« PreviousContinue »
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
I SEND, in all humbleness, to your Majesty, the poor fruits of my leisure. This book was the first thing that ever I presented to your Majesty; † and it may be, will be the last. For I had thought it should have been posthuma proles. But God hath otherwise disposed for a while. It is a translation, but almost enlarged to a new work. I had good helps for the language. I have been also mine own index expurgatorius, that it may read in all places. For since my end of putting it into Latin was to have it read every where, it had been an absurd contradiction to free it in the language, and to pen it up in the matter. Your Majesty will vouchsafe graciously to receive these poor sacrifices of him, that shall ever desire to do you honour while he breathes, and fulfilleth the rest in prayers.
Your Majesty's true beadsman, and most humble servant, &c.
Todos duelos con pan son buenos: itaque det vestra Majestas obolum Belisario.
TO THE PRINCE.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXcellent higHNESS,
I SEND your highness, in all humbleness, my book of "Advancement of Learning," translated into Latin, but so enlarged as it may go for a new work. It is a book, I think, will live, and be a citizen of the world, as English books are not. For Henry the Eighth, to deal truly with your highness, I did so despair of my health this summer, as I was glad to choose some such work, as I might compass within days; so far was I from entering into a work of length. Your highness's return hath been my restorative. When I shall wait upon your highness, I shall give you a farther account. So I most humbly kiss your highness's hands, resting
Your highness's most devoted servant.
I would, as I wrote to the duke in Spain, I could do your highness's journey any honour with my pen. It began like a fable of the poets; but it deserveth all in a piece a worthy narration.
My counsels bear not so high an elevation, as to have for their mark business of estate. That, which I level at, is your standing and greatness, which nevertheless I hold for a main pillar of the king's service.
For a parliament, I hold it then fit, when there "De Augmentis Scientiarum," printed in London, 1623, in folio. The present to king James I. is in the royal library in the British Museum.
"The two books of Sir Francis Bacon of the Proficiency
have passed some more visible demonstrations of your power with the king, and your constancy in the way you are in: before not.
There are considerable, in this state, three sorts of men: the party of the papists, which hate you; the party of the protestants, including those they call puritans, whose love is yet but green towards you; and particular great persons, which are most of them reconciled enemies, or discontented friends: and you must think there are a great many that will magnify you, and make use of you for the breaking of the match, or putting the realm into a war, which after will return to their old bias.
For particulars, it is good to carry yourself fair; but neither to trust too far, nor to apply too much, but keep a good distance, and to play your own game, showing yourself to have, as the bee hath, both of the honey and of the sting.
The speech now abroad is, " My lord of Buckingham's head is full of thoughts: he hath a great task; either he must break, or the match must break. He was wont to go to the king's ways; but now he goeth cross his way, he will easily lose his way."
There is a point nice to be managed, yea, and tender to be spoken of, which is your carriage between the king and the prince; so that you may lose no manner of ground with the prince, and yet the king may not think himself the more solitary, nor that you adore too much the sun-rising. Though this you may set down, that the way to have the king sure unto you is to keep great with the prince.
Conf. with Buc. December 17, 1623.
You march bravely: but methinks you do not draw up your troops. If we " urina
You must beware of these your pardons. make men less in awe, and respect you, chiara fa fico al medico.'
The points of the general advice.
If a war be proceeded in; to treat a strait league with France, under name of a renovation of a match with France. Three secret articles, the liberty of the German nation, whereof there is a fresh precedent of Henry the second of France, that took it into protection prosperously, and to the arrest of the emperor Charles's greatness. 2. The conservation of the liberties of the Low-Countries for the United Provinces, and open trade into the East and West Indies.
Offer of mine own service upon a commission into France.
My lord hath against him these disadvantages; the catholic party; the Spaniard; the envy and fear of particular great men; the nice point of carrying himself between the king and the prince.
The knot, which is to be tied for his reputation, must either be advancing or depressing of persons, or putting by or forwarding of actions.
and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human:" printed at London, 1605, in quarto.
"Conference with Buckingham.”
Conf. Buc. qu. and old store, January 2, 1623.
You march bravely. Do you draw up your troops so well?
One of these days I shall turn my lord Brooke,
THERE is not an honester man in court than and say to you, "O brave Buckingham." Montgomery.*
To have some opportunity by the D.'s means, to speak with the prince in presence of the duke. To think, whether it be fit for me to speak with the king, and to seek access before parliament; if then.
