Imágenes de páginas

For the name, his majesty's will is a law in | but you may think your private fortunes establishthose things; and to speak the truth, it is a well-ed; and therefore it is now time, that you should sounding, and noble name, both here and abroad: and being your proper name, I will take it for a good sign, that you shall give honour to your dignity, and not your dignity to you. Therefore I have made it Viscount Villiers, and for your barony, I will keep it for an earldom: for though the other had been more orderly, yet that is as usual, and both alike good in law.

For Roper's place, I would have it by all means despatched; and therefore I marvel it lingereth. It were no good manners, to take the business out of my lord treasurer's hands, and therefore I purpose to write to his lordship, if I hear not from him first, by Mr. Deckome; but if I hear of any delay, you will give me leave (especially since the king named me) to deal with Sir Joseph Roper myself; for neither I, nor my lord treasurers can deserve any great thanks in this business of yours, considering the king hath spoken to Sir Joseph Roper, and he hath promised; and, besides, the thing itself is so reasonable, as it ought to be as soon done as said. I am now gotten into the country to my house, where I have some little liberty, to think of that I would think of, and not of that which other men hourly break their head withal, as it was at London. Upon this you may conclude, that most of my thoughts are to his majesty, and then you cannot be far off. God ever keep you, and prosper you: I rest always,

Your true and most dutiful servant. The 5th of August, one of the happiest days.




I have sent you now your patent, creation of Lord Bletchly of Bletchly, and of Viscount Villiers. Bletchly is your own, and I liked the sound of the name better than Whaddon; but the name will be hid, for you will be called Viscount Villiers. I have put them in a patent, after the manner of the patent for earls, where baronies are

refer your actions to the good of your sovereign, and your country. It is the life of an ox or beast always to eat, and never exercise; but men are borr (and especially Christian men) not to cram in their fortunes, but to exercise their virtues; and yet the other hath been unworthy, and (thanks be to God) sometimes unlucky humour of great persons in our times. Neither will your future for

tune be the farther off; for assure yourself, that fortune is of a woman's nature, and will sooner follow by slighting, than by too much wooing. And in this dedication of yourself to the public, I recommend unto you principally, that which I think, was never done since I was born; and which, because it is not done, hath bred almost a wilderness and solitude in the king's service; which is, that you countenance, and encourage, and advance able men, in all kinds, degrees, and professions. For in the time of the Cecils, the father and the son, able men were by design and of purpose suppressed: and though, of late, choice goeth better, both in church and commonwealth, yet money and turn-serving, and cunning canvasses and importunity, prevaileth too much. And in places of moment, rather make able and honest inen yours, than advance those that are otherwise, because they are yours. As for cunning and corrupt men, you must (I know) sometimes use them, but keep them at a distance; and let it appear rather, that you make use of them, than that they lead you. Above all depend wholly (next unto God) upon the king, and be ruled (as hitherto you have been) by his instructions, for that is best for yourself. For the king's care and thoughts for you are according to the thoughts of a great king; whereas your thoughts concerning yourself are, and ought to be, according to the thoughts of a modest man. But let me not weary you the sum is, that you think goodness the best part of greatness, and that you remember whence your rising comes, and make return accordingly. God keep you.

Aug. 12, 1616.


joined; but the chief reason was, because I would SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, ABOUT A CERavoid double prefaces, which had not been fit; nevertheless, the ceremony of robing, and otherwise, must be double.

And now, because I am in the country, I will send you some of my country fruits, which with me are good meditations; which, when I am in the city, are choked with business.

After that the king shall have watered your new dignities, with the bounty of the lands which he intends you, and that some other things concerning your means, which are now likewise in intention, shall be settled upon you, I do not see,


I send your majesty enclosed, my Lord Coke's answers, I will not call them rescripts, much less oracles. They are of his own hand, and offered to me (as they are) in writing, not required by me to have them set down in writing, though I am glad of it, for my own discharge. I thought it my duty, as soon as I received them, instantly to send them to your majesty, and forbear, for the present, to speak farther of them. I, for my part, (though this Moscovia weather be a little too hard

for my constitution,) was ready to have waited | may say to your lordship, in the confidence of upon your majesty this day, all respects set aside; your poor kinsman, and a man by you advanced, but my lord treasurer, in respect of the season," in idem fer opem qui spem dedisti:" for I am and much other business, was willing to save me. I will only conclude, touching these papers, with a text divided; I cannot say " Oportuit hæc fieri," but I may say, "Finis autem nondum." God preserve your majesty.

Your majesty's most humble and
devoted subject and servant.

