Anagramma: Richardus Westonus, vir durus ac honestus (1624 or 1628-1635)

Richard Weston (bap.1577, d.1635) was chancellor of the exchequer from 1621 until 1628, and treasurer from 1628 until his death in 1635. However, he had served briefly as acting treasurer in 1624 between the fall of Lionel Cranfield on 25 April and the appointment of James Ley on 11 December, so it could have been written in this earlier period. Brian Quintrell notes that '[a]s acting treasurer Weston had proved insistent on maintaining the full authority of his office, punctilious in observing proper administrative process, and unhestitating in suspending pensions and other claims on the exchequers by courtiers lacking what he considered to be adequate warrant', and the flattering tone of this poem suggests that Ayton knew to keep on his good side. For further details see Gullans (ed.), Ayton, p. 338; Michael J. Braddick, 'Cranfield, Lionel, first earl of Middlesex (1575-1645)', ODNB; Brian Quintrell, 'Weston, Richard, first earl of Portland (bap. 1577, d. 1635)', ODNB. Metre: elegiac couplets.

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1Durus es ac (nomen nisi decipit) es vir honestus,
hic pretio flecti non volet, ille prece.
Duritiem emollit generosi dulcis honesti
temperies, ulli nec finit esse gravem. 1
5Durities ut spina rosam sic armat honestum,
utque saburra ratem, sic stabilire solet.
Poscit honestatem fisci tibi credita cura,
duritiem regni caetera cura petit.
Aut his subsidiis, aut nullis dyscola vinces
10tempora, durus eas ac vir honestus eas.

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An anagram: Richard Weston, a stern and honest man

You are a stern man and (unless your name lies) you are an honest man: the latter quality does not allow itself to be swayed by money, the former does not allow itself to be swayed by pleading. The temperament of a noble, sweet, and honest man softens sternness, and does not permit it to be harsh to anyone. sternness arms the honest man as a thorn does the rose, and also is wont to provide balance, as ballast does for a ship. The care for the treasury entrusted to you requires honesty, the other care of the kingdom demand sternness. You will overcome ill-tempered times either with these aids, or with none: but may you continue as a stern man, and continue as an honest man.



1: Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto II.9.47-8