« AnteriorContinuar »
Thus your lordship may see my love and care towards you, which I think infinitely too little in respect of the fulness of my mind; but I thought good to write this, to make you understand better the state of your own business; doing by you as I do by the king; which is, to do his business safely and with foresight, not only of to-morrow or next day, but afar off, and not to come fiddling with a report to him, what is done every day, but to give him up a good sum in the end.
I purpose to send your lordship a calendar fair written of those evidences which concern your estate, for so much as I have passed my hands; which in truth are not fit to remain with solicitors, no, nor with friends, but in some great cabinet, to be made for that purpose.
All this while I must say plainly to your lordship, that you fall short for your present charge, except you play the good husband: for the office of Teynham is in reversion, Darcye's land is in reversion; all the land in your books is but in reversion, and yields you no present profit, because you pay the fee-farm. So as you are a strange heteroclite in grammar, for you want the present tense; many verbs want the preterperfect tense and some the future tense, but none want the present tense. I will hereafter write to your lordship what I think of for that supply; to the end, that you may, as you have begun to your great honour, despise money, where it crosseth reason of state or virtue. But I will trouble you no further at this time. God ever preserve and prosper your lordship.
Your true and most devoted servant.
November 29, 1616.
mistaking, and then a lie, and then a challenge, and then life: saying that I did not marvel seeing Xerxes shed tears to think none of his great army should be alive once within a hundred years, his majesty were touched with compassion to think that not one of his attendants but might be dead within twenty-four hours by the duel. This I write because his majesty may be wary what he sayeth to me, (in things of this nature,) I being so apt to play the blab. In this also, I forgot not to prepare the judges, and wish them to profess, and as it were to denounce, that in all cases of duel capital before them, they will use equal severity towards the insolent murder by the duel, and the insidious murder; and that they will extirpate that difference out of the opinions of men, which they did excellent well.
I must also say that it was the first time that I heard my Lord of Arundel speak in that place; and I do assure your lordship, he doth excellently become the court; he speaketh wisely and weight|ily, and yet easily and clearly, as a great nobleman should do.
There hath been a proceeding in the King's Bench, against Bertram's keeper, for misdemeanor, and I have put a little pamphlet (prettily penned by one Mr. Trotte, that I set on work touching the whole business) to the press by my lord chancellor's advice.
I pray God direct his majesty in the cloth business, that that thorn may be once out of our sides. His majesty knoweth my opinion ab antiquo. Thanks be to God of your health, and long may you live to do us all good. I rest
Your true and most devoted servant.
TO THE LORD VISCOUNT VILLIERS.
MY VERY GOOD Lord,
BUCKINGHAM, ON THE SAME DAY SIR FRANCIS BACON WAS MADE LORD KEEPER OF THE GREAT SEAL.
I delivered the proclamation for cloth to Secre- THIS LETTER WAS WRITTEN TO THE EARL OF tary Winwood on Saturday, but he keepeth it to carry it down himself, and goeth down, as I take it, to-day his majesty may perceive by the docket of the proclamation, that I do not only study, but act that point touching the judges, which his majesty commandeth in your last.
Yesterday was a day of great good for his majesty's service, and the peace of this kingdom concerning duels, by occasion of Darcye's case. I spake big, and publishing his majesty's straight charge to me, said it had struck me blind, as in point of duels and cartels, &c., I should not know a coronet from a hatband. I was bold also to declare how excellently his majesty had expressed to me a contemplation of his, touching duels; that is, that when he came forth and saw himself princely attended with goodly noblesse and gentlemen, he entered into the thought, that none of their lives were in certainty, not for twenty-four hours, from the duel; for it was but a heat or a
MY DEAREST LORD,
It is both in cares and kindness, that small ones float up to the tongue, and great ones sink down into the heart in silence. Therefore, I could speak little to your lordship to day, neither had I fit time. But I must profess thus much, that in this day's work you are the truest and perfectest mirror and example of firm and generous friendship that ever was in court. And I shall count every day lost, wherein I shall not either study your welldoing in thought, or do your name honour in speech, or perform you service in deed. Good my lord, account and accept me
Your most bounden and devoted friend and servant of all men living, FR. BACON, C. S.
March 7, 1616.
TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY EVER BEST LORD, NOW BETTER THAN YOURself,
September 22, 1617.
Fr. BACON, C. S.
TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY SINGULAR GOOD LORD,
I am now for five or six days retired to my house in the country: for I think all my lords are willing to do as scholars do, who, though they call them holy-days, yet they mean them playdays.
