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Reasons of doubting.] The reasons, why I should doubt of your lordship's coolness towards me, or falling from me, are either out of judgment and discourse, or out of experience, and somewhat that I find. My judgment telleth, that when a man is out of sight and out of use, it is a nobleness somewhat above this age to continue a constant friend: that some, that are thought to have your ear, or more, love me not, and may either disvalue me, or distaste your lordship with me. Besides, your lordship hath now so many, either new-purchased friends, or reconciled enemies, as there is scarce room for an old friend specially set aside. And lastly, I may doubt, that that, for which I was fittest, which was to carry things suavibus modis, and not to bristle, or undertake, or give venturous counsels, is out of fashion and request.
As for that, I find your lordship knoweth, as well as I, what promises you made me, and iterated them back by message, and from your mouth, consisting of three things: the pardon of the whole sentence; some help for my debts; and an annual pension, which your lordship did set at 2000l. as obtained, and 3000/. in hope. Of these being promises undesired, as well as favours undeserved, there is effected only the remission of the fine, and the pardon now stayed. From me I know there hath proceeded nothing, that may cause the change. These I lay before you, desiring to know, what I may hope for; for hopes are racks, and your lordship, that would not condemn me to the Tower, I know will not condemn me to the rack.
The pardon stayed.] I have, though it be a thing trivial, and that at a coronation one might have it for five marks, and after a parliament for nothing, yet have great reason to desire it, specially being now stirred; chiefly, first, because I have been so sifted; and now it is time there were an end. Secondly, because I mean to live a retired life; and so cannot be at hand to shake off any clamour.
For any offence the parliament should take, it is rather honour, that in a thing, wherein the king is ab
solute, yet he will not interpose in that, which the parliament hath handled; and the king hath already restored judicature, after a long intermission: but for matter of his grace, his majesty shall have reason to keep it entire.
I do not think any, except a Turk or Tartar, would wish to have another chop out of me. But the best is, it will be found there is a time for envy, and a time for pity; and cold fragments will not serve, if the stomach be on edge. For me, if they judge by that, which is past, they judge of the weather of this year by an almanack of the old year; they rather repent of that they have done, and think they have but served the turns of a few.
THOMAS MEAUTYS, ESQ. (a) TO THE LORD
VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
May it please your Lordship,
As soon as I came to London, I repaired to Sir Edward Sackville, (b) whom I find very zealous, as I told your lordship. I left him to do you service, in any particular you shall command him, to my lord marquis, though it were with some adventure; and withal he imparted to me what advice he had given to my lady this afternoon, upon his visiting of her at Yorkhouse, when Mr. Packer also, as it fell out, was come, at the same time, to see my lady, and seemed to concur with Sir Edward Sackville in the same ways; which were, for my lady to become a suitor to
(a) He had been secretary to the lord viscount St. Alban, while his lordship had the great seal, and was afterward clerk of the council, and knighted. He succeeded his patron in the manor of Gorhambury, which, after the death of Sir Thomas, came to his cousin and heir, Sir Thomas Meautys, who married Anne, daughter of Sir Nathaniel Bacon of Culford Hall, in Suffolk, knight; which lady married a second husband, Sir Harbottle Grimstone, baronet, and master of the rolls; who purchased the reversion of Gorhambury, from Sir Hercules Meautys, nephew of the second Sir Thomas.
(b) Afterward Earl of Dorset, well known for his duel in 1613, with the lord Kinloss, in which the latter was killed.
my lady Buckingham, (a) and my lady marchioness, (c) to work my lord marquis for obtaining of the king some bounty towards your lordship; and in particular, that of the thousand pounds for the small writs. If I may speak my opinion to your lordship, it is not amiss to begin any way, or with any particular, though but small game at first, only to set a rusty clock a-going, and then haply it may go right for a time, enough to bring on the rest of your lordship's requests. Yet because your lordship directed me to wish my lady, from you, by no means, to act any thing, but only to open her mind, in discourse, unto friends, until she should receive your farther direction; it became not me to be too forward in putting it on too fast with Sir Edward; and my lady was pleased to tell me since, that she hath written to your lordship at large.
