(BL Harley MS.6849 f.218r,v)

At my last being with your Lordship, to entreate some speaches from yow in my favor
to my Lorde, whoe (though I thinke he rest not doubtfull of myne inocence) hath yet
in his discreeter iudgment feared to offende in his reteyning me with out your honors
former pryvitie. So is it nowe Right Honourable: that the denyall of that favor to my
thought resonable hath movde me to coniecture some suspicion, that your Lp. holds me
in, concerning Atheisme, a deadlie thing which I was vndeserved chargd withall, &
therfore haue I thought it requisite, aswell in duetie to your Lp. & the lawes, as
also in the feare of god, & freedom of my conscience, therein to satisfie the
world and yow:
The first and most (thoughe insufficient surmize) that euer (illegible) therein
might be raisde of me, grewe thus. When I was first suspected for that
Libell that concernd the State, amongst those waste and idle papers (which I carde
not for) & which vnaskt I did deliuer vp, were founde some fragments of a
disputation toching that opinion, affirmed by Marlowe to be his, and shufld
with some of myne vnknown to me by some occasion of our wrytinge in one
chamber twoe years synce.
My first acquaintance with this Marlowe, rose vpon his bearing name to
serve my Lord: although his Lp never knew his service but in writing for
his plaiers, For never cold my L. endure his name, or sight, when he had heard
of his conditions, nor wold indeed the forme of devyne praier vsed duelie in his
Lps house haue quadred with such reprobates.
That I shold loue or be familer frend with one so irreligious, were verie rare;
when Tullie saith Digni sunt amicitia quibus in ipsis inest causa cur diligantur (1)
which neither was in him, for person, quallities, or honestie, besides he was
intemperate & of a cruel hart, the verie contrarie to which my greatest enemies
will saie by me.
It is not to he nombred amongst the best conditions of men, to taxe or to
opbraide the deade Quia mortui non mordent (2). But thus muche haue I (with
your Lps favor) dared in the greatest cause, which is to cleere my selfe of being
thought an Atheist, which some will sweare he was.
For more assurance that I was not of that vile opinion, lett it but
please your Lp to enquire of such as he conversd withall, that is which I am
geven to vnderstand with Harriot, Warner, Royden, and some stationers
in Paules churchyard, whom I in no sort can accuse nor will excuse
by reson of his companie, of whose consent if I had been, no question but
I also shold haue been of their consort, for ex minimo vestigio artifex agnoscit artificem. (3)
Of my religion & life I haue alredie geven some instance to the late commissioners
& of my reverend meaning to the state, although perhaps my paines and
vndeserved tortures felt by some, wold haue ingendred more impatience
when lesse by farr hath dryven so manye imo extra caulas (4) which it shall
never do with me.
But whatsoeuer I haue felt R. Ho: this is my request not for reward but
in regard of my trewe inocence that it wold please your Lps so (illegible) same
& me, as I maie still reteyne the favors of my Lord, whom I haue served almost
theis vj yeres nowe, in credit vntill nowe, & nowe am vtterlie vndon without
herein be somewhat donn for my recoverie. For I do knowe his Lp holdes
your honors & the state in that dewe reverence as he wold no waie move the
leste suspicion of his Loves and cares both towards hir sacred Majestie your Lpps
and the lawes wherof when tyme shall serve I shall geue greater instances
I haue observde.
As for the libel laide vnto my chardg I am resolued with receyving of the sacrament
to satisfie your Lps & the world that I was neither agent nor consenting thervnto.
Howebeit if some outcast Ismael for want or of his owne dispose to lewdnes, haue
with pretext of duetie or religion, or to reduce himself so to that he was not borne
vnto by enie waie incensd your Lps to suspect me, I shall besech in all humillitie
& in the feare of god that it will please your Lps but to censure me as I shall
prove my self, and to repute them as they ar in deed Cum totius iniustitae
nulla capitalior sit quam eorum, qui tum cum maxime fallunt id agunt vt viri
boni esse videantur
. (5) For doubtles even then your Lps shalbe sure to breake
(illegible) their lewde designes and see into the truthe, when but their lyues that
herein haue accused me shal be examined & rypped vp effectually, soe
maie I chaunce with Paul to liue & shake the vyper of my hand into the
fire for which the ignorant suspect me guiltie of the former shipwrack.
And thus (for nowe I feare me I growe teadious) assuring your good Lps
that if I knewe eny whom I cold iustlie accuse of that damnable offence to
the awefull Majestie of god or of that other mutinous sedition towrd the state
I wold as willinglie reveale them as I wold request your Lps better thoughtes of me
that never haue offended yow.

Your Lps most humble in all duties

T. Kydde
(1) They are worthy of friendship in whom resides a cause why they should he esteemed.

(2) Because the dead do not bite.

(3) From the smallest trace the craftsman recognises craft.

(4) Even outside the fold.

(5) With all injustice none is more deadly than that of those who, when they most deeply deceive, would seem to be good men.

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