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further your credit and preferment. And I dare assure you, though I am no undertaker, to prepare your way with my lord of Salisbury, for any good fortune which may befal you. You may teach me to complain of business, whereby I write the more briefly; and yet I am so unjust, as that which I allege for mine own excuse, I cannot admit for yours: for I must, by expecting, exact your letters, with this fruit of your sufficiency, as to understand how things pass in that kingdom. And therefore having begun, I pray you con tinue. This is not merely curiosity, for I have ever, I know not by what instinct, wished well to that impolished part of this crown. And So, with my very loving commendations, I remain.
Rawley's LXXVI. to the Earl of (a) NORTHAMPTON, desiring him to present the Advancement of Learning to the king.
It may please your good Lordship,
HAVING finished a work touching the advancement of learning, and dedicated the same to his sacred majesty, whom I dare avouch, if the records of time err not, to be the learnedest king that hath reigned; I was desirous, in a kind of congruity, to present it by the
(a) The earl of Northampton was the second son, and bore the name of that accomplished gentleman Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, son and heir to the duke of Norfolk, who suffered under the severity of king Henry VIII's latter days; the one by death, the other by imprisonment. During great part of the reign of queen Elizabeth, while his family lay under the cloud, he applied himself to learning; and to what a degree he arrived, appears by a book he published in 1583, against the poison of supposed prophecies, dedicated to Sir Francis Walsingham; and from the eulogy that was generally given him, that he was the most learned among the noble, and the most noble among the learned. But in the king's reign his advancement was speedy both in honours and riches. The services he performed as a commissioner in making the peace between England and Spain, gave birth to a saying in those times, but with what truth I know not, that his house in the Strand, now called Northumberland house, was built by Spanish gold. He died in 1614, leaving behind him the memory of some real good works, and of some supposed ill ones; being suspected of concealing his religion for many years, and of being privy to the untimely death of Sir Thomas Overbury. Stephens.
learnedest counsellor in this kingdom; to the end that so good an argument, lighting upon so bad an author, might receive some reputation by the hands into which, and by which, it shall be delivered. And therefore, I make it my humble suit to your lordship, to present this mean but well-meant writing to his majesty, and with it my humble and zealous duty; and also, my like humble request of pardon, if I have too often taken his name in vain, not only in the dedication, but in the voucher of the authority of his speeches and writings. And so I remain. 1605.
LXVII. To Sir (a) THOMAS BODLEY, upon Rawley's sending his book of Advancement of Learning. t.
I THINK no man may more truly say with the psalm, Multum incola fuit anima mea, than myself; for, I do confess, since I was of any understanding, my mind hath in effect been absent from that I have done; and in absence are many errors, which I do willingly acknowledge; and, amongst the rest, this great one that led the rest; that knowing myself by inward calling to be fitter to hold a book, than to play a part, I have led my life in civil causes; for which I was not very fit by nature, and more unfit by the preoccupation of my mind. Therefore calling myself home, I have now for a time enjoyed myself, whereof likewise I desire to make the world partaker. My labours, if I may so term that which was the comfort of my other labours, I have dedicated to the king; desirous, if there be any good in them, it may be as the fat of a sacrifice, incensed to his honour: and the second copy I have sent unto you, not only in good affection, but in a kind of congruity, in regard of your great and rare desert of learning. For books are the
(a) Sir Thomas Bodley restored the public library in Oxford, begun in the times of king Henry VI. by Humphry duke of Gloucester; or was rather the founder of a new one, which now bears his name, and which hath placed him among the chief benefactors to that university, and to the commonwealth of learning. He died in the entrance of the year 1613. Stephens.
shrines where the saint is, or is believed to be: and you' having built an ark to save learning from deluge, deserve propriety in any new instrument or engine whereby learning should be improved or advanced. 1605.
Rawley's LXXVIII. To the Earl of (a) SALISBURY, upon sending the Advancement of Learning.
It may please your good Lordship,
I PRESENT your lordship with a work of my vacant time, which if it had been more, the work had been better. It appertaineth to your lordship, besides my particular respects, in some propriety, in regard you are a great governor in a province of learning.
And, that which is more, you have added to your place affection towards learning; and to your affection judgment: of which the last I could be content were, for the time, less, that you might the less exquisitely censure that which I offer unto you. But sure I am, the argument is good, if it had lighted upon a good author. But I shall content myself to awake better spirits, like a bell-ringer, which is first up to call others to church. So with my humble desire of your lordship's good acceptation, I remain.
