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be found under the age of fifteen years, and the fairest young striplings that men might get at that same age ; and they were all clothed full richly in clothes of gold; and he said they were angels. And he had also caused to be made three fair and noble wells, all surrounded with stone of jasper and crystal, diapered with gold, and set with precious stones and great orient pearls. And he had made a conduit under the earth, so that the three wells, at his will, should run one with milk, another with wine, and another with honey. And that place he called Paradise. And when any good knight, who was hardy and noble, came to see this royalty, he would lead: him into Paradise, and show him these wonderful things, for his sport, and the marvellous and delicious song of divers birds, and the fair damsels, and the fair wells of milk, wine, and honey, running plentifully. There he would let divers instruments of music sound in a high tower, so merrily that it was joy to hear, and no man should see the craft thereof; and those he said were angels of God, and that place was Paradise, that God had promised to his friends, saying “I will give you a land flowing with milk and honey.” And then he would make them drink of certain drink, whereof anon they should be drunk ; after which they seemed to have greater delight than they had before. And then would he say to them, that if they would die for him and for his love, after their death they should come to his paradise; and they should be of the age of the damsels, and they should play with them and yet they would remain maidens. And after that he would put them in a fairer paradise, where they should see the God of Nature visibly, in His majesty and bliss. And then would he show them his intent, and tell them, if they would go and slay such a lord or such a man who was his enemy, or disobedient to his will, they should not fear to do it, or to be slain themselves in doing it; for after their death he would put them into another paradise that was a hundred fold fairer than any of the others; and there should they dwell with the fairest damsels that might be, and play with them evermore. And thus went many divers lusty bachelors to slay great lords in divers countries, that were his enemies, in hopes to have that paradise. And thus he was often revenged of his enemies by his subtle deceits and false tricks. But when the worthy men of the country had perceived this subtle falsehood of this Gatholonabes, they assembled with force, and assailed his castle, and slew him, and destroyed all the fair places of that paradise. The place of the wells and of the walls and of many other things are yet clearly to be seen, but the riches are clean gone. And it is not long ago since that place was destroyed.
Near that isle of Milsterak, upon the left side, nigh to the river of Pison, is a marvellous thing. There is a vale between the mountains which extends nearly four miles; and some call it the Enchanted Vale, some call it the Vale of Devils, and some the Perilous Vale. In that Vale men hear oftentimes great tempests and thunders, and great murmurs and noises, day and night; and great noise, as it were, of tabors, and nakers, and trumpets, as though it were of a great feast. This vale is all full of devils, and has been always; and men say there that it is one of the entrances of hell. In that vale is great plenty of gold and silver; wherefore many misbelieving men, and many Christians also, often times go in, to have of the treasure ; but few return,
especially of the misbelieving men, for they are anon strangled by the devils. And in the centre of that vale, under a rock, is a head and the visage of a devil bodily, full horrible and dreadful to see, and it shows but the head to the shoulders. But there is no man in the world so bold, Christian or other, but he would be in dread to behold it, and he would feel almost dead with fear, so hideous is it to behold. For he looks at every man so sharply with dreadful eyes, that are ever moving and sparkling like fire, and changes and stirs so often in divers manners, with so horrible a countenance, that no man dare approach towards him. And from him issues smoke, and stink, and fire, and so much abomination that scarce any man may endure there. But the good Christians, that are stable in their faith, enter without peril; for they will first shrive them, and mark them with the sign of the holy cross, so that the fiends have no power over them. But although they are without peril, yet they are not without dread when they see the devils visibly and bodily all about them, that make full many divers assaults and menaces, in air and on earth, and terrify them with strokes of thunder blasts and of tempests. And the greatest fear is that God will take vengeance then of that which men have misdone against His will.