The offer of my service to live a summer, as upon mine own delight, at Paris, to settle a fast intelligence between France and us.
I have somewhat of the French: I love birds, as the king doth, and have some childish-mindedness, wherein we shall consent.
To think of Belfast's sending over into Ireland. Those, that find themselves obnoxious to parliament, will do all they can, that those things, which are likest to distaste the king, be first handled.
It is not to be forgotten, that as long as great men were in question, as in my case, all things went sweetly for the king. But the second meeting, when no such thing was, the pack went higher. Weeding time is not yet come. qu. of
I will commend you to all others, and censure you only to yourself.
You bowl well, if you do not horse the bowl a hand too much. You know the fine bowler is knee almost to ground in the delivery of the cast.
Nay, and the king will put a hook in the nostrils of Spain, and lay a foundation of greatness here to his children, in these west parts. The call for me, it is book-learning. You know the king was wont to do me the honour, as to say of me, "de minimis non curat lex:" if good for any thing, for great volumes, I cannot thread needles so well.
The chamberlain : § for his person, not effectual; but some dependences he hath, which are drawn with him. Besides, he can take no reputation from you.
Montgomery is an honest man, and a good observer. Can you do nothing with Naunton ?|| Who would think now, that I name Naunton to my lord of Buckingham ? But I speak to you point blank : no crooked end, either for myself, or for others' turn. The French treaty, besides alliance, is to have
The battery will be chiefly laid on the prince's three secret articles: the one, the protection of the part, if they find any entry.
To be the author of some counsel to the prince, that tasteth of religion and virtue, lest it be imputed, that he entertains him only in pleasures, like a Pe. Ga.
The things remarkable for your Grace, to fix and bind in the reputation which you have gained, must be either persons, or matters.
The doubt the prince is mollis cera, and formed di ultima impression. Therefore good to have sure persons about him, or at least none dangerous.
For the pardons to proceed, it is a tender business. First, whatsoever useth to be done in parliament is thankless. Then it is not good for his Grace. It will make men bolder with him. "Urina chiara fa fico al medico." Lastly, remove the envy from others, it may beat upon my lord himself, or the king.
Conf. B. January 2, 1623.
You have now tied a knot, as I wished you; qui en no da nudo, pierdo punto;"+ a jolly one, the parliament. Although I could have wished, that before a parliament, some remarkable thing had been done, whereby the world might have taken notice, that you stand the same in grace and power with the king. But there is time enough for that between this and parliament. And besides, the very prevailing for a parliament showeth your power with the king.
Philip, earl of Montgomery, afterwards of Pembroke.
William, earl of Pembroke.
Sir Robert Naunton, who had been secretary of state, and was now master of the court of wards.
liberty of Germany, and to avoid from it all forces thence, like to that which was concluded between the princes of Germany and Henry II.,¶ the last king except Henry IV. of value in France; for the race of the Valois were faitneants; and, in the name of Germany, to conclude the Grisons and Valtoline. The second, the conserving the liberties of the LowCountries. The third, the free trade into all parts of both East and West Indies. All these import no invasive hostility, but only the uniting of the states of Europe against the growing ambition of Spain. Neither do any of these touch upon the cause of religion.
I am persuaded, the hinge of the king's affairs, for his safety and greatness, is now in Spain. I would the king had an abler instrument.
Above all, you must look to the safety of Ireland, both because it is most dangerous for this state, for the disease will ever fall to the weakest part; and besides, this early declaration against Spain, which the popish party call abrupt, and is your Grace's work, may be thought to be the danger of Ireland. It were good you called to you Belfast ** and Grandison,++ and ask their opinions, what is best to be done for the safety of Ireland, either by increasing the list of companies, and by contenting those that are in arrear, by paying; or by altering any governor there; or by having companies ready mustered and trained here, towards the coast of Ireland; or by having shipping in readiness, &c. For this gown commission, I like it well; but it is but papershot for defence.
This league first arrested the greatness of the emperor, and cloistered him. Note of Lord Bacon.
** Arthur Chichester, baron of Belfast, who had been made lord deputy of Ireland in 1604.
tt Oliver St. John viscount Grandison, made lord deputy of Ireland in August, 1616.
