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commissioner of the union, until the time that I was this last parliament chosen by both houses for their messenger to your Majesty in the petition of religion, (which two were my first and last services,) II was. I have borne your Majesty's image in
favour, even the prime officer of your kingdom; your Majesty's arm hath been often laid over mine in council, when you presided at the table; so near
was evermore so happy as to have my poor services
Neither (my most gracious sovereign) do I, by this mention of my services, lay claim to your princely grace and bounty, though the privilege of calamity doth bear that form of petition. I know well, had they been much more, they had been but my bounden duty. Nay, I must also confess, that they were from time to time, far above my merit, over and super-rewarded by your Majesty's benefits which you heaped upon me. Your Majesty was and is that master to me, that raised and advanced me nine times; thrice in dignity, and six times in office. The places indeed were the painfullest of all your services; but then they had both honour and profits. And the then profits might have maintained my now honour, if I had been wise. Neither was your Majesty's immediate liberality wanting towards me in some gifts, if I may hold them. All this I do most thankfully acknowledge, and do herewith conclude, that for any thing arising from myself to move your eye of pity towards me, there is much more in my present misery, than in my past services; save that the same your Majesty's goodness, that may give relief to the one, may give value to the other.
And indeed, if it may please your Majesty, this theme of my misery is so plentiful, as it need not be coupled with any thing else. I have been somebody by your Majesty's singular and undeserved
metal, much more in heart; I was never in nineteen year's service chidden by your Majesty, but contrariwise often overjoyed, when your Majesty would sometimes say, I was a good husband for you, though none for myself: sometimes, that I had a way to deal in business suavibus modis, which was the way which was most according to your own heart and other most gracious speeches of affection and trust, which I feed on to this day. But why should I speak of these things which are now vanished, but only the better to express the downfal? For now it is thus with me: I am a year and a half old in misery: though I must ever acknowledge, not without some mixture of your Majesty's grace and mercy; for I do not think it possible, that any one whom you once loved should be totally miserable. Mine own means, through my own improvidence, are poor and weak, little better than my father left me. The poor things that I have had from your Majesty, are either in question or at courtesy. My dignities remain marks of your past favour, but burdens of my present fortune. The poor remnants which I had of my former fortunes, in plate or jewels, I have spread upon poor men unto whom I owed, scarce leaving myself a convenient subsistence. So as, to conclude, I must pour out my misery before your Majesty, so far as to say, Si deseris tu, perimus.
But as I can offer to your Majesty's compassion little arising from myself to move you, except it be my extreme misery, which I have truly laid open; so looking up to your Majesty's own self, I should think I committed Cain's fault, if I should despair. Your Majesty is a king whose heart is as unscrutable for secret motions of goodness, as for depth of wisdom. You are creator-like, factive and not destructive. You are the prince in whom hath been ever noted an aversation against any thing that savoured of a hard heart; as, on the other side, your princely eye was wont to meet with any motion that was made on the relieving part. Therefore as one that hath had the happiness to know your Majesty's near hand, I have (most gracious sovereign) faith enough for a miracle, and much more for a grace, that your Majesty will not suffer your poor creature to be utterly defaced, nor blot that name quite out of your book, upon which your sacred hand hath been so oft for the giving him new ornaments and additions.
Unto this degree of compassion, I hope God above (of whose mercy towards me, both in my prosperity and adversity, I have had great testimonies and pledges, though my own manifold and wretched unthankfulness might have averted them) will dispose your princely heart, already prepared to all piety. And why should I not think, but that that thrice noble prince, who would have pulled me out of the fire of a sentence, will help to pull me (if I may use that homely phrase) out of the mire of an Therefore this was wrote near the middle of 1622.
