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Your true and most devoted servant.

unfeignedly; and admireth you as much as is in a I shall never, whilst I breathe, alter mine own man to admire his sovereign upon earth. Only style in being your majesty's school (wherein he hath already so well profited as in this entrance upon the stage, being the time of greatest danger, he hath not committed any manifest error) will add per

fection to your majesty's comfort, and the great THE LORD KEEPER'S LETTER TO THE UNIVER contentment of your people. God ever preserve and prosper your majesty. I rest, in all humble


Your majesty's most bounden and most
devoted subject and servant.

A LETTER TO Sir George villiers, uPON THE


SIR,-I took much contentment in that I perceive by your letter that you took in so good part the freedom of my advice, and that yourself in your own nature consented therewith. Cer

tainly, no service is comparable to good counsel; and the reason is, because no man can do so much for another as a man may do for himself; now good counsel helpeth a man to help himself, but you have so happy a master as supplieth all; my service and good will shall not be wanting.


MY LORD, I am debtor to you of your letters,
and of the time likewise that I have taken to
answer them; but as soon as I could choose

What to think on, I thought good to let you
know, that although you may err much in your
valuation of me, yet you shall not be deceived in
though the manner be to mend the picture by the
your assurance; and for the other part also,
life, yet I would be glad to mend the life by the
picture, and to become, and be, as you express
me to be. Your gratulations shall be no more
welcome to me than your business or occasions,
which I will attend; and yet not so but that I
shall endeavour to prevent them by my care of
your good. And so I commend you to God's

Your most loving and assured friend and son,
Gorhambury, April 12, 1617.

It was graciously and kindly done also of his majesty towards me to tell you that you were beholding to me; but it must be then, for thinking of you as I do; for otherwise, for speaking as I think, it is but the part of an honest man. I send you your patent, whereof God give you joy: A LETTER OF KING JAMES, WRITTEN TO HIS and I send you here enclosed a little note of remembrance for that part of the ceremony which concerneth the patent; for, as for other ceremonies, I leave to others.

My lord chancellor despatched your patent presently upon the receipt; and wrote to me how glad he was of it, and how well he wished you. If you write to him a few words of thanks, I think you shall do well. God keep you, and

prosper you.

Your true and most devoted servant.



SIR,-I am more and more bound unto his majesty, who, I think, knowing me to have other ends than ambition, is contented to make me judge of mine own desires. I am now beating my brains, (amongst many cares of his majesty's business) touching the redeeming of time in this business of cloth. The great question is, how to miss, or how to mate the Flemings; how to pass by them, or how to pass over them.


MY LORD, I have received your letter, and your book; than the which you could not have sent a more acceptable present unto me. How thankful I am for it cannot better be expressed by me than by a firm resolution I have taken; first, to read it through with care and attention, though I should steal some hours from my sleep, having otherwise as little spare time to read it as you had to write it. And then, to use the liberty of a true friend in not sparing to ask you the question in any point where I shall stand in doubt; "Nam ejus est explicare cujus est con dere;" as, on the other part, I will willingly give a due commendation to such places as in my opinion shall deserve it. In the mean time, I can with comfort assure you, that you could not have made choice of a subject more befitting your place, and your universal methodic knowledge, and in the general, I have already observed, that you jump with me in taking the midway between the two extremes; as also in some particulars 1 have found that you agree fully with my opinion

In my next letter I shall alter your style; but And so, praying God to give your work as good

success as your heart can wish, and your labours mend your lordship as Xenophon commended the deserve, I bid you heartily farewell. state of his country, which was this: that having chosen the worst form of government of all others, they governed the best in that kind. "Hoc pace

October 16, 1620.




I may perceive, by my Lord Keeper, that your lordship, as the time served, signified unto him an intention to confer with his lordship at better opportunity; which in regard of your several and weighty occasions I have thought good to put your lordship in remembrance of; that now at his coming to the court it may be executed; desiring your good lordship, nevertheless, not to conceive out of this my diligence in soliciting this matter, that I am either much in appetite or much in hope. For, as for appetite, the waters of Parnassus are not like the waters of the Spa, that give a stomach, but rather they quench appetite and desires; and for hope, how can he hope much that can allege no other reason than the reason of an evil debtor, who will persuade his creditor to lend him new sums, and to enter further in with him to make him satisfy the old? And, to her majesty, no other reason but the reason of a waterman; I am her first man of those who serve in counsel of law. And so I commit your lordship to God's best preservation.