I inquired, even now, of Benbow, whether the proclamation for dissolving the parliament were coming forth. He tells me he knows no more certainty of it than that Mr. Secretary commanded him yesterday to be ready for dispatching of the writs, when he should be called for; but since then he hears it sticks, and endures some qualms; but they speak it still aloud at court, that the king is resolved of it.
Benbow tells me likewise, that he hath attended, these two days, upon a committee of the lords, with the book of the commission of peace; and that their work is to empty the commission in some counties by the score, and many of them parliament-men: which course sure helps to ring the passing-bell to the parliament.
Mr. Borough (c) tells me, he is at this present fain to attend some service for the king; but about Sa
(a) Mary, countess of Buckingham, mother of the marquis." (b) Catharine, marchioness of Buckingham, wife of the marquis, and only daughter and heir of Francis, earl of Rutland.
(c) John Borough, educated in common law at Gray's Inn, keeper of the records of the Tower of London, secretary to the earl marshal, in 1623 made Norroy; in July the year following knighted, and on the 23d of December, the same year, made garter king at arms in the place of Sir William Segar. He died October 21, 1643.
turday he hopes to be at liberty to wait upon your lordship. I humbly rest
Your Lordship's for ever to honour and serve,
January 3, 1621.
To the right honourable my most honoured lord, the lord viscount St. Alban.
TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
May it please your Lordship,
THIS afternoon my lady found access to my lord marquis, procured for her by my lord of Montgomery (a) and Sir Edward Sackville, who seemed to contend, which of them should shew most patience in waiting, which they did a whole afternoon, the opportunity to bring my lord to his chamber, where my lady attended him. But when he was come, she found time enough to speak at large: and though my lord spake so loud, as that what passed was no secret to me and some others, that were within hearing; yet, because my lady told me she purposeth to write to your lordship the whole passage, it becomes not me to anticipate, by these, any part of her ladyship's relation.
I send your lordship herewith the proclamation for dissolving the parliament; wherein there is nothing forgotten, that we (b) have done amiss: but for most of those things, that we have well done, we must be fain, I see, to commend ourselves.
I delivered your lordship's to my lord of Montgomery, and Mr. Matthew, who was even then come to York-house to visit my lady, when I received the letter; and, as soon as he had read it, he said, that he had rather your lordship had sent him a challenge;
(a) Philip, afterward earl of Pembroke.
(b) Mr. Meautys was member, in this parliament, for the town of Cambridge.
and that it had been easier to answer, than so noble and kind a letter. He intends to see your lordship some time this week; and so doth Sir Edward Sackville, who is forward to make my lady a way by the prince, if your lordship advise it.
There are packets newly come out of Spain: and the king, they say, seems well pleased with the contents; wherein there is an absolute promise, and undertaking, for restitution of the Palatinate; the dispensation returned already from the pope, and the match hastened on their parts. My lord Digby goes shortly; and Mr. Matthew tells me, he means, before his going, to write by him to your lordship.
The king goes not till Wednesday, and the prince certainly goes with him. My lord marquis, in person, christens my lord of Falkland's child to-morrow, at his house by Watford.
Mr. Murray (a) tells me, the king hath given your book (b) to my lord Brooke, (c) and injoined him to read it, recommending it much to him; and then my lord Brooke is to return it to your lordship; and so it may go to the press, when your lordship pleases, with such amendments, as the king hath made, which I have seen, and are very few, and those rather words, as epidemic, and mild instead of debonnaire, &c. Only that of persons attainted, enabled to serve in parliament by a bare reversal of their attainder, the king by all means will have left out. I met with my lord Brooke, and told him, that Mr. Murray had directed me to wait upon him for the book, when he had done with it. He desired to be spared this week, as being to him a week of much business, and the next week I should have it: and he ended in a compliment, that care should be taken, by all means,
(a) Either John Murray of the king's bed-chamber, mentioned above in the letter of 21 January, 1614, or Thomas Murray, tutor and secretary to the prince, made provost of Eton-College, in the room of Sir Henry Saville, who died February 19, 1621-2. Mr. Murray died likewise, April 1, 1623.
(b) The History of the Reign of King Henry the Seventh. (c) Fulk Grevile.