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SIR FRANCIS BACON TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, and happy, for the weeding out of Popery, withOF ADVICE CONCERNING IRELAND, FROM GOR- out using the temporal sword; so that I think I

may truly conclude, that the ripeness of time is Sir,

not yet come. Because I am uncertain whether his majesty Therefore

my advice is, in all humbleness, that will put to a point some resolutions touching this hazardous course of proceeding to tender the Ireland, now at Windsor : I thought it my duty oath to the magistrates of towns, proceed not, but to attend his majesty by my letter, and thereby to die by degrees. And yet to preserve the authorsupply my absence, for the renewing of some ity and reputation of the former council, I would former commissions for Ireland, and the framing have somewhat done, which is, that there be a of a new commission for the wards, and the alien- proceeding to seizure of liberties, but not by any ations, which appertain properly to me, as his act of power, but by “ quo warranto,” or “ scire majesty's attorney, and have been accordingly facias,” which is a legal course, and will be the referred by the lords, I will undertake that they work of three or four terms; by which time the are prepared with a greater care, and better appli- matter will be somewhat cool. cation to his majesty's service, in that kingdom, But I would not (in no case) that the proceedthan heretofore they have been; and therefore of ing should be with both the towns which stand that I say no more. And for the instructions of now in contempt, but with one of them only, the new deputy, they have been set down by the choosing that which shall be most fit. For, if his two secretaries, and read to the board, and being majesty proceed with both, then all the towns things of an ordinary nature, I do not see but they that are in the like case will think it a common may pass. But there have been three propositions cause, and that it is but their case to-day, and and councils which have been stirred, which seem their own to-morrow. But if his majesty proceed to me of very great importance, wherein I think but with one, the apprehension and terror will not myself bound to deliver to his majesty my advice, be so strong; for, they may think, it may be their and opinion, if they should now come in ques case to be spared, as well as prosecuted. And tion. The first is touching the recusant magis- this is the best advice that I can give to his matrates of the towns of Ireland, and the common- jesty, in this strait; and of this opinion seemed alties themselves, and their electors, what shall my lord chancellor to be. be done; which consultation ariseth from the late The second proposition is this, it may be, his advertisements from the two lord justices, upon majesty will be moved to reduce the number of the instance of the two towns, Limerick and Kil- his council of Ireland (which is now almost kenny; in which advertisements, they represent fifty) to twenty, or the like number, in respect the danger only without giving any light for the that the greatness of the number doth both imbase remedy, rather warily for themselves, than agree- the authority of the council, and divulge the busiable to their duties and places. In this point, I ness. Nevertheless, I hold this proposition to humbly pray his majesty to remember, that the be rather specious, and solemn, than needful at refusal is not of the oath of allegiance, (which this time; for certainly it will fill the state full is not exacted in Ireland,) but of the oath of of discontentment, which, in a growing and unsupremacy, which cutteth deeper into matter of settled state, ought not to be. This I could wish, conscience.

that his majesty would appoint a select number Also that his majesty, will out of the depth of of counsellors there, which might deal in the inhis excellent wisdom and providence, think, and provement of his revenue, (being a thing not to as it were calculate with himself, whether time pass through too many hands;) and the said will make more for the cause of religion in Ire- selected number should have days of sitting hy land, and be still more and miore propitious, or themselves, at which the rest of the council should whether differing remedies will not make the case not be present; which being once settled, then more difficult. For if time give his majesty the other principal business of state may be handled advantage, what needeth precipitation of extreme at these sittings; and so the rest begin to be disremedies; hut if the time will make the case used, and yet retain their countenance, without more desperate, then his majesty cannot begin too murmur, or disgrace. soon. Now, in my opinion, time will open and The third proposition, as it is moved, seemeth facilitate things for reformation of religion there, to be pretty, if it can keep promise ; for it is this, and not shut up or lock out the same. For, first, that a means may be found to reinforce his mathe plantations going on, and being principally jesty's army by five hundred, or a thousand men, of Protestants, cannot but mate the other party in and that without any penny increase of charge. time. Also his majesty's care in placing good And the means should be, that there should be a bishops, and good divines; in amplifying the commandment of a local removing, and transferring college there, and looking to the education of some companies from one province to another, wards, and such like; as they are the most natural whereupon it is supposed, that many that are means, so are they like to be the most effectual planted in house and lands, will rather lose their

