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This I apply to the king's business, which surely I revolve most when I am least in action; whereof at my attendance I will give his Majesty such account as can proceed from my poor and mean abilities, which as his Majesty out of grace may think to be more than they are, so I out of desire may think sometime they can effect more than they can. But still it must be remembered, that the stringing of the harp, nor the tuning of it, will not serve, except it be well played on from time to time.
If his Majesty's business or commandments require it, I will attend him at Windsor, though I would be glad to be spared, because quick airs at this time of the year do affect me. At London, and so at Theobald's and Hampton-Court, I will not fail, God willing, to wait upon his Majesty. Meanwhile I am exceeding glad to hear his Majesty hath been lusty and well this progress. Thus, much desiring to see your lordship, cujus amor tantum mihi crescit in horas,' as the poet saith, I ever remain Your lordship's most obliged friend and faithful servant,
Gorhambury, this 30th of Aug. 1620.
FR. VERULAM, CANC.
CCXXXVIII. TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCK
MY VERY Good lord,
Secretary Naunton this day brought me your pleasure in certain notes; that I should advise with the two chief justices, old parliament men, and Sir Edward Coke, who is also their senior in that school, and Sir Randall Crewe the last speaker, and such other judges as we should think fit, touching that which mought in true policy, without packing or degenerate arts, prepare to a parliament, in case your Majesty should resolve of one to be held; and withal he signified to me some particular points, which your Majesty very wisely had deduced.
All your Majesty's business is super cor meum, for I lay it to heart, but this is a business secundum cor meum; and yet, as I will do your Majesty all possible good services in it, so I am far from seeking to impropriate to myself the thanks, but shall become omnibus omnia, as St. Paul saith, to attain your Majesty's ends.
Your Majesty's most bounden and most devoted
2 Oct. 1620.
Your Majesty needeth not to doubt but that I shall carry the business with that secrecy which appertaineth.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I WRITE now only a letter of thanks to his Ma- CCXL. TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.‡ jesty, for that I hear, in my absence he was pleased to express towards me, though unworthy, a great deal of grace and good opinion before his lords; which is much to my comfort, whereunto I must ever impute your lordship as accessary. I have also written to him what signification I received from secretary Naunton of his Majesty's will and pleasure, lest in so great a business there should be any mistaking.
The pain of my foot is gone, but the weakness doth a little remain, so as I hope within a day or two to have full use of it. I ever remain
Your lordship's most obliged friend and
2 Octob. 1620.
YESTERDAY I called unto us the two chief justices, and serjeant Crewe, about the parliament business. To call more judges, I thought not good. It would The disbe little to assistance, much to secrecy. tribution of the business we made was into four parts.
I. The perusing of the former grievance, and of things of like nature which have come since.
IL. The consideration of a proclamation, with the clauses thereof, especially touching elections; which faith-clauses nevertheless, we are of opinion, should be rather monitory than exclusive.
FR. VERULAM, CANC.
CCXXXIX. TO THE KING.+
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
I THOUGHT myself an unfortunate man that I could not attend you at Theobald's. But I hear that your Majesty hath done, as God Almighty useth to do, which is to turn evil into good, in that your Majesty hath been pleased upon that occasion to express before your lords your gracious opinion and favour towards me, which I most humbly thank your Majesty for, and will aspire to deserve.
* Stephens's Second Collection, p. 113.
III. The inclusive: that is to say, what persons were fit to be of the house, tending to make a sufficient and well-composed house of the ablest men of the kingdom, fit to be advised with circa ardua regni, as the style of the writs goeth, according to the pure and true institution of a parliament; and of the means to place such persons without novelty or much observation. For this purpose we made some lists of names of the prime counsellors, and principal statesmen or courtiers; of the gravest or wisest lawyers; of the most respected and best tempered knights and gentlemen of the county. And here obiter we did not forget to consider who were the boutefeus of the last session, how many of them are dead, how many reduced, and how many remain, and what were fit to be done concerning them.
