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servant of such a queen? For Fortune, can any in- | than to gain; whereof I am not yet wise enough to solent politique promise to himself such a fortune, by making his own way, as the excellency of her nature cannot deny to a careful, obsequious, and dutiful servant? And if he could, were it equal honour to obtain it by a shop of cunning, as by the gift of such a hand?
Therefore Erophilus's resolution is fixed: he renounceth Philautia, and all her enchantments. For her recreation, he will confer with his muse: for her defence and honour, he will sacrifice his life in the wars, hoping to be embalmed in the sweet odours of her remembrance. To her service will he consecrate all his watchful endeavours, and will ever bear in his heart the picture of her beauty; in his actions, of her will; and in his fortune, of her grace and favour.
repent me. But the while, whereas Solomon speaketh that want cometh first like a wayfaring man, and after like an armed man, I must acknowledge to your lordship myself to [be in primo gradu; for it stealeth upon me. But for the second, that it should not be able to be resisted, I hope in God I am not in that case; for the preventing whereof, as I do depend upon God's providence all in all, so in the same his providence I see opened unto me three not unlikely expectations of help: the one, my practice; the other, some proceeding in the queen's service; the third, [the] place I have in reversion; which, as it standeth now unto me, is but like another man's ground reaching upon my house, which may mend my prospect, but it doth not fill my barn.
For my practice, it presupposeth my health, which, if I should judge of as a man that judgeth of a fair morrow by a fair evening, I might have reason to
TO SIR THOMAS EGERTON, LORD KEEPER value well. But myself having this error of mind,
OF THE GREAT SEAL.*
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOURABLE GOOD LORDSHIP, Of your lordship's honourable disposition, both generally and to me, I have that belief, as what I think, I am not afraid to speak; and what I would speak, I am not afraid to write. And therefore I have thought to commit to letter some matter, whereunto [which] I have been [conceived] led [into the same] by two motives; the one, the consideration of my own estate; the other, the appetite, which I have to give your lordship some evidence of the thoughtful and voluntary desire, which is in me, to merit well of your most honourable lordship: which desire in me hath been bred chiefly by the consent I have to your great virtue come in good time to do this state pleasure; and next by your loving courses held towards me, especially in your nomination and enablement of me long since to the solicitor's place, as your lordship best knows. Which your two honourable friendships I esteem so much [in so great sort] as your countenance and favour in my practice, which are somewhat to my poverty; yet I count them not the best [greatest] part of the obligation, wherein I stand bound to you.
And now, my lord, I pray you right humbly, that you will vouchsafe your honourable licence and patience, that I may express to you, what in a doubtful liberty I have thought fit, partly by way of praying your help, and partly by way of offering my good will; partly again by way of pre-occupating your conceit, lest you may in some things mistake. My estate, to confess a truth to your lordship, is weak and indebted, and needeth comfort; for both my father, though I think I had greatest part in his love to all his children, yet in his wisdom served me in as a last comer; and myself, in mine own industry, have rather referred and aspired to virtue
From the original draught in the library of Queen's College, Oxford, Arch. D. 2. the copy of which was communicated to me by Thomas Tyrwhytt, Esq. clerk of the honourable House of Commons. Sir William Dugdale in his Baronage of England, vol. ii. p. 438, has given two short passages of this letter transcribed by him from the unpublished original.
that I am apter to conclude in every thing of change from the present tense than of a continuance, do make no such appointment. Besides, I am not so far deceived in myself, but that I know very well, and I think your lordship is major corde, and in your wisdom you note it more deeply than I can in myself, that in practising the law, I play not all my best game, which maketh me accept it with a nisi quod potius, as the best of my fortune, and a thing agreeable to better gifts than mine, but not to mine.
For my placing, your lordship best knows, that when I was much dejected with her Majesty's strange dealing towards me, it pleased you of your singular favour so far to comfort and encourage me, as to hold me worthy to be excited to think of succeeding your lordship in your second place; † signifying in your plainness, that no man should better content yourself: which your exceeding favour you have not since varied from, both in pleading the like signification into the hands of some of my best friends, and also in an honourable and answerable nomination and commendation of me to her Majesty. Wherein I hope your lordship, if it please you to call to mind, did find me neither overweening in presuming too much upon it, nor much deceived in my opinion of the event for the continuing it still in yourself, nor sleepy in doing some good offices to the same purpose.
