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,. ,. ..:... COREESPONDENCE OF - • .. •
. SIB EDWARD NICHOLAS AND THE BOYAL "••.. FAMILY, "...••.
AFTEETHE DEATH OF CEAELES I.
Tke subjoined letters, in continuation of the preceding correspondence, will be found to require little illustrative comment. They embrace the brief and unsuccessful royalist . campaign which closed on the field of Worcester; they contain illustrations of Charles the Second's distrust and dislike of his Presbyterian friends and supporters; but they derive perhaps their chief interest from the gossiping details in .which the deceased King's sister, Elizabeth of Bohemia, so largely indulges, and.in which the fears and jealousies, the enjoyments and privations of the Exiles, the fluctuation of her nephew's hopes, Cromwell's assumption of power, the vagaries of the errant Queen of Sweden, the attempts of the Jftueen -mother Henrietta to make Roman Catholies of her 'children, and the childhood of that voung Prince of Orange for whom those attempts were preparing a throne, are curiously and impartially mixed up. The letter of earnest remonstrance to the Dak* of Gloucester, "concerning his being tempted to turne papist," bearing the signature of his elder brother, is a somewhat strange comment on the faith in which Charles the Second died.
Pabis,1 Nor. 6, 1649. St . No. 8ir, To giue you an account.of the vastnesse of this packet, give me leaue to tell you, that together with this booke w*k I Bend you, there came in half a
1 Charles, at the period of his father's death, was at the Hague with his brother in law, the Prince of Orange; after which he went to France to join his mother j but having been proclaimed King throughout Ireland, with the exception of Dublin and Londonderry, he would have proci'odcd there, had he not been forewarned that surh a proc -dure would produce much alarm among the Protestant friends to his cause. He therefore went no farther than Jer**y, where ha score persons of consideration, who with very much passion desired me to represent to Jersey, the high indignity by this base edition1 offered to our blessed Master, and the great injury rendered to his Majesty that now is.
You will finde a preface to this Booke, w* tends to proue that our blessed Master might be, nay perhaps was, a Papist in his heart, notwithstanding this Booke. That what instructions & com'ands were giuen to his Sonne for his firmenesse to the Protestant religion, were giuen out of politique considerations meerely, and many other particulars, wtk I hope will bring it to the hands of the common
This Marsys is one who setting out the tryall of the late King, and y* manner of his murther, stiles himselfe "Interprete et Maistre pour la langue Francoise du Eoy d' Angleterre regnant a present et de son Altesse Eoyale le Due d' Yorke son frere," in w°* Booke he stiles Queene Elizabeth (of euer blessed memory) Jezabell. He setts downe a false and faigned speech of the King's at y* time of his being murthered; & being charged with it, he said he thought fitt to make that speech as spoken by him, since the speech he did make was poore and below a King. He hath sett forth diuers other things, an extract whereof I shall shortly send you, the least of w* would deserve a whipping in England in good
was proclaimed King, a abort time previous to the date of thia Bemonstranoe. To what Courtier or Minister about Charles's person it was addressed, does not appear; but it was written by Sir Edward Nicholas during his retreat from England, after the death of his royal master. He appears at its date to have been resident with his relative. Sir Richard Browne, who still remained Charge" d'Affaires at the French Court.
1 The wish here expressed was not fulfilled specifically; though afterwards in some measure gratified by the publication of "Eikon Aklastos" in 1651, aa a vindication of the original work against the attacks of "Eikonoklastes." The reader may find some interest in turning from this letter to the very copious essay on the subject by Mr. Nichols in Literary Antedatet , vol i. p. 622.
times to speake moderatel)'. I p'sume you will giue this busings a thorough sifting there in councell, and send some directions to S' Kick: Browne how to proceeds here; that it may appeare who sett him on worke here, and who giues him these exact coppies, w'1' he pretends to haue under y* King's owne hand, and those other peeces of the King's, w"* he so braggs of, and promises he will bring them to light, so soone as he obtaines leaue to publish them. I hope some course wilbe taken that he may be discharged of his titles of relation to the King,and that his Ma,7 will hereupon giue order, that a true coppy may be printed in french of his Father's Booke, declared by him to be authentique, waving both the editions either of Huguenot or Papist, ana that this command be grounded upon the ill editions of both these persons and partys.
Indorsed, "6° Novem: 1649. Concerning Marseis his translao'on of the King's book."
Sir Edward Nicholas to King Charles the Second.
May it please yo' Ma"'.'
I came to yo' Ma"* out of duty to serve you if I could, not out of designe to gaine preferment, & thoughe I understood well, that yo' Ma"** Privy Councell here was neither of number or weight equall to y* importaunce of yo' Ma"" affaires, yet yo' Ma"* being then resolved to goe for Irland (where I conceaved there would be an addition of Councellors ana wearable to y* weight of yo' afP**) I did y* more willingly tender my humble services here.
But since its not now councellable for yo' Ma"* upon y' change of yo' busines in Irla: to goe thither, I held it my duty humbly to advise you, that I find yo' affa*** of soe great importaunce, & of such a nature, as (in my poore iudgcm') it will not be possible for you to man'age y* same w,hout a steddy, setled, &
1 Written by Sir Edward Nicholas, and alluded to in a nolo, out, p. IS 1.