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Essex's Own Words

Your Majesty,
At sundry times, and by sundry messengers, I believed these words as your Majesty's own, that you ‘meant to correct, and not to ruin.’ Since which time, when I languished in four months sickness, felt the very pangs of death upon me, and saw my poor reputation, not suffered to die with me, but buried and I alive, I yet kissed your Majesty's fair correcting hand, and was confident in your royal word. But now the length of my troubles and the increase of your Majesty's indignation have made all men so afraid of me, as my own poor state is not only ruined, but my kind friends and faithful servants are likely to die in prison because I cannot help them repay their debts accrued under my banner. I do not only feel the weight of your Majesty's indignation, I am subject to my enemies’ malicious insinuations that first envied me for my happiness in your favour, and now hate me out of custom. It is as if I were thrown into a corner like a dead carcass. I am gnawed on and torn by the vilest and basest creatures upon earth. The prating tavern haunter speaks of me what he likes. The frantic libeller writes of me what he likes. Already they print me and make me speak to the world without my consent, and shortly they will play me in what forms they like upon the stage. The least of these is a thousand times worse than death.

Essex's Own Words: Welcome
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