage: and if you can think of any thing to instruct my affection and industry, your lordship may have the more quick and handsome proof of my sure and real intentions to serve you, being indeed Your lordship's affectionate servant, ED. CONWAY.
Royston, March 27, 1623.
TO COUNT GONDOMAR, THEN IN SPAIN. ILLUSTRISSIMe comes,
MULTA sunt, quæ mihi animos addunt, et quandam alacritatem conciliant, ut dominationem tuam illustrissimam hoc tempore de meis fortunis compellam et deprecer. Primum, idque vel maximum, quod cum tam arcta regum nostrorum conjunctio jam habeatur pro transacta, inde et tu factus sis intercessor tanto potentior; et mihi nullus jam subsit scrupulus universas fortunas meas viro tanto, licet extero, debendi et acceptas referendi. Secundum, quod cum ea, quæ dominatio tua illustrissima de me promisso tenus præsens impetraveras, neque ullam repulsam passa sint, neque tamen ad exitum perducta; videatur hoc innuere providentia divina, ut hoc opus me a calamitate erigendi plane tuum sit initio et fine. Tertium, quod stellæ duæ, quæ mihi semper fuerunt propitiæ, major et minor, jam splendent in urbe vestra, unde per radios auxiliares et benignos amoris erga me tui eum possint nancisci influxum, qui me in aliquo non indigno priore fortuna gradu collocet. Quartum, quod perspexi ex literis, quas ad amicum meum intimum dominum Tobiam Matthæum nuper scripsisti, memoriam mei apud te vivere et vigere, neque tanta negotiorum arduorum et sublimium mole, quanta dom. tuæ incumbit, obrutam esse aut extinctam. Postremum accidit et illud, quod postquam ex favore excellent. Domini marchionis ad regis mei conspectum et colloquium admissus fuerim, videar mihi in statu gratiæ collocatus. Non me allocutus est rex ut criminosum, sed ut hominem tempestate dejectum; et simul constantem meum et perpetuum in sermone suo industriæ et integritatis tenorem prolixe agnovit, cum insigni, ut videbatur, affectu: unde major mihi oboritur spes, manente ejus erga me gratia, et extincta omni ex diuturnitate invidia, labores illustr. domin. tuæ pro me non incassum fore. Ipse interim nec otio me dedi, nec rebus me importune immiscui, sed in iis vivo, et ea tracto, quæ nec priores, quos gessi, honores dedeceant, et posteris memoriam nominis mei haud ingratam fortasse relinquent. Itaque spero me non indignam fore materiam, in qua et potentiæ et amicitiæ tuæ vis elucescat et celebretur ; ut non minus in privata
good scholar, but more that he be a good husband, and careful manager, and a stayed man; which no man can be, that is so much indebted as the lord of St. Alban's."
From the collections of Robert Stephens, Esq. deceased.
hominis fortuna potuisse videaris, quam in negotiis | saith, God knows those that are his. publicis. Deus illustriss. dominationem tuam incolumem servet et felicitate cumulet.
My lord St. Alban's first letter to Gondomar, into Spain, March 28, 1623.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM, IN SPAIN.
FINDING SO trusty a messenger as Sir John Epsley, I thought it my duty to put these few lines into his hands. I thank God, that those shadows, which either mine own melancholy, or my extreme love to your lordship, did put into my mind concerning this voyage of the prince and your lordship, rather vanish and diminish, than otherwise. The gross fear is past of the passage of France. I think you had the ring, which they write of, that, when the seal was turned to the palm of the hand, made men go invisible. Neither do I hear of any novelty here worth the esteeming.
There is a general opinion here, that your lordship is like enough to return, and go again, before the prince come: which opinion, whether the business lead you to do so or no, doth no hurt; for it keeps men in awe.
I find, I thank God, some glimmering of the king's favour, which your lordship's noble work of my access, no doubt, did chiefly cherish. I am much bound to Mr. Secretary Conway. It is wholly for your lordship's sake; for I had no acquaintance with him in the world. By that I see of him, he is a man fit to serve a great king, and fit to be a friend and servant to your lordship. Good my lord, write two or three words to him, both of thanks, and a general recommendation of me unto him.
Vouchsafe, of your nobleness, to present my most humble duty to his highness. We hear he is fresh in his person, and becomes this brave journey in all things. God provide all things for the best. I ever rest, &c.
Indorsed, March 30, 1623.
TO MR. SECRETARY CONWAY.