And you shall understand that when my fellows and I were in this vale, we were in great thought whether we durst put our bodies in aventure, to go in or not, in the protection of God; and some of our fellows agreed to enter, and some not. So there were with us two worthy men, friars minors of Lombardy, who said that if any man would enter they would go in with us; and when they had said so, upon the gracious trust of God and of them, we heard mass, and every man was shriven and housled ; and then we entered, fourteen persons, but at our going out we were but nine. And so we never knew whether our fellows were lost, or had turned back for fear; but we never saw them after. They were two men of Greece, and three of Spain. And our other fellows, that would not go in with us, went by another road to be before us; and so they were. And thus we passed that Perilous Vale, and found therein gold and silver, and precious stones, and rich jewels, in great plenty, both here and there, as it seemed; but whether it was as it seemed I know not, for I touched none; because the devils are so subtle to make a thing to seem otherwise than it is, to deceive mankind; and therefore I touched none; and also because that I would not be put out of my devotion, for I was more devout then than ever I was before or after, and all for the dread of fiends that I saw in divers figures; and also for the great multitude of dead bodies that I saw there lying by the way, in all the vale, as though there had been a battle between two kings, and the mightiest of the country, and that the greater party had been discomfited and slain. And I believe that hardly should any country have so many people in it as lay slain in that vale, as it seemed to us, which was a hideous sight to see. And I marvelled much that there were so many, and the bodies all whole, without rotting; but I believe that fiends made them seem to be so fresh, without rotting. And many of them were in habits of Christian men ; but I believe they were such as went in for covetousness of the treasure that was there, and had overmuch feebleness in faith ; so that their hearts might not endure in the belief for dread. And therefore we were the more devout a great deal; and yet we were cast down and beaten down many times to the hard earth by winds and thunders, and tempests; but evermore God of His grace
1 The account of the Perilous Vale seems to be taken from Odoric, thongh Mandeville joins it to his own experiences. The first eight years of Mandeville's travels correspond to the eight last of Odoric's, and as both certainly went to the far East, they may have met; the "two friars minors of Lombardy" being Odoric and James.
* Nakers, kettle-drums an; Arabic word.
3 A rock sculpture may have been thus amplified by tradition. Noises heard in deep mountain gorges have more than once been compared in sober narrative to sound of kettle-drums.
helped us. And so we passed that perilous vale without ashes thereof, the coals will remain alive a year or more. peril and without encumbrance, thanked be almighty God! And among other trees there are nut trees, that bear nuts as
After this, beyond the vale, is a great isle, the inhabitants great as a man's head. There are also animals called orafles, of which are great giants of twenty-eight or thirty feet long, which are called, in Arabia, gerfauntz. They are spotted, and with no clothing but skins of beasts, that they hang upon a little higher than a horse, with a neck twenty cubits long; them; and they eat nothing but raw flesh, and drink milk of and the croup and tail are like those of a hart; and one of beasts. They have no houses to lie in. And they eat more them may look over a high house. And there are also in that gladly man's flesh than any other flesh. Into that isle dare country many cameleons; and there are very great serpents, no man enter; and if they see a ship, and men therein, anon| some one hundred and twenty feet long, of divers colours, as they enter into the sea to take them. And men told us that rayed, red, green and yellow, blue and black, and all speckled. in an isle beyond that were giants of greater stature, some of And there are others that have crests upon their heads; and forty-five or fifty feet long, and even, as some men say, of they go upon their feet upright. And there are also wild fifty cubits long; but I saw none of those, for I had no lust swine of many colours, as great as oxen in our country, all to go to those parts, because that no man comes either into spotted like young fawns. And there are also hedgehogs, as that isle or into the other but he will be devoured anon. And great as wild swine, which we call porcupines. And there among those giants are sheep as great as oxen here, which are many other extraordinary animals. bear great rough wool. Of the sheep I have seen many And beyond that isle is another isle, great and rich, where times. And men have said many times those giants take men, are good and true people, and of good living after their in the sea, out of their ships, and bring them to land, two belief, and of good faith. And although they are not in one hand and two in the other, eating them going, all christened, yet by natural law they are full of all virtue, and raw and alive. In another isle, towards the north, in the Sea eschew all vices; for they are not proud, nor covetous, nor of Ocean, are very evil women, who have precious stones in envious, nor wrathful, nor gluttonous, nor lecherous ; nor do their eyes ; and if they behold any man with wrath, they they to any man otherwise than they would that other men slay him with the look. ..... After that is another did to them; and in this point they fulfil the ten commandisle, where women make great sorrow when their children are ments of God. And they care not for possessions or riches; born; and when they die, they make great feasts, and great joy and they lie not, nor do they swear, but say simply yea and and revel, and then they cast them into a great burning fire. nay; for they say he that sweareth will deceive his neighAnd those that love well their husbands, if their husbands bour; and therefore all that they do, they do it without oath. die, they cast themselves also into the fire, with their children, And that isle is called the isle of Bragman, and some men call and burn them. In that isle they make their king always it the Land of Faith; and through it runs a great river called by election; and they choose him not for nobleness or riches, Thebe. And in general all the men of those isles, and of all but such a one as is of good manners and condition, and the borders thereabout, are truer than in any country theretherewithal just; and also that he be of great age, and that about, and more just than others in all things. In that isle he have no children.