MY LORD,-Conceiving that your lordship came now up in the person of a good servant to see your sovereign mistress; which kind of compliments are many times "instar magnorum meritorum ;" and therefore that it would be hard for me to find you, I have committed to this poor paper the humble salutations of him that is more yours than any man's; and more yours than any man. To these salutations I add a due and joyful gratulation, confessing that your lordship, in your last conference with me before your journey, spake not in vain, God making it good, that you trusted we should say, "quis putasset?" Which, as it is found true in a happy sense, so I wish you do not find another "quis putasset," in the manner of taking this so great a service; but I hope it is as he said, "nubecula est citò transibit;" and that your lordship's wisdom and obsequious circumspection and patience will turn all to the best. So, referring all to some time that I may auend you, I commit you to God's best pre


et venià tuâ," according to my charter. Now, as your lordship is my witness that I would not trouble you whilst your own cause was in hand, (though that I know that the further from the term the better the time was to deal for me,) so, that being concluded, I presume I shall be one of your next cares. And having communicated with my brother of some course either to perfit the first, or to make me some other way; or rather, by seeming to make me some other way, to perfit the first, wherewith he agreed to acquaint your lordship; I am desirous, for mine own better satisfaction, to speak with your lordship myself, which I had rather were somewhere else than at court; and as soon as your lordship will assign me to wait on you. And so, in, etc.


SIR,-Your honour knoweth my manner is, though it be not the wisest way, yet taking it for the honestest, to do as Alexander did by his physician in drinking the medicine and delivering the advertisement of suspicion; so I trust on and yet do not smother what I hear. I do assure you, sir, that by a wise friend of mine, and not factious toward your honour, I was told with asseveration, that your honour was bought by Mr. Coventry, for 2000 angels; and that you wrought in a contrary spirit to my lord your father. And he said further, that from your servants, from your lady, from some counsellors that have observed you in my business, he knew you wrought underhand against me.

The truth of which tale

I do not believe; you know the event will show, and God will right. But as I reject this report, (though the strangeness of my case might make me credulous,) so I admit a conceit that the last messenger my lord and yourself used, dealt ill with your honours; and that word (speculation) which was in the queen's mouth rebounded from him as a commendation, for I am not ignorant of those little arts. Therefore, I pray, trust not him again in my matter. This was much to write, but I think my fortune will set me at liberty, who am weary of asserviling myself to every man's charity. Thus I, etc.


MY LORD, I am glad your lordship hath plunged out of your own business; wherein I must com


SIR,-Your good promises sleep, which it may seem now no time to awake, but that I do not find that any general calendar of observation of time serveth for the court; and, besides, if that h

done which I hope by this time is done, and that | find you conceive of me for the obtaining of a

other matter shall be done which we wish may be done, I hope to my poor matter, the one of these great matters may clear the way and the other give the occasion. And though my lord treasurer be absent, whose health, nevertheless, will enable him to be sooner at court than is expected; especially if this hard weather (too hard to continue) shall relent; yet we abroad say, his lordship's spirit may be there though his person be away. Once I take for a good ground that her majesty's business ought to keep neither vacation nor holiday, either in the execution or in the care and preparation of those whom her majesty calleth and useth; and, therefore, I would think no time barred from remembering that with such discretion and respect as appertaineth. The conclusion shall be to put you in mind to maintain that which you have kindly begun, according to the reliance I have upon the sincerity of your affection and the soundness of your judgment. And so I commend you to God's preservation.


IT MAY PLEASE your Lordship,

I am very sorry her majesty should take my motion to travail in offence; but surely, under her majesty's royal correction, it is such an offence as it should be an offence to the sun, when a man to avoid the scorching heat thereof flieth into the shade. And your lordship may easily think, that having now these twenty years (for so long it is, and more, since I went with Sir Amyas Paulett into France, from her majesty's royal hand) I made her majesty's service the scope of my life: I shall never find a greater grief than this, "relinquere amorem primum." But since "principia actionum sunt tantum in nostra potestate;" I hope her majesty of her clemency, yea, and justice, will pardon me, and not force me to pine here with melancholy. For though mine heart be good, yet mine eyes will be sore, so as I shall have no pleasure to look abroad, and if I should otherwise be affected, her majesty in her wisdom will think me an impudent man that would face out a disgrace; therefore, as I have ever found you my good lord and true friend, so I pray open the matter so to her majesty, as she may discern the necessity of it, without adding hard conceit to her rejection; of which I am sure the latter I never deserved. Thus, etc.



I am to give you humble thanks for your favourable opinion, which by Mr. Secretary's report I

good place which some of my honourable friends have wished unto me, "nec opinanti." I will use no reason to persuade your lordship's mediation but this, that your lordship and my other friends shall in this beg my life of the queen; for I see well the bar will be my bier, as I must and will use it rather than my poor estate or reputation shall decay; but I stand indifferent whether God call me or her majesty. Had I that in possession which by your lordship's only means against the greatest opposition her majesty granted me, I would never trouble her majesty, but serve her still voluntarily without pay. Neither do I in this more than obey my friends' conceits as one that would not be wholly wanting to myself. Your lordship's good opinion doth somewhat confirm me, as that I take comfort in above all others; assuring your lordship that I never thought so well of myself for any one thing as that I have found a fitness to my thinking in myself to observe and revere your virtues; for the continuance whereof in the prolonging of your days I will still be your beadsman; accordingly, at this time, commend your lordship to the divine protection.


