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Vouch- your hands with joy for any work of piety you shall* safe to ex-do for me. And as all commiserable persons, especially wards me. such as find their hearts void of all malice, are apt to
think that all men pity them, so I assure myself that the lords of your council, who out of their wisdom and nobleness cannot but be sensible of human events, will in this way which I go, for the relief of my estate, further and advance your majesty's goodness towards me. For there is, as I conceive, a kind of fraternity between great men that are, and those that have been, being but the several tenses of one verb; nay, I do further presume, that both houses of parliament will love their justice the better, if it end not in my ruin: for I have been often told, by many of my lords, as it were in the way of excusing the severity of the sentence, that they know they left me in good hands. And your majesty knoweth well, I have been all my life long acceptable to those assemblies, not by flattery, but by moderation, and by honest expressing of a desire to have all things go fairly and well.
But if it may please your majesty (for saints I shall give them reverence, but no adoration, my address is to your majesty, the fountain of goodness) your majesty shall, by the grace of God, not feel that in gift, which I shall extremely feel in help; for my desires are moderate, and my courses measured to a life orderly and reserved, hoping still to do your majesty honour in my way. Only I most humbly beseech your majesty to give me leave to conclude with those words which necessity speaketh: Help me (dear sovereign lord and master) and pity me so far, as that I, that have borne a bag, be not now in my age forced in effect to bear a wallet; nor that I, that desire to live to study, may not be driven to study to live. I most humbly crave
Although the subject matter of this and some other letters of the like nature, hath given me occasion to make some remarks thereon already; yet I cannot omit taking notice, in this place, of what the learned Monsieur Le Clerc hath observed in the twelfth chapter of his Reflections upon, good and bad Fortune. Where, in his discourse of liberality, and the obligations that are upon princes, etc. to extend their bounty to learned men, in respect of the benefit the world receives from them; he expresses
pardon of a long letter, after a long silence. God of heaven ever bless, preserve, and prosper your majesty. Your majesty's poor ancient servant and beadsman, FR. ST. ALBAN.
CCLXXVII. To Mr. MATTHEW, employing Sir Tobie him to do a good office with a great man.
I HAVE received your letter, wherein you mention some passages at large, concerning the lord you know of. You touched also that point in a letter which you wrote upon my lord's going over; which I answered, and am a little doubtful, whether mine ever came to your hands. It is true, that I wrote a little sullenly therein, how I conceived that my lord was a wise man in his own way, and perhaps thought it fit for him to be out with me; for at least I found no cause thereof in myself. As for the latter of these points, I am of the same judgment still; but for the former, I perceive by what you write, that it is merely some misunderstanding of his: and I do a little marvel at the instance, which had relation to that other crabbed man; for I conceived that both in passing that book, and (as I remember) two more, immediately after my lord's going over, I had shewed more readiness than many times I use in like cases. But, to conclude, no man hath thought better of my lord than I have done. know his virtues, and namely, that he hath much greatness of mind, which is a thing almost lost
his sense of the honour which was due to the memory of those who assisted Erasmus and Grotius, and his resentment of the neglect of king James, for deserting the lord Bacon; " One can"not read," saith he, "without indignation, that which is reported "of the famous chancellor of England, Francis Bacon, whom the ❝king suffered to languish in poverty, whilst he preferred worth"less persons, to his dishonour. A little before his death this "learned man writ to that prince a bemoaning letter;" and then cites this moving conclusion out of Howell's letters; which though that author thought it urged a little abjection of spirit in my lord Bacon; yet Monsieur Le Clerc thinks it shewed a much lower in the king, to permit so able a man to lie under the necessity of making so sad request, and yet withal to afford no relief. Stephens
Matthew's second collection of
amongst men: nor can any body be more sensible and remembering than I am of his former favours; so that I shall be most glad of his friendship. Neither are the past occasions in my opinion such, as need either reparation or declaration; but may well go under the title of nothing. Now I had rather you dealt be tween us than any body else, because you are no way drenched in any man's humour. Of other things at another time; but this I was forward to write in the midst of more business than ever I had.
Stephens's CCLXXVIII. To the Lord DIGBY, on his going to Spain.
second collection, P.165.