If the papists be put in despair, it both endanger- | eth Ireland, and maketh a greater difficulty in the treaty and alliance with France.
To think of a difference to be put between the Jesuits and other priests and papists, as to reduce, in some moderation, the banishment of the one, though not of the other but to remember, that they were the reasonablest, as I take it, in the consult; and it may draw the blow of an assassin against Buckingham.
At least the going on with the parliament hath gained this, that the discourse is ceased, "My lord of Buckingham hath a great task. His head is full : either the match breaks, or his fortune breaks. He has run his courses with the stream of the king's ways; but now he goeth cross-way, he may soon lose his own way."
If your Grace go not now constantly on for religion, and round dealing with Spain, men will either think they were mistaken in you, or that you are brought about; or that your will is good, but you have no power.
Your Grace hath a great party against you, and a good rough way. The Spaniards hate you; the papists little better. In the opinion of the people, you are green, and not yet at a gage. Particulars are, for the most part, discontented friends or reconciled enemies; and that nice dividing between the sol orient and occident.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
I DESIRE in this, which I now presume to write to your Grace, to be understood, that my bow carrieth not so high, as to aim to advise touching any of the great affairs now on foot, and so to pass it to his Majesty through your hands; though it be true, that my good affection towards his Majesty and the prince and the public is that which will last die in me; and though I think also his Majesty would take it but well, if having been that man I have been, my honest and loyal mind should sometimes feed upon those thoughts. But my level is no farther, but to do the part of a true friend, in advising yourself for your own greatness and safety; although, even in this also, I assure myself I perform a good duty to the public service, unto which I reckon your standing and power to be a firm and sound pillar of support.
First, therefore, my lord, call to mind oft, and consider duly, how infinitely your Grace is bound to God in this one point, which I find to be a most rare piece, and wherein, either of ancient or late times, there are few examples; that is, that you are beloved so dearly, both by the king and the prince. You are not as a Lerma, or an Olivares, and many others the like, who have insinuated themselves into the favours of young princes, during the kings, their fathers, time, against the bent and inclination of the kings: but contrariwise, the king himself hath knit the knot of trust and favour between the prince
and your Grace, wherein you are not so much to take comfort in that you may seem to have two lives in your own greatness, as in this, that hereby you are enabled to be a noble instrument for the service, contentment, and heart's-ease, both of father and For where there is so loving and indulgent a father, and so respective and obedient a son, and a faithful and worthy servant, interested in both their favours upon all occasions, it cannot be but a comfortable house. This point your Grace is principally to acknowledge and cherish.
Next, that, which I should have placed first, save that the laying open of God's benefits is a good preparation to religion and godliness, your Grace is to maintain yourself firm and constant in the way you have begun; which is, in being, and showing yourself to be, a true and sound protestant. This is your soul's health. This is that you owe to God above, for his singular favours; and this is that which hath brought you into the good opinion and good will of the realm in general. So that, as your case differeth, as I said, from the case of other favourites, in that you have both king and prince; so in this, that you have also now the hearts of the best subjects, for I do not love the word people, your case differeth from your own, as it stood before. And because I would have your reputation in this point complete, let me advise you, that the name of Puritans in a papist's mouth do not make you to withdraw your favour from such as are honest and religious men; so that they be not so turbulent and factious spirits, or adverse to the government of the church, though they be traduced by that name. For of this kind is the greatest part of the body of the subjects; and besides, which is not to be forgotten, it is safest for the king and his service, that such men have their dependence upon your Grace, who are entirely the king's, rather than upon any other subject.
For the papists, it is not unknown to your Grace, that you are not, at this time, much in their books. But be you like yourself; and far be it from you, under a king and prince of that clemency, to be inclined to rigour or persecution.
But three things must be looked unto; the first, that they be suppressed in any insolency, which may tend either to disquiet the civil estate, or scandalize our church in fact; for otherwise, all their doctrine doth it in opinion. The second, that there be an end, or limit, of those graces, which shall be thought fit for them, and that there be not every day new demands hearkened to. The third, that for those cases and graces, which they have received, or shall receive, of the state, the thanks go the right way; that is, to the king and prince, and not to any foreigner. For this is certain, that if they acknowledge them from the state, they may perhaps sit down when they are well. But if they have a dependence upon a foreigner, there will be no end of their growing desires and hopes. And in this point also, your lordship's wisdom and moderation may do much good.
