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Chamber business, his majesty saith, there is a mistaking; for he meant not the Dutchmen's business, but that motion, which your lordship made unto him, of sitting in the Star-Chamber about the commissions, which he had not leisure to read till he came down to Royston, and hath reason to give you thanks for it, desiring you to prepare it, and study the point, of which he will speak more with you at his return to London, being a matter worthy your thinking on, and his majesty's practice.
For the last point of your letter, his majesty saith, it cannot but proceed of malice, that there should be any such plot, which he will not endure, but he will account those, that whisper of it in that sort, enemies of his service; and will put them out of their places that practise it. And so I rest
Your Lordship's faithful friend and servant,
Newmarket, Jan. 22, 1619.
TO MR. SECRETARY CALVERT. (a)
I HAVE received your letter of the 3d of this present, signifying his majesty's pleasure touching Peacock's (b) examinations, of which I will have special
My lord Coke is come to town, and hath sent me word, he will be with me on Monday, though he be somewhat lame. Howsoever, the service shall be done.
I was made acquainted, by your letter to secretary Naunton, with his majesty's dislike of the sending to him of the jolly letter from Zealand. I will now speak for myself, that, when it was received, I turned
(a) Harl. MSS. Vol. 7006.
(b) He was a minister of the University of Cambridge. He was committed to the Tower, for pretending that he had, by sorcery, infatuated the king's judgment in the cause of Sir Thomas Lake. Camd. Annal. Regis Jacobi I. p. 54.
to the master of the Wards (a) and said, Well, I "think you and I shall ever advise the king to do more for a Burlamachi, when he seeketh to his majesty by supplication and supplying the king at the "first word, than for all the rest upon any bravados "from the Burgomasters of Holland and Zealand;" who answered very honestly, that it was in the king's power to make them alter their style when he would. But when another of us said, we could not but in our own discharge send the king the letter, scilicit negandum non fuit; though indeed my way otherwise.
I have at last recovered from these companions, Harrison and Dale, a copy of my lord of Bangor's (b) book, the great one, and will presently set in hand the examinations. God keep you.
Your assured friend,
Feb. 5, 1619.
FR. VERULAM, Canc.
TO THE KING.
May it please your Majesty,
SIR Edward Coke is now a-foot, and, according to your command, signified by Mr. Secretary Calvert, we proceed in Peacock's examinations. For although there have been very good diligence used, yet certainly we are not at the bottom; and he that would not use the utmost of his line to sound such a business as this, should not have due regard, neither to your majesty's honour nor safety.
(a) Sir Lionel Cranfield.
(b) Dr. Lewis Bayly, born at Caermarthen, in Wales, and educated in Exeter College, Oxford. He had been minister of Evesham, in Worcestershire, and chaplain to prince Henry, and rector of St. Matthew's, Friday Street, in London. He was promoted to the bishoprick of Bangor in 1616. On the 15th of July, 1621, he was committed to the Fleet, but on what account is not related by Camden, Annales Regis Jacobi I. p. 72, who mentions the circumstance of the bishop's imprisonment; but that he was soon after set at liberty. He was the author of the well-known book, the Practice of Piety.
A man would think he were in Luke Hutton's case again; for as my lady Roos personated Luke Hutton, so, it seemeth, Peacock personateth Atkins. But I make no judgment yet, but will go on with all diligence and, if it may not be done otherwise, it is fit Peacock be put to torture. He deserveth it as well as Peacham did.
I beseech your majesty not to think I am more bitter, because my name is in it: for, besides that I always make my particular a cypher, when there is question of your majesty's honour and service; I think myself honoured for being brought into so good company. And as, without flattery, I think your majesty the best of kings, and my noble lord of Buckingham the best of persons favoured; so I hope, without presumption, for my honest and true intentions to state and justice, and my love to my master, I am not the worst of chancellors.
God ever preserve your majesty.
Feb. 10, 1619.
