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TO SIR ROBERT CECIL.
TO THE QUEEN.*
believe your lordship looked to have found her IT MAY PLEASE your MAJESTY,
majesty in all points as you have done; neither It were great simplicity in me to look for better her majesty, percase, looked to have found your than that your majesty should cast away my letter lordship as she hath done. And, therefore, I hope as you have done me; were it not that it is pos- upon this experience may grow more perfect sible your majesty will think to find somewhat in knowledge, and upon knowledge more true conit, whereupon your displeasure may take hold; sent; which I, for my part, do infinitely wish, as and so indignation may obtain that of you which accounting these accidents to be like the fish, favour could not. Neither might I in reason pre- remora, which, though it be not great, yet hath it sume to offer unto 'your majesty dead lines, my- a hidden property to hinder the sailing of the ship. self being excluded as I am; were it not upon And, therefore, as bearing unto your lordship, this only argument or subject; namely, to clear after her majesty, of all public persons the second myseif in point of duty. Duty, though my state duty, I could not but signify unto you my affeclie buried in the sands, and my favours be cast tionate gratulation. And so I commend your upon the waters, and my honours be committed good lordship to the best preservation of the to the wind; yet standeth surely built upon the Divine Majesty. rock, and hath been, and ever shall be unforced From Gray's Inn. and unattempted. And, therefore, since the world out of error, and your majesty I fear out of art is pleased to put upon me; that I have so much as any election or will in this my absence froin attendance; I cannot but leave this protestation with your majesty; That I am and have IT MAY PLEASE your good Honour, been merely a patient, and take myself only to I am apt enough to condemn “mendacia famæ,” obey and execute your majesty's will. And, yet it is with this distinction, as fame walks indeed, madam, I had never thought it possible among inferiors, and not as it hath entrance into that your majesty could have so disinterested some ears. And, yet, nevertheless, in that kind yourself of me; nor that you had been so perfect also, I intend to avoid a suspicious silence, but in the art of forgetting; nor that after a quintes- not to make any base apology. It is blown about sence of wormwood, your majesty would have the town that I should give opinion touching my taken so large a draught of poppy; as to have Lord of Essex's cause; first, that it was a prepassed so many summers without all feeling of munire; and now last, that it reached to high my sufferings. But the only comfort I have is treason. And this opinion should be given in this, that I know your majesty taketh delight and opposition to the opinion of the lord chief justice, contentment in executing this disgrace upon me. and of Mr. Attorney-General. Sir, I thank God, And, since your majesty can find no other use of whatsoever opinion my head serveth me to delime, I am glad yet I can serve for that. Thus, ver to her majesty, being asked, my heart serveth making my most humble petition to your majesty, me to maintain; the same honest duty directing that in justice (howsoever you may by strange- me and assisting me. But the utter untruth of ness untie, or by violence cut asunder all other this report God and the queen can witness; and knots) your majesty would not touch me in that the improbability of it every man that hath wit, which is indissoluble ; that is, point of duty : and more or less, can conceive. The root of this I that your majesty will pardon this my unwar- discern to be not so much a light and humorous ranted presumption of writing, being to such an envy at my accesses to her majesty, (which of end: I cease in all humbleness;
her majesty's grace being begun in my first years, Your majesty's poor, and never
I would be sorry she should estrange in my last so unworthy servant,
years, for so I account them, reckoning by health, Essex. not by age ;) as a deep malice to your honourable
self; upon whom, by me, through nearness, they think to make some aspersion. But, as I know
no remedy against libels and lies, so I hope it IT MAY PLEASE your LORDSHIP,
shall make no manner of disseverance of your That your lordship is in "statu quo prius," no
honourable good conceits and affection towards man taketh greater gladness than I do; the rather, me; which is the thing I confess to fear. For, because I assure myself that of your eclipses, as
as for any violence to be offered to me, wherewith this hath been the longest, it shall be the least; my friends tell me, to no small terror, that I am as the comical poet saith, “ neque illam tu satis threatened, I thank God I have the privy coat of noveras, neque te illa, hoc ubi fit, ibi non vivitur.” a good conscience; and have a good while since For, if I may be so bold as to say what I think, I put off any fearful care of life, or the accidents of
life. So, desiring to be preserved in your good * Written by Mr. Bacon for my Lord of Essex.
opinion, I remain.
TO MY LORD OF ESSEX.