abject and sordid condition in my last days: and that excellent favourite of yours (the goodness of whose nature contendeth with the greatness of his fortune; and who counteth it a prize, a second prize, to be a good friend, after that prize which he carrieth to be a good servant) will kiss your hands with joy for any work of piety you shall do for me.* And as all commiserable persons, especially such as find their hearts void of all malice, are apt to think that all men pity them, so I assure myself that the lords of your council, who out of their wisdom and nobleness cannot but be sensible of human events, will in this way which I go, for the relief of my estate, further and advance your Majesty's goodness towards me. For there is, as I conceive, a kind of fraternity between great men that are, and those that have been, being but the several tenses of one verb; nay, I do farther presume, that both houses of parliament will love their justice the better, if it end not in my ruin; for I have been often told, by many of my lords, as it were in the way of excusing the severity of the sentence, that they knew they left me in good hands. And your Majesty knoweth well, I have been all my life long acceptable to those assemblies, not by flattery, but by moderation, and by honest expressing of a desire to have all things go fairly and well.
But if it may please your Majesty, (for saints I shall give them reverence, but no adoration, my address is to your Majesty, the fountain of goodness,) your Majesty shall by the grace of God, not feel that in gift, which I shall extremely feel in help; for my desires are moderate, and my courses measured to a life orderly and reserved, hoping still to do your Majesty honour in my way. Only I most humbly beseech your Majesty to give me leave to conclude with those words which necessity speaketh : Help me (dear sovereign lord and master) and pity me so far, as that I, that have borne a bag, be not now in my age forced in effect to bear a wallet; nor that I, that desire to live to study, may not be driven to study to live. I most humbly crave pardon of a long letter, after a long silence. God of heaven ever bless, preserve, and prosper your Majesty. Your Majesty's poor ancient servant and beadsman,
FR. ST. ALBAN.
CCLXXVII. TO MR. MATTHEW, EMPLOYING HIM TO DO A GOOD OFFICE WITH A GREAT MAN.‡
I HAVE received your letter, wherein you mention Vouchsafe to express towards me. Matth. Although the subject matter of this and some other letters of the like nature hath given me occasion to make some remarks thereon already; yet I cannot omit taking notice, in this place, of what the learned Monsieur Le Clerc hath observed in the twelfth chapter of his Reflections upon Good and Bad Fortune. Where, in his discourse of liberality, and the obligations that are upon princes, &c. to extend their bounty to learned men, in respect of the benefit the world receives from them; he expresses his sense of the honour which was due to the memory of those who assisted Erasmus and Grotius, and his resentment of the neglect of king James, for deserting the lord Bacon: "One cannot read,' saith he, "without
some passages at large, concerning the lord you know of. You touched also that point in a letter which you wrote upon my lord's going over; which I answered, and am a little doubtful, whether mine ever came to your hands. It is true, that I wrote a little sullenly therein, how I conceived that my lord was a wise man in his own way, and perhaps thought it fit for him to be out with me; for at least I found no cause thereof in myself. As for the latter of these points, I am of the same judgment still; but for the former, I perceive by what you write, that it is merely some misunderstanding of his : and I do a little marvel at the instance, which had relation to that other crabbed man; for I conceived that both in passing that book, and (as I remember) two more, immediately after my lord's going over, I had showed more readiness than many times I use in like cases. But, to conclude, no man hath thought better of my lord than I have done. I know his virtues, and namely, that he hath much greatness of mind, which is a thing almost lost amongst men: nor can any body be more sensible and remembering than I am of his former favours; so that I shall be most glad of his friendship. Neither are the past occasions in my opinion such, as need either reparation or declaration; but may well go under the title of nothing. Now I had rather you dealt between us than any body else, because you are no way drenched in any man's humour. Of other things at another time; but this I was forward to write in the midst of more business than ever I had.
CCLXXVIII. TO THE LORD DIGBY, ON HIS GOING TO SPAIN.§
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I Now only send my best wishes to follow you at sea and land, with due thanks for your late great favours. God knows whether the length of your voyage will not exceed the size of my hour-glass : but whilst I live, my affection to do your lordship service shall remain quick under the ashes of my fortune.