Your Majesty's most obliged
and most obedient servant, FR. VERULAM, Canc.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.
Most honoured Lord,
I PRESUME, now after term, if there be any such thing as an after term with your lordship, to offer this inclosed paper (a) to your sight, concerning the duke of Lerma; which, if your lordship have not already read, will not, I think, be altogether unpleasing, because it is full of particular circumstances. I know not how commonly it passeth up and down more or less. My friend, Mr. Gage, sent it me lately out of Spain. But howsoever I build upon
(a) I have, out of a ragged hand in Spanish, translated it, and accompanied it with some marginal notes, for your lordship's greater ease. Note of Mr. Matthew.
a sure ground; for though it should be vulgar, yet for my desire to serve your lordship, I cannot demerit so much, as not to deserve a pardon at your lordship's most noble hand.
Before the departure of the duke of Lerma from that court, there was written upon the gate for a pasquinade, that the house was governed por el Padre,y el Hijo, y un Santo; as in Paris about the same time was written upon the Louvre-Gate, C'est icy l'hostel des troys Roys; for Luynes's brother is almost as great as himself. But the while there is good store of kings now in Chistendom, though there be one fewer than there was.
In Spain there are very extraordinary preparations for a great armada. Here is lately in this court a current speech, as that the enterprise, whatsoever it should have been, is laid wholly aside : but that were strange. Yet this is certain, that the forces of men, to the number of almost two thousand, which were to have gone into Spain from hence, are discharged, together with some munition, which was also upon the point of being sent. Another thing is also certain, that both in the court of Spain and this, there is at this time a strange straitness of money; which I do not conceive, for my part, to proceed so much from want, as design to employ it. The rendezvous, where the forces were to meet, was at Malaga within the Straits; which makes the enterprise upon Algiers most likely to be intended. For I take that to be a wild conceit, which thinks of going by the Adriatic per far in un viaggio duoi servitii; as the giving a blow to Venice, and the landing of forces in aid of the king of Bohemia about Trieste,
Perhaps the king of Spain would be glad to let the world see, that now he is hors de paye; and by shewing himself in some action, to intitle the duke of Lerma to all his former sloth; or perhaps he now makes a great preparation, upon the pretence of some enterprise, that he will let fall, that so he may with the less noise assemble great forces some other year, for some other attempt not spoken of now.
My lord Compton (a) is in this court, and goes shortly towards Italy. His fashion is sweet, and his disposition noble, and his conversation fair and ho
Diego, my lord Roos's man, is come hither. I pray God it be to do me any good towards the recovery of the debt his lord owes me.
Most honoured lord, I am here at good leisure to look back upon your lordship's great and noble goodness towards me, which may go for a great example in this age; and so it doth. That which I am sure of is, that my poor heart, such as it is, doth not only beat, but even boil in the desires it hath to do your lordship all humble service.
I crave leave, though it be against good manners, that I may ever present my humblest service to my most honoured lady, my lady Verulam, and lady Constable, with my best respects to my dear friend, Sir John Constable; who, if your lordship want the leisure, would perhaps cast an eye upon the inclosed paper.
I do, with more confidence, presume to address this other letter to Mr. Meautys, because the contents thereof concern your lordship's service.
I beseech sweet Jesus to make and keep your lordship intirely happy. So I humbly do you reverence, remaining ever
Your Lordship's most obliged servant,
POST. I should be glad to receive some of your lordship's philosophical labours, if your lordship could so think fit. I do now receive a letter from the Conde de Gondomar, who, thinking that it should find me in England, saith thus: Beso las manos mil vezes a mi sennor, el sennor Gran Chancilor, con my coracon;
(a) Spencer, lord Compton, only son of William, earl of Northampton. This nobleman, who succeeded his father in his title and estate, in June 1630, was killed at Hopton-Heath, near Stafford, on Sunday, March 19, 1642-3, fighting for King Charles I.