is no thief, no murderer, no common woman, no poor beggar, In that isle men are very just, and they do just judgments and no man was ever slain in that country. And they be as in every cause, both of rich and poor, small and great, chaste, and lead as good a life, as though they were monks ; according to their trespasses. And the king may not judge a and they fast all days. And because they are so true, and so man to death without assent of his barons and other wise men just, and so full of all good conditions, they are never grieved of council, and unless all the court agree thereto. And if the with tempests, nor with thunder and lightning, nor with hail, king himself do any homicide or crime, as to slay a man, or nor with pestilence, nor with war, nor with famine, nor with any such case, he shall die for it; but he shall not be slain | any other tribulation, as we are many times amongst us for as another man; but they forbid, on pain of death, that any our sins; wherefore it appeares evident that God loveth them man be so bold as to make him company or to speak with for their good deeds. They believe well in God that made him, or give or sell him meat or drink; and so shall he die all things, and worship Him; and they prize no earthly disgracefully. They spare no man that has trespassed, either riches; and they live full orderly, and so soberly in meat and for love, or favour, or riches, or nobility; but that he shall drink, that they live right long. And the most part of them have according to what he has done.
die without sickness, when nature faileth them for old age. Beyond that isle is another, where is a great multitude of And it befell, in king Alexander's time, that he purposed to people, who will not eat flesh of hares, hens, or geese ; and conquer that isle ; but when they of the country heard it, yet they breed them in abundance, to see and behold them they sent messengers to him with letters, that said thus:only, but they eat flesh of all other beasts, and drink milk. “What may we be now to that man to whom all the world In that country they take their daughters or their sisters to is insufficient? Thou shalt find nothing in us to cause thee wife, and their other kinswomen....... In that to war against us; for we have no riches, nor do we desire country, and in all India, are great plenty of cockodrills, any; and all the goods of our country are in common. Our a sort of long serpent, as I have said before, and in the meat, with which we sustain our bodies, is our riches; and night they dwell in the water, and in the day upon the instead of treasure of gold and silver, we make our treasure land, in rocks and caves; and they eat no meat in winter, of acorns and pease, and to love one another. And to apparel but lie as in a dream, as do serpents. These serpents our bodies we use a simple cloth to wrap our carcase. Our slay men, and they eat them weeping; and when they wives are not arrayed to make any man pleased. When men eat, they move the upper jaw, and not the lower jaw; and labour to array the body, to make it seem fairer than God they have no tongue. In that country, and in many others made it, they do great sin; for man should not devise nor beyond, and also in many on this side, men sow the seed of ask greater beauty than God hath ordained him to have at cotton; and they sow it every year, and then it grows to his birth. The earth ministereth to us two things; our small trees, which bear cotton. And so do men every year, livelihood, that cometh of the earth that we live by, and our so that there is plenty of cotton at all times. In this isle sepulchre after our death. We have been in perpetual peace also, and in many others, there is a manner of wood, hard and strong; and whoever covers the coals of that wood under the
till now that thou art come to disinherit us; and also we And there they always make their king by election. In that have a king. Not to do justice to every man, for he shall find isle are two summers and two winters; and men harvest the no forfeit among us; but to keep nobleness, and to show that corn twice a year; and in all seasons of the year the gardens we are obedient, we have a king. For justice has among us are in flower. There dwell good people, and reasonable; and no place; for we do to no man otherwise than we desire that many Christian men among them, who are so rich that they men do to us, so that righteousness or vengeance have nought know not what to do with their goods. Of old time, when to do among us; so that thou mayest take nothing from us men passed from the land of Prester John unto that isle, men but our good peace, that always hath endured among us." made ordinance to pass by ship in twenty-three days or more; And when king Alexander had read these letters, he thought but now men pass by ship in seven days. And men may see that he should do great sin to trouble them.
