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XLII. To FOULK GREVIL.
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 I now 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' 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 dispatch 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 her majesty, it shall be thought but to be servitum viscatum, limetwigs 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 infinitum; I am weary of it, as also of wearying my good friends: of whom nevertheless, I hope in one course or other gratefully to deserve. And so, not forgetting your business, I leave to trouble you with this idle letter, being but justa et moderata querimonia: for indeed I do confess, primus amor will not easily be cast off. And thus again I commend me to you.
XLIII. To my Lord of ESSEX.
It may please your good Lordship, I AM very sorry her majesty should take my my motion to travel in offence. But surely under our 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, flyeth 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 (a) Amyas Paulet into France, from her majesty's royal hand, 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 but 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 deserve. Thus, etc.
Ibid. XLIV. To Sir ROBERT CECIL, at his being in
It may please your honouralle Lordship,
I KNOW you will pardon this my observance, in writing to you, empty of matter, but 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
(a) This letter was therefore wrote about the year 1598.
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 to my purpose; being only to signify unto your lordship my continual 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.
At your honour's commandment ever and particularly.
Gray's Inn, 1598.
XLV. To Sir ROBERT CECIL.
My singular good Lord,
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 to your lordship occurrences, either of Scottish brags, or Irish plaints, 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. (a) 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.
(a) This seems to be written 1598, the time of Lord Burghley's last sickness.
XLVI. A LETTER of advice to the Earl of
My singular good Lord,
I DO write, because I had no time fully to express my conceit to your lordship touching Irish affairs, considering them as they may concern your lordship; knowing that you will consider them as they may concern the state. That it is one of the aptest particulars that hath come, or can come upon the state for your lordship to purchase honour upon, I am moved to think for three reasons: Because it is ingenerate, in your house, in respect of my lord your father's noble attempts: because of all the actions of state on foot at this time, the labour resteth most in that particular : and because the world will make a kind of comparison, between those that set it out of frame and those that bring it into frame: which kind of honour giveth the quickest kind of reflection. The transferring this honour upon yourself consisteth in two points: the one, if the principal person employed come in by you and depend upon you; the other, if your lordship declare yourself, and profess to undertake a care of that kingdom. For the persons, it falleth out well that your lordship hath had no interest in the persons of imputation: for neither Sir William Fitz-williams, nor Sir John Norrice, was yours. Sir William Russel was conceived yours, but was curbed. Sir Coniers Clifford, as I conceive it, dependeth on you, who is said to do well. And if my lord of Ormond, in the interim, doth accommodate things well, as it is said he doth, I take it he hath always had good understanding with your lordship: so as all things hitherto are not only whole and entire, but of favourable aspect towards your lordship, if hereafter you choose well: wherein in your wisdom you will remember there is a great difference in choice of the persons, as you shall think the affairs to incline to composition or to war.
Concerning the care of business, the general and popular conceit hath been, that Irish causes have been much neglected; whereby the very reputation of better care will put life into them. And I am sure her majesty, and my lords of the council, do not think their care dissolved when they have chosen whom to employ: but that they will proceed in a spirit of state, and not leave the main point to discretion. Then if a resolution be taken, a consultation must proceed; and the consultation must be governed upon information to be had from such as know the place, and matters in fact and in taking of information I have always noted there is a skill and a wisdom. But for a beginning and a key to that which shall follow, it were good your lordship would have some large and serious conference with Sir William Russel, Sir Richard Bingham, the earl of Thomond, and Mr. Wilbraham; to know their relation of the past; their opinion of the present; and their advice for the future. But I am of opinion much more would be had of them, if your lordship shall be pleased severally to confer; not obiter, but expressly upon some caveat given them to think of it before; for bene docet qui prudenter interrogat.
For the points of apposing them, I am too much a stranger to the business to deduce them; but in a general topic, methinks the pertinent interrogations must be; either of the possibility and means of accord; or of the nature of the war; or of the reformation of abuses; or of the joining of practice with force in the disunion of the rebels. If your lordship doubt to put your sickle into another's harvest, yet consider you have these advantages; first, time brings it to you in Mr. Secretary's absence: next, vis unita fortior: thirdly, the business being mixt with matters of war, it is fittest for you: and lastly, I know your lordship will carry it with that modesty and respect towards aged dignity, and that good correspondence towards my dear kinsman and your good friend now abroad, as no inconvenience may grow that way. Thus have I played the ignorant statesman; which I do to nobody but your lordship: except I do it to