Imatges de pÓgina
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and therfore I drew out my rapier, and so

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have found mee unarmed and in my bed. For, otherwise, hee might have sent or written any challenge, more beseeming a man of his sort. How I was urged to the former quarrell, it is very well knowen; being first stricken by his brother-whom for love and goodwill I followed into the Indies-afterwards sought out and challenged, when as I was stelling away to have gone into the service of the Low Countres; and after I had wounded my Lorde's brother in the felde, it is well known that I never followed the quarrell with mallice; but, fynding hym to feynt, I gave over to assault hyme and stayd with hyme above half an houre, and set hym upright and [tried ?] to comfort hyme in all I could untill, for very feare of cumpany, I was forst to depart. And yet I so

1 Here, as it seems, the original was mutilated. It appears to have been a rough draft of the letter sent.

much respected the gentleman as I rather preferred his recovery then myne owne saufty. For I adventured to ryde into Holborne to send hyme a surgent, before I sought to save my self,-which course differeth much from this of that Lord, who, besedds the too former assalts, hath since lien in wayt for me in such sort and with such cumpany as I dare not pass towards Westminster to plead my pardon. And for acceptance of any challenge, my Lord knewe I may not. For as I am not yet freed of the former, so shall I bee by this pardon bounde by sureties to good behaviour ever after; and the acceptance of a challenge is a willfull breach therof. I am therfore most humblie to beseech your Lordship to continew your favor toward mee, that I may injoy so much libertye to insure the benefit of her Majesties great grace without the overpressing and outrageous' [? hindrance of the brother or other relations of the Lord BRUGH's. I have being all supprest

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1 Here the original, whence this transcript was made, was again de

fective.

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Rare

Occurrence

Ralegh's letters;

and the Occasional

uncertain

arising.

Buckhurst.1

That doubtful letters, and fragments of letters,

of dates in such as these, should be without date is precisely what might be expected; but that scarcely a dozen of the one hundred and sixty-six wellties thence authenticated RALEGH Letters hereinafter printed should contain an accurate or precise date is a fact that calls for some remark. The very few that bear the date of year are-I think almost uniformlyletters written, either wholly or in part, by an amanuensis. Sir WALTER's own practice was to date his letters this Wednesday' or 'this Friday, or, perhaps, this 6th of October,' and the like, but with entire disregard of the year. I have done what I could to supply the true dates— either from endorsements or from the subjectmatter of the letters themselves; but I am well aware that the reader's indulgent view of the difficulties which attend upon conjectural dating will, in the course of this volume, be much needed on behalf of its Editor. I have, at all events, the satisfaction of reflecting that, in not a few instances, letters already known, but wrongly dated

1 This letter is endorsed: "For Dr. Birch. Letters of Sir Walter Ralegh in the possession of Pomeroy Gilbert, Esq., Fort-Major of Plymouth, descendent of Sir Humphrey."

in preceding books-sometimes by a period of six or seven years-have here been rectified. In printing so many new letters, I cannot hope to have altogether escaped the making of some new blunders. In one or two instances, I have subsequently discovered my error, and have corrected it either by footnote or by marginal note in the Life. For any undetected errors of this kind. I solicit the candid consideration of readers. Those most accustomed to difficult researches amongst musty old papers will, perhaps, be most charitable on such a point.

Of Letters XLVI., CXXVI., CXXX., and CXXXII., it is needful to observe that they stand much in need of fuller explanation and of more illustrative remark than it has been in my power to give. I long entertained a hope that in the Episcopal Registry at Salisbury, or among the rich muniments of the Dean and Chapter there, I should be enabled, and permitted, to find some other portions of the correspondence relating to the Sherborne manors. My failure to do so has not arisen from lack of effort,-or of journeying,on my own part. At many of the Diocesan, Collegiate, and Capitular registries and munimentrooms throughout England, there is now a most liberal recognition of the fairness of making some distinction between facilities for searches intended to further a merely historical or literary purpose,

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Fruitless searches

at Salis

and those appointed for searches of a more professional sort; such, for instance, as are connected either with matters of personal profit or with points of legal contention. At Winchester-to take but one example out of very many which are known to me by personal experience—a most generous view of such matters obtains. But at

for letters Salisbury-as also at Exeter-the direct opposite of liberality is the rule, and the rule is faithfully adhered to.

bury and at Sher

borne.

Generous

facilities

been given towards

I had also, in the course of my inquiries, found reason to think that certain other letters which are printed in this volume might have found very valuable and interesting illustration from documents which still, it is believed, exist at Sherborne Castle. But at Sherborne (as at Salisbury and at Exeter) my earnest efforts to obtain permission for access to them-of course under the reasonable restrictions which are usual and right in such researches by strangers-failed of their object. At Sherborne Castle, I fear, the renown of its Elizabethan owner is sometimes felt rather as an overhanging shadow, than as a matter of generous elation.

It is far less agreeable to put on record failure which have and denial in legitimate inquiries for purposes of research, than gratefully to acknowledge the liberal furtherance of them. Of that, these volumes have received not a little. Some of my many obligations

the collection of Kalegh Letters.

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