TO THE QUEEN.
entrance into some ears. For your lordship’s IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, love, rooted upon good opinion, I esteem it highly,
I presume, according to the ceremony and good because I have tasted the fruits of it; and we both manner of the time, and my accustomed duty, in have tasted of the best waters, in my account, to all humbleness to present your majesty with a knit minds together. There is shaped a tale in simple gift; almost as far from answering my London’s forge that beateth apace at this time; mind as sorting with your greatness; and there that I should deliver opinion to the queen in my with wish that we may continue to reckon on, Lord of Essex's cause; first, that it was preand ever your majesty's happy years of reign: munire, and now last, that it was high treason ; and they that reckon upon any other hopes, I would and this opinion to be in opposition and encounter they might reckon short, and to their cost. And of the lord chief justice's opinion, and the atso, craving pardon most humbly, I commend your torney-general's. My lord, (I thank God,) my
. majesty to the preservation of the Divine goodness. wit serveth me not to deliver any opinion to the
queen which my stomach serveth me not to main
tain: one and the same conscience of duty guiding TO THE QUEEN.
me, and fortifying me. But the untruth of this IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, there I leave it: knowing no more remedy against
fable God and my sovereign can witness, and I most humbly entreat your majesty not to impute my absence to any weakness of mind or
lies than others do against libels. The root, no unworthiness. But I assure your majesty I do question of it, is, partly, some light-headed envy find envy beating so strongly upon me, standing at my accesses to her majesty, which being begun as I do, (if this be to stand,) as it were not strength
and continued since my childhood, as long as her of mind, but stupidity, if 'should not decline the majesty shall think me worthy of them, I scorn occasions, except I could do your majesty more
those that shall think the contrary. And another service than I can any ways discern that I am
reason is, the aspersion of this tale, and the envy able to do. My course towards your majesty
thereof, upon some greater man, in regard of my (God is my witness) hath been pure and unlea
nearness. And, therefore, (my lord,) I pray you vened; and never poor gentleman (as I am per
answer for me to any person that you think worthy suaded) had a deeper and truer desire and care of your own reply, and my defence. For my Lord your glory, your safety, your repose of mind,
of Essex, I am not servile to him, having regard your service; wherein if I have exceeded my out
to my superior's duty. I have been much bound ward vocation, I most humbly crave your ma
unto him; and, on the other side, I have spent jesty's pardon for my presumption. On the other more time and more thoughts about his wellside, if I have come short of my inward vocation, doing than ever I did about mine own. I pray I most humbly crave God's pardon for quenching Nulla remedia, tam faciunt dolorem, quam quæ
God you his friends amongst you be in the right. the spirit. But in this mind I find such solitude, and want of comfort, which I judge to be because sunt salutaria.” For my part, I have deserved I take duty too exactly, and not according to the better than to have my name objected to envy, or dregs of this age, wherein the old anthem might my life to a ruffian's violence; but I have the never be more truly sung; “ Totus mundus in privy coat of a good conscience. I am sure these maligno positus est.” My life hath been threat- courses and bruits hurt my lord more than all. ened, and my name libelled, which I count an
So having written to your lordship, I desire exhonour; but these are the practices of those whose ceedingly to be preferred in your good opinion despairs are dangerous, but yet not so dangerous
and love, and so leave you to God's goodness. as their hopes; or else the devices of some that would put out all your majesty's lights, and fall on reckoning how many years you have reigned, which I beseech our blessed Saviour may be THE EARL OF ESSEX'S LETTER TO THE COUNCIL, doubled: and that I may never live to see any
AT HIS EMBARKING FOR SPAIN. JUNE, 1596. eclipse of your glory, interruption of safety, or My very good Lords, indisposition of your person, which I commend to the Divine Majesty, who keep you and fortify you. to our land forces, and staying only till the ships
Having taken order for all things that belong be ready to take in our soldiers, I ani come aboard, as well to draw other men by my example to leave the shore, as to have time and leisure to ask ac
count of myself what other duty I have to do, My LORD,-There be very few besides yourself besides the governing of those troops, and the to whom I would perform this respect; for I con- using of them to good purpose. In which medilemn“ mendacia famæ," as it walks among in- tation, as I first study to please my most gracious feriors; though I neglect it not, as it may have sovereign, as well as to serve her; so iny next
TO MY LORD HIEN. IIOWARD.
care is, to leave your lordships well satisfied of my divided his fleets: some appointed to be set out, past carriage since I was nominated to this service;' and yet scant in readiness; others upon point of and apt to make favourable construction of what coming home, and not fit to defend themselves, I shall do hereafter.
if either they he met at sea, or found in harbour; In my past carriage I will neither plead merit and all so dispersed in several places, as if at any nor excuse imperfections : for whatsoever I shall time we might do good that way,
it is now.