(a) Sir Robert Cecil, created by king James lord Cecil, viscount Cranburne, and earl of Salisbury, was not only son to one of the greatest statemen of his age, the lord Burleigh, but succeeded him in his places and abilities, and was one of the great supports of the queen's declining years. Yet the ill offices he was thought to perform towards the noble and popular earl of Essex, together with his conduct in some particulars in her successor's reign, abated the lustre of his character, which otherwise from his parts and prudence would have appeared very conspicuous. After he had been long secretary of state, some years lord treasurer and chancellor of the university of Cambridge, he died in May 1612, at Marlborough, in his return from the Bath; as by a diary of his sickness and the account given by Sir Robert Naunton, one of his retinue, appears; which I should not mention, but that his enemies in their libels, which flew freely about, have suggested that he died on the Downs; which, if true, could be esteemed at most but his misfortune. Stephens.
LXXIX. To the (a) Lord Treasurer BUCK- Rawley's HURST, on the same subject.
It may please your good Lordship,
I HAVE finished a work touching the advancement or setting forward of learning, which I have dedicated to his majesty, the most learned of a sovereign, or temporal prince that time hath known: and upon reason not unlike I humbly present one of the books to your lordship: not only as a chancellor of a university, but as one that was excellently bred in all learning; which I have ever noted to shine in all your speeches and behaviours: and therefore your lordship will yield a gracious aspect to your first love, and take pleasure in the adorning of that wherewith yourself are so much adorned. And so humbly desiring your favourable acceptation thereof, with signification of humble duty, I remain. 1605.
(a) I shall draw this noble lord's character from Sir Robert Naunton's observations of the favourites of queen Elizabeth; and much in his own words: My lord of Buckhurst was of the noble house of the Sackvilles, and of the queen's consanguinity. He was a very fine gentleman of person and endowments both of art and nature, but without measure magnificent, till on the turn of his humour, and the allay that his years, and good counsels of the queen, etc. had wrought upon those immoderate courses of his youth, and that height of spirit inherent to his house; she began to assist him in the reparation of that vast patrimony he had much wasted. After the honour she had given him of lord Buckhurst, and knight of the garter, she procured him to be chosen chancellor of the university of Oxford, upon the death of Sir Christopher Hatton, and constituted him lord treasurer, on the death of the lord Burleigh, which office he enjoyed till April, 1608, dying then suddenly at the council-table; the king having some years before created him earl of Dorset. He is also much commended for his happy vein in poetry, to which he was addicted in his youth; and for his elocution, and the excellencies of his pen; faculties that ran in the blood, as Sir Robert Naunton observes in his son Robert, and his grandsons Richard and Edward, successive earls of Dorset ; and the last age had the satisfaction to see continued in the person of the right honourable Charles earl of Dorset and Middlesex. Stephens.
Rawley's LXXX. To the Lord Chancellor, Sir T. EGERTON, Lord Ellesmere, on the same subject.
May it please your good Lordship,
I HUMBLY present your lordship with a work, wherein as you have much commandment over the author, so your lordship hath great interest in the argument: for, to speak without flattery, few have like use of learning, or like judgment in learning, as I have observed in your lordship. And again, your lordship hath been a great planter of learning, not only in those places in the church, which have been in your own gift, but also in your commendatory vote, no man hath more constantly held Detur digniori: and therefore, both your lordship is beholding to learning, and learning beholding to you: which maketh me presume with good assurance that your lordship will accept well of these my labours; the rather because your lordship in private speech hath often begun to me in expressing your admiration of his majesty's learning, to whom I have dedicated this work; and whose virtue and perfection in that kind did chiefly move me to a work of this nature. And so with signification of my most humble duty and affection to your lordship, I remain. 1605.
LXXXI. To Mr. MATTHEW.
I PERCEIVE you have some time when you can be content to think of your friends; from whom since you have borrowed yourself, you do well, not paying the principal, to send the interest at six months' day. The relation which here I send you enclosed, carries the truth of that which is public: and though my little leisure might have required a briefer, yet the matter would have endured and asked a larger.
I have now at last taught that child to go, at the swadling whereof you were. My work touching the proficiency and advancement of learning, I have put