IV. The having ready of some commonwealth | master of the wards, that it should be hastened and bills, that may add respect and acknowledgment of set in hand with all speed, which his Majesty doubtthe king's care; not wooing bills to make the king eth not but is done by this time. Touching your and his graces cheap; but good matter to set them advice for a treasurer, his Majesty is very mindful on work, that an empty stomach do not feed upon of it, and will let you know as much at his return, humour. when he will speak farther with your lordship of it. And so I rest
Of these four points, that which concerneth persons is not so fit to be communicated with the council-table, but to be kept within fewer hands. The other three may, when they are ripe.
Meanwhile I thought good to give his Majesty an account what is done, and in doing, humbly craving his direction if any thing be to be altered or added; though it may be ourselves shall have second thoughts, this being but the result of our first meeting.
The state of his Majesty's treasure still maketh me sad, and I am sorry I was not at Theobald's to report it, or that it was not done by my fellows: it is most necessary we do it faithfully and freely: for to flatter in this, were to betray his Majesty with a kiss. I humbly pray his Majesty to think of my former counsel; and this I will promise, that whomsoever his Majesty shall make treasurer, if his Majesty shall direct him to have relation to my advice, I will continue the same care and advice I do now, and much more cheerfully when I shall perceive that my propositions shall not be literæ scriptæ in glacie.
Meanwhile, to keep the commission in doing of somewhat worth the doing, it may please his Majesty to take knowledge, that upon our report we had agreed to make remonstrance to him, that we thought Ireland might, if his Majesty leave it to our care, be brought by divers good expedients to bear their own charge; and therefore his Majesty may be pleased by his commandment to set us in hand with it out of hand. God ever prosper you. Your lordship's most obliged friend and faithful servant, Octob. 7, 1620.
FR. VERULAM, CANC.
CCXLI. TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.*
I HAVE acquainted his Majesty with your letter,
I HAVE received your letter, and your book, than the which you could not have sent a more acceptable present unto me. How thankful I am for it, cannot better be expressed by me, than by a firm resolution I have taken; first, to read it through with care and attention, though I should steal some hours from my sleep: having otherwise, as little spare time to read it, as you had to write it. And then, to use the liberty of a true friend, in not sparing to ask you the question in any point whereof I shall stand in doubt: nam ejus est explicare, cujus est condere: as, on the other part, I will willingly give a due commendation to such places, as, in my opinion, shall deserve it. In the mean time I can with comfort assure you, that you could not have made choice of a subject more befitting your place, and your universal and methodical knowledge; and in the general, I have already observed, that you jump with me, in keeping the mid way between the two extremes; as also in some particulars I have found that you agree fully with my opinion. And so praying God to give your work as good success as your heart can wish, and your labours deserve, I bid you heartily farewell. JAMES R.
October 16, 1620.
and labour in his service, for which he commandeth CCXLIII. TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKING
me to give you thanks, and to let your lordship know, that he liketh exceeding well your method held by the judges, which could not be amended, and concurreth with you and your opinions. First, touching the proclamation, that it should be monitory and persuasive, rather than compulsive: and, secondly, that the point concerning the persons, who should be admitted, and who avoided, is fit to be kept from the knowledge of the council-table, and to be carried with all secrecy.
For the business of Ireland, his Majesty had heard of it before, and gave commandment to the Stephens's Second Collection, p. 117. Rawley's Resuscitatio.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I SEND his Majesty a form of a proclamation for the parliament, which I thought fit to offer first to his Majesty's perusal, before I acquainted the council.
For that part which concerneth the foreign business, his Majesty will graciously consider, how easy it is for me to mistake, or not to attain; which his Majesty in his wisdom will pardon, correct, and direct.
Stephens's Second Collection, p. 121.
For that part touching the elections, I have communicated it with my colleagues, Sir Edward Coke, the two chief justices, and serjeant Crewe, who approve it well; and we are all of opinion, that it is not good to have it more peremptory, more particular, nor more sharp.
