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you ought. So wishing you better than it seemeth
XC. TO THE KING TOUCHING THE
How honestly ready I have been, most gracious sovereign, to do your Majesty humble service, to the best of my power, and in a manner beyond my power, as I now stand, I am not so unfortunate but your Majesty knoweth. For both in the commission of union, the labour whereof, for men of my profes
frame me to use a more industrious observance and application to such, as I honour so much as I do your lordship; and not, I hope, without some good offices, which may now and then deserve your thanks. And herewithal, good my lord, I humbly pray your lordship to consider, that time groweth precious with me, and that a married man is seven years elder in his thoughts the first day and therefore what a discomfortable thing is it for me to be unsettled still! Certainly, were it not that I think myself born to do my sovereign service, and therefore in that station I will live and die; otherwise for mine own private comfort, it were better for me that the king should blot me out of his book; or that I should turn my course to endeavour to serve in some other kind, than for me to stand thus at a stop; and to have that little reputation, which by my industry Ision, rested most upon my hand, and this last pargather, to be scattered and taken away by continual disgraces, every new man coming above me. Sure I am, I shall never have fairer promises and words from all your lordships. For I know not what my services are, saving that your lordships told me they were good, and I would believe you in a much greater matter. Were it nothing else, I hope the modesty of my suit deserveth somewhat; for I know well the solicitor's place is not as your lordship left it; time working alteration, somewhat in the profession, much more in that special place. And were it not to satisfy my wife's friends, and to get myself out of being a common gaze and a speech, I protest before God I would never speak word for it. But to conclude, as my honourable lady your wife was some mean to make me to change the name of another; so if it please you help me to change mine own name, I can be but more and more bounden to you and I am much deceived, if your lordship find not the king well inclined, and my lord of Salisbury forward and affectionate. 1606.
LXXXIX. TO MY LADY PACKINGTON, IN
liament, in the bill of the subsidy, both body and preamble; in the bill of attainders, both Tresham and the rest; in the matter of purveyance; in the ecclesiastical petitions; in the grievances; and the like; as I was ever careful, and not without good success, sometimes to put forward that which was good, sometimes to keep back that which was not so good; so your Majesty was pleased kindly to accept of my services, and to say to me, such conflicts were the wars of peace, and such victories the victories of peace; and therefore such servants that obtained them were, by kings that reign in peace, no less to be esteemed, than services of commanders in the wars. In all which nevertheless I can challenge to myself no sufficiency, but that I was diligent and reasonably happy to execute those directions, which I received either immediately from your royal mouth, or from my lord of Salisbury: at which time it pleased your Majesty also to promise and assure me, that upon the remove of the then attorney I should not be forgotten, but brought into ordinary place. And this was after confirmed to me, by many of my lords, and towards the end of the last term, the manner also in particular was spoken of; that is, that Mr. Solicitor should be made your Majesty's serjeant, and I solicitor; for so it was thought best to sort with both our gifts and faculties for the good of your service; and of this resolution both court and country took knowledge. Neither was this any invention or project of mine own; but moved from my lords, and I think first from my lord chancellor; whereupon resting, your Majesty well knoweth I never opened my mouth for the greater place; though I am sure I had two circumstances, that Mr. Attorney, that now is, could not allege: the one, nine years service of the crown; the other, the being cousin germain to the lord of Salisbury, whom your Majesty esteemeth and trusteth so much. But for the less place, I conifceived it was meant me. But after that Mr. Attorney Hobart was placed, I heard no more of my preferment; but it seemed to be at a stop, to my great disgrace and discouragement. For, gracious sovereign, if still, when the waters are stirred, another shall be put in before me, your Majesty had need work a miracle, or else I shall be still a lame man Rawley's Resuscitatio.
You shall with right good will be made acquainted with any thing that concerneth your daughters, if you bear a mind of love and concord: otherwise you must be content to be a stranger unto us: for I may not be so unwise as to suffer you to be an author or occasion of dissension between your daughters and their husbands, having seen so much misery of that kind in yourself.
