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TO

LORD KEEPER OF THE GREAT SEAL OF ENGLAND

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Which thy clear-ey'd experience well descries,
Great keeper of the state of equity!

Refuge of mercy! upon whom relies
SIR THOMAS EGERTON, KNIGHT: The succoar of oppressed misery :

Altar of safeguard! Whereto affliction flies,
From th' eager pursuit of severity.

Haven of peace! That labour'st to withdraw
Wall bath the powerful hand of majesty, Justice from out the tempests of the law;
Thy worthiness, and England's hap beside,
Set thee in th' aidfull'st room of dignity;

And set her in a calm and even way, As th' isthmus these two oceans to divide,

Plain, and directly leading to redress;
Of rigour and confus'd uncertainty,

Barring these counter-courses of delay,
To keep out th' intercourse of wrong and pride, These wasting, dilatory processes.
That they ingulf not up unsuccour'd right, Ranging into their right and proper ray,
By th' extreme current of licentious might. Errours, demurs, essoigns, and traverses;

The heads of hydra, springing out of death,
Now when we see the most combining band, That gives this monster Malice still new breath.
The strongest fast'ning of society,
Law, whereon all this frame of men doth stand, That what was made for the utility
Remain concussed with uncertainty;

And good of man, might not be turn'd t' his hurt, And seem to foster, rather than withstand

To make him worser by his remedy, Contention; and embrace obscurity,

And cast him down with what should him support. Only ť afflict, and not to fashion us,

Nor that the state of law might lose thereby Making her cure far worse than the disease: The due respect and rev'rence of her port;

And seem a trap to catch our ignorance,
As if she had made covenant with wrong,

And to entangle our intemperance.
To part the prey made on our weaknesses ;
And suffer'd falsehood to be arın'd as strong Since her interpretations, and our deeds,
Unto the combat, as is righteousness ;

Unto a like infinity arise;
Or suited her, as if she did belong

As being a science that by nature breeds Unto our passions; and did ev'n profess

Contention, strife, and ambiguities. Contention, as her only mystery,

For altercation controversy feeds, Which she restrains not, but doth multiply. And in her agitation multiplies :

The field of cavil lying all like wide,
Was she the same she's now, in ages past? Yields like advantage unto either side.
Or was she less, when she was used less;
And grows as malice grows; and so comes cast Which made the grave Castilian king devise
Just to the form of our unquietness ?

A prohibition, that no advocate
Or made more slow, the more that strife runs fast; Should be convey'd to th' Indian colonies;
Staying tundo us, ere she will redress?

Lest their new setting, shaken with debate,
That th’ill she checks, seems suffer'd to be ill, Might take but slender root, and so not rise
When it yields greater gain than goodness will. To any perfect growth of firm estate.

“ For having not this skill how to contend, Must therс be still some discord mix'd among | Th' unnourish'd strife would quickly make an end." The harmony of men ; whose mood accords Best with contention, tun'd t'a note of wrong?

So likewise did the Hungarian, when he saw That when war fails, peace must make war with These great Italian bartolists, who were words,

Call’d in of purpose to explain the law, And b'arm'd unto destruction ev'n as strong,

Tembrojl it more, and make it much less clear; As were in ages past our civil swords :

Caus'd them from out his kingdom to withdraw, Making as deep, although unbleeding wounds ;

With this infestious skill, some other-where; That when as fury fails, wisdom confounds.

Whose learning rather let men further out,

And open’d wider passages of doubt. If it be wisdom, and not cunning, this

Seeing ev'n injustice may be regulate; Which so embroils the state of truth with brawls,

And no proportion can there be betwixt And wraps it up in strange confusedness ;

Our actions, which in endless motion are, As if it liv'd immur'd within the walls

And th' ordinances, which are always fix'd : Of hideous terms, fram'd out of barb'rousness

Ten thousand laws more cannot reach so far, And foreign customs, the memorials

But malice goes beyond, or lives immix'd
Of our subjection; and could never be

So close with goodness, as it ever will
Deliver'd but by wrangling subtilty.

Corrupt, disguise, or counterfeit it still. Whereas it dwells free in the open plain,

And therefore did those glorious monarchs (who Uncurious, gentle, easy of access:

Divide with God the style of majesty,
Certain unto itself; of equal vein;

For being good; and had a care to do
One face, one colour, one assuredness.

The world right, and succour honesty) It's falsehood that is intricate and vain,

Ordain this sanctuary, whereunto And needs these labyrinths of subtleness :

Th'oppress'd might fly; the seat of equity, For where the cunning'st cov'rings most appear,

Whereon thy virtues sit with fair renown, It argues still that all is not sincere.

