Page images

digesting the greatest variety of fortune. So that | But what, Squire, is thy master's end? If to make when all other places and professions require but their several virtues, a brave leader in the wars must be accomplished with all. It is the wars that are the tribunal seat, where the highest rights and possessions are decided; the occupation of kings, the root of nobility, the protection of all estates. And lastly, lovers never thought their profession sufficiently graced, till they have compared it to a warfare. All, that in any other profession can be wished for, is but to live happily; but to be a brave commander in the field, death itself doth crown the head with glory. Therefore, Squire, let thy master go with me; and though he be resolved in the pursuit of his love, let him aspire to it by the noblest means. For ladies count it no honour to subdue them with their fairest eyes, which will be daunted with the fierce encounter of an enemy. And they will quickly discern a champion fit to wear their glove, from a page not worthy to carry their pantofle. Therefore, I say again, let him seek his tune in the field, where he may either lose his love, or find new argument to advance it.


the prince happy he serves, let the instructions to employ men, the relations of ambassadors, the treaties between princes, and actions of the present time, be the books he reads: let the orations of wise princes, or experimented counsellors, in council or parliament, and the final sentences of grave and learned judges in weighty and doubtful causes, be the lecturers he frequents. Let the holding of affection with confederates without charge, the frustrating of the attempts of enemies without battles, the entitling of the crown to new possessions without show of wrong, the filling of the prince's coffers without violence, the keeping of men in appetite without impatience, be the inventions he seeks out. Let policy and matters of state be the chief, and almost the only thing he intends. But if he will believe Philautia, and seek most his own happiness, he must not of them embrace all kinds, but make choice, and avoid all matter of peril, displeasure, and for-charge, and turn them over to some novices, that know not manacles from bracelets, nor burdens from robes. For himself, let him set for matters of commodity and strength, though they be joined with envy. Let him not trouble himself too laboriously to sound into any matter deeply, or to execute any thing exactly; but let himself make himself cunning rather in the humours and drifts of persons, than in the nature of business and affairs. Of that it sufficeth to know only so much, as may make him able to make use of other men's wits, and to make again a smooth and pleasing report. Let him entertain the proposition of others, and ever rather let him have an eye to the circumstances, than to the matter itself; for then shall he ever seem to add somewhat of his own and besides, when a man doth not forget so much as a circumstance, men do think his wit doth superabound for the substance. In his counsels let him not be confident; for that will rather make him obnoxious to the success; but let him follow the wisdom of oracles, which uttered that which might ever be applied to the event. And ever rather let him take the side which is likeliest to be followed, than that which is soundest and best, that every thing may seem to be carried by his direction. To conclude, let him be true to himself, and avoid all tedious reaches of state, that are not merely pertinent to his particular. And if he will needs pursue his affection, and go on his course, what can so much advance him in his own way? The merit of war is too outwardly glorious to be inwardly grateful: and it is the exile of his eyes, which looking with such affection upon the picture, cannot but with infinite contentment behold the life. But when his mistress shall perceive, that his endeavours are become a true support of her, a discharge of her care, a watchman of her person, a scholar of her wisdom, an instrument of her operation, and a conduit of her virtue; this, with his diligences, accesses, humility, and patience, may move her to give him further degrees and approaches to her favour. So that I conclude, I have traced