My very good Lord,
I NOW only send my best wishes to follow you at sea and land, with due thanks for your late great favours. God knows whether the length of your voyage will not exceed the size of my hour-glass: but whilst I live, my affection to do your lordship service shall remain quick under the ashes of my fortune.
CCLXXIX. To Mr. MATTHEW.
In this solitude of friends, which is the base court of adversity, where nobody almost will be seen stirring, I have often remembered this Spanish saying, Amor sin fin, no tiene fin. This bids me make choice of your friend and mine, for his noble succours; not now towards the aspiring, but only the respiring of my for tunes. I, who am a man of books, have observed, that he hath both the magnanimity of the old Romans, and the cordiality of the old English; and withal, I believe, he hath the wit of both: sure I am, that for myself I have found him in both my fortunes, to esteem
Love without ends hath no end, was a saying of Gondomar the Spanish ambassador; meaning thereby, that if it were begun not upon particular ends, it would last. Bacon's Apophthegms, 67, Vol. II. p. 415.
me so much above my just value, and to love me so much above the possibility of deserving, or obliging on my part, as if he were a friend created and reserved for such a time as this. You know what I have to say to the great lord, and I conceive it cannot pass so fitly to him by the mouth of any, as of this gentleman; and therefore do your best (which I know will be of power enough) to engage him both in the substance and to the secrecy of it: for I can think of no man but yourself, to be used by me in this, who are so private, so faithful, and so discreet a friend to us both; as on the other side, I dare swear he is, and know myself to be as true to you as your own heart.
CCLXXX. An expostulation to the Marquis of Sir Tobie
BUCKINGHAM. 293 WA
Matthew's collection of letters,
p. 48, and Stephens's
My very good Lord," YOUR lordship will pardon me, if, partly in the second col freedom of adversity, and partly of former friendship (the sparks whereof cannot but continue) I open myself to your lordship, and desire also your lordship to open yourself to me. The two last acts which you did for me, in procuring the releasement of my fine, and my Quietus est, I acknowledge, were effects real and. material of your love and favour; which, as to my knowledge, it never failed in my prosperity, so in these two things it seems not to have turned with the wheel. But the extent of these two favours is not much more than to keep me from persecution. For any thing farther, which might tend to my comfort and assistance, as I cannot say to myself, that your lordship hath forsaken me; so I see not the effects of your undeserved, yet undesired professions and promises; which being made to a person in affliction, have the nature, after a sort, of vows. But that which most of all makes me doubt of a change or cooling in your lordship's affection towards me, is, that being twice now at London, your lordship did not vouchsafe to see me; though by messages you gave me hope thereof, and the latter time I had begged it of your lordship.
The cause of change may either be in myself or your lordship. I ought first to examine myself, which I have done; and God is my witness, I find all well, and that I have approved myself to your lordship a true friend, both in the watery trial of prosperity, and in the fiery trial of adversity. If your lordship take any insatisfaction touching the house, I humbly pray you think better of it. For that motion to me was a second sentence more grievous than the first, as things then stood, and do yet stand: for it sentenced me to have lost both in my own opinion, and much more in the opinion of others, that which was saved to me, almost only, in the former sentence; and which was more dear to me than all that which was taken from me, which is your lordship's love and favour. For had it not been for that bitter circumstance, your lordship knows, that you might have commanded my life, and all that is mine. But surely it could not be that, nor any thing in me, which wrought the change. It is likely on the other part, that though your lordship in your nature I know to be generous and constant, yet I being now become out of sight, and out of use, your lordship having a flood of new friends, and your ears possessed perhaps by such as would not leave room for an old: your lordship may, even by course of the world, and the over-bearing of others, be turned from me; and it were almost a miracle if it should be otherwise. But yet, because your lordship may still have so heroical a spirit, as to stand out in all these violent assaults, which might have alienated you from your friend; my humble suit to your lordship is, that remembering our former friendship, which began with your beginnings, and since that time hath never failed on my part, your lordship would deal clearly with me, and let me know, whether I continue in your favour or no; and whether in those poor requests, which I may yet make to his majesty (whose true servant I ever was and am) for the tempering of my misery, I may pre'sume to use your lordship's favour and help as I have done; for otherwise it were a kind of stupidness in me, and a great trouble also to your lordship, for me not to