And above all things I will turn back your kindness, in which you say, you will receive my wife she be cast off; for it is much more likely we have occasion to receive you being cast off, if you remember what is passed. But it is time to make an end of those follies and you shall at this time pardon me this one fault of writing to you; for I mean to do it no more till you use me and respect me as
* From an old copy of Sir Francis Bacon's Letters.
to do your Majesty service. And therefore my most | another, contain you, even as I hope he will, at the humble suit to your Majesty is; that this, which | least, within the bounds of loyalty to his Majesty, seemed to me intended, may speedily be performed: and natural piety towards your country. And I enand I hope, my former service shall be but as be- treat you much, sometimes to meditate upon the ginnings to better, when I am better strengthened: extreme effects of superstition in this last powder for, sure I am, no man's heart is fuller, I say not treason; fit to be tabled and pictured in the chambers but many may have greater hearts, but I say, not of meditation, as another hell above the ground: fuller of love and duty towards your Majesty and and well justifying the censure of the heathen, that your children; as, I hope, time will manifest against superstition is far worse than atheism; by how much envy and detraction, if any be. To conclude, I most it is less evil to have no opinion of God at all, than humbly crave pardon for my boldness, and rest- such as is impious towards his divine majesty and goodness. Good Mr. Matthew, receive yourself back from these courses of perdition. Willing to have written a great deal more, I continue, &c.
XCI. TO THE EARL OF SALISBURY, UPON
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
XCIII. TO MR. MATTHEW.‡
Two letters of mine are now already walking towards you; but so that we might meet, it were no matter though our letters should lose their way. I make a shift in the mean time to be glad of your approaches, and would be more glad to be an agent for your presence, who have been a patient by your absence. If your body by indisposition make you acknowledge the healthful air of your native country; much more do I assure myself, that you continue to have your mind no way estranged. And as my trust with the state is above suspicion, so my knowledge both of your loyalty and honest nature will ever make me show myself your faithful friend without scruple. You have reason to commend that gentleman to me, by whom you sent your last, although his having travelled so long amongst the sadder nations of the world make him much the less easy upon small acquaintance to be understood. I have sent you some copies of my book of the “Advancement," which you desired; and a little work of my recreation, which you desired not. My "Instauration" I reserve for our conference; it sleeps not. Those works of the "Alphabet" are in my opinion of less use to you where you are now, than at Paris; and therefore I conceived, that you had
XCII. TO MR. MATTHEW, IMPRISONED FOR sent me a kind of tacit countermand of your former
Do not think me forgetful or altered towards you: but if I should say, I could do you any good, I should make my power more than it is. I do hear that which I am right sorry for, that you grow more impatient and busy than at first; which maketh me exceedingly fear the issue of that which seemeth not to stand at a stay. I myself am out of doubt, that you have been miserably abused, when you were first seduced; but that which I take in compassion, others may take in severity. I pray God, that understandeth us all better than we understand one Rawley's Resuscitatio. + Ibid.
Sir Tobie Matthew's Collection of Letters, p. 14. Sir George Carew of Cornwall was master in chancery in the time of queen Elizabeth; and in 1597 sent ambassador into Poland; and in 1606 went to the court of France with the like character. After about three years' continuance, he was recalled by the king to make use of his services at home;
request. But in regard that some friends of yours have still insisted here, I send them to you; and for my part, I value your own reading more than your publishing them to others. Thus, in extreme haste,
I have scribbled to you I know not what, which therefore is the less affected, and for that very reason will not be esteemed the less by you.
XCIV. TO SIR GEORGE CAREW,§ ON SEND-
BEING asked a question by this bearer, an old ser-
vant of my brother Anthony Bacon's, whether I would command him any thing into France; and being at better leisure than I would, in regard of sickness, I began to remember that neither your business nor mine, though great and continual, can be, upon an exact account, any just occasion why so much good-will as hath passed between us should be so much discontinued as it hath been. And therefore, because one must begin, I thought to provoke your remembrance of me by a letter and thinking to fill it with somewhat besides salutations, it came to my mind, that this last summer vacation, by occasion of a factious book that endeavoured to verify"Misera Fœmina," the addition of the pope's bull, upon queen Elizabeth, I did write a few lines in her memorial, which I thought you would be pleased to read, both for the argument, and because you were wont to bear affection to my pen. "Verum, ut aliud ex alio," if it came handsomely to pass, I would be glad the president De Thou, who hath written a history, as you know, of that fame and diligence, saw it; chiefly because I know not whether it may not serve him for some use in his story; wherein I would be glad he did write to the truth, and to the memory of that lady, as I perceive by that he hath already written he is well inclined to do. I would be glad also, it were some occasion, such as absence may permit, of some acquaintance or mutual notice between us. For though he hath many ways the precedence, chiefly in worth, yet this is common to us both, that we serve our sovereigns in places of law eminent; and not ourselves only, but that our fathers did so before us. lastly, that both of us love learning and liberal sciences, which was ever a bond of friendship in the greatest distance of places. But of this I make no farther request, than your own occasions and respects, to me unknown, may farther or limit; my principal purpose being to salute you, and to send you this token: whereunto I will add my very kind | commendations to my lady; and so commit you both to God's holy protection.