CCLXXIX. TO MR. MATTHEW.||
IN this solitude of friends, which is the base court of adversity, where nobody almost will be seen stirring, I have often remembered this Spanish sayindignation, that which is reported of the famous chancellor of England, Francis Bacon, whom the king suffered to languish in poverty, whilst he preferred worthless persons, to his dishonour. A little before his death this learned man writ to that prince a bemoaning letter;" and then cites this moving conclusion out of Howell's letters; which though that author thought it argued a little abjection of spirit in my lord Bacon; yet Monsieur Le Clerc thinks it showed a much lower in the king, to permit so able a man to lie under the necessity of making so sad a request, and yet withal to afford no relief.-Stephens.
Sir Tobie Matthew's Second Collection of Letters, p. 31
Sir Tobie Matthew's Collection of Letters, p. 51.
ing, Amor sin fin, no tiene fin.*
This bids me make | house, I humbly pray you think better of it. For that motion to me was a second sentence more grievous than the first, as things then stood, and do yet stand: for it sentenced me to have lost both in my own opinion, and much more in the opinion of others, that which was saved to me, almost only, in the former sentence; and which was more dear to me than all that which was taken from me, which is your lordship's love and favour. For had it not been for that bitter circumstance, your lordship knows, that you might have commanded my life, and all that is mine. But surely it could not be that, nor any thing in me, which wrought the change. It is likely on the other part, that though your lordship in your nature I know to be generous and constant, yet I being now become out of sight, and out of use, your lordship having a flood of new friends, and your ears possessed perhaps by such as would not leave room for an old; your lordship may, even by course of the world, and the overbearing of others, be turned from me; and it were almost a miracle if it should be otherwise. But yet, because your lordship may still have so heroical a spirit, as to stand out in all these violent assaults, which might have alienated you from your friend; my humble suit to your lordship is, that remembering our former friendship, which began with your beginnings, and since that time hath never failed on my part, your lordship would deal clearly with me, and let me know whether I continue in your favour or no; and whether in those poor requests, which I may yet make to his Majesty (whose true servant I ever was and am) for the tempering of my misery, I may presume to use your lordship's favour and help as I have done; for otherwise it were a kind of stupidness in me, and a great trouble also to your lordship, for me not to discern the change, for your lordship to have an importuner, instead of a friend and a suitor. Though howsoever, if your lordship should never think of me more, yet in respect of your former favours, which cannot altogether be made void, I must remain, &c.
CCLXXX. AN EXPOSTULATION TO THE
MY VERY Good lord,
YOUR lordship will pardon me, if, partly in the freedom of adversity, and partly of former friendship, (the sparks whereof cannot but continue,) I open myself to your lordship, and desire also your lordship to open yourself to me. The two last acts which you did for me, in procuring the releasement of my fine, and my Quietus est, I acknowledge, were effects real and material of your love and favour; which, as to my knowledge, it never failed in my prosperity, so in these two things it seems not to have turned with the wheel. But the extent of these two favours is not much more than to keep me from persecution. For any thing farther, which might tend to my comfort and assistance, as I cannot say to myself, that your lordship hath forsaken me; so I see not the effects of your undeserved, yea undesired professions and promises; which being made to a person in affliction, have the nature, after a sort, of vows. But that which most of all makes me doubt of a change or cooling in your lordship's affection towards me, is, that being twice now at London, your lordship did not vouchsafe to see me, though by messages you gave me hope thereof, and the latter time I had begged it of your lordship.
The cause of change may either be in myself or your lordship. I ought first to examine myself, which I have done; and God is my witness, I find all well, and that I have approved myself to your lordship a true friend, both in the watery trial of prosperity, and in the fiery trial of adversity. If your lordship take any insatisfaction touching the
Love without ends hath no end, was a saying of Gondomar the Spanish ambassador; meaning thereby, that if it were begun not upon particular ends, it would last. Bacon's Apophthegms, 67. Vol. I. p. 315.