GOOD MR. SECRETARY,
I AM much comforted by your last letter, wherein I find, that his Majesty, of his mere grace and goodness, vouchsafeth to have a care of me, a man out of sight, out of use; but yet his, as the Scripture
Sir William had not, however, that post; but, in lieu of it, the promise of 25007. upon the fall of the first of the six clerks places, and was permitted to keep his clerkship of the council. MS. letter of Mr. Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton, dated at London, July 24, 1624. The provostship was given to Sir Henry Wotton, who was instituted into it the 26th of that month, having purchased it by a surrender of a grant of the reversion of the mastership of the rolls, and of another office, which was fit to be turned into present money, which he then,
I am very much bound to his Majesty, and I pray you, Sir, thank his Majesty most humbly for it, that, notwithstanding the former designment of Sir William Becher, his Majesty, as you write, is not out of hope, in due time, to accommodate me of this cell, and to satisfy him otherwise. Many conditions, no doubt, may be as contenting to that gentleman, and his years may expect them. But there will hardly fall, especially in the spent hour-glass of my life, any thing so fit for me, being a retreat to a place of study so near London, and where, if I sell my house at Gorhambury, as I purpose to do, to put myself in some convenient plenty, I may be accommodated of a dwelling for summer time. And therefore, good Mr. Secretary, further this his Majesty's good intention, by all means, if the place fall. I will
For yourself, you have obliged me much. endeavour to deserve it: at least your nobleness is never lost and my noble friend, the marquis, I know, will thank you for it.
I was looking of some short papers of mine touching usury,† to grind the teeth of it, and yet make it grind to his Majesty's mill in good sort, without discontentment or perturbation. If you think good, I will send it to his Majesty, as the fruit of my leisure. But yet I would not have it come from me, not for any tenderness in the thing, but because I know, in courts of princes, it is usual, non res, sed displicet auctor. God keep your honour, &c.
To Mr. Secretary Conway, touching the provostship of Eton, March 31, 1623.
TO COUNT GONDOMAR.
PRIMO loco, ut debeo, gratulor dominationi tuæ illustrissimæ novum honoris tui gradum per se sublimem, sed ex causa, propter quam evectus es, haud parum nobilitatum. Profectio dom. Tobiæ Matthæi, qui mihi est tanquam alter ego, ut dominatio tua illustrissima optimè novit, in illas partes, memoriam mihi renovat eximii tui erga me favoris, cum me pluries, paulo ante discessum tuum, in campis, in urbe visitares, et prolixe de voluntate tua erga fortunas meas pollicereris. Quinetiam tam apud regem meum quam apud marchionem de illis sedulo ageres, ut etiam promissum ab illis de postulatis meis obtinueris. Quod si illo tempore quis mihi genius aut vates in aurem insusurrasset et dixisset, Mitte ista in præsens: Britannia est regio paulo frigidior: differ rem donec princeps Galliæ et marchio Buckinghamiæ et comes de Gondomar conveniunt in
and afterwards, much wanted [Life of him by Mr. Isaac Walton]: for when he went to the election at Eton, soon after his being made provost, he was so ill provided, that the fellows of the college were obliged to furnish his bare walls, and whatever else was wanting. MS. letter of Mr. Chamberlain, Aug. 7, 1624.
+ In his works is published, "A Draught of an Act against an usurious Shift of Gain, in delivering of Commodities instead of Money."
but visit you with my letters, who have so often visited me with your kind conferences.
My health, I thank God, is better than when you left me; and, to my thinking, better than before my last sickness. This is all I need to write of myself to such a friend.
Hispania, ubi hujusmodi fructus clementius matu- | comfortable news, that he met you well, I could not rescant: quin et viderit idem dom. Tob. Matthæum, qui illic, quemadmodum nunc, instabit, et negotium promovebit: scilicet risissem, sed fidem prorsus non adhibuissem. Quare, illustrissime comes, cum talia miracula edideris in fortuna publica, etiam in fortuna amici et servi tui privata eniteat virtus tua. Miraculum enim potentiæ et fidei proles est. Tu potentiam habes, ego fide abundo, si modo digna sit res ad quam dominatio tua illustrissima manum salutarem porrigat. Id tempus optime demonstrabit. Cum nuper ad dominationem tuam illustrissimam scripserim, eo brevior fio. Hoc tantum a te peto, ut etiam inter negotia, quæ feliciter administras, consuetam digneris dom. Matthæo libertatem proponendi et consulendi apud te ea, quæ in rem meam fore videbimus.
Deus illustrissimam tuam dominationem servet incolumem, ut enixe optat, etc.
TO THE EARL OF BRISTOL, AMBASSADOR
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
THOUGH I have written to your lordship lately, yet I could not omit to put a letter into so good a hand as Mr. Matthew's, being one, that hath often made known unto me how much I am beholden to your lordship and knoweth likewise in what estimation I have ever had your lordship, not according to your fortunes, but according to your inward value. Therefore, not to hold your lordship in this time of so great business, and where I have so good a mean as Mr. Matthew, who, if there be any thing that concerns my fortune, can better express it than myself, I humbly commend myself and my service to your lordship, resting, &c.
