THERE came to me suddenly
in the night the most afflict-
ing news that could have arrived.
The first, to hear of the sickness of
my mistress, whom I esteem more
than all the world, and whose health
I desire as I do my own, so that I
would gladly bear half your illness to
make you well. The second, from the
fear that I have of being still longer
harassed by my enemy. Absence,
much longer, who has hitherto given
me all possible uneasiness, and as far
as I can judge is determined to spite
me more because I pray God to rid
me of this troublesome tormentor.
The third, because the physician in
whom I have most confidence, is ab-
sent at the very time when he might
do me the greatest pleasure; for I
should hope, by him and his means,
to obtain one of my chief joys on
earth — that is the care of my mis-
tress — yet for want of him I send you
my second, and hope that he will
soon make you well. I shall then love
him more than ever. I beseech you
to be guided by his advice in your
illness. In so doing I hope soon to see
you again, which will be to me a
greater comfort than all the precious
jewels in the world.

Written by that secretary, who is,
and for ever will be, your loyal and
most assui’ed Servant,

H. (A B) R.