The greatest grace and glory of the gown.

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TO THE

Which equity, being the soul of law,

That ev'n the sceptre, which might all command, The life of justice, and the spirit of right;

Seeing her s'unpartial, equal, regular; Dwells not in written lines ; or lives in awe Was pleas'd to put itself into her band, Of books' deaf pow'rs, that have nor ears por sight: Whereby they both grew more admired far. But out of well-weigh'd circumstance doth draw And this is that great blessing of this land, The essence of a judgment requisite;

That both the prince and people use one bar; And is that Lesbian square, that building fit, The prince, whose cause (as not to be withstood) Plies to the work, nor forc'th the work to it. Is never bad, but where himself is good. Maintaining still an equal parallel

This is that balance which committed is
Just with th'occasions of humanity,

To thy most even and religious hand,
Making her judgment ever liable
To the respect of peace and amity;

Great minister of Justice! who by this
When surely law, stern and unaffable,

Shalt have thy name still gracious in this land. Cares only but itself to satisfy;

This is that seal of pow'r which doth impress And often innocencies scarce defends,

Thy acts of right, which shall for ever stand ! As that which on no circumstance depends.

This is that train of state, that pompously

Attends upon thy rev'rent dignity!
But equity, that bears an even rein
Upon the present courses, holds in awe

All glory else besides ends with our breath;
By giving hand a little; and doth gain,

And men's respects scarce brings us to our grare: By a gentle relaxation of the law :

But this of doing good, must out-live Death, And yet inviolable doth maintain

And have a right out of the right it gave. The end whereto all constitutions draw,

Though th' act but few, th' example profitetb Which is the welfare of society,

Thousands, that shall thereby a blessing have. Consisting of an upright policy :

The world's respect grows not but on deserts;

Pow'r may have knées, but Justice hath our hearts. Which first b'ing by necessity compos’d, Is by necessity maintain'd in best estate; Where when as justice shall be ill dispos'd, It sickens the whole body of the state. For if there be a passage once disclos'd, That wrong may enter at the self-same rate Which serves for right, clad in a coat of law;

LORD HENRY HOWARD,
What violent distempers may it draw?

ONE OF HIS MAJESTY'S PRIVY COUNCIL.
And therefore dost thou stand to keep the way,
And stop the course that malice seeks to run, Praise, if it be not choice, and laid aright,
And by thy provident injunctions stay

Can yield no lustre where it is bestow'd;
This never-ending altercation;

Not any way can grace the giver's art, Sending contention home, to th' end men may (Though 't be a pleasing colour to delight) There make their peace, whereas their strife begun; For that no ground whereon it can be show'd, And free these pester'd streets they vainly wear, Will bear it well, but virtue and desert. Whom both the state and theirs do need elsewhere.

And though I might commend your learning, wit, Lest th' humour which doth thus predominate, And happy utt'rance; and commend them right, Convert unto itself all that it takes ;

As that which decks you much, and gives you grace, And that the law grow larger than debate, Yet your clear judgment best deserveth it, And come t. exceed th' affairs it undertakes : Which in your course hath carried you upright, As if the only science of the state,

And made you to discern the truest face, That took up all our wits, for gain it makes Not for the good that hereby may be wrought, And best complexion of the things that breed Which is not good if it be dearly bought.

The reputation and the love of men ;

And held you in the tract of honesty,
What shall we think, when as ill causes sball Which ever in the end we see succeed ;
Enrich men more, and shall be more desir'd Though oft it may have interrupted been,
Than good; as far more beneficial ?

Both by the times, and men's iniquity.
Who then defends the good? Who will be hird
To entertain a right, whose gain is small?

Por sure those actions which do fairly run linless the advocate that hath conspir'd

In the right line of honour, still are those To plead a wrong, be likewise made to run That get most clean and safest to their end; His client's cbance, and with him-be undone. And pass the best without confusion,

Either in those that act, or else dispose; So did the wisest nations ever strive

Having the scope made clear, whereto tbey tend. To bind the hands of Justice up so hard; That lest she falling to prove lucritive,

When this by-path of cunning doth s' embroil, Might basely reach then out to take reward : And intricate the passage of affairs, Ordaining her provisions fit to live,

As that they seldom fairly can get out; Out of the public; as a public guard,

But cost, with less success, more care and toil; That all preserves, and all doth entertain;

Whilst doubt and the distrusted cause impairs Whose end is only glory, and not gain.

Their courage, who would else appear more stout.

3

COUNTESS OF CUMBERLAND.

