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also, sent a commission to levy three hundred soldiers out of his garrison of Nuevo Regno de Granada and Porto Rico, with ten pieces of brass ordnance, to entertain us. He, also, prepared an armada by sea to set upon us. It were too long to tell you how we were preserved ; if I live, I shall make it known. My brains are broken, and I cannot write much. I live yet, and I told you why.
Whitney, for whom I sold all my plate at Plymouth, and to whom I gave more credit and countenance than to all the captains of my fleet, ran from me at the Granadas, and Wollaston with him. So as I have now but five ships, and one of those I have sent home : and in my flyboat a rabble of idle rascals, which I know will not spare to wound me, but I care not. I am sure there is never a base slave in all the fleet hath taken the pains and care that I have done ; that hath slept so little, and travailed so much. My friends will not believe them; and for the rest, I care not. God in heaven bless you, and strengthen your heart! Yours,
JAMES I. TO THE LORDS OF THE COUNCIL. MY LORDS,
1617. No worldly thing is so precious as time. Ye know what task I gave ye to work upon during my absence; and what time was limited unto you for the performance thereof. This same chancellor of Scotland was used to tell me twenty
four years ago, that my house could not be kept upon epigrams : long discourses and fair tales will never repair my estate. Omnis virtus in actione consistit. Remember that I told you the shoe must be made for the foot; and let that be the square of all your proceedings in the business. Abate superfluities in all things, and multitudes of unnecessary officers, wherever they may be placed : but for the household, wardrobe, and pensions, cut and carve as many as may agree with the possibility of my means. Exceed not your own rule of fifty thousand pounds for the housebold: if you can make it less, I will account it for good service: and that you may see I will not spare my own person, I have sent with this bearer a note of the superfluous charges concerning my mouth, having had the happy opportunities of this messenger, in an errand so nearly concerning his place. In this, I expect no answer in word, or writing, but only the real performance, for a beginning to relieve me out of my miseries. For now the ball is at your feet, and the world shall bear me witness, that I have put you fairly to it; and so praying God to bless your labours, I bid your heartily farewell. Your own,
JAMES I. TO THE LORDS OF THE COUNCIL. MY LORDS,
1617. I RECEIVED from you yesternight the bluntest letter that, I think, ever king received from his council. Ye write that the green cloth will do nothing, and ye offer me no advice. Why are ye counsellors, if ye offer no counsel ? An ordinary messenger might have brought me such an answer. It is my pleasure, that my charges be equally with my revenue ; and it is just and necessary so to be. For this is a project must be made, and one of the main branches thereof is my house. This project is but to be offered unto you; and how it may be better laid than to agree with my honour and contentment, ye are to advise upon, and then have my consent. If this cannot be performed without diminishing the number of tables, diminished they must be; and if that cannot serve, two or three must be thrust in one. If the green cloth will not make a project for this, some other must do it: if ye cannot find them out, I must only remember two things; the time must no more be lost, and that there are twenty ways of abatement besides the house, if they be well looked into : and so farewell.
JAMES I. TO LORD VERULAM. MY VERY GOOD LORD, I HAVE received your letter, and your book *, than the which you could not have sent a more acceptable present unto me. How thankful I am for it, cannot better be expressed by me than by a firm resolution I have taken : first, to read it through with care and attention, though I should steal some hours from my sleep, having otherwise as little spare time to read it as you
• The Novum Organum Scientiarum.
had to write it; and then to use the liberty of a true friend, in not sparing to ask you the question in any point whereof I shall stand in doubt : as, on the other part, I will willingly give a due commendation to such places as, in my opinion, shall deserve it. In the mean time, I can with comfort assure you, that you could not have made choice of a subject more befitting your place, and your universal and methodical knowledge: and, in the general, I have already observed that you jump with me in keeping the midway between the two extremes ; as also, in some particulars, I have found that you agree fully with my opinion. And so praying God to give your work as good success as your heart can wish, and your labours deserve, I bid you fare. well. Oct. 16, 1620.
JAMES I. TO PRINCE CHARLES AND THE DUKE
OF BUCKINGHAM *. MY SWEET BOYS, Your letter by Cottington hath stricken me dead; I fear it will very much shorten my days, and I am the more perplexed that I do not know how to satisfy the people's expectation here, neither do I know what to say to our council, for the fleet that stayed upon a wind this fortnight. Rutland and all aboard might now be stayed, and I know not what reason I shall pretend for the doing of it; but as for my advice and directions
* The prince and duke were then in Spain, treating for the marriage of the prince with the infanta.
that ye crave, in case they will not alter their decree, it is, in a word, to come speedily away, if you can get leave, and give over all treaty. And this I speak without respect of any security they can offer you, except ye never look to see your old dad again, whom I fear ye shall never see, if ye see him not before winter. Alas! I now repent me sore that I ever suffered ye to go away. I care for match nor nothing so I may once more have you in my arms again; God grant it, God grant it, God grant it; Amen, amen, amen! I protest ye shall be as heartily welcome as if ye had done all things ye went for ; so that I may once have you in my arms again; and God bless you both, my only sweet son, and my only best sweet servant, and let me hear from you quickly with all speed, as ye love my life; and so God send you a happy and joyful meeting in the arms of your dear dad.
From Greenwich, the 24th of June, 1623.
LADY MOUNTNORRIS TO THE EARL OF
STRAFFORD. MY LORD, I BESEECH your lordship, for the tender mercy of God, take off your heavy hand from my dear lord; and for her sake* who is with God, be pleased not to make me and my poor infants miserable,
* Lady Mountnorris alludes to the first wife of Strafford, to whom she was nearly related. The arbitrary Strafford, who was then lord lieutenant of Ireland, had caused her husband to be sentenced to death, on a frivolous pretext. Mountnorris, indeed, escaped, but not through the mercy of Strafford,