« AnteriorContinuar »
fore my last sickness. This is all I need to write his person; and shall ever be ready to do f myself to such a friend. all things, the best service that I can. So, wishing your lordship much happiness, I Your lordship's faithful friend, and humble servant,
We hope well, and it is generally rather spoken than believed, that his highness will return very speedily. But they be not the best pieces in painting that are dashed out in haste. I hope, if any thing want in the speed of time, it will be compensed in the fruit of time, that all may sort to the best.
I have written a few words, of duty and respect only, to my lord marquis, and Mr. Secretary. I pray you kiss the Count of Gondomar's hand. God keep you.
Your most affectionate and
May 2, 1623.
assured friend, FR. ST. ALBAN.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
I write now only to congratulate with your grace your new honour;* which, because I reckon to be no great matter to your fortune, (though you are the first English duke that hath been created since I was born,) my compliment shall be the shorter. So, having turned almost my hopes of your grace's return by July, into wishes, and not to them neither, if it should be any hazard to your health, I rest, &c.
Vouchsafe, of your nobleness, to present my most humble duty to his highness. Summer is a thirsty time; and sure I am, I shall infinitely thirst to see his highness's and your grace's
Madrid, this 29th of May, 1623, st. vet.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM, IN SPAIN.❤ EXCELLENT LORD,
I humbly thank your grace for your letter of the 29th of May; and that your grace doth believe that no man is gladder of the increase of your honour and fortune than I am; as, on the other part, no man should be more sorry, if it should in the least degree decline, nor more careful, if it should so much as labour. But, of the first. I speak as of a thing that is: but, for the two latter, it is but a case put, which I hope I shall never see. And, to be plain with your grace, I am not a little comforted to observe, that, although in common sense and experience a man would have doubted that some things might have sorted to your prejudice; yet, in particulars we find nothing of it. For, a man might reasonably have feared that absence and discontinuance might have lessened his majesty's favour; no such thing has followed. So, likewise, that any that might not wish you well, should have been bolder with you. But all is continued in good compass. Again, who might not have feared, that your grace being there to manage, in great part, the most important business of Europe, so far from the king, and not strengthened with advice there, except that of the prince himself, and thus to deal with so politic a state as Spain, you should be able to go through
Duke of BuckinGHAM TO THE LORD VISCOUNT as you do? and yet nothing, as we hear, but for
MY GOOD LORD,
I have received your hearty congratulation for the great honour, and gracious favour which his majesty hath done me: and I do well believe, that no man is more glad of it than yourself.
Tobie Matthew is here; but what with the journey, and what with the affliction he endures, to find, as he says, that reason prevails nothing with these people, he is grown extreme lean, and looks as sharp as an eyas.† Only, he comforts himself with a conceit, that he is now gotten on the other side of the water, where the same reason that is valuable in other parts of the world, is of no validity here; but rather something else, which yet he hath not found out.
I have let his highness see the good expressions of your lordship's care, and faithful affection to
The title of duke, conferred on him May, 1623. A young hawk, just taken out of the nest.
your honour, and that you do your part. Surely, my lord, though your virtues be great, yet these things could not be, but that the blessing of God, which is over the king and the prince, doth likewise descend upon you as a faithful servant; and you are the more to be thankful to God for it.
I humbly thank your grace, that you make me live in his highness's remembrance, whom I shall And I ever bear a heart to honour and serve. much joy to hear of the great and fair reputation which at all hands are given him.
For Mr. Matthew, I hope by this time he hath gathered up his crumbs; which importeth much, I assure your grace, if his cure must be, either by finding better reason on that side the line, or by discovering what is the motion, that moveth the wheels, that, if reason do not, we must all pray for his being in good point. But, in truth, my
The Duke of Buckingham went to Spain, February, 1623, and returned in September.
lord, I am glad he is there; for I know his virtues, | mise for a compliment. But since you call for it, and particularly his devotion to your lordship.
God return his highness, and your grace, unto us safe and sound, and according to your heart's desires.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
GOOD MR. MATTHEW,
I have received your letter of the 10th of June,* and am exceeding glad to hear you are in so good health. For that which may concern myself, I neither doubt of your judgment in choosing the fittest time, nor of your affection in taking the first time you shall find fit. For the public business, I will not turn my hopes into wishes yet, since you write as you do; and I am very glad you are there, and, as I guess, you went in good time to his lordship.
For your action of the case, it will fall to the ground; for I have not heard from the duke, neither by letter, nor message, at this time.
God keep you. I rest always
Your most affectionate and faithful servant, FR. ST. ALBAN.
Gray's Inn, 17th of June, 1623.
I shall perform it.*
I am much beholden to Mr. Gage for many expressions of his love to me; and his company, in itself very acceptable, is the more pleasing to me, because it retaineth the memory of yourself.
This letter of yours, of the 26th, lay not so long by you, but it hath been as speedily answered by me, so as with Sir Francis Cottington I have had no speech since the receipt of it. Your former letters, which I received from Mr. Griesley, I had answered before, and put my letter into a good hand.
For the great business, God conduct it well. Mine own fortune hath taught me expectation. God keep you.
