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applauds his own valour, his own beauty, his own gentility of birth. At home and abroad he flatters himself that he is the cynosure of neighbouring eyes. He, in fact, conforms from end to end to all the conditions which make autobiography successful. He is guilty of many misrepresentations. No defect is more patent in his memoirs than the total lack of a sense of proportion. Lord Herbert's self-satisfaction is built on sand. It is bred of the trivialities of fashionable life, —of the butterfly triumphs won in court society. He passes by in contemptuous silence his truly valuable contributions to philosophy, history, and poetry. But the contrast between the grounds on which he professed a desire to be remembered and those on which he deserved to be remembered by posterity, gives his book almost all its value. Men of solid mental ability and achievements occasionally like to pose in society as gay Lotharios; it is rare, however, for them to endeavour, even as autobiographers, to convey the impression to all succeeding generations that they were gay Lotharios and not much else besides. Yet it is such transparent errors of judgment that give autobiography its finest flavour."- SIDNEY LEE, The Autobiography of Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, Second Edition, Introduction, p. xiii. Routledge & Sons, London.]

And now taking boat, I passed along the river of Rhine to the Low Countries, where after some stay, I went to Antwerp and Brussels; and having passed some time in the court there, went from thence to Calais, where taking ship, I arrived at Dover, and so went to London. I had scarce been two days there, when the Lords of the Council sending for me, ended the difference betwixt the Lord of Walden and myself. And now, if I may say it without vanity, I was in great esteem both in court and city; many of the greatest desiring my company, though yet before that time I had no acquaintance with them. Richard, Earl of Dorset, to whom otherwise I was a stranger, one day invited me to Dorset House, where bringing me into his gallery, and showing me many pictures, he at last brought me to a frame covered with green taffeta, and asked me who I thought was there; and therewithal presently drawing the curtain, showed me my own picture; whereupon demanding how his lordship came to have it, he answered, that he had heard so many brave things of me, that he got a copy of a picture which one Larkin a painter drew for me, the original whereof I intended before my departure to the Low Countries for Sir Thomas Lucy. But not only the Earl of Dorset, but a greater person than I will here nominate, got another copy from Larkin, and placing it afterwards in her cabinet (without that ever I knew any such

1 This was probably Queen Anne, the consort of James I.



thing was done), gave occasion to those who saw it after her death of more discourse than I could have wished; and indeed I may truly say, that taking of my picture was fatal to me, for more reasons than I shall think fit to deliver.

There was a lady also, wife to Sir John Ayres, knight, who finding some means to get a copy of my picture from Larkin, gave it to Mr. Isaac Oliver, the painter in Blackfriars, and desired him to draw it in little after his manner; which being done, she caused it to be set in gold and enamelled, and so wore it about her neck, so low that she hid it under her breasts, which, I conceive, coming afterwards to the knowledge of Sir John Ayres, gave him more cause of jealousy than needed, had he known how innocent I was from pretending to any thing which might wrong him or his lady; since I could not so much as imagine that either she had my picture, or that she bare more than ordinary affection to me. It is true that she had a place in court, and attended Queen Anne, and was beside of an excellent wit and discourse, she had made herself a considerable person; howbeit little more than common civility ever passed betwixt us, though I confess I think no man was welcomer to her when I came, for which I shall allege this passage:

Coming one day into her chamber, I saw her through the curtains lying upon her bed with a wax candle in one hand, and the picture I formerly mentioned in the other. I coming thereupon somewhat boldly to her, she blew out the candle, and hid the picture from me; myself thereupon being curious to know what that was she held in her hand, got the candle to be lighted again, by means whereof I found it was my picture she looked upon with more earnestness and passion than I could have easily believed, especially since myself was not engaged in any affection towards her. I could willingly have omitted this passage, but that it was the beginning of a bloody history which followed: howsoever, yet I must before the Eternal God clear her honour.

And now in court a great person 1 sent for me divers times to attend her, which summons though I obeyed, yet God knoweth I declined coming to her as much as conveniently I could, without incurring her displeasure; and this I did not only for very

1 Queen Anne.

honest reasons, but, to speak ingenuously, because that affection passed betwixt me and another lady (who I believe was the fairest of her time) as nothing could divert it. I had not been long in London, when a violent burning fever seized upon me, which brought me almost to my death, though at last I did by slow degrees recover my health. Being thus upon my amendment, the Lord Lisle, afterwards Earl of Leicester, sent me word that Sir John Ayres intended to kill me in my bed, and wished me keep a guard upon my chamber and person; the same advertisement was confirmed by Lucy, Countess of Bedford, and the Lady Hobby shortly after. Hereupon I thought fit to entreat Sir William Herbert, now Lord Powis, to go to Sir John Ayres, and tell him that I marvelled much at the information given me by these great persons, and that I could not imagine any sufficient ground hereof; howbeit, if he had anything to say to me in a fair and noble way, I would give him the meeting as soon as I had got strength enough to stand upon my legs; Sir William hereupon brought me so ambiguous and doubtful an answer from him, that whatsoever he meant, he would not declare yet his intention, which was really, as I found afterwards, to kill me any way that he could. Finding no means thus to surprise me, he sent me a letter to this effect; that he desired to meet me somewhere, and that it might so fall out as I might return quietly again. To this I replied, that if he desired to fight with me upon equal terms, I should upon assurance of the field and fair play, give him meeting when he did any way specify the cause, and that I did not think fit to come to him upon any other terms, having been sufficiently informed of his plots to assassinate me.