CCLXXXI. TO THE LORD ST. ALBAN.‡
I HAVE despatched the business your lordship recommended to me, which I send your lordship here enclosed, signed by his Majesty, and have likewise moved him for your coming to kiss his hand, which he is pleased you should do at Whitehall when he returneth next thither.
In the mean time I rest
I will give order to my secretary to wait upon
Endorsed by the lord St. Alban's hand,
Stephens's Second Collection, p. 174.
CCLXXXII. TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKING-
THOUGH I have troubled your lordship with many letters, oftener than I think I should, (save that affection keepeth no account,) yet upon the repair of Mr. Matthew, a gentleman so much your lordship's servant, and to me another myself, as your lordship best knoweth, you would not have thought me a man alive, except I had put a letter into his hand, and withal, by so faithful and approved a man, commended my fortunes afresh unto your lordship.
My lord, to speak my heart to your lordship, I never felt my misfortunes so much as now: not for that part which may concern myself, who profit (I thank God for it) both in patience, and in settling mine own courses; but when I look abroad and see the times so stirring, and so much dissimulation and falsehood, baseness and envy in the world, and so many idle clocks going in men's heads, then it grieveth me much, that I am not sometimes at your lordship's elbow, that I might give you some of the fruits of the careful advice, modest liberty, and true information of a friend that loveth your lordship as I do. For though your lordship's fortunes be above the thunder and storms of inferior regions; yet nevertheless, to hear the wind and not to feel it, will make one sleep the better.
Your lordship's most obliged and faithful servant, FR. ST. ALBAN. Gray's-Inn, this 18th April, 1623.
CCLXXXIII. TO THE DUKE OF BUCKING-
Stephens's Second Collection, p. 175. + Ibid. p. 177.
How much I rejoice in your Grace's safe return, you will easily believe, knowing how well I love you, and how much I need you. There be many things in this journey both in the felicity and in the carriage thereof, that I do not a little admire, and wish your Grace may reap more and more fruits in continuance answerable to the beginnings. Myself have ridden at anchor all your Grace's absence, and my cables are now quite worn. I had from Sir Toby Matthew, out of Spain, a very comfortable message, that your Grace had said, I should be the first that you would remember in any great favour after your return and now coming from court, he telleth me he had commission from your lordship to confirm it: for which I humbly kiss your hands.
My lord, do some good work upon me, that I may end my days in comfort, which nevertheless cannot be complete except you put me in some way to do your noble self service; for I must ever rest Your Grace's most obliged and faithful servant, FR. ST. ALBAN.
My good lord, somewhat I have been, and much I have read; so that few things that concern states or greatness, are new cases unto me: and therefore I hope I may be no unprofitable servant to your lordship. I remember the king was wont to make a character of me, far above my worth, that I was not made for small matters; and your lordship would sometimes bring me from his Majesty that Latin sentence, De minimis non curat lex: and it hath so fallen out, that since my retiring, times have been fuller of great matters than before; wherein perhaps, if I had continued near his Majesty, he might have found more use of my service, if my gift lay that way but that is but a vain imagination of mine. True it is, that as I do not aspire to use my talent in the king's great affairs; yet for that which may concern your lordship, and your fortune, no man living shall give you a better account of faith, industry, and affection, than I shall. I must conclude with that which gave me occasion of this letter, which is Mr. Matthew's employment to your lord
ship in those parts, wherein I am verily persuaded CCLXXXV. TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.§ your lordship shall find him a wise and able gentleman, and one that will bend his knowledge of the world (which is great) to serve his Majesty, and the prince, and in especial your lordship. So I rest
12 Oct. 1623.
I have written to his highness, and had presented my duty to his highness, to kiss his hands at Yorkhouse, but that my health is scarce yet confirmed.
CCLXXXIV. TO THE LORD ST. ALBAN.†
THE assurance of your love makes me easily believe your joy at my return; and if I may be so happy, as by the credit of my place to supply the decay of your cables, I shall account it one of the special fruits thereof. What Sir Toby Matthew hath delivered on my behalf, I will be ready to make good, and omit no opportunity that may serve for the endeavours of
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,
Royston, Octob. 14, 1623.