The king and kingdom being exasperated by the gunpowder-treason, thought it necessary to make some more ef fectual laws to distinguish between those papists that paid due obedience to the king, and those that did not. For which end, in the parliament which met upon the memorable fifth of November, 1605, a new oath of allegiance was framed; declaring that the pope, &c. had no power to depose kings, absolve their subjects, or dispose of their kingdoms, &c. The court of Rome, jealous of losing an authority they had been many years assuming; and especially perceiving that many papists submitted to the oath, as not intreuching upon matters of faith, severely inhibited them from taking the same by two briefs, the one quickly succeeding the other. The king, on the other hand, esteeming it a point that nearly concerned him, had recourse to those arms he could best manage, and encountered the briefs by a premonition directed to all christian princes; exhorting them to espouse the common quarrel. Cardinal Bellarmine, who, by virtue of his title, thought himself almost equal to princes, and by his great learning much superior, enters the lists with the king. The seconds coming in on both sides, no man was thought fitter to engage this remarkable antagonist than that great and renowned prelate in learning and sanctity, Dr. Andrews, then bishop of Ely, and after of Winchester. Neither were the reformed of the French church idle spectators; as Monsieur du Moulin, and Monsieur du Plessis Mornay: this last published a book at Saumur in 1611, entitled, "The Mystery of Iniquity," &c. showing by what degrees the bishops of Rome had raised themselves to their present grandeur, asserting the right of
XCV. TO THE KING, UPON PRESENTING THE "DISCOURSE TOUCHING THE PLANTATION OF IRELAND."*
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, I KNOW not better how to express my good wishes of a new-year to your Majesty, than by this little book, which in all humbleness I send you. The style is a style of business, rather than curious or elaborate. And herein I was encouraged by my experience of your Majesty's former grace, in accepting of the like poor field-fruits touching the union. And certainly I reckon this action as a second brother to the union. For I assure myself that England, Scotland, and Ireland well united, is such a trefoil as no prince except yourself, who are the worthiest, weareth in his crown; "Si potentia reducatur in actum." I know well, that for me to beat my brains about these things, they be majora quam pro fortuna;" but yet they be "minora quam pro studio ac voluntate." For as I do yet bear an extreme zeal to the memory of my old mistress queen Elizabeth, to whom I was rather bound for her trust than her favour; so I must acknowledge myself more bound to your Majesty both for trust and favour; whereof I will never deceive the one, as I can never deserve the other. in all humbleness kissing your Majesty's sacred hand, I remain.
XCVI. TO THE BISHOP OF ELY, UPON SENDING HIS WRITING ENTITLED, “ COGITATA ET VISA."†
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
Now your lordship hath been so long in the church and the palace, disputing between kings and popes: methinks you should take pleasure to look into the field, and refresh your mind with some matsovereign princes against the positions of the cardinals Bellarmine and Baronius: the French edition whereof he dedicated to Lewis the thirteenth, and the Latin to king James. This last performance was presented to king James, with a letter exhorting him, "de quitter d'oresenavant la plume, pour aller espée à la main desnicher l'antichrist hors de sa forteresse:" to give over waging a war with his pen, and to destroy the papal power with his sword; which he excites the king to attempt in the conclusion of his dedication, with so much life, that I shall crave the liberty to insert part of his own words, in order to declare the spirit and zeal of a gentleman, who for his valour and conduct in war, his judgment in council, his dexterity in despatches, and his firmness and constancy in religion, in the defence of which, hand, and tongue, and pen, were employed, is far above all the titles of honour that can be given.
