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acquaintance, this man took such impression at some passages, as troubling his conscience, he took occasion at the next shrift to confer certain doubts with his confessor; who out of malicious curiosity enquiring all eireumstances, gave afterwards notice thereof to Rome, whither the said Mole was gone with my Lord Ross; who in this story is not without blame, but I will not disquiet his grave.
“Now having lately heard that his majesty, at the suit of I know not what embassadors, but the Florentine amongst them is voiced for one, was pleased to yield some releasement to certain restrained
persons the Roman faith; I have taken a conceit upon it that in exchange of his clemency therein, the great Duke would be easily moved by the king's gracious request, to intercede with the Pope for Master Mole's delivery : To which purpose, if it shall please his majesty to grant his royal letters, I will see the business duly pursued. And so needing no arguments to commend this proposition to his majesty's goodness, but his goodness itself, I leave it as I began, in your noble hands. Now touching your lordship’s familiar service, as I may term it, I have sent the compliment of your bargain upon the best provided, and best manned ship that hath been here in long time, called the Phønix. And in deed, the cause of their long stay hath been for some such vessel as I might trust. About which since I wrote last to your lordship, I resolved to fall back to my first choice : so as now the one piece is the work of Titian, wherein the least figure, viz. the child virgin's lap playing with a bird, is alone worth the price of your expence for all four, being so round, that I know not whether I shall call it a piece of sculpture
or picture ; and so lively, that a man would be tempted to doubt whether nature or art had made it. - The other is of Palma, and this I call the speaking piece, as your lordship will say it may well be termed; for except the damsel brought to David, whom a silent modesty did best become, all the other figures are in discourse and action. They come both distended in their frames : for I durst not hazard them in rowls, the youngest being 25 years old, and therefore no longer supple and pliant. With them I have been bold to send a dish of grapes to your noble sister, the Countess of Denbigh, presenting them first to your lordship's view, that you may be pleased to pass. your censure whether Italians can make fruits as well as Flemings, which is the common glory of their pencils. By this gentleman I have sent the choicest melon seeds of all kinds, which his majesty doth expect, as I had order both from my lord of Holderness, and from Mr. Secretary Calvert. And although in my letter to his majesty, which I hope by your lordship’s favour, himself shall have the honour to deliver, together with the said seeds, I have done him right in his due attributes; yet let me say of him farther, as architects use to speak of a well chosen foundation, that your lordship may boldly build what fortune you please upon him, for surely he will bear it virtuously. I have committed to him for the last place, a private memorial touching myself, wherein I shall humbly beg your lordship’s intercession upon a neces
And so with my heartiest prayers to heaven for your continual health and happiness, I most humbly rest,
Your Lordship's ever
Obliged devoted Servant, Venice, Dec. 12, 1622.
Postscript. "My noble Lord
" It is one of my duties to tell your lordship that I have sent a servant of mine, by profession a painter, to make a search in the best towns through Italy, for some principal pieces, which I hope may produce somewhat for your lordship’s contentment and service.”
The last published letter in the series, written from abroad, is of the date of 1622-3, addressed to the Earl of Holderness, and containing the following passage:" Now, for mine own obligations unto your : Lordship, whereof I have from some friends at home very abundant knowledge, what shall I say? It was in truth, my Lord, an argument of your noble nature, to take
my fortune into your care, who never yet made it any great part of mine own business. I'am a poor student in philosophy, which hath redeemed me not only from the envying of others, but even from much solicitude about myself. It is true, that my most gracious master bath put me into civil practice, and now after long service, 1 grow into a little danger of wish-, ing I were worth somewhat. But in this likewise I do quiet my thoughts: for I see by your Lordship's so free and undeserved estimation of me, that like the cripple, who had lain long at the pool of Bethesda, I shall find somebody that will throw me into the water when it moveth.”
Sir Henry Wotton returned home soon after the date of the letter above quoted from. It is most probable he procured his recall, with the intention . of soliciting some provision for his declining years. The following
letter is without date, but it was evidently written soon after his arrival in England.
To the Duke. " May it please your Grace,
Having some days hy sickness been deprived of the comfort of your sight, who did me so much honour at my last access, I am bold to make these poor lines happier than myself: and withal, to represent anto your grace, whose noble patronage is my refuge when I find any occasion to bewail mine own fortune, a thing which seemed strange unto me. told, I know not how truly, that his majesty hath already disposed the Venetian embassage to Sir Isaac Weake; from whose sufficiency if I should detract, it would be but an argument of my own weakness.
But that which herein doth touch me, I am loth to say in point of reputation, surely much in my livelihood as lawyers speak, is, that thereby after seventeen years of foreign and continual employment, either ordinary or extraordinary, I am left utterly destitute of all possibility to subsist at home; much like those seal fishes, which sometimes as they say, oversleeping themselves in an ebbing water, feel nothing about them but a dry shore when they awake. Which comparison I am fain to seek among those creatures, not knowing among men, that have so long served so gracious a master, any one to whom I
my lord, as your grace hath vouchsafed me some part of your love, so make me worthy in this, of some part of your compassion. So I humbly rest,
Your Grace's, &c.
The subsequent address to the king, is also of the same date, though published without any. It distinctly exhibits the object Sir Henry Wotton had in view in soliciting his recal.
“ To his sacred Majesty. “I do humbly resume the ancient manner, which was adire Cæsarem per Libellum : with confidence in the cause, and in your Majesty's gracious equity, though not in mine own merit.
During my late employment, Sir E. P. then Master of the Rolls died. By his death Sir Julius Cæsar claimed not only the succession of that place, but the gift of all the Clerkships of the Chancery, that should fall void in his own time.
Of these Clerkships your Majesty had formerly granted two reversions : the one to the late Lord Bruce; for which Mr. Bond, secretary to my Lord Chancellor had contracted with him. The second to me. The said Bond got his grant through the favour of his master to be confirmed by Sir Julius Caesar before his entrance into the Rolls: but through ny absence in your majesty's service, and want of pressing it in the due season, my grant remained unconfirmed, though your majesty was pleased to write your gracious letter in my behalf. Which maketh me much bewail mine own case, that my deserts were so poor, 'as your royal mediation was of less value for me, than my Lord Chancellor's for his servant. The premises considered, my humble suit unto your majesty is this: that Sir Julius Cesar may be drawn by your supreme authority, to confirm unto me my reversion of the second clerkship, whereof I have a patent under your great