Now upon this matter I am to make your lordship three humble requests, which had need be very reasonable, coming so many together. First, that your lordship will hold and make good your wishes towards me in your own time; for no other I mean it; and in thankfulness thereof, I will present your lordship with the fairest flower of my estate; though it yet bear no fruit; and that is the poor reversion, which of her Majesty's gift I hold; in the which I shall be no less willing Mr. John Egerton,‡ if it seem
The mastership of the rolls; which office the lord keeper held till the lord Bruce was advanced to it, May 18, 1603.'
Second son of the lord keeper, whose eldest son Sir Thomas, knighted at Cadiz upon the taking it in 1596 by the earl of Essex, died in Ireland, whither he attended that earl in 1599, as Mr. John Egerton likewise did, and was knighted by his lordship, and at the coronation of king James was
good to you, should succeed me in that, than I would | be willing to succeed your lordship in the other place. My next humble request is, that your lordship would believe a protestation, which is, that if there be now against the next term, or hereafter, for a little bought knowledge of the court teacheth me to foresee these things, any heaving or palting at that place, upon mine honesty and troth, my spirit is not in, nor with it; I, for my part, being resolutely resolved not to proceed one pace or degree in this matter but with your lordship's foreknowledge and | approbation. The truth of which protestation will | best appear, if by any accident, which I look not for, I shall receive any farther strength. For, as I now am, your lordship may impute it only to policy alone in me, that being without present hope myself, I would be content the matter sleep.
My third humble petition to your lordship is, that you would believe an intelligence, and not take it for a fiction in court; of which manner I like Cicero's speech well, who writing to Appius Claudius, saith; "Sin attem quæ tibi ipsi in mentem veniant, ea aliis tribuere soles, inducis genus sermonis in amicitiam minime liberale." But I do assure your lordship, it is both true and fresh, and from a person of that sort, as having some glimpse of it before, I now rest fully confirmed in it: and it is this, that there should be a plot laid of some strength between Mr. Attorney-General, and Mr. Attorney of the wards,† for the one's remove to the rolls, and the other to be drawn to his place. Which, to be plain with your lordship, I do apprehend much. For first, I know Mr. Attorney-General, whatsoever he pretendeth or protesteth to your lordship, or any other, doth seek it; and I perceive well by his dealing towards his best friends, to whom he oweth most, how perfectly he hath conned the adage of "proximus egomet mihi:" and then I see no man ripened for the place of the rolls in competition with Mr. Attorney-General. And lastly, Mr. Attorney of the wards being noted for a pregnant and stirring man, the objection of any hurt her Majesty's business may receive in her causes by the drawing up of Mr. Attorney-General, will wax cold. And yet nevertheless, if it may please your lordship to pardon me so to say, of the second of those placings I think with some scorn; only I commend the knowledge hereof to your lordship's wisdom, as a matter not to be neglected.
And now lastly, my honourable good lord, for my third poor help, I account [it] will do me small good, except there be a heave; and that is this place of the star-chamber. I do confess ingenuously to your lordship out of my love to the public, besides my particular, that I am of opinion, that rules without examples will do little good, at least not to continue; but that there is such a concordance between the time to come and the time passed, as there will be no reforming the one without informing of the other. And I will not, as the proverb is, spit against the made knight of the Bath. He succeeded his father in the titles of baron of Ellesmere and viscount Brackley, and on the 17th of May was created earl of Bridgewater.
+ Probably Sir Thomas Heskett, who died 15th October,
wind, but yield so far to a general opinion, as there was never a more or particular example. But I submit it wholly to your honourable grave consideration; only I humbly pray you to conceive that it is not any money that I have borrowed of Mr. Mills, nor any gratification I receive for my aid, that makes me show myself any ways in it, but simply a desire to preserve the rights of the office, as far as it is meet and incorrupt; and secondly his importunity, who nevertheless, as far as I see, taketh a course to bring this matter in question to his farther disadvantage, and to be principal in his own harm. But if it be true, that I have heard of more than one or two, that besides this forerunning in taking of fees, there are other deep corruptions, which in an ordinary course are intended to be proved against him; surely, for my part, I am not superstitious, as I will not take any shadow of it, nor labour to stop it, since it is a thing medicinable for the office of the realm. And then if the place by such an occasion or otherwise should come in possession, the better to testify my affection for your lordship, I should be glad, as I offered it to your lordship by way of [surrender,] so in this case to offer it by way of joint-patentcy, in nature of a reversion, which, as it is now, there wanteth no good will in me to offer, but that both, in that condition it is not worth the offering; and besides, I know not whether my necessity may enforce me to sell it away; which, if it were locked in by any reversion or joint-patentcy, I were disabled to do for my relief.
