A Meditation on Matthew
My dearest and onely Sonne, in the beginning of this same yeere, I wrote a short Meditation upon the Lords Prayer, and I told the reason, that now being growen in yeares, I was weary of Controversies and to write of high questions, and therefore had chosen now a plaine and easie subject to treat of:2 But of late it hath fallen out, that one day reading privatly to my selfe the passion of CHRIST, in the end of S. Matthewes Gospell, I lighted upon that part, where the Governors Souldiers mocked our Saviour, with putting the ornaments of a King upon him. Which appeared to me to be so punctually set doune, that my head hammered upon it divers times after, and specially the Croune of thornes went never out of my mind, remembring the thorny cares, which a King (if he have a care of his office) must be subject unto, as (God knowes) I daily and nightly feele in mine owne person. Whereupon I apprehended that it would bee a good paterne to put inheritors to kingdomes in minde of their calling, by the forme of their inauguration; and so resolved to borrow some houres from my rest, to write a short Meditation upon it. But on a time telling Buckingham this my intention, and that I thought you the fittest person to whom I could dedicate it, for divers reasons following, hee humbly and earnestly desired mee, that hee might have the honour to be my amanuensis in this worke.3 First, because it would free mee from the paine of writing, by sparing the labour both of mine eyes and hand; and next, that hee might doe you
some peece of service thereby; protesting, that his natural obligation to you (next me) is redoubled by the many favours that you daily heape upon him. And indeed, I must ingenuously confesse to my comfort, that in making your affections to follow and second thus your Fathers, you shew what reverent love you carry towards me in your heart; besides the worthy example you give to all other Kings eldest Sonnes for imitation, beginning heereby to performe one of the rules set doune to my sonne HENRY, that is with God, in my BAELAIKON AQPON. And indeede my graunting of this request to Buckingham hath much eased my labour, considering the slownesse, ilnesse, and uncorrectnes of my hand.