entertainment, than remove; and thereby new chiefest worldly comfort is, to think, that since men may have their pay, yet, the old be mingled the time I had the first vote of the Lower House in the country, for the strength thereof. In this of Parliament for commissioner of the union; proposition two things may be feared; the one, until the time that I was this Parliament chosen discontent of those that shall be put off; the by both Houses, for their messenger to your maother, that the companies should be stuffed with jesty in the petition of religion, (which two, novices, (tirones) instead of " veterani.” I wish, were my first and last services,) I was evermore therefore, that this proposition be well debated, so happy, as to have my poor services graciously before it be admitted. Thus having performed accepted by your majesty, and likewise not to that which duty binds me to, I commend you to have had any of them miscarry in my hands. God's best preservation.

Neither of which points I can any ways take to Your most devoted and bounden servant. myself, but ascribe the former to your majesty's July 5, 1616.

goodness, and the latter to your prudent directions, which I was ever careful to have, and keep.

For, as I have often said to your majesty, I was SIR FRANCIS BACON, TO THE EARL OF NORTHUM- towards you but as a bucket, and a cistern to BERLAND.

draw forth, and conserve, and yourself was the IT MAY PLEASE your LORDSHIP,

fountain. Unto this comfort of nineteen years' I would not have lost this journey; and yet, I prosperity, there succeeded a comfort even in my have not that I went for: for I have had no private greatest adversity, somewhat of the same nature, conference to purpose with the king, no more hath which is, that in those offences wherewith I was almost any other English; for the speech of his charged, there was not any one that had special majesty admitteth with some nobleman, is rather relation to your majesty, or any your particular matter of grace, than matter of business: with commandments. For, as towards Almighty God, the attorney he spake, urged by the Treasurer of there are offences against the first and second Scotland, but no more than needs must. After I table, and yet all against God; so with the had received his majesty's first welcome, and was servants of kings, there are offences more immepromised private access, yet, not knowing what diate against the sovereign, although all offences matter of service your lordship’s letter carried, against law are also against the king. Unto which for I saw it not, and knowing that primeness in comfort there is added this circumstance, that as advertisement is much, I chose rather to deliver my faults were not against your majesty otherwise it to Sir Thomas Hoskins, than to let it cool in than as all faults are, so my fall is not your mamy hands, upon expectation of access. Your jesty's act, otherwise than as all acts of justice lordship shall find a prince the farthest from vain- are yours. This I write not to insinuate with glory that may be, and rather like a prince of the your majesty, but as a most humble appeal to ancient form than of the latter time; his speeches your majesty's gracious remembrance, how honest swift and cursory, and in the full dialect of his and direct you have ever found me in your service, nation, and in speech of business short, in speech whereby I have an assured belief, that there is in of discourse large; he affecteth popularity by your majesty's princely thoughts, a great deal of gracing them that are popular, and not by any serenity and clearness to me, your majesty's now fashions of his own; he is thought somewhat prostrate, and cast down servant. general in his favours; and his virtue of access Neither (my most gracious sovereign) do I, by is rather because he is much abroad, and in press, this mentioning of my services, lay claim to your than he giveth easy audience: he hasteneth to a princely grace and bounty, though the privilege mixture of both kingdoms and nations, faster of calanity do bear that form of petition. I know perhaps than policy will well bear. I told your well, had they been much more, they had been lordship once before my opinion, that methought but my bounden duty; nay, I must also confess, his majesty rather asked counsel of the time past, that they were, from time to time, far above my than of the time to come. But it is yet early to merit, super-rewarded by your majesty's benefits, ground any settled opinion. For other particu- which you heaped upon me. Your majesty was, larities I refer to conference, having in these gene- and is, that man to me, that raised and advanced rals gone farther in these tender arguments than me nine times, thrice in dignity, and six times in I would have done, were not the bearer hereof office. The places indeed were the painfullest of so assured. So I continue your, etc.