TO SIR FRANCIS COTTINGTON, SECRETARY
GOOD MR. SECRETARY,
THOUGH I think I have cloyed you with letters, yet had I written a thousand before, I must add one more by the hands of Mr. Matthew, being as true a friend as any you or I have; and one, that made me so happy, as to have the assurance of our friendship; which if there be any stirring for my good, I pray practise in so good a conjunction as his. I ever rest, &c.
We hope well, and it is generally rather spoken, than believed, that his highness will return very speedily. But they be not the best pieces in painting, that are dashed out in haste. I hope, if any thing want in the speed of time, it will be compensed in the fruit of time, that all may sort to the best.
I have written a few words of duty and respect
Your most affectionate and assured friend,
I HAVE received your hearty congratulation for the great honour and gracious favour which his Majesty hath done me; and I do well believe, that no man is more glad of it than yourself.
Tobie Matthew is here; but what with the journey, and what with the affliction he endures, to find, as he says, that reason prevails nothing with these people, he is grown extreme lean, and looks as sharp as an eyas.† Only he comforts himself with a conceit, that he is now gotten on the other side of the water, where the same reason, that is valuable in other parts of the world, is of no validity here; but rather something else, which yet he hath not found out.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
I have let his highness see the good expressions your lordship's care and faithful affection to his A young hawk, just taken out of the nest.
person; and shall ever be ready to do you, in all things, the best service that I can.
So wishing your lordship much happiness, I rest Your lordship's faithful friend and humble servant,
G. BUCKINGHAM. Madrid, this 29th of May, 1623, st. vet.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM, IN SPAIN.
I HUMBLY thank your Grace for your letter of the 29th of May; and that your Grace doth believe, that no man is gladder of the increase of your honour and fortune, than I am; as, on the other part, no man should be more sorry, if it should in the least degree decline, nor more careful, if it should so much as labour. But of the first, I speak as a thing that is: but of the two latter, it is but a case put, which I hope I shall never see. And, to be plain with your Grace, I am not a little comforted to observe, that, although in common sense and experience, a man would have doubted, that some things might have sorted to your prejudice; yet in particulars we find nothing of it. For a man might reasonably have feared, that absence and discontinuance might have lessened his Majesty's favour: no such thing has followed. So likewise, that any, that might not wish you well, should have been bolder with you. But all is continued in good compass. Again, who might not have feared, that your Grace being there to manage, in great part, the most important business of Europe, so far from the king, and not strengthened with advice there, except that of the prince himself, and thus to deal with so politic a state as Spain, you should be able to go through as you do? and yet nothing, as we hear, but for your honour, and that you do your part. Surely, my lord, though your virtues be great, yet these things could not be, but that the blessing of God, which is over the king and the prince, doth likewise descend upon you as a faithful servant; and you are the more to be thankful to God for it.
I humbly thank your Grace, that you make me live in his highness's remembrance, whom I shall ever bear a heart to honour and serve. And I much joy to hear of the great and fair reputation, which at all hands are given him.
For Mr. Matthew, I hope by this time he hath gathered up his crumbs; which importeth much, I assure your Grace, if his cure must be, either by finding better reason on that side the line, or by discovering what is the motion that moveth the wheels, that, if reason do not, we must all pray for his being in good point. But in truth, my lord, I am glad he is there; for I know his virtues, and particularly his devotion to your lordship.
God return his highness and your Grace unto us safe and sound, and according to your heart's desires.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
GOOD MR. MATTHEW,
I HAVE received your letter of the 10th of June,* and am exceeding glad to hear you are in so good health. For that, which may concern myself, I neither doubt of your judgment in choosing the fittest time, nor of your affection in taking the first time you shall find it. For the public business, I will not turn my hopes into wishes yet, since you write as you do; and I am very glad you are there, and, as I guess, you went in good time to his lordship.
For your action of the case, it will fall to the ground; for I have not heard from the duke, neither by letter nor message, at this time. God keep you. I rest always
Your most affectionate and faithful servant,
Gray's-Inn, 17th of June, 1623.
I do hear from Sir Robert Ker, and others, how much beholden I am to you.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
I THANK you for your letter of the 26th of June, and commend myself unto your friendship, knowing your word is good assurance, and thinking I cannot wish myself a better wish, than that your power may grow to your will.
Since you say the prince hath not forgot his commandment, touching my History of Henry VIII. I may not forget my duty. But I find Sir Robert Cotton, who poured forth what he had, in my other work, somewhat dainty of his materials in this.