We purpose to meet again on Easter Monday, and go all to the Spittall sermon for that day, and therein to revive the ancient religious manner, when all the counsel used to attend those sermons; which some neglected in Queen Elizabeth's time, and his majesty's great devotion in the due hearing of sermons himself with his counsel at the court, brought into desuetude. But now, our attendance upon his majesty by reason of his absence, cannot be, it is not amiss to revive it.
nious in nature, and therefore you may think, (if
Your lordship's most faithful
Gorhambury, April 13, 1617.
I purpose to send the precedents themselves by my Lord of Brackley, but I thought fit to give you some taste of my opinion before.
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Mr. Vicechamberlain, hath acquainted myself and the rest of the commissioners, for the marriage with Spain, which are here, with your majesty's instructions, signed by your royal hands, touching that point of the suppression of pirates, as it hath relation to his negotiation; whereupon, we met yesterday at my Lord Admiral's at Chelsea, because we were loath to draw my lord into the air, being but newly upon his recovery.
We conceive the parts of the business are four: the charge; the confederations, and who shall be solicited or retained to come in; the forces and the distributions of them; and the enterprise. We had only at this time conference amongst ourselves, and shall appoint, (after the holidays,) times for the calling before us such as are fit, and thereupon, perform all the parts of your royal commandments.
In this conference, I met with somewhat, which I must confess was altogether new to me, and opened but darkly neither; whereof I think Mr. Vicechamberlain will give your majesty some light, for so we wished. By occasion whereof I hold it my duty in respect of the great place wherein your majesty hath set me, (being only made worthy by your grace,) which maketh it decent for me to counsel you ad summas rerum, to intimate or represent to your majesty thus much.
I perceive by a letter your lordship did write some days since to my Lord Blackley, that your lordship would have the king satisfied by precedents, that letters patents might be of the dignity of an earldom, without delivery of the patent by the king's own hand, or without the ordinary solemnities of a creation. I find precedents somewhat tending to the same purpose, yet not I do foresee, in my simple judgment, much matching fully. But, howsoever, let me, accord- inconvenience to ensue, if your majesty proceed ing to my faithful and free manner of dealing to this treaty with Spain, and that your counsel with your lordship, say to you, that since the draw not all one way. I saw the bitter fruits of king means it, I would not have your lordship, a divided counsel the last parliament; I saw no for the satisfying a little trembling or panting of very pleasant fruits thereof in the matter of the the heart in my Lord or Lady Blackley, to expose cloth. This will be of equal, if not of more your lordship's self, or myself, (whose opinion inconvenience; for, wheresoever the opinion of would be thought to be relied upon,) or the king, your people is material, (as in many cases it is our master, to envy with the nobility of this not,) there, if your counsel be united, they shall realm; as to have these ceremonies of honour be able, almost, to give law to opinion and dispensed with, which, in conferring honour, rumour; but if they be divided, the infusion have used to be observed, like a kind of Doctor will not be according to the strength and virtue Bullatus, without the ceremony of a commence- of the votes of your counsel, but according to ment: the king and you know I am not ceremo- the aptness and inclination of the popular. This
I leave to your majesty in your high wisdom to remedy. Only I could wish that when Sir John Digby's instructions are perfected, and that he is ready to go, your majesty would be pleased to write some formal letter to the body of your counsel, (if it shall be in your absence,) signifying to them your resolution in general, to the end that, when deliberation shall be turned into resolution, no man, howsoever he may retain the inwardness of his opinion, may be active in contrarium.
The letters of my lords of the council, with your majesty, touching the affairs of Ireland, written largely and articulately, and by your majesty's direction, will much facilitate our labours here, though there will not want matter of consultation thereupon. God ever preserve your majesty safe and happy.
Your majesty's most devoted
London, April 19, 1617.
FR. BACON, C. S.
TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY SINGULAR Good Lord,
I send your lordship, according to the direction of your letter, a note of the precedents that I find in my Lord Brackley's business; which do rather come near the case than match it. Your lordship knoweth already my opinion, that I would rather have you constant in the matter, than instant for the time.
I send also enclosed an account of council business, by way of remembrance to his majesty, which it may please you to deliver to him.
The queen returneth her thanks to your lordship, for the despatch of the warrant, touching her house; I have not yet acquainted the lord treasurer and chancellor of the exchequer with it; but I purpose to-morrow to deliver them the warrant, and to advise with them for the executing the same.
I have received the king's letter with another from your lordship, touching the cause of the officers, and Sir Arthur Ingram, whereof I will be very careful to do them justice.
Yesterday I took my place in Chancery, which I hold only from the king's grace and favour, and your constant friendship. There was much ado, and a great deal of world. But this matter of pomp, which is heaven to some men, is hell to me, or purgatory at least. It is true, I was glad to see, that the king's choice was so generally approved; and that I had so much interest in men's good wills and good opinions, because it maketh me the fitter instrument to do my master service, and my friend also.