For the match with Spain, it is too great and dark a business for me to judge of. But as it hath rela
tion to concern yourself, I will, as in the rest, deal | better than myself. And, as I said before, the freely with your Grace.
My lord, you owe, in this matter, two debts to the king the one, that, if in your conscience and judgment you be persuaded it be dangerous and prejudicial to him and his kingdoms, you deliver your soul, and in the freedom of a faithful counsellor, joined with the humbleness of a dutiful servant, you declare yourself accordingly, and show your reasons. The other, that if the king in his high judgment, or the prince in his settled affection, be resolved to have it go on, that then you move in their orb, as far as they shall lay it upon you. But meanwhile, let me tell your Grace that I am not of the general opinion abroad, that the match must break, or else my lord of Buckingham's fortune must break. I am of another opinion; and yet perhaps it will be hard to make you believe it, because both sides will persuade you to the contrary. For they that would not have it go on will work upon that conceit, to make you oppose it more strongly. They that would have it go on will do the same, to make you take up betimes, and come about. But I having good affiance in your Grace's judgment, will tell you my reasons why I thus think, and so leave it. If the match should go on, and put case against your counsel and opinion, doth any man think, that so profound a king, and so well seen in the science of reigning, and so understanding a prince, will ever suffer the whole sway of affairs and greatness to go that way? And, if not, who should be a fitter person to keep the balance even than your Grace, whom the king and prince know to be so entirely their own, and have found so nobly independent upon any other? Surely my opinion is, you are likely to be greater by counterpoise against the Spanish dependence, than you will by concurrence. And therefore, in God's name, do your duty faithfully and wisely; for behaving yourself well otherwise, as I know you will, your fortune is like to be well either way.
For that excellent lady, whose fortune is so distant from her merits and virtue, the queen of Bohemia, your Grace, being as it were the first-born or prime man of the king's creatures, must in consequence owe the most to his children and generations; whereof I know your noble heart hath far greater sense than any man's words can infuse into you. And therefore whatsoever liveth within the compass of your duty, and of possibility, will no doubt spring from you out of that fountain.
It is open to every man's discourse, that there are but two ways for the restitution of the Palatinate, treaty and arms. It is good, therefore, to consider of the middle acts, which may make either of these ways desperate, to the end they may be avoided in that way which shall be chosen. If no match, either this with Spain, or perhaps some other with Austria, no restitution by treaty. If the Dutch, either be ruined, or grow to a peace, of themselves, with Spain, no restitution by war.
But these things your Grace understandeth far
The duke's answer to this letter, dated at Newmarket, the 28th of January, 1623, is printed page 133.
Henry Vere, who died in 1625. He was lord great chamberlain of England.
points of state I aim not at farther, than they may concern your Grace, to whom while I live, and shall find it acceptable to you, I shall ever be ready to give the tribute of a true friend and servant, and shall always think my counsels given you happy, if you shall pardon them when they are free, and follow them when they are good. God preserve and prosper you.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.*
THERE is a suit, whereunto I may, as it were, claim kindred, and which may be of credit and profit unto me; and it is an old arrear, which is called upon, from Sir Nicholas Bacon, my eldest brother. It may be worth to me perhaps two thousand pounds; and yet I may deal kindly with my brother, and also reward liberally, as I mean to do, the officers of the exchequer, which have brought it to light. Good my lord, obtain it of the king, and be earnest in it for me. It will acquit the king somewhat of his promise, that he would have care of my wants; for hitherto, since my misfortunes, I have tasted of his Majesty's mercy, but not of his bounty. But your lordship may be pleased in this, to clear the coast with my lord treasurer; else there it will have a stop. I am almost at last cast for means; and yet it grieveth me most, that at such a time as this I should not be rather serviceable to your Grace, than troublesome.
God preserve and prosper your Grace.
Your Grace's most obliged and faithful
This 23d of January, 1623.