"Hanc tu, rex potentissime, laudem, hanc lauream, absit ut tibi præripi patiaris; cuiquam alii servatam velis; non sanguine, non vita, non carioribus cæteris redemptam malis. At tu, Jehova Deus, cujus res, cujus gloria, hic proprie agitur; cujus absque ope frustra sint vota, suspiria, molimina nostra; evigila, exsurge, robur indue, justitiam ut loricam. Voca servum tuum per nomen suum, prehende dexteram Uncti tui, ambula ante faciem ejus; complanentur valles, subsidant montes, consternantur fluvii, pateant januæ, conterantur vectes, contremiscant populi, corruat Jericho illa in spiritu oris tui, in conspectu ejus. Ego sexagenario licet jam major, lateri tunc ipsius hæream indivulsus; inter angusta, inter aspera Alpium senectam exuam; inter principia prælium misceam; inter triumphos præcinente angelo Cecidit illud conge
ter of philosophy; though that science be now through age waxed a child again, and left to boys and young men. And because you were wont to make me believe you took liking to my writings, I send you some of this vacation's fruits; and thus much more of my mind and purpose. I hasten not to publish; perishing I would prevent; and I am forced to respect as well my times as the matter. For with me it is thus; and I think, with all men in my case if I bind myself to an argument, it loadeth my mind; but if I rid my mind of the present cogitation, it is rather a recreation. This hath put me into these miscellanies; which I purpose to suppress, if God give me leave to write a just and perfect volume of philosophy, which I go on with, though slowly. I send not your lordship too much, lest it may glut you. Now let me tell you what my desire is: if your lordship be so good now, as when you were the good dean of Westminster, my request to you is, that not by pricks, but by notes, you would mark unto me whatsoever shall seem unto you either not current in the style, or harsh to credit and opinion, or inconvenient for the person of the writer; for no man can be judge and party; and when our minds judge by reflection on ourselves, they are more sub ject to error. And though, for the matter itself, my judgment be in some things fixed, and not accessible by any man's judgment that goeth not my way; yet even in those things, the admonition of a friend may make me express myself diversely. I would have come to your lordship, but that I am hastening to my house in the country and so I commend your lordship to God's goodness.
XCVII. TO SIR THOMAS BODLEY, AFTER HE HAD IMPARTED TO HIM A WRITING, ENTITLED, "COGITATA ET VISA.” *
In respect of my going down to my house in the country, I shall have miss of my papers, which I pray you therefore to return unto me. You are, I bear you witness, slothful, and you help me nothing; so as I am half in conceit, that you affect not the argument: for myself, I know well, you love and effect. I can say no more to you, but "non canimus surdis, respondent omnia sylvæ." If you be not of the lodgings chalked up, whereof I speak in my preface, I am but to pass by your door. But if I had you a fortnight at Gorhambury, I would make you tell me another tale; or else I would add a cogitation against libraries, and be revenged on you that way. I pray you send me some good news of Sir Thomas Smith; and commend me very kindly to him. So I rest
minem; sanctæ huic lætitiæ totus immergar, æternæ contiguus immoriar raptus."
But this was an enterprise suited to the warlike genius of Du Plessis, great master of Henry the fourth, and not to the peaceable spirit of king James. Besides, the king, in his answer of the 20th of October, 1611, after he had excused his long silence, and very much commended this author in the design of his book, and as freely called the pope antichrist,
As soon as the term was ended, supposing your leisure was more than before, I was coming to thank you two or three times, rather choosing to do it by word than by letter: but I was still disappointed of my purpose, as I am at this present upon an urgent occasion, which doth tie me fast to Fulham, and hath now made me determine to impart my mind in writing.
I think you know I have read your Cogitata et Visa," which I protest I have done with great desire, reputing it a token of your singular love that you joined me with those your chiefest friends, to whom you would commend the first perusal of your draught; for which, I pray you, give me leave to say but this unto you:
First, that if the depth of my affection to your person and spirit, to your works, and your words, and to all your abilities, were as highly to be valued, as your affection is to me, it might walk with yours arm in arm, and claim your love by just desert. But there can be no comparison where our states are so uneven, and our means to demonstrate our affections so different: insomuch as for my own, I must leave it to be prized in the nature that it is; and you shall evermore find it most addicted to your worth.
As touching the subject of your book, you have set afoot so many rare and noble speculations, as I cannot choose but wonder, and I shall wonder at it ever, that, your expense of time considered in your public profession, which hath in a manner no acquaintance with scholarship or learning, you should have culled out the quintessence, and sucked up the sap of the chiefest kind of learning.
For howsoever in some points you do vary altogether from that which is, and hath been ever, the received doctrine of our schools, and was always by the wisest, as still they have been deemed, of all nations and ages, adjudged the truest; yet it is apparent, that in those very points, and in all your proposals and plots in that book, you show yourself a master workman.
For myself, I must confess, and I speak it ingenuè, that for the matter of learning, I am not worthy to be reckoned in the number of smatterers.
And yet because it may seem, that being willing to communicate your treatise with your friends, you are likewise willing to listen to whatsoever I or others can except against it; I must deliver unto you for my private opinion, that I am one of that crew that say there is, and we profess, a far greater and Rome Babylon, conceives that neither the Scriptures, the doctrine nor example of the primitive church, would sufficiently justify an offensive war, undertaken purely for religion; could he in prudence expect any success in such an attempt. Stephens.
† Appendix to a Collection of Letters of Archbishop Usher, Letter xiv. p. 19.
holdfast of certainty in our sciences, than you by your discourse will seem to acknowledge.
For whereas, first, you do object the ill success and errors of practitioners in physic, you know as well they do proceed of the patient's unruliness, for not one of a hundred doth obey his physician in observing his cautels; or by misinformation of their own indispositions, for few are able in this kind to explicate themselves; or by reason their diseases are by nature incurable, which is incident, you know, to many sorts of maladies; or for some other hidden cause which cannot be discovered by course of conjecture. Howbeit, I am full of this belief, that as physic is ministered now-a-days by physicians, it is much to be ascribed to their negligence or ignorance, or other touch of imperfection, that they speed no better in their practice: for few are found of that profession so well instructed in their art, as they might by the precepts which their art doth afford; which though it be defective in regard of such perfection, yet for certain it doth flourish with admirable remedies, such as tract of time hath taught by experimental events, and are the open highway to that principal knowledge that you recommend.
As for alchemy, and magic, some conclusions they have that are worthy the preserving; but all their skill is so accompanied with subtleties and guiles, as both the crafts and craft-masters are not only despised, but named with derision. Whereupon to make good your principal assertion, methinks you should have drawn your examples from that which is taught in the liberal sciences, not by picking out cases that happen very seldom, and may by all confession be subject to reproof; but by controlling the generals, and grounds, and eminent positions, and aphorisms, which the greatest artists and philosophers have from time to time defended.
For it goeth for current amongst all men of learning, that those kind of arts which clerks in times past did term quadrivials, confirm their propositions by infallible demonstrations.
And likewise in the trivials such lessons and directions are delivered unto us, as will effect very near, or as much altogether, as every faculty doth promise. Now in case we should concur to do as you advise, which is, to renounce our common notions, and cancel all our theorems, axioms, rules, and tenets, and so to come babes " ad regnum naturæ," as we are willed by Scriptures to come "ad regnum coelorum;" there is nothing more certain in my understanding, than that it would instantly bring us to barbarism, and, after many thousand years, leave us more unprovided of theorical furniture than we are at this present: for that were indeed to become very babes, or tabula rasa, when we shall leave no impression of any former principles, but be driven to begin the world again, and to travel by trials of axioms and sense, which are your proofs by particulars, what to place in intellectu, for our general conceptions; it being a maxim of all men's approving, " In intellectu nihil esse, quod non prius fuit in sensu ; " and so in appearance it would befall us, that till Plato's year be come about, our insight in learning would be of less reckoning than now it is accounted.
As for that which you inculcate, of a knowledge more excellent than now is among us, which experience might produce, if we would but essay to extract it out of nature by particular probations, it is no more upon the matter, but to incite us unto that, which without instigation by a natural instinct men will practise of themselves: for it cannot in reason be otherwise thought, but that there are infinite numbers in all parts of the world, for we may not in this case confine our cogitations within the bounds of Europe, which embrace the course that you purpose, with all the diligence and care that ability can perform; for every man is born with an appetite of knowledge, wherewith he cannot be so | glutted, but still, as in a dropsy, thirst after more.
But yet why they should hearken to any such persuasion, as wholly to abolish those settled opinions and general theorems, to which they attained by their own and their ancestors' experience, I see nothing yet alleged to induce me to think it.
Moreover, I may speak, as I should suppose with good probability, that if we should make a mental survey what is like to be effected all the world over, those five or six inventions which you have selected, and imagine to be but of modern standing, would make but a slender show amongst so many hundreds of all kinds of natures, which are daily brought to light by the enforcement of wit, or casual events, and may be compared, or partly preferred above those that you have named.
But were it so here that all were admitted, that you can require, for the augmentation of our knowledge; and that all our theorems and general positions were utterly extinguished with a new substitution of others in their places, what hope may we have of any benefit of learning by this alteration?
Assuredly, as soon as the new are brought with their additions ad akuny, by the inventors and their followers, by an interchangeable course of natural things they will fall by degrees to be buried in oblivion, and so on continuance to perish outright; and that perchance upon the like to your present pretences, by proposal of some means to advance all our knowledge to a higher pitch of perfectness: for still the same defects that antiquity found will reside in mankind.
And therefore, other issues of their actions, devices, and studies are not to be expected, than is apparent by records were in former times observed.
I remember here a note which Paterculus made of the incomparable wits of the Grecians and Romans in their flourishing state, that there might be this reason of their notable downfal in their issue that came after; because by nature "Quod summo studio petitum est ascendit in summum, difficilisque in perfecto mora est ;" insomuch that men perceiving that they could go no farther, being come to the top, they turned back again of their own accord, forsaking those studies that are most in request, and betaking themselves to new endeavours, as if the thing that they sought had been by prevention surprised by others.
So it fared in particular with the eloquence of that age, that when their successors found that hardly