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[=39] Cecil Papers 99/150 (bifolium, 278mm x 168mm), Oxford to Cecil; 25, 27 April 1603 (W340-2;F739-40).

Sir Robert Cecill. I have alwayes founde my selfe behowldinge to yow, for many kyndnesses, and curtesies. Wherfore I am bowlde, at thys presente, whiche gyvethe occasione of many consyderationes, to desyre yow as my verye good friende and kynde brother in Lave to impart to me whatt course ys deuised by yow of the Councell, & the reste of the lords, concerninge owre dutyes to the kynges Maiestie Whyther yow doo expect any messenger before hys comminge to lett vs vnderstand hys plesure, or els hys personall arryvall, to be praesently or very shortlye. And yf yt be so, what order ys resolued one [=on] amongste yow, eyther for the attendinge, or metinge [=meeting] of hys Magestye, for by reasone of myne infyrmite, I cannot come amonge yow so often as I wishe, and by reasone my house ys not so nere, that at every occasione I canbe praesent, as were fitt, eyther I doo nott heare at all frome yow, or at leaste wythe the lateste, as thys other day yt hapned to me, receyvinge a letter at nyne of the cloke, not to fayle at eyght of the same mornynge to bee at Whyte Haale. whyche beinge impossible, yet I hasted so muche as I came to followe yow into Luggate, thoughe throwghe presse of people and horses I could not reache yowre compagnie as I desyred, but followed as I myght.

I cannot but finde a greate gryefe in [.] my selfe, to remember the mistres whiche we have loste, vnder whome boothe yow and my selfe frome owre grenest yeares have bene in a manner brought vp. and althowghe yt hathe pleased god, after an earthlye kyngdome to take her vp into a more permanent and hevenlye state, wherin I doo not dought but she ys crowned wythe glorye, and to gyve vs a prince wyse, lerned, and inryched wythe all vertues, yet the longe tyme whyche we spent in her seruice, we cannot loke for so muche left of owre dayes, as to bestowe vpone an other, neyther the longe aquayntance, and kynd familiarites, wherwythe she dyd vse vs, we are not ever to expect frome an other prince, as denyed by the infermite of age, and common course of reasone. In thys common shypwrake, myne ys aboue all the reste. whoo least regarded, thowghe often comforted, of all her followers, she hathe left to trye my fortune amonge the alterationes of tyme, [fortune] and chaunce, eyther wythe owt sayle wherby to take the aduantage of any prosperous gale, or wythe [+out] anker to ryde tyll the storme be over paste. Ther ys nothinge therfore lefte to my comfort, but the excellent vertues, and diepe wisdome wherwythe god hathe indued owre new master, and soueraygne Lord, whoo doothe not come amongst vs as a stranger but as a naturall prince, succedinge by ryght of bludd, and inhaeritance, not as a conqueror, but as the trwe shepperd of Chrystes floke to cherishe and comfort them.

Wherfore I most ernestlye desyre yow of thys fauowre, as I have wrytten before, that I may be informed frome yow concernynge thes poyntes, and thus recommendinge my self vnto yow I take my leave.

Yowre assured friende and vnfortunat Brother in Lawe

(signed) E. Oxenford (ital.; 4+7)

Addressed (O): To the ryght honorable my very good Brother in Lawe, Sir Robert Cecil, principall secretarie [excellent wax seal: boar]

Endorsed: 25.27 April 1603 Earle of Oxford to my Master

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