Feb. 14, at 12 o'clock.

sure, it was not possible for a man living to have received from another more significant and comfortable words of hope: your lordship being pleased to tell me, during the course of my last service, that you would raise me, and that, when you are resolved to raise a man, you were more care-, ful of him than himself, and that what you had done for me in my carriage, was a benefit for me, but

I humbly pray your majesty, to keep the papers of no use to your lordship; and, therefore, I might safe.


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 fear that which I am right sorry for, that you grow more impatient and busy than at first, which makes 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; and that which I take in compassion, others may take in severity. I pray God, that understands us all better than we understand one another, continue you, as I hope he will, at least, within the bounds of loyalty to his majesty, and natural piety to your country. And I entreat you much, to meditate sometimes upon the effect of superstition in this last powdertreason, fit to be tabled and pictured in the chambers of meditation, as another hell above the ground; and well justifying the censure of the heathen, that "Superstition is far worse than Atheism," by how much it is less evil to have no good opinion of God at all, than such as are impious towards his divine majesty and goodness. Good Mr. Matthews, receive yourself back from these courses of perdition. Willing to have written a great deal more, I continue

Your, etc.


assure myself, you would not leave me there, with many like speeches; which I know too well my duty to take any other hold of, than the hold of a thankful remembrance: and I know, and all the world knoweth, that your lordship is no dealer of holy water, but noble and real; and on my part, on sure ground, that I have committed nothing that may deserve any alteration; and if I cannot observe you as I would, your lordship will impute it to my want of experience, which I shall gather better, when I am once settled.

And therefore my hope is, your lordship will finish a good work, and consider, that time groweth precious, and that I am now “vergentibus annis:" and although I know your fortune is not to want a hundred such as I am, yet I shall be and to supply, as much as in me lieth, a worthiever ready to give you my best and first fruits, ness by thankfulness.



IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT Majesty, I dare not presume any more to reply upon your majesty, but reserve my defence till I attend your majesty at your happy retnrn, when I hope verily to approve myself not only a true servant to your majesty, but a true friend to my Lord of Buckingham; and for the times also, I hope to give your majesty a good account, though distance of place may obscure them. But there is one part of your majesty's letter, that I could be sorry to take time to answer; which is, that your majesty conceives, that whereas I wrote that the height of my lord's fortune might make him secure, I mean, that he was turned proud, or unknowing of himself. Surely, the opinion I have ever had of my lord (whereof your majesty is best witness) is far from I am not ignorant how mean a thing I stand for, that. But my meaning was plain and simple, in desiring to come into the solicitor's place: for that his lordship might, through his great fortune, I know well, it is not the thing it hath been, time be the less apt to cast and foresee the unfaithfulhaving wrought an alteration, both in the profes-ness of friends, and the malignity of enemies, and sion, and in that special place. Yet, because I accidents of times. Which is a judgment (your think it will increase my practice, and that it may satisfy my friends, and because I have been voiced to it, I would be glad it were done. Wherein I



majesty knoweth better than I) that the best authors make of the best, and best tempered spirits "ut sunt res humanæ;" insomuch as Guicci

Jan. 2, 1618.

ardini maketh the same judgment, not of a parti- | would do, in this, which is not proper for me, nor cular person, but of the wisest state of Europe, in my element, I shall make your majesty amends the senate of Venice, when he saith, their prospe- in some other thing, in which I am better bred. rity had made them secure, and under-weighers God ever preserve, etc. of perils. Therefore, I beseech your majesty, to deliver me in this, from any the least imputation to my dear and noble lord and friend. And so expecting, that that sun which, when it went from us, left us cold weather, and now it is returned towards us hath brought with it a blessed harvest, will, when it cometh to us, dispel and disperse all mists and mistakings.

July 31, 1617.

I am, etc.


IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, I do many times, with gladness, and for a remedy of my other labours, revolve in my mind the great happiness which God (of his singular goodness) hath accumulated upon your majesty every way, and how complete the same would be, if the state of your means were once rectified, and well ordered; your people military and obedient, fit for war, used to peace; your church illightened with good preachers, as a heaven of stars; your judges learned, and learning from you, just, and just by your example; your nobility in a right distance between crown and people, no oppressors of the people, no over-shadowers of the crown; your council full of tributes of care, faith, and freedom; your gentlemen, and justices of peace, willing to apply your royal mandates to the nature of their several counties, but ready to obey; your servants in awe of your wisdom, in hope of your goodness; the fields growing every day, by the improvement and recovery of grounds, from the desert to the garden; the city grown from wood to brick; your sea-walls, or Pomerium of your island, surveyed, and in edifying; your merchants embracing the whole compass of the world, east, west, north, and south; the times give you peace, and, yet offer you opportunities of action abroad; and, lastly, your excellent royal issue entaileth these blessings and favours of God to descend to all posterity. It resteth, therefore, that God having done so great things for your majesty, and you for others, you would do so much for yourself, as to go through (according to your good beginnings) with the rectifying and settling of your estate and means, which only is wanting, "Hoc rebus defuit unum." I, therefore, whom only love and duty to your majesty, and your royal line, hath made a financier, do intend to present unto your majesty a perfect book of your estate, like a perspective glass, to draw your estate nearer to your sight; beseeching your majesty to concerve, that if I have not attained to do that I


IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Time hath been, when I have brought unto you "Gemitum Columbæ" from others, now I bring it from myself. I fly unto your majesty with the wings of a dove, which, once within these seven days, I thought, would have carried me a higher flight. When I enter into myself, I find not the materials of such a tempest as is come upon me. I have been (as your majesty knoweth best) never author of any immoderate counsel, but always desired to have things carried "suavibus modis." I have been no avaricious oppressor of the people. I have been no haughty, or intolerable, or hateful man, in my conversation or carriage: I have inherited no hatred from my father, but am a good patriot born. Whence should this be; for these are the things that use to raise dislikes abroad.

For the House of Commons, I began my credit there, and now it must be the place of the sepulture thereof. And yet this Parliament, upon the message touching religion, the old love revived, and they said, I was the same man still, only honesty was turned into honour.

For the Upper House, even within these days, before these troubles, they seemed as to take me into their arms, finding in me ingenuity, which they took to be the true straight line of nobleness, without crooks or angles.

And for the briberies and gifts wherewith I am charged, when the books of hearts shall be opened, I hope I shall not be found to have the troubled fountain of a corrupt heart, in a depraved habit of taking rewards to pervert justice; howsoever I may be frail, and partake of the abuses of the times.

And therefore I am resolved, when I come to my answer, not to trick my innocency (as I writ to the Lords) by cavillations or voidances; but to speak to them the language that my heart speaketh to me, in excusing, extenuating, or ingenuous confessing; praying God to give me the grace to see to the bottom of my faults, and that no hardness of heart do steal upon me, under show of more neatness of conscience, than is cause.

But not to trouble your majesty any longer, craving pardon for this long mourning letter; that which I thirst after, as the hart after the streams, is, that I may know, by my matchless friend that

presenteth to you this letter, your majesty's heart
(which is an abyssus of goodness, as I am an
abyssus of misery) towards me. I have been
ever your man, and counted myself but an
usufructuary of myself, the property being yours.
And now making myself an oblation, to do with
me as may best conduce to the honour of your
justice, the honour of your mercy, and the use of
your service, resting as

Clay in your majesty's gracious hands,

March 25, 1620.


beth; wherein I may note much, but this at this time, that as her majesty did always right to his majesty's hopes, so his highness doth, in all things, right to her memory; a very just and princely retribution. But from this occasion, by a very easy ascent, I passed farther, being put in mind, by this representative of her person, of the more true and more perfect representative, which is, of her life and government. For as statues and pictures are dumb histories, so histories are speaking pictures; wherein (if my affection be not too great, or my reading too small) I am of this opinion, that if Plutarch were alive to write lives by parallels, it would trouble him, for virtue and fortune both, to find for her a parallel amongst women. And though she was of the passive

SENDING UNTO HIM A BEGINNING OF A HIS- sex, yet her government was so active, as, in my



Hearing that you are at leisure to peruse story, a desire took me to make an experiment what I could do in your majesty's times, which, being but a leaf or two, I pray your pardon, if I send it for your recreation, considering, that love must creep where it cannot go. But to this I add these petitions: first, that if your majesty do dislike any thing, you would conceive I can amend it upon your least beck. Next, that if I have not spoken of your majesty encomiastically, your majesty will be pleased only to ascribe it to the law of a history, which doth not clutter together praises upon the first mention of a name, but rather disperseth them, and weaveth them throughout the whole narration. And as for the proper place of commemoration, (which is in the period of life,) I pray God I may never live to write it. Thirdly, that the reason why I presumed to think of this oblation, was because, whatsoever my disability be, yet I shall have that advantage which almost no writer of history hath had, in that I shall write the times, not only since I could remember, but since I could observe. And, lastly, that it is only for your majesty's reading.