TO LORD H. HOWARD... TO THE COUNTESS OF CUMBERLAND. 529
For though some hearts are blinded so, that they
7 Have divers doors whereby they may let out
E Their wills abroad without disturbancy,
Int'any course, and into ev'ry way

THE LADY MARGARET,
Of humour, that affection turns about;
E. Yet bave the best but one thave passage by ;
Em And that so surely warded with the guard
Of conscience and respect, as nothing must

He that of such a height hath built his mind, are Have course that way, but with the certain pass

And rear'd the dwelling of his thoughts so strong, Of a persuasive right; which being compar'd

As neither fear nor hope can stake the frame With their conceit, must thereto answer just, Of his resolved powers ; nor all the wind And so with due examination pass.

Of vanity or malice pierce to wrong

His settled peace, or to disturb the same: Which kind of men, rais'd of a better frame,

What a fair seat bath he, from whence he may
Are more religious, constant, and upright;

The boundless wastes and weilds of man survey?
And bring the ablest hands for any 'ffect;
And best bear up the reputation, fame,

And with how free an eye doth be look down And good opinion that the action''s right,

Upon these lower regions of turmoil?
When th' undertakers are without suspect.

Where all the storms of passions mainly beat

On flesh and blood : where honour, power, renown, But when the body of an enterprise

Are only gay afflictions, golden toil; * Shall go one way, the face another way;

Where greatness stands upon as feeble feet,
As if it did but mock a weaker trust;

As frailty doth ; and only great doth seem als. The motion being monstrous, cannot rise

To little minds, who do it so esteem.
To any good; but falls down to bewray,
I That all pretences serve for things unjust:

He looks upon the mightiest monarch's wars

But only as on stately robberies ;
Especially where th' action will allow

Where evermore the fortune that prevails
Apparency; or that it bath a course

Must be the right: the ill-succeeding mars
Concentric, with the universal frame

The fairest and the best fac'd (terprise.
Of men combin'd: whom it concerneth how Great pirate Pompey lesser pirates quails:
These motions run, and entertain their force; Justice, he sees, (as if seduced) still,
Having their being resting on the same.

Conspires with power, whose cause must not be ill. And be it that the vulgar are but gross;

He sees the face of right t appear as manifold Yet are they capable of truth, and see,

As are the passions of uncertain man; I laid it. And sometimes guess the right; and do conceive Who puts it in all colours, all attires, betart. The nature of that text that needs a gloss,

To serve his ends, and make his courses bold. Teror. And wholly never can deluded be:

He sees, that let deceit work what it can,
All may a few; few cannot all deceive.

Plot and contrive base ways to high desires ;

That the all-guiding Providence doth yet od dext And these strange disproportions in the train All disappoint, and mocks the smoke of wit.

And course of things, do evermore proceed Fara From th' ill-set disposition of their minds;

Nor is he mor'd with all the thunder-cracks ooed Who in their actions cannot but retain

Of tyrants' threats, or with the surly brow ,20 Th' encumber'd forms which do within them breed, of Pow'r, that proudly sits on others' crimes; deserudAnd which they cannot show but in their kinds. Charg'd with more crying sins than those he checks.

The storms of sad confusion, that may grow true Whereas the ways and counsels of the light Up in the present for the coming times, So sort with valour and with manliness,

Appal not him; that hath no side at all, in the As that they carry things assuredly,

But of himself, and knows the worst can fall. efna, Undazzling of their own or others' sight:

Although his heart (so near ally'd to Earth) , There being a blessing that doth give success

Cannot but pity the perplexed state sucres To worthiness, and unto constancy.

Of troublous and distress'd mortality,
And though sometimes th' event may fall amiss, That thus make way unto the ugly birth

Yet shall it still have honour for th' attempt; Of their own sorrows, and do still beget do with shame, Amiction upon imbecility:

Yet seeing thus the course of things must run, ill are tix And in the whole design perplexed is:

; He looks thereon not strange, but as fore-done. atastue And though it bath not hap, it shall have fame.

And whilst distraught ainbition compasses,
And is encompass'a ; whilst as craft deceives,
And is deceiv’d: whilst man doth ransack man,
And builds on blood, and rises by distress ;
And th' inheritance of desolation leaves
To great-expecting hopes: he looks thereon,
As froin the shore of peace, with upwet eye,
And bears no venture in impiety.