I SEND your Grace for a parabien a book of mine, written first and dedicated to his Majesty in English, and now translated into Latin and enriched. After
his Majesty and his highness, your Grace is ever to
the Conde d'Olivares, because he was a deacon; for
I understand by one, that your Grace may guess CCLXXXVIII. TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGwhom I mean, that the Conde is not rational, and I hold this book to be very rational. Your Grace will pardon me to be merry, however the world goeth with me. I ever rest
Your Grace's most faithful and obliged servant,
FR. ST. ALBAN. Gray's-Inn, this 22d October, 1623.
I have added a begging postscript in the king's letter; for, as I writ before, my cables are worn out, my hope of tackling is by your lordship's means. For me and mine I pray command.
CCLXXXVI. TO THE LORD ST. ALBAN.*
I GIVE your lordship many thanks for the parabien you have sent me; which is so welcome unto me, both for the author's sake and for the worth of itself, that I cannot spare a work, of so much pains to your lordship and value to me, unto a man of so little reason and less art; who if his skill in languages be no greater than I found it in argument, may, perhaps, have as much need of an interpreter, for all his deaconry, as myself; and whatsoever mine ignorance is in the tongue, yet this much I understand in the book, that it is a noble monument of your love, which I will entail to my posterity, who I hope, will both reap the fruit of the work, and honour the memory of the author. The other book I delivered to his Majesty, who is tied here by the feet longer than he purposed to stay.
For the business your lordship wrote of in your other letters, I am sorry I can do you no service, having engaged myself to Sir William Becher before my going into Spain, so that I cannot free myself, unless there were means to give him satisfaction. But I will ever continue
Your lordship's assured friend and faithful
Hinchenbrook, 27 Oct. 1623.
CCLXXXVII. TO THE LORD ST. ALBAN. †
I HAVE delivered your lordship's letter and your book to his Majesty, who hath promised to read it over: I wish I could promise as much for that which you sent me, that my understanding of that language might make me capable of those good fruits, which, I assure myself by an implicit faith, proceed from your pen. But I will tell you in good English, with my thanks for your book, that I ever rest
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,
Hinchenbrook, 29 Oct. 1623.
I SEND Mr. Parker to have ready, according to the speech I had with your Grace, my two suits to his Majesty, the one for a full pardon, that I may die out of a cloud; the other for a translation of my honours after my decease. I hope his Majesty will have compassion on me, as he promised me he would. My heart telleth me that no man hath loved his Majesty and his service more entirely, and love is the law and the prophets. I ever rest
Your Grace's most obliged and faithful servant, 25 Nov. 1623. FR. ST. ALBAN.
CCLXXXIX. TO THE LORD ST. ALBAN.§
MY HONOURABLE LORD,
I HAVE received your lordship's letter, and have been long thinking upon it, and the longer the less able to make answer unto it. Therefore if your lordship would be pleased to send any understanding man unto me, to whom I may in discourse open myself, I will by that means so discover my heart with all freedom, which were too long to do by letter, especially in this time of parliament business, that your lordship shall receive satisfaction. In the mean time I rest
Your lordship's faithful servant,
Royston, 16 December.
CCXC. TO THE LORD ST. ALBAN.||
I HAVE moved his Majesty in your suit, and find him very graciously inclined to grant it; but he desireth first to know from my lord treasurer his opinion and the value of it: to whom I have written to that purpose this enclosed letter, and would wish your lordship to speak with him yourself for his favour and fartherance therein; and for my part I will omit nothing that appertaineth to
Your lordship's faithful friend and servant,
CCXCI. TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.¶
I HAVE received the warrant, not for land but for the money, which if it may be speedily served, is Ibid. p. 181. § Ibid. p. 184. || Ibid. p. 185. ¶ Ibid.