2 doing) in taking hints or journals of every thing material as it passed, whereof I omitted many that I cannot now recollect, although I was convinced, by a thousand instances, of the weakness of my memory. But, to say the truth, the nearer knowledge any man hath in the affairs at Court, the less he thinks them of consequence, or worth regarding. And those kind of passages, which I have with curiosity found or searched for in Memoirs, I wholely neglected when they were freely communicated to me from the first hand, or were such wherein I acted myself. This I take to be one among other reasons why great ministers seldom give themselves the trouble of recording the important parts of that administration, where they themselves are at the head. They have extinguished all that vanity which usually possesseth men during their first acquaintance at courts; and, like the masters of a puppet-show, they despise those motions which sill common spectators with wonder and delight.

However, upon frequently recollecting the course of affairs during the time I was either trusted or employed; I am deceived, if in history there can be found any period more full of passages, which the curious of another age would be glad to know the secret springs of; or, from whence more useful instructions may be gathered for directing the conduct of those, who