SIR,-I understand of your pains to have visited me, for which I thank you. My matter is an endless question. I assure you, I had said, "requiesce anima mea;" but now I am otherwise put to my psalter, "nolite confidere," I dare go no farther. Her majesty had by set speech more than once assured me of her intention to call me to her service; which I could not understand but of the place I had been named to. And now, whether "invidus homo hoc fecit," or whether my matter must be an appendix to my Lord of Essex's suit, or whether her majesty, pretending to prove my ability, meaneth but to take advantage of some errors, which, like enough, at one time or other I may commit, or what it is, but her majesty is not ready to despatch it. And what though the master of the rolls and my Lord of Essex, and yourself and others think my case without doubt, yet, in the mean time I have a hard condition to stand so, that whatsoever service I do to her majesty, it shall be thought to be but "servitium viscatum," lime-twigs and fetches to place myself; and so I shall have envy, not thanks. This is a course to quench all good spirits, and to corrupt every man's nature; which will, I fear, much hurt her majesty's service in the end. I have been like a piece of stuff bespoken in the shop: and if her majesty will not take me, it may be the selling by parcels will be more gainful. For to be, as I told you, like a child following a bird, which, when he is nearest, flieth away and lighteth a little before,




and then the child after it again, and so in infini- | me, I know not whether I were unnatural, untum, I am weary of it: as also of wearying my thankful, or unwise. This causeth me, most good friends, of whom, nevertheless, I hope in one humbly to pray your lordship (and I know mine course or other gratefully to deserve. And so, not own case too well to speak it as weening I can forgetting your business I leave to trouble you do your lordship service, but as willing to do it, with this idle letter, being but "justa et mode- as) to believe that your lordship is upon just title rata querimonia." For, indeed, I do confess, a principal owner and proprietor of that I cannot primus amor," will not easily be cast off. And call talent, but mite that God hath given me; thus again I commend me to you. which I ever do and shall devote to your service. And in like humble manner I pray your lordship to pardon mine errors, and not to impute unto me the errors of any other; (which I know also, themselves have by this time left and forethought :) but to conceive of me to be a man that daily profiteth in duty. It is true, I do in part comfort myself, supposing that it is my weakness and insufficiency that moveth your lordship, who hath so general a command to use others more able. But let it be as it is; for duty only and homage I will boldly undertake that nature and true thankfulness shall never give place to a politic dependence. Lastly, I most humbly desire your lordship to continue unto me the good favour and countenance and encouragement in the course of my poor travails; whereof I have had some taste and experience; for the which, I yield your lordship my very humble good thanks. And so again craving your honour's pardon for so long a letter, carrying so empty an offer of so unpuissant a service, but yet a true and unfeigned signification of an honest and vowed duty, I cease, commending your lordship to the preservation of the Divine Majesty.

I know, I may commit an error in writing this letter, both in a time of great and weighty business; as also when myself am not induced thereto, by any new particular occasion: And, thereof, your lordship may impute to me either levity or ignorance, what appertaineth to good respects and forwardness of dealing; especially to an honourable person, in whom there is such concurrence of magnitudo honoris et oneris, as it is hard to say, whether is the greater. But I answer myself first, that I have ever noted it as a part of your lordship's excellent wisdom, "parvis componere magna," that you do not exclude inferior matters of access amongst the care of great. And, for myself, I thought it would better manifest what I desire to express, if I did write out of a deep and settled consideration of my own duty, rather than upon the spur of a particular occasion. And, therefore, (my singular good lord,) "ex abundantia cordis," I must acknowledge how greatly and diversely your lordship hath vouchsafed to tie me unto you by many your benefits. The reversion of the office which your lordship only procured unto me, and carried through great and vehement ⚫ opposition, though it yet bear no fruit, yet, it is one of the fairest flowers of my poor estate; your lordship's constant and serious endeavours to have me solicitor; your late honourable wishes, for the place of the wards; together with your lordship's attempt to give me way by the remove of Mr. Solicitor; they be matters of singular obligation; besides many other favours, as well by your lordship's grants from yourself, as by your commendation to others, which I have had


