Page images

me, he would not secretly bite; but whosoever had any interest, or tasted of the opposition to his brother's marriage, he would as openly oppose them to their faces, and they should discern what favour he had, by the power he would use.

In the passage between him and me, I stood with much confidence upon these grounds.

First, that neither your lordship, nor myself had any way opposed, but many ways had furthered, the fair

passage to the marriage.

Secondly, that we only wished the manner of Sir Edward's proceedings to have been more temperate, and more nearly resembling the earl's sweet disposition.

Thirdly, that the chiefest check in this business was Sir Edward himself, who listened to no advice, who was so transported with passion, as he purposely declined the even way, which your lordship and the rest of the lords left both him, his lady, and his daughter in.

Fourthly, I was bold to stand upon my ground ; and so I said I knew your lordship would, that these were slanders, which were brought him of us both, and that it stood not with his honour to give credit

to them.

After I had passed these straits with the earl, leaving him leaning still to the first relation of envious and odious adversaries, I had ventured to approach his majesty, who graciously gave me his hand to kiss, but intermixed withal that I deserved not that favour, if three or four things were true, which he

had to object against me. I was bold to crave his princely justice; first, to hear, then to judge ; which he graciously granted, and said, he wished I could clear myself. I answered I would not appeal to his mercy in any of the points, but would endure the severest censure,


of them were true. Whereupon he said, he would reserve his judgment till he heard me; which could not be then, his other occasions pressed him so much. All this was in the hearing of the earl ; and I protest, I think the con. fidence in my innocency made me depart half justified; for I likewise kissed his majesty's hand at his departure; and though out of his grace he com- ! manded my attendance to Warwick, yet upon my suit he easily inclined to give me the choice, to wait on him at Windsor, or at London. Now, my lord, give me leave, out of all my

affections, that shall ever serve you, to intimate touching yourself:

1. That every courtier is acquainted, that the earl professeth openly against you, as forgetful of his kindness, and unfaithful to him in your love, and in

your actions.

2. That he returneth the shame upon himself, in not listening to counsel, that dissuaded his affections from you, and not to mount you so high, not forbearing in open speech, as divers have told me, and this bearer, your gentleman, hath heard also, to tax you, as if it were an inveterate custom with you, to be unfaithful to him, as you were to the earls of Essex and Somerset.

to make your

3. That it is too common in every man's mouth in court, that your greatness shall be abated; and as your tongue hath been as a razor to some, so shall theirs be to you. 4. That there are laid


you, burden the more grievous, many petitions to his majesty against you.

My lord, Sir Edward Coke, as if he were already upon his wings, triumphs exceedingly ; hath much private conference with his majesty; and in public doth offer himself, and thrust upon the king, with as great boldness of speech, as heretofore.

It is thought, and much feared, that at Woodstock he will again be recalled to the council-table; for neither are the earl's ears, nor his thoughts, ever off him.

Sir Edward Coke, with much audacity, affirmeth his daughter to be most deeply in love with Sir John Villiers ; 'that the contract pretended with the earl of Oxford is counterfeit; and the letter also, that is pretended to have come from the earl.

My noble lord, if I were worthy, being the meanest of all to interpose my weakness, I would humbly desire,

1. That your lordship fail not to be with his majesty at Woodstock. The sight of you will fright some.

2. That you single not yourself from other lords ; but justify the proceedings as all your joint acts ; and I little fear but you pass conqueror.

3. That you retort the clamour and noise in this business upon Sir Edward Coke, by the violence of his carriage.

4. That you seem not dismayed, but open yourself bravely and confidently, wherein you can excel all subjects ; by which means I know you shall amaze some, and daunt others.

I have abused your lordship’s patience long; but my duty and affection towards your lordship shall have no end: but I will still wish your honour greater, and rest myself Your Honour's servant,

HENRY YELVERTON. Daventry, Sept. 3, 1617. I beseech your lordship burn this letter.

To the right honourable his singular good lordship, the lord keeper of the great seal.



This day afternoon, upon our meeting in council, we have planed those rubs and knots, which were mentioned in my last, whereof I thought good presently to advertise his majesty. The days hold without all question, and all delays diverted and quieted.

Sir Edward Coke was at Friday's hearing, but in his night-cap; and complained to me, he was ambulant, and not current. I would be sorry he should fail us in this cause. Therefore I desired his majesty to signify to him by your lordship, taking knowledge

of some light indisposition of his, how much he should think his service disadvantaged in this cause, if he should be at any day away; for then he cannot sentence,

By my next I will give his majesty some account of the tobacco and the currants. I ever rest Your Lordship’s most obliged friend

and faithful servant,

FR. VERULAM, Canc. November 20, at evening, 1619.


MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY, Sir Edward Coke is now a-foot, and, according to your command, signified by Mr. Secretary Calvert, we proceed in Peacock's examinations. For although there have been very good diligence used, yet certainly we are not at the bottom; and he, that would not use the utmost of his line to sound such a business as this, should not have due regard, neither to your majesty's honour nor safety.

A man would think he were in Luke Hutton's case again; for as my lady Roos personated Luke Hutton, so, it seemeth, Peacock personateth Atkins. But I make no judgment yet, but will go on with all diligence: and, if it may not be done otherwise, it is fit Peacock, be put to torture. He deserveth it as well as Peacham did.

I beseech your majesty not to think bitter, because my name is in it; for,


« PreviousContinue »