It is true, my labours are now most set to have those works, which I had formerly published, as that of "Advancement of Learning," that of " Henry VII." that of the "Essays," being retractate, and made more perfect, well translated into Latin by the help of some good pens, which forsake me not, for these modern languages will, at one time or other, play the bankrupts with books; and since I have lost much time with this age, I would be glad, as God shall give ine leave, to recover it with posterity.
For the essay of friendship, while I took your speech of it for a cursory request, I took my promise for a compliment. But since you call for it, I shall perform it.+
I am much beholden to Mr. Gage for many expressions of his love to me and his company, in itself very acceptable, is the more pleasing to me, because it retaineth the memory of yourself.
This letter of yours, of the 26th, lay not so long by you, but it hath been as speedily answered by me, so as with Sir Francis Cottington I have had no speech since the receipt of it. Your former let
+Among his "Essays," published in quarto, and dedicated to the duke of Buckingham, is one upon "Friendship."
ters, which I received from Mr. Griesley, I had answered before, and put my letter into a good hand. For the great business, God conduct it well. Mine own fortune hath taught me expectation.
God keep you.
To Mr. Matthew, into Spain.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
GOOD MR. MATTHEW,
I HAVE received your letter sent by my lord of Andover; and, as I acknowledged your care, so I cannot fit it with any thing, that I can think on for myself: for since Gondomar, who was my voluntary friend, is in no credit, neither with the prince, nor with the duke, I do not see what may be done for me there; except that which Gondomar hath lost, you have found; and then I am sure my case is amended; so, as with a great deal of confidence, I commend myself to you, hoping that you will do what in you lieth, to prepare the prince and duke to think of me upon their return. And if you have any relation to the infanta, I doubt not but it shall be also to my use.
God keep you.
you will think on upon your return: which if your Grace perform, I hope God Almighty, who hath hitherto extraordinarily blessed you in this rocky business, will bless you the more for my sake. For I have had extraordinary tokens of his divine favour towards me, both in sickness and in health, prosperity and adversity.
Vouchsafe to present my most humble duty to his highness, whose happy arrival will be a bright morning to all. I ever rest
Your Grace's most obliged and faithful servant,
Gray's-Inn, Aug. 29, 1623.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
GOOD MR. MATTHEW,
I HAVE gotten a little health; I praise God for it. I have therefore now written to his Grace, that I formerly, upon Mr. Clarke's despatch, desired you to excuse me for not writing, and taken knowledge, that I have understood from you, that I live in his Grace's remembrance; and that I shall be his first man, that he will have care of upon his return. And although your absence be to me as uncomfortable to my mind, as God may make it helpful to my fortunes; yet it is somewhat supplied by the love,
Your most affectionate and assured friend, &c. freedom, and often visitations of Mr. Gage; so as
when I have him, I think I want you not altogether.
Good keep you.
Your most affectionate and much obliged friend, &c,
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
THOUGH I have formerly given your Grace thanks for your last letter, yet being much refreshed to hear things go so well, whereby we hope to see you here shortly, your errand done, and the prince within the vail; I could not contain, but congratulate with your lordship, seeing good fortune, that is God's blessing, still follow you. I hope I have still place in your love and favour; which if I have, for other place, it shall not trouble me. I ever rest Your Grace's most obliged and faithful servant. July, 22, 1623.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
UPON Mr. Clarke's despatch, in troth I was ill in health, as he might partly perceive. Therefore I wrote to my true friend, and your Grace's devoted servant, Mr. Matthew, to excuse me to your Grace for not writing. Since, I thank God, I am pretty well recovered; for I have lain at two wards, one against my disease, the other against my physicians, who are strange creatures.
My lord, it rejoiceth me much, that I understand from Mr. Matthew, that I live in your Grace's remembrance; and that I shall be the first man, that
Minutes of a Letter to the Duke of Buckingham.
THAT I am exceeding glad his Grace is come home with so fair a reputation of a sound protestant, and so constant for the king's honour and errand.
His Grace is now to consider, that his reputation will vanish like a dream, except now, upon his return, he do some remarkable act to fix it, and bind it in.
They have a good wise proverb in the country, whence he cometh, taken I think from a gentlewoman's sampler, "Qui en no da nudo, pierdo punto," ," "He that tieth not a knot upon his thread, loseth his stitch."
Any particular I, that live in darkness, cannot propound. Let his Grace, who seeth clear, make his choice: but let some such thing be done, and then this reputation will stick by him; and his Grace may afterwards be at the better liberty to take and leave off the future occasions, that shall present.
*The prince and duke arrived from Spain in London, October 6, 1623.