127. to William Clerke at Madrid
22 March 1658
a. My last unto you was of 12 Jan. where I gave you notice what passed
between your brother [George] and myself with Mr Francis Clarke and
how I paid him £125 for your account. The rest was paid by your brother.
Since which time I have received none from you until this of 16 Feb.
Neither indeed have I written you, which hath not been for want of
respect but rather want of subject. I wonder mine of 12 Jan. was not come
to hand, whereas your brother had answer of his the same date.
I take notice what letters you have from the African Islands [i.e. the
Canaries]. We have now some of 16 Feb., and for corn they will have
enough, there having gone from hence, France and Holland near 1,000 ts,
and so many ships for a second vintage as I never saw the like, which
carried good quantities of goods with them. That trade is spoiled. Those
rogues which do our business cheat us and take all the gains to
themselves. We have a ship gone with 300 hhds pilchards and £1,000 in
pack-goods, but she will not return except can get some of our effects
invested in cochineal, campechena, Varinas tobacco or Campeachy
wood, which I much doubt. For wines, this time a year we will not have a
pipe. Perhaps others may load her upon freight with wines.
I take notice what you writ about A[braham] Lee [of San Lucar]. It's
true he hath had a little business this year, but he hath so abused his
principals by giving them such a parting blow as that they will scarce come
there again. So that I look upon him now as in a very bad condition.
However, according to your order, I here remit you 3 bonds of his which
are all due and attested in the form you desired. Of the first bond I have
received in part of Mr [Christopher] Boone £121, so there remains £79 of
that, and the other 2 entire, not a penny paid on them. Had I known he
would have served you thus, he should not have gone hence. Here he hath
not a penny, rather owes great sums of money. If your leisure would
permit, perhaps it might be worth your time to go and speak with him.
And when this will not take, tell him I shall make all his principals to know
who he is and that one word of my mouth in that nature may take all his
business from him by showing the bonds, which as hitherto I have been
127b. This winter hath been so sharp as that for 3 months we had nothing
but frost and snow, at which time no man could endure to sit and write an
hour. So that you may not so much admire your account is not finished.
True it is I have failed of my promise in it several times, and I think you or
another may be as guilty of that as myself. Neither do I urge this as an
argument of excuse, nor hath it been delayed out of any prejudice
intended by me to you. But rather you will find it's [to] my own
[prejudice] and that you may be taken of your opinion of having a farthing
in my hands of yours. For every pound that I have of yours in my hands I'll
be bound to give you double interest for its detainment, provided you will
but oblige yourself to pay me but single interest for what you may owe
me. I have not been 4 days abroad this fortnight to comply with your
desire, neither shall I take that pleasure intended this spring, being now
posting up my books and to give a period to your account. In the
meantime I cannot but resent your over-earnestness. Did it come from a
stranger, I should not so much admire at it. …