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had rather go against his mind than against his good: but your majesty I must obey; and besides I shall conceive that your majesty, out of your great wisdom and depth, doth see those things which I see not.
Now therefore, not to hold your majesty with many words, which do but drown matter, let me most humbly desire your majesty to take into your royal consideration, that the state is at this time not only in good quiet and obedience, but in a good affection and disposition. Your majesty's prerogative and authority having risen some just degrees above the horizon more than heretofore, which hath dispersed vapours: your judges are in good temper; your justices of the peace, which is the body of the gentlemen of England, grow to be loving and obsequious, and to be weary of the humour of ruffling: all mutinous spirits grow to be a little poor, and to draw in their horns; and not the less for your majesty's disauthorising the man I speak of. Now then I reasonably doubt, that if there be but an opinion of his coming in, with the strength of such an alliance, it will give a turn and relapse in mens minds, into the former state of things, hardly to be holpen, to the great weakening of your majesty's service.
Again, your majesty may have perceived, that as far as it was fit for me in modesty to advise, I was ever for a parliament; which seemeth to me to be cardo rerum or summa summarum for the present occasions. "But this my advice was ever conditional; that your majesty should go to a parliament with a council united, and not distracted; and that your majesty will give me leave never to expect, if that man come in. Not for any difference of mine own, for I am omnibus omnia for your majesty's service, but because he is by nature unsociable, and by habit popular, and too old now to take a new ply. And men begin already to collect, yea and to conclude, that he that raiseth such a smoke to get in, will set all on fire when he is in.
It may please your majesty, now. I have said, I have done; and as I think I have done a duty not unworthy the first year of your last high favour, I most humbly
pray your majesty to pardon me, if in any thing I have erred; for my errors shall always be supplied by obe-, dience; and so I conclude with my prayers for the happy preservation of your person and estate.
Your majesty's most humble, bounden,
and most devoted servant,
Gorhambury, July 25, 1617.
CLXXXIII. To the Earl of BUCKINGHAM.
My very good Lord,
I Do think long to hear from your lordship, touching my last letter, wherein I gave you my opinion touching your brother's match. As I then shewed my dislike of the matter, so the carriage of it here in the manner I dislike as much. If your lordship think it is bumour or interest in me that leads me, God judge my sincerity. But I must say, that in your many noble favours towards me, they ever moved and flowed from yourself, and not from any of your friends whatsoever; and therefore in requital give me leave, that my counsels to you again be referred to your happiness, and not to the desires of any of your friends. I shall ever give you, as I give my master, safe counsel, and such as time will approve.
I received yesterday from Mr. Attorney the queen's bill, which I send your lordship. The payment is not out of lands, but out of the customs, and so it can be but the rent. Your lordship remembereth, it is but in a case which I hope shall never be; that is, after his majesty's death, if she survive. God ever bless and direct you.
Your lordship's most faithful
Stephens's first collection,p.213.
Stephens's first collection,p.214.
CLXXXIV. To the KING.
It may please your most excellent Majesty, I DARE not presume any more to reply upon your majesty, but I reserve my defence till I attend your majesty at your happy return; when I hope verily to approve myself, not only a true servant to your majesty, but a true friend to my lord of Buckingham; and for the times also, I hope to give your majesty a good account, though distance of place may obscure them. But there is one part of your majesty's letter that I could be sorry to take time to answer; which is, that your majesty conceiveth, that whereas I wrote that the height of my lord's fortune might make him secure, I meant that he was turned proud, or unknowing of himself: surely the opinion which I have ever had of my lord, whereof your majesty is best witness, is far from that. But my meaning was plain and simple, that his lordship might, through his great fortune, be the less apt to cast and foresee the unfaithfulness of friends, and the malignity of enemies, and accidents of time. Which is a judgment, your majesty knoweth better than I, that the best authors make of the best and best tempered spirits, ut sunt res humana; insomuch that Guicciardine maketh the same judgment, not of a particular person, but of the wisest state of Europe, the senate of Venice, when he saith, their prosperity had made them secure, and underweighers of perils. Therefore I beseech your majesty to deliver me in this from any the least imputation upon my dear and noble lord and friend. And so expecting that that sun which when it went from us, left us cold weather, and now it is returned towards us hath brought with it a blessed harvest; will, when it cometh to us, dispel and disperse all mists and mistakings.
July 31, 1617.
CLXXXV. To the Earl of BUCKINGHAM.
My very good Lord,
SINCE my last to your lordship, I did first send for Mr. Attorney General, and made him know, that, since I heard from court, I was resolved to further the match and the conditions thereof for your lordship's brother's advancement the best I could. I did send also to my lady Hatton, and some other special friends, to let them know, I would in any thing declare for the match; which I did, to the end that if they had any apprehension of my assistance, they might be discouraged in it. I sent also to Sir John Butler, and after by letter to my lady your mother, to tender my performance of any good office towards the match or the advancement from the mother. This was all I could think of for the present.
I did ever foresee, that this alliance would go near to lose me your lordship that I hold so dear; and that was the only respect particular to myself that moved me to be as I was, till I heard from you. But I will rely upon your constancy and nature, and my own deserving, and the firm tye we have in respect of the king's service.
In the mean time I must a little complain to your lordship, that I do hear my lady your mother and your brother Sir John do speak of me with some bitterness and neglect. I must bear with the one as a lady, and the other as a lover, and with both for your lordship's sake, whom I will make judge of any thing they shall have against me. But I hope, though I be a true servant to your lordship, you will not have me to be a vassal to their passions, especially as long as they are governed by Sir Edward Coke and secretary Winwood, the latter of which I take to be the worst; for Sir Edward Coke, I think, is more modest and discreet: therefore your lordship shall do me right; and yet I shall take it for favour, if you signify to them, that you have received satisfaction from me, and would have them use me friendly and in good manner.
Stephens's first collection,p.215.
God keep us from these long journeys and absence,
Your lordship's true and devoted friend and servant,
Gorhambury, Aug. 23, 1617.
Stephens's CLXXXVI. A memorial for
second collection, P. 58.
ALTHOUGH I doubt not but your majesty's own memory and care of your affairs will put you in mind of all things convenient against you shall meet with your council, yet some particulars I thought it not unfit to represent to your majesty; because they passed the labour of your council.
I. Some time before your departure, here was delivered unto you by the officers of your exchequer a computation of your revenue and expence, wherein was expressed that your revenue ordinary was not only equal to your expence, but did somewhat exceed it, though not much.
In this point, because the half year will now be expired at Michaelmas, it shall be fit, that your majesty call to account, whether that equality hath held for this half year; and if not, what the causes have been, and whether the course prescribed hath been kept, that the ordinary expence hath been borne out of the ordinary revenue, and the extraordinary only out of such money as hath come in by extraordinary means, or else your estate cannot clearly appear.
II. To maintain this equality, and to cause your majesty's state to subsist in some reasonable manner till farther supply might be had, it was found to be necessary that 200,000l. of your majesty's most pregnant and pressing debts should be discharged; and after con>sideration of the means how to do that, two ways were resolved on. One that 100,000/. should be discharged to the farmers of your customs by 25,000l. yearly, -they having for their security power to defalke so much of their rent in their own hands: but because if that