all your service, but then they had both honour FR. Bacon.

and profit, and the then profits might have main tained my now honour, if I had been wise. Neither was your majesty's immediate liberality

wanting towards me, in some gifts, if I may hold May it PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, them. All this I do most thankfully acknowledge,

In the midst of my misery, which is rather and do herewith conclude, that for any thing assuaged by remembrance, than by hope, my arising from myself, to move your eye of pity



towards me, there is much more in my present which your sacred hand hath been so oft for new misery than in my past services; save that the ornaments and additions. Unto this degree of same your majesty's goodness, that may give compassion, I hope God above (of whose mercy relief to the one, may give value to the other. towards me, both in my prosperity, and adversity,

And, indeed, if it may please your majesty, I have had great testimonies and pledges, though this theme of my misery is so plentiful, as it need mine own manifold and wretched unthankfulness not be coupled with any thing else. I have been might have averted them) will dispose your somebody, by your majesty's singular and unde- princely heart, already prepared to all piety. And served favour, even the prime officer of your king-why should I not think, but that thrice noble dom. Your majesty's arm hath been often over prince, who would have pulled me out of the fire mine in council, when you presided at the table, of a sentence, will help to pull me (if I may use so near I was. I have borne your majesty's image that homely phrase) out of the mire of an abject in metal, much more in heart. I was never, in and sordid condition in my last days? And that nineteen years' service, chidden by your majesty, excellent favourite of yours (the goodness of but, contrariwise, often overjoyed, when your whose nature contendeth with the greatness of his majesty would sometimes say; “I was a good fortune, and who counteth it a prize, a second husband for you, though none for myself;" some- prize, to be a good friend, after that prize which times, “ That I had a way to deal in business, he carrieth to be a good servant) will kiss your suavibus modis,' which was the way which was hands with joy, for any work of piety you shall most according to your own heart;" and other do for me? And as all commiserating persons most gracious speeches of affection and trust, (specially such as find their hearts void of malice) which I feed on till this day. But why should I are apt to think, that all men pity them; I assure speak of these things, which are now vanished, myself, that the lords of the council (who out of but only the better to express my downfall. their wisdom and nobleness cannot but be sensible

For now it is thus with me; I am a year and a of human events) will, in this way which I go half old in misery, though (I must ever acknow. for the relief of my estate, further and advance ledge) not without some mixture of your majesty's your majesty's goodness towards me. For there grace and mercy. For I do not think it possible, is a kind of fraternity between great men that are, that any you once loved should be totally mise- and those that have been, being but the several rable. My own ineans, through mine own impro- tenses of one verb; nay, I do farther presume, vidence, are poor and weak, little better than my that both Houses of Parliament will love their father left me. The poor things which I have justice the better if it end not in my ruin. For I had from your majesty, are either in question, or have been often told by many of my lords, (as it at courtesy: my dignities remain marks of your were, in excusing the severity of the sentence,) past favour, but yet burdens withal of my present that they knew they left me in good hands. And fortune. The poor remnants which I had of my your majesty knoweth well, I have been all my former fortunes, in plate or jewels, I have spread life long acceptable to those assemblies, not hy upon poor men, unto whom I owed, scarce leaving flattery, but by moderation, and by honest expressmyself bread. So as, to conclude, I must pour ing of a desire to have all things go fairly and

I out my misery before your majesty, so far as to well. say, “ Si deseris tu, perimus.”

