Well, I am glad to hear you say it is love. Was and is. There are those who say I was of the calculating kind. But what I felt for you I could not help, sometimes it… Did not help my cause at all. But truth be told it was as constant as the heavens. When I lost my way it guided me as stars do sailors.
I most humbly beseech your Majesty to pardon your pôôr old servant to be thus bold in sending to know how my gracious Lady doth and what ease of her late pain she finds, being the chiefest thing in this world I do pray for, for her to have good health and long life. For my own poor case, I continue still your medicine and find it amend much better than with any other thing that hath been given me. Thus hoping to find perfect cure at the bath with the continuance of my wonted prayer for your Majesty’s most happy preservation I humbly kiss your foot, from your old lodging at Rycote this Thursday morning, ready to take on my journey, by your Majesty’s most faithful and obedient servant,
Even as I had written thus much I received your Majesty’s token by young Tracy.
My very good lord, you wrote unto me, in your last letter, for pioneers to be sent over, whereupon I moved her majesty and found her very willing, in so much that an order was given for a commission; but since, the matter is stayed, I do not know for what cause. Also, according as your lordship desired, I spoke for on Jukes for the office of backhouse, and the matter [was] well liked.
In ought else your lordship shall find me most assured to my desire to perform all offices of love, honour, and service towards you. But I have been of late very pestilent reported in this place, to be rather a drawer-bake then a furtherer of the action where you govern. Your lordship do well understand my affection towards Spain, and how I have consumed the best part of my fortune, hating the tyrannical prosperity of that state, and it is now strange and monstrous, that I should become an enemy to my country and my conscience. But all that I have desired at your lordship’s hand is, that you will ever more deal directly with me in all matters of suspected doubleness, and so ever esteem me as you shall find me deserving, good or bad. In the meantime, I humbly beseech you to not let poetical scribe works your lordship by any device to doubt that I am a hollow or cold servant to the action; or a mean well-willer or follower of your own, and as ever I so humble take my leave, wishing you all honour and prosperity. From the court, the xxix. of March, 1586.
Your lordships to do your service, W. Raleigh.
The Queen is in very good terms with you, and, thanks be to God, well pacified, and you are again her “sweet Robin”.
“By the third evening she was so weak that Leicester sat on the edge of the bed, waiting for her to die in his arms, while the doctors squabbled and contradicted each other in a fierce huddle by the fireside. A little ring of black-robed professionals, pecking at each other’s opinions like a flock of frightened crows - he watched them with savage contempt.
‘I know. All that suffering, my poor love - I should never have allowed it.’ He stroked the wet tendrils of hair back off her forehead, and held her close, remembering with hot anguish all the pointless misery she had endured without a single tantrum or complaint.
‘I’ll put my dagger through the next quack who lays a hand on you - I swear!’
Elizabeth turned her head with difficulty to look up at him and slowly traced the wet tracks on his cheeks with one trembling finger. After a moment, she gave him a tired little smile which tore at his heart.
‘It’s nothing.’ Hastily he brushed his cheek against her hair. ‘Something in my eye, that’s all.’
‘Both of them?’
He bent his head and kissed her for that, not caring who should see it.
Burghley watched him weep and was aware of pity and shame…For Leicester loved the Queen; Burghley, having witnessed the man’s tireless tenderness, now had no doubt of that.”
- Legacy (p. 385-387)
The entire scene where Elizabeth was ill.
“But neither Robin nor Elizabeth moved a muscle. In the centre of the room they stood and stared at each other, as wary and suspicious as two young cubs from alien packs. Instant antagonism and reluctant interest pulsed in the air between them.
Sudden and violent, like sheet lightning, it lit the flame of a long, long candle, a candle that was to burn for nearly half a century.” - Legacy (p 37)
First meeting of Robin Dudley and Elizabeth! I love them and I love this book so much so far. It’s one of those books where I can’t help but feel giddy and am quietly giggling to myself as I’m reading it.