We are thinking of some commonwealth laws, amongst which I would have one special for the maintenance of the navy, as well to give occasion to publish, to his Majesty's honour, what hath been already done; as, to speak plainly, to do your lordship honour in the second place; and besides, it is agreeable to the times. God ever prosper you. Your lordship's most obliged friend and faithful
CCXLIV. DRAUGHT OF A PROCLAMATION FOR A PARLIAMENT, REFERRED TO IN THE PRECEDING LETTER.*
As in our princely judgment we hold nothing more worthy of a christian monarch, than the conservation of peace at home and abroad; whereby effusion of christian blood and other calamities of war are avoided, trade is kept open, laws and justice retain their due vigour and play, arts and sciences flourish, subjects are less burdened with taxes and tallages, and infinite other benefits redound to the state of a commonweal; so in our own practice we suppose there hath been seldom any king, that hath given more express testimonies and real pledges of his desire to have peace conserved, than we have done in the whole course of our regiment.
For neither have we, for that which concerns ourselves, been ready to apprehend or embrace any occasions or opportunities of making war upon our neighbours; neither have we omitted, for that which may concern the states abroad, any good office or royal endeavour for the quenching of the sparks of troubles and discords in foreign parts. Wherein, as we have been always ready and willing, so we wish that we had been always as happy and prevailing in our advices and counsels that tended to that end. And yet do we not forget, that God hath put into our hands a sceptre over populous and warlike nations, which might have moved us to second the affection and disposition of our people, and to have wrought upon it for our own ambition, if we had been so minded. But it hath sufficed unto us to seek a true and not swelling greatness, in the plantations and improvements of such parts of our dominions, as have, in former times, been more desolate or uncivil, and in the maintaining of all our loving subjects in general in tranquillity and security, and the other conditions of good government, and happy times. But amongst other demonstrations of our constant purpose and provident care to maintain peace, there was never such a trial, nor so apparent to the world, as in a theatre, as our persisting in Stephens's Second Collection, p. 122.
the same resolution, since the time that our dear sonin-law was elected and accepted king of Bohemia; by how much the motives tending to shake and assail our said resolution were the more forcible. neither did the glory of having our dearest daughter and son-in-law to wear a crown; nor the extreme alacrity of our people devoted to that cause; nor the representations, which might be set before us of dangers, if we should suffer a party in christendom, held commonly adverse and ill-affected to our state and government, to gather farther reputation and strength, transport us to enter into an auxiliary war, in prosecution of that quarrel: but contrariwise, finding the justice of the cause not so clear, as that we could be presently therein satisfied; and weighing with ourselves likewise, that if the kingdom of Bohemia had continued in the house of Austria, yet nevertheless the balance of christendom had stood in no other sort than it had done for many years before, without increase of party; and chiefly fearing that the wars in those parts of Germany, which have been hitherto the bulwark of christendom against the approaches of the Turk, might by the intestine dissensions allure and let in the common enemy; we did abstain to declare or engage ourselves in that war, and were contented only to give permission to the ambassador of our son-in-law, to draw some voluntary helps of men and money from our subjects, being a matter that violated no treaty, and could not be denied in case of so near a conjunction.
But while we contained ourselves in this moderation, we find the event of war hath much altered the case, by the late invasion of the Palatinate, whereby, howsoever under the pretence of a diversion, we find our son in fact expulsed in part, and in danger to be totally dispossessed of his ancient inheritance and patrimony, so long continued in that noble line; whereof we cannot but highly resent, if it should be alienated and ravished from him in our times, and to the prejudice of our grandchildren and line royal. Neither can we think it safe for us in reason of state, that the county Palatine carrying with itself an electorate, and having been so long in the hands of princes of our religion and no way depending upon the house of Austria, should now become at the disposing of that house: being a matter, that indeed might alter the balance of christendom importantly, to the weakening of our estate, and the estate of our best friends and confederates.
Wherefore, finding a concurrence of reasons and respects of religion, nature, honour, and estate; all of them inducing us in no wise to endure so great an alteration; we are resolved to employ the uttermost of our forces and means, to recover and re-settle the said Palatinate to our son and our descendants, purposing nevertheless, according to our former inclination so well grounded, not altogether to intermit, if the occasions give us leave, the treaties of peace and accord, which we have already begun, and whereof the coming on of the winter, and the counterpoise of the actions of war, hitherto may give us as yet some appearance of hope.†
+Against this passage, in the margin, is written, "I pray God this hold."
