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wise, but in all your works, of such folks as I write of above, ask your advice and counsel, and doing thus, with the mercy of God, ye shall do right well, and live in right much worship, and great heart's rest and ease.

And I will be to you as good lord and father as my heart can think.

And lastly of all, as heartily and as lovingly as ever father blessed his child in earth, I give you the blessing of our Lord and me, which of his infinite mercy increase you in all virtue and good living; and that your blood may, by his grace, from kindred to kindred, multiply in this earth to his service, in such wise as after the departing from this world here, ye and they may glorify him eternally amongst his angels in heaven.

Written of mine hand,
The day of my departing fro this land.
Your true and loving father,

SUFFOLK.

DAME ELIZABETH BREWS TO J. PASTON, ESQ. To my worshipful cousin, John Paston, be this bill

delivered, &c. Cousin, I recommend me unto you, thanking you heartily for the great cheer ye made me, and all my folks, the last time that I was at Norwich; and ye promised me, that ye would never break the matter to Margery unto such time as ye and I were at a point. But ye have made her such (un) advocate for you, that I may never have rest night nor day, for calling and crying upon to bring the said matter to effect, &c.

And, cousin, upon Friday is Saint Valentine's day, and every bird chooseth him a make ( mate); and if it like you to come on Thursday at night, and so survey you, that ye may abide there till Monday, I trust to God, that ye shall so speak to mine husband ; and I pray, we shall bring the matter to a conclusion, &c.

For, cousin, “ it is but a simple oak,

That's cut down at the first stroke.” For ye will be reasonable I trust to God, which have you ever in his merciful keeping, &c.

By your cousin,

DAME ELIZABETH BREWS, otherwise shall be called by God's grace. February, 1476-7.

MARGARET BREWS TO JOHN PASTON, ESQ. Unto my right well beloved Valentine, John Paston, Esq.

be this bill delivered, &c. Right reverend and worshipful, and my right well beloved Valentine, I recommend me unto you, full heartily desiring to hear of your welfare, which I beseech Almighty God long for to preserve unto his pleasure, and your heart's desire.

And if it please you to hear of my welfare, I am not in good heele (health) of body, nor of heart, nor shall be till I hear from you :

For there wottys (knows) no creature what pain

I endure, And for to be dead (for my life) I dare it not

dyscur (discover). And my lady my mother hath laboured the matter to my father full diligently, but she can no more get than ye know of, for the which God knoweth I am full sorry. But if that ye love me, as I trust verily that ye do, ye will not leave me therefore; for if that ye had not half the liveli. hood that ye have, for to do the greatest labour that any woman alive might, I would not forsake you. And if ye command me to keep me true wherever

I go,

I wis I will do all my might you to love, and

never no mo.
And if my friends say that I do amiss,

They shall not me let so for to do,
Mine heart me bids evermore to love you,

Truly over all earthly thing,
And if they be never so wrath,

I trust it shall be better in time coming. No more to you at this time, but the Holy Trinity have you in keeping; and I beseech you that this bill be not seen of none earthly creature save only yourself, &c.

And this letter was indited at Topcroft, with full heavy heart, &c. by your own Feb, 1476-7.

MARGARET BREWS.

MARGARET BREWS TO JOHN PASTON, ESQ. To my right well-beloved Cousin, John Paston, Esq. be

this Letter delivered, &c. Right worshipful and well beloved Valentine, in my most humble wise, I recommend me unto you, &c. and heartily I thank you for the letter, which that ye send me by John Beckerton, whereby I understand and know, that ye be purposed to come to Topcroft in short time, and without any errand or matter; but only to have a conclusion of the matter betwixt my father and you; I would be most glad of any creature alive, so that the matter might grow to effect. And thereas (whereas) ye say, and (if) ye come and find the matter no more towards ye than ye did aforetime, ye would no more put my father and my lady my mother to no cost nor business, for that cause a good while after, which causeth my heart to be full heavy; and if that ye come, and the matter take to none effect, then should I be much more sorry, and full of heaviness.

And as for myself I have done, and understand in the matter that I can or may, as God knoweth; and I let you plainly understand that my father will no more money part withal in that behalf, but an 1001. and 50 marks (331. 6s. 8d.), which is right far from the accomplishment of your desire.

Wherefore, if that ye could be content with that good, and my poor person, I would be the merriest maiden on ground ; and if ye think not yourself so satisfied, or that ye might have much more good, as I have understood by you afore ; ESQ

such labour upon you, as to come more for that matter. But let (what) is, pass, and never more be

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woman during my life.

No more unto you at this time, but Almighty
Jesu preserve you both body and soul, &c.

By your Valentine,
Topcroft, Feb. 1746-7.

MARGERY BREWS.

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MY LORD, In my most humble wise that my heart can think, I desire you to pardon me that I am so bold, to trouble you with my simple and rude writing, esteeming it to proceed from her, that is much desirous to know that your grace does well, as I

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I pray God long to continue, as I am most bound to pray; for I do know the great pains and troubles that you have taken for me both day and night is never like to be recompensed on my part, but only in loving you, next unto the king's grace, above all creatures living. And I do not doubt but the daily proofs of my deeds shall manifestly declare and affirm my writing to be true, and I do trust you to think the same. My lord, I do assure you, I do long to hear from you news of the legate ; for I do hope, and they come from you, they shall be very good, and I am sure you desire it as much as I and more,

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