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war. Teatr curity
as we must of necessity be by the hurt you do to him. God knows, my lord, I am a distressed poor woman, and know not what to say more, than to beg upon my knees, with my homely prayers and tears, that it will please the Almighty to incline your lordship's heart to mildness towards him : for if your lordship continue my lord in restraint, and lay disgraces upon him, I have too much cause to fear your lordship will bring a speedy end to his life and troubles, and make me and all mine ever miserable. Good my lord, pardon these woful lines of a disconsolate creature, and be pleased, for Christ Jesus' sake, to take this my humble suit into your favourable consideration, and to have mercy upon me and mine ; and God will, I hope, reward it into the bosom of you, and your sweet children by my
your lordship to compassionate the distressed condition of me, your lordship's most humble and disconsolate servant,
JAMES HOWELL, ESQ. TO BEN JONSON.
dsbe usband Thorris,
Some hundred and odd years since, there was in France one Captain Coucy, a gallant gentleman of ancient extraction, and keeper of Coucy Castle, which is yet standing in good repair. He fell in love with a young gentlewoman, and courted her for his wife: there was reciprocal love between them, but her parents understanding of it, by way of prevention, they shuffled up a forced match betwixt her and one Monsieur Fayel, who was a great heir. Captain Coucy hereupon quitted France in great discontent, and went to the wars in Hungary, against the Turks, where he received a mortal wound not far from Buda. Being carried to his lodgings, he languished some days; but a little before his death he spoke to an ancient servant of his that he had many proofs of his fidelity and truth, but now he had a great business to intrust him with, which he conjured him by all means to do; which was, that after his death he should get his body to be opened, and then to take his heart out of his breast, and put it in an earthen pot, to be baked to powder; then to put the powder into a handsome box, with a bracelet of hair he had worn long about his left wrist, which was a lock of Madame Fayel's hair, and put it among the powder, together with a little note he had written with his own blood to her; and after he had given him the rites of burial, to make all the speed he could to France, and deliver the said box to Madame Fayel. The old servant did as his master had commanded him, and so went to France; and coming one day to Monsieur Fayel's house, he suddenly met him with one of his servants, and examined him, because he knew he was Captain Coucy's servant; and finding him timorous, and faltering in his speech, he searchRd him, and found the said box in his pocket, with the note which expressed what was therein : he dismissed the bearer, with menaces that he should come no more near his house. Monsieur going in sent for his cook, and delivered him the powder, charging him to make a little well-relished dish of it, without losing a jot of it, for it was a very costly thing ; and commanded bim to bring it in himself, after the last course at supper. The cook bringing in the dish accordingly, Monsieur Fayel commanded all to avoid the room ; and began a serious discourse with bis wife, how since he had married her he observed she was always melancholy, and feared she was inclined to a consumption, therefore he had provided her a very precious cordial, which he was well assured would cure her : thereupon he made her eat up the whole dish ; and afterwards, much importuning him what it was, he told her at last she had eaten Coucy's heart, and so drew the box out of his pocket, and showed her the note and the bracelet. In a sudden exultation of joy, she, with a far-fetched sigh, said, “ This is a precious cordial indeed !" and so licked the dish, saying, “ It is so precious that it is a pity to put ever any meat upon it." So she went to bed, and in the morning she was found stone dead.
This gentleman told me that this sad story is painted in Coucy Castle, and remains fresh to this day.
In my opinion, which vails to yours, this is choice and rich stuff for you to put upon your loom, and make a curious web of.
I thank you for the last regalo you gave me at your museum, and for the good company. I heard you censured lately at court, that you have lighted two fold upon Sir Inigo, and that you write with a porcupine's quill, dipped in too much gall. Excuse me that I am so free with you ; it is because I am in no common way of friendship. Yours,
J. H. Westminster, May 3, 1635.
JAMES HOWELL, ESQ. TO BEN JONSON. FATHER BEN, THE fangs of a bear, and the tusks of a wild boar, do not bite worse, and make a deeper gash, than a goose quill sometimes; no, not the badger himself, who is said to be so tenacious of his bite, that he will not give over his hold till he feels his teeth meet, and his bones crack. Your quill hath proved so to Mr. Inigo Jones; but the pen wherewith you have so gashed him, it seems was made rather of a porcupine than a goose quill, it is so keen and firm. You know
Anser, apis, vitulus, populus et regna gubernant, the goose, the bee, and the calf (meaning wax, parchment, and pen) rule the world ; but of the three, the pen is most predominant. I know you have a commanding one, but you must not let it tyrannize in the manner you have done
lately. Some give out there was a hair in it, or that your ink was too thick with gall, else it would not have so bespattered and shaken the reputation of a royal architect : for reputation, you know, is like a fair structure, long a rearing, but quickly ruined. If your spirit will not let you retract, yet you should do well to repress any more copies of the satire: for to deal plainly with you, you have lost some ground at court by it, and, as I hear from a good hand, the king, who hath so great a judgment in poetry (as in all other things else), is not pleased with it. Dispense with this freedom, of
Your respectful son and servitor, Westminster, July 3, 1635.
SIR HENRY WOTTON TO KING CHARLES II.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY, HAVING been informed that certain persons have, by the good wishes of the archbishop of Armagh, been directed hither with a most humble petition unto your majesty, that you will be pleased to make Mr. William Bedell *, now resident upon a small benefice in Suffolk, governor of your College at Dublin, for the good of that society ; and myself being required to render unto your majesty some testimony of the said William Bedell, who was long my chaplain at Venice, in the time of my employment there ; I am bound
* This was the pious and benevolent Bedell, who was subsequently Bishop of Kilmore.