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TO

Thus, madam, fares that man, that hath prepar'd And this note, madam, of your worthiness
A rest for his desires ; aid sees all things

Remains recorded in so many hearts, Beneath bim; and hath learn'd this book of man, As time nor malice cannot wrong your right, Full of the notes of frailty; and compar'd

In th' inheritance of fame you must possess ; The best of glory with her sufferings:

Yon that have built you by your great deserts By whom, I see, you labour all you can

(Out of small means) a far more exquisite !
To plaut your heart; and set your thoughts as near And glorious dwelling for your honour'd name,
His glorious mansion, as your pow'rs cau bear. Than all the gold that leaden minds can frame
Which, madam, are so soundly fashioned
By that clear judgment, that hath carry'd you
Beyond the feeble limits of your kind,
As they can stand against the strongest head
Passion can inake; iour'd to any hue
The world cap cast; that cannot cast that mind

THE LADY LUCY,
Out of her form of goodness, that doth see
Both what the best and worst of earth can be.

COUNTESS OF BEDFORD.
Which makes, that whatsoever here befalls,
You in the region of yourself remain:

Though Virtue be the same when low she stand:
Where no vain breath of th' impudent molests, In th' humble shadows of obscurity,
That hath securd within the brazen walls

As when she either sweats in martial bands, Of a clear conscience, that (without all stain) Or sits in court clad with authority ; Rises in peace, in innocency rests ;

Yet, madam, doth the strictness of her room Whilst all what Malice from without procures, Greatly detract from her ability. Shows her own ugly heart, but hurts not yours. For as in-walld within a living tomb,

Her hands and arms of action labour not; And whereas none rejoice more in revenge,

Her thoughts, as if abortive from the pomb, Than women use to do; yet you well know,

Come never born, though happily begot. That wrong is better check'd by being contemn'd,

But where she hath mounted in open sight Than being pursu'd ; leaving to him t'avenge, An eminent and spacious dwelling got; To whom it appertains. Wherein you show

Where she may stir at will, and use her might, How worthily your clearness hath condemn’d

There is she more herself, and more ber owo; Base malediction, living in the dark,

There in the fair attire of honour dight, That at the rays of goodness still doth bark.

She sits at ease, and makes her glory known. Kyowing the heart of man is set to be

Applause attends her hands; ber deeds have gta The centre of this world, about the which

Her worth, new-born, is straight as if full gruri These revolutions of disturbances

With such a godly and respected face

Duth Virtue look, that 's set to look from bigt; Still roll ; where all th' aspects of misery

And such a fair advantage by her place
Predominate : whose strong effects are such,
As he must bear, being pow'rless to redress :

Hath state and greatness to do worthily.
And that unless above himself he can

And therefore well did your high fortunes meet

With her, that gracing you comes grac'd theret: Erect himself, how poor a thing is man!

And well was let into a house so sweet, And how turmoild they are that level lie

So good, so fair : so fair, so good a guest ! With earth, and cannot lift themselves from thence;

Who now remains as blessed in her seat, That never are at peace with their desires,

As you are with her residency bless'd. But work beyond their years; and ev'n depy

And this fair course of knowledge, whereunto Dotage her rest, and hardly will dispense

Your studies (learned lady) are address'd, With death. That when ability expires,

Is th' only certain way that you can go Desire lives still-So much delight they have,

Unto true glory, to true happiness : To carry toil and travel to the grave.

All passages on Earth besides, are so

Encumber'd with such vain disturbances,
Whose ends you see ; and what can be the best As still we lose our rest in seeking it,
They reach unto, when they have cast the sum Being but deluded with appearances.
And reck’nings of their glory. And you know, And no key had you else that was so fit
This floating life hath but this port of rest,

T' unlock that prison of your sex as this,
A heart prepar'd, that fears no ill to come.

To let you out of weakness, and admit And that man's greatness rests but in his show, Your pow'rs into the freedom of that bliss, The best of all whose days consumed are,

That set you there where you may over-see Either in war, or peace-conceiving war.

This rolling world, and view it as it is;

And apprehend how th' ogtsides do agree This concord, madam, of a well-tuo'd mind

With th' inward; being of the things we deern Haib been so set by that all-working hand

And hold in our ill-cast accounts, to be Of Heaven, that though the world hath done his worst of highest value, and of best esteem: To put it out by discords most unkind;

Since all the good we have rests in the mind, Yet doth it still in perfect union stand

By whose proportions only we redeem With God and man; nor ever will be forc'd Our thoughts from out confusion, and do find From that most sweet accord; but still agree, The measure of ourselves, and of our pow'rs: Equal in fortunes in equality.

And that all happiness remains confin'd

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ET Within the kingdom of this breast of ours; With so great care doth she that hath brought forth

* Without whose bounds, all that we look on lies That comely body, labour to adorn m In others' jurisdictions, others' pow'rs,

That better part, the mansion of your mind, 23 Out of the circuit of our liberties.