TO THE EARL OF OXFORD.†
LET me be an humble suitor to your lordship, for your noble favour. I would be glad to receive my writ this parliament, that I may not die in dishonour; but by no means, except it should be with the love and consent of my lords to re-admit me, if their lordships vouchsafe to think me worthy of their company; or if they think that which I have suffered now these three years, in loss of place, in loss of means, and in loss of liberty for a great time, to be a sufficient expiation for my faults, whereby I may now seem in their eyes to be a fit subject of their grace, as I have been before of their justice. My good lord, the good, which the commonwealth might reap of my suffering, is already inned. Justice is done; an example is made for reformation; the authority of the house for judicature is established. There can That met February 19, 1623, and was prorogued May
be no farther use of my misery; perhaps some little | mission, I firmly hope your Grace will deal with his may be of my service; for, I hope I shall be found Majesty, that, as I have tasted of his mercy, I may a man humbled as a christian, though not dejected also taste of his bounty. Your Grace, I know, for a as a worldling. I have great opinion of your lord- business of a private man, cannot win yourself more ship's power, and great hope, for many reasons, of honour; and I hope I shall yet live to do you seryour favour; which if I may obtain, I can say no vice. For my fortune hath, I thank God, made no more but nobleness is ever requited in itself; and alteration in my mind, but to the better. I ever rest God, whose special favour in my afflictions I have humbly manifestly found to my comfort, will, I trust, be my pay-master of that, which cannot be requited by Your lordship's affectionate humble servant, &c. Indorsed, February 2, 1623.
TO SIR FRANCIS BARNHAM.* GOOD COUSIN,
UPON a little searching, made touching the patents of the survey of coals, I find matter not only to acquit myself, but likewise to do myself much right.
Any reference to me, or any certificate of mine, I find not. Neither is it very likely I made any; for that, when it came to the great seal, I stayed it. I did not only stay it, but brought it before the council-table, as not willing to pass it, except their lordships allowed it. The lords gave hearing to the business, I remember, two several days; and in the end disallowed it, and commended my care and cir- | cumspection, and ordered, that it should continue stayed; and so it did all my time.
About a twelvemonth since, my lord duke of Lenox, now deceased,† wrote to me to have the privy seal; which, though I respected his lordship much, I refused to deliver to him, but was content to put it into the right hand; that is, to send it to my lord keeper, giving knowledge how it had been stayed. My lord keeper received it by mine own servant, writeth back to me, acknowledging the receipt, and adding, that he would lay it aside until his lordship heard farther from my lord steward,§ and the rest of the lords. Whether this first privy seal went to the great seal, or that it went about again, I know not; but all my part is, that I have related. I ever rest Your faithful friend and cousin,
March 14, 1623.
FR. ST. ALBAN.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
I AM now full three years old in misery; neither hath there been any thing done for me, whereby I might die out of ignominy, or live out of want. But now that your Grace, God's name be praised for it, hath recovered your health, and are come to the court, and the parliament business hath also inter
*He appears to be a relation of his lordship's lady, who was daughter of Benedict Barnham, Esq. alderman of the city of London. Sir Francis was appointed by his lordship one of the executors of his last will.
† He died suddenly, February 12, 1623-4.
Your Grace's most obliged and faithful servant,
If I may know, by two or three words from your Grace, that you will set in for me, I will propound somewhat that shall be modest, and leave it to your Grace, whether you will move his Majesty yourself, or recommend it by some of your lordship's friends, that wish me well; [as my lord of Arundel, or Secretary Conway, or Mr. James Maxwell.]||
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
I UNDERSTAND, by Sir John Suckling, that he attended yesterday at Greenwich, hoping, according to your Grace's appointment, to have found you there, and to have received your Grace's pleasure touching my suit, but missed of you and this day he sitteth upon the subsidy at Brentford, and shall not be at court this week: which causeth me to use these few lines, to hear from your Grace, I hope, to my comfort: humbly praying pardon, if I number thus the days, that misery should exceed modesty. I ever rest
Your Grace's most faithful and obliged servant,
June 30, 1624.
TO SIR RICHARD WESTON, CHANCELLOR
THIS way, by Mr. Myn, besides a number of little difficulties it hath, amounteth to this, that I shall pay interest for mine own money. Besides, I must confess, I cannot bow my mind to be a suitor, much less a shifter, for that means, which I enjoy by his Majesty's grace and bounty. And therefore I am rather ashamed of that I have done, than
minded to go forward. So that I leave it to yourself, what you think fit to be done in your honour and my case, resting
Your very loving friend,
FR. ST. ALBAN. London, this 7th of July, 1624.
See his letter to lord St. Alban, of February 7, 1622. James, marquis of Hamilton, who died March 2, 1624-5. The words included in brackets have a line drawn after them.