After I was set in Chancery, I published his majesty's charge, which he gave me when he
gave me the seal; and what rules and resolutions I had taken for the fulfilling his commandments. I send your lordship a copy of that I said. My Lord Hay, coming to take his leave of me two days before, I told him what I was meditating, and he desired of me to send him some remembrance of it; and so I could not but send him another copy thereof. Men tell me, it hath done the king a great deal of honour; insomuch, that some of my friends that are wise men, and no vain ones, did not stick to say to me, that there was not these seven years such a preparation for a Parliament; which was a commendation I confess pleased me well. I pray take some fit time to show it to his majesty, because if I misunderstood him in any thing, I may amend it, because I know his judgment is higher and deeper than mine.
I take infinite contentment to hear his majesty is in great good health and vigour; I pray God preserve and continue it. Thus wishing you well above all men living, next my master and his, I rest Your true and devoted friend and servant, FR. BACON, C. S.
Dorset House, which putteth me in mind to thank your lordship, for your care of me touching York House, May 8, 1617.
TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
I shall write to your lordship of a business, which your lordship may think to concern myself; but I do think it concerneth your lordship much more. For, as for me, as my judgment is not so weak to think it can do me any hurt, so my love to you is so strong, as I would prefer the good of you and yours before mine own particular.
It seemeth Secretary Winwood hath officiously busied himself to make a match between your brother and Sir Edward Coke's daughter: and as we hear he doth it rather to make a faction than out of any great affection to your lordship: it is true, he hath the consent of Sir Edward Coke (as we hear) upon reasonable conditions for your brother, and yet no better than without question may be found in some other matches. But the mother's consent is not had, nor the young gentleman's, who expecteth a great fortune from her mother, which without her consent is endangered. This match, out of my faith and freedom towards your lordship, I hold very inconvenient, both for your brother and yourself.
First, He shall marry into a disgraced house, which in reason of state is never held good. Next, He shall marry into a troubled house of
man and wife, which in religion and Christian match of Sir John Villiers, which I take to be discretion is disliked.
Thirdly, Your lordship will go near to lose all such your friends as are adverse to Sir Edward Coke, (myself only except, who out of a pure love and thankfulness shall ever be firm to you.) And, lastly, and chiefly, (believe it,) It will greatly weaken and distract the king's service; for though, in regard of the king's great wisdom and depth, I am persuaded those things will not follow which they imagine; yet, opinion will do a great deal of harm, and cast the king back, and make him relapse into those inconveniencies which are now well on to be recovered.
Therefore, my advice is, and your lordship shall do yourself a great deal of honour, if, according to religion and the law of God, your lordship will signify unto my lady your mother, that your desire is, that the marriage be not pressed or proceeded in without the consent of both parents, and so either break it altogether, or defer any further delay in it till your lordship's return: and this the rather, for that (besides the inconvenience of the matter itself) it hath been carried so harshly and inconsiderately by Secretary Winwood, as, for doubt that the father should take away the maiden by force, the mother to get the start hath conveyed her away secretly; which is ill of all sides. Thus, hoping your lordship will not only accept well, but believe my faithful advice, who by my great experience in the world must needs see further than your lordship can. I ever rest
Your lordship's true and most devoted
FR. BACON, C. S.
I have not heard from your lordship since I sent the king my last account of council business, but I assure myself you received it, because I sent at the same time a packet to Secretary Laque, who hath signified to me that he hath received it.
I pray your lordship deliver to his majesty this little note of Chancery business. July 12, 1617.
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR most excellent MAJESTY, I think it agreeable to my duty, and the great obligation wherein I am tied to your majesty, to be freer than other men in giving your majesty faithful counsel, while things are in passing; and more bound than other men in doing your commandments, when your resolution is settled and made known to me.
I shall, therefore, most humbly crave pardon from your majesty, if in plainness and no less humbleness I deliver to your majesty my honest and disinterested opinion in the business of the
magnum in parvo: preserving always the laws and duties of a firm friendship to my Lord of Buckingham, whom I will never cease to love, and to whom I have written already, but have not heard yet from his lordship.
But, first, I have three suits to make to your majesty, hoping well you will grant them all.
The first is, That if there be any merit in drawing on that match, your majesty would bestow the thanks not upon the zeal of Sir Edward Coke to please your majesty, nor upon the eloquent persuasions or pragmaticals of Mr. Secretary Winwood, but upon them that, carrying your commandments and directions with strength and justice, in the matter of the Governor of Diepe, in the matter of Sir Robert Rich, and in the matter of protecting the lady, according to your majesty's commandment, have so humbled Sir Edward Coke, as he seeketh now that with submission which (as your majesty knoweth) before he rejected with scorn: for this is the true orator that hath persuaded this business, as I doubt not but your majesty in your excellent wisdom doth easily discern.