But (if it may please your majesty) for saints, But as I can offer to your majesty's compas- I shall give them reverence, but no adoration. sion, little arising from myself to move you, My address is to your majesty, the fountain of except it be my extreme misery, which I have goodness: your majesty shall, by the grace of truly laid open; so looking up to your majesty God, not feel that in gift, which I shall extremely yourself, I should think I committed Cain's fault, feel in help; for my desires are moderate, and my if I should despair: your majesty is a king, whose courses measured to a life orderly and reserved ; heart is as unscrutable, for secret motions of hoping still to do your majesty honour in my way. goodness, as for depth of wisdom. You are cre- Only I most humbly beseech your majesty, 10 ator-like, factive, and not destructive; you are a give me leave to conclude with those words which prince in whom I have ever noted an aversion necessity speaketh ; help me, dear sovereign lord against any thing that savoured of a hard heart; and master, and pity me so far, as I, that have as, on the other side, your princely eye was wont borne a bag, be not now, in my age, forced in to meet with any motion that was made on the re- effect, to bear a wallet; nor I, that desire to live lieving part. Therefore, as one that hath had happi- to study, may not be driven to study to live. I ness to know your majesty near hand I have (most most humbly crave pardon of a long letter, after a gracious sovereign) faith enough for a miracle, long silence. God of heaven ever bless, preserve, much more for a grace: that your majesty will and prosper your majesty. not suffer your poor creature to be utterly defaced, Your majesty's poor ancient servan sand beadsnor blot that name quite out of your book, upon man,



B 2



offenders did none of them TURNED WITH POSTILS, OF THE KING'S OWN

make a clear confession. HAND.

That the great downfall of so IT MAY PLEASE Your most excellent MAJESTY,

great persons carrieth, in itYour majesty hath put upon me a work of pro

self, a heavy punishment, vidence in this great cause, which is to break and

and a kind of civil death, distinguish future events into present cases, and

although their lives should so present them to your royal judgment, that in

not be taken. this action, which hath been carried with so great All which may satisfy honour, for sparing their prudence, justice, and clemency, there may be lives. (for that which remaineth) as little surprise as is But, if your majesty's mercy should extend to possible, but that things duly foreseen may have the first degree, which is the highest, of sparing their remedies and directions in readiness; where the stage and the trial; then three things are to in I cannot forget what the poet Martial saith; be considered. "0! quantum est subitis cassibus ingenium !” REX. This ar- First, That they make such signifying, that accident is many times more

ticle cannot a submission or deprecation, subtle than foresight, and overreacheth expecta- be mended in as they prostrate themselves, tion: and, besides, I know very well the mean

point thereof.

and all that they have, at your ness of my own judgment, in comprehending or

majesty's feet, imploring your forecasting what may follow.

mercy. It was your majesty's pleasure also, that I

Secondly, That your mashould couple the suppositions with my opinion

jesty, in your own wisdom, do in every of them, which is a harder task; but

advise what course you will yet your majesty's commandment requireth my

take, for the utter extinguishobedience, and your trust giveth me assurance.

ing of all hope of resuscitating

of their fortunes and favour; I will put the In this case, it seemeth your

whereof if there should be the which I majesty will have a new con

least conceit, it will leave in wish; that So- sult. The points whereof will

men a great deal of envy and merset should be (1) Whether your majesty

discontent. make a clear con- will stay the trial, and so save

And, lastly, Whether your fession of his of- them both from the stage, and

majesty will not suffer it to be fences, before he that public ignominy. Or (2)

thought abroad, that there is a be produced to Whether you will (or may

cause of farther examination of trial. fitly by law) have the trial

Somerset, concerning matters REX. I say with proceed, and stay or reprieve

of estate, after he shall begin Apollo, Me- the judgment, which saveth

once to be a confessant; and dia tutius the lands from forfeiture, and

so make as well a politic itur," if it may the blood from corruption. Or

ground, as a ground of clestand with (3) Whether you will have

mency, for farther stay. law; and if it both trial and judgment procannot, when ceed. and save the blood only, trial, and staying judgment, I must better inform

And for the second degree of proceeding to I shall hear not from corrupting, but from that he con- spilling.

myself by precedents, and advise with my lord fesseth, I am

chancellor. to make choice

The second In this case, first, I suppose of the first, or

case is, if that your majesty will not think of the last.