the bottom of the sea in many places; for it is not very deep. There is another isle called Oxidrate, and another called Beside that isle, towards the east, are two other isles, one Gymnosophe, where there are also good people, and full of called Orille, the other Argyte, of which all the land is mines good faith; and they hold, for the most part, the same good of gold and silver. And those isles are just where the Red conditions and customs, and good manners, as men of the Sea separates from the Ocean Sea. And in those isles men country above mentioned; but they all go naked. Into that see no stars so clearly as in other places; for there appears isle entered king Alexander, to see the customs; and when only one clear star called Canopus. And there the moon is he saw their great faith, and the truth that was amongst not seen in all the lunation, except in the second quarter. In them, he said that he would not grieve them, and bade them the isle, also, of this Taprobane are great hills of gold, that ask of him what they would have of him, riches or any thing ants keep full diligently. else, and they should have it with good will. And they And beyond the land, and isles, and deserts of Prester answered that he was rich enough that had meat and drink John's lordship, in going straight towards the east, men find to sustain the body with ; for the riches of this world, that is | nothing but mountains and great rocks; and there is the transitory, are of no worth; but if it were in his power to dark region, where no man may see, neither by day nor night, make them immortal, thereof would they pray him, and as they of the country say. And that desert, and that place thank him. And Alexander answered them that it was not of darkness, lasts from this coast unto Terrestrial Paradise, in his power to do it, because he was mortal, as they were. where Adam, our first father, and Eve were put, who dwelt And then they asked him why he was so proud, and so fierce, there but a little while; and that is towards the east, at the and so busy to put all the world under his subjection, “ right beginning of the earth. But this is not that east that we call as thou wert a God, and hast no term of this life, neither oar east, on this half, where the sun rises to us; for when day nor hour; and covetest to have all the world at thy the sun is east in those parts towards Terrestrial Paradise, it is command, that shall leave thee without fail, or thou leave it. then midnight in our parts on this half, on account of the And right as it hath been to other men before thee, right so roundness of the earth, of which I have told you before; for it shall be to others after thee, and from hence shalt thou our Lord God made the earth all round, in the middle of the carry nothing; but as thou wert born naked, right so all firmament. And there have mountains and hills been, and naked shall thy body be turned into earth, that thou wert valleys, which arose only from Noah's flood, that wasted the made of. Wherefore thou shouldst think, and impress it on soft and tender ground, and fell down into valleys; and the thy mind, that nothing is immortal but only God, that hard earth and the rock remain mountains, when the soft and made all things." By which answer Alexander was greatly tender earth was worn away by the water, and fell, and astonished and abashed, and all confused departed from them. became valleys.