Most honourable and MY SINGULAR GOOD LORD, thanks for your lordship's remembering my name I cannot but importune your lordship with article of time, could not but be exceedingly ento my lord keeper; which being done in such an

riched both in demonstration and effect: which I

did well discern by the manner of expressing thereof by his lordship again to me. This accuhitherto worketh only this effect; that it raiseth mulating of your lordship's favours upon me, for my help; and may justly persuade myself, out my mind to aspire to be found worthy of them; of the few denials I have received, that fewer But whether I shall be able to pay my vows or no, and likewise to merit and serve you for them. might have been, if mine own industry and good I must leave that to God, who hath them in dehap had been answerable to your lordship's good-posito. Whom, also, I most instantly beseech to ness. But, on the other side, I most humbly pray your lordship's pardon if I speak it; the time is yet to come, that your lordship did ever use or command, or employ me in my profession in any services or occasion of your lordship's own, or such as are near unto your lordship; which hath made me fear sometimes that your lordship doth more honourably affect me than thoroughly discern of my most humble and dutiful affection to

give you fruit of your actions beyond that your Even to the environing of his benedictions, I heart can propound. "Nam Deus major est corde." recommend your lordship.


SIR,-There was no news better welcome to me

your lordship again. Which, if it were not in this long time, than that of the good success of

my kinsman; wherein if he be happy he cannot be nappy alone, it consisting of two parts. And I render you no less kind thanks for aid and your favour towards him, than if it had been for myself; assuring you that this bond of alliance shall, on my part, tie me to give all the tribute to your good fortune upon all occasions, that my poor strength can yield. I send you so required an abstract of the lands of inheritance, and one lease of great value, which my kinsman bringeth, with a note of the tenures, values, contents, and state, truly and perfectly drawn; whereby you may perceive the land is good land, and well countenanced by scope of acres, woods, and royalties, though the total of the rents be set down as it now goeth without improvement: in which respect it somewhat differ from your first note. Out of this, what he will assure in jointure, I leave it to his own kindness; for I love not to measure affection. To conclude, I doubt not your daughter might have married to a better living, but never to a better life; having chosen a gentleman bred to all honesty, virtue, and worth, with an estate convenient. And if my brother or myself were either thrivers, or fortunate in the queen's service, I would hope there should be left as great a house of the Cokes in this gentleman as in your good friend, Mr. Attorney General. But sure I am, if Scriptures fail not, it will have as much of God's blessing and sufficiency as ever the best feast, &c.




I know you will pardon this my observance, in writing to you empty of matter, but out of the fulness of my love. I am sorry that, as your time of absence is prolonged above that was esteemed at your lordship's setting forth; so, now, upon this last advertisement received from you, there groweth an opinion amongst better than the vulgar, that the difficulties also of your negotiation are increased. But, because I know the gravity of your nature to be not to hope lightly, it maketh me to despair the less. For you are "natus ad ardua:" and the indisposition of the subject may honour the skill of the workman. Sure I am, judgment and diligence shall not want in your lordship's self: but this was not my purpose; being only to signify unto your lordship my conunual and incessant love towards you, thirsting after your return for many respects. So I commend you ever to the good preservation of the divine majesty. Gray's Inn.

At your honour's commandment, ever, and particularly.



The argument of my letters to your lordship rather increaseth than spendeth; it being only the desire I have to salute you: which, by your absence is more augmented than abated. For me to write your lordship occurrences either of Scottish brags or Irish plants, or Spanish ruffling, or Low Country states, were (besides that it is "alienum quiddam" from mine own humour) to forget to whom I write; save that you, that know true advertisements, sometimes desire and delight to hear common reports; as we that know but common reports desire to hear the truth. But to leave such as write to your fortunes, I write to yourself in regard of my love to you, you being as near to me in heart's blood as in blood of descent. This day I had the contentment to see your father upon occasion; and methought his lordship's countenance was not decayed, nor his cough vehement; but his voice was as faint all the while as at first. Thus, wishing your lordship a happy and speedy return, I commend you to the Divine Majesty.



I would not fail to give your majesty my most humble and due thanks for your royal choice of such commissioners in the great Star Chamber cause; being persons besides their honour of such science and integrity. By whose report I doubt not but your majesty will find that which you have been heretofore informed, (both by my lord keeper, and by some much meaner person,) touching the nature of that cause, to be true. This preparatory hearing doth already assail me with new and enlarged offers of composition; which, if I had borne a mind to have hearkened unto, this matter had been quenched long ago, without any benefit to your majesty. But your majesty's benefit is to me in greater regard than mine own particular: trusting to your majesty's gracious disposition and royal word, that your majesty will include me in any extraordinary course of your sovereign pleasure, which your majesty shall like to take in this cause. other man I spoke to your majesty of, may, within these two terms, be in the same straits between your majesty's justice and mercy, that this man now is, if your majesty be so pleased. So, most humbly craving pardon for my presuming to seek access for these few lines, I recommend your majesty to the most precious custody, and best preservation of the Divine Majesty.


Your majesty's most humble and entirely obedient servant and subject.

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