My second suit is, That your majesty would not think me so pusillanimous, as that I, that when I was but Mr. Bacon, had ever (through your majesty's favour) good reason at Sir Edward Coke's hands, when he was at the greatest, should now that your majesty of your great goodness hath placed me so near your chair, (being as I hope by God's grace, and your instructions, made a servant according to your heart and hand,) fear him or take umbrage of him, in respect of mine own particular.
My third suit is, That if your majesty be resolved the match shall go on, after you have heard my reasons to the contrary, I may receive therein your particular will and commandments from yourself, that I may conform myself thereunto, imagining with myself (though I will not wager on women's minds) that I can prevail more Iwith the mother than any other man. For, if I should be requested in it from my Lord of Buckingham, the answers of a true friend ought to be, That I had rather go against his mind than against his good but your majesty I must obey; and, besides, I shall conceive that your majesty, out of your great wisdom and depth, doth see those things which I see not.
Now, therefore, not to hold your majesty with many words, (which do but drown matter,) let me most humbly desire your majesty to take into your royal consideration, that the state is at this time not only in good quiet and obedience, but in good affection and disposition. Your majesty's prerogative and authority having risen some just degrees above the horizon more than heretofore, which hath dispersed vapours: your judges are in good temper, your justices of peace (which is the
body of the gentleman of England) grow to be loving and obsequious, and to be weary of the humour of ruffling; all mutinous spirits grow to be a little poor and to draw in their horns, and not the less for your majesty's disauctorizing the man I speak of. Now, then, I reasonably doubt, that if there be but an opinion of his coming in with the strength of such an alliance, it will give a turn and relapse in men's minds into the former state of things hardly to be holpen, to the great weakening of your majesty's service.
Again, Your majesty may have perceived that, as far as it was fit for me in modesty to advise, I was ever for a Parliament, (which seemeth to me to be cardo rerum, or summa summarum, for the present occasions.) But this my advice was ever conditional, that your majesty should go to a Parliament with a council united and not distracted; and that your majesty will give me leave never to expect, if that man come in. Not for any difference of mine own, (for I am omnibus omnia for your majesty's service,) but because he is by nature unsociable, and by habit popular, and too old now to take a new ply. And men begin already to collect, yea, and to conclude, that he that raiseth such a smoke to get in, will set all on fire when he is in.
It may please your majesty, now I have said, I have done and, as I think I have done a duty not unworthy the first year of your last high favour, I most humbly pray your majesty to pardon me, if in any thing I have erred; for, my errors shall always be supplied by obedience; and so I conclude with my prayers for the happy preservation of your majesty's person and estate. Your majesty's most humble, bounden, and most devoted servant, FR. BACON, C. S.
From Gorhambury, this 25th of July, 1617.
TO THE EARL OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD Lord,
I do think long to hear from your lordship, touching my last letter, wherein I gave you my opinion touching your brother's match. As I then showed my dislike of the matter, so the carriage of it here in the manner I dislike as much. If your lordship think it is humour or interest in me that leads me, God judge my sincerity. But, I must say, that in your many noble favours towards me, they ever moved and flowed from yourself, and not from any of your friends whatsoever; and, therefore, in requital, give me leave that my counsels to you again be referred to your happiness, and not to the desire of any your friends. I shall ever give you, as I give my master, safe counsel, and such as time will approve.
I received, yesterday, from Mr. Attorney, the
queen's bill, which I send your lordship. The
Your lordship's most faithful and
SIR,-In this solitude of friends, which is the base court of adversity, where nobody, almost, will be seen stirring, I have often remembered this Spanish saying, Amor sin fin, no tiene fin. This bids me make choice of your friend and mine for his noble succours; not now towards the aspiring, but only the respiring of my fortunes. I, who am a man of books, have observed, that he hath both the magnanimity of the old Romans, and the cordiality of the old English, and, withal, I believe he hath the wit of both: sure I am, that, for myself, I have found him in both my fortunes, to esteem me so much above my just value, and to love me so much above the possibility of deserving, or obliging on my part, as if he were a friend created and reserved for such a time as this. You know what I have to say to the great lord, and I conceive it cannot pass so fitly to him, by the mouth of any, as of this gentleman; and therefore do your best (which, I know, will be of power enough) to engage him, both in the substance and to the secrecy of it; for I can think of no man but yourself to be used by me in this, who are so private, so faithful, and so discreet a friend to us both; as, on the other side, I dare swear he is, and know myself to be as true to you as your own heart.