Many other isles there are in the Land of Prester John, and Of Paradise I cannot speak properly, for I was not there. many great marvels, that were too long to tell, both of his It is far beyond; and I repent not going there, but I was not riches and of his pobleness, and of the great plenty also of worthy. But as I have heard say of wise men beyond, I precious stones that he has. I think that you know well shall tell you with good will. Terrestrial Paradise, as wise now, and have heard say, why this emperor is called Prester men say, is the highest place of the earth; and it is so high John. There was some time an emperor there, who was a that it nearly touches the circle of the moon there, as the moon worthy and a full noble prince, that had Christian knights in makes her turn. For it is so high that the flood of Noah his company, as he has that now is. So it befell that he had might not come to it, that would have covered all the great desire to see the service in the church among Chris. earth of the world all about, and above and beneath, except tians; and then Christendom extended beyond the sea, in Paradise. And this Paradise is inclosed all about with a cluding all Turkey, Syria, Tartary, Jerusalem, Palestine, wall, and men know not whereof it is ; for the wall is Arabia, Aleppo, and all the land of Egypt. So it befell that covered all over with moss, as it seems; and it seems this emperor came, with a Christian knight with him, into a not that the wall is natural stone. And that wall stretches church in Egypt; and it was the Saturday in Whitsuntide. from the south to the north; and it has but one entry, And the bishop was conferring orders; and he beheld and
which is closed with burning fire, so that no man that listened to the service full attentively; and he asked the is mortal dare enter. And in the highest place of Paradise, Christian knight what men of degree they should be that the exactly in the middle, is a well that casts out the four prelate had before him; and the knight answered and said streams, which run by divers lands, of which the first is that they were priests. And then the emperor said that he called Pison, or Ganges, that runs throughout India, or would no longer be called King nor Emperor, but Priest; and Emlak, in which river are many precious stones, and much that he would have the name of the first priest that went out lignum aloes, and much sand of gold. And the other river is of the church, and his name was John. And so, evermore called Nile, or Gyson, which goes through Ethiopia, and after since, he is called Prester John.
through Egypt. And the other is called Tigris, which runs Towards the east of Prester John's land is a good and great by Assyria, and by Armenia the Great. And the other is isle called Taprobane,' and it is very fruitful; and the king called Euphrates, which runs through Media, Armenia, and thereof is rich, and is under the obeisance of Prester John. Persia. And men there beyond say that all the sweet waters
of the world, above and beneath, take their beginning from i Taprobane, Ceylon,
the well of Paradise ; and out of that well all waters come
and go. The first river is called Pison, that is, in our language, Assembly; for many other rivers meet there, and go into that river. And some call it Ganges, from an Indian king, called Gangeres, because it ran through his land. And its water is in some places clear, and in some places troubled ; in some places hot, and in some places cold. The second river is called Nile, or Gyson, for it is always troubled ; and Gyson, in the language of Ethiopia, is to say Trouble, and in the language of Egypt also. The third river, called Tigris, is as much as to say, Fast Running; for it runs faster than any of the others. The fourth river is called Euphrates, that is to say, Well Bearing; for there grow upon that river corn, fruit, and other goods, in great plenty.
And you shall understand that no man that is mortal may approach to that Paradise ; for by land no man may go for wild beasts, that are in the deserts, and for the high mountains, and great huge rocks, that no man may pass by for the dark places that are there; and by the rivers may no man go, for the water runs so roughly and so sharply, because it comes down so outrageously from the high places above, that it runs in so great waves that no ship may row or sail against it; and the water roars so, and makes so huge a noise, and so great a tempest, that no man may hear another in the ship, though he cried with all the might he could. Many great lords have assayed with great will, many times, to pass by those rivers towards Paradise, with full great companies; but they might not speed in their voyage ; and many died for weariness of rowing against the strong waves; and many of them became blind, and many deaf, for the noise of the water; and some perished and were lost in the waves; so that no mortal man may approach to that place without special grace of God; so that of that place I can tell you no more.
In the reign of Henry VI., William Paston, well educated by a frugal father who had no worldly position, rose in the law, till he became in 1429 a judge of the Common Pleas. He married Agnes, heiress of Sir Edmund Berry, of Hertfordshire. They had a son John, also bred to the law, who was twenty-four years old when his father died in 1444, à son Edmund, who also was a lawyer, a son William, and a daughter Elizabeth. Before the judge died he had made for his son a good marriage with Margaret, heiress of John Mauteby. John Paston's wife was found for him, according to the fashion of the time, but proved, as Margaret Paston, a good wife to her “right reverent and worshipful husband,” for six-andtwenty years. She managed his affairs in Norfolk when he was up in London during term time, and when she heard of him ill in London wrote, “I would ye were at home, if it were for your ease (and your sore might be as well looked to here as it is there ye be), now, liever than a gown, though it were of scarlet."
The following letter addressed to this John Paston, by a kindly intervening lady, treats of a marriage project for his young sister Elizabeth, and of the home discipline of Agnes Paston, about the year 1449.
OF MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE. Trusty and well beloved Cousin, I commend me to you, desiring to hear of your welfare and good speed in your matter, the which I pray God send you, to His pleasaunce and to your heart's ease.
Cousin, I let you wete that Scrope hath be in this country to see my cousin your sister, and he hath spoken with my cousin your mother, and she desireth of him that he should show you the indentures made between the knight that hath his daughter and him, whether that Scrope, if he were
Our literature includes a series of family letters, written between the years 1422 and 1509. They were written by and to members of the Paston family, which derived its name from a Norfolk
PASTON HALL AND CHURCH. From Sir John Fenn's “ Original Letters."
village where they lived near the sea at Paston Hall, about a mile from Bromholm Priory, famed for possession of a piece of the true Cross.
original letters, they were presented to the Royal Library, and as repayment for the gift John Fenn was knighted. Thus encouraged, Sir John Fenn issued, in 1789, a third and fourth volume of these letters, and had a fifth volume ready at his death in 1794. It was published by his nephew, Mr. Sergeant Frere, in 1823. Meanwhile the original MSS. had been lost. The originals of Fenn's first two volumes, bound into three MS. vols. for the King, have disappeared from the Royal Library. The original MSS.. published in Fenn's third and fourth volumes also disappeared; the MSS. used for the fifth volume were also lost until 1865, when they were discovered by the late Mr. Philip Frere in his house at Dungate, in Cambridgeshire, along with a large mass of additional MSS. belonging to the same collection.
Single letters from the collection have been scattered about from time to time. Twenty are in the Bodleian, two volumes of Fastolf and Paston papers were bought by Sir Thomas Phillipps for his library at Cheltenham. In 1875 the MSS. used by Sir John Fenn for his third and fourth volumes were at last found, among the papers of another member of the Frere family, at Roydon Hall. But the two volumes presented to the Royal Library, and last seen in the hands of Queen Charlotte, who is supposed to have lent them to one of her ladies in attendance, have yet to be found. Mr. James Gairdner, of the Record Office, long known as the chief special student of the period of history which these letters illustrate, has applied his exact know. ledge to a careful chronological arrangement of the letters, doubled in number by recent discoveries, and published them in three volumes with full historical introduction, and with notes to the successive letters, that make their contents clear to all readers. As publishers will not recognise a sufficient public for such books, Mr. Edward Arber has added to his many services to good literature by taking upon himself to issue Mr. Gairdner's edition—now the standard edition -of the Paston Letters, in three seven-shilling volumes, which are to be bad through the post by direct application to Edward Arber, F.S.A., Southgate, London, N. It is the only work issued by Mr. Arber that is not edited as well as published by himself.
1 The Paston Letters were first made known to the public in 1787 by John Fenn, of East Dereham, in Norfolk,who possessed the autographs from which he then published two folio volumes of letters by various persons of rank and consequence during the reigns of Henry VI., Edward IV., and Richard III. They were dedicated to the King, and the first edition was sold in a week. The King wishing to see the
married and fortuned to have children, if the children should banished him for five years, hoping thereby to save his inherit his land, or his daughter the which is married. life, after he left the English shore he was followed Cousin, for this cause take good heed to his indentures, for
and murdered at sea. Before his departure the he is glad to show you them, or whom ye will assign with
ruined party chief wrote a letter to his eight-year-old you; and he saith to me he is the last in the tail of his life
son, of which a copy was preserved among the letters lode, the which is cccL mark and better, as Watkin Shipdam
| of the Paston family.