SQUIRE, my advice to thy master shall be as a token wrapped up in words: but then will it show itself fair when it is unfolded in his actions. To wish him to change from one humour to another, were but as if, for the cure of a man in pain, one should advise him to lay upon the other side, but not enable him to stand on his feet. If from a sanguine delightful humour of love, he turn to a melancholy retired humour of contemplation, or a turbulent boiling humour of the wars; what doth he but change tyrants? Contemplation is a dream; love, a trance; and the humour of war is raving. These be shifts of humour, but no reclaiming to reason. I debar him not studies nor books, to give him stay and variety of conceit, refresh his mind, to cover sloth and indisposition, and to draw to him from those that are studious, respect and commendation. But let him beware, lest they possess not too much of his time; that they abstract not his judgment from present experience, nor make him presume upon knowing much, to apply the less. For the wars, I deny him no enterprise, that shall be worthy in greatness, likely in success, or necessary in duty; not mixed with any circumstance of jealousy, but duly laid upon him. But I would not have him take the alarm from his own humour, but from the occasion; and I would again he should know an employment from a discourting. And for his love, let it not disarm his heart within, as to make him too credulous to favours, nor too tender to unkindnesses, nor too apt to depend upon the heart he knows not. Nay in his demonstration of love, let him not go too far; for these seely lovers, when they profess such infinite affection and obligation, they tax themselves at so high a rate, that they are ever under arrest. It makes their service seem him the way to that, which hath been granted to nothing, and every cavil or imputation very great. | some few, amare et sapere, to love and to be wise.



WANDERING Hermit, storming Soldier, and hollow Statesman, the enchanting orators of Philautia, which have attempted by your high charms to turn resolved Erophilus into a statue deprived of action, or into a vulture attending about dead bodies, or into a monster with a double heart; with infinite assurance, but with just indignation and forced patience, I have suffered you to bring in play your whole forces. For I would not vouchsafe to combat you one by one, as if I trusted to the goodness of my breath, and not the goodness of my strength, which little needeth the advantage of your severing, and much less of your disagreeing. Therefore, first, I would know of you all what assurance you have of the fruit whereto you aspire.

of her nature, and of his estate. Attend, you beadsman of the muses, you take your pleasure in a wilderness of variety; but it is but of shadows. You are as a man rich in pictures, medals, and crystals. Your mind is of the water, which taketh all forms and impressions, but is weak of substance. Will you compare shadows with bodies, picture with life, variety of many beauties with the peerless excellency of one? the element of water with the element of fire? and such is the comparison between knowledge and love.

Come out, man of war; you must be ever in noise. You will give laws, and advance force, and trouble nations, and remove land-marks of kingdoms, and hunt men, and pen tragedies in blood: and that, which is worst of all, make all the virtues accessary to bloodshed. Hath the practice of force so deprived you of the use of reason, as that you will compare the interruption of society with the perfection of society? the conquest of bodies with the conquest of spirits? the terrestrial fire, which destroyeth and dissolveth, with the celestial fire, which quickeneth and giveth life? And such is the comparison between the soldier and the lover.

You, Father, that pretend to truth and knowledge, how are you assured that you adore not vain chimæras and imaginations? that in your high prospect, when you think men wander up and down; that they stand not indeed still in their place? and it is some smoke or cloud between you and them, which moveth, or else the dazzling of your own eyes? Have not many, which take themselves to be inward counsellors with nature, proved but idle believers, which told us tales, which were no such matter? And, Soldier, what security have you for these victories and garlands which you promise to yourself? Know you not of many which have made provision of laurel for the victory, and have been fain to exchange it with cypress for the funeral? of many which have bespoken fame to sound their triumphs, and have been glad to pray her to say nothing of them, and not to discover them in their flights?


Corrupt Statesman, you that think by your engines and motions to govern the wheel of fortune, do you not mark, that clocks cannot be long in temper? that jugglers are no longer in request, when their tricks and slights are once perceived? Nay, do you not see, that never any man made his own cunning and practice, without religion and moral honesty, his foundation, but he overbuilt himself, and in the end made his house a windfall? But give ear now to the comparison of my master's condition, and acknowledge such a difference, as is betwixt the melting hailstone and the solid pearl. Indeed it seemeth to depend, as the globe of the earth seemeth to hang, in the air; but yet it is firm and stable in itself. It is like a cube, or a die-form, which toss it or throw it any way, it ever lighteth upon a square. Is he denied the hopes of favours to come? He can resort to the remembrance of contentments past. Destiny cannot repeal that which is past. Doth he find the acknowledgment of his affection small? He may find the merit of his affection the greater. | Fortune cannot have power over that which is within. Nay, his falls are like the falls of Antæus; they renew his strength. His clouds are like the clouds of harvest, which make the sun break forth with greater force. His wanes are changes like the moon's, whose globe is all light towards the sun, when it is all dark towards the world; such is the excellency