Thus your lordship may perceive how assured a persuasion I have of your love towards me, and care of me; which hath made me so freely to communicate of my poor state with your lordship, as I could have done to my honourable father, if he had lived; which I most humbly pray your lordship may be private to yourself, to whom I commit it to be used to such purpose, as in your wisdom and honourable love and favour should seem good. And so humbly craving pardon, I commend your lordship to the divine preservation.
At your lordship's honourable command humbly and particularly.
MR. FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF ESSEX, ON HIS LORDSHIP'S GOING ON THE EXPEDITION AGAINST CADIZ.
MY SINGULAR GOOD LORD,
I HAVE no other argument to write on to your good lordship, but upon demonstration of my deepest and most bounden duty, in fulness whereof I mourn for your lordship's absence, though I mitigate it as much as I can with the hope of your happy success, the greatest part whereof, be it never so great, will be the safety of your most honourable 1605, and has a monument erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey.
Among the Papers of Antony Bacon, Esq. vol. xi. fol. 69, in the Lambeth library.
Your true friend,
Plymouth, this 17th of May, 1596.
MR. FRANCIS BACON TO HIS BROTHER
person for the which in the first place, and then | amazed with me, when they are come from governfor the prosperity of your enterprise, I frequently ing a little troop to a great; and from pray. And as in so great discomfort it hath pleas- all the great spirits of our state. And sometimes I ed God some ways to regard my desolateness by am as much troubled with them, as with all the raising me so great and so worthy a friend in your ab- troops. But though these be warrants for my selsence, as the new-placed lord keeper, in whose dom writing, yet they shall be no excuses for my placing as it hath pleased God to establish mightily fainting industry. I have written to my lord keepone of the chief pillars of this estate, that is, the er and some other friends to have care of you in my justice of the land, which began to shake and sink, absence. And so commending you to God's happy and for that purpose no doubt gave her Majesty and heavenly protection, I rest strength of heart of herself to do that in six days, which the deepest judgment thought would be the work of many months; so for my particular, I do find in an extraordinary manner, that his lordship doth succeed my father almost in his fatherly care of me, and love towards me, as much as he professeth to follow him in his honourable and sound courses of justice and estate; of which so special favour the open and apparent reason I can ascribe to nothing more than the impression, which upon many conferences of long time used between his lordship and me, he may have received, both of your lordship's high love and good opinion towards his lordship, verified in many and singular offices, whereof now the realm, rather than himself, is like to reap the fruit; and also of your singular affection towards me, as a man chosen by you to set forth the excellency of your nature and mine, though with some error of your judgment. Hereof if it may please your lordship to take knowledge to my lord, according to the style of your wonted kindness, your lordship shall do me great contentment. My lord told me he had written to your lordship, and wished with great affection he had been so lucky, as to have had two hours' talk with you upon those occasions, which have since fallen out. So wishing that God may conduct you by the hand pace by pace, I commend you and your actions to his divine providence.
I HAVE thought the contemplation of the art military harder than the execution. But now I see where the number is great, compounded of sea and land forces, the most tyrones, and almost all voluntaries, the officers equal almost in age, quality, and standing in the wars, it is hard for any man to approve himself a good commander. So great is my zeal to omit nothing, and so short my sufficiency to perform all, as, besides my charge, myself doth afflict myself. For I cannot follow the precedents of our dissolute armies, and my helpers are a little
YESTERNIGHT Sir John Fortescu § told me he had, not many hours before, imparted to the queen your advertisements, and the gazette likewise; which the queen caused Mr. John Stanhope || to read all over unto her; and her Majesty conceiveth they be not vulgar. The advertisements her Majesty made estimation of as concurring with other advertisements, and alike concurring also with her opinion of the affairs. So he willed me to return you the queen's thanks. Other particular of any speech from her Majesty of yourself he did not relate to For my lord of Essex's and your letters, he said, he was ready and desirous to do his best. But I seemed to make it but a love-wish, and passed presently from it, the rather because it was late in the night, and I mean to deal with him at some better leisure after another manner, as you shall hereafter understand from me. I do find in the speech of some ladies and the very face of the court some addition of reputation, as methinks, to us both; and I doubt not but God hath an operation in it, that will not suffer good endeavours to perish.
The queen saluted me to-day, as she went to chapel. I had long speech with Sir Robert Cecil this morning, who seemed apt to discourse with me; yet of yourself ne verbum quidem, not so much as a quomodo valet ?
This I write to you in haste, aliud ex alio, I pray set in a course of acquainting my lord keeper what passeth, at first by me, and after from yourself. I am more and more bound to him.
Thus wishing you good health, I recommend you to God's happy preservation.
Your entire loving brother,
FR. BACON. From the court, this 30th of May, [1596.]
TO SIR THOMAS EGERTON, LORD KEEPER
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR LORdship,
when I have made it known; and so leave it to your lordship's honourable consideration. And so with signification of my humble duty, &c.
TO SIR ROBERT CECIL, SECRETARY OF
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR HONOUR,
I HUMBLY pray you to understand how badly I have been used by the enclosed, being a copy of a letter of complaint thereof which I have written to the lord keeper. How sensitive you are of wrongs offered to your blood in my particular, I have had not long since experience. But herein I think your honour will be doubly sensitive, in tenderness also of the indignity to her Majesty's service. For as for me, Mr. Sympson might have had me every day in London; and therefore to belay me, while he knew I came from the Tower about her Majesty's special service, was to my understanding very bold. And two days before he brags he forbore me, because I dined with sheriff More. So as with Mr. Sympson, examinations at the Tower are not so great a privilege, eundo et redeundo, as sheriff More's dinner. But this complaint I make in duty; and to that end have also informed my lord of Essex thereof; for otherwise his punishment will do me no good.
I AM to make humble complaint to your lordship of some hard dealing offered me by one Sympson, a goldsmith, a man noted much, as I have heard, for extremities and stoutness upon his purse; but yet I could scarcely have imagined, he would have dealt either so dishonestly towards myself, or so contemptuously towards her Majesty's service. For this Lombard, pardon me, I most humbly pray your lordship, if, being admonished by the street he dwells in, I give him that name, having me in bond for 3001. principal, and I having the last term confessed the action, and by his full and direct consent respited the satisfaction till the beginning of this term to come, without ever giving me warning, either by letter or message, served an execution upon me, having trained me at such time, as I came from the Tower, where, Mr. Waad can witness, we attended a service of no mean importance. Neither would | he so much as vouchsafe to come and speak with me to take any order in it, though I sent for him divers times, and his house was just by; handling it as upon a despite, being a man I never provoked with a cross word, no nor with many delays. He would have urged it to have had me in prison; which he had done, had not sheriff More, to whom I sent, gently recommended me to a handsome house in Coleman-street, where I am. Now be cause he will not treat with me, I am enforced humbly to desire your lordship to send for him, according to your place, to bring him to some reason; and this forthwith, because I continue here to my farther discredit and inconvenience, and the trouble of the gentleman with whom I am. I have a hundred pounds lying by me, which he may have, and the rest upon some reasonable time and security; or if The Substance of a Letter I§ now wish your Lordneed be, the whole; but with my more trouble. As for the contempt he hath offered, in regard her Majesty's service, to my understanding, carrieth a privilege eundo et redeundo in meaner causes, much more in matters of this nature, especially in persons known to be qualified with that place and employment, which, though unworthy, I am vouchsafed, I enforce nothing, thinking I have done my part,
From the original in the Hatfield collection of state papers, communicated to me by the Rev. William Murden, B.D. and intended by him for the public in a third volume of the collection of those papers, if his death had not prevented him from executing his design.
It is not easy to determine what this service was; but it seems to relate to the examination of some prisoner; perhaps Edward Squire, executed in November, 1598, for poisoning the queen's saddle; or Valentine Thomas, who accused the king of Scots of practices against queen Elizabeth,[Historical View, p. 178,] or one Stanley; concerning whom I shall insert here passages from two MS. letters of John Chamberlain, Esq., to his friend, Dudley Carleton, Esq., afterwards ambassador to Venice, the United Provinces, and France; these letters being part of a very large collection, from 1598 to 1625, which I transcribed from the originals. "One Stanley," says Mr. Chamberlain, in his letter dated at London, 3 October, 1598, "that came in sixteen days over land with letters out of Spain, is lately committed to the Tower. He was very earnest to have private conference with her Majesty, pretending matter of great importance, which he would by no means
So with signification of my humble duty, I commend your honour to the divine preservation.
At your honourable command particularly,
From Coleman-street, this
ship | should write to her Majesty.
THAT you desire her Majesty to believe id, quod, res ipsa loquitur, that it is not conscience to yourself of any advantage her Majesty hath towards you, otherwise than the general and infinite advantage of a queen and a mistress; nor any drift or device to win her Majesty to any point or particular, that
utter to any body else." In another letter dated 20 November,
Robert earl of Essex.
moveth you to send her these lines of your own mind. But first, and principally, gratitude; next, a natural desire of, you will not say, the tedious remembrance, for you can hold nothing tedious, that hath been derived from her Majesty ; but the troubled and pensive remembrance of that which is past, of enjoying better times with her Majesty, such as others have had, and that you have wanted. You cannot impute the difference to the continuance of time, which addeth nothing to her Majesty but increase of virtue; but rather to your own misfortune or errors. Wherein nevertheless, if it were only question of your own endurances, though any strength never so good may be oppressed, yet you think you should have suffocated them, as you had often done, to the impairing of your health, and weighing down of your mind. But that, which indeed toucheth the quick, is that, whereas you accounted it the choice fruit of yourself to be a contentment and entertainment to her Majesty's mind, you found many times to the contrary, that you were rather a disquiet to her, and a distaste.
Therefore your most humble suit to her Majesty is, that she will vouchsafe you that approach to her heart and bosom, et ad scrinium pectoris, plainly, for as much as concerneth yourself, to open and expound her mind towards you, suffering you to see clear what may have bred any dislike in her Majesty; and in what points she would have you reform yourself; and how she would be served by you. Which done, you do assure her Majesty, she shall be both at the beginning and the ending of all, that you do, of that regard, as you may presume to impart to her Majesty.
And so that hoping, that this may be an occasion of some farther serenity from her Majesty towards you, you refer the rest to your actions, which may verify what you have written; as that you have written may interpret your actions, and the course you shall hereafter take.
Indorsed by Mr. Francis Bacon,
A letter framed for my lord of Essex to the queen.
TO MR. SECRETARY CECIL
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR Honour, BECAUSE We live in an age, where every man's imperfection is but another's fable; and that there fell out an accident in the exchequer, which I know not how, nor how soon may be traduced, though I dare trust rumour in it, except it be malicious, or extreme partial; I am bold now to possess your honour, as one, that ever I found careful of my ad
the truth of that which passed; deferring my farther request, until I may attend your honour: and so I continue
Your honour's very humble and particularly bounden,
Gray's-Inn, this 24th of April, 1601.
Again, whereas in the course of her service, though you confess the weakness of your own judgment, yet true zeal, not misled with any mercenary nor glorious respect, made you light sometimes upon the best and soundest counsels; you had reason to fear, that the distaste particular against yourself made her Majesty farther off from accepting any of them from such a hand. So as you seemed, to your deep discomfort, to trouble her Majesty's mind, and to foil her business; inconveniences, which, if you be minded as you ought, thankfulness should teach you to redeem, with stepping down, nay throw-vancement, and yet more jealous of my wrongs, with ing yourself down, from your own fortune. In which intricate case, finding no end of this former course, and therefore desirous to find the beginning of a new, you have not whither to resort, but unto the oracle of her Majesty's direction. For though the true introduction ad tempora meliora be by an amnestia of that which is past, except it be in the sense, that the verse speaketh, Olim hæc meminisse juvabit, when tempests past are remembered in the calm; and that you do not doubt of her Majesty's goodness in pardoning and obliterating any of your errors and mistakings heretofore; refreshing the memory and contemplations of your poor services, or any thing that hath been grateful to her Majesty from you; yea, and somewhat of your sufferings, so though that be, yet you may be to seek for the time to come. For as you have determined your hope in a good hour, not willingly to offend her Majesty, either in matter of court or state, but to depend absolutely upon her will and pleasure; so you do more doubt and mistrust your wit and insight in finding her Majesty's mind, than your conformities and submission Mr. Attorney kindled at it, and said, "Mr. Bacon, in obeying it; the rather, because you cannot but if you have any tooth against me, pluck it out; for nourish a doubt in your breast, that her Majesty, as it will do you more hurt than all the teeth in your princes' hearts are inscrutable, hath many times to-head will do you good." I answered coldly in these wards you aliud in ore et aliud in corde. So that you, that take her secundum literam, go many times farther out of your way.
From the Hatfield collection.
+ Edward Coke, knighted by king James at Greenwich in
A true remembrance of the abuse I received of Mr. Attorney-General† publicly in the exchequer the first day of term; for the truth whereof I refer myself to all that were present.
I MOVED to have a reseizure of the lands of George More, a relapsed recusant, a fugitive, and a practising traitor; and showed better matter for the queen against the discharge by plea, which is ever with a salvo jure. And this I did in as gentle and reasonable terms as might be.
very words: "Mr. Attorney, I respect you: I fear you not: and the less you speak of your own greatness, the more I will think of it."
1603; and made lord chief justice of the common pleas 30 June, 1606.