And be able to do, I know, is less than I owe; and whether he will make war upon us, if we let him besides iny faults, my very faith and zeal (which alone: let his solicitations, offers, and gifts to the are the best things in me) do make me commit rebels of Ireland; his besieging and winning of errors. But I would fain approve the maiter Calais, and those parts of France that front upon itself of undertaking this service to have been us; and his strengthening himself by sea by so good, howsoever my former have been erroneous; many means; let these things (I say) tell us. or at least, my intent and ends unblameable, So, as if we will at any time allow the counsel though my judgment were faulty. Your lordships of prevention to be reasonable, we must now conknow it hath been the wisdom of all times rather fess it to be opportune. But whatsoever the to attempt and do something in another country counsel were, I am not to be charged with it. than to attend an enemy, and be in danger much For as I was not the contriver, nor offerer of the in our own. And if this rule among the ancients project, so if I had refused to join with him was generally held true, it might be better allowed (that did invite me to it) I should have been of us in particular cases, where a state little in thought both incompatible and backward in her territory, not extraordinary rich, and defended majesty's service. I say not this, for that I think only with itself, shall have to do with another the action such as it were disadvantage to be state that hath many and ample dominions, the thought the projector of it; but I say, and say treasure of the Indies, and all the mercenaries of truly, that my lord admiral devised it, presented Christendom to serve it. For we have, as the it to her majesty, and had as well the approbaAthenians had with the ancient usurping Philip; tion of her majesty and the assent of such of your “prælium facile, bellum difficile.” Therefore, it lordships as were acquainted with it, as my prois our disadvantage to draw the war into length. mise to go with him. One thing (I confess) I And if any man in this kingdom should be allowed above all men am to be charged withal: that is, to persuade to prevention, he might be one that that when her majesty's, the city of London's, and saw the Spaniard at home apprehend an invasion the states of the Low Countries' charge was past, with greater terror than he makes it abroad: and the men levied and marching to the rendezvous; that was a witness how a handful of men, nei. I could not see how with her majesty's honour ther armed, victualled, nor ordered as they should and safety the journey might be broken. Wherebe, landed, marched, and had done what they in, although I should be carried with passion, yet listed, if either the ships had come up, or they I pray your Jordships consider who almost that had had any provisions to make a hole in a wall or to been in my case named to such an action, voiced break open a gate. But though the counsel be throughout Christendom, and engaged in it as good for some states, and for ours at some times, much as I was worth; and being the instrument yet the opportunities ought to be watched, and it of drawing more voluntary men of their own must appear that this it is which is now taken. charge than ever was seen these many years : The opportunity for such service I take to be when who (I say) would not have been so affected ? either the enemy may receive the most hurt, or But far be it from me, in any action of this imwhen he is likeliest to attempt against us, if he portance to weigh myself or my particular forbe not impeached. The hurt that our estate should tunes. I must beseech your lordships to rememseek to do him is, to intercept his treasure, whereby ber that I was from time to time warranted by all we shall cut his sinews, and make war upon him your opinions, delivered both amongst yourselves with his own money; and to beat, or at least dis- and to her majesty: which tieth you all to allow continue him from the sea, whereby her majesty the counsel. And that being granted, your lordshall be both secured from his invasions, and ships will call that zeal, which maketh a man become mistress of the sea; which is the great- constant in a good counsel, that would be passion ness that the queen of an island should most in an evil, or a doubtful. I confess, her majesty aspire unto. In matter of profit we may this offered us recompense for all our charges and journey most hurt him, and benefit ourselves; losses. But (my lords) I pray your Jordships since he hath (as is agreed on by all men) more consider how many things I should have sold at caracks to come home now than ever any year once for money? I will leave mine own reputa. before. Besides many good advantages which tion as too small a matter to be mentioned. But shall be offered if we command the coast. And I should have sold the honour of her majesty, the to give him a blow, and discountenance him by safety of the state, the contentment of her con siea, now is the time, when he hath declared his federates, the fortune and hope of many of my inbition to command the seas; and yet, so poor countrymen, and the possibility of giving a VOL. III.-8
