|Copy Letter, [Hartlib To Worthington]
|3 August 1660
|Printed Turnbull, HDC 110-11.
came to that splendor and wealth, wherein it hath continued these many years. My father had married before .2 Polonian gentlewomen of a noble extraction, both of them being ladyes according to the fashions in those countries, in regard of which he obtained the sooner. His third wife my own mother. How many sums of gold and erecting of Pillars of honour both to my grandfather and father were offered both by Dantzig and Elbing remains yett in the memory of some very old people in Prussia. My mother had 2 sisters, both which were very honourably married one to a Lord Majors son at London, Mr Clarcke, and afterward to a very rich knight sir Richard smith one of the kings privy councell, she bringing a portion to him of 10000 lb sterling. This is my aunt the Lady smiths, who marrying afterwards to sir Edward Savage was made one of the Ladyes of honour to [letter deleted] our kings mother. The other sister was married to a younger brother Mr Peake, whose son hath now an estate of 300 lb sterling of land of inheritance yearly, and who is still alive. Our cozen german or my aunts the Lady smiths daughter was married to sir Anthony Erbes at Boston a knight of 4 or 5000 lb sterling a year, who is still alive and a Parliament man in this and former Parliamentis which you may also alledge if there should be more
But they passed afterwards not so strictly für edelleute in the Empire when some turned merchants, which you know is derogatory to the german nobility. An other upbraided me, asking whether I had never read a passage in Frishlins works - Quis non novit Hartlibiorum familiam? - etc. But now I blame me, that I never lookt out that place. And truely I may speak it with a safe conscience that I never all the days of my life reflected seriously upon my pedegree; but if I had I believe I should have made an other kinde of hystory. preferring my heavenly birth above all such vanities, and afterwards studying more to this very day to be usefull to Gods creatures, and serviceable to his church, then to be rich or honourable. As for Commensales[H capitalises & alters], I never had any such as they object, as you know in part, and let it not seem a Paradox unto you if I tell you as long as I have lived in England by wonderfull Providences, I have spent yearly out of my own betwixt 3 or 400 lb sterling a year, and when I was brought to Publick allowances I have had from the Parlaments and counsels of state a pension of 300 lb sterling a year which as freely I have spent for their service and the good of many. If they knew what kind of commensales I now and then have had, they would be ashamed to make this any objection. some of them have been such that I myself have payd for their entertainment unknown to my wife, which are now great men in the world. some noblemen, Patrons, and children of honourable parents which have begged of me to suffer them to live with me at my table etc. etc. I could fill whole sheets in what love and reputation I have lived these 30 years in England, being familiarly acquainted with the best of Archbishops, bishops, Earles, vicounts barons, knights, Esquires[altered], Gentlemen[H capitalises], Ministers[H capitalises], [catchword: pro.]
Professors[H capitalises] of both Universities, Merchants[H capitalises], and all sorts of learned or in any kind usefull men etc. etc. and that in all the three kingdoms under all the changes that have falln out, recommended before and in Parliaments, books dedicated unto me, from severall places and countryes. etc. etc. But I grow weary to pursue such vanities. Truely 6000 lb sterling in all would be counted in England no great riches, let them know that my daughter hath had many suitors, some [H: Landed-] men to which I would not give my consent. I liking well the wealth but not the persons as I ever did my son in Laws manners and comportments to this day. If the Lord make this providence a covenant mercy to them and myself that is the all in all I shall rejoyce in, for then all other things whatsoever they be shall