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ELEGANT EXTRACTS.

PART IX.

Letters,

OF THE FIFTEENTH, SIXTEENTH, AND SEVENTEENTH

CENTURIES.

THE DUKE OF SUFFOLK TO HIS SON.

1450. My dear and only well beloved son, I beseech our Lord in heaven, the maker of all the world, to bless you, and to send you ever grace to love him, and to dread him, to the which, as far as a father may charge his child, I both charge you and pray you to set all your spirits and wits to do, and to know his holy laws and commandments, by the which ye shall, with his great mercy, pass all the great tempests and troubles of this wretched world.

And that, also weetingly, ye do nothing for love nor dread of any earthly creature that should displease him. And there as (whenever) any frailty maketh you to fall, beseech his mercy soon to call you to him again with repentance, satis

VOL. V.

B

faction, and contrition of your heart, never more in will to offend him.

Secondly; next him above all earthly things to be true liegeman in heart, in will, in thought, indeed, unto the king our alder most (greatest) high and dread sovereign lord, to whom both ye and I be so much bound to ; charging you as father can and may, rather to die than to be the contrary, or to know any thing that were against the welfare or prosperity of his most royal person, but as far as your body and life may stretch, ye live and die to defend it, and to let his highness have knowledge thereof in all the haste ye can.

Thirdly ; in the same wise, I charge you, my dear son, alway as ye be bounden by the commandment of God to do, to love, to worship, your lady and mother; and also that ye obey always her commandments, and to believe her counsels and advices in all your works, the which dread not shall be best and truest to you.

And if any other body would steer you to the contrary, to flee the counsel in any wise, for ye shall find it nought and evil.

Furthermore, as far as father may and can, I charge you in any wise to flee the company and counsel of proud men, of covetous men, and of flattering men, the more especially and mightily to withstand them, and not to draw nor to meddle with them, with all your might and power; and to draw to you and to your company good and virtuous men, and such as be of good conversation, and of truth, and by them shall ye never be deceived nor repent you of.

Moreover, never follow your own wit in no

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 faction, and contrition of your heart, never more in will to offend him.

Secondly; next him above all earthly things to be true liegeman in heart, in will, in thought, indeed, unto the king our alder most (greatest high and dread sovereign lord, to whom both ye and I be so much bound to ; charging you as father can and may, rather to die than to be the contrary, or to know any thing that were against the welfare or prosperity of his most royal person, but as far as your body and life may stretch, ye live and die to defend it, and to let his highness have knowledge thereof in all the haste ye can.

Thirdly ; in the same wise, I charge you, my dear son, alway as ye be bounden by the commandment of God to do, to love, to worship, your lady and mother; and also that ye obey always her commandments, and to believe her counsels and advices in all your works, the which dread not shall be best and truest to you.

And if any other body would steer you to the contrary, to flee the counsel in any wise, for ye shall find it nought and evil.

Furthermore, as far as father may and can, I charge you in any wise to flee the company and counsel of proud men, of covetous men, and of flattering men, the more especially and mightily to withstand them, and not to draw nor to meddle with them, with all your might and power; and to draw to you and to your company good and virtuous men, and such as be of good conversation, and of truth, and by them shall ye never be deceived nor repent you of.

Moreover, never follow your own wit in no

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