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November 13, 1593: A Letter from Sir George Carey to his Wife

(A transcription by Mrs. K. Duncan-Jones of the original letter in the archives of Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, ref: Berkeley Castle Muniments, Letter series Bundle 4)

(For my modernized guess at what Sir George was trying to say, select here.)

"My sweete soule, whos life in thy presens Joyeth most of any, and by thy want wanteth what shold susteyne his beinge, or geeue cumfort to the opression of his discontent. / Receue the wishes of his desire, that thinketh all time to longe, that he tarieth from the. and accept the excuses unfayned/ that forceth his delay, not in his powre to remedy. / my jorney to petwoorth was crossed by the erls former departure to London / wherby in greate speede I hastened to drayton / where I cast out my vew to see any thinge that contented me, but I wisht thy great eys parte=ners of my likinge / I cast not my thoughts to intende any thinge for walkes. / but my thoughts there intende to wishe thee to advise before I doe deuise / and when I am by ouertoyle and framinge platts. / weeried with the days trauell, the nights rest is no rest for that I rest not where I shoold be best pleased / the last weeke I spent to deuise delights, to content the delight of my chiefest delight, and cam not to the cowrt vntill Saterday, not meaninge that night to haue seen her majesty but the erle of essex acquayntinge me her with my being there, I was presently sent for to her majesty, who vsed me very kindly, and after sundry demaunds both of bes and yow with idell discourses of foren and whome causes., desmissed me from a weeresum kneelinge My cumminge interpreted to be for honoringe the 17 day, my good manors not permittinge me to deny it, when I fownde no means to escape the expectation and demaunde therof, made me yeeld to performe what I may, which shalbe with as small cost as I may. the multiplicity, of part my needfull, part my pleasinge buisnes, hath made an university in my brayns, and yet the retayninge of a Judges place in her majesty hands, hath prorogued for this terme, the pleadinge betwixt the cpo Cyty and me, wherby neyther saynt talbons nor London shall haue the honor to rubbe my hors heeles but within few days after my limited time, of your Ladishipps lice[nce] I will take my flight where I will take my rest / The action that now possesseth most for the present, is euery gallants best employed wittts, best to shew themselfs. at the cowrs in the filde / witty in theyr shilde deuises / and pleasinge in the choyse of theyr presents / Ostende is by on days advertisment to be besieged by anothers to be dismissed / the enemies force xxv thousande and the defendants not two thousande / Duke ernestus the emperors brother is cumminge out of germany to be gouernor for the kinge of Spayne, and expected to be in flawnders by the last of this month with 4500 hors and 12000 foote so that sum exployts are vndoutedly to be expected / an attempt uppon ostende callays and bullen, the next springe, yf not before / particularitis of many comodya-tragedicall court news I will differ till my cumminge, and on million of times eche day, wishe my self with thy sweete self, / and beliue my absens cannot seeme so longe to thee, as thine doth to me / yet so to stay to dispache that I may leaue no cause shortly to returne, I hope yow will accumpt time well lent / nashe hath dedicated a booke vnto yow with promis of a better, will cotton will disburs vli or xx nobles in yowr rewarde to him and he shall not finde my purs shutt to relieue him out of prison there presently in great missery. malicied for writinge agaynst the londoners in the 83 leafe /

[Endorsed on the back]

to the lady Carey in all kindnes commend me, and tell her I will loue her by so muche the more she shall make muche and free yow from melancholy till my returne, to Bess deliuer my blessinge a[nd] from my self my loue entiere and vnshared to any. from drayton
 13 this tusday night
yours faythfully
    and euer
  George Carey
alfonseo Fr[?] games in court

ar, likes and dislikes by letters
dremes and interpretations of them


profetts, causes whi what they
profety, and what they meane /
and going to the wood with letters.


awakings at theyr mistres
name, and shewinge the
causes whi,or sleepinge
and likewise shewinge cause


determining who euery on mette
is / and what moueth him
so / to be"

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