blow to that enemy that ought ever to be hateful wars is peace, so she might have had peace when to all true English hearts. I should have sold she would, and with what conditions she would, all this for private profit; therefore, though I ask and have included or left out whom she would. pardon of her majesty, and pray your lordships For, she only, by this course, shonld force him. to mediate it for me, that I was carried by this to wish for peace, and she had the means in her zeal so fast that I forgot those reverend forms hands to make the conditions: and as easy it had which I should have used, yet I had rather have been to have done this as to have performed my heart out of my body than this zeal out of my lesser services. The objections against this will heart. And now, as I have laid before your be hazard and charge. Hazard, to hold any lordships my past carriage, and entering into this thing of his that is so mighty a king: and action, so I beseech your lordships give me leave charge, to send such supplies from time to time to prepare you to a favourable construction of as will be needful. For hazard, it is not the that which I shall do hereafter; in which suit I hazard of the state or the whole, as are the am resolved neither to plead the hazarding of hazards of a defensive war, whensoever we are life, nor spending of my substance in a public enforced to fight, but it is only a hazard of some service; to the end that I might find your lord- few, and such commanders, as shall be set out ships (who are public persons) more favourable for such a service. And those also that shall be judges: but will confess, that I receive so much so hazarded, shall be in less danger than if they favour and honour by this trust and employment, were put into any frontier places of France, as, when I have done all I can, I shall still be or of the Low Countries, for they should not be behindhand. This suit only I make, that your left in any part of the main or continent of Spain lordships will neither have too great an expecta- or Portugal, where the enemy might bring an tion of our actions, nor too little, lest all we do army to attempt them; (though I doubt not but seem either nothing, or to be done by chance. I after he had once tried what it were to besiege know we must be tied to do more than shall be two or three thousand English, in a place well for her majesty's service, nor no less; in which fortified, and where they had a port open, he straight way, though it be hard for so weak a would grow quickly weary of those attempts;) man as myself to walk upright, yet the example but they should be so lodged as the seat and of our raw soldiers may comfort an insufficient strength of the place should warrant their safety, general; for they, till they grow perfect in all so that to pull her majesty's men out of it should their orders and motions, are so afraid to be out, be a harder task than to conquer any country that and with such a continual heedfulness, observe stands on firm land by him: and to let English both themselves and those that are near them, quietly possess it, should so much prejudice him, that they do keep almost as good order at the first as he were not able to endure it. And, for as ever after. I am sure I am as distrustful of charge, there need not so much be expended but myself as they, and because I have more sense that it might easily be borne. And the place of duty, I shall be more industrious. For sea- being well chosen, and the war well conducted, service, the judgment of my honourable compa- in a short time there would not only arise nion shall be my compass; and for land, his enough to pay the charge, but the great profit to assent, and the advice of those her majesty hath her majesty, and wealth to our country would named as counsellors at war shall be my war-grow from the place that should be held, for in a ranties. It will be honour to her majesty, and a short time a great part of the golden Indian great assurance to her state, if we either bring stream might be turned from Spain to England, home wealth or give the King of Spain a blow by and her majesty be made to give law to all the
But to have made a continual diversion, world by sea without her charge. Besides, this and to have left, as it were, a thorn sticking fearful enemy, which is now a terror to all Chrisin his foot, had been a work worthy of such a tendom, should be so weakened in strength, requeen, and of such a preparation. For then her putation, and purse, as her majesty should forever majesty should have heard no more of his inten- after have an easy enemy of him. It may be, tions for Ireland, and attempts upon the coast of your lordships will desire to know the place France, or his drawing of ships or galleys into that should be attempted; the means, first to take these narrow seas, but should at once have deliver- it, then to hold it; the commodity or advantage ed all Christendom from his fearful usurpation. that might grow to this estate by it, but that Wherein, as she had been great in fame for such with your lordships' leave shall be reserved till a general preservation, so she had been as great iny next. This is only to beseech you, for our in power in making all the enemies of Spain in dear sovereign's sake, for the glory and weliare Christendom to depend upon her. She should of her, and her estate, that you will think upon be head of the party; she only might be said to this general proposition; and if your lordships make the wars with Spain, because she made find it reasonable, that you will move it to the them to purpose, and they all but as her assistants queen; by whom if I be commanded to set down and dependants. And, lastly, as the end of the the hypothesis, or to descend unto particulars, I