To Mr. Matthew, into Spain.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
GOOD MR. MATTHEW,
I have received your letter, sent by my Lord of Andover; and, as I acknowledged your care, so I cannot fit it with any thing, that I can think on for myself; for, since Gondomar, who was my voluntary friend, is in no credit, neither with the prince, nor with the duke, I do not see what may
I do hear, from Sir Robert Ker and others, how be done for me there; except that which Gonmuch beholden I am to you.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
GOOD MR. MATTHEW,
I thank you for your letter of the 26th of June, and commend myself unto your friendship, knowing your word is good assurance, and thinking I cannot wish myself a better wish, than that your power may grow to your will.
Since you say the prince hath not forgot his commandment, touching my history of Henry VIII., I may not forget my duty. But I find Sir Robert Cotton, who poured forth what he had, in my other work, somewhat dainty of his materials in this.
It is true, my labours are now most set to have those works, which I had formerly published, as that of Advancement of Learning, that of Henry VII., that of the Essays, being retractate, and made more perfect, well translated into Latin by the help of some good pens, which forsake me not. For these modern languages will, at one time or other, play the bankrupts with books; and since I have lost much time with this age, I would be glad, as God shall give me leave, to recover it with posterity.
For the essay of friendship, while I took your speech of it for a cursory request, I took my pro
domar hath lost you have found; and then I am sure my case is amended: so as, with a great deal of confidence, I commend myself to you, hoping, that you will do what in you lieth, to prepare the prince and duke to think of me, upon their return. And if you have any relation to the infanta, I doubt not but it shall be also to my use. God keep you.
Your most affectionate and assured friend, etc.
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
Though I have formerly given your grace thanks for your last letter, yet being much refreshed to hear things go so well, whereby we hope to see you here shortly, your errand done, and the prince within the vail, I could not contain, but congratu late with your lordship, seeing good fortune, that is God's blessing, still follow you. I hope I have still place in your love and favour; which if I have, for other place, it shall not trouble me. I ever rest Your grace's most obliged and faithful servant. July 22, 1623.
fore, I wrote to my true friend, and your grace's | punto, "he that tieth not a knot upon his thread, devoted servant, Mr. Matthew, to excuse me to loseth his stitch." your grace for not writing. Since, I thank God, I am pretty well recovered; for I have lain at two wards, one against my disease, the other against my physicians, who are strange creatures.
My lord, it rejoiceth me much, that I understand from Mr. Matthew, that I live in your grace's remembrance; and that I shall be the first man that you will think on upon your return: which, if your grace perform, I hope God Almighty, who hath hitherto extraordinarily blessed you in this rocky business, will bless you the more for my sake. For I have had extraordinary tokens of his divine favour towards me, both in sickness and in health, prosperity and adversity. Vouchsafe to present my most humble duty to his highness, whose happy arrival will be a bright morning to all.
GOOD MR. MATTHEW,
Any particular, I that live in darkness, cannot propound. Let his grace, who seeth clear, make his choice: but let some such thing be done, and then this reputation will stick by him; and his grace may afterwards be at the better liberty to take and leave off the future occasions that shall present.
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
Your majesty's true beadsman
and most humble servant, &c.
Maiestas obolum Bellisario.
I have gotten a little health; I praise God for it. I have therefore now written to his grace, that I formerly, upon Mr. Clarke's despatch, desired you to excuse me for not writing, and taken knowledge, that I have understood from Todos duelos con pan son buenos: itaque det vestra you, that I live in his grace's remembrance; and that I shall be his first man that he will have care of upon his return. And although your absence be to me as uncomfortable to my mind, as God may make it helpful to my fortunes; yet, it is somewhat supplied by the love, freedom, and often visitations of Mr. Gage; so as, when I have him, I think I want you not altogether. God keep you.
Your most affectionate
and much obliged friend, &c.
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 sum
MINUTES OF A Letter to the duKE OF BUCK-mer, as I was glad to choose some such work, as
THAT I am exceeding glad his grace is come home with so fair a reputation of a sound Protestant, and so constant for the king's honour a errand.
His grace is now to consider, that his reputation will vanish like a dream, except now, upon his return, he do some remarkable act to fix it, and bind it in.
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.
*De Augmentis Scientiarum, printed at London, 1623, in fol. The present to King James I. is in the royal library in the British Museum.
They have a good wise proverb in the country whence he cometh, taken, I think from a gentlewoman's sampler, Qui en no da nudo, pierdo don, 1605, in 4to.
The two books of Sir Francis Bacon of the Proficiency and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human: printed at Lon
TO THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
I would (as I wrote to the duke in Spain) I | (as I said) from the case of other favourites, in could do your highness's journey any honour that you have both king and prince; so in this, with my pen. It began like a fable of the poets; that you have also now the hearts of the best but it deserveth all in a piece a worthy narration. 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.
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 son. 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 realin in general. So that, as your case differeth VOL. III.-20
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 relation to concern yourself, I will, as in the rest, deal 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. 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 firstborn, 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
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 better than myself. And, as I said before, the 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 Nicolas 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. 1 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.
This 23d of January, 1623.
FR. ST. ALBAN.
TO THE EARL OF OXFORD.†
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
Let me be an humble suitor to your lordship, 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 readmit 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 1 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 be no farther use of my misery; perhaps some little may be of my service; for, I hope I shall be found a man humbled as a Christian, though not dejected as a worldling. I have great opinion of your lordship's power, and great hope, for many reasons, of your favour; which,
*The duke's answer to this letter, dated at Newmarket,
the 28th of January, 1623, is printed in Lord Bacon's works. + Henry Vere, who died in 1625. He was Lord Great Chamberlain of England.
That met February 19, 1623, and was prorogued May 29,