THE DUKE OF SUFFOLK TO HIS SON ; APRIL 30, 1450. mark and no more ; and therefore, cousin, me seemeth he were My dear and only well beloved son, I beseech our Lord in good for my cousin your sister, without that ye might get her Heaven, the Maker of all the world, to bless you, and to send a better. And if ye can get a better, I would avise you to you ever grace to love Him and to dread Him; to the which, labour in it as short time as ye may goodly, for she was never as far as father may charge his child, I both charge you and in so great sorrow as she is nowadays, for she may not speak pray you to set all spirits and wits to do and to know His with no man, whosoever come, ne not may she ne speak with holy laws and commandments, by the which ye shall, with my man, ne with servants of her mother's but that she His great mercy, pass all the great tempests and troubles of beareth her on hand otherwise than she meaneth. And she this wretched world. And that also wittingly ye do nothing hath be since Easter the most part be beaten once in the for love nor dread of any earthly creature that should disweek or twice, and some time twice on one day, and her head please Him. An there is any frailty maketh you to fall, broken in two or three places. Wherefore, cousin, she hath beseecheth His mercy soon to call you to Him again with sent to me by Friar Newton in great counsel, and prayeth me repentance, satisfaction, and contrition of your heart, never that I would send to you a letter of her heaviness, and pray | more in will to offend Him.
A PASTON LETTER OF THE REIGN OF HENRY VI.,
you to be her good brother, as her trust is in you ; and she Secondly, next Him, above all earthly thing to be true saith, if ye may see by his evidences that his children and | liegeman in heart, in will, in thought, in deed, unto the king, hers may inherit, and she to have reasonable jointure, she our aldermost high and dread sovereign lord, to whom both hath heard so much of his birth and his conditions that, anye and I been so much bound to; charging you, as father ye will, she will have him whether that her mother will or can and may, rather to die than to be the contrary, or to will not, notwithstanding it is told her his person is simple, know anything that were against the welfare or prosperity of for she saith men shall have the more deyntee of her if she his most royal person, but that as far as your body and life rule her to him as she ought to do.
may stretch, ye live and die to defend it, and to let his highCousin, it is told me there is a goodly man in your Inn, of ness have knowledge of it in all the haste ye can. the which the father died lately, and if ye think that he were Thirdly, in the same wise, I charge you, my dear son, better for her than Scrope, it would be laboured; and give | alway, as ye be bounden by the commandment of God to do, Scrope a goodly answer that he be not put off till ye be sure to love, to worship your lady and mother, and also that ye of a better, for he said when he was with me, but if he have obey alway her commandments, and to believe her counsels some comfortable answer of you, he will no more labour in and advices in all your works, the which dreadeth not but this matter, because he might not see my cousin your sister, shall be best and truest to you. And if any other body would and he said he might 'a see her, an she had be better than she stir you to the contrary, to flee the counsel in any wise, for is; and that causeth him to demur that her mother was not ye shall find it nought and evil. well willing, and so have I sent my cousin your mother word. Fourthly,' as far as father may and can, I charge you in Wherefore, cousin, think on this matter, for sorrow oftentime any wise to flee the company and counsel of proud men, of causeth women to beset them otherwise than they should do, covetous men, and of flattering men, the more especially and and if she were in that case, I wot well ye would be sorry. mightily to withstand them, and not to draw nor to meddle Cousin, I pray you burn this letter, that your men ne none with them, with all your might and power. And to draw to other man see it; for an my cousin your mother knew that I you and to your comp (any good) and virtuous men, and such had sent you this letter, she should never love me. No more as ben of good conversation and of truth, and by them ye shall I write to you at this time, but Holy Ghost have you in | never be deceived, nor repent you of. [Moreover never follow] keeping. Written in haste, on St. Peter's Day, by candle your own wit in no wise, but in all your works, of such folks light. By your Cousin,
as I write of above, axeth your advice a[nd counse]); and ELIZABETH CLARE. doing thus, with the mercy of God, ye shall do right well,
When the Duke of Suffolk was accused by the Commons of High Treason, and Henry VI., in 1450,
1 In the MS. "forthe" with added letters illegible, Mr. Gairdner reads "forthemore." The brackets in this letter enclose words supplied by Mr. Gairdner where the original has become illegible.