After this, finding he could take no advantage against me then in a treacherous way, he resolved to assassinate me in this manner; hearing I was to come to Whitehall on horseback, with two lacqueys only, he attended my coming back in a place called Scotland Yard, at the hither end of Whitehall, as you come to it from the Strand, hiding himself there with four men armed, on purpose to kill me. I took horse at Whitehall Gate, and passing by that place, he being armed with a sword and dagger, without giving me so much as the least warning, ran at me furiously, but instead of me, wounded my horse in the brisket, as far as his sword could enter

for the bone; my horse hereupon starting aside, he ran him again in the shoulder, which, though it made the horse more timorous, yet gave me time to draw my sword. His men thereupon encompassed me, and wounded my horse in three places more; this made my horse kick and fling in that manner as his men durst not come near me; which advantage I took to strike at Sir John Ayres with all my force, but he warded the blow both with his sword and dagger; instead of doing him harm, I broke my sword within a foot of the hilt. Hereupon some passenger that knew me, and observing my horse bleeding in so many places, and so many men assaulting me, and my sword broken, cried to me several times, "Ride away, ride away;" but I, scorning a base flight upon what terms soever, instead thereof alighted as well as I could from my horse. I had no sooner put one foot upon the ground, but Sir John Ayres pursuing me, made at my horse again, which the horse perceiving, pressed on me on the side I alighted, in that manner that he threw me down, so that I remained flat upon the ground, only one foot hanging in the stirrup, with that piece of a sword in my right hand. Sir John Ayres hereupon ran about the horse, and was thrusting his sword into me, when I, finding myself in this danger, did with both my arms reaching at his legs pull them towards me, till he fell down backwards on his head; one of my footmen hereupon, who was a little Shropshire boy, freed my foot out of the stirrup; the other, which was a great fellow, having run away as soon as he saw the first assault. This gave me time to get upon my legs, and to put myself in the best posture I could with that poor remnant of a weapon. Sir John Ayres by this time likewise was got up, standing betwixt me and some part of Whitehall, with two men on each side of him, and his brother behind him, with at least twenty or thirty persons of his friends, or attendants of the Earl of Suffolk.1 Observing thus a body of men standing in opposition against me, though to speak truly I saw no swords drawn but by Sir John Ayres and his men, I ran violently against Sir John Ayres; but he, knowing my sword had no point, held his sword and dagger over his head, as believing I could strike rather than thrust, which I no sooner per

1 Father of Lord Howard of Walden, with whom Herbert had lately quarrelled. Lee.

ceived but I put a home thrust to the middle of his breast, that I threw him down with so much force, that his head fell first to the ground, and his heels upwards. His men hereupon assaulted me, when one Mr. Mansel, a Glamorganshire gentleman, finding so many set against me alone, closed with one of them; a Scotch gentleman also closing with another, took him off also. All I could well do to those two which remained was to ward their thrusts, which I did with that resolution that I got ground upon them. Sir John Ayres was now got up a third time, when I making towards him with the intention to close, thinking that there was otherwise no safety for me, put by a thrust of his with my left hand, and so coming within him, received a stab with his dagger on my right side, which ran down my ribs as far as my hip, which I feeling, did with my right elbow force his hand, together with the hilt of the dagger, so near the upper part of my right side, that I made him leave hold. The dagger now sticking in me, Sir Henry Cary, afterwards Lord of Falkland, and Lord Deputy of Ireland, finding the dagger thus in my body, snatched it out. This while I, being closed with Sir John Ayres, hurt him on the head, and threw him down a third time, when kneeling on the ground and bestriding him, I struck at him as hard as I could with my piece of a sword, and wounded him in four several places, and did almost cut off his left hand; his two men this while struck at me, but it pleased God even miraculously to defend me; for when I lifted up my sword to strike at Sir John Ayres, I bore off their blows half a dozen times. His friends now finding him in this danger, took him by the head and shoulders, and drew him from betwixt my legs, and carried him along with them through Whitehall, at the stairs whereof he took boat. Sir Herbert Croft (as he told me afterwards) met him upon the water vomiting all the way, which I believe was caused by the violence of the first thrust I gave him. His servants, brother, and friends, being now retired also, I remained master of the place and his weapons; having first wrested his dagger from him, and afterward struck his sword out of his hand.

This being done, I retired to a friend's house in the Strand, where I sent for a surgeon, who searching my wound on the right side, and finding it not to be mortal, cured me in the space of some

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