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TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
My very good Lord,
THIS extreme winter hath turned, with me, a weakness of body into a state that I cannot call health, but rather sickness, and that more dangerous than felt, as whereby I am not likely to be able to wait upon your lordship, as I desired, your lordship being the person, of whom I promise myself more almost than of any other; and, again, to whom, in all loving affection, I desire no less to approve myself a true friend and servant. My desire to your lordship is to admit this gentleman, my kinsman and approved friend, to explain to you my business, whereby to save further length of letter, or the trouble of your lordship's writing back.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
THE event of the business, whereof you write, is, it may be, for the best: for seeing my lord, of himself, beginneth to come about, quorsum as yet? I could not in my heart suffer my lord Digby to go hence without my thanks and acknowledgments. I send my letter open, which I pray seal and deliver. Particu
lars I would not touch.
Your most affectionate
and assured friend,
FR. ST. ALBAN.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
Good Mr. Matthew,
WHEN you write by pieces, it sheweth your continual care; for a flush of memory is not so much; and I shall be always, on my part, ready to watch for you, as you for me.
I will not fail, when I write to the lord marquis to thank his lordship for the message, and to name the nuntius. And, to tell you plainly, this care, they speak of, concerning my estate, was more than I looked for at this time; and it is that, which pleaseth me best. For my desires reach but to a fat otium. That is truth; and so would I have all men think except the greatest; for I know patents, absque aliquid inde reddendo, are not so easily granted.
I pray my service to the Spanish ambassador, and present him my humble thanks for his favour. I am much his servant; and ashes may be good for somewhat. I ever rest
Your most affectionate and assured friend,
FR. ST. ALBAN.
I have sought for your little book, and cannot find it. I had it one day with me in my coach. But sure it is safe; for I seldom lose books or papers.
TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
Most honoured Lord,
I HAVE received your great and noble token and favour of the 9th of April, and can but return the humblest of my thanks for your lordship's vouchsafing so to visit this poorest and unworthiest of your servants. It doth me good at heart, that, although I be not where I was in place, yet I am in the fortune
of your lordship's favour, if I may call that fortune, which I observe to be so unchangeable. I pray hard that it may once come in my power to serve you for it; and who can tell, but that, as fortis imaginatio generat casum, so strange desires may do as much? Sure I am that mine are ever waiting on your lordship; and wishing as much happiness as is due to your incomparable virtue, I humbly do your lordship reve
Your Lordship's most obliged
and humble servant,
POSTSC. The most prodigious wit, that ever I knew of my nation, and of this side of the sea, is of your lordship's name, though he be known by another.
TO THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF YORK. (a)
My very good Lord,
I MUST use a better style, than mine own, in saying, Amor tuus undequaque se ostendit ex literis tuis proximis, for which I give your grace many thanks, and so, with more confidence, continue my suit to your lordship for a lease absolute for twenty-one years of the house, being the number of years, which my father and my predecessors fulfilled in it. A good fine requires certainty of term: and I am well assured that the charge I have expended, in reparations, amounting to 1000 marks at least already, is more than hath been laid out by the tenants that have been in it since my remembrance, answerable to my particular circumstance, that I was born there, and am like to end my days there. Neither can I hold my hand, but, upon this encouragement, am like to be doing still, which tendeth to the improvement, in great measure,
(a) Dr. Tobie Matthew.
of the inheritance of your see by superlapidations, if I may so call it, instead of dilapidations, wherewith otherwise it might be charged.
And whereas a state for life is a certainty, and not so well seen how it wears, a term of years makes me more depending upon you and your succession.
For the providing of your lordship and your successors a house, it is part of the former covenant, wherein I desired not to be released.
So assuring myself of your grant and perfecting of this my suit; and assuring your grace of my earnest desire and continual readiness to deserve well of you and yours chiefly, and likewise of the see in any of the causes or pre-eminences thereof, I commend your grace to God's goodness, resting, &c.
The following Papers, containing the Lord Chancellor ELLESMERE'S Exceptions to Sir EDWARD COKE's Reports and Sir Edward's Answers, having never been printed, though Mr. STEPHENS, who had copied them from the Originals, designed to have given them to the Public, they are subjoined here in justice to the Memory of that great Lawyer and Judge; especially as the Offence taken at his Reports by king JAMES, is mentioned above in the Letter of the Lord Chancellor and Sir FRANCIS BACON, of October 16, 1616, to that king.
TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.*
It may please your most excellent Majesty, ACCORDING to your majesty's directions signified unto me by Mr. Solicitor, I called the lord chief justice before me on Thursday the 17th of this instant, in the presence of Mr. Attorney and others of your learned counsel. I did let him know your majesty's acceptance of the few animadversions, which, upon
• From the originals.
review of his own labours, he had sent, though fewer than you expected, and his excuses other than you expected, as namely, in the prince's case, the want of the original in French, as though, if the original had been primogenitus in Latin, then he had not in that committed any error. I told him farther, that because his books were many, and the cases therein, as he saith, 500, your majesty, out of your gracious favour, was pleased, that his memory should be refreshed; and that he should be put in mind of some passages dispersed in his books, which your majesty, being made acquainted with, doth as yet distaste, until you hear his explanation and judgment concerning the same. And that out of many some few should be selected, and that at this time he should not be pressed with more, and these few not to be the special and principal points of the cases, which were judged, but things delivered by discourse, and, as it were, by expatiation, which might have been spared and forborn, without prejudice to the judgment in the principal cases.
Of this sort Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor made choice of five specially, which were read distinctly to the lord chief justice. He heard them with good attention, and took notes thereof in writing, and, lest there might be any mistaking either in the declaring thereof unto him, or in his misconceiving of the same, it was thought good to deliver unto him a true copy. Upon consideration whereof, and upon advised deliberation, he did yesterday in the afternoon return unto me, in the presence of all your learned counsel, a copy of the five points before mentioned, and his answer at large to the same, which I make bold to present herewith to your majesty, who can best discern and judge both of this little which is done, and what may be expected of the multiplicity of other cases of the like sort, if they shall be brought to further examination. All that I have done in this hath been by your majesty's commandment and direction, in presence of all your learned counsel, and by the special assistance and advice of your attorney and solicitor.