But forasmuch as it were great improvidence to | depend upon the success of such treaties, and therefore good policy requires that we should be prepared for a war which we intend for the recovery and assuring of the said Palatinate, with the dependences, a design of no small charge and difficulty, the strength and conjunctures of the adverse party considered, we have thought good to take into our princely and serious consideration, and that with speed, all things that may have relation to such a designment; amongst which we hold nothing more necessary than to confer and advise with the common council of our kingdom, upon this so important a subject.
For although the making of war or peace be a secret of empire, and a thing properly belonging to our high prerogative royal, and imperial power; yet hevertheless, in causes of that nature, which we shall think fit not to reserve, but to communicate, we shall ever think ourselves much assisted and strengthened by the faithful advice and general assent of our loving subjects.
loving subjects, that have votes in the elections of knights and burgesses, of these few points following. First, That they cast their eyes upon the worthiest men of all sorts, knights and gentlemen, that are lights and guides in their countries, experienced parliament-men, wise and discreet statesmen, that have been practised in public affairs, whether at home or abroad, grave and eminent lawyers, substantial citizens and burgesses, and generally such as are interested and have portion in the estate.
Secondly, That they make choice of such as are well affected in religion, without declining either on the one hand to blindness and superstition, or on the other hand to schism or turbulent disposition.
Thirdly, and lastly, That they be truly sensible, not to disvalue or disparage the house with bankrupts and necessitous persons, that may desire long parliaments only for protection; lawyers of mean account and estimation; young men that are not ripe for grave consultations; mean dependants upon great persons, that might be thought to have their voices under command, and such like obscure and inferior persons: so that, to conclude, we may have the comfort to see before us the very face of a sufficient and well composed house, such as may be worthy to be a representative of the third estate of our kingdom, fit to nourish a loving and comfortable meeting between us and our people, and fit to be a noble instrument, under the blessing of Almighty God, and our princely care and power, and with the loving conjunction of our prelates and peers, for the settling of so great affairs as are before expressed.
Moreover, no man is so ignorant, as to expect that we should be any ways able, moneys being the sinews of war, to enter into the list against so great potentates, without some large and bountiful help of treasure from our people; as well towards the maintenance of the war, as towards the relief of our crown and estate. And this the rather, for that we have now, by the space of full ten years, a thing unheard of in late times, subsisted by our own means, without being chargeable to our people, otherwise than by some voluntary gifts of some particulars, which though in total amounted to no great matter, we thankfully acknowledge at their hands; but as, while the affairs abroad were in greater calm, we did content ourselves to recover our wants by provident retrenchment of charge, and honourable improvement of our own, thinking to wear them out without troubling our people; so in such a state of christendom, as seemeth now to hang over our heads, we durst no longer rely upon those slow re-ordering of the elections of the burgesses, findeth a medies, but thought necessary, according to the ancient course of our progenitors, to resort to the good affections and aids of our loving subjects.
Upon these considerations, and for that also, in respect of so long intermission of a parliament, the times may have introduced some things fit to be reformed, either by new laws, or by the moderate desires of our loving subjects, dutifully intimated unto us, wherein we shall ever be no less ready to give them all gracious satisfaction, than their own hearts can desire, we have resolved, by the advice of our privy council, to hold a parliament at our city of Westminster.
And because as well this great cause, there to be handled amongst the rest, and to be weighed by the beam of the kingdom, as also the true and ancient institution of parliament, do require the lower house, at this time, if ever, to be compounded of the gravest, ablest, and worthiest members that may be found: we do hereby, out of the care of the common good, wherein themselves are participant, without all prejudice to the freedom of elections, admonish all our
CCXLV. TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.*
MY HONOURABLE LORD,
I HAVE showed your letter and the proclamation to his Majesty, who expecting only, according as his meaning was, directions therein for the well
great deal more, containing matter of state, and the
Royston, 19 Oct. 1620.
*Stephens's Second Collection, p. 128.
CCXLVI. TO SIR HENRY WOTTON.
MY VERY GOOD COUSIN,
THE letter which I received from your lordship upon your going to sea, was more than a compensation for any former omission; and I shall be very glad to entertain a correspondence with you in both kinds which you write of; for the latter, I am now ready for you, having sent you some ore of that mine. I thank you for your favours to Mr. Meautys, and I pray continue the same. So wishing you out of your honourable exile, and placed in a better orb, I rest
Your lordship's affectionate kinsman and assured friend,
FR. VERULAM, CANC.† York-house, Oct. 20, 1620.