fall out which is any stay of judgment, but that

likest (as things the public process of justice These be the depths of your majesty's mercy stand, and which pass on. which I may not enter into; but for honour and weexpect) which Secondly, for your mercy to reputation, they have these grounds:

is, that the lady be extended to both, for pardon

confess: and that of their execution, I have That the blood of Overbury is Somerset him- partly touched, in the consi

already revenged by divers self plead not derations applied to the foriner executions.

guilty, and be case; whereunto may be adu. That confession and penitency found guilty. ed, that as there is ground of

are the footstools of mercy, REX. If stay of mercy for her, upon her peni adding this circumstance judgment can tency and free confession, and likewise, that the former stand with the will be much more upon his


law, I would finding guilty, because the be very sorry seen (as I conceive it) that even wish it malice on his part will be should happen; there should be any rejecting in this case; thought the deeper source of but, it is a future of the verdict, or any respiting in all the rest the offence; so there will be contingent, that of the judgment of the acquitthis article ground for mercy, on his part, is, if the peers tal; so, on the other side, this cannot be upon the nature of the proof, should acquit case requireth, that because mended. because it rests chiefly upon him, and find there be many high and heni

presumptions. For, certainly, him not guilty. ous offences (though not capithere may be an evidence so

tal,) for which he may be balanced, as it may have suffi

questioned in the Star Chamcient matter for the conscience REX. This is so ber, or otherwise, that there of the peers to convict him, also.

be some touch of that in geneand yet leave sufficient matter

ral, at the conclusion, by my in the conscience of a king,

Lord Steward of England. upon the same evidence, to

And, that, therefore, he be repardon his life; because the

manded to the Tower, as close peers are astringed by neces

prisoner. sity, either to acquit or condemn; but grace is free. And For matter of examination, or other proceedfor my part, I think the evi- ings, my lord chancellor, with my advice, hath dence in this present case will set down be of such a nature.

To-morrow, being Monday, for the re-examinaThirdly, It shall be my care tion of the lady. so to moderate the manner of Wednesday next, for the meeting of the judges, charging him, as it might concerning the evidence. make him not odious beyond Thursday, for the examination of Somerset the extent of mercy.

himself, according to your majesty's instructions.

Which three parts, when they shall be perREX. That dan- Lastly, all these points of ger is well to mercy and favour, are to be

formed, I will give your majesty advertisement

with speed, and in the mean time be glad to be

foreseen, understood with this limitalest he upon tion, if he do not, by his con- receive from your majesty (whom it is my part

to inform truly) such directions, or significations the one part temptuous and insolent carcommit unpar- riage at the bar, make himself

of your pleasure, as this advertisement may donable errors, incapable and unworthy of induce, and that with speed, because the time

cometh on. and I on the them.

Well remembering who is the perother

son, whom your majesty admitted to this secret; part

I have sent this letter open unto him, that he seem nish him in

may take your majesty's times to report it, or the spirit of

show it unto you, assuring myself that nothing is

more firm than his trust, tried to your majesty's revenge.

commandments; The third case In this case, I should think

Your majesty's most humble and most is, if he should fit, that, as in public, both my

bounden subject and servant. stand mute, self and chiesly my lord chan

April 28, 1616. and will not cellor, (sitting then as Lord plead, whereof Steward of England) should your majesty dehort and deter him from that knoweth there desperation; so, nevertheless, hath been that as much should be done

SIR FRANCIS BACON, THE KING'S ATTORNEYsecret for him, as was done for Wes


THE SENDING OF HIS BILL FOR VISCOUNT, SC. question. ton, wbich was to adjourn the

court for some days, upon a Sir,

Christian ground, that he may I send you the bill for his majesty's signature, REX. This ar- have time to turn from that reformed according to his majesty's amendments,

ticle cannot be mind of destroying himself; both in the two places (which I assure you, were amended.

during which time your ma- altered with great judgment) and in the third jesty's farther pleasure may be place, which his majesty termed a question only. known.

But he is an idle body, that thinketh his majesty The fourth In this case, the lord stew- asketh an idle question; and therefore his majesty's

is, that, ard must be provided what to questions are to be answered, by taking away the which I should do. For, as it hath been never cause of the question, and not by replying.

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