And as for you, untrue Politique, but truest bondman to Philautia, you that presume to bind occasion, and to overwork fortune, I would ask you but one question. Did ever any lady, hard to please, or disposed to exercise her lover, enjoin him so good tasks and commandments, as Philautia exacteth of you? While your life is nothing but a continual acting upon a stage; and that your mind must serve your humour, and yet your outward person must serve your end; so as you carry in one person two several servitudes to contrary masters. But I will leave you to the scorn of that mistress, whom you undertake to govern; that is, to fortune, to whom Philautia hath bound you. And yet, you commissioner of Philautia, I will proceed one degree farther: if I allowed both of your assurance, and of your values, as you have set them, may not my master enjoy his own felicity, and have all yours for advantage? I do not mean, that he should divide himself in both pursuits, as in your feigning tales towards the conclusion you did yield him; but because all these are in the hands of his mistress more fully to bestow, than they can be attained by your addresses, knowledge, fame, fortune. For the muses, they are tributary to her Majesty for the great liberties they have enjoyed in her kingdom, during her most flourishing reign; in thankfulness whereof they have adorned and accomplished her Majesty with the gifts of all the sisters. What library can present such a story of great actions, as her Majesty carrieth in her royal breast by the often return of this happy day? What worthy author or favourite of the muses, is not familiar with her? Or what language, wherein the muses have used to speak, is unknown to her? Therefore, the hearing of her, the observing of her, the receiving instructions from her, may be to Erophilus a lecture exceeding all dead monuments of the muses. Fame, can all the exploits of the war win him such a title, as to have the name of favoured and selected


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]



servant of such a queen? For Fortune, can any insolent 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.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOURABLE GOOD Lordship, Or 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


TO SIR THOMAS EGERTON, LORD KEEPER value well. But myself having this error of mind, 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

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.

than to gain; whereof I am not yet wise enough to 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

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 carl 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 | wind, but yield so far to a general opinion, as be willing to succeed your lordship in the other place. there was never a more or particular example. My next humble request is, that your lordship | But I submit it wholly to your honourable grave would believe a protestation, which is, that if there consideration; only I humbly pray you to conceive be now against the next term, or hereafter, for a that it is not any money that I have borrowed of little bought knowledge of the court teacheth me to Mr. Mills, nor any gratification I receive for my aid, foresee these things, any heaving or palting at that that makes me show myself any ways in it, but simplace, upon mine honesty and troth, my spirit is not ply a desire to preserve the rights of the office, in, nor with it; I, for my part, being resolutely as far as it is meet and incorrupt; and secondly resolved not to proceed one pace or degree in this his importunity, who nevertheless, as far as I see, matter but with your lordship's foreknowledge and taketh a course to bring this matter in question to approbation. The truth of which protestation will his farther disadvantage, and to be principal in his best appear, if by any accident, which I look not for, own harm. But if it be true, that I have heard of I shall receive any farther strength. For, as I now more than one or two, that besides this forerunning am, your lordship may impute it only to policy alone in taking of fees, there are other deep corruptions, in me, that being without present hope myself, I which in an ordinary course are intended to be would be content the matter sleep. 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.


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.

* Coke.

+ Probably Sir Thomas Heskett, who died 15th October,

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.

[blocks in formation]



Your true friend,

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.

[blocks in formation]


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


+Among the Papers of Antony Bacon, Esq. vol. xi. fol. 139, in the Lambeth library.

Ibid. vol. xi. fol. 29.

Plymouth, this 17th of May, 1596.




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. am more and more bound to him.


Thus wishing you good health, I recommend you to God's happy preservation.

Your entire loving brother,
From the court, this 30th of May, [1596.]

Chancellor of the exchequer.

Made treasurer of the chamber, in July, 1596, and in May, 1605, created lord Stanhope of Harrington, in North. amptonshire.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »