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in all conscience and truth (so far as your majesty will accept of my poor judgment) to affirm of him, that, I think, hardly a fitter man could have been propounded to your majesty in your whole kingdom, for singular erudition and piety, conformity to the rites of the church, and zeal to advance the glory of God; wherein his travels abroad were not obscure, in the time of the ex. communication of the Venetians. For may it please your majesty to know, that this is the man whom Padre Paulo took, I may say, into his very soul, with whom he did communicate the inwardest thoughts of his heart; from whom he professed to have received more knowledge in all divinity, both scholastical and positive, than from any that he had practised in his days: of all which the passages were well known unto the king your father, of blessed memory. And so with your majesty's good favour, I will end this needless office : for the general fame of his learning, his life, and Christian temper, and those religious labours which himself hath dedicated to your majesty, do better describe him than I am able. Your majesty's most humble and faithful servant,
SIR HENRY WOTTON TO JOHN MILTON.
SIR, It was a special favour when you lately bestowed upon me here the first taste of your acquaintance, though no longer than to make me know that I wanted more time to value it, and to enjoy it
rightly. And in truth, if I could then have imagined your farther stay in these parts, which I understood afterwards by Mr. H., I would have been bold, in our vulgar phrase, to mend my draught, for you left me with an extreme thirst, and to have begged your conversation again, jointly with your learned friend, at a poor meal or two, that we might have banded together some good authors of the ancient time, among which I observed you to have been familiar.
Since your going you have charged me with new obligations, both for a very kind letter from you, dated the sixth of this month, and for a dainty piece of entertainment that came therewith; wherein I should much commend the tragical part, if the lyrical did not ravish with a certain Doric delicacy in your songs and other odes, wherein I must plainly confess to have seen nothing parallel in our language. Ipsa mollities. But I must not omit to tell you, that I now only owe you thanks for intimating unto me, how modestly soever, the true artificer. For the work itself I had viewed some good while before with singular delight, having received it from our common friend Mr. R. in the very close of the late R.'s poems, printed at Oxford ; whereunto it is added, as I now suppose, that the accessory might help out the principal, according to the art of stationers, and leave the reader con la bocca dolce.
Now, sir, concerning your travels, wherein I may challenge a little more privilege of discourse with you; I suppose you will not blanch Paris
unce, at /
in your way. Therefore I have been bold to trouble you with a few lines to Mr. M. B. whom you shall easily find attending young Lord S. as his governor ; and you may surely receive from him good directions for shaping of your further journey into Italy, where he did reside by my choice some time for the king, after mine own recess from Venice.
I should think, that your best line will be through the whole length of France to Marseilles, and thence by sea to Genoa, whence the passage into Tuscany is as diurnal as a Gravesend barge. I hasten, as you do, to Florence or Sienna, the rather to tell you a short story, from the interest you have given me in your safety.
At Sienna I was tabled in the house of one Alberto Scipione, an old Roman courtier in dangerous times, having been steward to the Duca di Pagliano, who with all his family were strangled, save this only man, that escaped by foresight of the tempest. With him I had often much chat of those affairs ; into which he took pleasure to look back from his native harbour; and at my departure towards Rome, which had been the centre of his experience, I had won confidence enough to beg his advice, how I might carry myself securely there, without offence of others, or of my own conscience : “ Signor Arrigo mio,” says he, “ I pensieri stretti, & il viso sciolto;" that is, Your thoughts close, and your countenance loose, will go safely over the whole world. Of which Delphine oracle (for so I have found it) your judgment doth need no com. mentary; and therefore, sir, I will commend you
with it to the best of securities, God's dear love, remaining your friend, as much at command as any of longer date, Eton, April 10, 1638.
H. WOTTON. P. S. Sir, I have expressly sent this by my footboy, to prevent your departure without some acknowledgment from me of the receipt of your obliging letter, having myself through some business, I know not how, neglected the ordinary conveyance. In any part where I shall understand you fixed, I shall be glad and diligent to entertain you with some novelties, even for some fomentation of our friendship, too soon interrupted in the cradle.
JOHN LILBURNE TO OLIVER CROMWELL.
SIR, It has been my unhappiness to be undone, and of late in a manner destroyed, by men of gilded outsides, and, among the rest, I must plainly and truly tell you, I judge you the chief ; and shall, if you please to give me so much liberty as to come and speak with you, easily evince it to your face, with that moderation as becomes a man that loves honesty and godliness, wheresoever he finds it, but that hates knavery and dissimulation in whatsoever he meets it. So I have used all the means in the world I could think of to unbowel my mind as a friend to you face to face, but cannot prevail with you any otherwise than to slight me and my desires. I have lately sent you a fair message by Captain
John White ; and by him I received a contemning answer, only he pressed me to know which way I could do you and your flattering darlings a displeasure. I have now at present sent him by Mr. Billers, a copy of this inclosed paper to send speedily to you with this message, that I do verily believe that that paper, printed with such a paraphrase upon it as I could easily make, for all your present conceived greatness, would easily pull you as low, before you are three months older, as I am. I have honoured you, and my good thoughts of you are not wholly gone, though I confess they are much weakened. Sir, I must earnestly beg it at your hands, that you will within a week order it so that I may either come and speak with you, or else that you would come and speak with me, that so I may, betwixt you and me, declare that, which truly my provocations and sufferings will hardly let me keep from public view. I have sent you this letter unsealed by this bearer, Mr. Hunt (who very much honours you), of purpose to make some additions to it, and to leave you (as my last to you) without all excuse, in case you slight this, as you have done my often former addresses to you, and I shall rest, sir,
Your true universal friend, as I
have formerly been, when you From the place of will manifest yourself to be less my standing sentry, in my watch
for your own tottering greattower at the Tow ness, and more for distributive er of London, this
justice, and the common, not 13th of August, 1647.
factious good, of your native
country, JOHN LILBURNE, That neither loves baseness nor fears-greatness.