CCXLVII. LORD OF ST. ALBANS TO MR. MATTHEW.
THE report of this act, which I hope will prove the last of this business, will probably, by the weight it carries, fall and seize on me. And therefore, not now at will, but upon necessity, it will become me to call to mind what passed; and, my head being then wholly employed about invention, I may the worse put things upon the account of mine own memory. I shall take physic to-day, upon this change of weather, and vantage of leisure; and I pray you not to allow yourself so much business, but that you may have time to bring me your friendly aid before night, &c.
I SAY to you, upon the occasion which you give me in your last, Modicæ fidei, quare dubitasti? would not have my friends, though I know it to be out of love, too apprehensive either of me or for me; for, I thank God, my ways are sound and good, and
Mr. Stephens observes, when this letter was written, upon the occasion of my lord chancellor's publishing his Novum Organum, Sir Henry Wotton, so eminent for his many embassies, great learning, candour, and other accomplishments, was resident at Vienna, endeavouring to quench that fire which began to blaze in Germany, upon the proclaiming the elector Palatine king of Bohemia. How grateful a present this book was to Sir Henry, cannot better be expressed than by his answer to this letter: which though it may be found in his Remains, the reader will not be displeased to see part of it transcribed in this place.
"RIGHT HONOURABLE AND MY VERY GOOD LORD, "I HAVE your lordship's letters dated October 20, and I have withal, by the care of my cousin Meautys, and by your own special favour, three copies of that work, wherewith your lordship hath done a great and ever-living benefit to all the children of nature, and to nature herself in her uttermost extent and latitude; who never before had so noble nor so true an interpreter, or, as I am ready to style your lordship, never
I hope God will bless me in them. When once my master, and afterwards myself, were both of us in extremity of sickness, which was no time to dissemble, I never had so great pledges and certainties of his love and favour: and that which I knew then, such as took a little poor advantage of these later times, know since. As for the nobleman that passed that way by you, I think he is fallen out with me for his pleasure, or else, perhaps, to make good some of his own mistakings. For he cannot in his heart but think worthily of my affection and well deserving towards him; and as for me, I am very sure that I love his nature and parts.
I HAVE been too long a debtor to you for a letter, and especially for such a letter, the words whereof were delivered by your hand, as if it had been in old gold: for it was not possible for entire affection to be more generously and effectually expressed. I can but return thanks to you; or rather indeed such an answer, as may better be of thoughts than words. As for that which may concern myself, I hope God hath ordained me some small time, whereby I may redeem the loss of much. Your company was ever of contentment to me, and your absence of grief; but now it is of grief upon grief. I beseech you therefore make haste hither, where you shall meet with as good a welcome as your own heart can wish.
TO MR. MATTHEW, OWNING HIS IMPATIENT ATTENTION TO DO HIM SERVICE.T SIR,
It is not for nothing that I have deferred my De amicitia; whereby it hath expected the essay proof of your great friendship towards me: whatsoever the event be, (wherein I depend upon God, who ordains the effects, the instrument, all,) yet your incessant thinking of me, without loss of a moment of time, or a hint of occasion, or a circumstance of endeavour, or the stroke of a pulse, in demonstration
so inward a secretary of her cabinet. But of your said work, which came but this week to my hands, I shall find occasion to speak more hereafter having yet read only the first book thereof, and a few aphorisms of the second. For it is not a banquet that men may superficially taste, and put up the rest in their pockets; but in truth a solid feast, which requireth due mastication-&c.
"But I am gone farther than I meant in speaking of this excellent labour, while the delight I yet feel, and even the pride that I take in a certain congeniality, as I may term it, with your lordship's studies, will scant let me cease. And indeed I owe your lordship, even by promise, which you are pleased to remember, and thereby doubly binding me, some trouble this way; I mean by the commerce of philosophical experiments, which surely, of all other, is the most ingenious
+ Stephens's Second Collection, p. 129. Sir Tobie Matthew's Collection of Letters, p. 20. Ibid. p. 32. || Ibid. p. 69. ¶ Ibid. p. 53.