British Library, Cotton Galba C IX f.197–f.197b. Spelling modernized and punctuation added.
Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. Upon perusal of your late letters, and of the copy of the speech in our name unto the states, we find it very strange, that in that matter that doth so greatly touch us in honour, and the continuance of the title of absolute governor, there is nothing yet done for the qualification thereof, for any thing we have yet received from you. For we did look, accordingly as we directed, that there would have been some resolution taken in that behalf, between the counsel of estate, our cousin of Leicester, and you. Which being not performed, falls out far contrary to our expectation, and the regard we looked you would have both had to our honour and contentment, being a thing by us so much affected. And therefore our pleasure is, wheresoever these our letters shall find you, you shall with all convenient speed return to our cousin of Leicester, and to join with him in conference, and with the council of estate there, how the said qualification in point of title may be performed accordingly as we desire, and yet the authority reserved unto our cousin the earl under the title of our lieutenant-general, which we see no cause to doubt but that the same will work as good effect for the avoiding of the confusion of government there, as the other title of absolute governor. We are further to let you understand, that we have cause greatly to mislike of two points in your proceeding there. The one, that there was stay made in the delivery of our letters unto the states, for the doing whereof we gave no special direction, nether to our cousin of Leicester nor unto you, nor yet do see any cause to allow thereof for any thing contained in your letters. The other is, the assurance given by your speech unto the states, that we would make no peace with the king of Spain without their privity and assent, wherein we either think that you have far exceeded your commission, or else our secretary had greatly mistaken our direction given unto him in that behalf; for that our meaning was, that they should only have been assured, that, in any treaty that might fall out between us and Spain, we would have no less care of their safety than of our own. And whereas, by your letters unto us, you do let us understand, that you received a short answer from the council of estate to the points by you propounded, we marvel greatly why you forbear to send the same unto us, importing us so much as it doth to have some speedy resolution in the said point of qualification, wherein we do assure you we shall receive no satisfaction until the same be performed as we desire. And therefore our meaning is not that you shall return unto us before the same be accomplished; and, in the mean time, we do look to hear often from you touching your proceeding therein. Given under our signet at our manor of Greenwich, the xxvijth day of April, 1586, in the xxviijth year of our reign.
What phlegmatical reasons so ever were made you, how happeneth it that you will not remember that when a man hath faulted and committed by abettors thereto that neither the one nor the other will willingly make their own retreat. Jesus, what availeth wit when it fails the owner at greatest need? Do that you are bidden and leave your considerations for your own affairs; for in some things you had clear commandment, which you did not; and in other none and did, yea to the use of those speeches from me that might oblige me to more than I was bound or mind ever to yield. We princes be wary enough of our bargains. Think you I will be bound by your speech to make no peace for my nown matters without their consent? It is enough that I injure not their country, nor themselves, in making peace for them without their consent. I am assured of your dutiful thoughts but I am utterly at squares with this childish dealing.