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The Cecil Papers at Hatfield House
CP Volume 153 Folio 76-78
HMC Volume 1 Page 264 Number 847.
Haynes Page 379381 Number 381
Transcribed by Samuel Haynes
27 Feb 1561. Mr. William Maitland of Ledyngton to Secretary Cecill
From the Original.
I RECEAVED yowr Letter off the 10th of this Instant, wheronto yow desyre me to answer yow speadily and playnely. First, whereas I did think yowr Letters somewhat doubfull, and desyred you shold wryte more playnely: Yow Answer that being a Minister yow can not, in yowr Soveraynes Caas, write otherwyse, then pleaseth her Majesty to notify her Mynd onto yow. I did not complayne onto yow as fynding lack or diminution off yowr Friendship towards me in particular, wheroff I have had so large Experience at all Tymes; or yet as requiring that yow shold farthar communicate off yowr Maistress Mynd onto me, then her good Pleasour will permit; for so shold I be more bold with yow then civill honesty wold allow; and the Law off Amity doth so moderat our Actions in the exercing mutuall offices of Friendship, that we do not therby transgress the Boundes of Dewty: But rather (as I have oft touched in my other Lettres) upon the Declaratioun off her Hyghness owne Mynd onto me, whereas she thoght it convenient, that the Matters betwix theyr Majestys, for the more secret and better conveyance theroff, shold first be digested be owr familiar Letters one to another, I desyred to know yowr good Advice in what sort the good Intelligence begone might be followed out, and broght to that Perfection we both wishe; and whear any scrupules did appeare, how with the Contentation off both they myght be honorably removed: Wherin I see yow think me partiall, in that for my Maistress Respect I wold have the Game so delt with, as it shold not be equally for yowr Part. Ther is good Caus, and I am sure yow considder it, why, off all other her Subjectes I shold love and honour her Majesty, yet can I not perceave in this case any Poynt, wherin I have utered my Affection or inclyned the Balance more on the one syde then thother; onelesse if the Mater be narowly looked to, some myght think I am to negligent on her Part, whose Honour I am bound in Dewty most to respect. For the Begynning off this Mater, yow can best beare me Record who made the first Motion off it, upon what Ground it was buylded, for what Respect, in what Tyme, and to what end it did tend. Yow ar Witnes off all my Actions in it, and can best juge if I have not ever had the comon quietnes off the whole Isle chiefly before my Eyes. For the End, I am sure if yow will juge equitably, yow must confess it is no less, if it be no more, advantagouse for yowr Maistress then for myne. Yowr gayne is assured and present: Owrs but in possibility, and altogether oncertain, & quodammodo spes inanis, pendens a futuro eventu, wheroff ther is in a Maner no likelyhod, yowr Soveraygne being Yong and apte to beare Children, if her Mynd were disposed to mary. So the Begynning and End thus inclyning to yowr Part, at least standing equally, resteth onely the Progress and Meanes how to atteyn to the End; anent the wchich wryting to yow my owne private Opinion familiarly, I have preassed at no equality, but rather yealded in soche Poyntes, as yow wold advise me myght further the intended amity; which maketh me greatly to muse at yowr said Letter, whear yow make mention off thentervew. Yow write that I do not allow the meting without certenty before hand knawne, what certaine gayne we shall have, and so uter owrselff to seke Amity onely for proffit. Trewly the scope off all my Intentes wes only, and is, comon quietnes, which if yow will terme Gayne, I must confess we seke Gayne and Frendship for prosfit; which is the more excusable, in that it is a comon Prosfit to both, and not particular for owrselff. I trust I have not so far owvershot myselff in my Letters, that yow may theroff gather that I mislyke the meting any Way, but rather layed before yow soche Considerations, as ar worthy to be noted in soche a Case, my owne private Perill to giff Advise in soche a Mater, the comon Danger, if thentervew shold not procure an assured Amity to continew long thairafter; wherin to be the better satisfyed I requiered some comfort from yow, to thend I myght proceade the more frankly, being rydd off those Feares; not doubting but being so deare a Frend