THE FIRST EARL OF EXETER 83
it will be cured, I leave it to Almighty God. I charge you, be serviceable to Almighty God ; and think of your time, that yesterday will never return."
In March, 1562, he is evidently at his wits' end. No good has come from sending his son to France, but " discomfort and loss of money," and to Thomas " shame and increase of lewdness." He complains of his extravagance, and after remind- ing him to write to his stepmother, " and show yourself careful of the health of your brother l and sister, wherein, besides the satisfaction of natural love, you shall acquire your mother's good will," ends in the following characteristic manner : "I wish you grace to spare yourself, and by some virtue to recover your name of towardness, being here commonly reputed by common fame fleeing from thence, a dissolute, slothful, negligent and careless young man, and specially noted no lover of learning nor knowledge. These titles be meet for me to hear as thou thinkest, or else thou wotildest procure me some better reports. Your father of an unworthy son."
This was followed a week later by a still more pathetic letter to Windebank, which may be quoted, since, as has been well said, " it shows the man more clearly than reams of State papers."
" Windebank," it runs, " I am here used to pains and troubles : but none creep so near my heart as doth this
1 Not Robert, who was not born yet, but an infant, William, who died within the year.