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first mover of this stone, to write a letter, which himself would deliver to the master of the horse, (a) who doth me the honour to wish me very well: and I have obeyed his lordship, and beseech your honour, that you will be pleased to prevent, or to accompany, or second it with your commendation, lest otherwise the many words that I have used, have but the virtue of a single o, or cypher. But indeed, if I had not been over-weighed by the authority of my lord Roos's commandment, I should rather have reserved the master of the horse's favour to some other use afterward. In conformity whereof, I have also written to his lordship; and perhaps he will thereupon forbear to deliver my letter to the master of the horse: whereas, I should be the less sorry, if your honour's self would not think it inconvenient to make the suit of my return to his majesty; in which case I should, to my extreme contentment, have all my obligations to your honour only.
His majesty's being now in progress will give some impediment to my suit, unless either it be my good fortune, that your honour do attend his person; or else, that you will be pleased to command some one of the many servants your honour hath in court, to procure the expedition of my cause, wherein I can foresee no difficulty, when I consider the interest which your honour alloweth me in your favour, and my innocent carriage abroad for so many years; whereunto all his majesty's ministers, who have known me, I am sure, will give an attestation, according to the contents of my letter to his grace of Canterbury.
If I durst, I would most humbly intreat your honour to be pleased, that some servant of yours may speedily advertise me whether or no his grace of Canterbury hath received my letter; what his answer was; and what I may hope in this my suit. I remember, that the last words which I had the honour to hear from your mouth, were, that if I continued any time free
(a) Sir George Villiers, who was appointed to that office, Jan. 4,
both from disloyalty and priesthood, your honour would be pleased to make yourself the intercessor for my return. Any letter sent to Mr. Trumball for me will come safely and speedily to my hands.
The term doth now last with your honour all the year long; and therefore the sooner I make an end, the better service I shall do you. I presume to kiss your hands, and continue
Your Honour's most intirely,
and humbly ever at commandment,
Spa, this 16th of July, stylo novo, 1616.
POSTSC. It is no small penance that I am forced to apparel my mind in my man's hand, when it speaks to your honour. But God Almighty will have it so, through the shaking I have in my right hand; and I do little less than want the use of my fore finger.
TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, Attorney-GENERAL.
It may please your Honour,
I PRESUMED to importune your honour with a letter of the 16th of this month, whereby I signified, how I had written to the master of the horse, that he would be pleased to move his majesty for my return into England; and how that I had done it upon the direction of my lord Roos, who offered to be the deliverer thereof. Withal I told your honour, that I expressed thereby an act rather of obedience, than prudence, as not holding his lordship a fit man, whom, by presenting that letter, the king might peradventure discover to be my favourer in this business. In regard whereof I besought him, that, howsoever I had complied with his command in writing, yet he would forbear the delivery: and I gave him divers reasons for it. And both in contemplation of those reasons, as also of the hazard of miscarriage, that letters do run into between these parts and those, I have now thought fit
to send your honour this inclosed, accompanied with a most humble intreaty, that you will be pleased to put it into the master of the horse's hands, with such a recommendation as you can give. Having read it, your honour may be pleased to seal it: and if his honour have received the former by other hands, this may serve in the nature of a duplicate or copy: if not, it may be the original. And indeed, though it should be but the copy, if it may be touched by your honour, it would have both greater grace and greater life, than the principal itself; and therefore, howsoever, I humbly pray, that this may be delivered.
If my business should be remitted to the council table, which yet, I hope, will not be, I am most a stranger to my lord chancellor and my lord chamberlain (a) of whom yet I trust, by means of your honour's good word in my behalf, that I shall receive no impediment.
The bearer, Mr. Becher, (b) can say what my carriage hath been in France under the eye of several ambassadors; which makes me the more glad to use him in the delivery of this letter to your honour and if your honour may be pleased to command me any thing, he will convey it to my knowledge.
I hear, to my unspeakable joy of heart, how much power you have with the master of the horse; and how much immediate favour you have also with his most excellent majesty: so that I cannot but hope for all good success, when I consider withal the protection, whereinto you have been pleased to take me,
Most humble and most obliged
of your Honour's many servants,
Spa, this last of July,
stylo novo, 1616.
(a) William, earl of Pembroke.
(b) William, afterward knighted. He had been secretary to Sir George Calvert, ambassador to the court of France, and was afterward agent at that court; and at last made clerk of the council.
TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, ATTORNEY-GENERAL,
May it please your Honour,
I HAVE been made happy by your honour's noble and dear lines of the two-and-twentieth of July: and the joy that I took therein, was only kept from excess by the notice they gave me of some intentions and advices of your honour, which you have been pleased to impart to others of my friends, with a meaning that they should acquaint me with them; whereof they have intirely failed. And therefore if still it should import me to understand what they were, I must be inforced to beg the knowledge of them from yourself. Your honour hath, by this short letter, delivered me otherwise from a great deal of laborious suspense. For, besides the great hope you give me of being so shortly able to do you reverence, I am come to know, that by the diligence of your favour towards me, my lord of Canterbury hath been drawn to give way, and the master of the horse hath been induced to move. That motion, I trust, will be granted howsoever; but I should be out of fear thereof, if, when he moves the king, your honour would cast to be present; that if his majesty should make any difficulty, some such reply, as is wont to come from you, in such cases, may have power to discharge it.
I have been told rather confidently than credibly, for in truth I am hardly drawn to believe it, that Sir Henry Goodere should under-hand, upon the reason of certain accounts that run between him and me, wherein I might justly lose my right, if I had so little wit as to trouble your honour's infinite business, by a particular relation thereof, oppose himself to my return; and perform ill offices in conformity of that unkind affection which he is said to bear me. But, as I said, I cannot absolutely believe it, though yet I could not so far despise the information, as not to acquaint your honour with what I heard. I offer it not
as a ruled case, but only as a query, as I have also done to Mr. Secretary Lake, in this letter, which I humbly pray your honour may be given him, together with your best advice, how my business is to be carried in this conjuncture of his majesty's drawing near to London, at which time I shall receive my sentence. I have learned from your honour to be confident that it will be pronounced in my favour: but if the will of God should be otherwise, I shall yet frame for myself a good proportion of contentment; since, howsoever I was so unfortunate, as that I might not enjoy my country, yet withal, I was so happy, as that my return thither was desired and negotiated by the affection which such a person as yourself vouchsafed to bear me. When his majesty shall be moved, if he chance to make difficulty about my return, and offer to impose any condition, which, it is known, I cannot draw myself to digest; I desire it may be remembered, that my case is common with many of his subjects, who breathe in the air of their country, and that my case is not common with many, since I have lived so long abroad with disgrace at home; and yet have ever been free, not only from suspicion of practice, but from the least dependence upon foreign princes. My king is wise; and I hope, that he hath this just mercy in store for me. God Almighty make and keep your honour ever happy, and keep me so in his favour, as I will be sure to continue
Your Honour's ever most obliged
Antwerp, this first of Sept.
stylo novo, 1616.
May it please your Honour,
I HAVE Written to Sir John Digby; and I think he would do me all favour, if he were handsomely put upon it. My lady of Pembroke (a) hath written, and
(a) Mary, widow of Henry, earl of Pembroke, who died January 19, 1601-2, daughter of Sir Henry Sidney, and sister of Sir Philip. She died September 25, 1621.