onto me, as I have alwayes found yow, yow wold wishe to walke circumspectly: And yet althogh I wold be glad to se clearly the full Frute and Issue of all Things I take in Hand, I am to frank in prosecuting when I have ones begone, and therin I rather fynd my Fault then can amend it. Thus far my owne Part. Now for the Queen my Maistress, I must say somewhat more. What sincerity off trew Meaning and Vehemence off Love towardes yowr Maistres, nature and cousinage hath wroght in myne, sence her home comyng, her Countenance and Wordes to her Ministers, her franknes in writing to herself all her Actions, publike and private, have sufficiently declared: And if my Testimony were receavable betwix theyr Majestys, I could giff justam causam scientiæ, that the Thing in this World she most ernestly desyreth, is, to see her good Suster, so that by occasion theroff they myght speake and frankly conferre together without Mediatours, and that for no Respect, but only for a naturall Affection; which desyre I trust her Majesty hes touched in divers her Letters. And this Opinion she hath alwayes, that if they two were together ones, none of theyr Subjects on ather Part wold be troubled to compose any Differents, that aver have passed betwix them off before: This is most trew, and will so prove in the end. She hath never written, spoken, nor ones ment the contrary; which maketh me marvell wheroff it may procead, that the Quene yowr Soveraigne, now that she perceaveth wherupon we stand, doth shew herselff more remiss. If it be grounded upon any Difficulties mentioned in my Letters; then have they produced an effect far divers from that I ment, which was rather increase off Affection betwix them (if nede had so required) then Diminution. For her Majesty's Part, I utered onto yow in my other Letters, that she was so fordward and ernestly bent to it, that she respected no Considerations. Mary, privately I somewhat noted yow what her Counsallors myght ponder and way in geving Advise; which Poyntes being any wyse cleared, Men wold the more boldly proceade. I wrote not to that intent yow shold think all I write cometh from her Mouth (specyally when I make mention off my owne Opinion, or off Thopinion off others) nor yet write of any Thing off her, but that I knew to be trew. If I thought yow did esteme or take my Letters as from herselff, (specyally whear I make no mention off her) I wold otherwyse frame them. Whear yow write that if I mislyke the meting becaus off the Perill, I shall do well to stay it in Tyme; God forbid I shold be ane Instrument off so ongodly a Propos, but rather travell at my utermost to bring it to pass: Whear yow desyre me to signisy spedely and playnely what we meane to do; for my owne part I wishe it, and hope it shalbe. The Queen my Maistress hath from the Begyining desyred it, and yet doth intend it without change. Mary, the Meanes how to draw it on must be loked to. Yow wold the first Motion shold come from us; that must be considered: And if it be so, how, and in what manner, by whome, (Ambassadors in my Opinion must travell to remove soche Scrupules, as be incident) before all, the Assent of owr Nobility must be had; which Consideration is not off least Moment, specyally in respect off the Charges which must greatly increase by reason off the fall off yowr Money, and great prices Gold is at in this Realme: Regard must be had to her Majesty's Honour in her Journey: Which Considerations I rather touche, that yow may the better juge the Vehemence off her love towardes yowr Maistress, when yow shall se so many Difficulties lyghtly looked on, and set apart, then that I feare they shalbe able to hinder or change her determination. Let us in the meane Season go about to remove by all meanes soche Impediments, as may hinder or staye the intended Accord, clearing all Doutes drawen (so far as in us lyeth) the meting orderly; and, in the Place of Service, which we occupy, nourish the Intelligence begone (which on this Syde will easily be done, her Majesty being so conformable and well disposed therto) onto the Tyme they be together; and then I warrand yow they will so well aggre amongst themselffes, that owr laubour therin shall thairester be superflew. I pray yow have me hartly recommended to my good Lord off Pembroke. And so I take my Leave.
From Edinburgh, the xxviith Day of February, 1561. Your Honour's at Commandement, W. Maitland.