Jesuits In Conflict: Or Historic Facts Illustrative of the labours of the English Mission and Province Of The Society Of Jesus. In the times of Queen Elizabeth and her successors. By a member Of The Society Of Jesus.
THOMAS POUNDE, OF BELMONT, S.J. Part XVIII.
Mr. Thomas Pounde to Mr. Tripp.
"To Mr. Tripp the viij. of September.
"For as much at my requeste to you yesterday, and to Mr. Crowley, if ye be worthyie the naminge, makinge it, as I did, vpon my knees, not to you, as I tolde you, but for you to witnesse, and present to Her Majestie, and to all the Councell, as the common petition of God's afflicted in Englande, for the Catholike faithe, that it might please them to admit the learned indeede of our side, with the* best learned of yours, to open audience, either by disputation, or by sermons enterchangeably hearde accordinge to the lawes and conditions of an orderly conference, indeed as the weight of the cause doth require hereupon, for that I say you pretended to like well of it for youre parte, and promised all oure companie making the like meanes vnto you, for to preserve, and further oure saide petition; therefore I have here set downe our supplication to theire honors,, so that as you see in all the Catholicks' names vniversally, to save you some labour in movinge of it with as manie of vs as here that may be spoken with, we hartilie pray you to preferre, and put upp to ye Councell accord-inge to youre promise. Signifeynge thus vnto you besides, to certifie that, if free license may be granted for the choice of all oure side, either within or without the realme of Enlande, to come to this conference with good and safe conduct vpon the honoure of the Queene's Majesties edict published in print, or if that be thought too muche, yet at the least for the choice of all oure side within the realme, as reason is, whencesoever they are to be removed uppon offeringe themselves voluntarily for this purpose, otherwise we are not so simple as to thinke ourselves satisfied with youre offering to call out vs the inferiors here now left abowte London in prison, if you should meane it to suche a conference, nor yet soe presumptuous as to take upon us to be the men meete to enter into suche a matche. Soe muche of the common cause. Now, touchinge my defence against you all, which I delivered you yesterday in writing, to feel your confidence in youre cause, beinge suche a question as knitts up all the contentions between us in one knot, and the absurdity which you helde, as I knew you wolde, beinge youre strongest castle. For as much now as the Bishop of London's warrant was made out for me, sen'night agone, to be removed very shortly to Storforde Castell, all alone there to be kept close prisoner, and havinge no great hope of any stay thereof, but rather of the lesse favor for this plainness in truth, whiche is wont, as you know, to breed noe friends; therefore I require you to answer my defence sincerely, soe as the reputation of youre best learned may lye upon it, at the last issue, without pleadinge vnpri-vitie to youre penman's handling of the matter. Settinge all myne entirely together, being but a sheete of paper, which doinge, as before I require you, while I may, before we be muzzled upp, then afterwardes in God's name bringe it to the hammer, and turne it, and wend it as you list; but yet save the poore man's neck whole if it lye in you, for at Mr. Crowley's watch-worde, that the sworde was nearer our necks than we thought for, of all syllogisms, a slidinge knot you knowe is the crookedest to be answered. We may be so weary of this pininge in prison so many years, without seinge the whole conversion of our country, which we ought to thirst for, that we are enforced to be plainer with you than they that are abroade at libertie, and not so tainted up in stinckinge prisons, as most of us already are, and all of us shortly may looke to be. Moreover, touchinge my trippinge of you somewhat sharply in the latter end of my defence, verily you might impute it but truly to your own provoking us all, by suche blaspheminge as youre fellow used the day before, so loude as all men might heare, bothe against the holie Masse, and against blessed St. Francis, whom your fellow burthened untruly with wickedness not to be named, he beinge one of the miracles of the worlde for perfit holinesse, as well in himselfe as in his pos-teritie, althoughe among soe much corn, there may be some cockell founde, as well as there was one weede among our Saviour's twelve holie flowers. Neverthelesse, to make you part of amends, I humble myselfe to you this good day vpon my knees, if that will assuage you for it, beseechinge you for Christ's sake, to dwell noe longer in heresie, to be worthie to be called foxes, as in the canticle youre name is, for vndermininge of God's vine yard. But yield to the truthe in time, whiche either you must all yelde to at last, or else it will crushe you all to pieces, for the citie of God is built upon soe highe a hill, and a rock soe invincible, that the weakest soldier, which is in it, may throwe out a stone to hit down any Golias amonge you to the grounde. Sigh over youre citie, therefore, if you be wise, and cease youre batteringe in vaine against the wall upon the rock, for as one sayth truely, against this wall whosoever setteth his force, doth but batter himselfe to pieces; when hell gates shall not prevaile against it, what can the force of a few fleshly men prevaile against it God illumine you, and bless you, even as I would wishe to mine owne soule. The viij. of September.
" Your well wisher,
" T P "
Mr. Tripp's answer. " Mr. Pounde, touchinge youre letter meant privately, wherein yow require my answer to youre Six Reasons, cravinge some pardon for youre pleasant allusion to my name, that is not any-thinge to me, for either I can be contented to let it pass, or answere it with the like, if I might be bolde to tell you that all youre Six Reasons weigh not one Pounde, as shall appeare by that which shall be answered. I was not minded, to tell you the truthe, to have answered them at all, Mr. Crowley vndertakinge to answer them, and he havinge your copie, of whose sufficiency in answering I doubt not; and if you meane to continue interchange of replie, and answere enoughe to encownter with one, hande to hande. It is sayde r Ne Hercules quidem contra duos. I confess myselfe the weaker of the two, and therefore thought to have abstayned. But I will yield my answere to you at my leasure; howbeit, I think yow will not thinke it meete that the credit of the best learned on oure side sholde depende upon my answere, noe more than the creditt of your whole cause, and of the best learned on youre side on your defence. For it were noe reason that youre learned men sholde be discredited wholie by youre slender handlinge of the cause, or that youre cause sholde wholie quaile by youre defence, or ours by mine, except both you and I could bringe all that the best learned of bothe parties are able to bringe. Howbeit, if your reasons be overweighed, I wishe you sholde in sinceritie yelde, rather to save your creditt to confesse an error in yeldinge to the thruthe. But for this matter the event shall show where truth moste resteth.
"Touchinge your supplication to the Queen in Councell, I am ready to preferr the same, but this I think to be a defect in it, that preferringe it in the name of all, and avouchinge it to be done with consent of a few, yow only subscribe your name. I suppose it were meete that a few more sholde subscribe with you, lest you may seem to have done it of youre owne head onely. Bethinke you whether I advise you well or not, and soe returne it to me againe. Fare you well, this xiith of September, 1580.
"Youres in the Lord, wishinge to yow as to myselfe.
" Henrie Tripp."