With all the richest furniture of worth, ! All glory honour, fame, applause, renown, To make y' as highly good as highly born, tra Are not belonging to our royalties,

And set your virtues equal to your kind. 03 But t' others' wills, wherein they're only grown: She tells you, how that honour only is 13. And that unless we find us all within,

A goodly garment put on fair deserts ; We never can without us be our own;

Wherein the smallest stain is greatest seen, Nor call it right our life that we live in;

And that it cannot grace unworthiness ; = Bat a possession held for others' use,

But more apparent shows defective parts, That seem to have most interest therein ;

How gay soever they are deck'd therein. Which we do so dissever, part, traduce,

She tells you too, how that it bounded is, Let out to custom, fashion; and to show

And kept enclosed with so many eyes, As we enjoy but only the abuse,

As that it cannot stray and break abroad de And have no other deed at all to show.

Into the private ways of carelessness; How oft are we constrained to appear

Nor ever may descend to vulgarise, 2 With other countenance than that we owe; Or be below the sphere of her abode. And be ourselves far off, when we are near!

But like to those supernal bodies set How oft are we forc'd on a cloudy heart

Within their orbs, must keep the certain course To set a shining face, and make it clear ;

Of order ; destin'd to their proper place, Seeming content to put ourselves apart,

Which only doth their note of glory get. To bear a part of others' weaknesses!

Th' irregular appearances enforce As if we only were compos'd by art,

A short respect, and perish without grace:
Not Nature; and did all our deeds address

Being meteors seeming high, but yet low plac'd,
T' opinion, not t'a conscience, what is right; Blazing but while their dying matters last.
As fram'd by example, not advisedness,

Nor can we take the just height of the mind,
Into those forms that entertain our sight.

But by that order which her course doth show, fogy

And though books, madam, cannot make this mind, And which such splendour to her actions gives;

Which we must bring apt to be set aright; And thereby men her eminency find, 13. Yet do they rectify it in that kind,

And thereby only do attain to know And touch it so, as that it turns that way

The region, and the orb wherein she lives. Where judgment lies. And though we cannot find

For low in th' air of gross uncertainty, 49. The certain place of truth ; yet do they stay,

Confusion only rolls, order sits high. 04 And entertain us near about the same;

And therefore since the dearest things on Earth, 1 And give the soul the best delight, that may

This honour, madam, hath his stately frame ** Encheer it most, and most our spirits inflame

From th’ heavenly order, which begets respect; To thoughts of glory, and to worthy ends.

And that your nature, virtue, happy birth, ** And therefore, in a course that best became

Have therein highly interplac'd your name, 133* The clearness of your heart, and best commends

You may not run the least course of neglect. * Your worthy pow'rs; you run the rightest way

For where not to observe, is to profane
Bonita That is on Earth, that can true glory give;

Your dignity; how careful must you be,
OF By which, when all consumes, your fame shall live. To be yourself? and though you may to all

Shine fair aspects ; yet must the virtuous gain
The best effects of your benignity.
Nor must your common graces cause to fall
The price of your esteem ta lower rate,
Than doth beget the pitch of your estate.

Nor may you build on your sufficiency,
THE LADY ANNE CLIFFORD.

For in our strongest parts we are but weak;
Nor yet may over-much distrust the same,,

Lest that you come to check it so thereby,
Unto the tender youth of those fair eyes

As silence may become worse than to speak: The light of judgment can arise but new,

Though silence women never ill became. And young; the world appears t a young conceit, And none we see were ever overthrown

Whilst thorough the unacquainted faculties: By others' fatt'ry, more than by their own. The late invested soul doth rawly view

For though we live amongst the tongues of praise,
Those objects which on that discretion wait. And troops of smoothing people, that collaud

Yet you that such a fair advantage have, All that we do ; yet 't is within our hearts
Both by your birth and happy pow'rs, t' outgo, Th' ambusbment lies, that evermore betrays
And be before your years, can fairly guess Our judgments, when ourselves be come t'ap.
What hue of life holds surest without stain;

plaud
Having your well-wrought beart full furnish'd so Our own ability, and out own parts."
With all the images of worthiness,

So that we must not only fenice this fort As there is left no room at all t' invest

Of ours against all others' fraud, but most
Figures of other form, but sanctity.

Against our own; whose danger is the most,
Whilst yet those clean-created thoughts within Because we lie the nearest to do hart,
The garden of your innocencies rest;

And soon'st deceive ourselves; and suon'st are
Where are no motions of deformity,

lost Nor any door at all to let them in.

By our best pow'rs, that do us thost transport.

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