Some late act of his majesty, referred to some former speech which I have heard from your lordship, bred in me a great desire, and by strength of desire a boldness, to make an humble proposition to your lordship, such as in me can be no better than a wish; but if your lordship should apprehend it, it may take some good and worthy effect. The act I speak of, is the order given by his majesty for the erection of a tomb or monument for our late sovereign, Queen Eliza

simple opinion, it made more impression upon the several states of Europe, than it received from thence. But I confess unto your lordship, I could not stay here, but went a little farther into the consideration of the times which have passed since King Henry the Eighth; wherein I find the strangest variety, that in so little number of successions of any hereditary monarchy, hath ever been known; the reign of a child, the offer of a usurpation, though it were but as a diary ague; the reign of a lady married to a foreigner, and the reign of a lady, solitary and unmarried: So that, as it cometh to pass, in massive bodies, that they have certain trepidations, and waverings, before they fix and settle; so it seemeth, that by the providence of God, this monarchy (before it was to settle in his majesty and his generations, in which I hope it is now established forever) hath had these preclusive changes in these barren princes. Neither could I contain myself here, (as it is easier for a man to multiply, than to stay a wish,) but calling to remembrance the unworthiness of the History of England, in the main continuance thereof, and the partiality and obliquity of that of Scotland, in the latest and largest author that I have seen; I conceived, it would be an honour for his majesty, and a work very memorable, if this island of Great Britain, as it is now joined in monarchy for the ages to come, so it were joined in history for the times past; and that one just and complete history were compiled of both nations. And if any man think, it may refresh the memory of former discord, he may satisfy himself with the verse, "Olim hæc meminisse juvabit." For the case being now altered, it is matter of comfort and gratulation, to remember former troubles. Thus much, if it may please your lordship, was in the optative mood, and it was time that I should look a little into the potential; wherein the hope that I received was grounded upon three observations The first, of these times, which flourish in learning, both of art, and language; which giveth hope, not only that it may be done. but that it

to the end that blot of ignominy may be
removed from me, and from my memory with
posterity, that I die not a condemned man, but
may be to your majesty, as I am to God, “nova
creatura." Your majesty hath pardoned the like
to Sir John Bennet, between whose case and mine
(not being partial to myself, but speaking out of
the general opinion) there was as much difference,
I will not say, as between black and white, but
as between black and grey, or ash-coloured; look,
therefore, down (dear sovereign) upon me also in
pity. I know your majesty's heart is inscrutable
for goodness; and my Lord of Buckingham was
wont to tell me, you were the best natured man
in the world; and it is God's property, that those
he hath loved, he loveth to the end. Let your
majesty's grace, in this my desire, stream down
upon me, and let it be out of the fountain and
spring-head, and "ex mero motu," that living or
dying, the print of the goodness of King James
may be in my heart, and his praises in my mouth.
This my most humble request granted, may make
me live a year or two happily; and denied, will
kill me quickly. But yet the last thing that will
die in me will be the heart and affection of
Your majesty's most humble and
true devoted servant,

may be well done. Secondly, I do see that which nor place, nor employment; but only, after so all the world sees in his majesty, a wonderful long a time of expiation, a complete and total judgment in learning, and a singular affection remission of the sentence of the Upper House, towards learning, and works which are of the mind, and not of the hand. For there cannot be the like honour sought in building of galleries, and planting of elms along highways, and the outward ornaments wherein France now is busy, (things rather of magnificence than of magnanimity,) as there is in the uniting of states, pacify ing of controversies, nourishing and augmenting of learning and arts, and the particular action appertaining unto these; of which kind Cicero judged truly, when he said to Cæsar, "Quantum operibus tuis detrahet vetustas, tantum addet laudibus." And, lastly, I called to mind, that your lordship, at some times, hath been pleased to express unto me a great desire, that something of this matter should be done, answerable indeed to your other noble and worthy courses and actions; joining, and adding unto the great services towards his majesty (which have in small compass of time been performed by your lordship) other great deservings, both of the church, and commonwealth, and particulars: so as the opinion of so great and wise a man doth seem to me a good warrant, both of the possibility, and worth of the matter. But all this while, I assure myself, I cannot be mistaken by your lordship, as if I sought an office or employment for myself; for no man knows better than your lordship, that if there were in me any faculty thereunto, yet July 30, 1624. neither my course of life, nor profession would permit it. But because there be so many good


painters, both for hand and colours, it needeth SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, UPON PREbut encouragement and instructions to give life unto it. So, in all humbleness, I conclude my presenting unto your lordship this wish, which if it perish, it is but a loss of that which is not. And so craving pardon that I have taken so much time from your lordship, I remain, etc.


I know no better way 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 en

SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, ABOUT THIE couraged by my experience of your majesty's



Before I make my petition to your majesty, I make my prayers to God above, "pectore ab imo," that if I have held any thing so dear as your majesty's service, (nay) your heart's ease, and your honour, I may be repulsed with a denial. But if that hath been the principal with me, that God, who knoweth my heart, would move your majesty's royal heart to take compassion of me, and to grant my desire.

I prostrate myself at your majesty's feet; I, your ancient servant, now sixty-four years old in age, and three years and five months old in Inisery. I desire not from your majesty means,

former grace, in accepting of the like poor fieldfruits, 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 et 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 for her favour; so I must acknowledge myself more bound to your majesty, both for trust and favour; whereof I will never deceive the

« AnteriorContinuar »