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Incapacity. This Bill having in some few Days been dispatched to the Lords, the House has since gone on in grand Committee upon the first eight hundred thousand Pounds Bill, but are not yet half Way. But now the Lords, instead of the sixteenth of February, put twenty five Days after the King's royal Assent, and that registered in their journal; they disagree in several other Things, but adhere in that first, which is most material. Adhere, in this Place, signifies not to be retracted, and excludes a free Conference. So that this Week the Houses will be in Danger of splitting, without much Wisdom or Force. For considering that Sir Thomas Sands was the very Person sent to Clarges and Pultney, that Obrian was concealed in the Duke of Monmouth's Lodgings, that Wroth and Lake were bayled at the Sessions by Order from Mr. Attorney, and that all Persons and Things are perfectly discovered, that Act will not be passed without great Consequence. George's Father obliges you much in Tangier. Prince Edgar is dying. The Court is at the highest Pitch of Want and Luxury, and the People full of Discontent. Remember me to yourselves.

Dear Will,

15.

[To William Popple.]

I think I have not told you that, on our Bill of Subsidy, the Lord 20 Lucas made a fervent bold Speech against our Prodigality in giving, and the weak Looseness of the Government, the King being present; and the Lord Clare another to persuade the King that he ought not to be present. But all this had little Encouragement, not being seconded. Copys going about every where, one of them was brought into the Lords' House, and Lord Lucas was asked whether it was his. He sayed Part was, and Part was not. Thereupon they took Advantage, and sayed it was a Libel even against Lucas himself. On this they voted it a Libel, and to be burned by the Hangman. Which was done; but the Sport was, the Hangman burned the Lords' Order with it. I take the last Quarrel betwixt us and the Lords to be as the Ashes of that Speech. Doubtless you have heard, before this Time, how Monmouth, Albemarle, Dunbane,1 and seven or eight Gentlemen, fought with the Watch, and killed a poor Bedle. They have all got their Pardons, for Monmouth's Sake; but it is an Act of great Scandal.

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The King of France is at Dunkirke. We have no Fleet out, tho we gave the Subsidy Bill, valued at eight hundred thousand Pounds, for that Purpose. I believe indeed he will attempt Nothing on Us, but leave Us to dy a natural Death. For indeed never had poor Nation 1 Sic (Cooke): a misprint for 'Dunblane'.

so many complicated, mortal, incurable, Diseases. You know the Dutchess of York is dead. All gave her for a Papist. I think it will be my Lot to go on an honest fair Employment into Ireland. Some have smelt the Court of Rome at that Distance. There I hope I shall be out of the Smell of our.

1670.1

Dear Sir,

16.

To a Friend in Persia.

Your, &c.

I have yours of the twelfth of October, 1670, which was in all 10 Respects most wellcome to Me, except when I considered that to write it you endured some Pain, for you say your Hand is not yet recovered. If I could say any Thing to you towards the Advancement of your Affairs, I could, with a better Conscience, admit you should spend so much of your precious Time, as you do, upon Me. But you know how far those Things are out of my Road, tho, otherwise, most desirous in all Things to be serviceable to you. God's good Providence, which hath thro so dangerous a Disease and so many Difficultys preserved and restored you, will, I doubt not, conduct you to a prosperous Issue, and the Perfection of your so laudable Undertakings. And, under 20 that, your own good Genius, in Conjunction with your Brother here, will, I hope, tho at the Distance of England and Persia, in good Time operate extraordinary Effects; for the Magnetism of two Souls, rightly touched, works beyond all natural Limits. And it would be indeed too unequal, if good Nature should not have at least as large a Sphere of Activity, as Malice, Envy, and Detraction, which are, it seems, Part of the Returns from Gombroon and Surat. All I can say to you in that Matter is, that you must, seeing it will not be better, stand upon your Guard; for in this World a good Cause signifys little, unless it be as well defended. A Man may starve at the Feast 30 of good Conscience. My Fencing-master in Spain, after he had instructed me all he could, told me, I remember, there was yet one Secret, against which there was no Defence, and that was, to give the first Blow. I know your Maxim, Qui festinat ditescere, non erit innocens. Indeed while you preserve that Mind, you will have the Blessing both of God and Man. In general I perceive, and am very glad of it, that by your good Management, your Friends here get Ground, and the Flint in your Adversarys' Hearts begins to be mollifyed. Now, after my usual Method, leaving to others what relates to Busyness, I address