will offer my project with this condition, that if I yet neither do I repent me of safe counsel; neither advise any thing that the council of war shall do I judge of the whole play by the first act. But think dangerous, it may be rejected; or if myself whether I counsel you the best, or for the best, be actor in any thing belonging to this project, duty bindeth me to offer to you my wishes. I wherein her majesty receives dishonour, that I said to your lordship last time; “ Martha, Martha, may answer it with my life. And yet your attendis ad plurima, unum sufficit.” Win the lordships know I am matched with those in queen; if this be not the beginning, of any other whom I have no particular interest; but I must course I see no end. And I will not now speak attribute their assenting to me, to my good hap, of favour of affection, but of other correspondence to take the better part. In my lord with whom I and agreeableness, which, whensoever it shall be joined, I find so much honour and service, as conjoined with the other of affection, I durst I doubt not but our unity in affection will make wager my life (let them make what prosopopæus a unity in council, action, and government. I they will of her majesty's nature) that in you she have troubled your lordships with a tedious letter, will come to the question of “quid fiet homini, begun in a day of leisure, and finished in the quem rex vult honorare ?" But how is it now? midst of our troublesome business. I pray your A man of a nature not to be ruled, that hath the lordships pardon the errors in it, and keep so advantage of my affection and knoweth it, of an honourable opinion of me as I be not condemned estate not grounded to his greatness, of a popular by you upon any complaints, advertisements, or reputation, of a military dependence: I demand reports, till I have given answer to them. For whether there can be a more dangerous image as the nature of my place is subject to envy and than this represented to any monarch living, much detraction, so a little body full of sharp humours more to a lady, and of her majesty's apprehension ? is hardest kept temper; and all the discontent- And is it not more evident than demonstration ed humours of an army do make their greatest itself, that whilst this impression continueth in her quarrel to him that commands the army, not so majesty's breast, you can find no other condition much for his faults as for because he bridles than inventions to keep your estate bare and luw; their's. And so commending your good lordships crossing and disgracing your actions, extenuating to God's divine protection, I rest
and blasting of your merit, carping with contempt At your lordships' commandment, at your nature and fashions; breeding, nourishing,
Robert Essex. and fortifying such instruments as are most
factious against you, repulses and scorns of your friends and dependants that are true and steadfast,
winning and inveigling away from you such as TO MY LORD OF ESSEX, FROM MR. BACON.
are flexible and wavering, thrusting you into MY SINGULAR Good Lord,
odious employments and offices to supplant your I will no longer dissever part of that, which I reputation, abusing you, and feeding you with meant to have said to your lordship at Barnhelmes, dalliances and demonstrations, to divert you from from the exordium, which I then made. Where- descending into the serious consideration of your unto I will only add this; that I humbly desire own case; yea, and percase venturing you in your lordship before you give access to my poor perilous and desperate enterprises. Herein it advice, to look about, even jealously a little, if may please your lordship to understand me; for I you will, and to consider: First, whether I have mean nothing less than that these things should be not reason to think that your fortune comprehend-plotted and intended as in her majesty's royal eth mine: Next, whether I shist my counsel and mind towards you; I know the excellency of her do not " constare mihi;" for I am persuaded there nature too well. But I say, wheresoever the forare some would give you the same counsel now, merly described impression is taken in any king's which I shall, but that they should derogate from breast towards a subject, these other recited inthat which they have said heretofore: Thirdly, conveniences must of necessity of politic consewhether you have taken hurt at any time by my quences follow; in respect of such instruments careful and devoted counsel. For although I as are never failing about princes, which spy into remember well your lordship once told me that their humours and conceits, and second them; you having submitted upon my well-meant motion and not only second them, but in soconding at Nonsuch, (the place where you renewed a increase them; yea, and many times without their treaty with her majesty of obsequious kindness,) knowledge pursue them further than themselves she had taken advantage of it; yet I suppose you would. Your lordship will ask the question do since believe, that it did much attemper a cold wherewith the Athenians were wont to interrı pt malignant humour then growing upon her majesty their orators when they exaggerated their dangers; toward
your lordship, and hath done you good in squid igitur agendum est ?” consequence.
And for being against it, now I will tell your lordship, “quæ mihi nunc in lately, that you should not estrange yourself, mentum veniunt;" supposing, nevertheless, that although I give place to none in true gratulation, yourself, out of your own wisdom upon