1 See notes.

myself, which is all I am good for, to be your Gazettier. I am sorry to perceive that mine by the Armenian miscarryed. Tho there was nothing material in it, the Thoughts of Friends are too valuable to fall into the Hands of a Stranger. I wrote the last February at large, and wish it a better Passage. In this perhaps I may interfere something with that, chusing rather to repeat than omit. The King having, upon Pretence of the great Preparations of his Neighbours, demanded three hundred thousand Pounds for his Navy, (tho in Conclusion he hath not set out any,) and that the Parliament should pay his Debts, which 10 the Ministers would never particularize to the House of Commons, our House gave several Bills. You see how far Things were stretched, tho beyond Reason, there being no Satisfaction how those Debts were contracted, and all Men foreseeing that what was given would not be applyed to discharge the Debts, which I hear are at this Day risen to four Millions, but diverted as formerly. Nevertheless such was the Number of the constant Courtiers, increased by the Apostate Patriots, who were bought off, for that Turn, some at six, others ten, one at fifteen, thousand Pounds in Mony, besides what offices, Lands, and Reversions, to others, that it is a Mercy they gave not away the whole 20 Land, and Liberty, of England. The Earl of Clare made a very bold and rational Harangue, the King being present, against the King's siting among the Lords, contrary to former Precedents, during their Debates; but he was not seconded. The King has this April prorogued, upon the Houses cavilling, and their harsh Conferences, concerning some Bills, the Parliament from this April till the sixteenth of April, 1672. Sir John Coventry's Bill against cuting Noses passed, and Obrian and Sir Thomas Sands, not appearing at the Old Baily by the Time limited, stand attainted and outlawed, without Possibility of Pardon. The Duke of Buckingham is again one hundred and forty 30 thousand Pounds in Debt, and, by this Prorogation, his Creditors have Time to tear all his Lands in Pieces. The House of Commons has run almost to the End of their Line, and are grown extreme chargeable to the King, and odious to the People. Lord St. John Marquess of Winchester's Son, one of the House of Commons, Sir Robert Howard, Sir John Benet Lord Arlington's Brother, Sir Will. Bucknoll the Brewer, all of the House, in Fellowship with some others of the City, have farmed the old Customs, with the new Act of Imposition upon Wines, and the Wine Licenses, at six hundred thousand Pounds a Year, to begin this Michaelmass. You may be sure they have 40 Covenants not to be Losers. They have signed and sealed ten thousand Pounds a Year more to the Dutchess of Cleveland, who has likewise near ten thousand Pounds a Year out of the new Farm of the Country

Excise of Beer and Ale, five thousand Pounds a Year out of the Post Office, and, they say, the Reversion of all the King's Leases, the Reversion of all Places in the Custom House, the green Wax, and, indeed, what not? All Promotions, spiritual and temporal, pass under her Cognizance. Buckingham runs out of all with the Lady Shrewsbury, by whom he believes he had a Son, to whom the King stood Godfather; it dyed young Earl of Coventry, and was buryed in the Sepulchre of his Fathers. The King of France made a warlike Progress this Summer thro his Conquests of Flanders, but kept the Peace there, and detains still the Dutchy of Lorain, and has stired up the German Princes against 10 the free Towns. The Duke of Brunswick has taken the Town of Brunswick; and now the Bishop of Cullen is attacking the City of Colen. We truckle to France in all Things, to the Prejudice of our Alliance and Honour. Barclay is still Lieutenant of Ireland; but he was forced to come over to pay ten thousand Pounds Rent to his Landlady Cleveland. My Lord Angier, who bought of Sir George Carteret, for eleven thousand Pounds, the Vicetreasureship of Ireland, worth five thousand Pounds a Year, is, betwixt Knavery and Foolery, turned out. Dutchess of York, and Prince Edgar, dead. None left but Daughters. One Blud, outlawed for a Plot to take Dublin Castle, 20 and who seized on the Duke of Ormond here last Year, and might have killed him, a most bold, and yet sober, Fellow, some Months ago seized the Crown and Sceptre in the Tower, took them away, and, if he had killed the Keeper, might have carryed them clear off. He, being taken, astonished the King and Court, with the Generosity, and Wisdom, of his Answers. He, and all his Accomplices, for his Sake, are discharged by the King, to the Wonder of all.

August 9. 1671.

17.

[To William Popple.]

Yours, &c.

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Dear Will, Affairs begin to alter, and Men talk of a Peace with Holland, and taking them into our Protection; and it is my Opinion it will be before Michaelmass, for some Reasons not fit to write. We cannot have a Peace with France and Holland both. The Dutch are now brought very low; but Amsterdam, and some other Provinces, are resolved to stand out to the last. De-wit is stabed, and dead of his Wounds. It was at twelve a Clock at Night, the eleventh of this Month, as he came from the Council at the Hague. Four Men wounded him with their Swords. But his own Letter next Morning to the States says 40

Nothing appeared mortal. The whole Province of Utrecht is yielded up. No Man can conceive the Condition of the State of Holland, in this Juncture, unless he can at the same Time conceive an Earthquake, an Hurricane, and the Deluge. France is potent and subtle. Here have been several Fires of late. One at St. Catharine's, which burned about six Score or two hundred Houses, and some seven or eight Ships. Another in Bishopsgate Street. Another in Crichet Fryars. Another in Southwark; and some elsewhere. You may be sure all the old Talk is hereupon revived. There was the other Day, tho not on this 10 Occasion, a severe Proclamation issued out against all who shall vent false News, or discourse il concerning Affairs of State. So that in writing to you I run the Risque of making a Breach in the Commandment.

June 1672.

18.

Your, &c.

For St Edward Harlay Knight of the Bath
At Brampton Castle

to be left with the Post-master of Ludlow.

Sir, I was to wait on you severall times after we rose but mist you till 20 I took a sudden journy to Stanton-Harcourt. And there I understood not that you were at the same time so many dayes in the neighbourhood till you were gone home. So that all I can doe for my selfe is to retrieve the losse of those opportunityes by writing. I find here at my returne a new booke against the Rehearsall intitled: St, to him Bayes: writ by one Hodges. But it is like the rest onely somthing more triviall. Gregory Gray-beard is not yet out. Dr Parker will be out the next weeke. I haue seen of it already 330 pages and it will be much more. I perceive by what I haue read that it is the rudest book, one or other, that ever was publisht (I may say), since the first 30 invention of printing. Although it handles me so roughly yet I am not at all amated by it. But I must desire the advice of some few friends to tell me whether it will be proper for me and in what way to answer it. However I will for mine own private satisfaction forthwith draw up an answer that shall haue as much of spirit and solidity in it as my ability will afford & the age we liue in will indure. I am (if I may say it with reverence) drawn in, I hope by a good Providence, to intermeddle in a noble and high argument wch therefore by how much it is above my capacity I shall use the more industry not to disparage it. But I desire that all the discourse of my friends may run

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